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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:26 am 
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Someone's running a kickstarter for this:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/me ... rn-mallard

It replaces the light gun's sensor with one that can see a newer TV, and has a patch board for Duck Hunt to add more delay to its light tests to account for lag.

The asking price is $129 though.


Last edited by rainwarrior on Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:35 am 
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That's a lot of money just to play Duck Hunt!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:43 am 
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That Kickstarter talks about the hardware (and presumably firmware), focused exclusively on Duck Hunt.

I see absolutely nothing talking about: Adventures of Bayou Billy, Freedom Force, Gotcha!, Gumshoe, Hogan's Alley, Wild Gunman, Chiller (unlicensed but tends to be a common one), etc...

Also brings into question how the implementation is being done and if it works on a per-ROM basis or is something more general. Read this paragraph very very closely:

Quote:
A Duck Hunt game cartridge. We're not distributing the game; we're distributing a device that patches the game. You still have the game from 1990 too, right? (The patch board also supports the SMB / Duck Hunt multicart that was commonly included with NESes.)

Price is ridiculous if it's all designed with *one single game* in mind. Makes the product almost as "exclusive" (read: gimmicky) as the NES ROB.

Edit: Just wanted to add that I think it's a neat/great idea/project regardless, but for the cost I'd hope it could handle all the other Zapper games.


Last edited by koitsu on Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:49 am 
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A dedicated patcher board? That seems the kind of premium thing for people who won't care about money to keep their game intact.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:58 am 
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The price is ridiculous at least partly because current copyright durations are ridiculous. He's having to bend over backwards (i.e. distribute an IPS as a microcontroller!) to make sure he's doing everything to the letter of the law.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:22 pm 
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koitsu wrote:
I see absolutely nothing talking about: Adventures of Bayou Billy, Freedom Force, Gotcha!, Gumshoe, Hogan's Alley, Wild Gunman, Chiller (unlicensed but tends to be a common one), etc...

Also brings into question how the implementation is being done and if it works on a per-ROM basis or is something more general.

Quote:
The patch board also supports the SMB / Duck Hunt multicart that was commonly included with NESes.)

In the comments he answered questions about that, but the gist of it just seems that Duck Hunt is the proof of concept. The board hardware could apply a patch to any game (just needs more patches to be added to it).

The patch is necessary to accommodate lag. (It also means it has more prominent blank/white-square screens flashes, too.)

The light gun mod at least is a general thing that allows it to see light from an LCD TV, but without the software accounting for lag the light will arrive too late to be read anyway. So... you need a per-game patch.

I'd actually be interested in just the light gun mod portion, if the price was (a lot) lower. I made my own lag patch for Duck Hunt a while back when I was testing out how the light gun worked.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:15 pm 
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About two years ago, Hackaday carried a story about a more robust prototype that determines where a Wii Remote is pointed and sends that to an MCU to crop the composite output to send to a LED aimed at a Zapper's photodiode. Once the Wii Remote patent expires around 2026, it'll become practical to commercialize this.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:42 pm 
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tepples wrote:
Once the Wii Remote patent expires around 2026, it'll become practical to commercialize this.

Why do you think patents are a problem here? There's like a hundred different ways to do an aiming device, and there's many third party wiimote and sensor replacements already. That's assuming that you even want to make the wiimote directly part of the product, which it doesn't have to be. There's thousands of Wiimote accessories on the market.

Thanks for the reminder about that better thing though. I didn't realize it was all open source too. Might be worth getting an arduino to build my own...


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:42 pm 
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There was another project along these lines I saw recently:
https://hackaday.com/2018/06/28/a-light ... -to-maths/

Unlike the Wiimote, which uses an IR camera and two IR beacons, this one instead uses a visible-light camera and computer vision techniques to extract the four corners of the TV, and can deduce out roll/pitch/yaw/Z (and two more axes over the wiimote: X/Y) from those four corners.

Once you have pitch & yaw, converting that to the input needed by the NES is a straightforward task.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:21 am 
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The engineering is impressive, but given all the caveats it would have required a small miracle for it to reach the $125k goal.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:55 pm 
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This is being done in such an backwards way that I'm going to be very mad if this kickstarter succeeds as is.

Drop the ROM patch board for a single game (?????) and just market the zapper hardware and make its programming specifications open (ie how to use it in your nes program). People will probably create patches for every lightgun game in a spontaneous community effort if there's hardware with decent availability and documentation that makes it worth it. People that want to play can simply do so on a powerpak or switch out ROM chips.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:14 pm 
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Yeah, making this all about Duck Hunt specifically was not the way to go... I don't think there are 1000 people in the world (though this campaign is limited to the US!) willing to pay that much to play just Duck Hunt.

I agree with Punch... I bet that the "patch board" adds a lot to the cost, so it'd probably make more sense to count on backers having flash carts (I bet that almost anyone who still regularly plays on an original NES also owns a flash cart, it's a basic item in any collection by now) and make patches for at least a few of the most popular Zapper games that players can apply themselves. Maybe even make the patch boards optional for the few that would prefer them over flash carts, but don't make them mandatory. The promise of making the specs public so that homebrewers can also support the new device would surely help the campaign too.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:18 am 
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I guess the rationale is that a patch board is less likely to attract attention from Nintendo's legal department. Remember that Nintendo sued Galoob to stop the Game Genie and lost in Canada and USA.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:26 am 
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This campaign won't be funded at their current goal, so talk of what should have been done is more to instruct the next guy.

If they made IPS patches for each game, that would give them a sizeable market right away, namely flash cart owners. In that case, the customer need only buy the board that replaces the light gun's internals. That board looks inexpensive.

As has been observed, the main cost of their solution is the patch board, which only works with one game! Not a great value for $129.00.

They talk about making their patch board an external solution with a Game Genie and imply that the firmware can be updated, but the board shot suggests the only way to do that is with something like a JTAG programmer.

The number of games that support or require the Zapper numbers only twenty, so patching 20 games does not seem to be an insurmountable goal.

The explanation of why they won't ship to Europe, "The additional regulatory complexity of selling in other countries makes such exports infeasible for now" is inexplicable unless they are not complying with RoHS or something similar.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:20 am 
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tokumaru wrote:
(I bet that almost anyone who still regularly plays on an original NES also owns a flash cart, it's a basic item in any collection by now)


People in a community like this tend to own them, but I have a number of friends that still have their NES hooked up, playing semi-regularly, who don't have them, and wouldn't even be aware of flash carts if I hadn't told them about them.

(I agree that he might have had better success targeting those of us with flash carts, so I'm not arguing that point. I'm just saying that there's a big market of NES fans out there that don't have flash carts. That said, those people aren't as likely to stumble across his kickstarter and be interested either)

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