Project Neon - Status Update, October 2022

>>>> Please checkout our previous update here if you haven't yet <<<< 

Hello everyone! 👋

It's been a while again since our last update, so thanks for all your ongoing support and patience; especially to those of you that pre-ordered the game quite a while ago already. We promise you it will be worth the wait!

That being said, we've some very exciting news regarding the game's development progress. So without further ado, let's jump right in.

Sound driver finally completed  🤩 💯

One major challenge that we hit during the development of the game was getting the sound to work. In fact, this took three different attempts over the course of almost 3 years to finally get right.

So yeah, it truly feels unreal to be able to finally write this: The sound driver development reached 100% completion a couple of weeks ago! 🤯

Here are some of the goodies the new sound driver sports:

- FM music playback support! (which is a first for an indie Neo Geo, at least from what we know!)
- Works on actual hardware, software emulators, and FPGA reimplementations (MiSTer, Analogue Pocket)
- Configurable sample playback strategies and prioritization (important to give certain SFX priority over others)
- Sequence compression/deduplication (to fit our entire soundtrack)
- Open source development + free-to-use license (MIT)

The very last thing to do from here is to test the driver on all the different MVS and AES revisions, which will happen a few weeks before the actual PCB production. First tests across a multitude of systems look promising though, so we don't really expect any major challenges to hit us from here.

We can't thank stereomimi enough for developing this driver! 🙏

Four out of five stages done ✔︎✔︎

Having the whole game's soundtrack finally playing in the game has not only been a big relief but actually, a highly motivating factor for the team to continue and complete the other parts. We now have four of the five stages fully completed, with no known glitches or bugs for weeks, and they all play fantastic! 😎 A huge kudos to impbox for his tremendous support & contributions to get us where we are here with this. Everything that's there truly plays amazing!

Video or it didn't happen 🎬

What's left 🚧

While we're getting closer to the finish line, there's still a bunch of work ahead for the coming weeks and potentially months.

Here's a non-exhaustive list of things we'll be working on next:

- Finish final stage + boss fight (Mars)
- Optimizations to make the game's code fit into the existing PROM size (or alternatively implement bank-switching)
- Re-test 2 player mode (for performance, scoring and potential difficulty adjustments)
- Add ending/credits scene
- Get updated for PCB production (finger-crossed prices didn't quadruple because of chip shortages🤞)
- Final play testing/location tests (locations + dates TBA)
- Production of PCBs and assembly of cartridges
- Printing of labels, manuals, stickers, etc.

- Ship it! 📦

Please be aware that new pre-orders remain closed until we have updated quotes on the PCB production.

Thank again for everyone's support,