Keen goes Pi: Play Commander Keen mods on a Gameboy

This is where you can post your Commander Keen related stories, artwork, or other stuff that is related to Commander Keen but otherwise doesn't belong in another forum.

The Raspberry Pi

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Nisaba
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Keen goes Pi: Play Commander Keen mods on a Gameboy

Post by Nisaba » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:41

Image
GBZ vs Keen mockup. shoutsouts to jostie94
Good news everybody. It's now pretty easy to play your own Commander Keen games and mods on a DIY handheld device!

Like seen in the picture above I decided to go with the good old Game Boy case. To spice things up I modded the shell a bit so I can fit a bigger 320x200px screen and added a couple of extra buttons. Talking about electronics this bad boy runs on a RaspberryPi CM3 plugged into Kite's Circuit Sword. And the best thing is: the assembly is also suitable for beginners. No expert soldering skills are required. if you wanna know more about the GameBoy Zero project check sudomod.com.

For everybody interested I'm gonna update this first post with useful info. So make sure to check here from time to time.


===================================================================================


Software Setup:
Once all bits and parts are assembled, it's time to setup the required software to run Commander Keen games on the GBZ. We need to install DOSBox, configure and re-map the input buttons, and finally copy over some pre-patched Commander Keen games. But first we need to make sure to activate WiFi.

Activating WiFi:
Connect your GBZ with an USB-Keyboard. In emulationstation go to options, run the WiFi script and follow the instructions. When done, the Keyboard is no longer needed. (You don't have an USB-Keyboard? Shutdown the GBZ and remove the SD card. Open the SD in your computer and edit '/boot/wifikeyfile.txt' with "NOTEPAD++" [NOT the normal notepad].)

Installing DOSBox:
In emulationstation go to options, run the retropie setup and select:
  • Manage packages --> Manage optional packages --> dosbox --> install from binary
  • back --> back --> back --> Preform reboot
Setting up DOSBox:
Shutdown the GBZ and remove the SD card. Open the SD in your computer and navigate to /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/. In here create a new folder called keen. In this folder place a copy of the modified DOSBox config and mapper files which you can download here. Make sure to unzip them first: (Alternatively you can also do things manually. I wrote a tutorial which you can find here: Configre input for DOSBox)

Copying Gamefiles:
Again open the SD in your computer and navigate to /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/keen. Inside that folder you will place the games and mods you can download from the list below. Just make sure to unzip them first. This should look something like this: /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/keen/Secret_of_the_Oracle
When done extract and copy over the matching shell scripts (.sh) from the zip to the pc folder. Things should look like this::
/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/pc/Secret_of_the_Oracle.sh

that wasn't to hard, was it?
last step: put the SD card back into your GameBoy, launch it and have fun playing Commander Keen games on your self-made and modified handheld.
NEAT! :dopefish


Pre-configured patch and game files:
The downloads for Keen 2, 3, 5 and 6 mods will not include the executable necessary to play the game (they are still not free to distribute). You will need to put your own executable in the mod directory and unpack it with UNLZEXE prior to playing for the first time.
Also note that the high score table isn't patched properly yet. Any help on this is very much appreciated.

Galaxy mods:: Vorticon mods:
Last edited by Nisaba on Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:30, edited 7 times in total.
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Post by Keening_Product » Wed Jun 22, 2016 14:47

You should make one which looks like Keen's wrist computer.
Image
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Post by keenmaster486 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 17:16

There needs to be an open-source project for this, with 3d-printed case, screen, buttons, etc. all in a kit that you can buy. That would be nothing short of totally awesome.

Edit: And yes, I have the experience and knowledge to do this (both the Gameboy project and the above-mentioned idea), I just don't know if I'm willing to put the time and energy necessary into it.
I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
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Post by MoffD » Thu Jun 23, 2016 13:24

Keening_Product wrote:You should make one which looks like Keen's wrist computer.
Still working on mine, got the screen for it, but I need a new pi :C

I recommend finding the DOSBox that's optimized for the RPi, it works much better, or you can hand optimize it.
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Post by keenmaster486 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 15:42

I've found rpix86 generally works better than DOSBox, especially for Keen. And it would work perfect on a newer Pi.
I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
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Post by Nisaba » Thu Jun 23, 2016 19:04

MoffD wrote:Still working on mine, got the screen for it, but I need a new pi :C
can you upload some pictures of progress plus clues, hints and warnings. and which version you have chosen? A, B+, 2, 3 or zero?
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Re: Keen goes Pi

Post by kvee » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:42

Nisaba wrote:Image
<3

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Post by MoffD » Fri Jun 24, 2016 22:29

Nisaba wrote:
MoffD wrote:Still working on mine, got the screen for it, but I need a new pi :C
can you upload some pictures of progress plus clues, hints and warnings. and which version you have chosen? A, B+, 2, 3 or zero?
I haven't made THAT much progress, I'm planning on using any leftover gpio pins from the screen to use as wrist computer buttons, screen here:
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1601

As I said: I need a new Pi. Mine has a broken SD card slot, it's also an old B with no built-in wifi/bluetooth. As you can see from that link, it leaves pins 21-23 and 18 free (4 total) which I was going to use as up, down and the 2 red buttons. It's also a touchscreen, but that's more of a ease of access thing.

The furthest I got with it was software tbh, I was working on some python apps+menus that used the tft (pong is about 50% done) but I lost the code somewhere :dead2
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Post by Levellass » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:30

Daaaang.
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Post by Nisaba » Wed Jun 29, 2016 15:27

Keening_Product wrote:You should make one which looks like Keen's wrist computer.
indeed, that would be neat! at some point I need to 3D print a Computer Wrist case to play a good round of Paddle War. Something like so (made by Shilor): Image

keenmaster486 wrote:I've found rpix86 generally works better than DOSBox, especially for Keen. And it would work perfect on a newer Pi.
thanx for that hint, but why do you think Rpic86 works best with a Pi? what is convincing to change setups? For me I didn't have any problems using DOSBox in a linux environment. what are your experiences?

MoffD wrote:I haven't made THAT much progress, I'm planning on using any leftover gpio pins from the screen to use as wrist computer buttons, screen here:
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1601
As I said: I need a new Pi. Mine has a broken SD card slot, it's also an old B with no built-in wifi/bluetooth. As you can see from that link, it leaves pins 21-23 and 18 free (4 total) which I was going to use as up, down and the 2 red buttons. It's also a touchscreen, but that's more of a ease of access thing.
The furthest I got with it was software tbh, I was working on some python apps+menus that used the tft (pong is about 50% done) but I lost the code somewhere
wait a minute. are you planing to modify a GameBoy or are you up to building a Computer Wrist? by talking about two red buttons, which do you mean?
I think I'm going to stick with the Zero version of the Pi. First it is lightweight and might fit better into the original casing and secondly it has enough power to run and emulate some good 8bit (2D) games. and c'mon 5$!!! that's affordable and reduces cost alot (but currently out of stock). Touch screen isn't my first choice but I think I gonna choose a bigger 3.5'' display. And you are right, an integrated wifi is worth a mint and essential for software-reasons after glueing everything like crazy.
Last edited by Nisaba on Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by MoffD » Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:51

Nisaba wrote: wait a minute. are you planing to modify a GameBoy or are you up to building a Computer Wrist? by talking about two red buttons, which do you mean?
Full computer wrist. By two red buttons, I mean the ones on his wristwatch (or are those twist dials? The arrows have me scratching my head) On the side as you can see from that one Shilor made, there are up+down buttons along side the red button err... knob... things
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Post by Nisaba » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:03

MoffD wrote:Full computer wrist. By two red buttons, I mean the ones on his wristwatch (or are those twist dials? The arrows have me scratching my head) On the side as you can see from that one Shilor made, there are up+down buttons along side the red button err... knob... things
a wristwatch! alright, what an honorable project! in that case a touch-screen does make sense. speaking of arrow keys: motion controll comes to mind, or you might wanna add some buttons like Gridlock did in his AR-mod. take a look:

Image
Last edited by Nisaba on Mon Oct 22, 2018 23:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Keen goes Pi

Post by MoffD » Thu May 04, 2017 13:35

**BUUURMP** :dopefish

Figure I'll just leave a few things here. Here's my pi running an earlier version of my pong:
Image

It uses SDL's framebuffer output for my touchscreen currently, I need to cleanup the code and finish it.

As to the pi itself, I got a new v3 board and larger screen. I'm planning to have a friend 3d print the case for me once I finish designing it (I'm garg at 3d modelling though)
Edit: Also sorry for the poor lighting/picture, I'm too lazy to take a decent shot
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Re: Keen goes Pi

Post by Nisaba » Thu May 04, 2017 16:49

MoffD wrote:
Thu May 04, 2017 13:35
**BUUURMP** :dopefish

Figure I'll just leave a few things here. Here's my pi running an earlier version of my pong:
Image

It uses SDL's framebuffer output for my touchscreen currently, I need to cleanup the code and finish it.

As to the pi itself, I got a new v3 board and larger screen. I'm planning to have a friend 3d print the case for me once I finish designing it (I'm garg at 3d modelling though)
Edit: Also sorry for the poor lighting/picture, I'm too lazy to take a decent shot

neat!

looking pretty clean. but why don't use a Pi Zero? should have enough spex for pong (it does!) plus you can save a lot of room and power. just saying... besides that, what kind of case do you have in mind? I'm really curious how everything is going to be designed. could you also please report your touchscreen gameplay experience? looking forward for some further updates.
(btw: what's the noir camera for? are you planing to use this project for other ideas as well?)

looking at my own Pi project, I think I need to take some pictures as well. so stay tuned, updates will come soon!
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Re: Keen goes Pi

Post by MoffD » Fri May 05, 2017 3:42

Nisaba wrote:
Thu May 04, 2017 16:49
neat!

looking pretty clean. but why don't use a Pi Zero? should have enough spex for pong (it does!) plus you can save a lot of room and power. just saying... besides that, what kind of case do you have in mind? I'm really curious how everything is going to be designed. could you also please report your touchscreen gameplay experience? looking forward for some further updates.
(btw: what's the noir camera for? are you planing to use this project for other ideas as well?)

looking at my own Pi project, I think I need to take some pictures as well. so stay tuned, updates will come soon!
I'm using a pi 3 because of builtin wifi, bluetooth and the bigger cpu etc... I've got a rather large collection of dos games and other emulators (even Jedi Knight and quake-ish things)

As to your other questions: The noir camera is for personal amusement and if I want to do gesture control. Case is still going to be keens wristwatch, basically just a box with the buttons. Touchscreen only really works for rts games and other 100% mouse based things (obviously) but it works fine.

I'm powering the pi off a massive brick of a battery that can power the pi, usb desktop speakers, and my model m all at once. I was thinking of slinging it on my wrist under the pi (it's just barely small enough) It will actually run my pi 3 for an entire day (just fyi, my pi 3 draws anywhere from 2-3 amps!) :crazy
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