Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A plan for Retrochallenge 2013

The working plan is something like:
  • Writing a CP1610 Emulator and testing it. I've already got a debugger/emulator library which does the shell part which I wrote for my Simon emulator, so this is just a matter of emulating the instruction set and plugging it in.
  • Extending this so it emulates the Unisonic Challenger hardware - which is almost nonexistent - the memory mapped display, the 3 tone sound and the 4 buttons.
  • Designing a virtual machine targeted at this processor and hardware (a bit like Chip 8 but completely different Harvard/RISC type processor design with a 20 bit word (the machine has 10 bit ROMs))
  • Writing an emulator for this virtual machine both for the CP1610 (to run on the first emulator) and stand alone (for actually writing working games)
  • Writing an assembler for the RISC virtual machine
  • Rewrite the OS ROM and the "pack in" game (this is the Blackjack/Baccarat game shown in the screen shots)
  • Write an emulator for the virtual machine and get it running on hardware (probably an Arduino generating composite video)
The last bit will depend on the time available.  I've already got a design for the RISC VM in my head (didn't actually start the challenge until 1/1/13 unlike some people ..... but I thought about it a fair bit)

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