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TailChao last won the day on February 18 2019

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  1. After we've sold all 550 I'd like to manufacture more copies as long as there's demand. This is outlined in the first post, but essentially I'd like for the game to be available for purchase as long as there's interest in playing it. I just can't guarantee that will happen soon, especially considering the game was not commercially successful. Because the whole package (box, manual, feelies, plastics, and board) are designed for bulk production (i.e. we can't just make one or two copies, it has to be in the hundreds) the whole loose cartridge thing isn't really feasible.
  2. Nah, more like "I'm ready for all this junk to be out of my house" ...starring Misery.
  3. Heads up for anyone still on the fence about ordering a copy, we're down to 138 units in stock.
  4. Only very early on, long before the 7800 was even chosen as the target platform. I eventually decided against it for clarity. You've got two players characters and enemies, all of whom can pick up solid objects and mess with the stage geometry. Even with split screen, there'd be too much risk for an enemy flipping a switch or some other element offscreen and the players not catching it. So everything was made single screen and the vertical wrapping added to allow layouts to be denser.
  5. This was the idea, yeah. I'd love to try stylizing for 320A if we were to do another game for the 7800. We had one for internal use by the team... ...but this will not be publicly released. The stages require large amounts of manual tagging in order to operate properly. Getting map data into builds is also a little complicated, since stage scripts are allowed to instantiate basically any object, set or clear any flags, or call arbitrary code. If you'd like a puzzle game with built-in editor, give Penguin Land on the Sega Master System a try. I don't recall promising this. My stance has been consistent since the game was announced - if the sales are good enough we'll do another game, but it's unlikely to be a sequel to Rikki & Vikki.
  6. Hooray 2020! Despite the new decade, Rikki & Vikki is still on for 90% off until January 2. Two players for one dollar. The MMC3 doesn't add many new graphical enhancements outside of more addressable memory, but the MMC5 definitely gives a helpful nudge. Not quite We gave Maria and Sally separate paging, but it's infeasible for both of them to operate simultaneously. One way to think of it is that the cartridge is a book which can be read by either Maria or Sally. The existing mappers only allowed one bookmark to be placed at a time. We added a second bookmark for Maria so there's less requirements for each chip to accommodate the other's needs. I'd like to think we got the 7800 vs NES vs CD-i comparisons taken care of around twenty pages back - but do want to point out the "simultaneous" aspect is extremely important. On the NES, the PPU operates independently of the CPU and can fetch data while the CPU processes game logic. The 7800 only allows one of them to operate at a time - so the performance is significantly reduced right out of the gate. Not that I don't appreciate the complements (I do) - but there seems to be a belief here that the MMCs are the equivalent of bolting an aircraft's engine onto a vespa when this is absolutely not the case. The NES and 7800 have very different design priorities, which is fine - they both exist and you can pick whichever you like. But one isn't universally able to trounce the other, even in their stock configurations. Thanks! We've been getting a lot of feedback from customers who bought a 7800 just to play the game, or tried it on Windows and wanted to get the hardware experience afterward. It's pretty wild.
  7. Not quite. The MMC3's design is fairly simple and I wouldn't consider what it adds madness - that's more MMC5. But it still has a few features I would have liked (proper raster counter, better subdivision of textures, bla bla bla). Much of the sorcery in the above screenshots is accomplished through skilled software and graphic design by the developers rather than some magic chip in the cartridge. Keep in mind games like Battletoads or the more recent Micro Mages use a very primitive or absolutely no mapper, respectively. I think we managed to get okay movement in Rikki & Vikki (i.e. the animation has good weight), and there's far more that could be done with the hardware. But I wouldn't consider it up to snuff with any of the 16-Bit'sters with the amount of fuss required on the developer's behalf to get there. It'd have to be stylized very heavily and what caters well to Maria's strengths is completely different than any of the 7800's contemporaries.
  8. Thanks everyone for the feedback. Oh, hey - it's now been a year since the game's release! You're 100% correct on this. The game's score was all @RushJet1 , but yes - I fully support moving away from Pokey. Regarding the mapper and audio expansion, they were both released for use by other developers along with an emulator which supports them (and has more tidbits in its help file). The big jump over existing designs is a cleaner separation between Sally and Maria's view of the cartridge address space , but we're not even up to MMC3 class here. Plenty more that could be added to give the hardware a further boost. Noted
  9. You're welcome to make whatever content you like. Of course, I'm quite flattered that it's about something I did. The only thing I'd caution about is making assumptions regarding the game's development process - especially with changes or what is considered unused. We had nearly zero public facing content until two weeks before launch, and while I did dump some of my design notes on Twitter they don't reflect what was actually going on behind the scenes. I kept archive of every major build and all the test footage back to the first time the game was running on the hardware in early 2015. Most of these I cannot give out, but I was planning on releasing select prototype footage at a later date (prefix "later" with one or more "much"es). If you have specific questions on anything (i.e. "the stage in this photo didn't appear in the final game, what happened?" or "why is Direct Dutposit offered after two game overs rather than at the start?") - I'm always happy to answer these over DM, it may just take some time. This goes for anyone. That's really the biggest constraint for me, and I've gone through the loop of "we'd like to do an interview, are you interested?" - replying "yes" and that's the extent of it around six times in the last year. So right now I can only guarantee answers to clear questions, not much else.
  10. Regarding cooperative play, I'd not actually recommend Rikki & Vikki as an introductory experience to this. Something like World of Illusion on the Genesis offers a much more relaxed difficulty but still mandates that both players work together to solve problems, one can't drag the other through the whole game. Any of 8bitdo's products come highly recommended, and most include mapping profiles in Rikki & Vikki's Windows version - M30 included.
  11. That is very strange, it almost looks like the television is losing sync. The checksum only verifies the integrity of the flash, it's possible the mapper or some other component could have been damaged in transit. Some thoughts... You just purchased this 7800, right - has it been refurbished (new electrolytic capacitors, voltage regulator, etc.)? It looks like you're connected to the television using RF or Composite - has the 7800 been modified for any other video output and (if so) do the same issues appear when using these? As of writing, Rikki & Vikki is the only title which uses the HALTn pin to discern between code and graphic fetches. If this pin has a poor contact it can cause instability or graphic corruption in this game and no other. This might be something as simple as a dirty cartridge slot. Are you able to start the game (i.e. enter the menu and start playing) despite the issues? If the issue persists send an email to the support address to arrange a replacement, refund, or further investigation.
  12. That's a reasonable staff for that era, Sonic the Hedgehog had a team of seven - you didn't start to see larger teams until the multimedia craze really took off. But if we're comparing titles like this to low budget / independent games developed now, it can't be done just by team size. These guys were working full time with a stable salary and project schedule. You'll get a much higher (and I'd argue more predictable) output this way even though development back then was more difficult. Also, Gimmick was a late release (1992) - by that point Sunsoft had been working with the hardware for a significant amount of time and could probably leverage existing resources, tools, or whatever from their previous titles. Like, Ufouria just came out the year prior.
  13. This was a gag rooted in light truth, yes. From my experience getting good weight in the character movement and gratifying interactions between objects are the most difficult parts of working with limited hardware, primarily because of the limited space and cycles. What feels right does not always correspond to what's correct, and you need to manually key all of it. Games like Super Mario Bros. 3 or Kirby's Adventure are absolutely stellar in this respect, and it this sort of feel becomes much easier with the resources available in 16-Bit platforms.
  14. Maybe, but I have enough e-waste at the moment. Unless it's being reverse engineered or actually used, it's gotta go. I tried ramming the cartridge in and it didn't fit. By this point our budget for legacy ports was exhausted and I canceled all further research. Ah, hope you've got two controllers to go with it! Most of the game's complexity is in how it handles physics, especially for the boxes - and just picking one of the issues we had in that category is pretty difficult. There were a bunch of problems with solidity around the vertical wrapping border, anything that could pick up or "consume" a box like the Metal Cavern's pipes required numerous of edge cases, all the doors and sliders too, it goes on... I think my favorite bug was a defect in the Steel Simian (Metal Cavern's Cooperative Boss). Any time a box is dispensed from a pipe it transitions between object types and whether or not it can collide with the stage geometry, the pipes usually check for a two-tile window before completely dispensing a box to ensure this can happen safely - if not, the box reverses direction and heads back up the pipe. There's numerous situations where one of these tiles can suddenly become solid - either due to another box being placed there or (in this case) the players closing one of the doors / valves - and the box object will detect it's been rammed into the stage geometry and break itself. There's a one frame window during that fight where you can close a valve right as a box is being dispensed - and it'll break. The Steel Simian has a special case for this - he shrugs and resets the map. But that special case was broken. So during testing we hit the one frame edge case and the boss got stuck in the "what?!" pose until the stage was manually reset.
  15. New list of most recently played cartridges, sorted and clearable.
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