Jump to content

Photo

Team Pixelboy News Bulletin - January 1st 2013

Team Pixelboy news bulletin

127 replies to this topic

#1 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

Pixelboy

    Quadrunner

  • 6,031 posts
  • Location:Montreal, Canada

Posted Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:38 PM

Good day, Colecovision fanatics!

I'd like to begin this news bulletin by wishing you all a Happy New Year! May 2013 bring you all good furtune and good health for you and your loved ones. And also lots of new ColecoVision games, but that's an understatement. ;)


ORDER PROCESSING REPORT

As I write this, no package has been shipped yet. The e-mail processing rush is now mostly behind me, although roughly 50 customers still haven't replied to the Christmas e-mail, so I may have more work ahead of me there. In any case, I will begin preparing packages today, and I will drop them off at the post office as quickly as I can. I have roughly 55 packages to prepare, and probably a few more will be added to that total over the next few days, so this is definately going to take a while. Thanks in advance for your patience. :)

The first packages that will be shipped with be those where customers paid for XpressPost. Considering the price of that shipping option, I think giving those packages priority is the right thing to do. Fortunately, I only have about a dozen XpressPost packages to ship, and I'll ship the rest as quickly as I can afterwards.

Quite a few people have taken advantage of my offer to produce more copies of my past releases. Some of you may recall that I only had 9 unglued Gulkave boxes left. Well, those are now all spoken for, so you can consider Gulkave to be permanently sold out, same as Girl's Garden and Peek-a-boo. I also have 15 pre-orders for Pitfall II Arcade recorded so far, and somewhere between 10 and 15 pre-orders for each of the other games. This is quite a bit more than I was expecting! :D


WEB SITE UPDATES

If you visit teampixelboy.com, you may notice a few updates. First of all, I added a section in the "completed projects" section for Super Action Soccer. It's an official Team Pixelboy product, after all, and I thought it would be nice to tell the project's story.

Sadly, you may also notice that Champion Ice Hockey is no longer on my release schedule. The hockey players on the screen felt more like bumper cars than human skaters, and I just wasn't confortable releasing the SG-1000 port as-is. So I had asked Eduardo Mello to fix the skating physics of the game within the software, to make the action more crisp and exciting, but that turned out to be too complicated to do, so we both agreed to drop the game entirely.

There are also three new games added to the "outsourced projects" section, and they are described in the other paragraphs below.


MECHA-8

Yes my friends, our good friend nanochess strikes again! Following the awesome work he did with the recently-released Princess Quest, he's coming back in 2013 with a brand new shooter game called Mecha-8! Originally conceived and programmed for the MSX, the game came in fifth place in the MSXdev'11 homebrew contest.

Since then, nanochess has improved the game tremendously while porting it to the ColecoVision. Everything from the smooth scrolling, great graphics and perfect difficulty curve make this an awesome entry in the ColecoVision's homebrew library. And here's the cherry on the sunday: While the game does NOT require the Super Game Module, if the SGM is detected, the game will automatically take advantage of the auxiliary sound chip inside the SGM to improve the background music! Mecha-8 will be a 128K MegaCart game. Check out the video below, prepared by nanochess himself and graciously posted on YouTube by opcode! :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsAUDZpJc0A


BATTLE OF HOTH

Okay, it's time to come clean! Many of you will recall this strange commercial that was "uncovered" on YouTube a couple of weeks ago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6asEANQh3xc

The culprit behind this fake commercial is none other than another high-profile resident ColecoVision homebrewer, youki! While the video commercial may be fake, the game it features definately is not! youki has been working on Battle of Hoth for the past year, and it's getting close to completion. The game features smooth parallax scrolling, cool background music curtesy of Mystery Man, and a few nice additions like the occasional attacking TIE Fighter, and also the Snowspeeder grappling hook that the player can use as a last resort against the AT-ATs!

I'm planning an initial release of 75 copies, each of which will feature a white cartridge, and if there's any additional demand for the game (like I expect there will be) I will likely produce more copies. And before you ask, this game will NOT require the Super Game Module. ;)


GHOSTBUSTERS

This one is the result of a recently "renewed" agreement between myself and Eduardo Mello. The MSX port of this classic game will require the Super Game Module, and will likely not be released this year. Eduardo has many other projects to finish in 2013 before he tackles this port.

Ghostbusters is definately one game that should have been released on the ColecoVision back in the early eighties, and Team Pixelboy is proud to correct that unfortunate oversight, albeit over 30 years later! :P


RELEASE SCHEDULE FOR 2013 AND 2014

Many of you have expressed dissatisfaction at the fact that I release all my games on Christmas Day every year. I agree it's a burden on the ol' wallet, so this year, I'm going to try something different. Here's my tentative release schedule for the next two years:

May 2013:
- Mecha-8
- Battle of Hoth

September 2013:
- The Goonies
- Knightmare

Christmas 2013:
- Jewel Panic
- The Stone of Wisdom

May 2014:
- The Black Onyx
- Spelunker

September 2014:
- Yie Ar Kung-Fu 2
- Zanac

Christmas 2014:
- Ghostbusters
- Module Man

This schedule is of course subject to change along the way, especially considering there are several factors, over which I have no real control, which may induce delays. Module Man is also not a sure thing yet, so that's why I'm placing it at the very end of the schedule. I may shift games around the schedule as these various projects progress over time.

Releasing a couple of games every few months implies totally different development and production logistics, compared to releasing all the games at the end of the year, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be able to make it all work out as planned.


ABOUT THE BLACK ONYX

It's been sitting in a corner for a couple of years, without seing much progress, but now, thanks to my good friend Mystery Man, it seems the Black Onyx project is finally going to take off for real! Mystery Man has already done a lot of the work which I outlined in the original outsourced project contract (like replacing the password system with an EEPROM-based instant savegame feature) but some loose ends need to be tied up before we can go ahead with actual beta-testing. While these details are being resolved, I can tell you about my general beta-testing plan.

Beta-testing will happen in two phases, both of which will hopefully be completed in 2013 so that the game may be released as soon as possible in 2014.

The first phase will be done under emulation only. I will be needing at least three or four beta-testers to test The Black Onyx beta ROM using blueMSX, and unlike other beta-testing efforts of other past games where just a few weeks of testing was usually sufficient, this one will be much more demanding. Beta-testers will not be testing the software just to find bugs and problems, they will be required to explore every nook and cranny of the game, and offer a report of their gaming experience. This will allow us to discuss the key features of the software and determine if the game should be tweaked for the target audience. For example, does it take forever to earn enough money from battles to buy equipment at the shops? Since players will be full-grown adults with less free time to play the game, perhaps some kind of adjustment to speed up money-gathering would be a good idea. This is not the kind of question that can be answered after just a few minutes of play. So I'll be looking for beta-testers with lots of free time on their hands.

Once the first phase of beta-testing is passed, the second phase of testing will be done on real hardware. This will be somewhat tricky, because neither the AtariMax 128-in-1 USB cart nor the AtariMax SD cartridge provide support for the EEPROM-based savegame feature of my Activision PCB. So I will be providing socketed Activision PCBs to selected beta-testers, who will be required to own an EPROM burner so that they can reprogram the main 32K EPROM with new revisions of the game ROM, whenever necessary. Testing on real hardware will continue until everyone involved (including me) is satisfied that the game functions properly.

Once the first phase of beta-testing will be ready to commence, I will start a new thread on these forums to recruit beta-testers. This may take a couple of months to work out.


Again, Happy New Year! :D

This concludes this Team Pixelboy News Bulletin. We now return you to your regular forum activities. ;)

#2 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

Pixelboy

    Quadrunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 6,031 posts
  • Location:Montreal, Canada

Posted Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:44 PM

One quick note: The two videos in the post above run in a very choppy way with my browser. If it's happening with your browser too, please view them directly on the YouTube web site, especially Mecha-8, because there's really nothing choppy about that game, believe me. :)

#3 bennybingo ONLINE  

bennybingo

    Quadrunner

  • 5,641 posts
  • Wasting my life...one Shatner at a time.
  • Location:Lost...somewhere in the "CORN" thread

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 12:00 AM

:-o :-o :-o :-o :-o :-o :-o :-o

I'm gonna have to take out a loan!!!!

AWESOME NEWS!!!! Thank you and Happy New Year to you and yours!

#4 purenergy OFFLINE  

purenergy

    Dragonstomper

  • 650 posts
  • Location:Sherman, Texas

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 12:08 AM

Mecha-8 looks incredible and addicting! Battle of Hoth will be an excellent port to the Colecovision.
And, Ghostbusters on the Colecovision, means it's time to get slimed!
Happy New Year, and Thank you for the excellent games!!
:)

#5 KeizerGhidorah OFFLINE  

KeizerGhidorah

    Star Raider

  • 52 posts
  • Location:Massachusetts

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 1:42 AM

Holy crap! Props to you and nanochess on Mecha-8, it looks awesome! So, uh, when are you going to start taking per-orders on it? Huh? Huh? :grin:

On a serious note though, thanks for the update and have a happy New Year!

Edited by KeizerGhidorah, Tue Jan 1, 2013 1:44 AM.


#6 jblenkle OFFLINE  

jblenkle

    River Patroller

  • 2,705 posts

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 2:05 AM

Hurray for Ghostbusters!!! I absolutely love that game!!! And thanks for the spaced out release schedule so we don't have to come up with big $$$ all at once.

#7 Manoau2002 OFFLINE  

Manoau2002

    Dragonstomper

  • 833 posts
  • Location:Saskatchewan

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 8:22 AM

Do we need to subscribe to the reminder service for the new upcoming games? Or will you send out an email to your customer list like you did on christmas? Thanks.

#8 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

Pixelboy

    Quadrunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 6,031 posts
  • Location:Montreal, Canada

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 8:34 AM

Do we need to subscribe to the reminder service for the new upcoming games? Or will you send out an email to your customer list like you did on christmas? Thanks.


I like to keep these things separate. By next May, I expect most people will have bought their copies of the games released last week, including Thexder. So the sales period for Mecha-8 and Battle of Hoth next May will have its own dedicated notification e-mail.

And as usual I don't take pre-orders, or accept money before the games are actually ready to ship. I'm planning to manufacture an initial supply of 75 copies of both Mecha-8 and Battle of Hoth. Considering Princess Quest has already sold/pre-sold over 70 copies (out of a total of 75, which implies that I'll have to order more silver cart casings from Moldex in order to make more copies of the game), I'm wondering if that initial supply will be enough. Perhaps I should run another survey by e-mail... Hmm....

#9 NIAD OFFLINE  

NIAD

    River Patroller

  • 4,175 posts
  • Location:Chicago Suburb

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 8:47 AM

WOW!!! Thanks for all the news posts and the updates on current order status. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

BTW, what about BasicVision :? I couldn't resist :!: :lolblue:

#10 schuwalker OFFLINE  

schuwalker

    Dragonstomper

  • 545 posts
  • Location:A Void

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 8:48 AM

I'm all over that ESB! :-D

#11 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

Pixelboy

    Quadrunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 6,031 posts
  • Location:Montreal, Canada

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 9:13 AM

WOW!!! Thanks for all the news posts and the updates on current order status. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

BTW, what about BasicVision :? I couldn't resist :!: :lolblue:


BasicVision? What's that??? :?

Seriously, with the proposed release schedule of the next two years, you can be certain that I'll have no time at all for BasicVision. As I said in the opening post of this thread, releasing a couple of games every few months implies totally different development and production logistics, and I'll have continuous pressure on my shoulders throughout each year to meet all these multiple deadlines.

I'm all over that ESB! :-D


Wow, looking at your avatar, I never would have guessed! :P

By the way, if the graphics of the Snowspeeder and the AT-AT seem a little crude, it's because the game uses magnified sprites (32x32 pixels instead of 16x16). This is necessary for the smooth scrolling of the game, but it implies a loss of graphic detail. Believe me, it's something you'll stop noticing pretty quickly, the more you play. :)

#12 NIAD OFFLINE  

NIAD

    River Patroller

  • 4,175 posts
  • Location:Chicago Suburb

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 10:06 AM

BasicVision? What's that??? :?

Seriously, with the proposed release schedule of the next two years, you can be certain that I'll have no time at all for BasicVision. As I said in the opening post of this thread, releasing a couple of games every few months implies totally different development and production logistics, and I'll have continuous pressure on my shoulders throughout each year to meet all these multiple deadlines.

With so many great programmers jumping on the CV bandwagon of late and producing some truly incredible games, who has time to program anything anyway? All my free time is devoted to playing games... which is a lot easier than developing / programming new games and a lot more enjoyable!

BTW, really appreciate the change in your policy as far as release schedule. While it hasn't been a problem personally for me to purchase your X-Mas day releases the last 3 years, it does become difficult to find the time to sit down and enjoy each release properly when there are so many all at once.

#13 nanochess OFFLINE  

nanochess

    River Patroller

  • 2,165 posts
  • Coding something good
  • Location:Mexico, Mexico

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 10:36 AM

Battle of Hoth looks great! Congrats Youki :)

#14 Ransom ONLINE  

Ransom

    River Patroller

  • 3,913 posts
  • Cartridge Gaming Enthusiast
  • Location:Just south of the Wisconsin border.

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 10:49 AM

May 2014 can't get here soon enough. :-D

#15 grips03 OFFLINE  

grips03

    Stargunner

  • 1,949 posts
  • Location:Connecticut

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 11:22 AM

Mecha-8 looks great, one thing I was wondering is if the size of the main character causes him to get get hit more. Would a slightly smaller Mech be better?

Is there a SGM Enhanced (vs. SGM Required logo) for Mecha-8?

Edited by grips03, Tue Jan 1, 2013 12:13 PM.


#16 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

Pixelboy

    Quadrunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 6,031 posts
  • Location:Montreal, Canada

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 11:35 AM

Mecha-8 looks great, one thing I was wondering is if the size of the main character causes him to get get hit more. Would a slightly smaller Mech be better?


This was actually a problem with the early versions of the game, where it was practically impossible to avoid enemy projectiles because the mech sprite is so big. But this was fortunately fixed in the later revisions. The slower speed of the projectiles makes it much easier to maneuver around them. I've played the game enough to see most of the levels (at the easiest difficulty setting) and the size of the mech was never a problem. The difficulty curve is indeed just right. :)

Is there a SGM Enhanced (vs. SGM Required logo) for Mecha-8?


I haven't really thought about it yet, but yeah, there will probably be a different SGM logo.

#17 nanochess OFFLINE  

nanochess

    River Patroller

  • 2,165 posts
  • Coding something good
  • Location:Mexico, Mexico

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 11:38 AM

Mecha-8 looks great once thing I was wondering is if the size of the main character causes him to get get hit more. Would a slightly smaller Mech be better?

Though its big size with skilled guide and the power-ups you can escape from a lot of bullets.

Also you've an energy bar so the first hit doesn't destroy you immediately.

Although of course you've to "clean" the screen from enemies, otherwise the rain of bullets will do its job ;)

#18 InfraMan ONLINE  

InfraMan

    Chopper Commander

  • 150 posts
  • Location:North Carolina

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 12:03 PM

Mecha-8 looks awesome... reminds me a little bit of M.U.S.H.A., which can only be a good thing!

#19 grips03 OFFLINE  

grips03

    Stargunner

  • 1,949 posts
  • Location:Connecticut

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 12:31 PM

so enemy shots move slow, I see how that would work as long as the Mech moves well (not slow). I just have not seen that many shooters with such a large main character, but I trust your judgment that the balance is right.

IMO Gulkave was a little too hard (really needed a Smart bomb to help on the super hard screens)- but still loads of fun as ship speed and size was spot on, Star Force was perfect (ship speed, ship size, double shot weapon, etc.) Sky Jaguar ship moved too slow, hence could not get into the game

Does Mecha-8 have a Smart bomb type weapon? i.e. blow up all the bad guys on the screen

#20 nanochess OFFLINE  

nanochess

    River Patroller

  • 2,165 posts
  • Coding something good
  • Location:Mexico, Mexico

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 12:56 PM

IMO Gulkave was a little too hard (really needed a Smart bomb to help on the super hard screens)- but still loads of fun as ship speed and size was spot on, Star Force was perfect (ship speed, ship size, double shot weapon, etc.) Sky Jaguar ship moved too slow, hence c7ould not get into the game

Indeed Gulkave is hard, I played the SG-1000 version a while ago and barely I could finish first level, but looks like you get the "touch" and is easier later.

Does Mecha-8 have a Smart bomb type weapon? i.e. blow up all the bad guys on the screen

It has a "devastator" weapon that charges itself shooting enemies :), similar to a Smart bomb and useful for tough bosses and when there are lots of enemies.

#21 grips03 OFFLINE  

grips03

    Stargunner

  • 1,949 posts
  • Location:Connecticut

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 1:27 PM

Indeed Gulkave is hard, I played the SG-1000 version a while ago and barely I could finish first level, but looks like you get the "touch" and is easier later.

It has a "devastator" weapon that charges itself shooting enemies :), similar to a Smart bomb and useful for tough bosses and when there are lots of enemies.


Mecha-8 is going to be awesome. If you need any testers before it ships let me know and I'll play the heck out it

#22 pboland OFFLINE  

pboland

    Stargunner

  • 1,050 posts
  • Location:Ohio

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 3:15 PM

Wow!, that is an impressive release list. Too bad some of those game don't have overlays. :)

#23 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

Pixelboy

    Quadrunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 6,031 posts
  • Location:Montreal, Canada

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 3:54 PM

Wow!, that is an impressive release list. Too bad some of those game don't have overlays. :)


That's an interesting observation. I believe Ghostbusters may need an overlay, as it will likely make use of the keypad. :)

#24 sega_SHARK OFFLINE  

sega_SHARK

    Moonsweeper

  • 446 posts
  • Location:YES!M!CH!GAN

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 7:03 PM

ask for keypad price quote.

shameless. :P

#25 Yurkie OFFLINE  

Yurkie

    Q*bert Champion

  • 3,483 posts
  • Offering mods for ColecoVision and NESRGB
  • Location:Toledo, Ohio

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 9:23 PM

Mecha-8 and Battle of Hoth both look fantastic!





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Team Pixelboy, news bulletin

0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users