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StarForcePilot

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  1. Gaming on the STARFORCE NEO Neo Geo MVS (1990) was the one system to beat them all! I grew up with SEGA’s Master System and Mega Drive, but my cousin had a Neo Geo AES with Magician Lord. I played that game only six minutes when I was 10 years old, and that memory has stuck with me forever. Now, to relive that time with the STARFORCE NEO (2016)! Allright, so the STARFORCE NEO works – let’s play some games! Metal Slug (1996) No one quite does Run & Gun games like Nazca does, specifically through their excellent Metal Slug series. The first episode of the franchise still stands as the most shining example of the 16-bit platformer era, and will remain my favorite game of the system. Top Hunter (1994) I bought an MVS in my 20s and this game was one of four games I had for it, and easily my favorite, second only to Metal Slug. The graphics are beautiful and the two-player mode is so much fun, it’s a bit of a goofy concept to get into, but really worth it. Samurai Showdown II (1994) Extremely popular fighting series often remarked as one of the best games of all times just left me frustrated as I got my ass handed to me over and over again. Still, can’t deny it awesomeness. Eightman (1991) Based on a 1963 manga, you are a quick-running cyborg superhero that has to blast his way through beat’m up mayhem! It’s a bit stale, but I enjoyed it. Shock Trooper 2nd Squad (1998) Not really like the first version of the game, still a great mix of destruction and cartoon run & gun violence. Just a solid bit of fun! Mutation Nation (1991) Neo Geo is classically known for its fighting games, but I’ve always been more interested in the platformer games. Mutation Nation is another beat’em up game that is great fun with some sweet action! Viewpoint (1992) An isometric shooter game that I actually only got into with the STARFORCE NEO. It’s really challenging, but really quite spectacular, and the music is amazing!
  2. I'll get some extra pictures this weekend with some games working on it, and the video is coming soon I used Sanwa gear on the STARFORCE PI which I liked, but I wanted to get a better idea of the Seimitsu gear as well, so I thought this was a good opportunity. I like the joystick, but I'm used to more click to my buttons. I flipped the MV-1B upside down, and really only had to cut into the ABS black casing for some extra spacing, the board itself stayed completely intact. I did buy a MV-1C initially, but really didn't want to cut into the top case, and the base had the perfect size for an MVS cartridge so I changed it to the MV-1B which fit perfectly. I kind of avoided the arcade cabinet look completely, but I have something in mind for my next project. Not gonna give much details, but it's gonna be SEGA based That's rough, it's always disappointing to deal with crappy sellers, kind of ruins the whole experience. The supergun they have is a decent bit of kit though, I'd love to make use of this again for something else. It IS a Minitel Well, the case at least, I gutted it and built in an entire MVS system, and it worked out pretty well. I only recently found out that Philips did the same thing in the 80s with the Philips N60, which was a Minitel with a Magnavox in it. I used an HD converter from Amazon, with videosignal coming from an SGL3000 Scanline Generator which gets its signal from the SmallCab Supergun connected via JAMMA to the NeoGeo MV-1B board. A bit convoluted, but this way the extra HDMI-output also gets scanlines and it looks crisp.
  3. Sure. in fact if you don't need to bother with the cartridge slot you can save quite a bit of room in there. What did you have in mind? I thought this might be more up your alley Argh, Ben Heck of course! I was trying to be careful with the bold claims of smallest all-in-one NeoGeo in the world, but I couldn't find any cabinet or MVS that was quite this small, so I just went ahead. I didn't have any problems with Smallcab really, I got my order relatively quickly and it all worked fine, so that was it in terms of interactions. Actually, their supergun is really very user-friendly, made the process a lot easier. So what happened with your gear? Yeah, it's a one-off build, and it took a lot of time to get right. I think you can make it a lot cheaper than I did though, I opted for a 65 euro power supply and Seimitsu gear, I'm sure you can be more economical than this. Was also a bit of trial and error in there, so I lost a bit of money on components (melted case, wires). I'll post the components list when I've finished the build blog on it. And I'll head over to neo-geo.com actually, good point. I was trying to move far away from a typical MVS look, with some trace reminders here and there, but predominantly a home console. This is why I also took a 161-in-1 screaming yellow multicart and put it into a broked AES shell I had, refurbished it and added some new artwork to the shockbox and cart, so the SFNeo had a gamepack that goes with it. But it takes MVS cartridges. The additional buttons could be reset to be start/coin, test, or a repeat of the ABCD buttons. I haven't really done that, but it's not in the way. I've made it so that the arcade buttons click into the top transparant faceplate, which can be removed and replaced with a different faceplate with some other button configuration. The joystick is attached to a lower faceplate, which has a large opening for the buttons to allow for different button placements. Cheers, I appreciate that
  4. It does, the HDMI conversion from the SCART output is split to the internal screen and to an open HDMI-output port on the bottom. The output will conform to the external display aspect ratio, but the internal screen remains unchanged (4:3 ratio). Also, the scanline generator is placed between the supergun and SCART-to-HDMI converter, so scanlines are on both the internal and external display (which can also be turned off with a switch on the back). See attached an image of a very early hardware test with split HDMI output signal.
  5. A few months further, but we're still working hard on getting a small-volume STARFORCE PI made for pre-order, in a limited release (50-100 units). In the meanwhile I've been working on the STARFORCE NEO All-in-One System, and just finished it! Read more on this on a dedicated thread here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/251485-the-starforce-neo-smallest-all-in-one-neogeo-mvs-system/ And read more on the detail on my blog here: https://starforcepi.wordpress.com/2016/04/10/the-starforce-neo-a-neo-geo-mini-videogame-system/ Cheers! Marcel SFP Development Team
  6. Ola Retrogamers, Last winter I presented the STARFORCE PI Electronic Tabeltop Mini-Arcade on this forum to gauge interest and collect feedback which I could use in preparing a Kickstarter campaign to produce this all-in-one system with a solid arcade experience (www.starforcepi.com). We unfortunately fell short at 49K of the 190K funding goal, but it was a pretty good response, with some decent coverage by techblogs. Because of this I decided to continue working on this project together with Hartmut Wendt (hwhardsoft.de). In parallel to working on a small-volume limited release run, I decided to explore the possibility of building a Neo Geo MVS into the smallest and lightest form factor possible. This was to compare actual Neo Geo games on original hardware with the more budget friendly emulated experience of the SFP. After roughly 4 months of working, tinkering, cutting, thinking and cursing I finished a fully functional mini Neo Geo MVS system: The STARFORCE NEO All-in-One System. The entire build cost around €600, using original and premium components, with a further €150 euro for the extra controller and multicart (161-in-1 MVS to AES shell conversion + box). Check out the attached pictures for an impression of the system, and visit the STARFORCE PI blog for a little more information on the system. SPECS: · Authentic SNK Neo Geo MV-1B hardware · Neo Geo MVS Cartridge Compatible · 2x Neo Geo Controller Inputs (Player 1 & 2) · Integrated SEIMITSU Joystick & 6 buttons (Player 1) · Integrated 8” 480p LCD Screen (4:3) + HDMI Output · SmallCab SuperGun to SCART-to-HDMI · SGL3000 Scanline Generator · Logitech Z120 Internal 1.2Watt Stereo Speakers · 3.5mm Headphone Stereo Jack · BeQuiet! Silent PSU SFW Power 2 400W · Vintage 1982 Minitel 1 Converted Case · Dimensions: 23 x 25 x 26 cm I'll post some pictures and a video of it working with the multicart soon, and I will prepare a build report for the blog so you can have a look at the internals, and how I made certain features. I'd appreciate any feedback, questions and insights you can offer. Enjoy! Marcel SFP Development Team
  7. A Most Triumphant Return or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the STARFORCE PI. Before we put this thread to bed, check out a video in which I reflect a little on our first Kickstarter campaign, its motivation and discuss a little what tomorrow will hold. Merry Xmas Everyone!
  8. And so we finish our Kickstarter campaign with a phenomenal 49.000 euro backing from 171 awesome individuals! Unfortunately, our funding goal of 190k was not met, so this iteration of the STARFORCE PI project is over, and we look forward to bringing a reimagined production plan to you next year! One thing is clear, there is a huge support for our little device, and with the increased visibility and international interest, from consumers and retailers, I'm sure we'll do well in a second round geared towards a smaller production volume. Check the blog for a little more information on this -> https://starforcepi.wordpress.com/2015/12/13/game-over-continue/ Thanks for your feedback and interactions here, and we'll open a new thread when we have a new plan. Cheers! Marcel
  9. Only 3 Days Left! So with that in mind, I made a small bit of blatant advertisement for the SFP, with the SFP Backer Magazine. Enjoy!
  10. Cheers! It's a little tricky, and there was quite a bit of trial and error, but if you have some basic skills anyone could build this with a little bit of patience. The sad part is that you'd have to sacrifice a casing of a pretty rare 1980s tabletop game, and with the injection molding design we described in the mockup and kickstarter we can make as many as we want, and all the components would fit without much fuss. The idea is that if you know how to build something in LEGO, you can build a SFP.
  11. @vcoleiro1: It's a difficult one, I kept the name and general shape in the 3D mockups as an hommage to their cool little 80s system, and referencing their device as the shell of the prototype, but I agree we may enter in a bit of scary legislative waters. Unfortunately, with emulation we're already pretty much deep in this grey area. For now the internal spacing dictates the eventual outer shape, and this may broaden, and tweak a little the shape, but I hoped to keep within the realm of an actual 1980s shape. @Keatah: definately, but only if all else fails. I still would like this as a plug-and-play console that's ready to go, but failing that, we could develop it as a kit. But, even that isn't very cheap to develop, especially with the case.
  12. There is a tentative plan B, but whatever the outcome of our campaign, we’ve done way too much work to just abandon the STARFORCE PI. The more work we put in, the more we’re convinced of its potential, and right now there's still 40k backed, which shows a solid interest. I have to discuss with the engineer and developers what would be prudent in case the funding goal isn't met, but I think at the least we could continue developing both the Case & Arcade Shield and see where we go from there. Saying that, I'd still rather go for the SFP as a plug-and-play console, so that'll remain a priority.
  13. I've used the system for several hours with considerable button mashing but moderate joystick jerking (I'm mostly playing platformers), and it all feels pretty solid. This will be explored more thoroughly during the design phase, when we get the first 3D printed prototypes, and tested again during the assembly and testing procedure of the first batch of SFPs.
  14. We're selling the Case and Arcade Shield loose on Kickstarter, the rest of the components are off-the-shelf and can be bought by regular consumers, so modders could build their own system any way they want. But of course we will have the fully assembled and tested SFPs on there as well. The SFP will support four buttons, the 2-button model you see was the very first iteration of the system because Hartmut's PCB only supported 2 buttons. The 4 button version came after some creative modding, but all buttons work well.
  15. This is quite a response, so rather than going through each point, I will just respond specifically to Leo's final post: 1) A prototype is an early sample made to show a proof-of-concept, which is what this is. Even if the build seems simple, it doesn't make it any less of a prototype, nor any less attainable. The whole point is that it's simple and off-the-shelf, which is clearly stated everywhere, except for the case and arcade shield. The case started out as a mod, then evolved into a second version with greater connectivity, and now has a third version on which Hartmut Wendt is developing an Arcade Shield onto a Raspberry Pi, so the whole thing could fit neatly into a small enough package. I've then made a 3D design based on vector drawings based on the original case, and shared this with the injection molding company that Hartmut Wendt has collaborated with professionally, and they gave an estimate on the initial SolidWorks design, and how much time and effort it would cost to make this CAD model and then print the 3D prototypes. This designing of a CAD model and printing 3D prototypes is roughly 5000-6000 euros and takes several months to make sure the off-the-shelf components fit neatly in the case, but it is not within my financial capabilities to cover the engineering team's fee. Hence it is under preplanning, modeling & 2-3 case prototypes in our KS campaign, seen in the figure below (also on the KS page). The process can be broadly followed from beginning to end if you go back far enough on the facebook page and follow the videos. 2) The screen once set to 4:3 won't be 4.2" anymore, but slightly larger due to the magnified window. How large the visual workspace will finally be will be determined by the final magnification factor we can get into the molded winded, and the final screen type we get. So for now, a 4:2" set to 4:3 ratio is what it will be, in a previous post on this thread, retrovideogamer, facebook and wordpress we discuss this a little further, as I originally wanted to go for 4:3 native but this was deemed too expensive to follow through. 3) The picture in KS does have a photoshopped Pulsar game on it, but only because the magnified window warps the image. Pulsar does work and play on it, but I probably should have put a small * with a disclaimer on it. An NG:DEV-TEAM game will be bundled with the system, on microSD card, when this stretchgoal is reached. Which game this will be will be determined by NG:DEV-TEAM (as certain games have a higher licensing fee) and by poll. The game on open architecture and microSD is sensitive to piracy, but that's the point of the stretchgoal, to cover their investment interest. NG:DEV-TEAM have given us permission to use their products in our campaign, as did PiPlay and EmulationStation. The games not under permission license are certainly in a grey area, as is the use of Max Headroom, youtube songs, etc. I hope they won't sue me. A 190k funding goal is set to cover roughly 950 completed 199 euro STARFORCE PI units. The software guys will get the early prototypes to optimize their frontends on, like tate support, external controllers, external display already works so that doesn't need anything further, and linking systems is still something they'd have to see if it is at all possible (hence it's omitted from the KS page except for the FAQ, but it would be a development goal). They didn't ask to get paid for this per se, but if we have money left over after all the hardware requirements are met, we'd like to give them some in support for their contribution. And anything they develop is not exclusive to the SFP, but will be open source. This was acceptable for them. The 225k stretchgoal allows us to put the image of an SFP optimized PiPlay and EmulationStation frontend onto a fast microSD and bundle it with the systems, and it would allow us to extend their financial support. Hartmut Wendt is offering his time for free to develop the Arcade Shields, but will receive a set unit price which stipulates the flexibility with which he can build the PCBs. Any money left over from the campaign that could be attributed to me will be injected back into supporting more emulation and frontend platforms. The system is a compromise of function, producability and affordability. I combines existing, established and cheap technology into a simple formfactor that has the potential for fun and solid arcade gameplay, and the prototype closely approximates to what will finally be produced.
  16. Bill: Cheers bill, much appreciated! The time includes a little bit of 'calamity buffering', for unforseen circumstances. But if we're finished sooner, we will of course ship them out sooner Keatah: I really would like to take some of the first cases and build a GBA or TurboGrafX into it, I bet it would be doable with some youtube tutorials and elbow grease . Leo, we will explore how to fit the SANWA stick and generic joystick unmodified into the case. This would only benefit our system, as it makes assembly systematic and easy, not to mention painless to replace for customers. Our prototypes had a finite size, and therefore we had to make alterations to finish the systems as a proof of concept as required by Kickstarter, but it is not the final product as you can appreciate. The geometry of the system will not be the same as a true arcade system regardless due to the size, but we try to approximate this as best we can. ‘Kinda authentic but not quite’ doesn’t show much confidence when presenting the system, and for anyone but the hardcore arcade gamer, we tentatively hope the experience will be authentic enough: not as good as original hardware, better than other emulation systems. We have a screen on which we have tested this system and built the prototype around, but this may not be the screen we will use in the end; if we can get a better quality screen for the same money, we will go for this. Current emulation tests in 16:9 with Mame4All and PSX do not show tearing or blatant artifacts, though some washed out color, but the engineer will examine this closely and find the best compromise within the system’s budget. The only things we are in fact certain about is that we want to output the video in 320x240 and in 4:3 ratio (within some rough screen dimensions) that will work nicely behind the magnified window. And that is attainable according to Hartmut Wendt (our engineer) and the people of EmulationStation & PiPlay. The ‘actual’ specs are dependent on volume and are in flux until the end of the campaign, which we touch upon under Risks and Challenges. Being unable to commit to hardline specs just yet doesn’t mean we’re dishonest, it simply means this is an unfinished product we hope to build with the support of backers that see merit in the early working prototypes.
  17. The SANWA stick and generic joystick both have the same dimensions, and will fit into the designed case, which will perhaps alter by a few centimeters from the prototype. We can't say how much this will be as we have only made a prototype with finite dimensions, and therefor needed modding. We're not sending people a complete system, with a joystick on the side of course. PiPlay and EmulationStation will make an optimized version of their frontend in collaboration, these images will be downloadable from an online source, for free. The stretchgoals will simply mean that we put a frontend on an SD card and bundle it with a system. As for the 'bullshit' and 'dishonest' statement: It is not being dishonest to broadly elaborate on a fun project without overanalyzing the minutea of technical details on the Kickstarter page. We're happy to discuss these on forums, twitter, and facebook, where exact specifications are a little more appreciated.
  18. And STARFORCE PI has gone LIVE on Kickstarter! Get your now -> https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/34683765/the-starforce-pi-electronic-tabletop-mini-arcade
  19. A significant amount, covering their licensing fee we'll need to clear about 40-50k, which needs to be extracted from the rather small profit margin we have already, putting the game on SDcard, in case, artwork - so I still have to calculate how much that would be. But I'm just happy they see merit in the system at all, regardless if we make the stretchgoals
  20. Good News Everybody: NG:DEV-TEAM is on-board! This means that if we reach our stretchgoal, everyone gets a FREE GAME! We still have to negotiate which one, but all their games are winners
  21. For a cool €199 (£145/$220) you're entering the Ultimate Dimension in Portable Arcade Gaming! You can see we're going for over-the-top taglines straight outta the 90s. But how do we justify this pricepoint? Check our little infographic:
  22. You hit the nail on the head, Nebulon, I have very little to add to this. The interpretation and potential of the system is captured perfectly in your post. The idea behind the modular design is two-fold: modders can buy an empty shell and use it to build/mod their own system, and those who want an all-in-one gaming system will be able to replace/repair parts easily, and upgrade the PCB without changing the general interface (which you referred to in your post). Ease-of-use and instant playability will indeed remain central to the gaming experience and development. Thanks a lot for the post, I'll definately use some of your wording in future discussions.
  23. It is used by emulator handhelds like NeoGeoX and AtGames, but only as a container for multiple games, so there's no real enjoyment of the individual game, just a huge list of games you mostly won't play. But NintendoDS and PSVita use their own proprietory version of SD cards for individual games, and that seems to work fine as a replacement for the oldschool oversized, expensive carts. SD-cards are just very easy to hack as well, so it invites piracy a bit too much. But I think if you put real work into the artwork and presentation, and keep the price low enough, it could work. We shall see
  24. We'll probably do that; leave as much of the components unaltered, it's also easier in assembly. The internals will also all be plugged, clicked or screwed down so users can easily access and change all the parts, and the buttons we'll use will be the same as in the prototype, so pretty shallow. Getting back to the games, I currently have a microSD card with a few cool arcade games, but I've rigged it so it autostarts R-Type II with mame4all directly. Seeying as microSD cards are dirtcheap, I can just have a 1-2gb microSD card for each game optimized to work on the SFP without going through emulator menus etc. and put it in a cool case with some neat artwork around it. It'd be easy and pretty cheap for developers to bring their games to an attractive physical medium at a price competitive to digital only version. As a proof-of-concept this already works, as can be seen in the videos, but this is thinking more long term of course. First thing is bringing the STARFORCE PI into production. Thanks again for tips on the arcade sticks, Leo, also thanks to Reaperman
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