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Should the bB logo be mandatory on future cart releases?


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Hey gang,


This thread is less about programming in bB than it is to acknowledge its use. This thread about the new releases of NERDS and The Last Ninja got me to thinking: Should the bB logo be mandatory for all bB releases? The concern in the thread is that buyers wouldn't know that the games were built/programmed using bB. But should that make a difference? Would you - as a buyer now, not a bB user - need/want to know that bB was used?


My thought is that it would be nice to give credit to batari for his hard work by slapping this logo someplace on the cart label. This identifies the use of bB, as well as giving batari a much-deserved salute. And the more bB games that are released on cart, the more we can see how much his program in use.


However, I think some folks (myself included) can also see this as "branding" the cart as something less than a "real" homebrew. I think some folks view bB games as somewhere between a hack and a programmed-from-scratch game. That using bB is "cheating" somehow. Do you think using the bB logo on a cart would affect sales of that release? Do you think someone may pick up a new cart (at an expo or con) and say "Yay! New game!" but be disappointed when they plugged it in and it's YAbBS? (Yet another batari Basic shooter)


If the logo were to become mandatory, I believe AA should be the pacesetter and begin using the logo on all future bB games. (I honestly don't know if Solar Plexas, Phantom II/Pirate, or GoSub! use the logo on the cart label...) I would think any bB programmer would be pleased to have this logo appear on the label - simply for crediting batari for making the game possible in the first place. Also, it would show what bB is capable of. "Wow! This was programmed with bB? I never would have guessed!"


Just my two cents. Wanted to get a dialogue going with the bB users. What do you think? Should bB cart releases have a mandatory logo appear?

Edited by Snider-man
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I thought about putting the bB logo on GoSub's label, but ultimately decided against it. I don't think I'll be putting it on Halloween Havoc, but if it becomes required, I'll put it on games after that without arguing against it. I personally don't feel like it should, though. I did, however, thank Batari in GoSub's manual. At least now I know how you feel about shooters made using batari Basic. ;)

Edited by atari2600land
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No. Not more than software that was assembled using DASM or any other random development tool should be marked. Of course, it's up to the tools' author(s) to put whatever in ther licenses they want.

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As far as cart releases go, I think it is good form to release the binary beforehand. If people like the game they will buy the cart. I asked Fred before releasing Phantom II how he wanted to be credited. It didn't matter to him, but I felt it was important to put Nathan's logo and the URL of the web page in the manual.

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In order to encourage use of the logo, I can include the file in future releases and also place it on the bB website. But I don't think it's appropriate to require a bB logo any more than, say, Microsoft requiring a Visual Basic logo. The community can certainly recommend it, but I think the decision is ultimately up to the programmer.

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I think being mandatory on the cart would devalue some game releases for no good reason. I also think bB needs to be credited. It's just too great of an effort to consider doing otherwise.


There is also some grey area. What if someone prototyped with bB, then polished up with assembly code? It's still kinda sorta a bB game, but might be differentiated from pure bB games.


Should I ever get off my arse and re-do Ooze with the new bB, I'm gonna include the source in the manual, on a small CD, or something, with liberal comments. This is a really great value add, IMHO. The person playing the game gets to look inside, make changes, etc... Maybe even buy their own cart!


(sorry guys, I'm smitten by the Propeller right now...)

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I'm not going to strictly require credit either, though other agents (e.g. the AA store) are welcome to if they wish. However, I can add some verbiage to the README to encourage credit. Right now the file begins:

batari Basic is free of charge but is not in the public domain. It may not be sold for profit, nor included in any product sold for profit, without the author's prior written consent.


See license.txt for more information.


The license does not apply to Atari 2600 games created with Batari BASIC. You may license these games however you wish. Some batari Basic games have been published and are available for sale on cartridge.

I can add:

If you sell your batari Basic game, you should acknowledge the efforts of those who made your game possible. Mentioning batari Basic in your game's title screen, label, manual or other literature will increase public knowledge of the language and possibly encourage more development. You may give credit in the form of text, the included logo (bB.jpg) or any other means.
Edited by batari
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I don't think it should be mandatory, nor do I think it "ought" to be mentioned. bB is a programming language, and I don't think a program needs to have a "Written in [insert programming language here]" sticker on it. As for bB's "canned kernels," N.E.R.D.s clearly uses a somewhat-modified kernel (look at the playfield graphics). And I believe that some 6502 assembly programmers use "skeleton kernels" to help them create new games more quickly and easily-- and the code in the "skeleton kernel" may have been cobbled together from bits and pieces of code from other people (since the members of the community do tend to share their source code).


Also, I totally disagree with the idea of requiring a sticker if it's viewed as lessening the value of a game. You can write a great game or a crappy game in any language.


But *if* a programmer wants to acknowledge bB, Fred, and anyone else that helped, that's a good idea.



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I made it a point to credit the Batari BASIC programming environment on both the Solar Plexus cartridge label and in the back of the manual. The fact that it only says bB on the front of the label was an oversight on my part... I guess I just thought that most classic game collectors would be familiar enough with the homebrew scene to know what that meant.


I do worry that there will be a stigma attached to games developed with Batari BASIC. I was getting damned sick of people playing Solar Plexus for a minute and writing it off as a "Mythicon knockoff," when it didn't play anything LIKE a Mythicon game. They'd just look at the simple graphics and the Batari BASIC label and dismiss it as a Firefly wannabee. If people were going to compare it to anything, it should have been Dodge It, the Fairchild Channel F release that served as the inspiration for Solar Plexus's design.


Some ASM programmers have a really crappy attitude about Batari BASIC programmers, too... judging from my experiences on the 2600 developers mailing list, it's almost as if they resent that bB exists, and that their territory is being infringed upon by developers who haven't paid their dues. Hey, I've got nothing against ASM programmers... they usually make the best games due to the flexibility of the language and their own talent. However, Batari BASIC is here to stay, and they've just got to learn to live with it.



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I don't think it should be mandatory, nor do I think it "ought" to be mentioned.

I agree, as I'm not sure I should say that someone "should" give credit, but I am willing to go along with the community's preferences. The verbiage above is not etched in stone.

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Everything old is new again. We're heading for a repeat of this thread - http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?s...st&p=896076


I agree it should not be mandatory. I do think if you are a bB programmer you have some responsibility for spreading the word if possible. That's just my perspective, but that may be due to being around during the early days. Things have changed somewhat these days. I used to post source too... but that's another story.


I think all the emotion being stirred by these 2 games is partly the fact it isn't coming from AA. Whoever did these doesn't appear to be part of the "bB scene". And we see the screenshots and it comes off as misrepresentation. I will say, I would never buy either without having had the opportunity to play it first. I am also curious what size they are, etc.

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You can write a great game or a crappy game in any language.
Exactly. It's a matter of what a programmer does with the tools, not the tools themselves.


I think it's nice to mention bB in the manual, since people buying the game may themselves become interested in trying their hand at programming something.


But as for it serving as a "warning" of sorts... that just universally attaches a stigma to all bB games. What if the same had been done to all homebrews? Branding them as somehow being inferior than commercially released games? That would have been utter nonsense.


As it always has been, buying games is a case of "let the buyer beware". The best approach, I think, is to release the ROM ahead of time, so people can see what they're getting. With any game. To do so otherwise, just leaves potential buyers wondering what may be wrong with it.


Something Al might consider adding to the store is a "Try it now" button to each game's page. Currently, you have to jump through a few hoops to get to the ROMs. Admittedly, this does nothing in Atari2600.com's case. But I think it's good business practice.


Unless the games suck. ;)

Edited by Nathan Strum
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