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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:45 pm 
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Okay, I need to read Wikipedia again...
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With time running short, Tengen turned to the United States Copyright Office. Its lawyers contacted the government office to request a copy of the Nintendo lock-out program, claiming that the company needed it for potential litigation against Nintendo. Once obtained, it used the program to create its own chip that would unlock the NES. When Tengen launched the unlicensed versions of its games, Nintendo immediately sued Tengen for copyright and patent infringement. In the initial phases of trial, the court sided with Nintendo, but the sides settled before the matter was fully resolved.


They did something rather nasty, stole the lockout chip's code straight from the Copyright office. They lost a lawsuit initially, then settled later on.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:32 pm 
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Dwedit wrote:
[Tengen] did something rather nasty, stole the lockout chip's code straight from the Copyright office. They lost a lawsuit initially

And if Tengen hadn't defrauded the Copyright Office to get a copy of that code, Tengen might have won, just as Static Control Components defeated Lexmark in the "Toner Loading Program" case.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:55 am 
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What if, it does not use the same dimensions, icons, speeds, even some rules, etc by default, but are configurable?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:13 pm 
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That could be possible with the "generalized block puzzle game loop" that I mentioned earlier. But because battery RAM is not a standard feature on NES Game Paks, players would have to reconfigure the rules every time. This was already a problem on a GBA fan game that implemented mostly the same rules as Tetris. Imagine how hard it'd be to set up the game every power-on if the engine were generic enough to handle Columns, Dr. Mario, Puyo Pop, Pac-Attack, Puzzle Fighter, Lumines, Bubble Bath Babes, and everything in between.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:46 pm 
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tepples wrote:
That could be possible with the "generalized block puzzle game loop" that I mentioned earlier. But because battery RAM is not a standard feature on NES Game Paks, players would have to reconfigure the rules every time. This was already a problem on a GBA fan game that implemented mostly the same rules as Tetris. Imagine how hard it'd be to set up the game every power-on if the engine were generic enough to handle Columns, Dr. Mario, Puyo Pop, Pac-Attack, Puzzle Fighter, Lumines, Bubble Bath Babes, and everything in between.
I understand you! If it does support that, it may allow many other rules to be implemented too, I like that! However, for battery RAM, well, there are some possibilities:
  • Use the cartridges that do have save RAM.
  • Record the configuration on a tape or disk.
  • Implement on a non-NES system, such as GameBoy, GameBoy Advance, PC (either BIOS-based or cross-platform operating system based), etc.
  • Allow the data to be compressed and displayed as a series of letters and/or numbers which you can write down more easily.
  • Publish the ROM addresses of the configuration data so that you can set what the default will be on power-on and which other files you have quick access to (if the user has the ability to modify the ROM).
  • Barcode scanner: The configuration menu displays a barcode and then you can photograph it and scan the photograph.


Another possibility: See if the court decisions are not revoted or something like that, if enough people protest or whatever else, see what EFF writes, etc. There are probably other arguments both for and against. Maybe this doesn't work, but I don't know yet. Only time can tell. But currently we can agree with not making up a real Tetris game, and doing like described above instead, perhaps. Other issue is different law in a different country, what is the case?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:12 pm 
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zzo38 wrote:
Record the configuration on a tape or disk.

The tape and disk drives for this platform were released only in Japan. I don't speak Japanese. Implementing it on a PowerPak would be the same as having battery save.

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Implement on a non-NES system, such as GameBoy, GameBoy Advance, PC (either BIOS-based or cross-platform operating system based), etc.

That's what I did with one of my clones. I implemented it on PC using Allegro, a middleware library similar in scope to SDL, and it could save a custom scenario to a .ini file. But then I'd have to keep it to General Stuff.

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Allow the data to be compressed and displayed as a series of letters and/or numbers which you can write down more easily.

Players don't want to have to enter passwords as long as those in Dragon Quest 2 or Golden Sun either. The 24-character base64 passwords of Metroid were already pushing it.

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Publish the ROM addresses of the configuration data so that you can set what the default will be on power-on and which other files you have quick access to (if the user has the ability to modify the ROM).

Memblers has mentioned carts using SST39SF series flash memory, which would allow modifying 4096 byte blocks of the ROM, but then that'd be the same as having battery save.

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Barcode scanner: The configuration menu displays a barcode and then you can photograph it and scan the photograph.

I was planning on doing just that for my rewrite of Who's Cuter, but I backed out after realizing how much time it'd take for me to understand the whole QR Code spec enough to convert a publicly available Python implementation to working assembly code. And how would the code get scanned? Most PCs don't have webcams, and most smartphones don't have gaming buttons.

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Another possibility: See if the court decisions are not revoted or something like that

Should Xio prevail on appeal, I plan to put the clones right back up.

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Other issue is different law in a different country, what is the case?

The case is that I don't know what other country would take me.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:42 pm 
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Thank you for this information. About court decision, yes if it changes you should put it back up (perhaps before that happens, change the text on the webpage so that it says "not currently available"). When I wrote about the different countries, I did not mean you personally, I meant in general. Such as, I live in Canada, and other people in here may live in various places.


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