Author Topic: Bloxorz for Vectrex, PC, Mac, iOS and Android  (Read 3316 times)

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Offline FrankBuss

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Bloxorz for Vectrex, PC, Mac, iOS and Android
« on: November 20, 2017, 05:26:43 am »
I've started a Kickstarter project:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/frankbuss/bloxorz-for-vectrex-pc-mac-ios-and-android

It is interesting that there are still many people who own a Vectrex, buy homebrew games and a few developers who create new games for it. I created the prototype with a 27C256 EPROM, which is really cheap at Digikey, but I think I will use a SMD mounted flash chip for the final version, because it is easier to solder and to program or even change later, if someone wants to burn a new version or own programs. I have already designed a circuit and a programmer for it, but first I'll wait if it is worth the work.

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Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Bloxorz for Vectrex, PC, Mac, iOS and Android
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2017, 07:41:19 pm »
Already 42% funded. Getting slower now, but I need just 1 or 2 backers daily now for the rest and it will be successful.

And I got the revision 2 I designed:



I'll try to use a PIC16F18313 and the new Configurable Logic Cell (CLC) peripheral to implement realtime bankswitching, if I need it.
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Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Bloxorz for Vectrex, PC, Mac, iOS and Android
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2017, 10:28:35 pm »
I think the box looks really cool:



And I published the first version of the cartridge board as open source hardware, with detailed instructions in case someone doesn't want to back my project, but wants to build his/her own Vectrex game cartridge:

https://hackaday.io/project/28295-vectrex-cartridge
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Offline ferrix

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Re: Bloxorz for Vectrex, PC, Mac, iOS and Android
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2017, 03:03:50 pm »
Do you have a manufacturer for the clamshell protective box?  I know someone who's trying to find those (for another game system)
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Bloxorz for Vectrex, PC, Mac, iOS and Android
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2017, 04:42:06 pm »
I'm using VHS tape boxes for it (new old stock, got a big package of it from eBay), padded with self adhesive foam inside, so that it doesn't rattle. There are different versions of it, I have one where you can insert a cover, which I will let print professionally later. But looks already surprisingly good with my color laser printer.

Edit: I have 85, I guess I won't need all, can sell you the rest in 22 days after the Kickstarter campaign.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 04:44:54 pm by FrankBuss »
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Offline ferrix

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Re: Bloxorz for Vectrex, PC, Mac, iOS and Android
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2017, 10:12:43 pm »
Hah, great idea for the re-use.  I didn't know vectrex games used a compatible size to VHS.

My guy has a very specific clamshell size he wants to use (genesis carts I think? can't remember. one of the similar era systems).  I originally thought if you were having them custom made maybe you knew a good source for similar things.
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Bloxorz for Vectrex, PC, Mac, iOS and Android
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2017, 11:13:38 pm »
Well, it is not exactly compatible, the VHS case is bigger than needed, but the height is about the same, so padded with foam it looks and works quite good. Maybe I can do a game tray. There is someone on Atariage who did this for the Vectrex:

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/272398-vectrex-game-trays-and-overlay-sleeves-now-available/

Maybe he can do this for your carts as well. Some other people used card boxes then for the cartridges, but I don't like this, the VHS case is much more durable.
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Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Bloxorz for Vectrex, PC, Mac, iOS and Android
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2017, 10:44:17 pm »
95% funded, and still 16 days to go. I guess I can already start working now on the final hardware and the other levels  8)
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Offline stmdude

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Re: Bloxorz for Vectrex, PC, Mac, iOS and Android
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2017, 05:44:07 am »
Slight note. You might want to consider having the card edge that goes into the connector chamfered.

I don't know about the Vectrex, but the Mega-Drive/Genesis connectors pins took quite a beating from a certain manufacturers cartridges which had a non-chamfered edge, leading to poor/intermittent connection.
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Bloxorz for Vectrex, PC, Mac, iOS and Android
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2017, 08:42:08 am »
You might want to consider having the card edge that goes into the connector chamfered.

Yes, I did this for my Kerberos cartridge PCB, and I plan this for the Vectrex cartridge PCB as well.
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Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Bloxorz for Vectrex, PC, Mac, iOS and Android
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2017, 06:23:47 pm »
Got an eMail this morning:

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Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Bloxorz for Vectrex, PC, Mac, iOS and Android
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2017, 01:11:17 pm »
Well done. Good to see a success story now and then. Mind, busted projects can be fun sometimes :)
 

Offline knapik

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Re: Bloxorz for Vectrex, PC, Mac, iOS and Android
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2017, 07:41:19 am »
Cool, Bloxorz was the bomb on cool math games.
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Bloxorz for Vectrex, PC, Mac, iOS and Android
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2017, 08:01:51 am »
Yes, the game is fun. I plan to add an arcade mode as well with a timer, and a move counter for the puzzle mode.

And it is all open source now (with a restriction for commercial use), so everyone can follow the development or even create their own cartridge, or port the game to other platforms:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/frankbuss/bloxorz-for-vectrex-pc-mac-ios-and-android/posts/2073105

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Electronics, hiking, retro-computing, electronic music etc.: https://www.youtube.com/c/FrankBussProgrammer
 


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