OnyxSoft JoyDivision

Already coming up for February, but one of the first projects I wanted to have a go at building this new year was an Amiga setup on a Raspberry Pi 3, using Amibian.  It’s been brilliant – it’s allowed me to set up a Pi that can boot straight into a Amiga 1200 with an OS installed and access to WHD_Load games, without issues with floppy disk decay like I was experiencing when I dug out the Amiga over Christmas.  Perfect now for a quick fix of Amiga nostalgia every so often.

However, although I could use a keyboard to play the games instead of a joystick – i’d much prefer to have a real joystick to use with games like SWOS.  USB Joysticks are ok, but they don’t quite feel right compared to the original ones I grew up with in the 80’s and 90’s.  It would be great to use my old-school Competition Pro instead.

When looking in the Amibian settings, I noticed that there was configuration options for something called OnyxSoft JoyDivision.   Upon further investigation, I found their website which lists a wonderful little USB device which allows you to connect up a classic 9 Pin Joystick.

joyadapter

The site gives all the source code and PCB layout details, so you can build them for yourself,  or luckily for people like me, you can purchase them when available for a great 22 Euros for 2 – though its best to get in touch with Stefan beforehand to check if that is still the case and if he has them in stock.

No drivers were required.  I plugged it in with a proper Competition Pro with my Raspberry Pi, and it worked right away!  No lag (not noticeable to me at least), and feels great using proper classic joysticks with the setup.  Really impressive, and the build quality was sturdy too.

There are details of what compatibility is like, but the great thing is that the boards come with a firmware that is updatable, and will soon feature support for Amiga/ST mice for instance.  But standard joysticks and control pads should work fine already.

So if you’re looking for a cost effective solution to using your old joysticks in your emulation setups, then i’d highly recommend checking out the JoyDivision.

 

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‘Game Machines 1972-2012’ book review

I recently received a new retro/gaming related book to review, thanks to Anna and Dave from The Attic Bug, which was ideal timing for reading over the Christmas period.

Although the retro scene is awash with publications these days on specific platforms or subjects,  ‘Game Machines 1972-2012’ is a encyclopaedia of consoles, handheld and home computers across most of the duration of the games industry.  The book has been published by GamePlan and written by Winnie Forster, a very well reputed games journalist who has written for publications such as PowerPlay and VideoGames.

s-l1600

This is the second edition of the English book, expanded to include more recent and modern consoles.  The first edition covered up to 2005.  The book is printed in full colour, and is compact but packed full of information, including a section on the different storage media types and terminology section to give a comprehensive overview of classic and modern platforms.

Collectors will find the guide very useful indeed, with not only common platforms covered, but more obscure platforms too.  There are details (where possible) of how many of each machine were sold, and a focus on some of the games that were popular.  Though some may have wished to have seen a price guide included, no doubt such information would become obsolete quickly, so probably best not to be included.

More popular machines of the time (such as the Commodore 64 and the ZX Spectrum) are given a bit more page coverage to give more background and history.  Accompanying each write up are wonderful photos of each of the machines.  Over 700 exclusive photos are included in the book overall.

Owners of the first edition book will find that the new edition has not only new content, but has been heavily edited, with large numbers of amendments and fixes fed back from the community and other sources.   Others may have struggled to find the first edition, which sold out a few years ago – so now is a perfect opportunity to pick up a copy once more.

If you need a guide to all the different classic and modern consoles, handhelds and computers out there, then I would recommend grabbing a copy.  Either as a collector or someone who just wishes to learn more, this is an easy to read and comprehensive guide worth checking out.

Copies can be purchased from The Attic Bug at https://goo.gl/eAoL7i

Slightly Magic kickstarter

Author of the Codemasters graphic adventure Slightly Magic, Colin Jones, has set up a new Kickstarter project to resurrect the game in a 8-bit legacy edition (with faithfulness to the original graphics), but also with an extra special incentive which will be of interest to those into unreleased games like us….

As you will know via GTW64, there was a sequel planned called Slightly Spooky – which sadly never saw the light of day.  Well, if Colin’s Kickstarter is successful and OUYA funding is obtained as well, then Slightly Spooky will also be produced and given free as digital copy to those who are eligible for Slightly Magic’s remake.

But that isn’t all!  If the stretch goal of £12,000 is met, then the third title in the series will be produced also.  A title was set originally for a 3rd game, but never started after the non-release of Slightly Spooky.

An additional bonus is that Allister Brimble will be re-recording his original music score with his latest instruments and equipment for the game.

For more details, check out the Kickstarter page here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/colinjones/slightly-magic-8bit-legacy-edition

Sound of the colossus

Just recently i’ve been speaking with Gari Biasillo regarding some of his past C64 work.   You see, I grew up with most of Gari’s work on the C64 and have particularly fond memories of Target Renegade (brought from a now long gone newsagent which had a rack of budget titles for £2.99 each – with a “Star purchase” label on them).

One thing about Gari is that not only did he code, but he was a great musician too – the likes of Slayer, Steel, Basket Master and Target Renegade all featured tunes by himself.

Gari is still producing tunes today – and recently released a superb album released called Sound of The Colossus, which you can check out here:

http://soundofthecolossus.bandcamp.com/album/sound-of-the-colossus-ost

Maybe some day Gari will do some reproductions of his old classic tunes? … we’ll see!

Games That Weren’t xmas update 2012

Well, ever since the upgrade of GTW64 was completed – it was straight onto preparing for the Christmas update. No rest for the wicked. Hopefully we won’t disappoint with some big findings to keep you going.

Our main finding this year is:

Otherworld full game

Followed by:

(*) Otherworld full game
(*) Fuzzball music found + more!!
(*) Epsilon preview recovered
(*) Exodus (Nexus) reconstructed
(*) Martin Piper racing game recovered
(*) Two full White Wizard adventures found
(*) Andrew Morris game graphics added
(*) Paddle Mania screens found
(*) Mountain Combaters new entry
(*) Beauty and The Beast tape file
(*) 67 new entries added
(*) 81 updates added

More details about the update can be viewed at:

http://www.gamesthatwerent.com…12-update/

Enjoy everyone, and Merry Christmas!

Sub Hunter released on Cartridge

RGCD and Psytronik Software present another collaboration project – an oldie-but-goldie from 2008, Sub Hunter is finally given an update and a long-awaited official cartridge conversion.

If you’ve followed the C64 scene for the last few years then the chances are that you have already played this great little game (and if not, well, you are in for some good times ahead, as highlighted in our own review – http://www.rgcd.co.uk/2011/05/sub-hunter-c64.html). Sub Hunter is one of the few homebrew titles that has really stood the test of time well, with its varied level-to-level game design always keeping the player on their toes.

This PAL/NTSC compatible cartridge version of the game features the intro sequence, instructions and main game all included within a GS-friendly joystick controlled menu system designed by Enthusi (Martin Wendt). Some minor bugs were fixed (raster splits improved), but otherwise it is the same as the previous version without the minor hassles associated with using disk or tape media.


Sub Hunter is available in two packaging types, a standard card carton and a more expensive ‘deluxe version’ that comes in a plastic case (a Universal Game Case with a specially cut foam insert to hold the cartridge). The standard version is priced at £25 inclusive of UK/Europe shipping, and £26 for the rest of the world, whereas the deluxe version costs £30 (UK/Europe) and £32 (rest of world).

The game itself comes in a transparent blue cartridge shell internally illuminated by a flashing LED, complete with a printed manual and a vinyl RGCD sticker.

Please note that Pystronik Software (http://www.psytronik.net/) are also selling the game as a download, on tape, and budget or premium disk for £1.99/£3.99/£4.99/£9.99 respectively (plus shipping). The game is also available (legally) for free download over at the Commodore Scene Database (CSDB) here:http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=74139

So what are you waiting for? Grab your copy from our shop page today!

http://www.rgcd.co.uk/p/shop.html#subhunter-shop

Dizzy Returns – Kickstarter project

After seeing the iOS reboot of Dizzy – Prince of the Yolkfolk, I was even more excited (yes, I resisted an egg related pun there..) to learn of a whole new Dizzy game being proposed by the original developers The Oliver Twins.

Dizzy Returns is a new Kickstarter project which seems to be full of promise for the Dizzy fans out there, but also for the new generations who never experienced the somersaulting egg during their youth.  Recently i’ve been of the opinion that the whole “Kickstarter” idea has become over saturated, but I can’t help but give something towards this project.  If anything, the Dizzy series on the Commodore 64 had a huge impact on my childhood – swapping tips with friends in the playground and trying to get past that Dragon with the sleeping potion…

If you too grew up playing the various adventures, then this might be one you’d like to see as well.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/theolivertwins/dizzy-returns