Re: [stella] Linking 2600 consoles?

Subject: Re: [stella] Linking 2600 consoles?
From: Songbird <forhan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 12:12:23 -0500 (CDT)
On Fri, 11 Apr 1997, Glenn Saunders wrote:

> On Fri, 11 Apr 1997, Songbird wrote:
> > Just curious if we could ever have a networked 2600 game... :-)
> If the 2600 joystick ports are anything like the 8-bit Atari ports, I
> don't think they could support data rates much higher than 1200 baud
> (maybe less since the clock speed and CPU availability is lower on the
> 2600).  This probably wouldn't be fast enough to support a networked game. 

It depends... I didn't fully explain my thought, but if you used the
"network" to only transmit joystick information, it should only require as
an absolute minimum one byte per frame -- just enough to send the
directional and fire button information.  This is similar to how most
games utilize comlynx for the Lynx, just make a linked unit look like a
second "joypad" to the CPU.

Think of something like a 2-player Pitfall or Adventure.  If one of the
players (the networked player) moves off screen, he would just disappear, 
while player #1 of course continues to be the "focal point" that the
game follows.

While I'm on the path of crazy ideas... how about this for a simpler
pseudo-networking idea:  forget trying to link joystick ports together,
because that does require CPU intervention to transmit/receive the data.
What about creating a joystick with not one but two cables coming out of
it?  One would plug into console #1, port #1, and the other into console
#2, port #2.  The game in both cases would again keep the focus around
player #1.

Of course, you'd still need some way to "sync up" both games to start
simultaneously... maybe wait until the fire button is pressed on each
joystick before starting the game or something.  You still could get out
of sync as the game continued, however...

I can dream, can't I? ;-)

Carl Forhan    <><
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