# Digital Copy ROMs

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I was following the Baby Pac-Man (7800) thread. There was an issue of piracy mentioned.

People take ROMs from here and sell them on eBay. They take credit for hard developers work. Sometimes minor hacks are made without giving credit to the original developer.

I personally prefer Digital ROMs. I like the versatility. I like SD Carts over regular carts.

BUT!

I also like being able to support the developers and AA.

What if the upcoming 7800 SD Cart could have a signature (hash username) embedded into the bios upon purchase.

For example, my SD Cart would have "Darryl1970" in the signature. So a ROM image with "Darryl1970" embedded would only work on my SD Cart.

Games without a signature, such as classics and forum pre-releases, would need to operate as normal.

I purchased a few ROMs (Digital ROMs) from Carl Mueller Jr. He embeds people's names in the cartridge. I believe his logic is that if a person's ROM image was found in the wild, they'd be blacklisted.

There may be more to it than that, but I haven't seen his releases come up on any sites. That just appears to be little more than an honor system with consequences.

I really like that I am able to play the games via emulation, and I do not have to grab a pile of cartridges when I am using actual hardware. It works so much better for me.

The signature would be an issue for emulators, unless developers allowed an unlock username to be entered.

Just a concept that somebody could form into something more tangible, if it's worth it.

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There's an Intellivision flash cartridge that supports the kind of digital rights management you describe. I think it's technically interesting.

My favorite scenario is that people release ROMs as they see fit (free is nice!) and encourage people to buy cartridges from the developers or the AtariAge store, where the quality and support can be relied upon.

The pirates should be named and shamed and avoided.

It's hard to imagine that there's enough money in this for anyone to bother to steal stuff. That makes me sad.

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There's an Intellivision flash cartridge that supports the kind of digital rights management you describe. I think it's technically interesting.

My favorite scenario is that people release ROMs as they see fit (free is nice!) and encourage people to buy cartridges from the developers or the AtariAge store, where the quality and support can be relied upon.

The pirates should be named and shamed and avoided.

It's hard to imagine that there's enough money in this for anyone to bother to steal stuff. That makes me sad.

That is the flash cart I have for the Intellivision. I purchased DK, DKII, and Ms Pac-Man (before I even had an Intellivision). I don't know if there's anything identifying my ITO as being mine, but my purchased games all work great on it.

To me, I think releasing digital would be all profit, since the cost of a cartridge isn't necessary. The savings could be passed onto the consumer, and the profit for AA and developers could be figured in too.

Of course, this would require work for people. Not sure if it's worth it.

• 16

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Good topic guys.

I think the pirates are total scumbags, due to them I mulled over a copy protection scheme for Carrot Kingdomfor the cart release. Everyone has the right to enjoy Carrot Kingdomit is just annoying if someone is cashing in on my hard work, and the work of others doing other homebrews as well. The people who buy the limited release have their carts potentially de-valued if the pirate carts are similarly counterfeit as well.

I decided against it, because likely it would get cracked within hours by a diligent hacker anyway in this day and age.

I think the idea of a DRM capable flash cart is neat, and a great alternative for people who want to sell a digital ROM. Some kind of IC or Microcrontroller based Copy Protection might be cool, but I think the R&D time might be better spent working on actual games.

For me having the physical swag of a cart, box, etc. for my own geeky nature to be like "OMG there is a physical release of my game!", and if other people would like it too that is rad. Otherwise the digital ROM at least to me should be free to play for everyone.

Edited by Jinroh

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To clarify, this post was not to impose on developers in anyway. As I stated, I WANT to be able to support the developers and AtariAge, so I wanted to throw out another possible way to do so. This is not a response to complain, but as a possible alternative method. I am also not claiming that Carl Mueller Jr.'s method works. I am just throwing out a concept.

I don't do it for money, but because I enjoy doing it. I just don't like when people decide to take it upon themselves to make unauthorized copies of my games.

Not that I have to explain myself to you, but I went CRAZY trying to contact Namco when I first was doing Pac-Man collection. They completely ignored my e-mails, posts on their forums, and reaching out to people with contacts to them.

Thank you for sharing with us. I have really enjoyed your work. Please know that this thread is not from a negative perspective.

I do not feel you owe any obligation to anybody. In fact, I am extremely grateful that you shared such a great beta. I really enjoy it.

The quality, along with the uniqueness, is going to make the final release a must-have for me, regardless of format.

Thanks also for sharing about that additional behind-the-scenes effort. So, they never got back to you?

Hey Bob it is all cool don't worry.
99.999% of us think that when someone has something that they made and put time into it they name the price and terms and if someone is not satisfied they move on.

Amen!

I think the idea of a DRM capable flash cart is neat, and a great alternative for people who want to sell a digital ROM. Some kind of IC or Microcrontroller based Copy Protection might be cool, but I think the R&D time might be better spent working on actual games.

For me having the physical swag of a cart, box, etc. for my own geeky nature to be like "OMG there is a physical release of my game!", and if other people would like it too that is rad. Otherwise the digital ROM at least to me should be free to play for everyone.

Thanks. I wouldn't want any developers to feel I am trying to impose any additional work. My thought is, if a standard was in place, developers could take advantage of that. It might be too much work for such a small niche, but it was just a brainstorming thought, to allow multiple developer/AA support methods. Eventually, Cartridge/Digital bundles could be a thing??

I do agree that there's something cool about having a physical cartridge. I would want the cart for "special" games (Holy Grail). I do appreciate the cartridges, but sometimes I just want to game. I want to be able to go down the list of games, select, experience, and then move onto the next. I don't want to have to grab a pile of carts off the shelf for my gaming session, just to have to clean up when I am done. (This is just me sharing my personal laziness, not complaining.) Also, for early demos, it's really cool to be able to try them out. SD carts are sold on AA, and it would be another way to keep those purchases relative.

I'd personally be very content offering $15-$20 for a final digital copy and be done. For those of us who have SD Carts, there could be a Cart + Digital purchase for a higher price, just like Amazon. Best of Both worlds.

In the end, no biggie if it's more trouble than it's worth. Just throwing out an idea.

Here's my thing with it....I don't wish to pay full retail for a homebrew, I find that insulting. Most of them are great, featuring amazing work, but the vast majority would be tossed out of the window of a contemporary game publisher during the system's lifespan. I DON'T WANT the hardware! I don't have the room for them. I'm all for offering roms for purchase, and have bought them in the past. Again, if it's like $10 or less, like most all Steam "retro" games are. As for DRM, I'm not sure that homebrewers what to be bothered with doing that. As for their outrage over piracy, that holds no water from the standpoint that they're usually violating copyrights by porting or producing games based on IP they don't own, for systems they don't have a license to. Sounds like you should leave this forum and forget that people are coding new games for old systems altogether. AtariAge is clearly not the right place for you if what goes on here is so insulting to you. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites As for DRM, I'm not sure that homebrewers what to be bothered with doing that. This is the ONLY thing you're right on. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Sounds like you should leave this forum and forget that people are coding new games for old systems altogether. AtariAge is clearly not the right place for you if what goes on here is so insulting to you. I did not single out this forum, in fact, most of what is sold here is of the highest quality. But go to a repro site, and often it's unfinished dung with a sticker on a cart. You're paying for the hardware, which isn't necessary. Almost every classic system has a flash cart of some kind now. If there's no rom option, I simply move on. I do not support piracy for profit. I wouldn't even have known PMP stuff was being sold like that until he complained because, frankly, I don't seek it out. Besides Hozer, I rarely see any. Sorry that's just my opinion, I don't see why our only option is to pay for hardware that is often not required. Usually I don't direct that at the game's author, but in this case, I felt like he was saying this forum can't be trusted, so I'm locking this down, without warning. Edited by Greg2600 #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites I did not single out this forum, in fact, most of what is sold here is of the highest quality. But go to a repro site, and often it's unfinished dung with a sticker on a cart. You're paying for the hardware, which isn't necessary. Almost every classic system has a flash cart of some kind now. If there's no rom option, I simply move on. I do not support piracy for profit. I wouldn't even have known PMP stuff was being sold like that until he complained because, frankly, I don't seek it out. Besides Hozer, I rarely see any. Sorry that's just my opinion, I don't see why our only option is to pay for hardware that is often not required. Usually I don't direct that at the game's author, but in this case, I felt like he was saying this forum can't be trusted, so I'm locking this down, without warning. You are not locking down a single thing. The only thing that needs locking down is your ability to participate on this forum. Go away. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites I did not single out this forum, in fact, most of what is sold here is of the highest quality. But go to a repro site, and often it's unfinished dung with a sticker on a cart. You're paying for the hardware, which isn't necessary. Almost every classic system has a flash cart of some kind now. If there's no rom option, I simply move on. I do not support piracy for profit. I wouldn't even have known PMP stuff was being sold like that until he complained because, frankly, I don't seek it out. Besides Hozer, I rarely see any. Sorry that's just my opinion, I don't see why our only option is to pay for hardware that is often not required. Usually I don't direct that at the game's author, but in this case, I felt like he was saying this forum can't be trusted, so I'm locking this down, without warning. You felt that Bob was saying the 7800 forum on AtariAge cannot be trusted; that makes sense. After all, he's the one with a track record of knocking the system and development towards it, right here on this same forum. Your noble and honorable intentions are duly noted. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites I didn't feel like he was saying anything negative about this forum in specific, he was complaining that people made and sold physical cartridges of his games, no matter where they got the binaries from. It might even be from here, but not necessarily done by someone who participates on this forum. Remember anyone can read the forums on Atariage and download the binaries posted here, even non-members can do so. And then there might have been steps in between like some people searching this forum for binaries and posting them on ROM sites (without charging for it) and other people downloading them from the ROM sites and making their illegal repros. I did not single out this forum, in fact, most of what is sold here is of the highest quality. But go to a repro site, and often it's unfinished dung with a sticker on a cart. You're paying for the hardware, which isn't necessary. Almost every classic system has a flash cart of some kind now. If there's no rom option, I simply move on. I do not support piracy for profit. I wouldn't even have known PMP stuff was being sold like that until he complained because, frankly, I don't seek it out. Besides Hozer, I rarely see any. Sorry that's just my opinion, I don't see why our only option is to pay for hardware that is often not required. Usually I don't direct that at the game's author, but in this case, I felt like he was saying this forum can't be trusted, so I'm locking this down, without warning. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Remember anyone can read the forums on Atariage and download the binaries posted here, even non-members can do so. And then there might have been steps in between like some people searching this forum for binaries and posting them on ROM sites (without charging for it) and other people downloading them from the ROM sites and making their illegal repros. Correct. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites You are not locking down a single thing. The only thing that needs locking down is your ability to participate on this forum. Go away. For having an opinion? I don't think so. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites I know you have good intentions man, because I know you like Digital Versions of games. You can at least take solace in the digital versions of my games will be free, everyone has the right to enjoy them. That is the whole reason I make them so people can see what crazy ideas can come from my mind. Plus Jinny is a doll and everyone should experience her cuteness. ;3 To clarify, this post was not to impose on developers in anyway. As I stated, I WANT to be able to support the developers and AtariAge, so I wanted to throw out another possible way to do so. This is not a response to complain, but as a possible alternative method. I am also not claiming that Carl Mueller Jr.'s method works. I am just throwing out a concept. Thank you for sharing with us. I have really enjoyed your work. Please know that this thread is not from a negative perspective. I do not feel you owe any obligation to anybody. In fact, I am extremely grateful that you shared such a great beta. I really enjoy it. The quality, along with the uniqueness, is going to make the final release a must-have for me, regardless of format. Thanks also for sharing about that additional behind-the-scenes effort. So, they never got back to you? Amen! Thanks. I wouldn't want any developers to feel I am trying to impose any additional work. My thought is, if a standard was in place, developers could take advantage of that. It might be too much work for such a small niche, but it was just a brainstorming thought, to allow multiple developer/AA support methods. Eventually, Cartridge/Digital bundles could be a thing?? I do agree that there's something cool about having a physical cartridge. I would want the cart for "special" games (Holy Grail). I do appreciate the cartridges, but sometimes I just want to game. I want to be able to go down the list of games, select, experience, and then move onto the next. I don't want to have to grab a pile of carts off the shelf for my gaming session, just to have to clean up when I am done. (This is just me sharing my personal laziness, not complaining.) Also, for early demos, it's really cool to be able to try them out. SD carts are sold on AA, and it would be another way to keep those purchases relative. I'd personally be very content offering$15-\$20 for a final digital copy and be done. For those of us who have SD Carts, there could be a Cart + Digital purchase for a higher price, just like Amazon. Best of Both worlds.

In the end, no biggie if it's more trouble than it's worth. Just throwing out an idea.

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You know what? Go to hell. Don't buy my games any more. I don't do it for money, but because I enjoy doing it. I just don't like when people decide to take it upon themselves to make unauthorized copies of my games. But you're going to sit there and call me out for my protecting MY CODE? Again, people like you and the others making unauthorized copies make me want to stop doing this altogether and just make the games for myself.

Not that I have to explain myself to you, but I went CRAZY trying to contact Namco when I first was doing Pac-Man collection. They completely ignored my e-mails, posts on their forums, and reaching out to people with contacts to them. I WANTED to do this the right way. Not that it matters to you. If they don't want me to make a port of a 37 year old game for a 35 year old system, they will send me a C/D. I will GLADLY take the game down.

Hi Bob

do not care about one 😬..

But this discussion,makes me thinking about

my newest project....maybe i should sell the final rom 😁

What do you think?

Then i can hear crying the users......why i want to

sell just a rom?

Edited by gambler172

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I've never heard of potential customers crying about being provided a variety of options to purchase a homebrew, including a digitally distributed rom for flash carts and emulators.

It comes with its issues, as seen with the concerns expressed by PacManPlus that it can assist those without scruples to more easily benefit from their theft of someone else's creation. But I don't see anyone crying when a homebrew author has provided the option and it's something routinely requested by potential customers when it isn't.

But if you're making a game and release it someday, feel free to distribute it how you like, or even just keep it to yourself if that's your preference. It's your game and it should make you happy.

Edited by Atariboy

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I'm still confused why those who are complaining about not having a "rom" to whatever homebrew game are not trashing up the other on going\in progress game threads as well? For example why not rip and tear in the Rikki & Vikki thread and at it's author too? There is no binary of that game posted at all so you who are "insulted" and "offended" should be going postal right? And if there isn't a working emulator setup for such a game you should be enriching and encouraging the emulator authors and posting your warm thoughts to them too right? Why only direct this towards Bob's current work? Why don't you just go and run the whole damn homebrew community and all it's different flavors right into the ground?

You folks seem to think you have the right and that you are doing no wrong, so give'er, you're all doing great things for everyone! God forbid anyone speaks up and against your trash too cause that means they are in the wrong and surely just rocking the boat to cause a stir. Talk about a totally ass backwards mentality. Only thing I'm wondering is if these same people conduct themselves in the same manor in real life. If so you must all be a real treat to be around or interact with on any level. Gross.

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Hmmm, good question. For one, I was pretty interested in Baby Pac-Man because I've played it in Visual PinMAME very much. And the fact that there were incomplete ROM's posted made me curious about what was to come, and after the maze part already turned out great I wanted to "save" the pinball part when Bob got stuck with it. Maybe - and in that you're right - if Bob never would have posted an incomplete ROM file, I wouldn't have fallen for it. I admit that. And I'm not following all homebrew actions, just certain ones that seem attractive to me, the 2nd one at the moment being "Chaotic Grill", a new version of Burger Time for the Atari 2600 by Splendidnut, and, sadly, there also I seem to have gone a bit too far by posting more than I should (not about ROM release, but in terms of "help"...).

And, sadly, you're right that I'm generally not a nice person to interact with. There's no problem if I only go shopping or eating at a restaurant, that is, the waiters and clerks probably have no problem, but the more people get to know me on a deeper level, the more I seem to get on their nerves or annoy them. I've already realized that, but I'm unsure what to do about it.

In addition to that, in the thread you're referring, Bob first dropped the project, and when I started to finish it, he picked it up again and regained control over it, so I felt entitled to have more say in the final outcome than those only standing on the sideline. But I guess I was wrong there as well...

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EDIT: I can't say anything nice so I won't say anything at all!

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Hmmm, good question.

None of what I said in that post was directed at you Kurt. My comments where directed at those that seem to expect everything for free or next to it and call foul or garbage when they don't get what they want. That and the expectations to be able to get away with saying anything and everything without any repercussions or blowback and again calling foul on others who don't want to instantly forgive and forget with a high five cherry on top. You have contributed a ton to Baby Pac for the 7800 and while it's a shame you and Bob where not on the same page as far as distribution of the game goes and the world had to see so out in public, the only 2 people who have any real say is you and Bob. The rest of the peanut gallery? Not so much. I understand your situation causes you some communication issues. That's fine, we all have our issues. Nobody should ever judge you because you have a disability, or better put, different way of communicating than most others. It's not like you picked to have autism. The spectrum picked you not the other way around.

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The reason I reacted, and perhaps others, was that Bob's games are usually the most anticipated, at least on this forum. Actually the Rikki Vikki dev said he saw no reason to release the rom since you can't play it on anything at this point. Though he didn't seem against it, but the question was brought up. I've paid for a ROM only, for instance, in Kickstarters like Tanglewood, Socks the Cat, and Toe Jam and Earl, as well as for the Carl Mueller games for INTV. I've applauded OpCode or Collectorvision or PixelBoy, who have released ROMs when runs of their titles have sold out or after a period of time. I've griped over say, First Star, who never do it, and don't make carts anymore. Obviously every time PMP or Wrathchild or one of the many fantastic programmers on this site do the same, if I see the thread. More often than not, I've argued far more often with unreleased prototype collectors who don't provide roms for games which are not reproduced and therefore remain hidden to the world. My point, though badly conveyed, was that for those of us who aren't CIB collectors, it would be nice to have an alternative, that's all.

As for the discussion about roms and DRM or whatnot, there was a good one during the fall here. http://atariage.com/forums/topic/283110-why-do-so-many-homebrew-games-dont-have-roms/

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Hopefully peace returns shortly.

I'll leave it at this. I love the work that PacManPlus has done and want to again say thanks for all the wonderful games you've made for the 7800. You've turned a lackluster library into a great one. Thanks

Edited by Atariboy

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