Re: [stella] Perfect BIN copy protection

Subject: Re: [stella] Perfect BIN copy protection
From: Manuel Polik <cybergoth@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 03 Feb 2002 19:29:43 +0100
Hi all!

Thomas wrote:

>And I'm not that much afraid of pirating as you might 
expect. I see the
>whole copy protection discussion more from the sportive 
side. For me,
>it's just as much fun to invent and implement some 
ideas for that as it
>was to develop the kernel for Thrust.

>I can only speak for myself here, Manuel's opinion 
might differ.

Well, not that much. thinking about stuff like that is 
fun, really.

But I might just add more aspects, what I'm thinking 
about all this:

I assume there's people out there, that think the 

"Hey, I could spend XXX$ a year buying homebrews. Or I 
can _once_ spend 100$ buying a CC and never another 
penny again."

Even if they think, "Well, if there's a really good 
homebrew I will still buy it", the number of "really 
good homebrews" will get drastically reduced once you 
own a CC.

No one tell me, that these people don't exist. I once 
owned SNES/Genesis disk drives myself.

Think about Thrust. Thomas said that ~30 copies were 
sold all in all. Compare that to the number of "real 
collectors" who bought a CC...

People will still buy ultra-extra-autographed-3-new-
levels-special editions. I don't fear about that.

But people who really work hard, share 
concepts/thoughts, even fully commented sources and who 
are really trying to push the scene towards quality, 
because we love programming _and_ 2600 gaming, who sell 
just plain stock versions, which actually should really 
be worth the lousy 5$ royalties we're asking for, get 
kicked in the ass in the end, with a game selling less 
than 10 copies in a whole year! (Jammed)

Now we are the bad guys... ok... thank you.

Eckhard wrote:
>> And the Cuttle Cart is a homebrew project itself in a 
certain way.
>> The people who bought one for $100 + s&h + taxes have 
already proven
>> that they are willing to support the homebrew scene 
with their money.

So be the Cuttle Cart the homebrew to end all other 
homebrews and Chad being the only one to get some $$ 
back for his (admittedly) hard work?

Yes, people probably are sending him complaints about 
Gunfight not working on the CC. When they come to me, I 
tell them to buy the cartridge from Hozer. The binary on 
that cartridges is not protected in any way, so if they 
still want to play it on a Cuttle Cart, _after_ they 
bought it, they may do so.

Besides I just accidently stumbled accros one point, 
where it's just incompatible to a real VCS (to point 
that out at least once), I didn't put that in the 
cartridge on purpose. I don't even own a CC, so how 
where I to do that?

I was just happy that it happened.

>> Of course you are under no obligation to release 
anything. You have
>> every right to protect your games as you think it is 
nessessary. But
>> if you won't allow us to play your games without 
paying for them, then
>> I don't see why we should use our freetime, knowledge 
and tools to help
>> you for free.

Ah, come on now. Gunfight was totally unprotected until 
the very last version. The Hack-Protection was the last 
thing I added. I'm not hiding anything or trying to 
spoil the fun for others. I might just have a different 
attitude towards what's fair and what not.

Think Ebivision or other guys doing "homebrews". From 
Ebivison games you don't even see a screenshot, before 
you buy them...

Am I really that bad compared to them?

Hey, you can play my game for free. I'm not selling the 
"Katze Im Sack" or something like that. I'm not 
crippling it. I even tried my best to avoid illegal 
opcodes, to have everybody playtest it on any emulator.

The BINs even work on self-produced cartridges, so if 
one is willing to go through the trouble of assembling 
one, that's fine by me.

That's my 2 cents about all these topics.

I might add, that I still see this as 'just' a 
discussion. I still love you all and respect your 
different points of view, as I wish you'd respect mine.

Sorry for the probably sour tone on some of the above 
sentences. That then comes due to my minor abilities to 
express myself in english. In general I'm very happy 
with everything, I have nothing against the CC in 
general or the people using it and I'm not spending the 
next year thinking about protection schemes or stuff 
like that, but rather making my second better than the 

I'm gonna release the drivers of the ripped Parker tunes 
soon and I'll post the source of the next Starfire demo, 
as usual.

BTW: When developing Gunfight I spent a whole year 
telling my girlfriend: "I'm not wasting my time, you'll 
see, it'll pay part of our next holiday...". So if you 
wanna see more games from me, order yourself a copy :-)

BTW²: When I was finished with Gunfight, I offered 
everbody who really supported me much and was therefore 
named in the manual, (That'd include you, Eckhard) to 
get the game without paying me royalties. You can find 
that *publically* announced in the [Stella] list...


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