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  1. dumpster

    Antstream - It's Netflix for Games!

    There's a confused morality to this. Antstream is legal and allows you to play retro games. This should be enough for people to want to buy in. The problem is there is an illegal alternative which is easy, free, well established, and everyone does it. However, that equates to, for example, criticising Netflix for not having the choice of the Pirate Bay. It's a nonsensical argument obviously, but the legal point is muddied by so many issues: Many of the developers of these original games are happy to see them distributed for free on the internet and they don't want their games on services like this. They have no control of this because they no longer own the IPs. You think the coders and musicians and artists have an opportunity to monetise their work again, but they can't. The people earning the money are often CEOs of companies that just happen to own the IP through company acquisitions and probably have never heard of these games, and possibly are unsure if they even own the rights to them or not. The Antstream service is possibly using open-source emulators that were created by fans and distributed on the internet to be free. That would mean (if true) they are capitalising on all the hard work done by other people, without contributing back. Streaming arcade action, fast reaction games is going to introduce lag that makes them unplayable. Retro games often have tiny file sizes. You can fit every Snes, MD, GBA, Atari, Speccy, C64, Amstrad, Coleco, Vectrex, Virtual Boy, Amiga game ever made on a 32Gb SD card. Streaming them seems an incredibly inefficient way of delivering them. Emulation is already available on all devices. What problem is this new product actually solving? The thing is, even taking all this stuff into account, you're left with the horrible truth that downloading games from the internet that you don't own is probably copyright infringing. Antstream is a legal service, and this should be the end of the comparison. One's probably illegal and the other isn't. It's just weird that the real selling point of this boils down to "all the right people will be getting paid" and when you look at it for a minute you see that these people are legally the right people, but morally they may not be. You could paraphrase that by saying "I'm going to stop emulating the games by the Pickford Brothers, and use Antstream, so the multi-millionaire Ian Livingstone can earn the money he rightfully deserves".
  2. dumpster

    Antstream - It's Netflix for Games!

    That video has three times as many dislikes to likes. 'YouTube influencer' is such a loaded, untrustworthy thing. Its so nakedly brazen and doesn't disguise the true nature of the role. I mean, where do these people come from and how do they start? If you like Davina McCall on Big Brother and Million Pound Drop then you may choose, if you want to, to accept her endorsement of Loreal products when she advertises them. But YouTube influencers just seem to start out flogging other peoples products and that's all they do. Why would anyone follow a YouTube influencer and give any credence to their obviously paid-for opinions?
  3. Or maybe it is that you have 2 incompatible USB hard drives? Unlikely but you never know. Have you been rude to a fortune teller recently? It's the only explanation!
  4. Don;t use Devolution or Dios Mios. They are completely out of date now and have restrictions (you might find games no longer work from disk now). Devolution and Dios are overwriting your Custom IOS. My advice is, do a firmware update from Nintendo (connect the Wii to the net and follow the prompts) and start from the beginning with your new hard drive.
  5. dumpster

    Antstream - It's Netflix for Games!

    That's the thing that confuses me as well. If it's a retrogame service then it's going to get a niche audience, and I'd assume it would have a cheap monthly subscription. If it has all sorts of games then it's basically Google Stadia, and Antstream must have some incredible tech to be thinking they can compete. I'm all for supporting local business, but you'd be crazy to be making a service that is just the same as Google, because you'll be compared to Google at every step of the way and surely Google has more money, more resources and will ultimately make a better product. I can't imagine many people want to pay £7 a month to play Everyone's a Wally, a game that cost £5.99 to own 30 years ago. But also, I can't imagine anyone paying that when there's a better product out there in the form of Google's offering. I'd expect a retro game service for a couple of quid a month would be a nice thing, but the costs incurred running a streaming service would surely mean it wouldn't be feasible. The best solution would be to have a retroarch style front end that downloads the games in full as long as you are a subscriber. The running costs would be a fraction of the price, the games would download instantly and it would be a Spotify style solution for those people who don't want to trawl pop-up filled rom sites. But the streaming service seems to be a combination of conflicting ideas and doesn't make any sense to me. Why would you stream video of a 48k spectrum game unless the goal is to add modern high end games to the service? And if you do that, surely you're just doing what Google is going to do better? I'm out.
  6. dumpster

    The first one is still the best one

    I spent some time on GameCube Burnout 2 yesterday on account that my Xbox is in the garage and I had forgotten that my savegame file was on that, so I had to start over on the GameCube version. Bloody hell , its a cracker. Never fails. Even after all these years, it truly is brilliant. Now, I know this thread is ’the first was the best' but I think Burnout teaches us about how less can be more. In fact, the new Dangerous Driving game looks like it's right up my street but all the reviews are saying that it's a return to what makes Burnout 3 so good and this is the main driver to me losing interest. I will pick up DD at some point, but the reviews constant comparisons to B3 put me off because the pinaccle of the series is Burnout 2. What the developers did was create a really great arcade racer called Burnout then refined it to the point of absolute perfection and called it Burnout 2. From there, new additions were brought into the mix, including the oft celebrated Takedown, the 'real' music, the DJ, and the lens flare. The speed increased to breaking point. Burnout 3 was a pretty good game , but as a sequel to the best racer ever made it suffered from the comparison. Lens flare can look great but if you can't see where you are going, it can piss right off, and I notice people have been critical of the lens flare in Dangerous Driving too. Why do they do it? I want to see where I am going and react to the obstacles, is that too much to ask for? If there are shoot-em-ups, collect em-ups and explore-em-ups, arcade driving games are avoid-em-ups. You drive a fast car and with practice you drive that bit faster than everyone else can. You overtake the other racers and avoid hitting the traffic. When the car goes fast it's exciting, when you go really fast (Burnout!) You hang on by the skin of your teeth. And when you consider the variety of courses, from the twisty alpine courses to the wide open country stages, the hectic airport and busy city, you can see how all the new additions to the later games in the series (and there were a lot of Burnout games) actually detracted from the racing experience. I don't want to takedown the other cars, it's a road race , not a stock car race. Why would I want to have the camera switch to another car to watch it crash? I'm driving my own car and the experience is intense already thanks, so stop breaking me out of that experience. Also, there's no way you can have the refined track design and memorable tracks when the game goes open world and you get to choose a route. And when the games get faster, you loose the "aaargh!" factor as you scream around the corner, sliding between a truck and a hard place , retaining full control if you can keep your composure. So yeah, its not the first in the series, but Burnout 2 might as well be a patch for Burnout one. It takes a good game and tweaks it all to perfection and none of the other games retained that magic. Everything that later games in the series brought in seemed to be to the detriment of the purity and even today no racing game has bettered Burnout 2.
  7. But... Its already been decided earlier in the thread that this is an indie game and price doesn't come into it! Whether its £10 or £60, it's an indie game and flaws are allowed! #smileyface
  8. dumpster

    Antstream - It's Netflix for Games!

    So is that what Antstream are doing? Paying royalties to people who *might* own the royalties? That's great news because I think I *might* own the rights to Star Wars. I have no paperwork to back this up, but I'll accept cheques on the off chance. Wonder who Antstream is paying these royalties to? Its intriguing isn't it! Also , inspired by this conversation I started playing Amaurote last night, it's great. Never had a clue how to play it as a kid. Enjoyed it a lot.
  9. So many people have modded their Wii's with this guide, and then @Hanzo the Razor comes along and has every possible problem along the way. I feel for you, I really do. I posted a question on another forum to help, and the only consistent answer is to try and stick to USB 2 hard drives for maximum compatibility and use 2TB or lower (I'm using 320Gb which has been ample). The hard drive spinning down is an issue with some USB 3 drives. Even so, those drives spin down if they are not accessed for like, 10 minutes, so it doesn't sound like that's the issue you are having. I just reread the OP and it does say to use a hard drive with a single USB cable, I'd forgotten about that. I assumed that was so you could use the other USB on the Wii for a keyboard, but maybe the drive needs to be a single USB for power reasons?
  10. dumpster

    Antstream - It's Netflix for Games!

    True, but Antstream have apparently been able to work out who to deal with, so it would appear to be doable.
  11. dumpster

    Antstream - It's Netflix for Games!

    Thanks for that reply. I didn't think YOU were complaining, but people have the impression the games devs are going to make money from this and that's not the case. But have we seen any evidence of Antstream saying they pay the 'creators' outside of that forum post earlier? As far as I can see its a slip of the tongue, but I agree entirely, I don't see why the fact that people are getting paid is a selling point for the business , that post pitches what should be a given as a feature or benefit. You wouldn't see the advert for NOW 110 saying "all the artists on this CD got paid" because they should, it's a given. If Antstream is making a point of paying the 'creators' in their advertising then they can indeed piss off. 2: the games industry seems to be an appalling place for developers , and I apologise if I suggested that you write a game and sell it to the publisher for a big stack of cash. But whatever the process , it seems to me that royalties deservedly should go to those names we grew up knowing (Pickford's, Tim Follin, Dave Whittaker, Colin Swinbourne, Kevin Toms, and so on) but I'm sure the people concerned knew straight away they wouldn't be making any money off this thing, and if Antstream are suggesting otherwise in their marketing then that's awful. And Zub still holds up today. In fact, what's the chances of all you devs getting your heads together and doing a big compilation called "The 8 Bit Guys" with all the classics on? Would it be prohibitively expensive to buy the rights back?
  12. I use a Toshiba Aluminium cased hard drive. 1 USB, never had a problem. Apparently, some hard drives can require too much power, and if you can get a Y cable (2 USBs on one end, and the hard drive at the other) this might solve the problem (because you're taking power from both USBs at once). Have you got another external hard drive?
  13. dumpster

    Antstream - It's Netflix for Games!

    Let's be fair here, because we are honing in on a couple of points: On an earlier post, one of the Antstream guys said they were paying the creators when they should have said they are paying the rights holders. That's a slip of the tongue - the point is that this is a legal way to play these old games with all the appropriate people being paid. Much as I loved the Pickford Brothers work in my early teens (and yesterday when I played Zub and found myself trying to press 2468 then 1357 at once on an emulator, true fans know why) the sad fact is that if the Pickfords sold the entire rights to those games then they don't own them any more and they got paid the amount they agreed to at the time. Now, selling the entire rights in perpetuity and beyond may not have been the best decision but if that happened then you can't complain when the rights holders start making some money from the product that the programmers sold the rights to. I can't imagine when a programming team creates a game and sells it to Mastertronic or whoever, that there would be anything in the contract that says "Binary Design hereby sell the rights to Mastertronic to sell Amaurote for the Spectrum on cassettes and nothing else". If there was, you could argue that the IP owner doesn't have the streaming rights. But surely, all these old 8 bit games were written by a team, then sold to someone else, like Mastertronic or whoever. It's a shame if that's the case, but Antstream is doing everything correctly there - it's a shame that people we like (the @JPickford and @Ste Pickford who wrote these games that we loved) are not going to see any of the money from Antstream, but surely they made their money at the time selling the game to the publisher? As far as my uneducated mind works, Antstream doing the royalty payments correctly. It's sad, it's a shame, and it's not the way I feel it should be, but legally it's the way it is when you sell your product to someone else. I think of Terry Hall of the Specials who wrote Sense, a lovely song that did nothing for him commercially until the Lightning Seeds covered it years later. if you Google that song you'd never know it's by Terry Hall, the Lightning Seeds basically own that song as their version was much more successful, but Terry doesn't seem to care because he retained ownership of the song and has the writing credit so he earns money whoever sings is. The people who write video games should have had the foresight to retain the ownership of their games and sign over publishing rights for a fixed period, but they didn't do that, so they won't get any money from Antstream. So if Antstream is doing the payment side correctly (meaning legally, nothing more), what are they doing wrong? Well.... For me, the very concept does not make any sense. What we have here is a service that streams data to your device, yet plays retrogames which are tiny. You''ll be using gigabytes of data to play Everyone's a Wally, a game that fits into 48k. It's crazy, why would they pay for all that bandwidth when they don't need to? And because you're streaming, you'll get lag. What Antstream appears to be doing is taking the most laggy way to deliver a video game, and combining this with the sort of games that are most susceptible to it. If you're playing Sudoku on your phone, a little lag doesn't really matter. But if you're trying to nail those precise Manic Miner jumps, you simply can't play it properly with even the slightest lag . As I've said before in this thread, I bought a DLP TV a few years ago and it had a 7 frame lag on it and it rendered any reaction based game unplayable. It's a weird thing too, because your brain doesn't make the connection at first. The game looks fine, it sounds fine, it's playing apparently fine, but you start to realise that you're really, really bad at this game you used to love. It's only when you discover there's this lag and it all makes sense. Until you notice it you find yourself running into holes, off the edges of platforms, straight into enemies. Someone fires a bullet at you, you react, but you don't realise it already hit to 7 frames ago and you're already dead and your reactions mean nothing. These streaming gaming services may do whatever they can to reduce the lag, but there are enough issues with lag already and whatever the streaming service comes up with is ADDITIONAL lag, over and above whatever your TV , your bluetooth controller etc is introducing. The very idea of launching a streaming service with arcade action retrogames is madness. And going back to that other point - what is the point of streaming games that are so tiny you could download them in a fraction of a second anyway..... UNLESS of course the plan is to expand on that infrastructure once it's in place. Because you see, they don't have to stream Everyone's a Wally for the 48K Spectrum. They can stream any game they can get the rights to. Suddenly, this system doesn't sound ludicrous after all. imagine, all the latest games on this system. Wow! Just imagine that! You could have the new Forza Turismo Defense Force X Plus Veronica Alpha Turbo on all your devices as part of your monthly subscription. That's a game changer, and you know, if Google hadn't just announced they are doing exactly the same thing, this would be a good plan for the future for the service. Sadly, Google have just announced there new streaming games service, and I'm sorry to say this (because I do think we should stick up for the little guys), the idea of trying to compete with Google when they have all those resources is madness. There's a good reason I'm no longer working on "Dumpster's Maps" for Android, because I've only taken photos of my street and it's proving too much work to stitch them together. The only positive outcome I can see for this is that the whole thing is designed to be bought by Google and I'd bet that's been the plan from the start. Create a streaming service, fill it with the IPs you can get for the least expense (Surely it's costing pennies to lease Everyone's a Wally?), get a few customers and flog it to Google. It worked for HungryHouse.
  14. Weird - seems that Nintendo doesn't allow you to copy certain save game files and Mario Kart is one of those. Sorry, not a clue what to do next.
  15. Yep - the sensor bar has virtually nothing to it. It's literally 5 infra red LEDs at each end. The wired versions take their power from the Wii with a very thin but five mile long cable. The wireless ones have a rechargeable battery that lasts ages. There's no difference in quality from one sensor bar to the other because all that's happening is the LEDs light up (invisible to human eye) and the Wii remote has an infra red camera in it that looks for the dots. All the work is done by the Wii remote, so all sensor bars are much of a muchness.

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