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John Chow Seymour

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Everything posted by John Chow Seymour

  1. I just mean, let's say they estimate the production cost at $275, so they set the sale price at $350 (because of course, there should be a profit margin). Then, due to the unstable chip market, it turns out they cost $500 to produce. The team loses money on every pre-order, ouch! Or the opposite: sell pre-orders at $500 but then it turns out you can source them for $275 and so the general public is charged $350. In this situation, the people who were nice enough to show their support and pre-order got punished for doing so. (Although, maybe some wouldn't mind, and would see it as a the cost of supporting the project...)
  2. Preorders are a really good Idea... Maybe some Numbers of Dev Boards to a slightly higher price Like the mega65 did it. Yeah, but with pre-orders, this problem remains:
  3. If I'm going to buy something to help get some cash into the project, then given the choice between an X8 and a caseless Phase 1 kit (which you mentioned might be sellable soon), I'd take the X16p kit. I enjoy soldering and was always going to get the kit anyway, plus (as @Snickers11001001 mentioned above) the X16 is the system we've all been preparing for. That said, the extra speed of the X8 is a little intriguing. I'd still like to know how much more difficult the USB inputs will be to program for (say, in Assembly). Does the hardware do most of the handshaking work or will we have to implement that by hand in our assembly code?
  4. Here's an idea: So, the trick with Kickstarter is setting the price. If you have a good idea of the eventual price of your product, you can offer it to backers at around that price. With the uncertainty of the chip market these days, though, it's surely hard to get even a ballpark on what an X16 might cost. Start a Kickstarter now, and you run the risk of locking backers in at a price that's too low (which hurts the dev team) or too high (which will anger some backers). So, how about this: take donations in exchange for a discount off of whatever the eventual price of the X16 will be. A backer donates $5 now, they get $5 off the eventual price of whichever model of X16 they decide to buy. This way, you're not locking into the wrong price too early, and whatever the price turns out to be, each backer's investment will still count toward their purchase. It could even be graded: donate $50 now and get only a $40 discount... backers will understand that the extra money is going to support the development, and the amount that their 'overpaying' is fixed ahead of time and not a gamble on the chip market.
  5. Two Questions: (1) Up until now, every time someone asked for (or, usually, complained about the lack of) USB on the X16, the answer was that supporting modern USB devices is complicated not only from a hardware standpoint but also from a programming standpoint. SO my question is, will the X8 be harder to program for becasue its keyboard, mouse, and controller inputs use the more complicated USB? (2) I've never bought a case separate from the computer before, so maybe I have the wrong idea, but wasn't the Phase 1 board designed specifically to fit into a standard case size? I thought "ATX" was like a standard size, made by a variety of different manufacturers. Is it actually just one company's proprietary size? Setting aside the logos and color scheme, only the jackfield on the back panel needed to be customized (to fit the X16's specific I/O assortment)... right? aaaand, one comment: EDIT: I removed the comment, the 8 Bit Guy himself already said it, while I was writing, and there's no need for me to repeat it again.
  6. I've been a musician for over half my life and a video game player for as long as I can remember, and yet somehow these two interests did not combine until about two years ago, when I agreed to do the soundtrack for an Indie video game. That game (finally) launched today! It's a difficult (but cute) puzzle game called "Chromatic Fantasy." The soundtrack (you can listen to it without having to buy it, which is nice) is here on BandCamp. And, the game itself (so far only for Windows) is here on Steam. It's not a retro soundtrack at all; so I'm posting it here in the Off-Topic, Non-Retro forum. If anyone's curious, the soundtrack was composed largely in StaffPad, and some of the native StaffPad sounds ended up in the final mixes combined with a number of sample-based Kontakt instruments. The game designer and I decided that, since it's the kind of game with a lot of head-scratching and staring at the screen in frustration, the soundtrack should be on the calmer, relaxing side. He also wanted it to have that medieval/fantasy feel that supports the game's theme (rescuing cute dragons from an evil wizard). It took me a little to get the feel for writing music in these constraints, but once I got used to it, I ended up producing 18 tracks and over an hour of music. I hope some folks on here might enjoy the music, the game, or both!
  7. I have a MicroSD-based .mp3 player; I have about 5-6 2GB cards, and I switch genres (jazz, classical, chiptune, etc.) by physically swapping out the cards. It's surprisingly satisfying.
  8. I haven't made any X16 videos, but the videos I do have on YouTube were edited together with CyberLink PowerDirector. It's cheap, stable, and does all the basic things I need to do. I don't use transitions other than hard cuts or basic fades, so I can't comment on that aspect of the software. I will say adjusting audio levels is squidgey and I wish that that part of the software were better designed, but it's never kept me from doing what I wanted to do. For just moving cuts around, overlaying audio, inserting images (made in other software), overlaying text/captions, and exporting to a variety of formats, it's been reliable. Hardly "a joy to use," but problem-free.
  9. The closing ceremonies just concluded. In my area, they'll be rebroadcast again tonight. Nope, I was wrong. I guess we got the Nintendo references out of the way five years ago at the closing ceremonies in Rio, when Japan got to do a short presentation as the next host (then-PM Abe came out of a green pipe wearing a Mario cap, etc.). No more video game music in the closing ceremonies, but fans of electronic music history might have recognized Isao Tomita's 1974 electronic arrangement of Debussy's Clair de Lune (1905), played while the torch was being extinguished. "Pre-chiptune" electronic music like this has a special place in my heart, for entirely different reasons than video game tunes do!
  10. So, the Opening Ceremonies for the Tokyo Olympics aired this morning (in my region) and is about to be repeated. If you hadn't heard, the "Parade of Nations" sections where all the athletes enter the stadium in groups behind their respective flags, was entirely underscored with (arranged) video game music. At first I recognized Dragon Quest (Dragon Warrior in N.A.), Final Fantasy, and two tunes from Chrono Trigger, and two others that sounded familiar but I wasn't sure where they came from. I thought they had worked some video game tunes in with other music. But, later I was able to read that all the music in this section was from video games (all by Japanese composers, of course). The two I couldn't place turned out to be from more recent games, Monster Hunter (which admittedly does have a nice theme) and Kingdom Hearts. I haven't played those but I must have heard the music somewhere. The Japanese seem to have responded very positively to this. Japanese twitter was full of people declaring that the main Dragon Quest theme is Japan's "Second National Anthem." This isn't surprising: when Enix first started to make Dragon Quest, they hired mostly young up-and-coming professionals (like character designer Akira Toriyama whose "Dragon Ball" manga had only been in publication for about a year when he was hired by Enix). But the composer, Sugiyama Kouichi, was already considered an elder statesman of commercial music and was well-known for television music in Japan. Getting an older, established name attached to this project in a new media by a new company of mostly young people was quite a coup for Enix. The popularity of the DQ theme in Japan went on to far surpass any of his previous works. For me personally, hearing video game music in general, and some of these compositions specifically, as a kid was a big part of what inspired me to become a musician. I felt like video games were still 'nerd culture' back then and that my friends and I who spent hours playing them were living in a different world from the other kids who were involved in sports. So, hearing these tunes at a sporting event (the Olympics) actually felt really good; our worlds of interest are relevant to each other. It's also just nice to see Japan recognize that their video games are an important part of their cultural identity and of the way they present themselves to the world. This link has a list of all the game used (in Japanese): hochi news And, here's my best, quick attempt at a translation of the list. However, there are some character names I don't know, from the games I haven't played. Dragon Quest [Dragon Warrior]: Loto's [Erdrick's] theme Final Fantasy: Victory Fanfare "Tales of..." series: Sorey's theme Monster Hunter: "Mark of the Hero" Kingdom Hearts: Olympus Coliseum Chrono Trigger: Frog's Theme Ace Combat: First Flight "Tales of..." Series: The Royal Capital Monster Hunter: "Wind of Departure" Chrono Trigger: Robo's Theme Sonic the Hedgehog: Starlight Zone Winning Eleven: eFootball Walk-on theme Final Fantasy: Main Theme Phantasy Star Universe: "Guardians" Kingdom Hearts: "Hero's Fanfare" Gradius Nemesis: Act I-1 NieR: Song of Initiation[?] "SaGa" series: "Song of the Demon Bard" [??] (SaGa series medley, 2016 Orchestral arrangement) Soul Caliber: "The Brave New Stage of History" EDIT: Notice, none of the games included were made by Nintendo (though some were for Nintendo systems). So my prediction is, there will probably be a Nintendo-themed segment in the closing ceremonies.
  11. Pardon my ignorance, what's a "mist signature"?
  12. Indeed! It's one of those "the villain is trying to marry the heroine" weddings, and the player character is supposed to break it up. Of course, in this case, it was actually part of the heroine's plan all along and the player never should have interfered; that's part of the humor. That was too easy, it seems. Monkey Island came out in 1990. Most of the wedding scenes I could think of off the top of my head came from the '90s. Final Fantasy VI (1994) for the SNES had a wedding scene infiltrated by one of the main characters, but this in turn was only part of an opera and not an actual wedding. WildARMs (1996), a JRPG for the PlayStation, also had a wedding on a boat in which one of the playable characters participates as part of a sneaky tactic. Later still (2000) but still for the PlayStation, Final Fantasy IX had a ridiculous wedding scene involving several pairs of main characters, again with ulterior motives. There are also a number of games where the main characters have a wedding in the ending scene (including Chrono Trigger, depending on the ending the player goes for), but these aren't as fun as the ones you get to play through. If anyone can think of any 8-bit-era or 1980s games with a wedding scene, please let me know!
  13. Hahaha, that may well fit the criteria as described, but it wasn't the one I was thinking of. I've actually never played any of that series, so I didn't know there was a wedding scene. Due to that excellent guess though, I'll give another clue: you are in the right genre.
  14. Okay, I've got one for you all to guess. But first, a bit of personal news: I got married earlier this week! (Yes, for the first time; yes at this age; no we're not on a honeymoon right now, we'll do that later.) With that in mind, I'll have you guess a game that includes a wedding scene. Quite a few games include wedding scenes, often humorous or disastrous. The one I'm thinking of is both: very humorous, and it ends in disaster for most of the characters involved. (Thankfully my wedding was neither!) The game was originally released for DOS, and was only ported to Windows and to a few consoles well over a decade later, when it was already a "classic". As we do here, I'll add more clues if no one guesses.
  15. I was stumped, and it's certainly not a title I happened to have played as a kid (though it looks like fun!). So, once again, I did some websearching and I believe I've figured it out that way - searching Japanese gaming sites for mentions of "Argus" (from the original clue) got me to アルゴスの戦士. I still feel like googling these is sort of cheating, but since Strider already got it, and no one else seems to be guessing, I'll go ahead with it: in the West, that was released as "Rygar". Is that it?
  16. I actually love having to draw my own maps on paper. Sometimes I even start doing it even though it turns out that it isn't necessary for the game I'm playing! This is why I love the Etrian Odyssey series for the Nintendo DS. It's got the classic step-based first-person all-right-angles dungeon view on the top screen, and the bottom screen is just digital graph paper on which you draw your own map, with the stylus. It's not an auto-map, and the game will let you draw it incorrectly if you're not careful. These games are full of nasty tricks that feel 'old school', as discussed above. No literal slime marshmallow, but events quite like that where there's no way to know what will happen until you try it and find it kills you (or gives you tons of gold). Hidden teleport squares, monsters that can teleport, one-way doors that you don't know are one-way until you go through, etc. (No spinner tiles though... hmm, don't give them any ideas!) Sadly every installment gets really grind-heavy about 2/3 of the way through. So I usually get bored at that point, and I've never actually finished a game in this series. Kid me would probably have sunk hours into the repetitive EXP grind, but adult me has no patience for it. By the way... some of you appear to know it, but what was the game series we're guessing? It's apparently one I haven't played.
  17. Your hat is a nice, matching beige! Or at least looks like it in this light. Congrats on getting the system running. Does the disk drive also still work after all this time?
  18. Wow, I had no idea about the history of this series. "Eric and the floaters" might the one of the worst game names I've ever heard, lol. And look at the art on that Hudson Soft cartridge - you'd never guess which game series that turned into based on how those characters are drawn!
  19. I'm sorry if I didn't make it clear. That is pretty much what I had in mind. The DAW would only be aware of one MIDI-out with the standard 16 channels. The UI on the Gen X would let you assign those 16 channels to whatever you wanted. Unless you mean there'd be only a single incoming MIDI channel - and you could use the UI to control how any or all of the five chips could respond to events on that single channel. That would be different - and is an interesting idea to consider. (I'm sorry, I haven't checked out Concerto yet, so I don't know how it works.) You could probably do some interesting things that way, but I naturally think of composing for more than one voice at once, and would surely want the option to be able to control different chips on different channels.
  20. That's basically what I picture doing with the Gen X. If a program can be written to allow the user to set which MIDI channels go to which channels of which chips, and which MIDI CC messages control which aspects of each chip, then the Gen X would act as an external MIDI tone generator giving you access to all five flavors of sound chip even from the DAW on your modern machine. Of course, that software doesn't exist for the Gen X yet, so if I do get one I may end up having to write it myself.
  21. That link tells the story better than anything I found when researching. What a great story. One other odd tidbit I found was that, although Cosmic Ark has been included in some iterations of the "Atari Flashback" devices, the "Atari-on-a-chip" is just imperfect enough that the glitch doesn't work, and instead of a starfield one gets a weird sort of laser-looking effect. There's a video about it here.
  22. In that case, I hope they find that it's possible to go with both the YM2151 and the VERA PSG. As kliepatsch said earlier, they would complement each other well.
  23. I just have a question, for clarification's sake. The FAQ has, under "audio": Then, later, under the "VERA" heading: So.. the PSG is the "SID-like implementation", or are we getting that PSG and also one of the other options (TBD)? Sorry, the FAQ isn't quite clear about it.
  24. The "U" doesn't have all the sound capabilities, though - as far as I can tell, the "bare board alone" doesn't have any sound capabilities, and an expansion card is an additional $125. Actually, it's hard to learn what exactly the U/U+ models do and do not have because the U and U+ pages in the 'shop' tab don't list he features, it's removed entirely from the 'products' tab, and the wiki (which is in sore need of expanding) has very little information as well. Again, communication is not her specialty and again, there's not enough of a community to have populated the wiki for her. Sadly that pretty much sums it up. I don't think this information is available in the video. There's some discussion of whether the RAM could be shared between the base 65C816 processor and whatever processor is in the expansion card (I kind of tuned this out, not planning to buy an expansion processor, but I think the answer was 'no' and that each expansion card comes with its own exclusive 4MB.) As for ROM, all I know is that it comes with "Foenix BASIC816", and there a link from the wiki to a manual for that flavor of BASIC. In the long video, someone asks her if there will be any built-in software, like maybe a tracker, and iirc all she says is 'if there is, it would only be for the 65C816' (even though her favorite Processor is apparently the 68000). EDIT: fixed formatting error.
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