Streemerz bundle

Streemerz bundle
by on (#101090)
I proposed making a huge bundle of homebrew games called Action 53 as a spiritual sequel to Action 52, a notorious multicart by Active Enterprises. The board I initially chose for it (oversize BNROM, iNES #34) would not hold the game I really wanted to include on it (an impressive takeoff on an Action 52 game) because it was implemented around the fixed bank of UNROM. So I got a proposal from infiniteneslives to manufacture Action 53-so-far with a custom mapper designed for multicarts, as a way to build up the capital needed to release Action 53 once it's finished.

I set out to design a multicart mapper capable of simulating several discrete boards, essentially a runtime reconfigurable ReproPak with a game select register on a CPLD. It can simulate NROM (#0), CNROM (#3), AOROM (#7), UNROM (#2 or #180), BNROM, or any combination of features thereof (e.g. UNROM with 1-screen mirroring, or even UNROM with four 8K CHR RAM banks). INL contributed draft Verilog code, and he told me implementations for PowerPak and an emulator are coming.

This is the Streemerz bundle, filled with 15 games spanning 4 megabits.

  1. Concentration Room
  2. Driar
  3. Forehead Block Guy (NESdev Compo 2011)
  4. LAN Master (NESdev Compo 2011)
  5. Lawn Mower (NESdev Compo 2011)
  6. MineShaft
  7. Munchie Attack
  8. NES15
  9. NES Virus Cleaner
  10. Russian Roulette (tech demo)
  11. Slappin' (NESdev Compo 2011)
  12. Streemerz
  13. Thwaite (NESdev Compo 2011)
  14. ZapPing
  15. Zooming Secretary
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#101111)
So there are some things that we could use some help with on making this all happen.

We're sorting out the details of the mapper right now, namely the start up values of the registers/modes. Once we solidify that in the next couple days hopefully we'll need some emulation support. Which means we also need a mapper designation. I don't really care what happens here and I'm not looking to start a big messy mapper number debate... But looking though the mapper table and some emulator sources it appears the first available mapper numbers are 28-31. So unless someone sees something significantly wrong with that I'd suggest we just use the first available number #28.

Once the above is ironed out we'll be ready for emulator support. FCEUX is the likely choice, but anyone willing/able to add support for this mapper to an emulator in the near future would be greatly appreciated. I tried to look at the sources for a few emulators and I know if it's up to me alone I won't have emulator support for a several months if ever ;)

We'll work on a powerpak mapper update as well. At the moment it looks like it'll be in the next version of thefox's savestate mappers.

Most of what I need to do for set up is done for the boards using my INL-ROM PCBs. Once I've got a test rom in my hands I'll drop in some EPROMs and test everything out. From there assuming all is complete with Jim's Cool CIC (TENNIS) project I'll be ready to start assembling the first batch. Not sure how many that'll be right now, kinda depends on what the demand is from you guys.

Sorry no 60 pin versions in this batch, so you 60pin guys are going to have to break out your converter... If someone can come up with a solution to acquiring *NEW* cases for 60 pin carts, I'll make PCBs to support. But until there is a case to put them in there isn't much we can do... I don't have $5-10K to invest in injection molds to make that happen.


Some other things we could use input help on:
-The name??? I kinda like Tepples' idea of it featuring Streemerz, that's really what's sparked this into happening right now. But there is obviously other note worthy work included. Maybe something like "Streemerz Action Pak"? IDK... What do you guys think?

-Label art. Perhaps anyone interested in taking this on can post their work and we can vote?


I know people are probably curious as to what the price will be. We haven't really decided on this yet. I'm volunteering my time to make a batch of ~50 or so. If things go crazy with this we'll have to re-evaluate what we want to do on another batch. But the goal of this is to raise funds firstly pay the awards for the compo from last year (and no that's not coming from the winner, it's my goal ;) How can we really expect to have people participate in another compo if we never make good on the first one??? From there we'd like to use the funds to do other projects like Action 53 which Tepples brought up. Maybe even pay the next compo's winner at the time the winner is announced... Basically all I'm trying to say is your purchase of a copy isn't going into the pockets of anyone who's worked on this community project (except compo winners). It's going back into the community for future projects! At this point all I'll say is that my hope is that they'd be sold for more than $20 and less than $50.

My goal is to have these available for purchase before the end of the year. If everything goes as planned that should be reasonable. Delays or problems will be communicated here.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#101117)
infiniteneslives wrote:
Once the above is ironed out we'll be ready for emulator support. FCEUX is the likely choice, but anyone willing/able to add support for this mapper to an emulator in the near future would be greatly appreciated. I tried to look at the sources for a few emulators and I know if it's up to me alone I won't have emulator support for a several months if ever ;)

I could probably whip up a mapper for Nintendulator.

Quote:
We'll work on a powerpak mapper update as well. At the moment it looks like it'll be in the next version of thefox's savestate mappers.

Should be pretty easy to slap it on there, if Verilog already exists. Or you can try to get it working with loopy's mapper source, it's all in Verilog. In any case, I think emulator support is more important than PowerPak support, truthfully.

Quote:
Some other things we could use input help on:
-The name??? I kinda like Tepples' idea of it featuring Streemerz, that's really what's sparked this into happening right now. But there is obviously other note worthy work included. Maybe something like "Streemerz Action Pak"? IDK... What do you guys think?

Hmm, not sure. If/when Streemerz is released separately on a cart at some point, that naming could get confusing.

Quote:
But the goal of this is to raise funds firstly pay the awards for the compo from last year (and no that's not coming from the winner, it's my goal ;) How can we really expect to have people participate in another compo if we never make good on the first one??? From there we'd like to use the funds to do other projects like Action 53 which Tepples brought up. Maybe even pay the next compo's winner at the time the winner is announced... Basically all I'm trying to say is your purchase of a copy isn't going into the pockets of anyone who's worked on this community project (except compo winners). It's going back into the community for future projects! At this point all I'll say is that my hope is that they'd be sold for more than $20 and less than $50.

Since this is basically charity, you should try to be as transparent as possible about how much the manufacturing costs, how much profit is made etc, and how the profits are used. So please post all of these figures when you know them.

Also, if profits are used for Action 53, are the profits from Action 53 also used for compo prizes, etc? I wouldn't want to see any of the profits being funneled into for-profit projects.

Now, don't take this as me accusing you of anything, I just want transparency.

BTW, I also have to make sure everything Streemerz related is OK with Arthur Lee, but since this is a not-for-profit project that supports the community, I don't think he'll have any problem with it.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#101123)
What about including that ROM ripper that uses audio? I'd love to have a way to back up my games. or, is the cart swapping technique so sketchy it may end up frying the bundle cart?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#101126)
infiniteneslives wrote:
Once the above is ironed out we'll be ready for emulator support. FCEUX is the likely choice, but anyone willing/able to add support for this mapper to an emulator in the near future would be greatly appreciated. I tried to look at the sources for a few emulators and I know if it's up to me alone I won't have emulator support for a several months if ever ;)

I need an excuse to finish off my Map[per]Quest in NESICIDE. I added support for NROM-368 but that seems to have fallen out of favor.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#101128)
NROM-368 is not out of favor, I just don't have time for NES projects currently, so they are all put on hold.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#101165)
thefox wrote:
Or you can try to get it working with loopy's mapper source, it's all in Verilog. In any case, I think emulator support is more important than PowerPak support, truthfully.


Are loopy's mappers open source? I can only find the synthesized mapper config files. I never asked him though...
I agree emu is more important than powerpak, but it would be helpful for development verification/debugging by Tepples. The games can always be played individually by the powerpak.

Quote:
Hmm, not sure. If/when Streemerz is released separately on a cart at some point, that naming could get confusing.


Good point, Maybe something to the effect of '2012 compo multicart featuring streemerz and others.' Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue... I'm at a loss on this one. Maybe Action15 streemerz bundle? IDK...

Quote:
Since this is basically charity, you should try to be as transparent as possible about how much the manufacturing costs, how much profit is made etc, and how the profits are used. So please post all of these figures when you know them.

Also, if profits are used for Action 53, are the profits from Action 53 also used for compo prizes, etc? I wouldn't want to see any of the profits being funneled into for-profit projects.

Now, don't take this as me accusing you of anything, I just want transparency.


I agree with the transparency. I thought about posting some of the details of costs in my original post but didn't expect people to want those details at this point. I'll work on putting this info together and sharing it here. The only thing I'd ask is that people don't take my plan/budget as set in stone. We still don't have the final product prototyped out yet so things can change. And I don't have all the parts in hand yet either, so at the moment I can only provide an estimate. I'll be as transparent as possible throughout the process.

I don't think the future projects Tepples was speaking of were for-profit. But yes we'll be sure the funds will stay reserved for non-profit projects. If there is debate on whether or how the funds should be spent we can always vote on it.

Quote:
BTW, I also have to make sure everything Streemerz related is OK with Arthur Lee, but since this is a not-for-profit project that supports the community, I don't think he'll have any problem with it.

Alright thanks, let us know how he responds.

As for the emulators the more the merrier IMO, everyone is welcome to start implementing the mapper. Tepples and I have sorted out the detail of start up. Basically the ONLY requirement is that the last 16KB of the ROM are located at $C000-FFFF upon startup. The multicart menu will handle the rest of the setup from there.

slobu wrote:
What about including that ROM ripper that uses audio? I'd love to have a way to back up my games. or, is the cart swapping technique so sketchy it may end up frying the bundle cart?

Good question, I can't really see it being an issue from a cartridge/hardware perspective, I dunno about space though. My only concern about this would be people expecting me to provide support for a tool I know next to nothing about...


Here's the current transparency I have to offer:
$1.20 1x XC9536XL CPLD (mapper)
$0.30 1x 3.3V LDO voltage reg
~$2 1x 512KB EPROM (PRG ROM)
$1.30 1x 32KB SRAM (CHR RAM)
$0.50 1x attiny13 (CIC)
~$0.20 5x power/noise caps
~0.50 sales tax and shipping of above

~$2 PCB
$4.15 Case with shipping (perhaps retrozone will sell these to us at discount???)

$??? Labels (I don't have a great solution for these, perhaps retrozone has something to offer?)
$? Shipping supplies
$? Do we want sleeves assuming retrozone will sell them to us?

TOTAL ~$12-13 + paypal fees and shipping to customer

As for what we charge it's kinda open for debate. There are some things to figure out consider here. Is this going to officially be the compo multi-cart? I know Memblers already had some supplies for 30-40 boards, last I heard he didn't have cases though. I don't want to put him out on the money he's already invested for the dedicated compo multicarts. We owe ~$175 in prizes to the winners of the NROM competition.

So for supplies and compo prizes we're looking at ~$825. So the goal would be that the quantity we're fairly certain we can sell would cover that expense. If we only sold 20 carts that would be ~$40 or so. If we sell 30 carts would be around $30.

Assuming we sold all 50, after covering expenses prizes we'd have:
@$20 ~$175 earned
@$30 ~$675 earned
@$40 ~$1175 earned

Personally $30-40 sounds pretty reasonable and puts us at a pretty decent spot. Some may be wondering how that money would actually be spent in the future. Well that's really up to all of us especially if you're buying the carts I'd think. Here are some things I could see it getting spent on:

*Handing over sizable compo prizes at the time of announcing winners. Having that money already set aside would hopefully entice more entries and give people confidence that we're going to give prizes that we promise.

*Web hosting costs? IDK how these are being handled currently but I think it would be nice to support ourselves as a community.

*Supply investments for future compo multicarts. I'm willing to make the financial investment personally to make this happen this time around. But it would be nice to have reserve funds to buy parts/pcbs possibly before a future compo ends. Then we'd only have production/assembly time to wait before holding fresh carts in our hands. Additionally the funds we have on reserve would justify buying larger quantities of parts to get a better deal for ourselves. We may also have to consider labor costs for assembly of future releases. It's not a big deal for one person to make 50 of these, but a few hundred is quite a chore, and is probably worth having done by a professional assembler.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#101172)
Are you taking into account the cost it takes to put it all together? Especially if it's done by hand (which is likely to be the case for putting the PCB into the cartridge itself).
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#101179)
Sik wrote:
Are you taking into account the cost it takes to put it all together? Especially if it's done by hand (which is likely to be the case for putting the PCB into the cartridge itself).


Yes, it's free. I'm donating my time to make the first set of 50 or so. I'm handling the assembly, and the putting the assembled board inside the case is nothing compared to soldering up the actual board ;)
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#101181)
infiniteneslives wrote:
Good point, Maybe something to the effect of '2012 compo multicart featuring streemerz and others.' Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue... I'm at a loss on this one. Maybe Action15 streemerz bundle? IDK...

Regardless of the actual name ("Action 15" or "Action 53 15", or whatever), you could still prominently display the names of the games on the label, with different font sizes. If you want to put emphasis on some of the games, that would be one way. You know, similar to how they do it on festival posters.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#102702)
The mapper is working in NESICIDE, FCEUX, and the PowerPak mapper by thefox based on Verilog by kevtris. (Quietust is working on getting it into Nintendulator.) The menu is working. I'll need these next:
  • 4-color 64x56 pixel image of Streemerz Done
  • 4-color 64x56 pixel image of Driar Done
  • 4-color 64x56 pixel image of NES Virus Cleaner Done
  • Logo for the title screen to replace Action 53 logo
  • A plan to beta test (might want to involve NintendoAge, because I'd bet a lot of NAers would be interested in this release)
  • Label art
  • Box art?
  • I think I can fit one more NROM-256 game

Just putting this out there: If each flash chip is individually programmed, as opposed to being gang programmed, it's possible to put the cart's serial number in the flash. Is this a good or bad idea?


EDIT: Do these represent the games adequately?
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Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#102798)
tepples wrote:
[*]A plan to beta test (might want to involve NintendoAge, because I'd bet a lot of NAers would be interested in this release)

What do you mean exactly? Do you mean send a pre-release of the ROM so people can play/test with powerpak and emus? Or cartridge hard copies? I think a download beta should be good for most people of concern. I figured I'd send you the first hard copy for your approval/verification/testing then mass produce the rest.

Quote:
Just putting this out there: If each flash chip is individually programmed, as opposed to being gang programmed, it's possible to put the cart's serial number in the flash. Is this a good or bad idea?
It's a little less work to have the same image for all ROMs, since you wouldn't have to load each image and make sure things are kept straight. If it weren't encoded/encrypted it would be super easy though, I can just modify the byte in the programmer software by hand before clicking 'program'.

Since we're planning to release the ROM I don't really see the point of 'signaturizing' each hard copy. One thing that would be super easy is to have a 'release number' in the first 50 or whatever. If they were viewed as collectors items that might be of some value to someone I guess.


Quote:
EDIT: Do these represent the games adequately?

I think so...
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#102807)
infiniteneslives wrote:
If it weren't encoded/encrypted it would be super easy though, I can just modify the byte in the programmer software by hand before clicking 'program'.

Since we're planning to release the ROM I don't really see the point of 'signaturizing' each hard copy. One thing that would be super easy is to have a 'release number' in the first 50 or whatever. If they were viewed as collectors items that might be of some value to someone I guess.

Yeah, I had collectors in mind. I guess I could have it print a string on the title screen and give you the byte offset, and then you could modify that string before programming the chip.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#102815)
tepples wrote:
Yeah, I had collectors in mind. I guess I could have it print a string on the title screen and give you the byte offset, and then you could modify that string before programming the chip.

I think that would be pretty manageable and a neat bonus/feature. If there was just a byte that I incremented for each rom it would be negligible amount of work.

On thought, I like to dump the cart after assembly and verify the checksum with my kazzo. If there were two bytes one incremented one decremented would it be able to keep the same check sum reguardless? I guess if the checksum incremented with each cart it should be simple enough to make sure things were proper while leaving less room for manual error when inc/dec the cart number.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#102903)
Would it be too hard if I made a Python program that filled in the serial number and made SHA-1 hashes of each build?

Also, there is a request to add I Wanna Flip the Sky as #16. I can add it now if the author clarifies whether he needs royalties, but it can always go in volume 2.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#102914)
tepples wrote:
Also, there is a request to add I Wanna Flip the Sky as #16. I can add it now if the author clarifies whether he needs royalties, but it can always go in volume 2.

I just wanted to make sure I understood the agreement between the game authors. So it sounds like this is basically a community fundraiser: the authors aren't getting any compensation (no royalties, no complimentary cartridges, etc), and the proceeds are going to fund things like the nesdev competitons.

So who's going to be in charge of money? Who gets to decide how it will be spent? (the authors, the buyers, any member of the bbs?) Are we only going to make 50 cartridges, or make more if there's demand? And it sounds like the ROM will be released as well?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#102919)
Yea, regarding the 50 cartridges. Is there a way I can be added on the list asap? If Nintendoage catches wind, I have a feeling these 50 would go pretty quick.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#102960)
Here's the first public testing build. It should work in these environments:

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to MAKE YOUR SELECTION NOW:
  • Tell me anything you find confusing about the launcher.
  • Tell me anything incorrect or unclear in the games' descriptions (press A).
  • Try to make any of the games fail.
  • Find the two games with "all your base" references.

I plan to make another beta including IWFTS once a planned revision to Driar is complete.

EDIT: Download withdrawn. I discovered a serious problem with the beta, affecting at least Pogo Cats and Lawn Mower.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#102961)
I corrected the mirroring in "lower half" games (all but Streemerz, Driar, and NES Virus Cleaner), resulting in beta 1a.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#102968)
Very cool, seems to be working as advertised, tested it on PowerPak. Couple of things:

- I saw a small palette glitch just before the menu opened (wait for vblank before writing palette)
- Out of the games I tested (I didn't test all of them), Driar didn't go back to the multicart menu when I pressed RESET
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103001)
Tom wrote:
I just wanted to make sure I understood the agreement between the game authors. So it sounds like this is basically a community fundraiser: the authors aren't getting any compensation (no royalties, no complimentary cartridges, etc), and the proceeds are going to fund things like the nesdev competitons.


That is how I've envisioned it. We can't have royalties if this is to be a fundraiser. I feel like Tepples and thefox have put in an exceptional amount of effort into the selling points of this cart and I think it would be nice to reward them with a complimentary cart. I'm curious what other people think about this though. In the future once we have fund built up it might be nice to reward compo entries with complimentary carts for *competeled* games (hello world/pongs don't count...) really these things are up for the community to decide. The best answer right now is probably just no complimentary carts for sake of argument/debate...


Quote:
So who's going to be in charge of money? Who gets to decide how it will be spent? (the authors, the buyers, any member of the bbs?) Are we only going to make 50 cartridges, or make more if there's demand? And it sounds like the ROM will be released as well?


The only thing I ask is to be 'in charge' of the funds until I've made the money back I've invested to produce the first 50. I can maintain it beyond that if people would like. Otherwise the sum or most of the money could be put into a money order or something and kept under custody of a moderator or something. I'm open for ideas and input on this matter of maintaining funds.

I think the easiest way to decide how to spend the funds is just have a voted thread. Not sure what kind of limitations could be put on that (no newly created profiles etc.) to keep things from getting out of hand.

As for the 50 number. Under the current situation I'm willing to front the money and volunteer my time to make the first 50. Beyond that the funds collected from the first 50 could be used to purchase supplies for more carts. The other question beyond 50 is are we willing to pay for labor for assembly and how much. If we'd like to leave assembly for volunteer work I'd have to ask other trusted members to lend a hand. I understand the idea of myself making money on the labor of carts is somewhat of a conflict of interest. So I'd rather leave that up for other people to discuss and I'll give my input if requested.

I figure let's make these first 50 and see how it goes. We can make decisions on how to go about producing more carts afterwards. I'm willing to help keep them available for purchase beyond 50.

Unfortunately it looks like the weakest link right now is CICs. I'm working with jimscool right now trying to get this last bug figured out. Hopefully that is resolved soon, then we'll be able to know what to expect for delivery dates and final cost. Id like to have those details ironed out before trying to do reservations/preorders or anything. I think contributors should have a reservation by default.



Things are looking good with the rom Tepples. Testing out in my CPLD/PCB now and everything looks to be working well. I did notice similar to what thefox was saying most games reset to the menu vice the game. Not sure if that's expected/planned but would be nice if it were consistent. Does stuffing several smaller NROMs in a single slot make this a difficult? In that case I guess having as many reset the game only would be preferable IMO.

I wonder if we can come up with a better saying than 'make your selection now!' something more homebrew/video game oriented? IDK, just a thought.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103005)
thefox wrote:
I saw a small palette glitch just before the menu opened (wait for vblank before writing palette)

I thought I was. It must have stopped working once I changed something in the transition out of the title screen.

thefox wrote:
Out of the games I tested (I didn't test all of them), Driar didn't go back to the multicart menu when I pressed RESET

You appear not to have tested your own ;-)

infiniteneslives wrote:
I did notice similar to what thefox was saying most games reset to the menu vice the game. Not sure if that's expected/planned but would be nice if it were consistent.

Essentially what's happening is that the cart conceptually has an "A" side and a "B" side, much like old LP records or Compact Cassettes. The "A" side is one big BNROM (256K, vertical mirroring) containing most games, and the Action 53 menu normally reset-patches games because BNROM's startup bank is unpredictable. The "B" side consists of Streemerz, Driar, and NES Virus Cleaner, and the "A" side is everything that was part of Action 53 0.03, plus a stub of a few dozen bytes in Pogo Cats's bank that starts the "B" side games.

infiniteneslives wrote:
Does stuffing several smaller NROMs in a single slot make this a difficult?

Oh, you mean the "submulti" thing, where I turn two NROM-128 games into one CNROM game. Yes, that's the big obstacle to resetting back to the game itself. Consider, for example, where Donkey Kong Classics (CNROM) or Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt (MHROM, a GNROM variant) resets. I won't need submultis anymore for NROM-128 once I refactor the builder for mapper 28 instead of the shoehorning that I currently use because mapper 28 is so new.

infiniteneslives wrote:
I think contributors should have a reservation by default.

So that'd be two carts shipped to me: one for me (menu, Thwaite, CRoom, Roulette, ZapPing, and the Zapper toys) and one for my cousin (FHBG). What about team efforts such as Driar (David Eriksson and Stefan Adolfsson) and Streemerz (Arthur Lee and thefox)? Should PinWizz get a cart for Zooming Secretary because Shiru is already getting one for LAN Master and Lawn Mower?

infiniteneslives wrote:
I wonder if we can come up with a better saying than 'make your selection now!' something more homebrew/video game oriented?

My plan was to have at least one Action 52-parody game in each of the four volumes. That's why I put "Action 53 Function 15 Volume One" on the title screen.

Also, is the text description in the menu correct for each of the games?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103008)
Arthur Lee here (haha, the formality!), thefox let me know about this project and I'm giving you guys my thumbs up for STREEMERZ.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103010)
tepples wrote:
infiniteneslives wrote:
I did notice similar to what thefox was saying most games reset to the menu vice the game. Not sure if that's expected/planned but would be nice if it were consistent.

Essentially what's happening is that the cart conceptually has an "A" side and a "B" side, much like old LP records or Compact Cassettes. The "A" side is one big BNROM (256K, vertical mirroring) containing most games, and the Action 53 menu normally reset-patches games because BNROM's startup bank is unpredictable. The "B" side consists of Streemerz, Driar, and NES Virus Cleaner, and the "A" side is everything that was part of Action 53 0.03, plus a stub of a few dozen bytes in Pogo Cats's bank that starts the "B" side games.

I can make a special build of STREEMERZ that goes back to menu when reset is pressed (I've already got reset detection code in there so it's not a big deal).

Quote:
Also, is the text description in the menu correct for each of the games?

I would maybe change "jump" to "boost" in the STREEMERZ description.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103052)
tepples wrote:
Would it be too hard if I made a Python program that filled in the serial number and made SHA-1 hashes of each build?


Forgot about this in my last post... Actually just a list of the checksums for all 50 numbered carts would be sufficient. I think it's crc32, I know it's the same format that bootgod uses. It's actually less work for me to fill in the cart number by hand. Otherwise I'd have to reload the file for each rom, not a big deal, just a bunch of clicking and not being sure of which number is currently loaded. My programmer software appears to allow me to change the rom image by hand before flashing. I'll have to verify this for myself though. So placing it in an easy to find location would be beneficial (beginning or end perhaps?)

Quote:
So that'd be two carts shipped to me: one for me (menu, Thwaite, CRoom, Roulette, ZapPing, and the Zapper toys) and one for my cousin (FHBG). What about team efforts such as Driar (David Eriksson and Stefan Adolfsson) and Streemerz (Arthur Lee and thefox)? Should PinWizz get a cart for Zooming Secretary because Shiru is already getting one for LAN Master and Lawn Mower?


Maybe I'm wrong I thinking that 50 would be plenty to allow all the contributors that would like a cart can get one and still leave a fair number (more than half) available for people who order/pay for a cart in the first week of release. If I'm wrong I'm more than willing to work with people and ensure that contributors have an opportunity to purchase a cart. If someone is more concerned about this than myself I'd suggest starting a 'wishlist' for people to sign up if they'd like to purchase a cart. No ones responded to my proposals to the price point so I can't say how much they'll be. Perhaps such a list of expectant buyers would help us decide on a price point. By the looks of the rapid progress Tepples has made it sounds reasonable that I'll be able to start production before the end of the year assuming CIC issues can be resolved as well. Worst case can use CIClones if need be, but that's $3+ per cart we loose unless they were to give us a better deal.


thefox wrote:
I can make a special build of STREEMERZ that goes back to menu when reset is pressed (I've already got reset detection code in there so it's not a big deal).

Actually that would be high unpreferred for a game like streemerz. Can't remember what options you have in the start menu, if you can actually reset back to beginning of streemerz it would void my argument. But I imagine getting tired of playing in one mode and wanting to just hit reset to get back to streemerz menu. I can always cycle power to get back to the multimenu. Why not let the two separate buttons (power and reset) have two separate functions when possible?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103054)
infiniteneslives wrote:
thefox wrote:
I can make a special build of STREEMERZ that goes back to menu when reset is pressed (I've already got reset detection code in there so it's not a big deal).

Actually that would be high unpreferred for a game like streemerz. Can't remember what options you have in the start menu, if you can actually reset back to beginning of streemerz it would void my argument. But I imagine getting tired of playing in one mode and wanting to just hit reset to get back to streemerz menu. I can always cycle power to get back to the multimenu. Why not let the two separate buttons (power and reset) have two separate functions when possible?

Yeah STREEMERZ pause menu does indeed allow quitting the game and going back to the (STREEMERZ) menu. I just think the behavior should be consistent. Maybe I wouldn't have even noticed unless I was testing it on PowerPak (so powering off meant reloading the entire ROM).
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103065)
Apparently Driar is NROM-256 now, using about half the NES's RAM for self-modifying code to animate the nametable. This means I can ditch the A-side/B-side structure of the ROM and just run everything but Streemerz in oversize BNROM mode (mode=$02, regsel=$81).

EDIT: Someone has reported a crash bug in Driar. I'm holding off on beta 2 until this is investigated.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103094)
thefox wrote:
Maybe I wouldn't have even noticed unless I was testing it on PowerPak (so powering off meant reloading the entire ROM).


Actually I neglected how the behavior I was hoping for would impact people on the powerpak. Reloading the ROM from onto the powerpak to select a different game would be a bummer...
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103100)
Running it on a powerpak would be running a multicart within a multicart though. Wouldn't it make more sense just to put the individual games on your powerpak? Why do you need to concern yourself with this case?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103110)
Would it be too difficult to add another option to the main menu to "QUIT", which would copy code to RAM that resets the outer bank and jumps to the reset vector?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103153)
I have released another preview build. These are the notable changes:
  • Added I Wanna Flip the Sky.
  • Moved Russian Roulette to Toys.
  • Fixed memory clearing bug in Thwaite.
  • Driar updated to latest NROM version.
  • Different method for reserving space for Streemerz allows all NROM games to be inserted as normal games.
  • Fixed some minor behind-the-scenes bugs in the builder.

I'd like this to be gone over with a fine-tooth comb to make sure all games that should be able to be completed can be completed.
  • Tell me anything you find confusing about the launcher.
  • Tell me anything incorrect or unclear in the games' descriptions.
  • Try to make any of the games fail.
  • Find the two games with "all your base" references.

Current bank map:
0-3. Streemerz
4. Blank | Pogo Cats
5. Slappin' | FHBG
6. LAN Master & Munchie Attack
7. Thwaite | Lawn Mower
8. Concentration Room & Russian Roulette | NES15
9. Driar
10. I Wanna Flip the Sky
11. MineShaft | ZapPing & Axe & Zapper Calibration
12. NES Virus Cleaner
13. Zooming Secretary
14. Blank
15. Menu

One bank is still completely empty, and the Pogo Cats bank is half empty. I wonder what sort of credits, Easter eggs, or $#!+ like that we can fill it with.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103175)
tepples wrote:
One bank is still completely empty, and the Pogo Cats bank is half empty. I wonder what sort of credits, Easter eggs, or $#!+ like that we can fill it with.

Some kind of music player would be one option.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103177)
Someone did mention Chris Covell's cart dumper at one point. Might be a good add. My only concern would be implied tech support which I can't really provide...
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103198)
Issues I found in the latest beta (this was all in Nintendulator)

1) There's some extra gray pixels in the upper left corner on I Wanna Flip The Sky's title screens
2) The instructions for I Wanna Flip The Sky leave out the select button (not really a big deal though)
3) I get some graphical bugs in NES15. Generally attribute problems in the last space for puzzle pieces, but I saw some bad pixels in the puzzle tiles once
4) If I open the non-multicart version of NES15, and then multicart, the menu controls kinda freak out. I think this is a bug in Nintendulator though, because switching to another application and back fixes it.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103199)
The game is doing something dumb, it's clearing RAM to 00, then uploading that to OAM every frame. So every sprite is tile number #0, color #0, and at position 0,0 (actually 0,1).
Page 0200 would need to be initialized to FF to get rid of that.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103208)
Well I apparently remembered to clear sprites for the credits screen, but forgot to do it for the title screens. Here's a fixed version.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103210)
Thanks Tom.

I was able to reproduce graphical corruption in NES15 on my PowerPak but not in FCEUX svn2749. I do some NMI handler trickery to fit NES15 and Concentration Room into one 32K bank, and I wonder whether the extra 10 cycles or so is causing NES15 to overflow vblank. I've noticed that the scroll is set sometime around line -1. Does the glitch happen when you set Nintendulator to PAL mode?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103217)
tepples wrote:
Would it be too difficult to add another option to the main menu to "QUIT", which would copy code to RAM that resets the outer bank and jumps to the reset vector?

Not too hard, I'll consider it.

EDIT: OK, I added this. Just let me know what code to execute to reset to the multicart menu.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103222)
thefox wrote:
Just let me know what code to execute to reset to the multicart menu.

If a game is running in UNROM or 32K NROM mode, all it has to do is change the outer bank to the last bank. This can be done with the following code copied to RAM:
Code:
  ldx #$81  ; Set outer bank
  stx $5000
  ldx #$FF  ; to the last bank in the cart
  stx $8000
  jmp ($FFFC)


As for the NES15 problem, I'll try disabling rendering during vblank and seeing what that breaks.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103226)
tepples wrote:
One bank is still completely empty, and the Pogo Cats bank is half empty. I wonder what sort of credits, Easter eggs, or $#!+ like that we can fill it with.

Oh, BTW, one obvious candidate: blargg's bootloader
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103229)
I include what I can test. If someone can make me a cable to use blargg's bootloader with a PC running Linux (x86) or Windows 7 (x86-64), then I'll include the bootloader as a Toy.

Good news: Disabling rendering during vblank fixed NES15.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103244)
tepples wrote:
I include what I can test. If someone can make me a cable to use blargg's bootloader with a PC running Linux (x86) or Windows 7 (x86-64), then I'll include the bootloader as a Toy..


The cable sounds simple enough, I could probably make you one. Not sure how much I could test it before sending it to you though... Is there PC/host code available somewhere for testing?

What would be the suggested/desired use/need for something like this? I'm guessing a simple dev cart of sorts? In that case it's kinda limited with only 2KB of RAM available for a program. I suppose that could be fixed by including 32KB of WRAM on the cart. But presumably it'd then be desirable to have that RAM mapped to $8000-FFFF. This side goal/feature has the potential to open up a can of worms if it goes in the direction I'm thinking of a 32KB/32KB PRG/CHR devcart. Might be okay though, just not sure if I'm missing the point or not.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103245)
Yeah, I'll probably save the bootloader thing for a future project.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103247)
infiniteneslives wrote:
What would be the suggested/desired use/need for something like this? I'm guessing a simple dev cart of sorts? In that case it's kinda limited with only 2KB of RAM available for a program. I suppose that could be fixed by including 32KB of WRAM on the cart. But presumably it'd then be desirable to have that RAM mapped to $8000-FFFF. This side goal/feature has the potential to open up a can of worms if it goes in the direction I'm thinking of a 32KB/32KB PRG/CHR devcart. Might be okay though, just not sure if I'm missing the point or not.

It's not worth it putting 32KB WRAM on the cart just for this, but even with just 2KB available (+CHR-RAM) it would be a nice toy.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103253)
Throw in tapedump somewhere? I'd like to try that out at some point. Still want to dump my copy of Battle Kid.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103255)
It's tiny enough it could be fit into almost any corner of the final ROM... I admit that only working with 2KB of main RAM isn't much, but it's enough for simple tests, and ISTR there's a build of TapeDump that fits.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103259)
thefox wrote:
It's not worth it putting 32KB WRAM on the cart just for this, but even with just 2KB available (+CHR-RAM) it would be a nice toy.


Well this would really be more of an advanced user feature. I figured the extra ram would be an option or soldered in by the user if they wanted more than 32kb to play around with. The cable is really more of the barrier here, although i do have a good supply of nes cables.

It is neat to think about the cart supporting development of contest entrees released on future revisions, but admittedly not very likely...
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103260)
TapeDump is something I can test with what I have. I'll push out another beta with TapeDump (NTSC) in the toys section as soon as I get a build of Streemerz with a quit command. PAL users will have to record at 40966 Hz or 89179 Hz instead of 44100 Hz or 96000 Hz.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103261)
tepples wrote:
PAL users will have to record at 40966 Hz or 89179 Hz instead of 44100 Hz or 96000 Hz.
Is this because there isn't a PAL build, or because the build doesn't autoswitch?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103266)
lidnariq wrote:
tepples wrote:
PAL users will have to record at 40966 Hz or 89179 Hz instead of 44100 Hz or 96000 Hz.
Is this because there isn't a PAL build, or because the build doesn't autoswitch?

It doesn't autoswitch. There are separate NTSC and PAL builds.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103322)
The nice thing about the bootloader is that it's completely generic, it could be used for a lot of nice things such as cart dumping, playing NSFs etc. Because most of the time it's connected to a PC, the 2KB RAM limitation is not a huge deal for applications specifically built for it because there's practically infinite amount of memory (albeit slow because of the serial bus) available on the PC side.

But there's nothing new here of course.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103325)
tepples wrote:
as soon as I get a build of Streemerz with a quit command.

It may take a while, because I'm working on couple of other (small) improvements at the same time.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103683)
thefox wrote:
I'm working on couple of other (small) improvements at the same time.

What might those be?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103684)
tepples wrote:
thefox wrote:
I'm working on couple of other (small) improvements at the same time.

What might those be?

Well, there's the Y scroll adjustment (viewtopic.php?p=101690#p101690) that I may or may not throw in there. It would also be nice to move the text box downwards (by uploading it to the currently visible nametable area, instead of using sprite 0 hit for adjusting scroll after it), but that's a lot more work so I don't know if I'll do it. Also I'm adding buffering for button events, so screen control during screen transitions should feel a little bit better (in v01 controller is not read when a new screen is being loaded, so it can miss a release-and-press sequence).

I don't want to release new versions haphazardly to avoid having a million+1 different versions floating around.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#103762)
At 7 PM US Eastern Time (midnight UTC), hubs of #nesdev was the first to correctly identify two games with Zero Wing references.

And because it might be a while before Streemerz gets a quit button, I'll post the third preview build with these changes:
  • TapeDump added to Toys
  • I Wanna Flip the Sky updated to clear OAM
  • NES15 turns off rendering while updating VRAM, fixing graphical corruption after solving a board
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#105075)
Sorry for being slow to chime in. Things are looking pretty solid with the ROM tepples. I didn't notice anything wrong running on my boards with this most recent build. One note: I'm guessing you're aware, but the image for Tapedump matches Russian Roulette. Starting to think that is more of the generic image than something that belongs to Russian Roulette ;).

thefox, any word on when you're expecting the next/final release? Am I correct in saying this is the final item to check off saying the ROM is final/complete? No rush, just trying to see what you're thinking/planning. Even as is it's still pretty complete IMO.

Some updates on my end: Jim's Cool has gotten back on the saddle debugging his CIC now that I got some parts in his hands showing the issues I found. He's had some success in the last couple days, 'broke' parts now work but aren't as stable as they should be. Issues like it not appreciating (rapid) power cycling and such. Sounds like he'll have something ready for us on this front fairly soon. The other thing is I don't need to have the CIC solution in hand before starting assembly of the PCBs. Really I could start right now with soldering all the surface mount components since those aren't going to change at this point.

I went ahead and ordered all the parts to whip up 50 of these last week. I've got everything in hand, but the EPROMs, they should be here this week.

The other items needed are cases and labels. If someone's interested in drawing up a label that'd be great. I think I know someone who can print the labels for me. We'll be getting the cases from retrozone.

Any other boxes we still need to check to wrap this thing up? I think the original goal was to announce the full details of release and things be in production by the end of the year. Looks like we're not too far off from that goal, just got to make sure we keep the ball rolling.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#105077)
infiniteneslives wrote:
thefox, any word on when you're expecting the next/final release? Am I correct in saying this is the final item to check off saying the ROM is final/complete? No rush, just trying to see what you're thinking/planning. Even as is it's still pretty complete IMO.

The ROM is ready, but I don't have it here. I'm not yet sure when I'll be going back to Tampere where I have the files, but in the beginning of January at the latest.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#105078)
infiniteneslives wrote:
the image for Tapedump matches Russian Roulette. Starting to think that is more of the generic image than something that belongs to Russian Roulette ;).

You guessed right. If you download the Action 53 builder, that's the image for "no screenshot assigned". These two activities don't have any graphics to speak of: Russian Roulette is text-based (for now), and TapeDump becomes corrupt (by design) during and after pak-swap.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#105112)
tepples wrote:
and TapeDump becomes corrupt (by design) during and after pak-swap.


My only thought was to maybe shrink down the transformer dude or have a picture of a cassette tape or something of the likes. Def not a need though, just a thought. Or a revolver for russian roulette?

Well looks like we're in good shape then. Jim's cool seems to have fixed the bug in his CIC. He's cleaning some things up and testing the SNES portion before releasing anything. But this is no longer a stopping block for release :)

So not much else left holding us back now. With the other projects I have going on, I should be able to start production before the end of January. With that, how does a FINAL rom and art work due date of Jan 30th sound? Assuming we have some sort of art and I can get cases and labels in hand early Feburary I should be able to start shipping carts by the end of Feburary.

Something else, that's yet to be determined. What do we want to charge? Here is the projected earnings I had way back that still look proper:
Assuming we sold all 50, after covering expenses prizes we'd have:
@$20 ~$175 earned
@$30 ~$675 earned
@$40 ~$1175 earned
+ cost of shipping ~$5.50 for priority mail in the US.

My thought is $30, which is on par for other produced homebrews. And it'd cover a little more than needed for prizes of the next compo.

Does anyone have any input on how to handle the release and sales? Do we want to pre-sell so that anxious people can assure they'll get some of the first batch? Or do we want to have a free-for-all frenzy on an announced date? The presale would be helpful for the pocket book and helping to determine total need but is not required by any means. If we did do a pre-sale I would want to wait for it to start until I had everything in hand and have made up atleast the first couple carts. That way people can see exactly what they're buying and there's no doubt about whether they will actually materialize.

Where/how do we want to sell them? I can sell them on my site if people please perhaps a 'hidden' page linked to from here to start? If someone else wants to handle the sales and everything that's more than okay with me. I just need cash in hand for my expenses before I ship anything out the door. I could also ship directly to buyers or ship a box full to whoever is handling customer sales if it's not me.

Any other thoughts or items I've missed?

Oh yeah, have we decided on an official title??? Do we want to just call it "Action 20 featuring Streemerz" I know a few people I could ask to try their hand at artwork for the label. But it would be nice to be able to provide a title and some input on what we'd like to see on the label. My thoughts are something that's a spin off of the action 52 label featuring some of the top games. Making sure to have something about the compo and nesdev/NA on there.

Image
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#105118)
The current title screen says "STREEMERZ: Action 53 Function 16 Volume One". Now let me break this down:

"STREEMERZ": The game headlining the collection.
"Function 16": For two reasons. One is a shout-out to 100-in-1 Contra Function 16, the first pirate multicart to be emulated. The other is that I don't really want to count the "toys" as games.
"Action 53 ... Volume 1": Provided the next competitions have enough entries, I see doing three more half megabyte volumes like this until we have enough to fill a 2 MB cart, and then releasing the final collection as Action 53.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#105122)
From an outsiders perspective I think Streemerz Bundle works just fine for a title. Someday we might want to collaborate on a true Action 52-like mini game compilation.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#105125)
I like tepples' crazy long name.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#105127)
tepples wrote:
The current title screen says "STREEMERZ: Action 53 Function 16 Volume One".


That cool with me, I just know thefox had some objections of focusing on the name STREEMERZ to name confusion if he were to release streemerz individually in the future.

It is a little long, but I guess the "STREEMERZ: Action 53" could be the larger font and "Function 16 Volume One" (or abbr "func. 16, vol. I") could be in smaller font to leave room for graphics. Then just have "STREEMERZ: Action 53" as the label visible from the top edge?

As for the CIC, I've tested jim's cool latest build and verified a decent number of chips to be working on NSTC. He still wants to clean some things up, but this is effectively no longer a road block to release. One item that may need to be done though is verification on non-NTSC systems.

So if we can convince someone to make a decent label we'll be good! If things get desparate I'll try my hand at it drawing something up...

For cases, do we have any requests for color? Clear to match action52? or purple to match 'nesdev color'? Others? (assuming we have a choice in the matter...)
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#105135)
May be a little late, but was Snail-Maze by Roth considered? Seems like it would be a good addition.

http://slydogstudios.org/index.php/snail-maze-game/
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=8690
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#105618)
infiniteneslives wrote:
tepples wrote:
The current title screen says "STREEMERZ: Action 53 Function 16 Volume One".


That cool with me, I just know thefox had some objections of focusing on the name STREEMERZ to name confusion if he were to release streemerz individually in the future.

I'm OK with that name. And I sent the multicart build of version 02 off to tepples.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#105635)
In which case beta 4 is ready for us to bang on.

Again, PowerPak users should use MAP1C, and Windows users should use a recent version of FCEUX or NESICIDE Emulator or an interim version of BizHawk or Nintendulator.

Changes from beta 3:
  • Title screen: Compilation publication date updated to 2013
  • Streemerz: Quit option in main menu
  • Streemerz: Death animation in Dr. Tary's campaign fixed
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#105643)
How about a new standalone version of Streemerz?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#105646)
Dwedit wrote:
How about a new standalone version of Streemerz?

I'm waiting for thefox to put that out himself in case he comes up with some last-minute fixes. I imagine he doesn't want several publicly distributed standalone versions cluttering up GoodNES.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#105679)
tepples wrote:
Dwedit wrote:
How about a new standalone version of Streemerz?

I'm waiting for thefox to put that out himself in case he comes up with some last-minute fixes. I imagine he doesn't want several publicly distributed standalone versions cluttering up GoodNES.

Yeah, please nobody rip the new version out of the multicart ROM (or at least release it). :) v02 release should be out in the next couple of weeks.

I noticed a slight problem with the QUIT option. Since the menu doesn't seem to be using the part of the memory that STREEMERZ uses for reset persistent data, the QUIT option is pre-selected when STREEMERZ is re-opened after quitting. Possible fixes would be for me to invalidate the reset signature when QUIT is selected, or for you to clear/trash memory before a game is started.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#105680)
It'd be kind of hard for the menu to clear RAM because various trampolines used for inter-bank communication (loading screenshots and CHR ROM data and starting a game) run from RAM. Perhaps you could invalidate this signature yourself before running the quit code I gave you.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#106473)
thefox wrote:
Yeah, please nobody rip the new version out of the multicart ROM (or at least release it). :) v02 release should be out in the next couple of weeks.
OK. I still want a standalone version but if you don't want me to release the standalone version that is OK. I still want the program to extract it from the combined file though, and it run.

And perhaps add a note into that game or in the README file of a game, to write that you don't want anyone to release the standalone file.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#106495)
zzo38 wrote:
And perhaps add a note into that game or in the README file of a game, to write that you don't want anyone to release the standalone file.

It's not the end of the world, I doubt that many people are interested in ripping out given that I'm going to release the real version in a week or two.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#106498)
ZapPing standalone would be awesome too! :D
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#106502)
proveaux wrote:
ZapPing standalone would be awesome too! :D

Exists.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#106507)
I see another bundle, Zap Ruder, that it is in on that page... Well dang.
Cool game in any package.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#107171)
thefox wrote:
tepples wrote:
Dwedit wrote:
How about a new standalone version of Streemerz?

I'm waiting for thefox to put that out himself in case he comes up with some last-minute fixes. I imagine he doesn't want several publicly distributed standalone versions cluttering up GoodNES.

Yeah, please nobody rip the new version out of the multicart ROM (or at least release it). :) v02 release should be out in the next couple of weeks.

v02 is now out there: http://www.fauxgame.com
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#107174)
Should I be putting a signature at the end of RAM so that programs can know to offer a quit button when in the compilation and to hide it when run standalone?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#107476)
Well it's now February... How are we doing? Is Streemerz v02 the official version we'd like in the bundle?

Some updates on my end:
I purchased all the electrical components I need, and have them ready to go. I'm going to start programming the CPLD/mappers this week. I'll be ready to program EPROMs whenever the official ROM is ready. Not at the point where it's holding me back or anything. That point shouldn't be for another week or two. Any last minute details we still need to iron out on the ROM?

I purchased the cases online today for $4.09 each including shipping. EPROMs were $2 each, I'll have to go back and check but everything I quoted previously should have been accurate in my costs.

I've got a source for labels at no charge :) Nobody's stepped up to the plate on designing the graphic for the label still. Assuming this doesn't happen this week I'm planning on working on something myself this weekend.

Still on target, and hoping to have everything assembled and up for sale via my site by the end of the month. :)

I'm going to talk with Jim's Cool about how his multi-region CIC is coming along. So far I can only assure the sale of NTSC CICs.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#107544)
infiniteneslives wrote:
Well it's now February... How are we doing? Is Streemerz v02 the official version we'd like in the bundle?

As far as I'm concerned, yes.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109766)
Alright getting down to the nitty gritty here.

I don't claim to be an artist, but since there weren't any that stepped in I broke out the MS paint skills...

It's a little busy, but I got most of the contributions included since I didn't feel the need to pick favorites ;) I figured it was easier to add now and take away later if desired. Something's could probably be better arranged but it's late and I wanted to atleast get a draft posted ASAP.

I sprinkled in Twaite everywhere partially because it was easy and also because it was the compo winner. And the biggest was Streemerz since it was the main feature. Everything is a direct screenshots from the game, didn't scale anything besides the upside down label at the top. If someone has a better image or version of what to put on the top label I'd be welcome and appreciated, my version is admittedly pretty lame...

Image

If everyone's cool with the label I'll order those before the end of the week.

I have 50 clear cases on hand thanks to Retrozone for selling those to us at discount. Ended about the same as free shipping in the end.

I've started assembly on the boards and would like to wrap them up this week. I'm to the point now that a final rom would be of use so I could start programming these EPROMs and get em soldered in to finish things up.

Only item that needs to be resolved for some is CIC regions. Currently only NTSC is tested on the JCIC. Any one concerned about shipping out CICs to PAL or other regions that isn't fully tested? Perhaps someone (hopefully with a AVR programmer) could volunteer in each region? Then any one with concerns could be shipped after verification. I'm open to ideas/solutions here.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109769)
I plan to work on the release candidate ROM later today, so we can have something to test out in PAL land.

EDIT: I'm working on a more detailed label too. It's 200 dpi and 464x800 pixels including bleed parts.

EDIT: Unfortunately, I have to report a delay in this project. I just upgraded FCEUX, and it ended up reverting to "Mapper 28 is not supported at all." I reopened bug 550.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109804)
infiniteneslives wrote:
Only item that needs to be resolved for some is CIC regions. Currently only NTSC is tested on the JCIC. Any one concerned about shipping out CICs to PAL or other regions that isn't fully tested? Perhaps someone (hopefully with a AVR programmer) could volunteer in each region? Then any one with concerns could be shipped after verification.


I've been keeping an eye on this thread for some time thinking I might buy one of these carts. I'm on the PAL side of the pond and I have a AVR programmer. Are you planning on having a ISP port on the cart PCB or will the AVR need de-soldering first?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109813)
I didn't get a chance to put together a final ROM tonight because of FCEUX difficulties and a congregation meeting. I should have the ROM tomorrow, and I encourage it to be shown at MGC.

But I did manage to get a label done. I redrew the game's logo in 2x resolution and took into account bleed, the part of the image that gets printed over the edge of the sticker in case the trimming is slightly misaligned.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109820)
tepples wrote:
I didn't get a chance to put together a final ROM tonight because of FCEUX difficulties and a congregation meeting. I should have the ROM tomorrow, and I encourage it to be shown at MGC.


No worries, Tomorrow or the next day would be great.

Quote:
But I did manage to get a label done. I redrew the game's logo in 2x resolution
I like! :)

I did move a couple things around after uploading the last label:
Image

But honestly I think I like your label better, so I vote yours. It's not as chaotic as mine... (and I just realized I forgot CLIK from virus cleaner somehow...)

Hojo_Norem wrote:
I've been keeping an eye on this thread for some time thinking I might buy one of these carts. I'm on the PAL side of the pond and I have a AVR programmer. Are you planning on having a ISP port on the cart PCB or will the AVR need de-soldering first?


Are you PAL A or B?

I don't have a dedicated ISP header. I use SOIC packaged chips but there are DIP holes surrounding it that can be connected to for ISP. If you've got basic soldering/connectivity skills I should be able to direct you how to reflash it if necessary without desoldering the CIC.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109834)
So I reverted to FCEUX 2.2.0. Between 2.2.0 and 2.2.1, the mappers were reorganized, and #28 was inadvertently dropped. I was then able to make the first release candidate build: "R.C.#1". The change from beta 4 is the use of the final streemerz-v02 ROM. If this ROM works on the final production hardware, I'll release a tool that takes the chosen RC and generates a serially numbered ROM to burn onto a cartridge. I'm using serial numbers because there's someone on NA who likes to have #37 of every release or something like that.

Should we think about a manual?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109835)
tepples wrote:
I'm using serial numbers because there's someone on NA who likes to have #37 of every release

Talk about OCD! And you are doing this just for that guy? OK then...
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109841)
You could just make them all #37. ;)
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109843)
Everything works on the final boards. BUT streemerz no longer supports exiting back to the main multi menu. The option isn't even there, so I'm guessing it's just an issue with integrating the mulit-version into the latest streemerz version.

As for the cart numbering. I think it's a cool idea for this batch of 50, making them unique and all. Not sure I'm interested in having people fighting over numbers or keeping track of who's supposed to get what specific cart... But if it's just the one guy or a few others I don't have a problem with making sure they get the desired number. If it becomes a headache I'll quickly loose interest and name them all #37 as rainwarrior suggested. ;)

I have played around a little with my programmer. I REALLY don't want to have to load a new file into my programmer app. I can easily modify the ROM image from within my programmer app though. So if you just give me a specific byte to manually increment with each EPROM it'll be nice and easy for me to handle. I see streemerz is in the first banks, I assume your the multi engine is in the last bank and there appears to be some unused data near the reset vectors. So something like $7FFE0 would be a good place that's easy for me to navigate to.

Additionally as discussed previously part of my testing of each cart is to dump it with the kazzo and verify the checksum. I'll whip up the mapper dumping script for it. But the checksum will be different for each ROM. You had mentioned calculating the checksums via a python script, something like that would be nice but not required I can always manually calculate the checksum with my hex editor if need be.

Out of curiosity, where will the build number be displayed when playing on the NES?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109845)
infiniteneslives wrote:
I REALLY don't want to have to load a new file into my programmer app. I can easily modify the ROM image from within my programmer app though. So if you just give me a specific byte to manually increment with each EPROM it'll be nice and easy for me to handle

The ASCII encoded, NUL-terminated string "R.C.#1" is in the last bank. Change that to "#00001", "#00002", etc. Or does it have to be a single byte, not a string?

Quote:
I see streemerz is in the first banks

Correct. The builder's current structure puts non-NROM games in lower numbered banks.

Quote:
I assume your the multi engine is in the last bank

Correct.

Quote:
and there appears to be some unused data near the reset vectors.

The data near the reset vectors can be thought of as the master boot record, containing pointers to parts of the ROM's directory structure.

Quote:
Out of curiosity, where will the build number be displayed when playing on the NES?

The current build number is "R.C.#1".
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109851)
tepples wrote:
infiniteneslives wrote:
I REALLY don't want to have to load a new file into my programmer app. I can easily modify the ROM image from within my programmer app though. So if you just give me a specific byte to manually increment with each EPROM it'll be nice and easy for me to handle

The ASCII encoded, NUL-terminated string "R.C.#1" is in the last bank. Change that to "#00001", "#00002", etc. Or does it have to be a single byte, not a string?


So do things push forward or push backwards? aka: Where do I delete from to fit in the extra digits or larger numbers? I tried some things and only broke it I guessing you'll have to insert some zeros for me. I can manually convert from decimal to ascii. The hex to ascii conversion is visible in the same pane so that helps out.

Does we need thefox to supply a multi version (with exit to menu) of the latest build of streemerz for us?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109854)
infiniteneslives wrote:
tepples wrote:
The ASCII encoded, NUL-terminated string "R.C.#1" is in the last bank. Change that to "#00001", "#00002", etc. Or does it have to be a single byte, not a string?

So do things push forward or push backwards? aka: Where do I delete from to fit in the extra digits or larger numbers?

Each of these strings has six characters:
Code:
beta 4
R.C.#1
#00005
#5____

So you replace the whole "R.C.#1" with spaces ($20), then write the number in that area.

Quote:
Does we need thefox to supply a multi version (with exit to menu) of the latest build of streemerz for us?

I think it's been patched such that a warm boot exits to the menu, just like all the other games have.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109856)
infiniteneslives wrote:
Everything works on the final boards. BUT streemerz no longer supports exiting back to the main multi menu. The option isn't even there, so I'm guessing it's just an issue with integrating the mulit-version into the latest streemerz version.

tepples, you're using the wrong version. The v02 I released in fauxgame.com doesn't have any (real) differences when compared to the one with the QUIT option that I gave you privately, so you should use the one with the QUIT option.

(Obviously, remember to use the 2nd revision, i.e. streemerz-v02-multicart-02.zip package.)

Another thing: how do you plan to do the selling? I would like to reserve a copy for myself.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109868)
thefox wrote:
tepples, you're using the wrong version. [...] streemerz-v02-multicart-02.zip

Oops, my bad. I'll upload R.C.#2 as soon as INL can confirm that he can change the "R.C.#1" string in the ROM and have it still work.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109873)
tepples wrote:
Oops, my bad. I'll upload R.C.#2 as soon as INL can confirm that he can change the "R.C.#1" string in the ROM and have it still work.


Yeah makes a little more sense now, sorry for being dense ;)

I tested it out and should be good, I only ran it in an emu. I'm pretty sure the NES will convert acsii just as well.

I'm thinking having a #37/50. It'll fit exactly for two digit values.

thefox wrote:
Another thing: how do you plan to do the selling? I would like to reserve a copy for myself.


I think it's fair to reserve copies for contributors. I think I mentioned it awhile back, but I will do whatever I have to do to ensure that contributors do have the opportunity to buy one. So even if there were some sort of issue I'd crank out a few more to ensure contributors could have a copy. The current plan is to sell them on my site. Once they are all ready to go, we'll announce the time the item will go live for purchase. Probably a Friday/Saturday that's more likely to be convenient for people.

If something happens to where they're all bought up in the first couple mins and there are a large number of people who didn't have the opportunity to buy them we'll come up with a plan to make more. There are a lot of variables and things to consider in this event, I figure we'll cross that bridge and discuss the plan when the time comes.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109894)
tepples wrote:
I think it's been patched such that a warm boot exits to the menu, just like all the other games have.

In hindsight this would have been easier and more consistent way to do it, but mehh, I already coded the QUIT option, so let's use that.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109907)
Release Candidate #2 is attached. The only change was use of the multicart version of the big game.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#109945)
That look awesome, I wish I had not sold my Powerpak! Anybody want to take a stab at coding a mapper file for the Everdrive N8? :D

Update: Streemer Bundle should now be playable on the Everdrive N8 using the latest OS S3M5 update for those of you interested.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#111710)
Any news?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#111728)
thefox wrote:
Any news?


Yeah sorry about not being so great on the updates, I've been holding back hoping to make one big saying I'm done with the official release date. Here's where I'm at right now:

I'm getting to the nitty gritty right now on the assembly. They are all done asside from soldering the jumpers and caps on the bottom side. I'm expecting to have that done this weekend. Additionally I have all the labels and have about half of them cut out by hand so far. I think it's reasonable acheiveable for me to be ready to go in two weeks.

There is only one minor item I just realized I'm missing the other day. The cases I got from Retrousb don't appear to have the screws included... I should open every last bag/case to verify they didn't shove them all in one case, but I couldn't find them when I looked in obvious locations...

So now is probably a good time to iron out the details on the release though. I want to hold off on the exact date until they are all fully assembled and ready to go though. Is there a desired time/day that we'd like to use for them to officially go on sale? I'm thinking something like 9pm on a Saturday E.S.T ?

Additionally i'd like to try and set up a way for contributors to have priority access, what do you guys think about that? I was originally thinking of setting up two separate items, one for check by contributors and another for general public. But if the contributors don't all buy a cart it gets messy on when/how to list the left-overs for sale. Perhaps I could just separate it by time. Last time I counted ~14 direct contributors IIRC. So maybe I could list up that limited qty and have a text feild entry for the contributors name/handle/game. Should probably make an official list if we're going to go this route. Thinking maybe contributors listed up for sale ~week prior, then general public the following week. That would give some time to resolve any issues and allow the contributors a good chance to get a copy.

As for the CIC's I got all the files needed from Jim's Cool, and should be able to support multi-region switching CIC that maintains last known good region. eightbitdreams hooked me up with a PAL NES mobo so I can test that out just to verify.

The only other detail is settling on a price. I'm thinking $35 U.S.D. with $6 shipping U.S. priority mail and $10 shipping intl 1st class.

I have all the BOM with my costs and will post them up with total expenses, but I don't have it on me at the moment. It all came out pretty close to my original estimate:

Assuming we sold all 50, after covering expenses prizes we'd have:
@$20 ~$175 earned
@$30 ~$675 earned
@$40 ~$1175 earned

Please speak now, or forever hold your peace on the pricing matters ;) If no one chimes in I'll just go with $35.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#111735)
$35 sounds good to me.

EDIT: Just to be clear, I think $40 is also fine, I don't really have a strong opinion about either price point. Or we can go $35 for the contributors and $40 to others, although personally I don't really care one way or another.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#111738)
I think $35 is low, personally. I'm not a contributor but I'll definitely be interested in one when they're ready.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#111739)
$35, as long as there's a second printing later. There are enough NAers who gotta catch 'em all that a second printing is likely to be worthwhile.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#111816)
I like thefox's idea for $35 for contributors and $40 for general public (their contribution can be the extra $5 ;)

If we're wanting to do another run immediately following this it's in our best interest to charge $40. The total cost on the carts comes out to just under $12 with free assembly. For the most part I should be able to maintain the $12 cost on parts for another run, the only thing I can't be certain of is cost of cases and labels. We got ~$1 on cases and the labels were donated. Additionally the time I have available for assembly is very limited these days so I'll have to get someone to assemble them for me completely to prevent delays like we're seeing right now. If there's someone here who'd like to step up to the plate on that they're welcome to. But I've got some family members who have picked up the assembly task for me on my other boards, and I can get them to take on a second run of these without much issue. That'll cost us around $5-6 per cart including pcb assembly, casing/label, and handling of order to get it out the door. So basically what I'm trying to conclude is that the cost of a second run will be around $18-20 per cart at most. So another run of 50 will require another $900-1000 if assembly isn't free.

Now using that info on figuring out how much we want to charge this time around $12x50 =$600 total cart cost this time around. $175 prize payout for last compo starts us off at $775 in the hole. Selling them at $35 each brings in $1750 leaving us with $975 earnings. Upping the price to $40 would leave us with $1225 earned. If we wanted to have $35 for contributors and $40 for general sales it only 'costs' us up to ~$70, so we'd earn at least $1150. Personally I think we should take at least $200 of that and save it for next compo payout, which we could do and still have enough for another run of 50 carts. $35 across the board would be just about enough for another run of carts, but not much to spare.

Also I'd be interested to see what our plans are for another compo. That's really what we're driving to here, so it might be a good idea to 'advertise' the next compo as we're announcing the cart release. I think it'd be nice to offer some better prizes this time around, perhaps doubling the payout from the last compo.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#111819)
I'd also like to reserve a copy for myself. The $35-40 prices sound fine to me.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#111820)
Sounds good to me. Personally I'm just glad that a cart is actually being made. The first compo had a great turnout, and a great boost in the homebrew community. It'll be nice to see the homebrew sales make the contest self sufficient.

I don't think you should have to donate your time and effort, I may have missed it somewhere, but were you planning on donating your labour expenses?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#111826)
WhatULive4 wrote:
I don't think you should have to donate your time and effort, I may have missed it somewhere, but were you planning on donating your labour expenses?


Yeah I volunteered to assemble the first batch of 50 for free. There are lots of other contributors who put in even more time than I, and they aren't getting reimbursed either. It's a labor of love. ;) if I had more free time (or fewer active projects) I'd do more than the 50 for free, but it's not to reasonable for me personally. I've got help I can enlist going forward if everyone desires, but they need to be compensated. The good thing is there's not much limit on what they can produce though, so if there was desire for the carts to be released long term it's an option. It'd be nice to see something like that cover hosting expenses.

Another big motivator to get people to submit legit entries would be to give the contributors free carts. Or maybe something like the top 10-20 submissions by popular vote. I'd probably volunteer my time to assemble those carts myself, but well discuss that when the time comes.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113281)
Monthly bump, any news?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113292)
Well this is kind of embarrasing, but the screws are still the last item needed still. I had informed retrozone about the missing screws last month and I thought they had sent new screws. But after they didn't arrive I realized they had simply re-forwarded me my original tracking slip saying the screws were in a pink bag (which I never saw). They said we were on our own to get screws... I checked the local hardware stores this past week and it seems that #2 wood screws fit the bill. But I could only get a couple dozen locally and they were flat head vice phillips. I checked McMaster Carr but the extra price didn't see worth it, so I'm now resorting to ebay.

I'm thinking two packs of these should work: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 1230141468

I sent an message to the seller to confirm the size of the head since it looks a little big. Pending that answer or anyone else's suggestions on here I plan to order these by Monday. Good news is that seller is in the states so if all goes as planned I can seal up these 50 carts I've got sitting here by next weekend.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113307)
Our local hardware store is usually willing to special order parts, is it worth trying that?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113353)
You can check if they're able to get a worthy screw for a good price if you'd like. Sounds like these ebay screws will be a good fit though, so might not be worth much more effort.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113425)
ebay seller confirmed the head size of the screws, they're on the way finally! ;)
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113626)
That's too bad about the RetroZone ones going missing. It's kinda a bad time for them too since they haven't been shipping anything for a while now.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113632)
Well I got the screws finally. The ones off ebay are a little bigger than I'd like them to be, but they work just fine. I'm planning to post them up this weekend for the pre-release for contributors. Thinking we can open them for general release around the beginning of July. I'll get some pictures for you guys shortly and a more official release info after confirming a few things.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113899)
Please keep us updated about availability! Homebrew on a cart plus supporting future compo's, what's not to love!
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113956)
Sorry for not getting this up over the weekend like I planned, I was working through issues with my internet provider...

Good news!!! They're up for sale limited to contributors only right now! :)

Here's my current contributors list I was able to come up with from scrolling through the game, and some extras at the end. Did I miss anyone?
Code:
Contributors List;
Faux Game Co.
Joshua Hoffman
Shiru
PinWizz
Michael Swanson
Damian Yerrick
David Eriksson
Stefan Adolfsson
Tom Livak
Nioreh
Joe Parsell
Mathew Brenaman
Sly Dog Studios
Yggi
Chris Covell
Paul Molloy (me)
Jim's Cool CIC (CIC design)
WhatULive4 (compo organizer)
Mr. Podunkian


Quantity is limited to the number of people on this list right now for $35 each. Most of the details are listed within the listing on my site. I've currently made plans to open sales to the general public for $40 each on Saturday July 6th at 6pm E.S.T. At that point any contributor who hasn't purchased a copy (or specifically contacted me via PM/email) will loose their reserved copy which will become available for purchase by the general public. Any issues with that? Hope not, no one spoke up so I made the command decision. ;)

I've currently only got a link to download the rom. Tepples, if you can .zip up everything we want/need bundled up for GPL and all that, I can host it and/or link to your site for download so we're legit. Also, is there a NA thread about all this? or just the action53 thead? We should ensure a thread gets up over there to ensure everyone is informed. If someone wants to take the lead on that, feel free to copy my entire post here.

And FINALLY, the goods: :D
Image
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113957)
Awesome job! Just ordered a copy.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113958)
infiniteneslives wrote:
Here's my current contributors list I was able to come up with from scrolling through the game, and some extras at the end. Did I miss anyone?

You may want to add Mr. Podunkian (Arthur Lee), author of the original STREEMERZ.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113959)
thefox wrote:
infiniteneslives wrote:
Here's my current contributors list I was able to come up with from scrolling through the game, and some extras at the end. Did I miss anyone?

You may want to add Mr. Podunkian (Arthur Lee), author of the original STREEMERZ.


Good call, added.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113960)
On another note, if you have the PayPal payment option open for non-contributing customers without a big warning on the page, I expect some people are going to try to order it regardless, and you might incur some fees for having to return their money... that said I'm not too familiar of how it goes with PayPal.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113962)
Looks really good. Great job to all involved.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113969)
thefox wrote:
On another note, if you have the PayPal payment option open for non-contributing customers without a big warning on the page, I expect some people are going to try to order it regardless, and you might incur some fees for having to return their money... that said I'm not too familiar of how it goes with PayPal.


Yeah while the option is there, there isn't any quantity available if one was to attempt to checkout with them. So no risk/issue right now. Only the ~15 are allowed to be sold as contributors. So if someone decides not to follow the rules things can't get too far out of hand. Canceling paypal transactions also reverses the fees, so I'm covered there.

I'm also aware that there are a few groups/pairs of contributors that are in nearby enough demographics to where separate/double shipping may not be necessary. For those of you to whom this may apply you can save on shipping and checkout with two carts, just put both names/games in the text field and I'll ensure all goes as planned. This rule will not apply for general public sales, be ready to explain yourself if I see activity suspicious of multiple purchases by the same party. Offenders will get no carts assuming all copies sell out rapidly. Additionally, anyone caught reselling copies at high markup on ebay will be banned for future sales/releases/volumes. Don't mean to be a jerk, just trying to keep things as fair as possible and keep us from getting taken advantage of.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113970)
Is the homebrew cart market that cut-throat? I have to admit this is something I know nothing about.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113971)
Here's source code for anything that's GPL, any game that shares a bank with something that's GPL, and any other game that I had to recompile to fit into the menu structure. That means Concentration Room, LAN Master, Lawn Mower, Munchie Attack, NES15, Russian Roulette, and Thwaite. (Source code is available for Zap Ruder, Zooming Secretary, and the menu, but those didn't need to be modified so they're not included.)

Quote:
For those of you to whom this may apply you can save on shipping and checkout with two carts, just put both names/games in the text field

Unfortunately, I already checked out. What should I do to change my order so that I can get the cart for my cousin who made another game in the collection?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#113972)
qbradq wrote:
Is the homebrew cart market that cut-throat? I have to admit this is something I know nothing about.

I've seen some pretty crazy things happen on ebay with 'rare/limited' NES items. I'm hoping we won't have issues, but I figured best to forewarn people to attempt to discourage any one with a scheme to make a few bucks off us.

tepples wrote:
Quote:
For those of you to whom this may apply you can save on shipping and checkout with two carts, just put both names/games in the text field

Unfortunately, I already checked out. What should I do to change my order so that I can get the cart for my cousin who made another game in the collection?

No worries, I can provide a partial refund to combine the shipping. I'll PM you to discuss the details.

If for any reason someone has issues in the heat of the moment with shipping charges or any errors on the pricing, try not to be too concerned. Just get/checkout with the cart if you can and contact me about getting a partial refund. It's a simple process from my end so don't be too concerned if the problem is resolvable by me sending a partial refund. Once the carts are gone though, they're gone. So if you try to contact me before checking out it may be too late by the time I'm able to respond. We have the nice option of testing out the waters with the smaller group of contributors sales, so hopefully there won't be any hiccups come full release time.

EDIT: One after thought I had, if any contributors would like a link from my listing to their website, or change the name listed to their handle or something just send me a PM with what you'd like on your line and I'll make it happen.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114301)
Things going well so far it seems, I cleaned things up a bit on my site and gave the cart it's own page.

I haven't found any NA posts about this. So unless someone corrects me soon, I'll probably start a new thread over there to advertise what's going on. I want to make sure contributors catch wind of what's going on so they can get their resevered copy before it goes up for grabs, well under half of the contributors have purchased thus far. I'm not sure how many were actually planning on getting one though.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114331)
Hi guys. You probably don't know me, but I used to make tool assisted speedruns on tasvideos under the same username. I've already made a STREEMERZ "Superb Joe" TAS and a Driar TAS.

The reason I write isn't to promote my TASes (so if I break any rules, please remove the links) but to say good job for porting STREEMERZ to NES and the developers of the games on this bundle (and everyone else who made this project become a thing)!

I hope you will make more homebrews in the future when you are done with this project =)
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114465)
infiniteneslives wrote:
I haven't found any NA posts about this. So unless someone corrects me soon, I'll probably start a new thread over there to advertise what's going on. I want to make sure contributors catch wind of what's going on so they can get their resevered copy before it goes up for grabs, well under half of the contributors have purchased thus far. I'm not sure how many were actually planning on getting one though.

Yeah you should make a thread there (preferably soon, given that the general public sales are only a couple of days away).

Also you could add a little bit to the description to let people know the the profits will be used to fund future NESDev compos.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114474)
And pay the previous comp winners :D
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114486)
Yeah that's a good point. I'll get that updated this evening and start a thread on NA too. I'm considering keeping the contributor's carts resevered for the first week. There will most likely be more buzz about the release immediately afterwards which might be too late for all the contributors to catch wind. I've been meaning to send PMs to all involved but haven't gotten around to it... If there are any contributor carts left over after a week I could then list em to general public.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114491)
Have these carts been tested on clone systems like the Yobo? I don't care if the duty cycles are off, as long as they are playable.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114495)
What do you have against official Nintendo consoles? I mean, clones are nice and all, but when you plan on making serious development you should own at least one original console.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114498)
tokumaru wrote:
What do you have against official Nintendo consoles?

Import duties can be costly in some countries.

And Thwaite is on this multicart. It's easier to plug the mouse that came with Mario Paint into a combination NES/Super NES clone console than to solder together an adapter out of extension cables as INL did. Does a mouse or trackball with the NES 7-pin connector even exist?

If a large fraction of users will be using clones, developers who want to target those users need to test on clones. Thwaite, for example, has specific support for Dendy-style clones, on which it is supposed to PAL-correct the music tempo and game speed but not music or sound effect pitch. Unfortunately, it's only been tested in emulators because I haven't had a chance to test it on an actual Dendy.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114502)
NA thread: http://www.nintendoage.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=22&threadid=106534

Added verbage to my site:
Quote:
Proceeds from sales will be used to payout prizes for the coding competition. Remaining profits will be put forward to other community approved projects including immediate payment of prizes for next competition, future Action53 releases, or other items to support the homebrew community as a whole. Thanks for your SUPPORT!!!


I'll test it out on my handheld clone. I expect it will work though, as I've already tested the same hardware with more complex mappers. This is effectively a discrete mapper as far as a clone is concerned.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114503)
I'm excited to see this up for sale! Looks really good :)

Bought and paid for.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114513)
I've got my cash ready, just waiting for the 6th :D

I don't have anything against original hardware. The US top-loader re-release is by far my favorite system. But it's very expensive to purchase one compared to a clone. So when I had the option to buy an XBox 360 and a Yobo or just a top-loader, I chose the first option.

Looking back on it, the top-loader may have been the smarter investment. I sold the XBox 360 about six months after I bought it, but I still play the Yobo ;)
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114525)
Well shoot, I had put $25 to add to my $10 in PayPal for this, but didn't realize it'd be an extra 6 bucks for shipping. It takes 3-5 days for money to get to my PP account and it just got in there today : / I hate to ask if you can hold it until I get my extra six bucks in there, but I will go ahead and ask that. Could ya? Sorry to be a pain in the butt. I probably can't make it to the bank until this afternoon or even tomorrow to put money in the bank.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114536)
Sent ya a PM Roth.

Tested the cart out on my fc moblie II clone this morning and it worked just fine. I'm guessing it'll work on any clone without issue. I've had these CPLDs tested on a few other clones without problem previously.

Only one thing I wonder though is about the implementation of illegal opcodes on clone systems. IIRC Streemerz uses them for the sound engine?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114543)
Driar, too, since they both use MUSE.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114625)
Things got a little crazy after posting on NA, I've had to cancel a several purchases by non-contributors checking out with contributor carts. I've removed the contributor option from checkout. I've sent PM/emails to the remaining contributors. A few have replied expressing they don't plan on making a purchase. There are only a contributor carts left so if that you, just send me your paypal email and I'll send you an invoice for purchase.

I guess the good news is there is quite a bit of serious interest, so if we go forward with another run we could probably build up some substantial earnings. So hopefully they'll give us some motivation for an even better compo (this year???). Larger prizes, free carts for all 'greater than pong' competition entries?

I'm packing up purchases thus far by contributors, so those should be in the mail Monday morning and delivered next week for shipping within the U.S.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114715)
Well we're down to under an hour now. I got a little excited for a second and did the time zone math wrong... ;) But I'm ready to go to paste up the Buy it now button. I think it will make it slightly faster if you're already logged into your paypal account. But I'd clear anything else you may have in your 'shopping cart'. If anyone is planning on purchasing other items I'd suggest clearing everything from you cart and just buy other items after the fact. I can give partial refunds to combine shipping of two separate purchases. Just be ready to checkout quickly via paypal. Hopefully things go as planned! :)

If you try to checkout and everything is sold out I have it setup to link to this post. So any updates on subsequent releases and such will bring people here for the most up to date info on such matters.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114722)
Yeah! I think I got one! My purchase went through. Looking forward to playing the game, and hopefully future new cartridge releases. Also, I just wanted to mention that I really liked the way you handled the limited edition run. Almost like a radio contest (first 50 callers wins! etc) exciting and more fair way to go about it imo.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114723)
5 min left and ~5 carts left.

incrediblehark wrote:
Also, I just wanted to mention that I really liked the way you handled the limited edition run. Almost like a radio contest (first 50 callers wins! etc) exciting and more fair way to go about it imo.


Glad to see it was worked out well from the other end. I had fun hitting refresh on my end and watching them roll in! :)

EDIT: SOLD OUT in ~10min.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114725)
It was fun. Just wanted to give a +1 to RetroCollect.com, where I first found out about this yesterday (don't have too much time for forums anymore) then did the back reading on the project here and on your site. Anyway thanks again, and hope to see more stuff in the future! The dumper-programmer and flash carts look interesting too...
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114728)
That is a neat little article, I wasn't aware of it. I linked to it as well, looks like we got a fair amount of internet traffic from that article.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114729)
So with such a quick sell-out, how long before you start taking preorders for a second run?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114734)
Wow...

Um, if there's another run, I'll pre-order :)
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114737)
tepples wrote:
So with such a quick sell-out, how long before you start taking preorders for a second run?


Good question, I'm kind of curious what you guys are thinking on this. I could get another run started pretty soon if we'd like. I've got some new grey cases on the way I could allot a number to for a re-run. I've got enough boards to get my assemblers started on a batch of 50-100 pretty soon, I just need to get parts. So I could get another batch together by the end of summer without much trouble on my end. We will have to pay a few dollars for assembly, but to make this easier I'd go with flash ROMs this time around. Plus this keeps me from delaying matters like I did for this release.

I've got to crunch all the numbers but original estimates were pretty close and it's safe to say we earned over $1000. I'll get the final numbers and itemized expenses on my part to show exactly what we've got to work with here after this post. I want to make things as clear as I can from my end. If everyone agrees with the plan I can use the money to get parts and get rolling on more carts asap.

I've got a few things floating around in my head. So I figure I'll just dump em all out and see what you guys think, feel free to naysay any of my thoughts here.

*Release options: We've got enough to cover getting started on another run, so if we/I can solidify a date the next run will start shipping later this summer part of me thinks we should consider listing another 50-100 carts right now for "pre-ordering" with payment. If things go as planned I should be able to start shipping pre-ordered carts by the end of August. If we're going for it, part of me thinks we should post the pre-sale right now to allow the people who didn't get one to jump on this follow on release asap. They may be uninterested if we come back 3 months later with a similar release.

My main concern for doing something like this though is how do the guys who wrote the games think about the idea. If y'all have any desire to solicit their game in cartridge we're kind of taking away from their ability to actively do so with our repetitive/continued release of their work. So at a minimum I think we should allow each contributor the opportunity to retract their game. Everyone agreed the the run of 50 carts, we can't just assume you're cool with us continually taking their work to the bank. Part of me thinks the contributors should be reimbursed, but this gets way too messy and starts to stray away from our original goal. So if the contributor wants reimbursement for their work they always have the choice to contact us and have their game removed for future releases. This is probably the most respecting way we can handle it. Thoughts?

*Boxes/manuals: We've talked about it, but never put forth the effort. This is something we could do that would sell as well for the collectors. After dealing with the pain of cutting these labels by hand, I've found someone who can get us pre-cut labels, high quality manuals, boxes the whole bit if we want. I think it'd be nice to offer these as well. I'm also curious about cart sleeves. I think the best way to sell this if we do, is a separate purchase option similar to how retrozone does. Some people don't want to spend money on boxes and manuals, so do.

*Competition: We need to get some details ironed out on our plans here. I think we should solidify a timeline for the next compo and all the details asap. This was one of the main reasons for this run, let's make it happen. A competition that ends sometime this year sounds reasonable to me. It'd be nice to advertise the compo along with the sales of more carts.

What do you guys think?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114739)
As for the manual, should we start a project on the wiki to write the text? I tried to give enough information to get the player started in each game on the description screen. Is more needed?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114752)
:( That sold out fast. I hope there's another run.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114764)
tepples wrote:
As for the manual, should we start a project on the wiki to write the text? I tried to give enough information to get the player started in each game on the description screen. Is more needed?

I think the instructions are fine as is if you're just wanting to find out how to play, on screen is about as convenient as you can get. For collectors is just about having the stuff sitting on their shelf. I wouldn't be surprised if someone makes a box and manual for this on their own and starts selling them. There are a few guys over at NA that are all about this market, and I've already seen the idea mentioned. If we aren't interested, that's fine. But us doing nothing is effectively telling them it's okay to do whatever they'd like and personally profit from this project. One solution might just be to work with them. Either way we can't really get to upset about them doing something if we choose to do nothing. I know some people that might be interested in taking on the project I can try to sort out details with them if we're interested in using their work on this. Having a wiki for the text sounds like a good idea, that will us something to work with to get started at least. It would also allow easy addition by new games added for future compos/releases as a living document. Contributors can put in their own writing what they'd like to see in the end manual/box taking some of the burden off one person.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114765)
Here are the numbers, and one giant post...

Code:
Sales:
14 contributor carts sold
33 general public carts sold
EDIT: $71.13 in paypal fees
$35*14 + $40*33 - 71.13 = $1738.87 earned on sales for run 1.

Expenses:
Digikey:
cic       0.468
22uF      0.04608
10uF      0.04853
1nF       0.02139
reg       0.2166
36XL      1.18
sram      1.129
sales tax  6%   0.158496
shipping        0.16

Other:         
pcb              2.03
eprom 512K       2
case             4
screws           0.3
label            free

total/game   11.758096
games        50
TOTAL EXP:   587.9048

Profit:
$1738.87 - $587.91 = $1150.96

2011 Prize money
Some prizes were paid by koitsu out of pocket so we'll pay him back and payout remaining prizes
$100 + $50 + $25 = $175

Profit - 2011 prizes:
=$975.96


So that's how much money we've got right now.

Things that may change or are pending with another run:
  1. Case cost might change a little, I've yet to pay shipping or get the cases in hand. I'll hopefully have these around the end of the month. They will come with screws however...
  2. Labels: I'd buy these pre-cut this time around, not sure how much that'll cost.
  3. Parts: pretty comparable in overall price, I'm not paying ID sales tax anymore. But overall this would be fairly constant cost.
  4. Labor: I assembled the first 50 on my own time. This was the main contributor to the delay of the release. This time I'd hire out the labor which will cost us ~$3 a board. This should include programming, as well.

Note: the I've rounded numbers for the following estimates:
So carts will cost us around $15 each roughly once again. Selling them at $40 each would mean we'd earn $25 per cart. If we dumped all ~$1150 our available funds into carts right now we could cover ~65 carts. Resale of those 65 carts is all earnings since we don't have to payback expenses to me once it's all over. We'd have around $2.6k in the bank assuming they all sold. If we were ambitious, and listed up 100 for pre-sale it would give us a little extra buffer allowing us to be more flexible. Those 45 extra carts wouldn't have to be assembled unless they were expected to all sell. And if those extra 45 sold we'd earn $25/cart for ~$1100 more earned.

Breakdown of potential end balances assuming all carts sell:
  1. we now have: $1150
  2. if we do a run of 65 we'd have $2.6k afterwards
  3. if we sold 100 with presale we'd have $3.7k afterwards

So one question is how many can we sell? Based on the first 30-50 only lasting 10min and the number of people emailing me asking to sell them a cart which doesn't exist currently, I'd say we can easily sell 50-65 carts in under a month. I if we did the 100 I think it'd give people a chance to buy carts that may not have heard about it until after the fact. Will we sell all 100 carts? IDK, but over the summer I'd expect we could.

If we can commit to a run of 30-100 I can commit to an expected ship date of the first 30 carts at the end of August. The cart would be expected to trickle out the door over the next month or so depending on how many there were. Cases and labels are still pending mind you, but end of August is reasonable. Once we settle on a number I'll list em on my site for pre-sale if that's the route we'd like to go.

The bigger question is what would we like to do with this money, and how much money do we think we NEED? The $1150 we have right now is great, but we will spend it quickly on another compo and limited number cart release.
  1. Compo prizes: $100-25 last time, I think we can do better than that next time. Doing this would resolve some of the issue of reimbursing the contributors for their long/hard/great work on games. Something like $500/250/100 sounds better to me, maybe even higher. That would be $850 in prizes, and I think we should pay those out immediately upon posting winners. I think this would get a lot of people to pick up the keyboard and start making great homebrew games, it's easy to pass off $100 prize. But $500+ is very enticing I think.
  2. Compo entires: Free carts to all entries that are 'greater than pong' It's got to be something more than a demo for us to include it in the action53. This would cost us ~$15/entry = 20-40 entries? = $300-600?. To make this a little better we could have the limited edition carts be the contributor carts. Collectors would have to put in the effort to make a game if they wanted a special edition 'numbered' release of the cart. This motivates people to get involved that don't expect to take 1st,2nd,3rd place, but will put in the effort to create a novel game/tool. It might be helpful to have per-registeration to get a feel for how many entries we'll have, but I don't think we should require it.
  3. Cart release for volume 2: One of the main difficulties right now is cases in large volume. I've worked with Retrozone to get runs of cases in quantities of 500 or more. Best part is we can get ANY color for the most part. It takes awhile to get them though, and price can depend on lead time. Last time they quoted $3.50-$3.75 each for 6week-6month lead time respectively. So ideally we could order a batch of 500 cases for ~$1750-$1875. That would cover us pretty well for release of volume 2 which would include the next compo's entries. If we don't have this money before the compo ends, we'll have difficulty obtaining cases with issues of limited and/or delayed releases like we're dealing with right now.
  4. Cartridge cost for release of volume 2. Things may change a few dollars depending on how we handle things, but $15 is a pretty good estimate. Increasing game data may require more expense, but increasing volume can save us money too. I think it's safe to say we'd easily sell 100-200 carts for volume 2. But if we're biting off 500 cases maybe we just want to go for 500 games. This number gets kind of big, but one thing we may be able to do is pre-sell volume 2 once the compo is nearing or is over and we've got the hardware design nailed down. $15/cart: release 100-$1500, release 200-$3000, release 500-$7500. Maybe we make sure we've got enough for 200 carts, and pre-sale could allow a buffered judgement on more copies. If we have a bunch of left over cases, we can hang on to them for the next release.
  5. Printed material like boxes/manuals? I'm not certain at the moment, but I'd expect if we were interested in doing this we'd have to pay a $100-300 depending on initial print quantity. This could in turn earn us more money though effectively paying for itself.
  6. Other expenses? It'd be nice for income like this to cover our hosting expenses, although I don't know what that currently entails.

TL;DR above summary;
Pending everyone else's thoughts, my estimates for volume 2 with next compo's entries would be:
  1. Prizes: $850-1000
  2. Special edition carts to compo entrants: $300-600
  3. 500 cases (min qty): ~$1800
  4. Parts/assembly: 200=$3k 500=7.5k
  5. Others? $500?
That's like $6k for a 'low' estimate.

There are quite a few high thoughts and wants more than NEEDS for a release of volume 2 with the next compo. Doing 100 carts right now would get us ~$3.7k which is a pretty good start. That'd cover immediate prize payout, and purchase of cases and get things started on assembly. A release of 200-500 carts would require pre-sale or several cascading releases. Pre-sale is nice and all, but it requires trust from the people who are paying for a cart, and expecting it to materialize at a later date. The release of these first 50 carts, and another followup run of 50-100 carts gives us some experience and building of trust. Good execution of this current release builds trust for subsequent ones. And having cash on hand give compo entrants trust that they'll receive their sizable prize promptly without it coming out of other members pockets with little in return.

What do y'all think? If there are no objections from contributors, my gut says go for it and post up 100 carts right now for pre-sale. The community just wants carts because they were unable to get the first 50, so it sounds like their vote is yes for any extra release that lets them buy something. If that's the plan, then I'll use the money to start buying parts needed and get things in place to start shipping carts (at least the first 30) by end of August.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114766)
TL;DR not even the DR part, but I'd doubt you couldn't sell at least 50 more carts. Take pre-orders and I bet you'd be able to sell 100 too. I'd say if possible, I'd try the 100 carts. So many games pull that many copies, I doubt this cart with tons of games and new parts couldn't at least sell that. Maybe put another topic up on NA, maybe one on sega-16, SA, etc. to see who else will take one.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114767)
infiniteneslives wrote:
Having a wiki for the text [of the manuals of Action 53 volumes] sounds like a good idea, that will us something to work with to get started at least. It would also allow easy addition by new games added for future compos/releases as a living document.

I can see three ways to proceed:
  1. You install MediaWiki on infiniteneslives.com, as you're handling the distribution
  2. I open up some space on my wiki, as I'm handling the menu software development
  3. We do this on WhoaMan's NES wiki
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114768)
tepples wrote:
I can see three ways to proceed:
  1. You install MediaWiki on infiniteneslives.com, as you're handling the distribution
  2. I open up some space on my wiki, as I'm handling the menu software development
  3. We do this on WhoaMan's NES wiki


I'd suggest one of the latter two. I'm a lot better at installing a link from my site to another than I am installing a wiki... Not that I couldn't figure it out, but would be preferred if one of you two are willing to take care of it.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114783)
I agree, I think a pre-sale is the way to go. Also, a prize like that should get some more attention to the NESDev community.

Way to go everyone!
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114789)
Please open pre-sale! I've got my money waiting since Saturday :)
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#114803)
I just saw that there was a concern about contributors. Just wanted to say: Feel free to include and sell Mineshaft on any future runs.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#115132)
Got my cartridge today. It looks great! And I'm fine with my game being included in a second run.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#115170)
The first 20 carts including all contributor carts shipped out last week before I left town. So everyone in the U.S. in that group should already have their cart in hand, international purchases should trickle through to your door over the next couple weeks. I'll get the remaining shipped out next week when I get back.

We've got permission from most of the contributors for another run of 100 non-numbered grey shelled carts. There are only a few we haven't heard back from. So I went ahead and listed up the 100 carts for 'pre-sale' I'm getting things setup now so the first batch of ~30 carts will ship out by the end of August. The remaining carts should follow shortly afterwards.

There at the same place of purchase that they were previously.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#115223)
thanks for opening up another run! pretty neat to get some homebrew and support the community at the same time
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#115415)
Just wanted to say I would love to get a box/manual for my copy if you decide to go that route.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#115489)
So far so good. We've sold ~20 of the carts for the second release so far.

One other thing I just realized going over the numbers is I neglected to include the paypal fees. It was ~$70, I've modified the numbers from my previous post to reflect the final earnings. To make things easy, I'm just going to consider the 3 contributor copies as part as the second run as that's still being sorted out.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#115519)
Woo, got mine in the mail today!
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#115669)
I got my cart today, looks good! Thanks to everybody involved in putting this thing together.

Tried playing through Driar on a whim, but died on level 29 :oops:. I have to say it's a lot more fun to play this game on the real hardware.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#115939)
Well it took me a little longer than I hoped, but finally the ENTIRE first release of action53 streemerz bundle is out the door! general public carts are all in the mail.

Things are going well with the second release and presale. We've sold ~30 carts so far, and I'm getting ready to whip those up right now. So if you've got a cart by now (or do so shortly) you can expect to be included in the initial batch that should ship end of August.

New grey cases have arrived, the only detail to iron out is labels. I'm shooting for something I don't have to cut by hand this time around... I've got some leads on that so we're looking like smooth sailing from here.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#116376)
I'm looking forward to getting my grey cart in the mail!
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#116410)
Just got my clear cart - #22! This thing is probably the nicest cart that even went in my NES :) Thanks!
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#118011)
Just got an email that mine's been sent :)

update: It arrived! yay!
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#118382)
I got mine. I'd forgot about the awesome "wooh yeah" title music. :)
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#119090)
The website says the second run is a preorder, but it also says that it'll start shipping in early August. As it's now September, are orders now shipping, or has there been some sort of delay? In other words, if I order one tonight, will it ship shortly, or will I have to wait?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#119152)
Sorry for the lack of updates on the status...

Things are moving along nicely. I finished shipping the first 50 carts last week, which covered sales up to Aug 13th. We've sold a total of ~70 carts from this second release, so there are ~30 left under the current agreements. The last batch of 50 boards completed assembly last week and is now in route to me. If all goes well I'll be shipping all carts that have sold thus far next week catching everything up. At that point there won't be any more pre-ordering or delayed shipments. Orders will ship within a couple business days from purchase.

As for the cash and everything, we're right on target as planned. I'll give the full 'financial report' once I'm all caught up.

We're still getting sales trickling through, something like 1-4 carts a week I'd say. At this rate we'll dry up right around the start of the holiday shopping season. I can't help but think that we'll loose out on potential sales not having things up over the holidays, but not sure if that's really much of a big deal anyways. The main blocker for another release (or potentially long term release) is cases at this point. Both of the large orders for cases I placed with retrozone for this project did not go according to plan. As such I can't get myself to see them as a reliable source for cases. Good news is I'm working with an injection mold maker who's local to me. I'm expecting to get the quote from him this week. If all goes as planned it might be possible to have that source of cases rolling in a couple months. Not sure it would be in time to try and capitalize on the holidays if that was something we as a community wanted to do though...

Now that summer is over and the days are getting shorter perhaps it's time to start putting our plans of another competition into action. IMO, it's safe to say we'll have the full income from all 150 carts of the first and second releases at this point.

Thoughts anyone???
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#119153)
I've received an invitation from someone looking for indie GBA games to publish. Dwedit, a regular here, is also the maintainer of a decent NES emulator for GBA called PocketNES.

I haven't had a chance to test most of these games in PocketNES, all my GBA stuff having been packed away for years. PocketNES doesn't support the Action 53 mapper or $4011 speech, but all these games are NROM-128, NROM-256, or UNROM, so we can just treat the menu as a manual and use a static screen that PocketNES does support. The MUSE music player in some of the games might pose a problem: it does tricky things with the sweep register and has a couple unofficial instructions. Most of the Toys would disappear because the Zapper is unsupported and TapeDump is superfluous.

The GBA screen is only 160 scanlines tall, but there's an option to scale the graphics. There are three ways to go about optimizing an NES game's graphics for PocketNES:
  • Unscaled static: Rearrange the graphics so that everything is in a 160-line window.
  • Unscaled follow: Store the player character's current vertical position in a memory location, document this address, and set a flag in PocketNES to have scrolling follow it. Can be confusing for games with a status bar.
  • Scaled mode: Blend 4 scanlines into 3. May need a bit of adjustment to graphics, especially fonts, to improve clarity. The "Classic NES Series"/"Famicom Mini" releases on GBA use a mode similar to this.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#119155)
tepples wrote:
The MUSE music player in some of the games might pose a problem: it does tricky things with the sweep register and has a couple unofficial instructions.

Shouldn't be a problem: viewtopic.php?p=101040#p101040
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#119166)
That'd be pretty cool to see a GBA release as well. Probably have to play around with the games to see the best method of scaling. From what I recall last time I played around with pocketNES the scaled mode is best, while doesn't look as nice is best for universal playability.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#119191)
Which version of Driar works in PocketNES? The NROM version that I used for the bundle is marked as "Incompatible" and just resets to the title screen after I start level 1. The others can be tried below:

EDIT: Replaced Driar with working UNROM version
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#119202)
Assuming it's tickling the same bug in PocketNES as is tickled in NO$NES, the older UNROM builds seem to work fine. When I try to use NO$NES's debugger to figure out what's going on, I seem to trigger some kind of bug inside it...
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#119209)
You could always use VisualBoyAdvance's debugger to debug PocketNES.

Anyway, I re-uploaded it with a different build of Driar. Now the GBA ROM needs testing on your GBA flash cards.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#119217)
The only funny thing Driar NROM does, as far as I know, is execute code across the mirrors of RAM...

For curiosity's sake, I tried making a build that doesn't use the unrolled code (but still generates it). PocketNES seems to works fine, then. So then I tried building a version that only unrolled as many times as we could and still fit in the primary address range for the internal RAM. And yes, that's exactly what's gone wrong; I'm not even certain if PocketNES supports any of the mirrors of internal RAM.

But PocketNES does provide the 8KiB of memory from $6000-$7FFF, and I've made a build that puts the unrolled code there instead. "Hilariously", this version wouldn't work on the NES multicart. I'll PM it to you, tepples.

By the way, in my opinion, Driar works better in Scroll-follow-sprite-0 than scaled.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#119985)
Okay well things are finally caught up with production. No more pre-sale delayed shipments. I'll have to go change things on my site accordingly.

Tallied up the current money situation just now. I'll have to verify this at the end once everything is all accounted for. But currently we've sold 80 of the 100 carts in the second release. We have ~$2700 in the bank, and should make another $800 from the sale of the last 20. That'd give us $3.5K at the end of these 100 carts. Pretty close to my $3.7K estimate, I'll have to figure out where my discrepancy is on that estimate.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#126868)
What's the status of the 2nd batch? Have they been sold out?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#131117)
Any word yet? I would be thrilled to purchase one.

email mrdrofficer @ gmail
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#131344)
Not all is (bubblegum) rosy. Does this reviewer have a point or is it just a difference in taste?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#131346)
tepples wrote:
Not all is (bubblegum) rosy. Does this reviewer have a point or is it just a difference in taste?
Probably just difference of opinion. I happen to like Streemerz, Munchie Attacks, and I Wanna Flip The Sky, but I don't like Driar quite as much.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#131386)
I find Streemerz to be the most impressive game, Tepple's Missile Command clone (I forget the name) is cool, and all of Shiru's games to be stellar. Everything else ranges from 'okay' to 'bad', understandable since these games were obviously not made by a team of 12 Japanese programmers. I find it ironic that the better games were made by European programmers, when the NES' presence wasn't that great in Europe. Shiru makes sense, since he likely played the Dendy back in the day.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#137814)
I apologize for my lack of presence on the forum the past ~8 months.. Lots of changes in my life over the past year, but the dust is pretty well settled now. First item of business I owe everyone is a financial update from the A53_vol1 "Streemerz Bundle".

Here's my last update a few pages back. Most of my projections from that post were accurate as well, so here's where we're at:

Code:
Streemerz bundle LE 50 copies +$1150.96
2011 compo prizes -$175
Streemerz bundle RE 100 copies +$2525
-RE cart cost came to $14.75, copies sold for $40, so $25.25 was earned per cart
2014 compo cash prizes -$850
2014 SNES mice prizes -$20.99 (still need to distribute)
TOTAL REMAINING BALANCE: $2629.97


I'll be replying to specifics for the volume 2 release in it's thread. But I'd like to address our long term plans for volume1. I still get frequent requests to re-list volume 1 for sale, but the way we structured things we as a community have only permitted the publishing of the 150 carts thus far. As discussed perhaps someday we will be able to include the previous volumes within the latest volume in one true action"53", but until then volumes are separate. So the question is do we want to have a long term release of volume 1? When setting things up for the 2014 compo we addressed this issue to cover the long term release, but we haven't revisited vol1 to address the long term plan.

I figure if we're going to do it, doing so in conjunction with volume 2 release is probably the best timing. From a production standpoint the carts from volume1 and volume2 would have identical hardware so flashing the proper volume and affixing the proper label is fairly simple. Additionally, the conjoined release would help overall sales as people buying vol2 are likely to pick up vol1 if they don't already own it.

I've talked with thefox about the idea in private as to his thoughts on this based on his game being the most significant player. I don't want to speak for him, I'm hoping he'll chime in for himself, but as I understand there is a decent chance that a long term release of volume1 would exclude Streemerz. So please consider that in your vote for a long term release of vol1. By all rights, we should have permission from all contributors on a long term release. There is also some work that will have to go into a long term release which didn't include the LE/RE titles by removing them from the rom and reworking the label.

I can make a write up on the costs involved, but in reality it'll end up being the same cost per cart as the vol2 release (which will also compare similarly to the RE release of vol1). So from a financial standpoint vol1 sales would appear like more vol2 sales. If I were to guess we'd probably sell ~50 vol1 carts over the next year, but we'll probably sell 200 vol2 carts..?
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#166217)
It appeared on James and Mike Mondays (with the guy from AVGN). Discussion is consolidated in this topic.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#189748)
INL says there's demand for another printing of volume 1.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#213785)
I should probably make some thread just for my homebrew illustrations, but in the meantime…

Image

...drawn for the Homebrew Players' Competition over on NintendoAge.
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#213851)
Already told you this, but: very cool! :beer:
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#213853)
Indeed, very cool!
Re: Streemerz bundle
by on (#213865)
Nicely done!!