Zork on the Microtouch

[Rossum] just finished porting Zork over to the Microtouch. This hardware, which he originally designed, is now available for purchase through Adafruit. It’s a tiny 320×240 TFT touchscreen, driven by an AVR ATmega32u4 microcontroller. The device draws power from a lithium battery, and also boast a USB connection and a MicroSD slot.

The hack here is getting Zork to run with the limited resources available on the device. [Rossum] needed to emulate the Z80 processor, but didn’t want to use extra hardware in the way that [Sprite_TM] did when he emulated a Z80 using an AVR. Instead, this is based on a stripped-down implementation of Frotz. The final code is too big to fit on the chip along side of the bootloader. This means you’ll need to use an ISP programmer in order to flash this example to the chip. We’re pretty sure that AVRdude can program the ATmega32u4, so pretty much any ISP (including an Arduino) can be used to do the programming.

Comments

  1. DanJ says:

    Love it! I can remember spending hours hunched over a Lear Siegler ADM-3 terminal connected to a Data General minicomputer as a kid playing “Adventure”.

    “You are in a twisty maze of passageways, all alike,”

  2. Wow, the Microtouch is an impressive little piece of hardware. For $69, I want one!

  3. nes says:

    Fabulous work. Love it.

    I think it would be nice if the device had the option of a chorded keyboard for those times when you need to Zork single handed.

    Wasn’t there a graphical version of Hitchikers? Or is that something that only exists on the BBC website.

  4. JediTalian says:

    text Zork to 41411 i think that’s the # for textmarks. i used to play zork via SMS until i got a touchscreen, now i hate to text. so.. that would kinda piss me off. nice when you have unlimited text and a phone with a keyboard.

  5. strider_mt2k says:

    Look, I’ve been eaten by a Grue, and it isn’t all that.

    -and you should have seen her SISTER!

  6. Kevin says:

    It’s emulating the Z-machine (Infocom’s virtual machine), not a Z80. Rossum gives more information about the Z-machine in his post.

  7. Juun says:

    Great work! I had the same idea once. But after loading the source of Frotz in my IDE i gave up. ;-)

    Where did Rossum postet the source?

  8. George says:

    That’s truly awesome. I’d been wanting to do something similar, making a text-adventure system using those ubiquitous 128×64 monochrome GLCDs and support for an actual keyboard, but am not a good enough programmer to overcome the memory limitations of low-end microcontrollers… and then tried with the STM32, but couldn’t figure out how to get screen scrolling to work.

    I might have to look at Rossum’s code; there are some nice $40 STM32 dev boards out there with 2.8″ touchscreen LCDs that it could be awesome to get this running on…

  9. Abysmal says:

    No code has been posted .. only a hex file…

    Oh well..

  10. Juun says:

    Not very GNU…

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