How to build simple game console

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by ddatvo, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. ddatvo

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 29, 2013
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    Hey guys, I'm new at this. Can some one help me by telling what it takes and what i need to learn to build a simple gaming console for my project. What programming language do you guys suggest and what processor should i use? And pls tell me what skills and languages should i learn to be able to build this and future projects. :confused: Thanks a lot to you all guys! :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  2. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    6,809
    What amount of education do you have that would make designing a gaming console look like a simple project?
     
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  3. vpoko

    Member

    Jan 5, 2012
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    Check out the Uzebox, it's an 8-bit game console made with an ATMega. It's open source so you can look at what goes into it. Graphics can be on par with the NES.

    Building your own console, from scratch, can be as hard or easy as you want. You can take a Raspberry PI, write your games for it in a high level language, and call it your console. Building a unique console, with your own mishmash of hardware, though, will be much more difficult. And once you get it built, you still have the formidable challenge of writing a game for it.
     
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  4. ddatvo

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 29, 2013
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    what i meant is a simple console. not a lot of features.:) i know its a hard project, requiring a lot of time for the it. doing the hardware and software work.:cool:
     
  5. ddatvo

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 29, 2013
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    0
    thanks checked out the uzebox!
     
  6. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,298
    6,809
    You still haven't said anything about the skills or education you already have, so the answer from there is:
    Electronic Engineering
    Sheet metal fabrication
    Soldering
    and...the right programming language.

    I don't know which languages, so I will leave that to somebody else.
     
  7. vpoko

    Member

    Jan 5, 2012
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    There's a bit of trade-off when it comes to designing a "simple" console. A very simple console, say like the Atari 2600, doesn't have much hardware at all. Just three main chips: a MOS 6507 CPU, the RIOT chip (which handles RAM, I/O, and timers), and the TIA chip, which handles video, audio, and controller inputs. But, because it has so little memory, no frame buffer, and other hardware limitations, it's much more difficult to program for. You need to use assembly language and be very cognizant of timing, since you're literally computing your game logic in between the periods where your TV's electron gun is drawing scan lines.

    A system with more complex hardware might be easier to program. Adding a frame buffer, for example, means you get to draw to a region of memory at any point during the frame, and the hardware will take care of showing it on the screen at the appropriate time. This reduces the need for precise timing and may allow you to use higher level languages, assuming compilers are available for the hardware you're using. On the other hand, added hardware can also increase complexity. One case in point is the SNES, which has a sound chip, Sony's SPC700, that is programmed in its own assembly language.

    I would recommend looking into the 2600. You really can't get much simpler of a video game system than that (except for non-CPU systems like the Magnavox Odyssey, which had games built from discrete logic chips and wasn't programmable at all). There's also a good homebrew community for it so you can see what it takes to program games. Once you have a sense of that, you could go on to create your own hardware, being aware of the 2600's limitations and deciding how you want to make your system better/simpler/whatever.
     
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