Retro Video Gamer

Retro Console Gaming => Homebrew Chat => Topic started by: retromod on February 12, 2014, 09:30:32 AM

Title: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively offered
Post by: retromod on February 12, 2014, 09:30:32 AM
yesterday I found an ebay user which offers plenty of unknown coleco, intellivision and atari titles. Most of them are homebrew titles. Auctions starting at $40 up to $200 seems to be quite normal here.

Why are the homebrew title so less promoted? Are the programmer so badly organized? Do they harm copyright and legal of others? Titles are so difficulty and expensive in production? (which can't be if well organized).

Specially as development of a title requires a long time and good knowledge of a system I do not understand why after you have fruit in your hand you dump it for about 10-20 copies.

Any hints?
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: Cryptic33 on February 12, 2014, 10:50:40 AM
Some good points/questions there and I'm certain some members here can give some good answers.

It is the same here in the UK that hombrews are arguable expensive and some people on sites like eBay try to extort the loyal collectors of every system. Some members here have experience of producing hombrew titles and know how this area is plagued by pirates.

I look forward to reading the replies...
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on February 12, 2014, 11:05:41 AM
well pirates may be a problem but if you deliver the right hardware housing, manual and unique box it gets harder to be copied. And if you offer them 24/7 for a good price then pirates do not earn much.

If you sell them for $100 then of course someone will buy it, reproduce it and sell them for $75.

In my opinion there is no "homebrew" business, in the beginnings of homecomputers we were all homebrew developers and made this business big. then the international resellers took over with large amount of money, big developer teams etc. creating outstanding titles of course but not with genius game designs as in the past. Today the retro-scene is in the hand of homebrew developers .. and to my surprise they are not organized, they hide itself and finally offer titles and concepts using copyright material. I do not really understand it, that's why I started this post.

On smartphones and tablets these "homebrew" developers ditched the international resellers by offering clever applications and here in retro computing they lacks any approach to repeat that?
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: TL on February 12, 2014, 11:39:30 AM
I don't understand the homebrew market at times.

If you haven't already then look at the thread for Venture on the Atari XL/XE that was released fairly recently by Video 61. The game is $50 and yet doesn't even come with a box. Worse than that some people got cartridges that had the labels the wrong way round and others got shells that were not attached properly!
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on February 12, 2014, 11:48:51 AM
Quote from: "The Laird"
I don't understand the homebrew market at times.

If you haven't already then look at the thread for Venture on the Atari XL/XE that was released fairly recently by Video 61. The game is $50 and yet doesn't even come with a box. Worse than that some people got cartridges that had the labels the wrong way round and others got shells that were not attached properly!

it seems the good one are focussed on cash cows like Apps? I can't believe that. Could it be we need an organized approach to let the developers develop, then let other people sell the items and complete with manuals, covers and copying to cartridges? It seems today's homebrew developers do not understand the whole line of production and tasks accomplished with it. In the past you have had a good idea, started development, showed a demo to a global software vendor and sign the contract. I also started to market my software via newspaper and on tradeshows but it was prior to the Internet or mailboxes at all. Today it is fairly easy to generate professional products even if you are a one man show.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: TrekMD on February 12, 2014, 11:49:20 AM
This question has been asked and some folks, like Elektronite, have tried to address it.  I know that part of the reason has to do to with the costs of the hardware and packaging (they boxes, overlays, and/or instructions are included) given the relatively low number of copies that are made of these games.  This doesn't always seem to be the case, though, given situations like the one with Venture on the Atari XL/XE.  So, the answer is not as straightforward. 
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: TL on February 12, 2014, 11:57:26 AM
Elektronite are a good example of somebody doing it properly and Songbird are another good example too. You always get top notch professional products from both of them.

RGCD are pretty good but I didn't like the plastic case used for Elansar, it should have come in a proper cardboard box really, looks really out of place on my shelf.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on February 12, 2014, 11:59:28 AM
Quote from: "TrekMD"
... to with the costs of the hardware and packaging (they boxes, overlays, and/or instructions are included) given the relatively low number of copies that are made of these games.  ..

not really. Why should the hardware be expensive? A cartridge housing costs about $2-$5, a pcb about $2 even in short quantities. That's what I pay for the PCB's of my mods. An eprom is not more than $1-$3. If you have a color laser printer a manual is cheap. Package and manual produced in short quantities do not cost more than $50 for about 15 packages. Why to plan in quantities of 5-50 copies? that is far beyond the time and money spent for development itself. Who is working for 1 cent per hour?

A person organizing and selling all the homebrews in a professional way is definitly missing. This role was assigned in the past to the big software vendors, but most of them are gone due to the big crash of gaming industry.

Another business model could be to offer a memory based cartridge to be able to store more than one game and offer downloads of the titles in an app-store like approach to that cartridge. There are always possibilities but if people work on their own without looking behind the fence they will fail of course. The quality of the games is outstanding even from gameplay but this is not enough to get them to the customers.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: TrekMD on February 12, 2014, 12:09:38 PM
From what I've read on talks with Elektronite, the labels, boxes, overlays, and manuals do add up.  Overlays, which are important for Intellivision game releases, can be particularly costly.  Many printers also require large minimum orders and most people expect better quality than just laser printed manuals. 

We really need someone who does the stuff to better explain.  I think you may be underestimating the costs. 

Insofar as the memory-based carts.  Those exist for many systems already (Harmony for the 2600, CC3 for the Intellivision, etc).  When people sell ROMs only to use with those carts, they do sell them for far less than any boxed cart release.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on February 12, 2014, 13:51:52 PM
Quote from: "TrekMD"
From what I've read on talks with Elektronite, the labels, boxes, overlays, and manuals do add up.  Overlays, which are important for Intellivision game releases, can be particularly costly.  Many printers also require large minimum orders and most people expect better quality than just laser printed manuals. 

We really need someone who does the stuff to better explain.  I think you may be underestimating the costs. 

Insofar as the memory-based carts.  Those exist for many systems already (Harmony for the 2600, CC3 for the Intellivision, etc).  When people sell ROMs only to use with those carts, they do sell them for far less than any boxed cart release.

I solved the cover and overlay problem at all. 4 overlays in great quality costs not more than $2 here. Professionally printed of course as I do with the console covers (which then are running through a special process to be more "plastic").

Laser printed manuals are better than the original one. Don't underestimate the power of a good laser printer. Finally it depend on the quality of the paper the right software to get the right layout for printing and binding.
I use laser for nearly all my documentation since 15 years and no one ever complain about the quality. Sure you must be an artists to not using typwriter style approaches. Back in 1980 I used a copy machine and a knife ;-)
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: zapiy on February 12, 2014, 14:01:38 PM
Its not just down to the cost of the hardware and the packaging, what about the persons time, surely they deserve a little back for the hours they invested in the project?
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on February 12, 2014, 14:06:21 PM
Quote from: "zapiy"
Its not just down to the cost of the hardware and the packaging, what about the persons time, surely they deserve a little back for the hours they invested in the project?

exactly that's why I wondering they do not offer them aggressively....
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: zapiy on February 12, 2014, 14:09:15 PM
You mean cheaper and more stock?
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on February 12, 2014, 14:24:00 PM
Quote from: "zapiy"
You mean cheaper and more stock?

yes let's sum a possible price tag:

- PCB with eprom/components  $5
- Housing                                   $5
- Label/Joystick Covers              $2
- Manual  (laserprinter)              $2
- Package (printed)                    $5

all these prices are not the minimum and made by estimation on other projects.

so in total ~$20 for hardware. If you do that in a professional manner it requires a few minutes for each item to build so about 30 min to assemble the full package to the customer.

Price tag of $50 seems to be ok.

Better the approach so sell a dedicated hardware modul with housing alone for about $50 then offering smaller modules with the eprom for about $25. So people sell more modules as rely on your hardware modul compatibility  :48:

Much better in my opinion.....
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on February 12, 2014, 14:35:34 PM
How about the following idea:

we offer a hardware adapter for several systems (Atari, Intellivision, Coleco) containing a copy protection logic.  It fits into the console slot and looks like standard modules.

Homebrew developer sent us their ready to release games and we built small modules out of them (1" by 1") which are able to be plugged into the hardware adapter. We copy the games onto these modules and add a protection which only works with the adapter. Customers need one adapter and are able to buy the games which are much cheaper under that conditions. May be a homebrew shop with payment. We then share the money with the developers.

Costs are dramatically reduced, there is no need for a cover as a module is very small (or we offer a standard one with a homebrew label). So no chance for pirates.

It that a suitable concept?  :115:
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: triverse on February 12, 2014, 22:40:56 PM
The problem here is just like with most things (trust me, been through this with websites and magazines already).  Everyone feels they are able to do it better/cheaper/faster/just wants to be the head honcho.  No one wants to work with anyone else on something. 

If you could pull together a large number of talented developers, freelance artists and sound/music technicians then you could probably really make a killing if the games were quality.  Something like how Image Comics reworked comics in the 90's- characters and books were owned by the artists or whomever and Image simply printed them and got them onto store shelves.  If we had something like that for game developers, someone that could barter for better prices on printing, boxes, PCB's, etc then it would probably lower the costs a bit, raise the available runs of games and generally make the developer's life a little easier.

The problem with this is, when you have that much going on, that many people on board, you end up with a price not much lower than the current prices (unless we are talking $100+ for one of only 100 copies of any given game).

It could be done but it would take a team mentality.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on February 13, 2014, 06:23:31 AM
The small module would be cheap flash memory so could be very cheap finally. As the whole selling, production etc is done by others you are completly focussed on development. Big advantage is to not care about presentation, covers or how to sell.

You are true the mindset of most developers is to do all alone, but not everybody is talented for every task of the process, starting with legals and copyright. I'll bet there are some which directly benefits of such jointventure.

Finally a prototyp is required of course, i will think about it. Combined with a retro software store in the internet this could be a great project. I'm ready for input....
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: Cryptic33 on February 13, 2014, 13:40:56 PM
Not to forget marketing costs. Yes, an Internet based business/virtual shop is a good idea but what is the potential yield? Of course money is not everything but, I can't help feel the reason hombrew and general retro support is fragmented because a small number of would-be business men like to rip off the efforts of others. Yes, copy protection and piggy-back carts may help but ultimately it is about credibility and reputation, which takes time to achieve. In principle, I and many others, would love to see hombrew development based on innovation and a love of good consoles. However, in practice I think we are a long way off changing the mindset of the retro community who have been let down in the past by the large and the small and a market place based on greed.

Having said all that, good luck.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on February 14, 2014, 11:47:59 AM
What is the memory size required for newer games on atari 2600, Coleco and Intellivision?
it's quite easy to use default 2/4K sizes but I'll bet today we need more memory size....

I currently dream about a possible concept and must decide what the best cartridge format and offered memory of the adapter card will be.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: TL on February 14, 2014, 12:15:31 PM
Quote from: "retromod"
What is the memory size required for newer games on atari 2600, Coleco and Intellivision?
it's quite easy to use default 2/4K sizes but I'll bet today we need more memory size....

I currently dream about a possible concept and must decide what the best cartridge format and offered memory of the adapter card will be.

2600 games can be anywhere from 4k up to 32k, same as the commercial releases really.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on February 14, 2014, 12:41:05 PM
Quote from: "The Laird"
Quote from: "retromod"
What is the memory size required for newer games on atari 2600, Coleco and Intellivision?
it's quite easy to use default 2/4K sizes but I'll bet today we need more memory size....

I currently dream about a possible concept and must decide what the best cartridge format and offered memory of the adapter card will be.

2600 games can be anywhere from 4k up to 32k, same as the commercial releases really.

Well as today's memory costs are for nuts (it doesn't matter if using 2, 4, 8, 16 or 32 kb as even the 128k memory chip do not costs more or less - sometimes the bigger one is cheaper of cource) I think about using standard 64k or 128k serial eeproms for the final cards. Developer only copies their code to the eeproms (or provide the .bin file) and tell me which bankswitching mechanism they used (well only few are supported to reduce costs and compleity). The small card is rather cheap in production as it only contains a small 2x2cm pcb and the memory chip. There is an encryption algorithm to protect the memory and of course a header telling the adapter how to deal with and what kind of system used.

it could be a great thing if it is adopted by the homebrew community. Else I must start with my own games to establish it  :105:
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: vdevteam on February 16, 2014, 02:16:50 AM
I've worked on a few Atari 2600 homebrews in the past and currently working on one called "V The Original Video Game" also for the 2600.

From my personal experience and from knowing others who have also done homebrews at least on the Atari 2600 can be pricy, especially if you offer a CIB version.

Here is the break down of price in USD from my own personal experience over the years... boxes typically cost $10.00-$15.00 each to get done if you want original Atari 2600 style boxes. The more you order at once, the better pricing you can get. You'll need donor 2600 shells which hopefully you can get cheap for around $2.00-$5.00 a piece, then you need to remove the old labels, clean the shells, etc. Next comes labels which will cost you about $2.00-$5.00 per sheet (4 fit to a sheet - top and end labels), manual printing is going to be about $1.00-$5.00 each. There is the cost of ink or toner, plus the blank label sheets. PCB prices will vary depending on quantity done, but for quantities under 50 I've paid $10.00-$20.00 each but it also includes the EPROM chip.

Prices are always based on quantity but for small runs (30 or less) you can expect to pay $25.00-$30.00 each for a loose cartridge (label, PCB, cart shell). Add in a manual, box and additional extras inside, will push it up to the $50.00-$70.00 range.

Of course price could vary depending on many factors, but lets not forget that most people who do homebrews do not make a lot of money if anything at all. It's done more for the love of the hobby, console, etc.

Last, there are hundreds of hours of blood, sweat and tears that go into making a homebrew game, programming, bug testing, designing a label, manual, box art, all of which isn't usually paid time. Example on the V Game for 2600, myself and another programmer working on it are not getting anything for our time and have "day jobs" to help cover daily expenses.

In the end for a quality release that's CIB I'm ok paying $60.00-$80.00. Thinking about it I've paid $50.00 for a loose cart homebrew before.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: TrekMD on February 16, 2014, 02:23:33 AM
Thanks for that explanation, vdevteam!
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: zapiy on February 16, 2014, 10:57:43 AM
Nice one, i can see how this is all down to quanity.. why only do a 30 game run though?  Could you do a 300 game run and reduce the costs substantially for you and then you make more money? Or is it part of the outlay to get that many in the first place thats also an issue?
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: guest5112 on February 16, 2014, 13:10:08 PM
Just my two cents to this idea:

"we offer a hardware adapter for several systems (Atari, Intellivision, Coleco) containing a copy protection logic.  It fits into the console slot and looks like standard modules.

Homebrew developer sent us their ready to release games and we built small modules out of them (1" by 1") which are able to be plugged into the hardware adapter."

=> I would not sell my homebrew game with that adapter/piggyback solution. Why? Because i want everyone to play my game, nevertheless if one owns a special "adapter" or not. I want to buy a homebrew, and just play it everywhere i find a console. With your solution, i am allways limited to systems/owners which have such a very special "adapter". I do not see the advantage.

To regard the price-tag: i doubt, that your solution is much cheaper! Maybe the production-costs are a bit lower - but i think that persons like you will not work for a "thank you" anyway, so the difference between the real homebew price and your "professional solution" price will be near to NULL...

So i see no advantage...

grettings
Tom
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: zapiy on February 16, 2014, 15:00:10 PM
If homebrew devs are selling only 30 games for example and the rest are copies by illegal sorts then an idea like this works for many reasons if only to protect your ip.. Having said that it does then restrict the maket somewhat and impulse purchasers like me may not want an extra plug in module..
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: guest5112 on February 16, 2014, 15:51:18 PM
And, let's face it: There is NO copy-protection.

The piggyback-Module may be encrypted, but there is NO encryption on the console-sided pins of the adapter-module, so where is the point?!?

A game worth playing is a game worth cracking and spreading without permission of the IP holder.

So as a homebrew author, i have only one choice: to give the collectors a "worthy" box with my game.

The one who wants to make money with his game should code for IOS or android.

The one who wants people play his retro-games need no copy-protected special module with a very special adapter... The game will be in the wild download anyway a few days after the first modules hit the shelves...

greetings
Tom
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: zapiy on February 16, 2014, 17:48:46 PM
Yeah you have a point..
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on February 17, 2014, 00:43:09 AM
Quote from: "zapiy"
Nice one, i can see how this is all down to quanity.. why only do a 30 game run though?  Could you do a 300 game run and reduce the costs substantially for you and then you make more money? Or is it part of the outlay to get that many in the first place thats also an issue?

well the problem is within the title! V is a trademark and there is a copyright of course. Can't understand why naming it without permission and can not market it should be sooo great. If you invest that time, love etc. then why hidding - and this is finally the result because if someone sues you for the used trademarks and brands you are lost. and only 30 pieces.... that's not worth finally.

But what I learned from his post is, that you can easily bypass all this cartridge and production stuff if you switch to another type of offering.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on February 17, 2014, 00:54:28 AM
Quote from: "Tom75"
And, let's face it: There is NO copy-protection.

The piggyback-Module may be encrypted, but there is NO encryption on the console-sided pins of the adapter-module, so where is the point?!?

A game worth playing is a game worth cracking and spreading without permission of the IP holder.

So as a homebrew author, i have only one choice: to give the collectors a "worthy" box with my game.

The one who wants to make money with his game should code for IOS or android.

The one who wants people play his retro-games need no copy-protected special module with a very special adapter... The game will be in the wild download anyway a few days after the first modules hit the shelves...

greetings
Tom

well I wondering why all the SDCARD hardware for retro consoles and homecomputers is soo successful. Harmony is nothing else. The current problem is still availability of old hardware, cartridges, eproms etc. and a new approach will remove this problem.

The old consoles do not have a copy protection, that's the big problem. But if you control how your program is loaded onto the module you may be able to fake mechanism to read the data from the module or simple intercept it. The software is only loaded during startup and gone after power off. If you use the right chips/memory you are not able to read it from there, too. This locks out about 85% of people who are trying. Currently 100% are able to copy it.

I personally love the idea to be able to sell new title for less online, getting small cards I simple plugin to a module. And I'll bet all the sio2xx, harmony, super module and XM extension owner do nothing else - expanding the system and hoping for new titles. Because this is the idea having a game system - buying new software titles....
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: Elektronite on February 25, 2014, 01:12:31 AM
"A cartridge housing costs about $2-$5, a pcb about $2 even in short quantities. That's what I pay for the PCB's of my mods. An eprom is not more than $1-$3."


It is true that a  cartridge shell costs $2 - $5, but the mould costs about $10,000. 

Regarding the Intellivision, if you know where to get PCB's for 2 dollars, and a cart solution that uses eproms, please let me know where to find them....as far as Intellivision carts go, they don't use eproms, and are very expensive. Engineering is not cheap on them as well.

All of my printed materials are professionally printed using professional printing methods. We pay our programmers as well, so as far as my products go, my cost is far higher than you would imagine.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on February 25, 2014, 09:37:11 AM
that exactly describes the problem of homebrews: you must find housings for the cartridges, create PCB's etc.
Sure if you produce you own housings it is expensive.

Why not using already existing housings with equal sizes? Simple cut them at the bottom and voila you have a housing for $1-$2. I've done that for Atari computers and it works quite well and looks professional too.

By using a "generic" adapter as described the problem of finding housings and old parts is non-existant. Btw. it is not allowed within europe to sell items with non-ROHS compliant components. So selling a Dual-Pokey solution with a Pokey installed normally means to act against laws and regulations. If there is nobody who blames you it is fine but what happend if after some years someone knocks on your door?  This is something hobbiest forget or simple don't know. That's why I always recommends to buy consulting for projects to verify regulations and law. Not sure what the regulations are within US.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: Elektronite on February 25, 2014, 16:34:20 PM
Quote from: "retromod"
that exactly describes the problem of homebrews: you must find housings for the cartridges, create PCB's etc.
Sure if you produce you own housings it is expensive.

Why not using already existing housings with equal sizes? Simple cut them at the bottom and voila you have a housing for $1-$2. I've done that for Atari computers and it works quite well and looks professional too.

By using a "generic" adapter as described the problem of finding housings and old parts is non-existant. Btw. it is not allowed within europe to sell items with non-ROHS compliant components. So selling a Dual-Pokey solution with a Pokey installed normally means to act against laws and regulations. If there is nobody who blames you it is fine but what happend if after some years someone knocks on your door?  This is something hobbiest forget or simple don't know. That's why I always recommends to buy consulting for projects to verify regulations and law. Not sure what the regulations are within US.


That is why I believe that 'homebrew' = 'half assed'. We don't use used or recycled materials in our games. We do our games 'legit' and pay our programmers....and aren't doing it as strictly a 'hobby'.

If we wanted to make a facsimile of a game produced 'in the day', I wouldn't mind printing on laser printers and using recycled materials....heck why even bother with all that? Just go cart only in a used shell....then it could be cheap.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on February 25, 2014, 18:31:39 PM
And that is exactly i do not understanding. If i spent soo much time why not going the missing 10 percent and do it on brand new carts, officially advertised and may be market by experts. That make sense specially as it allows to produce more than 100 copies....
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: TrekMD on February 25, 2014, 19:16:04 PM
Quote from: "retromod"
And that is exactly i do not understanding. If i spent soo much time why not going the missing 10 percent and do it on brand new carts, officially advertised and may be market by experts. That make sense specially as it allows to produce more than 100 copies....

Well, that's what Elektronite does.  They make something that is just like the original stuff that was released back in the day.  Everyone fits them into the "homebrew" category" because they are releasing games for "dead" systems but they are more than a homembrewer.  :)
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: Elektronite on February 25, 2014, 20:40:25 PM
Quote from: "TrekMD"
Quote from: "retromod"
And that is exactly i do not understanding. If i spent soo much time why not going the missing 10 percent and do it on brand new carts, officially advertised and may be market by experts. That make sense specially as it allows to produce more than 100 copies....

Well, that's what Elektronite does.  They make something that is just like the original stuff that was released back in the day.  Everyone fits them into the "homebrew" category" because they are releasing games for "dead" systems but they are more than a homembrewer.  :)

Our games are actuall BETTER than the original stuff. Our games are bigger, more complex and our materials are higher quality. Our manuals are full colour and our boxes are glossier and overlays are better quality.

This is a picture of one of our games and all the components.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: TrekMD on February 25, 2014, 21:43:09 PM
Sorry, what I meant with "like the original stuff" was that you provide a box, manual, overlays, and cartidge.  Their quality is indeed better than what was done back then.  :)
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on March 20, 2014, 08:49:25 AM
As I plan to follow this "common" adapter approach I told my lawyer to verify the requirements and was a little bit shocked regarding the result: Offering cartridges, modules or input/output devices is illegal without dump registration in europe! It seems the european community defined cartridges and joysticks as "standalone devices" so falling under the WEEE regulations ($500/year and $1500 per dump container/year).  :27:

target for the above regulation are import from china and other countries who do not care about environment. So all the joystick resellers are on the target list of european community, bad it will also prevent any other projects.

Nevertheless if I find enough people who are willing to follow the concept of a common adapter the costs for WEEE registration may be not a problem. But until that solution is ready I must find another way for the planned new homebrew software brand. How to deliver software to customers? using unlabeled old cartridges? software only for emulators?
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: TrekMD on March 20, 2014, 10:50:10 AM
What drives all these regulations in the EU? 
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on March 20, 2014, 14:13:24 PM
Quote from: "TrekMD"
What drives all these regulations in the EU?

well the big players... as nobody of the smaller companies is involved they cut the steak according to their own requirements. Today I spoke with a guy who is the leader of a creative lab regarding those regulation and he was also not aware! scary people who are directly affected do not know about it! He will inform his partners about that and discuss next steps...
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: TrekMD on March 20, 2014, 14:14:26 PM
Quote from: "retromod"
Quote from: "TrekMD"
What drives all these regulations in the EU?

well the big players... as nobody of the smaller companies is involved they cut the steak according to their own requirements. Today I spoke with a guy who is the leader of a creative lab regarding those regulation and he was also not aware! scary people who are directly affected do not know about it! He will inform his partners about that and discuss next steps...

Wouldn't this be considered an anticompetitive practice?
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on March 20, 2014, 14:22:17 PM
Quote from: "TrekMD"
Quote from: "retromod"
Quote from: "TrekMD"
What drives all these regulations in the EU?

well the big players... as nobody of the smaller companies is involved they cut the steak according to their own requirements. Today I spoke with a guy who is the leader of a creative lab regarding those regulation and he was also not aware! scary people who are directly affected do not know about it! He will inform his partners about that and discuss next steps...

Wouldn't this be considered an anticompetitive practice?

that doesn't count for the big players. their steak is fixed and noone is allowed to eat from it. Bad but as nobody complain about it it was successfully established and you are hit by fee if you do not follow.
the european regulations are made by big companies and sure it is to protect their steaks and dump out any genius smaller company to avoid surprises on their business.

I hate it, too. But if you work against it you are hit by fees! so it would be stupid to not arrange by finding "workarounds". If you blindly run into it then it's your fault. that's why discuss with your lawyer is soo important these days. It doesn't matter you'll think you are a genius if you can't built it at all due to regulations. I currently spent more money for my lawyer than development costs for the product itself.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: TrekMD on March 20, 2014, 15:24:04 PM
Yep, definitely sounds like an anticompetitive practice that is meant to hurt small endeavors and only favor the big companies.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on March 26, 2014, 10:15:42 AM
I started a campain on facebook about the suggested concept and found some volunteer developers. Currently we are in negotiation phase how it could happen and about timeframes and goals.

As using old cartridges is illegal (specially if you write your branding on top of it) within europe due to ROHS/WEEE we are all in common that marketing new games is only possible by a new concept. I've a great base of source codes due to my porting and game development in the 80/90s so able to deliver a large amount of titles as all these games are highly portable and this could be the base for the first wave of releases along the road after the "adapter" concept gets it's first prototype (planning is Q3/Q4 this year). The rights and trademarks of these source codes must be verified but with some changes in name and gameplay we are also able to spin our own versions.

So stay tuned homebrew and indie games for retro consoles may get a new label moving marketing to the top of the table. Due to the adapter design game price will drop, too.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: zapiy on March 26, 2014, 10:53:14 AM
Interesting developments fella. Look forward to hearing more.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: guest5112 on March 26, 2014, 18:04:41 PM
I have bought a modded console (Atari 2600 with "AV and surround processor" mod)
from retromod last year, and i was curious: I opened it to see the mod.

this is what i got...
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: WiggyDiggyPoo on March 26, 2014, 18:10:40 PM
I can say one thing which is it there is certainly a lot more to homebrew releases than meets the eye, certainly any compliance with modern legislation (which the originals almost certainly didn't have to do) is something that would have never crossed my mind.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: TL on March 26, 2014, 18:12:56 PM
Guys if you have a problem with each other then take it to PM please, I don't want to see it on the forums - thank you.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on March 26, 2014, 18:43:25 PM
Quote from: "The Laird"
Guys if you have a problem with each other then take it to PM please, I don't want to see it on the forums - thank you.

Yes i can not see why this should be important here in this thread except for trolling purpose, too. Yes i sold him a console but as a collector not as creator. I also told him details like it is an authorized mod as he asked for it. i was surprised about that devices, too a while ago and still looking for more information as outlined in my previous posts. As i posted the prototyp and production pcb pictures of my mod here, i can not see any identical layout during comparison. Thats all about and if he has a problem it is a pleasure for me to solve that finally as it seems he has not really a clue about wee nor rohs from his statements.

Glad to know here is a working moderator crew to stop such trolling in first run.
Nothing to add. If you feel free to cleanup this thread please do so, we are then able to discuss important things or be creative according to the atari spirit.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: retromod on March 26, 2014, 19:09:44 PM
Quote from: "WiggyDiggyPoo"
I can say one thing which is it there is certainly a lot more to homebrew releases than meets the eye, certainly any compliance with modern legislation (which the originals almost certainly didn't have to do) is something that would have never crossed my mind.

He do not know that a repair nor replacement/enhancement for a function internally do not require a weee certification as the device was build before 2006. but if i would add a sdcard or create a new device out of it then i must be compliant which do not work for non rohs component like tia, 6502 etc. As they are completely forbidden on top of new devices (even if weee registered).

I was in contact with curt vendel for example regarding a new Atari 8 bit computer based on ARM cpu but fully compliant with old soft and hardware and after we negotiated the possibilities curt was willing to offer some circuits for cartridge handling. Originally i asked them about atari brand and legacy ownership as atari officially not answered my requests regarding possible brand use or license costs. Finally he was quit busy with his book so i sent over some rare 30 year old Tramiel pictures and articles from my old collector stuff  which will be used in the upcoming book. After discussion with my lawyer plan for the computer was stopped because registration fee may kill the economic future of the project specially as the hardcore fans told me that soldering possibility is a must for a next Gen homecomputer (scary... If so the brand do not really care maybe a box with resistors is sufficient for such people  :24: )

I learned during evaluation of different projects (for example a project enhancing snes controllers) that
The european government classified input and output controllers and cartridges as standalone devices so selling, importing always requires to follow the regulation rules. Thats why using original cartridges with new flashed games are ok but writing a brand or add a covers creates a new device out of it then requires registration. Curious, isn't it?
May be thats why thomas is so pissed, his upcoming homebrew game will be a financial suicide run if delivered on cartridge.

offering an external stereo surround mod would not be allowed too without registration for weee and so i ditched the development a while ago even if low hanging fruits. I always talk with my lawyer PRIOR to any project to avoid surprises. For example offering a power supply with own brand or freezer card like a famous atari club does is against european regulations without registration/certification. But as i know they spread this since years so they are already deep in the shit if someone comes along or planned control instance get notice. Due to the power supply branding issue for example i do not relabel the power supply which will be delivered with coleco power connector adapter (as other do).

Today the business is full of traps.
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: guest5112 on March 26, 2014, 21:23:41 PM
Quote from: "retromod"

May be thats why thomas is so pissed, his upcoming homebrew game will be a financial suicide run if delivered on cartridge.

Is that a threat ?
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: TL on March 26, 2014, 21:28:50 PM
Right this is the last time I will say this!

THIS STOPS NOW!

Anymore tit for tat comments in this thread and I will lock it! Consider this a warning, and that goes for both of you!

We will not take sides and RVG has always been a peaceful place and will stay that way.

Thank you

Kieren
Title: Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
Post by: guest5112 on March 26, 2014, 21:33:28 PM
OK