Author Topic: ColecoVision - Multiple Publishers  (Read 4652 times)

Offline Ikrananka

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ColecoVision - Multiple Publishers
« on: October 28, 2013, 05:20:43 PM »
I'm working on a major redump of all of the commercially released ColecoVision cartridges (i.e. 1982 to 1985) due to the fact that many of the dumps in the wild are bad dumps and are not marked as such.  I am also working to ensure that the new rom dumps follow the TOSEC Naming Convention and as such have a few questions that I hope you can help me with:

1.  Carts published in multiple countries: some game cartridges were published in multiple countries by companies with different names, e.g. Coleco (US), Coleco Canada (Canada), CBS Electronics (Europe).  If the rom files from all of these regions are identical, should the rom file name show all of the publishers or perhaps just the US publisher?  My concern is that if all publisher names are included then the file names could be very long indeed.

2.  Telegames: After the videogame crash of '84, Telegames bought the rights to republish many of the ColecoVision games, and indeed they did.  So, with some games that were released by the original publishers between 1982 and 1984, Telegames later (1986 to 2004) published their own rebranded cartridges of these games.  Where the Telegames published game contains the SAME rom as the original release, should the filename include just the original publishers name or both the original publisher and Telegames.

Thanks for your help.

« Last Edit: October 28, 2013, 05:30:14 PM by Ikrananka »



Offline Maddog

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Re: ColecoVision - Multiple Publishers
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2013, 08:34:44 PM »
1>Here's how I handled a similar issue in the 3DO set: Gridders (1994)(GoldStar - Tetragon)(KR-US)(en)[!]
Game was published by Goldstar in Korea and Tetragon in the US, contents of the discs are identical.
It was accepted by Cassiel, so I guess it's legit naming...

Don't really see the need to distinguish between Coleco and Coleco Canada, which I suppose was a subsidiary, both of them could be marked as "Coleco" IMHO. They are basically the same company.
So a decent naming might be (gamename)(year)(CBS - Coleco)(EU-US)

2>Similar reasoning: (gamename)(year)(Coleco - Telegames)(US)

These are only to be used after final proof that contents of carts are identical.

PS: good news on the redumping of Coleco carts :)

Offline Ikrananka

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Re: ColecoVision - Multiple Publishers
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2013, 09:25:12 PM »
Thanks Maddog.  The current TOSEC datfile for ColecoVision doesn't differentiate between multiple publishers, i.e. if it was published by Coleco in the US, Coleco Canada in Canada and CBS Electronics in Europe then the filename has simply been set to: "gamename (year)(Coleco)".  The country flag is not used at all in the current datfile.  So, I would like to improve on this as appropriate.

Although Coleco Canada was a subsidiary of Coleco (US), they actually published some games unique to them as well as some games slightly modified from the US release.  Therefore, I believe it is important to show in the title when a game is the same rom file in the US as well as Canada.  In fact it is a similar situation between the US and Europe with many rom files being identical but some having differences.  So, I think I really need to treat Coleco Canada the same as I would treat CBS Electronics.

Applying what you propose to one of the more complex multi-publisher examples where the rom files are all the same would yield something like this:

"Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco - Coleco Canada - CBS Electronics)(US-CA-EU)"

However, this game was also republished starting 1986 by Telegames in the US and the UK, but with the exact same rom file.  So, should the name be changed to:

"Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco - Coleco Canada - CBS Electronics - Telegames US - Telegames UK)(US-CA-EU-US-UK)" - but now the year is wrong for the Telegames releases.

Or should there be two separate rom files despite the fact that they will be identical other than their name:

1.  "Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco - Coleco Canada - CBS Electronics)(US-CA-EU)"
2.  "Antarctic Adventure (1986)(Telegames US - Telegames UK)(US-UK)"

Or should I combine then and have multiple years:

"Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco - Coleco Canada - CBS Electronics)(US-CA-EU) & (1986)(Telegames US - Telegames UK)(US-UK)"

Colour me confused!!!!

BTW - the dumping project, while being completed mainly by myself, is part of a wider effort with others sending me carts for dumping as well as a long-standing member of the ColecoVision and ADAM community sending me rom dumps to verify dumps and fill in gaps in the collection.  I hope to release the first version of the rom set next month (over at the AtariAge forums) but want endorsement from the guys running TOSEC to the updated datfile beforehand.

Offline Aral

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Re: ColecoVision - Multiple Publishers
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2013, 08:14:41 AM »
Hi Ikrananka that is great news.  As the current dat maintainer for Coleco i am very happy that someone is taking the time to redump all the carts.  What Maddog is saying is pretty correct but you may find that the telegames and the coleco dumps may have different crc's so it will make the task easier to rename them.

If the dumps are identical i would use the following

Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco - CBS Electronics)(US-EU) or even
Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco - CBS Electronics) as there is really no region with the carts

Once you have renamed them i will be able to put them into the next dat for you :)

Offline Ikrananka

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Re: ColecoVision - Multiple Publishers
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2013, 02:53:49 PM »
Hi Aral, great to be in contact with you :)

Thanks for your advice on the naming.  However, you don't mention what I should do with regard to the later re-releases by Telegames where the rom is identical to the original release.  My inference from your post is that you are suggesting that in this case I just ignore the Telegames aspect when naming the files (unless the rom is different of course).

Am I also correct in assuming that, when the rom is the same, that I should also not differentiate between "Coleco" (US) and Coleco Canada, i.e. just state "Coleco".

 If I have misinterpreted then please let me know.

Offline Maddog

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Re: ColecoVision - Multiple Publishers
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2013, 07:47:47 AM »
The "more info" flag might be useful in the Telegames case. This goes into [] at the end of the filename.
Ie something like Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco)(US-CA-EU)[re-release Telegames 1986]
Exact wording of the [more info] can be debated, this is just a suggestion I came up with in like 5 seconds. :)

BTW, if all released regions are the same CRC, skipping region info completely like Aral suggested might be a very good solution.
Instead of the ugly and kinda meaningless (US-CA-EU-US-UK), you have nothing in that flag, which implies the cart is the same worldwide.
OR if there's one known issue, eg game is different for CA and same for everywhere else, then you go like my example below, which again conveys all necessary info in less characters. :)
Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco)    (for the main release)
Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco)(CA)   (for the different country clone)

Adding roms with same checksum but different filename is not recommended at all.

Would also like to see some comment from Cassiel or other experienced rom renamers, since my expertise is basically at the ISO field.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2013, 07:55:38 AM by Maddog »

Offline Cassiel

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Re: ColecoVision - Multiple Publishers
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2013, 06:23:07 PM »
That is VERY impressive news.. well done you and everyone involved!

Quote
1>Here's how I handled a similar issue in the 3DO set: Gridders (1994)(GoldStar - Tetragon)(KR-US)(en)[!]
Game was published by Goldstar in Korea and Tetragon in the US, contents of the discs are identical.

Bang on, exactly right.

Quote
Don't really see the need to distinguish between Coleco and Coleco Canada, which I suppose was a subsidiary, both of them could be marked as "Coleco" IMHO. They are basically the same company.
So a decent naming might be (gamename)(year)(CBS - Coleco)(EU-US)

Correct

Quote
If the dumps are identical i would use the following

Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco - CBS Electronics)(US-EU) or even
Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco - CBS Electronics) as there is really no region with the carts

Exactly... if the ROM images are identical from different regions then 'Game (19xx)(Coleco - Telegames)'. If its a country specific release then 'Game (19xx)(Coleco - Telegames)(US)' or whatever other country.

Thanks for your advice on the naming.  However, you don't mention what I should do with regard to the later re-releases by Telegames where the rom is identical to the original release.  My inference from your post is that you are suggesting that in this case I just ignore the Telegames aspect when naming the files (unless the rom is different of course).

Am I also correct in assuming that, when the rom is the same, that I should also not differentiate between "Coleco" (US) and Coleco Canada, i.e. just state "Coleco".

If I have misinterpreted then please let me know.

'Game (19xx)(Coleco - Telegames)', and yes you are correct about just 'Coleco' and not country specific subsideries. Just have to use a bit of common sense with that one. No need for Telegames UK and Telegames US for example.

The "more info" flag might be useful in the Telegames case. This goes into [] at the end of the filename.
Ie something like Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco)(US-CA-EU)[re-release Telegames 1986]
Exact wording of the [more info] can be debated, this is just a suggestion I came up with in like 5 seconds. :)

Nah.... 'Game (19xx)(Coleco - Telegames)' I think is good enough, with the earliest published year being the 'year'.

BTW, if all released regions are the same CRC, skipping region info completely like Aral suggested might be a very good solution.
Instead of the ugly and kinda meaningless (US-CA-EU-US-UK), you have nothing in that flag, which implies the cart is the same worldwide.
OR if there's one known issue, eg game is different for CA and same for everywhere else, then you go like my example below, which again conveys all necessary info in less characters. :)
Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco)    (for the main release)
Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco)(CA)   (for the different country clone)

Exactly...

Adding roms with same checksum but different filename is not recommended at all.

Deff not.   :)


Offline Ikrananka

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Re: ColecoVision - Multiple Publishers
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2013, 07:25:11 PM »
Perfect - thanks Cassiel, Maddog and Aral.  I now understand and have a way forward :)

Aral, I'll be in touch during November with regard to the formal update to the ColecoVision TOSEC dat files.

Offline Maddog

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Re: ColecoVision - Multiple Publishers
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2013, 09:13:58 PM »
Looking forward to it, Colecovision was a great system back in the early 80s!  :)

Offline Ikrananka

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Re: ColecoVision - Multiple Publishers
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2013, 09:42:16 PM »
Looking forward to it, Colecovision was a great system back in the early 80s!  :)

It still is a great system :)

Offline Cassiel

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Re: ColecoVision - Multiple Publishers
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2013, 10:03:26 AM »
Looking forward to it, Colecovision was a great system back in the early 80s!  :)

It still is a great system :)


Hahhaha... touché.

Offline PandMonium

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Re: ColecoVision - Multiple Publishers
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2013, 04:52:59 PM »
Great news indeed! Anything more you might need just ask. I'm finally back from my conferences/trips so will be around more frequently now :)

Offline Ikrananka

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Re: ColecoVision - Multiple Publishers
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2013, 06:03:04 PM »
So, getting closer to completing this project.  I now have a full set of newly dumped roms including many of the variants.  A project collaborator will be sending me some of the other possible variants to fill in some of the possible gaps.

I am currently checking my naming of files against the comments in this post and in particular the summary by Cassiel.  I do have a couple of additional questions/comments as follows:

Quote
1>Here's how I handled a similar issue in the 3DO set: Gridders (1994)(GoldStar - Tetragon)(KR-US)(en)[!]
Game was published by Goldstar in Korea and Tetragon in the US, contents of the discs are identical.

Bang on, exactly right.

Quote
Don't really see the need to distinguish between Coleco and Coleco Canada, which I suppose was a subsidiary, both of them could be marked as "Coleco" IMHO. They are basically the same company.
So a decent naming might be (gamename)(year)(CBS - Coleco)(EU-US)

Correct

Quote
If the dumps are identical i would use the following

Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco - CBS Electronics)(US-EU) or even
Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco - CBS Electronics) as there is really no region with the carts

Exactly... if the ROM images are identical from different regions then 'Game (19xx)(Coleco - Telegames)'. If its a country specific release then 'Game (19xx)(Coleco - Telegames)(US)' or whatever other country.

I am assuming that in the case of multiple publishers and regions, that the order of the listed publishers should match the order of the listed regions.  In the TOSEC naming conventions document it states that the regions should be listed in alphabetical order.  So does this mean that:

Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco - CBS Electronics)(US-EU)

should become:

Antarctic Adventure (1984)(CBS Electronics - Coleco)(EU-US)   ???


My most complex example would be as follows:

Pitstop (1983)(Epyx - Coleco Canada - CBS Electronics)(US-CA-EU)

Changing to:

Pitstop (1983)(Coleco Canada - CBS Electronics - Epyx)(CA-EU-US)


Thanks for your advice on the naming.  However, you don't mention what I should do with regard to the later re-releases by Telegames where the rom is identical to the original release.  My inference from your post is that you are suggesting that in this case I just ignore the Telegames aspect when naming the files (unless the rom is different of course).

Am I also correct in assuming that, when the rom is the same, that I should also not differentiate between "Coleco" (US) and Coleco Canada, i.e. just state "Coleco".

If I have misinterpreted then please let me know.

'Game (19xx)(Coleco - Telegames)', and yes you are correct about just 'Coleco' and not country specific subsideries. Just have to use a bit of common sense with that one. No need for Telegames UK and Telegames US for example.

The "more info" flag might be useful in the Telegames case. This goes into [] at the end of the filename.
Ie something like Antarctic Adventure (1984)(Coleco)(US-CA-EU)[re-release Telegames 1986]
Exact wording of the [more info] can be debated, this is just a suggestion I came up with in like 5 seconds. :)

Nah.... 'Game (19xx)(Coleco - Telegames)' I think is good enough, with the earliest published year being the 'year'.


I have decided that where Telegames re-released a game a number of years later, and it is the same rom as the original release, to not even mention Telegames in the name.  I think that this lends itself to a neater "common sense" solution.  Please let me know if you disagree.

Telegames were the sole publisher for some games and in those cases Telegames will be listed as the publisher in the name with the appropriate year of release.

Offline Cassiel

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Re: ColecoVision - Multiple Publishers
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2014, 03:08:02 PM »
So, getting closer to completing this project.  I now have a full set of newly dumped roms including many of the variants.  A project collaborator will be sending me some of the other possible variants to fill in some of the possible gaps.

Exciting stuff! Great to see you sticking with it.


I am assuming that in the case of multiple publishers and regions, that the order of the listed publishers should match the order of the listed regions.  In the TOSEC naming conventions document it states that the regions should be listed in alphabetical order.  So does this mean that:

Yes, alphabetical order please.


I have decided that where Telegames re-released a game a number of years later, and it is the same rom as the original release, to not even mention Telegames in the name.  I think that this lends itself to a neater "common sense" solution.  Please let me know if you disagree.

Telegames were the sole publisher for some games and in those cases Telegames will be listed as the publisher in the name with the appropriate year of release.

That's fine.... there's no 'hard and fast' rules with this one, that seems like a sensible compromise.

Offline nhieuquadi

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Re: ColecoVision - Multiple Publishers
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2014, 09:44:38 AM »
Hi.
Great to be in contact with you Thanks for your advice about the naming. However, you do not mention what I should do related to later re-released by Telegames rom which is identical to the original version. My inference from your post is that you are in this case I just ignore aspects Telegames when naming files (unless the rom is different of course). I also correct in assuming that, when the rom is the same, but I also do not distinguish between "Coleco" (U.S.) and Canada Coleco, ie simply state "Coleco". If I have misunderstood, then please let me know.