Thursday, 1 July 2021

It had to happened...

 Hi folks,

Well this post is gonna be short and sweet as my computer totally crashed (for the ? time) and i mean crashed as before i threw it away by throwing it as far as i can with my right arm (think i may have broken the world records for throwing a desktop computer ** if that exists **) as Sunday my $%"! of computer has tested my patience to it's last drop.

After having so many lags and "not responding" over the last three months, it has displayed 3 times the infamous "blue screen of death" in less than an hour, so i retired it for good (permanently) but not before i pulled out all the hard disks, video card, ram, etc. so the rest of the carcass was good to throw (literally!!....MOUHAHAHAhahahah!!!!!!).

Since i still have a few (old) computer parts, i've built one so i could at least surf (surf ? who the heck says that now ??) on the net.By chance, all the data for the OdySim is preserved but it will take some time before i can retrieve it and re-install all the software so in the meantime, enjoy summer folks! ;)

- Sly -

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Go get your U.S. Mint 2021 $1 New Hampshire edition!!

 Hi folks!

Yes i'm still alive, even after 4 months without posting, updates, replies, etc... and what better to announce that the U.S. Mint will be selling their new 2021 American Innovation® $1 Coin Program.

 Errr..what's this have to do with OdySim/Odyssey ? Well because this year, the U.S. Mint is offering a specific state which is New Hampshire and who lived in New Hampshire for many years and is the Godfather of all game consoles ? Well, check this out:

Yup! You are seeing right! Check out the description on the U.S. Mint web site:

"American Innovation – New Hampshire
Designer: Christina Hess
Sculptor-Engraver: Eric David Custer
The New Hampshire $1 Coin recognizes Ralph Baer and his creation of the first home video game console. This design depicts Ralph Baer’s brown box game “Handball” on the right side of the coin. The left side of the coin features “New Hampshire” and “Player 1” on an incused background. “IN HOME VIDEO GAME SYSTEM” and “RALPH BAER” encircle the outside of the coin in a text that is meant to pay homage to Ralph Baer’s Odyssey game. The design of the coin is also symbolic of an arcade token."

You can read all about it "HERE" and check the pictures of the coin "HERE".

Just to say, since i'm not a resident of the U.S., the next best thing was to order 3 of them from Ebay, which will be sold by June 15, 2021 so i you're not an U.S. resident then i strongly advise that either you ask someone in the U.S. to buy one (family, friend(s), etc) or pre-order them. As for me, i have already paid (in pre-order) from an Ebay seller. 

Can't wait to add these in my Magnavox Odyssey collection! 

Until the next post (which will be wwwaayyy sooner), take care folks! =)

--- Sly (was lost in the multiverse) DC ---

Monday, 25 January 2021

Miscellaneous Overlays

 Hi folks!

Before talking and showing misc. overlays, just wanted to say that i'm still working on the new version of OdySim. Since last time, i finally was able to code an Xbox 360 controller (actually, two) to be played either the D-Pad or the left stick for directions and the Y & A buttons for the English. Next is coding the right stick for the English so you can choose either Y/A buttons or the right stick.

Second, i have in my database a Czech Odyssey clone which figured in a magazine in 1977, but when looking at the schematics and block diagrams you see it pretty much based on the Odyssey. I'm still in the process of translating the eight pages and since they are in a low resolution, i can't OCR them so i have to type all the text and translate with the help of Google Translate. More on this later on...

OK now on the subject: Miscellaneous overlays!

In the past 25 years or so, i have collected a lot of information regarding video game consoles/systems but especially the first and second generations, and today i wanted to talk and show some misc. overlays i have seen over the years. Let's stars with the web site: Classic Videogame Station Odyssey. This Japanese web site is one of the oldest i know that talks about all the game consoles/systems released in Japan which started in 1996 on the web (heck! the same year i started "surfing" on the web) and has the biggest list of all consoles/systems released in Japan.

But if you check out their "Brown Box" section, click on "Game" in the bottom of the page or simply click "HERE". About in the middle of the page there is two overlays that stands-out:

 The first one is "Maze" which was one of the games that was played in earlier version of the Odyssey (TV Games Units: TVG #1 to #8) and the second is "Ski" which the web site made a variation of the released game. I already made a homebrew maze-type game way before started the OdySim project so i think i'll add their maze version with mine in a near future. And i'll also include their Ski version with the new release of Ski which will be pretty soon.

Now the next one:

Now this "Ski" variation was made in 2013 which i find very cool but i don't have the full name of the person who designed it (Christine). You can check out the blog  in about the middle of the page and titled "A Videogame With/out Rules". And i'm also adding this one to the next version of Ski.

Now the magazine "Radiorama" (January 1977 edition) which is a electronic magazine that was published in Italy had this cover:

When i saw this at first, i thought they were going to talk about the GBC Odissea since this clone was released in Italy and the magazine is published in the same country, but no... it's part of a reprint from the magazine "Popular Electronics - April 1976" which has the Pongtronic and Space War TV games to build yourself.

But this is strange as the cover has the "Table Tennis" game with white background, a blue wall and two red spots plus the "Volleyball" overlay with both "boxes" in the upper section and a pink "Roulette" overlay but that was for the DIY electronic roulette game in the magazine. The best is the red "Dogfight" variation as i'll add this one with "Dogfight" in the next release.

And the last variation is one from the book called "Videogames" by Len Buckwalter which is another "Ski" variation called "Olympic Ski Trails" which you can see on page 110:

It shows even how do it yourself this overlay from page 103 to 111 and the best is that they (Len and his wife) uses a Magnavox Odyssey 200 to play with the overlay (lol!)

 Well, that's it for the miscellaneous overlays. If you know other overlay variations, please do let me know but no color variations please (example the Table Tennis above). 

So until next, take care! :)

- Sly -

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Happy (late) New Year + first news update of 2021

 Hi folks!

First, let me wish you a late Happy New Year and all the health to you, family and friends! Hoping that this year will be better than the crappy one we just had ;)

Second, i'm still working on the newest version the OdySim with LÖVE (0.11.3) and upgrading some few things and trying to do the games without bugs (yep...trying!) as i'm updating two games at the same time (Tennis & Table Tennis) as both are practically the same.

As now, i have arrange the scoring for Table Tennis as the ball now starts on the right side of the screen instead in the middle of the screen (same for Tennis) and when you press the reset button on Player 1 or 2, it doesn't add a point to the adversary so finally the scoring is fixed.

The AI which is implanted on certain games (Tennis, Hockey, Handball, etc) and wasn't working when i was doing some changes but now, this is also fixed and found that the AI in the previous version (0.10.1) wasn't able to display the ball speed on screen because that specific code was deleted! And nobody (even me) saw this! LOL!!!

 As you can see in the above picture, we can now view the AI speed (when the AI is activated) in the upper-right corner by pressing the button "F3". If you press "F2" then we can view the status of the Ball Speed in the down-right corner.

Now one of the new option is plugging generic USB gamepads or joysticks (also tried out an Xbox 360 controller and it works) and can view how many gamepad/joystick are detected (0, 1 or 2) in the down-left corner. And i have changed the "pause" feature as now says "pause" in bright red in the middle of the screen instead of a full light dark screen.

Oh and i also added a "reset score" by pressing the "backspace" button so no need to reboot the game!

Table Tennis has now also the CRT shader:

 And added a new overlay:

Yep! Game Boy-style! (for different effect and specially for fun!)

And lastly, here's a video to see the boot/splash screen in action!

 It's way better to see it with your own eyes than on video. So that's it for now folks. Now i need to plug an Odyssey to see some interactions (inbox collision, English, verifying Ball Speed (lowest and highest), and more to be able to make a better simulator.

So until next folks, take care! =)

- Sly -

Friday, 25 December 2020

Xmas News updates

 Hi again folks,

I wanted to show & tell some updates/improvements i have made for the new version of Tennis (0.11.3). 

First, the intro splash screen which fades in and out:

 As per suggestion from JDGP030302, i have added a "memory" code so when the ball leaves the screen left or right, it will return at the same "X & Y" position and also added a cleaner "beep" sound (many thanks to JDGP030302 for the cleaned wav!).

Added a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) shader which gives an old TV screen look (by pressing F10):

Added the Videojuel overlay:

 And added two USB gamepads but for now you need to plug two USB gamepads to play with them because if only one is connected it won't work (to why, i don't know...). Because at first, when i was plugging only one USB gamepad, the game worked but freezed when no gamepad was connected. At least now we can use both keyboard and two gamepads but not the keyboard and one gamepad. 

I'll check that out later as there is more improvements to add like a reset button for resetting the score and make two kinds of score for Tennis : regular (as the one it has already (by default)) or the real one: 0-15-30-40-etc... (like in real Tennis). Better ball speed as the one coded in OdySim is way to slow (when at speed 05) or way to fast (speed 1000). Add joystick "sticks" for near-real controller simulation (just got the D-pad and buttons coded for now), etc...

So in the meantime, enjoy the little gift in the previous post and take care folks! :)

- Sly -

Merry Christmas to everyone! =)

 Hi and Merry Christmas folks!

Hoping that you will have a great day with your young one(s), wife or husband, partner, family and friends! We all need a great day especially with a miserable year we had and it will get brighter in the following months to come. 

So today, it's a day to celebrate with family and friends, and opening presents if you were not naughty (lol!). So here's a picture (err...more an icon or thumbnail since the real picture is 39 Megs) of my little present for all of you folks:

An Magnavox Odyssey Poster! Click HERE to download it. :)

It's not a fancy present and once you print it, it won't be small! This is the project i was working on this summer as i wanted to print and sell some (like 20). One of my friends had made it print (the prototype poster before this final version) to see what the quality looked like and damn(!) it looks great!

So instead of asking a store to print it, buy some tubes and ship it (as shipping now costs a lot, even more outside Canada - something like $30 from province Quebec to California state) and this is the main reason not wanting to sell/ship it so instead of paying for printing the poster (says $20-30 depending the size you want it, shipping tube (about $5) and shipping price (with insurance and tracking) which is $20 minimum within Canada and at least $30-40 depending the state you live in the U.S. so the minimum cost would be about $65!! ($45 minimum for Canadians)

Now, just download the PNG file and put it on a USB stick and print it to a local printing shop and it should cost you around $20-25 depending the size you want because the printing shop i asked to print it say that the file is so big that it can be like 26x23 inches (that's the size of the prototype) to the size of a billboard! No kidding! (That should cost an arm and a leg!). And don't forget  once the poster printed, cut both grey section with an exacto (sharp knife) or leave them (your choice).

So this is my little Christmas present to you folks! You can resize it and make it a desktop wallpaper, make a mouse pad or t-shirt (see further), etc... the only thing i ask is not use the PNG file to make money out of it. This file is free of use/distribution as long anyone is not trying to make profits out of it. 

Wanna know the story behind it ? OK then, here's it is:

I wanted to do a special project for the Odyssey community (everyone that loves, collects and supports the Magnavox Odyssey) and i notice that the Odyssey never had a poster of it's own, only ads and flyers. So since the pandemic was raging during summer, i've started working on the Odyssey poster and here's the sketch/draft of it:

I glued a can of Coca-Cola to show you the size i wanted it to be which was 33½" by 30". After i made small change as the "The electric game center by Magnavox" which sounded very ancient, i replaced it with "The electronic game of the future" which sounds much better:

While working with Paint Shop Pro 6 (yup still using old software), i have changed the pattern of the games as the upper games were the 12 pack-in, after was the extras (72-73) and at last the rifle games. I didn't liked it so i changed the pattern of the games from A to Z (Analogic to Wipeout actually) and added a picture of the rifle gun on each shooting gallery games. So the printed prototype looks like this:

Notice that it still says "The electric game center by Magnavox" ? When i saw the result, this is when i decided to changed it to "The electronic game of the future" which now features on the final version. Also notice that the border is very thin and doesn't look professional so i enlarge the boder which is also featured in the final version. Think i have made more than 25 changes from the first sketch to the final version. So the poster you see (the upper one of this text) is the only printed prototype and i "may" give it to someone as a special contest winner in the future.
Oh and my friend who arranged to print out the prototype (he used the wrong file as i have sent him the final before printing) made me a little surprise by also making these:

An Odyssey Mouse Pad and a T-Shirt, very cool! (even if it's has the old inscription). When i saw the Mouse Pad, this is when i did the last change on the poster with a bigger border as this looks much nicer.

I hope that you like the little Xmas present (and the story). So all the health and celebrate with loved ones on this "Holy Day". Until next time, take care folks! =)

--- Sylvain (Sly DC) De Chantal ---

Monday, 21 December 2020

OdySim update as December 21, 2020

 Hi folks!

After an awful news regarding Don Emry, there is a good news as i am welcoming back Nicholas Broetzman after a long departure of the Odyssey collectors community. He was the one who helped me out at the beginning of this adventure (the project was called "LOVEOdyssey" back then) and after he got married, he sold out all his magnificent Odyssey collection, but now he's back and recollecting all Odyssey stuff! 

Stuart Feldhamer sent me an email about 2 weeks ago saying that he and others are looking forward for new OdySim updates. Well here's one now Stuart ...LOL!!! Sorry, wanted to tease you a bit! ;)

I wrote to him that i was thinking of updating the version of LÖVE before releasing/updating any games as i am still using LÖVE version 0.10.1 (aka Super Toaster) as this version was released in February 2016 and the latest version: LÖVE 0.11.3 (aka Mysterious Mysteries) was released in October 2019.

So i'll start with Tennis first and update it to 0.11.3 and also i'll add x2 USB gamepad to be used so it will be more faithful to the Odyssey analog controllers and add a CRT shader (for the "retro" fun of it). Maybe by updating to a newer version i'll be able to correct  the resolution problem as by an old request ?! OH and also a proper/cleaned "beep" sound thanks to JDGP030302! ;)

During 2021, i'll begin to start posting some mods/hacks/add-ons for the Magnavox Odyssey like adding sound, composite video output, power LED, etc.. as this is more my cup of tea (electronics) than programming. So stay "tuned" in 2021!

And on Christmas day (in 4 days), i'll have a surprise for you all. It is a project that i worked during summer. For now, you'll all have to wait until Xmas morning. :)

Until then, take care folks! =)

- Sly -