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The Homebrew Wars: Number of homebrew games for every retro system

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1st generation

 

Odyssey: Around 6 games

 

2nd generation

 

Atari 2600: Around 2000 games

Colecovision: Around 200 games (Wikipedia lists 165, one user says there are actually 230)

Intellivision: Around 130 games

Odyssey²/Videopac: Around 30 games

Atari 5200: Around 12 games

Vectrex: Around 150 games

 

3rd generation

 

NES/Famicom: Around 200 games

Master System: Around 175 games

Atari 7800: Around 30 games

C64: Around 4000 games ( more than 1000 type-ins from 1984 to 1993 [1, 2, etc.] , around 2500 homebrew games after the last official game appeared around 1993)

MSX: Around 300 homebrew games after the last official game appeared around 1993, probably hundreds of type-ins too

ZX Spectrum: Around 4000 games (around 2200 type-ins [1, 2], around 1800 homebrew games after the last official game appeared around 1993)

Amstrad CPC: Around 2000 games (1400 type-ins from 1984 to 1993, 700 homebrew games after the last official game appeared in 1993)

Apple II: Around 20 homebrew games released after the commercial life of the system (filter by Publisher "Homebrew" here), probably hundreds of type-ins too

Atari 400/800/XL ("Atari 8-bit"): Around 4500 games (Around 2000 games released after the last official game appeared around 1989 [manually search by year here] around 2500 magazine/freeware/shareware games before 1989 [1, 2])

BBC Micro: Around 1500 games (Go here and manually filter by Commercial Release+Public Domain+Awaiting Categorisation and see the first pages to find around 100 modern homebrew games; filter by Magazine+Book to find the 1500 type-ins)

 

4th generation (home consoles and computers)

 

Genesis/Mega Drive: Around 100 games

SNES/Super Famicom: Around 30 games

Turbografx 16/PC Engilne: Around 25 games

Amiga: Around 500 games (manually search the ones released after 1995 and the non-commercial ones before 1996 here)

Atari ST: Around 200 games (most of them freeware/shareware, a few modern, homebrew commercial ones)

MS-DOS: Around 2500 games, probably much more (2000 small freeware/shareware games from my collection, 165 homebrew games after the year 2000)

 

4th generation (handheld systems)

 

Game Boy/Game Boy Color: Around 70 games (1, 2)

Game Gear: Around 20 games

Lynx: Around 140 games (manually filter by Homebrew here)

 

5th generation (home consoles)

 

Jaguar: Around 100 games

3DO: Around 5 games (1, 2, 3, 4)

Playstation: Around 70 games (around 65 with Yaroze, around 5 without it)

Saturn: Around 125 games (around 100 with Game Basic, around 25 without it, check out XL2's engine too)

Nintendo 64: Around 15 games (Spacer and Yeti3D Pro are not included there but they exist. Same with Flappy Bird, Pyoro 64 and others).

 

5th generation (handheld systems)

 

Game Boy Advance: Around 450 games (1, 2)

Neo Geo Pocket/Neo Geo Pocket Color: Around 10 games

 

6th generation (home consoles)

 

Dreamcast: Around 70 games

Playstation 2: Around 20 games

Game Cube: Unknown

Xbox: Unknown

 

6th generation (handheld systems)

 

PSP: Around 2000 games

Nintendo DS: Around 1200 games

 

7th generation

Playstation 3: Around 20 games

 

SOON: More systems, including very rare ones.

Edited by IntelliMission
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You forgot colecovision and 1st gen.....the most important consoles ;)

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This is ultra tasty. It looks like Sega Retro forgot FX Unit Yuki for Genesis/Mega Drive (not that it's obtainable legally anymore).

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This doesn't make sense,  how does a popular system like NES have slightly more homebrews than a fairly obscure one like Vectrex?

 

And what's the criteria for "homebrew" on computer?  Some mention type-ins,  others mention released after 95.   I'm sure I have more than 200 shareware/homebrew ST titles.

 

Also where's Atari 8-bit?  It has a large number of homebrew titles.

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13 minutes ago, zzip said:

This doesn't make sense,  how does a popular system like NES have slightly more homebrews than a fairly obscure one like Vectrex?

It makes perfect sense, actually. Making an "attractive" game on the Vectrex (or most other pre-NES consoles) is easier than on the NES or later machines. The main reason is that the NES is capable of pretty complex games (mostly through the use of mappers) like Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, Castlevania, etc., etc., etc.. Can you do those games on the Vectrex? Not really, and most Vectrex players understand this implicitely, and that's why it's easier to make an "interesting" game on the Vectrex, because expectations are lower.

 

By contrast, if you do a relatively simple homebrew game on the NES, something that requires a LOT of free time to develop, code and debug, but that say a stock ColecoVision could do, then NES players will look at this homebrew and say "Nice effort, now excuse me while I go replay Mega Man 2 for the 52nd time".

 

When you know that making a "small" game (i.e. that fits in a 32K cartridge) can eat up a LOT of your free time, then you can see why pre-NES consoles are more attractive to bedroom coders. You get more recognition for your hard work on those "earlier" platforms than on the NES and onward.

 

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Hey zzip, I apologize. There must be errors, I assume that. I will ask the admins to allow me to edit the first message to add the missing systems (that's undeniable) and the missing games (that's more than likely).

 

I have done the best that I could.

 

Also, I used the term "type-ins" for type-ins and magazine cover games that were never released commercially.

 

The criteria seems odd but there's an explanation: the databases don't have enough filters, so I was forced to use a rough estimation by counting the games released after the "commercial life" of a system, the type-ins...

 

This is an open project and all corrections are welcomed. My intention was to check the state of each homebrew scene, as I'm a bit curious and confused as to why some system have thousands of homebrew games and others have 100 or zero.

 

I was afraid to lost all the work and I knew I was not going to be able to edit the message 1 hour after sending it, so I decided to leave it as it is for now.

 

My favorite console is the PS1 and the scene is depressing... I'm also surprised there aren't more games for the 16 bit consoles.

 

As you said, I hope it's just a mistake and there are hundreds more! 😎

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12 minutes ago, IntelliMission said:

Hey zzip, I apologize. There must be errors, I assume that. I will ask the admins to allow me to edit the first message to add the missing systems (that's undeniable) and the missing games (that's more than likely).

 

I have done the best that I could.

 

Also, I used the term "type-ins" for type-ins and magazine cover games that were never released commercially.

 

The criteria seems odd but there's an explanation: the databases don't have enough filters, so I was forced to use a rough estimation by counting the games released after the "commercial life" of a system, the type-ins...

 

This is an open project and all corrections are welcomed. My intention was to check the state of each homebrew scene, as I'm a bit curious and confused as to why some system have thousands of homebrew games and others have 100 or zero.

 

I was afraid to lost all the work and I knew I was not going to be able to edit the message 1 hour after sending it, so I decided to leave it as it is for now.

 

My favorite console is the PS1 and the scene is depressing... I'm also surprised there aren't more games for the 16 bit consoles.

 

As you said, I hope it's just a mistake and there are hundreds more! 😎

Thanks for the explanation,  and yeah the discrepancy in titles is interesting

 

As I said, I do have hundreds of shareware games on ST, but many of those were released during the console's heydey,  maybe you can put them in a separate category?  "Shareware/PD" = noncommercial games released during systems commercial life,   "Homebrew" = games released after the system's commercial life

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3 minutes ago, zzip said:

"Shareware" = noncommercial games released during systems commercial life

Shareware were commercial. Not sure on ST but on PC a shareware would be "Part I of III" game, with the Part I free but you needed to order and pay for game Part II and III. Sure they were free, but they were commercial games.

Unlike some homebrews that are only available in physical form and thue require you to pay for the product. 😛

Edited by CatPix
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1 minute ago, CatPix said:

Shareware were commercial. Not sure on ST but on PC a shareware would be "Part I of III" game, with the Part I free but you needed to order and pay for game Part II and III. Sure they were free, but they were commercial games.

Unlike some homebrews that are only available in physical form and thue require you to pay for the product. 😛

Yeah on PC that was true.  Many games in the mid-90s were putting out first levels as shareware, but the entire game was full price.

 

On ST it was more like "If you like this game, send me $5 and the game will stop nagging you".   So I guess the definition of shareware changed over time.

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37 minutes ago, IntelliMission said:

I will ask the admins to allow me to edit the first message to add the missing systems (that's undeniable) and the missing games (that's more than likely).

You should now have the ability to edit the first post.

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45 minutes ago, zzip said:

Yeah on PC that was true.  Many games in the mid-90s were putting out first levels as shareware, but the entire game was full price.

 

On ST it was more like "If you like this game, send me $5 and the game will stop nagging you".   So I guess the definition of shareware changed over time.

Well technically it's a software you share.

I was reacting on the confusion between "commercial" and "free" confusion. There were free commercial software and there are non-free (monetary wise) homebrews.

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Yeah, but now do a list of fun, playable homebrews for each system.  The numbers are a lot lower...

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I have just added Colecovision and Odyssey²/Videopac. I also added most of the retro handhelds. And Apple II. I will leave it for today. Heh.

 

By the way, if anyone knows a list of Apple II type-ins or freeware games created back in the day, let me know in the comments. Perhaps I should filter by Publisher on the online Excel with the list of games and select some magazine games.

 

EDIT: Yeah, I'm counting every game offered for free and also commercial modern homebrews. It's not very accurate, but after all it's just a list of games and a curious way to see how much love receives each system.

Edited by IntelliMission

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1st gen:

Odyssey - 8 homebrews

 

Telstar Arcade -none

 

 

2nd gen:

Channel f - 2 homebrews with a 3rd coming + the multicart + a few more rom only ones

 

Rca Studio 2 - No phisical homebrews but a few rom releases + 2 game repros and the multicart

 

Bally Astrocade - 2 modern hombrews + multicarts + about 30 games from back in the day that were really the first homebrews ever...more if tape games are included

 

Apf - no modern homebrews but some tape homebrews from back in the day.

 

Arcadia 2001 - no phisical hombrews besides the multicarts but about a half dozen rom homebrews

 

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Thanks, stupus! By the way, can you add any links with sources to your numbers? I will add those systems to the list tomorrow.

Edited by IntelliMission

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This is silly. We all know PacManPlus wins the Homebrew Wars. The one man tour de force of homebrews. 

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"Number of homebrew games"

These numbers are NOT games. You should probably both redefine what is a game, vs a demo or homebrew "rom", and actually reflect those numbers. 

Edited by turboxray

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Thanks, very useful if you're trying to find something by system with those links, if you maintain it.

 

This seriously needs a STICKY added to it so it doesn't drop off.

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5 hours ago, turboxray said:

"Number of homebrew games"

These numbers are NOT games. You should probably both redefine what is a game, vs a demo or homebrew "rom", and actually reflect those numbers. 

 

Hi turboxray,

 

Thanks for the suggestion! Actually, I have already tried to keep the non-playable demos out from the start. Check out the links again, I have removed them from the filters. This is why I have mentioned the new Saturn engine by XL2 but didn't count it as a game: both Sonic Z-Treme and the FPS demo are demos, not games.

 

About all those homebrew ROM that didn't have a physical release... well, for me they count as games. In any case, it's great to have all those resources to check and try to count modern commercial hardware games, it's a great tool. Sometimes the physical format is hard to manufacture, so I guess having a ROM is better than nothing! 🖖

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22 hours ago, Pixelboy said:

"Nice effort, now excuse me while I go replay Mega Man 2 for the 52nd time"

Indeed. I would go as far as saying that Nintendo gamers and collectors are the most brand loyal of all in the retro gaming world. Many of those wouldn't bother for a second with a modern homebrew no matter how good it is, because nothing can match Nintendo's own library anyway. That itself leads to fewer people spending their time on making e.g. NES homebrews if there are other formats where their efforts will be more appreciated, able to sell more cartridges etc.

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52 minutes ago, carlsson said:

Indeed. I would go as far as saying that Nintendo gamers and collectors are the most brand loyal of all in the retro gaming world. Many of those wouldn't bother for a second with a modern homebrew no matter how good it is, because nothing can match Nintendo's own library anyway. That itself leads to fewer people spending their time on making e.g. NES homebrews if there are other formats where their efforts will be more appreciated, able to sell more cartridges etc.

Yes and no.

 

Competing with the quality and depth of Nintendo's best (or Konami's, or Capcom's, or Sunsoft's, yadda yadda...) requires a significant amount of resources, but the userbase is also very expansive (and right now - very willing to spend cash). It's also a little difficult to make direct comparisons between platforms since the communities formed around them are very different - NesDev isn't AtariAge. Most of the coverage for "new games on old things" outside of these forums is very NES or Genesis oriented at the moment.

 

Generally though, I think the thought process of "well it's too difficult to compete with these games so I'll develop for something else" is ridiculous. If anything it's a challenge to overcome which hopefully results in a great product. If there's an equivalent on any Atari platform to the success of Micro Mages I'd like to know about it.

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11 minutes ago, TailChao said:

Generally though, I think the thought process of "well it's too difficult to compete with these games so I'll develop for something else" is ridiculous. If anything it's a challenge to overcome which hopefully results in a great product.

Are you a programmer?

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