Posted by James
So this past Saturday, I went over Justin’s house and we started playing Burnout Revenge on the Xbox 360 over there. I have an xbox live account and nobody there does, so we loaded my account on the xbox 360 and started playing online.
Checked my email today and noticed I received an email from ea.com. Apparently there was some Burnout Revenge 21 Days of Carnage Sweepstakes that was going on. If you played a certain track on xbox live, then you would be entered into an hourly contest. Looks like I won the contest. I won a Burnout Revenge branded Plantronics headset for an Xbox 360. Guess when I eventually get a Xbox 360, I’ll have a nice headset to use.
Posted by James
After doing a bit of research, I’ve decided that I will be using I-Pac from UltiMarc to handle the interface between the joystick / buttons and the computer. I’ve spent about a week or two researching the different options.
For those of you that have no clue what I am talking about, here’s a little better description. Each joystick has 8 wires and each button has 1 wire. Each of these need to be able to send a signal to the computer when they are moved or pushed. This is not a simple solution once you think about it, because where are you going to put these wires into the computer? This is where teh I-Pac comes in. You can plug each of the wires up to this controller, and then the controller plugs into the computer in the PS/2 port (where the keyboard goes) or can be plugged into a USB port (which is what I am doing).
I went with the 28 keyboard controller, which is enough for a two player system like the one that I am building. The inputs will be for 2 joysticks, 6 buttons each player, coin slot 1, coin slot 2, player start 1, player start 2, sound up, and sound down. That will leave me with 2 open buttons that I can use later if I find a use.
Here are some of the benefits that set this controller apart:
- It has a fully programmable key code set which is stored even after power off unlike some other interfaces which lose all data when powered off. This is nice for setting up the buttons to correspond to certain keys once and never have to worry about it again.
- All joystick/button connections easily made via screw tag strip, the connections are marked on the board. This makes life easier so that I won’t need to use a solder to get each wire on the board.
- Does not use a matrix, so there will be no ghost keys. This is a huge benefit. If you hit a bunch of keys at once on a keyboard, you will notice only two or three keys will register at once. This is a problem if playing games with two players (joystick movement x 2 + button presses x 2). This allows for as many inputs to occur simultaneously.
- Does not use a scanning method which causes a variable delay, each input has it’s own dedicated connection to the on-board CPU.
Once this part comes in, I will have all the pieces needed to start building the control panel. I plan to build the control panel first, before I start building the rest of the cabinet. This will make life easier since I can start working on the interface and the front end, without having the big clunky cabinet until more of the house is done to store the cabinet.
I have decided that it is about time to start my MAME project that I’ve been wanting to do. This was set off because we are actually one day away from signing for the house we bought. Finally, room to work on the MAME cabinet and some place to keep it.
In case you read MAME and have no clue what it is, I’ll explain. MAME stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator and is software to run arcade games that you would expect to find at arcades over the many many years. The website for the software is here. I will more than likely be running the XMAME port for linux, but I have not decided on that yet.
I’m currently in the mode of finding / modifying / tweaking cabinet plans to make the cabinet. What I do know is that I only want it to be a 2-player machine at the time. I have already bought 16 buttons (7-red, 7-white, 1-player, and 2-player). The buttons are all made by Happ. I’m thinking of going with Happ Super Joysticks next. Also researching different ways to interface the controls to the computer. The computer that I am planning on using is an old Dell 500 Mhz. I’m planning on pulling everything out and just building the motherboard and everything into the cabinet. I am also planning on using the 25" TV that we have laying around. It’s not in the best condition (color issues in a corner) but it’s available. Already have a tv out video card that we can use for the computer.
I need a new video game to play and relax to. Don’t know of any good ones to play. The last one I played was James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing. I really enjoyed that game and am glad that they chose to take it back to the first person perspective instead of the third person. James Bond in my mind has always been first person shooter and I like it that way. There are plenty of third person shooters out there also. I would recommend this game to anyone that has an xbox and likes first person shooters.