Was Hong Kong 97 a homebrew?

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Erockbrox
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Was Hong Kong 97 a homebrew?

Post by Erockbrox » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:25 pm

So the other day I saw that there was a news article about how the creator of Hong Kong 97 came out and released a personal statement about the game.

http://www.scmp.com/culture/arts-entert ... -1997-ends


In the article the creator talks about how he just wants people to forget about the game and that he doesn't want anything to do with it. Then I came up with an idea. If the game really is a homebrew and not a hack, then technically he still has the rights to his game. If he did a rom hack of his own game and removed all of the copywrited material and replaced it with similar material then technically he could sell his game legitimately.

Since this game is literally infamous now, he could probably cash in on this and launch a kickstarter or do a Steam release or something and everyone would go nuts over it. He seems to be a business guy so I don't see why he wouldn't go for this idea.

What are your thoughts?

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rainwarrior
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Re: Was Hong Kong 97 a homebrew?

Post by rainwarrior » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:40 pm

Erockbrox wrote:Since this game is literally infamous now, he could probably cash in on this and launch a kickstarter or do a Steam release or something and everyone would go nuts over it. He seems to be a business guy so I don't see why he wouldn't go for this idea.
There are a million reasons why running a kickstarter or otherwise trying to prepare a product for release and sale might be too much effort.

"Replace the copyrighted images and sell it on Steam" is a very simple idea but actually carrying it out is a much bigger undertaking than you probably think.

It might be a little more famous at this particular moment, but the novelty of this game is going to wear off fast. There's not much guarantee that it can recoup the effort it takes to get it commercial-ready.

Yes, that's what kickstarter is supposed to be for, but even preparing a kickstarter campaign is a pretty big deal.

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Re: Was Hong Kong 97 a homebrew?

Post by dougeff » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:48 pm

I respect the developer's wanting us to forget about it...this is a terrible game. Exceptionally low quality.

I agree. Let's forget it.
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koitsu
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Re: Was Hong Kong 97 a homebrew?

Post by koitsu » Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:16 pm

We should honour the author's requests. It may also be a "bad homebrew" but in general I try not to judge any of the homebrew efforts, no matter how bad they are.

As for this:
Since this game is literally infamous now, he could probably cash in on this and launch a kickstarter or do a Steam release or something and everyone would go nuts over it. He seems to be a business guy so I don't see why he wouldn't go for this idea.
That sounds awful. Some people are not always in the market to make money, especially if it comes to something they did in the past which they feel shameful of. So many projects of this sort on Kickstarter or similar sites are absolute tripe. Don't do that.

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Re: Was Hong Kong 97 a homebrew?

Post by tepples » Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:40 pm

It makes me wonder if shame is why Disney hasn't released Song of the South on home video in North America.

drludos
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Re: Was Hong Kong 97 a homebrew?

Post by drludos » Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:57 pm

The story behind the game is very interesting. I think we can consider it a homebrew, like many other pirate / unofficial releases!

I can understand the author no longer wants to talk about the game (and we should respect that), but I think it belongs to the overall history of video games. Today, almost anyone can make a video game with wildly available professional tools (Unity, Unreal Engine, etc.). Back in the day, gamedev was more perceived as some kind of "black magic", with a few "chosen ones" who had access to console devkits and related knowledge, while today game developer is kind of a "standard job".

I find wonderful that people managed to create their own SNES games without any endorsement from Nintendo, meaning no access to devkit nor documentation... Sames goes for the homebrew devs of the 90's that Koitsu was part of - I'm still amazed that people managed to create actual games without any access to official sources / support.

IIRC, I think some official Nintendo licensees started that way too. Software Creations for example (an UK dev studio) wanted to develop NES games, but Nintendo refused to support them with official documentation. So they "reverse-engineered" the whole process, and came back to them with a demo they did with their own tools - Nintendo then accepted to sell them devkits. Electronic Arts did the same to SEGA in the Mega Drive / Genesis era, going so far as building their own ICE box from a retail genesis console.

Today, we no longer have stories like this...
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tepples
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Re: Was Hong Kong 97 a homebrew?

Post by tepples » Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:22 pm

Today, thanks in part to the threat of competition from OUYA and other Android gaming devices, the major console makers have dramatically opened up their developer application processes.

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rainwarrior
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Re: Was Hong Kong 97 a homebrew?

Post by rainwarrior » Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:33 pm

tepples wrote:Today, thanks in part to the threat of competition from OUYA and other Android gaming devices, the major console makers have dramatically opened up their developer application processes.
Why do you think OUYA has anything to do with it?

Microsoft opened it up on the XBox 360 with XBLA years before OUYA was ever announced.

Sony had drastically cost reduced devkits (went from like $20k down to $1k) for the PS3 also long before OUYA, I think around 2009. With the PS4 they stopped selling devkits and now just loan them to developers as part of licensing (often at very low cost to indies).

Nintendo made Wii U relatively (for Nintendo) open, but I think this was largely out of desperation. Switch access is a little more closed (but easier than Wii was, I think).

OUYA, on the other hand, was a massive failure that was discontinued 2 years after launch. Why do you think this would put any pressure on other console manufacturers to be like OUYA?
Last edited by rainwarrior on Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Punch
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Re: Was Hong Kong 97 a homebrew?

Post by Punch » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:23 am

Ouya didn't impact the industry at all (outside of perhaps the "kickstarter industry"), and the South China Morning Post surprisingly has zero anti-Japanese bias (even though it tries to brush aside the anti-mainlander mentality of the game in question very hard). Interesting thread.

'Kowloon' Kurosawa was the edgiest of the japanese writers and now he wants people to forget his magnum opus of edgy-ness? You can't have your cake and eat it, you know. :lol:
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Re: Was Hong Kong 97 a homebrew?

Post by ccovell » Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:33 pm

Wow, there seem to be like 4 conversations going on here at once. Imagine then, Erockbrox, the territorial shitstorm that a large-scale Kickstarter campaign would send flying. No wonder its original creator wants to forget it and move on...

LucianoTheWindowsFan
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Re: Was Hong Kong 97 a homebrew?

Post by LucianoTheWindowsFan » Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:46 pm

I think it's a bootleg.

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Re: Was Hong Kong 97 a homebrew?

Post by Nikku4211 » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:10 am

drludos wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:57 pm
The story behind the game is very interesting. I think we can consider it a homebrew, like many other pirate / unofficial releases!

I can understand the author no longer wants to talk about the game (and we should respect that), but I think it belongs to the overall history of video games. Today, almost anyone can make a video game with wildly available professional tools (Unity, Unreal Engine, etc.).
I can understand why you think Hong Kong 97 is historically significant, but there are some other SNES homebrew games from the same era you can use in its place, like Anthrox's Shoot Your Load, an unlicenced SNES Asteroids clone from 1993, 2 years before HK97. You could even use some NSFW porn SNES games from Japan, as they are just as NSFL as HK97.
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