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.

 

Hidden secrets in games

Update: 11th July 2016 – Added Jet Power Jack hidden hacker messages (See top)

I’ve always had a bizarre interest in the things we were never meant to see – I don’t know why, it’s something i’ve had ever since the day I discovered a cheat which allowed me to be immune to fire/water in Fantasy World Dizzy and helped me to discover odd looking screens which were not part of the game. The desire for discovering unseen materials is why I run a preservation project for games that never saw the light of day.

Getting hold of and sharing something that we waited months for back in the day when magazines showed promising previews of a particular game, and which eventually never showed. However, it’s not just unreleased/lost games which interest me, but its the little details within the games that DID make it.  Most of you are probably well aware of the term “Easter egg” in the computing world, being a small piece of code which is buried away and unlocked in a particular way (Via a code or a key combination).   With C64 games, there are loads of easter eggs buried away in the shape of mini-games,  demo’s and messages from the developers – unlocked via a combination of key strokes or accessing a strange part of a game. Finding an easter egg is pretty neat, but there is much more awaiting discovery that we may not be aware of – things classified as easter eggs maybe, but not intentional ones…

No, i’m talking about bits of unseen ‘assets’ within games …  unused sprites, music, background graphics and even levels! There is a lot of this kind of thing tucked away in the games we all love and know very well, but unless you’re actively digging around – you most likely will never get to see these things.  You may not for instance get to see the cheeky message hidden away in Army Moves Part 2 (See below) unless you were hunting around in the code with a Machine Code monitor. After starting a thread recently on Lemon64 forum, it seems others out there are interested in this kind of thing – and its got me hungry for starting up a new segment/category on the up and coming new GTW portal site (Which btw will be here soon!).

Very quick fire pages/entries for particular titles with hidden bits and pieces, showing you the assets or even how to get access to them.  It’s a slight expansion from just covering unreleased/lost games, but I think it will be an interesting one.  Let’s see how it goes…. As a taster, below are some samples of hidden bits and pieces discovered in a few C64 titles (Thanks to those over at Lemon64 for discovering them)… Continue reading

GTW64 xmas update 2013

Well, part of the usual promoting of what we’ve done recently for GTW64, here is the xmas update doing the rounds ….

The GTW64 xmas update has been published today with the following additions:

(*) 3 previously unseen full games recovered
(*) CDU Games Disk 6 recovered (Including 3 new full games)
(*) 12 previously unseen previews/prototypes recovered
(*) Potential Spore 2 finding
(*) Odd Melbourne House title surfaces in loading screen form (Questerious)
(*) Tangent and RISK prototypes found and added
(*) 31 other additional new entries added
(*) 10 other additional updates added
(*) Frank Gasking work disk collection added

Full news item and updates can be found at:
http://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64

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!