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TailChao

Rikki & Vikki

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@TailChao

Got the game!

 

Haven’t gotten far, but to production as far as stage (not world) 9 or 10, 

 

my first impression is

 

Graphics: 9,5/10

Sound: 9,5/10

Playability: 9/10

Lastability: ?? (estimate 8/10)

 

Overall (just first impression): 

9,5/10

 

Excellent work!!

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@TailChao

Pleased with the warranty card, but not sure what to make of the appendix to it with small text...

 

 

B43DBCCF-366F-4542-9609-99776202D631.jpeg

 

🤨🧐😳😬

 

😂

Edited by Giles N
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Got 1 of my Christmas presents today! Now I am just waiting on Al to send me Baby Pacman and Bentley Bear's Crystal Quest!!!! Merry Christmas everyone!

received_2544622289149387.jpeg

received_536886320503132.jpeg

Edited by WAVE 1 GAMES
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This game is every bit as fantastic as I was led to believe! I have a few observations and kudos to the authors for:

 

The box and all the paper products within is top notch! The game label is superb. The only thing conspicuously missing is the ATARI branding, which I'm 100% sure is intentional. Personally I think that is a very smart move since trademarks even for this stuff old stuff can be tricky. Despite this omission it looks right at home with my boxed Tower Toppler game.

The music is fantastic! I'd love to hear any anecdotes about the motivation and creative direction that went into creating it. It certainly proves that options other than POKEY for sound are definitely worthwhile, and as a techie type I'm curious about the bank switching scheme and the sound chip details if they can be shared.

The graphics. Wow. Great work here.

The gameplay is very good and the controls are well thought out. My only critique here is that I wish the button actions were reversed or an option to reverse them as I keep getting jump and throw mixed up. Otherwise, I'll get used to it I'm sure. 

This is easily as good and certainly much better than most of the commercially available games, and I think you could even say that about other contemporary systems. It certainly stacks up the 7800 very favorably against the NES, which is a great achievement. You should be proud of this!

 

Love it and thanks!

 

 

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Thanks everyone for the feedback.

Oh, hey - it's now been a year since the game's release!

 

19 hours ago, Geoff Oltmans said:

The box and all the paper products within is top notch! The game label is superb. The only thing conspicuously missing is the ATARI branding, which I'm 100% sure is intentional. Personally I think that is a very smart move since trademarks even for this stuff old stuff can be tricky. Despite this omission it looks right at home with my boxed Tower Toppler game.

You're 100% correct on this.

 

 

19 hours ago, Geoff Oltmans said:

The music is fantastic! I'd love to hear any anecdotes about the motivation and creative direction that went into creating it. It certainly proves that options other than POKEY for sound are definitely worthwhile, and as a techie type I'm curious about the bank switching scheme and the sound chip details if they can be shared.

The game's score was all @RushJet1 , but yes - I fully support moving away from Pokey.

 

Regarding the mapper and audio expansion, they were both released for use by other developers along with an emulator which supports them (and has more tidbits in its help file). The big jump over existing designs is a cleaner separation between Sally and Maria's view of the cartridge address space , but we're not even up to MMC3 class here. Plenty more that could be added to give the hardware a further boost.

 

 

20 hours ago, Geoff Oltmans said:

My only critique here is that I wish the button actions were reversed or an option to reverse them as I keep getting jump and throw mixed up. Otherwise, I'll get used to it I'm sure. 

Noted :)

 

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2 hours ago, TailChao said:

Thanks everyone for the feedback.

 

Regarding the mapper and audio expansion, they were both released for use by other developers along with an emulator which supports them (and has more tidbits in its help file). The big jump over existing designs is a cleaner separation between Sally and Maria's view of the cartridge address space , but we're not even up to MMC3 class here. Plenty more that could be added to give the hardware a further boost.

 

Noted :)

 

 

Are you saying that your hardware sorcery isn't yet up to the levels of madness that the MM3 achieved and delivered to the rather weak standard NES? Because the majority of us would say your game goes well beyond what was pulled off with the NES. The graphics are more at what most would consider the TG-16, Sega Genesis, and/or SNES levels...

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7 hours ago, Lynxpro said:

 

Are you saying that your hardware sorcery isn't yet up to the levels of madness that the MM3 achieved and delivered to the rather weak standard NES? Because the majority of us would say your game goes well beyond what was pulled off with the NES. The graphics are more at what most would consider the TG-16, Sega Genesis, and/or SNES levels...

Naaaah as much as I like this game and as much as the art takes advantage of the limitations, it's definitely not 16-bit quality.  All backgrounds are black out of necessity, whereas the NES would have no problems with this.  You could use the lower resolution mode but then the NES is double the resolution.  Later NES games had some fairly elaborate background art with some parallax-alike in some games even.

 

Related image Image result for mega man 6 plant man stage screenshots Image result for return of the joker screenshots nes iA7Sxro.png 

 

The Atari 7800 can definitely do some things the NES has issues with.  With the MMC controllers they could do some very impressive stuff though.

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20 hours ago, Lynxpro said:

Are you saying that your hardware sorcery isn't yet up to the levels of madness that the MM3 achieved and delivered to the rather weak standard NES? Because the majority of us would say your game goes well beyond what was pulled off with the NES. The graphics are more at what most would consider the TG-16, Sega Genesis, and/or SNES levels...

Not quite.

 

The MMC3's design is fairly simple and I wouldn't consider what it adds madness - that's more MMC5. But it still has a few features I would have liked (proper raster counter, better subdivision of textures, bla bla bla). Much of the sorcery in the above screenshots is accomplished through skilled software and graphic design by the developers rather than some magic chip in the cartridge. Keep in mind games like Battletoads or the more recent Micro Mages use a very primitive or absolutely no mapper, respectively.

 

I think we managed to get okay movement in Rikki & Vikki (i.e. the animation has good weight), and there's far more that could be done with the hardware. But I wouldn't consider it up to snuff with any of the 16-Bit'sters with the amount of fuss required on the developer's behalf to get there. It'd have to be stylized very heavily and what caters well to Maria's strengths is completely different than any of the 7800's contemporaries.

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2 hours ago, TailChao said:

Not quite.

 

The MMC3's design is fairly simple and I wouldn't consider what it adds madness - that's more MMC5. But it still has a few features I would have liked (proper raster counter, better subdivision of textures, bla bla bla). Much of the sorcery in the above screenshots is accomplished through skilled software and graphic design by the developers rather than some magic chip in the cartridge. Keep in mind games like Battletoads or the more recent Micro Mages use a very primitive or absolutely no mapper, respectively.

 

I think we managed to get okay movement in Rikki & Vikki (i.e. the animation has good weight), and there's far more that could be done with the hardware. But I wouldn't consider it up to snuff with any of the 16-Bit'sters with the amount of fuss required on the developer's behalf to get there. It'd have to be stylized very heavily and what caters well to Maria's strengths is completely different than any of the 7800's contemporaries.

 

Either way, the MARIA is stock to the 7800 whereas the MMC3 and MMC5 chips are cart-based add-ons to the NES that not only map extra RAM but add extra graphical features. From my recollection, what you guys have stated you've been able to do is use the most amount of cart-based RAM on a 7800 game yet plus figured out how to use the MARIA and SALLY at the same time plus the obviously skilled programming. So what you've done deserves the high praise you're receiving.  

 

The 7800 has yet to receive something like an Activision DPC or an NES MMC3/5 cart-based chip to add to and complement the existing graphical capabilities. Would GCC or Atari Inc have done so had Atari Inc survived and released the 7800 back-in-the-day? Perhaps. Then again, perhaps not since Atari Inc would've had the Amiga Lorraine chipset royalty-free under said scenario which would've been a great incentive for them to have moved onto the 16-bit era as soon as possible and de-emphasize the 7800 by Christmas 1986... Sorry, tangent jumping!  :)

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This game convinced me to pick up a 7800 again and I ordered my copy today. Will be having a go at it on either the 13" Zenith or my 19" Sylvania, since they both have RF coaxial input.

 

It looks and sounds phenomenal- I absolutely appreciate putting out such an exemplary effort on an underdog of a system.

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Hooray 2020!

Despite the new decade, Rikki & Vikki is still on g_Steam.gif for 90% off until January 2. Two players for one dollar.

 

On 12/29/2019 at 1:14 PM, Lynxpro said:

Either way, the MARIA is stock to the 7800 whereas the MMC3 and MMC5 chips are cart-based add-ons to the NES that not only map extra RAM but add extra graphical features.

The MMC3 doesn't add many new graphical enhancements outside of more addressable memory, but the MMC5 definitely gives a helpful nudge.

 

 

On 12/29/2019 at 1:14 PM, Lynxpro said:

From my recollection, what you guys have stated you've been able to do is use the most amount of cart-based RAM on a 7800 game yet plus figured out how to use the MARIA and SALLY at the same time plus the obviously skilled programming. So what you've done deserves the high praise you're receiving.

Not quite ;)

 

We gave Maria and Sally separate paging, but it's infeasible for both of them to operate simultaneously. One way to think of it is that the cartridge is a book which can be read by either Maria or Sally. The existing mappers only allowed one bookmark to be placed at a time. We added a second bookmark for Maria so there's less requirements for each chip to accommodate the other's needs.

 

I'd like to think we got the 7800 vs NES vs CD-i comparisons taken care of around twenty pages back - but do want to point out the "simultaneous" aspect is extremely important. On the NES, the PPU operates independently of the CPU and can fetch data while the CPU processes game logic. The 7800 only allows one of them to operate at a time - so the performance is significantly reduced right out of the gate.

 

Not that I don't appreciate the complements (I do) - but there seems to be a belief here that the MMCs are the equivalent of bolting an aircraft's engine onto a vespa when this is absolutely not the case. The NES and 7800 have very different design priorities, which is fine - they both exist and you can pick whichever you like. But one isn't universally able to trounce the other, even in their stock configurations.

 

 

On 12/31/2019 at 10:13 AM, Bratwurst said:

This game convinced me to pick up a 7800 again and I ordered my copy today. Will be having a go at it on either the 13" Zenith or my 19" Sylvania, since they both have RF coaxial input.

 

It looks and sounds phenomenal- I absolutely appreciate putting out such an exemplary effort on an underdog of a system.

Thanks!

 

We've been getting a lot of feedback from customers who bought a 7800 just to play the game, or tried it on Windows and wanted to get the hardware experience afterward. It's pretty wild.

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1 hour ago, TailChao said:

 

We gave Maria and Sally separate paging, but it's infeasible for both of them to operate simultaneously. One way to think of it is that the cartridge is a book which can be read by either Maria or Sally. The existing mappers only allowed one bookmark to be placed at a time. We added a second bookmark for Maria so there's less requirements for each chip to accommodate the other's needs.

 

I'd like to think we got the 7800 vs NES vs CD-i comparisons taken care of around twenty pages back - but do want to point out the "simultaneous" aspect is extremely important. On the NES, the PPU operates independently of the CPU and can fetch data while the CPU processes game logic. The 7800 only allows one of them to operate at a time - so the performance is significantly reduced right out of the gate.

 

Not that I don't appreciate the complements (I do) - but there seems to be a belief here that the MMCs are the equivalent of bolting an aircraft's engine onto a vespa when this is absolutely not the case. The NES and 7800 have very different design priorities, which is fine - they both exist and you can pick whichever you like. But one isn't universally able to trounce the other, even in their stock configurations.

 

 

Also bear in mind the NES is a unicorn in the sence that it is the only system I know of with a dual bus for graphics and program. Also both graphics and program can contain rom or ram.

 

This creates huge versatility when it comes to bankswitching and cart expansion, especially considering all the additional address lines they stuffed in. The Famicom was designed from the ground up to be expandible, which is one reason why it lasted so long as a system.

 

The 7800 and other systems basically had to find cpu exploits to expand default capabilities. That and Tramiel was a penny pincher.

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7 hours ago, Kosmic Stardust said:

...The Famicom was designed from the ground up to be expandible, which is one reason why it lasted so long as a system.

The 7800 and other systems basically had to find cpu exploits to expand default capabilities...

Just like the Famicom, the 7800 was designed for sound expansion, right off a cartridge connector return loop. 😉

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4 minutes ago, Theallknowingsause said:

Random question, is there a reason the game is restricted to seven dazzling colors? 

Rikki & Vikki uses the 320B graphics mode which allows for higher resolution graphics than the 160 modes, but unlike 320A it allows more than 1 colour + background per object. The trade off is that you only have 2 palettes of 3 colours + background to work with. Like with the other 320 modes there are other restrictions with how those colours can be placed when transparency is enabled to prevent black squares around everything.

It's great to see the game create an aesthetic that seems to be enhanced by the limitations rather than being hindered by them.

 

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2 hours ago, SmittyB said:

Rikki & Vikki uses the 320B graphics mode which allows for higher resolution graphics than the 160 modes, but unlike 320A it allows more than 1 colour + background per object. The trade off is that you only have 2 palettes of 3 colours + background to work with. Like with the other 320 modes there are other restrictions with how those colours can be placed when transparency is enabled to prevent black squares around everything.

It's great to see the game create an aesthetic that seems to be enhanced by the limitations rather than being hindered by them.

 

that's super neat, kinda reminds me of vga 16 color mode for some early dos games that use vga

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10 hours ago, Trebor said:

Just like the Famicom, the 7800 was designed for sound expansion, right off a cartridge connector return loop. 😉

 

Not just sound. The cartridge slot can support external CPUs and of course RAM. Atari Inc probably would've tried stuffing the Amiga Lorraine chipset via module into it as a means of getting 7800 owners to move up to the 16-bit Mickey console which would've shipped Christmas 1985 had Atari Inc remained a single unified company and successfully thwarted Amiga's double-cross.

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Rikki and Vikki is really great.....but it can never beat my all favourite game....Moon Cresta.....

Insiders know,why 😂

And maybe it is a little bit heavy...a password option or a save option would be great....i only made it to World 2 ,screen 6s

How about a levelmaker???

A sequel was promised 😉

Edited by gambler172

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On 1/1/2020 at 2:25 PM, SmittyB said:

It's great to see the game create an aesthetic that seems to be enhanced by the limitations rather than being hindered by them.

This was the idea, yeah. I'd love to try stylizing for 320A if we were to do another game for the 7800.

 

 

Quote

How about a levelmaker???

We had one for internal use by the team...

 

RnV_MapEdit.thumb.gif.63042280406ea4a532b200efe7d0e5f0.gif

 

...but this will not be publicly released. The stages require large amounts of manual tagging in order to operate properly. Getting map data into builds is also a little complicated, since stage scripts are allowed to instantiate basically any object, set or clear any flags, or call arbitrary code.

 

If you'd like a puzzle game with built-in editor, give Penguin Land on the Sega Master System a try.

 

 

Quote

A sequel was promised 😉

I don't recall promising this. My stance has been consistent since the game was announced - if the sales are good enough we'll do another game, but it's unlikely to be a sequel to Rikki & Vikki.

Edited by TailChao
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4 minutes ago, Theallknowingsause said:

Anyway, when working on the game early on were scrolling stages ever a consideration?

Only very early on, long before the 7800 was even chosen as the target platform.

 

I eventually decided against it for clarity. You've got two players characters and enemies, all of whom can pick up solid objects and mess with the stage geometry. Even with split screen, there'd be too much risk for an enemy flipping a switch or some other element offscreen and the players not catching it. So everything was made single screen and the vertical wrapping added to allow layouts to be denser.

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