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New RETRO Console - looking for Retro game devs

Jan 30, 2015 at 5:06:18 PM
GameGavel (5)
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(Mike Kennedy) < Meka Chicken >
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Hey guys,

We are preparing to launch a new cartridge based console whose purpose is to play this new wave of indie / retro titles that are coming out. We are also seeking to establish relationships with 16 bit style game devs to create launch titles for this new console. If you are a game developer and devloping in lower level languages (like C) and are interested in learning more than please contact me asap at socalmike@gamegavel.com and I can fill you in more detail.

Mike Kennedy RETRO Media Network RETRO Magazine

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So Cal Mike

http://www.GameGavel.com, Auctions For Gamers



Edited: 01/30/2015 at 05:12 PM by GameGavel

Jan 30, 2015 at 5:12:31 PM
dra600n (287)
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(Adym \m/) < Bonk >
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Amazing!

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Proud owner of post #1800 in Inner Circle HQ thread

Jan 30, 2015 at 5:21:27 PM
GameGavel (5)
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(Mike Kennedy) < Meka Chicken >
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I will reveal a bit more. . .

We've purchased the original Atari Jaguar mold tooling (for the console shell and cartridge shells) and will be rebranding as the RETRO Entertainment System. We obviously have reengineered the system architecture and controller. This will be launched via Kickstarter very soon. We are also in discussions with a variety of very well known game developers to license new games "sequels" from a varity of their arcade/classic console IP's to make a come back exclusively on the RES.

Again if you are a developer and want to get in on the ground floor of this, please contact me right away to discuss.

Mike

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So Cal Mike

http://www.GameGavel.com, Auctions For Gamers



Edited: 02/18/2015 at 07:22 PM by NintendoAge Moderator

Jan 30, 2015 at 5:39:48 PM
bennybtl (15)
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< Eggplant Wizard >
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WHAT?! That's cool. Make sure you mold it in sweet translucent colors.

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Jan 30, 2015 at 6:05:22 PM
arch_8ngel (66)
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(Nathan ?) < Mario >
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Can you post any specs or major limitations of the hardware?

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Jan 30, 2015 at 6:27:47 PM
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GradualGames (39)
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(Derek Andrews) < El Ripper >
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With hundreds of thousands of households already having capable and still-working retro consoles, and with sizeable communities that have sprung up which can develop for those consoles, why develop a new "retro" console? Plus, indie games can already run on all ubiquitous modern gaming systems, PCs, smartphones, tablets, and even the not-so-smash-hit Ouya. What will make this console succeed where similar experiments have not? What will differentiate it from the primarily hobbyist UzeBox, for example?

It's definitely a neat idea...I'm just skeptical that the world needs yet another new device (or even new old) that can play games, there's already about a billion. Give or take.

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Creators of: Nomolos: Storming the CATsle, and The Legends of Owlia.


Edited: 01/30/2015 at 06:38 PM by GradualGames

Jan 30, 2015 at 8:13:07 PM
ZeldaFan042 (15)
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< Eggplant Wizard >
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Man that's cool!

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Originally posted by: Stryphos
Originally posted by: Foochie776

What's an Apple Pippin?
Remember in the Fellowship of the Ring when Aragorn threw that piece of fruit and hit him in the head after asking for second breakfast?  Yeah, that's an apple.

Jan 30, 2015 at 8:24:08 PM
Soma (30)

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Oh shit this sounds cool! Definitely subscribing to this thread for updates

Jan 30, 2015 at 11:27:55 PM
bunnyboy (81)
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(Funktastic B) < Bowser >
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Originally posted by: GradualGames

With hundreds of thousands of households already having capable and still-working retro consoles, and with sizeable communities that have sprung up which can develop for those consoles, why develop a new "retro" console? Plus, indie games can already run on all ubiquitous modern gaming systems, PCs, smartphones, tablets, and even the not-so-smash-hit Ouya. What will make this console succeed where similar experiments have not? What will differentiate it from the primarily hobbyist UzeBox, for example?
Other than completely agreeing, I think the development environment will be more important than the actual device.  With no nostalgia the developers will go for whatever is easier/faster (huge premade frameworks like unity) or what can make lots of money (iOS/PC).  Without games a console is DOA so what part of dev will be differentiated too?

Jan 31, 2015 at 7:28:41 PM
Tulpa (2)
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< Bowser >
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Originally posted by: GameGavel

We've purchased the original Atari Jaguar mold tooling (for the console shell and cartridge shells) and will be rebranding as the RETRO Entertainment System.
Might want to check to see if Retro-Bit has a trademark. They use that name for one of their clones.

Other than that, sounds great.



Jan 31, 2015 at 7:36:00 PM
bunnyboy (81)
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Didn't think about that, definitely don't want to be linked to the cheapest crappiest nes clones ever made https://tomsgamecollection.files....

Feb 15, 2015 at 1:10:43 PM
GameGavel (5)
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(Mike Kennedy) < Meka Chicken >
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Yes, thanks for the heads up on the that. Going with the simple RETRO Videogame System or RETRO VGS. 

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So Cal Mike

http://www.GameGavel.com, Auctions For Gamers



Edited: 02/26/2015 at 08:52 PM by GameGavel

Feb 15, 2015 at 6:29:40 PM
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GradualGames (39)
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So, let me play devil's advocate for a second. I was thinking to myself, if a console such as this were released and actually became really popular and viable, say more popular and well known than say the Ouya, perhaps a "nostalgic competitor" to the mainstream powerful modern systems, I might actually want to develop for it if:

-it's intentionally designed to be a low-powered console similar to the UzeBox, but perhaps somewhat more powerful (closer to SNES perhaps, only faster CPU?)

-the system can be programmed in plain C with, say, mod based music and the graphics are based on plain old framebuffers that you can blit sprites to like in the old DOS days. OR a tile-based graphics mode, or perhaps BOTH are available (that would be awesome, then folks who were into the demo scene of old could have great fun with the framebuffer modes...*edit* not to mention people fond of old school Doom and Duke Nukem style 3D engines, they could have a blast with framebuffer modes as well...)

-capable of outputting with no lag to modern HDMI tvs, but the max resolution/palette is say 640x480, 256 colors? (so, built in lagless upscaler) *edit* maybe even special low-res "HD" aspect ratio modes, programmable in the "old" way as described above (tile or framebuffer based)

-it became popular enough that any digital distribution that can be done from the platform over wifi is easy and not expensive to sign up for

-emulator for development on PC or some straightforward way to push your game to the console perhaps over the network if you have the console hooked up to an HDMI tv and you're on your couch programming with a laptop

I'm fond enough of "retro" coding to want these constraints. I don't mind if I have more power, I just don't want a big set of third party OSs or libraries in my way such as you find on Android. I like the simplicity of the older systems. If you can reproduce that, only the "best possible" form of "retro" computer, and make it popular, I could see myself switching to it in the future. Not sure if any of that made sense. But basically if it's just gonna be a say raspberry pi placed inside a jaguar case, I don't think I'd be very interested. I don't want linux, or android, or any OS at all except the most bare bones BIOS for loading game software. I just want C (or even asm) + hardware. 

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Creators of: Nomolos: Storming the CATsle, and The Legends of Owlia.


Edited: 02/15/2015 at 06:40 PM by GradualGames

Feb 15, 2015 at 6:51:44 PM
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GradualGames (39)
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(Derek Andrews) < El Ripper >
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OH! OH! OH! And, stretch goal: Write a QuickBasic compatible compiler (to the extent possible, obviously any DOS specific commands would be out, like anything involving 16 bit segments for example) for the system! You'd have me at Q if you did that. Man, the possibilities for that to be an amazing gaming system AND inspire a new generation of software engineers is just huge!

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Creators of: Nomolos: Storming the CATsle, and The Legends of Owlia.


Edited: 02/15/2015 at 06:53 PM by GradualGames

Feb 15, 2015 at 7:24:40 PM
Guntz (115)
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< Master Higgins >
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Originally posted by: GradualGames

-capable of outputting with no lag to modern HDMI tvs, but the max resolution/palette is say 640x480, 256 colors? (so, built in lagless upscaler) *edit* maybe even special low-res "HD" aspect ratio modes, programmable in the "old" way as described above (tile or framebuffer based)

Unfortunately, this is a rather oxymoron statement. Modern TVs are going only in the direction of huge resolutions, leaving old stuff in the dust. Having a console natively support 480p (ED) yet have to internally upscale to 1080p+ (HD) is kind of silly. What we need is new SD / ED TVs to be produced. Sure does stink that they're considered obsolete.

I'd like to hope this kind of console will still support component, s-video and composite for compatibility.

Feb 15, 2015 at 7:29:37 PM
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GradualGames (39)
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(Derek Andrews) < El Ripper >
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Originally posted by: Guntz

Originally posted by: GradualGames

-capable of outputting with no lag to modern HDMI tvs, but the max resolution/palette is say 640x480, 256 colors? (so, built in lagless upscaler) *edit* maybe even special low-res "HD" aspect ratio modes, programmable in the "old" way as described above (tile or framebuffer based)

Unfortunately, this is a rather oxymoron statement. Modern TVs are going only in the direction of huge resolutions, leaving old stuff in the dust. Having a console natively support 480p (ED) yet have to internally upscale to 1080p+ (HD) is kind of silly. What we need is new SD / ED TVs to be produced. Sure does stink that they're considered obsolete.

I'd like to hope this kind of console will still support component, s-video and composite for compatibility.

Well, given that Kevtris and bunnyboy are each creating a "new retro" version of the NES hardware that does precisely what I describe, I'm not sure why it would be unreasonable to ask for a new system that could produce 640x480 (or some equivalent low-res resolution that would have a nice square pixel aspect ratio on an HD tv), but upscale to HD tv. I.e. intentionally low resolution for the retro look, but upscaled without lag to modern HDMI resolutions (so you get big square pixels, or maybe the system also has scanline emulation in its upscaler hardware...etc.etc.)

It may be "silly" insofar as it is possible to pre-upscale intentionally low-res assets to get the same look as I am describing, but presumably this console is aimed at folks who are creating low-res games to begin with---why not make it easier for these developers by making the hardware capable of rendering low-res modes natively?

*edit* I see you're wishing for old style tvs to continue to be produced. I share this sentiment. However, if such a retro console is to gain any popularity, you're gonna have to work with what's out there...which today is disgustingly high res HD tvs.

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Creators of: Nomolos: Storming the CATsle, and The Legends of Owlia.


Edited: 02/15/2015 at 07:47 PM by GradualGames

Feb 15, 2015 at 8:04:14 PM
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GradualGames (39)
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(Derek Andrews) < El Ripper >
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Idea...give it a fun name like the RETRO 8090, to refer to the 80's and 90's (presumably the era that inspired this console), but look like an arbitrarily chosen number in the 1000's as was so popular in the 80's for naming computing devices. I bet that one isn't taken.

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Creators of: Nomolos: Storming the CATsle, and The Legends of Owlia.

Feb 15, 2015 at 8:31:38 PM
bunnyboy (81)
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If the games are expected to use low res content anyways, having the console do 480p/720p instead of 1080p is a huge reduction in the power and assets needed. An analog output wouldnt be hi res anyways so 480p max is fine.

The idea of forced low resources is an interesting one and could actually attract devs. Look how GBA is restricted but not too much, and has a good toolchain.

The other stuff like emu and hdmi output are so obvious that skipping them would be a big mistake.


Edited: 02/15/2015 at 08:32 PM by bunnyboy

Feb 15, 2015 at 8:37:29 PM
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GradualGames (39)
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(Derek Andrews) < El Ripper >
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Originally posted by: bunnyboy

If the games are expected to use low res content anyways, having the console do 480p/720p instead of 1080p is a huge reduction in the power and assets needed. An analog output wouldnt be hi res anyways so 480p max is fine.

The idea of forced low resources is an interesting one and could actually attract devs. Look how GBA is restricted but not too much, and has a good toolchain.

The other stuff like emu and hdmi output are so obvious that skipping them would be a big mistake.
I'm sincerely hoping they aren't planning on analog output, precisely because this would incur gameplay-killing lag on most TVs, unless you have something like the xrgb mini...but presumably they want to market this to a wide audience, not just a niche one. It wouldn't make sense if their target audience was a niche audience, as the niche retro gaming audience already is quite satiated with both hardware and software

GBA's a nice example. If they push a system equivalent to the GBA, and it gets popular, I might just jump on board. Since I'm a hobbyist, I'm unlikely to take the plunge for developing a launch title, though, can't dev fast enough



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Creators of: Nomolos: Storming the CATsle, and The Legends of Owlia.


Edited: 02/15/2015 at 08:39 PM by GradualGames

Feb 15, 2015 at 8:41:01 PM
Shiru (0)

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If I were designing my own indie console, it would be just a fast enough ARM CPU with 16-32M of RAM, linear 320x240 video mode in int13h fashion, and simple audio buffer. Just like in the good old MS-DOS days, no Android or anything, plain C and some ASM for rendering loops. Fancy tile/sprite SNES-like hardware - no, thanks, that makes too much headache in everything, from design to programming.

Feb 15, 2015 at 8:42:53 PM
bunnyboy (81)
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I mean analog in addition to hdmi. Digital is the modern requirement, analog is the retro enhancement.

Feb 15, 2015 at 8:42:59 PM
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GradualGames (39)
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(Derek Andrews) < El Ripper >
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Originally posted by: Shiru

If I were designing my own indie console, it would be just a fast enough ARM CPU with 16-32M of RAM, linear 320x240 video mode in int13h fashion, and simple audio buffer. Just like in the good old MS-DOS days, no Android or anything, plain C and some ASM for rendering loops. Fancy tile/sprite SNES-like hardware - no, thanks, that makes too much headache in everything, from design to programming.
This! I agree, if given the choice between tile modes and framebuffer based modes, I'd choose the latter, since you can easily create your own tile system in such a mode, as well as dozens of other pixel-level techniques (like the old school raycaster engines I referred to)



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Creators of: Nomolos: Storming the CATsle, and The Legends of Owlia.

Feb 15, 2015 at 8:55:52 PM
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GradualGames (39)
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to OP: You guys aren't by chance working with Andre LaMothe are you? http://www.xgamestation.com/...

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Creators of: Nomolos: Storming the CATsle, and The Legends of Owlia.

Feb 16, 2015 at 1:00:51 AM
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Save your money. The best platform for this already exists, and is thriving, and currently supports millions of people. This won't work, and is not a good idea. It's not cheaper, and offers no advantage. Nobody buys products with no reason for them to exist. Any developer willing to work on this when PC exists is insane.

Feb 16, 2015 at 3:33:48 PM
MachineGex (37)
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I for one love these kind of systems and I am amazed you guys have the talent and balls to do this sort of thing.
Best of luck! Like I said..... I like supporting anyone who has the balls to take something like this on.

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Stereotypes are real time-savers


Edited: 02/16/2015 at 08:15 PM by MachineGex