Inspired by the snake game our forum member Jaxartes has successfully managed to implement the Robots game on the Papilio Pro with the Arcade MegaWing using Verilog, his source code should be able to run on other FPGA platforms with comparable capacity.
It displays in 1024×768 on a VGA monitor, and is controlled by keyboard. Or, it can be controlled from the serial port for those without a PS/2 keyboard hooked up.
More content on graphics for old school gamers in this great video, especially for Apple II and Atari 2600 aficionados. It details how graphics worked on monochrome screens and color screens using 8 bits of memory. Apple II graphics used only 16 colors in low resolution mode and 6 colors in high resolution mode, not bad for a machine that came out in 1977.
Many of us spent hours, if not days in front of Ataris, Commodores, Nintendos and other old school gaming systems. Playing colorful games was then possible on 8 kB, 16kB and 32 kB video RAM. An excellent video from digg.com shows how colors were coded on those early gaming consoles and also details how pixels sprites were used to deliver descent graphics.
The latest project from GadgetFactory has just been finished and we’re very happy to show you ROMVault!
Running old school video games on a Papilio Arcade hardware is a thrilling experience for old time gamers and a good challenge for technology enthusiasts. There is sometimes an issue while running those games: It is not always easy to determine what ROMs will actually run on the old hardware!
ROMVault is the tool you need to get past this issue.
ROMVault is a .NET Papilio Arcade Alternative and runs on both Papilio Pro and Papilio One (500k) with the Arcade MegaWing. It also supports the Papilio DUO with the Computing Shield. Arcade data is based off of MAME compatible files
Here is a very interesting article about the development of some of the early Atari 2600 games. It’s fun that we can recreate these classic games on an FPGA!
“I’m going to tell you about the design of Adventure for the 2600, a game I designed in 1979,” Warren Robinett said simply and plainly to introduce his own session. “Thank you. It was the first action-adventure game.”
Papilio user Matthew Hagerty put together a very nice implementation of a simple SDRAM controller for the Papilio Pro FPGA. Written in VHDL, it sacrifices some speed for ease of use and simplicity. After all, not every project needs to use the full capacity of the SDRAM chip.
You can read about his epic adventure learning the ins and outs of SDRAM, simulating his code, and finally running on hardware in this forum thread.
Papilio user and longtime Papilio arcade contributer Alex has managed to get the Pengo game running on his Papilio Pro board.
Here is a quick demo video of the game running on the Papilio Pro:
Alex writes, “The Pengo hardware is very close to the Pacman hardware but annoyingly it has just enough differences that you can’t just run Pengo on Pacman hardware. The video, sound, input control registers, watchdog, etc are all at different addresses compared to Pacman as well as the fact that the ROM is twice as big as Pacman’s and to make matters worse the Pengo ROM is scrambled, so I had to implement an on the fly ROM descrambler based on the MAME source code.”
The game source code is available for download at Google Code and we’ve got the original forum thread here if you want to read the whole thing and join the discussion.