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TailChao

Rikki & Vikki

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For even less shekels than that you can go for the Windows version, we're working on bringing it to Humblebundle now in case you're not into Steam.

 

 

Got it, I'm one just of those 7800 guys who wants a physical game on real hardware...just not a box.

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I want to know how you are getting stereo off the chip if there is only one channel for external audio to follow through on the cartridge port? Most noticeable at the end of the video btw...

 

  • Atari 7800 ProSystem
    • Costs $59.99 plus shipping.
    • Includes a sturdy box, cartridge, and Misery Land tour guide with two complimentary tickets.
    • Progress and High Scores aren't saved.
    • Music is in Mono.
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Oops. Sorry to "out" the info. Apparently google had different ideas about it being private. | :)

No worries, and hey here's BupSystem and the SOUPER Mapper!

Hooray, merry whatever!

 

 

There is evidently a considerable amount of software and hardware development towards the 7800 by the team as well. How much time went into the development of Rikki and Vikki?

With the December 26, 2018 ship date that would be almost four years exactly. The first build was on December 26, 2014 and I remember drafting the design earlier that month.

 

Thank you for sharing the sound information details, including leveraging the design of the system as intended. Curious about the video portion too, if you feel comfortable sharing, what MARIA video mode(s) are utilized?

You're welcome and no problem. The game runs exclusively in Mode 320B.

 

 

Tell us more about this BupChip! Does this BupChip mean that we finally have a real viable alternative to the Pokey chip for the 7800?

Sure, and sort of...

 

The BupChip is just a microcontroller running a modified version of BupBoop 1.2.2cz which the game software can communicate with. So unlike a Pokey or most other sound chips from the era it's a "music coprocessor" in that the Sally-side code just tells the BupChip to play a track, stop, pause, resume, or attenuate and has no idea or care what's actually going on otherwise. I'd go as far as saying the "BupChip" only indicates there's some microcontroller able to run the audio software on the cartridge. For Rikki & Vikki in particular we used a 72MHz ARM which could happily render 16 channels at 48KHz.

 

From the composer's perspective this is a simple 16 channel sampler with limited memory. In our case the microcontroller had 256KB flash and we partitioned it into 32KB BupBoop + Support and 224KB Music Data. So the audio is still generated real-time within certain limits.

 

However, all the sound effects in the game are from our old friend the TIA.

 

 

I want to know how you are getting stereo off the chip if there is only one channel for external audio to follow through on the cartridge port? Most noticeable at the end of the video btw...

The music track in the trailer was composed exclusively for it and recorded using the Windows tools, which is why it's in stereo. On the actual Atari 7800 version the music is in mono.

Edited by TailChao
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  • Atari 7800 ProSystem
    • Costs $59.99 plus shipping.
    • Includes a sturdy box, cartridge, and Misery Land tour guide with two complimentary tickets.
    • Progress and High Scores aren't saved.
    • Music is in Mono.

 

Ah..that makes sense now.

 

I was taking it literally when it was stated in the OP that the video was captured from an actual 7800...hehe. But I guess what was really meant was just the video or 7800 build version of the game. Either way...I'm going to have to get this for the uniqueness of it all.

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I do not understand why a couple hundred 7800 fans have not commented on this yet?

It is completely mind blowing!

Wake up!!

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There is looking really good.

And hopefully I will have Christmas cash on time.

 

Hopefully there will be enough for everyone.

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From the composer's perspective this is a simple 16 channel sampler with limited memory. In our case the microcontroller had 256KB flash and we partitioned it into 32KB BupBoop + Support and 224KB Music Data. So the audio is still generated real-time within certain limits.

It is pretty simple, he might add these features later, but there's no way to automate the vibrato, do arpeggios of any kind or any kind of linear pitch changes. The only pitch changes you can do vary wildly depending on the note you choose because it's all relative to the note's value in the system.

 

For instance, to do vibrato, I had to create the pitch bends manually that would simulate that sound. If the note being played is an octave higher though, the vibrato is twice as strong as a result.

 

Also, because SASS is a system where each channel gets its own text file, in each note is a new line, I figured writing music that way would be extremely difficult, especially for making complex music. I built my own set of tools in c# to convert famitracker text exports to this format. I'm going to make a video about this in a couple weeks. I might polish this tool up and release it eventually, but it is still pretty rough and expects some pretty specific input that is not correct syntax for famitracker in any way. I took an "add features as they are needed" approach, which comically saw me add the final feature for the trailer music just a couple weeks ago. Until that point, the engine was not able to detect changes in tempo, and I thought that would be much harder than it turned out to be, so I did it by hand in the couple of tracks that required it for the soundtrack. It was such an easy change that I was mildly upset by how easy it was :)

 

I also compiled my first track nearly a year ago and realized that it took 7KB of space, which was a problem if I was going to have about 30 tracks in 224 kilobytes of space. That 224 KB also includes the samples being used. I realized that you can use patterns to basically make groups of notes into functions that you can call, and this could save space for repeated notes, so I made a second tool that automates this process and heavily reduces file sizes. that first file got reduced to about 3.5 KB instead of 7, but the most extreme reduction was from 35KB to 15KB.

 

Using samples was initially also pretty unusual because it requires 8 bit signed samples, and most sound programs are going to try to do 8 bit unsigned instead, but that's not that big of a deal.

 

I tried to make a kind of conglomeration of Atari sounds in Nintendo sounds, since I generally make NES music. So in the soundtrack, you will hear things like Atari TIA waves 1, 6, 7, NES 25% square wave, noise, DPCM and triangle, and vrc6 sawtooth. Most of the bass in the game (including the trailer above) uses the NES triangle + TIA type 1 sound. Usually I would use NES triangle plus sawtooth, but the TIA 1 wave actually sounds really nice with the triangle, and they complement each other pretty well.

 

However, all the sound effects in the game are from our old friend the TIA.

I think you got some pretty interesting sounds out of the TIA that I don't hear in other Atari 2600 and 7800 games.

 

I also made a few mock-ups that I sent to Osman of a few tracks from Rikki & Vikki rendered on the TIA. They work okay, but I chose some of the more simple tracks. There are definitely tracks on this soundtrack that would never work on the TIA.

 

The music track in the trailer was composed exclusively for it and recorded using the Windows tools, which is why it's in stereo. On the actual Atari 7800 version the music is in mono.

The trailer music track uses three modified tracks from the game kind of stuck together and shortened. The first and last tracks are pretty much verbatim from the game, minus some shortening, but the middle track is like an entirely new remix of another track in the game.

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So...this is pretty much a must-buy, isn't it? :)

 

Extra kudos for creating an original game. Honestly. The homebrew scene needs more stuff like this.

 

And extra EXTRA kudos for not announcing it immediately after you came up with the idea in the shower, or initiating a development hell thread full of people saying "you should do this, change that, if the game has or doesn't have X I won't buy it!" or holding it for ransom on Kickstarter. :P :-D

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But I guess what was really meant was just the video or 7800 build version of the game.

Yep, just the video was from the Atari 7800. So no voice acting in the actual product either :)

 

 

Is it still 10000 points for 1 credit from salesman Dut?

Not for two player mode, we had to adjust Dut's prices long after that video was made (for those not aware, ~ late 2015). But Dut also seems to have his own opinions on what credits are worth.

 

 

It is pretty simple, he might add these features later, but there's no way to automate the vibrato, do arpeggios of any kind or any kind of linear pitch changes. The only pitch changes you can do vary wildly depending on the note you choose because it's all relative to the note's value in the system.

I'd like to keep using BupBoop for other projects, so if Rikki & Vikki is able to pay for another game the driver (and its publicly available versions) will improve.

 

For others, the pitch drift described above result from the pitch adjustment value directly modifying the phase accumulator adjustment rather than being tuned relative to the current note. I originally was planning to use a much less capable microcontroller for the BupChip and this was one of those performance choices that ended up being both irritating and unnecessary.

 

 

And extra EXTRA kudos for not announcing it immediately after you came up with the idea in the shower, or initiating a development hell thread full of people saying "you should do this, change that, if the game has or doesn't have X I won't buy it!" or holding it for ransom on Kickstarter. :P :-D

Thanks, I appreciate it. But also the game would not have shipped if we announced early like that. It's not feasible to both talk about and work on a game when it's too low budget to have someone dedicated to managing communications and promotions.
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Thanks, I appreciate it. But also the game would not have shipped if we announced early like that. It's not feasible to both talk about and work on a game when it's too low budget to have someone dedicated to managing communications and promotions.

 

Exactly. :thumbsup:

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