You're planning to sell cartridges of your homebrew? Neat! But please, consider looking at the following guidelines first. If people are going to give you money then you must at least provide a minimum bar of quality.
These guidelines focus on things that can actually cause trouble. It will not include things that aren't important if somebody decides to deviate from the norm (e.g. cartridge color, etc.). This list will be updated as the need arises.
- Game must run on all three models.
- Game must run on both 60Hz and 50Hz systems.
- Game must run even with the Mega CD and/or 32X attached.
- Game must work with both the 3-button and 6-button controllers.
To-do: write up a page detailing the exact requirements that must be met by a cartridge. For now ask for details to somebody else who has dealt with this already.
- Don't use Sega branding! Neither on the cartridge nor in the box (this also goes for the game itself). It's OK to say it's compatible with Sega systems, but don't go beyond that.
- Cartridge must be 5V compatible (either by using 5V parts or by using 3.3V parts with appropriate level shifters)
- The bottom of the PCB must be beveled (to avoid long term damage to the pins in the cartridge slot)
- Shell should have an universal shape (i.e. fit on both Western and Asian consoles without needing an adapter)
- Make sure to provide a free demo (just a ROM download of a trial version will do). And do not require people to sign up for an account in order to download it.
- Tell customers how much they'll have to pay in shipping fees before they pay. If feasible, also consider offering multiple shipping options (e.g. trade off between premium and cost).
- Provide an easy way to contact and make sure to not take too long to reply in case somebody had problems with the shipping. They may also want to ask more details before purchasing.
- People like to get an e-mail telling them when a cartridge has been shipped (they want to know all is OK).
- If the game contains anything that could be uncomfortable or embarassing (e.g. nudity), this should be clearly stated before people decide to get the game (no awkward surprises when the game arrives, please!).