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"Unofficial" Games?
#1
Hey everyone! I'm not sure how much visibility this is going to get since the forums aren't quite what they used to be but it's still worth approaching this from as many angles as possible. There has been ongoing discussion amongst the staff regarding whether or not "unofficial" games should have a place on the site. This has turned out to be a much more complex topic than we realized as we acknowledge that there are always exceptions to every rule but we're trying to come up with a set of general guidelines to apply before opinion comes into play. For reference, what I'm referring to by "unofficial" at the moment contains fan games, ROM hacks, and bootlegs but I'm happy to expand this definition if anyone can think of anything I missed there.

So, with all of that said, how do you feel about "unofficial" games and their place on the site? I'll leave my personal opinions out of this for the time being but I'd love to hear the community's thoughts on the matter. Also, remember that we will always take the time to review notable exceptions regardless of what policies or guidelines may come from this discussion.

As one quick aside before posting this though, I do want feedback on one specific idea I had. Right now, "unofficial" titles are thrown into their respective consoles. What are your thoughts about breaking them out into their own category? I figure this would help keep the actual consoles clean and organized as well as let those of you that don't care for things like ROM hacks to ignore them completely but I'm open to suggestions here as well.
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#2
To me, unofficial games are really three different things all lumped together; Fangames, Hacks, and Homebrews. Because of that, it makes it difficult to decide what the cutoff is for archival. In my opinion, the following should be taken into consideration;

1. Physical release. The NES in particular has several games that aren't official, but had cartridge releases, including Wally Bear, Bible Adventures, etc. There is also the Aladdin add-on that had its own series of physical games. While they're not officially endorsed by Nintendo, they are still included as part of the NES "canon" by several online sources. I think these have a place on TSR.

2. Notability. Some ROM hacks or Fan Games are notable to the internet at large. These include games like Kart Fighter, Somari, or the Earthbound Halloween Hack. I don't want to use the term "culturally significant," but I think they're well known and important enough to be archived.

What is "notable" is a sticking point. There is no hard definition for this and would probably have to be a game-by-game basis. If Vinesauce makes a game popular, does that automatically mean it needs to be on TSR? On the other hand, does a simple graphical hack of any old NES game deserve to be archived? That seems like a really low-effort way to get trash on the site.

There are also many foreign bootleg games that could be popular in other regions, but are basically unknown in US/PAL territories. This possibility also makes the physical release idea a bit more difficult since a LOT of bootlegs are given physical releases in China, but not necessarily in the west.

So yeah. I think it should mostly be a case-by-case basis, but notoriety counts for something, and simple graphical hacks like Rabbit King (NES), or Teletubbies (NES), or the Pony Hacks (SNES) probably don't need to be on TSR.
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Ton's most wanted rips: Time Splitters 2 Models (Gamecube/PS2), Radiant Historia Characters (DS), Final Fantasy 4 Models (DS),  Final Fantasy 7 models (Playstation/PC), Bravely Default/Second Models (3DS), Clay Fighter 2 fighters (SNES)
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#3
It really is case-by-case
If a bootleg game is an unofficial port of let's say Boogerman for the NES, I would say it's fine to add there because it's a whole game that was converted to the NES. I also agree with Ton that simple romhacks like "Teletubbies" or that Adventures in the Magic Kingdom hack where you play as Sora from Kingdom Hearts aren't really notable because it's only 1 or 2 things changed, and they aren't that good to begin with. Hacks with a large amount of things changed like "Mushroom" can be exceptional depending on what they look like.

As far as like fangames are concerned, it really just boils down to how notable they are and how good the custom spritework is. Abobo's Big Adventure, MegaMan 8 Bit Deathmatch, Mario: The Music Box, and Mushroom Kingdom Fusion are fangames that have some amazing custom spritework done in them. However most fan games on the PC are usually not worth ripping and posting on the site, such as "Mario Fart" (which is a real game by the way) or something like Super Chick Sisters.
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Thanked by: Ton
#4
I think your definition works well. All original assets that fall under that could be archived in their own section perhaps? e.g. Unofficial -> Super Mario 64 -> Walugi's Taco Stand. Not sure how you would be able to tell, but if possible the creator of a hack or whatnot should be unable to submit their own creation.
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#5
This is just a random thought, but shouldn't Flash games get their own console since they technically count as "unofficial"
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Thanked by: Ton
#6
(08-13-2019, 09:08 PM)You Gotta be Joshing me Wrote: This is just a random thought, but shouldn't Flash games get their own console since they technically count as "unofficial"

Flash games run on Computer. They are a component of PC, and several websites like Newgrounds release their own flash games. They’re an official company, and nor was a specific “flash” console released as far as I’m aware of.
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#7
The Leapfrog Leapster used a version of Flash MX 2004:

https://web.archive.org/web/201202190321...&loc=en_us

So theoretically, you could take any old Flash game/movie that was made using the said version of Flash (or before that if possible) and port it to work with the Flash player that the Leapster uses
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