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Homebrews No Longer Obtainable?


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#51 Zonie OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 9, 2017 8:05 AM

I like the way Mr. Atari released Defend your Castle. Assembled PCB and labels. I then just popped into an old combat case and bingo. Playable homebrew cart for $15. If more were released this way for this price, I'd buy more. I'm sure Albert would love not to have to do all that disassembly, cleaning, and reassembly of these carts. It's worth 30 min of my time to do that work myself to save $15-25 per cart. Maybe $5 for the manual, and another $5 for the printed flat sheet box that has to be folded and glued, would make a decent package. I don't know what that box run costs, or how many need to be printed, but it is worth a discussion.

I guess I missed Star Tunnel. Looks pretty cool.



#52 gauauu OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 9, 2017 9:54 AM

My origin is the old [stella] mailing list. There we never cared for legal stuff and I always hoped this would never become necessary. And even after some shit happened to me, I prefer to refrain from such legal bullshit. I usually write some general remarks in the accompanying documents, because I don't like to care for this or feel forced to restrict myself.

 

 

A good license (or at least some specific remarks in the readme) are actually helpful to the people down the line, as a way to communicate to them how you'd like your code to be used.  Otherwise, if I see your example code, I'm hesitant about how I can/should use it.  For example, when making my recent game, I referred heavily to your clown demo to get the timing right for my 6-character display.  Technically, you have copyright on that and didn't list a license, which means I'm not allowed to use any of the code from it.  Is that what you intended?  A license would help me know what you intended.

 

Last not least I have strong trust in the integrity of the Atari community (with the usual unavoidable exceptions).

 

Yeah, I agree. Which is why I ended up just putting a really permissive license on my game (basically "do anything you want with it"), trusting that people won't be jerks. 



#53 Zonie OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 9, 2017 11:05 AM

I created a EULA for the automation software we write for our customers. I don't know if there is any space left in the usual cart for one, but a single page with the agreement to accept the EULA when running the Rom on an emulator may be a decent way to protect you. Perhaps the emulator could be written to have this? Might encourage more games to be released this way.



#54 RamrodHare OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 9, 2017 11:30 AM

 

A good license (or at least some specific remarks in the readme) are actually helpful to the people down the line, as a way to communicate to them how you'd like your code to be used.  Otherwise, if I see your example code, I'm hesitant about how I can/should use it.  For example, when making my recent game, I referred heavily to your clown demo to get the timing right for my 6-character display.  Technically, you have copyright on that and didn't list a license, which means I'm not allowed to use any of the code from it.  Is that what you intended?  A license would help me know what you intended.

 

 

Yeah, I agree. Which is why I ended up just putting a really permissive license on my game (basically "do anything you want with it"), trusting that people won't be jerks. 

I think developers should allow the roms out in the wild after the game has been released and sold on cart. Yes, someone might bootleg it, but they can do that if someone rips the image from a cart, so it comes down to trust. You know that somewhere, someone had already ripped images for a bunch of homebrew games that the developers didn't release the roms for, yet I don't see them popping up on download sites. I own a Harmony cart and I want to play ALL my games from that one cart now. I'll still buy vintage games I like, just to have the cart. I'll still buy Homebrew, just to have a cool cart. What I would really LOVE, is to be able to pay the developer for a rom. That way, he gets the money, I promise not to share the rom and everyone is happy. Real Atari fans are going to support the developer, be it by paying for the cart or paying for the rom. Developers need to all get on board with this and get a little more money for their work and get their games out there for more people to enjoy. Yeah, we all know, there are going to be Bad Apples in the bunch that buy the rom and then try either sell it themselves or put it out there for people to download for free. that's going to happen no matter what. I've never done a bit of programming for the Atari, but I know the developers work hard for a long time to make good games, I'm not at all against paying $5 for a final version of a rom. Every bit of that goes to the developer, where it belongs. I don't see why a developer wouldn't like this idea, but I know there are probably a stubborn few who for some reason, don't want their roms out there for everyone to enjoy. For these developers, I have one question? Why? Now if it's a licensed game, like Boulder Dash for example, I understand not putting the rom out there, but for all the original homebrew games, DEVELOPERS, PLEASE SELL or freely distribute the ROMs! Get your games in the hands of all fans, not just the ones who can afford (or find) a cart. I have every intention of doing some hacks and eventual some original games and when I do, Hacked roms will be free and Original homebrew roms will be $0-3. I feel like this would be a very fair and beneficial system. It would get the games in the hands of everyone who wanted to play them, at a very fair price. I'd be happy and so would people who wanted to play the game. YES, it would work on the honor system, but I feel like almost all AtariAge members are trustworthy (even if some are rather annoying and grumpy.) ;)

 

Final note, let's say developers did agree to release any rom, for a fee of say $0-5 here on AtariAge, this is where most if not all of your sales will come from. Now lets say one evil member here (probably wearing a top hat and twirling his moustache) buys the rom and then makes bootlegs and sells them on eBay. Yeah, it would be annoying, but if you had already release your limited number of carts (with say a certificate of authenticity), there's no harm really being done. You've sold the number of carts you intended and members will still buy the rom before they buy what should now be clearly a bootleg  cart. Seems to me this would be a great system.  The gamers get the games, the developers get some money, it's a WIN-WIN situation! :-D



#55 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 9, 2017 11:35 AM

For almost all top quality (IMO) games the ROMs have been released, often even before the game was on sale or in parallel ("try before you buy"). If a ROM is not released and there is little other information available (screenshots, videos etc.), then that might indicate some quality problems.



#56 Zonie OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 9, 2017 1:06 PM

I found a SNES Classic Kong out in the wild (online) and bought it since the developer got a C&D and can no longer sell it. I'm not sure it is real or a bootleg, but it does seem to play differently than the final ROM download that I have, so I'm assuming it is a bootleg. Other than that, the cart and label are perfect. ...Or, I may just have gotten better playing on the computer keyboard than a SNES Pad, which I do NOT like.

 

They are out there, you may never know if they are real resales or copies. Perhaps the community (Atari Age Perhaps?) could come up with a set of holographic labels that are numbered, and number blocks sold to real developers and then logged in a database that one could check against if an ebay cart does come with a label. This would take some effort to ensure the label number info is linked to a dev and the serial number of the cart, for instance, so if a buyer were to query the database for authenticity, it would not only say yes or no, but would be able to track the qty of inquiries against the number... Might be too late for this, or no interest, but may be a way to ensure buyers get authentic copies and the dev's make the money due to them.



#57 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 9, 2017 10:31 PM

I found a SNES Classic Kong out in the wild (online) and bought it since the developer got a C&D and can no longer sell it. I

Princess rescue got shut down by Nintendo but Classic Kong never did. Piko Interactive stopped selling it to avoid a repeat of the Princess Rescue Incident. The game engine was recycled as Thor's Quest and remaining copies of Classic Kong were clearanced at heavy discount on Retro Quest. Thor's Quest is basically Classic Kong without any reference to the original Nintendo IP.

 

I own both and Classic Kong still makes me smile when I play it. Be glad you secured a copy. Hopefully you didn't pay an arm and a leg. Thor's Quest just doesn't feel the same even though the gameplay is identical.



#58 Zonie OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:37 PM

Yeah. I played Thor's Quest on the emulator and you are right, it didn't do it for me either.



#59 hizzy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:51 PM

One thing I like about the homebrew scene is how old carts are repurposed. Environmentally friendly gaming is cool.



#60 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:54 PM

One thing I like about the homebrew scene is how old carts are repurposed. Environmentally friendly gaming is cool.


Yeah, that's a huge pain in my ass, so I am going to have new carts produce for the 2600/7800 as soon as I can.

..Al

#61 hizzy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:58 PM

Yeah, that's a huge pain in my ass, so I am going to have new carts produce for the 2600/7800 as soon as I can.

..Al

 

Even if you make new carts, all of the old ones you've put together over the years has been a great recycling effort. AA needs a greenest gamers award or something!



#62 sramirez2008 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:20 PM

Yeah, that's a huge pain in my ass, so I am going to have new carts produce for the 2600/7800 as soon as I can.

..Al

 

I'm still waiting for this to become a reality.  This is a really cool shell! :-D

 

http://atariage.com/...-etc/?p=3038878



#63 gauauu OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:13 PM

I created a EULA for the automation software we write for our customers. I don't know if there is any space left in the usual cart for one, but a single page with the agreement to accept the EULA when running the Rom on an emulator may be a decent way to protect you. Perhaps the emulator could be written to have this? Might encourage more games to be released this way.

 

That's prohibitively painful for both the developer and the player, and I don't see much value doing it that way as opposed to just a readme file with a download.   Once it starts adding pain instead of value, forget it.

 

What I would really LOVE, is to be able to pay the developer for a rom. That way, he gets the money, I promise not to share the rom and everyone is happy. 

 

If I'm already giving away my ROM, would you pay for a digital download package that includes a pdf of art, manual, rom, etc?



#64 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:26 AM

That's prohibitively painful for both the developer and the player, and I don't see much value doing it that way as opposed to just a readme file with a download.   Once it starts adding pain instead of value, forget it.

MAME does something like this, and IMO this is not "prohibitively painful" at all.

#65 gauauu OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:10 AM

MAME does something like this, and IMO this is not "prohibitively painful" at all.

 

I realize I mis-read his idea, I thought he wanted it baked into the game itself, so you'd read a license on an ugly atari-rendered display, and have to push a button to agree every time you played the game.  Which is dumb.  Doing something like what MAME does with a simple display the first time it loads a game wouldn't be bad.



#66 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:00 AM

I created a EULA for the automation software we write for our customers. I don't know if there is any space left in the usual cart for one, but a single page with the agreement to accept the EULA when running the Rom on an emulator may be a decent way to protect you. Perhaps the emulator could be written to have this? Might encourage more games to be released this way.

I think everyone would prefer if emulators were not written to have additional pop-ups or even to allow them to trickle through from the OS or the web which is already a problem.

 

I think the EULA should be tied to the transaction; perhaps embed a serial number in each ROM you distribute for an unintrusive EULA variation?

 

 

 

If I'm already giving away my ROM, would you pay for a digital download package that includes a pdf of art, manual, rom, etc?

 

If you just show a video or offer a limited level demo (or one that only works in Stella) you will have better sales for a good game than if you release the ROM, same as in the 80's. 

 

You can always free the ROM's afterwards unless you plan to do another release :)



#67 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:03 PM

 

If I'm already giving away my ROM, would you pay for a digital download package that includes a pdf of art, manual, rom, etc?

You might be surprised at how many people will contribute. I think $5 is a fair price to pay for a ROM and requires almost zero effort to host the ROM and collect royalties, maybe $10 tops with a full color PDF manual, but $10 IMO would be pushing it. Another option is to offer the ROM for free with a "name your price" option, meaning the customer could "tip" you for your work if he/she wants, or download for free. I see a lot of albums on Band Camp that use this tipping system with the checkout. So I could see this working as a game distribution method.

 

But doing like the Nintendo eShop and charging the same price for physical or digital, ie $30 for a download that the AA store charges for loose cart + manual, then your game is likely to get ignored. Generally the high price for cartridge homebrew games is the parts + labor for hand making them. I believe Albert's base price is $20 for standard bankswitch VCS, $25 for Melody, $25 for a standard bankswitch, non-Pokey 7800, then an additional $5 goes to paying royalties to the author. So I believe it would be fair for digital downloads to only charge the $5 royalty since no labor or parts is involved in production. Of course Albert should get a cut of this sale for site maintenance and transaction fees.

 

My two cents...



#68 Zonie OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:02 PM

The EULA could be as simple as a message on the title screen stating "playing this game constitutes your agreement of the EULA" and send a printed sheet along with it. Anyone ever read the back of a concert ticket? Basically the same thing.



#69 danny_galaga OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:11 PM

Why was the Boulder Dash rom never released?  Even Nintendo doesn't care about Princess Rescue as long as it's not being sold.

 

I find this a bit puzzling too. Surely SOMEONE has dumped the ROM at some stage. People dump ROM's of everything. I don't know anything about this game. Was every single copy recalled before anyone could dump it and so no one now has an original?



#70 RamrodHare OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:42 PM

 

If I'm already giving away my ROM, would you pay for a digital download package that includes a pdf of art, manual, rom, etc?

 

IF you are freely sharing the rom, then you could do the "tip" system as people have mentioned. If you make a rom and I play it and enjoy it, I'd be willing to send some money your way, to show my appreciation for your work. I really believe that the developers should get something, as an incentive to keep making games, now if you wanted to make a nice downloadable package with artwork and instructions, backstory, etc., YES, I'd be willing to pay for the package.

 

The developers who are already sharing their work deserve just as much as those aren't. My main message is to the people who are making a game, selling a very limited number of carts and then just forgetting about all the other Atari fans who are desperately want to play their game. If they would just sell the roms to those of us who have Harmony carts or who only play on emulators, everyone would win.

 

Most of us are far more likely to support a developer who shares his work with the community. I'm not going to spend a bunch of money on the secondary market to get a cart that I missed out on due to limited funds or not being quick enough when it came out, but you can bet your ass, if someone dumps the rom, I'll be playing that game. The way I see it is- if the developer releases the rom for a small fee, he (or she) will get my money and everyone will be happy. If they don't release the rom, eventually someone will dump it and I'll be playing it anyway. It's that simple. What's the point in making a game, if only a few people ever get to play it? I just can't see the logic in it. :?

 

If a Developer sells 20 carts and makes $5 off each cart and then locks the rom away and throws away the key, they made $100. If they share the rom for $5 and 30 people download it, that's $150 (most likely on top of the cart sales). There are plenty of us who can't afford to buy carts, but can dig up $5 somewhere. If they want to have limited edition carts, that's fine, they can use special artwork or even use a slightly different version of the game for that. I really don't see how selling (or giving away) the roms will affect the sale of the carts, since the people who want a cart will still get a cart. I just think everyone should be given the opportunity to play the games, not just the people who have the most money or who got there first. This community is what keeps Atari alive, the fans and the developers, it's a team effort.  :)



#71 bpatte02 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:46 PM

Knowing that there was an Army of Darkness homebrew that I missed out on makes me sad. No boom stick for me.

#72 RamrodHare OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:53 PM

Knowing that there was an Army of Darkness homebrew that I missed out on makes me sad. No boom stick for me.

Look for Bifrost. It's the same game, just different graphics. Being a fan of the Evil Dead and Army of Darkness movies, I was disappointed too, but I enjoy playing Bifrost anyway.

Also, you might try looking up the developer and contacting them, it never hurts to ask. :-D



#73 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:49 AM

I find this a bit puzzling too. Surely SOMEONE has dumped the ROM at some stage. People dump ROM's of everything.

We had to implement some kind of dump protection. Else I am sure you would be right.
 

I don't know anything about this game.

Here you can find the latest demo version of Boulder Dash.
 

Was every single copy recalled before anyone could dump it and so no one now has an original?

The game has the official license of FSS, so there was no reason for a recall.



#74 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:05 AM

Why was the Boulder Dash rom never released?  Even Nintendo doesn't care about Princess Rescue as long as it's not being sold.

 

 

I find this a bit puzzling too. Surely SOMEONE has dumped the ROM at some stage. People dump ROM's of everything. I don't know anything about this game. Was every single copy recalled before anyone could dump it and so no one now has an original?

 

Since the programmers designed even the demo not to run on the Harmony so no one could play and added copy protection to the cart and threw insults at SolidCorp for his StarCastle kickstarter being twice the $$ value of BoulderDash it looks hypocritical, doubly so since SolidCorp released the ROM for everyone to enjoy while bd fans have to go and buy another more powerful Flashcart just to play a limited demo - endless marketing models leave many players left out.

 

Putting SolidCorp down to make their own marketing model "look better" seems like the same moves some of the same programmers (except Andrew) used following incredible 70's and 80's programmer Greg Zumwalt around the forum.

 

Same here picking on a disabled 12 year old programmer because a beginner tutorial was  too advanced:  

 

http://atariage.com/...w-of/?p=3762385

 

That is not the way.

 

 I just think everyone should be given the opportunity to play the games, not just the people who have the most money or who got there first. This community is what keeps Atari alive, the fans and the developers, it's a team effort.  :)

^This



#75 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:18 AM

Since the programmers designed even the demo not to run on the Harmony so no one could play and added copy protection to the cart and threw insults at SolidCorp for his StarCastle kickstarter being twice the $$ value of BoulderDash it looks hypocritical, doubly so since SolidCorp released the ROM for everyone to enjoy while bd fans have to go and buy another more powerful Flashcart just to play a limited demo - endless marketing models leave many players left out.

 

I'll state this again as I've stated in the past.  Our contract with First Star Software does not allow us to release the ROM for Boulder Dash.  Period.  Without this clause there would have been no physical release of the game at all.  It has nothing to do with marketing on our end, of course we would prefer that more people can enjoy the game.  There are very few games that once introduced in the AtariAge Store are no longer available for purchase.  I personally do not like limiting games to 'x' number of copies, and once they're sold out, well, that's it.  

 

 ..Al






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