Formal Introduction for 8-Bit Widgets website and the future, future, future..

Started by 8bitwidgets.com, November 14, 2023, 08:26:22 PM

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8bitwidgets.com

Hi everyone, I'm Caleb and last November I sold my first controller couplers on atari age.  Eventually I opened up listings on eBay, Reverb (for synth rack ears) and Etsy.  It's always best to reach me directly though as I always pass on the savings of not going through online retailers to the customer especially if you order multiple items. 

The initial couplers I made were for the Intellivision to allow games like Advanced Dungeons and Dragons and Tron Deadly Discs, some of my favorite childhood games to play so much better being able to run / shoot without interruption..  not long after that someone from this site mentioned there were games for the 2600 could use dual joysticks and others as well so I expanded.  Over time I made a couplers and accessories for the Intellivision, 2600, 5200, 7800, NES, SMS, Colecovision, Odyssey 2 and even the Wii (I know, not 8-bit  ) so for a while I was just making them as me.. and it's still just me but I decided to give this unexpected venture / hobby a proper name, so here you have it.   

8-Bit Widgets

www.8bitwidgets.com is a website i've been working on since August.  The partners and friends sections are just a few of the great folks I've been fortunate enough to make things for.

The site meant to be informational and entertaining.  For some computers with slower GPU it looks flat, but for devices with good graphics cards you will see some CRT effects.  I do a FPS test at the start of the site to detect this.  This usually works well but if you every find its moving slow, my FPS check must have messed up.  You can make the window smaller if refreshing doesn't fix it. 

Also the mobile version looks different in some ways than the desktop due to "contact" not working the way i would like it too on mobile browsers and making "Space Mantis" easier to play on a touch screen vs. a computer/keyboard setup.  The website is "done" but I usually come up with something tinker with / enhance.  User feedback is always welcome and helpful because sometimes folks see something or experience an issue that I don't.  

I came up with a lot of couplers for the 2600 in particular due to the variety of official controllers for it.  Some were made without a game for it, but with the hope that maybe homebrew developers might find a way to make a new game that leverages the unique possibilities of a particular coupler.  "If you make it, they will code.."  it's worked with the Odyssey 2.  Robot Ron was created with the Odyssey 2 Coupler in mind which was really exciting to see come to life.  I'm hoping other couplers might do the same for other developers looking for ways to push the gameplay possibilities of their preferred system or systems.  

The Odyssey 2 holds a special place in my heart.  I never had one as a kid but i have to this day this impression of it when i saw a kid show me quest for the ring at his place in my apartment complex.  just looked so much cooler than my AD&D for intellivision. 

I have made several products for the Odyssey 2 and intend to make several more in 2024.  More on that when I have more to show about each item. 

This venture has been fun and funny enough I hope that I'll run out of gizmos to make (I have several coming in the next few months) for our beloved consoles and get back to melting my brain learning how to program games.  I am hoping to make ports of "Space Mantis" to the 2600 and Intellivision first depending on how quickly I can understand batari basic and intybasic respectively.  

So thank you everyone for being awesome.  I try to make these products work well and reliably.  I'm just me and I can and do make mistakes, but on those (thankfully) rare cases, you've let me make things right and help me make improvements to the items. 

NOTE: Anyone who's bought one of the earlier models (for example the early robotron style coupler) and would like the new / improved models, please feel free to PM me and I can offer you significant discount on the newer versions.  

I am always open to collaborating with developers who have ideas for games that could take advantage of some controller accessories or if you're looking for enclosures for cartridges, or media holders for cartridges or CDs..  I can make things custom pretty easily and I try to keep pricing reasonable.  Don't let "custom" scare you either.  Let's talk first then you can decide if I would be a good fit for your next project.  

I am going to be posted this under each of the platforms I support so I apologize for the cross posting, but I wanted to make sure I (re)introduce myself to each respective console community. 

Sincerely,

Caleb

Janzl

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8bitwidgets.com

thanks! :)   I had fun making it.  I'd like to adapt "space mantis" to the O2 as my first game for it..  obviously visually it would be different but the basic game mechanics.