Goonies 'R' Good Enough

by JohnHassink on 07-07-2010, 05:12
Topic: Software
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They call themselves "The Goonies" - The secret caves. The old lighthouse. The lost map. The treacherous traps. The hidden treasure. And Sloth... most of our readers probably remember their enthrallment by Konami's classic The Goonies as they may just as well have been with the motion picture under the same moniker (not rarely referred to as Indiana Jones for kids), which both saw the light in those delightful '80's.

Ofcourse we all know by now where this newspost is going, so let's cut to the chase here: the much anticipated new game by MSX development veterans Kralizec, inspired by this iconic adventure, has finally hit the MSX Cartridge Shop. Please excuse us at the MSX Resource Center for being a tad late with this news - for a change we were not boycotting such novelty, but this time we just had to be really careful with bringing the news due to threats by a very dangerous woman who shall not be named.

Anyway, to those who weren't aware of this yet - you can relive it all, the memories, the suspense, only now with a way more up-to-date approach. If we can believe a certain freaky-haired nightingale with the voice of an angel, then, yes! The Goonies 'R' Good Enough! The pirates map, the villainous crooks, the underground caverns, the booby traps, the skeletons, the monster, the lost treasure, and the magic that is... The Goonies... Join the adventure.

Relevant link: MSX Cartridge Shop

Comments (38)

By flyguille

Prophet (3029)

flyguille's picture

07-07-2010, 06:25

The msx2 version is amazing, remindsme like threasure of usas & superman!.... is the same maps msx1 and msx2 but differents gfxs?

By tfh

Paragon (1775)

tfh's picture

07-07-2010, 21:16

TFH is gonna fire up his MSX emulator once again Smile

TFH is also expecting some angry posts on the fora of other MSX new-sites, complaining they are boycotting this release...

By only_69

Hero (565)

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07-07-2010, 22:37

Are there more pictures of the game around?

By Manuel

Ascended (15620)

Manuel's picture

08-07-2010, 18:51

Too bad the MSX Cartridgeshop has very little info on the game... And I'm too lazy right now to look it up Smile So, it has SCC built in right? How big is the game?

By Guillian

Prophet (3230)

Guillian's picture

08-07-2010, 19:03

By Ramones

Champion (264)

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08-07-2010, 21:55

Hi Manuel!

About the game: 4Mb megarom (512k) including first (MSX) and second (MSX2) generation versions. With special extra stuff if you use a MSX2+ or MSXtR.
Just 8k RAM required, which means you can really enjoy the game in ANY MSX. And it will fit to the machine you choose, taking advantage of its features.

You can play the game through your "Franky" card as well (in mode2, that is screen2).

The cartridge uses 2 sound chips to play the OST: SCC and PSG. Both of them external to your MSX computer. So the sound can be enjoyed in any MSX without usual volume balance troubles.

Finally, the price is 35 Euro. Get the game at MSX Cartridge Shop (http://www.msxcartridgeshop.com) and through Sunrise if you're a dutch user.

Join the adventure! ;)

P.S: Thanks DemonSeed for this great post about the game. ;)

By Latok

msx guru (3661)

Latok's picture

09-07-2010, 09:38

I received the game yesterday and already enjoyed its great gameplay and overall good quality Smile

By Manuel

Ascended (15620)

Manuel's picture

10-07-2010, 00:28

Are you saying that the cartridge has its own PSG and SCC chips?

By Ramones

Champion (264)

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10-07-2010, 06:59

Yes. Smile

The cartridge has SCC and PSG chips.

By Guillian

Prophet (3230)

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10-07-2010, 09:58

Not the real chips, but implemented in FPGA. Just to keep things clear Tongue

By Latok

msx guru (3661)

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10-07-2010, 16:08

Which SCC is implemented in FPGA? SCC+?

By Guillian

Prophet (3230)

Guillian's picture

10-07-2010, 17:56

No, it is a normal SCC

By Manuel

Ascended (15620)

Manuel's picture

10-07-2010, 23:28

FPGA? CPLD?

Are they that cheap nowadays that we put them on individual game carts??

Are they 100% compatible with the original? In other words: could you let it work on real/normal SCC/PSG without modifications to the actual replayer code?

By Guillian

Prophet (3230)

Guillian's picture

11-07-2010, 02:54

>FPGA? CPLD?

FPGA

>Are they that cheap nowadays that we put them on individual game carts??

Well... it is not cheap, but not terrible expensive.

>Are they 100% compatible with the original? In other words: could you let it work on real/normal SCC/PSG without modifications to the actual replayer code?

It is difficult to make something 100% compatible. But yes, the replayer works on the original hardware. Moreover, the replayer was made for the original hardware.

By Manuel

Ascended (15620)

Manuel's picture

11-07-2010, 09:51

The FPGA explains the relatively high price for the cart then?

How big is the game?

By Ivan

Ascended (9097)

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11-07-2010, 10:11

High price!? 35€ for a cart with SCC+PSG?.....

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9766)

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11-07-2010, 12:23

At least a high price for 'a game'. I think it would be really interesting to see how low this price could go with alternative or bigger scale production methods/quantities.

By guantxip

Paragon (1594)

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11-07-2010, 15:28

Wolf, don't look the price, look the playability and quality, the addiction. Tongue

By only_69

Hero (565)

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11-07-2010, 15:55

wolf, I would not expect lower prices. It is quite close to the price of a PS3 game.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9766)

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11-07-2010, 16:09

With the 'high price' I wasn't referring to the quality of The Goonies of course, I was trying to find out how cheap the hardware could be. Why? This may be a big game, but what about smaller games featuring SCC music? I can't justify paying 35 euros for a minigame that just happens to have SCC sounds/music. To give you a solid example: remember RNFF? Our Dev entry from 2006 or something. A three day minigame (yet fun Tongue). Imagine we'd lift that game a bit to feature SCC music. Would that justify paying 35 euros for RNFF? I don't think so.

So, what I'm really interested in is whether big quantities have a positive effect on the price. Like, do things get cheaper when you create 1000 cartridges with psg/scc onboard? That's 100 copies for 10 games. Reasonable numbers these days I think, though distributors (matra, sunrise, bitwise etc.) would be able to comment on this better than I do.

As for the PS3 argument: The price of a PS3 game reflects the huge teams and costs involved, none of which apply to us .. just doing a hobby with 1..3 persons. So, a comparison between MSX scene games and 'professional' PS3 games doesn't make sense in this discussion. Smile

By Ivan

Ascended (9097)

Ivan's picture

11-07-2010, 16:31

It has 6 stages (there are two versions of each stage, one for MSX1 and the other one for MSX2/2+/tR).

By guantxip

Paragon (1594)

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11-07-2010, 16:41

For a cheap game we must return to edit games via CD or SD, CF. Only megaproductions like Goonies must be in a cartridge. In the last years the 60% of the games ends in a cartridge edition. I think only the 10-20% of the games must sell in cartridge.

For the users that can't get a moonsound, fm or SCC a solution could be convert the bgm to Cd tracks (like Knightmare gold) or mp3 with a driver.

By Imanok

Paragon (1142)

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11-07-2010, 16:45

This game worths every paid cent Smile

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

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12-07-2010, 20:22

In reply to Wolf I had to say that indeed you must think in figures of 50-60 per serie. Hardware or Software doesnot matter.
If you have a good product the serie doubles.That's based on experience and what I have heard from others.
The price of a product in this case the Goonies ... or whatever product consists of a few parts.
Does a programmer want money for his work,the hardware involved , the package delivered(manuals,promo ,gadgets etc)
@wolf:it doesnot matter for the FPGA part how big the game is, since the game is on a flash-chip and not into a fpga.
Prices between flash-chips from 4 megabit till 64 megabit differ also not that much.Therefor that e.g. DEVA can be made in the same price range or lower
So the scc part and other emulated things are in the fpga.
Although I havenot seen the game itself ,but that will I know in a short time,since as said by Ramones we will distribute the game also I have to agree with Imanok that the price is fair. But for me as a person it is the max.

By Manuel

Ascended (15620)

Manuel's picture

12-07-2010, 22:09

High price!? 35€ for a cart with SCC+PSG?.....

I didn't say that. I said it's a relatively high price for an MSX game. If you only care about the game, and not about a perfect SCC/PSG balance, this factor will come into play. So, if the price is indeed mostly determined by this relatively expensive hardware, it is the question if this choice was a good one for everyone.

The game itself looks superbly polished though! The YouTube vids are quite impressive Smile I especially like the MSX2+/tR gimmicks!

By Sander

Ambassador (1845)

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12-07-2010, 23:48

People tend to forget that new hardware (cartridges in this case) for old computers cost the same as new hardware for newer computers. Box, manuel and cart label: 5 euro, PCB: about 7 euros. FPGA (or old stock SCC with shipping): 10 to 15 euros. SMD Assembly when letting done by factory: 15~25 euro per PCB. Cartridge case: 1 euro. Probably the SDM soldering has been done manually here, but still: soldering SMD by hand is tricky at least. Also considering the labour that went in designing the box art, few years of testing, programming, soldering the pcb's and making graphics and music for the game: priceless if you count the hours. Making 1000 copies instead of 100: maybe 3 to 5 euros discount on the whole manufacturing and getting parts process. I'm sorry people but this game is a steal. Maybe a new xbox game costs the same. But then you get a dvd (30 cents a piece) and a plastic box (1 euro). You can't compare that! A great game deserves great hardware and great packaging. And this is more about wanting to give the remaining msx users a great experience than making 1000 copies on a memory card and making money I think. We're all grown ups here with jobs (at least most of us) and we can all pay 35 euros for a great product that shows the love that went in making it. I paid more money for import Japanese games back then and I dare to say that this game at least equals those. Really it's a give away.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9766)

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12-07-2010, 23:48

sunrise: As for the game size, it wasn't what I was talking about. I'm sure that with today's flashmedia, game size doesn't matter much. I was talking about price, to be exact: the price of a small game. Here's the situation: in the early days (80's early 90's) the price reflected the scale of a game. A small game had a small price tag, a big game had a big price tag. Small 'n silly MSX1 games on cassette cost like $5 - $7, a Konami/SCC (Nemesis 2 'n such) cost around $40. A large Micro Cabin RPG cost about $70 - $90. While some of these price tags are high, at least they reflected what the game was about, and it reflected the work that went into the game. You can bet your ass that Xak 2 took longer to make than Manic Miner.

What we have here now is something different: all games, whether they're small or big, are as expensive as Nemesis 2 once was. This is because not the scale of the game, not the work that went into it, defines the price, but a piece of hardware that's soldered onto the PCB. This is a bit against common sense, as small games would indeed cost just as much as a large game. So, that's why people argue that it's a tad expensive.

What you need is a chip which is so bloody cheap that it would only cost about 5 euro or something. Then you could create cheap cartridges for small games and thus have a price tag that makes sense. Bigger games could still cost about 30..40 euros (not because there's expensive hardware, but because the game itself is worth it due to its scale and development time) and most of the money could go to the developers/distributor. But.. yea.. does such a chip exist? Maybe in high quantities? If yes: what quantities are we talking about?

By Sander

Ambassador (1845)

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13-07-2010, 00:03

Basically, FPGA's are designed to create new hardware, which when ready, will be burned in an ASIC (kind of burn once FPGA). Minimum order quantity is between 5000 and 50000 units, depending on model, price about 3 to 5 dollar a unit. Only problem with most asics is that those have different characteristics and you need to prototype a lot -expensive- before your samples work. Altera's Hardcopy II asic requires a minimum order quantity of 250000 units to break-even compared to their Stratix II FPGAs.

By Sander

Ambassador (1845)

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13-07-2010, 00:08

Small and silly English games where cheap, not because they where made faster, but mainly because tapes costs a lot less than cartridges. I have some silly expensive Japanese games on cart, that where almost as expensive than their Konami counterparts. Japanese companies had a few options: go to disc and make more money and risk copying, or go the cartridge way to at least make that a little harder.
And then you have Korean games on cartridges, cheaper (because most software was stolen) but still more expensive than tapes, again because of the hardware used.

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

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13-07-2010, 13:23

Well just look and make the price up according to sanders calculation. And you will see Wolf that there is a difference of approx. 7 euro.
If you calculate without the soldering you get already 23 euro.

By Imanok

Paragon (1142)

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13-07-2010, 19:02

Just one comment about price comparisons with the early days... 40$ from the 80's don't have the same value than 40$ nowadays (and our personal purchasing power isn't the same now than in the 80's, neither).

By Latok

msx guru (3661)

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13-07-2010, 22:18

35 euro isn't a relatively high price. It's a normal price for an MSX game presented in a full color box, manual and on a cartridge. I would easily pay the same amount for many MSX games which are presented to the community for free nowadays. As long as they come in full color box, manual and on a cartridge, that is. Like sander said: it's almost a give away.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

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14-07-2010, 21:00

And about getting a new PSG+SCC.... it's not only about "volume balance"; it worths its price because you are getting a new SCC cartridge.
Don't forget that original SCC cartridges are becoming hard to find in good conditions, and recreating a SCC chip with FPGA technology ensures the availability of SCC chips stock without having to destroy an original Konami game to produce a new one.

By Manuel

Ascended (15620)

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15-07-2010, 19:15

The games BitWise sells are a lot cheaper, Latok... (But indeed not including SCC and PSG chips on an FPGA.)

Sounds like MJTT could use it to be released on such a cart, as I think it would not have the problems of the original SCC Smile

By Imanok

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15-07-2010, 19:27

The games BitWise sells are a lot cheaper, Latok... (But indeed not including SCC and PSG chips on an FPGA.)
If you take a look at the games at the MSXCartridgeShop, you'll see most of them are a lot cheaper too... and the main reason is the cost of the HW which is lower, of course.

Sounds like MJTT could use it to be released on such a cart, as I think it would not have the problems of the original SCC
You can bet for it Wink

By Latok

msx guru (3661)

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16-07-2010, 00:04

MJTT definitely deserves such a cartridge release Smile

By wolf_

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16-07-2010, 00:46

I'm toying with the idea. But:
- for a physical version I may like some enhancements to the game
- we may want to try to tweak some vhdl, mayhaps tweaking the scc a bit, such stuff
- I really really want other things done first

By Yukio

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12-08-2010, 23:30