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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:26 pm 
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Actually on second thought, there's the possibility/risk that the scene for forum selling or kickstarting games might take a blow if people with less serious commitments to homebrewing were to announce games and not deliver anything worthwhile. Compare with the atari 2600 crash. + expect a higher % of vaporware.

Still, i think it's nice that more people get either
1) a gateway to get further into retrodev
2) a good place to start making games
3) determination make the most of this tool; perhaps including heavy modification and replacement of templates - or perhaps play within the rules in creative ways.
4) a fun and maybe insightful pastime
3) something to show their friends: hey i made this (with the help of templates, but still, can you beat my level?)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:52 pm 
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dougeff wrote:
It sounds like Russian Roulette, but equally could mean my Rock Paper Scissors game.

It's indeed "Russian Roulette" or rather: The sequel, "Super Russian Roulette".

If people program those silly kind of games for fun and release the ROM or even try to sell it on a cartridge: Fine. It's not for me, but I don't mind either.
I did similar stuff when I started programming back in 2001. Like creating a car race game with text characters in the Windows command prompt where each player is assigned a key and pressing the key moves his car. So, whoever presses his key the fastest gets to the finish line first.

But if a game like "Super Russian Roulette", that's pretty much still the same bland gameplay as it's low profile predecessor, starts a huge Kickstarter campaign and people actually pay $ 84000 for this, then I'm totally baffled.

dougeff wrote:
Complaining about it isn't going to improve my situation, nor my attitude. I prefer to be happy to be part of the whole "scene".

In my case, it's not like I'm actively complaining that much.
After all, I programmed the game mostly for myself, to have a game with a female main character. And I'm probably the one who plays it the most, so programming it was definitely not a waste.
It's one of my four games that could never be thrown out of my list of video games ever.

It's just that I noticed this strange discrepancy:
Put together a real game and people will point out all the shortcomings.
Create some complete nonsense and people will be thrilled.

dougeff wrote:
EDIT, I really liked the boss fight in your game, btw.

Thanks. Did you get to the last level? The final boss is a completely distinct character with distinct movements from the regular bosses.

tokumaru wrote:
so presentation and fun are ultimately the most important factors affecting the success of homebrew games.

But in the case of "Super Russian Roulette": Where is the fun? I just don't see it.
Put the lightgun to your head and press the button.* That's it. This game is literally simpler than "Duck Hunt". At least in "Duck Hunt" it actually mattered where you point the lightgun.

So, when I do a game that is as simple as "Kung Fu", my game gets called Atari 2600-like.
But when these guys do a game that's even simpler than "Duck Hunt" or "Wild Gunman", then people praise them.
What am I doing wrong? Should I do it like Brian Griffin and put my current adventure game on hold, just to create something completely stupid that I find ridiculous myself, but that the people will eat up and I'll make a ton of money?


* Or press the button without putting the lightgun to your head, it doesn't really matter.
Besides, since when are video game about pretending? So, this game intends me to do stuff (pointing the lightgun to my head) that's not at all required by the technical aspect of the game (since it only registers the button press). That would be like "Super Mario Bros." expecting me to actually jump every time I press the A button and all people seriously, unironically playing "Super Mario Bros." like that.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:57 pm 
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DRW wrote:
But in the case of "Super Russian Roulette": Where is the fun? I just don't see it.

Yeah, I don't see it either.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:14 pm 
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promotion and slickness of presentation is way more important than anything else. i think super russian roulette nailed both pretty well.

a lot of people out there have a fondness for the NES but don't realize that people are still making games for it. so when those people see a new game being promoted well, they get excited. if they don't see your game being promoted, though, they certainly aren't going to search it out. promoting yourself here and at NA is really only a tiny fraction of the possible customer base.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:23 pm 
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toggle switch wrote:
promotion and slickness of presentation is way more important than anything else. i think super russian roulette nailed both pretty well.

I could understand this if it was just an average game: Do an average game, present it well and people will buy it.

But this one is a game where the gameplay is literally just pressing a single button and getting the result of a random number generator on screen. No amount of advertising should be able to compensate for the fact that the game is barely a game at all. And yet, they still got a shitload of money.

So, if mediocre game + good presentation = tons of money, why isn't no-gameplay game + good presentation = a few hundred dollars? Why is the result still tons of money in the tens of thousands?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:29 pm 
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i mean, you call it a mediocre game (and i'm inclined to agree).

but it did win the audience choice award at fantastic arcade, so clearly there is an audience for this sort of game.

Quote:
So, if mediocre game + good presentation = tons of money, why isn't no-gameplay game + good presentation = a few hundred dollars? Why is the result still tons of money?


like i said, presentation is the most important thing. gameplay is clearly secondary on a game that nobody buying has even played yet.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:30 pm 
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DRW wrote:
But this one is a game where the gameplay is literally just pressing a single button and getting the result of a random number generator on screen.

The general public doesn't know how easy it is to interface with the Zapper and has no idea what a random number generator is, they just want to drink and listen to the funny things the cowboy has to say.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:29 am 
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The game has the best animation and vocal sound of the entire NES library. Those are two things the general public can appreciate on a technical level.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:21 am 
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I for one bought Russian Roulette (though post-kickstarter) and was pretty disappointed. I knew I was getting a glorified number generated, but really liked the concept and suggested presentation. So it wasn't like I was expecting much.

But what killed the fun:
1) Not apparent from the kickstarter is that the cowboy is always hardcoded to play as an extra player. And when he dies, all his taunting stops, pretty much degrading the remaining gameplay presentation into the text-mode Russian Roulette game Tepples made years back

2) It's a party drinking game that limits the maximum number of player to just 3! It baffles me that the developer would make a crippling limitation like this. Was it designed by someone with social phobia who doesn't dare to let more than two friends inside his house? :P

3) On top of all, you're supposed to enter names for each individual player... WTF? Just remove the player management altogether and let the guys with the drinks decide who joins in and who's out

These design-choices pretty much feel like game-breaking bugs, and prove that even the simplest game formula can end up disappointing. So the cartridge has mostly been sitting on the shelf. It annoys me how easy these things would be to fix with a patch, but source code is not available, and I'm not really into ROM hacking.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:28 am 
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pubby wrote:
The game has the best animation and vocal sound of the entire NES library. Those are two things the general public can appreciate on a technical level.

Yeah, the graphics artist is the only one worth his money.
However, it still doesn't explain the success to me (other than the mentioned fact that people are obviously content to play a very, very simple game as long as it is advertised well).

Because do people not see that the animation was not used for huge sprites in an actual gameplay (like if you included the full-size arcade sprites of "Street Fighter III" into an NES fighting game), but that this is nothing but a pretty static character with very choppy animation?

Even if people don't know about technical stuff, shouldn't they realize that the cowboy barely actually does anything that has to do with the gameplay?

To put it in non-programmer terms: Don't they see that the cowboy is just like the cutscenes from "Ninja Gaiden" and not at all like a huge version of the player characters and enemies of "Ninja Gaiden"?

And vocal sound: Yeah, they got a guy to speak something into a microphone. Very impressive. "Gauntlet II" and some other games already did this decades ago, so it shouldn't even be a novelty to common fans of the console.

Bananmos wrote:
It annoys me how easy these things would be to fix with a patch, but source code is not available, and I'm not really into ROM hacking.

The good thing is: You can tell this to the people who made the game.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:57 am 
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You're bitter. The game sold well because of the graphics, sound, good gimmick, good marketing, etc. The gameplay was not a selling point, and people did not care/expect much in that department. Sales do not always correspond with the quality (see Hollywood blockbusters for an example). Lots of bad products sell strongly.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Or don't, and stop caring about sales.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:45 am 
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That game doesn't appeal to me much just like drinking games overall doesn't, but i think there's one more thing to be said:

The fun isn't meant come from human-computer interaction in this case - It comes from the interface enabling a certain form of human-human interaction. It's the most overlooked aspect of any interface, yet it sometimes mean a lot or even everything.

Field study example:
Museum. World map on the wall. Instruction to look at the tag of your shirt/blouse/top/dress/sweater//tee and put a magnet marker on the world map where your garment has been made.
Placing and looking where others have placed it (or trolled) is a pretty banal game in itself. But the fact that tags are in the back of your garment means you probably need someone else to look at your tag. Interaction and conversation ensues, especially in school groups and pensioner trip groups. Materials and guides around to reinforce the experience so the convo doesn't land in contextual vacuum.

It's not about the map and marker (zapper and RND) - it's what you make of it.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:13 am 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
The fun isn't meant come from human-computer interaction in this case - It comes from the interface enabling a certain form of human-human interaction. It's the most overlooked aspect of any interface, yet it sometimes mean a lot or even everything.

This would be good and well if there actually was any interaction between the players that belongs to the game.

Sure, you can sit around with your drinking buddies, playing this game and making jokes. However, you don't need this game to drink and make jokes. And it's not the game that actively encourages you to make the jokes.

The actual gameplay does not include that much interaction between each other. Every player does his turn separately. You're not encouraged to do certain things to your human opponents. (For example, you cannot communicate to the game that you actually pointed the gun to one of the other players instead of to yourself with the game reacting accordingly.)

Unlike with a game like "Monopoly", whatever funny interaction comes out of "Super Russian Roulette" stems purely from the general group dynamics, but not from anything the game encourages you to do.

pubby wrote:
You're bitter.

I'm not really that bitter. I'm talking about it here in the thread once because the talk was about crappy and cheaply-made games that any beginner could design, but it's not like I'm musing about "Super Russian Roulette" all day and curse the developers.

I simply find it strange that you can get people's attention with such a worthless piece of software:

pubby wrote:
The game sold well because of the graphics

O.k., fine.

pubby wrote:
sound

The sound isn't "good" in the way that anybody composed a kickass NES soundtrack. It's simply "good" because it uses speech. It has a human person saying things. Not that hard to accomplish: Letting a guy speak into a microphone.

pubby wrote:
good gimmick

Debatable.
It has a gimmick, yes. But good? It's Russian Roulette.

Had they at least implemented some amusement park shooting gallery game, like those water pistol games where you have to hit a target to move a plastic horse on a racetrack.

But Russian Roulette is: Pull the trigger and see if you were lucky to get one of the empty chambers.
It's as gimmicky as rolling a single die and hoping not to get the 1. Then giving the die to the next player and he does the same.
(There's a reason why dice are usually coupled with board games. Or, if not, why the rules are slightly more complicated than: "Whoever gets the 1 first loses.")

pubby wrote:
good marketing, etc. The gameplay was not a selling point, and people did not care/expect much in that department.

And that's exactly where people are morons:

It's not a five dollar toy pistol with a full/empty chamber simulation mechanism.

It's a video game. For a vintage console even, so it's targeted towards a niche market of real fans or nerds and not just towards random 10 year olds with their smartphones.

It's a product for the NES, a console where people in their 30s play "Super Mario Bros." and "Contra" and where they take delight in the AVGN ripping on those countless crappy games that disappointed us in our childhood because we were deceived by the marketing department.

And for this 80s console, people suddenly stop caring about gameplay as long as the marketing department does its job? And they pay $ 80000? Really?
As I said: Morons.

pubby wrote:
Sales do not always correspond with the quality (see Hollywood blockbusters for an example).

At least a Hollywood blockbuster needs money to be made in the first place, so the makers at least put much work into it. Even the most stupid Adam Sandler film costs millions to make.

"Super Russian Roulette" equals a guy and his friends filming some crappy movie with a hand camera in his backyard, without an interesting plot (i.e. not like "Blair Witch Project", but really just a children's project) and people praising it to no end.

pubby wrote:
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Or don't, and stop caring about sales.

I don't really care for sales. They are a nice addition, but not my main motivation.

I'm just totally baffled that such a stupid piece of software that was probably put together in a week's worth of work sells so well.

The guys who did that game are the homebrew equivalent of companies like LJN who mostly only published crappy games.
But while those companies are criticised and ridiculed by the fans (and rightfully so), those same fans bow down to even worst games if they come from independent homebrewers.

The following statement comes full circle:
Erockbrox wrote:
I'm going to create some retarded game and then everyone in the NES homebrew community will buy it because *we have to support the scene*.

And that's all I have to say about it.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:44 am 
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DRW wrote:
This would be good and well if there actually was any interaction between the players that belongs to the game.

Sure, you can sit around with your drinking buddies, playing this game and making jokes. However, you don't need this game to drink and make jokes. And it's not the game that actively encourages you to make the jokes.

The actual gameplay does not include that much interaction between each other. Every player does his turn separately. You're not encouraged to do certain things to your human opponents. (For example, you cannot communicate to the game that you actually pointed the gun to one of the other players instead of to yourself with the game reacting accordingly.)


I'm sorry, but i think you may have missed my point entirely. Interaction does _NOT_ have to be bound to the way an interface makes you or forces you to use it. Let's use monopoly as an elaborated example - rules state that if i refuse to buy a property, it goes up for auction. Good example of rulebound interaction, which is a type of interaction far from representing the whole spectrum. Now the auction itself is almost entirely human - it's just triggered by a rule and bound by norms and expectations of human behaviour. Russian roulette offers you a a similar tool (and a culturally loaded one at that) to come up with your own interactions with your drinking buddies. That's wholly different from just drinking and making things up. It provides a framework to play a game, but the game is almost entirely human.

Sure, you don't need this game to drink and make jokes, but how's that relevant? The game provides a template for playful interaction just like a plastic shovel and a sandbox gives a kid means to play in a certain informed, specialized and thematically altered way, yet still being able to do just about whatever they want. You can still dig a random patch of earth with your hands, but that's not really the point, is it?


Btw on a personal note, i think dealing and auctioning or otherwise just socializing while playing (all human-human) are the only good parts about monopoly. So many better board games out there.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:47 am 
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DRW wrote:
But this one is a game where the gameplay is literally just pressing a single button and getting the result of a random number generator on screen. No amount of advertising should be able to compensate for the fact that the game is barely a game at all. And yet, they still got a shitload of money.

And Hasbro sells a bunch of copies of Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, and Hi Ho Cherry-O. And around certain Jewish holidays, you can find spinning tops for sale, intended for playing a game conceptually similar to HHCO. Is that supposed to lead to interaction in the same way as Super Russian Roulette?

Quote:
The sound isn't "good" in the way that anybody composed a kickass NES soundtrack. It's simply "good" because it uses speech. It has a human person saying things. Not that hard to accomplish: Letting a guy speak into a microphone.

And finding the right voice actor. And writing the right lines. And running the right post-processing so it both fits in the ROM and sounds clear when played back.

Quote:
Had they at least implemented some amusement park shooting gallery game, like those water pistol games where you have to hit a target to move a plastic horse on a racetrack.

Then it wouldn't have worked on an HDTV. (That is, without a "receive coordinates from the Wii Remote, use them to mask the composite signal, and feed the result into the light gun's photodiode" accessory that has been prototyped but whose mass production is presumably delayed until 2026.)

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It's as gimmicky as rolling a single die and hoping not to get the 1. Then giving the die to the next player and he does the same.

I remember seeing type-in BASIC programs like that two decades ago. One was called "Groan"; the one in Write Your Own Apple Games by Stuart Anstis was called "Diddle". It's one step in gameplay complexity below Craps, I guess.


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