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Opcode Games News - Q2 2015


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#26 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 17, 2015 12:32 AM

Two words.
After DKA
Pengo with the "Popcorn" music and also the sickening sweet regular music (that can be turned off).
I remember playing arcade versions where one had Popcorn and another one had the other tune.
Guess it could have been like the Donkey Kong that played on Scramble hardware with odd colors...

#27 scalpel OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 17, 2015 2:26 PM

UPDATE:

It had been a while since I last checked my wait lists for the SGM and DKA. Well, for my surprise there are now 1000 people in that list. That is right, 1000 names. So here is what we are going to do:

- After the 2nd run, we will produce a 3rd run shortly. Our goal is to ship about 500 modules by the end of 2015. That is the number of printed box and manuals we have in stock.

- After that, as long as we can get 200 more orders, there would be a 4th run in 2016.

 

Grazy has become officially the producer for all Opcode Games projects. So now you know who is to be blamed in case something doesn't get released on the promised time frame... :P

 

Please, don't forget this : "After the regular 2nd run is out, I will take care of the French SCART edition."  :P



#28 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 18, 2015 1:56 AM

 

Please, don't forget this : "After the regular 2nd run is out, I will take care of the French SCART edition."  :P

 

He did not take care of French SCART edition for the 1st run orders. ...1st run Customers are still waiting...    so i think it will take care of that may be after the 15th run... if we are lucky.



#29 atarilovesyou OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 18, 2015 1:56 PM

The optimism is palpable.

 

The reality?  Well, at least everybody knows (or reasonably SHOULD know) what they're getting themselves into.  At least the probability of a 3rd run is honest (if it ever happens).

 

The word 'create' means to make something new, and so far, I haven't seen one game that was 'created' for the SGM.  Some ports, yes.  Created?  No.  The SGM is a porting device, and will be until someone releases something of substance.  I can play ported games on any device, so I don't need to do so on my CV.

 

What would be very interesting if some homebrewers actually create some new games that takes advantage of the SGM capabilities. We all know the challenges, though. 

 

As far as Donkey Kong, Pac Man and other established franchise games, I'm not sure how Ed plans on working around such legal issues.  But it's not like he's on the radar and I seriously doubt Namco would bother with such relatively small potatoes.

 

In any case, I'll visit next year to see if the Great Pumpkin has arrived.  Good luck to you all. 



#30 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 18, 2015 2:14 PM

The optimism is palpable.
 
The reality?  Well, at least everybody knows (or reasonably SHOULD know) what they're getting themselves into.  At least the probability of a 3rd run is honest (if it ever happens).
 
The word 'create' means to make something new, and so far, I haven't seen one game that was 'created' for the SGM.  Some ports, yes.  Created?  No.  The SGM is a porting device, and will be until someone releases something of substance.  I can play ported games on any device, so I don't need to do so on my CV.
 
What would be very interesting if some homebrewers actually create some new games that takes advantage of the SGM capabilities. We all know the challenges, though. 
 
As far as Donkey Kong, Pac Man and other established franchise games, I'm not sure how Ed plans on working around such legal issues.  But it's not like he's on the radar and I seriously doubt Namco would bother with such relatively small potatoes.
 
In any case, I'll visit next year to see if the Great Pumpkin has arrived.  Good luck to you all.


I'm not sure if Mecha-8 would qualify as a "port", since the ColecoVision version was vastly improved over the MSX version, but Mecha-9 is being coded for the ColecoVision only, and there's also one of the upcoming mystery games (called Mystery Game #1 for now until its real name is revealed later this year) which will fully use the SGM and is indeed an absolutely brand new game, designed and programmed from scratch, not a port from any other platform.

#31 TPR OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 18, 2015 2:36 PM

I don't know if I'm in the minority or not, but I don't play any of the ports on any other system or emulator nor do I have any interest in them on any other platform. I was interested in the SGM initially when I saw Goonies was ported to it, and neither that game, or any of the other ports have disappointed me at all. To me, they are all "new games" and I'm 100% thrilled to have all these new games on my 30+ year old machine that I assumed was dead 27 years ago.

It sucks that there has been the delay on this, sure, and although the games currently are ports they are good games!, And if you really wanted an SGM, I have seen at least 6 comes available since I got back into collecting, and now that it seems like the development of games and 2nd run is back on track, I'm certainly looking forward to what the future of the SGM holds, regardless if the games are ports or originals.

#32 evg2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 18, 2015 3:57 PM

Not sure, but aren't most of the original colecovision games port from other systems, arcade machines?  So in reality the CV was designed to play ported games.



#33 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 18, 2015 4:13 PM

Not sure, but aren't most of the original colecovision games port from other systems, arcade machines?  So in reality the CV was designed to play ported games.


There's a difference between a port and a conversion coded from scratch...

#34 evg2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 18, 2015 4:30 PM

is pacman collection considered a port or a conversion?

"In case someone still doesn’t know, Pac-Man Collection is a collection of Pac-Man arcade games for the ColecoVision, all inside a single 128KB cartridge. Included are Pac-Man and Ms Pac-Man. The CV versions run as close to the original games as possible for a port without going 100% emulation."

Are you saying:

port - contains some code from an existing game

conversion - all original code, none copied form an existing game?



#35 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 18, 2015 6:23 PM

Are you saying:
port - contains some code from an existing game
conversion - all original code, none copied form an existing game?


Yep, that's right. For example, the ColecoVision version of Venture was evidently coded from scratch, using the arcade game as a blueprint, so it's a conversion. Pac-Man Collection is a port, because it contains some of the original code, tweaked to work on the ColecoVision.

#36 atarilovesyou OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 18, 2015 9:53 PM

is pacman collection considered a port or a conversion?

"In case someone still doesn’t know, Pac-Man Collection is a collection of Pac-Man arcade games for the ColecoVision, all inside a single 128KB cartridge. Included are Pac-Man and Ms Pac-Man. The CV versions run as close to the original games as possible for a port without going 100% emulation."

Are you saying:

port - contains some code from an existing game

conversion - all original code, none copied form an existing game?

 

This is what I'm getting at, but lots of people don't mind to play ports on their CV using the SGM.  I'm just saying that if there were enough skilled homebrewers with access to the SGM, it could really be great.  The arcade conversions made by Coleco back in the day were as good as the programmers could have made them, given the limitations.  But for the most part, and I haven't seen anything over the years to point to the contrary, the SGM has been used to play games ported over from previously programmed MSX games.  Myself, I'd just get an MSX and play those games. 

 

There is a certain satisfaction you'd get from playing a complete version of Donkey Kong on the CV, though.  Someday, perhaps.  But then, I'd be happy with a version that is basically the CV version, just with the added animation screens, original arcade screen order and the missing level.  Getting an arcade-exact duplicate to play on the SGM would be nice as well, but will it play better than my NES version?  Or my MAME version?  At that point, you've gotta ask yourself: why am I playing this on the CV in the first place?  Which is why I'm more into the unique version the CV already has, with some additions.  The arcade version is available to everyone who wants it, with MAME.  The SGM without games is the same as having a CV homebrew scene without programmers...kinda pointless, IMO. 

 

Unless you really value playing these ports on your CV, using the stock controllers and such...but you know, I see the appeal in that as well.  It's why I use flash carts and original systems instead of full-on computer emulation.  But since these ports were never meant to be played using the CV interface...anyways, as long as people are enjoying themselves, that's what counts.



#37 TPR OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 18, 2015 11:28 PM

 

At that point, you've gotta ask yourself: why am I playing this on the CV in the first place? 

I can answer that. 

 

I'm playing them on the Colecovision because the CV was my main system I had as a kid growing up.  And getting a "new game" for the CV in 2015 (even if it's an MSX port) to me is just as exciting as it was when I got a new game for the system in 1983.  I would have *LOVED* in 1983 to have a version of Circus Charlie, Space Invaders, Galaga, Twin Bee, Goonies, Side Trak, Pooyan, Lock N Chase, etc, and if it was a port from some other system then, I'd have no idea as I didn't own that other system, just like I don't own that other system now.

 

And sure, I can play an arcade perfect version of all those games on the very laptop I'm typing on now, but that's not the experience I'm looking for.  I want to take the cartridge out of the package, hear that signature plastic-on-metal sound it makes putting it into the cartridge port, flip that clunky on/off switch, grab the "really not that great, but for whatever reason I *LOVE* it controller" and go "OMG, I'm actually playing Circus Charlie on my Colecovision!"

 

That is why I'm playing it on the Colecovision in the first place.  I have to assume most other people in this forum share that same sentiment?



#38 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 19, 2015 1:02 AM

As Homebrewer,  i prefer code directly on a MSX than for the SGM. 

 

What i love in old console as programmer is the limitation.  And the challenge to accomplish something with that limitations. So i don't care about modern extension to make a console that it was not at the origin.

 

In addition for me , the portage of a game (like msx to coleco , SG1000 to Coleco, Spectrum to coleco  , i don't speak about arcade to coleco that can require lot of more work)  , is simply code stealing .  Mainly if you make profit with that....  If you port and distribute for free i don't have problem with that.  As programmer i understand that the portage can be also a technical achievement and giving self satisfaction for the programmer. We can have fun doing that.   But then portage once you have experience with it can be done almost automatically. You can write a tool that make 90% of work for you.  And i'm pretty sure that Opcode did that its portages MSX to coleco.     In addition now he make its SGM and its new cartridge format i'm pretty sure that 99% of the work can be done with a conversion tool.

 

and just as comparison, if you look the homebrew scene on MSX that is very active also.   Did you know that CIB homebrew game are sold between 20 and 40 USD ?

 

Honestly i think 50-60 usd for a CV homebrew game is a fair price. I don't have issue with that.    But   for a MSX port  it is not a  fair price. If sold should be sold between 20 and 30usd maximum.


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#39 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 19, 2015 5:18 AM

Honestly i think 50-60 usd for a CV homebrew game is a fair price. I don't have issue with that.    But   for a MSX port  it is not a  fair price. If sold should be sold between 20 and 30usd maximum.


:rolling:

Buddy, at that price, it's impossible to publish a CIB ColecoVision game like the ones I make, even if the homebrew programmer does the software for free!

EDIT: Well, actually, to be fair, 25-30 bucks could be possible if the programmer did it for free. :)

#40 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 19, 2015 8:44 AM

EDIT: Well, actually, to be fair, 25-30 bucks could be possible if the programmer did it for free. :)

 

Exactly what i mean.   Normally it is forbidden to resell something stolen.   The Programmer has stolen the code so you should not sell it.

 

Just sell the box , the PCB , and the manual and don't bill for the binary.  :)



#41 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 19, 2015 8:48 AM

Exactly what i mean.   Normally it is forbidden to resell something stolen.   The Programmer has stolen the code so you should not sell it.
 
Just sell the box , the PCB , and the manual and don't bill for the binary.  :)


:roll:

At the amount I'm paying these guys for the work they do, they're practically doing it for free.

#42 CrazyBoss OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 20, 2015 1:46 AM

As Homebrewer,  i prefer code directly on a MSX than for the SGM. 

 

What i love in old console as programmer is the limitation.  And the challenge to accomplish something with that limitations. So i don't care about modern extension to make a console that it was not at the origin.

 

In addition for me , the portage of a game (like msx to coleco , SG1000 to Coleco, Spectrum to coleco  , i don't speak about arcade to coleco that can require lot of more work)  , is simply code stealing .  Mainly if you make profit with that....  If you port and distribute for free i don't have problem with that.  As programmer i understand that the portage can be also a technical achievement and giving self satisfaction for the programmer. We can have fun doing that.   But then portage once you have experience with it can be done almost automatically. You can write a tool that make 90% of work for you.  And i'm pretty sure that Opcode did that its portages MSX to coleco.     In addition now he make its SGM and its new cartridge format i'm pretty sure that 99% of the work can be done with a conversion tool.

 

and just as comparison, if you look the homebrew scene on MSX that is very active also.   Did you know that CIB homebrew game are sold between 20 and 40 USD ?

 

Honestly i think 50-60 usd for a CV homebrew game is a fair price. I don't have issue with that.    But   for a MSX port  it is not a  fair price. If sold should be sold between 20 and 30usd maximum.

 

I am qualified to be one of those bad guys then, with in the past few years converted 5 games published by Collectorvision, and 2 upcomming will be published by Team Pixelboy, and still have two extra ready games ready, but no publisher yet :)

 

You might say the main gamecode is the same, but as a programmer we could say what you pay for, is our code, for joypad emulation, interrupt handling and sound emulation :)

 

I have to ask did you ever try to take a binary file from MSX or SG-1000 and convert it to Colecovision ? - We would all love to see the magic tool you are talking about ;)

 

Its quite hard work, most of my converted games, I use more time to make a useable sourcecode from the original binary file, than to actually make it run on the ColecoVision.

 

You have indexed jumps, tables in tables, what is addresses, what is code, graphics, sounddata etc.

 

A game I currently work on, used more 2 months, to make a useable sourcecode, the first buggy running alpha version of the colecovision rom took maybe days. And now the game is almost finished, I guess i used 3-5 weeks.

 

But I would like to test your magic tool, which can do more than 99% of the work :)



#43 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 20, 2015 2:53 AM

 

I am qualified to be one of those bad guys then, with in the past few years converted 5 games published by Collectorvision, and 2 upcomming will be published by Team Pixelboy, and still have two extra ready games ready, but no publisher yet :)

 

You might say the main gamecode is the same, but as a programmer we could say what you pay for, is our code, for joypad emulation, interrupt handling and sound emulation :)

 

I have to ask did you ever try to take a binary file from MSX or SG-1000 and convert it to Colecovision ? - We would all love to see the magic tool you are talking about ;)

 

Its quite hard work, most of my converted games, I use more time to make a useable sourcecode from the original binary file, than to actually make it run on the ColecoVision.

 

You have indexed jumps, tables in tables, what is addresses, what is code, graphics, sounddata etc.

 

A game I currently work on, used more 2 months, to make a useable sourcecode, the first buggy running alpha version of the colecovision rom took maybe days. And now the game is almost finished, I guess i used 3-5 weeks.

 

But I would like to test your magic tool, which can do more than 99% of the work :)

 

I did this kind of tool  , quick and dirty recently for one project i work on.  I wanted to reverse enginering a  ZX spectrum game  in the goal to analyze it.

As i really don't have time to dig in the code to find "manually" what is code, data,   what are screen routine,  controle routine etc...

 

Here , how i procedeed.

 

I took a dis-assembler and generated a dis-assembled file. (this file was directly re-assemblable).

 

then i search for an open source Zx spectrum Emulator.  I modified the emulator to log  smartly all access to code,  ram, rom , and bios routine.    I loaded the game in the emulator and  play it a while.(it was very slow due to my logging !!! ) 

 

As result i had a file with all ram access,  rom access , code , Data  and bios access identified.

 

then i created a little tool with delphi that taken the dis-assembled file as input and the file generated by the emulator.  From that as output it generated a new dis-assembled file that was commented with all important part identified.   Even Main game loop ,  Screen refresh routine ,  sprites,  Control access ,  tile screen  and various other usefull thing was here in clear.

 

this little quick and dirty tool , did  90% of the reverse engineering job i needed.

 

Of course it is not yet enough to port the game and it was not my goal here.

 

But then you can extend that kind of tool , by changing port access,  offsetting memory access , replacing identified routine by other routines from your library ,  replacing bios call by your bios "simulation" library ..etc...

 

Making this kind of tool is a hard work , that's clear. But once you have it  you port games in a blink (hum.ok....let say infinitly faster than before).   And mainly if you target is the SGM....

 

So doing that tool to port one game is not interresting, but if your goal is to port dozen of MSX titles... believe it worth to do it. And i m sure Opcode did it... if not it would mean he is not as smart i would think. ;)


Edited by youki, Wed May 20, 2015 3:20 AM.


#44 CrazyBoss OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 20, 2015 3:56 AM

My MSX Conversions was not done this way ;) - Not sure how Opcode work, but I hope he have some tools like you said, cause porting MSX megaroms will be a real pain. E.G Penguin Adventure using bankswitching etc. :)

#45 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 20, 2015 5:14 AM

My MSX Conversions was not done this way ;) - Not sure how Opcode work, but I hope he have some tools like you said, cause porting MSX megaroms will be a real pain. E.G Penguin Adventure using bankswitching etc. :)

 

Opcode created a new Cartridge format (called "Super Game Cartridge") that replicate memory scheme done on MSX carts. To make its future portage even more easy.

 

With little overstatements   :)  :

 

I would say  to port , in your case  :

 

You are modifing the code to be adapted to the coleco hardware.

 

as opposite ,  Opcode  is modifing the coleco hardware to be adapted to the original code.

 

;-)


Edited by youki, Wed May 20, 2015 5:28 AM.


#46 nanochess OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 20, 2015 9:36 AM

I hope porting was so easy, Opcode would have ported a long time ago the full Konami MSX 1 catalog :)

 

Seeing this from outside, I'm pretty sure people that has a MSX doesn't see the need for a Colecovision port, but most Colecovision fans doesn't have an MSX and getting one in USA is difficult, so obviously there is an interest and so ports are being done.



#47 alekmaul OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 20, 2015 12:22 PM

Perhaps, the main problem is to try to answer something about this : "porting is not coding" ?

What do you think about that ?



#48 artrag ONLINE  

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Posted Wed May 20, 2015 2:18 PM

Porting is boring, repetitive, annoying coding.



#49 CrazyBoss OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 21, 2015 12:30 AM

hmmm I think its up to the programmer, if he think its boring :)

 

I dont find porting boring, other people might find it boring :) - and for people who never did a port, dont think its easy.

 

If porting is programming.... Hmmm, I will say you have to have some skills to do porting, so programming skills are needed. Within the last 3 years, I have completed more than 10 ports for ColecoVision and Memotech MTX. And ofcause its more and more easy to do them, the first port took years, I remember porting Spectron from ColecoVision to Memotech in a weekend!



#50 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 21, 2015 1:23 AM

I don't think porting is boring. It is also an interesting challenge. It requires technical skill and very good knowledge of both machine (source and destination).  You learn a lot on hardware machine by doing port. It is technically very interesting.   Fist port are difficult and more you do it becomes easy an easy And if you take time to create a tool as i described previously , a tool that you can enhance at each of your portage... at the end a port that would have take a full 2 weeks (i mean 8h/day!) when you started  could be done in a couple of hours.

 

But for me porting is just a purely technical task , there is almost nothing creative or artistic in that task. It is why it is not my cup of tea.   The coding skill that require a port is totally different than making a game from zero.  For instance you can be unable to produce a working algorithm but able to port a game.  The opposite is true also! :)

 

I hate repetitive task and i always tend to my tool to do the job at my place :) .  And portage , code conversion   are perfect candidate for automatized tool .  So if one day for some reason i really decide to do a port for colecovision  starting from the first attempt i will create in parallal a tool to do most of the job  that will be improved by next ports if there are.

 

My problem with porting in general  is really more  "make profit with a port".   As coder, if somebody take my code or my binary without my permission to produce something and make money with , i really won't like that....

 

In addition to the fact that there is no interrest for me to have the exact same game on coleco that i have already on MSX.   But i understand that US people don't have easy access to MSX so it is interresting for them, i agree.

 

Do you think opcode will like , if one day he release DK Arcade on colecovision  and that somebody port it (before him and without his agreement) to MSX  and sell it  ?






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