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Thread: Regarding The Future of Megadrive Development

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    Default Regarding The Future of Megadrive Development

    There are lot of games in the works for the MD now. This is great, it's wonderful that there's so much productive energy, drive and excitement out there. But public response to many of these projects seems muted. I'm wondering if this is a sign that player interest in new retro games in general is declining, or if it just reflects the genres or content of the projects in question. They do tend to have certain things in common. For instance, there are a lot of sidescrollers. And another thing I note is that few - if any - seem to be made with an adult audience in mind. I don't mean that as a criticism, and there's obviously a nostalgic component to the type of content being made, and that's fine. But the observation is still fair: most of the games being made do not deal with subject matter adults would typically find emotionally or intellectually stimulating, but rather focus on juvenile action or humor, and/or cutesy stuff.

    Most of us who grew up with the MD are in the 30s-40s range now, so I think it's high time the question is asked: what kind of content are we interested in these days? And what genres? What would you guys like to see made in the future? I hope I'm not discouraging anyone by asking this, but the question is very important. Being a dev myself, I'd rather not devote years of my life to making something people ultimately may not be very interested in, even if they support the creative effort. I want to make stuff people would genuinely want to play and find stimulating.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingSports Talker nitelich's Avatar
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    I try to hold my judgement on game announcements in the homebrew community.

    I feel like the community is well-established enough that we in general have learned plenty of lessons about rushing to loudly back every game announced. Just scroll through any thread about WaterMelon Games, proper voltage shifting on cartridges, or the level of QA put into a lot of things (i.e. making sure games work on common Genesis/MD models). Or even more mundane aspects of just doing business - how to distribute, how to handle long-term support (if at all) especially of cartridge production, getting shells and cases of any quality.

    Yes, tools like SGDK have been great for the community and have greatly lowered the barrier to entry for programming on an older platform. Yes, there have been some great games, developers, and producers that have put a lot of love into their craft recently (Big Evil/Tanglewood, Bitmap Bureau/Xeno Crisis, Mega Cat). But for each that deserves glowing praise, there is a handful that keep re-learning the same pitfalls over and over.

    On the economics-demand side of this discussion, as with any community where 1000 units shipped is a huge goal, there is also a big divide between the intent of the consumers. You have plenty of people buying just to collect, fueling things like the "20 cartridge limited edition" cash ins. And then you have everyone else who want to play the games, and hope that voting with their money will help improve the overall quality of games. And I personally find this issue difficult to contend with, because I find myself on each side on different days.

    (...Well, I intended that to be like a one-sentence reply. Kinda got away from me. Edit: And I never even answered your later questions! Let me do that...)

    What content would I like to see on the Genesis? I'd like to see some modern twists on older genres. For example, a "hell platformer" like Super Meat Boy or Celeste would be interesting on an older platform. Or a Metroidvania game that takes gameplay lessons from more recent games in the genre.

    I'm personally tired of seeing RPGs, particularly new translations of oddly-regioned games from the 90's (sorry, Super Fighter Team and Piko). I got really burned out on RPGs in general after going through a phase of playing all of the Nippon Ichi JRPGs (Disgaea series, La Pucelle, etc.). And, having played Beggar Prince, et. al., I'm very burned out on Taiwanese bootleg RPGs.
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    Master of Shinobi Mega Drive Bowlsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion View Post
    There are lot of games in the works for the MD now. This is great, it's wonderful that there's so much productive energy, drive and excitement out there. But public response to many of these projects seems muted. I'm wondering if this is a sign that player interest in new retro games in general is declining, or if it just reflects the genres or content of the projects in question. They do tend to have certain things in common. For instance, there are a lot of sidescrollers. And another thing I note is that few - if any - seem to be made with an adult audience in mind. I don't mean that as a criticism, and there's obviously a nostalgic component to the type of content being made, and that's fine. But the observation is still fair: most of the games being made do not deal with subject matter adults would typically find emotionally or intellectually stimulating, but rather focus on juvenile action or humor, and/or cutesy stuff.

    Most of us who grew up with the MD are in the 30s-40s range now, so I think it's high time the question is asked: what kind of content are we interested in these days? And what genres? What would you guys like to see made in the future? I hope I'm not discouraging anyone by asking this, but the question is very important. Being a dev myself, I'd rather not devote years of my life to making something people ultimately may not be very interested in, even if they support the creative effort. I want to make stuff people would genuinely want to play and find stimulating.
    Well I would say that even taking into account the strength of the retro gaming scene right now, coupled with the great love and affection that many people have for the Sega Mega Drive, looking into the interest and potential sales of newly developed games coming out for the system you have to remember that we're still talking about a very, very niche market when taking into account the video games industry as a whole. Now me personally, I'm totally focused solely on the games that were developed and released during the system's original lifespan, but maybe one day I'll check out these new titles. In response to your point about these new developers seemingly focusing on more kid oriented games, I think the Mega Drive always had a very diverse range of games to suit all tastes and I would hope this continues to be the case. If I want to play something carefree, happy and breezy I'll play something like Rocket Knight Adventures, Sonic or Outrun. If I want to play something deeper and more cerebral I'll opt for Flashback, Shining Force or the Strike trilogy.

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    The problem is that to put it bluntly a lot of the games look not-so-good or outright bad. Not necessarily an issue if you're just making a free game, but if you're gonna start asking for money then you're expected to polish as much as possible as it's a significant investment (especially at the prices cartridges are going, not to mention shipping and customs on top of that). It also stops being a "for fun" thing at that point, so people are going to be less forgiving towards mistakes.

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    Papruim ruined it for me for a bit until Tanglewood guy went from that homebrew game to starting a company =) =0
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    Dang this is a tough question. For me, I get really excited about new ports, like; Shinobi, Cave story, Darius and Wolfenstein 3d. I also get super excited about games that stay close to there influences, xenocrises/smash tv and paprium/streets of rage.

    On the opposite side of things, I have been shying away from games where they don't seem ready to be released or odd design choices. I really wanted to like coffee crisis but I just couldn't do it. There's been other Genesis games where there's some odd nudity on cover - Mega Cheril Perils. Or the case where the production quality of a $50 -$60 dollar game is on par with a Ali Express game for $15 :/

    If your making a game and you're passionate about it I'm pretty certain I'm going to like it. Oh and r-type would be cool, ha ha thanks.

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    I think a game with a decidedly adult focus would be a niche of the current niche, perhaps limiting the audience too much. Personally I don't like platformers or fighting games, which Gen has the majority of. I'm much more a RPG/strategy kinda guy, expecting a good story and/or some intellectual challenge.

    Wasn't Sasha's Sacred Line such a niche adult genre? Granted, it also had the WM troubles.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert MushaAleste's Avatar
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    I would like to see quality overhead shooters that really push the system. The question on my mind always was, how far can you push the Mega Drive if cartridge memory wasn't the bottleneck.

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    I'm a big fan of RPGs and co-op games, so that's why I'm working on one myself. Of the genres which haven't been done or is being worked on by homebrewers, I'd like to see a sidescrolling run 'n' gun first and foremost. But I'm open to most genres as long as the quality is good enough.
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    Very interesting answers, guys! I'm holding off on further comment myself for the time being, for now I just want to know what you guys think!

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    For what's worth it, I don't see anybody making a racing game, if you want to know what major genre is currently being underserved by homebrew…

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    Personally, I would like to see games which have its own original style (graphics wise, etc.). Not just a copy of something from the past and is not even better than a predecessor at anything. And games which do not require spending too much time in menus (items management, metagames, etc.). Just straight and simple.
    Last edited by molasar; 06-16-2019 at 03:15 PM.

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    For me, I would love to see more coop games, like strategy game similar to Gemfire, Laser Squad, or even a coop rpg like Bloodwych

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    I'd love to see more shooters. From Shoot em ups to side-scrolling action games.


    Now I have no idea how to word this. Can someone attempt to make a game on Genesis for an original game that uses modern game design for mechanics? I don't have anything specific in mind. Just all these games made for Genesis are hey remember 16 bit RPGs and platformers or beat em ups? Here is another one just like those!. There exists indie pixel games as we know but use modern game design choices. I have not seen anything do that. I'm probably just talking out of my ass.



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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One
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    Good night my friend.

    I like this topic, it makes us have a good discussion here even regarding our future projects.

    From that, I think that here in this environment and the development for Genesis / Mega Drive in general the only factor is nostalgia, think you can develop for Neo Geo that is more powerful, or even try a more concrete and commercial project with unity and steam, what we want is to do something for the system we love, to go beyond its limits and to show that in some way, it is better than the mustachioed friend.

    So it's nothing but nostalgia and passion.
    That said, games have to be good and that's it!
    There is no formula or tendency to be followed and thought, the cartridges should have something good.
    What happens is that just like in the past, most are bad and few stand out.
    I like the way you can think and get into more complex themes, a good example is Celest that seems to have Jung influence, but what does Celest do so different from Mario Maker or Meat Boy?
    The story is important of course, but you understand that the game is only good if you have the gameplay and sound component together, and of course the good stage design (the map).
    And that already existed in the past with Doom, Super Metroid and Streets Of Rage, nothing from Jung, Froid or Led Zeppelin lol.
    And before we finish talking about the games themselves, we all know that creating or porting games is not easy, but like almost everything in life we ​​have an option not to do.
    The gaming scene for Megadrive is not super big, and especially niche, so there's no way to compare it to the indie PC scene.
    It is not so lucrative and even less recognized, but it is faithful and passionate and has grown a lot, but like everything that deals with money and art, there are good and bad.
    Returning to Celest, Tanglewood has original and very well defined artistic content, above average, on the other hand the development platform has limited a bit, but is a great example, and contrary to what you tried to speak of the lack of originality.

    Xeno Crisis has a pretty big nostalgia favor, but it is the best homebrew technically made for Mega, it may seem simple and not very innovative, but it has maximized the experience of a genre and this is very important.

    Tänzer is my favorite, it's an extremely original game, his mechanics are fantastic is a mixture of 60% shmup and 40% hack and slash, has a story and enemies very original, a wonderful art, what he lacked to be an AAA as Xeno was a bit more polishing and a further development of pixel art, but I can understand Michael because he is only 1 person making the game.

    Pier Solar is a good game, it would become great in a sequel "2", fix things like history and bad maps, but nonetheless it is a good game above average with Lunar style graphics and wonderful music.

    So you may be even more wrong to say that the scene is not diversified, in the return of Mega Drive we have 4 great / good games that are among the best in the system, in the past to have a list of 30, we need to have 400, and it is there where the influence of the classics enters.

    Games have to be good, no matter if it's complex like Celest or a simple Gun Smoke, what they need is good design and good professionals to execute.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lion View Post
    There are lot of games in the works for the MD now. This is great, it's wonderful that there's so much productive energy, drive and excitement out there. But public response to many of these projects seems muted. I'm wondering if this is a sign that player interest in new retro games in general is declining, or if it just reflects the genres or content of the projects in question. They do tend to have certain things in common. For instance, there are a lot of sidescrollers. And another thing I note is that few - if any - seem to be made with an adult audience in mind. I don't mean that as a criticism, and there's obviously a nostalgic component to the type of content being made, and that's fine. But the observation is still fair: most of the games being made do not deal with subject matter adults would typically find emotionally or intellectually stimulating, but rather focus on juvenile action or humor, and/or cutesy stuff.

    Most of us who grew up with the MD are in the 30s-40s range now, so I think it's high time the question is asked: what kind of content are we interested in these days? And what genres? What would you guys like to see made in the future? I hope I'm not discouraging anyone by asking this, but the question is very important. Being a dev myself, I'd rather not devote years of my life to making something people ultimately may not be very interested in, even if they support the creative effort. I want to make stuff people would genuinely want to play and find stimulating.

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