[Coco] SuperPak Cartridge... coming soon.

John W. Linville linville at tuxdriver.com
Thu Dec 10 19:52:14 EST 2015

On Fri, Dec 11, 2015 at 10:18:06AM +1000, Nick Marentes wrote:
> On 11/12/2015 9:02 AM, Zippster wrote:
> >Yeah, the $25 would include what I would want for building them, and logistics (others may vary).
> >If the cases could be had for $5, $30 plus shipping wouldn’t be too bad.
> >
> >Of course there’s whatever the software author would want too, so I guess they
> >wouldn’t be too cheap, no.  That’s an 8MB chip though, so multiple titles if you wanted.
> >
> >If someone were to write a nice menu system, with both classic and new titles on the cart,
> >it might be worth $50 a piece.
> >
> >It really looks like all the pieces are here for some group members to pull together and
> >produce a nice multi-cart.  Something you see in other retro computer groups.
> >Just saying.  :)
> >
> I'm looking at it from the point of view of a developer with a new CoCo3
> game to be released on cartridge.
> A modern CoCo3 game with detailed graphics takes up more than 16K. The 32K
> "super cartridges" that Radio Shack sold were for the games Super Pitfall,
> RoboCop and Predator.
> Remember that a 320x200 16 color graphics screen on a CoCo3 takes up 32K on
> it's own so sprites, tiles and maybe sound samples can easily chew up more
> than 8/16K.
> 16K is not enough.

True enough, but I have a counterpoint.  A "modern" CoCo3 game doesn't
have to be a resource hog, nor must it take advantage of every feature
available to the system to be enjoyable and worthwhile. Some of the
best homebrew releases for the Atari Jaguar could easily be implemented
on machines with much lower capabilities. The point is not to 'fill-up'
the machine but to produce something worth playing.

More importantly, A "modern" CoCo games doesn't have to target the
CoCo3 at all. Afterall, the original CoCo platform also targets the
Dragon and the Brazilian clones -- a much bigger market. Who needs
more than 4 colors at a time?!

> I suspect that with the CoCo's market for games, $50 is too high for a Rom
> Pack game. The CoCo market doesn't command the same level of game market
> space as an Atari, Commodore or Coleco unit.
> We need some way to get the cartridge price to around $30 selling price to
> the consumer.

About six months ago I sold a Fahrfall cartridge for well over $100
on eBay. Beyond that, I sold every other one I had at $40 each and
I have a substantial waiting list -- hopefully they will still want
one made with a professional-grade injection molded cartridge case! I
think the market will support prices that pay for the production costs,
depending on how much one wants to charge for the software itself. If
I'm wrong, then I'm going to be stuck with a lot of plastic... :-)

> And I still don't see the value in a multi cart. Not when  you have a
> CoCoSDC for about $50 loaded with an SD card with every available game (Not
> just 8/16K ROM PAKS) in one compact cartridge.

Well, enjoy your CoCo as you see fit. Some of us prefer cartridges
for casual CoCo'ing.

John W. Linville		Someday the world will need a hero, and you
linville at tuxdriver.com			might be all we have.  Be ready.

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