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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:01 am 
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So what is Mystic Searches?

Is it a homebrew? Is it an unlicensed game? Both?

So when a team of people make a game is it unlicensed and when a single person does most of the work its a homebrew?

Is a homebrew really just a hobbyist project, what if someone makes a really popular homebrew and it sells many carts?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:24 am 
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A hobbyist beer brewer is making homebrew even if it's really popular and people buy it from him. I think the comparison to the origin of the term is pretty direct.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:48 am 
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By analogy, what defines microbrew games?

I guess in this analogy, you could call Cash-In Culture a brewpub because it sells (among other things) games developed by its subsidiary.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:06 am 
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I think it's safe to say that small teams of 2-4 people are very common regardless of the development year, homebrew, licensed, hack, Chinese, whatever. If the number of people on the dev team exceeds one, it doesn't glean much about what category the game falls in.

I would also argue that there has yet to be a NES game developed post 1995 that provided a living wage to any of it's contributors. Perhaps Chinese developments are an exception though, its hard for us to speak intelligibly on post-1995-Chinese-commercial-brew. Outside of China, post-1995, can you name one game that was developed as a day job with an office and paid salary that comes with a commercial operation? I certainly can't, reguardless of how many hundreds of copies sell anything developed post-1995 is likely someone developing at home, in their free time, because they're having fun doing it. They're not doing it to pay the bills and put food on the table unless except perhaps some sort of starving artist scenario (which still isn't a commercial situation).

My point is to date, nearly every NES game you can think developed from scratch in recent history is widely considered homebrew. If you look at video games as a whole, I would also argue that all NES homebrew could also be classified as an 'indie game' which happens to have targeted a retro console. To date, there hasn't been an option to license NES games for publishing by Nintendo since the early 1990s. So using the terms licensed/unlicensed to describe post 1995 work doesn't make much sense. Of course it wasn't licensed by Nintendo, *nothing* was, so why do you need to specify that..?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:22 am 
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"Unlicensed" because it's easier to find reliable sourcing for the existence of a particular licensed game than for the existence of a particular unlicensed game. Nintendo's website, for example, lists all licensed NES games, and Wikipedia's list of NES games can use it as a source. But the list won't include unlicensed NES games; other reliable sources must nontrivially vouch for those. Wikipedia lists only eighteen post-1996 releases that meet the guideline for inclusion:
If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to be suitable for a stand-alone article or list.

If you have a CNET account, you can start by submitting your commercially released game's product page for review.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:27 am 
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tepples wrote:
"Unlicensed" because it's easier to find reliable sourcing for the existence of a particular licensed game than for the existence of a particular unlicensed game.


You're right, I guess what I mean to say is the idea of putting a game into a single category of "homebrew" or "unlicensed" is nonsensical. Post 1995 homebrew games are a subset of unlicensed games.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:46 am 
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infiniteneslives wrote:
To date, there hasn't been an option to license NES games for publishing by Nintendo since the early 1990s. So using the terms licensed/unlicensed to describe post 1995 work doesn't make much sense.

.... I wonder if it would be realistic for something like that to ever actually happen.
Since this statement is coming from you in the first place (albeit on the NES topic), I'm guessing the Street Fighter II re-issue isn't licensed by Nintendo? It's just a pointless formality, but it would actually be cool if it had the seal of quality.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:23 am 
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Gauntlet by Tengen was licensed (NES-GL-USA), then it was rereleased unlicensed (TGN-004-GL). Likewise RBI Baseball by Tengen (NES-RS-USA; TGN-001-RB). Likewise, apparently, Street Fighter II by Capcom, as the label carries a "Legacy Cartridge Collection" logo in lieu of "Super Nintendo Entertainment System", "four ovals", and "Official Nintendo Seal" logos.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:28 am 
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Obviously they don't need it, but it would be kind of interesting if Nintendo would greenlight retro development by reinstating the seal of quality for discontinued consoles. They already seem to be doing a lot at the moment to ride on the nostalgia wave simply for brand building (the NES and SNES classic), so the idea isn't actually far off.
I'm guessing if that were to ever happen though, you'd have to get your game rated by ESRB/Pega/etc., and that's a nightmare.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:21 am 
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All homebrew games are unlicensed games, but not all unlicensed games are homebrew. But unlicensed companies sometimes did pay individual programmers on an independent contractor basis, and many unlicensed games were solely developed by 1-2 people (and often showed it).

But if you want licensed/unlicensed screwiness, look to Tengen's/Namco's Pac-Man. First Tengen released it as an licensed cartridge, then quickly re-released as an unlicensed cartridge when it burnt its bridges with Nintendo. Finally Namco re-released it toward the end of the NES's life as a licensed cartridge. There is a difference between the Tengen releases and the Namco releases beyond title screen copyright/licensing text. Anyone else notice it?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:44 pm 
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Great Hierophant wrote:
There is a difference between the Tengen releases and the Namco releases beyond title screen copyright/licensing text. Anyone else notice it?

What is the difference? They published it on a different kind of cartridge with a different artwork, but is there any differnce in the game itself (apart from the title screen texts that you mentioned)?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:49 pm 
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DRW wrote:
Great Hierophant wrote:
There is a difference between the Tengen releases and the Namco releases beyond title screen copyright/licensing text. Anyone else notice it?

What is the difference? They published it on a different kind of cartridge with a different artwork, but is there any differnce in the game itself (apart from the title screen texts that you mentioned)?


Namco's Release :

http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l ... uction.png

Tengen's Releases :

http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l ... elease.png

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