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 Post subject: Messiah Generation NEX
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:51 am 
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Heh I just stumbled on this thing. Very cool looking, I'm getting 2 so I can make a custom case. I'm only just starting to get into NES dev, but somebody else needs to form an indie game company, along the lines of color dreams or tengen, & make make (and manufacture) some games. I realize no profit would likely ever turn over, but I think enough of us would buy indie cartridges up just to have them in our collection that it could work at out. Actually manufacturing would be hella expensive upfront and the $ would prolly never be recouped, but I'd be willing to go out on a limb as an investor if there was a large & good enough art programming team to make games. Like I said I'm no expert just a beginner but it would a cool thing to get involved in. I'm sure its every hobby game coders dream to make a game on a cartidge and sell it. I know its always been mine!

Reply with your ideas plz.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:00 am 
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ryanlost wrote:
I'm only just starting to get into NES dev, but somebody else needs to form an indie game company, along the lines of color dreams or tengen, & make make (and manufacture) some games.


That's exactly what I'm doing. Besides working on my own game project and hardware, I'm wanting to publish other people's games (but they get to keep their own copyrights and everything, no corporate BS).


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 12:30 pm 
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The previous Generation NEX topic claims that it isn't entirely NES compatible.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 12:41 pm 
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ryanlost wrote:
somebody else needs to form an indie game company, along the lines of color dreams or tengen, & make make (and manufacture) some games.


In order to manufacture a cartridge, we need to get a better solution for the CIC security chip. There is a recent thread about this in the HW forum. Current solutions are not terribly user friendly and include:

1. Using a universal cart (Sqeedo, FunkyFlash) which has a original CIC soldered on.
2. Using one of the CIC defeater circuits - all of which have some negative side affects, but do work in most cases.
3. Modifying your NES to defeat the CIC "lock". This works fantastically, but most people either can't or do not want to modify their NES hardware.
4. Use a Top loader or famiclone that does not have security implemented. Top loaders have the vertical line problem, and famiclones have compatibility issues - especially with sound.

So what I'm saying is that solving the CIC issue might help independent game developers publish, since right now the barrier to entry is pretty high. Of course wide availability of Squeedo or FunkyFlash might have the same effect.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:50 pm 
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Why not just use existing cartridges? Desolder the roms, and solder in EPROMS. (Unfortunately sockets take up too much room to be used). The hardest part of this is finding the right cartridges, but there is a list of a bunch of NES carts and their mappers.

A friend of mine did it to produce Frog Feast cartridges for the Genesis (and soon SNES). He's also modified a NES cartridge for EPROMS.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:48 am 
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cdoty wrote:
Why not just use existing cartridges? Desolder the roms, and solder in EPROMS.

That's a lot of labor compared to what people will buy NES games for.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:41 am 
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How about a splitter connector?

Then they can use any NES game's lockout chip.

I'm thinking it would look like a game genie, with a cable coming out that connects to another cart. It only needs to be a few wires right?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:22 am 
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cdoty wrote:
Why not just use existing cartridges?

Well, there are only so many cartridges produced by Nintendo, and they will eventually run out. We can't rely on them forever. I guess for personal dev'ing it's ok, we can always bust a cart or two, but for "mass" production... I don't know.

I'm in favour of connecting an original cart to get around the lockout chip. It's bulky, but still better than comming up with crazy schemes that may not work on every console.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:49 pm 
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Or just copy codemaster's cartridges lockout defeater method?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 1:00 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
Well, there are only so many cartridges produced by Nintendo, and they will eventually run out. We can't rely on them forever. I guess for personal dev'ing it's ok, we can always bust a cart or two, but for "mass" production... I don't know.

I agree. I'm strongly against wasting cartridge to destroy them if it is not for great use of them. This should be avoided as much as possible.
Producting two slot adaptater wouldn't be hard, would it be ? It so, the CIC have to be reverse enginered to found the most accurate way to disable it. Or simply explain to people how cut their pin 4 of their CIC.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:52 pm 
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Bregalad wrote:
tokumaru wrote:
Well, there are only so many cartridges produced by Nintendo, and they will eventually run out. We can't rely on them forever. I guess for personal dev'ing it's ok, we can always bust a cart or two, but for "mass" production... I don't know.

I agree. I'm strongly against wasting cartridge to destroy them if it is not for great use of them. This should be avoided as much as possible.
Producting two slot adaptater wouldn't be hard, would it be ? It so, the CIC have to be reverse enginered to found the most accurate way to disable it. Or simply explain to people how cut their pin 4 of their CIC.


The way I see it, you still need a cart case to make carts, so you need to use production carts anyways... so remove the lockout chip while you're at it, and re-use the case too.

Making some kind of funky two-way adaptor will be super duper expensive, as will new cart cases. You're looking at $10K or more for custom molds. This is way outside the realm of possibility for most hobbiests.

Also, most carts will be a run of 100 carts or less. This is a drop in the bucket. There's thousands and thousands of SMB/DH and SMD/DH/WTM carts kicking around that no one wants. And contrary to popular belief, it is easy to re-use the glop top lockout chip, just use some wire cutters and cut the board off leaving just the lockout chip. You can then solder it to the edge of your board with 6 connections. No muss, no fuss.

Anyways, better people than us have tried to defeat the lockout circuit, and every one of them has failed. Atari was on the cusp of victory, however, when their lawyers snagged the 10NES code... making alot of the work they did moot.

Today we have some fairly powerful computing at our fingertips, so some kind of brute force attack *might* be possible. I can record gigs and gigs of data if someone wants it, but without someone to process it and apply some good cryptographic knowledge to it, we're sunk.

I highly doubt if I dump 20 gigs of data (using my simple delta modulation scheme to pack the data down 300 fold or so) I seriously doubt we will see a repeat of the data stream. I could set an FPGA up to look for a data stream repeat, but IMO I think we'll be waiting months or more before it repeats. If it's more than 64 or so bits, we won't see it repeating in our lifetimes probably.

Again, I could set an FPGA up to dump the data in realtime, or possibly faster than realtime, but I need somewhere to stuff it to make it workable. If I fill up a 400 gig HD with nothing but lockout chip data, it may not tell us anything useful even then.

I am fairly serious about cracking the chip, but I'm only good for the "back end" of the affair, that is, supplying the data for others to work on. I have absolutely no experience cracking any cryptographic functions.

I'm sure if we show the right people some frequency distribution patterns of the data (which have been generated before) they MIGHT be able to shed at least a little light on the situation. A true "cryptographically secure" algo would not have the curious frequency distrubution we have seen, and it would instead have a very even one. Our data definitely does not look like a gaussian noise source, so there are some very very important clues that I just don't know how to interpret.

Anyone got clues who we can talk to to get the ball rolling on some good crypto doods?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:44 pm 
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kevtris wrote:
The way I see it, you still need a cart case to make carts

Color Dreams, Tengen, and the other un1ic3n53d game makers had their own custom cart case designs molded.

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Anyone got clues who we can talk to to get the ball rolling on some good crypto doods?

DarkFader from darkfader.net/gbadev.org might be able to point you in a helpful direction.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:11 pm 
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tepples wrote:
kevtris wrote:
The way I see it, you still need a cart case to make carts

Color Dreams, Tengen, and the other un1ic3n53d game makers had their own custom cart case designs molded.

Quote:
Anyone got clues who we can talk to to get the ball rolling on some good crypto doods?

DarkFader from darkfader.net/gbadev.org might be able to point you in a helpful direction.


As I said, making cart cases is way outside the realm of mere hobbiests. tengen and colourdreams were fairly good sized corporations (Tengen especially, being part of Atari at the time). For us, it still costs $10K or more, not including design time. You'd need to click off alot of cases to make that up... especially if you take into account how much money it'd save to use existing cases. You might be able to buy NES carts for $3 in bulk, while cases might cost $2.50 to get made. That means you have to amortize your $10K over 20K carts to just break even. And then you need a lockout chip defeater and mappers, so it will probably end up costing MORE money all told.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:44 pm 
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When it starts happening though, like it has for the 2600, I wonder if the new cases will be a rehash of one of the old designs or something completely new?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 2:41 pm 
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Why is it that new 2600 games use new plastic shells? Is there that much more money in the 2600 scene than in the NES scene?


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