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Topics - Pixel_Outlaw

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Would something like this design be possible for key entry on a modern computer? I'm thinking either USB or ps/2. I guess you might get some potentiometers and pair them with a chip like an Arduino. I'm more of a software man myself and rarely touch a soldering gun but I just would like to have a minimal keyboard if possible. My plan would be to dial in the hex value for the key you want and they hit the little enter button in the middle.

Just and idea I thought I'd share.


Binary version...

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HARDWARE/SYSTEMS DISCUSSION / I like mechanical keyboards...a lot.
« on: May 20, 2010, 05:09:08 AM »

There is nothing quite like a 5 lb keyboard. Nothing like the click of the keys as my fingers fly across them. I usually get them for free and under 5 dollars at thrift stores.


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HARDWARE/SYSTEMS DISCUSSION / Finally got an Atari 2600!!!
« on: December 08, 2009, 04:35:31 AM »
Let me first say that what you have played on an emulator is not Atari 2600. It may look the same but it cannot capture the feeling of playing on the real hardware. Now for some time I had always wanted to try an Atari 2600 but as a kid I didn't have eBay as we do now. My first video game consoles was the Nintendo found abandoned by my dad. That system is great to own and play, but I always sort of wanted to play what came before that as a kid. My uncle had one but he never remembered where he put it.

So recently I got an Atari Jr ( The last "real" Atari 2600 model to be made) for about 40 dollars. The unit came with one racing controller, two paddle controllers, one joystick controller and one odd looking joystick controller The seller did not ship the item out right away because he said that there was some ban on his account that happened directly after I placed my order. This made me worry quite a bit but soon the mistake (apparently) was corrected and my item was shipped. It arrived today via FedEx at 7:30 PM. Now I have my atari with a few games enjoying something I never had but always sort of wanted in the back of my mind. It is nice having the original joysticks, yes but I think I like the feel of my Genesis controllers more as they easily fit and play nicely with the earlier generation system.

I have the following games and will soon be getting more.
41 Surround (A bit like the light cycles tron game)
Asteroids (2 copies)
E.T. (Not a game but torture)
Word Zapper

I look foreward to clearing out a local pawn shop that seems to have a giant bin of them.

So, if you have played Atari on the computer and think that you don't like the system for the graphics I urge you to try the games on the original system. It defies logic but they are actually great when played on the real hardware with a friend. I found quite a few people don't like the Atari but please, play the real thing before you make your decisions.

Now...to download those manuals for the games so I can figure out which of the 20 settings does what in each game.

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GENERAL RETRO CHIT CHAT / Pixel_Outlaw's classic game review channel.
« on: December 03, 2009, 06:04:51 AM »


I started my own youtube channel for classic game reviews. Complete with actual commentary (on and off topic).

http://www.youtube.com/user/PixelOutlaw

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Two new old consoles in 2 days.

I got the Sega Saturn from a friend who had duplicates.
30 Bucks, came with all the attachments, 1 controller and Panzer Dragoon game.

I just got an Atari 2600 Jr. tonight on ebay for 33 dollars. It doesn't have the power supply but I think I have a universal one with multiple tips that will work.



I really enjoy these classic consoles. Takes me back to before I was born ('87). Heheheh.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30301651

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GENERAL RETRO CHIT CHAT / Game making then and now...
« on: November 08, 2009, 08:27:38 AM »


Until tonight I really couldn't pinpoint what I didn't like about many modern games. Simply put I think developers are doing it incorrectly. To make a game of any genre, I feel that the developer must first strip the concept down to the essential parts. Then features are added in only if they enhance the way a game plays. This used to make controllers very simple. You had a directional pad and a few buttons. Modern controllers have around 12. Why is this? Well I feel that modern developers look in through the wrong end of the game making telescope. I feel that the current school of thought is to take a real world scenario and try to force, cram, and jam every aspect of it into a game. MANY times this leads to very odd and unexpected quarks in the way the game plays. FPS games I feel have really gotten too complex among other genres. I feel that realism has trumped playability in many modern games. I want a video game, not an uber realistic cinematic simulation. What's next in the ever popular FPS genre? Jamming bullets? Dulling knives? Wounded legs and crawling? Grenades not going off? Developers are so focused on forcing a complete realistic concept into game, that they are neglecting how fun games should be.

Can you imagine how horrible games like Mario would be if they factored in the fatigue and weight of 2 real plumbers running jumping for an entire level? (Today developers would probably put in a health bar and limit the number of fireballs Mario could shoot too!)

I urge developers to strip a concept down to the basic elements and then only add in features if they make the game more fun, not more seemingly realistic.

Another note is how long player matches are in some games. I've been in multiplayer games that take about 20 minutes to win. What ever happened to many short rounds? Bomberman was fast and fun. Why do matches have to last so darn long? You could get in 10 complete bomberman matches in the time it takes do a single match in many games.

The sad thing is the decline of abstract games too. Now, a game must be based on an existing cartoon franchise, movie or real life event. This is sad because companies are not creating their own unique style in many cases. People now write off games like Qix and Galaga simply for not having any emulatable real world situation.

Also developers are going to more and more LAN only based games. This is fine if you do not have real friends but if you do, it requires each player to have a copy of the system and game. Also this raises a very real concern for games that people intend to play long after servers are taken out of service.

Just my opinion. Feel free to disagree and call me close minded.inded.

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GENERAL RETRO CHIT CHAT / I wish analog sticks were never invented!
« on: October 17, 2009, 08:13:52 PM »


I'm really tired of analog sticks in game controllers. They are really a bad design. They are susceptable to loosing their ability to center and also often become loose (Sintendo Gamepube). The Nintendo ones seem to wear out (N64 and Gamecube) and the Sony ones seem to loose their centering ability with some time. I'm not hard on my controllers at all either. I take care not to jerk them around or leave them resting in a position that pushes on the sticks (Leaving a Sony controller with one of the sticks slightly bent will cause re-centering problems with sufficient time).

Lets just go back to GOOD design, that being the Sega Saturn/Genesis design.

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CODING AREA / Little binary clock screensaver...
« on: October 03, 2009, 08:16:03 AM »

I took a break from coding my game to make a binary clock.
It uses 12 hour format with AM and PM. You will need to put this in your Windows folder which contains other screen savers.

The first row is the hour, then minute, then second.
Each light

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CODING AREA / Unnamed flower shooting game.
« on: September 14, 2009, 01:53:14 AM »
I'm a good way into developing a classic style game in which you must kill ever growing flowers. You may move your ship along the 4 edges of the screen in order to kill the ever blooming flowers. This game uses a sofware renderer intended to provide low resolution (320x240) even when the graphics card cannot. I don't really know where to go from here with the gameplay concept. I would like the game to be over if a flower reaches the blue inner border of the screen. Also I might like to have bees come out of the flowers and fire at the player on occasion.

The arrows move the ship and the z button fires the ULTRA MEGA ANTI FLOWER device...

I really plan to use some old sound effects for this game. The target look and sound should feel like early 80's. Sprites shall have no more than 3 unique colors and 1 transparent channel.

Name still in progress.



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HARDWARE/SYSTEMS DISCUSSION / Memory relyability on vintage computers.
« on: September 12, 2009, 01:49:34 AM »


I have always thought about getting some classic computers and saving the poor little things from destruction. My question is how about reliability? How dependable is memory on older systems? Please share your experiences if you have any...

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Does anyone know of any good books that present the evolution of computers and also games? It would be interesting.

I know of one called Highscore which has a lot of info. I really do love the history of computers, it shows where we have come from. There is nothing wrong with celebrating and using some of these systems out of respect and tradition. Just looking for some picture and information books for toilet reading and such.

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HARDWARE/SYSTEMS DISCUSSION / Is the Atari 2600 a GOOD system to purchase?
« on: September 06, 2009, 03:42:07 AM »


I know that the Atari 2600 was in the first generation of consoles but it is really worth a purchase? History aside, does it have enough quality games to make a 40 dollar investment worth it?

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HARDWARE/SYSTEMS DISCUSSION / Cool video of Babbage's Difference Engine..
« on: September 02, 2009, 06:53:18 AM »
I found this tonight while doing some studying on the history of computers for a test college tomorrow.

Amazing work these early mechanical computers...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0anIyVGeWOI

And to think that steam was a consideration at one time for computer power...

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HARDWARE/SYSTEMS DISCUSSION / Re centering a ps1/2 dualshock stick...
« on: August 24, 2009, 08:49:45 AM »

I have a controller that was been put away wrong and one of the sticks has gotten slightly off center from learning against the side of the container. Is there any way to fix this? The controllers are really a pain to work with WAAAAAY too much to break inside there.

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GENERAL RETRO CHIT CHAT / Teamviewer - Great software!
« on: August 23, 2009, 06:42:52 AM »
I recently found out about a freeware screen viewer. This free software lets you manipulate a friend's computer from your computer. Since most people here have probably been asked how to install something or simply how to set up MAME or other programs this is a very useful tool to have. There is nothing more annoying than telling somebody how to set up something on their computer when they don't give you the information you need to know. With this program I had MAME up and running in a few seconds on a friend's computer. The night before I had spent two hours trying to get an idea where he was putting his files. The program lets you see their screen and manipulate their programs from your desktop. This is a great program to have if you are constantly getting help requests from friends and relatives. You don't need to know what they are doing because you just go in and do it. Also, I suppose you could use a computer at the office to work on your personal computer at home. If you are the family repair man this will prove very valuable to you for saving time.

Freeware.
http://www.teamviewer.com/index.aspx

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