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    Net Yaroze FAQ by Sony

    Version: 1.1 | Updated: 02/07/97 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    From: swolff@pond.net (Steve Wolff)
    Newsgroups: rec.games.video.sony
    Subject: Don't say I didn't Contribute
    Date: Fri, 07 Feb 1997 23:31:54 -0700
                       Net Yaroze FAQ
                       V 1.1 (970207)
                   (Last Update: 970117)
    (c)1997 Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA)
    Compiled by: Bill Rehbock, John Phua, Don Thomas,
                 Brian Dawson, Greg LaBrec, Mike Fulton,
                 Peter Alau, Sarah Lodge and Molly Smith.
    Information herein applies to North America only. Any
    tradenames used within this document are trademarks or
    registered trademarks of their owning companies.
          How do I register my interest in Net Yaroze?
                         (U.S. and Canada only)
                         (All of Europe and Australia
                          including France, Germany, Norway,
                          Switzerland and U.K.)
                  I. HOW, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE
    Q. What does Net Yaroze mean? How is it pronounced?
    A. YAROZE (yarozei), or phonetically (ya row zey) vb. means
       "let's do it together" or "let's work together" in
       Japanese. The term embraces the Net Yaroze concept of
       getting members to work together and share their work to
       reach meaningful objectives in what they do.
    Q. When will Net Yaroze be available in the U.S. and Canada?
    A. Net Yaroze is currently targeted for release within the
       U.S. and Canada by late March 1997. It is possible this
       may change. Interested persons should make certain they
       register their interest so that they are automatically
       updated when news becomes available.
    Q. Is Net Yaroze planned for Mexico?
    A. We want to support and service programmers in Mexico,
       however, plans to do so are not in place at this time.
    Q. Can I license the U.S. version of Net Yaroze to be
       shipped outside of the U.S. or Canada?
    A. Sony Computer Entertainment America will not accept
       international transactions. Interested persons outside of
       North America will be referred to other Sony facilities
       for support if they exist for that region. See the answer
       to the most popular question of all at the top of this
    Q. What is the difference between Net Yaroze and a
       professional developers' program?
    A. SCEA's professional developers' program is much more
       intensive. The commercial package includes a more
       detailed level of hardware/software tools, hardware with
       greater RAM capacity, an in-depth array of on-site
       assistance and on-call technical help.
    Q. Why?
    A. The professional PlayStation development system includes
       additional hardware and software tools; more in-depth
       library api; a full developer support program which
       includes on-site assistance and on-call technical help.
       The Net Yaroze PlayStation development system provides a
       simple and easily understood development environment by
       providing a subset of the libraries and tools of the
       professional development system.
    Q. How will the Net Yaroze system differ from the Japanese
    A. All the basic elements provided in the Net Yaroze program
       are universal with the exception of translated text
       within support materials and the Internet address where
       members go for support.
    Q. So, U.S. Japanese and European users will not be able to
       trade tips and games.
    A. SCEA will be devising ways for information to cross-
       pollinate between support sites. Until that happens
       automatically, SCEA will help transport files between
       systems to benefit all members.
    Q. Hardware-wise, how is the Net Yaroze unit different from
       the North American PlayStation which is sold in stores?
    A. The retail (gray) North American PlayStation hardware
       unit can only play commercially developed PlayStation
       game titles from licensed PlayStation developers and
       publishers. The Yaroze hardware offers no territorial
       lock-out, which means that that it can play both PAL
       (Europe) and NTSC (Japan, U.S.) PlayStation discs.
       However, the user will need a multi-format TV to play all
       of these properly.
    Q. Won't Net Yaroze have either an S-Video or an A/V
       out? If so, won't that straight video be correctly
       interpreted by the TV no matter what format it is in?
    A. S-Video, Composite, etc. are all different ways to
       deliver the same signal, regardless of whether it is NTSC
       or PAL. The Net Yaroze system detects whether the
       software is intended for NTSC or PAL and outputs the
       appropriate signal. You will need a monitor which is also
       capable of handling either signal if you wish to use
       software for both formats.
    Q. Will Net Yaroze be available in stores?
    A. Net Yaroze is an extension of the services provided by
       SCEA's Research & Development department. In many ways,
       Net Yaroze members become a part of SCEA's R&D
       activities. This unique relationship with Sony on a
       developer level will not be available from any
       independent retailer to insure members get support direct
       from SCEA and no where else. In short, Net Yaroze is not
       a mass market product and will not be available from
    Q. Where can I get support while a member of Net Yaroze?
    A. Net Yaroze integrates a World Wide Web Site with support
       areas, file download areas, message areas and more. No
       live telephone support is available as part of the Net
       Yaroze program. Access to the Web Site is limited to one
       year and renewable for a modest fee.
    Q. What kind of fee?
    A. That information has not been determined and is
    Q. How long will Net Yaroze be offered? Is this a limited
       time offer?
    A. SCEA is committed to offer the Net Yaroze system for as
       long as there is there is demand for it. Based on initial
       feedback, we expect that may very well be for a very
       long time.
    Q. I have a Web Site or I am a magazine writer and want to
       interview someone about Net Yaroze. Who should I contact?
    A. Contact Molly Smith by e-mail at:
       Note, this address is for the press only. Non-press
       inquiries will not receive replies.
    Q. May I post this FAQ file on my web site?
    A. This document may be redistributed in whole in any
       environment that is supportive of Net Yaroze and Sony
       Computer Entertainment America.
                  II. COST, PAYMENTS, CONDITIONS
    Q. How much does Net Yaroze cost?
    A. Net Yaroze will be available for $750 in North America
       plus applicable taxes and shipping. Other costs may be
       associated to using Net Yaroze if the developer does not
       have other tools that may be required such as a personal
       computer or, perhaps, a more robust C compiler than the
       one provided.
    Q. Can I save any money if I already own a PlayStation?
    A. The Net Yaroze black PlayStation is different from those
       sold in stores. It is not interchangeable for
       development purposes.
    Q. Can I purchase more than one Net Yaroze PlayStation?
    A. The unique PlayStation designed for the Net Yaroze
       program is not for sale as a typical consumer product.
       Although the special PlayStation is sold to the
       purchaser, some components of the system are licensed for
       use and not sold. SCEA cannot offer these components
       separately accept as advised by SCEA if any component is
       ever in need of repair.
       It is perfectly acceptable for one individual to obtain
       more than one for unique applications, however each one
       must be registered separately and all terms and fees
       remain the same for each.
    Q. Can I purchase the Net Yaroze PlayStation for resale?
    A. Net Yaroze is a developers network available and serviced
       directly by Sony Computer Entertainment America. It will
       not be licensed to any party for the purpose of resale.
    Q. So, I can only sign-up for Net Yaroze from Sony Computer
       Entertainment America?
    A. Within the United States and Canada, yes. Members will
       demand and expect support tools which can only be made
       available under license directly from SCEA.
    Q. Why does Net Yaroze cost as much as it does?
    A. Net Yaroze is an economical version of professional
       packages which are licensed for many, many thousands of
       dollars. Net Yaroze includes all the essential elements
       of a comprehensive development package plus support tools
       have been streamlined to bring the price down to a level
       that dedicated enthusiasts and aspiring developers can
       afford. Net Yaroze is not a toy. It should be considered
       only by those people wishing to seriously engage in
       software development projects.
    Q. Will SCEA accept planned payments?
    A. Sony Computer Entertainment America will only ship
       Net Yaroze products when paid in full. SCEA will not have
       a financing program available.
    Q. What forms of payment will SCEA accept?
    A. It is anticipated that American Express, Discover, Visa
       and MasterCard may be used to pay the required licensing
       fees. Of course, money orders and cashier checks are
       always welcome.
    Q. Is Net Yaroze refundable if I don't like it?
    A. Net Yaroze is not a mass market consumer item and will
       not be available on any trial basis. SCEA will stand
       behind every unit from a manufacturing point of view,
       honoring any warranty (90 days) issue that may arise. On
       the other hand, Net Yaroze is a license. The black
       PlayStation is just one small part of the entire
       agreement to share information. It is not refundable and
       members are held accountable for their agreement to
       protect proprietary information shared with them. Those
       interested in Net Yaroze should consider their investment
       carefully in advance.
                  III. TECHNICAL
    Q. What else is required to develop software using
       Net Yaroze?
    A. A 486 DX2 66MHz IBM-compatible personal computer with one
       or more serial ports, 28.8 bps speed modem, an Internet
       connection, 2X CD-ROM, 10MB of hard disk space, 4MB of
       RAM, mouse and an SVGA monitor is minimally required for
       Net Yaroze. In addition, members will need to be familiar
       with the operation of such a computer as well as a basic
       background using the C programming language and the
       ability to access the Internet and the World Wide Web.
       SCEA does not offer any training for using a computer or
       the use of the programming language.
    Q. Why 66MHz? How about on slower systems?
    A. We recommend a minimum of 66MHz for optimum performance.
       Choosing any configuration other than the minimums
       recommended are at the developer's risk.
    Q. Can I use the Yaroze system on my Macintosh?
    A. Yes. The Net Yaroze system can run on an Apple Macintosh
       with the aid of a complete development environment called
       CodeWarrior designed by Metrowerks Corporation. They also
       provide the same software development environment for
       Windows 95/NT. More information will become available
    Q. Are the Net Yaroze tools DOS-based or Windows-based.
    A. Two utility programs supplied with the system are
       Windows-based. Otherwise, the entire system is DOS-based.
    Q. Can I use international CDs on a Net Yaroze PlayStation?
    A. One of the "special" features of the black Net Yaroze
       PlayStation is its ability to play software distributed
       anywhere in the world.
    Q. Can anyone with a PlayStation play the games I write?
    A. Net Yaroze applications are only capable of being
       executed by other Net Yaroze members who have a black
       developers' PlayStation; however, the use of Net Yaroze
       applications will be strictly subject to the terms of a
       license agreement. Net Yaroze developer's applications
       are shared only on the Net Yaroze Web Site.
    Q. How long does it take for a competent person to learn "C"
       as a programming language?
    A. That's very similar to asking how long it may take to
       learn to speak French (unless you already know it). It
       depends on your background, how good you want to be, how
       much time per day you allocate to the learning process
       and what learning skills you have. Please do not purchase
       Net Yaroze to learn C. You can learn the same C on a PC
       then consider applying your skills to dedicated platforms
       at a later time. There are no components of the
       Net Yaroze package to teach the use of C.
    Q. Do you recommend any specific books, links or resources
       for learning how to program in C?
    A. No. Learning how to program requires a lot of effort.
       Many people have learned on their own and many others
       find they need to sign up for formal courses in school.
       SCEA will not attempt to evaluate individuals and their
       abilities to learn programming skills. We highly
       recommend that individuals do not join Net Yaroze unless
       they are already comfortable with the basics in C
       programming and computer use.
    Q. Why is "C" the development language on Net Yaroze instead
       of ?C++??
    A. C++ may be used, however, C is usually more efficient in
       a game programming environment where active programming
       space may be an important issue.
    Q. Why doesn?t Net Yaroze pack-in Borland?s or Microsoft?s
    A. For a number of reasons. Net Yaroze members are expected
       to come to us with a great variety of skills and
       experience. Many of them will already own a comprehensive
       C++ package. Those individuals would certainly not wish
       to pay more than they have to for Net Yaroze in order to
       purchase the development language again or to purchase
       another one when they have one they are pleased with
       already. In many cases, professional programmers prefer
       not to use versions C++ for platform game development to
       help optimize memory configurations.
       Those who desire an alternative programming language may
       consider one on an optional basis and at their leisure.
    Q. Is it true that the code for each Net Yaroze program
       developed cannot be greater than 3.5 MB?
    A. Primary RAM in Net Yaroze is 2 megabyte PLUS there are
       secondary RAM locations that grant programmers up to
       3.5 megabyte of working space. Game code, graphics,
       audio samples and run-time libraries are limited to
       3.5 megabyte because Net Yaroze drivers must be
       installed. There are many commercial PlayStation titles
       that are entirely RAM-resident and could have been
       developed with Net Yaroze while using the CD strictly to
       spool Red Book audio (i.e. Ridge Racer by Namco).
       Creative developers apply compression and run-time
       techniques that accomplish virtually anything they strive
       for. Again, Net Yaroze can be used as a professional
       tool, but it is not intended to be as robust as much more
       expensive machines.
    Q. How can Net Yaroze programs be made to run on a normal
       (gray) PlayStation?
    A. Net Yaroze participants can share their work with other
       Net Yaroze members throughout the world by posting that
       work on SCEA's designated server, Web Site or any other
       location authorized by SCEA. The standard consumer
       PlayStation is not designed to run Net Yaroze titles
       directly. All commercially available PlayStation
       titles are developed by "licensed developers" and
       published by "licensed publishers" using a specialized
       professional PlayStation development environment. Of
       course, Net Yaroze members can eventually apply to become
       a fully licensed commercial developer at any time.
    Q. What kind of software can I develop using the Net Yaroze
       development system?
    A. Anything! There are virtually no rules. It may be
       something popularly asked for or not have anything to do
       with a game as defined by today's marketplace. SCEA does
       reserve the right to remove samples from the Net Yaroze
       Web Site that is offensive or illegal.
    Q. Can I design full-working engines not originally provided
       with Net Yaroze, or am I limited to use the engines
       provided when I join?
    A. Net Yaroze members are encouraged to design and share
       their work with other Net Yaroze members including
       engines, graphics, simple/complex routines, programming
       structures, etc.
    Q. What kind of software can I develop that is most likely
       to be published commercially?
    A. This is hard to answer. On one hand, there seem to
       be enough baseball games already. On the other hand
       someone will create a new baseball game like none other
       before. Successful games seem to be those that offer a
       high degree of immersion and virtual world interaction.
       Sports games need to be fast and lifelike. Fantasy and
       arcade games need to be visually stunning and full of
       surprises. Some developers start with a remake of an old
       favorite and hope they can acquire a license later or
       change it enough to be different such as Doom II or Duke
       Nuke 'em. Other developers begin with a premise that some
       completely new idea is marketable such as Tetris, Klax or
    Q. Is the link cable supported in hardware and software?
    A. There are two links that may be referred to by this
       question. There is the serial link to the PC for the
       Net Yaroze package and there is the game link cable
       intended for head-to-head gaming between two different
       PlayStations. In either case, the same PlayStation port
       is used and Net Yaroze does not include library functions
       to directly address either link.
    Q. Can I develop a networked application with the Yaroze?
    A. Creative and experienced developers will accomplish many
       things using Net Yaroze tools. Many things are possible.
       That's what makes a talented developer valuable. The
       system does not provide library calls for this function.
    Q. Are there any restrictions on developing applications
       that are not games?
    A. We hope the Net Yaroze program will allow a lot of
       freedom in creativity in regard to what content will be
       created. SCEA does not place restrictions on Net Yaroze
       members as to what kind of applications to develop.
    Q. Does Net Yaroze interface with any memory cards?
    A. The Net Yaroze package includes the tools needed to
       interface with PlayStation compatible Memory Cards which
       are used in the slots above the controller ports just as
       they are on the commercial versions of the game system.
    Q. Can we access the CD to play audio and/or video?
    A. During the boot-up of Net Yaroze, a special CD is
       required on the PlayStation that contains information for
       the system. After boot-up, the PlayStation may be used
       to play Red Book audio from a standard audio CD.
       It may be possible to access files on the PC, however, it
       would be up to the developer to devise such protocols if
       such functions are desired.
                  IV. COMPLETED WORK
    Q. Who owns the rights to software developed written using
       the Net Yaroze system?
    A. The original author retains legal ownership of all source
       code that he or she creates as part of Net Yaroze except
       as protected by applicable copyright law. For instance,
       users who create copies of Crash Bandicoot or Asteroids
       cannot assume rights to that work. Individual authors are
       legally responsible for the work in terms of infringement
       of copyright, etc.
       In particular, source code can be freely shared among
       Net Yaroze members as desired by its creators -- in
       accordance with their agreement with SCEA. Indeed, a
       cornerstone of Net Yaroze is the concept of members
       sharing their work and ideas, and participating in joint
       projects. Note that distributed code through the
       Net Yaroze program can only be downloaded by other
       Net Yaroze members throughout the world. To formally
       publish software for all PlayStation owners, Net Yaroze
       members will need to look at becoming licensed as
       commercial developers.
    Q. Will my software be published commercially?
    A. We hope to publish commercial products containing
       software developed through the Net Yaroze program;
       statiscally, however, it is not very likely that any one
       project will be published.
       Even a great number of projects which begin as commercial
       projects never make it    to store shelves. It would be
       misleading to promise a great likelihood, but many of the
       "big guys" do have modest beginnings. Bear in mind that
       commercial software must be compelling and not infringent
       on anyone else's copyrights.
    Q. Is there any interest by Sony in working with companies
       to develop specific applications?
    A. SCEA also offers a professional developer program.
       Serious developers should consider whether a hobbyist
       grade package really fits their needs. SCEA will not be
       looking to partner with development programs originating
       from the Net Yaroze program. When commercial grade work
       evolves from Net Yaroze members, SCEA will counsel with
       the developer on an individual basis.
    Q. Where should I start if I'm not a programmer?
    A. If you are not presently a programmer, Net Yaroze will
       probably not be for you right away. The best thing to do
       would be to purchase some books on programming and a
       BASIC or C programming package for development on the
       computer. You may wish to look into some local college
       courses that may be offered.
                  V. WHERE DO I SIGN-UP?
    Q. Where can I go for more information?
    A. People interested in Net Yaroze can register their
       interest by e-mailing their name, address, phone number
       and email address to:
       Sony Computer Entertainment America is also developing a
       Web Site in which users can obtain more information about
       Net Yaroze. The address of this site will be announced
       soon. See the top of this document for registering
       interest in other parts of the world.
    ### END OF FILE ###
    (Please feel free to re-post this Q&A file in areas that
     support persons interested in Net Yaroze.)