Original Post

Why is the vb homebrew scene so small and feels semi dead?

Sega dreamcast has a fair amount of homebrew games, Sega saturn has some homebrew games and even systems like atari jaguar has a homebrew scene but the vb scene has like nothing

Yes there are some homebrew games on the vb but come on, less then 20 homebrew games in over 15 years

Blox 2 is a perfect example that it is possible to make full fun homebrew games that feel like they would have been released officialy back in the day

I am just wondering why the vb homebrew scene is not so great
Is it because people who make vb games cant release them on cartridge and make money of the game?, because the games cant have save feature? or because people think no more then 300 people would care if they made a good game?

I dont expect the vb scene to have many developers but why do the developers we do have hardly care for the vb?
Most homebrew vb games are either stopped in development or if they do release a demo (mario vb, vb racing, virtual cup…) they just keep the demo and then never work on the game again

I do like it when a new vb game comes out but it seems month before we see 1 game and most of the time its a demo of a geme that will never be released

Maybe in the end people only want money if they release a game, many homebrew games were made mostly because the vb competition had prizes and blox 2 for example was very good made but did Krisse get anything out of it?
Not really, mostly thank you on forums and some free source codes he could send to people who never used the code to make any vb game

10 Replies

And the award for whiny, selfish juvenile of the year goes to…

I can assure you nobody who does development for the VB is in it for any compensation.

So the problem is you have a small community, which means a really small dev community, and I would say that the majority of the small dev community works full time, and quite possibly in grad school or an equivalent time drain.

For me, the past month has been like this…

Monday thru Thursday: leave house at 8AM for work, go straight from work to school, get home between 10 PM and 12 midnight.

Friday: Leave house at 8AM, get home around 6 to 6:30 PM. Fall asleep watching TV.

Saturday: Get up around noon, try to get caught up on school stuff, end up staying up until 3 or so working.

Sunday: Same as Saturday.

So you can see I didn’t even have time for my personal life. Everything was put on hold because I just didn’t have time.

Fortunately I am now done with school for this semester, but that doesn’t stop the large time drain called work. And the backlog of stuff I have put off. So by the time I get caught up with everything, I am sure school will be starting again.

I do plan on having a game out within the next few months. Will it happen? I don’t know, only time will tell. But I want to do it right so that I can release a complete game with fully commented source code along with state machine diagrams and such in order to show the full dev cycle.

Does that answer your question?

And the only reason a competition sparks a bunch of releases is because it gives a deadline, and without deadlines you will never get anything done.

Yeah… if we’re all so lazy, why don’t you jump in and show us how it’s done?

Like mbuchman said… this is a hobby for all of us (AFAIK), and most of us have some sort of life besides VB homebrew. I personally work full time, go to grad school, plus have quite a few hobbies. During the semester (like now), I have almost no free time. During breaks, I get some time for hobbies, but I’m still working full time, and I have quite a few hobbies, and have priorities, depending what I feel like doing.

They’re hobbies because I do them for fun… when my boss says he needs something completed in a month, I make sure I give priority to that, working long hours, etc… whatever to get it done. I’m not going to do that for a hobby, because that’s not fun, and that’s how you get burned out.

And I don’t do VB homebrew for anyone else… I do it for my own enjoyment… so I personally don’t care whether anything ever gets “released”. I definitely like to share what I’ve made, and I like feedback from others… but it’s mine, made for me, on my schedule. Telling me to finish MK:VC by the end of the year with link support and more tracks isn’t going to make it happen any faster.

And yeah… competitions are cool because it gives us a deadline to have something ready by, and it gives us a chance for a little friendly competition. I don’t think the prizes were a motivating factor for anyone.


Akumie, come on, be reasonable.
No need to repeat but i totally agree with whats been covered by these other fine busy fellas, get off ya own arse and have a go, or maybe donate 10 grand so someone can take time off their work so they can dev you a game!
Or leave the VB scene alone for 2 years, play on some other console forum, then come back and play the 2 new homebrew games that would be out by then.
Waiting and longing for something to happen but not doing anything more about it than moan is just sad, sorry to be like that but deal with it.

So please prove us all wrong and make the most stunning VB homebrew game ever.

I cant develop for shit, did try but oh well

Yeah didnt man to be rude sjust wondering why many never finished a game they started and all that but I guess now I know

The vb is my fav system, playing in the dark is fun so I guess thats why I wanted to see ore games but oh well….now i know 😛

ps. noob question. when u make a vb game do u just write sorce code in a normal text file and then rename the text file to .vb?

  • This reply was modified 14 years, 1 month ago by akumie.

Oh man, you know what would be great, if someone could develop some software like game maker in which we could develop our own vb games. It would sort of be how ms frontpage is to coding in html in notepad.

I feel the frustration of both sides.

On one hand the programmers do have lives and I know what it’s like to have to put things on hold. Your efforts are always appreciated for giving us something to see through those vb goggles. I also totally understand that you guys have the total right to be pissed when anyone whines about your spare time hobby.

On the other side I can totally see where Akumie is coming from. There is more development for calculators than there is for vb. hp49g even has zelda!! I would love to program a game myself and once I looked up the basics of vb programming and it was like looking at something written in a foreign language. Not even knowing basic programming sucks.

All I can say is that given my less than average artistic talent in graphics and music I still wouldn’t mind putting an effort into it, but getting it all to play nice and adding ai to it would add years to the project 🙁

No homebrew scene? This site pretty much IS the homebrew scene. You really have to consider how little interest there is in VB homebrew development, though, and even less people who are proficient at it.

Also, pretty much no homebrew makes money. The only exception I’ve seen so far is Battle Kid on NES, but the NES was big (in the US).

I might actually make some sort of VB game when I find the time and a nice idea.

VB development… hard? Well yeah, it does seem like that, when people tell you to go to the developer wiki and you have to read stuff like memory maps, chars, worlds, registers, interrupts, etc… ARGH! Just tell me how to make something, is what probably everyone thinks when they start looking for information.

I found KR155E’s tutorial very helpful, because it’s so well documented, it only tells you the basic stuff at a pace you can keep up with and encourages you to try exploring, along with the GoSub thread, and then there’s the forum so you can ask a question and have it answered by someone from our friendly little community.

You may hear that it’s good to go read a book about the C language before doing VB development. That may help, but… forget it, it takes forever. Try starting with some other programming language (ANY language will do). I personally did nothing but various dialects of BASIC (not that I think there’s anything wrong with that, I think BASIC’s a great language no matter what anyone says, it’s easy, it’s functional, it’s general-purpose, whatever) and some Pascal and some NewtonScript (the language of the Newton platform) and some language a friend of mine started making and I did documentation for him, blah blah blah, and my first hands-on encounter with C was right here, in the VB development scene. Once you become a programmer (understand the basic concepts of programming) you can basically move on to anything.

Don’t give up. Never. If you aren’t _interested_ in programming but still want to see new VB games, try your skills in story making, art, game design theory (that is planning how a game should work and play), testing, etc. You’ll make development of new games easier, I’m sure.

RunnerPack wrote:
And the award for whiny, selfish juvenile of the year goes to…

Oh man I hope it’s me I’ve been wanting someone to make a Wolfenstein game for me since I joined this site! 😛

Seriously though I can see what Akumie is saying with there only being so many home-brew titles but it’s a lot of hard work in making a game of any kind or caliber for any system. My brother and I are currently trying to make a side scroll-er as an X-BOX 360 download. He’s doing the programing and I’m doing the rest… that’s a whole lot of stuff! All my graphics are drawn on paper then scanned into the computer and photo shopped very long process probably an easier way but this works for me. Story… all my idea and its sooooo complicated to make into a side scrolling beat’em up lol Music… duh I don’t know what we’ll do for that! Sound effects… should be ok and you know what I still would not want to be in his shoes doing the programming. I have a job, hobbies a fiance and it’s hard to balance it all out. It’s already been basically said in another post but, if you want to make a game then start learning the language, play around with things for fun, and ask questions. 🙂 I guarantee you when you finally get a character on the screen moving around you’ll be ecstatic and want to show everyone! That will push you to keep going! I have a great respect for all of you on this site and especially those that have taken the time to make a game or even a demo. We cant all be programmers and we cant all be artists but we can try, and have fun trying! That I think is a lot of what home-brew is all about. 😀

I have found it easier to have someone to team up with, you could take turns and work on the same project. Getting those kB of .vb code done requires many times more kB of code, even if you would just sit at the computer copying it all from a piece of paper – it takes a lot of time.

The game code is written in a programming language, C seems to be the easiest way to go since there are a lot of supporting software and finished code for that. It can be written in any text editor but programming software usually has supporting functions that makes it easier to handle the code, automatic indentation, nice color codes, spell checks, syntax check and so on. The C code is then run through software, one or several, to translate it into data that (in this case) the VB can handle directly in it’s processor – machine code.

If everything works and the result is what was expected – many times it’s not, we usually call it a bug, some are easy to detect and others will never be detected… Sometimes the translating software adds bugs to the code that you hadn’t even expected.

It’s a long process, if you’re a skilled and experienced programmer and used to the environment, know what tricks to use and what not to use you can achieve what you’re aiming for a lot quicker – it’s like learning a new language, if you’re good at it you can easily express what you mean, if you’re not that good at it it will take you a lot more time to get there if you ever do…

If you have tried programming, and know what needs to be done, know how much time it takes you would simply be impressed with all the software that has already been done.

Programming competitions are a fun way to lure unfinished projects out. Perhaps there should be a small voting fee that the winner gets next time something like that is arranged.


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