Author Topic: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively offered  (Read 6336 times)

Offline triverse

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #15 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.

Offline retromod

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #16 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....
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Offline Cryptic33

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #17 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.
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Offline retromod

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #18 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.
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Offline TL

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #19 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.

Offline retromod

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #20 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:
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Offline vdevteam

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #21 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.

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2014, 02:23:33 AM »
Thanks for that explanation, vdevteam!
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Offline zapiy

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #23 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?
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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #24 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

Offline zapiy

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #25 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..
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guest5112

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #26 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

Offline zapiy

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2014, 17:48:46 PM »
Yeah you have a point..
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Offline retromod

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #28 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.
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Offline retromod

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #29 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....
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