- Nov 23, 2020
So I've been playing a lot of Intellivision Lives DS which is a commercial (released in 2010) emulator for the DS. As you might be aware - it's got problems. The emulator is laggy in spots (though helped by running in overclocked TWL mode on the DSi). It's also got an amazing number of bugs - so many that it's hard to imagine anyone played any of the games prior to release. Off the top of my head, here are some problems:
AD&D Treasure of Tarmin (aka Minotaur) the bottom row of sprites does not render. You can't tell what's in your hand, the lower 2 items on your pack, monster strength, weapon strength, etc. It doesn't do count arrows nor count food.
AD&D Cloudy Mountain (aka Adventure) the count arrows doesn't work (button is completely missing from overlay) and there are many glitches where the little guy runs through walls.
Buzz Bombers - if a bee lands on the right side of the screen and creates a flower - your spray can will get stuck on it. The left side, for some strange reason, works okay.
Space Spartans - computer won't announce any numbers - so Energy Level and # of Aliens is completely broken.
Basically every game has issues - some are so debilitating that it makes it hard to enjoy. And, of course, all the great 3rd party games plus the TRON games are missing.
So I looked for an Intellivision emulator for the DS. No luck. I stumbled upon some source code for a couple of emulators and it turns out that BLISS (C++ sources discontinued a decade ago but ran INTV games and Intellivoice games really well) source was pretty easy to understand and with some code tweaks I was able to get all the major pieces (CPU, Audio chips, Video chips, Input chips) compiled under GCC. Basically I have a bunch of modular blocks but feel a little overwhelmed to assemble them into a functional NDS build.
I'm not great at hooking these into the NDS. BLISS renders a 160x192 pixel buffer that needs to be put up on the NDS display. That's almost ideal vertically... and the 160 can be easily stretched to 256 horizontally via DS hardware (just like the Atari 2600 StellaDS does). The audio is a bit more perplexing to me... BLISS outputs into a 16-bit audio buffer and maybe it's just as simple as telling the ARM7 processor where the buffer is and what size it is and what sample rate to use and it will just work... but I'm far from an expert on the NDS audio/video handling. I'd love to find someone that was really good at that to help cobble the emulator onto the NDS - once it's basically running (probably slowly), I can then optimize it and generate custom overlays, better key mappings, options and such.
In short, I need someone good with libnds and video/audio processing on the NDS to help kickstart this into a DS project and then I can do all the heavy lifting after that.
Any takers? Long shot I know... but the Intellivision has such great classic games not found elsewhere and it's as shame how badly the commercial release turned out.
Last edited by wavemotion,