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Atarimania like homebrew archive?

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I never had heard about "Isaiah's_Wii_Chase" before and the store link is for "Incoming". It looks like the former was released on carts (20 copies max) and sold for only a few days, probably to collectors only. IMO such a low number and sale time should not qualify here.

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/133115-fs-new-2600-homebrews-asses-of-fire-isaiahs-wii-chase/

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I've tried several different ways to document homebrew lists and its a frustrating process.

 

sorting homebrew, hacks, repros and demos can sometimes be a grey area. Info on the net is often lost or contradictory to other sources.

 

A wiki is IMO, the best bet for community support. If Al wanted to add a wiki on AA, then I'd be down to add as much info as possible.

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BTW: Trying to create an account there lead to "Database error - A database query error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software."

contact Necron99 - that is his Wiki, I'm also a member there too.

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The problem with homebrews is, that there are just too many and also too many unfinished or even barely started. When compiling such a list, you are hunting an ever moving target. Many people have tried such an index, but most gave up soon.

 

Here is the most recent index (from AA member arenafoot) I know about:

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/259839-homebrew-list/?do=findComment&comment=3652591

Also, adding new games, multiple distributions, Limited-Special-and Alternate editions, and out of print stuff. there is a lot of variables when making anything.

 

Afaik there is some effort on putting up an AtariAge Wiki, which would be rather fitting for "collecting" homebrews.

I haven't heard of that, but I'd love to help if it's true.

 

Maybe such a list should be limited to games which were/are released by the author on physical carts. Either unlimited only or at least e.g. 50 carts.

 

That would avoid all unfinished games plus those which are especially tailored to milk collectors.

atari2600homebrew and videogamehomebrew both do that, however, the threshold is merely 5 copies produced. maybe a separate list for those under 50 as I think some that are under that are decent games and need more interest to have more produced.

 

IMO a wiki would be most likely most effective and lasting. I am sure Al would host it, but someone else has to set it up.

It is. I've tried pretty much every other option. this is a job for a group of people

 

First we should decide what kind of Wiki we want. Should it be Atari 2600 only? Atari only? Classic homebrews? All homebrews? Only released ones? What are the requirements for a valid release? Are hacks allowed? Etc pp.

I suggest we begin with all atari consoles and expand from there. we could do both cartridge releases and rom releases with the right layout. I suggest hacks being allowed but in a separate category...at videogamehomebrew and atari2600homebrew, I broke categories into Homebrew, Hack, Reproduction, and Demo & Non-Games. the lists of rom releases would be a rather large extensive list.

 

Like Thomas said, you have to make boundaries, otherwise you'll drown, trust me.

 

IMO archiving all post 1992 cart released VCS homebrews is already more than enough work.

 

8)

yup, i nearly drowned in this a few times. which is why I think it's better as a wiki, collectively we can gather info at a faster rate without drowning.

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Good to see that we already have sites that keep track.of homebrews. I think that combining the spreadsheet with the wiki would work best. And we should put it on AA

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Coming late to the party.

 

I think the best path is to accept ALL homebrew ROMs, no matter how crappy or how far from being produced they are - but making it easy to classify the various levels, something like

full homebrew release

limited at a show

vanity released (< 5 copies made)

binary only

 

And to be honest, probably another category of quality and tools used - Virtuoso-level Assembly, Regular Assembly, High-Level Batari BASIC, Vanaila Batari BASIC

Also I'm not sure if a wiki is the best bet, because it's harder to curate and make sure people are following the rules. A much better model is AtariAge's rarity guide, with dedicated fields for ROMS and screenshots and metadata. Maybe each entry could have a wiki-like page associated with it though. (Or let me know if I'm underestimating how "enforced" a wiki can be)

 


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Wikis can be pretty "enforced". All it needs are precise regulations (defined entry structure and categories, mandatory information, sources, allowed entries etc. a bit like Wikipedia) and a few people who help to enforce them.

 

As for categories, there are many options for categories. You can e.g. categorize by hardware (RAM, ROM, extra CPUs) and by framework (none = Assembler, bBasic, whatever). The categorization should become not too complex, so that ordinary users can understand them.

 

Of course the rules and categories can be described on their own Wiki pages.

 

BTW: I don't object against low production, incomplete or crappy ROMs. If there are people who want to maintain them, so be it. I only want that they are easily identifiable.

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch

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Do the Wikis also have reasonable ways of making relevant search forms? So people can filter out the more casual / learning productions, say, or maybe hunt down a paddle-controller game, that kind of thing?

 

Also I'd love to see a field for source code, for people who release that.

PS Thomas it's nice to see you are still around and active, after my own long absence

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Coming late to the party.

 

I think the best path is to accept ALL homebrew ROMs, no matter how crappy or how far from being produced they are - but making it easy to classify the various levels, something like

full homebrew release

limited at a show

vanity released (< 5 copies made)

binary only

 

And to be honest, probably another category of quality and tools used - Virtuoso-level Assembly, Regular Assembly, High-Level Batari BASIC, Vanaila Batari BASIC

 

Also I'm not sure if a wiki is the best bet, because it's harder to curate and make sure people are following the rules. A much better model is AtariAge's rarity guide, with dedicated fields for ROMS and screenshots and metadata. Maybe each entry could have a wiki-like page associated with it though. (Or let me know if I'm underestimating how "enforced" a wiki can be)

 

 

 

Great ideas!

 

Does "High-level Batari BASIC" mean BASIC games which include hybrid ML routines? I could see the same categorization for High-level Assembly games, since many modern homebrews have hybrid Macro routines written in a high level scripting language similar to BASIC.

 

This would provide an accurate technical gauge continuum ranging from pure BASIC to pure Assembly.

 

imo a retrocity gauge is also in order to answer the question - how retro is the production?

 

The retrocity gauge should just be a year; 1981 would mean the game can run on hardware that was available in 1981.

 

In this regard the most recent Atari Flashback consoles have a retrocity governor built in that prevents carts from leveraging the modern 32-bit processor and also limits them to vintage bank switching schemes and classic memory expansions. The retrocity gauge could function as a good compatibility indicator.

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A wiki can do it all by adding category tags. (Like real.wikipedia has in the bottom) so you could put homebrew, paddle, multiplayer, etc

 

It's also easy to mod as all edits are saved and can be reversed

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We're gonna have a whole lotta chefs here :-D

Retrocity Gauge might be ok, but should not be year, it has to be a description of the hardware (stock 2600, 2600-with-supercharger, flashback (what version), and/or if a physical cart for stock 2600 would need a custom chip, ala the sound in Pitfall 2)

(You can then easily get back to a year from the hardware)

 

"High-Level Batari BASIC" is, admittedly, more about snobbery / discrimination about the final product than a concern about the language that got them there.

A Batari BASIC game that uses a stock kernal (like my own Loaded4Bear) is less impressive than other games that might use a custom kernal or other bit of pizazz.

And to be honest it some of this is to flood control ROMs that are essentially "hacks" of existing tutorials.

 

Similarly, Virtuoso-level Assembly vs Regular Assembly is meant to snobbishly put masterworks like Thomas Jentzsch's "Thrust" against fun-but-mundane stuff like JoustPong - stuff that more or less clearly plays in the realm of the 2 players / 2 missiles / some playfield space of the Atari without being clever about things.

Some of these will be judgement calls, but I want to triage stuff: real jaw droppers like Thomas, middlebrow stuff like I make, and then works in progress or generally meh stuff from folks just starting out. Maybe a solid "rating" system could capture some of this, but maybe not.

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100% agreed. Categories should be objective, not evaluating.

 

If somebody evaluates based on categories that it is his choice. But a Wiki should stay neutral.

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Hm. I could see a catgory based on Batari Kernal (custom or standard) though that might require code inspection or honesty. less clear how to discern things that are, say, all-assembly language.

 

I feel like there needs to be some evaluation mechanism, even if it's a popularity contest-type thing of "Likes" or something.

 

A system that didn't make it easy to find stuff like "Thrust" in a crowd of Tinkernut Tutorial clones would be somewhat of a failure.

 

Maybe the answer is a more curated Blog. It needs to be with an editor who isn't afraid to call crap crap :-D (and yet who still recognizes my genius in Loaded4Bear ;-) )

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IMO subjective opinions (e.g. reviews) could be linked, but should be strictly kept out of the Wiki.

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I agree.

There are two purposes here: one more librarian, one more curator. A wiki should be librarian-ish and as complete as possible, a curator should be more of a blog or thing like that.

 

(tho still... dang. There is such a gap between the best homebrew and a 30-minute "my first Batari program modification", that I would support unobtrusive ways of supporting browsing that gets to more of the former without getting swmped by the latter)

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Also I'm not sure if a wiki is the best bet, because it's harder to curate and make sure people are following the rules. A much better model is AtariAge's rarity guide, with dedicated fields for ROMS and screenshots and metadata. Maybe each entry could have a wiki-like page associated with it though. (Or let me know if I'm underestimating how "enforced" a wiki can be)

 

Wikis can be pretty "enforced". All it needs are precise regulations (defined entry structure and categories, mandatory information, sources, allowed entries etc. a bit like Wikipedia) and a few people who help to enforce them.

BTW: I don't object against low production, incomplete or crappy ROMs. If there are people who want to maintain them, so be it. I only want that they are easily identifiable.

 

We're gonna have a whole lotta chefs here :-D

 

For these reasons above, are exactly why I've shared my spreadsheet with everyone but not allowed public editing. I've only used info and ROMs that anyone can find on the internet, and have kept non-released ROMs entrusted to me, to myself and never shared. I've always welcomed anyone with corrections to my list, to contact me.

 

When I started years ago with the list, I was going to make a released (actual produced & sold) Homebrew list, a released (BIN only) Homebrew list, a WIP list, a released (actual produced & sold) Hack list, etc. and as you can see, this would be too many lists to maintain. So I just began the list alphabetically by game title and had a column to designate if its a homebrew, hack, port, WIP, demo, etc. along with game info and limited edition numbers of carts made in the "info" column. Trust me, I've learned already that all of this can get out of hand quickly. But, I set out to make the most comprehensive list on the internet, with the most varieties (best & worst - biggest & smallest) of homebrew games and I think I've achieved this. I've already adopted the name "Atari VCS/2600 Homebrew curator" in the other forum because of my Homebrew List.

 

I'd be open to better suggestions for this list/info. I tried to help out Necron99 when he had the "Video Game Homebrew" website as a forum (now a Wiki) and have always found the Atari2600homebrew.com website a good layout but it has not been updated in a long time. Both sites only cover actual released and sold homebrews/hacks cartridges, there's really nothing out there for all of the others.

Edited by Arenafoot

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Interesting! I wonder if there'd be any way to regularly export your spreadsheets into a format that would be more pleasant for folks to browse - like keeping it as the backbone for a site that was more like Atari2600homebrew.com or the Atari Age rarity guide...

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That's simple PHP. Just read in the document and order based on the cells.

Well, that's an easy way to make an html'ized version of the spreadsheets, but making it more user friendly and fun is a bit more...

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Well, that's an easy way to make an html'ized version of the spreadsheets, but making it more user friendly and fun is a bit more...

most of that is beyond my knowledge......

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yeah, it would have to be a co-operative project if it ever got done- but the core idea of one very dedicated person or a small team storing the data, and then some connection to a friendlier way to browse it, is a cool one.

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and then some connection to a friendlier way to browse it, is a cool one.

I guess I could upload my actual excel file somewhere too, so that it could be downloaded for those who have MS Excel on their computer. I know both Google Drive and MS OneDrive load the document way too slow.

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