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Thread: Your Standards for Indie Games' Quality Regarding New Games for Old Platforms

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    Question Your Standards for Indie Games' Quality Regarding New Games for Old Platforms

    A semi-popular pastime among game developers these days is making new commercial games for old consoles or computers. But a lot of collectors turn up their noses at these new independent developments. Some call these games cash-ins, some claim they are too expensive for what they are, while others say the games' quality is too far below the big budget releases of old to be worth their time.

    So my questions to you are:
    1. What is the threshold of quality that determines whether you will buy a newly developed game for an old platform?
    2. Which new games for old consoles or computers have you bought in the last ten years?

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    More power to people who make them and buy them, but I've never bought a homebrew and probably never will. I don't have a full worldwide set for any retro system, so I'm not lacking industry-made games I could buy, and I'm definitely not lacking industry-made games to play when I have hundreds I've never beaten. I have bought indies and doujin games for modern platforms, but I'm still only getting ones with official, licensed releases.

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    I mostly agree with what Aussie2B said but I will also say that there are very few "new old" games that interest me. How many times can you make 8 Bit Xmas? Are there this many people buying the same Xmas game every year? Some of the games looked gimmicky. There's one game where it's Joust but with dead presidents. Another where it's Russian Roulette with a light gun.

    I would love to see a Game similar to what they did with Shovel Knight. It seems like there is very little creativity or desire to create a quality game that will stand the test of time. It mostly seems like a bunch of stoners sitting around thinking "hey man wouldn't it be funny if we made _____" and the Holiday games where it's basically just Nintendo Age elitists buying them

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nz17 View Post
    A semi-popular pastime among game developers these days is making new commercial games for old consoles or computers. But a lot of collectors turn up their noses at these new independent developments. Some call these games cash-ins, some claim they are too expensive for what they are, while others say the games' quality is too far below the big budget releases of old to be worth their time.

    So my questions to you are:
    1. What is the threshold of quality that determines whether you will buy a newly developed game for an old platform?
    2. Which new games for old consoles or computers have you bought in the last ten years?
    1. It has to be at a level comparable to a commercial release from at least in the middle of the consoles lifespan, some of the games gbpxl mentioned clearly fall short here, all the retrousb titles except the battle kid games and most of mega cat studios games would never have got an official release during the NES' lifespan except maybe from sachen or color dreams

    2. All NES titles, ranked imo from best to worst

    1. Eskimo Bob - favorite homebrew by far, a puzzle platformer similar to some C64 platformers where you have to collect all the objects to complete the level, I even signed up to kickstarter just to back the sequel, just well put together fun gameplay
    2. Twin Dragons - fairly generic platformer, it's not at say a Capcom level but it's fairly close nothing stands out in particular as excellent but overall its just well made
    3. Haunted Halloween '86 - great beat 'em up/platformer with a real distinct theme and art style, gameplay may actually be better than twin dragons but overall its not nearly as polished and I don't particularly care for the art style
    4. The Mad Wizard - A sort of adventure platformer hybrid that's unfortunately not for sale any more, it's similar to metroid in that you have to find objects to gain new abilities to progress, it has battle kid style flick screen movement instead of scrolling but it works with the exploring aspect
    5. Haunted Halloween '85 - everything I said about 86 applies here it's just less polished and isn't as deep gameplay wise
    6. Battle Kid 2 - better than battle kid 1 as it has more depth and options but the lack of scrolling is annoying and the game just seems artificially hard with cheap death traps and twitchy controls for platforming
    7. Battle Kid - kind of a landmark for nes homebrew as it was the first real game with any kind of depth but it just doesn't hold up any more imo
    8. Nomolos Storming the Catsle - has sort of an unlicensed/pirate platformer type feel it's not really a bad game but it has the twitchy jumping mechanics similar to battle kid, and after a few intial plays I haven't came back to it even though I didn't beat it
    9. Vigilante Ninja II - similar to Nomolos but a lot less difficult as you can just mash attack and plow through the whole game
    10. Almost Hero - was really interested in a homebrew beat em up and judging by the videos I thought this would be really good as its graphics are nice and gameplay seemed fine, was totally wrong I dunno how they could mess a beat em up this badly as it's a really simple genre, it's an extremely short game where you have to hit and run for a few minutes to power up your punches or kicks than you can just mash through the whole games bosses in maybe 10 minutes, like an extremely bare bones version of river city ransom



    Besides the eskimo bob sequel I mentioned I'm also interested in Micro Mages and Nebs and Debs, both had successful kickstarters but aren't available to order yet
    Last edited by drunk3nj3sus; 11-20-2018 at 12:29 AM.

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    I'm sure there are exceptions but homebrew games aren't made for profit, they're made for fun.

    I have a few Atari 2600 homebrew games but I didn't buy them, I won them in one of the 12 Days of DP Christmas contests on here years ago. Neat to own but I wouldn't personally have bought them on my own.
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    Eskimo Bob got a retro homebrew?? The things you learn.

    I can't claim that I have a different standard for indies that I do for the big fish of the period. It's mostly been a matter of my not owning a system that has gotten that kind of attention yet, at least for the genres I care about. Are there some SNES or PS1 RPGs out there these days? I don't really look since I'm still going through and trying out the games that were released back then.

    I share Aussie's sentiment. I already have an overwhelming backlog, plus an insatiable desire to make it worse with a new purchase every month. Maybe if something wonderful and steeped in the dork side comes along, I'll try to nab it, but it hasn't happened yet. It doesn't help that I want physical copies of the games I play and I'm never within the window for the release.
    RPGs: Proof that one you start done the dork path, forever will it dominate your wallet's destiny.

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    I bought three homebrews over time for the NES: "Battle Kid-Fortress of Peril", "Haunted:Halloween '85" and "Armed for Battle". As for comparing quality vs past titles: it's hard to quantify probably due to a level of nostalgia . Are we comparing an indie game to a "Super Mario" title, Zelda, Metroid or other games of that caliber? Or are we more comparing them to titles like "Karnov", "Deadly Towers", Renegade", "Heavy Barrell", etc.?

    For me, I guess if it looks decent and plays decent I'd be interested in getting it. If a game in the classic vein isn't solid from the get-go, you know right away. Modern games that are designed to "move you along" could take hours before one determines that a game IS crap, but you don't really know until you get past the tutorial and some change (cough...Iron Man on 360/PS3...GAK!).

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    Quote Originally Posted by jb143 View Post
    I'm sure there are exceptions but homebrew games aren't made for profit, they're made for fun.
    Are we talking about true homebrew games made by one guy/small group of people, or games from companies like Watermelon Games, Super Fighter Team, Piko Interactive and the like? I would say the ones made by companies are now doing so for profit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    Are we talking about true homebrew games made by one guy/small group of people, or games from companies like Watermelon Games, Super Fighter Team, Piko Interactive and the like? I would say the ones made by companies are now doing so for profit.
    I would imagine all of the above. Once you factor in the costs of development, publishing cartridges or discs, printing boxes and manuals, and everything else that goes into making a game, I wouldn't imagine that there would be enough demand for it to ever be anything more than a hobby. Or to put it another way, sure, hopefully they'll turn a profit, but I doubt many homebrew developers get to quit their day job. Just like most bands playing local bars and whatnot. They'll hopefully be able to make enough profit to update equipment and all that, but at the end of the day. They still have to work full time jobs to support themselves. But that's not why they do it. The do it to make music. The same with homebrew developers, they do it because they want to make a game on a system they grew up with, or for the challenge. But few I would image would believe they could actually make enough of a profit to do it full time.



    As for what they cost to buy, the advice I was given years ago when I was working on a homebrew game was to make it look as professional as possible (game, box, manual, and all) and then charge the same price as a similar game for that system would have cost when it was new.
    "Game programmers are generally lazy individuals. That's right. It's true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Since the dawn of computer games, game programmers have looked for shortcuts to coolness." Kurt Arnlund - Game programmer for Activision, Accolade...

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