Skunkboards available (while stocks last)
For those not familiar, prior to the launch of the Indie Games service on the Xbox 360, over the last decade the Atari Jaguar has been one of the biggest success stories for console-based homebrew game development. Thanks to the campaigning of Thunderbird (of super-coveted Battlesphere fame) and several others, Hasbro released the rights for the Atari Jaguar to the community back in 1999, enabling anyone to create and brand a game for the old cat without having to pay any licensing fees. Since then we've seen unreleased titles picked up, polished and released by Songbird Productions
and several others within the Jaguar community itself; original CD based titles from the Reboot
team and a lot of promising new games on the horizon including some very impressive work by Atari Owl
One of the key pieces of kit for any modern Jaguar developer over recent years has been the Skunkboard, brought to us by the folks at Goat Store and Harmless Lion
, who you may remember from the homebrew Dreamcast game Cool Herders. It plugs into the cartridge slot and allows you to flash the Jaguar with your code over a USB cable that connects to a port on the board, making it super easy to get your game onto the system for testing. Recently the third revision of the Skunkboard was put into production, but sold out months in advance. Thankfully due to a surplus delivery of chips the creators are putting on one more run, however these chips are extremely difficult to find now and once they are gone that's it short of a re-design.
So, if you have any interest in getting to grips with what is a quite fascinating hardware architecture, now is the time to pick up one of these useful tools. All the official Atari documentation has been released into the public domain and there's a wealth of support, tools and help on offer over at AtariAge and JaguarSector.
The latest Skunkboards can be purchased from the Goat Store here