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Make Video Games Group: What's your favorite Microchip? Answered

I started a new group. In the near future I hope and plan to write some video games for Microchips (PICs or other microcontrollers) such that the chip is connected to a joystick and a video monitor. I do not write PC games. I would like to know what chips are popular and cheap and easy to program for you so that any games I write would be easy for you to Make. I have a Hydra/Propeller and a PIC programmer. It is my impression that PICs are cheap and popular... compared to AVR's and such. I used to write games in the 1980's and miss that hobby. What chips do you suggest are good to write games for? What I mean is, what chips can you program; I would like you to be able to Make and play any that I or others write! Use "Rickard Gunee PIC Tetris" as a typical example of the "console", (but expect more interesting games, if any!) which will be on a breadboard, or on the Hydra Game System i got at Make Store. So tell me, What's your favorite PIC chip?


Dude, what games did you program?

I haven't programmed any lately, although many in the 1980s for 8-bit machines. I didn't write those hydra games below. I'm planning to write some hydra and PIC games in the near future as I learn the new hardware and get back into the hobby.

I'm currently starting to work on a modernized version of this 3D game which I made in the early 1980's on an ATARI 400, only this time for HYDRA and/or PIC... (Just for the challenge and practice.) The picture is crappy because it's barely framegrabbed from a dusty old VHS video of it from way back then.


3D on a PIC? I'm speechless!

UPDATE:In a day I half finished the Hydra version, starting with a random line drawing demo...


Good job! That was fast. Now the hard part; refinement.

Thanks... I also posted this on the parallax hydra forum and announced plans to use my Pandora's Box algorithms for sound and fractal texturesand raycasting, ... if possible. And I'm continuing to ponder what will make this game more fun to play. It was advanced stuf 25 years ago. The sound is possible, and already working! I'm just lacking a graphics function that I'm working on for a raycaster.

Sure you want to do raycasting? Might be cheaper to fake it. Specular edges would also give any 3d objects you create more solidity. Wish I could playtest to give you feedback.

Might be "cheaper"? I just have to figure out and type in a function. If I can't then I'll do it the original old way. What is a specular edge? When the game is playable I'll post it. Right now it's only testing code.

Cheaper in terms of processing power. But you know what? I don't know what your old method was, so my comment was basically ignorant and useless. Sorry about that.

As for specular edges, that just means shiny. Shiny edges or rounded or beveled edges that catch light all make computer 3d images seem more solid. I know you're working with a limited platform, though, so that probably doesn't apply either. Would be fun though! Check out Paul Debevec's old Microsoft Word project.

Did you program any published games back in the day?

No, I wish I had a mentor to teach me how to sell them. If anyone else has my games it's because I gave them a copy or found one in the disk drive at one of the local computer shops or they went to high school with me and copied all the game disks that magically appeared in the computer lab. They can be recognized by their "VIR+something" brands. (In this case really long and ending in Andromeda.) I'm considering posting them all for download with an 8-bit emulator.

Seriously? You know what, fungusamungus used to review games, and I've done graphics for a couple. Why don't we get together and make a game and get feedback from fungusamungus? I know where we could sell a game (I used to work with them). What say you?

Sounds interesting, but I'm really big in assembly language/ demos, and electronics, and very weak in dealing with operating systems. The HYDRA for example is right up my alley, and I dream of putting one on the moon, and I think it's designer thinks esoterically like me, but I cannot write anything for the PC and I'm very bad with time, so I wouldn't try to sell anything I didn't have yet. And my tools are all homemade and many are "rusty"; I've sort of given up on staying compatible with whatever hardware you can buy at computer stores, and focus obsessively on really cheap chips like PICs/8051/Propeller. I imagine Maybe if I build my game as a toy, I could sell it. A lot more conversation on common tools would be necessary for a collaboration, because I'm so used to Bootstrapping from "so far out of left field that I don't even know the home team". Tell me more if you think it is of any use. No promises, but what type of game do you think might be worthwhile?

Any kind of pattern-matching game or pattern recognition game would be easily saleable (think Bejeweled, Tetris, Mah-Jong, even Solitaire). But limiting to those isn't necessary. Most (MOST!) games made for 8-bit processors are easily convertible to Flash, (excepting "3d" games like the old Monster Maze game for the Vic20). I have some ideas for a spell casting game, where the basic point is to see what fun things result when you mix spell words, and a game that's a bit like frogger, where you try to jump from one piece of falling debris to another. If you know C you can write for the PC using Director. It uses Lingo, a language very similar to C. Anyhow, selling just the game would be easy. PM me your email address and I'll send you a flawed game that I made in school with director.

I've only worked with the PICAXE, but I like both the Propeller and the AVR. The main reason Iike AVR is for the programming support, but that's not really much of a point. For what you're doing, propeller seems like the way to go.


10 years ago

VIRON's preference is not to use virtual currency in games,
since the real value of imaginary objects is like the real value
of objects seen only in dreams while one is asleep.

Any near future games I make will be posted as free source code,
and only the physical container (such as a kit with a chip) which
probably will be described with a schematic you can build,
MAYBE will ALSO be sold as a kit for little more than the price of
packing and shipping the kit.

Note: download some more free games recently made for the Hydra!

I love you. This is a great project!

I think that 16F877 is one of the favorit chip of the series. I think so because most free C compilers for PIC are compatible with this one, who is also one of the biggest and most polyvalent ... There are lots of tutorials for 16F877 to ...

Thanks. I got one and the datasheet and it looks like a sufficient chip. I will plan on writing some video games for a standalone PIC16F877 microchip sooner or later, (as well as hydra, etc) and posting FOSS (free open source) download links here.