Category Archives: Shredz64

Shredz64 – Core Track Set Update

Just a quick update – I’ve made the following updates:

  1. Replaced the Zak Mckracken remix with the Bombo theme as one of the 10 tracks included in Shredz64
  2. Since there are now a couple versions of Shredz64 out there (the original had the Stairway Intro as a track, others had the Zak remix, and the new ones will have Bombo) – I’ve made ALL tracks available for download off the Synthetic Dreams website, found here. That way, you can grab any songs you’d like, regardless of what version you have.

This balances out the difficulty range of the included tracks a bit better. All disks shipped out from here on will contain the Bombo theme.

Shredz64 – New Track Available

First off, lots more sales of boards this week, thanks to everyone for their interest and support!

Also, there is a new download track available on the Synthetic Dreams website – Bombo by Ben Daglish. We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from people that the game difficulty is quite high, so I was sure to make this track at an easy difficulty level. It’s a great tune – you can take a listen here.

Shredz64 and PSX64 Updates

Due to quite a bit of interest and positive support, I’ve tried to kick my butt back in gear and start producing more PSX64 boards, as well as update Shredz64 a bit. We’ve been popping up in a few expos and meetups, including TNMOC’s Vintage Computer Festival 2010 at Bletchley Park, VCF East, SC3 Arcade Party, and most recently at the Commodore Computer Club.

It means a lot that people are still very interested in this work, so I’ve started by making the following updates:

  1. Updated the PSX64 firmware to fix a bug in macro recording, tighten up the analog joystick response, and increase sensitivity for precision game play when a non-Guitar controller is plugged in.
  2. Updated the Shredz64 webpage with a downloadable bonus track, the Stairway to Heaven Intro, by Nantco Bakker. This track appeared on very early versions of Shredz64, but was replaced with Edwin’s Dream. Now both tracks can be enjoyed.
  3. Since shipping varies wildly, and I tend to make boards as the need arises, I replaced the Paypal button on the order page with a link to the contact page. If you’re interested in ordering a PSX64, simply contact me with your shipping address, and I’ll quote you out the total price.

Thanks for your support everyone!

PSX64 – New batch in

Just a quick update, I got a batch of 50 boards in today to be assembled. I will make them up asap and get them for sale on the website!

Shredz64 – TPUG’s WoC tomorrow, demoing Shredz64

Just a reminder, if you’re in the Toronto area (or have a sick obsession with driving long distances like me), TPUG’s World of Commodore expo is tomorrow (12/6/08) starting at 10. I will be demoing Shredz64 and will have a few PSX64s available for purchase. Also, there are a lot of other neat demos going on by some talented guys, lots of stuff to buy, and good conversations to be had, so stop by if you want to join in the retro fun.

Shredz64 – Board Production Going Well

Just a quick heads up that things are on schedule for having a number of boards available at the upcoming World of Commodore expo in Toronto in December, and then online afterwards. The process definitely gets easier and easier as it goes, I’m pushing out about 5-10 a weekend. Stay tuned!

Shredz64 – Difficulty Selection and Upcoming Live Demo

Thanks to a few nice, quiet hours I had tonight, I was able to do some Shredz64 development. One thing I quickly noticed at the ECCC convention last month was that Shredz64 is too hard for new players. The timing is different from Guitar Hero, and is pretty demanding on top of that, so unless you’ve been playing for a while, it’s pretty hard. This was where it was nice to see other people using it, as its hard to judge the difficulty of something you’ve been playing for a year.

So to combat this issue, I’ve added the choice to play a track in either “Easy” or “Hard” mode when selecting the song by pressing green or red, respectively.

Shredz64 - Difficulty

Selecting hard plays the track at the same difficulty as before, but selecting easy plays the track much more leniently – the notes are the same, but the note matching gives you an additional 10 pixels above and below what is considered a valid note hit in hard mode. This will hopefully make the game a little more approachable for new players coming from playing Guitar Hero.

Live Demo – TPUG’s World of Commodore Expo

Also – just a quick announcement, I will be demoing Shredz64 and the PSX64 interface, as well as selling a few PSX64s at the upcoming World of Commodore Expo hosted by TPUG in Toronto on December 6th. Even if you’re not interested in Shredz64, I urge you to check out WoC, they have quite a few demos, lots of tables with great Commodore stuff for sale, and knowledgeable and friendly people to talk to. Toronto is always a fun place to visit as well, so make a weekend of it! Hope to see you there!

Shredz64 – Production Started

If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you’ll know that the prototypes had checked out and we were awaiting the final product. I’m happy to say we received a batch of 20 PCBs from the fab house the other day, and I’ve soldered one up, and it works great. That means that we’re good to go, it’s just a matter of us soldering them up and shipping them out! As soon as the first batch of 20 have been assembled, preregistration will close and normal sales will open. Those who preregistered will be given first priority to the purchase of a PSX64 and Shredz64. More instructions are to follow soon. After the first batch of 20 ship, more batches will come in 50 at a time. Please note, it will take a while to assemble each batch, but we will try to be timely so you won’t have to wait long.

Below is a picture of the finished product as you will receive it. Note – as you can see we changed the design slightly to use rectangular connectors which should add a lot of stress relief/protection to the cables.

When the first 20 are assembled, a final price will be posted as well. Thanks again for your continued patience, we’re definitely rolling along!


Shredz64 – PSX64 PCB checks out!

First off, I want to apologize for not updating this blog for a few weeks, I’ve started a new job and things have been hectic getting up to speed on things. But life is starting to calm down, and more importantly, I’ve received the first PSX64 PCB, soldered on the chips, uploaded the firmware, and it works!

There are a few changes to make to the board, mainly due to the pinout of available parts (I have a large stock of voltage regulators that are a different pinout than how the board is configured). I’m also going to use rectangular headers with stress relief connectors for the PSX and DB9 cables so they can take more tugging (as opposed to soldering them directly to the board). However, these changes aren’t major and don’t require another single-board run. The next run will be a batch of 10-30 boards, which will then be available for purchase! I suspect it will be about 4 weeks or so.

Thanks to everyone who has signed up on the notification list, it won’t be too much longer now!

Shredz64 – Firmware Fix 1.0a, Shipping Progress, 3sat Neues

So, for anyone building your own PSX64, you may have noticed if you used firmware 1.0 that it didn’t work with guitar controllers. WHOOPS. The schematic wires the pots opposite to the way the firmware handles them, so the strum pot was handling the whammy bar, and vice versa. Firmware 1.0a fixes this and is available here for download. Sorry about that, too many late nights. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Also, it looks like the prototype PCB board should arrive within the next 5-7 business days, so we’re looking at 2-3 weeks after that until we can start shipping PSX64s, not too much longer now!

Lastly, I had the honor of presenting Shredz64 for Neues, a tech program on the 3sat network (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). For those with 3sat access, keep a lookout for Shredz64!