Legend of Grimrock Co-Creator Builds 8-Bit Game On DIY Console

| 27 Nov 2013 21:30

Legend of Grimrock co-creator Petri Häkkinen has created a true 8-bit platformer called Toorum's Quest II, but you'll need some very special hardware to play it.

If the name "Toorum" rings a bell, you've probably played Legend of Grimrock, the old-school dungeon crawl that was released to acclaim last year. Toorum was a background character who preceded you through the dungeon, and whose adventures you could follow through a series of notes he'd left behind. There's even a Toorum achievement that unlocks him as a playable character, and he's actually a pretty hardcore dude.

His first post-Grimrock adventure, in its own way, is awfully hardcore too. It's an 8-bit platformer developed by Almost Human programmer Petri Häkkinen, which is a bit unexpected, but what makes it truly unique (and challenging) is that it requires a special 8-bit console he designed and built in order to play it. "The Box," as Häkkinen calls it, is a project he started last summer that turned out to be "a lot bigger and more time consuming" than he expected. It's based on an ATmega328P microcontroller with 2K RAM and 32K program memory, which generates an in-game resolution of 104x80 at 256 colors. Chiptune music and sound effects play through four audio channels, and the game is controlled with an NES controller.

A parts list and schematic is available on Häkkinen's blog for those who have an interest in making one of these things, as is a fairly detailed discussion of the build process. I'm all for authenticity, and mad props to Petri for making this happen, but it all goes way over my head; call me casual if you will but I think I'll stick to emulators and memories.

Source: Peten Paja

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