Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 22, 2019, 10:20:59 pm
Home Help Login Register
News: New Game Released - Beebris

+  Free Jaguar Project
|-+  Atari Jaguar Discussions
| |-+  Jaguar General Discussion
| | |-+  A Plea to the Jaguar Community and a Call to Action
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: A Plea to the Jaguar Community and a Call to Action  (Read 6134 times)
kgenthe
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 70


WWW
« on: March 25, 2011, 05:58:27 pm »

Ah the Jaguar community. Without a doubt, the most hostile of all the gaming communities... this is my personal story of the Jaguar community. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I've been a member of AA since 2005, and for 6 years managed to weave and dodge my way around all of the foolish nonsense. From double accounts, to heated discussions regarding roms, a blind loyalty to the system and it's games, and the constant bickering and antagonizing of members that don't fall in line with the "norm." At times it has been downright toxic.

Two forums emerged from the 2 "factions" of the divide, one being FreeJag and the other being private. Neither has picked up any steam. Leaving AA the premier place for Jaguar enthusiasts, which seems appropriate.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Since I had the internet, approximately 1998, I've loved the free flow of information and the sharing of knowledge. One of my earliest obsessions was with the Sonic community, and I was huge into that scene around the time the Sonic 2 Beta was released. There was so much information being shared and discovered. And the rom was released to the public! Instead of an elite few controlling the flow of information, it was available for the whole world.

From there, FAQs, hex charts, and documentation was shared and more great things happened. With Hex editing alone (meaning no source code) awesome hacks of the Genesis Sonic games were released. Beta levels were restored, beautiful palette swaps were released, and previously undiscovered badnicks were restored. Sonic Mega Mix, which is a terrific hack of Sonic CD, is freely available for you to burn to a CD and fire up on your Sega CD. Nothing is required to play this gem. You don't need to be a member. You don't need to donate money. The community is still thriving, and Sonic Retro is a HUGE forum, and even has an official relationship with Sega. You read that right, a rom hosting, sonic hacking, IP violating, group of people have an official relationship with Sega.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, there are hundreds of examples of bending, and sometimes breaking, rules/laws resulting in wonderful things. A more recent example was a very dedicated chap who disassembled the original Super Mario Bros. (NES), reworked the code into a fully documented source code. I can't even fathom the amount of time and energy that went into this project. And it was released free to the community.

And you want to know what happened when some gave away there hard work asking nothing in return? Someone took the source, and ported it to the Sega Genesis. And you know what he did? Released it to the world, free of charge, free of obligation. And from there, people started helping with the project, donating source code and other files to help make the Genesis Mario even better, and more accurate. This is what happens when people share their work. Wonderful things happen.

But for some reason, these types of things quite simple don't happen in the Jaguar scene. Perhaps it's because the Jaguar is not terribly popular, and does not attract enough people to warrant the time and energy it takes to do such great things. But my gut tells me it's something else.

Avoiding the drama that was the summer of 2009, and to keep with this blog's terms of use (specifically, not naming anyone) let's just say there was a shake up. A perfect storm of sorts was brewing. And when the dust settled, there were casualties. Member of the Jaguar community started rejected the "norm" and Jag fans started wanting a piece of that community pie. People wanted to download roms without being shunned. People wanted to talk about emulation. People wanted to hack, crack, explore, share, the games they've loved for years.

But during this renaissance, there was resistance. The ugly term "piracy" reared it's ugly head.

Now I must take a brief break from story for a disclaimer. This story and my thoughts are not meant to offend, anyone. If you are offended I offer you my sincerest apologies. If you think any of my comments are directed at you personally, they are not. And now to continue our broadcast.

The term piracy reared it's ugly head. Yes, downloading roms of commercial games is illegal (unless the developer released it's rights... and speaking of that, check out the Amiga CD32 community, awesome). There is no doubt about it. But what does that really mean? I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. Generally speaking, developers and publishers do not want their intellectual property released for free to the public. Piracy is a real problem, and does negatively affect companies. But this very website is host to thousands of commercial roms. The owner of this website has not been sued. Draw your own conclusions.

This leads me to my first problem with the Jaguar community. If you visit other game forums and mention how you played Darxide (rare 32x title) via an emulator, no one is going to berate you, no one is going to call you a pirate, no one is going to threaten litigation. In the summer of 2009, you couldn't mention you downloaded Rayman and played it on a Jaguar emulator. A vocal minority of the Jaguar community wouldn't allow such talk.

This leads me to a personal lesson. Live and let live. Not everyone agrees with you. You won't agree with everyone. Chances are very high that nothing you say will change the other persons mind. The point of debate is not to "convert" the other person. It's not even about persuading the other person to believe what you are saying. The point of debate is to understand the other side. Not agree with the other side. Live and let live. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go round. And yes, that means I empathize (but not sympathize) with those that disagree.

So here we are today. Coming up on the 2 year anniversary of the Jaguar's renaissance. Things are moving slowly, but I believe the community is slowly moving towards a new era of sharing and discovery. We've seen a few interesting hacks, including extracting Art and Voice files from the bubsy rom, and some work disassembling the code. Perhaps someday we'll have Bubsy hacks with tweaked controls, new sprites, and other things I can't even imagine.

We've also seen some hex editing (very crude hacking) of Checkered Flag to start to tweak it's horrid controls. Who knows, if enough people show interest, share there findings, maybe someday Checkered Flag could be playable, maybe even fun!

A Call To action

If you've made it this far, perhaps you are wondering what the point of all of this is. Up until this point, I've been bobbing and weaving my way through the Jaguar Community, only stepping out of line once and a while to voice my opinion. But some recent experiences have made me want to step out of the shadows. It's something that I, and many others, should have done a long time ago. It's time for the Jaguar community to be a community. You don't even have to do anything if you don't want to!

1. Be civil, not everyone agrees with you, and you can't change there mind. That is ok!
2. Support emulation. Piracy and emulation are NOT the same thing. Emulation makes programming and debugging easier. Emulation can give you a way to play freely released games without dedicated hardware. You can support emulation by supporting those who are writing emulators. Get involved, test them, offer feedback, offer support.
3. SHARE I can't express this enough. Share your findings and your discoveries. The more you share, the more others will share. The more they share, the more you get. Some people will object to sharing for "legal" or "moral" concerns. And that's fine, everyone is entitled to there own opinion.

Dig through roms and find sprites that were never used in game. Take those sprites and make animated gifs and share them with the world. Find hex edits to give games unlimited lives. Find sound clips. Document and share. If whatever you are doing violates forum rules, then start your own website! Blogger and Wordpress (among others) make for great ways to document and share.

As I said at the beginning of this blog, there are 2 factions of Jaguar fans. Those who like the status quo, who refuse to allow any new ideas, and stand on what they perceive as the moral high ground with a firm stance against any sort of "hacking." The other side wants to see the Jaguar flourish in it's after life, like most classic gaming systems.

Which side should you be on? Neither. There is room for everyone. If you strictly want to play commercial games on your actual system, and nothing else. That is fine! I support you! There is room in the community for you. I will not try to change your mind. And you should not try to change mine. If you want to see emulation, rom hacking, sprite ripping, and game modifying, there is room for you to! All we have to do is respect each other, from the people on the extreme ends, to the the quiet majority in the middle.

So please, end the hostility. Who knows, maybe we'll see the Super Mario Bros. source ported to the Jaguar. Now wouldn't that be awesome?

-Kris
Logged

Sauron
Newbie
*
Posts: 33


The Dark Lord


« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2011, 08:33:46 am »

Wow, didn't expect to see this here! I read and commented on your blog on AA. Unfortunately, I think the AA blog will reach more eyes than this thread here, as this forum seems to have died out a while back.

It's a shame, really, and largely my own fault. Had certain events not had transpired the way they did several years ago, I never would have stepped down as the admin, and I think this site could have gone places. There were some good plans for this forum in place, and it's a shame that it came to a screeching halt before things really got off the ground.

Having said that, though...I honestly think this forum's mere existence helped kickstart the evolution of the Jag community. Just the opening of this forum caused a major shitstorm. I knew things would be rough afterwards, and they were, but I also hoped that once the storm eventually subsided, change would start happening. I think seeing more people like you make such statements about the Jaguar community is proof of that happening.
Logged
kgenthe
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 70


WWW
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 02:15:17 pm »

I posted it here (in addition to AA) just in case it got deleted from AA.

Yeah I had wished this forum would have gained some steam as well, but alas I think the Jaguar scene is far to small for yet another division. Damn Atari and there 250k Jaguar units Wink
Logged

Cyrano Jones
Newbie
*
Posts: 37


« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2011, 08:22:55 am »

We'll be rebuilding the Reboot forums shortly - feel free to kick back and relax there. I can pretty much guarantee the admins will be very more towards to "norm" (for other systems) in regards to emulation issues Smiley
Logged
Shamus
Newbie
*
Posts: 22



WWW
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 03:13:06 am »

Speaking of emulators... (Did I just say that word? /me slaps self) All of the action is taking place in https://shamusworld.gotdns.org/svn/virtualjaguar/branches/qt-experimental/. Maybe once you guys have your forums up again I can talk about it more freely over there. :-P

All I can say is that it *will* cause a sh*tstorm once I get the compatibility up a bit more. I think you can figure out why. ;-)
Logged
kgenthe
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 70


WWW
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2011, 05:24:17 am »

Can't wait!
Logged

Pages: [1] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Login with username, password and session length

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.10 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!