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Opcode Games newsletter Q3 2020

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Hi there!

 

As we all know, world is going through some difficult times right now. COVID-19, social unrest, unemployment, political polarization, a lot of bad things going on. Most of us are under increased stress levels, new work and family routines, etc, myself included. Due to that, I had to make some hard decisions. After 4 years of intense work, I have decided to suspend work on OMNI and SGM2 for an indefinite period of time. I don't think this is the best time to keep investing money and effort in new propositions considering the current circumstances.

 

Instead, I have decided to go back to the basics....

 

Not all is lost though. As part of the OMNI/SGM2 effort, I developed new tools for porting arcade games, and those tools can now help me reduce development time of SGM1 arcade ports from months to weeks. First game using the tools is done, Moon Cresta/Eagle. It took me 3 weeks to get the game running with all graphics and all but 2 sound FX done. I am now working on those final sound FX. Game is fully playable, rock solid, and runs at 60Hz locked. It is also "arcade perfect" in terms of gameplay, where each nuance is perfectly emulated, and I am compensating for the shorter ColecoVision vertical screen resolution precisely. 

 

But that is just one of the many other game I have planned. Next I hope to do Time Pilot, hopefully get the game done in a couple of months, start to finish. Also in my short list are Lady Bug, Frogger, Popeye, and Pengo. I hope to get those done or at least started in the first half of 2021. Yes, sounds crazy, but I think the tools are up to the task from my experience so far.

 

And finally, we have a few games long due for the SGM coming this year, namely DKA (which is now taking advantage of the new sound tools), and Pac-man DX, which has been waiting in the shelf for years now, printed boxes and all. We are also re-releasing Gradius. So for 2020 the release plan is: DKA (receiving some final sound improvements), Pac-Man DX (ready for beta, boxes printed), Gradius (re-release, boxes are printing in China), and Moon Cresta (Grazi is working on premium packaging, to go for printing soon). All but DKA are premium line games, with our deluxe packaging (the same we used for Gradius). Unfortunately DKA can only be offered as a PCB due to some recent legal issues. 

 

All of that said, we have started the process for a 5th run of the SGM. Printing is underway in China, and we are about to place orders for the assembled PCBs. We will post very soon about how to pre-order. 

 

But wait, there is more!

 

We plan to have all our Color line games back in stock soon. 

 

Our Super Game Controller is entering alpha testing soon, and we should be able to show you a physical prototype in just a few weeks.

 

We are getting a new cartridge tooling that is exclusive to Opcode. Conceptualized by renowned designer Ted Mayer, the new tooling will free us of 3rd party sources (since I sold my original tooling years ago) and at the same time will give us an exclusive cartridge with a distinctive look. 

 

There is one more thing to announce, but I will do that in a separate post. :)

 

Hope you like the news. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy and let's play some ColecoVision!

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21 minutes ago, opcode said:

We plan to have all our Color line games back in stock soon. 

Yay!

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3 hours ago, opcode said:

Hi there!

 

As we all know, world is going through some difficult times right now. COVID-19, social unrest, unemployment, political polarization, a lot of bad things going on. Most of us are under increased stress levels, new work and family routines, etc, myself included. Due to that, I had to make some hard decisions. After 4 years of intense work, I have decided to suspend work on OMNI and SGM2 for an indefinite period of time. I don't think this is the best time to keep investing money and effort in new propositions considering the current circumstances.

 

Instead, I have decided to go back to the basics....

 

Not all is lost though. As part of the OMNI/SGM2 effort, I developed new tools for porting arcade games, and those tools can now help me reduce development time of SGM1 arcade ports from months to weeks. First game using the tools is done, Moon Cresta/Eagle. It took me 3 weeks to get the game running with all graphics and all but 2 sound FX done. I am now working on those final sound FX. Game is fully playable, rock solid, and runs at 60Hz locked. It is also "arcade perfect" in terms of gameplay, where each nuance is perfectly emulated, and I am compensating for the shorter ColecoVision vertical screen resolution precisely. 

 

But that is just one of the many other game I have planned. Next I hope to do Time Pilot, hopefully get the game done in a couple of months, start to finish. Also in my short list are Lady Bug, Frogger, Popeye, and Pengo. I hope to get those done or at least started in the first half of 2021. Yes, sounds crazy, but I think the tools are up to the task from my experience so far.

 

And finally, we have a few games long due for the SGM coming this year, namely DKA (which is now taking advantage of the new sound tools), and Pac-man DX, which has been waiting in the shelf for years now, printed boxes and all. We are also re-releasing Gradius. So for 2020 the release plan is: DKA (receiving some final sound improvements), Pac-Man DX (ready for beta, boxes printed), Gradius (re-release, boxes are printing in China), and Moon Cresta (Grazi is working on premium packaging, to go for printing soon). All but DKA are premium line games, with our deluxe packaging (the same we used for Gradius). Unfortunately DKA can only be offered as a PCB due to some recent legal issues. 

 

All of that said, we have started the process for a 5th run of the SGM. Printing is underway in China, and we are about to place orders for the assembled PCBs. We will post very soon about how to pre-order. 

 

But wait, there is more!

 

We plan to have all our Color line games back in stock soon. 

 

Our Super Game Controller is entering alpha testing soon, and we should be able to show you a physical prototype in just a few weeks.

 

We are getting a new cartridge tooling that is exclusive to Opcode. Conceptualized by renowned designer Ted Mayer, the new tooling will free us of 3rd party sources (since I sold my original tooling years ago) and at the same time will give us an exclusive cartridge with a distinctive look. 

 

There is one more thing to announce, but I will do that in a separate post. :)

 

Hope you like the news. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy and let's play some ColecoVision!

Does that include a Bosconian restock?

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Bad news for anyone excited for the SGM2 or Omni.  Great news for SGM and Phoenix owners.  Pengo is a definite purchase for me as there's no version for the CV.  Not a fan of the CV original of Time Pilot so might get that one too.  Would LOVE a smooth scrolling version of Gradius for the Phoenix.  That would be a definite purchase too.

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Does that include a Bosconian restock?

Sure!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I am looking forward to seeing more screenshots and videos as you get them ready!  I am also looking forward to ordering a few of your Colorline games as well that I missed out the first time around.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, imstarryeyed said:

I am looking forward to seeing more screenshots and videos as you get them ready!  I am also looking forward to ordering a few of your Colorline games as well that I missed out the first time around.

 

 

 

I will start posting soon. Moon Cresta looks and sounds great, really happy with it. Of course DKA and Pac-Man DX also look great. DKA has improved a lot as well, I just started sound improvements, with the help of my friend artrag here. :) analog sounds now sound a lot better, and the "less color less flicker" option also works great and should make some purists really happy. 

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This looks very cool and I'm excited to see how Time Pilot turns out, especially with the colecovision's limitations with scrolling!

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Awesome!!!!  Thank you for the update and also for the hard work!!  Cannot wait!!!

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Glad to see the controller is still being worked on, and maybe I will have a chance to pick up a few things I missed the first time around. Thanks for the update.

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Would a game like Pole Position be possible using your new tools?  I don't know if that game would be too taxing on the Colecovision hardware but, just curious.  Your line up of projects looks awesome and cannot wait to be able to purchase them!!!  Thank you for all you do!

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3 minutes ago, lawdawg710 said:

Would a game like Pole Position be possible using your new tools?  I don't know if that game would be too taxing on the Colecovision hardware but, just curious.  Your line up of projects looks awesome and cannot wait to be able to purchase them!!!  Thank you for all you do!

Everything is possible, depending on how much effort you want to put on that and how much stuff you don't mind compromising. Just look the 2600. :P

Pole Position is a game that I love, but it is also a really tricky game. It uses 2 CPUs, one of them is a 32-bit! All the scaling and tracks are done by software by the 32-bit CPU. Years ago I thought of a way to recreate that, but that isn't something the current tools can help me with. So to be honest, if I had to pick one of those more advanced games from Namco, I would go with Xevious is a better option. The tool can help with part of that game, and I can extend the tool to deal with scrolling and massive number of different tiles.

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Oh ok gotcha!!!  Just thought I would ask!! Again, thank you for all you do!! Cannot wait to see how these all turn out!

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1 minute ago, lawdawg710 said:

Oh ok gotcha!!!  Just thought I would ask!! Again, thank you for all you do!! Cannot wait to see how these all turn out!

 

We have an expression in Portugues, "comer pelas beiradas", which translates to something like "eating from the edges". The idea is that solving a problem sometimes is easier and more efficient if you figure out the easy stuff first and then move to more complex stuff later. I am really aiming for maximum throughput here, a half dozen games a year if I could. Each port presents new challenges, but once the solution for those challenges are incorporated into the toolset, next time it will be much easier, and then I can move to the next challenge. :)

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8 hours ago, lawdawg710 said:

Would a game like Pole Position be possible using your new tools?

The biggest issue that the TMS9918A have that it doesn't have scroll registers to do the raster effect that the console that do have scroll register like the NES and SMS.  If you played a racing game on other systems using the TMS9918A like hang-on.  TMS9918A is way too slow to update the road graphics while the game is running(have to run the sound effect, controllers, and etc without stopping).  Only thing I can think of is using bunch of premade tiles and plot the tiles on screen instead of redefining the char tables.

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PP is tricky, but Rasmus got some amazing results with a few little tricks. There's still no game here, but it's a heck of a lot faster than I thought was possible:

 

 

Of course with the F18A the restrictions melt... ;)

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tursi said:

PP is tricky, but Rasmus got some amazing results with a few little tricks. There's still no game here, but it's a heck of a lot faster than I thought was possible:

lda Rasmus
rol
a=Asmusr
Now I see him.  Dude's very gifted programmer on the TI-99 side.  I'm impressed with his latest Raycaster project he been doing. 

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6 hours ago, Kiwi said:

Now I see him.  Dude's very gifted programmer on the TI-99 side.  I'm impressed with his latest Raycaster project he been doing. 

He definitely shows off what the 9918A can do!

 

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On 6/15/2020 at 7:41 AM, opcode said:

Hi there!

 

As we all know, world is going through some difficult times right now. COVID-19, social unrest, unemployment, political polarization, a lot of bad things going on. Most of us are under increased stress levels, new work and family routines, etc, myself included. Due to that, I had to make some hard decisions. After 4 years of intense work, I have decided to suspend work on OMNI and SGM2 for an indefinite period of time. I don't think this is the best time to keep investing money and effort in new propositions considering the current circumstances.

 

Instead, I have decided to go back to the basics....

 

Not all is lost though. As part of the OMNI/SGM2 effort, I developed new tools for porting arcade games, and those tools can now help me reduce development time of SGM1 arcade ports from months to weeks. First game using the tools is done, Moon Cresta/Eagle. It took me 3 weeks to get the game running with all graphics and all but 2 sound FX done. I am now working on those final sound FX. Game is fully playable, rock solid, and runs at 60Hz locked. It is also "arcade perfect" in terms of gameplay, where each nuance is perfectly emulated, and I am compensating for the shorter ColecoVision vertical screen resolution precisely. 

 

But that is just one of the many other game I have planned. Next I hope to do Time Pilot, hopefully get the game done in a couple of months, start to finish. Also in my short list are Lady Bug, Frogger, Popeye, and Pengo. I hope to get those done or at least started in the first half of 2021. Yes, sounds crazy, but I think the tools are up to the task from my experience so far.

 

And finally, we have a few games long due for the SGM coming this year, namely DKA (which is now taking advantage of the new sound tools), and Pac-man DX, which has been waiting in the shelf for years now, printed boxes and all. We are also re-releasing Gradius. So for 2020 the release plan is: DKA (receiving some final sound improvements), Pac-Man DX (ready for beta, boxes printed), Gradius (re-release, boxes are printing in China), and Moon Cresta (Grazi is working on premium packaging, to go for printing soon). All but DKA are premium line games, with our deluxe packaging (the same we used for Gradius). Unfortunately DKA can only be offered as a PCB due to some recent legal issues. 

 

All of that said, we have started the process for a 5th run of the SGM. Printing is underway in China, and we are about to place orders for the assembled PCBs. We will post very soon about how to pre-order. 

 

But wait, there is more!

 

We plan to have all our Color line games back in stock soon. 

 

Our Super Game Controller is entering alpha testing soon, and we should be able to show you a physical prototype in just a few weeks.

 

We are getting a new cartridge tooling that is exclusive to Opcode. Conceptualized by renowned designer Ted Mayer, the new tooling will free us of 3rd party sources (since I sold my original tooling years ago) and at the same time will give us an exclusive cartridge with a distinctive look. 

 

There is one more thing to announce, but I will do that in a separate post. :)

 

Hope you like the news. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy and let's play some ColecoVision!

Disappointed about the SGM2 as I was super excited for that but totally understand. Looking forward to DKA and the other new games to come from your new system.

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Here is a quick video a recorded a couple of days ago, after I completed all sound for Moon Cresta. So now the game is complete and stable, and I am moving to the game shell (boot screen, title screen, options screen). Also incorporating new sound FX using new tool to DKA. More and better videos of both soon. :)

 

 

 

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Very nice, but I hope players will have the option to remove the Nichibutsu logo. Arcade accurate, yet a little annoying on a non-TATE screen.  :) 

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Very nice, but I hope players will have the option to remove the Nichibutsu logo. Arcade accurate, yet a little annoying on a non-TATE screen.   

That isn’t a logo. That is the high scorer name. Will be replaced once you play the game. :)


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