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Member Since 7 Dec 2010
OFFLINE Last Active Jun 2 2017 5:54 PM

#3769411 Coleco strong-arming homebrew publishers and fan sites

Posted by bmcnett on Thu May 25, 2017 1:59 PM

I think River West Brands understands everything. They want to sell/license a million cheap units with the Coleco name on it to a million people who also don't care much about Coleco. They need to establish ownership of the brand which might be a little iffy right now. To do that they need to do what they are doing. If they alienate a few hundred (or more) fans it does not matter to them.

Edit: The only thing they might not understand is where/how they are going to get Colecovision content/games?


Actual Colecovision compatibility is a technical liability if your goal is to make and sell microgames to a mass market.


The cheapest hardware worth mass producing in 2017 is somewhere between PS2 and PS3 in terms of capability,

and it is far, far easier to pump out Coleco-era-looking games that target this actual hardware,

because there is no need to fit everything into Colecovision's extreme technical limitations:


no scrolling background

32 16x16 pixel sprites with 1 color each, only 4 per scanline

16 total colors

2 colors per 8x1 background pixels


Z80 ASM is the only programming language


There is no mass market business value in producing Colecovision games in 2017, because the cost of dealing with the above limitations vastly exceeds whatever profit could be recouped.


So anyone who wants to make big money from the Coleco name these days, wouldn't be interested in Colecovision games per se.

They'd be more interested in a fantasy platform like pico-8 that provided the same nostalgia feel, but which didn't have expensive technical limitations.

#3766397 Coleco strong-arming homebrew publishers and fan sites

Posted by bmcnett on Sun May 21, 2017 1:14 PM

You know what's lewd, guys?

When you're playing Smurf Rescue and you deliberately retreat from the final screen, knowing that it will cause Smurfette's dress to disappear for a few video frames.

#3766258 Coleco strong-arming homebrew publishers and fan sites

Posted by bmcnett on Sun May 21, 2017 9:16 AM


While I agree, there isn't a lot of money to be made from the homebrewers, but if you work on getting them out of the picture, and getting a fan site out of the picture that has almost five times the amount of followers that your corporate page has, then you win back a bit more "control" AND you can focus on where the spending from retro gaming fans goes.  Or at least maybe this is the thought process by Coleco Holdings LLC?


Coleco Holdings LLC have made it pretty clear they are releasing some new products this year.  New mini-arcades, new ColecoVision games, possibly even a new system, right?  


And here we are a fan site, and we are featuring Opcode's games, CollectorVision's games, AtariAge's games and more to our 25,000+ people who have chosen to like our page.  But what if we weren't around anymore?  When you search "Coleco" or "ColecoVision" on Facebook, our page is the first result to appear. The official Coleco site is 2nd.  Maybe the end goal for them is to push the fan sites and the homebrewers a little more out of the way by making it difficult for them to produce their games, so that more focus, and thus more money would be spent going directly to Coleco Holdings LLC.?



Your theory makes more sense now that you've gone into more detail. This does assume that Coleco has a poor understanding of the retro computing scene, which is possible.


Historically, a commercial platform holder's ability to control brand perception flows from their power to block distribution of games.

Colecovision was the last major game platform to implement no hardware controls to lock out unauthorized games, and this is cited as one of the reasons it eventually failed.


The pico8 homebrew platform holder manages to block distribution of lewd / infringing games without hardware controls,

but he does this by maintaining the free BBS and free game download system that are convenient for people to use.


If Coleco is a homebrew platform (it is right now) it would probably have to work more like the pico8 model, since there's no money involved.

#3766042 Coleco strong-arming homebrew publishers and fan sites

Posted by bmcnett on Sat May 20, 2017 9:36 PM

"Strong arm the community into making you more money"


this, I don't buy. the kind of money thrown around on coleco homebrew, as i understand it, amounts to probably a few grand a year, total? i have no idea really, but this seems like a reasonable first guess.

so an attempt to horn in on that money would net you what, a few hundred a year tops?


it just doesn't make sense to me that this is a move to squeeze money from the homebrewers - unless the scale of their operation is much, much larger than it appears to an outsider like me.

#3765625 Coleco strong-arming homebrew publishers and fan sites

Posted by bmcnett on Sat May 20, 2017 10:56 AM

Heh, I didn't know it had sold this well.


#3765377 Coleco strong-arming homebrew publishers and fan sites

Posted by bmcnett on Fri May 19, 2017 10:51 PM

Hello all,


Ok so here's my view from 30,000 feet. In 2016, Nintendo's "NES Classic Edition" console was a smashing success and sold out everywhere. One of its pack-in titles is "Donkey Kong."




This fact can't be lost on the person who currently owns the rights to Colecovision - the favored game console immediately before the original NES, which had the *exact same* "Donkey Kong" pack-in title.


If I were them, I'd be thinking about attracting investors to a "Colecovision Classic Edition" product, but first I'd want to ensure that when people search for "Colecovision" on Facebook and Google, nothing sketchy appears.


The crucial flaw with any such plan is that the vast majority of nostalgia-inducing Colecovision titles have always belonged to third parties, and never to the owner of the Coleco brand.


Sega and Nintendo own the rights to most of those games, and would likely not participate in anything Coleco-related ever again.


Anyway, this is what I think is going on here. I don't get the impression that the "homebrew community" is of any concern to the rights-holder particularly, other than it should not get in the way of business.


Who am I? My dad was an Art Director at Coleco during the Colecovision and ADAM years, and I am a game industry veteran with dozens of credits on AAA titles.



#2206888 New Star Raiders

Posted by bmcnett on Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:41 PM

This was announced a while back. Here's an article about it.

From the linked article:

We also wanted to give this version a bit more character by building a story arc for the player.

Hoo boy, that's what I loved about the original Star Raiders - the story and characters. Who can forget Doc, Zippy the Robot and Mr. Zweebo? Those catch phrases were classic. "Now that's what I call hyperspace!" "What you talking about, Zippy?"

I want "Pong II" starring Shia Labeouf as the scrappy protege of "Paddle," who returns in a supporting role.

#2201805 What do your friends say about your classic game collection?

Posted by bmcnett on Fri Feb 4, 2011 7:09 PM

a ten-year-old niece saw me playing 7800 donkey kong and scowled. "why would anyone play an old game like that?" she asked me. what a n00b!

#2194475 My thoughts regarding recent suspensions

Posted by bmcnett on Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:03 PM

Question is OldSchool....Can turtles play Atari (i thought they were more Nes fans, since their first game appeared on that format)

Let's call GameStop and ask if they have Battletoads for Atari 800.

#2194322 My thoughts regarding recent suspensions

Posted by bmcnett on Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:04 PM

IMO the ban is good. This is the Internet, if he wants back he can just make a new account anytime. I don't think anyone would mind if he did, as long as the new persona isn't a dick like the old one. It's not like there's money or property at stake.

Also, look I've known this guy since 1990, and lessons like this are a rare treat for him. He was a clever kid, so people cut him slack for being stubborn and petty. But we aren't kids anymore, and sometimes clever isn't good enough, so tough noogies.

#2193456 Opinion of the 7800 vs 8bit

Posted by bmcnett on Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:13 PM

I guess this means the Envious Snake Club roster is forever set in stone!

This is catalyzing into a "Metal Gear Solid" spinoff.

Ten years ago, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The Envious Snakes.

#2192650 Opinion of the 7800 vs 8bit

Posted by bmcnett on Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:56 PM

You are an envious snake... internal state of hatred, emotional bias... I have no time to deal with envious snakes... you and the other snakes... Envious snake is worse than an idiot...

This thread is now about the terminology of New Religious Movements. ISKCON can be opaque to the Western observer because much of it takes place in the context of Indian tradition, and it can be difficult to determine if an idea comes from ISKCON or the Indian culture at large. For example, references to "skunks" in this forum seem to derive from a Bengali proverb and are not religious per se.

From my ongoing (limited!) research, it seems now that "envious snake" in ISKCON is roughly equivalent to "Suppressive Person" in the Church of Scientology (link). That is to say, someone whose only intention is to disrupt and destroy, and therefore must be destroyed. When the charismatic leaders of both organizations passed away, those who did not accept the transfer of power were branded such and punished.

For an introduction to ISKCON, The Church of Scientology, and other New Religious Movements, I recommend Steve Hassan's "Freedom of Mind Center" (link) which though shallow has quite a breadth of useful information.

#2179753 contemporary game programmer seeks a8 advice

Posted by bmcnett on Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:15 PM

Where I worked for some time, they used APIs for all those systems and more. Here's one link I just saw on APIs for gameboy:

Really? Where did you work on games for both Game Boy and Playstation 3? That's quite a long career you had making games. Can you tell us the name of a game you shipped?

My Game Boy publisher (Acclaim) never shipped a GB or GBC game that called an API... because Nintendo never provided an API for those platforms, which also have no OS and are more primitive than A8 in many ways. PS3's SPU has (almost) no API either. In practice its "API calls" are skinny wrappers on hardware DMA registers.

#2179586 contemporary game programmer seeks a8 advice

Posted by bmcnett on Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:47 PM

gameboy is pretty much like coding any 8-bit...

Actually A8 looks like a really sweet platform compared to GB. GB had only four shades of gray at 160x160, 8KB of RAM, no persistent storage, and no pixel-addressable display modes. There's no OS or IO controller, so for peripherals like printer and infrared, you need cycle-accurate Z80 code to match the IO port frequencies! :)

Since we're talking about making games, and there seems to be some confusion about the terminology of making games (?) I'll explain just in case somebody misunderstood: To "ship" a game means to have worked on the game until it's done, and then for the game to be assigned a SKU and sold at a game retailer. It's possible to work in the games industry for years, and due to circumstances never ship a game.

#2177393 Digital Joysticks provide better control than Analog Joysticks

Posted by bmcnett on Fri Jan 7, 2011 4:45 PM

it's not a nostalgia forum... Some people love their Ataris and their games.

Yeah that doesn't demonstrate sincerity or clear understanding. The primary motivation for nearly everyone who comes here is to relive warm feelings of nostalgia for a beloved old computer. I'm no different - I owned an 800XL for years and loved it to death. Nowadays, I run my favorite old games in emulators sometimes. I'm not hardcore like some people, but there's room here for everyone.

I came to visit atariage.com for... about five years? before realizing that you were even here. I don't even remember you talking about Atari years ago, but I guess you've been at it all these years.

What's highly in suspense is WHAT IS YOUR motivation for continuing to try to mock people's philosophy and character of others with your fictional tales. Don't impose your misunderstandings on others.

You keep generalizing as if there were two groups of people here, when in fact there are three:

1. THE VAST MAJORITY - wishes this whole thread would vanish into a black hole, along with all memories it ever existed
2. A HALF DOZEN GRUMPY OLD MEN - taking a rhetorical bat to atariksi's pinata
3. ATARIKSI - attempting the troll to end all trolls, all by his lonesome

To be frank, your beliefs are fascinating to me but I don't care all that much about them. I think they're a useful prism for attempting to make sense of your outlandish words, and that's it.