Are homebrew devs "accessories" to Nintendo's aggression?

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tepples
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Are homebrew devs "accessories" to Nintendo's aggression?

Post by tepples » Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:09 am

In a comment to a story on a news aggregator, an anonymous user called homebrew developers "accessories" to Nintendo's legal aggression against sites carrying infringing ROM images of its first-party games.
In [url=https://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=12897538&cid=57640630]this post[/url], Anonymous Coward wrote:Worshipers at any of the altars of Nintendo are contributing towards Nintendo's success, and hence at the very least are accessories to their misdeeds by promoting the brand's products.

Also, as TFA showed, Nintendo makes no distinction between old and new consoles when crucifying fans.

The overall result is that those "competitors" [unlicensed devs] are only partially competitors, and so are caught in the crossfire as collateral damage. It's time for them to switch their support to a console from a less abusive company.
Does this person have a point about us being enablers of MAFIAA aggression? Or is there a solid reason not to take this view seriously?

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Re: Are homebrew devs "accessories" to Nintendo's aggression

Post by Great Hierophant » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:12 am

To that poster, anyone who supports Nintendo by buying or using any of its products, past or present, is an accessory to their oppression. Nintendo cannot survive on nostalgia alone, it must produce new products for customers to sell. When it turns to its classic game library, we get avenues to spend our money on like the Virtual Console and the NES and SNES Classic Editions. Homebrew game authors for discontinued Nintendo consoles do not contribute to Nintendo's sales in any way.

He is entitled to his opinion, but it is not well-reasoned in my opinion. It's moral outrage only and he is on shaky ground there given that Nintendo had a strong legal case against LoveROMs.

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Re: Are homebrew devs "accessories" to Nintendo's aggression

Post by samophlange » Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:54 am

His argument(?) relies on NES homebrew development increasing sales of current Nintendo products. Micro Mages, an absolute blockbuster from a homebrew perspective, had less than 5k backers. The NES and SNES class have sold over 10m units. These markets operate on vastly different scales, claiming one impacts the other is based more on emotion than reason IMO.

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Re: Are homebrew devs "accessories" to Nintendo's aggression

Post by Memblers » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:47 am

In [url=https://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=12897538&cid=57640630]this post[/url], Anonymous Coward wrote:It's time for them to switch their support to a console from a less abusive company.
Found the Sega fan. I'm kidding of course, clearly AC meant we should switch to the Atari 7800. :roll:

Main reason to not take the comment seriously, is that it's better to default to not taking anonymous comments seriously. Copyright terms should be much, much shorter than they are (it's effectively infinite at this point, as it keeps getting extended..). Screw all that rent-seeking. Despite that, I don't see how anyone could run a ROM site, while there is a copyright holder who is still selling those games, and not expect something like this to eventually happen.

It's nowhere near comparable to the old RIAA situation, where they were suing little kids and grandmothers, at a time when they didn't even provide a way for anyone buy a digital copy of the music they were suing over.

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Re: Are homebrew devs "accessories" to Nintendo's aggression

Post by Fisher » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:19 am

Anonymous Coward wrote:...
Sure!
Nintendo is selling 20 times more NESes (not counting the classic edition) than the last year.
Mathematically we could even say that they're selling 50, 100, 500 times more because any number multiplied by zero is zero!
New old consoles are basically clones or emulators, even the licensed ones because of hardware issues.

I don't see many homebrewers who physicaly released cartridges putting their games on newer platforms.
Also, not trying to detract the homebrewers, but the amount of new retrogames produced and selled is merelly a fraction of the games made and sold for the new platforms.
It's proportional to the amount of people working on them.
I think homebrew is a matter of nostalgia and passion, not something related to power and opression, since most hardware have their patents expired.

On the software side, it's a bit different...
It has been told, be it here or elsewhere for many many years, that ROM distribution is not a good idea since it breaks the copyright law.
Now I see that people who ignored all these advices are unfortunatelly getting in trouble.
Well, they can't say it was a lack or warning!

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Re: Are homebrew devs "accessories" to Nintendo's aggression

Post by 8bitMicroGuy » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:46 am

As much as I've heard, NES hardware is "liberated" as opensourcers would say because the patents have expired and because it doesn't use any copyrighted stuff other than the lockout chip which has been circumvented in a legal way. I'm pretty sure there have been explanations of this somewhere on this forum.

Therefore, I think that homebrewers aren't really that much of accellerators of Nintendo's aggression. If anything, I think that homebrewers are a distraction to Nintendo's stuff. It's like, if you want to boycott Nintendo, go and make your own NES games with your own resources and stuff there without using anything Nintendo-ish.

However, I think that what could be even more cool is to create a modded NES on an FPGA chip which uses special features which the original Famicoms don't, but which works with both original NES cartridges and our own cartridges, but with the exception that our own cartridges have special features that cannot be run on any Nintendo's consoles.
Those features could be:
additional registers,
console version register,
SD card interface,
special timing hack for indirect indexing,
additional opcodes mod such as Load From Stack At Offset X Into Accumulator and such,
automatic and fast pushing and popping of CPU registers onto stack when entering and exiting an interrupt,
3 24-bit pointer registers with their own opcodes for fast loading and storing of data with increment and decrement (see AVR microcontrollers, except that they're 16-bit),
native mapper bankswitching so that any 24-bit address access from a 24-bit pointer register can immediately do the mappertalk upon the need to do bankswitching,
PPU that has 8x16 and 16x16 sprites,
8-color and 16-color sprites!,
more than 8 sprites per scanline,
PPU with its own native table which tells it what scroll effects and CHR bankswitches and pallette changes to do per which scanline,
some more channels that have FamiTracker-like effects (VRC6, MMC5) without the need for that to be implemented in the cartridge,
8x8 attribute tables rather than 16x16,
MULTIBANK CHR-RAM ON MAIN BOARD as an option to make cartridges cheaper,
NO NEED TO WAIT FOR VBLANK to change CHR-RAM or nametable or attribute table or sprite table or pallette table or scroll info! All of that is queued into a queue buffer which then the PPU will execute on its own during the VBlank or the HBlank, depending on your choice!!! :D,
Mapping PPU bus onto the CPU's address space!,
USART communication with FIFO just like in AVR microcontrollers as in Arduino!,
Special CPU interrupt that is used only for music step event so that 50Hz PAL games don't have slow music but that they enjoy the 60Hz music just like the NTSC guys,
PAL overclockedness but with the ability to dynamically change between PAL and NTSC without too many issues (kinda like how PS1 had Paradox PAL/NTSC changer menu before a game would start; INCLUDE DENDY TIMING AND EVERYTHING ELSE SO THAT EVERYONE CAN BE HAPPY!),
Option to stream the framebuffer into a Theora codec (which is patent-free and MIT licensed) coprocessor for livestreaming!,
A WiFi coprocessor for accessing an online store of homebrew games with friends lists and social networking and the ability to download such games onto an SD card if cartridge making and shipping is too expensive.

We should name it HRES! Homebrew Refugee Entertainment System! Waddya thinque!?

OH! And we can make free legal emulators with that and make original games for it and say that it's ours XD and also get a bunch of money on Kickstarter/Patreon to hire lawyers to protect us, hahaha! Take that, Nintendo!

OH! And don't forget. We must change the iNES header into an iHRES header and make our own file extension *.hre
That way Nintendo will never find out XD

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Re: Are homebrew devs "accessories" to Nintendo's aggression

Post by Oziphantom » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:38 am

while that person is clearly talking through their hat, homebrew is the alter from which piracy pours from is sadly true.

There are talks at CCC that cover such things, but basically the reason people can pirate games is because some ethical hackers wanted to get linux or make homebrew so they crack the machine to make a simple demo on it, then the piracy teams take their work and start using it to sell pirated copies. How many people used the defense for the R4 that it was for homebrew, how many people actually made homebrew for the DS( also - the "homebrew" emulators )

I doubt Nintendo could give two hoots about us making NES games, but us reverse engineering the CIC chip making cheap boards, SD2NES etc so we can sell our homebrews, quickly test our code, allows people to pirate roms on the machine, make repros and other illicit acts.

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Re: Are homebrew devs "accessories" to Nintendo's aggression

Post by Dwedit » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:44 am

Enhanced NES systems do exist, see the VT03.
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Re: Are homebrew devs "accessories" to Nintendo's aggression

Post by toggle switch » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:07 am

this is simply absurd.

as far as corporate misdeeds go, this is so far down the list it doesn't even register, sorry.

i met a guy who worked at a nike sweatshop factory in indonesia - he lost one of his hands in an accident with a piece of machinery. they offered him less than $100 compensation. now that's truly fucking awful behavior for a multi billion dollar company.

how about the spate of suicides that happened at an iphone manufacturing facility in china? ( https://www.theguardian.com/technology/ ... ce-extract )

how about nestle stealing the water supply of california towns in the middle of a drought?
( https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 30686.html )

how about the connection between the chocolate industry and third world child slave labor?
http://www.foodispower.org/slavery-chocolate/

i could literally spend all day sitting here and coming up with more examples, but i think you get the idea. nintendo is a multi billion dollar corporation. we could all stop collecting, homebrewing, or having anything to do with retro gaming altogether, and it would not affect Nintendo's bottom line one iota.

so no, i don't think we are 'accessories' to nintendo's behavior. but the person bitching about Nintendo is probably an accessory to much much worse corporate behavior.

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Re: Are homebrew devs "accessories" to Nintendo's aggression

Post by tepples » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:39 am

Fisher wrote:Nintendo is selling 20 times more NESes (not counting the classic edition)
I think part of AC's argument is that sales of new games for the original NES increase Nintendo's mindshare and thereby promote sales of NES Classic Edition, Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console, and Switch Online.
Fisher wrote:I don't see many homebrewers who physicaly released cartridges putting their games on newer platforms.
Not many, but some. The anonymous comment was a reply to my comment in which I mentioned Retrotainment's The Curse of Possum Hollow, which also happens to be available on Steam and Xbox One. Tomas Guinan of Spoony Bard mentioned a forthcoming Alfonzo game for Nintendo 3DS in his microblog on Twitter.
Fisher wrote:I think homebrew is a matter of nostalgia and passion, not something related to power and opression, since most hardware have their patents expired.
Exactly. I got into Game Boy just this year, and I mentioned elsewhere that it's a good time for me to do so as the Game Boy Color is just now starting to come off patent.
8bitMicroGuy wrote:However, I think that what could be even more cool is to create a modded NES on an FPGA chip which uses special features
And then you go on to describe a bunch of features, many of them integral to what makes the Super NES so super. Some of them are also present on the TurboGrafx-16.

"additional registers" - direct page base pointer
"console version register" - Present on Super NES, though later revisions lie [cough]1CHIP pretending to be a 2/1/3[/cough]
"SD card interface" - Can be made on NES or Super NES
"additional opcodes mod such as Load From Stack At Offset X Into Accumulator and such" - zero page is now D-relative and can overlay stack; also dd,S and (dd,S),Y modes exist
"24-bit pointer registers with their own opcodes" - PLB gives Y three more bits, absolute long indexed mode, indirect long mode
"native mapper bankswitching so that any 24-bit address access from a 24-bit pointer register can immediately do the mappertalk" - absolute long mode
"PPU that has 8x16 and 16x16 sprites" - 8x8, 16x16, 32x32, pick two
"8-color and 16-color sprites!"- Sprites are 4bpp, as are background tiles in the most commonly used mode
"more than 8 sprites per scanline" - How about 32 sprites covering up to 34 tiles?
"PPU with its own native table which tells it what scroll effects and CHR bankswitches and pallette changes to do per which scanline" - HDMA
"some more channels that have FamiTracker-like effects (VRC6, MMC5) without the need for that to be implemented in the cartridge" - S-DSP is N163 on steroids
"8x8 attribute tables rather than 16x16" - True of Super NES and Game Boy Color
"MULTIBANK CHR-RAM ON MAIN BOARD as an option to make cartridges cheaper" - Super NES has 64K of VRAM, equivalent in tile pixel count and map space to 32K of NES VRAM
"NO NEED TO WAIT FOR VBLANK to change CHR-RAM or nametable or attribute table or sprite table or pallette table or scroll info! All of that is queued into a queue buffer which then the PPU will execute on its own during the VBlank or the HBlank, depending on your choice!!! :D" - There's enough RAM connected to the S-CPU and enough vblank time to let the CPU queue 5K of updates that the vblank handler pushes through. The competing Genesis VDP implements your queue idea, giving a few access slots per scanline and halting the CPU when the queue fills.
"USART communication with FIFO just like in AVR microcontrollers as in Arduino!" - Something like controller autoreading?
"Special CPU interrupt that is used only for music step event so that 50Hz PAL games don't have slow music but that they enjoy the 60Hz music just like the NTSC guys" - S-SMP has its own timer
"Option to stream the framebuffer into a Theora codec (which is patent-free and MIT licensed) coprocessor for livestreaming!" - Theora silicon never shipped, as far as I'm aware, but VP8 did and AV1 will.

[sarcasm]Should I change your username to 16bitMicroGuy?[/sarcasm]
Oziphantom wrote:How many people used the defense for the R4 that it was for homebrew, how many people actually made homebrew for the DS
I think one of them went by the name "tepples".
Oziphantom wrote:also - the "homebrew" emulators
Such as PocketNES, which Atlus, Jaleco, and Konami have used to rerelease their old games for Nintendo handhelds? Or PCSX ReARMed, which Sony Interactive Entertainment used under license in the PlayStation Classic?
toggle switch wrote:this is so far down the list it doesn't even register, sorry.
"Not as bad as" logic is valid in one case: choice of where a limited budget will make the most impact.

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Re: Are homebrew devs "accessories" to Nintendo's aggression

Post by toggle switch » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:51 am

"not as bad" is one part of my argument, sure. in the same way that jaywalking is not as bad as murder, for example, even if they both may technically be illegal.

what i was actually arguing though, is that if you aren't boycotting nike, apple, nestle, the chocolate industry, and pretty much every other product in the world, then you have no standing to attack others as 'accessories' to corporate wrongdoing.

another part of my argument is, that we are neither supporting current gen hardware that Nintendo profits off of, nor are we boosting nintendo's IP, so i fail to see how nintendo profits off of our community whatsoever. since i joined the homebrew community i've bought an everdrive, and an AVS to assist with my work. none of that money went to nintendo. none of what i've done as a homebrewer boosted any product that nintendo is trying to sell to the public, so i just find the whole debate rather pointless in the first place.

like, is this person seriously contending that because i made Project Blue, that somebody went out and bought a nintendo switch or something? that couldn't be a more ridiculous argument, sorry.

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Re: Are homebrew devs "accessories" to Nintendo's aggression

Post by tepples » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:57 am

I agree: it's about as ridiculous as complaining that your name isn't "toggle ps4" or "toggle xbox one".

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Re: Are homebrew devs "accessories" to Nintendo's aggression

Post by calima » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:42 am

Oziphantom wrote:while that person is clearly talking through their hat, homebrew is the alter from which piracy pours from is sadly true.

There are talks at CCC that cover such things, but basically the reason people can pirate games is because some ethical hackers wanted to get linux or make homebrew so they crack the machine to make a simple demo on it, then the piracy teams take their work and start using it to sell pirated copies.
You'd be surprised how often those are the same people, perhaps with a different nick, sometimes money changing hands.

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Re: Are homebrew devs "accessories" to Nintendo's aggression

Post by koitsu » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:08 pm

Surely the solution to this "problem" is just to hate everything made by corporate overlords. No more liking things, just hate everything.

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Re: Are homebrew devs "accessories" to Nintendo's aggression

Post by Fisher » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:54 am

koitsu wrote:Surely the solution to this "problem" is just to hate everything made by corporate overlords.
[sarcasm] Should we call it "the good hate"? [/sarcasm]

Damm it!
There's a Twitter account with a similar name here in Brazil!
But I won't link to it because it seems politically inclined.

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