Aftermarket releases

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Just001Kim
Dumper
Posts: 105
Joined: 06 Nov 2020 19:32

Aftermarket releases

Post by Just001Kim »

Hi everybody,

I was talking in the VGPC discord with the question if aftermarket games like from steam, itch.io ect should be added to No-Intro or not.
Some games have a psychical card, others are download only.

My personal opinion is that it feels like 'homebrew' can get into the database while No-Intro started as a place to remove those homebrew titles and archive the cleanest as possible.
With retrogaming getting a boost these days and many publicers making limited editions for older systems, digital on different platform ect it's maybe a good idea to think about what to do with these ones?

An intresting idea i got on VGPC was to split the dat with an official licence and the same but with an aftermarked dat, for example Gameboy (Licenced) and a second one Gameboy (Aftermarked) were all the aftermarked goes in to.
Only thing is that this give's a door open for homebrew, because were is the line for adding the aftermarkets? Only the ones that are on a card, or only from site's to download them like steam, itch.io ect?

So i'm curious, what is your opinion about this, and what would you do with these? Adding them in the DOM, splitting them in a second dat or not include them at all? And also why?
Flashfire42
Posts: 35
Joined: 25 Feb 2020 05:19

Re: Aftermarket releases

Post by Flashfire42 »

We should start datting homebrew and have a tag to have it excluded from the dats people build themselves. an extra checkbox perhaps? At the least we should include stuff released on itch.io. Assuming it is actually an original game and not a reskin or purely a sprite change then it should be given a chance to be added. Splitting the dats further as some people have suggested is a stupid idea that defeats the purposes of having a unified dat. I feel if we give people an extra checkbox to decide if they have unlicensed games in their dat then the only angry individuals will be the ones who download rom packs. And at that point we really are not here to cater to those individuals. We have tags for pirate carts and the sort. Why not allow the homebrew community, the ones that keep the retro gaming spirit alive, to have a part in no-intro.

To further expand. Cartridge Dumps should ALWAYS take priority. But the amount of emulated OFFICIAL releases that come out, as well as the homebrew scene that keeps these consoles alive should be given more respect than they get.
Flashfire42
Posts: 35
Joined: 25 Feb 2020 05:19

Re: Aftermarket releases

Post by Flashfire42 »

It would require some extra tags and a bit of extra work but assuming we don't start datting every slight difficulty or sprite hack that gets released I believe that it is in the best interest of No-Intro to include these. Again I stress CARTRIDGES TAKE PRIORITY, Please endeavor to dump your carts if you are able. But to exclude the games being made in todays day and age for these retro consoles is something I would consider madness. I have come across homebrews for systems I didn't even know existed before I started helping no-intro. There is a market for Intellivision Homebrews, The Atari homebrew market is still releasing games on physical cartridges to be played on their aging systems on proper hardware. I found an Entex Adventure Vision homebrew. Half the folks working on this project don't even know what that is. Now obviously this would require more checkboxes and a bit of behind the scenes work to make it so that individuals can still download a dat that only contains licensed games. Not everyone wants a Dat full of homebrew stuff. But to give people the option to have it in their dats. And to have these amazing creations Documented and Preserved is also very important
Just001Kim
Dumper
Posts: 105
Joined: 06 Nov 2020 19:32

Re: Aftermarket releases

Post by Just001Kim »

In attachment a feedback I received elsewhere regarding this topic.
Screenshot_20211031-215251_Firefox.jpg
Screenshot_20211031-232303_Firefox.jpg
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xuom2
High Council
Posts: 865
Joined: 22 May 2008 18:45

Re: Aftermarket releases

Post by xuom2 »

Flashfire42 wrote: 31 Oct 2021 01:09 We should start datting homebrew and have a tag to have it excluded from the dats people build themselves. an extra checkbox perhaps? At the least we should include stuff released on itch.io. Assuming it is actually an original game and not a reskin or purely a sprite change then it should be given a chance to be added. Splitting the dats further as some people have suggested is a stupid idea that defeats the purposes of having a unified dat. I feel if we give people an extra checkbox to decide if they have unlicensed games in their dat then the only angry individuals will be the ones who download rom packs.
I quote Flashfire about how to manage this data in db, but not on the homebrew part (that I still would like to avoid).
As he wrote, splitting dats (commercial / aftermarket) has no sense in my opinion (this includes the recent "source code" and "pc adult" split), when you can filter and personalize their content. I splitted some dats because it was requested to me and because I want to support the project, but I don't want to take decisions.
We still have some splitted dats that has to be merged (f.e. the "good" and the "bad" dlc sets, where we have tons of archives to "match and merge", setting the correct "dump format" flag), I don't want to imagine doing more splits...
I write here my opinion about "headers" (NES, etc). There is no need of a "headered" and a "not headered" different sets. Having 2 sets means that when you fix the name of a "headered" archive, you have to fix the name of the "unheadered" archive too. Datter has to work 2 times.
DOM has already the "dump format" flag in "main sets", that can give you the encrypted/decrypted "datfile set", the cdn/nsp "datfile set", etc. headered/unheadered is the same. As always, once you set the rules (what type to header has to be added?), we need experts and collaborators with enough time to submit such data.

The only bad thing about this is how data is shown. A single archive page with tons of dump boxes ("sources"), each one with tons of dump formats can be very confusing (see FDS. I think the way we are datting FDS is the best way, with tons of documented changes and formats for each archive) (I'm not speaking about what decisions that were made: what was included or excluded - I'm not an expert), but this can be solved by improving DOM's interface. I agree it's ugly, any CSS expert is welcome!
Please always remember that if you have collected some data to de added on DB, I can do some batch work to send data directly to DOM, skipping the slow main user interface. For example, you have a list of additional gaming data (publisher, japanese original title, year of production, genre) ripped from other sources like a wiki? I can work on your Excel table and send it to DOM. If you have a set from P2P that can be added (maybe you have some not-documented dlc archives from a torrent, that can be useful to list anyway because... they exists, just run a dir2dat and data can be bulk-submitted. Don't be scared by DOM or the time to submit data, just work on your "list", we will find a way to add it to DB, just contact me via forum PM.

We are still in a "reboot phase" where we have to decide "our" rules and definitions: we can use a known term and give it our meaning to simplify things and to end endless debates.
We always had the "licensed, commercial" rule in mind.
In my mind, "aftermarket" loses the "licensed" thing but still maintains the "commercial" status. So, it should be stuff sold by a publisher (we should also add other parameters, like where/how it's sold? 10 homemade cartridges sold at an expo can be considered commercial? should we exclude indies?). If you have a "unlicensed, non commercial" title, then it's "homebrew".

While we can do an exception about the "licensed" thing, I think we still can't exclude the "commercial" option. We should set some limits somewhere. Always in my opinion (but I don't want to decide anything, and ruleset and definitions still have to be written), homebrew should not be in DB. Exceptions for particular titles should still exists: why not adding a Quake port for C64 written by Carmack? But why adding just another random platform game for Amiga?
I'm sure there are homebrew db around that manage such data (see scene data: we list it on certain sets but other db like datssite do it better and are more complete, so this data is not sent in our datfiles).

We already have a flag for "license" in DOM. At the moment it's:
- licensed
- not licensed -> this adds (Unl) in archive's title in datfile

It could be:
- licensed
- unlicensed -> this writes (Unl) in datfile
- aftermarket -> this writes (Aftermarket) in datfile, without the Unl flag

I also could add:
- homebrew -> this writes (Homebrew) in datfile, without the Unl flag, with a special reccomandation to datters not open the doors to the countless homebrew around, but only rare exceptions

Once the definitions are set, we have to set a rule about what goes on datomatic AND a rule about what goes on the official, unfiltered datfiles: we can decide that Aftermarket can be on DOM, but it's excluded in the default sets and daily packs.
Because, we have always to consider that we are "no-intro" with its (wrong or correct, we are all different) identity. For example, our tradition is using ascii naming by default, but we offer datfiles with utf8 chars where available. Default rule is ascii.
I know people whould love to have "their" custom daily packs, but it's a complicated thing to do and datomatic will lose its main rule of offering mainly the "standard" sets.

As always I repeat that DOM is the DB that is holding all data, different from the datfile that is a filter of this data.
Users should have this in mind (when they set the custom filters in download pages) but datters too (because we can always keep track of bad dumps even if they won't appear in dats).
Instead of deleting things (for years the delete function was not available at all for this reason!) or editing/rewriting hashes (overwriting bad hashes to avoid "confusion") or removing data in other ways (listing data in form of patches or "additional bits"): please always have in mind that we have a flag to exclude an archive or a dump totally from datfile generation!
While DOM has grown a lot in the recent years trying to track edits and forcing to document the "dump sources" (mainly thanks to Hiccup's suggestions), I see that we push the delete buttons too often XD


Sorry for the wall of text in my custom English. As you know, I'm too an old tart to follow all chats on Discord servers around. If you have to report me something, send me an email or a forum PM, I consider them as "tickets" that I try to fix hopefully in a decent time.
Flashfire42
Posts: 35
Joined: 25 Feb 2020 05:19

Re: Aftermarket releases

Post by Flashfire42 »

I feel at a minimum we should be including itch.io releases as well as releases made for niche systems. I found a Homebrew for the Entex Adventurevision and it was added to the Dat and then removed for being a free homebrew. Our focus should stay on cartridges but with digital releases and aftermarket stuff I think that more should be added. I have said before and will say again. It should not be that difficult to tick a box to exclude unlicensed stuff from the dat you download for your own personal use as you should all be dumping your own games anyway. I propose a semi complicated system in that if a game releases on itch.io as both a digital download and a physical release then the physical release takes priority in what counts as a dump and a verification. But if a game gets a digital only release I do not see why it should be excluded. free or not. I do not wish to open the door to hacks on No-Intro but there are a lot of great original games made for these retro systems that are right now not added to Dat-O-Matic simply because the creator released it for free. Why should that be a disqualifying factor when sometimes a creator just wants people to enjoy their game without a paywall.
Flashfire42
Posts: 35
Joined: 25 Feb 2020 05:19

Re: Aftermarket releases

Post by Flashfire42 »

My personal opinions on homebrew and digital releases aside I think it is downright stupid to ignore dumps from carts just because they are "aftermarket" or even to some extent pirate carts if they are original games. If it was released on a cartridge, is dumpable, and is gaming related and/or contains a game it should be added to the database. We can debate on homebrews and digital releases for the longest time but if its on a cartridge it should be added.
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