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Just Sell Me the Homebrew ROM with PDF Manual

  

59 members have voted

  1. 1. If you were to buy a homebrew ROM, you would play it...

    • on multicart
      20
    • in emulation
      10
    • both
      29


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This comes up periodically, and I'd like to give people an option to buy a digital version of a game if they aren't interested in a physical copy, but still want to support the homebrewing scene. I will be exploring this when I move the AtariAge Store to completely new software early next year.

 

..Al

Albert, if we buy the digital ROM for a game, will you credit that towards the purchase price of a Cart or CIB of said game?

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I guess I understand the "grab bag" appeal of Indiebox (I subscribed to the Humble Bundle monthly deal) but your description of all that other swag leaves me completely cold. I used to think Happy Meal toys could be charming, too. A monthly trip to McDonalds will give you enough landfill fodder to change that perspective.

 

 

The thing about IndieBox is the game I received this month and the game I will receive next month are $16.99 each in the Steam store.

 

One thing to bear in mind with Loot Crate and Indie Box, you may be getting a killer deal on the sticker price of the contents, but you are signing up for a subscription service and literally have no control over the items they ship you. You get a game or some collectible "loot" every month, and sure it's neat, but ask yourself if it's something you wanted or would have bought anyway.

 

I may like platforming games or SHMUPs but have little interest in fighting games for instance. I collect Amiibo but could care less about Star Wars figurines. So by signing up for a service like Loot Crate or Indie Box, I would be paying for at least a few things I essentially don't want. So the value really isn't there for me.

 

And I'm sure you can't simply decide every month whether or not you want to buy the item they have on offer. Subscriptions don't work that way.

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Subscriptions sure don't work that way. When the "limited edition" stuff sells out, it becomes hard to find. Also, as I mentioned, I had trouble getting Loot Crate to cancel my subscription (hopefully they've fixed this).

 

On the flip side, surprises are nice, prices are reasonable, and getting stuff in the mail is fun.

 

Maybe AtariAge could consider adding ROMs as a subscriber perk. Albert?

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The people developing top tier homebrew are mostly career software developers. As a software developer piracy is a very real spectre. I don't think restriction free ROMs are going to fly.

 

As a hobbyist developer just getting attention - negative or positive - is a real issue. I've had digital downloads available for quite some time.

 

If you want this business model to work visit places like itch.io and buy games. Doesn't have to be mine (which are pay what you want).

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I guess I understand the "grab bag" appeal of Indiebox (I subscribed to the Humble Bundle monthly deal) but your description of all that other swag leaves me completely cold. I used to think Happy Meal toys could be charming, too. A monthly trip to McDonalds will give you enough landfill fodder to change that perspective.

 

Perhaps I have too much kid crap around the house to tolerate similar stuff for myself. I've burned all our CDs to digital and stowed the disks. As a parent, I'm pretty stickered out. A plastic statuette? Um, not for me, though I have some pals obsessed with Amiibos, which seems like the same kind of thing. I wouldn't mind a Steam key for Axiom Verge, even though I know I won't get around to playing it anytime until 2016. :-)

 

I'd be curious how long your "dick swinging" phase with them lasts. Your enthusiasm has also inspired me to look at the two unopened Loot Crate boxes I have from last year. It took them 2 extra months to get around to cancelling that box service after I signed up to get their Star Wars box.

 

Yeah, I'm a grump. Bah, humbug!

 

I know you're cutting down on all your stuff, so you not caring is totally understandable. For the general collector, I think it works. Reason it works for me is because unlike most people here, I don't have many cardboard boxed games from older gens. I can actually get some this way without buying up the same old shit from the past. Plus, I don't like toys, sci-fi, and the sci-fi and toy shirts they inspire in other crate services, so IndieBox is the only one that works for me. If I was paying a premium for the boxed game, I could see it being a waste, but subscribers really aren't.

 

I'm a grump too, why else do you think a $20 boxed SE type numbered physical game is attractive to me, plus I get to do the crate service deal like all the other cool kids. I'm obviously cheap as fuck! It's the only way I'd think this stuff is worth the money. It allows me to experience a real, new, sealed retro/indie style game once a month. I'm not a toy/figure/collectible guy at all. I absolutely prefer to have a real boxed DRM-free SE copy of Axiom Verge or any other GOOD indie game for $19.99 compared to $16.99 for the Steam version alone. And I'm also lazy. I am glad to receive a well reviewed game and not have to research too much.

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One thing to bear in mind with Loot Crate and Indie Box, you may be getting a killer deal on the sticker price of the contents, but you are signing up for a subscription service and literally have no control over the items they ship you. You get a game or some collectible "loot" every month, and sure it's neat, but ask yourself if it's something you wanted or would have bought anyway.

 

I may like platforming games or SHMUPs but have little interest in fighting games for instance. I collect Amiibo but could care less about Star Wars figurines. So by signing up for a service like Loot Crate or Indie Box, I would be paying for at least a few things I essentially don't want. So the value really isn't there for me.

 

And I'm sure you can't simply decide every month whether or not you want to buy the item they have on offer. Subscriptions don't work that way.

 

Actually, yes, with IndieBox you can subscribe monthly and they announce the game beforehand so you know the game you get, you just don't know the additional goodies. I subscribed for 6 months to get a bit of a discount, I like their service and I am not worried about getting 1 or 2 games a year I'm not interested in - as a matter of fact, I'm in this to try new things outside of my comfort zone as well.

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In the meantime, you can always arrange with the authors to slip them a few bucks via Paypal after you've downloaded the ROM, given most homebrews are available for free anyway. I've even seen some manual PDF's floating around, and some polite questions to the right people might score you a few more.

 

This is a concern of mine if homebrews start being sold digitally--there may be less free ones to go around. I think "piracy" will start becoming more of a talked about issue with homebrews as well. I suppose developers have the right to do what they want with the games they created, but I wonder if selling them digitally will lead to less people actually playing their games, or more. Maybe if it was standard to have a donation link set up for each dev, this wouldn't be necessary and people would pitch in on their own.

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I believe I have seen some custome ROMs that were distributed with identifying information, i.e., "registered to Brett Horror, please do not distribute" in the title screen. Would watermarking like that be enough to discourage casual piracy, or is it too easily defeated?

 

That would be enough to keep me from sharing stuff against the wishes of the publisher.

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I believe I have seen some custome ROMs that were distributed with identifying information, i.e., "registered to Brett Horror, please do not distribute" in the title screen. Would watermarking like that be enough to discourage casual piracy, or is it too easily defeated?

 

That would be enough to keep me from sharing stuff against the wishes of the publisher.

I have a copy of Starkeeper Gift Edition, an NES game by 87Arts, with my screenname embedded in the ROM. Another way homebrewers are thwarting piracy, at least on NES, is by using custom mappers that aren't compatible with most flash carts or popular emulators. These homebrew mappers require custom builds of FCEU and anyone with a cart dumper can't dump the game without intimate knowledge of the mapper.

 

Anyone with a hex editor app and casual familiarity with using it can defeat that.

Just erasing the title screen isn't enough. There could be a hex code or something buried elsewhere in the ROM, like a number or unique customer identifier. It would require buying at least two copies to remove such a watermark.

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This reminds me, amusingly, about Furrtek, who sold some carts of his first Game Boy game "Super Connard" (Super Asshole). He did an interesting thing : he kept the ROM until someone successfully dumped AND cracked the game to work on emulators, at which point he released the ROM. (for which you still need to crack it to get it to work on an emulator, but heh. The game live up to his name).

 

hqdefault.jpg

(yep, actual PCB)

 

Emulation, doesn't like it :

airaki-fuck-you.png

(actually this is his second game, Airaki, but you get the idea)

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I am not in favor of any type of DRM for homebrew games. It will ultimately get defeated. If Adobe and Microsoft can't protect their work what chance does the homebrew community have? If anything, continue to make the ROM publicly available and have a "Donate" button for those of us who just want the ROM but wish to contribute to the author. Most games in the AtariAge store already have the binaries publicly available anyway and Albert seems to be busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest so is piracy really an issue?

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This reminds me, amusingly, about Furrtek, who sold some carts of his first Game Boy game "Super Connard" (Super Asshole). He did an interesting thing : he kept the ROM until someone successfully dumped AND cracked the game to work on emulators, at which point he released the ROM. (for which you still need to crack it to get it to work on an emulator, but heh. The game live up to his name).

 

hqdefault.jpg

(yep, actual PCB)

 

Emulation, doesn't like it :

airaki-fuck-you.png

(actually this is his second game, Airaki, but you get the idea)

Nothing a Retrode and a Game Boy adapter can't cure! I kid, I kid! :lol:

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I'll go with the "Just sell me the ROM & PDF" crowd too.. I love CIB releases and all but I can't always afford them. Cart only and Rom, etc. are worthwhile options to consider. I hope to see more homebrew ROM releases in the future since I use a flashcarts, they never usually leave the cartridge port. It saves wear and tear, plus its convenient. :-)

Edited by SiLic0ne t0aD85
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There's DRM, well, anti-flash code in a couple of Vectrex homebrews that I'm aware of, to stop people running the code on VecFlash, VecMulti etc. It does work, I've tested it out. Just glad that I have the unprotected ROMs to use heh. But I'm sure someone could crack it if they looked closely enough at the code, but no one has yet, because the ROMs haven't even been made publicly available by anyone.

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I think devs should do something like a crowd funding campaign before anything is released. Something like if the goal is reached it gets a released ROM with a stretch goal of making the game completely open sourced. People that choose the lower prices are just paying to get it released but higher prices pay for the limited numbered carts, standard carts, autographed carts, CIB, posters, T-shirts, etc. So, the dev gets most of the money they would if they done it the usual way but all at once, gamers get what they want, collectors get what they want, and later if anyone missed out on the campaign they still have access to the ROM and/or buying the standard cart still remains an option.

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an option I think would work with this is that if developer sells a demo of the game like just basic level in Rom form and if the buyer likes it he could option for the full rom or the cart.

I did that with laserman 88, even though the basic version rom was free and only had full game in cart.

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My problem is I don't have a real computer, only an iPad, so downloading Roms is not an option. If I had a computer, I am prolly not savy enough to figure it all out. Physical copies with box and manuals will forever get my money when released!

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My problem is I don't have a real computer, only an iPad, so downloading Roms is not an option. If I had a computer, I am prolly not savy enough to figure it all out. Physical copies with box and manuals will forever get my money when released!

Get a flash cart and put the ROMs on it. Just sayin'. ;-)

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How many of you are with me on this? I don't need a CIB for homebrew releases. The box and manual just go up on a shelf collecting dust. While the presentation looks impressive, for some like me it's not practical in this day and age of SD multicarts.

 

Give us the option of buying the ROM with a PDF of the manual for like $10. Let's stop making the printers and USPS rich with only offering CIB for homebrew releases.

 

I buy the games to play first and foremost.

Boy you said it. I'm quite set on playing on emulators/multi carts with an X-arcade for my gamepad of choice. Its the perfect combo. Was lucky enough to grab both DK2Arcade and Ms Pacman both digital (with sexy pdfs.) for Intelivision. Thats when I sort of realized the box and manual aren't all that, theyre nice but rom+pdf is perfect to me. Ofcourse sometimes I don't mind buying physical for stuff like the SGM, and even if I had buyers remorse about a few games on various systems I'm sure i could sell them for atleast what I payed for them. But yeah I'm the same - a few days after i have the box and manual for a game they sort of just get in the way and all I really care about are the games themselves.

Edited by PhoenixMoonPatrol

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Get a flash cart and put the ROMs on it. Just sayin'. ;-)

 

As far as I know, you can't put ROMs on a flash cart from an iPad...

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As far as I know, you can't put ROMs on a flash cart from an iPad...

You could with Windows ARM and a USB flash adapter. Not sure why you'd want the gimped Windows tablet edition though.

 

This app lets you download files directly to your iPad and send them to external devices or play them locally.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/downloads-lite-for-ipad-download/id383846063?mt=8

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