Uzebox Coding Challenge

Uzebox Coding Challenge 2013

The 2013 Uzebox Coding Challenge is currently underway. This competition runs until June 1st, with registration open until April 1st. The Uzebox is an open source, 8 bit game console that uses only two chips: an ATmega644 microcontroller and a AD725 RGB to NTSC converter. We’ve featured it a few times in the past.

The competition rules are pretty loose: build a game or a useful piece of software that runs on the Uzebox, and fits in 61 kB. Entries will be judged on game play, originality, graphics, sound, completeness, and technical prowess. There’s prizes for the top six entries, including a few Uzeboxes and cash.

If you don’t have an Uzebox, check out the Uzem emulator. This lets you emulate the Uzebox hardware on Windows, Mac, or Linux. The emulator also has an internal GDB debug server to help with development. The low cost console can be built for about $30, and a number of kits are available.

Thanks to [Ben] for sending this in.

Comments

  1. Elias says:

    The actual kit rather seems to be $60. The $30 kit is just the baseboard.

  2. MMI says:

    The problem with this console is, that the program/game sits in the flash (program) memory. Yes, there is an SD card slot, but the app is read from it and saved in the flash (remember about finite number of write cyles!).

    • flecko says:

      So according to the datasheet, it’s good for 10k write cycles minimum. So if you play 10 different games from the SD card for 365 days a year, that’s ~2.7 years of play time.

      Luckily, the 40pin DIP Atmega644 is easily swapped out in case you’re that big a fanatic of the Uzebox, and at a cost of $7 to $8 per individual uC it can be easily swapped out.

      Don’t let the flash write cycles scare you!

  3. asdfg says:

    Yeah here’s a better link to all the kits. http://www.hwhardsoft.de/english/webshop/

    Forum thread about one from there with replies from the designers of the kit. http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=24417&highlight=uzebox

  4. flecko says:

    I’m already working on my entry!

    More entries is always a good thing though guys ;P

  5. D3thAdd3r says:

    Pretty awesome contest, I know where I’m spending my very little free time :)

  6. cunning_fellow says:

    I just signed up myself. Looks like somewhere I can put my perverse interest in AVR optimization to use.

  7. Yeah says:

    Someone write a BASIC compiler to increase the user base for this device. C and soldering only goes so far.

  8. freak says:

    Guess I might be participating in this one, and i might pick up the soldering iron again, its been a while. I had all the parts i needed just lying just collecting dust.

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