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OMNI console official thread

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A bit tough to answer now, but let's give it a go:

 

- What would be the maximum you would pay for OMNI?

Probably no more than two hundred dollars. It'd have to be doing amazing things like giving me cartridge adapters and ways to play all my pre NES games and etc. for me to pay much more than that. I get economics of scale and so on (especially since this will be a very niche project), but I can't see myself every spending much more than a couple hundred dollars on ANY console, up to and including modern ones.

- What would you consider the required minimum number of games at launch to be interested?

4 to 6 gives you a nice spread, I'd say. Realistically, you need enough games where it's not a pig in a poke for buyers, but obviously you can't just snap your fingers and have games.

- How important is a pack-in game?

Not deal breaking or anything, but it's always a nice value add. Someone mentioned Snail Maze upthread, and I have to say that the simple inclusion of that game made me feel like SEGA really valued me as a customer / gamer, as silly as that may sound.

- What kind of retro games you would like to see?

I'm a big fan of shoot 'em ups, puzzle games, RPGs and twitchy arcade games.

- Do you like the idea of improved versions of classics? If so, would you prefer improved versions of console games or improved versions of arcade games? Or 100% new titles?

Hard to say. I would not be opposed to improved classics, I'll put it that way, but I'm definitely opposed to classic games with an ugly new coat of paint.

- How important a feature "user content creation" would be for you? I mean, the ability for users to create their own games using a simple language directly on the console?

Sounds good in theory, but I'm still grappling with NES Maker, which is probably as user friendly as it can be.

- How do you feel about branding? Would you like a well known retro gaming name behind OMNI? Do you prefer the Opcode name? Feel free to speak your mind here.

I'm perfectly content with the Opcode name. I don't feel like it needs a fake affiliation with anyone, as this is gonna be it's own thing. Let's say the dumb AMICO thing wasn't happening, and you somehow scored the Intellivision name, and called this the Intellivision OMNI. As much as I like you and respect your work, I'd roll my eyes, because this will have sod all to do with the Intellivision, you know? Of course, others may feel differently about that.

- How important is online on a retro inspired console?

Online in what sense? Saving scores, playing with other people? Firmware updates? Not desperately important as long as, if there is indeed firmware, it can be updated somehow.

- Anything else you think is important? Anything else in your wishlist?

In my mind's eye, I can see this as sort of a beefed up Master System. As I've said to you before, the most important thing is going to be games. I know a lot of our fellow Atari Age members are really big on stats (how many sprites on screen? How many colors? How much memory? How much this or that?) but that doesn't interest me nearly as much as what kind of games will I be able to play here and nowhere else? That's going to be a tough road for you to climb, much like it would have been for the R****V**. The bottom line is going to be will there be fun games to play, and is it worth me shelling out two hundred bucks (or whatever) for the ability to play them? Or do I just stick to my PS4 and Switch and buy cool indies on those consoles? I love cool indy games, and buy WAY more of those than AAA titles these days.

OMNI sounds neat in theory, but I don't know how viable it will be. My nagging sense of pessimistic realism says that it's going to be a tough sell. I'd be over the moon if you just kept cranking out SGM games, but I get the unending, needless drama has probably somewhat soured you on the scene and you want to do your own thing. I'm not saying that's bad by any means (you should be able to pursue your own dreams, after all), but I just don't know if there are enough people out there to take a gamble on.

Edited by dj_convoy

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What would be the maximum you would pay for OMNI?

 

$200. Being in Canada, once you convert to Canadian and add shipping, you're looking at close to 300.

 

- What would you consider the required minimum number of games at launch to be interested?

 

Your planned 6 sounds perfect. I think a minimum of 4 as long as there was also details of soon to be released games too. As long as they don't get delayed as much as DKA and Pac Man DX.

 

- How important is a pack-in game?

 

Nice bonus. Especially as consoles usually, if not always came with one back in the Ferg.

 

- What kind of retro games you would like to see?

- Do you like the idea of improved versions of classics? If so, would you prefer improved versions of console games or improved versions of arcade games? Or 100% new titles?

 

A mixed bag would be nice. I personally prefer shooters and platformers. To me, retro gaming is all about simple fun. Easy to pick up and play games. I have my modern system for complex gameplay. Arcade conversions of games that may not have gotten a decent or any version on an Atari system would also be good.

 

- How important a feature "user content creation" would be for you? I mean, the ability for users to create their own games using a simple language directly on the console?

 

As a non-programmer, not interested in this feature at all. As a gamer, it still doesn't excite me. I only like to purchase the very best, professional quality homebrews and have no interest in the bulk of homebrews, which to me look like ok to good amateur enthusiast efforts but not something with the level of professionalism to entice me to play them.

 

- How do you feel about branding? Would you like a well known retro gaming name behind OMNI? Do you prefer the Opcode name? Feel free to speak your mind here.

 

Opcode Omni is perfect. You have alliteration and it rolls off the tongue nicely.

 

- How important is online on a retro inspired console?

 

Zero. Consoles didn't have internet in the 80's and I like them all the more for it.

 

- Anything else you think is important? Anything else in your wishlist?

 

Software support is key. Without the games, the Omni is just a pretty, plastic box.

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I am listening. Yes, games must be the focus. And of course people will start seeing value (or not) once we start showing the games.

 

As for branding, so far it is kind of expected distribution, some like, some dislike, some don’t care. I understand the skepticism, but perhaps the problem with something like Coleco was the cynical “we are back” attitude. Perhaps if it had been more reverential, more straightforward like “we are a brand new Coleco, we want to honor the old Coleco” or something like that. And of course use it in a way that make sense from a legacy perspective.

 

And good catch about alliteration. Wink wink...

 

 

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- What would be the maximum you would pay for OMNI? I know, hard to discuss at this point without showing more, but anyway, for a new retro inspired game system, brand new design, complete console with controller, brand new hardware, uses cartridge. You know my usual quality standards...



$300




- What would you consider the required minimum number of games at launch to be interested?



6




- How important is a pack-in game?



Kinda important




- What kind of retro games you would like to see?



Early 80s style like Donkey Kong, Mr. Do!, Bagman, Tutankham, Jungle Hunt, etc. I like the variety and imagination back then.




- Do you like the idea of improved versions of classics? If so, would you prefer improved versions of console games or improved versions of arcade games? Or 100% new titles?



I'd say the coolest thing that I'd REALLY love to see are arcade ports that have new features and levels - think of Donkey Kong Remix and Donkey Kong Jr Remix. Those type of ports would be awesome, especially if they are of the caliber of those two remixes. Give me a new experience with the old games that I love and have played countless times.



But in general, I'd prefer arcade ports over console ports. 100% original games would be cool too.




- How important a feature "user content creation" would be for you? I mean, the ability for users to create their own games using a simple language directly on the console?



That would be pretty cool. It would depend on what the limitations are and what kind of games you can make. If it was possible to at least make a game of a quality similar to a top early 80s arcade game that would be great.




- How do you feel about branding? Would you like a well known retro gaming name behind OMNI? Do you prefer the Opcode name? Feel free to speak your mind here.



It doesn't matter much to me.




- How important is online on a retro inspired console?



Not very important. The only thing I'd care about is maybe having your scores uploaded to a leaderboard somewhere.




- Anything else you think is important? Anything else in your wishlist?



I'd like it to include a 240p out option for CRTs. The flicker of 480i is bothersome.



Also, it would be cool to support some sort of compatibility for some of the old unique controllers like Atari paddle controllers or trackballs. Like if you have a usb port, would it be possible to be able to have a 2600-daptor to work with it?


Edited by Ramses

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I was walking in the woods this afternoon with my son, who got let off school early because of parent teacher interviews and I started thinking about the Omni. Certain snippets of info have led me to add two and two together. Maybe I've made 5 but let me elaborate. This info has given me a theory about a possible name change to the Omni. Firstly, the working with Ed Averett, the guy responsible for many of the Odyssey 2 games. Second, the latest questionnaire that asks our opinion on if Opcode Omni is preferred or a revival of an old brand. Why ask this if Opcode was intent on using the Omni name? Third, the announcement of a delay to April because of some trademark thingy. Could this be something to do with the trademark for the Odyssey? Last but not least, Opcode's "wink wink" comment on my earlier mention of liking the alliteration of Opcode Omni. There seems more to it than just a pat on the back for liking the alliteration. This has all led me to wonder if Opcode are thinking about renaming the Omni, the Opcode Odyssey 3 or going the whole hog and calling it the Magnavox Odyssey 3. Now I haven't done any research and when or if the Odyssey trademark is available and it's all conjecture based on circumstantial evidence of sorts, but I thought I'd put it out there and see what reaction I got, if any.

Edited by insertclevernamehere
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Do you honestly think that would shift any additional units of the system? I don't think that particular branding would matter to hardly anyone. No disrespect to your theory, you could be right for all we know... I just don't see that adding much.

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Do you honestly think that would shift any additional units of the system?

No. Never said it would. Just joined some dots and came up with a theory. Not wish fulfillment or anything. Just seemed a possibility. I personally prefer the Opcode Omni name. I have zero nostalgia for the Magnavox Odyssey. My console of choice was the Atari 2600 back then and having grown up in the UK, the Odyssey 2 was known as the Philips Videopac anyway.

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The big question mark at this point is how I am going to handle game production.

Ideally I would hire programmers and work as director, so we have a reasonable output of games each year. However that would require a budget. And a budget would require a larger number of cartridges being sold per game. I am estimating 500 copies would be the minimum, but for that we would need a minimum installed base of 2,000 consoles or something. For such a fairly high base we would need a good selection and quality of games and so on. I am starting to believe an investor will be required.

 

 

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So it's been a few weeks with nothing added on here which is a bit boring and frustrating. I like to be drip fed something. ANYTHING. In the meantime, for what it's worth, I thought I'd share some info on 2 exciting, upcoming homebrews. These are exactly the sort of thing I'd like to see on the OMNI, or whatever it will be called, wink wink. You got an update on an old Activision classic and an original game and they both look gorgeous.

 

http://www.kraut-buster.com/product.html

 

http://www.indieretronews.com/2018/07/is-this-work-in-progress-modern-version.html

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Ooh - is that an updated version of the Odyssey 2 Quest for the Rings game? If so, will this also come with a physical game board and pieces?

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Lovely. Thanks for that. Regular snippets of info whether in text form or pictorial or any more questionnaires you want to throw our way would be much appreciated. Cheers.

You see, Opcode has always been the hobby thing I started because I liked the ColecoVision and wanted to get a few more arcade ports on it. While it expanded and grown, it was still within this one-man homebrew mentality, and that has its limitations.

 

OMNi is more like “if I could dream of anything, what would I want to see?”. So I am going for at least a couple thousand consoles, a small team of developers, a dozen games an year. It requires quite some planning, no guarantee it will work out, but I will try my best. The reason for such ambition has less to do with money and more to do with delivering it the only way that would make it justice, and the only way would make it financially viable. We sell too little consoles, the install base won’t support that, I will have to produce all games myself, few games a year, little interest. Chicken and egg. So it is big or nothing.

 

 

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You see, Opcode has always been the hobby thing I started because I liked the ColecoVision and wanted to get a few more arcade ports on it. While it expanded and grown, it was still within this one-man homebrew mentality, and that has its limitations.

OMNi is more like if I could dream of anything, what would I want to see?. So I am going for at least a couple thousand consoles, a small team of developers, a dozen games an year. It requires quite some planning, no guarantee it will work out, but I will try my best. The reason for such ambition has less to do with money and more to do with delivering it the only way that would make it justice, and the only way would make it financially viable. We sell too little consoles, the install base wont support that, I will have to produce all games myself, few games a year, little interest. Chicken and egg. So it is big or nothing.

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I completely get it and kudos to you for following your dream. I imagine that even at the level of success to make this console viable, it won't be enough to make you rich. Nowhere near. I know it's all about fulfillment of a dream and I applaud you for it. The chicken and egg situation is probably the scariest part. Building that interest to gain enough sales to make it all possible is the big unknown that I wish you all the best in. Whetting our appetite with these little teases will certainly help. I have to say there's something about the cartridge and label in the photo that I just LOVE. It's just a cartridge! Why do I like it so much? I don't know exactly but I think you've got it just right. The shape, the proportions, angles. It all just looks perfect. Really love the pixel artwork on the label too. Reminds me of the early NES releases. Edited by insertclevernamehere
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I was a big fan of Ed Averett's games on the Odyssey 2 - games like UFO, Monkeyshines, PickAxe Pete, and Attack of The Timelords. He was for a while almost singlehandedly competing with Atari and Intellivision, writing like 24 games back in the day. I'm excited to see what he can do with this new console.

 

I think in many ways a console is like a musical instrument - each one has strengths and weaknesses and unique characteristics the help define the nature of the games that are done for that system. Just as the electric guitar didn't make the acoustic guitar obsolete, the existence of modern consoles doesn't make the old consoles obsolete. That's one reason why there is still interest in games for these older systems.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing this "new, 80's style, what could have been" console!

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I completely get it and kudos to you for following your dream. I imagine that even at the level of success to make this console viable, it won't be enough to make you rich. Nowhere near. I know it's all about fulfillment of a dream and I applaud you for it. The chicken and egg situation is probably the scariest part. Building that interest to gain enough sales to make it all possible is the big unknown that I wish you all the best in. Whetting our appetite with these little teases will certainly help. I have to say there's something about the cartridge and label in the photo that I just LOVE. It's just a cartridge! Why do I like it so much? I don't know exactly but I think you've got it just right. The shape, the proportions, angles. It all just looks perfect. Really love the pixel artwork on the label too. Reminds me of the early NES releases.

 

 

The pixel art was a quick fix since we have not commissioned a box artist yet. Grazi created the label, Ted Mayer created the cartridge, which is kind of small actually, about the size of an Intellivision cartridge, but shorter. We should start creating tooling soon. I believe so much on this thing that I am tempted to pay for all tooling out of my pocket.

 

Ooh - is that an updated version of the Odyssey 2 Quest for the Rings game? If so, will this also come with a physical game board and pieces?

 

We don't need, right. OMNI is advanced enough to reproduce all the board stuff digitally. That makes the game more accessible and dynamic, no need for a master.

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We don't need, right. OMNI is advanced enough to reproduce all the board stuff digitally. That makes the game more accessible and dynamic, no need for a master.

Don't be so quick to write this idea off. It was a neat concept with the O2, even if only 3 or 4 games were made. And growing up I remember some board games (specifically Stop Theif, that added entropy to the game via an electronic hand held) that come to mind that perfectly blended a physical game with an eletronic component.

 

There is something about mixing the physical and electronic worlds together.

Edited by nick3092

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We don't need, right. OMNI is advanced enough to reproduce all the board stuff digitally. That makes the game more accessible and dynamic, no need for a master.

 

Phew! I for one am relieved to hear that Quest for the Rings won't come with a game board.

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Yes! I am very stoked to see that OMNI will be bringing classic O2 games back to light. I liked my O2 a lot, and glad to see OMNI being a (somewhat) spiritual successor to that.

We don't need, right. OMNI is advanced enough to reproduce all the board stuff digitally. That makes the game more accessible and dynamic, no need for a master.

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Don't be so quick to write this idea off. It was a neat concept with the O2, even if only 3 or 4 games were made. And growing up I remember some board games (specifically Stop Theif, that added entropy to the game via an electronic hand held) that come to mind that perfectly blended a physical game with an eletronic component.

 

There is something about mixing the physical and electronic worlds together.

Sure, but then the costs for the game go up. A board game element would be neat, but expensive.

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I think Opcode was wise in licensing out the SGM

 

Ive been away for a while. How was the SGM licensed by Opcode? In its simplest form, isnt the SGM just more memory and another sound chip?

 

Sorry to be so clueless but I havent been keeping up to date lately. Thanks.

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Ive been away for a while. How was the SGM licensed by Opcode? In its simplest form, isnt the SGM just more memory and another sound chip?

 

Sorry to be so clueless but I havent been keeping up to date lately. Thanks.

I think this is referring to the Collectorvision Phoenix.

 

At one point Collectorvision was contemplating adding more memory and another sound chip to their FPGA core, in the same locations as in the SGM, so that SGM compatible games would just coincidentally run on the Phoenix.

 

After a very long discussion (I think it's on the Collectorvision area, somewhere), Collectorvision agreed to license the SGM so they could say they were an "official SGM compatible system", and Opcode will get a license fee for each Phoenix system shipped.IIRC...

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I think this is referring to the Collectorvision Phoenix.

 

At one point Collectorvision was contemplating adding more memory and another sound chip to their FPGA core, in the same locations as in the SGM, so that SGM compatible games would just coincidentally run on the Phoenix.

 

After a very long discussion (I think it's on the Collectorvision area, somewhere), Collectorvision agreed to license the SGM so they could say they were an "official SGM compatible system", and Opcode will get a license fee for each Phoenix system shipped.IIRC...

Sorry to go OT. But if I released a CV compatible console that had the same RAM and sound chip in the same IO space, would it be more of a legal thing to say its SGM compatible or a commoradary thing?

 

The reason I ask is because I was thinking of making a small CV board myself. I designed a 6502 SBC recently and Im looking for another project.

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