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Programming Games

Ask Slashdot: Are The Days of Homebrew Gaming Over? 181

Croakyvoice writes "A few years ago the Homebrew community went from one console to another releasing some excellent software, from the Days of the Dreamcast the first breakthrough homebrew console, to the PSP which gave us the first handheld Nintendo 64, GBA and PSX emulators on a handheld. The last few years we have seen Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony and Apple all bring out means to thwart homebrew development. The app store on both Android and iOS have taken many homebrew devs over to try and break the market. The major consoles have so many firmware updates that the days of Homebrew seem to be numbered, is there a way back for the Homebrew Community?"
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Ask Slashdot: Are The Days of Homebrew Gaming Over?

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  • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Monday July 30, 2012 @03:35PM (#40821239)

    Well, in the U.S. at least, if you could come up with enough campaign contributions to buy repeal of the DMCA, then sure. But considering the deep pockets of Sony, Apple, Disney, etc. it's going to cost you a LOT. Otherwise your only real shot is to get the Supreme Court to rule the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA unconstitutional. And as conservative as the Court is these days, you can pretty much forget that. The DMCA appears to be here to stay.

  • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@@@gmail...com> on Monday July 30, 2012 @03:54PM (#40821461) Journal

    I never understood why people target closed platforms as anything but a last resort. And the more people do it, the less open platforms there will be.

  • Re:Days of consoles (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gorzek ( 647352 ) <gorzek&gmail,com> on Monday July 30, 2012 @03:54PM (#40821475) Homepage Journal

    You incorrectly assume that there is only one gaming market. This is like assuming there is only one car market.

    The gaming tastes of the Xbox/PlayStation audience can't easily be stripped down to work on iPhones and Nooks.

    What will likely happen is that portable gaming consoles will die off for all but the most demanding gamers. Portable gaming in general will move to general purpose mobile devices (smartphones, tablets.) Home consoles will stick around because there's a substantial market that wants them. Gaming on PCs will likely consist of two main markets: console ports and indie titles, with frequent overlap between them (indie PC games being ported to consoles, vice versa, etc.)

    This is actually a great time for "homebrew" development, if by "homebrew" we mean "people with ideas making them into reality without the financial backing of a corporation." The barriers to entry in game development have come down quite a bit in the past few years, as people realize you don't need to spend tens of millions of dollars to make a good game.

  • by Sir_Sri ( 199544 ) on Monday July 30, 2012 @03:55PM (#40821485)

    Fuck homebrew. You want to write your own games? Do it on the PC. Until that's locked down at least.

    The PC is never really going to be 'locked down'. If you look at the Apple app store, google play, etc. you can always release shitty student project games for free on those. The PC is no different, so long as you can download and run an executable you can play a homebrew game on it.

    The consoles are fundamentally different in that they are intended to lock you out of running arbitrary code - that's both good and bad. Bad if you don't have any other means of getting software, good if you want a device that is safe to hand to your 13 year old and know he's not going to accidentally get a virus and blank your data or the like. The consoles also require a certain level of quality and so on for games to show up there, that means you know that whatever you buy on a console will behave a certain way to some degree, you have no such guarantees on the PC. Which is why there's a market for both, not everyone wants to use their brain the think about games.

    But yes, generally, if you want to give away your product for free, and you don't want to be bound by onerous requirements the way to do that is PC or Apple or Google, not XBL/PSN/Wii.

  • other methods (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Monday July 30, 2012 @03:56PM (#40821505)
    Starcraft II implemented the best custom game making system in gaming history. Since SC1 ran steady for like 12 years and set records for the longest time on store shelves primarily because of user-made content, that makes sense. They're both RTS games but I made a board game out of a map :-P It's practically a programming language wrapped in a premade graphics engine so you can make any kind of game you want inside it. Many, many people have made tower defense and full blown RPGs with leveling and saving. Some are even D&D-based. So just because the big name consoles are blocking people out left and right doesn't mean people can't design their own games anymore.
  • Re:What? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Monday July 30, 2012 @04:10PM (#40821673)

    Yes, and that's precisely the trouble. All the big names actually like and promote indie games now, and provide their own polish to the entire experience. Because of homebrew's terrible loss of obscurity, mediocrity, and hassle, hipster douchebags have precious few places to turn in these dark times.

    Frontalot [grooveshark.com] explains this better than I can.

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein