Subject: [stella] Randy's Reply|
From: Ruffin Bailey <rufbo@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 98 17:05:06 -0500
Well guys, I emailed Randy to see where these carts were coming from, and whadya know? they _are_ from him. Randy actaully gave me a quite detailed reply and readily agreed to my request that I be allowed to post this reply to the list. He also asks some very compelling questions at the end of his email to me (eg, who should get INV royalties if it is released?). I'll probably CC: the list when I reply, and hope that if you email a response to the list regarding Randy's questions, you will CC him as well. He also makes some interesting points regarding withholding your games while in developement and afterwards. Quite an interesting, well thought-out email, imo! ;) I still wonder about the pictures on the Dungeon site that are obvious rip-offs from others' web sites and also the directions that he's mailing out, but I'll leave that footwork to someone else! Ruffin Bailey rufbo@xxxxxxxxxxx ============================== Hey Ruffin! no problem, I understand your concern. First let me tell you that Al, the owner of the Computer Dungeon, definately buys all those games he sells from me, at full $16 price no less. So Piero and everyone else is getting the royalty they deserve for each cart. Al does not make carts, is not interested in making carts, and has placed large orders of carts with me and I'm happy to say is already making noise about placing another order. You can feel free to post this to the Stella list, perhaps this will clear up some of the uneasiness. I get orders all the time from people who want the cart in their hands and not just some image on a disk. True collectors know that the ones made by me are the only "official" copy that has any value down the road, so they are snapping them up as fast as I make them. I would point out that Edtris is still not availiable on the net as an image (at least not openly) and sales of it are still strong after 3 years of it being availiable. Do you have a copy of Edtris? Every single cart has its own serial number right on the title screen, and because of a checksum that Ed does the cart will not work at all if anyone tries to go in and change that number. Thus, if an Edtris image ever did appear on the net we all would know exactly who let it get out (I have a full master list of everyone who ever bought a cart, of course!). I am sure this is a big factor in why Edtris is still such a popular cart to buy. Most people that order games from me know the images are on the net. They also know that INV, Tetris26, Minesweeper, etc are also out there. Almost everyone that wants a copy of these games asks me "Randy, I know you make copies of Oystron but do you make the freeware games too?" so it seems that there is this common feeling that any rom availiable is just freeware. I can't argue that, however I don't think it would be right for people to make up carts and sell them for a profit of these games. If Al at the dungeon ever did this, or any one else did, I would be quite annoyed. I make these "free" carts for $11, but see I make EVERY cart for $11, I don't sell the image just the service. That's why all the royalty carts go for $16, I just tacked on $5 extra in royalty that goes directly to the game author. I also ask for permission to make even the freeware carts (well, I usually do!) and find that most authors have no problem sharing their games around. As a side note, yes, I send him copies of the instructions with the carts. Since I am not treating him special, and instead as just another cart buyer, he gets everything everyone else does including the Hozer Video Spring Catalog. Ha ha I doubt though he sends that on to customers - the $16 price per cart is quite obvious in the catalog, as well as my e-mail address for those who might have net access and want additional games made. Hey Ruffin, you never bother me when you ask polite questions! If you came at me guns blazing demanding to know why I was letting someone else make carts and a profit without a royalty (like I could stop that if I wanted, since the image is obviously out there on the net) I would be bothered. You may certainly feel free to post any or all of this message to the stella list if you think others will profit from the info. I will tell you though that I am undecided if I would post the bins of a game that I am writing to the net or not. It was obviously profitable for Ed not to, and he made sure that if anyone did we'd know who to hammer. However, if you get 80% done with a game and get hit by a truck who will ever see your game? Not to be morbid, but hey I see these things lasting basicly forever as collectors stuff and the more carts the better. Have you noticed that most lists put Edtris and SoundX at ER? When I ask why, the answer is always the same: "Randy, you will NEVER make thousands of anything so there will always be just a small number out there floating around". So any cart you write will be an ER. That is cool! So is it going to be a fun ER, like River Patrol, or a sucky one like Chase the Chuckwagon? Even so, how many times do you see ER games being sold for only $16? Cool beans, eh! And as always, if you are done with a game and want someone to do the manufacturing of the carts, I am always dying to get more games in my catalog. Any idea who should get the royalties for INV? Now I have a question for YOU!!! People are always wanting every new image made, no matter what it is. As I told Greg, I actually had some people (well, two) interested in getting the christmas demo that he and Piero did on a cart. Here is my dilemma, people want copies of INV before it is all done. Do I put them off for 6 weeks waiting for it to be finished (it's been a long time already) and run the risk that it never gets finished? Or do I make them as the images become availiable? Several people wanted TPS and Oystron before they were done, because they knew the image was out there on the net and it was almost done. I put them off because I had "agreements" in progress with Greg and Piero and I knew they were going to finish, but I do get orders for even stuff like the Zep Demo off Nick's page! I don't see that being finished or enhanced any time soon. So my question to you is this, what do you think is a solution to this? I'd love it if every cart started was finished. With TPS, Greg wanted to go on and make the game even more awesome but he polished up a "4K version" and it became the official 4K release. I like this because now he is free to go on and make a 16K version and the two are distinctly different. Just some thoughts as a cart builder. Small wonder there are so many prototypes of games like Dukes of Hazzard, etc out there floating around. Randy (randyc@xxxxxxxxxxxx) "Figures don't lie. Of course, that doesn't stop liars from figuring." - my Dad -- Archives (includes files) at http://www.biglist.com/lists/stella/archives/ Unsub & more at http://www.biglist.com/lists/stella/stella.html Don't post pirate BINs to Stellalist. Be a programmer, not a pirate. Write the best game, win framed autographs of famous Atari alumni!!