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Team Pixelboy News Bulletin - April 7th 2015

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Hello ColecoVisionados!

 

Today's my birthday, and I can't think of a better day to spread some Team Pixelboy joy! And boy do I have a lot of news to report today! :D

 

I'm currently taking a web programming class at my local university this semester, and I really wanted to redo the Team Pixelboy web site using what I've learned, but the teacher in that class just gave us a humongous web programming assignment (HTML, CSS, PHP and Javascript all rolled into one, with a little JQuery to spice things up) and it would have been academic suicide to not begin working on that assignment immediately last week. I've got over 20 hours clocked on that assignment so far, and I haven't even begun the Javascript part yet! Yowser! :o

 

I'd like to say that I'll get around to redoing the Team Pixelboy web site as soon as the semester's over, but I may not get the chance. Keep reading and you'll see why... ;)

 

 

MYSTERY MAN'S THE MAN IN DEMAND!

 

I've been keeping Mystery Man quite busy these last three months. First of all, we finally got around to doing some serious beta-testing with Boxxle, and we squashed a lot of little bugs in the software. After Boxxle (finally) passed the beta-testing phase, I asked Mystery Man if he would be willing to port the MSX versions of Spelunker and The Stone of Wisdom to the ColecoVision, since Eduardo Mello (who was supposed to do those ports) was still M.I.A. at the time. He graciously accepted and began working on these ports as soon as Boxxle was officially done. He ported both games in record time (I'm still amazed at how fast this guy works) and then he got to work on porting Space Shuttle - A Journey Into Space, which he completed recently.

 

If you've ever played the MSX version of Spelunker, you probably have bad memories of the control scheme in that game. You'll be happy to know that the most problematic of the control issues (namely the jump-off-a-rope problem) has been fixed in the ColecoVision version, making the game quite a lot more enjoyable, but still rather unforgiving if you're not careful.

 

 

THE PANIC IN JEWEL PANIC

 

A few weeks ago, I managed to successfully compile a 64K version of Jewel Panic, with the help of alekmaul (thanks again, dude!). I still have a lot of work to do on the software, and with my school work and upcoming final exams, I had to bench the project once again. I need to finish this game once and for all in May, because I want to release the game next September.

 

 

SEPTEMBER RELEASES

 

Since the boxes of Boxxle, Jewel Panic, Spelunker, The Stone of Wisdom, Ghostbusters and Knightmare were printed last year, I should be able to get all those games ready for a September 2015 release, together with the limited-edition release of Front Line SCE.

 

So Knightmare will be released by Team Pixelboy after all? Yep, Eduardo Mello changed his mind (again) about publishing the game and he will let Team Pixelboy publish it. As I write this, I haven't received the release candidate ROM of the game (same goes for Ghostbusters by the way) but if Eduardo can get both games done by the end of May, I should be able to have them beta-tested and put on cartridges in time for the September release deadline.

 

 

I'M GIVING SANTA SOME COMPETITION THIS YEAR

 

If the above news brought a smile to your face, you ain't seen nothin' yet! :D You may recall the Team Pixelboy News Bulletin of January 1st 2015, in which I stated that 2015 was going to be my last year as a publisher of ColecoVision homebrew games. I still intend to honor that commitment, but since then, a lot of interesting projects have been sparked into existence, and it looks like Team Pixelboy will end its six-year run next Christmas with quite a bang! Feast your eyes on the Christmas 2015 lineup below!

 

Space Shuttle - A Journey Into Space : Curtesy of Mystery Man, as mentioned a few paragraphs above, the MSX version has been ported to the ColecoVision. I'll be doing the beta-testing on this game myself. The game will require the Super Game Module if played on a ColecoVision, but the SGM will NOT be required if the game is played on the ADAM. And you will find a controller overlay in every box! (Does this feel like a cereal commercial to you?)

 

 

Super Pac-Man : This is a ColecoVision port of the Sord M5 game Power Pac, done by CrazyBoss. We worked on a new title screen for the game, to make it feel more like the arcade version, but there are a few features missing compared to the arcade game (there's no speed button in the Sord M5 version, for example). Still, it's a very good version of Super Pac-Man for the ColecoVision. Beta-testing is under way, and should be completed soon. Oh, and the SGM will be required for this game on the ColecoVision, but will not be required if you play the game on the ADAM.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbl8ih_2HRM

 

 

C-So! : I've been eyeing this game for years, and I decided to go ahead and have it ported. If you like Mr Do!'s Castle (like I do) you're bound to like this game too. The SG-1000 version is being ported by CrazyBoss, and there's not much else I can say about this project for the time being, aside from showing a video of the SG-1000 version below. I'm not sure yet if the SGM will be required or not, but it probably won't.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJ3HU5--DYk

 

 

Caos Begins : This is an excellent MSX homebrew which came in first place at the MSXdev'07 competition. The game has been ported to the ColecoVision by its original designer and coder, Antoni Burguera. (Additional credits go to Corbomite Manoeuver for graphics and Carlo Bandini for music.) The game will require the Super Game Module, and will also come with its own custom overlay, because it uses a few keys on the keypad. Feast your eyes on this video of the MSX version below!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxPeiPupT1M

 

 

Majikazo : This cute and fun MSX homebrew is coming to a ColecoVision near you thanks to the Lemonize team (Armando Perez as coder, Miguel Angel Fernandez as graphic artist and Carlo Bandini for music and sound effects). Armando was kind enough to prepare a demo version, which contains the first 5 levels of the game. You will find this ROM attached at the end of this news bulletin. The game requires the Super Game Module, but it will also run on the ADAM without the SGM (you will hear sound effects only, however, no music). The demo also contains two different title screens, and I would like you guys and gals to vote for the title screen you prefer. To see both title screens, press the fire button at boot to see the first title screen, and then wait for the character names display to appear again, and then press a fire button to see the second title screen. Please post your vote in this thread (and also your gameplay comments of the demo while you're at it).

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9Bc_ldZZGE

 

 

Operation Wolf : This is another MSX homebrew which is a rather accurate reproduction of the arcade game of the same name, given the limitations of the MSX (and ColecoVision) hardware. This will also be brought to you by the Lemonize team (Armando Perez as coder and sound designer, and Miguel Angel Fernandez as graphic artist and sound designer). Armando just started porting Operation Wolf to the ColecoVision, and given that the game's difficulty is higher when played with a standard controller, we will investigate ways to adjust the game's features to make it more balanced in terms of challenge. Roller Controller support is not planned, in case you're wondering. As you can probably imagine, this game will definately require the Super Game Module.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTf7Ju3B25k

 

 

Mecha-9 : Our resident celebrity homebrewer (and all-around nice guy) nanochess is at it again with the sequel to Mecha-8! Design and coding of Mecha-9 has hardly begun so there's basically nothing to show yet, but it will be a top-down vertical shooter like Mecha-8 was. Best of all, just like with Mecha-8, the Super Game Module will NOT be required to play this game, but the music and sound effects will be enhanced when the SGM is plugged in.

 

 

The following last four titles will be ported by Eduardo Mello. He told me recently that he was willing to port all these games for Team Pixelboy, but since e-mail communications are still rather on-and-off, you should consider these games as "tentative" for now. Of course, I will do everything in my power to get these titles done and ready for the Christmas deadline, but in the end, it's up to Eduardo to get the job done.

 

Secret of the Moai : This will be a port of the Casio MSX game Moai No Hihou, which is a gravity-based puzzle game. It's a rather cute and fun brain teaser, and the ColecoVision always needs more of those. :) The Super Game Module will probably be required, by the way.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkjM4u2sQcw

 

 

Mappy : This is an often-requested game for the ColecoVision, and Team Pixelboy will be publishing the port of the MSX1 version. Admittedly, the graphics in the MSX version aren't all that great, but I worked on the sprites a little bit with encouraging results, and I am currently trying to get Eduardo to replace the sprite graphics with my own, to deliver a slightly better-looking version of Mappy. The SGM will probably be required for this game.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WVYRrYjRBc

 

 

Rally-X : Eduardo always wanted to port the original arcade version of Rally-X (like he did for Pac-Man Collection) but let's face it, it's probably never going to happen. So I offered to publish the port of the MSX version, which looks like a nice and competent version of the arcade game, and Eduardo agreed to do it. The SGM will probably be required for this game.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e55UDKQ89F0

 

 

Gauntlet : Another SGM-required game that will be a port of the MSX1 version. The ColecoVision definately needs more action adventure games, and this one is a fan favorite. :) Eduardo will probably find this one to be a challenging ColecoVision port, because the original MSX1 game is a disk-based game, and the machine code, once disassembled, will have to be completely restructured to run in cartridge-based format.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPqXbs3ZjDY

 

 

So that's no less than 11 games scheduled for next Christmas! And a 12th game may be added to this list, which will be a new title made specifically for the ColecoVision by the author of Caos Begins, Antoni Burguera! I'll provide more information on this new game in a future Team Pixelboy News Bulletin.

 

NOTE: As I stated at the start of this news bulletin, I've been too busy with school work to update teampixelboy.com, so don't bother looking for additional information about the above games on the web site. I'll add them when I find the time, but that may take quite a while. It's just not a priority for me at the moment, and besides, I figure this can wait until I get around to redoing the entire Team Pixelboy web site later this year. :)

 

 

BETA-TESTERS NEEDED

 

I'm currently in need of beta-testers for Caos Begins and Majikazo. Send me a PM if you're interested.

 

Later this year, once the release candidate ROMs are ready, I'll be needing beta-testers for C-So!, Operation Wolf, Mecha-9, Secret of the Moai, Mappy, Rally-X and Gauntlet. You can send me a PM about these if you want to help, but I will not select beta-testers for those games immediately. Selection of the beta-testers will happen in May or June only.

 

 

TEAM PIXELBOY DOING PRE-ORDERS? HELL JUST FROZE OVER!!!

 

As many of you are aware, I'm currently unemployed, and I have to watch my expenses. I think I've acquired a pretty solid reputation over the last few years as a guy who honors his commitments when it comes to meeting deadlines and getting ColecoVision games released on schedule. Getting all the above games released by the end of this year is going to be rather expensive (not to mention very time-consuming) and I'm going to need some help in the finance department. But instead of seeking private funding from a few individuals like I did last year, I'm going to do a sort of crowd-funding effort.

 

In essence, I will let people pre-order the games they want, and pay in advance for them. The problem with this proposition is that I won't know the final price tag of each game until the games are fairly close to their release day. The cost of preparing the printable templates (for boxes and manuals) tends to vary greatly from one game to the next, and there are other factors that influence production costs as well. So I will try to "guesstimate" the final price tag of each game, and when you (the buyer) will pre-pay for the games you want, I will warn you that you may have to pay a small supplement on release day, to cover the difference between my "guesstimates" and the actual final price of each game. The "guesstimated" price tag will not include shipping fees, obviously, so buyers will have to pay shipping fees on the day their pre-ordered games are ready to ship, and whatever supplement applies will be added then.

 

The main goal of this pre-order effort is to be able to pay the homebrew coders (Mystery Man, Armando, Antoni, CrazyBoss, nanochess and Eduardo) as soon as their ROMs have passed the beta-testing phase. Otherwise, I would be forced to make them wait until the games are released (either after September or after Christmas) and this can be problematic, especially for Eduardo Mello because he needs money soon to help in manufacturing more Super Game Modules. Another objective of the pre-order effort will be to pay the printer company for printing all the boxes in a single print order (like it's usually done each year).

 

I haven't worked out all the details of this pre-order effort yet, so please DO NOT contact me (via PM or e-mail) about this for the time being. I will post another Team Pixelboy News Bulletin roughly a month from now, and I will explain all the details of pre-ordering then.

 

By the way, since Eduardo Mello has started to ship the second run of SGMs to customers, I am considering going ahead with the production of new copies of all my old SGM games, at least in a limited on-demand fashion. I think it would be appropriate to include these old SGM games into the pre-order effort. More on that next month... :)

 

 

SOME GAMES TO SELL

 

I have a few games in stock, which are listed below. Since I will be concentrating on preparing all the new games for next September and next Christmas, I do not plan on manufacturing any more copies of these games anytime soon. So now's the time to purchase these, if you're considering it:

 

- Gulkave = 4 copies (these are my last remaining copies, I'm out of boxes for this game!)

- Girl's Garden = 5 copies

- Peek-a-boo = 3 copies

- Pitfall II Arcade = 2 copies

- Destructor SCE = 1 copy

- Star Force = 1 copy

- Wonder Boy = 4 copies

- The Black Onyx = 2 copies

- TwinBee = 3 copies

 

Send me a PM if you want to order any of these.

 

 

ABOUT CHAMPION ICE HOCKEY

 

The five prototype carts of Champion Ice Hockey have been ready to sell for a while now, but I've decided to wait until Eduardo Mello has finished auctionning off his five Hang-On prototype cartridges before I put my own prototypes on eBay. Prototype #2 of Hang-On is currently up for auction on eBay, in case you missed it. :)

 

 

AND JUST BECAUSE YOU WERE BEGGING FOR AN UPDATE...

 

... retroillucid still owes me 238$. Will he ever pay his debt for the Team Pixelboy games he bought from me (and later sold for pretty much 100% profit)? The saga continues! :ponder:

 

 

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

majikazo_promo.zip

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Super Pac-Man : This is a ColecoVision port of the Sord M5 game Power Pac, done by CrazyBoss. We worked on a new title screen for the game, to make it feel more like the arcade version, but there are a few features missing compared to the arcade game (there's no speed button in the Sord M5 version, for example). Still, it's a very good version of Super Pac-Man for the ColecoVision. Beta-testing is under way, and should be completed soon. Oh, and the SGM will be required for this game. Sorry... :P

 

Why not take the time to fix it so that it has the speed button?

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Why not take the time to fix it so that it has the speed button?

That would involve too much effort. Trust me, the ColecoVision version doesn't need a speed button. It's quite playable as it is now. :)

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Happy birthday! and WOW! :o are you ending with a bang? this is a BLAST, an explosion, a big-bang of games for the Colecovision universe! :)

 

BTW, I'm happy to contribute yet another game for Colecovision :grin: I'll make Mecha-9 a great experience ;)

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Oh, and while I'm fully in for every one of those, the mention of Mappy absolutely has me giddy! It was one of the first arcade machines I bought and one of the last ones I sold when I had to move across the country. Didn't want to let it leave! I most certainly am excited about this!

(I owned a Rally-X machine, too so that's another huge AWESOME!)

Edited by TPR

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Well, that's a lot. Bit intimidating actually but I'll continue on with my little project til finished.

 

I'll defiantly buy some of these games. Probably all.

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Happy Birthday. Sounds like your going to be crazy busy.

 

This is not intended in a mean way, but I notice you have been doing it for years.

 

You say Next Christmas all the time when referring to the Christmas coming up the same year. You should say "this coming Christmas"

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I just fixed a small mistake in my news bulletin: Super Pac-Man will be playable on the ADAM without the SGM. :)

 

 

Happy Birthday. Sounds like your going to be crazy busy.

 

This is not intended in a mean way, but I notice you have been doing it for years.

 

You say Next Christmas all the time when referring to the Christmas coming up the same year. You should say "this coming Christmas"

Ah yes, you can blame my "french way of thinking" for that. For me, next Christmas = this coming Christmas. :)

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Happy Birthday Luc .

 

 

The Colecovision is shifting more and more to the MSX... :(

 

 

But looking foward to see Mecha IX !

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Happy birthday! and WOW! :o are you ending with a bang? this is a BLAST, an explosion, a big-bang of games for the Colecovision universe! :)

 

BTW, I'm happy to contribute yet another game for Colecovision :grin: I'll make Mecha-9 a great experience ;)

Mecha-8 is such a great game. I can't wait to see Mecha-9.

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Happy Birthday, Luc!

 

Wow, that's one helluva line up for new CV games.. looks like I better start saving up! ;)

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Wow, that's one helluva line up for new CV games.. looks like I better start saving up! ;)

This reminds me of something I haven't mentioned about the upcoming pre-order thing: People won't need to pay for all the games they want to pre-order in a single payment. They can pay for a couple of games at first, and later, when they've got more money in their Paypal account, they can pay to pre-order for a few more. :)

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will we receive the preorder in our email like the normal game release

Yeah, probably. Not all ColecoVision fans visit the AtariAge forums on a regular basis. :)

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Happy B-day Luc!

 

As has come to be expected from you, another tremendous Update Bulletin. Thank you for sharing all this great news.

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Well, that's a lot. Bit intimidating actually but I'll continue on with my little project til finished.

 

I'll defiantly buy some of these games. Probably all.

Defiantly? Who will you be defying? Your wife or your financial advisor? In my case they are the same so I am screwed, but not in a good way;-)

Edited by Tarzilla

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I just fixed a small mistake in my news bulletin: Super Pac-Man will be playable on the ADAM without the SGM. :)

 

 

 

Ah yes, you can blame my "french way of thinking" for that. For me, next Christmas = this coming Christmas. :)

I'm not french, but I say "next Christmas" also, because, the one coming up is the next one :)

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