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Team Pixelboy News Bulletin - January 1st 2019

team pixelboy news bulletin

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#1 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:24 PM

Hello ColecoVision fans. :)

First and foremost, I'd like to wish you all a very Happy New Year, to you and your families and friends.

As you saw one week ago, I made some interesting updates to teampixelboy.com, in particular a few new titles (namely 1942, Bomber King, Ghost and Prisoner of War). All the games now listed in the "ongoing projects" section of my web site constitute my final projects as ColecoVision publisher. And I mean it this time: In the past few months, I turned down several potential projects from programmers who I consider good friends. All good things must come to an end and I want to wrap up all these remaining projects in 2019 so that I may finally retire.

For the short term, my plan is to release Uridium, QBIQS, The Cure, Multiverse, Booming Boy and Arcomage next spring. After that, things get a little murky. I want to finish beta-testing Space Shuttle, and I really don't know how long that's going to take. The longer it takes, the higher the odds that a couple of the final titles will get pushed back to early 2020. But anyhow, the plan (for now) is to get everything done and released by next Christmas.

You may also remember the eight SG-1000 ports that were announced back in 2017. I've done my part with those projects, and the ball is now squarely in Albert's court to get the boxes, manuals and cartridges manufactured, so that these games may be released via the AtariAge Store. Here's hoping there will be more progress with these games this year. It's out of my hands at this point.

As for the ColecoVision trading cards project, I'm going to work on that as free time permits (probably during my lunch breaks at the office) and perhaps I'll be able to release at least one series of trading cards before the year's over. No promises though, other projects on my to-do list have higher priority.

And that's about it. No long-winded explanations like I usually do for the first news bulletin of the year, I just want to wrap things up and walk away saying "mission accomplished". :)

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

Happy News Year! :D

#2 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:26 PM

By the way, I have one copy of TwinBee, one copy of Ghostbusters, and one copy of Mecha-9 which are available for immediate purchase and shipping, if anyone's interested. :)

#3 atarilovesyou OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:30 PM

I salute you for all of your hard work over the years. May 2019 be a great year for you!

#4 TPR OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:37 PM

Thanks for the update!  Looking forward to all the new games!  Happy New Year!



#5 eebuckeye OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2019 1:03 AM

Great update! I understand for sure but will certainly miss if you do not publish further into the future..  Great quality and great games!



#6 Kiwi OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2019 2:49 AM

Bomber King is now on my wishlist I may have to get The Cure, and other cool games once preorder phase starts.  Happy New Year. 



#7 H.E.R.O. OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2019 5:34 AM

Murky schmurky. Only clear blue skies & shining sun for Team Pixelboy in 2019. 



#8 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2019 6:00 AM

Happy New Year!



#9 adamcon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2019 7:22 AM

Hello ColecoVision fans. :)

First and foremost, I'd like to wish you all a very Happy New Year, to you and your families and friends.

As you saw one week ago, I made some interesting updates to teampixelboy.com, in particular a few new titles (namely 1942, Bomber King, Ghost and Prisoner of War). All the games now listed in the "ongoing projects" section of my web site constitute my final projects as ColecoVision publisher. And I mean it this time: In the past few months, I turned down several potential projects from programmers who I consider good friends. All good things must come to an end and I want to wrap up all these remaining projects in 2019 so that I may finally retire.

For the short term, my plan is to release Uridium, QBIQS, The Cure, Multiverse, Booming Boy and Arcomage next spring. After that, things get a little murky. I want to finish beta-testing Space Shuttle, and I really don't know how long that's going to take. The longer it takes, the higher the odds that a couple of the final titles will get pushed back to early 2020. But anyhow, the plan (for now) is to get everything done and released by next Christmas.

You may also remember the eight SG-1000 ports that were announced back in 2017. I've done my part with those projects, and the ball is now squarely in Albert's court to get the boxes, manuals and cartridges manufactured, so that these games may be released via the AtariAge Store. Here's hoping there will be more progress with these games this year. It's out of my hands at this point.

As for the ColecoVision trading cards project, I'm going to work on that as free time permits (probably during my lunch breaks at the office) and perhaps I'll be able to release at least one series of trading cards before the year's over. No promises though, other projects on my to-do list have higher priority.

And that's about it. No long-winded explanations like I usually do for the first news bulletin of the year, I just want to wrap things up and walk away saying "mission accomplished". :)

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

Happy News Year! :D

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALSO LUC!  We all know how you have impacted the ColecoVision community and thank you for your ongoing support of it.



#10 insertclevernamehere OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2019 3:00 PM

Well that's bittersweet news. Lots of splendiferous goodies for 2019 but then nothing. Team Pixelboy are no more. I wonder if CollectorVision and/or Opcode will take on some of those projects turned down by Luc? I've only had a Colecovision for 13 months and don't have a Team Pixelboy game but I preordered "Multiverse" a while back. Will likely preorder "Ghost" and "Prisoner of War" too. I'm sure I speak for everyone that Team Pixelboy will be greatly missed but nobody will resent your well earned "retirement". All the best for the future.

#11 lawdawg710 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2019 3:19 PM

Luc, Happy New year to you and yours, hoping that 2019 (and beyond) are great for you. Having said that, it will be hard and also very sad, personally, to see you stop publishing games for the Colecovision and go into retirement but totally understand as well.

You were the first publisher I bought homebrews from when I got back into the CV and discovered "homebrews". Your games from box, manual, cartridge and most important, gameplay, have been top quality all the way. Your presence has been felt in the community for many years and you will absolutely be missed when your "game is over"!!!

Thank you for all that you have done and also for what you continue to do.

A very big THANK YOU, and I hope you enjoy relaxing from the pressures of releasing games and can enjoy your more quiet time.

Brandon

#12 retroillucid OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2019 4:08 PM

Happy new year Luc

Yeah, that's a rather sad news....  But Team Pixelboy being a one-man operation, I certainly understand your decision 
You did bring alot of awesomeness to the CV community and this is something that will always be remembered by all of us here

If you ever need help on something in the future, do not hesitate to contact any of us at CollectorVision 
The door will always be open for you 

So thanks Luc, thanks for everything you've accomplished!


Cheers!


J-F



#13 evg2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2019 5:39 PM

Happy New Year.



#14 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2019 6:40 PM

By the way, I have one copy of TwinBee, one copy of Ghostbusters, and one copy of Mecha-9 which are available for immediate purchase and shipping, if anyone's interested. :)


Ghostbusters has found a buyer. TwinBee and Mecha-9 are still available.

 

Happy new year Luc

Yeah, that's a rather sad news....  But Team Pixelboy being a one-man operation, I certainly understand your decision 
You did bring alot of awesomeness to the CV community and this is something that will always be remembered by all of us here

If you ever need help on something in the future, do not hesitate to contact any of us at CollectorVision 
The door will always be open for you 

So thanks Luc, thanks for everything you've accomplished!

Cheers!

J-F


Thanks J-F. :)

As I was telling a friend recently, with the CollectorVision Phoenix, the F18A will go from being an obscure CV graphic chip upgrade to something 200+ ColecoVision fans will have built-in. Just removing the 4-sprites-per-scanline limit will make some homebrew games possible that were mostly impossible before, like fighting games with both fighters made with overlapping magnified sprites, or an actually decent version of the Popeye arcade game, just to name a couple of possibilities. Even Opcode's Donkey Kong Arcade can exploit it directly. Pretty interesting possibilities there... But not enough to keep me from retiring. :P

#15 retroillucid OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2019 7:12 PM

Ghostbusters has found a buyer. TwinBee and Mecha-9 are still available.

 

Thanks J-F. :)

As I was telling a friend recently, with the CollectorVision Phoenix, the F18A will go from being an obscure CV graphic chip upgrade to something 200+ ColecoVision fans will have built-in. Just removing the 4-sprites-per-scanline limit will make some homebrew games possible that were mostly impossible before, like fighting games with both fighters made with overlapping magnified sprites, or an actually decent version of the Popeye arcade game, just to name a couple of possibilities. Even Opcode's Donkey Kong Arcade can exploit it directly. Pretty interesting possibilities there... But not enough to keep me from retiring. :P

 

Yes, very true

That's something I'm considering for Sydney Hunter & The Yucatan Jungle

There's a whole lot of possibilities now :)

 



#16 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2019 7:53 PM

Yes, very true

That's something I'm considering for Sydney Hunter & The Yucatan Jungle
There's a whole lot of possibilities now :)


This introduces a small technical difficulty however: How does a game detect the F18A, or the new "virtual" WSG sound chip in the Phoenix? If one was to develop a game specifically for the Phoenix, he would need to detect the custom hardware and display a "sorry" message if a regular ColecoVision console was used.

Also, I don't know anything about the SEX7264 Courtney WSG, but I have to wonder if it could replicate the deep sounds of Asteroids. T'would be nice to have a version of Asteroids that really sounds like the arcade original, as most home ports are sub-par in the sound department. Even better, playing Asteroids with the CollectorVision Spinner controller would be a different (yet always optional) experience. :)

#17 Swami OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 2, 2019 12:29 AM

 T'would be nice to have a version of Asteroids that really sounds like the arcade original, as most home ports are sub-par in the sound department. Even better, playing Asteroids with the CollectorVision Spinner controller would be a different (yet always optional) experience. :)

 

Or just one of these:

https://www.cedmagic...controller.html



#18 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 2, 2019 10:30 AM

Quick update: TwinBee has been sold, all I have left in stock is one copy of Mecha-9. :)

#19 smurfbert OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 2, 2019 4:48 PM

Luc,

 

I have bought all your releases except I somehow missed one or two of your special editions. I have to say, I am very impressed with all your hard work. Great games, nice communication, excellent boxes/cartridges, awesome packaging and always sent in a timely manner.

 

I think you have done really great for the small Colecovision community and been a big part of an excellent homebrew scene. Of course I will purchase all of your remaining releases and I wish you a happy and adventurous future.

 

Big thanks  //Mikael



#20 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 5:21 AM

This introduces a small technical difficulty however: How does a game detect the F18A


I can answer this one easily enough. The F18A contains status registers designed for detection (including version), but there's a simpler way. You can simply upload a 6 byte GPU program which changes a byte of VRAM. Upload it to VRAM and set the registers to run, then read the VRAM byte (no need to wait). If it changed, you have an F18A. Otherwise you don't. ;)

#21 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 7:51 AM

I can answer this one easily enough. The F18A contains status registers designed for detection (including version), but there's a simpler way. You can simply upload a 6 byte GPU program which changes a byte of VRAM. Upload it to VRAM and set the registers to run, then read the VRAM byte (no need to wait). If it changed, you have an F18A. Otherwise you don't. ;)


Interesting. :)

So after uploading this 6-byte GPU program to the F18A and running the test, does the programmer need to re-upload something to the F18A to return it to its "standard" functioning mode?

Also, while we're on the subject of the F18A, I know the 4-sprite-per-scanline limit can be removed, but can the F18A display more than 32 sprites at once? In other words, could it be configured to have a longer sprite attribute table? Just curious. :)

#22 Kiwi OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 2:14 PM

Interesting. :)

So after uploading this 6-byte GPU program to the F18A and running the test, does the programmer need to re-upload something to the F18A to return it to its "standard" functioning mode?

Also, while we're on the subject of the F18A, I know the 4-sprite-per-scanline limit can be removed, but can the F18A display more than 32 sprites at once? In other words, could it be configured to have a longer sprite attribute table? Just curious. :)

I think it should by changing the sprite attribute register start address midway down the screen with the second table already set in VRAM. Kinda like how Commodore 64 does it, multiplexing sprites.  You'll have to have the CPU check for sprite collision detection or 5 sprite on a line flag to know where your scanline is at on screen then do the change.  Then you'll run into sprite pattern limitation, which you can only hold 64 pattern at a time.  You can switch the sprite pattern start address midway down the screen like NES mapper chip do. 


Edited by Kiwi, Sun Jan 6, 2019 2:14 PM.


#23 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 2:41 PM

I think it should by changing the sprite attribute register start address midway down the screen with the second table already set in VRAM. Kinda like how Commodore 64 does it, multiplexing sprites.  You'll have to have the CPU check for sprite collision detection or 5 sprite on a line flag to know where your scanline is at on screen then do the change.  Then you'll run into sprite pattern limitation, which you can only hold 64 pattern at a time.  You can switch the sprite pattern start address midway down the screen like NES mapper chip do.


I can't picture myself doing something like that, mainly because a sprite may cross the scanline boundary you're describing, which means the sprite would get cropped. That could be a useful hack in certain types of games, however, like a split-screen two-player game.

#24 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 5:05 PM

Interesting. :)

So after uploading this 6-byte GPU program to the F18A and running the test, does the programmer need to re-upload something to the F18A to return it to its "standard" functioning mode?

Also, while we're on the subject of the F18A, I know the 4-sprite-per-scanline limit can be removed, but can the F18A display more than 32 sprites at once? In other words, could it be configured to have a longer sprite attribute table? Just curious. :)


Kiwi's trick for changing the sprite table (or any other table) partway down the screen is the only way to get more sprites. One nice thing is that you can use the GPU to do this, which will detect with rock-solid accuracy and cost zero host CPU time. The GPU is a 100MHz 9900 (16-bit CPU with direct access to VRAM), so it can do quite a bit. I have a GPU sample showing the performance here:


To your first question: you need to reset the affected VDP registers if you detect that it's not an F18A.

Let me sneak a little psuedocode in here... I'll put it behind a spoiler for those who don't care.

Spoiler

Edited by Tursi, Sun Jan 6, 2019 5:06 PM.


#25 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 6:36 PM

Thanks Tursi. :)





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