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Now why in the heck would anyone do a dumb thing like this?


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Member · Posted

https://www.ebay.com/itm/295037119291

Sending a Garage Cart to WATA for grading. Will this make it more valuable somehow? Grade of a 6, maybe because of the back sticker? But then again, not sure why these are being graded anyways, being assembled by hand and all. Will shitty soldering on one cart versus another knock one off points?

Likely to be the stupidest thing I've seen all day, and my day's just beginning.

 

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Member · Posted
8 hours ago, DarkTone said:

Can someone remind me of the history behind this cart? Wasn't there a badge for this over on NA?

It was the first (or at least first known) physical homebrew NES cartridge, released in 2005. Before, homebrew NES games were played on emulators. It was put together by Joey Parsell, who went by Memblers on NesDev and other forums.

It has three games. Munchie Attack and Hot Seat Harry were created by Memblers, while Solar Wars was created by Chris Covell. Munchie Attack you go around eating food and avoiding non-food items, sort of a free-roaming Pac-Man. Hot Seat Harry is a button mashing game. Solar Wars is like the Worms games, turn based shoot the other guy before he shoots you. The cartridge used SMB/Duck Hunt donor boards. It has NTSC and PAL variants.

IIRC, they were originally sold through NesDev, and there were twenty-four in the run, all hand numbered.

The games themselves are fun, but extremely simple, even for homebrews. You can find the ROMs and they'll play on an Everdrive no problem. The novelty is in the cart being the first, or at least the first that everyone knew about.

Yeah, there was a badge for it.

Edited by Tulpa
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Member · Posted
7 hours ago, Tulpa said:

It was the first (or at least first known) physical homebrew NES cartridge, released in 2005. Before, homebrew NES games were played on emulators. It was put together by Joey Parsell, who went by Memblers on NesDev and other forums.

It has three games. Munchie Attack and Hot Seat Harry were created by Memblers, while Solar Wars was created by Chris Covell. Munchie Attack you go around eating food and avoiding non-food items, sort of a free-roaming Pac-Man. Hot Seat Harry is a button mashing game. Solar Wars is like the Worms games, turn based shoot the other guy before he shoots you. The cartridge used SMB/Duck Hunt donor boards. It has NTSC and PAL variants.

IIRC, they were originally sold through NesDev, and there were twenty-four in the run, all hand numbered.

The games themselves are fun, but extremely simple, even for homebrews. You can find the ROMs and they'll play on an Everdrive no problem. The novelty is in the cart being the first, or at least the first that everyone knew about.

Yeah, there was a badge for it.

What's the difference between homebrew and unlicensed? One is 1 or 2 people that made a game not licensed by Nintendo and the other is........the same. The first Homebrew NES games would have been back in 1985.

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Member · Posted
4 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

What's the difference between homebrew and unlicensed? One is 1 or 2 people that made a game not licensed by Nintendo and the other is........the same. The first Homebrew NES games would have been back in 1985.

Unlicensed means the game was made when the NES was an active system (1985-94).  Homebrew is what came out many years after the NES was retired and the the tools to create your own NES game (especially being able to make it into an actual cartridge) because readily available to the general public.

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What Estil said, in addition to the fact that unlicensed developers started as incoporated for-profit companies, with relations with actual brick and mortar retailers, and distribution channels unavailable to most if not all homebrewers.

Homebrewers started out as hobbyists. Some evolved into companies (such as RetroZone/RetroUSB), but their origins and intents were very different than that of unlicensed developers in the NES lifespan.

Homebrew is a subset of unlicensed, but there are distinctions that impact how people collect them. Technical details, not a lot of difference. Collecting and video game history, huge difference. Which is why most collectors separate the retail unlicensed from the homebrew eras.

 

In any event, noting that Garage Cart is the first physical homebrew cartridge is a very important distinction in the collecting world.

Edited by Tulpa
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Member · Posted
30 minutes ago, Estil said:

Unlicensed means the game was made when the NES was an active system (1985-94).  Homebrew is what came out many years after the NES was retired and the the tools to create your own NES game (especially being able to make it into an actual cartridge) because readily available to the general public.

Define "active system." I have multiple licensed NES games that were manufactured in 1995.

18 minutes ago, Tulpa said:

What Estil said, in addition to the fact that unlicensed developers started as incoporated for-profit companies, with relations with actual brick and mortar retailers, and distribution channels unavailable to most if not all homebrewers.

Homebrewers started out as hobbyists. Some evolved into companies (such as RetroZone/RetroUSB), but their origins and intents were very different than that of unlicensed developers in the NES lifespan.

Homebrew is a subset of unlicensed, but there are distinctions that impact how people collect them. Technical details, not a lot of difference. Collecting and video game history, huge difference. Which is why most collectors separate the retail unlicensed from the homebrew eras.

 

In any event, noting that Garage Cart is the first physical homebrew cartridge is a very important distinction in the collecting world.

This is what I don't understand. So the final NES rolls off the assembly line and the workers go home at the end of the day. If someone makes a game the following morning, is that homebrew or unlicensed? What about a week later? A month later? What about a year later when some NES are still found in old stock in smaller shops or discount bins? On which exact day is the distinction between homebrew and unlicensed? It's not a valid argument to just say random words like, "many years later" and "active system." Those aren't quantitative.

Another argument for this is when the Atari 2600 was being sold, some random persons would often decide they're going to make a game in their basement and sell it through mail order in a magazine. Some sold literally fewer than 10 copies before the guy decided he's bored and stopped selling them. Are these homebrew or unlicensed?

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Member · Posted
1 hour ago, Code Monkey said:

What's the difference between homebrew and unlicensed?

One is made by a for-profit corporation that is in the business of making NES games during the lifespan of the NES/Famicom (1983 to ~1997); the other is made by a "fan" or group of "fans" on their own private time, and usually well after the lifespan of the console, to the point where the endeavor would be considered by the vast majority of people to be a hobby or pastime.  Are we clear?

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Member · Posted
37 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

This is what I don't understand. So the final NES rolls off the assembly line and the workers go home at the end of the day. If someone makes a game the following morning, is that homebrew or unlicensed? What about a week later? A month later? What about a year later when some NES are still found in old stock in smaller shops or discount bins? On which exact day is the distinction between homebrew and unlicensed? It's not a valid argument to just say random words like, "many years later" and "active system." Those aren't quantitative

Again, there's a distinction between an unlicensed manufacturer who makes games and sells them in stores, and a dude at home for fun. Sure, some started selling games for profit, but by then the homebrew scene was well established. You can count homebrews as part of the unlicensed set, but they're not interchangeable terms when talking about collecting.

 

37 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

Another argument for this is when the Atari 2600 was being sold, some random persons would often decide they're going to make a game in their basement and sell it through mail order in a magazine. Some sold literally fewer than 10 copies before the guy decided he's bored and stopped selling them. Are these homebrew or unlicensed?

 

Again, go to intent. Is the game made for funsies, or is it a legit attempt to make money? Because to 99% of collectors, those are two very distinct classes of games.

Edited by Tulpa
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Member · Posted
1 minute ago, Dr. Morbis said:

One is made by a for-profit corporation that is in the business of making NES games during the lifespan of the NES/Famicom (1983 to ~1997); the other is made by a "fan" or group of "fans" on their own private time, and usually well after the lifespan of the console, to the point where the endeavor would be considered by the vast majority of people to be a hobby or pastime.  Are we clear?

So many of the Atari games made in the 1970s would be homebrew? Like I wrote above, they were made by people in their spare time and they just sold 5 or 10 copies through mail order in a magazine before getting bored and stopping.

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Member · Posted
1 minute ago, Tulpa said:

Again, there's a distinction between an unlicensed manufacturer who makes games and sells them in stores, and a dude at home for fun. Sure, some started selling games for profit, but by then the homebrew scene was well established. You can count homebrews as part of the licensed set, but they're not interchangeable terms when talking about collecting.

 

Atari was different in that they didn't license games to third parties. Anything not published by Atari was unlicensed.

 

 

Being licensed or unlicensed has no reference to being sold at retail. Or if it does, does that mean Cheetahmen II is homebrew? That is not licensed and was never sold at retail.

So does that mean all unlicensed Atari games are homebrew or does it mean if I made one today it would be unlicensed?

I need clear rules here.

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Member · Posted
5 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

Being licensed or unlicensed has no reference to being sold at retail. Or if it does, does that mean Cheetahmen II is homebrew? That is not licensed and was never sold at retail.

 

It was intended to be sold at retail. It had a box with registered trademarks and a business name, it was made by a company that sold a retail game before. It most likely would have seen the same retail channels as Action 52, which would not be how a homebrew would have been sold. Homebrewers to my knowledge never sold any game through QVC or HSN.

It just never made it to retail. Unreleased or undistributed would be how I would classify Cheetahmen II, but it's definitely not a homebrew. It wasn't made by someone for a hobby, it was a legit attempt to turn a profit.

Edited by Tulpa
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Member · Posted
10 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

So many of the Atari games made in the 1970s would be homebrew? Like I wrote above, they were made by people in their spare time and they just sold 5 or 10 copies through mail order in a magazine before getting bored and stopping.

That's actually the definition of homebrew.  Atari is a strange bird, but yes, they would be homebrews by definition.

I think you're getting caught up in the semantics of all this, especially with how the "homebrew" NES scene has proliferated over the last ten years.  I think we should throw that word out entirely (thoughts of a dude sitting in his dark basement with a soldering gun cobbling a game together by himself are always conjured up) and use the word aftermarket to define all of the NES games made after the NES console was retired from the video game industry (ie: no longer targeted to general consumers).  Who cares who made a game or how; either it was made with the intent of being sold to the general public, or it was made with the intent of being sold to a small community of like-minded hobbyists.

Now, I have a Smurfs NES game with a manufacturing date in 1996 printed on the box, and I have never seen a NES game with a 1997 date of manufacture in all my years of collecting, so, allowing for a full year for said product to sell through to consumers, that puts a pretty distinct end date of 1997 for the lifespan of the NES.  And since "homebrewing" or aftermarket games, don't seem to really appear until this century (2000 and later), it gives us a pretty good buffer when trying to make any sort of distinction with whatever title we're dealing with.  Even the grayest of gray areas: Cheetahmen II, falls into the unlicensed category, and not the aftermarket category, because it was made during the lifespan of the NES, and would have been targeted toward the general public, just like its' predecessor: Action 52, had it been released.  Now, since it was not technically "released," the question of whether it should count has been raised a million times, but that is a topic for a different discussion.

Hopefully all of that makes things a little clearer for you... 🙂

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Member · Posted
15 minutes ago, Tulpa said:

It was intended to be sold at retail. It had a box with registered trademarks and a business name, it was made by a company that sold a retail game before. It most likely would have seen the same retail channels as Action 52, which would not be how a homebrew would have been sold. Homebrewers to my knowledge never sold any game through QVC or HSN.

It just never made it to retail. Unreleased or undistributed would be how I would classify Cheetahmen II, but it's definitely not a homebrew. It wasn't made by someone for a hobby, it was a legit attempt to turn a profit.

So in order to be homebrew, it has to have not made a profit? I'm arguing quite aggressively here but not just to be annoying, I'm simply trying to narrow down your specific requirements for what qualifies or disqualifies a game to be classified as homebrew.

- released after 1994 = this means the Millipede I have that was manufactured in 1995 is homebrew?

- released without intention of making a profit = this means all of Retrozone's games are not homebrew?

- not released at retail = this means Cheetahmen II is homebrew?

- released by a company or corporation with multiple employees for a profit = this means the new Atari 2600 games coming from Audacity are not homebrew? Audacity games is made up of multiple Activision employees which I think qualifies as a game company.

What about Socks The Cat Rocks The Hill? That game was developed while the Super NES was at retail, it was built by a corporation with intention of profit but it just never made it to market, much like the argument you made for Cheetahmen II. However, the actual sales rights to that game were purchased and that game did end up being produced and sold under those rights a few years ago so does that count as a licensed release?

This is why it's my argument that there is no distinction between unlicensed and homebrew.

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Member · Posted
13 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

This is why it's my argument that there is no distinction between unlicensed and homebrew.

Most (all?) homebrews are unlicensed; not all unlicensed are homebrews.  Homebrews are a subset of unlicensed (think of it like a Venn Diagram)......    😉

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Member · Posted
37 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

- released after 1994 = this means the Millipede I have that was manufactured in 1995 is homebrew?

August 14, 1995 was the day the NES was officially discontinued. Millipede was first released well before then.

Anything first released after that would technically be aftermarket. Homebrew would be games released by hobbyists.

37 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

- released without intention of making a profit = this means all of Retrozone's games are not homebrew?

RetroZone started for-profit after the homebrew scene was established. I specifically said that some homebrewers did form companies, but that wasn't the start of the scene. Bunnyboy started as a hobbyist, then became a for-profit dude, but he was working in the homebrew scene that was established by then.

37 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

- not released at retail = this means Cheetahmen II is homebrew?

Again, intent. Intended to be released at retail. It just never made it.

37 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

- released by a company or corporation with multiple employees for a profit = this means the new Atari 2600 games coming from Audacity are not homebrew? Audacity games is made up of multiple Activision employees which I think qualifies as a game company.

Again, long after the Atari was discontinued.

Aftermarket is a good alternative term from homebrew, though. You could classify homebrew as a subset of aftermarket, which is a subset of unlicensed.

Homebrew - hobbyist. To my knowledge, no hobbyist games were released during the NES lifespan. Aftermarket - anything after console officially discontinued. Unlicensed - anything without a license from the console manufacturer.

Clear yet?

37 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

What about Socks The Cat Rocks The Hill? That game was developed while the Super NES was at retail, it was built by a corporation with intention of profit but it just never made it to market, much like the argument you made for Cheetahmen II. However, the actual sales rights to that game were purchased and that game did end up being produced and sold under those rights a few years ago so does that count as a licensed release?

No, the SNES license had expired, because the SNES retail lifespan had expired. They didn't need a license, so it's definitely not licensed. The rights to Socks is a separate argument, as that has nothing to do with the SNES license; that's the intellectual property, or IP, of the game. Unlicensed games have IPs, too.

Socks would fall into prototype reproduction or prototype turned released game. Whatever term  you want to come up with.

To me Socks is like Bio Force Ape. Intended for retail release, but never made it. No one would say the reproductions of Ape are licensed. The only real difference between Socks and Ape is that Second Dimension went to acquire the IP of Socks, whereas Ape was released to the Web for anyone to make a copy, but the license issue was moot for both.

Edited by Tulpa
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Member · Posted

I see your argument.

What about the creators of Red Sea Crossing on Atari 2600 back in the 1970s? There are only 2 known copies to exist and the only known distribution channel was an advertisement in a Christian magazine to order the game. It was released during the Atari's retail period and for profit but couldn't have sold more than a few copies. It was also made completely by one single person.

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Member · Posted
9 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

I see your argument.

What about the creators of Red Sea Crossing on Atari 2600 back in the 1970s? There are only 2 known copies to exist and the only known distribution channel was an advertisement in a Christian magazine to order the game. It was released during the Atari's retail period and for profit but couldn't have sold more than a few copies. It was also made completely by one single person.

I would define it as A) a homebrew, B) unlicensed (of course, all third party VCS titles are "unlicensed"), and C) an officially "released" VCS title that would be required by anyone who wants to claim ownership of a full set of market-era VCS games.

Edited by Dr. Morbis
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Member · Posted
15 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

I see your argument.

I see your argument as well. There's not much difference in technical terms between someone programming a game at home and the dudes at Color Dreams each programming a game in that small office in Corona, CA. I mean, I wish I could find the pictures; the place looks like a frat house.

 

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Member · Posted
18 hours ago, Tulpa said:

It was the first (or at least first known) physical homebrew NES cartridge, released in 2005. Before, homebrew NES games were played on emulators. It was put together by Joey Parsell, who went by Memblers on NesDev and other forums.

...

IIRC, they were originally sold through NesDev, and there were twenty-four in the run, all hand numbered.

Are you sure it was being sold on NesDev? I thought it was being sold on the NES World forum, though it's been so long ago that it could be my poor memory. Either way, I had initially been on the list to get one, but then jumped off after awhile as $40 or whatever seemed a bit more than I wanted to pay, as a poor teen.

That being said, I personally would argue that Chris Covell's Solar Wars (see Mali's Cash Issue 1) was the first physical homebrew game. I remember when Mr Covell had put his game onto a cartridge and then posted pictures / instructions so that others could do the same thing. He even got a lot of messages asking if he'd make them cartridges, presumably, as he posted a disclaimer on the site saying that he wouldn't do it for people. Who knows if he did make a few copies for his friends and what not. 

Either way, I'd list Solar Wars as the first (known) NES homebrew to appear on a cartridge, Garage Cart comes in second place. Its significance is that the developer decided to make a print run of cartridges and sell them. 

10 hours ago, Code Monkey said:

What's the difference between homebrew and unlicensed? One is 1 or 2 people that made a game not licensed by Nintendo and the other is........the same. The first Homebrew NES games would have been back in 1985.

Actually, I somewhat agree with @Code Monkey . There's a point where it gets down to splitting hairs, and that's where we are at now.

10 hours ago, Estil said:

Unlicensed means the game was made when the NES was an active system (1985-94).  Homebrew is what came out many years after the NES was retired and the the tools to create your own NES game (especially being able to make it into an actual cartridge) because readily available to the general public.

I think many people would accept this answer (though bump it to 1995 to include Sunday Funday and finish out the Wisdom Tree set). Although there are some "problems", I feel this is an adequate definition that would suit most people. 

For fun though, let's look at one of the problems: hundreds of unlicensed Famicom games (from companies) were being released all the way through the late nineties, even into the 2000s. I know, I know, Famicom - but on a VGS poll, the majority of people consider the Famicom and the NES to be the same console. I personally am not so sure of that, but if we take the stance of the majority, then suddenly we have a problem with the dates being used as a cutoff point to distinguish unlicensed versus homebrew.

10 hours ago, Tulpa said:

What Estil said, in addition to the fact that unlicensed developers started as incoporated for-profit companies, with relations with actual brick and mortar retailers, and distribution channels unavailable to most if not all homebrewers.

Homebrewers started out as hobbyists. Some evolved into companies (such as RetroZone/RetroUSB), but their origins and intents were very different than that of unlicensed developers in the NES lifespan.

...

In any event, noting that Garage Cart is the first physical homebrew cartridge is a very important distinction in the collecting world.

Not sure I agree here. As far as I'm aware, Aleksandar Chudov was a one-man operation. Someone like Hwang Shinwei also seems to have been, at times, a one-man team. Seeing that his games were published eventually by several different publishers suggests that he was basically anything except for an incorporated company. 

To take things further, one of the multicarts produced here in Taiwan, obviously the games were made in Japan but the menu and fabrication was done here. Anyways, it credits a guy that was a student at a local tech university, and some blog entries I found from a guy that knew this guy had name-dropped him as having been involved in some tech clubs and stuff. I don't know about you, but to me it sounds like a situation where a university student enjoyed programming, and was able to develop a multicart menu for a company, though the student was probably doing it purely as a nerd hobbyist thing with a bit of beer money as pay. Certainly sounds very hobbyist to me.

With Garage Cart being the first, again, I'd suggest that Solar Wars was the first.

9 hours ago, Code Monkey said:

Define "active system." I have multiple licensed NES games that were manufactured in 1995.

This is what I don't understand. So the final NES rolls off the assembly line and the workers go home at the end of the day. If someone makes a game the following morning, is that homebrew or unlicensed? What about a week later? A month later? What about a year later when some NES are still found in old stock in smaller shops or discount bins? On which exact day is the distinction between homebrew and unlicensed? It's not a valid argument to just say random words like, "many years later" and "active system." Those aren't quantitative.

Another argument for this is when the Atari 2600 was being sold, some random persons would often decide they're going to make a game in their basement and sell it through mail order in a magazine. Some sold literally fewer than 10 copies before the guy decided he's bored and stopped selling them. Are these homebrew or unlicensed?

Totally agree on the first paragraph.

Second paragraph, I'd say they are both homebrew and unlicensed.

9 hours ago, Dr. Morbis said:

One is made by a for-profit corporation that is in the business of making NES games during the lifespan of the NES/Famicom (1983 to ~1997); the other is made by a "fan" or group of "fans" on their own private time, and usually well after the lifespan of the console, to the point where the endeavor would be considered by the vast majority of people to be a hobby or pastime.  Are we clear?

Sounds decent, but it fails in actuality. What about something like the unreleased Kitty's Catch game? Or other games that were developed by a guy or some small team, and then shopped around? 

We are getting caught up in the business / not business factor of things; however, I think we are failing to consider a few vital points, namely:

a. People can have multiple jobs

b. People sometimes work as freelance workers

c. People that are hobbyists often dream of monetizing their work

The lines often blur. I am sure it happened many times where people with the knowledge and interest made games, tried to shop them around for publication, and then couldn't get a deal (or perhaps they were lucky and did get a contract). These same people may have been working as the cook at a sports bar, who knows. Unless it is a situation where I am working at Capcom, for example, and am making the game - in other instances, the waters become much murkier.

9 hours ago, Tulpa said:

Again, there's a distinction between an unlicensed manufacturer who makes games and sells them in stores, and a dude at home for fun. Sure, some started selling games for profit, but by then the homebrew scene was well established. You can count homebrews as part of the unlicensed set, but they're not interchangeable terms when talking about collecting.

 

 

Again, go to intent. Is the game made for funsies, or is it a legit attempt to make money? Because to 99% of collectors, those are two very distinct classes of games.

See above. And these waters are getting even murkier now with companies such as Mega Cat Studios and their releases.

9 hours ago, Code Monkey said:

So many of the Atari games made in the 1970s would be homebrew? Like I wrote above, they were made by people in their spare time and they just sold 5 or 10 copies through mail order in a magazine before getting bored and stopping.

I think we could make an argument for this stance.

9 hours ago, Code Monkey said:

Being licensed or unlicensed has no reference to being sold at retail. Or if it does, does that mean Cheetahmen II is homebrew? That is not licensed and was never sold at retail.

So does that mean all unlicensed Atari games are homebrew or does it mean if I made one today it would be unlicensed?

I need clear rules here.

Licensed or unlicensed just simply means did the company pay for (and receive) a license to release the game on said machine. It has nothing to do with homebrew or not.

Generally speaking, homebrew games are going to be unlicensed, as they are often aftermarket products, and in some cases, the games might be simple or less-polished than what a professional studio would make*, which could also hinder them from receiving a license and subsequent release from a big publisher. 

Unlicensed games can be anything, if it never received a license from the company. Game Shark is unlicensed. Then again take something like Videomation - it was unlicensed on the Famicom, yet it was licensed on the NES. 😉

*Homebrew games are amazing, and I don't personally hold this viewpoint that the games might not be polished, etc. 

 

9 hours ago, Tulpa said:

It was intended to be sold at retail. It had a box with registered trademarks and a business name, it was made by a company that sold a retail game before. It most likely would have seen the same retail channels as Action 52, which would not be how a homebrew would have been sold. Homebrewers to my knowledge never sold any game through QVC or HSN.

It just never made it to retail. Unreleased or undistributed would be how I would classify Cheetahmen II, but it's definitely not a homebrew. It wasn't made by someone for a hobby, it was a legit attempt to turn a profit.

We don't even know if Cheetahmen II was unreleased for sure, as some copies may have slipped out and been sold. What is known for certain though, I guess, is that the game was completely manufactured and ended up remaining largely unsold.

8 hours ago, Dr. Morbis said:

That's actually the definition of homebrew.  Atari is a strange bird, but yes, they would be homebrews by definition.

I think you're getting caught up in the semantics of all this, especially with how the "homebrew" NES scene has proliferated over the last ten years.  I think we should throw that word out entirely (thoughts of a dude sitting in his dark basement with a soldering gun cobbling a game together by himself are always conjured up) and use the word aftermarket to define all of the NES games made after the NES console was retired from the video game industry (ie: no longer targeted to general consumers).  Who cares who made a game or how; either it was made with the intent of being sold to the general public, or it was made with the intent of being sold to a small community of like-minded hobbyists.

Now, I have a Smurfs NES game with a manufacturing date in 1996 printed on the box, and I have never seen a NES game with a 1997 date of manufacture in all my years of collecting, so, allowing for a full year for said product to sell through to consumers, that puts a pretty distinct end date of 1997 for the lifespan of the NES.  And since "homebrewing" or aftermarket games, don't seem to really appear until this century (2000 and later), it gives us a pretty good buffer when trying to make any sort of distinction with whatever title we're dealing with.  Even the grayest of gray areas: Cheetahmen II, falls into the unlicensed category, and not the aftermarket category, because it was made during the lifespan of the NES, and would have been targeted toward the general public, just like its' predecessor: Action 52, had it been released.  Now, since it was not technically "released," the question of whether it should count has been raised a million times, but that is a topic for a different discussion.

Hopefully all of that makes things a little clearer for you... 🙂

I think it's weird to talk about licensed or not on Atari, as it wasn't even really a concept then, from my understanding. As such, I think the idea of licensed / unlicensed only applies to machines that had a licensing scheme. It's sort of like talking about licensed or unlicensed software on computers. 

Would you agree that Famicom and the NES are two entirely different machines then? Otherwise, it is impossible to apply the term aftermarket, since there were major companies making Famicom games (Hummer Team, Waixing, Nanjing, Rex Soft, Rinco, etc etc) up through the 2000s. Calling those products "Aftermarket" would be entirely wrong.

8 hours ago, Code Monkey said:

So in order to be homebrew, it has to have not made a profit? I'm arguing quite aggressively here but not just to be annoying, I'm simply trying to narrow down your specific requirements for what qualifies or disqualifies a game to be classified as homebrew.

- released after 1994 = this means the Millipede I have that was manufactured in 1995 is homebrew?

- released without intention of making a profit = this means all of Retrozone's games are not homebrew?

- not released at retail = this means Cheetahmen II is homebrew?

- released by a company or corporation with multiple employees for a profit = this means the new Atari 2600 games coming from Audacity are not homebrew? Audacity games is made up of multiple Activision employees which I think qualifies as a game company.

What about Socks The Cat Rocks The Hill? That game was developed while the Super NES was at retail, it was built by a corporation with intention of profit but it just never made it to market, much like the argument you made for Cheetahmen II. However, the actual sales rights to that game were purchased and that game did end up being produced and sold under those rights a few years ago so does that count as a licensed release?

This is why it's my argument that there is no distinction between unlicensed and homebrew.

Exactly, it's like splitting hairs. People try to "apply logic" but it always fails, as we have seen so far through the course of this discussion.

8 hours ago, Dr. Morbis said:

Most (all?) homebrews are unlicensed; not all unlicensed are homebrews.  Homebrews are a subset of unlicensed (think of it like a Venn Diagram)......    😉

Almost agree here, stop the press! I guess we also agree about CRT TVs though...

The reason I don't entirely agree is because it is extremely plausible that some people made games for fun, then managed to shop them around and get them published, even licensed. Honestly, I guess that would have been the dream. It's like making a demo tape and then against all odds getting picked up by a local radio station, leading you to ultimately get discovered by a major recording studio.

8 hours ago, Tulpa said:

August 14, 1995 was the day the NES was officially discontinued. Millipede was first released well before then.

Anything first released after that would technically be aftermarket. Homebrew would be games released by hobbyists.

RetroZone started for-profit after the homebrew scene was established. I specifically said that some homebrewers did form companies, but that wasn't the start of the scene. Bunnyboy started as a hobbyist, then became a for-profit dude, but he was working in the homebrew scene that was established by then.

Again, intent. Intended to be released at retail. It just never made it.

Again, long after the Atari was discontinued.

Aftermarket is a good alternative term from homebrew, though. You could classify homebrew as a subset of aftermarket, which is a subset of unlicensed.

Homebrew - hobbyist. To my knowledge, no hobbyist games were released during the NES lifespan. Aftermarket - anything after console officially discontinued. Unlicensed - anything without a license from the console manufacturer.

Clear yet?

No, the SNES license had expired, because the SNES retail lifespan had expired. They didn't need a license, so it's definitely not licensed. The rights to Socks is a separate argument, as that has nothing to do with the SNES license; that's the intellectual property, or IP, of the game. Unlicensed games have IPs, too.

Socks would fall into prototype reproduction or prototype turned released game. Whatever term  you want to come up with.

To me Socks is like Bio Force Ape. Intended for retail release, but never made it. No one would say the reproductions of Ape are licensed. The only real difference between Socks and Ape is that Second Dimension went to acquire the IP of Socks, whereas Ape was released to the Web for anyone to make a copy, but the license issue was moot for both.

Too rigid. All of these points have been discussed above, and they all fail.

 

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14 hours ago, fcgamer said:

Sounds decent, but it fails in actuality. What about something like the unreleased Kitty's Catch game? Or other games that were developed by a guy or some small team, and then shopped around? 

Funny story, I own this prototype as well. I believe I own the exact one that was used to create the short physical run, I'm not sure if there are multiple copies of it.

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