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HALO 2600 and Boulder Dash homebrews


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#1 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:00 AM

I think I asked this before.

 

Are both HALO 2600 and Boulder Dash considered homebrews or not? Boulder Dash came out in 2012, Halo 2600 in 2010

 

To tell you the truth I don't think they are, Ed Fries's from Microsoft, and First Star gave their permission to do Boulder Dash, so what's the deal?

 

And why is there no AA logo on the spine of Boulder Dash like all the other boxed AA games?

 

And, why didn't Nintendo co-operate with Princess Rescue, like First Star did with Boulder Dash. It would've put Nintendo in a positive light instead of being the villains.


Edited by high voltage, Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:18 AM.


#2 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:00 AM

Boulder Dash's status as a homebrew has been discussed numerous times at AtariAge. 



#3 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:01 AM

The lack of an AtariAge logo on the box spine doesn't mean anything at all.  We're not 100% consistent in that regard. 

 

 ..Al



#4 Arenafoot ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:01 PM

Halo 2600 is considered a "demake" homebrew.

 

https://www.smithson...-art-180949802/



#5 Nathan Strum OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:02 PM

The authors made those games because they wanted to, and weren't paid by any company to do so. Also, they weren't sold through retail channels. Therefore: homebrews.

 

There were quite a few discussions between Andrew, Thomas, Albert and I about the Boulder Dash box logos (I did the layout, using André Bolfing's artwork). Originally I had First Star logos on the spines (as on their Boing box), but it became cluttered. Eventually it was pared down to what's there now, simply because the consensus was that's what looked best. (I still have all of those e-mails and designs. It was a lonnnnnnng process.)

 

boing.jpg



#6 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:01 AM

The lack of an AtariAge logo on the box spine doesn't mean anything at all.  We're not 100% consistent in that regard. 

 

 ..Al

 

That doesn't quite bode well with my OCD though.


Edited by high voltage, Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:07 AM.


#7 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:02 AM

The authors made those games because they wanted to, and weren't paid by any company to do so. Also, they weren't sold through retail channels. Therefore: homebrews.

 

There were quite a few discussions between Andrew, Thomas, Albert and I about the Boulder Dash box logos (I did the layout, using André Bolfing's artwork). Originally I had First Star logos on the spines (as on their Boing box), but it became cluttered. Eventually it was pared down to what's there now, simply because the consensus was that's what looked best. (I still have all of those e-mails and designs. It was a lonnnnnnng process.)

 

attachicon.gifboing.jpg

 

Ah, thanks.

I read the manual (always do), nice background story too.


Edited by high voltage, Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:04 AM.


#8 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:14 AM

That doesn't quite bode well with my OCD though.

 

I can send you some stickers. 



#9 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:14 AM

Halo 2600 is considered a "demake" homebrew.

 

https://www.smithson...-art-180949802/

 

Great read thx



#10 sramirez2008 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:02 PM

The authors made those games because they wanted to, and weren't paid by any company to do so. 

 

 

Boulder dash is amazing effort that produced an amazing game for the 2600.  This was a personal holy grail and I was able to purchase a copy from an AA member last year.  

 

Extremely satisfied with my purchase. :thumbsup:

 

 

Halo 2600 looks great and plays well.  I love the intro screen and music.  I picked this up years ago and my boys and I spent the day drawing out a map and playing the game until each one of us beat it.   They still like to show off Halo 2600 to their friends at our game party's.



#11 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:30 PM

 I love both games.

I really play VCS BD more than the A8 version, which, of course, is the best 8-bit computer version. But the VCS version rocks (no pun intended)

And BD, almost 10 years in the making, the longest time ever for any game coding/release? Cool. 



#12 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:10 PM

Thanks for liking our game.

 

BTW: IMO the C64 version is the better one. ;)



#13 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:54 PM

I also like the C64 version a lot.

You based the VCS version on this, I know...grrrrr


Edited by high voltage, Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:55 PM.


#14 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:00 PM

 

I can send you some stickers. 

 

Hehe thanks, it's ok, I would know that I stuck them on afterwards. It's very tricky, this OCD....



#15 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:11 PM

 

I can send you some stickers. 

 

OMG, an official BD, with official stickers.  BattlesphereGold, look out! :-o



#16 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:28 PM

And, why didn't Nintendo co-operate with Princess Rescue, like First Star did with Boulder Dash. It would've put Nintendo in a positive light instead of being the villains.

With Nintendo IP, there is no asking permission. Just release your game and hope they don't catch wind of it. IGN did a review for Princess Rescue titled "Super Mario Bros 2600" which caused the game to briefly go viral on the internet before getting shut down, hitting Albert with a C&D from Nintendo's legal team in the process. As a result of the fallout, we'll probably never see tep's Donkey Kong 7800 port or any other dk or dkii ports in the AA store, though they do get sold through the forums.

Ed Fry's Halo 2600 was kind of a unique project considering he worked for Microsoft and had their blessing to make the game. It is a quite good take on the shooter concept flattened into 2D perspective. A bit of Berzerk meets Adventure.

#17 Sheddy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:36 AM

 
And BD, almost 10 years in the making, the longest time ever for any game coding/release? Cool. 


I feel better now. At least I'm in good company

#18 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:58 PM

With Nintendo IP, there is no asking permission. Just release your game and hope they don't catch wind of it. IGN did a review for Princess Rescue titled "Super Mario Bros 2600" which caused the game to briefly go viral on the internet before getting shut down, hitting Albert with a C&D from Nintendo's legal team in the process. As a result of the fallout, we'll probably never see tep's Donkey Kong 7800 port or any other dk or dkii ports in the AA store, though they do get sold through the forums.
 

I could've sold it in Germany, Nintendo can't touch me (low income, protected by law...etc)



#19 up2knowgood OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 1, 2018 10:19 AM

Technically all Homebrews as no one, including AtariAge makes a system for them. Just like how all non-Atari and later Coleco made games at the time where bootlegs, as the didn't have permission from Atari.

#20 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 1, 2018 10:25 AM

Technically all Homebrews as no one, including AtariAge makes a system for them. Just like how all non-Atari and later Coleco made games at the time where bootlegs, as the didn't have permission from Atari.

 

I don't agree with your definition here.  Just because a third-party makes games for a system without permission of the system's vendor does not make them "bootlegs".  Nor does that mean they are "homebrews".   

 

There is no hard and fast definition of what a homebrew means, but generally I would consider homebrew games those that are made by fans of the system and either self-published or published by another party.  Or not published at all, since many homebrew games don't see a physical release, but I'd still consider releasing a "final" version of the game electronically to be "publishing" at this point. 

 

Some homebrews can certainly be classified as "commercial" releases, after all, plenty of them are sold for various systems by real companies.  In many cases, homebrew games can be on-par or better than original releases on the system as far as the quality of the games is concerned (which extends to packaging as well in some cases).  

 

 ..Al



#21 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 1, 2018 11:22 AM

I think it was EG were I read that Atari tried to sue Activision, but lost.

Nintendo said (book: Game Over) any gaming company can make games for the NES

 

It's just like all records must work on any record player, not just RCA records only work on RCA turntables.



#22 up2knowgood OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 1, 2018 11:48 AM

 
I don't agree with your definition here.  Just because a third-party makes games for a system without permission of the system's vendor does not make them "bootlegs".  Nor does that mean they are "homebrews".   
 
There is no hard and fast definition of what a homebrew means, but generally I would consider homebrew games those that are made by fans of the system and either self-published or published by another party.  Or not published at all, since many homebrew games don't see a physical release, but I'd still consider releasing a "final" version of the game electronically to be "publishing" at this point. 
 
Some homebrews can certainly be classified as "commercial" releases, after all, plenty of them are sold for various systems by real companies.  In many cases, homebrew games can be on-par or better than original releases on the system as far as the quality of the games is concerned (which extends to packaging as well in some cases).  
 
 ..Al


And I argue that's my point. With no definition, that is no official and/or legal definition, it all depends upon your point of view. Legally, the only things that matter are trademarks and patents. Don't violate those, and you can do whatever you want.

#23 [d2f]Iggy*SJB OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 1, 2018 2:44 PM

And I argue that's my point. With no definition, that is no official and/or legal definition, it all depends upon your point of view. Legally, the only things that matter are trademarks and patents. Don't violate those, and you can do whatever you want.

 

However, the two games referenced in this thread were allowed by the copyright holders. In fact, Boulderdash was effectively licensed from First Star for this project, with signed contracts I do believe. I'd say that's an "official" release, no matter who coded it.

 

Halo2600 may have been a simple "verbal" go ahead, which technically makes it less clear.



#24 up2knowgood OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 1, 2018 5:27 PM

 

However, the two games referenced in this thread were allowed by the copyright holders. In fact, Boulderdash was effectively licensed from First Star for this project, with signed contracts I do believe. I'd say that's an "official" release, no matter who coded it.

 

Halo2600 may have been a simple "verbal" go ahead, which technically makes it less clear.

 

I think you all mistake my words here.  I'm not even suggesting they're illegal, far from it.  Bootleg might have negative connotations, but in electronics there's nothing illegal about them.  Creating, selling, buying, or using bootlegs is perfectly fine and legal.  Say you have a game app on your phone, but not one from the Play Store.  Then said app is a bootleg as Google didn't approve or support it, doesn't make it illegal despite what Google might think, its just one outside their catalog. 

 

Same for 2600, the games are bootlegs if Atari, Sears, or Coleco didn't release them, but that doesn't make them illegal in any way.  ...thought I must say I think Fire Fly is pretty criminally bad.    Don't read 'bootleg' as 'counterfeit.'  Though some companies use them interchangeably, they're very different. 



#25 [d2f]Iggy*SJB OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 2, 2018 2:56 PM

 

I think you all mistake my words here.  I'm not even suggesting they're illegal, far from it.  Bootleg might have negative connotations, but in electronics there's nothing illegal about them.  Creating, selling, buying, or using bootlegs is perfectly fine and legal.  Say you have a game app on your phone, but not one from the Play Store.  Then said app is a bootleg as Google didn't approve or support it, doesn't make it illegal despite what Google might think, its just one outside their catalog. 

 

Same for 2600, the games are bootlegs if Atari, Sears, or Coleco didn't release them, but that doesn't make them illegal in any way.  ...thought I must say I think Fire Fly is pretty criminally bad.    Don't read 'bootleg' as 'counterfeit.'  Though some companies use them interchangeably, they're very different. 

 

By your definition(and no one said "illegal") Activision games are "bootlegs".

 

The point I was trying to make is that First Star Software endorsed Boulderdash for the 2600, thus making it an "official" release even though no one on their staff coded it. Halo2600 was coded with, I'm guessing, a "gentleman's agreement", as I never heard of there being an actual contract signed(correct me on that if I'm wrong). Of course, it's not like a game released for the 2600 is going to cut into sales of modern games.

 

Homebrews, in my mind, are games created by independent coders, who don't do that sort of thing for a living. Yes, Boulderdash was a labor of love, just like other homebrews. The difference was the contract between the coders and First Star Software(the copyright holders).

 

Except for Nintendo, I haven't heard of any C&Ds being issued over Atari console homebrews. So, we can reason that other copyright holders don't feel it's worth the time or money to take legal actions for games on this level.






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