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BitKit FPGA multi-game

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    Posted: 06 Dec 2017 at 1:40pm
Did you guys know there is a new jamma-based FPGA multi-game out there?
It is rather clever and going to continue to grow.

It plays some obscure Rockola games to start like Nibbler, Fantasy, Pioneer Balloon.
It plays a classic old space shoot called Zarzon.
And the arcade game better known from Atari consoles, Vanguard.
Upcoming will be Rockola Eyes which will lead into other quirky hard to find titles like The Glob.

He is working on a high score uploader feature soon so people can compete globally.
It outputs CGA so it'll play on any arcade monitor, or it works fine with a CGA-VGA converter like the Gonbes if you need to use a flat panel.

Clever and innovative stuff Crafty/Aaron has been doing the past 18 months.

I did Beta testing for it, then made a mini-Rockola cab to house it.  Seems to be a hit at our local arcade.
cheers-

http://craftymech.com/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote smarty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2017 at 1:58pm
Yeah i’ve Seen this on Klov very cool stuff, even though I don’t remember seeing Rolola games over here in the arcades.I have one of his test gens too.

We almost need a thread for ‘what games are available on FPGA boards’

I see someone has Death Race and DD running along with a multitude of other that seem to be in the pipeline.

jumpnfire.com

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote big10p Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2017 at 2:27pm
Be interesting to see how this progresses. Pretty expensive, though...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1500points Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2017 at 2:29pm
I'd love to get the Computer Space FPGA but you have to DIY and I'm not devvie.

Rockola games weren't very common in the US, either.  I only ever saw Nibbler a couple times and none of the others, yet I'm only 6 hours drive from Chicago where all of that stuff originated.

Vanguard is really fun on this board because he made alternate button layouts.  I like it with 1 fire button like Atari 2600.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1500points Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2017 at 2:31pm
The price is right where JROK prices his.
After all the production and getting 3rd party assembly I'm not sure there is much profit to be had. More of a love of the hobby.

He only did a run of 100 boards.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote big10p Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2017 at 2:37pm
Originally posted by 1500points 1500points wrote:

The price is right where JROK prices his.
True! I wasn't criticizing, just commenting. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Macro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2017 at 4:42pm
The problem isn't usually the price of the components, it's the amount you spend on the prototypes that don't work and end up being thrown in the bin!

I'd like to see more info about this  (how much room for the bit files etc.) and does it switch between games on the fly, or do you have to re-program it each time - if you do, you may as well buy a papilio (much cheaper) - can you develop your own drivers for it etc.

I bought a replay for basically the same thing, but as yet, the promised jamma board does not exist and there are very few arcade games on it (and I totally failed to get galaxian working on it!)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1500points Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2017 at 5:04pm
Let me get CraftyMech over here to fill in the details.
He likely will need time to create an account. I'll ping him.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GadgetFreak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2017 at 7:15pm
If it was purely for the love of the hobby, this board would be nearer $100. Having said that, its still not a great deal of profit for the amount of work he has obviously put in to make a polished package.
I too, like Macro, have a Papilio Duo. Bought on a whim as I decided I really should get into FPGA, so far I haven't found the time :(
For that board I have bit files for Amidar, Bombjack, Cosmic Avenger, Crush Roller, Dorodon, Eyes, Frogger, Galaxian, Gorkans, Lady Bug, Lizard Wizard, Manic Miner, MrDo's Nightmare, Ms Pacman, Pacman, Scramble, Snapjack, The End, Robotron. I have a few others but never got around to fixing them for the Papilio Duo board. Biggest issue is you have to re-program the board each time to change games!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1500points Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2017 at 7:41pm
Crafty will make an account soon but he (Aaron) asked me to post this for him-

"The BitKit is an 8bit FPGA board for collectors who want a plug-n-play solution for their home arcade. The platform is not open source, and no third party development is supported at this time. The Menu system switches between multiple hardware implementations on the fly, based on what game is selected.

The current line-up is Nibbler, Fantasy, Pioneer Balloon, Vanguard, and Zarzon. Work has started on adding a new hardware implementation, that will support Eyes, Mr TNT, The Glob, Eggor, and a couple other oddities."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Macro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2017 at 10:01pm
cue dragons den voice ...

"The platform is not open source, and no third party development is supported at this time."

and for that reason, I'm out Dead

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1500points Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2017 at 6:54pm
I see talk on KLOV that the arcade fpga dev group is relatively small.
It sounds like you would be a good candidate to jump into the mix.
This hobby needs a lot more FPGA jamma pcbs going forward!  :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote virtvic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2017 at 7:02pm
I agree - more people need to get to grips with reproducing pcbs on FPGA.

But, rather than hardly heard of obscure games, classics that are getting scarce or hard to keep working games need reproducing.

Battlezone, Star Wars, Outrun, Space Harrier, other vector games etc
THE PENCE IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD!

Check out the podcast

http://tenpencearcade.co.uk
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Bennett Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2017 at 7:45pm
Seeing ROMs not included on the website, made me wonder - are there copyright issues if you take a schematic and then hand-copy it into the FPGA either graphically or via verilog/VHDL?
It is unlikely anyone would care now, saying that, and newer games with custom ICs could never be copies as you've got to 'interpret' how chips work as you don't know their internals.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dj_yt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2017 at 9:31pm
From my understanding most of the FPGA games target simpler, older games, because they contain more off the shelf components. Many of the standard logic chips already have implementations, so the creator can simply* plug a lot of existing work together. (*probably isn't simple!)

It would be fantastic to fully decipher how some of the newer (well mid 80s) custom chips work, but it would probably require an expensive decap and someone far cleverer than myself to begin reverse engineering them. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewsm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2017 at 9:47pm
An interesting concept but like anything it will only thrive more if third party support is encouraged by supplying technical manuals etc.
WANTED: Any Nichibutsu stuff, Pre Jamma Fan. scrap nichibutsu table
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1500points Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2017 at 12:34am
the guy who figured out the complicated Atari Pole Position chip which killed most all of the original pcbs is close to production on his FPGA.  It has taken years.

There is someone posting on KLOV who has figured out how to do vector FPGA games, but he isn't interested in making it VGA so it'll only be of use if you also are one of the lucky people with a working vector monitor, or even fewer folks who actually know how to work on one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1500points Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2017 at 12:39am
also Team Play did a few FPGAs when they had licensing for Joust/Robotron, Defender/Defender II.
NAMCO has done FPGAs for Donkey Kong/Mario/DK Jr, Pacman/Ms. Pac/Galaga.
The reunion ms pac/galaga and the pac birthday pcbs are great but they are getting old and prone to failure nowadays, they sell in the 175-250 US dollar range when they come up for sale working.

Someone would have to be quite careful and off the radar if they did a production run of an FPGA that infringed on what NAMCO currently still sells and makes money from.
The titles you see in the retro pop-culture section of stores like Walmart and Gamestop you'd want to avoid like Space Invaders, Galaxian, Ms Pac, Pac, and the mario franchise.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Judder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2017 at 5:04pm
Originally posted by 1500points 1500points wrote:

There is someone posting on KLOV who has figured out how to do vector FPGA games, but he isn't interested in making it VGA so it'll only be of use if you also are one of the lucky people with a working vector monitor, or even fewer folks who actually know how to work on one.

Jeroen Domburg over at SpriteMods has Black Widow running on a FPGA - been on my phone reading list for a while Wink
http://www.thedefenderproject.com/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1500points Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jan 2018 at 12:12am
Originally posted by Macro Macro wrote:

I bought a replay for basically the same thing, but as yet, the promised jamma board does not exist and there are very few arcade games on it (and I totally failed to get galaxian working on it!)

I am getting the itch to dig into loading existing FPGA projects.  Almost have myself talked into getting the kit to load up Computer Space.

I'd be curious about this "replay" thing you mention above.  Do you have a link to what it is or how to use it?  Galaxian is one of my all time favorites.  I have a real pcb, but it is finicky.

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