It’s been a few years since we’ve reported any updates on Project Neon, the vertical shmup for the Neo Geo, but we have some major news to talk about. The team at Fullset, the group behind Project Neon, have just announced that the game PCBs are in production with an estimate of shipping in March or April of this year!
And, to help them with the PCB design, they have enlisted services from several veterans in the scene: Furrtek, René of db-electronics and Jeff Kurtz of NeoBitz. So there should be no doubt that the AES and MVS PCBs will be voltage correct and have all the proper level translators and beveled edges. And they are adding save game support now thanks to a NeoSaveMasta memory card donation from Brian Hargrove (TurfMasta).
Pre-orders re-open on Sunday January 21st at 8am GST on their website.
I spoke to the lead developer, Sascha Reuter, over the weekend and he shared with me some new screenshots of the game.
While the game itself is complete, there have been a few other things recently added to the game:
– Soft-dips (MVS) / Menu (AES) for setting numbers of ships per coin, switching between TATE/YOKO mode, and per-game demo sound setting
– Correct handling of multi-slot boards to ensure things like passing control back to MVS after the intro/attract scene ends or the player switches between games on the title screen when a coin is inserted
– Hi-score table, including saving support
– Display of available coins
– System (AES/MVS) and region (JPN, US, EUR) specific behavior, e.g. single with separate coin counter, virtual coins
– Pause support (AES only)
Check out their website for the latest updates
Todd’s thoughts: We Neo Geo fans have been absolutely spoiled over the last couple years with new indie dev game releases. Hypernoid on Neo CD (and hopefully cartridge soon), Xenocrisis and soon Final Vendetta via the Bitmap Bureau to Vengeance Hunters from Nalua Studios and now Project Neon from Fullset. And let’s not forget the recent successful Kickstarter for DaemonClaw. I think it’s about time we stop using the word “homebrew” when describing these games. It conjures up images of a single person working out of their bedroom in their spare time when in reality most of these groups consist of multiple programmers, graphic artists and musicians working full time to bring these games to market. They develop their own software tools, customs designed PCBs and have professional manufacturing done. So lets not call them homebrew and instead refer to them as independent game developers as I think they deserve that respect.