Extended storage via a USB connected PC

Continuing the discussion from Multi-player linked Arduboys?:

There has been some desire to be able to extend the limited amount of storage available in the Arduboy, especially for the layouts of game levels, or similar data. Here’s one approach that would work, although it would require tethering your Arduboy to a PC.

Game level info, or other data, would be stored on the PC. A program running on the PC would connect to and monitor the virtual serial port that the Arduboy’s USB port is connected to. The Arduboy would send simple commands to the PC, such a request for the data for a specific game level. When the PC received a command, it would send the requested data to the Arduboy.

As I mentioned in a post under the the topic that this thread was linked from, the “PC” could be very small and quite portable.


Good point, we thought about this to enable multiplayer and for sure this stream of data could come from the internet!

You have to keep in mind though that then you’re limited to the 2.5k of RAM… i.e., if you’re “paging” in a level from USB you have to store that level completely in 2.5k of RAM… when you’re compiling you can store your levels in the 32kb of PROGMEM. So this may seem like unlimited storage, but it’s only accessible in small chunks at a time… since if you’re using the normal drawing code you’ve only got about 1.2kb or RAM left over for your own use anyways.

considering the tiny screen size i dont much see a problem in sending the map in small chunks

Seems like the kind of thing you’d want to do periodically - rather than have the Arduboy chained to a computer… but you can also do this same thing (and perhaps much better) just by reflashing it… Ie:

Zelda - Disk 1
Zelda - Disk 2
Zelda - Disk 3
Zelda - Disk 4

No need for weird client/server/usb software… just play until it says “flash disk 2”… Of course an area of EEPROM would be needed to store your global game state. I assume if done this way each flash would offer a few hours of play, etc.

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at the same time that kinda takes away its portability im shure im a rare exception but i live in the jungle, geting to a pc isnt always an option (without waiting half a day in some cases)