Action 53 volume 4

Action 53 volume 4
by on (#213063)
In this post, NESHomebrew wrote:
here is the complete archive for anyone who wants to check out this years entries!

And here is the first Action 53 volume with multiple CNROM entries. The 13 entries comprise 17 32K PRG ROM banks and 26 8K CHR ROM banks, and there isn't nearly as much unused space within each PRG ROM bank as there had been in the past. This means it actually has to allocate new banks just for CHR ROM.

Now I need the following:

  • Any category 2 entries fit to include
  • Bug testing
  • Improvements to descriptions if necessary
  • A 64x56-pixel screenshot for each activity, cut down to four grays plus two groups of 3 colors (one group per 8x8 pixels). This is a lot more color detail than was possible in the first three volumes.
  • A theme
  • Title screen
  • Box art
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#213064)
I'd also like to do packaging design this year if everyone's cool with it.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#213094)
tepples wrote:
[*]Any category 2 entries fit to include


Ok here's my idea for a non-contest entry for the multicart.
A music player that plays music/sfx from all the games on the cart.

I figure that UI and functionality to this will be done before March, and will probably take at most 8KiB of ROM.
The most difficult part of this idea is finding and keeping track of subroutine locations in all the entries.
Namely I need to find subroutines of initialization (easy to find from RST), tick (easy to find from NMI), song_change (hard), sfx_play (hardest).
I also need to figure out how to tap into the directory structure of the menu to figure out what registers to set whenever I swap into the game banks.

In anycase I will be content if my plan falls completely apart. I'll post a new thread on this when I get a proof of concept working.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#213099)
How about Nova the Squirrel?

Nova was so prominent on earlier Action 53 sets, it seems fitting if we put something in v4
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#213101)
Nova is SNROM for the same reason as Kid Icarus, Metroid, and the early prototypes of Super Mario Bros. 2: it needs more than 2K of RAM accessible outside the vertical blanking period. The programmer is willing to port it to UNROM with a WRAM decoded by the equivalent of a 7420, as in Family BASIC, but I thought we were leaving out WRAM for cost reasons.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#213103)
Nova the Squirrel isn't done yet either. I'm hoping that it's good enough to include on the final 53 game cart (and justify extra RAM) when that's released, where it could be the "Cheetahmen" of the compilation sort of.

For volume four I think it could be fitting to fix up Quadruple Action Blaster Guys a bit? Maybe add some actual story sequence and an actual ending to properly tie it into being a prequel to Nova the Squirrel? That game's just a plain 32KB NROM so it should be fine.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#213104)
QABG: Somebody That I Used to Know might fit the concept of the remix compo that I've been planning.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#213105)
Really cool to have them in one file. Thank you.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#213130)
project blue isn't the only game to have totally screwed graphics on that ROM, but it's certainly got it the worst.

is that my fault somehow, and if so, what could the issue be?
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#213131)
I think FCEUX 2.2.3 still has bugs in CNROM games in Action 53. This bug was fixed in commit r3339. Try these:

Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#213137)
toggle switch wrote:
project blue isn't the only game to have totally screwed graphics on that ROM, but it's certainly got it the worst.

is that my fault somehow, and if so, what could the issue be?

Not related, but FYI that Project Blue is using the "invalid" color $0D during the initial fade in.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#213142)
Added it to our bug tracking list, thanks thefox!
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#213146)
ahh nice catch. something to look out for when automating fades!

could be fixed simply by using the other gray, they look almost identical in the palette i use. or obviously i could check to make sure the value is never $0D before writing to palette. either should be easy.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#213152)
$0D bug has been fixed and will be included in the next version.

and confirmed working on the newer version of FCEUX, thanks guys.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#215450)
Forgive me if it's been addressed before, but is there any chance of having some flash memory available for games to use?

If it were, progress could be saved in a lot of the games (if the developer desired). Gruniozerca would benefit pretty greatly from it. (We'd track individual collection of carrots and allow re-entry into stages.) I think it'd take maybe 4 bytes. Miedow could benefit a lot from it as well.

The A53 menu could even save last played game and start there on bootup.

It could also be neat to have the ability to manage the save data through the A53 menu as well, something like the PS1 memory card access, where each game's saved data could be cleared individually.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#215480)
I could add passwords to MiedoW. Store the current level + lives + continues plus some gibberish and checksums is definitely an option. I think I will :)
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#215481)
If you're adding passwords, you end up with unlimited continues anyway. So a password that stores about as much as passwords in The Curse of Possum Hollow (that is, chapter and accumulated powerups) should be enough.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#215482)
I never seem to get this right, so I'm asking. Do you guys think I should dish the continues if I add a password system?
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#215483)
That's exactly what I'm saying. If you add a password system, you no longer need to count continues.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#215630)
M_Tee wrote:
Forgive me if it's been addressed before, but is there any chance of having some flash memory available for games to use?


Making it all work becomes a bit of a mess depending on how we'd like to go about things. Here's the relevant thread. Feel like there was somewhere requesting we add PRG-RAM to the cartridge for saves, but can't find it. Hoping we can keep action53 hardware discussion in that thread keep things organized.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#220267)
I loved Volume 3, and can't wait to buy Volume 4. Seriously, where is it? ;)
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#220269)
Gosh, I think it's about time I put aside my current projects and spend some time producing an enhanced version of my game with the suggestions made. Should we set a deadline?
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#220270)
It's a volunteer effort, DarkKobold, so it will wait until the relevant volunteers have the opportunity and inclination to make it.

Most of the compilation programming part of the work is done by one particular volunteer named tepples. M-Tee did the box art for the last volume. Probably a lot of it is yet to be organized and collected. (...and I'm not sure if they might be looking to re-license everything for a combined volumes 1-4? That might add to the timeline further.)

For reference, volume 3 just came out a few weeks ago, so it took about a year and a half after the entries were initially submitted.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#220302)
rainwarrior wrote:
It's a volunteer effort, DarkKobold, so it will wait until the relevant volunteers have the opportunity and inclination to make it.

Most of the compilation programming part of the work is done by one particular volunteer named tepples. M-Tee did the box art for the last volume. Probably a lot of it is yet to be organized and collected. (...and I'm not sure if they might be looking to re-license everything for a combined volumes 1-4? That might add to the timeline further.)

For reference, volume 3 just came out a few weeks ago, so it took about a year and a half after the entries were initially submitted.


I was mostly joking - I know it takes a lot of effort (hence the winky face). I just wanted to let the people working on it know that there are fans out there that love the Action 53 line, and are excited for the next version. I'll for sure buy it, whenever it comes.

FWIW, I also bought Lizard, and have been enjoying it. I enjoy supporting the homebrew community where and when I can.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#224067)
Anyone else have updates before we finalize the screenshots?
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#224074)
So this thread is for updated versions of games of the 2017 NESdev Competition?

New entries go in the 2018 NESdev Competition forum?
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#224084)
Correct.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#224096)
Would anyone be up to composing a short 4 bar piece of music for the splash screen of volume 4?

There's doubts that we should continue to use the music loop that was present for the previous volumes.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#224103)
What audio engine does it use?
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#224106)
File names in menu source indicate that Action 53 uses Pently. It's currently a slightly outdated version, but I plan to bring in the latest version (as heard in Nova the Squirrel) once I have the new music package. I can take the piece in the form of a Pently score or a FamiTracker module that uses Pently's subset of FamiTracker functionality.

Needed: Title screen music
Optional: Menu background music
Optional: Sound effect for change line
Optional: Sound effect for change page
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#224116)
tepples wrote:
Anyone else have updates before we finalize the screenshots?

Here's an update of F-FF that fixes a potential bug.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#224289)
tepples wrote:
Anyone else have updates before we finalize the screenshots?

I am still working on an update for Wolfling, do we have a deadline? (it won't change the graphics, if you're refering to screenshots only)
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#224353)
Same here. The updates I need to make don't change the looks.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#224681)
Attached is an up to date build.

Screenshot improvements, description corrections, bug reports and fixes, incorrect version (md5sums in the last page), more things to include (it's only 3/4 full), or any other suggestion would be appreciated.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#224683)
Gave everything a very quick spin. Seems to be working pretty well.

Light shields seems to be the only game that doesn't reset back to the menu. (Also has a bug that displays the title screen with the wrong scroll for a frame, but that's a real nitpick.)

I notice both A and Start will start a game. Select appears to be unused in the menu; it might be good to have it duplicate B's behaviour as another "back" button?

What are the vola/b ROMs for?
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#224688)
rainwarrior wrote:
Select appears to be unused in the menu; it might be good to have it duplicate B's behaviour as another "back" button?
Easy enough to do (until I have another idea for the button).

rainwarrior wrote:
What are the vola/b ROMs for?
Powerpak builds.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#224844)
Has anyone contacted Denis of retrosouls to offer an invitation to include Multidude and Super Painter (and editing SFX in Super Painter)?
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#224988)
I'll take the lack of responses as a no, and I've shot of an email to him. Will post updates as I receive them. I think this compilation could benefit from a few more titles in the non-competition section (if room permits).

Any other suggestions?
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#224991)
Ahh sorry about that, I just got the time today to begin typing up my own email, but I guess I'll hold that.

The only thing extra I would say is that I'll be willing to replace the sfx myself if no one else is able to. I assume the engine is famitone2 which define sfx as a sequence of register writes. so it should be technically easy.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#224998)
Did Super Painter just use the Famitone SFX exporter directly on a SMB3 NSF? O_o Ha ha I never thought about how easy it'd be to cop sound effects from other games that way.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#226175)
Via PM, gravelstudios gave permission for Get It! to be included.

No word back yet from RetroSouls. Will follow up once more and then likely abandon hope if no response.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#226195)
That awesome, I remembered seeing this while searching youtube a year or 2 ago, then now I forget about it.
Thanks again for reaching out and contacting people.

RetroSouls seemed hard to contact in the past, and I was hoping to reach out to them about Alter Ego for the NES later next year, but we'll see.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#228035)
This is probably my last menu engine feature update for volume 4, as I'll begin a rewrite for the combined version to accommodate complicated planned features such as decorating the menu, games shuffle option and a music player.

Right now todo for volume 4:
A short piece of music for the Title screen
The title screen
Box art
Bug fixes and improvements to games and their descriptions
(Pretty much the first post plus or minus some)
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#228037)
Thanks for keeping up on this!

I take it we're safe to assume that the rom will be 1MByte at this point.? Looks like it's ~90% full just glancing at the rom binary. So I'll go ahead and have a batch of boards baked off so they'll be ready once the rom is finalized.

I don't mean to put pressure on things, but do we have any projections on how long the box art will take? If so, I can talk with the print shop and try to get a rough timeline for publishing. Perhaps there's still time to get traditional CIB boxes by the end of November and release by year's end.

We've done okay with sales on volume 3 this year, there is one limited edition copy remaining I believe. We had a handful of regular editions sell, but only a single famicom outside of contributors.. Based on that, I'm not certain if a print run of traditional cardboard boxes is all that necessary. IDK how worthwhile famicom releases are in general right now either.. I did release ~6 months late though, so had we released on time it would likely be a different story.

If it makes things easier to just focus on a cartridge label first that would at least cover us if we opt for a loose cart only release. If we do want CIBs, and want to push to meet our goal of releasing by the end of this year bitboxes is likely our best option. I've already got them in stock and can print the inserts in house with effectively zero lead time.

Suppose we should have a full report of current finances before making the decision of how we would or would not like to spend earnings on boxes. I'll push to get the finances thread updated with a new report asap. Depending on the lines we draw in the sand for our timeline we may not have much option though. Our current line in the sand is to release by year's end. If anyone has opinions on how we should move forward with printed materials please chime in now.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#228046)
I'd still like to handle illustration and design for it, and would like to do title screen after the packaging is complete, to possibly relate the two as was done for vol 3. I can get it done in November as I can start on it next week.

Going Bitbox-only would help in preventing the design needs of dealing with an additional aspect ratio. If possible, I'd like to know that for sure before starting on the cover art. (It would be kind of neat to design for BitBox aspect ratio directly instead of converting another design for it.)

A discussion on subtitle needs to take place, as it could influence design choices.

I assume the award icons couldn't be worked into the ROM?

Finally, Lukasz and I had a small project we were considering including in the others section. Would there be space for another game? If so, what would the size restriction on it be, and when would be a deadline for submitting it?

Ah, and I have a cleaner screenshot composed for Gruniożerca 2 that I'm pretty sure meets restrictions, but haven't had time to look into the screenshot conversion tool.

Speaking of Gruniożerca 2, when you revise writeups, please remove the bottom line in the game description, "character design by arhn.eu." It is not really accurate or necessary (credits within game itself are satisfactory for acknowledging arhn.eu's relationship).
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#228047)
Excerpt from a PM conversation:

nocash wrote:
tepples wrote:
Would you be interested in allowing Magic Floor for NES to be included in the next Action 53 community multicart? It's for mapper 218, but the mapper for Action 53 can simulate the mostly compatible mapper 7.

Yes. But I would still need to fix OAM for NTSC consoles...

This fix is released.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#228048)
I liked the poster last year. Is that coming back?
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#228049)
I'd happily design a new poster as long as we can find a satisfactory printer (finding printers willing to perform that specific fold was difficult). I was very happy with the printer we used for that one, but I think INL might not be local to them anymore.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#228050)
Bitbox sounds like the way to go. I'm in agreement.

About the Subtitle. I was going to suggest something but I feel like I have too much say over the Subtitle considering that what I suggested for the past 2 volumes was used right away.

A little less then 256KiB of ROM space is available, so more stuff can very well be included.
tepples wrote:
... Magic Floor ...
Added

I'm anxiously waiting for a update to Wolfling. I think our content deadline should allow for that at least.

M_Tee wrote:
Ah, and I have a cleaner screenshot composed for Gruniożerca 2 that I'm pretty sure meets restrictions, but haven't had time to look into the screenshot conversion tool.
Post or send a png file, and I can run it through the tool.
I've done 86 of these screenshots so I think I can fix whatever may be a issue if it throws an error.

M_Tee wrote:
Speaking of Gruniożerca 2, when you revise writeups, please remove the bottom line in the game description
Done

M_Tee wrote:
I assume the award icons couldn't be worked into the ROM?
Unfortunately no. Parts of the code were to rigid to for me to change piecemeal.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#228367)
Pending response of other dev members, but already have recieved one positive for the inclusion of Leak or Die (assuming compatability isn't a problem). https://fleity.itch.io/leak-or-die
It's a pretty rad co-op title.

I'll update as I hear back.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#228486)
Incredibly rad :P
Nice to get to know everyone, it's awesome to have a leak or die on a cartridge :mrgreen:
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#228699)
While I personally like the bit-boxes, I have a feeling we will get a lot of flack from our primary audience. The people love to have matching sets. *runs away*
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#228766)
We have decided that if you need extra games for the cart you can use Super Uwol:

Image
http://www.mojontwins.com/juegos_mojono ... -uwol-nes/

The game features single player and cooperative or vs. two-player modes. We'd be very glad if this game is included in vol.4
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#231709)
Wolfling got an update!
So I think we should begin wrapping this volume up.
Attached is latest build.

I think I'll just leave the current title screen jingle in, if that's OK with tepples.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#231711)
Exciting.
By the way, I'm not on PC atm, and phone emulator won't run the ROM. Are Leak or Die and Uwol successfully included?
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#231713)
Yeah, both of those games are in the ROM.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#231716)
Awesome, thanks. I'll brainstorm some subtitle ideas and pitch them after work. Would love to hear others' suggestions on that as well.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#231725)
Just in case you didn't notice: I have uploaded a fixed version (V1.4) of Wolfling. :oops:
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#231726)
Other tasks:

1. Fix the copyright date
2. Make half builds for PowerPak testing
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#231846)
Loose plan for cover art is a Breakfast Club-ish group shot of games' protagonists on a set of outdoor bleachers, something that screams American high school. A school-themed subtitle might be good.
  • Action 53 Vol. 4: Class of 2018
    …but that's confusing as it is releasing in 2019 and contest was 2017*.
  • Action 53 Vol. 4: Senior Class
    American high school is four years, in reference to the fourth volume)
    Also...
  • Action 53 Vol. 4: Quadrupedal Quandary
    A reference to the number of four-legged protagonists in volume four, Grunio, Nim, Nom, and Lim's Wolf form.
...I'll keep posting as I come up with ideas. So far, Senior Class is the one I'm leaning most heavily toward.

*We still might want to consider skipping 2018 and naming current contest 2019 as in recent episodes of The Assembly Line, contest years were commonly misspoken, '18 instead of '17, '17 instead of '16.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#231847)
"Senior Class" would also do well given the original plan to have Action 53 itself draw largely from the first four volumes.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#231863)
M_Tee wrote:
We still might want to consider skipping 2018 and naming current contest 2019 as in recent episodes of The Assembly Line, contest years were commonly misspoken, '18 instead of '17, '17 instead of '16.


I wonder if this could be avoided in the future by setting the date back to November or something. I feel like the chances of success are better with an end of January deadline, but it does make it confusing.

Maybe we should nix the date altogether and just start numbering them.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#231867)
NESHomebrew wrote:
M_Tee wrote:
We still might want to consider skipping 2018 and naming current contest 2019 as in recent episodes of The Assembly Line, contest years were commonly misspoken, '18 instead of '17, '17 instead of '16.


I wonder if this could be avoided in the future by setting the date back to November or something. I feel like the chances of success are better with an end of January deadline, but it does make it confusing.

Maybe we should nix the date altogether and just start numbering them.


I'm not sure which is the better solution, but I agree that the year designation is confusing. Just skipping a year and renumbering sounds every bit as confusing as not changing it, though. I'd either change the deadline, or change the numbering scheme entirely, before skipping a year.

If you made the deadline Dec 31 at midnight, it would be more obvious what year the competition is for (From Jan to Dec!) but you might lose people in the holiday rush.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#231888)
gauauu wrote:
If you made the deadline Dec 31 at midnight, it would be more obvious what year the competition is for (From Jan to Dec!) but you might lose people in the holiday rush.

That's why we made it January 31st. I still like the ending date timing wise. People in school don't have to worry about it messing with their finals, parents don't have to worry about all the Christmas/new years details.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#232083)
I have tested Wolfling in the a53vol4-page4.nes with the nintaco emulator and Wolfling crashes when entering the cave. :(
(it does not crash when I select the wolfling14.nes file)

Any hints how I can isolate the problem?
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#232102)
M_Tee wrote:
Loose plan for cover art is a Breakfast Club-ish group shot of games' protagonists on a set of outdoor bleachers, something that screams American high school.

Ditched the group illustration idea and am instead designing the cover to look like a page out of a yearbook. Should be neat when finished.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#232108)
Lazycow wrote:
I have tested Wolfling in the a53vol4-page4.nes with the nintaco emulator and Wolfling crashes when entering the cave. :(
(it does not crash when I select the wolfling14.nes file)

Any hints how I can isolate the problem?

To the best of my knowledge I have been using version 14, as you did post that while I was typing out the descriptions. I'll try testing it more later tonight. what does the cave look like?

It could possibly be the emulator's implementation of mapper 28 bank switching. I forget at the moment were the test ROM for that would be.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#232109)
JRoatch wrote:
It could possibly be the emulator's implementation of mapper 28 bank switching. I forget at the moment were the test ROM for that would be.

What do test28 and Holy Mapperel say?

I could test it myself on hardware if there were half-and-half ROMs.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#232129)
After letting Wolfling run in it's attract mode I have confirm the crash, and that it's completely a fault with just the action 53 build only. I'm now investigating what I did wrong.

EDIT: found it. I accidentally left the old "unused space" markings (I thought I had changed them), which promptly got overwritten with unrelated compressed CHR. :oops:

tepples wrote:
I could test it myself on hardware if there were half-and-half ROMs.

I kind of left that on the wayside, because that technically would be a different build. and I already trust that mapper 28 works correctly under powerpak, fceux, and mesen.

I'll send you those builds privately soonish anyway.

EDIT 2: attached fixed build.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#234938)
This is pretty exciting. after I gave permission for the inclusion of Get It!, I sort of just forgot about it. It's really nice to see it in this context.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#235764)
Found and fixed a small bug where if you start Coredump from Power on (by holding A and B), it'll load garbage graphics from a unmapped bank.
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#237419)
So as I was working on a potential Volume 5 an idea came up were Volume 4 could actually be the combination of compo 2017 and 2018. The upside of this would be that compo 2018 can make it to physical release sooner, the downside may or may not be that this Volume 4 would be delayed due to having to upgrade the ROM from 1MByte to 2MByte. The combined Volume release may possibly be delayed to allow for improvements as well.

What do you all think about this?
Re: Action 53 volume 4
by on (#237711)
I say do whatever you think is best, or most economical. I'm just excited at the prospect of seeing my game in cartridge format, which I wouldn't have gone to the expense to do myself.