NEOGEO + AES Multigame cartridge - NEW POLL INCLUDED. PLEASE VOTE!

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    • Mr T Guru wrote:

      RetroDan wrote:


      But my question is not rhetorical. Seriously - what is the benefit of having an LCD screen for game selection?
      I'm going to make a prediction here.I predict if the Darksoft Multi-game Neogeo cart solely uses an LCD so people have to manually access a list of over 160 games it will fail.....
      CPS2 way of scrolling through 160+ games is indeed tedious - I have to agree.
      I doubt it will fail solely because of that, you might just sell a few less on the AES side.

      Again, nothing wrong with a menu, as long as there is an option to boot the card without showing the menu until game selection time again.
    • waiwainl wrote:

      CPS2 way of scrolling through 160+ games is indeed tedious - I have to agree.
      the limit is really about 30 for me. if there were 160 games on the sdcard it would kill me to have to scroll through them on a 16-character 2-line LCD. I'd trim it to 30 and that would be enough for me. Fortunately I mainly only play Vampire Savior and a couple of others.
      the thing I find most annoying is the non-descriptive names if I just want to quickly check out the other titles. you have to know the ROM names to know exactly what version you want and those names are not always the ones used in MAME which makes them even less descriptive as far as region versions being identified.
    • Mitsurugi-w wrote:

      I keep forgetting this is supposed to work for AES too. I guess the lcd isn't really the best option for console use. But also people should not expect this thing to look gorgeous. Apple engineers have no part in designing this thing for Christ's sake. lol.
      Now I hope someone makes a glossy white shell for it.
    • I would greatly prefer an in-game menu over an LCD screen. Being that I play Neo games on MVS cabinets, having to open the console every time I want to switch the game would be a pain, particularly if the room is dark and the LCD screen isn't backlit. And yes, I say that knowing that the old fashioned way involves physically swapping the carts out anyways, but you get my point. ;)

      The menu doesn't have to be anything crazy. Just something simple that makes it easy to find and scroll for games. Not having a picture of something like "Scary Bogard" that the 161-1 has will help with that so there's more screen real estate available.

      Regarding the use of SD cards over flashed ROMs that the XXX in 1 carts use, what's the advantage to doing it that way over having a cart that has all of the games flashed into the ROMs already? If the games all work, load instantly, and can be selected from a menu, it seems like that would be a better way to go over having only one game's ROMs loaded at one time with long loading times. Not criticizing the method you're choosing since you guys clearly know more about this hardware than I do, just genuinely curious.
    • Mattroid wrote:

      Mitsurugi-w wrote:

      I keep forgetting this is supposed to work for AES too. I guess the lcd isn't really the best option for console use. But also people should not expect this thing to look gorgeous. Apple engineers have no part in designing this thing for Christ's sake. lol.
      Now I hope someone makes a glossy white shell for it.
      White would get dirty/discolor too easily, wouldn't it? Black, white, clear, red, green... how about Barbie pink? That'd look great!
    • Speaking of looks, I did a mock-up up an idea that I had for a Holo-label:

      My actual template is 1200DPI and is made from vector logos and whatnot.

      The printers did these really poorly (probably low res), so they didn't turn out very crisp. You could do much better of course. I can send you info on the laserjet holographic label paper that I used.

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      Darksoft: CPS2, STV, MVS
      Supergun: HAS
      PVMs: 2030, 1944Q, 3 x 8041Q
      PCBs: 50ish | Sticks: 50ish

    • I was always wondering why such a multi cart hasn't existed, yet. I read that that realizing this card was impossible. The reality, however is that nothing is impossible. The man who says he can't and the other says he can are always right.

      What is the difficulty in creating this multi card? I understand that Neo geo game cartridges are huge and consist of two PCBs.
    • Here's how I understand it:

      The NEO-GEO carts use huge PCBs, and two of them connected together. So there's the expense of physically imposing PCBs to develop and produce. We don't have the benefit of a massive corporation bankrolling a run of 10000 pieces, so each one is going to have a pretty severe production cost tied to it. I'm going to go out on a limb and say each pair of PCBs is going to set Darksoft back about $60 to have them produced with the varying components soldered on at the factory, maybe even more than that. The biggest component payouts are going to be the FPGA, flash memory, and RAM. I emphasize flash memory because there needs to be enough on each cart to hold the largest commercially released games, and that's no joke.

      Next is using an FPGA that can handle the menu and file system, the bankswitching, and other technicalities. I don't know if different NEO GEO games used different mappers like the NES and SNES do, but I wouldn't bet against it. For all I know, the FPGA might need to be quite robust and thus, expensive just from a cost standpoint. We might even be unlucky and require more than one FPGA per flashcart.

      Then there is development time. Praise Darksoft, because he already has immense technical knowledge in this area, but he still needs to spend an awful long time just figuring out how things SHOULD work, and then implementing them and testing them. Who wants to spend $350 on a product that is buggy and unreliable, after all? At this point, he's gathering community suggestions for the features desired, and who knows how many of those are practical?

      This is no small undertaking, but God I hope this all pans out.


      EDIT: Here's a feature request - make the firmware updateable via the SD Card, either by being able to self-flash from the card, or just having the BIOS read from the card a la Everdrives.
      "Kindly do not offend me with your ignorance, for once faced with such, I have precious little aversion to ripping out your kidneys and using them as nunchucks in a valiant, if ultimately hopeless, quest to beat the stupid out of you." - RetroDan™

      The post was edited 1 time, last by RetroDan: spelling correction ().

    • darksofter wrote:

      I was always wondering why such a multi cart hasn't existed, yet. I read that that realizing this card was impossible. The reality, however is that nothing is impossible. The man who says he can't and the other says he can are always right.

      What is the difficulty in creating this multi card? I understand that Neo geo game cartridges are huge and consist of two PCBs.
      If I had always listened to all the peopl who told me that this can't be done, I would had never learnt anything from electronics or programming....
      * Arcade-projects, the site where you get the most of your arcade games.
      * If you want Drama go to Neo-Geo forum ---Darksoft
    • RetroDan wrote:

      Here's how I understand it:

      The NEO-GEO carts use huge PCBs, and two of them connected together. So there's the expense of physically imposing PCBs to develop and produce. We don't have the benefit of a massive corporation bankrolling a run of 10000 pieces, so each one is going to have a pretty severe production cost tied to it. I'm going to go out on a limb and say each pair of PCBs is going to set Darksoft back about $60 to have them produced with the varying components soldered on at the factory, maybe even more than that. The biggest component payouts are going to be the FPGA, flash memory, and RAM. I emphasize flash memory because there needs to be enough on each cart to hold the largest commercially released games, and that's no joke.

      Next is using an FPGA that can handle the menu and file system, the bankswitching, and other technicalities. I don't know if different NEO GEO games used different mappers like the NES and SNES do, but I wouldn't be against it. For all I know, the FPGA might need to be quite robust and thus, expensive just from a cost standpoint. We might even be unlucky and require more than one FPGA per flashcart.

      Then there is development time. Praise Darksoft, because he already has immense technical knowledge in this area, but he still needs to spend an awful long time just figuring out how things SHOULD work, and then implementing them and testing them. Who wants to spend $350 on a product that is buggy and unreliable, after all? At this point, he's gathering community suggestions for the features desired, and who knows how many of those are practical?

      This is no small undertaking, but God I hope this all pans out.


      EDIT: Here's a feature request - make the firmware updateable via the SD Card, either by being able to self-flash from the card, or just having the BIOS read from the card a la Everdrives.
      Yeah, I second that...Updates via MicroSD sounds like the way to go. Also not having the LCD is going to make it more friendly for gamers. The idea at the moment is so that if you don't press anything it will load the last game and if you hold 1P when powering it will show the menu.

      We'll see what the final price will be, but for sure I'll make many more prototypes this time and send them to much more extensive testing. I don't want another crackling thing again.
      * Arcade-projects, the site where you get the most of your arcade games.
      * If you want Drama go to Neo-Geo forum ---Darksoft
    • Well, most beta testers are already chosen and are somehow helping in making this happen. If someone has a HUGE knowledge of NEOGEO, knows and owns most of the games and is able to contribute by detecting any minor difference, then it can be chosen. Feel free to show off :)
      * Arcade-projects, the site where you get the most of your arcade games.
      * If you want Drama go to Neo-Geo forum ---Darksoft