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Boulder Dash ROM will not be released


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#126 Crazy Climber OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:00 PM

Why does Kroz never get the respect it deserves. It gets an easy 11.  :-D

Funny you mention that as I struggled with grading this one the most. The game really should be a 10, and had I been asked at any point BEFORE I played it through I would have said 10 (or at least a high 9) It suffers from one major flaw though in my opinion...

 

It's a bit of a one trick pony, meaning now that I have played through it I have no desire at all to play it again. The replay value is rather low. I can't really pop it in for a quick puzzle anymore because I have done them all. I suppose I could try to increase my speed/score but meh, not my style, that would require a LOT of dedication as it is a pretty long game. Now granted, I did get a LOT of game play out of it, honestly it is the most play I have ever given an Intellivision game (well, it's close between Tower of Doom at least) if you count thinking time then wow, probably 10+ hours (Go easy on me, I did not use any hints!)

 

I know there are limitations but if some kind of randomness could have been incorporated to make the game a little different each time it would have been flawless and a timeless classic (one of the main reasons Tower of Doom is a TOP pick for me) getting a faster time just doesn't appeal to me and higher scores is just too much of a time investment as the "fun" disappears eventually when you already know all the answers, there is not enough "action" after you solve all the puzzles so it feels like work the second play through....and I already have a job :)

 

Overall I almost gave it a 7, but I had SO much fun playing through it that I just couldn't, even if it is pretty much a shelf ornament now ;)



#127 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:03 PM

No Space Patrol?   That is what made me say after 30 years "Ok... ok... I'm an Intellivision gamer."  :D



#128 intellivotion OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:04 PM

Also missing Stonix, SameGame & Robots and 4-Tris.

 

2 of them, IMHO, among the excellent games (score 9/10 to 10/10)



#129 pimpmaul69 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:47 PM

Space patrol gets an 11 in my book. Excellent game.

#130 freewheel OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:46 PM

I just historically don't find the home-brews overpriced. Part is just knowing the price difference in buying 10,000 units of something and 100 units of something. The design and work costs you the same amount of time. Small scale reproduction is expensive.

 

Nailed it in one. We (some of us, anyway) could easily do homebrew for $25 a cart if sales got into the thousands. You still make nothing as a programmer - I know Elektronite gets into real money, but even still... making $5000 to program a game that takes a person 3 months of fulltime work to create is basically minimum wage. Maybe I'm just slow at this :D

 

Also to the next poster that I forgot to multiquote: limited demos are possible with every single game, even Atari and Intellivsion stuff that are basically one level. There are ways to make them time-limited, or remove features, or pretty much anything. Enough to give you a taste of what the game is like, but not let you "play for free" forever. It just takes some forethought on the part of the programmer. Most people don't bother because the market is just so small. Plus with Youtube videos, most people are happy with the sense of how a game plays. The only thing you miss out on is the responsiveness of the controls.
 



#131 DZ-Jay ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:06 AM

 

Nailed it in one. We (some of us, anyway) could easily do homebrew for $25 a cart if sales got into the thousands. You still make nothing as a programmer - I know Elektronite gets into real money, but even still... making $5000 to program a game that takes a person 3 months of fulltime work to create is basically minimum wage. Maybe I'm just slow at this :D

 

Also to the next poster that I forgot to multiquote: limited demos are possible with every single game, even Atari and Intellivsion stuff that are basically one level. There are ways to make them time-limited, or remove features, or pretty much anything. Enough to give you a taste of what the game is like, but not let you "play for free" forever. It just takes some forethought on the part of the programmer. Most people don't bother because the market is just so small. Plus with Youtube videos, most people are happy with the sense of how a game plays. The only thing you miss out on is the responsiveness of the controls.
 

 

*I can't think of a way to make a ROM time-limited. :\

 

I guess that if you release a demo in cartridge, you could employ some fancy counter in Flash-Memory to keep track of how many times the game has been played, but that seems like an extravagant expense for a mere demo, whose intention is to be released for free to drum up excitement for the full release.

 

      -dZ.

 

 

* I guess you could package it with a custom build of the emulator that has some DRM built-in, but... it seems like it would be much more effort than its worth.


Edited by DZ-Jay, Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:07 AM.


#132 Rev OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:17 AM

Do it Inspector Gadget style: This ROM will self destruct in 6 weeks.

#133 DZ-Jay ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:20 AM

Do it Inspector Gadget style: This ROM will self destruct in 6 weeks.

 

LOL! Sure, but... how do you train your Master Component to know the date?



#134 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:21 AM

Demos can be a fully playable ROM but with say level 2 disabled, or in the event of endless score attacks, a game over when you reach some low threshhold. However most Atari games are so strapped for resources that it may be difficult to add in code to artificially limit gameplay. Then some programmers take the public beta approach, building up interest in the forums with fans eagerly awaiting each revision, and practical guarantee people will be lined up to purchase the game when it hits the AA store. Often the final draft has some option or feature not available in the early builds...

 

Then some games get orphaned, unfinished and stuck in limbo, or are practically done but still awaiting a store release. Without playable betas, these would have simply been vaporware, like homebrew prototypes.


Edited by stardust4ever, Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:22 AM.


#135 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:29 AM

LOL! Sure, but... how do you train your Master Component to know the date?

How about acid based time bombs? :)



#136 freewheel OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:37 AM

 

*I can't think of a way to make a ROM time-limited. :\

 

I guess that if you release a demo in cartridge, you could employ some fancy counter in Flash-Memory to keep track of how many times the game has been played, but that seems like an extravagant expense for a mere demo, whose intention is to be released for free to drum up excitement for the full release.

 

Time limited in the sense of time per game. Take Astrosmash - just allow players to play for 30, 60, 120 seconds and then automatically go back to the title screen. Or a "if you like, buy!" screen. Or heck, just reset the system if you don't want to waste ROM space/cycles. They get a feel for the gameplay, and if they like it they'd want to buy it. I guess you'd lose sales to people who only ever play a game for 60 seconds....

 

I have timing code that takes up something like 100 bytes and uses very few cycles. Any game should be able to implement something like this trivially.

 

Yes it could be hacked around, but if you're honestly THAT concerned about evil pirates, you may be in the wrong line of work. :P There are maybe 5 people in this entire community with the skills, motivation, and time to do something like that.



#137 DZ-Jay ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:40 AM

Time limited in the sense of time per game. Take Astrosmash - just allow players to play for 30, 60, 120 seconds and then automatically go back to the title screen. Or a "if you like, buy!" screen. Or heck, just reset the system if you don't want to waste ROM space/cycles. They get a feel for the gameplay, and if they like it they'd want to buy it. I guess you'd lose sales to people who only ever play a game for 60 seconds....

 

Ah, gotcha!
 

Yes it could be hacked around, but if you're honestly THAT concerned about evil pirates, you may be in the wrong line of work. :P There are maybe 5 people in this entire community with the skills, motivation, and time to do something like that.


Yeah, that was my point: it's not worth the effort. :)



#138 pimpmaul69 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:40 PM

Do like divx dvds. As soon as you start playing the cart fills up with ink making it unplayable in 36 hrs. :)

#139 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:34 PM

Do like divx dvds. As soon as you start playing the cart fills up with ink making it unplayable in 36 hrs. :)

Easily done. Place a UV 370nm LED inside the cart exposing the EPROM window. It may take some time, but play the game long enough and it will succumb to bit rot, albeit slower than a mercury lamp! :evil:



#140 Crazy Climber OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:19 AM

man, I had an awesome post I was going to do but then I sneezed all over my smartphone amd lost my mojo...

#141 pimpmaul69 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:26 AM

man, I had an awesome post I was going to do but then I sneezed all over my smartphone amd lost my mojo...

lol

#142 Andrew Davie OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:58 AM

I never expected a ROM for this anyway.  We never saw a ROM release for the Atari 2600 homebrew version of Boulder Dash that came out last year, either in free or retail form, cause the publisher is still active and they would need to OK it.

 

This is true. Having negotiated long and hard (over about 5 years) with First Star Software for the rights to produce Boulder Dash™ on the '2600, my view is there is no way on Earth that they would allow a ROM release. I just can't in my wildest dreams see that happening, and so I'm *really* surprised to see this was planned for the Intellivision version. I would have put good money on it never happening.



#143 Games For Your Intellivision OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:47 AM

 

This is true. Having negotiated long and hard (over about 5 years) with First Star Software for the rights to produce Boulder Dash™ on the '2600, my view is there is no way on Earth that they would allow a ROM release. I just can't in my wildest dreams see that happening, and so I'm *really* surprised to see this was planned for the Intellivision version. I would have put good money on it never happening.

 

It was a done deal. However, I pulled the plug.

 

The Roms were to be protected with LTO Flash! and tied to individual cartridges.It would not be for use with emulators or other cartridges such as the Cuttle Cart 3.

 

For those who don't 'get' how it would have worked, the file would be encrypted and only work with the LTO FLash! unit it was purchased for. It would execute the same as an unprotected ROM. The ROM would appear as gibberish to anything but the LTO FLash! unit it was meant to work with.

 

It was this protection that allowed the deal to happen.

 

LTO FLash! has this ability. It does not mean (for those who are confused) that "DRM" is required to use an LTO Flash! cartridge. LTO Flash! will execute all ROMS that will work on a CC3. It will execute all Elektronite ROMS that specifically use JLP cartridges. This means games that take advantage of the flash ram in each cartridge such as Kroz.

 

I pulled the plug for the following reasons:

 

1. LTO Flash! is late.

2. There was enough whining about the ROM announcement that it gives me concern that I would lose money. Someone emailed First Star last year and said that they; "won't buy Boulder Dash CIB because they feel all ROMs, of a 'homebrew' title, on a 35 year old system, should be free". Fine. I agree. But, this ain't 'homebrew'. It is co-published by First Star and my company. Not 'licensed', co-published. Whether you think you are cutting me down a few pegs by calling it 'homebrew' doesn't make it so. It is a commercial product.

3. Despite the above seeming to be an idle threat, sales were soft enough that I do not wish to risk $$$ bringing a protected ROM out. There is a marked childish campaign against LTO Flash! because it supports protected ROMS. So be it, you got your wish. There will be no protected ROM of Boulder Dash® on LTO FLash! There will be no ROM at all.

 

And, for those who think that it is simply a matter of 'dumping' the cartridge ROM in order to distribute it....it ain't happening. The JLP cartridge is very well protected.



#144 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:55 AM

Interesting read. Thanks! 



#145 eebuckeye OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:00 AM

 

2. There was enough whining about the ROM announcement that it gives me concern that I would lose money. Someone emailed First Star last year and said that they; "won't buy Boulder Dash CIB because they feel all ROMs, of a 'homebrew' title, on a 35 year old system, should be free". Fine. I agree. But, this ain't 'homebrew'. It is co-published by First Star and my company. Not 'licensed', co-published. Whether you think you are cutting me down a few pegs by calling it 'homebrew' doesn't make it so. It is a commercial product.

 

This is ridiculous.. who would email First Star anyways?  I can't believe this actually happened!?!



#146 Rev OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:05 AM

 
This is ridiculous.. who would email First Star anyways?  I can't believe this actually happened!?!


What's weirder is First Star listened to one random persons email..... :-/

#147 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:06 AM

Someone emailed First Star last year and said that they; "won't buy Boulder Dash CIB because they feel all ROMs, of a 'homebrew' title, on a 35 year old system, should be free". Fine.


That is ridiculous. I don't understand why someone feels they should be entitled to someone else's work for "free" just because the work was created on an older system. Just because the work was done on an old system versus a newer platform doesn't invalidate the amount of work required. Nobody is going to get rich developing games for these old systems, but that doesn't mean that the person who wrote the game shouldn't get compensation if they feel they are entitled to it.

..Al

#148 Mord OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:24 AM

Inflation always get quoted when people complain about the cost of a game. Making games in this day and age is far easier than back then. Look at all the modern development tools and accumulated knowledge. Therefore the cost of development should be a fraction of what it was years ago.

 

Additionally, people that quote inflation prices always fail to inflate the types of salaries people made back in the day to show how much further their dollars were going. Someone making $30k/year back then were able to live a better lifestyle than those of us making that today as his inflated-adjusted salary would be close to 90k/year. (Using a Canadian Calculator for this as it's more relevant to me.)  I can assure you if I made 90k/year, even before income tax were deducted, I'd likely be buying up games and consoles like water from a faucet.

 

Another way to put it is that the guy making 30k/year these days would have been making the equivalent of about 10k/year in 1980. I doubt those guys would have been buying a heck of a lot of games either back then. ;)

 

 

Inflation talk is a pet peeve of mine, sorry. :D 



#149 JasonlikesINTV OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:59 AM

I wish I made 90k/yr :(

I'd buy sooo much stuff :)

#150 Lathe26 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:01 PM

... Someone emailed First Star last year and said that they; "won't buy Boulder Dash CIB because they feel all ROMs, of a 'homebrew' title, on a 35 year old system, should be free"...

 

That someone backstabbed the Intellivision community.






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