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Donkey Kong Arcade (ColecoVision)

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Would it help you guys any if I said that that eBay auction I mentioned to you a while ago was that of the Super Game Module prototype?

 

~Ben

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Would it help you guys any if I said that that eBay auction I mentioned to you a while ago was that of the Super Game Module prototype?

 

~Ben

 

:-o

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Would it help you guys any if I said that that eBay auction I mentioned to you a while ago was that of the Super Game Module prototype?

 

~Ben

 

:-o

I'd say I'm not buying into it. .

 

Link W Pics

 

Looks like a hacked up Atari module, that if it did indeed come from Coleco (and there's a very good chance it may have!), appears to be a System Test unit that I'm guessing would probably plug into an Adam and give some kind of readout or print out thru the parallel port on board as to the system status and health. I can't imagine it would be labeled the way it is if it were a Super Game Module proto. I could be wrong, but would be extremely skeptical at this point without some kind of verification from a known Coleco source.

 

I'll admit, would be nice if you were right though! ;)

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Eduardo,

 

Does that mean the Opgrade Module will NOT be equipped with video output jacks (RGB, S-Video and composite output) as stated on the Opcode site? This is one of the sets of features I was most excited about..not having to mod a CV for these options. I know I would pay extra for this.

 

 

 

You are relentless...

The specs for the OM changed many times, and it is now basically just a bunch of extra memory, so to keep costs down.

While everyone here is entitled to an opinion, in this case I beg to differ. Coleco made a bad decision saving a few bucks on memory. 1KB just isn't enough, even for the time. I believe they realized that not long after the console was released, otherwise they wouldn't have come with the Super Game Module or ADAM.

About the OM, your opinion has been noted. At this point my only recommendation is that if you don't like it, don't buy it. Stay in 1982...

 

 

Coming back on the expension module dicussion.

 

I share also point of view of others people here. the OM module would be fantastic for the colecovision back in time.

 

But nowadays, i don't see real interrest. (except the technical challenge and the joy to create something new for the coleco).

 

I read some time ago, that you OM module could add more resolution, more color, more screenmode, more ram..etc..etc..

 

some screen mode would be similar to what we have on a sega master system and even megadrive.

 

that's great. But nowadays you can have a sms or a mega drive for very few bucks (about 20-25usd) and tons of games for almost nothing. Your module will more or less allow to have game similar to Sega Master System on a coleco.

 

what i like in the Colecovision it is that it is a colecovision and it is limited!. What i like when i program for the coleco, is the limit of the machine (even if sometimes it is painfull) , try to do the best i can with the limited resources , try to have the feeling to be in 1982 writing game for my beloved console!

 

i think the coleco has enough power to produce really good game without having to be expanded.

 

Don't get me wrong, i don't try to discourage you to produce your OM module. I just share my feeling about retro coding. :)

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The game is coming along at an incredible pace! Keep up the kick ass work!

 

One thing I have to comment on... the elevator level... is the "cheat" jump available where you can bypass the lower girders? Based on the videos I've seen thus far it doesn't look like it can be done since the piece doesn't stick out far enough. This isn't a complaint but a constructive observation since I know you want to make it as arcade-like as possible. :)

 

I use this cheat on the higher elevator levels since I suck at timing them. :)

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Eduardo,

 

Does that mean the Opgrade Module will NOT be equipped with video output jacks (RGB, S-Video and composite output) as stated on the Opcode site? This is one of the sets of features I was most excited about..not having to mod a CV for these options. I know I would pay extra for this.

 

Probably not. We are trying to keep the costs down, and the new video would have added between $20~$30 to the final cost of the module. But that will be decided this year, once we have the first prototypes and costs of casing are determined.

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The game is coming along at an incredible pace! Keep up the kick ass work!

 

One thing I have to comment on... the elevator level... is the "cheat" jump available where you can bypass the lower girders? Based on the videos I've seen thus far it doesn't look like it can be done since the piece doesn't stick out far enough. This isn't a complaint but a constructive observation since I know you want to make it as arcade-like as possible. :)

 

I use this cheat on the higher elevator levels since I suck at timing them. :)

 

So you are from Boston... I live in Franklin, not too far away.

About the elevator level, I am not completely sure if I understand what you mean. Something to do with the trick shown in the screenshot? If so, yes, it works just like in the arcade. I use it all the time.

post-1432-1248447450_thumb.png

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Eduardo,

 

Does that mean the Opgrade Module will NOT be equipped with video output jacks (RGB, S-Video and composite output) as stated on the Opcode site? This is one of the sets of features I was most excited about..not having to mod a CV for these options. I know I would pay extra for this.

 

Probably not. We are trying to keep the costs down, and the new video would have added between $20~$30 to the final cost of the module. But that will be decided this year, once we have the first prototypes and costs of casing are determined.

 

 

Boy, if you could even offer a deluxe model that had the upgraded video out, and said video out worked even on non-OM games, then I would happily pay even $50 more. Of course if it would only work with OM games, then I would be less inclined (though still would pay for more features).

 

Just to clarify since it's been so long, the OM is intended to work on the stand-alone Adam as well, right?

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Just to clarify since it's been so long, the OM is intended to work on the stand-alone Adam as well, right?

 

Probably not, since the OM uses some of the same I/O ports as the ADAM and also have conflicting memory addressing.

 

About the video output, lets see how things evolve. The schematics for the new video is done, it uses the V9958 that is backward compatible with the TMS9918. In addition to the V9958 outputing real RGB, I am using a CXA1645 as the video encoder, which is generations ahead the CV encoder. And of course there are all the other advantages the V9958 offers, like hardware scroll, configurable color palette (from 512 colors) and more sprites per scanline. Color palettes are specially interesting because any game could support them with very little effort. Even legacy games could support it thru the new BIOS.

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Chalk me up as a vote for including the better video connections in the module, but I also respect and agree with the idea of not enhancing or upgrading the video functionality. For what it's worth, I think part of the CV's charm is it's simplicity of colors and graphics. While it's a very cool idea nad awesome that you can make it work, I still feel that once you change/use the 9958 beyond the same functionality as the 9918, you no longer have a CV.

 

I do understand that using the 9958 chip would make it much easier to port msx/msx2 games over, but I also stand by my thoughts that once you start 'replacing' the stock hardware (as opposed to just 'expanding' the exisiting hardware) you no longer have the same system. I would see that more akin to a 'new system' that is backwards compatible, not increased functionality of existing hardware. Kind of akin to a Sega Genesis (Megadrive) being backwards compatible on a hardware front with the Master System. Similar technologies (even compatible to most extents although there was a need for the passive Power Base from what I read) but totally different systems.

 

 

So from a purist point of view, I'd love to be able to get better video output with a 'mod', but would much rather see it still using a 9918, or at least a 9958 chip limited to 9918 functionality. I'm guessing the next debate will come in the form of pricing, and the notion of 'if it's there, why not use it?'.

 

Just my 2 cents.. I'm sure I'll buy either way!

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I also want a better version, but i would like it inside of the CV, maybe in the left-front side.

And with a extra connector for Internet.

 

And why Internet, it is for Support (Extra Levels and so.) Update for: ( an extra Bios) and eventually a CV-Club. :D

 

post-9873-1248457871_thumb.png

 

Is this going too far... :cool:

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In addition to the V9958 outputing real RGB

 

I'd buy one just for P&P RGB - PAL CV video quality is dreadful!!!

 

The other features sound great BTW, and the game looks very cool...

 

(I'd love an upgrade for the A8 that was as sympathetic to the original hardware design as this, not some ultra modern power upgrade)

 

sTeVE

Edited by Jetboot Jack

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Chalk me up as a vote for including the better video connections in the module,

It seems like a lot of you guys want the hi-def video output. Anyway, I think the final decision will be taken here in this very forum (albeit in a different thread), once the price for the module with and without the video is known.

 

but I also respect and agree with the idea of not enhancing or upgrading the video functionality. For what it's worth, I think part of the CV's charm is it's simplicity of colors and graphics. While it's a very cool idea nad awesome that you can make it work, I still feel that once you change/use the 9958 beyond the same functionality as the 9918, you no longer have a CV.

That has generated a lot of discussion from the beginning. I must confess that as a long time MSX user I don’t mind the use of the V9958’s advanced features, but I completely understand and respect who thinks differently. That is why I simply removed the thing from the current schematics of the OM. However, since we are back on this topic, let me put things in a different way and you let me know what you think.

First, why use the V9958 and not the regular TMS9918? The V9958 can produce real RGB output, while the TMS9918 cannot. From my experience the video output produced by a V9958 coupled with a modern video encoder is years ahead what the TMS9918 can produce. And price is comparable.

What else does the V9958 offer that the TMS9918 cannot? Well, it has a lot of new video modes. However except for one mode, all the rest were created from scratch and share little in common with the TMS9918. Those new modes are bitmapped, linear frame buffer. They are probably a little more powerful than the Atari ST, however the blitter isn't quite as fast (or should I say the Z80 isn’t quite as fast as the M68000). Anyway, lets forget about the new modes.

What else do we get? First we get a configurable color palette available on any graphic mode, even the "legacy" ones. That means that instead of the 16 fixed colors that the CV offers, we can now select 16 colors from 512. Then we have hardware scroll, a feature sadly missing in the TMS9918. Finally we get Graphics III, a mode identical to Graphics II, but offering 8 sprites per scanline. Additionally sprites can be OR'ed to produce a 3rd color. There is more, like line interruption, but that is advanced stuff. So in my view, if you ignore the new bitmapped modes, the remaining features are actually extensions of the TMS9918, things missing in the original. The good news is that they can be added to new CV games as options, so games don’t need to be written with them in mind.

What I am suggesting here is that, in case the final OM includes the V9958, future OM games could feature optional "video enhanced" modes, which would be enabled or not by the user.

 

I do understand that using the 9958 chip would make it much easier to port msx/msx2 games over

The V9958 doesn’t matter for MSX1 games.

 

but I also stand by my thoughts that once you start 'replacing' the stock hardware (as opposed to just 'expanding' the exisiting hardware) you no longer have the same system. I would see that more akin to a 'new system' that is backwards compatible, not increased functionality of existing hardware. Kind of akin to a Sega Genesis (Megadrive) being backwards compatible on a hardware front with the Master System. Similar technologies (even compatible to most extents although there was a need for the passive Power Base from what I read) but totally different systems.

I agree that it's a delicate topic...

 

 

So from a purist point of view, I'd love to be able to get better video output with a 'mod', but would much rather see it still using a 9918, or at least a 9958 chip limited to 9918 functionality. I'm guessing the next debate will come in the form of pricing, and the notion of 'if it's there, why not use it?'.

Just my 2 cents.. I'm sure I'll buy either way!

 

As I said above, the new graphic modes can be ignored, but the extra features would be made available at least as options that purists could disable if they want.

There is a MSX game called Space Manbow that demonstrates perfectly well what the new features can do when coupled with the legacy graphic modes. Space Manbow uses Graphics III, which is exactly like CV's Graphics II, with the same color limitations (2 colors per tile line), but with hardware scroll, selectable colors and 8 sprites per scanline. Looks more advanced than it really is (ignore the opening sequence though, as it uses one of the new bitmapped modes):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGlVThoL_YM

 

Eduardo

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As I said above, the new graphic modes can be ignored, but the extra features would be made available at least as options that purists could disable if they want.

There is a MSX game called Space Manbow that demonstrates perfectly well what the new features can do when coupled with the legacy graphic modes. Space Manbow uses Graphics III, which is exactly like CV's Graphics II, with the same color limitations (2 colors per tile line), but with hardware scroll, selectable colors and 8 sprites per scanline. Looks more advanced than it really is (ignore the opening sequence though, as it uses one of the new bitmapped modes):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGlVThoL_YM

 

Thanks for the link! A very "Vangaurd" looking game, looks cool! But also looks very Genesis era graphically- well beyond what I expect from a Colecovision.

 

I guess I kind of liken it to my lunch yesterday. Sure I can go to Burger King and ask for 2 all beef patties, thousand island dressing, lettuce, and cheese on a sesame seed bun-- but if that's what I really want, why not just go next door to McDonald's and order a Big Mac? :)

 

Also, reading up, and I think I'm taking this kind of out of context, (and it may have already been discussed and I missed it or forgot about it-- but it's way early for me here and my brain isn't 100% functioning yet I don't think!) but I was reading that the NES was also designed with a limited amount of RAM in the system. They were able to use on-cartridge bankswitched ram to expand functionality. Would that be an option for games like DKA? I'm assuming no, or that would have been covered long ago. For somereason the idea of a NES-Gameshark type design popped into my head.

 

Murph

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It's all a matter of opinion, but I believe the V9958 shouldn't be included in the Opgrade Module. We're talking about an expansion module that needs to be as cheap as possible, so that CV fans won't balk at the price tag when the time comes to purchase such future Opcode titles as Donkey Kong Arcade, Arkanoid, Knightmare, Goonies, King's Valley, etc.

 

Using the V9958 is a fine idea, but it should be used in a new clone console, either in the form of a PCB that replaces the PCB inside an existing ColecoVision unit, or a brand new console altogether (with a new casing and new controllers). That makes more sense to me because then we have full control over the design of the whole hardware, and we can include such extras as 16K of RAM and modern TV output without having a bulky external module hooked up.

 

It all comes down to the $$$. :)

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It's all a matter of opinion, but I believe the V9958 shouldn't be included in the Opgrade Module. We're talking about an expansion module that needs to be as cheap as possible, so that CV fans won't balk at the price tag when the time comes to purchase such future Opcode titles as Donkey Kong Arcade, Arkanoid, Knightmare, Goonies, King's Valley, etc.

 

Using the V9958 is a fine idea, but it should be used in a new clone console, either in the form of a PCB that replaces the PCB inside an existing ColecoVision unit, or a brand new console altogether (with a new casing and new controllers). That makes more sense to me because then we have full control over the design of the whole hardware, and we can include such extras as 16K of RAM and modern TV output without having a bulky external module hooked up.

 

It all comes down to the $$$. :)

 

I agree with what your saying here.

 

I do however think, that Opcode really wanted to complete the DKA, and the OM was the best option.

 

Since the OM will plug into the expansion module port, would it be possible for the board to be modded into the colecovision housing, or will the board size be too large?

I am asking this NOT as an offered option, but rather as a way for people who don't want to have it plugged in externally.

 

Taking this a bit further, I think that Opcode probably knows the ColecoVision better than anyone. Is it possible to replace some of the ICs and run some jumper. Perhaps an add on board and convert it into a backward compatible ColecoVision II. Basically this last part is what Luc is saying I believe.

 

Just some thoughts, I love your project Opcode.

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Hey Opcode, how about my question from earlier about including the early versions of the game where you could stop the barrels from rolling down by staying on top of the ladder? :) You making any accomodations for that? No biggie if not.. just curious :D

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I do however think, that Opcode really wanted to complete the DKA, and the OM was the best option.

The best option? I have to disagree. Donkey Kong Arcade only needs a few more kilobytes of RAM to run properly, and if Eduardo was to ditch the idea of having a persistent high score table in DKA, he could simply release a cheap 16K RAM cartridge that plugs into the expansion port, and then everyone could play not only DKA, but also Arkanoid, Knightmare, and every other game on Opcode's to-do list. (Although in Arkanoid's case, we'd lose the ability to plug in the adaptor for Atari 2600 paddle controllers, which I can admit would be quite regrettable.)

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OK, I'm still not giving up since we're still discussing the Opgrade module...

 

My idea would be to move some of the data from normal RAM to video RAM. Remember, the Colecovision does have 16K of video RAM, and normally you don't use up all of it, even if working in bitmap mode...

 

Let's see... the color table takes up 6K, the pattern table takes up 6K, the sprite pattern table takes up another 2K (if you need all the 64 possible patterns). Then you'd need 0.125 K for the sprite attribute table and 0.75 K for the pattern name table. This leaves 1.125 K of free video RAM. Granted, that's not too much, but it's 1152 more bytes you can use. Granted, access to that kind of RAM isn't as immediate as to CPU RAM, but I'm sure that there are RAM locations for which access is not that time-critical (for instance, the high-score table), which thus could be moved to the VDP RAM.

 

And I think it should be even possible to somewhat compress the screens so that each third doesn't take up all 256 possible patterns, and this would leave some locations in the pattern and color table unused, which could also be reused for other purposes, for instance, for storing game data.

Edited by Kurt_Woloch

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OK, I'm still not giving up since we're still discussing the Opgrade module...

 

My idea would be to move some of the data from normal RAM to video RAM. Remember, the Colecovision does have 16K of video RAM, and normally you don't use up all of it, even if working in bitmap mode...

 

Let's see... the color table takes up 6K, the pattern table takes up 6K, the sprite pattern table takes up another 2K (if you need all the 64 possible patterns). Then you'd need 0.125 K for the sprite attribute table and 0.75 K for the pattern name table. This leaves 1.125 K of free video RAM. Granted, that's not too much, but it's 1152 more bytes you can use. Granted, access to that kind of RAM isn't as immediate as to CPU RAM, but I'm sure that there are RAM locations for which access is not that time-critical (for instance, the high-score table), which thus could be moved to the VDP RAM.

 

And I think it should be even possible to somewhat compress the screens so that each third doesn't take up all 256 possible patterns, and this would leave some locations in the pattern and color table unused, which could also be reused for other purposes, for instance, for storing game data.

 

Good point. :)

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Why do I need to come here to render account of how I am using memory as if I was an idiot or something? I could, but I am going to do that...

And who said it's open to discussion if DKA will require the OM or not? It's my right to make a game that requires a refrigerator to be connected to the CV if I want, it is yours to not like the idea and go look somewhere else.

At this point the only open question is which features will make to the final OM, and that depends on price, and prices can only be determined once I start prototyping the thing. So I better get back to work...

 

OK, I'm still not giving up since we're still discussing the Opgrade module...

 

My idea would be to move some of the data from normal RAM to video RAM. Remember, the Colecovision does have 16K of video RAM, and normally you don't use up all of it, even if working in bitmap mode...

 

Let's see... the color table takes up 6K, the pattern table takes up 6K, the sprite pattern table takes up another 2K (if you need all the 64 possible patterns). Then you'd need 0.125 K for the sprite attribute table and 0.75 K for the pattern name table. This leaves 1.125 K of free video RAM. Granted, that's not too much, but it's 1152 more bytes you can use. Granted, access to that kind of RAM isn't as immediate as to CPU RAM, but I'm sure that there are RAM locations for which access is not that time-critical (for instance, the high-score table), which thus could be moved to the VDP RAM.

 

And I think it should be even possible to somewhat compress the screens so that each third doesn't take up all 256 possible patterns, and this would leave some locations in the pattern and color table unused, which could also be reused for other purposes, for instance, for storing game data.

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Hey Opcode, how about my question from earlier about including the early versions of the game where you could stop the barrels from rolling down by staying on top of the ladder? :) You making any accomodations for that? No biggie if not.. just curious :D

 

Actually the current build plays like that, as it is based on the Japanese version. In fact I thought that was a feature exclusive to the Japanese version, but I can be wrong. I haven’t had the time yet to check all versions available, but I will do that soon. All the differences between the Japanese and USA version will be presented in the final version.

About the status of the game, I made some extra progress early this week, I am just too busy this weekend to create a new video. My wife is going to Brazil next Tuesday so we are kind of busy with all the bags and shopping.

Anyway, in case you are curious, all the intermissions were completed, sprite driver has improved and can now support up to 16 sprites in the same scanline, and a few bugs were corrected and a few tweaks done.

Still missing is the opening, DK scrolling in the conveyor stage and sound.

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Why do I need to come here to render account of how I am using memory as if I was an idiot or something? I could, but I am going to do that...

 

It is not that at all. We know you are not an idiot and we don't ask you to render account.

 

That's just technical curiosity and friendly point of view exchange.

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Something I did long ago, a mock-up for the module. The advantage is that the casing offers lots of space but doesn't require extra area as it sits under the CV, not in front like the expansion module #1. The disadvantage is that the casing may be expensive to produce.

post-1432-1248558457_thumb.png

Edited by opcode

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I agree that the "under" case would be super cool, but sadly probably quite a bit of money. I think the only way to produce the OM "inexpensively" is to use an off the shelf enclosure.

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