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Classic Games (Games) Entertainment Games

The State of the Homebrew Games Scene In 2009 78

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-the-merrier dept.
Craig writes "DCEmu has released an article detailing the current state of the homebrew scene on all game consoles, from the Sega Dreamcast to the Nintendo DS to the Nintendo Wii. It even covers unreleased consoles such as Pandora and GP2xWiz. The article explains what is needed to run emulators and games, and whether or not it's worth bothering for each console."
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The State of the Homebrew Games Scene In 2009

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  • of Phantom [wikipedia.org] ports i'd like to share...

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by SIR_Taco (467460)

      Phantom -noun :
      (1)an appearance or illusion without material substance, as a dream image, mirage, or optical illusion. (2)A person or thing of merely illusory power, status, efficacy, etc.

      One things for sure, they should get an A+ for naming it appropriately.

  • Hardware Needed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @02:23PM (#27105921) Homepage Journal

    One FPGA.

    • by 4D6963 (933028)
      ...and one LCD. And buttons. And one D-pad. And speakers. And one power supply...
      • by nurb432 (527695)

        I was thinking a cheap dev kit. Not a loose chip.

        99 bucks gets you one that outputs VGA and can emulate most any 'retro' machine you want. Sure, might have to write some code if you want something really esoteric that no one has done yet, but the power is there.

        • by tepples (727027)

          99 bucks gets you one that outputs VGA

          I have a 17" monitor that takes VGA and a 27" monitor that takes composite, and I'd prefer to play on the larger monitor. Will I have to buy a $50 VGA-to-composite scan converter to use this?

          • by nurb432 (527695)

            Or you get a different FPGA board.. VGA/LCD output would cover most people that need video so its the most common ( and cheapest ).

  • It's just a list of platforms and their homebrewability. How about a list of games that are fun to play? Is there a Rockband clone that lets me play with my entire mp3 library?
    • by omeomi (675045) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @02:57PM (#27106169) Homepage
      One reason I don't understand TFA is that the punctuation is all over the place... What the hell is up with this sentence:

      "The most powerful console of the next generation is a console that you can install Linux on but for most Linux is too complicated, for a short time there was quite a few BD-J Homebrew releases which used a exploit in the java on the PS3 to release games and some emulators on the PS3, this was killed off by Sony when they released a new firmware.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by MrNaz (730548) *

        Seems pretty easily understandable to me. Not everyone speaks English as a first language, you know. Some people are Mexican.

      • by Mozk (844858)

        I love that it says an Hello World. And I thought an historical didn't make sense.

      • by PsychicX (866028)
        Seriously. The article might even be a half decent overview of things (I'm lying -- it's not), but the illiteracy of whatever idiot wrote it is horribly painful.
    • It's just a list of platforms and their homebrewability. How about a list of games that are fun to play?

      I've added the {{fact}} tag and nominated it for deletion. Please comment on the AfD page...

    • by rs79 (71822)

      I amk not understandink why Hebrew games are to be gettingk special menshun.

      HOMEbreW? Oh. Never mind.

    • by gauauu (649169) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @08:23PM (#27108505)

      I agree, I was hoping for a list of quality games. Here's some of my favorites for GBA and DS:

      GBA:

      DS:

      Now I just need to see if I can find my list of quality homebrew NES and Dreamcast games....

    • If you were seriously asking that question, the closest I think you'll get is Frets on Fire.
  • Sega Genesis? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hatta (162192) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @02:45PM (#27106087) Journal

    There was no mention of the Genesis, which has been getting some impressive indie games. There's a brand new RPG [piersolar.com] being released this spring, and there was one [legendofwukong.com] released last December.

  • All??? (Score:5, Informative)

    by SpiceWare (3438) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @02:54PM (#27106153)
    Hardly all consoles when they leave out the Atari VCS/2600...

    From the AtariAge Homebrew forum [atariage.com] I see Ballblazer [atariage.com], K.O. Cruiser [atariage.com], KITE! [atariage.com], Jack and the Beanstalk [atariage.com] and others in progress.

    The AtariAge Store currently has 61 homebrews [atariage.com] available for purchase in cartridge form so you can play them on a real console.

  • by syousef (465911) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @03:09PM (#27106247) Journal

    There's no home brew better than PC home brew

    - I can legally run software others wrote, even contribute to a commerical game (which I have done as a content author though not as a programmer). The mods for PC games are much more extensive and varied.

    - No semi-legal or legally grey mod chips or other workarounds. Game playing is not worth even a tiny risk of going to jail for some sort of copyright infringement

    - The most accurate true to life simulation - eg. flight simulation - compared to arcade games on most consoles

    - I can take my laptop complete with 17" screen and mobile Nvida 8800GT, and it's not just good for games and media. I can develop code, run scientific apps...the sky's the limit

    Pity new games releases for the PC are dying off. Fortunately there are still lots of games released in the last 15 years that I haven't explored. I dread "upgrading" to Vista though because I know that will kill off some of the games I now enjoy using.

    • Agreed. Consoles are better for parties, PCs for everything else.
      • I think the only exception is really old games that were made with NTSC and curved CRTs in mind. I've tried enjoying emulated arcade and 1st -> 3rd gen consoles games on a computer with LCD display, and visually these games aren't as enjoyable for me.

        For the current gen, PC is surely better, but that said, I enjoy being able to just drop the disc in and play whenever I want without dealing with drivers, specs, and OS issues.

        For the GP's comment about PC games dying off. I don't believe they are. I believ

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by tepples (727027)

      There's no home brew better than PC home brew

      PC homebrew can't easily run on a big screen. The PC and TV need to be in the same room, and either the TV needs to be an HDTV or there needs to be a $50 scan converter [sewelldirect.com] between the PC's VGA out and the SDTV's composite in. This difficulty is why your 17" laptop doesn't have a lot of party-style games (like Mario Party, Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart Wii, etc.) for it, even though PC operating systems support four gamepads through a USB hub.

      The most accurate true to life simulation - eg. flight simulation - compared to arcade games on most consoles

      But some people want arcade-style games. If I want to develop party g

      • PC homebrew can't easily run on a big screen. The PC and TV need to be in the same room, and either the TV needs to be an HDTV or there needs to be a $50 scan converter [sewelldirect.com] between the PC's VGA out and the SDTV's composite in.

        Most TVs sold in the last year are HDTV and most of those have VGA or DVI inputs. But if not, most high end video cards have s-video out. If you can't even do s-video with your TV, shouldn't you invest $300 and upgrade? Cheaper than a console...

        • Most TVs sold in the last year are HDTV

          Most TVs in homes are not sold in the last year. Instead, they are CRT SDTVs, possibly up to a decade old. My aunt's TV, for instance, is so old that it doesn't even have composite in; she has to use an RF modulator to watch DVDs or play PlayStation 2.

          most high end video cards have s-video out

          Most video cards in homes are not high-end. In fact, no desktop PC sold in Office Depot has S-Video out; instead, you get a VGA port and if you're lucky a DVI port. (I guess nobody has to make a presentation and display the slides on a big-screen SDTV.) I coul

          • by Sj0 (472011)

            I'm not sure if Office Depot sells them, but the Asus Eee PC has a composite out.

            • by tepples (727027)

              I'm not sure if Office Depot sells them, but the Asus Eee PC has a composite out.

              I have an ASUS Eee PC 900. I don't see a jack for composite video output on the left side or on the right side. What kind of adapter do I need to buy, or should I spring for a $50 VGA-to-composite scan converter?

              • by Sj0 (472011)

                Ah, The one I used was an Eee 701. Hooked it up to a 50" projection TV and watched streaming movies while visi. Shame they stopped including it with the 900.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by BenoitRen (998927)

          $300 TV is cheaper than a game console? I beg to differ. The Nintendo Wii is $250, the XBox 360 Arcade is less than $200, the Nintendo DS is $130, and the PSP is somewhere below $200.

      • by Annoying (245064)

        I haven't seen a video card in a long time that didn't have s-video out as well as VGA. The last 3 cards I've owned (and I upgrade video cards very infrequently so this covers nearly a decade) have has s-video out. I don't know how long s-video in has been standard on tv's but probably nearly as long.

        • by tepples (727027)

          I haven't seen a video card in a long time that didn't have s-video out as well as VGA.

          Then you haven't looked in an Office Depot recently. See my last comment [slashdot.org].

    • by Nursie (632944)

      Whilst that's true, there's no legal problem (IMHO, though untested in court) to downloading the legal firmware for a PSP and then applying the hacks/patches to it to open it up.

      Not that I actually use it for homebrew. Genesis emulation and running my (owned) games from memory stick is a good enough reason for me.

      PC games are fine if you want to sit in your bedroom on your own. Personally I like consoles and playing with friends/housemates who are in the same room.

      • A computer in the living room is nice too... Vacation pictures on the big screen. (Remember to pull out those private ones...) All your movies and TV shows over the network. Hulu. Youtube. DVDs using a real remote. Pause the movie to fact check that obscure Start Trek reference. Go to the link they are talking about in CSI. Stream that good inet radio station in 5.1... Of course, *you* may still need a computer in the back room for the sticky keyboard thing...
        • by Nursie (632944)

          Well, media streaming is handled by the NSLU2 and the consoles, no need for a pc.

          Checking those links I do on my eee901.

          No dispute that a pc in the living room is good, but gaming? Consoles are every bit as good and the games more inclined towards co-op.

          • No dispute that a pc in the living room is good, but gaming? Consoles are every bit as good

            Every bit? What game for still-sold consoles can be total converted [wikipedia.org] in the way that PC games can?

            • by Nursie (632944)

              Few to none, that's true. However I'm not aware of PC games that support multiple controllers and split-screen play. I guess it depends on your priorities.

              • by tepples (727027)

                However I'm not aware of PC games that support multiple controllers and split-screen play.

                Apart from emulators, you're right that they're few and far between. But say I were to develop such a game. Might it sell well because it wouldn't drown in the competition as much? Or is there no market for HTPC games?

                • by Nursie (632944)

                  I honestly don't know the penetration of the PC into the living room. There's no reason for it not to be there, with big LCDs having HDMI and VGA inputs, but I'm afraid I don't know the market.

                  t it would be difficult to aim for that sort of sector, but I really don't know. Not an expert!

              • by syousef (465911)

                Lets see. Shrek (various games). Fantastic 4. The Incredibles. That's just the ones I own in that kind of co-op genre (which isnt my favourite).

                Try doing flight simulation on a console. MS Flight Sim 2004 or X will allow you to participate in massive online environments. X even lets you pilot and copilot

                • by Nursie (632944)

                  All of these do split-screen co-op? That's good.

                  OTOH film conversions usually suck... And flight sims never were my thing.

              • by Sj0 (472011)

                It's funny that you mention that. I think of the dozen or so games I have for my console, only one has multiplayer anymore.

    • by yoshi_mon (172895)

      Pity new games releases for the PC are dying off.

      I think rather than the oft repeated idea that PC gaming is dying, gaming itself has just become more platform specific.

      MMOs - Any real MMO is going to be all about running on a PC.
      RTSs - See above, same idea.
      Sims - Somewhat viable on a console but it depends on the complexity. Still a strong PC game genre.
      Real FPSs - Trying to play a FPS sans a mouse...lawl.

      Now that still leaves a lot of game categories in the console market.

      RPGs - While they have do dumb em down a fair amount the seem very willing to do

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by syousef (465911)

        I think I covered most things. Honestly I've watched the PC gaming market spelled out for freaking years now. It's gotten to the point that I wonder if people understand the difference between change and death.

        I tell you what I do understand. I understand going to my local games shop and seeing one shelf of PC games instead of 8. I understand almost all the games advertised on TV being for consoles. I understand newer operating systems being less developer friendly and a lot more work to code for, not to me

        • by ameoba (173803)

          Distribution of physical media is expensive and, given that nearly every PC worth speaking of will be on the 'net, why bother with shrinkwrap distribution at all? Online distribution channels such as Valve's Steam [steampowered.com] and Stardock's Impulse [impulsedriven.com] allow you to skip over the brick and mortar middleman completely. The systems handle purchasing, online distribution, updating, network game matchmaking & present a far lower barrier to entry for small software houses while providing a mechanism for purchasing games th

          • by syousef (465911)

            Distribution of physical media is expensive and, given that nearly every PC worth speaking of will be on the 'net, why bother with shrinkwrap distribution at all? Online distribution channels such as Valve's Steam and Stardock's Impulse allow you to skip over the brick and mortar middleman completely

            I'll tell you why. Not everyone has that much bandwidth. For instance I have a 10GB a month limit before I'm slowed to dialup speeds. It would cost quite a bit to get more bandwidth here. (Yes I'm in Australia.

  • PlayStation 3 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HalAtWork (926717) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @03:11PM (#27106257)
    I'm surprised that all people care about running on PS3 is Linux. Sure, you can load up apps within Linux, but nobody has created software from the ground up to run specifically on the hardware using the "Other OS" function, such as a game or something. The GPU is locked out, but you can still display something. Surely someone out there must be tinkering with something you can just install and run on the PS3's bare metal.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The PS3's bare metal demands that you utilize the Cell which is hard. Why do that when you can monkey around with platforms that aren't a PITA? Meanwhile if you want to build a Cluster (the only real use for the Cell that doesn't require that you can also access the graphics hardware) then you're by far best off running Linux. Sony pretty much ensured that nobody would do anything interesting with it when they prevented you from messing with the graphics. I still can't figure out why they would do this - th

    • by damaki (997243)
      First there is the cell which is not developer friendly, even with the original SDK, then you have no hardware acceleration in this Linux environment. There is no way you could have good looking games on it. I can only see half baked ports of existing Linux games so far.
      It's well known that PS3 Linux was only a tax workaround for Sony, it was not intended to be a real development environment.
  • by MadMorf (118601)

    Am I the only one who thought this was going to be about beer?

    • I've always wanted to play a brewing video game. Maybe I'll just modify "Drug Lord"....ooh, Cascade hops are surging in price in LA!

  • No mention of tabletop games in the article what-so-ever. While the big companies are releasing more and more (Fight Klub, MTG2010, Celestial Edition, 4E PHB2), there are a slew of independent tabletop designers who have begun to take it upon themselves to grasp what they believe is a hobby dying in the unfortunate grips of economic woes (its generally more expensive per-game to produce an individual unit of a tabletop game as ink, cardstock, paper, plastic, lead and paint are more expensive than a CD). M
    • I'm a still a fan of tabletop gaming, RPGs included. I don't think the risk is in losing the diehard fans because it looks like the current strategy is to segment game editions based on gamer type. Example, Hasbro is steering its "vintage collection" line to diehards and older gamers, while offering the modern, more relevant, editions to the younger crowd. It can be jarring. I don't really like Monopoly Here and Now for several reasons; and I'm not alone, so Hasbro will keep making a classic Monopoly. The n

      • Magic online is quite fun. The fact you can turn your set of online cards into a complete set of real cards makes it feel "worthwhile" (as you can earn something tangible). You can draft almost 24/7, get cards relatively cheaper online than in real life, find lots of card give aways and there's some online exclusive formats (avatar and pauper). Unfortunately, the UI leaves much to be desired (although it works pretty well) and your likely to lag out quite often (just switch between the store tab and game
  • It's what I use my Wii for mostly. Homebrew Channel and Browser make the whole thing very comfortable.

    Mostly, I use it for Gameboy games (not on virtual console) - there's a port of VisualBoy Advance. There's also a NES, SNES, and 64 emulator - along with ScummVM and Genesis, and others.

    Frankly, it's great. I know that I could get it off Virtual Console, but this is actually more convenient.

    After you get out of emulation (other people's work), there's a really good Mahjong game, and a few cheating programs

  • The bricking chance for installing The Homebrew Channel on a Wii is essentially zero. I have never heard of it ever happening. It's about as likely as getting bricked by buying a WiiWare game from the shop.

    On the other hand, the bricking chance is fairly high if you subsequently install random packs that you can find on the Internet that mutilate, modify, and break your wii's firmware in several ways with the purpose of playing copied games without a modchip.

    If all you want to do is run homebrew application

  • by BenoitRen (998927) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @05:44PM (#27107239)

    While the article is good information, the article is poorly written. There are a lot of run-on sentences, and multiple typos in every paragraph. The most glaring example is that each time the author means "you're", he writes "your" without fail.

  • On PSP, some homebrew were so good that they went commercial [ign.com]

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