What is THE RETROVERSE?
For three years, we've watched users create amazing projects with NESmaker. These games and demos have far exceeded what we would've thought possible, and we are humbled by the continued awesomeness of our users, both in terms of what you are creating and in terms of the pride you've demonstrated to be part of such an awesome community.
There has been a missing component for which we have been trying to orchestrate a solution for years. Currently, there is no central repository for your games. Despite being such a passionate, close knit group, there is no single place to share your projects or expose them to the world. So, we have created The Retroverse, an online arcade for showing off your games. What exists now is a working proof of concept, still in Beta.
We want the Retroverse to serve many needs:
FOR CREATORS, THE HOME FOR NESMAKER GAMES: First and foremost, we want it to be a repository of all NESmaker games - this is a single place where all of the hard work you've done and all of the cool things you've created can live. Whether or not you wish to expose those things to the world is your prerogative, but in the interest of preserving everything that is created and playable, we want it to live in one place.
FOR PLAYERS, THE PLACE TO FIND NEW NES GAMES: Second, we want The Retroverse to be a place where retro game lovers can find new experiences that are tailored to their tastes. Games are organized and searchable with more features planned. The hope is that retro game lovers will be able to come here, try out demos, and find new games that they are passionate about. Your games.
A PLATFORM FOR PUBLISHING: Third, eventually, we want this to be a place where users can monetize their projects. Often, NESmaker developers are turning to Kickstarter to produce a run of physical cartridges, or to itch.io to sell digital versions. Here on the Retroverse site, users are able to upload two versions of their game; a demo and a full version. Users can play the demo and if they like it, unlock the full version. And once the world has returned to normalcy and the parts shortage has abated a bit, we will be able to fulfill orders for these Retroverse games on demand if the creator chooses. To be very clear, using The Retroverse as a marketplace for uploaded games is entirely optional, non-exclusive, and the rights remain completely with the creator. The reason we are making this possible is so that there is a single place to find NESmaker games. We already stock cartridges in bulk, and already have (pandemic chaos notwithstanding) a paradigm in place to deliver games. So for those that want us to help them with distribution and fulfillment, eventually the Retroverse will be capable of handling that desire.
With the systems we already have in place, we can help game creators reach players, and players find more games. Whether you are just cranking out fun projects, trying to create commercial games, trying to be an active part of the community, or just looking for a good online repository to store your projects and assets, we hope everyone gets actively inovled.
How Do I Use The Retroverse (as a creator)
Step 1: Create an account.
Go to www.TheRetroverse.com and click on SingUp in the top right corner. Here, you'll be able to enter a user name, an email, and create a login password. If you plan to upload games, make sure to use the same email that is associated with your NESmaker license.
In order to upload games, you'll need to have a Creator account. To do that, tick the box that says Creator Access, enter your NESmaker license code, and your license password. If you've forgotten these things, don't forget that you can manage your license and activations through the portal, which you can find on the CONTACT page on The New 8-bit Heroes site.
**NOTE** - if your NESmaker password has special characters, we have noticed a glitch where it will will kick back and not successfully register. We are hard at work on this, but in the meantime, you can change your password through the portal on the CONTACT page to something without special characters for the time being and that should help you get through!
When successfully logged on as a Creator, more options will be available to you in the top menu.
Step 2: Upload A Game
Now that you're logged in as a creator, you will see "GAMES" at the top of the page. This is where you will be able to upload current projects. There are a lot of options for creators, such as privacy settings to control who can view this game's page, a credits section, external links to point users to a game's official site, and selling options (note: all selling options are currently disabled. You are allowed and encouraged to use the external link to point users to your own purchase options).
Please know, too, that some of these interfaces are in BETA, and may behave strangely on certain browsers. Below, see a list of each field to understand what should go into each, and to better understand all the options currently available to you.
**NOTE** It is recommended for now to only fill out the necessary fields - the ones marked with an asterisk. We are working through some issues on the upload side of things and trying to isolate problems. What seems to work beset is to just fill out necessary fields, using NO special characters, and then upload. The game should then appear in your uploaded games, where you can edit if you need.
In the details section, you will provide general information about your game.
GAME NAME: Here, enter the actual title for your game.
Developer Name: Here, please enter the developer or studio name you wish to be associated with this game. Feel free to use any nickname or moniker you may want to use here. This will be displayed on the game's page.
Developer Email: This will not be exposed to players, and is for internal reference only should we need to contact you about your game for any reason. It is advised to use your NESmaker email here.
Full ROM: Here, you will be able to upload your FULL ROM. If you only have a demo, it is advised to leave the FULL ROM field blank. You can always edit your project later when the FULL ROM is full. Important to understand, under ordinary use, a user will not have access to your FULL ROM, only the demo, unless they have purchased the game digitally or you have authorized use for players to have free access to the FULL ROM. By default, they will have access to the DEMO rom.
Demo ROM: Here, you will upload your DEMO ROM. It is a mandatory upload for a user to include a DEMO ROM. We encourage everyone to have a demo version of their game, even if they have a finished game and intend to make it freely available. What constitutes a demo is up to the creator. It could be missing features, have a special demo start screen, have truncated levels with NPC dialog informing users that there is more to come, or whatever else may be appropriate.
Game Manual: (SKIP FOR NOW - large files may cause game not to upload) Optionally, feel free to upload a PDF or text file for a game manual. For now, the user will not have access to this, but eventually, we will integrate this into the experience.
Description: Consider this the back of the box description for your game. Let the player know what they're in for. Entice them. Excite them with your whimsical prose.
Genre: Choose the most accurate genre for your game. Know that players may be suggested your game based on a genre preference, so what you choose here may determine in what searches your game appears. If in doubt, "other" is always an option.
Tags: For now, don't worry about tags. Tags are meant to be back end identifiers.
External Link: If you have an external link to your game or studio or Etsy page or YouTube channel, you can provide the external link here and it will show up on the game page. (Make sure to begin your link with http:// or https://)
Gameplay Video Link: I recommend everyone provide a gameplay video link (youtube/vimeo). Currently, this is not viewable from the game page, though we are working on integrating it. Having a gameplay video link loaded here will mean that when this update is completed, the content will fill in automatically. Otherwise, it will simply be blank when that update is finished.
Credits: Here, you can add roles and credits to your project. It is advisable to use real names and not internet handles or monikers for this, and to include anyone who may claim to have worked on any part of the uploaded content. While it is unnecessary, if anyone plans to credit The New 8-bit Heroes for work on their engine, you can use Joe Granato IV / Engine Programming.
In the artwork section, you will upload associated artwork. Keep in mind that many of the below items are optional (look for the asterisk for mandatory fields), and the needs may change in the future as we integrate more advanced features. (In some instances, you may have to click the name of the artwork to bring up the uploader rather than the art box)
Game Promo Image: This is the image that will be associate with your game in the library. While we will eventually include higher res images, right now 256x256 thumbnails will be used. Larger images will be resized.
Game Cover Art: This is a place to include box cover artwork. It currently will not be displayed and is for archival only.
Screenshots 1-3: Here, you can upload three screenshots for your game. They will be resized to roughly 256x256, so the standard pixel proportions of a NES screen. Screenshots taken from most emulators should work fine for this.
Privacy Settings: You can decide the level of privacy your content has, similar to the way some video sites handle privacy. You can change this at any time. The three levels are:
PRIVATE - only you and administrators on the site will be able to view your games page. It will not show up in any searches and the game page link will be inaccessible to the public. This is great for parking a project before it is ready for launch, of if you plan to just use the website for archival purposes of your projects.
UNLISTED - this will not show up in any searches, however you can still share the link and allow those that you invite to see your game page.
PUBLIC - this will show up in searches and your game page wil be publicly accessible.
Here, you will be able to determine how users of The Retroverse interact with your content. All purchasing fields are currently disabled. They are mostly functional under the hood, however at this time, we are not making this option available.
Cartridge Available: (currently inactive) This field gives permission to The New 8-bit Heroes to fulfill physical orders of cartridges for this title. Please review the terms to sell physical copies before clicking this box.
Sell Digital Version: (currently inactive) This allows the full version of the game to be unlocked by a user through purchase. When purchased, the game's page will display the full version rather than the demo, and if selected by the creator, downloads will be available.
Free Full Version: This overrides the demo version so that the full version of the game always plays.
Pro Access: (currently inactive) Pro level accounts are not active yet, but when they are they will come with perks. Checking this box allows creators to support The New 8-bit Heroes and The Retroverse by making their full games available to pro users. There will also be other incentives for creators who choose this option.
Allow ROM Download: By clicking this, creators allow users who have purchased full games to download the game pack, including artwork and ROM. Leaving it blank does not give users access to the raw files, only making the game available digitally.