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Home Brew Section

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:48 pm
by Darran@Retro Gamer
Hi guys, we're looking at changing the structure of the homebrew section, as it's beginning to look a little tired now.
We're aiming to add an additional two pages, because so much interesting stuff seems to be happening on the scene at the moment.
what we'd like to know from you guys is what you think of the current section. What do you feel it excels at, and where do you think it could be improved. Are we missing out certain elements of the scene, or focusing on too much of one and so fourth.

Please make sure that your feedback is constructive. This is not an opportunity to simply attack Jason's hard work each month, but a chance to genuinely have some involvement in a popular part of the magazine and discuss how it could be improved.

Darran

Re: Home Brew Section

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:56 pm
by noobish hat
More listings!

Re: Home Brew Section

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:16 pm
by jdanddiet
Listings of what? :wink:

I know I've already registered this with you Darran, but I really think a bit more XBLIG coverage wouldn't go amiss. Maybe keep a running track of previously reviewed games so anyone picking up the mag can see what games are recommended. The genre is so awash that would be pretty useful.

TMR does a top job, hope he'll continue be the man for these pages.

Re: Home Brew Section

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:16 pm
by The Laird
The biggest thing it is missing is console games!!!!

It is always dominated by 8-bit computer games with the odd 2600 game thrown in.

I am not so much an expert on other formats but if we take Atari machines for example (excluding the 2600) in the last year or so we have had stuff like:

Atari Lynx

Catkanoid
Peg Solitaire
MegaPak 1
Ouragan
Lynxopoly
Solitaire Card Games
Tetris Raiden
Bitchy
Ladybug
Glob Shoot

Atari Jaguar

HMS Raptor
Downfall
Tube
Surrounded!
Kobayashi Maru
Impulse X
Shoot 'em Up
Blackout
Tube: Second Edition
Reactris

Atari 7800

Scramble
Rip-Off!
Arkanoid
Pin-Out
Meteor Shower
WASP
Pacman Collection: SE
WORM
Moon Cresta
Super Circus
Crazy Brix
Super Pacman

There have also been some for the Sega machines too like Digger Chan on the Master System and Star Odyssey, Pier Solar and Hangman on the Megadrive.

Re: Home Brew Section

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:24 pm
by Darran@Retro Gamer
We want to get more balance in there. Another thing to remember though is that sometimes it's not possible to always get stuff. There have been quite a few examples where we have asked for games to review and not be sent them because we haven't paid. We don't have a budget for such things, so they don't get covered. It's going to be a tricky balance. We can't cover everything, but we can certainly make sure the section is more balanced. I've already emailed Jason, so I'm hoping he's going to have a few ideas to add to the mix as well.

Re: Home Brew Section

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:37 pm
by The Laird
Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:We want to get more balance in there. Another thing to remember though is that sometimes it's not possible to always get stuff. There have been quite a few examples where we have asked for games to review and not be sent them because we haven't paid. We don't have a budget for such things, so they don't get covered. It's going to be a tricky balance. We can't cover everything, but we can certainly make sure the section is more balanced. I've already emailed Jason, so I'm hoping he's going to have a few ideas to add to the mix as well.
Oh yeah I totally understand that, but I am 99% sure that all the Atari games I have listed have had the ROM released for free ;)

Re: Home Brew Section

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:52 pm
by Liamh1982
A look at game creation tools wouldn't go amiss: ease of use, versatility etc.

Re: Home Brew Section

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:54 pm
by TMR
Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:We want to get more balance in there. Another thing to remember though is that sometimes it's not possible to always get stuff. There have been quite a few examples where we have asked for games to review and not be sent them because we haven't paid. We don't have a budget for such things, so they don't get covered. It's going to be a tricky balance.
i usually ask for ROM images because i know that people manufacturing cartridges are usually doing so just at the break even mark, but even then a few people have turned me down because they're generally worried about their games being pirated and my writing for Retro Gamer still doesn't differentiate me from Adam; in some cases i've been offered real cartridges, which is fantastic but doesn't really help if i haven't got the hardware!

Although i try to keep up with as many 8- and 16-bit communities as possible, i only have a finite amount of time what with a day job, family and so forth - i know i'm missing interesting releases, so if anybody sees something interesting please send me a PM - i know i miss some releases even on the formats i follow closely and i certainly don't mind receiving three or four messages about the same game!

But no more listings just yet, getting RG Rampage done almost killed me! =-)
Liamh1982 wrote:A look at game creation tools wouldn't go amiss: ease of use, versatility etc.
Aha! i actually talked about this idea a year or so ago but never found the time to pitch it properly to Darran! Are you talking about tools for current generation or 8- and 16-bit machines?

Re: Home Brew Section

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:00 pm
by Darran@Retro Gamer
Game creation tools might work more as a standalone feature.
The aim with the new section is to make it look a little more like a standalone magazine with its own structure. Nothing is definite yet, but it would be a good opportunity to change it. Maybe we get someone else helping Jason with the systems he doesn't have access to if time is an issue. Like I said, it's all plans at this points.

Re: Home Brew Section

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:06 pm
by Liamh1982
TMR - I don't really mind as long as it's publicly available. I've messed around a bit with one or two of the more basic ones (such as Game Maker and PS2 Yabasic), but not produced anything better than a couple of Snake clones!

Re: Home Brew Section

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:21 pm
by TMR
Liamh1982 wrote:TMR - I don't really mind as long as it's publicly available. I've messed around a bit with one or two of the more basic ones (such as Game Maker and PS2 Yabasic), but not produced anything better than a couple of Snake clones!
i like Game Maker quite a bit for it's sheer sneakiness - if you use it for any length of time you end up learning GML without realising it, that's so unbelievably devious. =-)

Re: Home Brew Section

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:10 pm
by DreamcastRIP
Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:We want to get more balance in there.
Definitely.

* Proportionately more console games covered
* Less of a majority focus on games for Commodore computers

If the section is to be expanded I'd enjoy reading regular 'Best Of' articles covering the very best of homebrew releases, i.e. not solely limited to newly released games but for the 'best' homebrew games across a variety of platforms that have been released over the years.

Re: Home Brew Section

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:41 pm
by ipmarks
More console homebrew
More obscure machine homebrew... is there anything still being written for the Aquarius, the Adam, the Z88... or similar such oddities.

Re: Home Brew Section

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:09 pm
by jdanddiet
We're gonna need a bigger boat.

Re: Home Brew Section

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:22 am
by Mayhem
I can somewhat agree with Dreamcast, having more console homebrew in general as a balance to the computer side would be good. But as Jason says, playing it on the real hardware is the best measure, and if you don't own the hardware... but if need be, I could help out on the 7800 and Vectrex side of things, I keep fully up to date with both scenes.