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About this blog

As a new game crosses the finish line, destined perhaps to become the next essential gem, this blog will feature an in-depth look into the heart behind the homebrew.

 

Entries in this blog

Episode 2: KUBO 3

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 2: KUBO 3 Introduction: Homebrew development can be as stressful as it is fulfilling. Between writing code, designing sprites, and storyboarding, all to produce a game that will appeal to a small, but devoted community, it’s an impressive feat when a homebrew crosses the finish line. Many homebrewers balance their passion projects with primary careers, families, and a host of other responsibilities that demand the

Episode 1: Project Blue

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 1: Project Blue Introduction: Promoting a new homebrew game must be exhausting, especially if you are maintaining hype and anticipation while continuing development of the game itself. Each tease must generate enough curiosity and excitement to stoke conversation while saving enough detail for the release, which has its own rules to communicate an engaging, persuasive pitch. As a new game crosses the finish l

Episode 3: Anguna Zero

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 3: Anguna: Scourge of the Goblin King Introduction: Just about every classic console has experienced new life with the rise of homebrew games to supplement its library. However few homebrewers develop games beyond one preferred console. Those brewers who dare to branch out find new challenges to enhance their skills, and new audiences eager to play with the fruits of their efforts. For this entry, I’m coverin

Episode 13: What Remains

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 13: What Remains Introduction: Video games can aspire to be many things. They can be a playful escape from the world, and they can be a new lens for seeing the world and how we exist within it. Not many games use their medium to weigh in on substantive political discourse, but today’s game, with its themes of health & environmental policy, truth & disinformation, and archival institutions and the protectio

Episode 12: Yeah Yeah Beebiss II

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 12: Yeah Yeah Beebiss II aka “Riggs Project”   Introduction: Homebrew has always been a fairly niche community, with word of mouth serving a critical role in spreading news and building hype for the latest games. But part of what makes homebrew games such a fascinating phenomenon is the juxtaposition of cartridges developed to play on hardware from the 80s with a world in which people can talk about these gam

Episode 5: Rollie

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 5: Rollie Introduction: Homebrewing is a level of NES-fandom defined by both discipline and creativity. If we lived in an RPG, learning to code and develop would mark the class change/level up from being a fan who merely talks about what a fun game would look like to becoming the fan capable of actualizing it. While learning to code, brewers also discover how to implement gameplay features, and thus learn how to m

Scrobins

Scrobins in A Homebrew Draws Near!

Episode 9: 8-Bit Xmas 2020

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 9: 8-Bit Xmas 2020 (Dr. Covio) Introduction: Video games are a lot like movies, an excellent effort can give rise to a sequel, potentially even a series, one which perfects a formula and offers something new and fun while retaining everything that made past installments worthwhile. It is a difficult tightrope to walk: providing more of what works without merely delivering a carbon copy, while also experimenting wi

Scrobins

Scrobins in A Homebrew Draws Near!

Episode 11: From Below

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 11: From Below Introduction: Some of the most clever homebrews can reinvigorate our love for an entire category of games with the simplest tweak. What once seemed like an oversaturated genre flooded with clones has something new for gamers because one dev could see new possibilities, offering new challenges and flipping the script of how we play these games. For this entry, I’m covering From Below: a falling

Episode 6: Jay & Silent Bob: Mall Brawl

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 6: Jay & Silent Bob: Mall Brawl Introduction: Ask any homebrewer what inspired them to create a particular game or why they became a brewer in the first place, and many will point to a cultural icon of yesteryear that still resonates with them. Some games serve as an homage to a beloved game from a console’s licensed era. Other games are a thinly veiled adaptation of a beloved world that never received the vid

Scrobins

Scrobins in A Homebrew Draws Near!

Episode 8: The Assembly Line

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 8: The Assembly Line Introduction: It was around September 2017 that I first learned about homebrew games. Months earlier I shipped my collection of old video games and consoles from my parents’ home and hoped to expand my library. Searching for the “essential” gems no self-respecting vintage gamer should be without, I stumbled upon a pair of articles from The Verge and Wired about new games for old consoles. Curi

Scrobins

Scrobins in A Homebrew Draws Near!

Episode 4: Trophy

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 4: Trophy Introduction: The timeline for developing a homebrew is rarely brief. From a game’s first imaginings to its final publication and availability to fans, months, even years may pass. But some games can trace their history across decades to the developer’s childhood and the games that brought them joy. Though time and tide may occupy their mind for a spell, pulling their attention in myriad different direct

Episode 10: Space Raft

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 10: Space Raft Introduction: Followers of this series have frequently read about brewers developing games inspired by the classics of their youth, such as Mega Man, Super Mario Bros., and The Legend of Zelda. But we have yet to dip into our guiltier pleasures: the games lovingly inspired by the likes of LJN, with just as much heart poured in as any other homebrew I’ve covered. What if a homebrew emulated licensed

Episode 7: Quest Arrest

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 7: Quest Arrest Introduction: Behind every great homebrew game is a developer or team with a good story about why there was an irresistible urge to create a new game. As we can all relate, inside them resides that memory from our youth in which we passed days on end, perfectly content with one or another game that gripped our imagination. If we were lucky, we found other games that gave us that same good feeling,

Scrobins

Scrobins in A Homebrew Draws Near!

Episode 15: The Curse of Illmoore Bay

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 15: The Curse of Illmoore Bay Introduction: The growth of the homebrew community and availability of homebrew game carts is largely thanks to the savvy of a handful of people who have made the herculean effort of establishing supply chains to manufacture and publish cartridges for other brewers in addition to their own games. Among these titans of industry are RetroUSB, InfiniteNESLives, Broke Studio, the 6502 Col

Episode 16: Eyra-The Crow Maiden

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 16: Eyra-The Crow Maiden Introduction: Developing and releasing a single homebrew game is an immense undertaking. It’s no wonder some brewers either work on one project at a time or chip away at multiple projects over a long span of time. Or if you’re Second Dimension, you assemble three separate dream teams to develop a game for three different consoles and release them almost simultaneous to another game they de

Episode 17: Roniu's Tale

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 17: Roniu’s Tale Introduction: As kids, we dream of growing up to learn how to make our own version of those things that made our childhoods magical. For many of us, responsibility and practicality obscured those old ambitions. But for some the dream never faded, and in finding other like-minded children at heart with complimentary skills, they tapped into those good memories to cast new magic. Like the electric e

Episode 14: Doodle World

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 14: Doodle World Introduction: If Twitter is any indication, inspiration is a fickle thing when designing a game. Crafting characters, gameplay, and a story, among any number of other elements can be a challenge when trying to create something new and fun. But sometimes out of the mouths, or in this case markers of babes come forth ideas that make even the most seasoned game developer smack themselves upside the h

Episode 18: Chumlee's Adventure: The Quest for Pinky

A Homebrew Draws Near! A blog series by @Scrobins Episode 18: Chumlee’s Adventure: The Quest for Pinky Introduction: There has been an awakening. Have you felt it? Modern icons of pop culture and homebrews, coming together. Commissioned. Official. Licensed. Where first, barely a year ago there was Jay & Silent Bob: Mall Brawl, another game pushes the floodgates open a little further, with the dev team announcing yet another licensed homebrew coming in its wake. No lo
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