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The Future of Homebrews

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Humour me by playing soothesayer for a while :)

What do you think the future holds for homebrews? Do you think we will see more homebrew carts for the NES or 5200 or will the 2600 remain THE system with the most homebrew titles available? As for the 2600 Homebrews do you think the shells of old games will continue to be recycled or do you think most homebrews of the future will be completely new carts such as Seawolf which was only available as an all-new game? Also for the 2600 homebrew scene do you think most future releases will be arcade ports or all new game ideas? Hows that for a bucket-o-questions?

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IMHO, the Atari 2600 is the system that holds the most nostalgia and fond memories. Sure, we'll see homebrews for other systems, but I think the 2600 will always receive the most attention.

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Hi there!

 

I think there's like 20 GBA homebrews for 1 on the 2600.

 

As for the other questions... I think the 2600 scene will remain stable. Coleco is the next big thing ;)

 

Greetings,

Manuel

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Coleco is the next big thing ;)

1008541[/snapback]

 

 

'Cept that working Colecovisions are a bit harder to run across than 2600s are.

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Coleco is the next big thing ;)

1008541[/snapback]

 

 

'Cept that working Colecovisions are a bit harder to run across than 2600s are.

1008554[/snapback]

Yeah, though I would LIKE to have a Colecovision I do not now nor have I ever owned one :(

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Coleco is the next big thing ;)
'Cept that working Colecovisions are a bit harder to run across than 2600s are.
However, since the ColecoVision is architecturally similar to the NES (aside from the completely different CPU), that will make forward ports much easier. If you use an NES cartridge with a lot of PPU RAM and download graphics to it as needed, they become even closer in design. And I think the next frontier after Coleco will be the NES.

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Hi there!

 

And I think the next frontier after Coleco will be the NES.

 

Or the SMS. It actually is just a spiced up Coleco, no? ;)

 

But I've just recently visited the SMS scene, they're still stuck at the "Tetris-Age" of homebrews it seems :lol:

 

Greetings,

Manuel

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Hmm, that's interesting. It really is closer to the ColecoVision that I would have expected.

 

What would be really interesting is to figure out how to make Genesis/MegaDrive carts that are electrically the equivalent of a SMS cartridge plus a Power Base Adapter, but written to use the Genesis controller buttons instead of needing a front panel reset button. There are a LOT more Genesis/MD units out there than SMS units, especially in the United States.

 

And right now, junk common Genesis cartridges are becoming as easy to find as NES cartridges, which means plenty of cartridge shells will be available. The boards will have to be different for a Z-80 game vs a 68000 game, but Sega used a normal pin spacing, unlike the NES, so the boards will be easier to design.

 

I still think, however, that NES really is the next homebrew frontier, simply because of more nostalgia for it, like how the 2600 is right now.

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I still think, however, that NES really is the next homebrew frontier, simply because of more nostalgia for it, like how the 2600 is right now.

1008577[/snapback]

I hope you are correct, I am still waitin for Super Mario 4 :D

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I like to think of the future of homebrews not so much as games, but more as dev kits. If a good public dev kit comes out for a classic console system, it encourages people to try programming games for these older machines, especially if the dev kit's language is evolved and easy to learn, like Batari Basic for the Atari 2600, or DragonBasic for the GBA. Once good tutorials have been released, the rest is just hard work and dedication.

 

Make a good dev kit for ColecoVision or the NES, and amazing things may happen! :D

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I still think, however, that NES really is the next homebrew frontier, simply because of more nostalgia for it, like how the 2600 is right now.

1008577[/snapback]

 

Once the cart shells, boards, and MMC chips become massively available, this will be the case, but until then... Not sure. What about Game Boy? It's Z80 (sort of), and fabulously well-documented. Seen the GB Cribsheet?

 

I'd love to do some thing for Game Boy if I had the time and the tools on OS X.

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What would be really interesting is to figure out how to make Genesis/MegaDrive carts that are electrically the equivalent of a SMS cartridge plus a Power Base Adapter, but written to use the Genesis controller buttons instead of needing a front panel reset button.  There are a LOT more Genesis/MD units out there than SMS units, especially in the United States.

1008577[/snapback]

As far as the hardware side, that's quite possible, as Phantasy Star I MD is really an SMS game. As for the controller setup, I'm not sure how you'd use the extra buttons from SMS mode (it may be the same as doing it in Genesis mode). Here's a thread that goes into a bit more detail about how the Genesis handles SMS mode.

 

I will say that the pin functions are completely different depending on whether you're in Genesis or SMS mode, so it would be a pain to have a dual-mode cartridge, but other than that, it shouldn't be too much of a problem to do what you're talking about.

Edited by LocalH

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Pretty much, yeah. I've never actually done any SMS code myself, so I don't know, but Charles MacDonald says that you can indeed access all Genesis buttons from SMS mode. You can even switch the VDP to mode 5 (Genesis mode) while still otherwise in SMS mode, so you can also write pseudo-SMS games that use some of the added graphics capabilities of the Genesis VDP.

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The future is with 2600 having many hombrew games. I see action rpgs or rps happening on the 2600 with talk of using more then 32k. I also see attempts of doing more nes games for 2600. I feel that hacks like Skate or Die will pave way for 1st or 2nd generation nes games on 2600. Colecovision should have more games with it being able to do nes games. I won't be shock if I see a Megaman type game on it. The 5200 should have some homebrew games coming I think. The 7800 is up on the air at this point. It all depends on what games are being worked on and it there is more tools to make the 7800 to be easier to program. The key also is while the source code, or the game itself could be dumped for making hacks if a game made from scratch is done from a genre that has been done much of during the 7800's existence.

Edited by 8th lutz

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Humour me by playing soothesayer for a while :)

What do you think the future holds for homebrews? Do you think we will see more homebrew carts for the NES or 5200 or will the 2600 remain THE system with the most homebrew titles available? As for the 2600 Homebrews do you think the shells of old games will continue to be recycled or do you think most homebrews of the future will be completely new carts such as Seawolf which was only available as an all-new game? Also for the 2600 homebrew scene do you think most future releases will be arcade ports or all new game ideas?  Hows that for a bucket-o-questions?

1008504[/snapback]

 

This is The Future of Homebrews

post-8491-1138489249_thumb.jpg

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What technically makes something a "home brew", does it actually have to be on cartridge or simply writing software counts? If the latter is the case (remembering that machines like the XL/XE series don't need to use cartridges) then there's a lot going on over there for a starter...?

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What technically makes something a "home brew", does it actually have to be on cartridge or simply writing software counts?  If the latter is the case (remembering that machines like the XL/XE series don't need to use cartridges) then there's a lot going on over there for a starter...?

1008931[/snapback]

This is what I have always understood it to be:

The term is frequently applied only on video games that are produced on proprietary game platforms - in other words, game platforms that are not typically user-programmable, or use proprietary hardware for storage.

In other words, an 8-bit computer doesn't count. Well, it might if you actually produce a cartridge.

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I would like to see the 2600 Homebrew Scene go the "SeaWolf Way" and use all new carts but I don't know if that is going to happen or not, I know most of the cannibalized carts are Combat or Pac-Man but still it is a shame to see 'em go even if it IS to turn 'em into something better (I understand that a copy of Crazy Balloon is worth a boxload of Combat).

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I would like to see the 2600 Homebrew Scene go the "SeaWolf Way" and  use all new carts but I don't know if that is going to happen or not, I know most of the cannibalized carts are Combat or Pac-Man but still it is a shame to see 'em go even if it IS to turn 'em into something better (I understand that a copy of Crazy Balloon is worth a boxload of Combat).

1009080[/snapback]

 

While it is true that there were only a finite number of Combat , Pac Man, and Missile Command carts produced, that number is extremely huge; even with all the homebrews being created, I would not be surprised if the number of carts of any one of those titles exceeds the number of operational machines to play them.

 

Still, I suppose Albert could offer grab bags of board-only games, fifty for $5. Not sure what anyone would do with them, but if someone wanted to ensure that they were preserved they could.

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Future of homebrews? You'll at least be seeing a Channel F homebrew, once I get around to putting time into it...  :ponder:

1009396[/snapback]

 

Glad to see the short-lived [channelf] mailing list spawned one dedicated coder! I gave up on the F8 a long time ago.

 

Anyway, I think there's a lot of potential left in every system out there besides the ones that have been extensively developed for--I think in the next year or two we're going to see games start to hit the actual technical limits of the VCS, as in, we'll run out of new dirty tricks (at least on the hardware side without new bankswitching schemes). I would figure this will bring about another generation of homebrews, with really weird gameplay, or maybe even homebrew peripherals (AVox leading the charge, maybe we'll see new controllers, etc)... or maybe all of the innovation in the VCS space will move into software. There's some talk of this in the comments of one of Thomas' recent blog posts. This is what excites me the most, a new way of approaching coding the VCS.

 

That, or ColecoVision, will be the future of homebrews. Though I'm still pulling for Game Boy.

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I think there is a practical limit to how advanced homebrew games can become, and as you move up the foodchain with platforms, expectations from (most) gamers increase.

 

Manpower, not hardware, becomes the limitation.

 

Games that an individual developer can pull off in his spare time are best targetted to platforms that can barely deliver on that developer's level of artistic skills and free time.

 

I'm already seeing trouble with the Prince of Persia 2600 project, for instance, because of the need for sprite artwork. Leprechaun will eventually need a lot of volunteer level creators.

 

If even within the 2600 environment it's possible for artistic demands to oustrip supply, then I think it's unrealistic that homebrewing will scale on to newer and newer systems ad infinitum.

 

If it does progress, I think we will see a leveling off in the graphics to the point where the artwork just doesn't come close to maximizing what the platform can do. As the gap between what the developer can deliver and what the hardware can deliver widens, I see the level of appreciation for these games and the resulting media attention diminish accordingly.

 

So I'm sure there will be homebrewing, but it just won't seem to "matter" as much. You won't see, for instance, 20 years down the road, someone interviewing a PSP homebrewer on TV like Paul Slocum got interviewed for his 2600 work because there is no way an individual homebrewer will be able to deliver a game at that time that will come close to looking like even the first batch of PSP titles. So nobody is going to give a crap. You'd probably still see media attention for any remaining 2600 homebrewers, however, no matter how primitive their games may look compared to the future state-of-the-art. It's all about context.

Edited by mos6507

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Well, one way out of this would be Teams. We already see that coming on the VCS, where the trend seems to be having more and more artists involved in projects, supplying sprites and animations. I really enjoy working with Nathan on Colony 7 right now, as he's very professional and delivering throughout excellent material.

 

This is a rather new development, but if you're looking for future trends, that's one that's clearly visible on the horizon. I can see the same happening with music, though since Paul slowed down his activities some, there's still a gap to fill. Also, unlike art, doing outstanding music on the VCS IMO also requires being able to programm your own driver.

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