Jump to content
Pixelboy

Team Pixelboy News Bulletin - January 1st 2020

Recommended Posts

Happy New Year, everyone! :D

 

Here's hoping that 2020 will deliver good times and good fortune to all of you. To start the year on a good note, keep reading for several interesting Team Pixelboy news bits!

 

 

STATUS UPDATE FOR THE NEW RELEASES

 

Over the last few days, I finished assembling the cartridges and gluing the boxes of The Cure, Prisoner of War and Ghost. For the material I have currently in my possession, only the cartridges (and boxes) of 1942 remain to be assembled, and I'll be doing this in the coming days. Since I don't have the electronics for Bomber King, R-Type, Jewel Panic and Arcomage, I have decided to postpone the release of all eight games until I have received those electronics, and for now, I have no idea when the releases will actually happen. Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding.

 

 

WHAT'S IN STORE FOR 2020?

 

New games have been added to teampixelboy.com, namely Arabian, and also eight SG-1000 ports, which I like to call the "Mystery Man Collection" because they were all ported by Mystery Man. There's also another game which I may add to my to-do list for this year, but this new project is special enough that it deserves its own section in this news bulletin (see further below) and I haven't added it to the web site yet.

 

(QUICK NOTE: I didn't have time to snap any screenshots for the eight SG-1000 ports, that's why the screenshots are all "COMING SOON" images. I will fix that shortly.)

 

Arabian is a personal arcade favorite of mine, and the only home port ever done was Super Arabian on the Famicom. A game like this seems right at home on the ColecoVision, and just for kicks, I decided to use the American Coleco arcade cabinet box style for this release. You can see what the box looks like on the official Team Pixelboy web site. Programming of this game hasn't begun yet.

 

As some of you may recall, the eight SG-1000 ports are GP World, Mikie, N-Sub, Sega Flipper, Sindbad Mystery, Star Jacker, Zaxxon II and Zoom 909. They will come in the same kind of two-piece boxes that I used for the Budget Series from a couple of years ago.

 

I'll be looking to release all these games later this year, together with Space Shuttle - a Journey Into Space. This makes my to-do list full enough that I'm not sure I'll be able to release Utopia this year. We'll see how that goes.

 

 

NOW IS THE TIME TO PRE-ORDER!

 

Over the last few months, I stopped recording pre-orders for all my previous and upcoming releases, mostly because I wanted to freeze my order of cartridge electronics leading up to the Holiday season. I am now accepting pre-orders again, so if there are any Team Pixelboy titles you want, send your requests to me via e-mail. If you do contact me to place any pre-orders, it may take many weeks before I can manufacture and ship the games, so your patience may be tested. I'm very sorry to keep people waiting, but please be aware that such delays are linked to factors beyond my control.

 

Only 85 copies of each of the eight SG-1000 ports will be produced, and then those games will be permanently sold out. Same goes for Arabian, which will be limited to 100 copies. So if you want to secure your copies of those games, please send me an e-mail to record your pre-orders. The new games will probably be released in the fall of 2020.

 

 

TRADING CARDS, TRADING CARDS, TRADING ALL THE WAY...

 

I really wanted to add a section to teampixelboy.com for my ColecoVision trading card project, but I couldn't get that done in time for this news bulletin. I wish I could provide more details, but for now, all I can say is that 2020 will be the year I will be getting serious about this project. I have already done some important ground work over the last year or so, and some specific parts of the project are already in motion. Once the new section for the trading cards has been added to my web site, I'll post a new Team Pixelboy News Bulletin with all the details.

 

 

SEEKING A SOLUTION FOR A STYROFOAM PROBLEM

 

I'm in need of suggestions for dealing with a problem. I have enough styrofoam inserts in stock for the short-term releases, but I'll probably won't have enough for future releases such as Space Shuttle, Arabian and Utopia. Styrofoam manufacturers typically have a minimum order of 2000 units, and I definitely don't need anywhere near that many for the remaining games on my to-do list.

 

Can anyone help me out? I just need 500 inserts made, either in styrofoam or perhaps some kind of cheap 3D-printed material. I want to avoid cardboard inserts if at all possible, because they tend to warp and tear apart over time.

 

 

INTEREST CHECK FOR A SPECIAL CONTROLLER

 

Over a month ago, a certain individual we all know as Yurkie posted an innocent suggestion in doubledown's custom controller thread:

 

Quote

Mike what about an Asteroids controller that looks like the arcade for the game CollectorVision released years back.

 

It didn't take more than that to make me say "Alert! Alert! Potential project identified!". :D  So I casually talked it over with doubledown, to see if he would be interested in manufacturing a large batch of such Asteroids controllers, and I also had a quick chat with Mystery Man about the possibility of coding a proper ColecoVision version of Asteroids, which could be included as a pack-in game. I'm glad to report that both these gentlemen are very interested in this project, but there's a rather large catch... 

 

doubledown went seriously out of his way to estimate the actual cost of this proposed Asteroids controller, and he came up with a final price tag of 150$US. And that's just for the controller, the pack-in game would add at least 25$ to that price, if not more.

 

On the plus side, we're talking about a quality doubledown controller made from quality components. Also, the controller would be designed to work with the Atari 2600 and 7800 versions of Asteroids, and would be compatible with several other games as well. This implies that the ColecoVision Asteroids pack-in cartridge would be optional, just in case some customers (who do not own a ColecoVision) want to use it exclusively on their Atari 2600/7800.

 

Because of this hefty price tag, I believe a proper survey should be done, so about 20 hours after the posting of this Team Pixelboy News Bulletin, I will start a poll on the AtariAge forums that will help us evaluate the actual interest in such a controller. In the first post of this poll, I will present all the information required to make an informed decision, and if you have any interest in this proposed controller, please read that first post before you answer the questions of the poll.

 

Here's a quick overview of the Asteroids controller:

 

First of all, we envision two variants of this controller, which we like to call the Asteroids Upright Edition - VVG Enhanced Controller and the Asteroids Cabaret Edition – VVG Enhanced Controller. The first features the full-color artwork from the upright arcade cabinet of Asteroids, while the other is in black and white, and features the artwork of the "cabaret-style" cabinet of Asteroids, with some woodgrain decoration applied on the sides of the controller for added nostalgia. ;)

 

Secondly, for the controls, as this is an Asteroids Edition controller, all it needs is buttons. They will be leaf-switch push-buttons (we’re currently looking at GGG CLASSX push-buttons with their True-Leaf Pro switch upgrade) and will be of matching size, style, color, and layout of the original arcade cabinets, and wired like this:

 

- ROTATE LEFT = Joystick Left
- ROTATE RIGHT = Joystick Right
- HYPERSPACE = Joystick Down
- THRUST = Joystick Up
- FIRE = Left trigger button
- (Unmarked sixth button) = Right trigger button

 

The placement of the unmarked sixth button (mapped to the right trigger button of the ColecoVision controller) made us consider two sub-variants, one where the sixth button is located in the center of the controller, below the Hyperspace button, and the other sub-variant has the sixth button placed next to the fire button, in order to have the two fire buttons next to each other.

 

Images are better than words, so here are some preliminary pictures to illustrate:

 

MUNAqs.png

 

 

V0Ujbt.png

 

 

As you can see, the buttons are placed high on the controller's surface, in order to provide sufficient resting space for the player's palms and wrists. We feel this is an important ergonomic comfort factor, especially for long play sessions.

 

The controller's enclosure will be a Hammond Mfg. 14.00” x 8.25” black aluminum, sloped-top housing. While we feel the enclosure looks (and for the most part feels) very nice, we believe it falls short in two aspects, namely its assembly and its weight. The enclosure itself is constructed as two “c-shaped” powder-coated aluminum forms, assembled with four #6 sheet-metal screws on the bottom side; two along the front edge, and two along the rear. The concern we have with this is that nothing supports the upright sides from flexing outward (creating an unsightly gap) and nothing supports the large, flat, top surface from bowing downward. To remedy both of these issues, and to give the controller a more solid feel overall, we want to install two steel angle braces which will connect the sides of the enclosure to the underside of the top surface. Additionally the steel braces (one mounted on each side, and running front to back) nicely bump up the "bare" enclosure weight from 2.36 lbs (1.07 kg) to 3.15 lbs (1.43 kg). Lastly we will ditch the manufacturer’s assembly screws, and new #8-32 machine screws will be used for the housing assembly. All of these modifications strengthen, and beef up the enclosure to our quality standards, but do require additional hardware, and add approximately 1 to 1.5 extra hours to the overall build/assembly time of each controller.

 

A few aspects of this proposed Asteroids controller are currently undetermined, including the cable length and a few other minor details, but we intend to include some sort of cable management on the rear of the enclosure, such as a cable wrapping cleat or something similar. One thing is absolutely certain, however: There will be NO keypad on this controller, so don't bother asking about that.

 

For the pack-in cartridge, if we actually decide to go ahead with that, we are considering two possibilities: A 32K cartridge with just Asteroids on it, or a 128K multicart with Asteroids together with hacked versions of Carnival, Omega Race, Space Fury, Star Trek, Victory, and perhaps one other game. All these extra hacks would have small alterations to make them fully compatible with the Asteroids controller, and also to remove any need for a keypad. Note that the added sixth controller button would be useful for Star Trek and Victory.

 

It should be noted that while we are considering several options, we are ultimately looking to produce one "model" of the controller. By that, we mostly mean that the sixth button will always be in the same spot on all the manufactured controllers. If there's a clear public consensus regarding the upright versus cabaret schemes (i.e. full color versus black-and-white) we will only produce controllers following the preferred scheme, unless some people are ready to pay extra to get exactly what they want in terms of artwork.

 

One final note: Nobody can prevent you from posting comments about the Asteroids controller in this forum thread, but it would probably be preferable to keep comments and questions for the poll thread. Some additional details (about deposits made in advance at pre-order time, for example) will be posted in the poll thread. This information posted above is only to wet your appetite. ;) 

 


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

  • Like 11
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW!!!  You will be very busy!!  Thank you for all that you do and continue to do for our community.  This announcement is amazing!!!  2020 is shaping up to be an amazing year.  Thank you Luc!!!  And Happy New Year!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Email for pre-order sent!  And I'm 100% in for that Asteroids controller if/when it should happen!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Wow! What a great retirement plan. 😄

 

Email sent for everything listed (new games and controller). Definitely prefer the coloured version.

 

Cheers

Edited by WaveRider1970

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, WaveRider1970 said:

Wow! What a great retirement plan. 😄

Actually, this lineup of new upcoming games covers the greater majority of my remaining to-do list (excluding the trading card project which may require more work than I anticipate) and there won't be much left on my plate for 2021.  :)

 

I just finished shoveling a ton of snow, and I'm rather tired right now. So the poll for the Asteroids controller may be posted a little later than initially planned tonight. I need some rest...

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I understanding this correctly that pre-orders are available for ALL previous releases?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Sargon said:

Am I understanding this correctly that pre-orders are available for ALL previous releases?

No, not ALL previous releases. Only those that are not permanently sold out.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a list of games not permenantly sold out?? Or, if shorter, games that are sold out??  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, lawdawg710 said:

Is there a list of games not permanently sold out?? Or, if shorter, games that are sold out??  

When people contact me by e-mail with this kind of question, I usually give them a standard list with ALL the information (prices, what is sold out and what is not, etc.).

 

But I can give you the list of permanently sold-out titles right here, at least:

 

- Battle of Hoth
- Boxxle
- Buck Rogers Super Game
- Circus Charlie
- Dragon's Lair
- Front Line SCE
- Girl's Garden
- Gulkave
- Joust
- King's Valley
- Mecha-8
- Ninja Princess
- Pitfall II Arcade
- Princess Quest
- Quest for the Golden Chalice
- Star Force
- Subroc Super Game
- Super Action Soccer
- The Black Onyx
- Thexder
- Track & Field
- Wonder Boy
- Zaxxon Super Game

 

All 18 games of Budget Series are also permanently sold out, aside from one single copy of Stray Cat which is still available. 
 

EDIT: There are also the following games which are "technically" available exclusively via the AtariAge Store. I say "technically" because some of these may be sold out, and if they are, then they belong in the list above.

 

- Bank Panic
- Destructor SCE
- Golgo 13
- Konami's Ping-Pong
- Module Man
- Mopiranger
- Peek-a-boo

 

Edited by Pixelboy
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, the Asteroids controller poll (and some snow shoveling) kept me busy all day yesterday, so I didn't have much of a chance to reply to e-mail. I will reply to everyone this morning.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished replying to all the e-mails I received over the last 24 hours or so. I can't believe it took me all morning, but I'm all caught up now. I'm sure more will come soon.  :) 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I meant to suggest a Missile Command controller as CollectorVision released this game under a different name years ago. The Asteroids controller is an awesome idea too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I think it will truly be a wonderful CONTROLLER, a nice project.
If there is a pre-order list, I am on board.😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, UANITO said:

 

I think it will truly be a wonderful CONTROLLER, a nice project.
If there is a pre-order list, I am on board.😁

The results of the poll are what is important at this point in time. A pre-order list will happen only if the poll demonstrates that there is enough interest in the Asteroids Controller.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/1/2020 at 3:54 PM, Pixelboy said:

Actually, this lineup of new upcoming games covers the greater majority of my remaining to-do list (excluding the trading card project which may require more work than I anticipate) and there won't be much left on my plate for 2021.  :)

 

I just finished shoveling a ton of snow, and I'm rather tired right now. So the poll for the Asteroids controller may be posted a little later than initially planned tonight. I need some rest...

 

Do you know yet whether Utopia will have a 1-player vs AI mode? Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Swami said:

Do you know yet whether Utopia will have a 1-player vs AI mode? Thanks!

Rest assured I won't rest until the one-player mode in Utopia is fully functional. Problem is, in order to have any meaningful discussion with Mystery Man about how to improve the AI, I have to play the current incarnation of the game and get a real feel for the current AI's alleged shortcomings, as reported by the game's beta-tester. This is going to take some time, and chances are I won't have any time to do this in 2020.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Pixelboy said:

Rest assured I won't rest until the one-player mode in Utopia is fully functional. Problem is, in order to have any meaningful discussion with Mystery Man about how to improve the AI, I have to play the current incarnation of the game and get a real feel for the current AI's alleged shortcomings, as reported by the game's beta-tester. This is going to take some time, and chances are I won't have any time to do this in 2020.

 

Thanks for your dedication! Are you taking pre-orders for Utopia and Space Shuttle yet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/3/2020 at 10:54 PM, Bobby Nelson said:

Pre-order email sent...OH and this is my first post. Glad to be aboard!

Welcome to Atariage!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Swami said:

Thanks for your dedication! Are you taking pre-orders for Utopia and Space Shuttle yet?

Sure.  :)

 

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...