Author Topic: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively offered  (Read 6324 times)

Offline Elektronite

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #30 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.

Offline retromod

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #31 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.
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Offline Elektronite

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #32 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.

Offline retromod

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #33 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....
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Offline TrekMD

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #34 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.  :)
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Offline Elektronite

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #35 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.

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #36 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.  :)
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Offline retromod

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #37 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?
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Offline TrekMD

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2014, 10:50:10 AM »
What drives all these regulations in the EU? 
Going to the final frontier, gaming...


Offline retromod

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #39 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...
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Offline TrekMD

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #40 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?
Going to the final frontier, gaming...


Offline retromod

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #41 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.
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Offline TrekMD

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #42 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.
Going to the final frontier, gaming...


Offline retromod

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #43 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.
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Offline zapiy

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Re: Why are homebrew titles so expensive and agressively off
« Reply #44 on: March 26, 2014, 10:53:14 AM »
Interesting developments fella. Look forward to hearing more.
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