Left Turn Only
Left Turn Only is arguably the most important concern on the modern Intellivision "Homebrew" scene. Not because of the volume of games produced, but rather the importance of the technology delivered and consultation with so much of the rest of the community.
The renaissance of Intellivision cartridge releases can be traced back to Joe Zbiciak and his participation and contributions. Building upon Carl Mueller's early and excellent reverse engineering work, Joe became an influential founding member of the modern Intellivision homebrew scene. Lending timely assistance to Chad Schell, Joe helped to resolve some ambiguous aspects of the hardware specifications for the Intellicart!–The Intellivision Cartridge Emulator. He also proposed the bankswitching mechanism it provides for supporting larger games and developed the title screen. When teamed with the rich library of development tools, code libraries, examples, and technical information and guidance Joe has made available, the Intellicart brought development for the platform to a new audience, giving those early pioneers a way to not only emulate new games, but run and test them on actual hardware.
Joe also assisted during the development of Schell's Electronics' CuttleCart 3 (CC3), developing the Intellivision-facing code to interface with the firmware.
Perhaps most important to the bulk of the Intellivision community, Joe was also the first to deliver a new Intellivision game, built upon Chad's ROMcart design. The first new cartridge-based game for the Intellivision in over a decade (at the time)—4-Tris—was introduced at the Philly Classic Expo in 2001, and published under the Zbiciak Electronics imprint. The pioneer homebrew release for Intellivision provided the impetus to bring more interested parties onto the scene. Joe's work with Chad on the hardware side, and Tim Lindner's talents for bringing overlays and documentation faithful to the platform, proved it could be done!
Today, virtually all new Intellivision game development happens using the SDK-1600, a suite of tools and documentation for writing Intellivision software. One of the most popular parts of the SDK is jzIntv, an Intellivision emulator. This multi-platform Intellivision emulator—quite possibly the most accurate and widely ported Intellivision emulator—is available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and even Android, Wii and ARM (Raspberry Pi) platforms. Developers debug their creations using jzIntv. And of course, many of us simply enjoy using jzIntv to play games!
In addition to all of the engineering work that drives the Intellivision homebrew scene, Joe has released products under the Left Turn Only banner. The name and corporate logo were inspired by a nonsensical road sign spotted in the Dallas, TX area. LTO develops and manufactures hardware including cartridge board designs and new cartridge shells, publishes games, and provides consulting services for new game developers. The JLP cartridge board design has enabled the creation of larger, more fully-featured titles. In addition to LTO's own releases, these designs and products also provide the raw materials for titles published by Elektronite and, in some cases, CollectorVision.
The following items are still missing from the Left Turn Only part of my collection.
Page last updated 31-May-2015 00:34:01 EDT