Original Post

I know coding is hard especially for vb and I respect anyone a lot who can do it, I seen a lot of homebrew games but I was wondering if there will be a complete game that’s sold to the public that’s completely orginal, I know virtual fighter is a complete game but the average joe can’t have it cause of copyright and so on. I saw one home brew called hunter and it was a 3d free world gta type of idea it looked great even tho it was no where near done I hope a game like that can be produced and boxed, because I sure would buy. I find it very exciting seeing any new virtual boy gameplay, and the ones who produce it should make out with a profit in sales cause there is a demand. I’m still praying for dragon hopper to show up and of nowhere and I think it will eventually but till then we could add to the library of games

12 Replies

Why is it all about money nowadays? I don’t get it.

There are dozens of finished homebrew games for the Virtual Boy that you can download for free and play on an emulator or on real hardware with a FlashBoy Plus: http://www.planetvb.com/modules/games/?hg

Here’s a list of games that (I think) are finished:

3D Battlesnake
3D Crosswords
Advanced Pasta Cooking Simulator
Castle of Doom
Channel Sweeper
Flappy Cheep Cheep
GoSub 3D
Hyper Fighting (Demo)
Lights Out
Mario Combat
Real Danger
Snowball Wars
Soviet Union 2010
Soviet Union 2011
Super Bounce
Tic Tac Toe
Tic-Tac-Toe ‘Ten
VB Racing
Virtual Pong
VUE Snake

If it’s about supporting the authors of these games, just ask them if they accept donations of some kind.

I think he might mean when will there be a full game like how Jack Bros, Wario Land or Red Alarm were full games. With intro, stages, ending, high scores, modes and so on. And that is probably still a ways off, but come on! Homebrews are made by enthusiastic people programming on their spare time, probably without extensive games development education etc. Personally I think it will happen in the future.

(on a related note, I’m making a second Homebrew Showcase video)

Protoman85 that’s what I meant and I’ve heard of fish bone before I just hope more new games are produced like that, I should getting my flashboy in the mail in a few days so I’m excited for that

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to conclude that financial incentive (and maybe a little teaming up) could encourage more advanced homebrews. There’s actually a surprising amount of demand for new VB carts despite the theoretically small number of owners and collectors.

It would be cool to have physically released homebrew games that people are willing to pay $$$ for instead of releasing them as roms for free.

Uh no, what pretty much everyone agreed upon in other threads was compensating homebrewers for their coding efforts, not necessarily the production costs. Group funded homebrews would be awesome, even if they were distributed as ROMs. The flash boy is the most economical distribution method, just get everyone to buy a flash boy and then every homebrew game can be played easily.

It might be the most economical/fastest way to get the game distributed, but I know a lot of collectors that would buy the game, physically, just because it’s released on a physical medium.

Johnny365 wrote:
It would be cool to have physically released homebrew games that people are willing to pay $$$ for instead of releasing them as roms for free.

that really isn’t homebrew development any longer, it is indy development. that is an entirely different discussion.

having been involved in the homebrew scene of more than a few devices, i can tell you that commercial quality homebrew takes an extremely talented team and a great deal of free time. individuals who work alone can take years to complete their projects, during which the risk of losing interest or changes in real life can delay or conclude development permanently. the idea of a paid project does interest me but you have to consider who are you paying? does this person have the ability to build what you ask for? will they take into account your feedback? can they design a game as well as code its engine? will you feel ripped off if the final product isn’t what you had in mind? will you get upset if they never finish the project? will you end up burning a bridge by badgering the developer for your unique vision?

an important thing to keep in mind with the VB is the small user base. most of those who are passionate about this console are here, on this forum. it doesn’t have the following of other popular devices which have much more developer interest. it would seem that raising as much awareness as possible would be a wise course of action. also the future possibilities of VB emulators on VR systems and the 3DS may bring more developers over to the VB.

i do feel that a talented team could produce a successful kickstarter if it included a digital tier. however, i also feel the final ROM would need to be FB/FB+ compatible for such a tier to generate sufficient backers. a CIB release is always nice, especially for collectors, but you have to ask yourself how many VB collectors are left? I’ve watched a great deal of kickstarter campaigns fail simple due to obscurity, even for software on popular systems. While this all seems like a good idea, then you’ll additionally need to consider the amount of work that would go into such a campaign. From finding a team, to running the entire campaign, to settling taxes and payouts, to sending off rewards. It would be more than a full time job.

perhaps the best course of action is for those interested in homebrew to learn/do what they can. if you can do pixel art then design characters and seek a coder. if you love coding and have the free time then seek a pixel artist and sound engineer. if you love writing then write the script/design the game, and seek others to help you complete it. team efforts may be the best way to see more commercial quality projects released for the VB.

most importantly you must remember that the VB is an obscure system. regardless of how much you praise it, it isn’t remembered fondly. accept the FB/FB+ and the library of released homebrew as positive things, instead of seeing those smaller “games”/demos as a disappointment.

I think that it is an error to believe that the only thing preventing a fully comercial-like release is a little bit of money, when in fact it is a LOT. I only can talk about the cost of hiring an above average programmer like myself, which in the country in which I live can get paid between 24000 to 40000 USD per year; but if you want to pay the bill of people with much more technical skills, someone like MK or other well know people around here whose abilities are way beyond programming, I suspect that the figure could easily be doubled. Maybe 80000 USD doesn’t sound like much in developed countries, but consider that, for example, in Canada a senior programmer (of casual games, not the big stuff) earned 4 times what I earned until 2010, at least that’s what my ex-employer used to say. If you add up the costs of hiring an artist and a sound technician, you can easily see that even a few months of work can be completely out of reach for this little community; and even then, you are leaving out fundamental positions like the game designer and the game producer, functions that may or may not be assumed by the other members of the team, but whose costs have to be accounted for in either case.

Now, here is the catch for me: I’ve spent months developing my engine without earning any money out of it (losing money in fact, since I don’t usually work during those months), and out of the pure pleasure that I get from doing it. But personally, I can do so because I don’t respond to anyone else, I don’t have to respect any time constraint and I don’t have to implement the requirements of anybody else (except KR1553’s lately, but that’s another story), and I enjoy writing generic code, which hypothetically could be used to program as many different kind of games as my abilities allow. I usually spend hours going through the code making changes to gain a little bit of performance here and there, refactoring code to make it more elegant, or just implementing some cool paradigm that i just happened to learn lately; all those activities are luxuries way out of most budgets. Add to it that I’m not really interested in programming any specific game; so, when you change those conditions, the picture is immediately different and if I “have to” program a specific game’s logic, the “out of the pure pleasure” mindset is put away and either I get paid as a professional programmer or I don’t take the now-real-job.

Different people would be able to tell their own take on the matter, their personal motivations for doing homebrew, and most likely the majority of them will have little to do with money.

PS: working in a whole middle-casual-sized game, even for 5 or 6 months, is very exhausting… and boring, so it is just normal that coders lose interest in completing it. For example: I’m not a game designer, so I don’t find engaging to design 90+ levels for a platformer game; for me it is enough to know, for sure, that a number of mechanics can be implemented after testing them all in two or three levels. So, different coders want to put their abilities to the test through different challenges, but after they’ve succeded once, what is the motivation to do it again and again?

specifically with this community in mind, an engine and a set of level design tools would probably yield a great platformer. perhaps a coder such as yourself wants to design the engine and mechanics, but not the 90+ levels. a set of tools that exported the level into some type of program-readable format would allow community members who can not code to get involved. perhaps that line of thinking/such tools would benefit us the most?

by no means am i suggesting that tools take any less time to program. 🙂

I’ve always wanted to implement a level editor for the engine, but it is just now that it has reached a state where I think that it makes sense to do it. The problem is that there are 5 o 6 very important features yet to be implemented in the engine, and they are much more interesting for me.

So, if and when we decide to make the engine’s skeleton demo publicly available, we will consider implementing the level editor. It doesn’t bother me that much that the engine doesn’t get any usage beside me or KR1553 (the fact that he has taken interest on it is more than enough for me already), but the level editor doesn’t look like a cool challenge, and if the engine is not used by anyone else, it doesn’t really make any sense to me to take time away from it to work on an editor.


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