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SGM SGM2 Opcode ColecoVision Super Game Module

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#301 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 9, 2019 7:28 AM

The ColecoVision was extrordinarily short-lived. Most popular consoles continue with game support for at least 8-10 years, sometimes 15 years. If we predict this would have come out 1987, I would say any 8-bit , 16-bit or arcade game up to at least 1994-1995 would qualify. As you say, though, you may or may not want to go arcade accurate with some of the most advanced arcade games of that time.

 

As far as power, I'd estimate, technically possible: G.I. Joe SNES

 

Technically, not possible: G.I. Joe Arcade (here come the polygons)

 

???Possible???

 

 

 

OMNI can't enlarge sprites, so G.I Joe Arcade would be hard to pull off, unless we used tiles. The first G.I. Joe looks like a NES game to me, so it should be easy. Aliens arcade would be possible with compromises, like not so many sprites on screen. We can put some huge 64x64 sprites on screen if we want, but there is still a limit of how many you can put in the same scanline (16 sprites or about 320 pixels, whatever comes first). But that is all from a purely technical point-of-view. Aliens would require massive amounts of ROMs.

 

 

 

 

Ok then, how about Double Dragon the arcade game.

 

 

This one should be possible with no major compromise, and we could even fix the arcade sometimes terrible slowdowns.

 

 

These are some great games and would love to see all of them ported to the Omni, which leads me to a couple of questions. What happened to the CV port of Moon Cresta from Opcode? It would be awesome for us CV owners to get that before the Omni version of Terra Cresta. Also, I ask again as my previous comment was not responded to, the Omni isn't morphing into an arcade port only console, is it? I still want the Odyssey 2 game updates, Atari classics sequels and some original games too.

 

 

This year I am busy with DKA and PM DX for the CV. After that, we will see what happens. And no, OMNI isn't going to be an arcade port only console. Arcade ports are just providing the initial wave of games, until we have enough installed base to justify all the costs with the new Atari/Odyssey sequels. I am also exploring a 3rd venue for the platform, to accelerate adoption. 

 

 

Careful there, Eduardo... Gotta keep in mind the rules of engagement when making contact with a gaming community, especially retrogaming:

1) The more you try to please everyone, the less likely you'll be to achieve that goal.

2) Give people an inch, they'll ask for a light year.

3) Getting people's hopes up about what a gaming system can do will eventually come back to haunt you, no matter how noble your intentions are.


With this said, my take on this is that you should position yourself in a solid manner. The ColecoVision's history is a good teacher in that respect: Coleco acquired licenses to a lot of little-known arcade games (in addition to some heavy-hitters like Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr) and it really paid off towards the console's long-term reputation.

Faithful reproductions of arcade games on cartridges is a good angle, especially for collectors, but everyone has MAME installed on their home computer today. On the other hand, retrogamers have demonstrated again and again that they'll buy officially licensed retrogames as long as the price is right, even if they have access to MAME to play those same games. So it's a 50-50 gamble.

This is just my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt, but what I think you should do is look at the Atari 2600 library and see which games you could take and expand upon, to create something new yet familiar. The specs of the Omni seem perfect for that.

Some examples off the top of my head:

1) Keystone Kapers: Pursue Harry Hooligan not just across the Southwick Emporium (as in the original game) but through other city locations as well, and plug in Kaboom! as a mini-game.

2) Riddle of the Sphinx: A Zelda-style remake of this Imagic game would surely turn some heads.

3) If RPGs are in the cards, a full remake of Dragonstomper or Crypts of Chaos seems like a no-brainer.

4) Some shooters have interesting potential, such as Fantastic Voyage or Solaris.

You already seem to share this vision with some Odyssey-2 titles, but I think the Odyssey-2 has limited appeal in that respect. There's a greater wealth of potential remakes in the 2600 library, and there are also several ColecoVision titles that lend themselves easily to re-imagining and expansion.

Just my two cents.

 

 

1) Not promising anything, just gauging opinions.

3) Technical questions are answered from a purely technical POV. I am not saying we will see SNES grade content anytime soon, if ever. Big games need a lot of time and money to accomplish. That isn't our reality right now. Can OMNI do almost anything available on Genesis and SNES? Most of it, yes, in some cases better, in some cases with caveats. 

 

I agree with your comments about the 2600 library, and in fact that is my main goal, to extrapolate the Atari era into technology that it never had access to because of the crash. Problem is, right now, with the hardware still under development and all the investment I still need to do, it is hard to justify the required thousand dollars per game investment to get multiple games done and waiting for the hardware launch. I must be careful on how I manage my money. Once the hardware is out, then things get easier. Then I can invest on a game basis and get them out in a timely fashion. I agree this is a unique opportunity. 



#302 smurfbert OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 9, 2019 7:49 AM

Question for those following this thread:

So far we are covering only Atari era content (pre-crash). How do you feel about post crash arcades?
How far in the timeline should I go? What would be the cut-off year for arcade ports on OMNI?

Edit: let me narrow options a bit:

1) 1983
2) 1984
3) 1985-1986
4) 1987-88
5) The 80s
6) I don’t care


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I vote for 1985-1986.

 

1986 with Rygar, Wonder Boy, Out Run, Bubble Bobble is a great arcade year :)



#303 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 9, 2019 9:10 AM

Quick update:

 

Now Zaxxon. Sprites only so far, running from the SGM2 board. Interesting points about this game: sprites are 32x32 pixels, 3 bits/pixel, thus 7 colors per sprite.


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#304 imstarryeyed OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 9, 2019 12:05 PM

That is some smooth scrolling you got there kid!  I have to say that this may just be the definitive version of Zaxxon.  I like the idea of the Opcode console being the home of the "definitive" versions of games.

 

I am hoping you are going to add some new levels or challenges in another mode, Zaxxon is one of those games that can benefit from some more variety.  However now that I think of it, I don't have the foggiest idea on how to expand Zaxxon, I mean I think they developers did everything they could given the format.  I am sure someone could come up with something I can't ha ha.



#305 dj_convoy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 9, 2019 4:57 PM

Silky smooth!

As far as an enhanced Zaxxon, you could offer Super Zaxxon mode, branching paths, new baddies, power ups and all sorts of whatnot.

#306 Swami ONLINE  

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Posted Thu May 9, 2019 7:58 PM

That is some smooth scrolling you got there kid!  I have to say that this may just be the definitive version of Zaxxon.  I like the idea of the Opcode console being the home of the "definitive" versions of games.

 

I am hoping you are going to add some new levels or challenges in another mode, Zaxxon is one of those games that can benefit from some more variety.  However now that I think of it, I don't have the foggiest idea on how to expand Zaxxon, I mean I think they developers did everything they could given the format.  I am sure someone could come up with something I can't ha ha.

 

 3D Scramble or Star Wars Arcade elements tribute? Most of the fundamentals of the sprites are there. No "ceiling" enemies for Scramble of course. "Space shuttle" hacked to x-wing. Just brain-drizzling.



#307 imstarryeyed OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 9, 2019 11:12 PM

 

 3D Scramble or Star Wars Arcade elements tribute? Most of the fundamentals of the sprites are there. No "ceiling" enemies for Scramble of course. "Space shuttle" hacked to x-wing. Just brain-drizzling.

 

Ha ha I would love to see a tribute mode to a bunch of isometric games like arcade Return of the Jedi, Future Spy, Super Zaxxon, Congo Bongo levels, since all of these with the exception of Jedi use the same Zaxxon hardware.



#308 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 10, 2019 2:48 PM

Kind of unrelated, but seeing a Genesis outputting to my RGB monitor while I do some research really makes me wish we were still using those gorgeous CRT RGB monitors. Scanlines are the proper way to display pixelart.

d728724ef1f774834e6a0a115321ae07.jpg

e2a416b45dd7d58b85c91874ee748178.jpg


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#309 imstarryeyed OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 10, 2019 6:24 PM

Come at me bro!  CRT Master Race Baby! 

 

Seriously, I really love having a 36 inch Panasonic and Sony CRT TV's with all of my classic consoles.  Scanline perfection.. real friends don't let friends emulate scanlines! Ha ha..

 

The Genesis looks so good in RGB, if you want to see something really impressive use an RGB cable with a PS1, games like Rival Schools looks beyond amazing.  The PS2 component cable or RGB cable do not do it justice.  Once I saw the difference it made, I use a PS1 dedicated for PS1 games and the PS2 for my PS2 games with a component cable.

 

The CRT scanlines were the reason I was hoping the OMNI was going to also include an analog port for those of us that are RGB, Component Standard Def Fans, however I can live without it.


Edited by imstarryeyed, Fri May 10, 2019 6:27 PM.


#310 Ramses OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 12, 2019 4:15 PM

That is some smooth scrolling you got there kid!  I have to say that this may just be the definitive version of Zaxxon.  I like the idea of the Opcode console being the home of the "definitive" versions of games.

 

I am hoping you are going to add some new levels or challenges in another mode, Zaxxon is one of those games that can benefit from some more variety.  However now that I think of it, I don't have the foggiest idea on how to expand Zaxxon, I mean I think they developers did everything they could given the format.  I am sure someone could come up with something I can't ha ha.

 

I guess one could look at Viewpoint for ideas. I'm thinking it'll mostly come down to adding a few new enemies and/or obstacles - the original Colecovision port added those hovering roomba-like enemies towards the end of the level for example.



#311 Ramses OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 12, 2019 4:57 PM

2) Riddle of the Sphinx: A Zelda-style remake of this Imagic game would surely turn some heads.
 

 

This, though I'm also picturing something of a rogue-like for Riddle of the Sphinx. I could see a lot of randomized elements added.



#312 Pixelboy ONLINE  

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Posted Sun May 12, 2019 5:15 PM

the original Colecovision port added those hovering roomba-like enemies towards the end of the level for example.


Me and my friends used to call them "munchkins" BITD. :)

#313 lawdawg710 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 14, 2019 6:56 AM

I am a little late here, but with regards to the "era".  I would say "The 80's"!!  Personally, I am an 80's arcade fanatic and if there was a system that could play arcade perfect ports from back in the day, I would have pooped my pants.  It was the one thing I had always hoped for (loved the CV, SMS etc) and it wasn't until the Genesis was released that I felt home consoles could replicate (almost) the feeling of the arcades with looks and sounds.  But on top of arcade games, I love RPG and action adventure etc.  SO seems like you have a solid lineup of ports coming out that can showcase what the system can do.



#314 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 14, 2019 9:30 AM

Quick update. Now working on a partial port of Tiger Heli. This isn’t a game I am planning as a launch title, but I need it to get a better assessment of the hardware. Our complete board is coming, so there is more than vídeo I need to test and validate.


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#315 insertclevernamehere OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 14, 2019 10:21 AM

Quick update. Now working on a partial port of Tiger Heli. This isn’t a game I am planning as a launch title, but I need it to get a better assessment of the hardware. Our complete board is coming, so there is more than vídeo I need to test and validate.
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Great choice. I'd love to see a port of Tiger Heli sometime after launch.

#316 imstarryeyed OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 14, 2019 8:22 PM

Tiger Heli? ! That is a great choice!  I loved the arcade version and liked the NES version a lot, so I am sure your version is going to be awesome.



#317 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 16, 2019 8:13 AM

Some interesting info about Tiger Heli:

- Main CPU ROM is 48kb. Only about 20kb is code, most of the ROM is stage data.
- game uses a security mpu very easy to patch out
- game specs are well in line with the SGM2/Omni capabilities. Arcade runs at 6MHz, twice the speed of the CV. So a build for the current SGM2 board will probably suffer from slowdown, until we have the full board next month with the coprocessor.
- game uses a ton of sprites. Sprites are all 16x16 but most objects are 32x32, and some even 64x64. I will use variable sprite sizes in the SGM2 version so that each object is a single sprite, thus drastically reducing the amount of sprites on-screen.
- game sound is psg only, which is too bad, as I was hoping to flex our sound muscles
- palette and graphics should transfer intact to the SGM2 version, so other than screen aspect ratio, there won’t be any noticeable differences. So what you see in the arcade should be about what you get in the SGM2 other than the aforementioned screen aspect ratio (in our case 240x240).


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