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Team Pixelboy News Bulletin - February 1st 2012

Team Pixelboy News Bulletin

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#1 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 1, 2012 5:48 AM

It's been only a month since my last news bulletin, but boy how things have progressed! Let's begin with the good news!

GAMES, GAMES AND MORE GAMES FOR CHRISTMAS!

First of all, I'm happy to announce that I've reached a deal with Óscar Toledo (nanochess on AtariAge) for Team Pixelboy to publish his upcoming ColecoVision port of Princess Quest. The game will be released on Christmas Day 2012, along with the other five games I have already announced (namely Wonder Boy, Mopiranger, Champion Ice Hockey, Jewel Panic and Module Man).

But it doesn't stop there! I've also finalized a tentative agreement with Eduardo Mello to publish his MSX port of King's Valley! This game requires Opcode's Super Game Module, so it will be released in parallel to Opcode's Donkey Kong Arcade, and people will have one more reason to buy the SGM. :)

Eduardo has also reaffirmed his desire to complete the work on The Black Onyx, by the way, so I'm hopeful that this game will be released this year as well. However, a lot of different things need to come together in order for that project to reach its conclusion, not the least of which is support for my Activision PCB in a ColecoVision emulator, like blueMSX or Meka. Without an emulator, completing The Black Onyx will be rather difficult... But rest assured I'll keep pushing to make it happen.

I'm also currently discussing other potential game releases with Eduardo, games that will use the SGM. His initial proposition was to port a trio of MSX games: Zanac, Guardic and Thexder. While Thexder is a classic which I definately want to publish, I'm not so sure about the other two. Guardic in particular is a weird game, which looks very good graphically, but after watching footage of the MSX version on YouTube, I was left scratching my head, and I honestly don't think it would sell very well. I suggested some alternatives to Eduardo, and as I write this, we haven't discussed it any further. We'll see how things pan out.


THERE'S ALWAYS A PRICE TO PAY

There's an unfortunate side to all these great news: In order to get all these games ready in time for Christmas Day 2012, I'll have to put my trading card project on hold, probably indefinitely. But it's no great loss, since pboland is doing a wonderful job with his own series of ColecoVision trading cards. Keep up the great work, Phil! I can't wait to see the next series!


MORE CARTRIDGE CASINGS FOR YOUR HOMEBREWING NEEDS!

Yes people, it's now pretty much official: I'll be visiting Eduardo Mello next Easter week-end, and I'll bring his metal mold back with me. Soon after, I'll have more Coleco cartridge casings manufactured, enough to satisfy the needs of the CV homebrew community for several years to come. If this piece of news is of any special interest to you, please send me a PM to be added to my list of contacts, and to be kept in the loop afterwards.


WHAT THE FUTURE LOOKS LIKE

There's something else I want to say, which I recently mentioned in another forum thread: 2012 will be the last year Team Pixelboy will be releasing "outsourced" projects. After this year's batch of outsourced games, I will put all outsourced game development activities aside and concentrate on BasicVision. I will want to remove all distractions as much as possible, so where Team Pixelboy is concerned, I will only handle sales operations of already-released games in 2013.

I expect that the development of BasicVision will require a full year of my spare time, and afterwards (in 2014 and beyond) I will want to use BasicVision to program my own ColecoVision games, namely the ones listed in the "Personal Projects" section of the Team Pixelboy web site. Coding and debugging my own CV games will also require a rather large chunk of my free time, so there will be no room for outsourced projects in the foreseeable future. That's why I want to go out with a bang this year, which I feel is appropriate for the ColecoVision's 30th anniversary. :)


CLOSING COMMENTS

I still have a handful of copies available of all my recently released games, so if you haven't placed an order yet, now would be a good time to do so.


This concludes this news bulletin. We now return you to your regular forum activities. :)

#2 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 1, 2012 8:17 AM

That one year you are going to spend developing a new language would be used to learn Assembly, which can give you much finer control of everything than any high level language can offer you. Do you think I was born knowing Assembly? Nop, I learn it, and after one year I was already feeling very comfortable with it.
If you excuse my boldness for saying that, the way you are envisioning BasicVision seems like a waste of time to me. You see, I think there are two possible directions with this project:

1) You would create a super easy language that uses macros to hide most of the details involved in the game engine logic from the user/programmer... because the hardest part about creating games isn't to learn a language like C or BASIC, but to understand the complex logic involved in moving all the stuff on screen, playing sounds, etc. The biggest disadvantage here is that the programmer wouldn't have full control of things, so probably the games possible with that language would have some restrictions (like that BASIC available for the 2600). But again, that would open the world of game making for people that otherwise would never make a game, even if the results aren't in the same level as commercial games.

2) Make it a lower level language that gives you full control of things, but that in the other hand would require you to create all the game logic by yourself.

You seem to be taking route 2. But then don't we already have such a tool? It is called C, and it is available for the ColecoVision. I am pretty sure you know C, right? Because BASIC... not even MS cares about it anymore....

So please don't take it as an offence but I still don't see the point in this whole project. I would see the point with option 1, but then you wouldn't want to use that for your commercial games.
Go learn Assembly. There is something that I have been wishing for a long time that is create an online course about Assembly programming. I just need to find the time to start writing that. Certainly no this year...

Edited by opcode, Wed Feb 1, 2012 8:17 AM.


#3 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 1, 2012 8:37 AM

i tend to agree with Opcode about BasicVision.

If i have to do something with development tools it would be a integrated IDE dedicated to Colecovision development. That includes very good graphic editor , sound tracker, code editor (C and assembler) , emulator and debugger (and including C debugger). And to help beginner some "code wizard" that generate code templates. A kind of Visual Studio dedicated to colecovision.

A side that, i'm looking foward to see your project released. Mainly Module Man!!!

#4 5-11under OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 1, 2012 9:02 AM

Just some thoughts...

Good point, Opcode. I also like how you spelled "Nop" instead of "Nope". ;) Anyway, Luc will indeed be learning assembly, so who knows what way he'll steer as he gets into it. If it was me, I'd probably continue with the "C" development. It's not too complicated to learn, I think, compared to Basic, so there's not too much advantage to moving from C to Basic.

The big problem for me, is that there is a somewhat steep learning curve to getting everything set up for C. newcoleco has done some fine work in collecting/creating all the tools, but to me the environment is still pretty complicated. There seems to be a number of versions available, so the last time I did any work, I went back to my original environment from about 5-6 years ago that I know worked. There's also some poorly documented bugs or limitations that are frustrating.

Bottom line, I'd love to see a programming environment that had everything I needed included, with all the capabilities included. One download. One set-up file. Detailed instructions on all the functions available. Plenty of good, clean, short, and well documented coding examples to get started with. Ideally an integrated environment such as Youki mentioned. Whether it's C or Basic doesn't really matter to me. At this point, I'm not really interested in assembly, although I do see a need be able to switch to assembly as required, within the C or Basic code.

Whatever happens, it'll be good to see new programmers in the CV scene. Not that there aren't plenty of new ones now, but just look at the influence Batari Basic had on the 2600... although that may be an extreme case, because before that, there were no newby-friendly programming methods available that I'm aware of.

Edited by 5-11under, Wed Feb 1, 2012 9:04 AM.


#5 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 1, 2012 5:41 PM

Not a lot of time tonight to reply, but I just want to say that learning Z80 assembly will be part of my BasicVision project.

I respect your opniion, Eduardo, but I've wanted to create my own programming language for years, and the CV is the perfect fertile ground for such a project, so I'm going to do it. :)

#6 UberArcade OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 1, 2012 7:40 PM

Looks like some great games for 2012. My only comment is I wish they wouldn't all be released at Christmas time like this year. I don't know about other people but that is the worst time of the year for me to spend money on games for myself. I had to pass on your latest batch of games due to holiday expenses. Hopefully you will have some left in another month when I can spend some money on games again. I think it is better to spread the games out during the year.

#7 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 1, 2012 8:58 PM

Looks like some great games for 2012. My only comment is I wish they wouldn't all be released at Christmas time like this year. I don't know about other people but that is the worst time of the year for me to spend money on games for myself. I had to pass on your latest batch of games due to holiday expenses. Hopefully you will have some left in another month when I can spend some money on games again. I think it is better to spread the games out during the year.


It's a very good point, and I'll try to come up with a solution between now and then.

#8 RelliK111 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 1, 2012 9:22 PM

Looks like some great games for 2012. My only comment is I wish they wouldn't all be released at Christmas time like this year. I don't know about other people but that is the worst time of the year for me to spend money on games for myself. I had to pass on your latest batch of games due to holiday expenses. Hopefully you will have some left in another month when I can spend some money on games again. I think it is better to spread the games out during the year.


I agree, but also the layaway program was a big help and hopefully it will return this Christmas :) :thumbsup:


Thanks so much Luc for all the great games and all the great games that are coming :grin: :thumbsup: I really look forward to seeing the fruits of your labor with your basicvision and all the unbelievable games that will be coming out from the help of this work. The Colecovision has a super bright future and you are a huge reason for that so Thank You ;) :thumbsup:

Edited by RelliK111, Wed Feb 1, 2012 9:47 PM.


#9 Yurkie OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 1, 2012 9:29 PM

What about going on sale on Black Friday? Then with your lightning fast shipping, we can all play them on Christmas Day.

#10 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 1, 2012 10:21 PM

What about going on sale on Black Friday? Then with your lightning fast shipping, we can all play them on Christmas Day.


November 30th...? That's not something I could do, especially this year, with over 6 games to prepare...

#11 Yurkie OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 1, 2012 10:37 PM

No actually Thanksgiving is the 4th Thursday of November in the U.S.A. (Nov 22nd) and Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving November 23rd this year. Black Friday is the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S.A.

#12 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2012 5:19 AM

No actually Thanksgiving is the 4th Thursday of November in the U.S.A. (Nov 22nd) and Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving November 23rd this year. Black Friday is the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S.A.


Just goes to show you can't trust the interwebs. :twisted:

http://www.when-is.c...friday-2012.asp

#13 Yurkie OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2012 10:02 AM

Us old *uckers that look at calenders and grew up before computers, can figure that stuff out.

#14 nanochess OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2012 11:59 AM

First of all, I'm happy to announce that I've reached a deal with Óscar Toledo (nanochess on AtariAge) for Team Pixelboy to publish his upcoming ColecoVision port of Princess Quest.

I can confirm it :) and finally I've sent to Pixelboy a beta for testing over a real Colecovision. :-D
Of course, expect some delay because appears some hardware needs to be ready.





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