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Is an "action/adventure" game the single biggest hole in the 7800 library?

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20 hours ago, Greg2600 said:

I would love to see more light gun games and racing games, but that's just what I like. 

 

What's missing?  Well compared to the other 8-bit consoles back then, the 7800 did not get the piles of licensed games that often didn't fit into specific genres.  Granted they usually weren't very good though. 

More is always better! Although Alien Brigade is awesome as well as a few other light gun games. And there are definitely a handful of decent to solid racing titles. 

 

I just would love to see a "showcase" game in the action/adventure genre - just one! - to show what the 7800 is capable of in that category. Graphics/sound/control/gameplay - I am convinced the 7800 could produce a great 8-bit title that could more than hold its own against its NES and SMS counterparts.

 

The only other glaring hole in the ProSystem library I can think of is a RPG. 

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On 5/20/2021 at 2:18 PM, juansolo said:

There's no Indy 500 / Sprint style top down racers on it. I assume the driving controller works with it? That said, Super Sprint plays just fine with a joystick on the ST so it could be done that way for those without a DC.

Speaking of Super Sprint, there's a lot of Atari's 1984-1992 arcade game catalogue that could make for good ports to the 7800.

 

Blasteroids, ROTJ, RoadBlasters, Road Runner, Marble Madness (which would have been a great pack-in game in 1984), Peter Pack-Rat, Gauntlet I & II...  If it originally ran on a 68000 in the arcade, it'd be both era-appropriate as well as something that could have given the 7800 life before Warner sold the company.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, aaron1677 said:

I just would love to see a "showcase" game in the action/adventure genre - just one! - to show what the 7800 is capable of in that category. Graphics/sound/control/gameplay - I am convinced the 7800 could produce a great 8-bit title that could more than hold its own against its NES and SMS counterparts.

I understand what you mean by that, but there's a strong argument to be made that Rikki & Vikki really gives the NES and SMS a run for their money on a direct comparison basis.

 

Having said that, it'd be interesting to see what could be done in that regard with fully-stock (POKEY and extra on-cart RAM allowed) hardware.

Edited by x=usr(1536)

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34 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Speaking of Super Sprint, there's a lot of Atari's 1984-1992 arcade game catalogue that could make for good ports to the 7800.

 

Blasteroids, ROTJ, RoadBlasters, Road Runner, Marble Madness (which would have been a great pack-in game in 1984), Peter Pack-Rat, Gauntlet I & II...  If it originally ran on a 68000 in the arcade, it'd be both era-appropriate as well as something that could have given the 7800 life before Warner sold the company.

I’ve had that same thought for a while. More arcade ports would be great, but more *Atari (Games)* arcade ports are really what’s missing. There’s Klax, and… 

 

The Lynx got all the attention with exactly what we’re talking about. 
 

Not being a programmer, I wonder how much of the code from ports to other systems could be utilized to get a leg up on the 7800? It may be more trouble than it’s worth. 
 

That all said, I cast a vote for Vindicators to go first!

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On 5/19/2021 at 12:12 PM, Jaden (JRH) said:

I would personally like to see some more original games on the 7800. While sequels to already existing games can be a fun idea, original ideas are more exciting to me. Especially since Rikki & Vikki was so good and had a lot of personality to its characters and overall design, I think the 7800 could really benefit from having more games like that.

Original exclusives were a major hook for Nintendo and Sega's consoles, and allow the developer to design everything for that particular hardware. So I'd also like to see more of those for the wedge (or any hardware, really). Another perk is that you can sell the game openly and not worry about any legal issues.

 

 

On 5/20/2021 at 11:00 AM, RevEng said:

While I don't disagree that the 7800 invites all of this complexity, in the past I've advocated for something between Adventure and Zelda. (for both complexity and story). Reason being that Zelda had a dev team of 6. When people say they want a Zelda clone, IMO they really mean something more like the sequels, which had even bigger dev teams.

Even bigger (full time) development teams, more assets, and the benefit of pulling resources from past projects. The scope of content in something like Link's Awakening is really impressive, and there's lots going on under the hood to make the movement gratifying, etc. These guys knew what they were doing and it's not trivial to compete with that (ah, but it'd be cool to try).

 

 

13 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Having said that, it'd be interesting to see what could be done in that regard with fully-stock (POKEY and extra on-cart RAM allowed) hardware.

I understand all these terms are kinda fast and loose, but wouldn't "fully-stock" just be a 48KB ROM?

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On 5/19/2021 at 10:03 PM, PacManPlus said:

 

Hey Guys-

 

 

 

...so that's basically 2 votes against me doing Adventure III.  I understand; people want a more 'advanced' version of an adventure game.  I have other things I can do...

 

 

Hi Bob

A vote against you???

Adventure 3 would be great....and Adventure 2 

On the 5200 is one of the best selling titles

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36 minutes ago, TailChao said:

I understand all these terms are kinda fast and loose, but wouldn't "fully-stock" just be a 48KB ROM?

Definitely, depending on how 'stock' is defined.  Perhaps a more accurate way to define it would be, 'within the originally-intended bounds of expansion'?

 

Even that's open to interpretation, however - the standard POKEY socket doesn't necessarily require a POKEY to be in it as long as any other IC respects POKEY's pinouts.  However, if we keep to expansions and / or additions that were used during the 7800's on-sale lifetime, a reasonable baseline for 'stock' would be POKEY + RAM.

 

Note that I'm not opposed to non-stock hardware.  In this case, however, it would be interesting to see what could be done with the options that would have reasonably been available in 1984 through 1992.

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4 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Note that I'm not opposed to non-stock hardware.  In this case, however, it would be interesting to see what could be done with the options that would have reasonably been available in 1984 through 1992.

If you're looking for "used in a product which shipped during the platform's lifespan" then yeah - a POKEY and extra RAM is all you've got.

 

If you're looking for "what could be manufactured affordably during the platform's lifespan" then we need to dip our toe into the fact that Nintendo had widely available graphics paging options on the NES in 1988 which were better than anything the 7800 received ever.

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Posted (edited)

 

2 hours ago, TailChao said:

If you're looking for "used in a product which shipped during the platform's lifespan" then yeah - a POKEY and extra RAM is all you've got.

Yep.  And that leads to the obvious choices of Stock + RAM only, stock + POKEY only, and Stock with no additions at all (48K and TIA).  More:

Quote

If you're looking for "what could be manufactured affordably during the platform's lifespan" then we need to dip our toe into the fact that Nintendo had widely available graphics paging options on the NES in 1988 which were better than anything the 7800 received ever.

Definitely, and that opens up a massive amount of possibilities for what could be done with the hardware.  65C816 (or 68000), sprite scaling, increased resolution and colour depth  - these were all things that came to be in the 1984-1992 timeframe, so could easily be considered fair game for a boundary-pushing exercise from that timeframe.  That would ignore the 'affordable' part of the equation somewhat (or even completely in some cases), but depending on when in the console's lifespan we're talking about, they may not be unrealistic except for market expectations at the time.

 

I'm trying to avoid doing too much 'what-if' with this, though.  The homebrew scene is doing an excellent job in that regard, and I'll cite BupChip and Pac-Man Collection as examples.  I fully support those efforts, but am equally curious to see what can be accomplished with the stone knives and bear skins of the timeframe we're talking about ;)

Edited by x=usr(1536)
Quoting properly is hard.
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20 hours ago, pacman000 said:

Would something like Croc 2 on the Game Boy Color be possible?

You'd probably want to stylize it differently, but yeah I think the 7800 could run a decent facsimile.

 

 

19 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

That would ignore the 'affordable' part of the equation somewhat (or even completely in some cases), but depending on when in the console's lifespan we're talking about, they may not be unrealistic except for market expectations at the time.

 

I'm trying to avoid doing too much 'what-if' with this, though.  The homebrew scene is doing an excellent job in that regard, and I'll cite BupChip and Pac-Man Collection as examples.  I fully support those efforts, but am equally curious to see what can be accomplished with the stone knives and bear skins of the timeframe we're talking about ;)

Sure, we've had enough of those threads. My point is moreso that everyone else ditched the stone knives and bear skins by the late 1980s, which drastically affects not only what the hardware can do - but the ease of working with it. That makes a significant difference.

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Keep in mind, the 7800 was designed with a cart audio line to support whatever sound chip option was present in the cartridge.  POKEY happen to become the only thing leveraged for the original retail line for a variety of reasons, but not due to system design or intent. 

 

Much more advanced than POKEY, the Minnie chip - WaveTable synthesis for the 7800 - during the mid 80's.

 

Actual prototypes already designed, produced, and sound played from it in GCC hallways. 7800 8BitDev has the complete details and capabilities.

 

What we hear from Rikki & Vikki is well within what could have been heard similarly from the 7800 during the late 80's (or sooner), just presented through different hardware means.

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7 minutes ago, Trebor said:

Keep in mind, the 7800 was designed with a cart audio line not just for POKEY.  It was to support whatever sound chip option was present in the cartridge.  POKEY happen to become the only thing leveraged for the original retail line for a variety of reasons, but not due to system design or intent. 

 

Well beyond POKEY, the Minnie chip - WaveTable synthesis for the 7800 - during the mid 80's.

 

Not just talk at a conference table either, but actual prototypes already designed, produced, and sound played from it in GCC hallways. 7800 8BitDev has the complete details and capabilities.

 

What we hear from Rikki & Vikki is not beyond anything that could have been heard similarly from the 7800 during the late 80's (or sooner), just presented through different hardware means.

This fundamentally ties into some of the discussion in the long-running Toki thread. CPUWIZ rightly points out that there are no additional cycles available to push a POKEY for music and sound. But a separate microcontroller/tracker that is only triggered to start and end background music tracks and cues? Something like that could be done for any games even in the late 80’s/early 90’s, albeit at the additional upfront cost for a custom PCB and controller chip/ROM for the tracker data. But of course the 7800 was way behind in the market by then with no hope of catching up.

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5 minutes ago, Trebor said:

Well beyond POKEY, the Minnie chip - WaveTable synthesis for the 7800 - during the mid 80's.

 

What we hear from Rikki & Vikki is not beyond anything that could have been heard similarly from the 7800 during the late 80's (or sooner), just presented through different hardware means.

To an extent, because the BupChip is an early Fairlight class sampler. Minnie is more along the lines of Namco's WSG (which I'm assuming is what "inspired" it - given GCC's work on Ms. Pac-Man), the later Namco N163, or Konami's SCC.

 

That said - I do believe you could very closely approximate the overall look and feel of the game in 1990 - 1993, with a reasonable cost when manufactured at scale, and assuming someone would actually fund it. But the support hardware would be extremely different.

 

 

4 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

This fundamentally ties into some of the discussion in the long-running Toki thread. CPUWIZ rightly points out that there are no additional cycles available to push a POKEY for music and sound. But a separate microcontroller/tracker that is only triggered to start and end background music tracks and cues? Something like that could be done for any games even in the late 80’s/early 90’s, albeit at the additional upfront cost for a custom PCB and controller chip/ROM for the tracker data. But of course the 7800 was way behind in the market by then with no hope of catching up.

It could be done, but I don't think this is a good approach. A small Mikey or Konami SCC syle generator (or combination of both) embedded in a mapper which allows Sally and Maria to better avoid resource contention scales better and saves cycles.

 

Again, our design was made around selling you something for $59.99, manufactured in low quantities, in 2018. That's a different kettle of fish chips.

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6 minutes ago, TailChao said:

It could be done, but I don't think this is a good approach. A small Mikey or Konami SCC syle generator (or combination of both) embedded in a mapper which allows Sally and Maria to better avoid resource contention scales better and saves cycles.

 

Again, our design was made around selling you something for $59.99, manufactured in low quantities, in 2018. That's a different kettle of fish chips.

Sure, there’s a lot of ways to skin the cat depending on engineering and programming resources, manufacturing abilities, etc.

 

Of course, Atari, Inc. had a laserdisc interface included in the design which also included a Composite Video In; I still think GCC had it in the back of their minds to create games with high-res background graphics and recorded music playing through the video input on the Expansion Interface connector, overlaid with dozens of large, colorful MARIA sprites and TIA/POKEY/MINNIE sound effects. Scrolling shooters come to mind for this kind of thing. 

 

Anyway, I still wanna see a “Duck” Hunt game now that I have a working light gun. Might finally motivate me to mess around with some of the modern 7800 programming tools out there. :) 

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On 5/22/2021 at 10:30 AM, gambler172 said:

Adventure 3 would be great....and Adventure 2 

On the 5200 is one of the best selling titles

Please go ahead with Adventure 3!  These other ideas could maybe be Adventure 4!  :)

 

I purchased an Atari 600XL earlier this year JUST so I could run the Adventure 2 release that's coming out for 8 bit!

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3 hours ago, TailChao said:

My point is moreso that everyone else ditched the stone knives and bear skins by the late 1980s, which drastically affects not only what the hardware can do - but the ease of working with it. That makes a significant difference.

Yep, and we're on the same page regarding this.

 

A good part of the reason why I've been concentrating on the 1984-1992 timeframe for this exercise is because of the advances that were made in that time with specific focus on the end of the 8-bit console era.  The Mega Drive hit the market in 1988 and the SNES in 1990, which meant that by the time of the 7800's discontinuation it was pretty clear that Atari had missed the boat on getting competitive 16-bit hardware into the marketplace.

 

To gain something approximating the improved capabilities (including on the development side) of the 16-bit machines, my feeling is that the 7800 would have to largely act as a way of getting audio and video out to a display from an attached CPU / chipset, with much of the internal capability being set aside.  Realistic to implement (within certain bounds), if unlikely to have ever happened historically.

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1 hour ago, DrVenkman said:

Of course, Atari, Inc. had a laserdisc interface included in the design which also included a Composite Video In; I still think GCC had it in the back of their minds to create games with high-res background graphics and recorded music playing through the video input on the Expansion Interface connector, overlaid with dozens of large, colorful MARIA sprites and TIA/POKEY/MINNIE sound effects. Scrolling shooters come to mind for this kind of thing.

This is something that I've been curious about the feasibility of implementing on the 7800 at a reasonable cost: a laserdisc (streaming video, really, but laserdisc is good shorthand) game module.

 

Video could potentially be stored on an external player and streamed into the 7800.  As long as the external player could handle commands sent from the game to move to a specific point in the video whenever necessary (e.g., branching to a different piece of video for level changes, death animations, etc.), it should be very doable.

 

Seeing a port of Cliff Hanger on the 7800 would make me an incredibly happy camper and hardware/software purchaser.

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18 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

This is something that I've been curious about the feasibility of implementing on the 7800 at a reasonable cost: a laserdisc (streaming video, really, but laserdisc is good shorthand) game module.

 

Video could potentially be stored on an external player and streamed into the 7800.  As long as the external player could handle commands sent from the game to move to a specific point in the video whenever necessary (e.g., branching to a different piece of video for level changes, death animations, etc.), it should be very doable.

 

Seeing a port of Cliff Hanger on the 7800 would make me an incredibly happy camper and hardware/software purchaser.

One of CPUWIZ's often-teased but rarely-revealed secret projects may be something like this, but using a modern device instead of a LD player. He's got a thread around here somewhere about installing pin-headers into vacant Expansion Port through-holes for machines that are missing them. Not sure if he's just thinking of streaming audio through the interface (external music tracker?) or video as well. 

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24 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

One of CPUWIZ's often-teased but rarely-revealed secret projects may be something like this, but using a modern device instead of a LD player.

Yep, I know the ones you're referring to, and have also been wondering if that wasn't something he was up to :-D

24 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

He's got a thread around here somewhere about installing pin-headers into vacant Expansion Port through-holes for machines that are missing them. Not sure if he's just thinking of streaming audio through the interface (external music tracker?) or video as well. 

Saw those.  I'm poking around for another 7800 to use for that plus adding a UAV; don't want to risk fubaring the one that's in good working shape.

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Posted (edited)

Disclaimer:

 

The following post is not meant as any form of criticism of any attempt to develop an ‘Adventure III’ completely according to independent designs.

 

But I found a youtube of video of a 16-bit remake of Adventure (I), and to be honest I really liked the graphics and the implementation of a hero-character.

 

For my own personal tastes I think this would be a nice overall look for an ‘Adventure III (or as someone here suggested: Adventure IV), for the 7800 (of course with its more limited capabilites).

 

Moreover, the yellow square could serve as touching/interaction-point directly in front of the hero-character, continuing the ‘square’-tradition to a certain extent.

 

These things are solely my personal taste.

 

 

Edited by Giles N

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On 5/21/2021 at 5:10 PM, x=usr(1536) said:

I understand what you mean by that, but there's a strong argument to be made that Rikki & Vikki really gives the NES and SMS a run for their money on a direct comparison basis.

 

Having said that, it'd be interesting to see what could be done in that regard with fully-stock (POKEY and extra on-cart RAM allowed) hardware.

Rikki & Vikki is OUTSTANDING, and is the gold standard when it comes to showing what the 7800 is capable of for ANY genre, yes, I agree! Graphics, animation, sound effects, music....top notch.

 

I was talking specifically about a "showcase" game in the action/adventure or action RPG category. Midnight Mutants - for all its good and bad traits - isn't exactly that. The lack of a save feature also hurts this particular type of game, and would be a welcome addition for any homebrew to take a stab at filling this category.

 

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On 5/22/2021 at 7:32 PM, x=usr(1536) said:

I'm trying to avoid doing too much 'what-if' with this, though.  The homebrew scene is doing an excellent job in that regard, and I'll cite BupChip and Pac-Man Collection as examples.  I fully support those efforts, but am equally curious to see what can be accomplished with the stone knives and bear skins of the timeframe we're talking about

 

Just for the reader, I wanted to mention that Pac-Man Collection - 40th Anniversary Edition with TIA audio runs on stock hardware. ;)

 

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On 5/22/2021 at 9:24 AM, pacman000 said:

Would something like Croc 2 on the Game Boy Color be possible?

 

 

I feel like the takeaway from this subject is that it is more of a development issue rather than a technical one when it comes to the possibility of the 7800 being able to run more advanced games like this.

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10 hours ago, aaron1677 said:

I feel like the takeaway from this subject is that it is more of a development issue rather than a technical one when it comes to the possibility of the 7800 being able to run more advanced games like this.

Pretty much, both then and now.

 

Albeit now that we're in the latter (as far as I know), it's a little easier for anyone to learn the required skills and give it a shot.

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