Original post and comments from Atari Museum’s facebook group here.
I dislike facebook and wanted a snapshot of this.
- Draft -
In 2016, I spent most of my spare time hacking away with the old playstation, Net Yaroze.
You can see all my Net Yaroze blog posts here.
My previous experience with the Net Yaroze was back in 1999.
I bought it after seeing a UK OPSM (Official PlayStation Magazine) demo disc video saying it was discounted.
At the time I was a IT student (Computer Science), I started in software development, programming C/C++, win32/MFC/OpenGL and Java.
But I majored in information systems (Enterprise), in the mid/late 1990’s business ERP products were all the rage!
It took me about a year to go through the manuals and Black Art of 3D Game Programming before actually starting anything substantial.
On my Christmas break of 2000 for 3 months, I remember being locked away in my room and crunching so hard, I was actually looking forward to the start of uni!
I learnt how to master the clunky 3D format and made a 3D side scrolling demo, with animated block people, very much like minecraft.
Dino Dini, started his game development career in 1979 with the Acorn System (kit) and the BBC Micro (8bit micro computer)
In the late 80’s after university, he went on to make Kick off 1 & 2 and Player Manager games for the Atari ST and Amiga, 16bit micro computers.
Dino, received two Golden Joystick Award (Game of the Year) for both Kick off games.
Next he created GOAL! for Amiga, Atari ST, and ported it to the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis calling it Dino Dini’s Soccer.
In the mid 1990’s he went to the USA and worked on many playstation 1 and N64 titles.
He then went on to teach game development in a Netherlander university.
Here is my analysis about the unfortunate turn of events of the Retro VGS/Coleco Chameleon
Here are my thoughts, not about what happened with the fake prototypes etc but about the hardware and game cartridges.
My background: I was excited about the Ouya when it was kickstarted, but decided to wait for the retail units, I’ve glad I did because the hardware was disappointing, I eventually got a Madcatz Mojo and was excited about it, now the ShieldTV is taking the glory from the hard work of former microconsoles.
I am also an original Net Yaroze Member since 1998.
I’m not some much a game player these days, instead I enjoy the craft of good gamedev, and I don’t mean AAA, stunning graphics.
The Retro League Podcast EP:328 @9:55 has a good and logical explanation about it.
Basically, it’s a canceled cartridge based game console which used the Coleco brand name.
The hardware was to use FPGA) which allowed games programmed for any retro gaming hardware ie (Coleco, NES, SNES, atari 2600, etc) to run via HDL, this is explained well in their RetroVGS FAQ:
“If a developer wants to make a Neo Geo game, they would include an HDL (Hardware Description Language) file that configures the FPGA to operate like a Neo Geo.
The developer would code their game to run against the Neo Geo platform.
This HDL code along with the actual Neo Geo game will be on the cartridge.
Once that cartridge is placed in the RETRO VGS, it will become a Neo Geo and play that game.
So in this case, the language is: 68000 and Z80 code.
If you wanted to do a new Atari 2600 styled game, you’d include a 2600 HDL file that configures the FPGA to replicate the logic of the original 2600 hardware and then you’d include your new 2600 game on that cartridge too.
These two files are then paired up on the cartridge and when plugged into the RETRO VGS, will turn the console into a 2600.
So the language that would be used in this case is: 6507 (6502 with less address space). “
They didn’t mention old 8bit micros (Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Apple II), nor PC-DOS, Linux, OpenGL, DirectX, PS-X, N64, etc but I imagine it would have worked as all these systems are well emulated and reverse engineered.
So, basically game developers didn’t have to make much effort to convert their existing game (and working on original hardware (NES, SNES,etc)) to the Coleco Chameleon/RetroVGS.
Not only is the hardware ‘configurable’ it also has an ARM chip, if it’s a System On a Chip (SoC) chip it opens up even more possibilities.
“Oh and we’ll have a nice little ARM chip for some more fun stuff.”