Jump to content
TailChao

Rikki & Vikki

Recommended Posts

Let's make Tuesday our weekly update day.

 

Oh hey, it's Tuesday. Since you got to meet the cartridges last week, now let's look inside! Rendering both foxes and boxes on-screen simultaneously requires advanced space age technology, and here it is! Each Rikki & Vikki cartridge contains one FoxBoard like this, designed and manufactured by Tiido Priimägi.

 

RnV_FoxBoard_7800_640x480.jpg

 

That is one sexy photo! So it's really only 4mb with 32kb ram? I know you got a lot of other cool shit going on there but all that in only four megabits of code is wild.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, we opted for a proper BupChip volume knob. It'll be pre-adjusted to mix well on the stock hardware but you can adjust it later if it's not to your taste.

 

You can't access the potentiometer without taking the board out of its shell, but we moved the screw which secures both halves together to the back side. This way you can open it easily without damaging the game label.

 

 

Same Tiido.

Thank you for clarifying. My 7800 was AV modded by Best Electronics and sounds pretty balanced, but I know of other mods that the mixing is off.

 

I have a volume pot on my NES for mixing PowerPak audio as well. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a volume pot on my NES for mixing PowerPak audio as well. :D

I have this too. I found that different expansion audio has different volume settings for some reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, we opted for a proper BupChip volume knob. It'll be pre-adjusted to mix well on the stock hardware but you can adjust it later if it's not to your taste.

 

You can't access the potentiometer without taking the board out of its shell, but we moved the screw which secures both halves together to the back side. This way you can open it easily without damaging the game label.

 

 

Same Tiido.

Is there any scene Tiido isn't a part of then?! LOL

 

I had no idea he had any interest in the old 8-bit consoles. I know of him and his sound engine in the Sega circles and only recently found out he is a member at Vogons as well. Great to seem him a part of this project as well.

 

and yes most of the AV mods for the 7800 over the years that i've worked with like the LHE, and the even the latest Magic Knight setups, do not have properly balanced TIA and Pokey audio. Next time I do the magic knight s-video I'm going to try removing the resistor he has on the pokey input line to his card and see what difference it makes. It isn't that difficult to do it but is somewhat destructive since my method cuts the audio input lines into the RF modulator completely. So in the end you have an AV modded system that can do composite, S-video and nicely balanced pokey and TIA through RCA jacks, but you're left with RF that is video out only.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there any scene Tiido isn't a part of then?! LOL

 

I had no idea he had any interest in the old 8-bit consoles. I know of him and his sound engine in the Sega circles and only recently found out he is a member at Vogons as well. Great to seem him a part of this project as well.

 

and yes most of the AV mods for the 7800 over the years that i've worked with like the LHE, and the even the latest Magic Knight setups, do not have properly balanced TIA and Pokey audio. Next time I do the magic knight s-video I'm going to try removing the resistor he has on the pokey input line to his card and see what difference it makes. It isn't that difficult to do it but is somewhat destructive since my method cuts the audio input lines into the RF modulator completely. So in the end you have an AV modded system that can do composite, S-video and nicely balanced pokey and TIA through RCA jacks, but you're left with RF that is video out only.

 

Something I was wondering regarding properly balanced Pokey audio. Like others, games using a Pokey chip are quite a bit quieter on my composite modded 7800. At the time my mod was done I was under the impression this is just how it had to be. Not terrible to just adjust the volume, but having everything operating as intended would be great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Something I was wondering regarding properly balanced Pokey audio. Like others, games using a Pokey chip are quite a bit quieter on my composite modded 7800. At the time my mod was done I was under the impression this is just how it had to be. Not terrible to just adjust the volume, but having everything operating as intended would be great.

 

Well, my method for tapping the audio is much more basic and I don't do stereo on the audio mods. I just desolder or clip the legs closest to the rear of the console (North) on the R5 and R6 resistors near the audio coil adjust and lift them up off the board. Then I solder the ends of them together. From there I just attach the + lead off a 10uf 16v capacitor and the - lead off to the center posts of the RCA jack/s.

Edited by -^Cro§Bow^-
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is getting a bit off topic but basically the stock NTSC 7800s have the audio between the TIA and external audio balanced correctly. The PAL 7800s were not balanced correctly because a resistor value was wrong for one of the audio channels. Most people didn't care back in the day because there was only one game that used both TIA and Pokey.

As Crossbow mentioned, most A/V mods for the 7800 have the audio circuit done incorrectly. To do it correctly you can use Crossbow's method if you don't need want the RF output or you can add a 6.8K resistor and 18K resistor. You solder one end of the 6.8K resistor to the lower end of the 6.8K resistor and the 18K resistor to the lower end of the 18K resistor. These are the same R5 and R6 resistors Crossbow mentions above, you then connect the other ends of the resistors and attach it the 10uf cap as Crossbow details above. This will keep the audio intact to the RF modulator as you are basically just duplicating the circuit for the audio output instead of cutting it and redirecting it.

 

Mitch

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

RnV_FoxBoard_7800_640x480.jpg

Very, very cool looking board! Since this game uses some pretty heavily customized boards I was wondering if there's going to be ongoing production runs for years like you did with Zaku or if it's going to be a "one and done" sorta deal?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is getting a bit off topic but basically the stock NTSC 7800s have the audio between the TIA and external audio balanced correctly. The PAL 7800s were not balanced correctly because a resistor value was wrong for one of the audio channels. Most people didn't care back in the day because there was only one game that used both TIA and Pokey.

As Crossbow mentioned, most A/V mods for the 7800 have the audio circuit done incorrectly. To do it correctly you can use Crossbow's method if you don't need want the RF output or you can add a 6.8K resistor and 18K resistor. You solder one end of the 6.8K resistor to the lower end of the 6.8K resistor and the 18K resistor to the lower end of the 18K resistor. These are the same R5 and R6 resistors Crossbow mentions above, you then connect the other ends of the resistors and attach it the 10uf cap as Crossbow details above. This will keep the audio intact to the RF modulator as you are basically just duplicating the circuit for the audio output instead of cutting it and redirecting it.

 

Mitch

 

And that is why the Magic Knight board isn't working right!!! I just checked his BOM he is using for these. He is using 8.2k on both input lines. Likely he did this to correct the audio for the PAL consoles since he is in the U.K. ? So we just need to swap out the 8.2k he has for the Yellow/Red wire going to R6 on the 7800 mainboard with an 18k to rebalance the audio and leave the RF audio intact. BTW the resistor on Magic Knight's ver2.3 board is labeled as R7 in question if I'm not mistaken.

 

I will change out my BOM for his boards and get some 18k on order then. Thanks Mitch and awesome!

Edited by -^Cro§Bow^-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can only promise that I will make more games, exactly what game and on which hardware depends upon how this one does.

But I would like to always "visit the dinosaurs" even if I move to predominantly modern stuff.

If I may BEG for a second, PLEASE strongly consider playing around with a PC Engine/Turbo Grafx as your next homebrew, that system in the right programmer's hands produced MAGIC.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is one sexy photo! So it's really only 4mb with 32kb ram? I know you got a lot of other cool shit going on there but all that in only four megabits of code is wild.

Each BupChip (small QFP below the 4MHz crystal with the "FM3" marking) contains another 256KB / 2 Megabits of Flash, so we're saying 6 MEGA-POWER. But yeah, there's only 512KB / 4 MEGA-POWER of game code and graphics. Most of the latter are depacked into the 32KB of RAM before use so we could crunch the asset sizes down.

 

 

I have this too. I found that different expansion audio has different volume settings for some reason.

It makes sense, this isn't Hi-Fi equipment - just having the "sound come out" was probably adequate. I don't think this was really a concern until the 16-Bit era rolled around and even in that case the audio (and video) paths weren't always great.

 

 

I had no idea he had any interest in the old 8-bit consoles. I know of him and his sound engine in the Sega circles and only recently found out he is a member at Vogons as well. Great to seem him a part of this project as well.

We've been friends for around ten years and have been comparing notes for just as long, so he was my first choice to handle the board design and manufacturing.

 

 

NTSC 7800s have the audio between the TIA and external audio balanced correctly. The PAL 7800s were not balanced correctly because a resistor value was wrong for one of the audio channels.

Correct, this was also a pain for us since it mandated the game have a "quiet mode" for the TIA sound effects so it'd mix correctly in PAL.

 

 

As Crossbow mentioned, most A/V mods for the 7800 have the audio circuit done incorrectly. To do it correctly you can use Crossbow's method if you don't need want the RF output or you can add a 6.8K resistor and 18K resistor.

This was another reason the BupChip volume knob was added. Also yes, just copying what the NTSC hardware has for a mixing circuit is what I recommend along with adding a small amplifier.

 

 

Very, very cool looking board! Since this game uses some pretty heavily customized boards I was wondering if there's going to be ongoing production runs for years like you did with Zaku or if it's going to be a "one and done" sorta deal?

I'd like for the Atari 7800 version to be available as long as there's demand, but there has to actually be demand to manufacture more. Unlike Zaku I don't just get to sit on my keister and collect royalties, and doing a production run takes significant time and effort. However, I will make sure the game itself is always available in one form or another (i.e. digital copies, etc).

 

 

If I may BEG for a second, PLEASE strongly consider playing around with a PC Engine/Turbo Grafx as your next homebrew, that system in the right programmer's hands produced MAGIC.

I've actually worked with the TurboGrafx-16 before, just not on a full game project. I'm quite fond of it and its odd little cards.

 

But again, I can't make any promises right now - what happens next depends upon how Rikki & Vikki performs. It takes more than just a good programmer to make a good game, which takes a good budget.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi TC

 

i will buy a cart...for sure...

btw....is the Windows version acailable on other pletforms

than Steam?

I mean...i pay with paypal and get the file....

I do not want that Steam gets my card data.

 

greetings Walter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

btw....is the Windows version acailable on other pletforms

than Steam?

I mean...i pay with paypal and get the file....

I do not want that Steam gets my card data.

I submitted the paperwork to Humblebundle last week, we're currently waiting on them and I have little control over the time table here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I submitted the paperwork to Humblebundle last week, we're currently waiting on them and I have little control over the time table here.

 

Did you guys also reach out the GOG about a standalone release outside of Steam? I mean I use them all, but just curious, then again the DRM nature of GOG releases is likely the reason that it takes so much longer for newer releases to show up on GOG.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you guys also reach out the GOG about a standalone release outside of Steam? I mean I use them all, but just curious, then again the DRM nature of GOG releases is likely the reason that it takes so much longer for newer releases to show up on GOG.

Not yet, no.

 

GOG has a stricter review and approval process than both Steam and Humblebundle which (I think) contributes more to the delays than anything DRM related. I wouldn't mind bringing the game to their platform but putting any effort into it before Steam or Humblebundle doesn't make sense since they don't really offer anything that these two don't already cover.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not yet, no.

 

GOG has a stricter review and approval process than both Steam and Humblebundle which (I think) contributes more to the delays than anything DRM related. I wouldn't mind bringing the game to their platform but putting any effort into it before Steam or Humblebundle doesn't make sense since they don't really offer anything that these two don't already cover.

Ah...didn't realize.

 

I'm waiting on the 7800 release as that is what I want to play the game on!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It makes sense, this isn't Hi-Fi equipment - just having the "sound come out" was probably adequate. I don't think this was really a concern until the 16-Bit era rolled around and even in that case the audio (and video) paths weren't always great.

This would make sense if it weren't for the PowerPak itself. The expansion audio for the actual Famicom was pretty different depending on device and Famicom revision (apparently the AV famicom is twice as loud).

 

However, with the PowerPak, you're modding a NES system that can't normally play expansion audio to do so over a pin that was never really used for that (the PowerPak arbitrarily chose that pin- if you use other flash carts, it doesn't work unless they chose the same one). Since the PowerPak is emulating these different systems you'd think they would have normalized the volume across all of them, but nope, they're all different, and different PowerPak carts are different too :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This would make sense if it weren't for the PowerPak itself. The expansion audio for the actual Famicom was pretty different depending on device and Famicom revision (apparently the AV famicom is twice as loud).

Ah, yep. I don't own a PowerPak but I have experienced the crazy balancing differences on the Famicom and friends. My favorite is the rude famiclones that use the audio pins as a cartridge presence detection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some rumors online that the 7800 release date is 14th January 2019. Any truth?

Those aren't rumors, but rather the date we originally announced and had to retract. Right now I can only say "Early 2019."

 

 

Also, what will be the URL to buy? I have bookmarked http://www.penguinet.net/Games/Rikki_Vikki/index.phpand check it every day. Is this the right place?

Yes, that's correct. But I'll give a date as to when orders will open at least a week before they actually do. So no need to ruin your F5 key.
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What different models of the 7800 have been used to develop and test R&V for the 7800? I'm interested in this info as the 7800 is known to have wide spread compatibility issues on some models. 75 percent of the 7800 machines out there work like a charm and don't put up much of a fuss where as the other 25 percent are a total nightmare when you try and do anything unique or special with them outside of the vanilla retail carts with PROM chips of old.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What different models of the 7800 have been used to develop and test R&V for the 7800? I'm interested in this info as the 7800 is known to have wide spread compatibility issues on some models.

Quite a few, actually...

  • C025233-001 (NTSC)
  • C025233-002 (NTSC) with A12 timing fudge
  • C025233-002 (NTSC) without A12 timing fudge
  • C300633-001 (PAL)

I opted to exclude the PAL / RGB variations since these don't change the board layout but rather just drop additional daughterboards on it. So this probably won't affect the signal timing much.

 

 

75 percent of the 7800 machines out there work like a charm and don't put up much of a fuss where as the other 25 percent are a total nightmare when you try and do anything unique or special with them outside of the vanilla retail carts with PROM chips of old.

The only electronic differences among revisions we encountered were related to signal integrity, in particular of PHI2 and HALTn. But this only affected a prototype board I made by hand and was kind of a mess. At least in 7800 mode I'd say this isn't much worse than contemporary machines.

 

On the other hand, the tolerance of the cartridge slot and its plastic guide definitely left something to be desired.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What different models of the 7800 have been used to develop and test R&V for the 7800? I'm interested in this info as the 7800 is known to have wide spread compatibility issues on some models. 75 percent of the 7800 machines out there work like a charm and don't put up much of a fuss where as the other 25 percent are a total nightmare when you try and do anything unique or special with them outside of the vanilla retail carts with PROM chips of old.

 

I know what you're saying about the 'angry 7800s' but "wide spread compatibility issues' seems a bit extreme. The vast overwhelming majority of 2600 and 7800 games play fine on all models. Glad you clarified at the end about going beyond the retail carts of old. Just don't want people going down a rathole thinking there are 7800s out there that won't play most games.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...