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Author Topic: Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game  (Read 818 times)

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meyer980

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Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game
« on: August 17, 2018, 10:20:19 pm »
The year is 1982 and the hottest game in the arcades is Fix It Felix Jr. But what about kids on campouts? On road trips? Or those without quarters? Luckily, TobiKomi and Coleco teamed up to create another one of their wonderful handheld arcade games and I got my hands on one!

...Or at least, that's probably what would have happened if it was a real thing. Since it's not, I guess I'll just have to make my own. Long story short, I recently finished my full-sized cab and need a new project. I'll be creating new artwork, recreating that famous Coleco shell, and writing my own game! That last one is a big deal because I have no experience in that area. Let's get started.

Before I get to far - I have to thank vwalbridge for doing his Donkey Kong Build. I'm going to be taking many of his ideas. http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,145663.0.html

Cabinet
I want this thing to mostly look original. But I don't own an original. And actually, I'd feel a little guilty tearing it apart. So, I had a shell 3d printed! Not too expensive actually. I plan to paint it Fix It Felix blue. I'm still deciding how to do the control panel so may have to get that reprinted.




This is also my first foray into 3d printing and I'm pleasantly surprised with how the pieces turned out and the feel/strength of the thing.

Hardware
I haven't decided on this for sure yet, but I'm leaning towards using an Intel NUC (or similar computer) with the Ultimarc mini-pac. I want this thing to run MAME to play some other VFD games - but my game will only run on Windows.Mac/Ubuntu. So, I need a full computer of some sort. I'm planning for a 5" screen, some tiny speakers. It probably won't run off batteries.

Artwork
Couldn't find anyone else who had done this exact same project so I'm on my own. I have some experience with graphic design - plus all the hard work for full-sized cabinets. I'll just need to resize pieces here and there. I've got the two side decals finished and will tackle the CPO, marquee, and topper next. I think they should all fit onto one sheet - I'm considering using StickerMule to print them up when done. I've been impressed with their vinyl cuts before.


The Game/Software
Here we go. I want this thing to actually be playable. I was fascinated to see in the vwalbridge thread that MAME had many of these games already. I like to learn new things, so this seemed like a good excuse to pick up some game creation skills. Especially since gameplay on these bad-boys was so simple. So, I'm attempting to make a game as-if Coleco had made a VFD version of Fix It Felix back in the day (with maybe a slightly higher budget than usual, when it comes to number of colors and such).

I'm making the game in GameMaker Studio 2, mostly using their DnD (drag and drop) tools. The resolution is 480x640.

These games are unique really because their "sprites" can never overlap. Two colors can never touch either. So, I created a sprite sheet essentially for the entire board. That way I'd know the exact placement everything would be able to go in-game.


I tried to limit myself to the number of colors (currently 6, many only had 4) but it sure is tough. I'm also, admittedly, not a great artist. I'm decent with the entire Adobe Suite, but these VFD games definitely had a certain "look" to them I'm having difficulty emulating. I redrew everything myself with inspiration from the Felix arcade game sprite-sheet.

Other Game Features
  • Fix broken windows for points
  • "Best Score" lights up when you have the highest score; which is lost on power down just like the real games
  • Bricks fall and kill you
  • Ducks hit you in the head
  • Receive a medal after each level from a nicelander
  • 1-Bit sound made with beepbox.co

I'm planning for there to be 7 levels total, and then it start over at the beginning, with difficulty ramping up a bit in each level. Right now I have 3 levels complete. See some action in the video below.
https://youtu.be/Y2nPq66o3n4

And that's it for now! I'll soon start a series of posts on my project website of http://sergiostuff.com/ but would really appreciate input and suggestions here! I have many firsts in this build (3d printing, game creation, miniature sized stuff) so I'm bound to make mistakes. I'm happy to answer questions, too.

wp34

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Re: Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2018, 11:52:58 pm »
Oh baby this is a sick build.  :cheers:

SlammedNiss

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Re: Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2018, 12:23:12 am »
This is pretty damn cool. I don't do a lot of print decals, mostly just button labels that are linked in my sig. But, I'll tell ya what, send me the finished artwork and sizes, and I'll print them up and send them to you for the cost of shipping. Everything should fit into a flat-rate envelope so you'd be looking at $6.70.
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opt2not

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Re: Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2018, 12:31:46 am »
Thank you for not destroying an original.   :cheers:

javeryh

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Re: Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2018, 07:48:15 am »
This is going to be awesome.  That 3D printed shell looks very nice - it is smooth?  Did you sand it or something or is it just the pics not showing the rough surface?  It looks way nicer than a lot of other 3D printed stuff I've seen.

meyer980

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Re: Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2018, 11:27:45 am »
Thanks for the kind words everyone! I'll answer questions first.

Thank you for not destroying an original.   :cheers:
I'm happy not too! It's partially an economical decision. You see how much these things go for on ebay?

This is pretty damn cool. I don't do a lot of print decals, mostly just button labels that are linked in my sig. But, I'll tell ya what, send me the finished artwork and sizes, and I'll print them up and send them to you for the cost of shipping. Everything should fit into a flat-rate envelope so you'd be looking at $6.70.

I might just take you up on that! You could of course use the artwork for whatever you'd like, too. I hope to be at the printing artwork phase in a couple weeks. (I'm getting married in literally a month, my fiance is wonderful for letting this side project take up so much time)

This is going to be awesome.  That 3D printed shell looks very nice - it is smooth?  Did you sand it or something or is it just the pics not showing the rough surface?  It looks way nicer than a lot of other 3D printed stuff I've seen.
Here's where I need to start by thanking the folks at Tested.com for doing the scan and providing the .stl files for print. They did a wonderful job. There IS a texture, it's just difficult to see in the white material. It's not bad though. For the base, I actually like the texture - the originals weren't perfectly smooth on the base piece it looks like anyway. And for the hood area, artwork will e covering up most of the large flat areas. The back is perfectly smooth (because that's what sat on the print bed) I haven't decided if I'll sand any smoother or not. One thing I do need to do is recreate the control panel area. It's currently set up for 6 buttons, two joysticks, and a d-pad. WAY too much to be authentic. I'm thinking joystick, two game buttons, and a service of some sort, like start.

Updates
I have finished two more pieces of art. The topper and marquee. For the marquee, I followed the donkey kong guidelines for Coleco handheld, and only left the named-character, in this case Felix. So, I had to remove the woman holding the pie and wralph. Recreating the brick pattern where the woman was was the most difficult part. For the topper, I took two characters from the bezel area just like DK. I'm doing all art in Illustrator.

I should add - I'm not redrawing or vectorizing the decals completely by scratch. I'm starting with artwork that has been shared numerous times here on the board (I think much of it originally done by Ridicrick), using the tracer/pathfinder tool when necessary. So, thank you to all who have contributed to the Felix graphics.


Updates to the Game
I added another level (up to 4 now) and created a sound effect when you die. Mainly, I just have to create 3 more levels and I'm done. I don't want to go overboard here (since the original games were so simple) but if people have ideas on how to improve, I'm all ears! The final level should have 5 columns of bricks and 2 rows of ducks.
Most recent gameplay here: https://youtu.be/wrSVM-WUpc0
YouTube or my video recording seems to dull the colors a bit. They look a good deal brighter when actually playing.

I think I have to tweak the duck generator, they're popping out pretty frequently...


SlammedNiss

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Re: Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2018, 08:18:45 pm »
I might just take you up on that! You could of course use the artwork for whatever you'd like, too. I hope to be at the printing artwork phase in a couple weeks. (I'm getting married in literally a month, my fiance is wonderful for letting this side project take up so much time)

Just so you're aware, it can sometimes take a couple weeks from the time I get the artwork to final print. Depends on how busy we are at the shop. But something this small I should be able to get thru with another job pretty easily. When you have the artwork finalized, email them to me at my screen name at gmail. I use Illustrator so if you could send the artwork as in .ai or .pdf as a vector would work the best.
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Dallinj

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Re: Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2018, 08:08:44 pm »
That's crazy cool! I love the look that the printed shell gives. What kind of printer was used on that?

meyer980

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Re: Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2018, 11:22:56 pm »
I might just take you up on that! You could of course use the artwork for whatever you'd like, too. I hope to be at the printing artwork phase in a couple weeks. (I'm getting married in literally a month, my fiance is wonderful for letting this side project take up so much time)

Just so you're aware, it can sometimes take a couple weeks from the time I get the artwork to final print. Depends on how busy we are at the shop. But something this small I should be able to get thru with another job pretty easily. When you have the artwork finalized, email them to me at my screen name at gmail. I use Illustrator so if you could send the artwork as in .ai or .pdf as a vector would work the best.

Don't worry, I'm not in a rush. I want to save printing for later after most of the hardware is done anyway, to make sure my measurements are all correct.

That's crazy cool! I love the look that the printed shell gives. What kind of printer was used on that?

That's a good question! I used the 3dprinthubs.com service. Much cheaper than shapeways. You can still manually set everything (like materials) but I mainly let the system choose for me. According to my receipt notes:
Tevo Tarantula
eSUN PLA+, 200μm, White


Today's updates. I mocked up my artwork, it looks like I got my sizing just a bit off. (I sized based on scans I found online) So, made some slight modifications. You can see those results below. I also ordered a bunch of parts: 5" lcd screen, couple of 16mm buttons, a joystick. I haven't decided what type of computer to use yet - space will be a factor. I'm hoping an Intel NUC will fit/work, because I know where I can get some refurbished models.




The game is coming along nicely too. Just a few more levels and I'm done. If anyone has experience with GameMaker Studio 2 I wouldn't mind picking your brain about a rotate screen option. I can't seem to figure that out. Which would mean I'd have to run Windows rotated (which isn't a dealbreaker either, but nice to have both options).

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Re: Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2018, 12:03:09 am »
Love the VFD style game you’re building there!!
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

bplail

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Re: Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2018, 12:11:14 am »
Look forward to see updates on the build! Any chance you'd want to share the .STL files for others?? :notworthy:

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Re: Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2018, 04:50:00 am »
That is freaking awesome. 

You are certifiably insane, in the best of ways.  This is going to be an excellent artifact from the alternate timeline next door.   :D

jdbailey1206

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Re: Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2018, 07:57:26 am »
Looks great meyer.  I made vector images off of Ridicricks files.  I could have sent them over so you wouldn't have to rework everything in Illustrator.  Just shrink it down.  Let me know if I can help.  I also have an Intel Nuc i3 for sale.  Let me know if you need one and we can talk price.  I have it listed for $150 right now and that includes the NUC, OS, hard drive and memory but I can bring the price down if you are interested. 

My only qualm about this build is the bricks look too three dimensional.  Everything else in the gameplay is very 2D.  Other than that the case is very smooth and this looks great.  Keep it up.

meyer980

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Re: Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2018, 11:37:18 am »
Look forward to see updates on the build! Any chance you'd want to share the .STL files for others?? :notworthy:

Of course! I didn't make them (although I am slightly modifying them for my needs). They were created by the fine folks at tested.com. They had been taken down for a long time but recently put back online. There's a whole long story but when I saw them return, knew it was my time to get building. Their build was super focused on a raspberry pi and pre-built bluetooth controller. So, I had to make some modifications.
https://www.youmagine.com/designs/pi-score-tabletop-mame-arcade-cabinet

That is freaking awesome. 

You are certifiably insane, in the best of ways.  This is going to be an excellent artifact from the alternate timeline next door.   :D

Thanks! It's a lot of fun.

Looks great meyer.  I made vector images off of Ridicricks files.  I could have sent them over so you wouldn't have to rework everything in Illustrator.  Just shrink it down.  Let me know if I can help.  I also have an Intel Nuc i3 for sale.  Let me know if you need one and we can talk price.  I have it listed for $150 right now and that includes the NUC, OS, hard drive and memory but I can bring the price down if you are interested. 

My only qualm about this build is the bricks look too three dimensional.  Everything else in the gameplay is very 2D.  Other than that the case is very smooth and this looks great.  Keep it up.

I actually would like that! I had an already vectored version of the side art which would have been the most work. But I was dreading the bezel so if you wouldn't mind sharing that would be fantastic! I might also take you up on the nuc for sale. I just need to confirm a few measurements. $150 seems more than fair. I'll PM you.

You've caught me! I cheated on the brick with some shading. But I prefer accuracy, and you're right, will look more correct if I switch to a plain single colored rectangle. If anyone has more tips on graphics/gameplay I'm all ears.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 11:40:20 am by meyer980 »

jdbailey1206

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Re: Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2018, 02:27:51 pm »
I actually would like that! I had an already vectored version of the side art which would have been the most work. But I was dreading the bezel so if you wouldn't mind sharing that would be fantastic! I might also take you up on the nuc for sale. I just need to confirm a few measurements. $150 seems more than fair. I'll PM you.

You've caught me! I cheated on the brick with some shading. But I prefer accuracy, and you're right, will look more correct if I switch to a plain single colored rectangle. If anyone has more tips on graphics/gameplay I'm all ears.

I sent you a message meyer.  It seems I vectorized everything but the marquee.  Since I had it printed on plexi I didn't need to transfer it.  I still have the original marquee file in jpeg if you still need it.

Let me know if you want the NUC too.  I have to reinstall the wireless card, do a fresh reinstall of Windows 7, and track down the Windows 7 install disc to send it to you.  I hate buying compters and not having the Windows disc.

meyer980

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Re: Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2018, 10:22:13 pm »
I put the final two levels in today. Below is a copy of the entire game board


And here's a link to me playing the first few levels. It starts quite easy but ramps up. It isn't too hard to get through the whole thing though, deciding whether I should up the difficulty a bit. Like it was suggested, the bricks are now a solid shape without shading. BUT I did make them rotate every other view, so they have a tumbling effect. That's fair game I think - the barrels in donkey kong had different looks in different spots. I'm always open to input though!

https://youtu.be/t6W1WQtrkzE

Now I just have to wait for parts to arrive, see how it fits together, and the physical work begins.

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Re: Coleco Fix It Felix | Making Cab, Artwork, and Game
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2018, 01:52:17 pm »
Best idea in this forum so far this year  :applaud:
Building, collecting and playing arcade machines :)

  
 

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