NESMaker reviews?

You can talk about almost anything that you want to on this board.

Moderator: Moderators

tepples
Posts: 22020
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:12 pm
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Contact:

Re: NESMaker reviews?

Post by tepples » Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:51 pm

I haven't seen it (no BD player) so could someone DM me a quote of what was said about me?

User avatar
rainwarrior
Posts: 7824
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:03 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: NESMaker reviews?

Post by rainwarrior » Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:31 pm

tepples wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:51 pm
I haven't seen it (no BD player) so could someone DM me a quote of what was said about me?
Here is a transcript of that segment of the film.
40:25 (Joe Granato and Austin McKinley in a garage, talking about how they can't figure out how to generate a random number on the NES)
Austin McKinley: Is there someone you can ask? Is there, like, a forum or something that...

40:33 (footage of NESdev forum website, Indiana state logo)

40:53 (driving along a rural road)
Joe Granato: I headed to the middle of nowhere to meet two of the top moderators in the NES dev forums, who I knew by their handles, Memblers and Tepples. They agreed to meet me at the strip mall retro game store that probably hadn't been maintained since the NES was relevant.

41:05 (front of Game On! store)
But this was the place that I'd meet the genius programmers that would be the project's salvation. They just weren't exactly what I had in mind.

41:18 (footage of Memblers/tepples)
I was expecting college professors or sometihng, and instead these guys were caricatures. I mean, Memblers with his GWAR t-shirt and his long scraggly ponytail, and Tepples with a, I don't even know how to describe what Tepples was wearing.

41:29
Tepples: What I'm wearing now is considered nice clothes in the universe where some of my games take place. It's a shirt, a long vest and knee-length pants (laughs).

41:41
Joe Granato: These guys were nerds, and I mean that in the traditional sense of the word.

41:47 (convention cosplay)
You know, in a time when nerd culture has been popularized and made trendy and sexy, these guys represent what that word should mean.

41:54 (tepples/Memblers playing Thwaite)
They were deeply passionate about a thing that the average person couldn't appreciate, and didn't understand. It was awesome. I couldn't have asked for a better source of guidance.

42:12 (tepples showing his NES graphics tool)

42:18 (Memblers and tepples seated)
Memblers: There was an e-mail list where people writing emulators were talking about the technical, just sharing technical details of what they discovered and stuff, and I just figured it would be good to make a website to put all that stuff together. I feel like it's achieved pretty much the goal. I mean, it's become kind of self-sustaining where I've helped some people learn and they were able to help other people learn things, and it's just really grown and just kind of snowballed from there, as you just get so many other people that, as they gain experience they're better able to help other people when they're starting out.

42:54 (Joe Granato in airport)
Joe Granato: And you know, with their sort of master tutelage, I really began to understand how this code worked and was able to produce something that looked very much like a game in the NES emulator. It was awesome, but the goal wasn't to get it to run in an emulator, the goal was to get it to run on a cartridge...
Memblers and tepples are identified by their real names in the end credits (with their forum handles in quotes) but only referred to by their forum handles in onscreen text during this segment. Not sure if they did this just to avoid having two Joes. ;P

User avatar
Bregalad
Posts: 7892
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:49 pm
Location: Chexbres, VD, Switzerland

Re: NESMaker reviews?

Post by Bregalad » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:53 am

Didn't read the whole thread, nor did I ever try NESMaker (nor am I interested - not because of all the fuss but because I know programming).
nesrocks wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:26 am
And yeah, he used the community with a super positive attitude, charging a considerably high amount of money to build a tool for a very niche market (where tools are traditionally released for free), and once the tool is done (or far from it) -surprise- he adds DRM to it to protect it? Doesn't he want to give it back to the community? Shouldn't it have been a project of passion like he made it seem to be before seeing all the money? Shouldn't he have delivered what he promissed in the first place?
Dudes taking advantage of people taking time to answer forum post and help them for free, and than making profit from it is a recurrent thing by now. This has happened for developers of paid homebrew, and for people selling repros. Now this happens for tools, this is half-surprising. I've been deeply annoyed by this behaviour from a long time, but what can you do ?

There's also people selling romhack repros, etc... this is extremely annoying, but there's no other solution than not buy from them, and think that those who do are scammed anyway.
I was put very much in mind of jocks going to nerds
It's funny you mention this because I learned those two words last week from a colleague. (Before "nerd" has been the nick name of James Rolfe for me.)

tepples
Posts: 22020
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:12 pm
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Contact:

Re: NESMaker reviews?

Post by tepples » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:22 am

Though the quoted portion of the documentary has a bit of loaded language (such as "caricatures"), it wasn't quite as bad as the autism shaming that I had feared. Thanks for transcribing this.
Bregalad wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:53 am
Dudes taking advantage of people taking time to answer forum post and help them for free, and than making profit from it is a recurrent thing by now. This has happened for developers of paid homebrew [...] I've been deeply annoyed by this behaviour from a long time
Was I wrong to take a job at Retrotainment Games?
Bregalad wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:53 am
There's also people selling romhack repros, etc... this is extremely annoying, but there's no other solution than not buy from them, and think that those who do are scammed anyway.
I guess you could try to bust sellers of ROM hack repros by reporting them to the respective base games' publishers' legal departments.

User avatar
nesrocks
Posts: 461
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:40 pm
Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Contact:

Re: NESMaker reviews?

Post by nesrocks » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:26 am

tepples wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:22 am
Was I wrong to take a job at Retrotainment Games?
I don't think so, they are very nice people.

About the movie, I didn't think the transcript was too insulting, but it did imply a few things for example when he explained what new nerds are now and that you are not one of those. I'm curious to see it in context in the film because that can greatly change the tone of the message from what a transcript may convey by itself.
tepples wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:22 am
I guess you could try to bust sellers of ROM hack repros by reporting them to the respective base games' publishers' legal departments.
That's a good idea.
https://twitter.com/bitinkstudios <- Follow me on twitter! Thanks!

User avatar
gauauu
Posts: 700
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:21 pm
Location: Central Illinois, USA
Contact:

Re: NESMaker reviews?

Post by gauauu » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:47 am

tepples wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:22 am

Was I wrong to take a job at Retrotainment Games?
Despite what Bregalad says, I think the majority of people here have no problem with people selling their games. Making a game takes a lot of work, and it's completely reasonable to try to reimbursed for it. The problem only comes when you are a leech on the community and then give nothing back. I don't see you or retrotainment doing that.

User avatar
dougeff
Posts: 2712
Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 7:17 pm
Location: DIGDUG
Contact:

Re: NESMaker reviews?

Post by dougeff » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:56 am

I find the transcript a bit offensive. I comes across like "I need these experts in a niche technology field to help me... and what a bunch of nerds"

Sorry. We all can't be Matt Damon.
nesdoug.com -- blog/tutorial on programming for the NES

User avatar
pubby
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:15 am

Re: NESMaker reviews?

Post by pubby » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:22 am

The movie, game, and NESMAKER exist to serve as self-promotion of JoeG. Like, his whole shtick is advertising himself.

Which is fine. I mean, that's how you succeed in capitalism and all. But wow, I just don't find the guy genuine or talented at all. He seems like a hack to me. It's the fellows he's working that seem like real stars of his business.

btw, tepples you're totally the star of retrotainment. The only thing I feel uneasy about you working for them is you getting underpaid.

Skrotebag
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:28 am

Re: NESMaker reviews?

Post by Skrotebag » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:30 am

There was another section when Joe's partner sneers something like "...can't you go ask Mumbler, or whatever his name is..." which added a bit more negative context to the film (and quoted section) as a whole for me, they just seemed to be mocking for entertainment value among their peers just like school bullies do - I saw no 'joke' whatsoever.

User avatar
tokumaru
Posts: 11772
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:43 pm
Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

Re: NESMaker reviews?

Post by tokumaru » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:35 am

gauauu wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:47 am
The problem only comes when you are a leech on the community and then give nothing back. I don't see you or retrotainment doing that.
Yeah, I think that's the part that triggers some members here. This is a community, taking what you need from it without ever giving nothing in return is a very selfish thing to do. One could argue that keeping the NES alive by releasing new commercial games for it counts as a way of returning the favor, even though it doesn't really qualify as "giving".

User avatar
Memblers
Site Admin
Posts: 3864
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 6:04 am
Location: Indianapolis
Contact:

Re: NESMaker reviews?

Post by Memblers » Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:34 pm

I had not used NESMaker enough to write a fair review of it (and only the initial release version), maybe 3 hours at most, but almost all that time was me looking at the assembly source. I was surprised it didn't come with an example program, and with the documentation being videos, it seemed like it would take too much time to use it. Maybe it's gotten better since then, and obviously I wasn't expecting perfection to begin with, I'm impressed enough when any software in general just works at all. I think my worst fear was that the engine itself would be "black box" binaries with user data tacked on, so I was glad to see that it actually is assembled.

The reason I was looking into the code, was seeing what would be involved with clearing out some space in that $C000-$FFFF fixed bank. Because it was 100% full of code. The poor, neglected DPCM channel. :)

I concur with what Bananmos said, that it has been great overall, it's not the right tool for me, but it has its own audience and it's pretty cool to see what people have made with it so far. It's really fitting to bring up NerdTracker 2, it was huge deal to me when I found out it existed (certainly did lead directly to the creation of the original NESdev site) and it seems like NESMaker has a similar effect for some people. You can have some level of awareness that "thing X is possible" somehow, but having a tool to get you there can make it 10 times more approachable. Also, for both NESMaker and NT2, the assembly source (game engine, replay engine) was right there so when hit a certain limitation, you could just add features into the existing code. Obviously it doesn't apply to the editor itself, but it's not hard to go beyond what the tool originally allowed.

I still have not watched the documentary. The copy I have access to is on Vimeo, and between like 4 different livingroom media player devices, none of them have Vimeo. I have no excuse for not watching it by myself on the computer, I guess. When it was screened at a convention in Columbus, Ohio I was in that city that weekend and had planned to go, the day before I ended up getting bit by a dog (yeah really :roll: ) so I was kinda put off on going with my hand being in bad shape. I appreciate seeing the transcript, because I had been wondering if anything I said ended up in the film. I was almost hoping not, haha, I felt extra awkward in the game store interview. The other interview with me ended up with the main camera angle memory card getting corrupted (there's no escaping buggy software). I felt more comfortable there, but I doubt I managed to say anything interesting.

Joe emailed me about the way that scene was set up, after it was being shown. I don't know if I had any reaction at the time other than being amused that I'm nerdy enough to get an audience reaction in a theater, haha. It doesn't bother me, I get weird looks from people all the time, I have long hair, I had a long beard during the decade it was apparently the least fashionable, one time I walked into a church to get a drink from the fountain, and a lady in there did the sign of the cross or something. To be fair, I was wearing a particular Slayer t-shirt at the time. :lol:

I feel like I should speak up a little about Joe G personally, at least from my experience I think he's an alright guy. Since he flew into Indianapolis I asked about riding along with him during his trip across Indiana and we did that. He interviewed me at my home, went to kevtris' place, and the next day we went on what must have been an 18+ hour trip. It was a memorable day, getting to see Damian, Beau, Rob (Slydog) all in one day. My impression of Joe was that he is a passionate, intelligent, ambitious, and compassionate person. He was pleasant hang out with, even if we were probably both getting a little worn thin by the end of that trip. And even after all that he still had to backtrack to the airport, return the rental car, and catch a flight almost right after that, so it was an even longer day for him.

User avatar
Bregalad
Posts: 7892
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:49 pm
Location: Chexbres, VD, Switzerland

Re: NESMaker reviews?

Post by Bregalad » Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:14 am

tepples wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:22 am
Was I wrong to take a job at Retrotainment Games?
I have no idea what you're talking about, so I can't tell wether your're "right" or "wrong". Just do what you feel like, and don't profit off other people's free time, and that should be OK.
Despite what Bregalad says, I think the majority of people here have no problem with people selling their games
Selling games is ok for me too. But when people helped you, during their free time, to make a game possible on a platform it would otherwise be impossible for you to develop on, you should definitely give something back.

("you" here is not you gauauu but "you" as "anyone")

tepples
Posts: 22020
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:12 pm
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Contact:

Re: NESMaker reviews?

Post by tepples » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:36 am

Bregalad wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:14 am
tepples wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:22 am
Was I wrong to take a job at Retrotainment Games?
I have no idea what you're talking about, so I can't tell wether your're "right" or "wrong". Just do what you feel like, and don't profit off other people's free time, and that should be OK.
I was lead programmer on the games Haunted: Halloween '85 and Haunted: Halloween 86 (The Curse of Possum Hollow) published by Retrotainment Games. This studio is a side project of a local used video game store chain known as Cash-In Culture, based in the US state of Pennsylvania. These games are available for sale on NES cartridge and Steam for Windows; the latter is also on Microsoft Store for Xbox One and eShop for Nintendo Switch. I am also lead programmer on the studio's forthcoming game.
Bregalad wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:14 am
Selling games is ok for me too. But when people helped you, during their free time, to make a game possible on a platform it would otherwise be impossible for you to develop on, you should definitely give something back.
What I and probably others in this topic are tripping up on is what constitutes adequately "giving something back," and why offering to license the engine used to make Mystic Searches to regular users of Windows for less than the price of a new NES game doesn't.

User avatar
toggle switch
Posts: 133
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:57 pm

Re: NESMaker reviews?

Post by toggle switch » Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:42 pm

yeah, i dunno... i don't read the quoted portion as being negative at all really.

it seems to me like he's bemoaning the fact that 'nerd culture' has basically become co-opted and commercialized. these days, merely enjoying a huge budget movie franchise is enough to qualify you as a nerd... in my opinion, star wars, marvel, harry potter or LOTR is hardly nerdy - it's basically the dominant mainstream culture. he's saying that tepples and memblers are old school nerds, and i doubt they would challenge or be offended by that.

i also assume they are both comfortable enough in their own self-representation to not be upset that somebody pointed out their GWAR t-shirt, i mean, heaven forbid! the joke is that he was expecting a professor looking guy and apparently memblers looked more like a metalhead. i also teach some fairly technical stuff for a living and people often expect me to look a certain way and i enjoy confounding those expectations by looking more like a party kid than a staid old man.

aside from that, he refers to them as 'geniuses' who saved his project, and provided 'master tutelage'. it was 'awesome' to meet them and 'i couldn't have asked for a better source of guidance.'

i'd be way more offended by the protrayal of nerds in something like the big bang theory, if i were the sort of person who got worked up over that sort of thing. that's something that truly takes from the community and gives nothing back.

User avatar
nesrocks
Posts: 461
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:40 pm
Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Contact:

Re: NESMaker reviews?

Post by nesrocks » Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:06 pm

It all depends on how the text is delivered. A transcript is only part of the message. I want to watch it before coming to a conclusion.
And this is only a small part of the whole ordeal. I want to know why suddenly it's become okay to overpromise and underdeliver. Just because it's done that's no reason to defend it. That mentality doesn't help. It's not cool and it should be frowned upon, not encouraged.
https://twitter.com/bitinkstudios <- Follow me on twitter! Thanks!

Post Reply