Well, that escalated quickly

I mean, the level of bullshit.

A new delay in the Paprium saga, with a new deadline of 29th October 2018 (Japanese Megadrive release date 29/10/88).

No news, good news?
Hello Everyone,
Thanks for your patience. It’s been exactly one year since we started taking orders for PAPRIUM (and a couple more years of wait for our hardcore MGF fans), It’s been extremely stressful year for everyone, we bet.
Regarding what’s going on:
We had an issue with the “DATENMEISTER” chip-set manufacturing which resulted in some last minute changes. I’ve worked round-the-clock for the last couple of weeks to find a workaround and been very scarce on updates, my apologies.
In the next (couple) days we have to adjust the game to reflect those changes. Moreover, in the mean time, there will be an additional round of QC and testing.
Rest assured everyone involved has been working hard to solve all the issues and ensure a superior product. Our aim is to deliver the ultimate Mega Drive / SEGA Genesis game, in time for the system 30’th anniversary.
For people who wait has ran out (well understandable) – as usual – we offer a full refund. Please contact the support at bottom of WM’s magical game factory page for details or questions.
Thanks everyone for your comprehension, and my sincere apology for the lack of news.
PS: We are also sending this message through newsletter, it could take several hours for dispatch, thanks for your understanding.
Fonzie
Of course they have problems with the Datenmeister, if the chip doesn’t exist. It’s fake, vaporware, an illusion. You can’t expect anything to work if it’s a children’s fairy tale.
Allegedly, the function of the Datenmeister is to provide extra audio channels, so that Paprium’s music is a step up from what people expect from a Genesis/MD
But when you create a fake website, for your fake chip, it is clear that your intention is not to deliver anything you promised.
Anyway, here’s a list of excuses for the upcoming delays:
  • “Last minute changes” in the Expanded Sprites Mode VI 
  • “Last minute changes” in the Infinite Parallax Layers aka “IPL”
  • Cartridge voltage issues
  • Cartridge label issues
  • Box issues
  • Air France loses Fonzie’s keys. Unable to enter his home and retrieve the packages, the game is cancelled.
  • Bird flu is raging over Fonzie’s Chinese beta testers. The game can’t be delivered.
  • They realize they were using a SNES development kit. The game is cancelled.
  • They took so long to release the game that everyone asked for refunds. The WM chests are empty, the game is cancelled. (This is a good one to launch a bailout campaign)
  • Fonzie wants Bulgarian voice-over actors for the Bulgarian version of the game. Delay until the cartridge is updated.
  • They actually meant to say Sega MD’s 30th anniversary in the UK. (11/30/2020)

 

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Gwenael ‘Fonzie’ Godde can’t stop lying

Lying is the act of both knowingly and intentionally or willfully making a false statement. Normal lies are defensive and are told to avoid the consequences of truth telling.

In a couple of days, it’s three months since Fonzie Godde disappeared. His last proof of life was a picture of his bulge, in a bathroom in China. It was accompanied by an optimistic message about the production of Paprium cartridges:

Yes, we are running. But not running away. 3 news coming :
1. We received your money one month ago. Took some extra painful time
2. We are very busy at manufacturing the game. Over 50 factories are involved and every single part are getting stacked in our warehouse for final assembly!
3. Game will be back on preorder very shortly, everyone will get notified by email when so.
As reminder, anyone not willing to wait and asking for refund will be refunded. Just be a little bit patient because our costumer support is quite overloaded with questions lately and paypal is major trouble to work with, we are switching to another service shortly. Thank you.
To investors, this is major update of great importance: Fonzie picked the “Armageddong” thing today. He said he would personally test every single pieces!
So 1) the “problem” with paypal is solved.
And 2) this cannot be true. 50 companies?

Over [!] 50 factories are involved and every single part are getting stacked in our warehouse for final assembly!

cartridge

Source: https://www.equities.com/news/what-parts-make-up-an-iphone

The list:

Samsung
Omnivision
Aac Technologies
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.
Sony
Desay Battery Tech
Sunwoda Electronics
Simplo Technology
Compeq Manufacturing
Unimicron Technology
Unitech Printed Circuit Board
Cirrus Logic
Catcher Technology
Micron
Texas Instruments
Bosch
Invensense
Qualcomm
Avago
Qorvo
Skyworks
SK Hynix
Dialog
NXP
Universal Scientific Industrial

Why didn’t we ever see non doctored image of the gameplay?

There is not in the whole WWW, a single image of Paprium gameplay that is not obscured by some kind of editing, filter or intervention.

In other words, we have never seen a “pure” screenshot of the game.

Take Tanglewood for example. This screenshot has a reasonable number of colors, you can see each pixel individually (not blurry or out of focus). And the size is consistent with the dimensions of a Genesis game.

tangle

23 colors and 944 by 670 pixels

tanglecolors

670/224 -the standard vertical resolution for Sega Mega Drive- is almost 3. This is a screenshot, from an emulator probably, blown up 3 times to make a decent press material.

You can do an interesting experiment. Download the large image of Tanglewood, open it in Photoshop or Gimp, and reduce it to the actual size. Use a height of 224 pixels. Preserve the aspect ratio, and use “Nearest Neighbor (hard edges)” resampling.
Zoom in on the image and you will see that it is virtually identical to the large image. There’s no trick.

Paprium on the other hand…

papa

For starters, the image is 300% heavier if you save it as PNG. Jpeg 382 kB, PNG 1.136 kB!!!! :O

This should not happen in an image with a limited palette, and large areas of flat color.

But no, the image is full of noise, strange shades. Almost like an Instagram filter.

papnoise

Of course that gives us a ridiculous color count.

papcolors

284k colors! Take that SNES!

If you manage to isolate a pixel (there is always an overlap with the surrounding pixels), you will see that it is 4×4 pixels in size. I mean, the press image has a 4:1 ratio with the screenshot.

So 1024×682 is… 256×170.
No words.

That blurriness causes a lot of information to be lost by resampling it, like I did with Tanglewood’s image. And it shows. Paprium’s press images were not made for a TV plugged into a Sega. They’re visual candy.

compa
Left: Image resampled to its estimated native resolution. Right:”Screenshot” spread by Watermelon Games.

To be continued….

Paprium: the elephant in the ROM

The only reason Paprium is a complete lie is because it’s economically unfeasible.

 

To meet the specifications that Watermelon Games’ team promised, you need a very expensive custom cartridge.

  • No information is available on the number of colors used in Paprium. But obviously, it’s over 256.
  • 14 extra channels with custom audio chip (the infamous Datenmeister)
  • Something called “Expanded Sprites Mode VI” (EXS-VI)”which allows the game to exceed other games limitations and remove some more surprises.” A microcontroller? A software trick? Who knows?
  • “ILP”  tech to bring more parallaxes, up to 446 layers! (why not 448, 2 layers per scanline?   😉

Now, that’s two custom chips, probably a four-layer PCB.

Fonzie’s planning (in China everything is cheap, or something like that).

Let’s assume a cost per cartridge produced of $8 (overly unrealistic).
Add $4 for the rest of what the investor receives: manual, case, etc.
Free international shipping, that’s about $15, (no tracking, of course).
Let’s say 5000 copies are sold. You don’t want to develop custom microcontrollers for 1000 copies. You’d lose money!
$8+$4+$15 = $27.
$69-$27 = $42

42*5000 copies= $210,000

$210,000 / 4 years (I know it’s 5 years, but I’m generous) = $52,500 per year of development.

$52500 between 5 developers (I know the site credits 20 people, but I guess they were “collaborators”), so $52500/5 = $10500 per year per employee.
Let’s say that these 5 heroes had other jobs, other income, and could only dedicate 56 hours a month to Paprium (they used 7 days a month working eight hours a day to optimize that beautiful code with 446 layers of parallax).
$10500 / 12 is $875 per month. Or $15,625 per hour worked. Now I understand Why earning money is not possible for an independent retro game developer. 

 

Damn it, I forgot the taxes!

 

 

Paprium: the promise

Fall 2012

  • RPB “Role-Playing-Brawler” (?)
  • 40MEG (Mbits) cartridge. «This will be at least the second biggest Mega Drive/Genesis game ever, after WaterMelon’s own Pier Solar! With this much storage at our disposal, we can make the ultimate 16-bit beat ’em all!»
  • 4 playable characters (1 to be unlocked)
  • Release date: August 2013

November 2013

  • Release date: “next year” (2014)

January 2014

  • 64 Mbit cartridge

August 2014

  • «A new release date will be communicated soon, along with opening pre-orders. (08/21/2014)»

March 2017 (Project “Y” is now “Paprium”) – hype tsunami

  • 80 Mbit cartridge
  • +24 levels
  • +5 playable characters
  • 60 fps
  • 48kHz audio (24 channels)
  • 1 or 2 simultaneous player gameplay.
  • Multiple game modes.
  • Three save slots for a unseen-before brawler size.
  • $69 for classic edition (“worldwide shipping included”)