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OMNI super 8-bit opcode

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#26 panzeroceania OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:38 PM

@opcode

 

I understand you have to do what is best for your product, just sad I didn't see that you had cancelled, and none of the prge material or website indicated this. I had looked through the message board here, your website, Twitter, and facebook and didn't see any notice of you cancelling your booth. It would have still been a great opportunity to meet you in person and talk about your plans, I'm sure it would have been a great opportunity to get the word out to more enthusiasts, YouTubers, and influencers, as well as support the atariage booth and get facetime with them. I hope you will be able to attend prge next year as we would love to see you then. In the future I'll try to contact you before I buy tickets to confirm

 

It would have been fun to see the work in progress game footage, art, case designs, etc


Edited by panzeroceania, Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:47 PM.


#27 TPR OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:29 PM

Would have been nice if you chose a name that hadn't already been used:
https://en.m.wikiped...tainment_System

 

Literally six people will even remember or care.



#28 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:29 AM

@opcode
 
I understand you have to do what is best for your product, just sad I didn't see that you had cancelled, and none of the prge material or website indicated this. I had looked through the message board here, your website, Twitter, and facebook and didn't see any notice of you cancelling your booth. It would have still been a great opportunity to meet you in person and talk about your plans, I'm sure it would have been a great opportunity to get the word out to more enthusiasts, YouTubers, and influencers, as well as support the atariage booth and get facetime with them. I hope you will be able to attend prge next year as we would love to see you then. In the future I'll try to contact you before I buy tickets to confirm
 
It would have been fun to see the work in progress game footage, art, case designs, etc


Again, I apologize for not having advertised better that I was no longer attending.

Those days we must be really careful on how we present things. Trademark holders have now their collective eyes on the retro gaming market and the way they have been presenting their plans so far has been less than ideal in my opinion. From questionable crowdfunding campaigns to talky powerpoint presentations with little palpable substance, I must be careful not to join them in the same boat, since I am a smaller player with fewer resources. So I really didn’t want to present something that is still not ready and raise unfavorable questions or comparisons. Not to mention, if I was a true business company, why would I reveal my whole business plan two years in advance of getting any actual product out? I must keep my cards close to my chest for as long as I can.

The second thing, not mentioned above, is that as the project grows, the costs involved are raising as well, and I must be really careful on how I spend my resources. Expos, while a lot of fun, are certainly an expensive proposition. Today we have more effective ways to advertise and share.


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#29 Ikrananka OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:40 AM

 

Literally six people will even remember or care.

 

I'm not even sure six will remember.  There wasn't even a Wikipedia page for the MB Omni until Techmoan managed to get hold of a unit and produce his video.

 

I'm really hoping that Opcode can outdo Milton Bradley and finally do the Omni name justice  :-D



#30 Hwlngmad OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:59 PM

I can dig it, especially if they are O2 inspired and/or direct successors.

One idea I had, but it is just an idea for now, is to include a potpourri sort of game with OMNI. The Odyssey2 pack-in game had 3 games. In Brazil, the Intellivision came packed in with Triple Action (which in my opinion was a better showcase than poker & blackjack). And of course the VCS had Combat, which could count as sort of 3 games too. How about that?   



#31 Hwlngmad OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:15 PM

Opcode, I am definitely interested in this new system, especially since Ed Averett is on board as Project Omni seems to be a (psuedo) spiritual successor to the Odyssey 2 in some way.  While I am also intrigued by what Intellivision is doing with their upcoming console, I am very much following the developments of this new system and wish you the best of luck going forward.  I was too young to experience the 2600, INTV, and O2.  However, I did experience the NES and SMS first-hand and look forward to seeing what you ultimately come up with as I may just have to plunk down some cold hard cash to get this system and its games.  Take care and I will keep my eyes peeled for any new news on this project/system.

This is technically the ColecoVision forum, but since this is where the Opcode sub forum is, I will post it here regardless.

 

OMNI is our new 8-bit console under development. We have a clear mission, to celebrate the Atari era of gaming. So why a new console then? Well, because I believe the Atari era was one of the most, if not the most, fun period in video gaming history, and many of games produced during that time are true classics. However the technological limitations of the era, while charming to many of us, isn't as appealing to later generations, and truth is, Atari era gaming hasn't been enjoying the the same following and status as the subsequent eras, like the NES era. Perhaps part of the reason is because none of the old companies survived (at least not in any share that remotely resembles their former selves), unlike Nintendo and Sega that are still around, riding on the retro gaming fever. But perhaps another reason is because younger people think that you can't possibly have any fun games with such primitive graphics. So our goal is to produce something that could be enjoyed by not just old timers like us but NES and SNES fans alike. 

 

We started assembling a team of notables: Ted Mayer, the designer responsible for the Intellivision II and III looks, is designing OMNI console, controller and cartridge. Ed Averett has licensed us many of his original Odyssey2 games (and is supervising our work).  Ilija Melentijevic, a well known pixel artist, is taking care of our graphic assets. And we have the very talented team in Brazil taking care of the hardware. 

 

So what is the current status of the hardware and games. 

 

Hardware:

 

After the great response we got during RWX, it became clear we were on something big. So we rediscussed our original plans to use off-the-shelf components produced during the 80s. While they certainly make the console look and sound truly 80ish, they would be a big problem down the road in case the available stock gets depleted. So we came to the hard decision of replacing those old chips with custom ASIC parts we are now creating. Those new ASIC will offer custom tailored graphic and sound, can be produced at hundreds of thousands if necessary, and offer digital audio and video right out the chip. We have hired an expert guy with years of experience in designing custom ASICs and he is now creating OMNI's video/audio chip based on our specs.

Ted is now hard in the work designing our custom controller. We will hopefully have something to show about that soon.

 

Software:

 

I am personally working on a couple of OMNI games, with help from Thomas and Ilija. Ilija is doing an outstanding job with graphics as expected, and we hope to show something soon. We plan to offer 6 games when OMNI is finally released.

 

More details about specs and games will be discussed as the project progress.



#32 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:38 AM

If I may ask how are you gonna make the economy-of-scale work?

Going the Asic route is great if you plan on ordering 10Ks-100Ks at least .... and that's quite the number for these kid of projects.

I have no idea when the break-even is with Asics vs having a round based off of FPGA instead (more expensive by the unit but don't have to commit to that many either).

 

Pure curiosity really, as it is quite an undertaking you are committing to. 



#33 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:58 AM

If I may ask how are you gonna make the economy-of-scale work?

Going the Asic route is great if you plan on ordering 10Ks-100Ks at least .... and that's quite the number for these kid of projects.

I have no idea when the break-even is with Asics vs having a round based off of FPGA instead (more expensive by the unit but don't have to commit to that many either).

 

Pure curiosity really, as it is quite an undertaking you are committing to. 

 

 

The guy in charge of the chip design has some connections. A couple of thousand isn't bad, especially considering how much you can save. 



#34 Great Hierophant OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:00 PM

 

I'm not even sure six will remember.  There wasn't even a Wikipedia page for the MB Omni until Techmoan managed to get hold of a unit and produce his video.

 

I'm really hoping that Opcode can outdo Milton Bradley and finally do the Omni name justice  :-D

 

That was a particularly good Techmoan episode.  To hear Vincent Price's distinctive voice ask movie trivia questions off an 8-Track Cartridge was worth the price of admission (watching the video.)


Edited by Great Hierophant, Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:02 PM.


#35 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:37 PM

I wish I could share a lot more, I just received controller concepts from Ted today. Pixel art concept is coming from Ilija on almost a daily basis. But in this day and age, keeping things close to your chest until the last moment is wise. In the meantime, the old OMNI concept reveal, in case some here hasn't seem it yet.

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#36 killersquirel OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:34 PM

Thanks for the kind words. Hope to make you happy soon. :)
What kind of arcade games would you be interested in? Early 80s, late 80s? Scramble or R-Type?


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I would love to see more early and mid 80s arcade conversions. There are a lot of Atari games that never had a home port that should have such as I, Robot, Major Havoc, Peter Pack Rat, Quantum, Qwak, Cloud 9, and Fast Freddie, etc. 

I would love to see quirky arcade games from this period such as Guzzler, Mr Do's Wild Ride, Do Run Run, Jumping Jack, Snap Jack, Changes, Faster Harder More Challenging Q*Bert, Krull, Kick Man, Domino Man, Timber, Two Tigers, Sarge, etc.

The Ed Averett news is awesome and I'm looking forward to what he will be supervising. I would also love to see a trivial pursuit style game such as Exidy's Fax or something similar that could bring an arcade twist to the genre with a top five or ten high score board. 

Between Scramble and R-Type I would go with Scramble, but honestly I would rather Darius.

​Another cool idea would be something like the Mario Party style games where there will be a board game and then mini games included to increase your chance of winning overall among your friends. Perhaps there could be an Ed Averett board game with characters and mini games from his games that are battling it out to win the board game?

Either way I'm excited for this and the possibilities. 



#37 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:00 PM

Thanks for the comments, killersquirel. All noted. 

 

I said no reveals, but maybe just a little tease...

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#38 VintageGamer74 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:03 PM

@opcode I'm fairly new to the forums so I had a question for you. In terms of performance of the OMNI...does it fall in line with an 8 bit system like a PC Engine or is it more of a 16 bit system along the lines a Super NES/Genesis? Maybe it doesn't matter? I am intrigued with/your project. Cheers!

#39 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:42 PM

@opcode I'm fairly new to the forums so I had a question for you. In terms of performance of the OMNI...does it fall in line with an 8 bit system like a PC Engine or is it more of a 16 bit system along the lines a Super NES/Genesis? Maybe it doesn't matter? I am intrigued with/your project. Cheers!

 

 

I would say more like a 16bit in a number of things, but the CPU is still 8bit.



#40 VintageGamer74 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:53 PM

Okay. Thanks for the info. I'm sold! 👍

#41 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:37 PM

 

 

The guy in charge of the chip design has some connections. A couple of thousand isn't bad, especially considering how much you can save. 

Wow, didn't know you can get that low (in the <5K) ... nice, the power of connections.

You'll still prototype all of it on FPGA before submitting any design so maybe on the way if the numbers do not add up you have the chance to change your mind.

 

I think you stated the project may land in 2020 .... will there be any KS/IGG or will you just find a commercial partner to build it with no crowdfunding involved?

How about the other, less radical project, a simple but modern CV compat machine ... is that dead and buried?



#42 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:29 AM

Wow, didn't know you can get that low (in the <5K) ... nice, the power of connections.
You'll still prototype all of it on FPGA before submitting any design so maybe on the way if the numbers do not add up you have the chance to change your mind.
 
I think you stated the project may land in 2020 .... will there be any KS/IGG or will you just find a commercial partner to build it with no crowdfunding involved?
How about the other, less radical project, a simple but modern CV compat machine ... is that dead and buried?


Yes, they are being developed in FPGA. I would rather have have them as ASICs in the end and will do everything in my power to have them as ASICs.

As for financing, the plan is to have most of the tooling already funded and paid for by the time we are ready for manufacturing. That is necessary in order to keep the final price down, in the $150 range. If we can accomplish that, then having a preorder just like the sgm should work.

As for ColecoVision compatible, quite frankly, do you see how many Cv compatible consoles are in the works? And how the first one isn’t exactly selling like hot cakes? While we still have a couple of hardware projects in the works for the CV, creating a console at this point, with all the investment it requires, may sound a little risky. That is something we haven’t made a final decision yet, for now we just agreed on delaying it until late next year, but to be honest, it looks more unlikely each day. I missed the proper window of opportunity, and that was years ago.


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#43 imstarryeyed OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:11 AM

I am personally glad to hear the Omni will not work with any Colecovision carts.  I think a freshly designed console, designed for retro gamers with game makers in mind is the way to go.  Supporting old systems is just compromises you have to make that hinder where this hobby could actually go as far as gaming.

 

I think Opcode was wise in licensing out the SGM as now the market does not have to compete for such a small audience.  I would say if you like Colecovision, go with the current kickstarter or one of the other solutions.  If you want next gen retro games that most likely will feel like an evolution of the next step in retro, I would say Omni might be the way to go.

 

I think Opcode might be in competition with the recently announced new Intelivision system, as it seems both are trying to go for the next evolution in retro gaming enthusiasts,

Of course this is just my opinion and I respect anyone who has a different one.



#44 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:40 AM

I am personally glad to hear the Omni will not work with any Colecovision carts.  I think a freshly designed console, designed for retro gamers with game makers in mind is the way to go.  Supporting old systems is just compromises you have to make that hinder where this hobby could actually go as far as gaming.
 
I think Opcode was wise in licensing out the SGM as now the market does not have to compete for such a small audience.  I would say if you like Colecovision, go with the current kickstarter or one of the other solutions.  If you want next gen retro games that most likely will feel like an evolution of the next step in retro, I would say Omni might be the way to go.
 
I think Opcode might be in competition with the recently announced new Intelivision system, as it seems both are trying to go for the next evolution in retro gaming enthusiasts,
Of course this is just my opinion and I respect anyone who has a different one.


While we share some similarities with Amico, mostly the software side, we are also different in many important ways. They are going after mainstream (I mean, I am assuming that by the number of people involved and apparent investment), we are here for the hardcore enthusiast, the regular AtariAge visitor. They are going for modern design with their hundreds of millions of sprites, while we are for authenticity of what was possible circa late 80s, early 90s. And they are digital, while we are old school cartridge based. None of those are commercial decisions, they just reflects what we, as gaming fans of the Atari era, would like to see in a new machine. I will be happy if we sell a few hundred machines. Heck, I will be heaven if we sell a thousand machines. So low expectations, small disappointments.


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#45 dj_convoy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:40 AM

Frankly, I figure this is going to hardcore enthusiasts of a type who would appreciate an alternate take on how hardware developed in the 80s (so definitely geeks like us, hobbyists, etc.). Probably a pretty niche item, but I suspect there will be some interest. I've no idea who the Intellivision thing is going to appeal to. They seem to think that the market somehow lacks family friendly, inexpensive indie-type games, and I'm reasonably certain that's not the case. No one is going to drop their PS4s or Swtiches to say "Finally! This is what my family wanted!" in regards to buying a new-fangled Intellivision. 



#46 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:45 AM

And there is something else, something that could improve our visibility considerably. It isn’t a 100% sure thing yet, so I won’t comment for now, but if everything goes well, that is something we can talk about in a few months.


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#47 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:46 AM

Frankly, I figure this is going to hardcore enthusiasts of a type who would appreciate an alternate take on how hardware developed in the 80s (so definitely geeks like us, hobbyists, etc.). Probably a pretty niche item, but I suspect there will be some interest. I've no idea who the Intellivision thing is going to appeal to. They seem to think that the market somehow lacks family friendly, inexpensive indie-type games, and I'm reasonably certain that's not the case. No one is going to drop their PS4s or Swtiches to say "Finally! This is what my family wanted!" in regards to buying a new-fangled Intellivision. 


See, I more less just said that. So yeah, I am not alone.


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#48 insertclevernamehere OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:16 PM

So relieved to see that this isn't reliant on a Kickstarter campaign like the Phoenix. Assuming the games are good, count me in for a day one pre order whenever that will be.

#49 Master Phruby ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:26 AM

The Omni will be it's own system... no compatibility with other game systems.

IIRC the Prometheus is Opcode's vision of a ColecoVision compatible game system and last I read, wouldn't be considered for release until 2020 at the earliest so as not to compete with the Phoenix and vice versa.

The development of the Omni will be interesting to watch but sadly, not for me

Good Luck Opcode, in all your endeavors.

Wouldn't releasing Prometheus after Phoenix destroy any market for another colecovision clone? If I have the Phoenix, why do I want Prometheus? 



#50 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:22 AM

Wouldn't releasing Prometheus after Phoenix destroy any market for another colecovision clone? If I have the Phoenix, why do I want Prometheus? 


Prometheus had a number of hardware features Phoenix doesn’t have. But It makes more and more sense to focus on OMNI going forward.

Here is the thing, homebrewing is getting more expensive because people wait more these days. Back in 2002, when I released my first game, packaging was very rare. Offset printing was almost unthinkable. Custom cartridge shell was unthinkable. I did all those things in 2002 and now people expect them.
So I thought about what would be next for me, and I came up with the sgm. It was an expensive project, but I did it, I created a platform inside a platform.
The final personal challenge was to create a full console. However that is an frightening expensive endeavor because people expect things, they expect profissional looking products now. The days of recycled cartridges and ink jet printing are over, unless you really don’t care.

Now for a console as I said we are talking about an insane amount of money and time. And investing that on a single niche group may not be enough to cover aforementioned investment. It doesn’t help either that by using an existing platform you don’t have many rights on anything, and it is even worse when the trademark owner is sort of as*****.

OMNI was a very hard decision for me, because by doing something totally new you have nothing to lean on. It may be risky, but I am taking the challenge very seriously. It could all fail in the end, but it could also work. And I am starting to see some signals it might work. Video games are my greatest passion, I have a day job and that puts food on table, but that isn’t something I love doing. So I can dream OMNI will work and maybe, just maybe, it will be successful enough for me to work on it full time. Something I have learned, never say never.




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