[stella] Randy's Reply

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


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, 
not interested in making carts, and has placed large orders of carts with 
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 
made by me are the only "official" copy that has any value down the road, 
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 
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 
on the title screen, and because of a checksum that Ed does the cart will 
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 
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 
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.  
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 
there is this common feeling that any rom availiable is just freeware.  I 
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 
did this, or any one else did, I would be quite annoyed.  I make these 
carts for $11, but see I make EVERY cart for $11, I don't sell the image 
the service.  That's why all the royalty carts go for $16, I just tacked 
$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 
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 
buyer, he gets everything everyone else does including the Hozer Video 
Catalog.  Ha ha I doubt though he sends that on to customers - the $16 
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 
make carts and a profit without a royalty (like I could stop that if I 
since the image is obviously out there on the net) I would be bothered.  
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 
that I am undecided if I would post the bins of a game that I am writing 
the net or not.  It was obviously profitable for Ed not to, and he made 
that if anyone did we'd know who to hammer.  However, if you get 80% done 
a game and get hit by a truck who will ever see your game?  Not to be 
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 
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.  
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 
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 
(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 
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 
Oystron before they were done, because they knew the image was out there 
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 
do get orders for even stuff like the Zep Demo off Nick's page!  I don't 
that being finished or enhanced any time soon.  So my question to you is 
what do you think is a solution to this?  I'd love it if every cart 
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 
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.  
wonder there are so many prototypes of games like Dukes of Hazzard, etc 
there floating around.



"Figures don't lie.  Of course, that doesn't stop
liars from figuring."

					- my Dad

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