Future Hardware and Forum

I’m still trying to figure out how to share that work / name it / go forward with a new community or just continue this one? Lots of questions. But your work with the library to make it agnostic to the platform will probably be a great start.

Adapting to other types of displays and stuff too and making that easy to change with a define.

Yeah not all games will be 100% compatible but it’s more about going forward, and people starting to write new games. If the old games can be updated easily then that’s great too.

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A new community is never easy and in today’s over-saturated
world, there is no guarantee that it will ever take shape. ESPboy for example has a forum and Discord chat and website and github, but I probably don’t have enough charisma, energy and passion to make it even close to what’s going on here.)
The Pokitto community seems to be quite active, I believe this is due to the successful concept of the Pokitto platform and the unique Jonne and his amazing human and professional qualities.
By the way I also managed to port the Pokitto library for ESPboy, as well as Gamebuino and games from these platforms is pretty easy to recompile for ESPboy similar to games from Arduboy )

All the forums go through ups and downs. I have noticed that at certain times of the year - northern hemisphere winter for example - increases the patronage. When the weather is fine and sunny, less activity.

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8 years is a long run even for a commercial console so it’s always going to have some appeal but that’s my goal with preserving a lot of it with the emulator and making the development easier, and easier to do DIY builds. So there will always be a place for Arduboy.

The question is how to preserve this, and then continue to grow the community for something new. I don’t expect necessarily the “new” forum to be any bigger but, what gives me hope is that… it has to go somewhere. I’m already creating content that I’m posting mostly to twitter and wish I had a thread here but it doesn’t really have anything to do with “Arduboy” in it’s current state.

I suppose the best news is the new forum will just be an extension of this one, all the logins will cross over so you wont need to make a new account.

The real key to making something a platform though is creating a standard, and that standard has to be attractive to developers that there is an audience of people out there who actually have the hardware. That’s what made Arduboy a lot of fun since it did so well on kickstarter, we knew there was (and still is) an audience of thousands of people to enjoy it.

But even with the new system I’m making that would go inside of a GBA shell, that has a raspberry pi pico and the playdate screen, I only expect to sell maybe a few hundred of them. Maybe not even that maybe just a few dozen to people who are into GBA hacking, I’m not really sure. It’s honestly more of a side project than anything.

The GBA shell project will eventually get an Arduboy XL version with the 32u4 and the 1309. That may actually be what I put up for sale first but I’m still learning a lot about the rp2040 and I think that’s a fun experience people would like to try on a new game console.

I think if the price is low enough for the GBA shell project, you get basically a DIY playdate for a third or half of the price. That might be attractive to enough people, but it’s going to require you to assemble the case so I think many people will be out for that reason.

My project with the Micro Arcade I think has my most hope for a “new console”, but I would like to fit it within this framework of just being another extension of the library, of the platform. Theoretically I’d like it if the game you develop on one, will run on the other with just some changes to defines. You’ll have to tweak the gameplay for resolution and color but my hope is that’s the main thing you work on in “ports”. The pinouts and audio, everything else will just work.

I’m trying to keep a little quiet about it but actually not too many people will read this yet, I think, my hope is to get Super Impulse to produce the Micro Arcade with the rp2040 in it. Or at least maybe they will let me use their supply chain and molds anyways. There could be a chance to sell what would effectively be a “Color Arduboy” for around $29… I THINK. Inflation is a B and things are changing so it could go up by the time of next year but…

OK THATS ABOUT IT!

If you would like to stay latest up to date on the availability of new hardware and what other projects I’m working on then follow twitter.com/bateskecom or even better yet buy me a coffee at Kevin Bates is creating Open Source Game Console | Patreon I’ll be uploading a video about the Raspberry Micro Arcade soon.

I also really need to choose a name for these devices so that I can clearly communicate which project I’m talking about. I don’t recommend developing 3 systems at the same time!

If you’ve got any questions, comments, feedback let me know! Thanks everyone!

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I think it just drills down to price, I remember checking the ESPboy, but for a “toy” it was too expensive (+shipping/VAT) :smiley:

So the circuit is very simple and can be assembled quite easily and quickly for about 10usd.
Or a little more expensive, but better.
Of course it’s possible to halve the price without any problems, but I didn’t do it intentionally hoping to encourage people to build the device by themselves.)

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I’d roughly estimate the number of Arduboy consoles to DIY is something like 100 or 500 to 1. It’s not directly “feedback” but I do know that one of the main reason people buy the hardware is specifically because they don’t want to, don’t know how, or can’t solder but want to enjoy developing on it.

There are a lot of people that got into arduino with Arduboy as a first step because they didn’t need to know anything about plugging in wires to the right ports or which parts to buy… “it just works”.

And I think this part of the experience is important going forward. Biggest challenge for my as a business is the plastic injection molds. It requires a large minimum order and there is a large risk in that.

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The idea of having an API that can be compiled and will work correctly on different platforms is successfully implemented by @drummyfish in his SAF library

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:crazy_face: I would personally make the DIY after having a working one, not sure if is the generalized mindset tho. (It is: The possibility of DIY)

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WOWOW Hey @drummyfish we need to talk! I wasn’t really aware of this but basically yeah this is kind of it just expanding it to some new hardware! Thanks @ESPboy for the tip!

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So I use laser-cut acrylic panels for the casing of the device. These panels can be made in any quantity quite inexpensively, and they are reliable and look good

But I doubt that such panels could make a case as small as a moulded one for the same size circuit board. And, the shape you can get from flat panels is limited compared to moulding.

However, the ESPboy2 casing is pretty nice.

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Thanks for bringing up SAF, I am still waiting for someone to make a physical SAF console :slight_smile: My motivation behind it was to stop games from dying as a result of consoles going out of market etc., as @bateske said, I wanted to create a tiny standard (API) independent of physical hardware that would help games survive and exist independently of any hardware. It also has all the advantages such as never again needed specific platform emulators, you can simply develop a game on PC and then port it to any console by switching a single define. I’m not a business guy but I don’t know if this is actually “business friendly” though, because when you have such portable games that can simply be played on PC and cell phones, why would anyone buy a console such as Arduboy to play it on? It kind of kill the “exclusivity” of games. People would still buy the console because it’s a cool thing to e.g. show to friends or because the games feel better on it than on PC, but it might lose a few customers. The more I would appreciate if you went this way because I think forced exclusivity is not a good thing in technology.

I’ll leave a bit more feedback here:

This was exactly me, I am a programmer, nowadays even a low level one (thanks a lot to Arduboy and other open consoles), but I am absolutely incompetent when it comes to physically handling hardware, I need a hardware platform that “just works”, but ALSO it has to be made nicely – nowadays “just works” usually implies huge bloat, “smart features” etc., that kills all my interest.

I have to say Arduboy was one of the biggest turning points in my “programmer life”, it was my first open console and it came when I was going through the crisis of being disgusted with all the ugly, bloated corporate techology. I didn’t know how Arduino worked, Arduboy helped me learn it and adopt the new philosophy of “simpler is better” that I’ve been following ever since. I know I’m in a negligible minority of population, but nowadays I only buy technology that helps me align with these principles, I will buy (and recommend to others) consoles such as Arduboy and Pokitto just so that I can have and develop for these nice, simple computers that I don’t have to go through the pain of assembling myself. If there is a new project, I just pray it keeps it simple on all fronts, including things such as forums (console without community isn’t worth much) – if the community moves to Discord or something, I simply won’t follow it there because I don’t use that.

GBA clone (if I understand it correctly?) sounds great BTW, GBA was my childhood, I would buy it, but again it has to be “done right” :slight_smile:

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Wow! That’s incredible. I love hearing about how Arduboy has changed peoples lives for the better. Over time it seems like a lot of people reflect back on this and it makes me proud of all the work and sacrifices I’ve made over the years. I never wanted to make just another console, it was important to me that it inspired people to do more… that it showed them what was possible. To see that goal being achieved is extremely fulfilling and I really appreciate when you share the stories.

I’ve mentioned it before I wish I could go around interviewing people and put together a documentary but it seems most people don’t want to be in front of the camera!

Also big thanks to everyone in the community who has supported the platform. Because these experiences most people talk about have as much or more to do about the support they got from users like @pharap @MLXXXp @crait and many many more.

Certainly Arduboy would not be what it is today without the contributions of the community. Thanks everyone and I’m excited to find a way to continue the philosophy of Arduboy in the future.

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