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I just got to get this off my chest.

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Being gainfully employed in a profession lends a layer of validity to a person, that an enthusiast doesn't automatically receive. 'Good enough to be successful' and 'years of experience' are both given in that situation, and it generally becomes the enthusiast's job to overcome this.


There are many rockets in this world that are not built by "rocket scientists"

and at trial, an expert witness doesn't necessarily have to be trained or work in their field.


but which trial/rocket would you rather be in? Without a set of unusual circumstances, most go for the professional over the enthusiast, as they themselves may not be experts and have to take somebody at their word.

Edited by Reaperman
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They've done more. In addition to producing a (theoretically) good game, they have organized and negotiated a financial arrangement, and received access to a much larger promotional machine. They "touch" more potential customers, by design.


Another thing is that a reputation changes by educating. Also, what some groups of people think matter more than what other groups think. Among some populations, I couldn't care less what my reputation is. Where it matters, I have one, based on my interactions with those people.

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Wasn't aware there was a problem, but anyhow. Mostly it's all been touched on already by above posts. But I think one of the big things is....Developers had to learn EVERYTHING mostly through trial and error. They worked with (for their time) new untested technology in a world that was completely unknown. Now, I"m not saying that there isn't stuff homebrewers have to learn too. But for the most part, homebrewers come along, years, or decades later and most everything has been done before on the system they are working on. The homebrewer has a huge base of knowledge to gather from, that an original developer simply didn't have.


I'm not ragging on homebrewers by any stretch, they are awesome for what they do. But the fact is, the vast majority of them are getting their work, from the work of others.


Take Atari for instance. Most modern Homebrew games are AMAZING. There's no doubt about that. But how much of it is really original? For instance, who came up with multiplexing sprites, huge text sprites, giant ram/rom carts, psudo 3d gradient coloring, etc, etc, etc? Some original person decades ago made all that possible. Now the hard part is done, the homebrewer has an equally hard task of coming up with an original game, but the tricks to make that game possible were done long ago.


Actually, there is one 2600 thing I can think of that wasn't done BITD (commercially, though I bet it has been done as a tech demo) would be interleaved Chrono Color. That trick to run the 2600 at 8colors per scanline.

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You have some pretty good points Video! I feel people should be aware of the trouble developers had getting release titles finished before the system gets on the market. People beleive that Capcom and Konami are programming Gods who instantly know how to get the most from any system they program for without trial and error.

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Wouldn't music be kind of an analogy here too?


Professional musicians have clout because they are known, and they either eat well or not, by virtue of what they do. A non-professional may be just as qualified, and even more qualified, but is unknown and really doesn't have the same skin in the game.


Re: Most people don't know what homebrews are.


Absolutely 100 percent correct. I've thought about that, and if you look at my tagline it's easy to understand why. On one hand, more people knowing about it kind of grows the hobby, but only if that growth comes with more people producing things; otherwise, it increases tension and scarcity and other things. On the other, not so many people knowing about it makes things possible.


The unknown musician can probably organize a party and just jam with few worries. The pro has an attorney attached, see what I mean?


Perhaps it's just fine the way it is. Those of us in the know are having a grand time, right?


Re: Building on the ideas of others.


Yeah, that's what it's about. One really fun part of this hobby is tracing back through history to see what's been done and why. Some of us build on that, improving and innovating new things. That's sweet. Others just enjoy the learning. Still others execute it all nicely enough to enjoy.


To me, that's one of the best things about this hobby. Being in the home brew scene is all low key, and fun because there is a nice sense of discovery going on. My personal experience has been pros don't mind talking to interested amateurs, because they all were once there, right where a lot of us are, and I think if asked, many wouldn't mind one bit being back there, just having a good time. It's great to be able to PM somebody and ask, "How?", and get cool answers and often a knowing grin in return. What's not to like?


The other best thing is just watching all the various projects go. To me, it's like being a kid when we had tons of time and the computers and everybody was just doing stuff. I don't think I'll ever tire of that, and it's part of why I'm spending time on micros right now. That scene is about the building, doing, talking, and not about dollars and other pressures.


Anyway, good thread. :)


@Video: Yeah. Spot on. The cool part is that some of us just never quite gave it up, or jumped in way too late. That's where the magic comes from. Honestly, who other than a serious retro / home brew fan is going to knock out something killer on the VCS these days? I love that part of it, because the story kind of goes on, everybody wondering just what could happen. Every so often, something new does, and it's sweet. You just know there is a discussion going on in cube land, "Hey Joe, check this shit out!" Heh... Rock on everybody!

Edited by potatohead
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Why do liscensed developers always get a higher reputation than homebrewers?

I think a lot of people don't even know what homebrews are.


Mention the word "homebrew" to most people and they'd probably think you're referring to something along the lines of potatohead's avatar.

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A few "homebrewers" on the forums, DO work "in the industry" in one form or another and some have even before the Atari 2600. They started on the older systems and that's where their "enjoyment" is but program, work with, or develop things for the current generation consoles as their "work". While some have stated parts of their resume publically, Many would just prefer to keep their private life seperate and well, private. We are very fortunate to have so many talented members here. :)

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But for the most part, homebrewers come along, years, or decades later and most everything has been done before on the system they are working on. The homebrewer has a huge base of knowledge to gather from, that an original developer simply didn't have.

That's why I find the 7800 more interesting than the NES. It was never pushed much. Working on that system is more uncharted territory, but it's harder to come up with anything new for the NES.


Personally, I don't think vintage source code is very useful, unless it reveals something undocumented about the hardware. You just need the underlying specs, which is the same stuff the original devs probably had.


The big modern advantages though are development tools and time. I've burned up years since first getting interested, still no output. Original programmers were given a project they maybe didn't even like and had to finish it in months on an ST or some other clumsy setup.

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Didn't homebrewing evolve from the various forms of PD (Public domain), like freeware/shareware/slackware/crippleware and one that i heard many moons ago....'BeerWare' which has been in the computer industry almost as long as the invention of the home/personal computer


You could call homebrewing a form of 'freelance games development/programming', in the context that you are working for yourself and don't have the machinery (i.e infrastructures) of a Konami or Capcom as someone mentioned...there again, having the machinery/infrastructures of a konami/capcom etc doesn't guarantee you or your creation the success it deserves (if any), as proven by the infamous VG crash of the early 80's...It was even said that the iconic game Boulderdash was actually programmed by a freelancer (Peter Liepa) and not programmed by someone working for Chris Gray's company

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Why do liscensed developers always get a higher reputation than homebrewers? Everybody always take liscensed developers word for every technical issue, beleiving they somehow have more experience than homebrewers despite how many times they've been debunked by homebrewers.



I must be frequenting the wrong forums. I've never seen anyone compare an original developer to a homebrewer.

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