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Team Pixelboy News Bulletin - June 26th 2016

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Hello ColecoVisioneers! :D

Welcome to another Team Pixelboy News Bulletin, which contains lots of cool news!


THE BUDGET SERIES

The pre-order period for the special series of Team Pixelboy budget games is now over, and I'm very pleased to report that 146 people have ordered a total of 1618 games! All the initial payments sent to our friend Oscar have allowed us to collect a total of over 14,500$US which will go towards the medical bills of his wife and newborn daughter. And since Oscar was in charge of porting several of the budget games from the MSX to the ColecoVision, he will receive additional money for his work later, which is being donated to him by the original authors of the MSX games. Many thanks to all the MSX homebrewers who donated their creations to this special fundraiser!

I must say I'm totally amazed that I managed to gather pre-orders for over 1600 game cartridges in under 6 short weeks. I honestly wasn't even expecting to pass the 1000 games milestone. The generosity of this community is astounding, and I thank you all for making this fundraiser a smashing success! I'm sure Oscar will step in further down in this thread to voice his gratitude. :D

Now the truly arduous part begins for me. I've barely begun working on the box templates of the budget series, and I must admit that I've been procrastinating lately, mostly because my new job and the constant stream of e-mails to send and reply to (recording pre-orders, managing payment plans, sending payment reminders, communicating with game authors and beta-testers, etc.) has been frankly taking up all my energies and I'm a bit tired at the moment. And it doesn't help that the weather is rather hot and humid in Montreal right now... Heck, I spent most of today just writing this News Bulletin. :)

Having 1600+ complete-in-box games to prepare is a gigantic task for a single individual like me. It would have been somewhat manageable if I didn't have a job, but I do have a job now, and I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to get all this done without making people wait a very long time for their games. My main personal tasks are preparing the box templates, preparing the manual templates, preparing the cart label templates, and assembling the cartridges once I receive the PCBs, casings and labels. Preparing the box/manual/label templates isn't too much of a problem, but assembling that many cartridges will definately be a big undertaking, because I like to test every cart on my ColecoVision before applying the label, just to make sure each one works properly, and this is rather time-consuming.

I would have liked to get everything done and shipped in one single push, which would have been the best option for saving money on shipping fees, but that's impossible to do with 1600+ games. Since several of the games aren't ready yet (more details on that further down this post) I'm thinking of separating the releases in two or three waves, but those who told me that they want all the games shipped together in a single box will likely be waiting a while. We're talking down-to-earth logistics here, there's not a lot I can do about it, except getting things done as quickly as I humanly can.

But one thing is clear: People have paid for these budget games (or they will pay for them over the next couple of months via their payment plans) and since my free time is limited, I need to prioritize things accordingly. This means that the next group of "regular" Team Pixelboy titles (which is supposed to come out this Christmas) is now on hold until the production and shipping of all the budget games has been taken care of. This may very well take me all year, although I really hope to get it all done faster than that. The budget games are already a big project to tackle, and I can't afford to spread my attention over too many projects. So to those who are waiting for their copies of Ghostbusters, Children of the Night, Wizard of Wor, etc., I can only say I'm sorry that you may have to wait until well into 2017 to get them.


CURRENT STATUS OF THE BUDGET GAMES

My production plans may not be precisely defined yet, but I can at least give you guys and gals an update on the budget games themselves:

- Caverns of Titan : Port completed, not assigned to a beta-tester yet.

- Cold Blood : Port completed very recently, and is currently being beta-tested.

- Danger Tower : Port completed, not assigned to a beta-tester yet.

- Deep Dungeon Adventure : Oscar started working on the ColecoVision port very recently, and it's not done yet.

- Frostbite : The first release candidate of this game was submitted this morning, and was passed along to my appointed beta-tester.

- Heroes Arena : Port completed, not assigned to a beta-tester yet. This one needs a couple of players to test the two-player mode.

- J.E.T.P.A.C. : Port completed, and currently in the beta-testing phase.

- Kaboom! : Software is currently being worked on, and I'm hoping the game will be completed soon.

- Kralizec Tetris : Port done (actually, the software was completely rewritten for the ColecoVision) and currently in the beta-testing phase.

- Remember the Flag : Programming of this game hasn't started yet.

- SHMUP! : Port completed, not assigned to a beta-tester yet.

- Shouganai : Port completed, not assigned to a beta-tester yet.

- Stray Cat : Port completed, and the game has passed the beta-testing phase, thanks to the sustained efforts of jblenkle. Thanks dude!

- Sudoku : There's currently a bug in the software which needs to be fixed, and the author of the game will look into it when he gets back from his vacation at the end of July.

- Traffic Jam : Port completed, and currently in the beta-testing phase. (SEE NOTE BELOW!)

- Txupinazo! : Port done, not assigned to a beta-tester yet.

- Yar's Revenge : Programming of this game has barely started, and is nowhere near ready for beta-testing.

As you can see, the software side of things is moving along pretty well. :)

IMPORTANT NOTE: The final few puzzles of Traffic Jam are giving my beta-tester quite a headache, and he cannot see the ending of the game unless he passes the final set of 5 puzzles. There are apparently automated solvers that were developed for this type of game, but they are downloadable as source code only and I don't have any time to compile them into a working executable. If someone could help me compile a puzzle solver and use it to solve the final few puzzles of Traffic Jam, we could complete the beta-testing of that game once and for all. Thanks in advance for any help.


NEW GAMES ON THE HORIZON!

My small quest to secure games for the Team Pixelboy budget series allowed me to talk with a lot of homebrewers (mostly from the MSX homebrew scene) and because of several factors, a few games which were offered for the budget series wound up being excluded. However, discussions continued and I am pleased to announce the (eventual) release of a few more games, which will be released as "regular" CIB Team Pixelboy releases, not budget games. Yet some of the money from the sales of those games will go to Oscar, so you can consider these new titles as a sort of "extension" of the budget series (except for the last one below, which is not linked to Oscar at all).

- QBIQS : This clone of Quarth was submitted to MSXdev'10. I've always wanted to release Quarth on the ColecoVision, so I couldn't pass up this opportunity to publish this game. QBIQS will even feature a two-player versus mode! Here's a video of the MSX version in action:

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fb5LYEcc0Y[/media]


- Uridium : Graciously offered by artrag, this space shooter will be ported by our friend Oscar. However, I need to mention that the original MSX version features some pretty tight code which may not translate easely to the ColecoVision's hardware architecture, so the game may end up being proven unportable, and become vaporware as a result. If the port is technically possible, then I fully trust Oscar will get it working perfectly, but I still need to warn you guys about this slight uncertainty factor, just so you don't think it's a done deal. See the video of the MSX version below:

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9xi5iobIHw[/media]


- Arcomage : This is actually a card game in video game format. I don't know much about card games in general, but this seems reminescent of such card games as Magic the Gathering. I think the ColecoVision game library needs a game like this, even if such card games are not everyone's cup of tea, so I'm happy to publish it. This game will be a 64K game and will feature a savegame chip for storing the player's progress, because game sessions can last quite a long time and the ability to save one's progress is essential. See some footage below:

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYp7t6iD8g4[/media]


- Zombie Incident : As I mentioned earlier above, this last entry is not linked to any kind of fundraiser for Oscar. It's just a plain Team Pixelboy upcoming release for 2017. The game has already been ported to the ColecoVision, and I would like to mention an interesting anecdote: When I received the ROM of the ColecoVision version, I decided to try it under emulation for a few minutes, just to see how well it played... and 45 minutes later I was still playing! I couldn't put it down! I kept saying "I want to see what's next, just one more screen..." Zombie Incident really is that much fun to play, and I'm really glad I scored a publishing deal for this game on the ColecoVision! If you like platformers in general, you'll definately like this one. See the video below:

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu2jkskBu6s[/media]


IF YOU REALLY WANT SOMETHING, YOU GOTTA WORK FOR IT

One of my greatest regrets as a ColecoVision homebrew publisher was failing to secure a publishing deal for the ColecoVision version of "The Cure". It's an MSX homebrew game which won the MSXdev'05 contest, and it carries more than a passing resemblance to Castlevania. Watch the video below and tell me who in his right mind wouldn't want to own this game on cartridge and play it on their ColecoVision!? :)

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynPAdLn0xRE[/media]

I tried contacting the guys behind this game on two different occasions (once in 2014, and I made another attempt earlier this year) and I never got a reply. Apparently, they are not really into the MSX homebrew scene anymore, which may explain their radio silence. Oscar told me he would love to port "The Cure" to the ColecoVision if he had the chance, so I had an idea: An e-mail petition! If the authors of "The Cure" won't reply to a lone guy like me, perhaps receiving e-mails from several dozens of people will grab their attention.

So here's the plan: Later this week, I'm going to send an e-mail to everyone on my Team Pixelboy customer list, and this e-mail will explain how to contact the XL2S guys. I will instruct everyone to send a single e-mail to them (I don't want anyone spamming them with multiple e-mails) to try to convince them to let Team Pixelboy port and publish "The Cure" on the ColecoVision. I'm hoping they will realize how many people want to own this game on cartridge, with a proper box and manual, and play the game on their ColecoVision. And hopefully they will be interested in a publishing deal.

For the record, I don't actually like the idea of spamming someone's e-mail account just to make a point, but I think this game is very much worth the effort. "The Cure" would indeed make a splendid addition to the ColecoVision library. But I'm going to need your help to make it happen. If the XL2S guys still maintain radio silence after this, then I will give up with the sentiment of having done everything I could to make it happen.


This concludes this Team Pixelboy News Bulletin. We now return you to your regular forum activities. ;)

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I forgot to mention that I will not be recording any pre-orders for QBIQS, Uridium, Arcomage or Zombie Incident. I really want to concentrate on the budget games, for now.

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So how's that getting out of the game publishing business working for you???? :) :) :) :) :) :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

 

Hello ColecoVisioneers! :D

Welcome to another Team Pixelboy News Bulletin, which contains lots of cool news!


THE BUDGET SERIES

The pre-order period for the special series of Team Pixelboy budget games is now over, and I'm very pleased to report that 146 people have ordered a total of 1618 games! All the initial payments sent to our friend Oscar have allowed us to collect a total of over 14,500$US which will go towards the medical bills of his wife and newborn daughter. And since Oscar was in charge of porting several of the budget games from the MSX to the ColecoVision, he will receive additional money for his work later, which is being donated to him by the original authors of the MSX games. Many thanks to all the MSX homebrewers who donated their creations to this special fundraiser!

I must say I'm totally amazed that I managed to gather pre-orders for over 1600 game cartridges in under 6 short weeks. I honestly wasn't even expecting to pass the 1000 games milestone. The generosity of this community is astounding, and I thank you all for making this fundraiser a smashing success! I'm sure Oscar will step in further down in this thread to voice his gratitude. :D

Now the truly arduous part begins for me. I've barely begun working on the box templates of the budget series, and I must admit that I've been procrastinating lately, mostly because my new job and the constant stream of e-mails to send and reply to (recording pre-orders, managing payment plans, sending payment reminders, communicating with game authors and beta-testers, etc.) has been frankly taking up all my energies and I'm a bit tired at the moment. And it doesn't help that the weather is rather hot and humid in Montreal right now... Heck, I spent most of today just writing this News Bulletin. :)

Having 1600+ complete-in-box games to prepare is a gigantic task for a single individual like me. It would have been somewhat manageable if I didn't have a job, but I do have a job now, and I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to get all this done without making people wait a very long time for their games. My main personal tasks are preparing the box templates, preparing the manual templates, preparing the cart label templates, and assembling the cartridges once I receive the PCBs, casings and labels. Preparing the box/manual/label templates isn't too much of a problem, but assembling that many cartridges will definately be a big undertaking, because I like to test every cart on my ColecoVision before applying the label, just to make sure each one works properly, and this is rather time-consuming.

I would have liked to get everything done and shipped in one single push, which would have been the best option for saving money on shipping fees, but that's impossible to do with 1600+ games. Since several of the games aren't ready yet (more details on that further down this post) I'm thinking of separating the releases in two or three waves, but those who told me that they want all the games shipped together in a single box will likely be waiting a while. We're talking down-to-earth logistics here, there's not a lot I can do about it, except getting things done as quickly as I humanly can.

But one thing is clear: People have paid for these budget games (or they will pay for them over the next couple of months via their payment plans) and since my free time is limited, I need to prioritize things accordingly. This means that the next group of "regular" Team Pixelboy titles (which is supposed to come out this Christmas) is now on hold until the production and shipping of all the budget games has been taken care of. This may very well take me all year, although I really hope to get it all done faster than that. The budget games are already a big project to tackle, and I can't afford to spread my attention over too many projects. So to those who are waiting for their copies of Ghostbusters, Children of the Night, Wizard of Wor, etc., I can only say I'm sorry that you may have to wait until well into 2017 to get them.


CURRENT STATUS OF THE BUDGET GAMES

My production plans may not be precisely defined yet, but I can at least give you guys and gals an update on the budget games themselves:

- Caverns of Titan : Port completed, not assigned to a beta-tester yet.

- Cold Blood : Port completed very recently, and is currently being beta-tested.

- Danger Tower : Port completed, not assigned to a beta-tester yet.

- Deep Dungeon Adventure : Oscar started working on the ColecoVision port very recently, and it's not done yet.

- Frostbite : The first release candidate of this game was submitted this morning, and was passed along to my appointed beta-tester.

- Heroes Arena : Port completed, not assigned to a beta-tester yet. This one needs a couple of players to test the two-player mode.

- J.E.T.P.A.C. : Port completed, and currently in the beta-testing phase.

- Kaboom! : Software is currently being worked on, and I'm hoping the game will be completed soon.

- Kralizec Tetris : Port done (actually, the software was completely rewritten for the ColecoVision) and currently in the beta-testing phase.

- Remember the Flag : Programming of this game hasn't started yet.

- SHMUP! : Port completed, not assigned to a beta-tester yet.

- Shouganai : Port completed, not assigned to a beta-tester yet.

- Stray Cat : Port completed, and the game has passed the beta-testing phase, thanks to the sustained efforts of jblenkle. Thanks dude!

- Sudoku : There's currently a bug in the software which needs to be fixed, and the author of the game will look into it when he gets back from his vacation at the end of July.

- Traffic Jam : Port completed, and currently in the beta-testing phase. (SEE NOTE BELOW!)

- Txupinazo! : Port done, not assigned to a beta-tester yet.

- Yar's Revenge : Programming of this game has barely started, and is nowhere near ready for beta-testing.

As you can see, the software side of things is moving along pretty well. :)

IMPORTANT NOTE: The final few puzzles of Traffic Jam are giving my beta-tester quite a headache, and he cannot see the ending of the game unless he passes the final set of 5 puzzles. There are apparently automated solvers that were developed for this type of game, but they are downloadable as source code only and I don't have any time to compile them into a working executable. If someone could help me compile a puzzle solver and use it to solve the final few puzzles of Traffic Jam, we could complete the beta-testing of that game once and for all. Thanks in advance for any help.


NEW GAMES ON THE HORIZON!

My small quest to secure games for the Team Pixelboy budget series allowed me to talk with a lot of homebrewers (mostly from the MSX homebrew scene) and because of several factors, a few games which were offered for the budget series wound up being excluded. However, discussions continued and I am pleased to announce the (eventual) release of a few more games, which will be released as "regular" CIB Team Pixelboy releases, not budget games. Yet some of the money from the sales of those games will go to Oscar, so you can consider these new titles as a sort of "extension" of the budget series (except for the last one below, which is not linked to Oscar at all).

- QBIQS : This clone of Quarth was submitted to MSXdev'10. I've always wanted to release Quarth on the ColecoVision, so I couldn't pass up this opportunity to publish this game. QBIQS will even feature a two-player versus mode! Here's a video of the MSX version in action:

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fb5LYEcc0Y[/media]


- Uridium : Graciously offered by artrag, this space shooter will be ported by our friend Oscar. However, I need to mention that the original MSX version features some pretty tight code which may not translate easely to the ColecoVision's hardware architecture, so the game may end up being proven unportable, and become vaporware as a result. If the port is technically possible, then I fully trust Oscar will get it working perfectly, but I still need to warn you guys about this slight uncertainty factor, just so you don't think it's a done deal. See the video of the MSX version below:

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9xi5iobIHw[/media]


- Arcomage : This is actually a card game in video game format. I don't know much about card games in general, but this seems reminescent of such card games as Magic the Gathering. I think the ColecoVision game library needs a game like this, even if such card games are not everyone's cup of tea, so I'm happy to publish it. This game will be a 64K game and will feature a savegame chip for storing the player's progress, because game sessions can last quite a long time and the ability to save one's progress is essential. See some footage below:

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYp7t6iD8g4[/media]


- Zombie Incident : As I mentioned earlier above, this last entry is not linked to any kind of fundraiser for Oscar. It's just a plain Team Pixelboy upcoming release for 2017. The game has already been ported to the ColecoVision, and I would like to mention an interesting anecdote: When I received the ROM of the ColecoVision version, I decided to try it under emulation for a few minutes, just to see how well it played... and 45 minutes later I was still playing! I couldn't put it down! I kept saying "I want to see what's next, just one more screen..." Zombie Incident really is that much fun to play, and I'm really glad I scored a publishing deal for this game on the ColecoVision! If you like platformers in general, you'll definately like this one. See the video below:

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu2jkskBu6s[/media]


IF YOU REALLY WANT SOMETHING, YOU GOTTA WORK FOR IT

One of my greatest regrets as a ColecoVision homebrew publisher was failing to secure a publishing deal for the ColecoVision version of "The Cure". It's an MSX homebrew game which won the MSXdev'05 contest, and it carries more than a passing resemblance to Castlevania. Watch the video below and tell me who in his right mind wouldn't want to own this game on cartridge and play it on their ColecoVision!? :)

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynPAdLn0xRE[/media]

I tried contacting the guys behind this game on two different occasions (once in 2014, and I made another attempt earlier this year) and I never got a reply. Apparently, they are not really into the MSX homebrew scene anymore, which may explain their radio silence. Oscar told me he would love to port "The Cure" to the ColecoVision if he had the chance, so I had an idea: An e-mail petition! If the authors of "The Cure" won't reply to a lone guy like me, perhaps receiving e-mails from several dozens of people will grab their attention.

So here's the plan: Later this week, I'm going to send an e-mail to everyone on my Team Pixelboy customer list, and this e-mail will explain how to contact the XL2S guys. I will instruct everyone to send a single e-mail to them (I don't want anyone spamming them with multiple e-mails) to try to convince them to let Team Pixelboy port and publish "The Cure" on the ColecoVision. I'm hoping they will realize how many people want to own this game on cartridge, with a proper box and manual, and play the game on their ColecoVision. And hopefully they will be interested in a publishing deal.

For the record, I don't actually like the idea of spamming someone's e-mail account just to make a point, but I think this game is very much worth the effort. "The Cure" would indeed make a splendid addition to the ColecoVision library. But I'm going to need your help to make it happen. If the XL2S guys still maintain radio silence after this, then I will give up with the sentiment of having done everything I could to make it happen.


This concludes this Team Pixelboy News Bulletin. We now return you to your regular forum activities. ;)

Edited by jblenkle

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So how's that getting out of the game publishing business working for you???? :) :) :) :) :) :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:


I'm taking the scenic route. :P

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Is there anyone that knows those guys personally and can contact them in another way besides email?   I am just thinking that you could potentially piss them off if they get 100s of emails rather than giving them excitement to get the game ported.   There is also the possibility that they created the email for their game production and if they are no longer in the scene they don't look at that email and it won't do any good either.

 

Maybe the MSX competition has some people with more information than just their email?

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Is there anyone that knows those guys personally and can contact them in another way besides email?   I am just thinking that you could potentially piss them off if they get 100s of emails rather than giving them excitement to get the game ported.   There is also the possibility that they created the email for their game production and if they are no longer in the scene they don't look at that email and it won't do any good either.
 
Maybe the MSX competition has some people with more information than just their email?


I think you make a valid point. I'll try to gather some more intel before I go ahead with the e-mail petition...

Thanks. :)

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I tried contacting the guys behind this game on two different occasions (once in 2014, and I made another attempt earlier this year) and I never got a reply. Apparently, they are not really into the MSX homebrew scene anymore, which may explain their radio silence. Oscar told me he would love to port "The Cure" to the ColecoVision if he had the chance, so I had an idea: An e-mail petition! If the authors of "The Cure" won't reply to a lone guy like me, perhaps receiving e-mails from several dozens of people will grab their attention.


Sorry, but an email petition to get what you want isn't the way to go. However well intentioned you might think it is, being the recipient of 100s of organised emails about something you no longer care about is harassment. If the developers don't want to engage with you, or the ColecoVision community that is their right and should be respected. I suggest you post some public "contact me" posts on the forums they used to haunt and hope that either an XL2S representative, or an interested "middleman" sees your message and  contact is made.

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Sorry, but an email petition to get what you want isn't the way to go. However well intentioned you might think it is, being the recipient of 100s of organised emails about something you no longer care about is harassment. If the developers don't want to engage with you, or the ColecoVision community that is their right and should be respected. I suggest you post some public "contact me" posts on the forums they used to haunt and hope that either an XL2S representative, or an interested "middleman" sees your message and  contact is made.


A little over the top, eh? Okay, I'll take your advice into consideration. :)

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A little over the top, eh? Okay, I'll take your advice into consideration. :)

Yeah, I would have to agree... a little over the top.

It's like getting all the Viagra spam emails. I really don't need Viagra, but it would be nice to see some hot babe laying in my bed or a pre-child bearing version of the wifey. :lust:

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Of course there is a chance the mailbox is never checked, that would explain the lack of response, maybe asking to some other members of the MSX community?

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I was thinking spamming The Cure's developer email isn't the way to go.  I would find other methods to contact the developers to get an answer.  MSXdev, Karoshi, forums may be a good start.  

 

And also thinking you could have additional person near by to help you assemble cartridges. 

 

I really don't want you to burn out.  So those are my thoughts on the matter.

 

However, I'm excited to hear about the new games. 

Edited by Kiwi

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Alright guys, I'm going to put this petition idea on hold until I've had a chance to investigate other avenues for getting in touch with the XL2S people.

By the way, I was told by artrag that the video I posted of Uridium presents the free version, and it's not the version that will be ported. The "final" version will be the one to get ported to the ColecoVision, and it features music and proper intro and ending sequences.

Here's a video of the "final version" of Uridium in action:

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnbYowcCU2w[/media]

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Alright guys, I'm going to put this petition idea on hold until I've had a chance to investigate other avenues for getting in touch with the XL2S people.

Not to sound like a total ass hole re. this whole subject, but why bother getting permission to port this game when SO MANY other games have been ported to the ColecoVision without worrying about getting the author's permission or for the matter, the current rights holders.

Not like a Homebrew is actually legally copyrighted.

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Not to sound like a total ass hole re. this whole subject, but why bother getting permission to port this game when SO MANY other games have been ported to the ColecoVision without worrying about getting the author's permission or for the matter, the current rights holders.
Not like a Homebrew is actually legally copyrighted.


Perhaps the chilling effect on active or modern coders if people just rip off their stuff and sell it? We've seen countless examples on other threads of developers pulling out when they find unauthorized copies of their works for sale. And 'The Cure' (despite influences) is an original title, right? They could (as unlikely as it is) file a C&D, which would be lose-lose for everyone. I'm all for Luc's approach here.

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Not to sound like a total ass hole re. this whole subject, but why bother getting permission to port this game when SO MANY other games have been ported to the ColecoVision without worrying about getting the author's permission or for the matter, the current rights holders.

Not like a Homebrew is actually legally copyrighted.

 

 

  • Isn't this a recently coded [masterpiece] effort?
  • Wasn't it done by a skilled programmer out of love for classic 8-bit gaming?
  • Don't you support almost all homebrew efforts because you know that your contribution to the scene keeps the spirit alive and sustains great, packaged products being produced?
  • Isn't there more-or-less an unwritten "code" in this community to respect others' works and to get their permission to use the compilations that they produce, and to possibly even pay them a kickback?
  • When you say "SO MANY other games..." aren't you mostly referring to 30+ year old games from dead companies wherein the IP holders are completely out of touch?

 

Just thought I'd ask, since I'm not sure I comprehend where you're coming from...  :cool:

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Those are good points, but in response to your points in order:

1 - Does it really matter if a game was codes 30 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago or 1 day ago?

2 - Weren't the games released 30 years ago programmed by a skilled programmer who loved what he was doing for the systems available at the time?

3 - I do support the current Homebrew efforts (not every single one anymore) as I did support the releases made 30+ years ago although a lot I passed on originally and then later I bought them and more justified clearance price of $5 or less.

3 - Shouldn't there be this same good will shown towards the current rights/licensee holders of games released 30+ years ago as you suggest should be done for current Homebrewers. There has been a couple Homebrew releases of late where the Homebrew distributor did in fact acquire the rights to distribute a game release (ie: Pong and Computer Space boxset), but this was only done because CollectorVision knew that there was absolutely no way that they could release the game under the radar without getting threatened with C&D letter or more serious legal action.

5 - Aren't the programmers of Uridium completely out of touch or don't want to be bothered or don't care as evidenced by their lack of response to Luc's numerous querries?

What about the possible release of DKA later this year or early next year? The Big N is still very much around, but in no way will they give their blessing to it's release and therefore it will be quietly released. Answrr me this... Right or Wrong????

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2 - Weren't the games released 30 years ago programmed by a skilled programmer who loved what he was doing for the systems available at the time?


Actually, no, he probably did it because his boss told him to work on a particular game. But he probably enjoyed his work most of the time anyhow. ;)


5 - Aren't the programmers of Uridium completely out of touch or don't want to be bothered or don't care as evidenced by their lack of response to Luc's numerous querries?


The Cure, not Uridium. ;)


What about the possible release of DKA later this year or early next year? The Big N is still very much around, but in no way will they give their blessing to it's release and therefore it will be quietly released. Answrr me this... Right or Wrong????


I'm the first one to admit that releasing games like this poses an ethical dilemma, and how we "apply" these "homebrew ethics" depends on the game. In general, we don't worry too much about such issues because there's no real profit made in selling such games anyway, and there's no profit because this niche market is way too small and production expenses are too high. If you want to profit from making/selling games, you're better off making casual games for today's smartphones and tablets.

It's clear Opcode ported DKA because making the arcade game work on the ColecoVision was a programming challenge, and once that challenge has been met, then there's a desire to share the results of years of labor with other ColecoVision fans. You don't spend many months working on something cool and then keep it to yourself, and it's always cooler to see your game on a real cartridge (ideally with box and manual) rather than just a ROM file being played on an emulator.

As for homebrew games like "The Cure", I believe homebrewers should respect each other. It's as simple as that.

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Hello ColecoVisioneers! :D

Welcome to another Team Pixelboy News Bulletin, which contains lots of cool news!


THE BUDGET SERIES

The pre-order period for the special series of Team Pixelboy budget games is now over, and I'm very pleased to report that 146 people have ordered a total of 1618 games! All the initial payments sent to our friend Oscar have allowed us to collect a total of over 14,500$US which will go towards the medical bills of his wife and newborn daughter. And since Oscar was in charge of porting several of the budget games from the MSX to the ColecoVision, he will receive additional money for his work later, which is being donated to him by the original authors of the MSX games. Many thanks to all the MSX homebrewers who donated their creations to this special fundraiser!

I must say I'm totally amazed that I managed to gather pre-orders for over 1600 game cartridges in under 6 short weeks. I honestly wasn't even expecting to pass the 1000 games milestone. The generosity of this community is astounding, and I thank you all for making this fundraiser a smashing success! I'm sure Oscar will step in further down in this thread to voice his gratitude. :D

Now the truly arduous part begins for me. I've barely begun working on the box templates of the budget series, and I must admit that I've been procrastinating lately, mostly because my new job and the constant stream of e-mails to send and reply to (recording pre-orders, managing payment plans, sending payment reminders, communicating with game authors and beta-testers, etc.) has been frankly taking up all my energies and I'm a bit tired at the moment. And it doesn't help that the weather is rather hot and humid in Montreal right now... Heck, I spent most of today just writing this News Bulletin. :)

Having 1600+ complete-in-box games to prepare is a gigantic task for a single individual like me. It would have been somewhat manageable if I didn't have a job, but I do have a job now, and I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to get all this done without making people wait a very long time for their games. My main personal tasks are preparing the box templates, preparing the manual templates, preparing the cart label templates, and assembling the cartridges once I receive the PCBs, casings and labels. Preparing the box/manual/label templates isn't too much of a problem, but assembling that many cartridges will definately be a big undertaking, because I like to test every cart on my ColecoVision before applying the label, just to make sure each one works properly, and this is rather time-consuming.

I would have liked to get everything done and shipped in one single push, which would have been the best option for saving money on shipping fees, but that's impossible to do with 1600+ games. Since several of the games aren't ready yet (more details on that further down this post) I'm thinking of separating the releases in two or three waves, but those who told me that they want all the games shipped together in a single box will likely be waiting a while. We're talking down-to-earth logistics here, there's not a lot I can do about it, except getting things done as quickly as I humanly can.

But one thing is clear: People have paid for these budget games (or they will pay for them over the next couple of months via their payment plans) and since my free time is limited, I need to prioritize things accordingly. This means that the next group of "regular" Team Pixelboy titles (which is supposed to come out this Christmas) is now on hold until the production and shipping of all the budget games has been taken care of. This may very well take me all year, although I really hope to get it all done faster than that. The budget games are already a big project to tackle, and I can't afford to spread my attention over too many projects. So to those who are waiting for their copies of Ghostbusters, Children of the Night, Wizard of Wor, etc., I can only say I'm sorry that you may have to wait until well into 2017 to get them.


CURRENT STATUS OF THE BUDGET GAMES

My production plans may not be precisely defined yet, but I can at least give you guys and gals an update on the budget games themselves:

- Caverns of Titan : Port completed, not assigned to a beta-tester yet.

- Cold Blood : Port completed very recently, and is currently being beta-tested.

- Danger Tower : Port completed, not assigned to a beta-tester yet.

- Deep Dungeon Adventure : Oscar started working on the ColecoVision port very recently, and it's not done yet.

- Frostbite : The first release candidate of this game was submitted this morning, and was passed along to my appointed beta-tester.

- Heroes Arena : Port completed, not assigned to a beta-tester yet. This one needs a couple of players to test the two-player mode.

- J.E.T.P.A.C. : Port completed, and currently in the beta-testing phase.

- Kaboom! : Software is currently being worked on, and I'm hoping the game will be completed soon.

- Kralizec Tetris : Port done (actually, the software was completely rewritten for the ColecoVision) and currently in the beta-testing phase.

- Remember the Flag : Programming of this game hasn't started yet.

- SHMUP! : Port completed, not assigned to a beta-tester yet.

- Shouganai : Port completed, not assigned to a beta-tester yet.

- Stray Cat : Port completed, and the game has passed the beta-testing phase, thanks to the sustained efforts of jblenkle. Thanks dude!

- Sudoku : There's currently a bug in the software which needs to be fixed, and the author of the game will look into it when he gets back from his vacation at the end of July.

- Traffic Jam : Port completed, and currently in the beta-testing phase. (SEE NOTE BELOW!)

- Txupinazo! : Port done, not assigned to a beta-tester yet.

- Yar's Revenge : Programming of this game has barely started, and is nowhere near ready for beta-testing.

As you can see, the software side of things is moving along pretty well. :)

IMPORTANT NOTE: The final few puzzles of Traffic Jam are giving my beta-tester quite a headache, and he cannot see the ending of the game unless he passes the final set of 5 puzzles. There are apparently automated solvers that were developed for this type of game, but they are downloadable as source code only and I don't have any time to compile them into a working executable. If someone could help me compile a puzzle solver and use it to solve the final few puzzles of Traffic Jam, we could complete the beta-testing of that game once and for all. Thanks in advance for any help.


NEW GAMES ON THE HORIZON!

My small quest to secure games for the Team Pixelboy budget series allowed me to talk with a lot of homebrewers (mostly from the MSX homebrew scene) and because of several factors, a few games which were offered for the budget series wound up being excluded. However, discussions continued and I am pleased to announce the (eventual) release of a few more games, which will be released as "regular" CIB Team Pixelboy releases, not budget games. Yet some of the money from the sales of those games will go to Oscar, so you can consider these new titles as a sort of "extension" of the budget series (except for the last one below, which is not linked to Oscar at all).

- QBIQS : This clone of Quarth was submitted to MSXdev'10. I've always wanted to release Quarth on the ColecoVision, so I couldn't pass up this opportunity to publish this game. QBIQS will even feature a two-player versus mode! Here's a video of the MSX version in action:

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fb5LYEcc0Y[/media]


- Uridium : Graciously offered by artrag, this space shooter will be ported by our friend Oscar. However, I need to mention that the original MSX version features some pretty tight code which may not translate easely to the ColecoVision's hardware architecture, so the game may end up being proven unportable, and become vaporware as a result. If the port is technically possible, then I fully trust Oscar will get it working perfectly, but I still need to warn you guys about this slight uncertainty factor, just so you don't think it's a done deal. See the video of the MSX version below:

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9xi5iobIHw[/media]


- Arcomage : This is actually a card game in video game format. I don't know much about card games in general, but this seems reminescent of such card games as Magic the Gathering. I think the ColecoVision game library needs a game like this, even if such card games are not everyone's cup of tea, so I'm happy to publish it. This game will be a 64K game and will feature a savegame chip for storing the player's progress, because game sessions can last quite a long time and the ability to save one's progress is essential. See some footage below:

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYp7t6iD8g4[/media]


- Zombie Incident : As I mentioned earlier above, this last entry is not linked to any kind of fundraiser for Oscar. It's just a plain Team Pixelboy upcoming release for 2017. The game has already been ported to the ColecoVision, and I would like to mention an interesting anecdote: When I received the ROM of the ColecoVision version, I decided to try it under emulation for a few minutes, just to see how well it played... and 45 minutes later I was still playing! I couldn't put it down! I kept saying "I want to see what's next, just one more screen..." Zombie Incident really is that much fun to play, and I'm really glad I scored a publishing deal for this game on the ColecoVision! If you like platformers in general, you'll definately like this one. See the video below:

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu2jkskBu6s[/media]


IF YOU REALLY WANT SOMETHING, YOU GOTTA WORK FOR IT

One of my greatest regrets as a ColecoVision homebrew publisher was failing to secure a publishing deal for the ColecoVision version of "The Cure". It's an MSX homebrew game which won the MSXdev'05 contest, and it carries more than a passing resemblance to Castlevania. Watch the video below and tell me who in his right mind wouldn't want to own this game on cartridge and play it on their ColecoVision!? :)

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynPAdLn0xRE[/media]

I tried contacting the guys behind this game on two different occasions (once in 2014, and I made another attempt earlier this year) and I never got a reply. Apparently, they are not really into the MSX homebrew scene anymore, which may explain their radio silence. Oscar told me he would love to port "The Cure" to the ColecoVision if he had the chance, so I had an idea: An e-mail petition! If the authors of "The Cure" won't reply to a lone guy like me, perhaps receiving e-mails from several dozens of people will grab their attention.

So here's the plan: Later this week, I'm going to send an e-mail to everyone on my Team Pixelboy customer list, and this e-mail will explain how to contact the XL2S guys. I will instruct everyone to send a single e-mail to them (I don't want anyone spamming them with multiple e-mails) to try to convince them to let Team Pixelboy port and publish "The Cure" on the ColecoVision. I'm hoping they will realize how many people want to own this game on cartridge, with a proper box and manual, and play the game on their ColecoVision. And hopefully they will be interested in a publishing deal.

For the record, I don't actually like the idea of spamming someone's e-mail account just to make a point, but I think this game is very much worth the effort. "The Cure" would indeed make a splendid addition to the ColecoVision library. But I'm going to need your help to make it happen. If the XL2S guys still maintain radio silence after this, then I will give up with the sentiment of having done everything I could to make it happen.


This concludes this Team Pixelboy News Bulletin. We now return you to your regular forum activities. ;)


That's a lot of games.

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That's a lot of games.

That was a very long quote for what amounted to your 5 word (or 6, depends on if you count the apostrophy S as a word or not) post!!!! :evil:

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Getting back to the the other discussion at hand...

The real dilemna here in this Politically Correct world we live in today is that the largest majority of people want to exist in this Grey world of "maybes" instead of a Black and White world where "it is" or "it isn't".

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Well, I'm glad we're having this discussion… I know that some have sought permission from rights holders, and many have flown under the radar. I honestly like everyone's answers, so far. But one of the biggest reasons that I asked the questions, was to shed some light on the subject. We've got some who bastardize the hobby and spit in others faces. Most, however seem respectful and attempt to seek permission.

What Luc said is accurate. It's all about respect.

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