The Future of CaVE and the Full Unlock

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

[If reading this after 10/02/21, ignore this post. CaVE is back. Refer to this post instead.]

Ok. So here I am thinking about the options I have ahead of me to take with CaVE and my Switch related work in general. I just got done grinding away for a few months on a CaVE update, rich with containing features I've seen asked for countless times and cool new features to enable stuff Nintendo hasn't even done yet! I painstakingly rewrote half the code to support a new, smarter database setup that would prove better in the long run. This was big update that I was expecting to be well received!

And... *crickets*...

Yea. Just silence for the most part. Naturally, as this silence continued I begin to wonder "Why the hell am I even doing this stuff?". I don't own a Switch. The only thing I personally get out of these pursuits is what I learn about the sfrom format and Game Code (Preset ID) stuff. Developing the "Full Unlock"? That does nothing for me. CaVE? Nope. Though, it could be argued that in the long run CaVE might work into my personal goals/interests, just not right now. But really, the only reason I work on those is for other people. The "community". All I get out of it is their appreciation for my otherwise selfless work. Its simple, and requires minimal effort, but it feels nice, and its... enough.

So... what if I don't even get that? Then what's the point?

The answer is, there isn't one.

So how did I go wrong and not realize this stuff until now? Well, my conclusion is, I came into this from previously being in the SNES Classic community. That was actually a community. We had people who cared about things like compatibility, quality, custom skins, compiling box/screen art, etc. There was a lot of mutual give and take.

How are things different with the Switch? In short simple terms... Pirates. The people in this community are only about the "take". I guess I always knew that in the back of my mind, but it just never registered. I was too caught up in "getting things started off right" with this "VC" modding scene after realizing how terrible the previous VC injection scenes were before SNES Classic. So much stuff was left un-done, or half-assed to the point that I could come in with only crude ROM hacking skills, and basically zero reverse engineering skills... and make huge strides with what should have been done YEARS ago. I wanted to stop that from happening again, and let my work on the SNESC live on in whats next. This idea was doomed from the start however. I was only feeding people who felt entitled to the work I was giving them, not thankful. Giving thanks requires the act of "giving", and is not in a Pirates vocabulary. But taking and being unconcerned for the source that gives to the point of expecting that gift? Thats entitlement!

Perhaps I made some mistakes. Maybe I should have tried harder, and made a reddit community instead of a forum thread. Maybe I should have pushed harder, sooner for features in CaVE that would help promote community collaboration. Maybe I should have promoted and pushed the discord more. Maybe I should have spoken up more against the Pirate mentality I saw in the community, rather than just ignore it. I don't know...

So yea. I'm just going to look at the facts. Do people use my Switch projects? Yes. So that means they probably get enjoyment as a result from it. How many of those people express that enjoyment in the form of appreciation instead of entitlement? Just... a few. What do I get out of those projects? Nothing. I fulfill my interests enough with just the reverse engineering and cataloging my findings. What do I give for those projects? Time, effort, risk, and lack or progress on other projects.

So... should I keep going? No... I think its time to hang it up for my Switch projects. Thus, effective immediately... CaVE and the Full Unlock are canceled!

No, I won't open source my work, or provide people notes/help to continue it in my absence. I'm done giving. If this is where the Switch classic console stuff dies or begins to stagnate, so be it. You know who is to blame. I was... more than willing... for far to long. Heck, I still would be... if only things were different.

In the end, my main regret is only the Pirates I facilitated. People who stole my work, and/or directly benefited from it to make and use lame garbage mega packs. I absolutely, 100% did not and do not want the full unlock or CaVE to have ANYTHING to do with that crap. I made my work for people who have enough brain cells to manually create their own custom game rosters. For people who would give back to the community. Not just take.

Now. Is this truly the end? Is there any way to get these back?

There's a possibility. But its small. Its not for a lack of me being willing, its for the reason that... my expectations and hopes were already at the bare minimum. There's no room left for me to lower them. So since I cant budge, the "community" would have to. But seeing as posting something as simple as "Awesome! Thanks! This new update sounds great!" was to much to ask for before, I don't see them budging either. In fact, saying such things now would feel hollow and meaningless because it was effectively forced out of them. They would need to express something beyond that. And all I can think of seems like WAY to much to ask for.

I only have 2 ideas.

One, seek out and try to get removed ALL "mega packs". Those things existing are an insult to my work. They are disgusting things made solely to appeal to the worst people. Entitled people who not only don't support my work that enabled their enjoyment, but don't even know of the contributions I made.

Two, well. Donations. This is a bit much to expect of people I think of as Pirates, as it literally requires "giving back". And I'm uncomfortable bringing it up as I feel its something I should never ask for. But realistically speaking, it goes the furthest to help.

I don't own a Switch. Thus, I'm not personally invested in developing projects for it. They don't benefit me in any way to motivate me to continue working on them. I do my best to get by with the tools and support of people I have available, but in the end... without one I truly have no reason to go out of my way to maintain the projects.

Having a Switch would make a big difference though. It would make development and testing MUCH easier. And more importantly to the topic on hand, it would make me personally benefit from my work on the device, thus giving me reason to continue such work.

I don't own a Switch on my own, simply because I know how little I would use it for my enjoyment, and it just wouldn't be worth the investment for that. I'd never get my moneys worth out of it. The same reason I never got a WiiU or 3DS, and thus why all 3 are on my "lists". All 3 have projects I'm uniquely skilled and interested in to work on, but offer nothing else to be worth the investment.

So I opened up myself to take donations for funding those. As of yet, I've had $0 towards any one of those. So for just Switch specifically, I have along ways to go.

Again. I don't expect either of those to happen. The first is too far fetched and ultimately probably out of peoples reach, and the second, well, even a good community like the SNES Classic community never quite stepped up.

So unless some miracle happens, consider this "the end". Should I somehow or another get my hands on a Switch... then you might see these again, as I'd want to maintain them for myself and the few who do care. And if I'm putting in the work again, I may as well share them publicly as at this point I'll no longer care if people use/respond to them or not. But last I checked, at best I'm like 10% of the way there if I choose to use my general donations on it? That's a long way to go still.

SFROM Tool will of course continue. And I wont go as far as to purge Switch .sfrom support from it. There are things that fall into my personal interests, and documenting the formats is a big part of that.

Whats next? Well, I plan to continue my work on the classic .sfrom format, and currently I'm in the process of finishing up work on the PCM audio patching enough to finally be confident enough to both release a conversion tool, and to share my findings with emulation contributors to see the format fully supported in emulators besides Canoe.

And while my work on CaVE itself may be done, I suspect that I'll transfer much of what I learned developing it to a future project.

To those of the Switch "community", I guess this will be a "good bye!".

To others, well. You can still find me on Discord. I'll even keep the #switch-online #nintendo-vc-cc-nso channel open there for now. If your kind enough, I may even been willing to share what I have already made of my 2 now canceled projects with you. In the end, I just seek appreciation over leeching, and will thus respond to it.


Unknown said...

I wish I would've checked your page sooner, I hadn't checked for updates since last year. Sucks to hear you're no longer working on it, but thanks, I certainly enjoyed your older version, I got to put a couple of my favorite old snes games on my switch. Again, thanks for your work and good luck with your future projects.

Xzarian said...

This guy is clearly a narcissist. Do people go giving praise to the 7zip developers? No, they download and install and it's done. They don't shutdown their project crying a river that no one thanks them enough. Also, closing your source just shows how you give two shits about the community.

DarkAkuma said...

Normally I'd just delete your dumb comment, but its probably much better to leave it be for all to see.

I'm a narcissist because I spent my time creating projects purely for other people, no personal interest in them myself, and all I expected in return is basic minimum gratitude? Your mis-definition of the term is absurd.

I cant speak for the reasons behind devs making projects such as 7zip, but its safe to say its completely different in that they did so because they had a personal interest in its development. As in, they were probably interested in the crypto part of it or something that made them enjoy the work. My interest in the Switch stuff extended as far as the sfrom format only. The database management and unlock hack was of no personal interest to me, but took up a lot of time. I was fine spending that time in exchange for simple basic gratitude. I was not asking a lot in anyway. The bar was VERY low. Seriously, posts as short as "Awesome! Thanks!" have sufficed.

This entitled generation... spoiled by people creating open source projects to the point that they expect everyone to uphold the same ideals. Closed source projects have existed for as long as can be. They are the norm/default. You are not entitled to my work. Closed or open source does not matter to most users. Just lazy devs who want to build on the back of others work. I do closed source projects, simply because I enjoy working on projects and to me it defeats the purpose if others are contributing and taking away from the work I could do myself. I also like not having to concern myself with creating code that others can read. And finally, I see no point in helping others steal my ideas and work to pointlessly develop their own spin off projects. Saying I don't give a shit about the community because I do closed source project is the ultimate of stupidity. You don't need the source to use my projects, while in reality I prove how much I care about the community by giving FAR more than I take. But fyi, entitled pirates are not a community. I do not care about them.

You are an example of exactly why these projects ended up this way. You are a spoiled entitled idiot, lashing out because someone took away something you didn't deserve/earn as if you did. For you its all about "gimme gimme gimme", and at the first suggestion of having to give back something so freaking simple yourself... you act like I'm the problem and demanding the entire world.

If anyone else reads this and wonders who exactly caused this situation, its Xzarian and people like him. Most are so lazy that they wont even throw a hissy fit like him, but generally feel just as entitled. Thankfully there are those who arent and can support creators with minimal gratitude or encouragement. Sadly, the ratios of these people were skewed the wrong way in the NSO modding community thanks to pirate communities being dominant.