Re[2]: [stella]P2plus and Hacked ROMS

Subject: Re[2]: [stella]P2plus and Hacked ROMS
From: Freeweb <tjentzsch@xxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 20:53:22 +0100
John wrote:
JKH> What I don't agree with is the hacked ROMs coming in by the pile to
JKH> HozerVideo.  People are trying to capitalize on a very small amount of
JKH> work, compared to the work involved in actually writing a game.  According
JKH> to Randy's website, 9 more hacks have arrived, around the time of Thrust.
JKH> That's a terrible ratio of actual product to simple hacks.

You're right, i'd prefer any (even relative simple)
*NEW* ROMS. It's realy veeery easy to hack existing
games, compared to the real task of creating a working
kernel. And i know, what i'm talking about... :-)

JKH>         Now, don't get me wrong, there are noble reasons for taking apart code.
JKH> When I first started, I changed the tanks in Combat to cannons.  Does that
JKH> mean  I should sell it at HozerVideo?  Hell, no.  It sucks.  Could I make a
JKH> few bucks if I wanted?  Absolutely.  Some purists out there would buy it
JKH> immediately, and I'd end up pocketing at least $10 for almost zero-work.

Ok, if somebody wants to pay money for that stuff, let
him do so. But i think, there shouldn't be payed any
royalty to the people who "created" those hacks
(Section Three at HozerVideo). That also would stop
people from creating hacks only for the money.
But i'm not sure, if anybody does hacking games to make
easy money. There are easier and more profitable ways.

If somebody starts with hacking existing games, shows
them to the public, get's some applause which motives
him to create new games, everybody should be glad. If
only 10% would do so, we could expect more new games
than we saw in the last two years.

JKH>         Seeing things like this always makes me a bit sick.  Yes, disassembly
JKH> teaches you how things work.  That's how I learned about player graphics,
JKH> and displaying the sprites on-screen.  But seeing versions of old games
JKH> (look at all the Space Invaders hacks on Randy's page) constantly ripped,
JKH> and some extrapolated and sold for profit is just ridiculous.
JKH>         Now, onto the "beta version idea".  First of all, beta means the version
JKH> before it's released.  This is in no way close to a beta version.  Any
JKH> idiot can divide Pitfall 2 into it's 4 parts, and look for the biggest
JKH> .byte section of 256 bytes, and find the map.  It's not hard to translate
JKH> either.  Do I think people should do this?  I'd rather they didn't, but
JKH> it's ok if the purpose it to learn.  Pitfall 2 is the best game ever made.
JKH> Why take away from its value?
JKH>         If this version was actually a "beta" version, it would have had
JKH> differences in the code-space, as well as graphics, and it would be in
JKH> final stages of testing.  A graphics hack full of bugs is in no way a beta
JKH> version.  I would call it a level-hack attempt.
JKH>         "Versions" in my mind only apply to original works.  Pitfall 2 already
JKH> passed the beta stage.  Now it's just someone's quick attempt to do
JKH> something that will make people go ape.  (I used a slang term)

Well, it's interesting that many people make no
differences between new games and hacks. They simply
can't tell it, because they haven't tried to write
anything for the 2600. They are simply enjoying any
new stuff, and that's ok.
I was happy for *all* comments about Thrust, but the
comments from people who really know, are counting much
(i hope you understand my sometimes really bad english)

JKH>         Also, I would feel terrible if someone hacked Pressure Gauge after its
JKH> release.  I was grateful when people disassembled some of my code when I
JKH> was starting out (the scrolling text demo was heavily beaten-down upon)
JKH> because I got to figure out how to improve it.  After the game is released,
JKH> it would make me unhappy to have someone post "Pressure Gauge - with green
JKH> level counter!"  If I wanted to modify it, I would have done it myself.

If somebody would hack Thrust just for fun, i would
feel good, because my game would be in company with
other great games like Pitfall, River Raid or Space
Invaders. ;-)

JKH>         So, my final opinion is that "Harvey Invaders" would be a cool custom
JKH> cart, but should I make it in 5 minutes, sell it to Randy, and reap the
JKH> benefits?  I don't think so.

You don't sell anything to Randy, he only payes you
5$ for every card that he sells. If you don't
expect royalties, you wouldn't earn any money. And i
don't think, Randy get's rich with hacks.

JKH>         Recently, I've been disassembling Pitfall 2.  My reasoning was to post the
JKH> source code and MAYBE make a new level.  I gave up a few months ago because
JKH> I did not want the best game Atari ever made (in my opinion) taken for
JKH> granted and ripped apart.  So, with about 1/4 of my commenting and
JKH> understanding complete, I scrapped the project.

JKH>         I'm just thankful that any Pitfall 2 hack has no chance of being sold at
JKH> HozerVideo Games, because of the DPC. :)

So, why don't you complete your disassembly, i would
be really interested.


Archives (includes files) at
Unsub & more at

Current Thread