Jump to content

DanOliver's Photo


Member Since 18 May 2013
OFFLINE Last Active Aug 3 2018 3:37 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Designing a cartridge that supports 100% C/C++ game development

Sun Jun 4, 2017 11:27 AM

Problem with open-sourcing the designs is people will bootleg the games. Krikzz has a very big problem with counterfeit Chinese Everdrives on eBay. He releases a firmware update then fans cry foul when they attempt to flash the bootleg copies and it bricks the device. Fortunately for all intents the Atari never existed in the far East so stuff like the Harmony/Melody boards have fallen under the radar. Same with AtariMax and others. Guys devolping these hardware devices did so at great expense and from their own pockets, so it is reasonable they expect to profit a little bit from them, and unreasonable that Dan wants to create his own supply. Dan Oliver will have to reinvent the wheel to some extent if he intends to develop a competing product, or agree to license terms if he uses Melody.


Outright cloning the Harmony design would be a dick move IMO but nothing stopping him or anyone else. There is no data encryption in the design. A cloned duplicate could easily be fabricated by cracking open a game, determining the bill of materials, and using a multimeter to trace the PCB, then using a software to reconstruct the layout. Then it's a matter of dumping and flashing the game + BIOS.


@Dan, if I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to produce a working game prototype (just a ROM developed using Harmony/Stella would be acceptible, or upload a gameplay video if you don't want it stolen) to prove yourself as a developer, then hardware people like Albert, CPUWIZ, Batari, et al might be more receptive to work with you. Do not attempt to "bootleg" the Melody. AtariAge is 90% of your market so you cannot risk a community boycott on your games.

Wow, I'm a bootlegger now. I guess it doesn't matter that I said ripping off Melody isn't a viable option, that a large part of the community would likely boycott (pretty sure I used the same words as you...but I 'm a bootlegger. More fun to read just the parts.


To prove myself as a developer...an interesting idea. I should consider that. Yes, and then the owners of Melody might consider working with me. Great advice if I were a veal calf.


Please excuse me from this discussion.

In Topic: Designing a cartridge that supports 100% C/C++ game development

Sat Jun 3, 2017 6:42 AM

My goodness. The very last thing I would ever try is to convince anyone is that such things are possible. I don't know why anyone would have the need to try and convince me that such things are impossible. I do understand why people would try and convince themselves.


But, just looking at the ballpark numbers...


Cost of cart, box, manual say $10.

Sales price of game $75.

Profit $65

Units sold: 150

Gross profit $9750

Development time: 6 weeks

8 games released per year gross profit: $78,000


Now, yes, anyone can shred those estimates, please, enjoy yourself. Certainly the entire amount wouldn't be collected in 365 days since sales of the last couple of games would spread into the following year. And people can debate whether that's enough money for a person to live on. And I've certainly read long debates here on whether a game could be sold for $75, but a $25 game in 1980 adjusted for inflation is about $75.


Having another person create the cart, box, manual and sells channel would of course reduce the gross profit to $6-12k and yeah, that's not a reasonable income. So yeah, that type of business model isn't very interesting. That's true for most products.


Can any of these hypothetical games be ported to HTML5 or Facebook to leverage the design cost? I see no reason why not. But of course if a person doesn't think it's possible then well, yeah, it certainly wouldn't be possible.


Any of this guaranteed? Let's not be completely silly.

In Topic: Designing a cartridge that supports 100% C/C++ game development

Fri Jun 2, 2017 7:30 PM


I know games are big business, I beg to differ though, in terms of considering a 2600 game an "income" of any significance.  I have programmed professional games all my life, one of the latest ones I worked on, you may have seen on TV.

That's nice.


I disagree with any premise that implies a game designed for the 2600 can't also be implemented on other platforms and earn a very good income. I get it's not common, but that doesn't mean it can't happen. Especially today with so many web based game publishers.

In Topic: Designing a cartridge that supports 100% C/C++ game development

Fri Jun 2, 2017 7:12 PM


You don't need much to live on, I guess. :-o

Assuming the emoji is suppose to mean the statement is sarcastic...


Creating a game for the 2600 assumes, I assume, that the only cash would come from the 2600. I'd be surprised if there's a single professional game designer in the world who would design any game for a single platform, or not have in mind possible web site promotion, licensing, books, movies, etc... Games are a big business. It doesn't really take that much additional effort to design a game with those possibilities in mind.


I get most are very skeptical of such things. That's what makes it interesting.

In Topic: Designing a cartridge that supports 100% C/C++ game development

Fri Jun 2, 2017 6:51 PM

  • Do you want to professionally create and sell Atari 2600 games as your main paid occupation?



  • What would be the fundamental differences between the games you sell as professional products, as opposed to those produced and sold as homebrew games?


Mine would be be produced professionally.


A person who produces a game with the intent to sell it as their main paid occupation and wants to call what they do as homebrew is of course within their right. It's not what the term means, but like I said, making up meanings to words is all the rage. Pretty much everyone does it. It seems a partially favorite pastime online when trolling.