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### Re: Mega Marble World

Posted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:23 pm

Salam!

Openings and logos are elements which can be replaced/added/deleted easily at the final stage of the development.

Speaking about the edge of the screen. The NTSC TV set adds +8 pixels at the upper edge and +8 pixels at the lower edge to the height of 224 pixels. It is 240 pixels all in all. Problems can be only with very old screens with strongly rounded edges.

On PAL TV screens the game field is just shown on all 240 pixels, displacing the top up on 8 pixels and adding an extra line of 8 pixels at the bottom.

I tested game on TV sets.
I also read an article that many games don't consider it. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safe_area_(television)
For example, Valis III, Mortal Kombat, James Pond 3, and others.

I decided to leave HUD as is now. Proportion of people who have round TV screens will be low. I find no sense in losing the 320x8 line because of them.

A large number of levels will be in 8x8, as it is important to find room for the whole labyrinth on one screen. The gamer should see everything at once. And if we make 16x16, the puzzle will be smaller. The small number of levels will be 16x16. It is planned.

We are guided by the level of the game "Safe Cracker" [PC] – http://gcup.ru/Tim/SCscreen.jpg

Small elements are normal for this kind of games. It is not a fighting, so there's no need to look at face expressions of fighters during combats.

It isn't planned to light the way because it violates the concept of the game, simplifying its solution. The gamer has to be guided by squares. We are making a game for hardcore gamers. They are used to such level of game difficulties.

Animation of the sphere can be done.

I will try to bear in mind all your recommendations and realize them as far as possible.

Thanks for the tips. I thought of it all earlier. Now I will consider your opinion too.

### Re: Mega Marble World

Posted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:47 am
Feels like 1993 all over again!

Really cool! I hope it turns out as good as it looks!

### Re: Mega Marble World

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 3:32 pm
Thanks, and Hi all!

The development was delayed, because there was a lot of problems and incidents.

My publishers research placed here.

Level 14 from Flash-game "Road Blocks".

"Road Blocks" and "Mega Marble World":

and new screenshoots:

Cheers!

### Re: Mega Marble World

Posted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 2:12 pm
Levels complete!
Total 47 (44+3 bonus)

New screenshots:

Play my hack «Marble World» on NES: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/698/
(Release Date 2010)

### Re: Mega Marble World

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:31 pm
The project is closed.

### Re: Mega Marble World

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:53 pm
Closed ? what do you mean ?
It looked really promising !

### Re: Mega Marble World

Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 9:42 am
I addressed to Piko Interactive at the very start of the project. A company representative has encouraged me that the project is very interesting, and they are ready to publish it. Negotiations were held from August 2015 to August 2016 in a kindly manner. But in the end I was disappointed because the publisher refused to pay me at least \$ 1000 for getting ready to build (with their logo and copyrights), source code, arts and support. I think this is due to the unexpected success of the crowdfunding campaign of TheArKade - they have collected more than \$ 26,000, despite the fact that it is an unlawful variation of NES consoles from Nintendo. Perhaps they decided to refuse to work with other projects that appeared less promising (profitable) because of this euphoria.

If 100-200 copies of the game are sold for \$ 49.99 it will be \$ 4999-9998. Why be bothered with a small amount of potential profit, when there have been already collected 26,000 from TheArKade and it doesn’t need to invest something of their own? In China, similar consoles are stamped almost every day. It is the way of least resistance. Commercial activities should be commercial.

TheArKade - is Nintendo NES console
About it in Russian - https://gcup.ru/blog/2016-09-26-1401

Piko Interactive seemed to me a friendly office, but , I would not overestimate the legality of its activities. It is alleged that Piko Interactive has acquired the rights of the WisdomTree and other old companies. However, I have not seen the documents and statements from the representatives of WisdomTree. I have not see the permission from Nintendo or Sega to produce clones of NES and Genesis.

In any case, this company has not issued any authentic new game on the Genesis, no any other production made by itself or by other homebrew-developers. Reissues of "Water Margin" and "Duke Nukem 3D" are equally dubious projects as TheArKade. Who has seen agreements and contracts between the companies? In fact it is a hack and the same ROM, which is shared.

Piko Interactive is:

Plagiarism

Poor quality

About it in Russian - http://romhacking.ru/news/2016-10-08-3888
____________

Also I contacted Watermelon in the early development, which is now considered to be the publisher of the highest quality games on the technical side. They published "Pier Solar", that became the most successful game in the SMD nowadays. They also published a visual novel "Sacred Line Genesis".

A simple edition of "Sacred Line Genesis" costs \$ 39, and the limited one - \$ 89. At least 100 copies of each edition were sold. 100 x (39 + 89) = \$ 12,800. But Sasha Darko at the time of my correspondence with him completely got nothing and was going to sue the Watermelon.

My communication with a Watermelon representative was very constructive. The person who spoke to me, said that he was a computer programmer who was involved in the project development at this console and he understood the technical aspects. However, he insisted that I should sign a contract, which would make me legally powerless. There was a point that made it possible to assign the game rights, if there were elements that were affected by the company. And then I realized why they asked me to introduce in the game some extra stuff, to correct something. For example, if your game character is brunet, they will ask you to make him blond. This would enable them to apply the contract item, which made them the rightful owners of the project at the expense of such participation in the development process. So they would have been the authors of parts of your game. Such parts of the game can be multiply. You could not manipulate the game without their permission . You could not sell it by yourself or to distribute free of charge. All of this would require their official permission as the co-authors.
I agree that all inventions, discoveries, improvements, know-how or other intellectual property, whether patentable or not, created by me during my employment with Watermelon Corporation, pertaining to any matter, thing, process or method that is related to my employment (the "Works") shall be the sole and absolute property of Watermelon Corporation. Without limiting the foregoing, I agree that all such Works shall be deemed to be "work made in the course of employment" and Watermelon Corporation shall be deemed the owner thereof.

I further agree to keep and maintain adequate and current written records of all Works made, which records shall be available at all times to Watermelon Corporation and shall remain the sole property of Watermelon Corporation.

I further agree to assist Watermelon Corporation in obtaining and enforcing, for Watermelon Corporation's own benefit, patents, copyrights, and any other protections in any and all countries for any and all Works made by me (in whole or in part) the rights to which belong to or have been assigned to Watermelon Corporation. I agree, upon request, to execute all applications, assignments, instruments and papers and perform all acts that Watermelon Corporation or its counsel may deem necessary or desirable to obtain any and all patents, copyrights or other protection in such Works and otherwise to protect the interests of Watermelon Corporation therein.
About it in Russian - http://romhacking.ru/news/2016-04-04-3474

I doubted about the need to work under this contract after learning the possible fraud in relation to "Sacred Line Genesis" of the author. They didn’t pay to the author of the game dime.

I got in touch with more than 10 other publishers, but they graciously declined the offer or did not respond at all.

For example, SuperFighterTeam doesn’t see prospects of capitalizing in my project - they did not like the game. Either they have not engaged in publishing games for the platform.

They decided to get a lot of money to republish the Taiwanese games. According to their claims, they found the Chinese developers of the 1990s somehow and bought the rights to republish their games with English translation. I do not confirm the legality of this. Anyway, after the stunning success of the reissue "Beggar Prince" they failed to collect so much money from the following editions.

Anyway, I realized that almost all publishers of the retro games are dubious offices. They make money on the illegal production. Reprinted games of old firms that no longer exist or have lost the rights to their titles are unable or unwilling to prevent piracy. Other companies publish only the projects and third-party authors ignore or cheat it. In any case, I could not get over the game a cent, despite the fact that I made it quite efficiently and invested my money. Nobody needs new ones when old games are sold so well.

Of course, you can make a cool game that can interest the publishers. They like potential hits, such as large RPG or shooter with cool graphics. The only problem is that indie developers make small games and do not produce a lot of content. A production of the big game, such as "Contra" or "Castlevania" would require a large monetary investment in graphics, music and other components. And I doubt that you will pay at least \$ 3000-5000 if you make them clone. Is it worth the effort? And as it turned out, it is impossible to get even \$ 1000 for a small game or a game of an unpopular genre,.

It's sad, because I'm stating a fact - there are almost no opportunities for commercial gain to indie developers of retro platforms. Do they not deserve a reward for their efforts?

I thought about making my own online store, but it will also require the investment of effort and money, which I have not so much. I am a simple man, who lives in East Prussia, receives 20,000 rubles (~ \$ 300) per month for a hard labor. The same situation is for other developers, such as gasega68k, who became famous for a number of projects, such as the port of "Wolfenstein 3D". He also lives in a disadvantaged region (Venezuela) and due to political and financial problems he can not publish port "Wolf3D" and "Spear of Destiny".

Incidentally, there is a new publisher - Second Dimension - http://www.second-dimension.com

It gives me a lot of positive emotions, but this store is not too popular. The representative said that sales are small, they do not have the budget to purchase games from third-party developers. But I would recommend this particular service. It is a pity that not all good initiatives are appreciated.

I have friends from China, which could print copies for as low as \$ 12-16 per copy (excluding logistics), but that would require prepayment. I could make a very limited edition in the form of 5-10 copies as with the Second Dimension., there is no sense in it. Question again is about money.

I've done dozens of free games, hundreds of hacks and game translations. But free ones do not bring satisfaction in the form of feedback. Look my projects at ROMHacking.net. Do you think it's nice to know that your project had been downloaded 900 times since 2007 and there are no comments “liked / did not like”? And this situation is repeated with thousands of projects where I had a hand.

My hack Public domain - http://www.romhacking.net/community/833/

I studied architecture on "Mega Marble World" console, I tried to acquire the skills to create in future more complicated games. I did not just come from for a simple project for the genre, it was needed to check the audience. Along the way, "MMW" began developing the action RPG, a clone of "Contra + Castlevania", where the work with sprites and complex backgrounds is studied . It also canceled for the above stated reasons.

If I'm wrong in something , I apologize. All the above is a personal opinion based on my own experience.

### Re: Mega Marble World - Fail!

Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 1:03 pm
SegaTim wrote:I think this is due to the unexpected success of the crowdfunding campaign of TheArKade - they have collected more than \$ 26,000, despite the fact that it is an unlawful variation of NES consoles from Nintendo.
The patents for the NES already expired, so NES clones are technically legal now as long as they don't run over Nintendo's trademarks. (the games are a different matter) I wonder how it fares for the Mega Drive too, seeing as the latest patent I can think on is from 1994 (related to TMSS) which should have expired by now (22 years). I could be missing newer patents though.
SegaTim wrote:I have not see the permission from Nintendo or Sega to produce clones of NES and Genesis.
Don't forget homebrew too though... Pretty much all information we have was either reverse engineered from games (likely illegal) or from leaked documentation (definitely illegal), recent testing of edge cases aside. And on the case of the NES, it could be argued that using a custom CIC falls afoul of the DMCA (remember homebrew falls under today's laws, not those from the '80s and '90s). At least in Sega's case we have a statement that they don't care anymore as long as you don't use their trademarks (Watermelon tried to get a license from them and this was the end result =P)

Also tools. Yes, I'm implying my homebrew is probably illegal, since it requires asm68k to be built >_> Currently trying to adapt asmx into an asm68k clone so as to reduce the amount of changes that need to be done (first of all I gotta change how macros work and also finish the REPT construct, which was left unfinished). But the asmx author still hasn't settled on a license, so I can't release my code... (actually, just sent an e-mail now to see what's up with that >_>)
SegaTim wrote:A production of the big game, such as "Contra" or "Castlevania" would require a large monetary investment in graphics, music and other components.
This is a problem even on PC. A lot of people underestimate just how much effort goes into making those games. Just look at the credits roll of Sonic 2 or 3 and you'll find out it took a team the same size as for modern AAA games. They also most likely crunched like hell. If you go solo you'll probably spend 3 years on something that you'll be lucky to sell a few thousands (more likely, less than 10 since you'll have zero advertising power). It's not worth it.
SegaTim wrote:It's sad, because I'm stating a fact - there are almost no opportunities for commercial gain to indie developers of retro platforms. Do they not deserve a reward for their efforts?
Just because you put effort doesn't mean you're going to get money, you know (see what I said above). And business opportunities are on the newest platforms (and sadly, the most walled ones too). It doesn't help that from what I can tell, interest even from retro enthusiasts is burning out, and opportunists on eBay are driving prices up like crazy (and doesn't seem like it'll even go down anymore now).

Probably the only shinning light here is that Tectoy's 30th anniversary is next year and they may bring some bump to the old Sega systems =P (they did say they're planning something)

### Re: Mega Marble World - Fail!

Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 5:45 pm
Sik wrote:Don't forget homebrew too though... Pretty much all information we have was either reverse engineered from games (likely illegal)
I can't speak for other parts of the world, but at least in the US this is not illegal. PC software is a bit more complicated due to clickwrap licenses, but it's not an issue for Genesis/Megadrive games.
Sik wrote:or from leaked documentation (definitely illegal),
This would fall under trade secret law which requires that the company actually makes an effort to keep it secret. If a leaked document has been on the internet for decades and they haven't done anything about it, it's hard for them to claim it's still a trade secret.
Sik wrote:And on the case of the NES, it could be argued that using a custom CIC falls afoul of the DMCA (remember homebrew falls under today's laws, not those from the '80s and '90s).
I would hope that it wouldn't given that the CIC doesn't actually prevent copying, but the DMCA did come up in the Bung lawsuit (that was for the N64, but I don't think those carts are encrypted either). To be honest though, if Nintendo wants to sue your ass, it probably doesn't matter if you're legally in the clear. Defending yourself in court would be way too expensive.

Anyway, if you're doing Genesis/Megadrive development for the money you're going to be sorely disappointed. I doubt even Pier Solar was all that profitable before the "HD" ports. Manufacturing carts is espensive, especially in small runs, and the market for new games is relatively small.

I think the most realistic option for making money with a new Genesis/Megadrive game is to package it up with an enhanced emulator and sell it on Steam. You can sell a "deluxe" version in actual cartridge form, but this will most likely be a marketing thing rather than a direct profit center. Even still, you actually need to make a game that people will want to pay for in 2016. That's tough even when you don't have to deal with the limitations of an old platform.

### Re: Mega Marble World - Fail!

Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:40 pm
I'm very surprised by your words on Piko Interactive.
I know where a part of their copyrights come from and I don't know why you say they're "doubtful".
About quality, be free to spend the money to make something better.
I remember the "scene" said their cases were 'chinese' quality one...and so they change from cases reseller.
perhaps it's better now, but even if not enough, at least, they tried.

For Watermelon, we read so many things than I could no longer give my opinion on them : I haven't one.

About you're experience with publishing, it doesn't work this way.
you can't come and say "hi, I made a game and I would like to sell you for XXXX\$."
You have to contact them when the game is in good way, ask them if they want to help (with money, art or music)
If they don't, sorry but it's your problem.
Release it yourself on cart or free download...or convert it to smartphone to get some dollars
if they want to publish, you have to sign a contract which protect the TWO of you...and i know Piko Interactive does it.
So if you continue without a contract, Piko doesn't LEGALLY owe you a thing.
It's sad, but it's like this.

We're talking about retro games here, not PS4 game.
You can't spill on the few available publishers because they didn't want your game, who are you ? David Perry ?

### Re: Mega Marble World - Fail!

Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 9:25 pm
KanedaFr, Anybody should nothing to me. I demand nothing. I have shared real experience and opinion.
Has specified proofs. I the skilled game developer for PC Win, Android and more.
KanedaFr wrote:You have to contact them when the game is in good way, ask them if they want to help (with money, art or music)
If they don't, sorry but it's your problem.
Yes of course!
SegaTim wrote:I addressed to Piko Interactive at the very start of the project. A company representative has encouraged me that the project is very interesting, and they are ready to publish it. Negotiations were held from August 2015 to August 2016 in a kindly manner.
Piko Interactive wrote:Ok, As I promised, I can pay you 1500 cash for the game in 30 days (September 30). Let me know if you agree. I think it is fair for this game as it is puzzle. As I mentioned Action games (like beat'em up, castlevania, or shoot'em up etc) Will be able to pay much more.
OK?
KanedaFr wrote:I know where a part of their copyrights come from and I don't know why you say they're "doubtful".
You have documents, proof?

I have this - https://romhacking.ru/_nw/38/04796722.png - it's 100% doubtful copyrights - http://www.ign.com/games/sumo-smash/cell-715744

You don't know why I say they're "doubtful"?
KanedaFr wrote:For Watermelon, we read so many things than I could no longer give my opinion on them : I haven't one.
document - https://romhacking.ru/Doc/wm_nda.pdf

proof:
SegaTim wrote:I write to you on the occasion of your collaboration with WaterMelon company, that published your game "Sacred Line" for Sega Mega Drive / Genesis. I am also a game developer and I am interested in WaterMelon. But there some doubts concerning collaboration with it, because their contractual agreement requires writing off of all the rights to the game and initial codes.

What is the rate of interest they promised you and what have you got as a result? What concerns rights to the game, have you transferred it and don't you have a right anymore to use the name.
Sasha Darko wrote:No, they didn't.
I can't share anything because of NDA, but I'm already thinking about flying to US to solve the problem about the money through the court.

You should contact them earlier, when they had their old CEO. When he left, everything has changed.
Sequel to the game was canceled because of this, there is no more place to release a Mega Drive game.

If someone wants all rights for whatever product you have, it's already a bad sign.
But if you want to release your game for free and not receiving any money from its sales, then you should have no problems.

### Re: Mega Marble World - Fail!

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:54 am
TBH, 1500 for a completed puzzle game with not-so-shiny graphics is a good deal. If you made the same game for Android, you could expect 10 max in ad revenue, and that over two years total.

### Re: Mega Marble World - Fail!

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:44 pm
Here's some of the issues that you didn't take into consideration for publishers:

100 copies sold at \$40 would be \$4,000 and 200 copies would be \$8,000 - you're right on those. What you don't take into consideration is that it costs about \$15 to \$20 in parts per copy. Let's use \$15 as the magic number (it isn't, but it isn't much higher, though close to \$20 - this is just for easy maths). So 100 copies at \$40 sold would be \$4,000 in sales. \$15 per copy removes \$1500, so you're at \$2500, minus taxes (say 7%), that's almost another \$300, so now we're at \$2200, plus the cost of an artist for the cover artwork and manual artwork, you're looking at close to another \$500, so now we're at \$1700. Sell 200 copies, that's \$3900 (\$2200 * 2 - artwork cost), so your initial numbers instantly do not work for the publisher.

Selling the rights for \$1500 is still a loss for the publisher until over 200 copies sell. That's without them receiving pay and funding everything for the project. This also doesn't take into account advertisement costs, which could mean travel expenses to go to conventions to help further push the product.

The means at \$1500 for Mega Marble World, the publisher would be paying about \$5000 to do a run of 200 copies, for a profit of -\$1100. Even if all of the artwork was provided, it would be -\$600. That doesn't take into account that shipping prices maybe be the difference between a sale and someone who can't pay the shipping (or doesn't want to) as shipping prices have gone up exponentially to ship out of the country in the USA.

You can get the numbers per copy lower, but then you're risking quality, which is what Piko ran into early on. You can also use donor cartridges, but how anyone can feel okay selling \$5 in used parts for \$50 is beyond me.

This is why business deals don't happen in 5 minutes or a single day - a lot has to be considered when you're talking about a high dollar purchase, especially when manufacturing is involved.

Also, Second Dimension is based in the USA, not France (same as Piko, and I'm unsure if WM is still here or not)

Now, onto the Piko bashing - I can't stand Piko as he's probably one of the most unethical people in the retro community (he's been banned from NintendoAge and a lot of Facebook groups, and carries a negative connotation around because of his past transgressions). That said, I can't see why anyone would want to claim they bought Wisdom Tree (or why anyone would want to buy them to begin with), so I believe he legit purchased them or worked out a deal with them. He's also lashed out at other companies that he didn't agree with (which seemed to stem from his inability to double check translations and ask for clarifications on things), so he slammed them in open forums many times. Don't make the same mistakes as him, as I know over a dozen people who refuse to work with him on anything (big or little) because of how he conducts his business. That said, he's doing something right (it seems, anyway), otherwise he wouldn't have had a successful kickstarter campaign on what most people find to be crappy games. If you really wanted to slam him for copyright theft, you could report his Donkey Kong game to Nintendo. Most people don't because they don't want his trigger finger "I'm gonna send my lawyer after you" threats, which he does frequently enough for a lot of people to know about. If people want to deal with him, that's their business, as I'm sure he doesn't treat everyone like a bag of shit, though it should be done with caution.

WM's employment agreement is standard in almost every industry. If you aren't employed by them, then you have nothing to worry about. This is standard because if they're providing tools and technologies to their employees, then anything created with those tools (even if it's just ideas you're working on at home), it's still their property due to the knowledge and technology transfer, until you're no longer employed by them (and most industries put a 5 year embargo on any work you do after your partnership has ended). I spoke with Tulio about this years ago when I was talking with them about Affinity Sorrow. WM really needs a separate contract for publishing instead of an employment contract that has no bearing on publishing/a single release. Now, whether Fonz feels differently than Tulio, I'm not sure, but there's nothing wrong with how they've done that side of business.

Anyway, I hope this puts some stuff into perspective. In all honesty, the sale of MMW would probably be best at between \$750 and \$1000 for any publisher to bite in hopes of breaking even. I'm not trying to downplay the skill and effort involved, as you've done an incredible job with it, but this is just the reality of the market.

### Re: Mega Marble World - Fail!

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:59 am
I wouldn't bash any of them. However I am gutted to hear that most of the contracts seem to involve handing over your work and ceasing ownership.

### Re: Mega Marble World - Fail!

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:43 pm
matteus wrote:I wouldn't bash any of them. However I am gutted to hear that most of the contracts seem to involve handing over your work and ceasing ownership.
I did offer a publishing deal that would pay royalties, but he wanted to sell the game rights outright. I would love to publish the game for him, but his asking price for the game rights is a bit high for me (as outlined by my last post).

I do hope this game sees the light of day eventually.