Home-made portable Rogue game system

Written by Joe Martin

August 3, 2007 // 11:28 a.m.

Tags: #budget #build #ds #dungeon #genesis #ghetto #handheld #how-to #instruction #make #mod #portable #psp #rogue #rogue-like #rpg #sega

I've had portable games for as long as I can remember. The Gameboy, the Lynx, the DS lite, the PSP - hell, even the Ngage - at some point I've had possession of one of them and I've always loved them. My one recurring reservation has been price and it seems that handheld games and systems are only getting more and more expensive as time goes on.

So, enter the mod solution.

Built for just US$21.50, or just over a tenner sterling, The Dungeons of Doom system is a home constructed gaming system designed by Greg Sanders. It runs just the one game, the titular Dungeons of Doom which is a homage to the popular 1984 RPG Rogue, but is only a third of the price for a standard Nintendo DS game, so it's hard to complain. The whole system runs off of a standard 9V battery.

The basic hardware set-up comprises a Sega Genesis controller, an ECE476 prototype board, and an Atmel MEGA32 Microcontroller, while the case used to house the system is an old sweets tin. The game itself is fabulously low-tech, but in the tradition of Rogue or Nethack it's built on heavily randomised and addictive gameplay.

The game is played with a Sega Genesis controller while the system gives video-only output through a RCA port. All audio is provided through a headphone port.

Greg provides documentation to the process of building the system, going over many of the problems he suffered when designing both the hardware and the software.

So, whether you're just a modder with some time to kill, or a long-time portable gaming fanatic like myself, why not have a look at the guide Greg has constructed and consider giving it a go in the name of old-school RPG gaming?

Or, if you want to show off, you can let everyone know about your own case and system mods in the forums.

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