Planning

Planning
by on (#168989)
[EDIT (May 13): There's a summary of what is known so far on page 10. --MOD]


When? :P

I feel like this might be a good time to start another compo. It doesn't necessarily needs to be for the next Action 53 cart or have money prizes... It could be a mini compo, some sort of warmup for the real deal later.

Or maybe I'm just eager for another compo. Maybe.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169002)
Count with my vote. It just seems about time!
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169054)
Yeah it is about time we get going with this.

Been talking with some folks in private. Feel like we are reinventing the wheel every time we have a new one. But we learn something from each compo, so I guess that's to be expected to some degree.

Some of my thoughts and things I've heard from others which I agree with follow.

1- 3months isn't really enough time for most people to create something significant from scratch. 3months is better for something along the lines of a mini game. Mini games are great and all, but if we're hoping for more significant entries a longer timeline is needed.

2- would be nice to have some sort of annual timeline that can be relied upon. This would combat the time constraint above. If compo entries are expected to be due the same time every year, then people could start whenever they wanted and not have to question when the next compo will be, or if it will occur.

Being late April now, perhaps we can have details of this compo ironed out by late May. If we are providing more than 3 months, then perhaps having a submission date of New Year's makes sense..? That would give 7-8 months of development time.

3- anything we can do to attract entries should be considered. Cash prizes are good, but people new to the scene might be quick to assume they can't win with their first game ever. Last time we gave limited edition cartridges to all contributors which was nice. But it was more effective as a thank you, than an incentive to make an entry I feel. I think we should give out the contributor carts again, but perhaps there is something better to offer to attract new people to the hobby. I'd love to hear any ideas people have to provide more incentive.

One idea I had was to offer some peice of hardware, perhaps something along the lines of a NES flash cart that gave developers a means to test their games on actual hardware. I'd rather not self promote here, so I'll save suggesting my own products. But I'm open to providing them at cost or even donating them if people want to suggest something feel free. I'm guessing other hardware designers will be open to similar proposals. A full fledged $100+ flash cart might be a little on the high end though, but perhaps something like the FDStick..? Although the separate requirement of a RAM adapter an means to connect to a NES is a hurdle. It would be fun to have a FDS mini game submission category though.. I'm working on some new products of my own which I haven't announced yet which would be better fitting for something along these lines. Best to pick something that's already in production somewhere.

Some other things that I think are helpful for a healthy competition would be to promote people to share their progress with their competition entry. This certainly wouldn't be required, but maybe awarding some bonus points at judging for doing so. Or perhaps tying into the idea above of providing some hardware prize to all entries; all contestants who have been providing updates on their project via nesdev/NA thread at the half way point of the competition could be rewarded with the prize at that point. I think posting progress is very helpful for motivation to keep going on a project and see it to completion or at least something worth submitting. This would be true for myself at least, curious what others think.

4- multiple categories... I feel like having the separate categories didn't really work out too well last time based on only having 3 entires. Part of me thinks we're better off with just one defined category, and then an 'anything goes' to welcome any submission and give people an option to not have their work included on the cartridge. If we have a fun idea for a theme like we did for the category 3 mini game/app like last time that's fine, but perhaps we should just consider it part of category 1 entries/judging. Could give bonus judging points for meeting the 'compo's theme' perhaps.

5- cartridge. Last compo the consensus was we didn't have enough material to fill/complete the cartridge. Several other homebrew works were collected and added to the cartridge which was great. And I think we should continue that trend. But waiting for the final rom for the cartridge ended up making us figure we had to wait till the cartridge was released before we could start the next step of another compo. Thinking maybe the better option would be to somewhat remove the cartridge release from the compo. We could have the entries pile up until we had enough submissions to make the cartridge. Doing something like this might even make sense to have 2-4 competitions a year. Don't feel your entry is worthy of submission yet or wish you had more time? Use the next few months and submit then. Of course this wouldn't work so well if it left us only having a few submissions each compo..
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169069)
My two cents:

Setting the deadline by the end of the year seems reasonable to me 7-8 months is plenty of time for a decent entry.

Not really interested in prizes, I'd do it just for kicks, but getting the limited edition cart was a great idea (I simply love it, it's so beautiful!), and it attracts entrants. I like the other ideas you propose. I can't use the FDstick, tho, but anything you want to give away to entice new participants or to incentive participation and updates is good...

A way to entice more people is directly related to the categories issue: add a compo category for NROM-only games. NROM projects may be more feasible for busy or newbie developers and maybe you'll get more completed entries that way. Maybe a best "NROM only" prize and an "best overall game" prize (including ALL games, one never knows!) would be nice.

I also think that "NROM only category" looks better than "minigame category".

As for the cartridge, it's difficult to assess. Maybe having several compos a year but a yearly released compilation cartridge would be a good idea?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169084)
I think you're underestimating people's ability to procrastinate and the amount of focus and dedication required to work on a hobby project for seven whole months. I know that I wouldn't be able to do it, even if the prize was really extremely good.

+1 for having a contest though. Sounds like a good idea.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169086)
Thanks for the input guys.

As for the NROM suggestion, from what I recall practically all compo entries have been NROM historically. The last compo we gave people the option to expand up to other discrete mappers if they chose, but no one did. Probably good to make that known and recommend NROM though to give people a good target.

Glad you enjoyed the limited edition contributor's cartridges, we'll certainly be keeping those around in the future.

I like the idea of award for "best NROM", "best overall", "best mini game", etc instead of having multiple categories of entry. That way we can have a theme to the compo if we choose, but not segregate the few entries we have. I also like the idea of "best first compo entry" for people who are submitting an entry for the first time.

I agree with your point pubby about the challenges of procrastination. There is only so much we can do about that.. Ultimately if we have the entries due the same time each year there wouldn't really be an official 'start date'. Does the idea of having a 'half-way' submission in 3-4 months where some prizes would be distributed change anything in your mind? You could consider that your deadline perhaps. Nothing stopping you from making your own deadline and early submission if you know 7 months is too far away. :)
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169087)
I recommend describing an acceptable way of soliciting feedback on your entry before submitting the final version without risking disqualification for having submitted already released material. Is the halfway point stuff part of this?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169088)
tepples wrote:
I recommend describing an acceptable way of soliciting feedback on your entry before submitting the final version without risking disqualification for having submitted already released material. Is the halfway point stuff part of this?


Yeah the half way point submission would combat some of those issues as would posting threads with progress. These things would be optional, but I think it's safe to say they'd prove beneficial for those who chose to do so. Could even have a "best progress thread" award..
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169090)
Personally, I'm in favor of the idea of rewards for all entries vs. prizes for the best, if the two are mutually exclusive.

The scene is always growing, and there are some people who have been doing this for a very long time. Most people who would be able to bring a game to the competition would probably be honest with themselves that they wouldn't expect to win. There's a core group of programmers, who if they were to get involved, would create an interesting competition, but most of those people are probably involved with their own projects.

I think prizes COULD work best if you have a very active entry pool, preferably arranged in teams, which were ready to produce high quality games. Competition breeds secrecy. If I'm trying to do something better than you, then I don't want to show you what I'm working on before the competition. Theoretically, if you post asking for help, then it wouldn't even benefit me to help you, although, I don't think people on this board would deny help to a competitor.

Another thought, is that getting teams would produce better entries, but would make it harder to organize rewards and prizes.

Just throwing out my two cents for the sake of discussion.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169098)
Quote:
rewards for all entries


You get a car! And you get a car! Everybody gets a car! --Oprah
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169104)
Allow to opt out of prizes.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169108)
darryl.revok wrote:
Personally, I'm in favor of the idea of rewards for all entries vs. prizes for the best, if the two are mutually exclusive.

What kind of prizes would you like to see? To me cash prizes only really make sense for best judged entries. But I get your point about prizes for all being better than for best. This whole event is not very competitive, it's more of a collaboration. In any event we'll continue with the contributor's limited edition cartridge prize for all, curious if you had some other prize of interest.

zzo38 wrote:
Allow to opt out of prizes.
That's true, we had that happen with Shiru for vol 2 where he didn't want the contributor's cartridge. Part of it was due to him not owning a NES and him only owning 60pin consoles. Luckily I found out there were 3 people involved in the mojontwin team so I was able to send them Shiru's cart.

BTW, I have a good supply of 60pin cartridge plastics now and have started drafting up 60pin versions of my boards. So we should be able to offer 60pin versions for releases in the future.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169111)
Quote:
What kind of prizes would you like to see?


Free T-shirt.

.........

Or, $20 off your next infinite lives product/purchase, such as Action 53.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169113)
I don't really have a specific prize in mind, just thinking in line of what would promote getting new people to make complete entries.

I think I'd like to make something for the next compilation, and I imagine many others would share my sentiment that it's not for the prizes. Asides from having a cart of my own work to own and show my friends, I'd mostly just want to contribute to the compilation.

I don't know how many copies the last one sold, but having a game on a well-distributed cart is a prize of itself. If somebody makes a simple NES game and puts the ROM online, there's a lot of work involved in getting people to know about it before anybody plays your work. Putting a cart on the compilation guarantees an audience. I'm also not sure about licensing issues, but I'm guessing that after somebody put a game on a compilation cart and it got a little popularity, that there wouldn't be a reason they couldn't then do a limited edition collectors cart, which the NintendoAge community loves.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169123)
So there IS real interest huh. I honestly thought it was just me and this would have a grand total of 0 replies.

I honestly think that a free cartridge is a good enough prize and incentive for entries... of course this doesn't exclude the competition from having a best game cash prize. For the "thanks for participating" prizes, you could also add a free T-Shirt to go with the cart. I would love to have a "NESDev 2016 Compo" shirt for sure, and I sure many more would, it's a simple (and possibly cheap) but cool prize. Cart + shirt + game being "widely" distributed in physical format + possible money prize = what else could you possibly ask for?

About attracting more people to the competition... it's kind of wishful thinking but this might work, not for this one (because my plan requires a lot of work) but for later competitions:

Quote:
1 - Rebrand compo to "NESDev game jam" or something similar. Not only the term "game jam" is well known in the indie games community, but it also brings a more newbie-friendly tone to the competition.
2 - Create good tutorials (nerdy nights but more polished and with more content); could be for ASM, the C compiler or even Family BASIC (more on that later). Again, this helps to bring more new people to something as daunting as "programming a game that runs on a real NES".
3 - Create open-source/PD version of Hudson's Family BASIC; ok this is probably something that might never be done... but it would be great for the community in general. It is undeniable that Batari BASIC injected new life into the Atari2600 scene, it could be the same with the NES scene. But why Family BASIC you ask? Because I feel like it is a perfectly capable tool of creating games and it can introduce people slowly to asm. Some people have already made STANDALONE family basic games with some kind of tool that makes a basic game into an actual .nes, but the main problem is that the .nes file will always have the whole Family BASIC ROM embedded into it, creating a compatible open source solution can solve that problem.


I feel like this would work wonders in the long run, but it also requires a lot of effort... just wanted to share the idea.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169132)
I'd like to see competition with coders coming up with really innovative sound engines/tools for the standard NES that are easy for the above-average musician to pick up easily; not necessarily for game use but for demoscene. Could be a sub-compo. The top-three engines could possibly have a Battle of the Bits competition on top of them.

Some examples would be PPU-out generated music, "beeper" engines, IRQ-heavy engines, etc. Go wild! NO HARDWARE MODIFICATIONS. :)
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169133)
I've considered making a free BASIC interpreter for NES, but I imagine that very few people would be willing to buy an ENIO and an imported Family BASIC keyboard to use it. As I wrote in a post to what has become the latest mouse topic, tpw_rules was working on a PS/2 keyboard to NES adapter, but real life intervened.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169134)
tepples wrote:
I've considered making a free BASIC interpreter for NES, but I imagine that very few people would be willing to buy an ENIO and an imported Family BASIC keyboard to use it. As I wrote in a post to what has become the latest mouse topic, tpw_rules was working on a PS/2 keyboard to NES adapter, but real life intervened.


tepples, what about PC tools? I mean, it can't be that difficult to do something to insert BASIC code into a self-booting interpreter ROM right? That makes it way more practical to use.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169135)
Punch wrote:
1 - Rebrand compo to "NESDev game jam" or something similar. Not only the term "game jam" is well known in the indie games community, but it also brings a more newbie-friendly tone to the competition.

+1 on this.
While "competition" does describe the coding discipline factor, it's better to emphasize the community factor.

Punch wrote:
2 - Create good tutorials (nerdy nights but more polished and with more content); could be for ASM, the C compiler or even Family BASIC (more on that later). Again, this helps to bring more new people to something as daunting as "programming a game that runs on a real NES".

As with any programing endeavor, tutorials, documentation and tools made from documentation always helps everyone.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169137)
Punch wrote:
hat about PC tools? I mean, it can't be that difficult to do something to insert BASIC code into a self-booting interpreter ROM right? That makes it way more practical to use.

My experience is that most Windows users are unwilling to install MinGW and MSYS to compile the inserter program written in C or C++. And if I try to make an inserter program in Python, there'll inevitably be some exception that I failed to anticipate or some required library that a user fails to install from PyPI, which has given Python a bad name on this forum.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169141)
tepples wrote:
Punch wrote:
hat about PC tools? I mean, it can't be that difficult to do something to insert BASIC code into a self-booting interpreter ROM right? That makes it way more practical to use.

My experience is that most Windows users are unwilling to install MinGW and MSYS to compile the inserter program written in C or C++. And if I try to make an inserter program in Python, there'll inevitably be some exception that I failed to anticipate or some required library that a user fails to install from PyPI, which has given Python a bad name on this forum.


What's wrong with precompiled binaries?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169142)
If a dev project has already been started recently (but not finished), does it qualify for the competition?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169144)
Punch wrote:
3 - Create open-source/PD version of Hudson's Family BASIC; ok this is probably something that might never be done... but it would be great for the community in general. It is undeniable that Batari BASIC injected new life into the Atari2600 scene, it could be the same with the NES scene.


Kind of like uc65 for the NES?

I wrote my entries last compo using the uc65 mid-level language and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I did make a hello world example but pretty sure there was no interest. It got to the point of being a working release, but I think I'm the only one who's ever used it for anything beyond a hello world. I've thought about taking on maintenance of it myself to add features for personal use alone, but it obviously hasn't been enough of a priority to make happen. Considering using it again and using my next entry as part of a tutorial, but concerned uc65 will never been seen as a viable option..

I do like the idea of renaming the whole thing to a nesdev game jam.

I like the idea of T-shirts, is someone willing to draft up some artwork to get things rolling?

Quote:
If a dev project has already been started recently (but not finished), does it qualify for the competition?
Yes, the only thing not allowed in the past is previous compo entries. Even still, an existing entry/project would be welcomed if it were significantly improved upon. The renaming to a game jam is more fitting to express this sort of acceptance.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169148)
Quote:
I like the idea of T-shirts, is someone willing to draft up some artwork to get things rolling?

I could screen print them, if we don't have a dedicated screen printer in the scene.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169151)
darryl.revok wrote:
I could screen print them, if we don't have a dedicated screen printer in the scene.


That would be great! We have no such dedication. Perhaps we need a separate Tshirt thread.. I'm curious on details of pricing based on qty and number of colors, etc.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169152)
Quote:
I agree with your point pubby about the challenges of procrastination. There is only so much we can do about that.. Ultimately if we have the entries due the same time each year there wouldn't really be an official 'start date'. Does the idea of having a 'half-way' submission in 3-4 months where some prizes would be distributed change anything in your mind? You could consider that your deadline perhaps. Nothing stopping you from making your own deadline and early submission if you know 7 months is too far away. :)

I don't think I would enter a "half-way submission" contest, due partly to my belief that releasing work before it is finished kills motivation, but that is just me and I am a curmudgeon. Others will probably find a half-way contest to be helpful though, so I say aim high and do whatever you think will work.

Quote:
I like the idea of award for "best NROM", "best overall", "best mini game", etc instead of having multiple categories of entry. That way we can have a theme to the compo if we choose, but not segregate the few entries we have. I also like the idea of "best first compo entry" for people who are submitting an entry for the first time.

Bounties offered by non-organizers would be an interesting way to handle this. People would put up their own money for games/programs they'd like to see made, and then when the contest is over they would get to decide the winner of their prize.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169159)
To me, naming it as a game jam would be a branding mistake. Game jams have all had the common features that they are short (1, 2, 7, 10, 14 days) and only accepting content made during that time period. Here we'd have substantially more relaxed rules, seven months and previous work were mentioned.

The cash prizes could be variable - paid for by the limited edition production run?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169169)
Punch wrote:
tepples wrote:
My experience is that most Windows users are unwilling to install [a compiler]

What's wrong with precompiled binaries?

Cost of testing them. You buying?

I'd need to raise money somehow to buy computers on which to make and test precompiled binaries for each operating system. I don't own a Mac made in the past six years, for instance. And not only does virtualizing 64-bit Windows and 64-bit GNU/Linux on OS X need a lot of RAM, but Apple charges a premium for RAM now that it's more likely to be soldered down than DIMMs.

I might end up posting bounties for "7K water" and "bee" themes that I've mentioned earlier.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169173)
My brother has a MAC and he's told me he can run Windows binaries.

According to latest statistics, 91% of computers have Windows on them.

Of course, he also has (and uses) Python, so that's also a +1 for making Python apps.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169174)
darryl.revok wrote:
I don't really have a specific prize in mind, just thinking in line of what would promote getting new people to make complete entries.

I think I'd like to make something for the next compilation, and I imagine many others would share my sentiment that it's not for the prizes. Asides from having a cart of my own work to own and show my friends, I'd mostly just want to contribute to the compilation.

I don't know how many copies the last one sold, but having a game on a well-distributed cart is a prize of itself. If somebody makes a simple NES game and puts the ROM online, there's a lot of work involved in getting people to know about it before anybody plays your work. Putting a cart on the compilation guarantees an audience. I'm also not sure about licensing issues, but I'm guessing that after somebody put a game on a compilation cart and it got a little popularity, that there wouldn't be a reason they couldn't then do a limited edition collectors cart, which the NintendoAge community loves.


Exactly my thoughts.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169191)
zzo38 wrote:
Allow to opt out of prizes.

Or in my case, opt out of receiving credit, with an anonymous entry. For... reasons.

calima wrote:
To me, naming it as a game jam would be a branding mistake. Game jams have all had the common features that they are short (1, 2, 7, 10, 14 days) and only accepting content made during that time period. Here we'd have substantially more relaxed rules, seven months and previous work were mentioned.

I agree that it would be unwise. The term "Game Jam" has also become off-putting to many experienced programmers, from the lack of quality resulting from these events. (With projects often thrown together haphazardly, in the last few available hours.)

darryl.revok wrote:
NintendoAge community

Speaking of lack of quality... :roll:
If you want to appeal to them, just release: "PONG: SUPER-LIMITED 2016 EDITION" :lol:
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169194)
Quote:
PONG: SUPER-LIMITED 2016 EDITION


LOL

;)
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169195)
Let's please show respect for the Nintendoage community and its members. There are many good reasons to do so especially in this thread, but one shouldn't need justification for showing respect.

Thank you.

I'm unfamiliar with the term game jam. Based on what you guys are saying there is not much reason to rename anything IMO.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169196)
infiniteneslives wrote:
That would be great! We have no such dedication. Perhaps we need a separate Tshirt thread.. I'm curious on details of pricing based on qty and number of colors, etc.


I'll do it at cost, so the biggest difference in price will be the shirts. I haven't priced shirts in a while so I'll have to double check, but I remember the prices being around $2 for a cheap shirt up to around $5 for a nice t-shirt like an American Apparel. Maybe another dollar or so for consumables. The setup of burning a screen for each color is the biggest consumable expense for what I'm assuming is going to be a pretty small print run.

I don't know about anybody else, but I'd rather go for the more expensive shirt. Especially since I'm not aiming to do this for profit.

It's a hobby I haven't done for a while, but I think I'm pretty decent at it. Here's an example of a shirt I designed and printed:
Attachment:
IMG_0248.JPG
IMG_0248.JPG [ 273.52 KiB | Viewed 2868 times ]


That one consists of two separate color discharge underbases, one being blue (underbase for metal) and one being light brown. (underbase for wood, difficult to see in photo) There are also two halftone layers printed in water-based ink for the details of the image. I like to work almost exclusively with discharge and water-based inks, because I'm not a fan of plastisol or the way it feels.

My press is limited to 4 colors, but I think there's a lot one can do with 4 colors if they're creative.

If there are people who might be interested in buying a shirt rather than getting one as a reward for contribution, maybe it would be worth considering printing extras, and putting the profits toward rewards. I'd be happy with that if all of the proceeds go to the compilation.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169219)
darryl.revok wrote:
My press is limited to 4 colors, but I think there's a lot one can do with 4 colors if they're creative.

Making something cool with limited resources is a lot of what nesdev is about anyway, so it's fitting :p
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169240)
darryl.revok wrote:
My press is limited to 4 colors, but I think there's a lot one can do with 4 colors if they're creative.


What a coincidence :lol:
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169249)
Now let me present my entry for NesDev compo 2014...wait, it's 2016?

Hmm. Has anyone tried CMYK as a NES palette? Is the resolution far too low for that to work? ...no, it's that there's also white, which means you have five colors, which means decisions...
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169255)
I guess I should start planning for my game right now. If the deadline is new year's, I think I can do something more complex so I should start thinking seriously about the design of the game right now so I can spend time actually making it during the competition.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169257)
Great ideas so far guys. I will agree that changing it to a "game jam" doesn't really fit. I think that two categories would be good. NROM and Anything Goes.

There had been previous talk of a theme, which is more of a game jam type of format. I think for game jams, it helps to have a theme since you have to JAM as much content into such a short period of time that you don't have time to keep changing your mind on what you are going to do. Honestly I think this fits pretty well with the NESDev compo. As others have said, spending your spare time working on a project for 7 months there is plenty of time to procrastinate. Keeping a goal in mind I think would be useful.

I'd be glad to help again with the organizing, voting and such. I plan on totally revamping the website. Hosted on Nintendoage... lets keep it clean people :beer:
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169259)
Despite being the guy who tried to enter two projects in the 2014 compo and failed, I still think the idea of a competition is a good idea.

Going through the rest of the thread from the beginning...

infiniteneslives wrote:
1- 3months isn't really enough time for most people to create something significant from scratch. 3months is better for something along the lines of a mini game. Mini games are great and all, but if we're hoping for more significant entries a longer timeline is needed.

Agreeing with this for obvious reasons :p

infiniteneslives wrote:
2- would be nice to have some sort of annual timeline that can be relied upon. This would combat the time constraint above. If compo entries are expected to be due the same time every year, then people could start whenever they wanted and not have to question when the next compo will be, or if it will occur.

I like this idea in general; however, I don't know if New Year's day would be the best option, due to parties and/or possible hangovers. :p
The 7-8 months deadline sounds reasonable enough.

I have no real ideas or requests regarding prizes/rewards.
Sharing progress (or not) should be up to the author, but I'm not sure if that should include in-progress demos or not.

The idea of calling it a "game jam" seems wrong (based on the multi-month timeline [see calima's post])...
However, I recall miau working on a NES game or two for Ludum Dare, so it's apparently possible once if you know the system like the back of your hand...

In order to get to that point though...
Punch wrote:
2 - Create good tutorials (nerdy nights but more polished and with more content); could be for ASM, the C compiler or even Family BASIC (more on that later). Again, this helps to bring more new people to something as daunting as "programming a game that runs on a real NES".

This is a very good idea; the wiki is a great resource, but newcomers won't really have an idea where to begin.

Punch wrote:
3 - Create open-source/PD version of Hudson's Family BASIC

This is also a good idea, but not without its caveats (see posts by tepples).

Punch wrote:
what about PC tools?

IIRC, this is the approach Shiru(?) wanted to take, but I can't recall the status of the project.

"NROM only" and "anything goes" seems fine as far as category split.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169277)
I was looking at the 2014 guidelines, and I have some questions. I know nothing is set in stone yet for 2016, but let's run with the assumption that the multicart will be similar if not identical to 2014...

It says 8k and 64k enteries, with a list of compatible mappers, but it's not clear to me how CHR-ROM is handled....

If I were going to make an NROM game, I would assume 32k PRG and 8k CHR-ROM, but the inclusion of AxROM and BNROM makes me think the multicart will be CHR-RAM, which doesn't make sense for NROM...makes me think you should reserve 8k of that 32k for the CHR.

But then, for the 8k entries, does that mean you'd have another 8k allowed for CHR, or would you have to have CHR and PRG jammed into that 8k space?

I guess, how should a standard entry be set up?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169279)
If a game has CHR ROM, the Action 53 multicart builder compresses the CHR ROM data into an otherwise unused part of PRG ROM, and then the menu decompresses it before jumping to the game's reset vector.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169281)
darryl.revok wrote:
My press is limited to 4 colors, but I think there's a lot one can do with 4 colors if they're creative.

If there are people who might be interested in buying a shirt rather than getting one as a reward for contribution, maybe it would be worth considering printing extras, and putting the profits toward rewards. I'd be happy with that if all of the proceeds go to the compilation.


Yeah don't forget background always counts as a color! :) 4 colors + bkgnd is plenty to work with. Honestly I prefer clever designs that only use one ink color. I'd be in favor of making it less effort for your volunteered labor, but that's up to you and the design proposals we get. I agree with better quality shirts too, sounds like in all $10 will cover everything then? That seems like a good price to me. I think it's safe to say other people will want Tshirts, we have time to figure all that out though as we probably won't be ordering the shirts until around the compo's end.


pubby wrote:
I don't think I would enter a "half-way submission" contest, due partly to my belief that releasing work before it is finished kills motivation, but that is just me and I am a curmudgeon. Others will probably find a half-way contest to be helpful though, so I say aim high and do whatever you think will work.

Bounties offered by non-organizers would be an interesting way to handle this. People would put up their own money for games/programs they'd like to see made, and then when the contest is over they would get to decide the winner of their prize.


My idea of a half-way point wouldn't have to include submission of a WIP rom. A progress thread that's showing general progress of the game would satisfy my thought. The half-way point 'check-up' had two intents. Firstly to prevent issues like we have had previously were we can't accept submissions due to copyright or other reasons. This would allow feedback to the developer early enough to allow them to modify their game. Secondly that was when I had planned to distribute something along the lines of a 'hardware dev kit'. So it could be made use of during this year's compo. Doesn't sound like such a kit is of interest here which might make be due to none of us are new-comers.

Quote:
I like this idea in general; however, I don't know if New Year's day would be the best option, due to parties and/or possible hangovers. :p
The 7-8 months deadline sounds reasonable enough.
Yeah new year's day probably isn't the best choice. The months of Dec/Nov didn't sound good either as people are usually busy with holidays, travel, and/or end of semester obligations. Sometime mid-late January would be good.

Quote:
It says 8k and 64k enteries, with a list of compatible mappers, but it's not clear to me how CHR-ROM is handled....
All CHR-ROM games are converted to CHR-RAM in the creation of the multigame. Contestants still submit standard NROM .nes files, Tepples has handled the conversion for everyone in the past.

I would like to keep the standard submission category a limit of 64KB like we did last time. The final hardware has CHR-RAM so no good reason to artificially limit developer's use of it's benefits by requiring all submissions to be NROM. We can have the limit of 64KB with all possible mappers, but recommend/suggest NROM as it's the popular choice.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169284)
So wait, with mappers and the 64k NROM limit: what about UNROM? From what I've seen, it can be 64k.

Or am I being stupid, and the "NROM" in "UNROM" answers this for me?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169285)
Yes UNROM is one of the several mappers supported by the multi-discrete board/mapper created for action53 cartridge publishing. See the nesdev wiki for mapper 28 for more details.

EDIT: In reality if someone created something larger than 64KB and was interested in it's inclusion on the cartridge we could do it like we did with Streemerz for volume 1. 64KB is more than enough for compo entries based on history though..
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169287)
I didn't get my 8k question answered.

Do you get 8k PRG and 8k CHR

Or

8k for both PRG and CHR combined?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169288)
What's your question? Are you asking about the 8KB category 3? If so, that was for the mini game/app minimalist category. You only got 8KB of prg rom, and Chr-ram. I don't think we'll be doing a category 3 this time since we only had 3 submissions last time. One could still submit an 8KB game but that's your own artificial limit make it what you want.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169292)
Supported mappers include any subset of A53 mapper (#28). These include NROM (#0) with CHR ROM, NROM with CHR RAM, CNROM (#3), BNROM (#34), AMROM/ANROM (#7), UNROM (#2), and inverted UNROM (#180). These also include CNROM or UNROM bank switching with AxROM-style switchable 1-screen mirroring, which currently lack distinct mapper numbers.

And no, NROM isn't a subset of UNROM. It's a subset of CNROM (if it has CHR ROM) or BNROM (if it has CHR RAM).

If I sponsor a water-themed category, it'll probably have a 7K limit for PRG + CHR, as the kanji for water (水) resembles "7K".
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169348)
tepples wrote:
If I sponsor a water-themed category


Requirement: all games must have a water level.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169361)
I had an idea for a non-game idea, but then I realized it probably wouldn't work because it uses every audio expansion known to 0CC Famitracker. :( And in one track, all at the same time. :x
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169364)
I'm a bit confused about the size limits and mappers allowed.

I could go for CNROM and forget about it, but as all my NES development has been based around NROM, CNROM, and GNROM-like mappers (where the full 32K is switched at once), I'd like to use this compo for my first "partial" romspace mapping, i.e., using UNROM.

UNROM allows for 4 or 8 banks of 16K PRG + 8K CHR (that makes 72K). A limit of 64K means that I can use 3 banks of PRG to make room for the CHR bank?

EDIT: Forget what I said. Now I understand UNROM uses CHR RAM. Great, now it's time to find a good pattern compressor :P
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169372)
na_th_an wrote:
UNROM uses CHR RAM. Great, now it's time to find a good pattern compressor :P

See Tile compression. The Action 53 menu software uses PB53, an RLE-type codec, and the menu source code includes a Python packer and 6502 unpacker.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169377)
I'll take a glance, thanks. I've successfully integrated tokumaru's lszz decompressor code into a neslib-based framework, I just asked him for permission to use and/or distribute it (if somebody else is using Shiru's neslib for the compo and is interested). It seems to work fine.

It seems that I'll be targetting UNROM for the compo.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169394)
Update, and I post it here as it is related to the compo, somehow:

Tokumaru has kindly given me permission to distribute his work alongside a modified version of nes.cfg and neslib. It's just a basic, empty template to create UNROM games with cc65 and Shiru's neslib. I did this for myself, but I think that if we share this kind of resources we'll get more people in.

So, maybe we should set up a thread where we can share this kind of stuff, for the compo or whatever fits? What do you think?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169400)
na_th_an wrote:
Update, and I post it here as it is related to the compo, somehow:

Tokumaru has kindly given me permission to distribute his work alongside a modified version of nes.cfg and neslib. It's just a basic, empty template to create UNROM games with cc65 and Shiru's neslib. I did this for myself, but I think that if we share this kind of resources we'll get more people in.

So, maybe we should set up a thread where we can share this kind of stuff, for the compo or whatever fits? What do you think?


A resource thread would be great, feel free to create one for us. I'll try to find and post some art from old projects for people to use.

tepples wrote:
na_th_an wrote:
UNROM uses CHR RAM. Great, now it's time to find a good pattern compressor :P

See Tile compression. The Action 53 menu software uses PB53, an RLE-type codec, and the menu source code includes a Python packer and 6502 unpacker.


To this day I still don't get how PB53 works.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169402)
Punch wrote:
tepples wrote:
See Tile compression. The Action 53 menu software uses PB53, an RLE-type codec, and the menu source code includes a Python packer and 6502 unpacker.

To this day I still don't get how PB53 works.

I have explained it in the "PB53" section of the "Tile compression" article. What's the first phrase in this explanation that you fail to understand so that I can improve it?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169404)
Tomorrow I'll write some documentation and start a resource thread. I have set up a very simple example where the main code in the main area pages in a bank with compressed CHR data and puts it into CHR-RAM, then pages yet another bank and executes a function which draws some patterns on screen. That should get people going, specially those who know the inner workins of Neslib but only have coded NROM or CNROM games.

The only thing I still have to solve has to be with famitone. I want to have song data split across banks, and I have to research on how to do it.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169405)
I have SO many projects that I want to work on (WLA, SNES stuff, this) but if I decide to get involved in this, then I'll probably use UNROM too; I've got it working with RLE graphics compression and famitone.

Speaking of which, here's my RLE compressor and decompression routine for NES, if anyone wants it. Compressor in python 3, 6502 code is written in asm6 syntax; 16-bit zeropage variable named "chr_ram" needed to use. Code not very well commented (yet?).

Should I post this in the resource thread once it's made?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169409)
infiniteneslives wrote:
Let's please show respect for the Nintendoage community and its members. There are many good reasons to do so especially in this thread, but one shouldn't need justification for showing respect.

Thank you.

I'm unfamiliar with the term game jam. Based on what you guys are saying there is not much reason to rename anything IMO.

I can't agree to that, after the unfair doxing crap, they pulled on me. They don't deserve my respect.
If anything, I DO require justification to show them any respect.

On second thought, I will not be participating in this community effort.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169410)
Alp wrote:
infiniteneslives wrote:
Let's please show respect for the Nintendoage community and its members. There are many good reasons to do so especially in this thread, but one shouldn't need justification for showing respect.

Thank you.

I'm unfamiliar with the term game jam. Based on what you guys are saying there is not much reason to rename anything IMO.

I can't agree to that, after the unfair doxing crap, they pulled on me. They don't deserve my respect.
If anything, I DO require justification to show them any respect.

On second thought, I will not be participating in this community effort.


Not to sidetrack the thread but what are you talking about? I'm sure you have stuff to back you up.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169411)
Quote:
what are you talking about?


Can we NOT go through this again, or at least start a new thread. Alp has his reasons. He's also a talented artist/programmer, so consider yourself lucky to not have the competition.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169412)
I just want as many programmers as possible making games, that's all.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169428)
I am glad to say I will be submitting an entry.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169465)
I was going to ask when I get ready to post my entry, but since we're already getting some threads on the topic, I was wondering if anyone else thinks it could be nice to have a board for the compo.

My thoughts were that it would help consolidate information, and people wanting to know about the compo could easily browse the projects. I'd think we could sticky the rules for the compo, and then sticky finalized entries.

Not sure how much work it is to do that but figured I'd see if others thought it was a good idea.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169469)
I thought people generally stay quiet about their entries in these sort of competitions, and hoard source code from each other... but it seems like people are already sharing .cfg files, so I don't know, maybe we could have a sub-forum just for the compo.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169473)
Well, at least I'm not interested in winning. My only goal is submitting a nice game, have fun, and get published in a nice multicart. So I don't care sharing any info while I develop my entry.

I (We, as the Mojon Twins) are usually quiet while developing our games 'cause we usually don't have time to both code *and* tell about it ;)
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169551)
A shirt with the NesDev logo on it would be cool. Is there any kind of restriction on using it?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169634)
About the compo rules, I've been examining the rules for the previous edition. I've noticed that the "anything goes" category allows for already existing games and stuff like that.

How does one prove that the game he's submitting has been created 100% for the compo? I also tend to reuse many routines and assets everytime I create a game, and I also have a framework which let's me start up new projects quite easily. I know this is usually a silly question, but could somebody ellaborate on what's considered to be acceptable as a compo entry and specifically makes an entry go to "anything goes"?

In the guidelines it just says "not released", but I find that a bit forgiving, or maybe a bit blurry. I have unreleased (as in almost nobody has seen it but the dev team and some friends) material nearing completion that I wrote last year, and I would consider it eligible as a proper entry, mainly out of honesty. I mean, if I were to submit such material, I would do it as an "anything goes" entry out of honesty, but as the rules/guidelines are defined, or as I understand that, there's no real restriction in this case and nothing forces me to do so.

Any thoughts?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169640)
na_th_an wrote:
How does one prove that the game he's submitting has been created 100% for the compo?

Why does it have to?

By the way, when can we start posting stuff? We've hit a stopping point, and I would like to see if this rom works on real hardware.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169645)
na_th_an wrote:
About the compo rules, I've been examining the rules for the previous edition. I've noticed that the "anything goes" category allows for already existing games and stuff like that.

How does one prove that the game he's submitting has been created 100% for the compo? I also tend to reuse many routines and assets everytime I create a game, and I also have a framework which let's me start up new projects quite easily. I know this is usually a silly question, but could somebody ellaborate on what's considered to be acceptable as a compo entry and specifically makes an entry go to "anything goes"?

In the guidelines it just says "not released", but I find that a bit forgiving, or maybe a bit blurry. I have unreleased (as in almost nobody has seen it but the dev team and some friends) material nearing completion that I wrote last year, and I would consider it eligible as a proper entry, mainly out of honesty. I mean, if I were to submit such material, I would do it as an "anything goes" entry out of honesty, but as the rules/guidelines are defined, or as I understand that, there's no real restriction in this case and nothing forces me to do so.

Any thoughts?


The lines were kept blurry for a reason. It really is up to your own discretion. When we put in "not released" it was intended to exclude entries that had already been 100% completed, available to the mass public for distribution, or released on cartridge (not including one-off prototypes or small runs for friends etc). There hasn't been any rule against submitting something that you have been working on for years. I have mentioned before that you shouldn't wait for the next compo announcement to start working on your project. You can pretty much guarantee that there will always be an NROM category. Also, if there have been significant changes (as decided by judges) there shouldn't be anything holding you back from submitting in the main category.

As for the anything goes category, it is pretty self explanatory. Entries can include projects submitted in other contests, projects already released to the public that they would like included on the cartridge, and anything else that wouldn't fit into the NROM category.

I think one of the origins of this competition was to encourage people to finish and release their projects. We all have projects that are years in the making and in various states of completion. This is supposed to give a bit of incentive.

Also, feel free to make a build thread, feel free to do what you like. The only thing that will be judged is the final entry that is submitted. Not everyone has a support system that allows for feedback for their projects and this compo isn't intended to stand in the way of making your project better.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169647)
Does anyone else find it really strange to abbreviate competition as compo? I've been thinking it was composition or maybe compilation (which would be just as wrong). Looks like we have a comp-o-tishon on our hands here, boys!
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169648)
darryl.revok wrote:
Does anyone else find it really strange to abbreviate competition as compo? I've been thinking it was composition or maybe compilation (which would be just as wrong). Looks like we have a comp-o-tishon on our hands here, boys!


Perhaps we should use compé?

I'm assuming it came from demoscene lingo?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169649)
I thought of that, but as an American, I'm obligated to dislike anything that seems French. Nothing I can do about it; it's in the contract. :D

I'm kidding of course, but in this country people really do hate France; pretty much the only country who had our backs from the beginning.

Whatever. Screw em all! Freedom fries woo!

Also, I looked at the demoscene thing, but what I couldn't find is why it's abbreviated with an O. They just skip over it. Obviously they're not as bothered by it.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169651)
Quote:
I thought of that, but as an American, I'm obligated to dislike anything that seems French. Nothing I can do about it; it's in the contract. :D

I'm kidding of course, but in this country people really do hate France; pretty much the only country who had our backs from the beginning.

Whatever. Screw em all! Freedom fries woo!


I swear I'm a nice guy !
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169652)
darryl.revok wrote:
I thought of that, but as an American, I'm obligated to dislike anything that seems French. Nothing I can do about it; it's in the contract. I'm kidding of course, but in this country people really do hate France; pretty much the only country who had our backs from the beginning.Whatever. Screw em all! Freedom fries woo!

I honestly have no clue what you're talking about.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169655)
Espozo wrote:
I honestly have no clue what you're talking about.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Fren ... ted_States
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169656)
Espozo wrote:
I honestly have no clue what you're talking about.


Freedom Fries? I love that this was actually a thing. I will tell my grand children of it.

EDIT: You beat me to it.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169659)
na_th_an wrote:
In the guidelines it just says "not released", but I find that a bit forgiving, or maybe a bit blurry.


I think a clearer way to move forward with that would be to change it to "not previously submitted as a compo entry". The reality is we want to be as flexible as possible. Reuse of code from other compo entries or anything else one has permission to use is perfectly fine. This seems to be a FAQ so perhaps it should be made clear on the compo page.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169660)
Quote:
Perhaps we should use compé?

This sounds extremely weird. In french we'd says something like "compète" it we had to shorten "competition".

Quote:
I thought of that, but as an American, I'm obligated to dislike anything that seems French. Nothing I can do about it; it's in the contract. :D

Don't worry, the United States of America are also cordially detested here. And also they're not refereed to as "America", which refers to the whole continent in our language (i.e. "The Americas" in English).

Quote:
Freedom fries woo!

I don't understand why they need to make up a new word for this, when there is a proper word in English language : "Chips".
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169669)
French fries, freedom fries, chips, and crisps related talk can go here.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169678)
infiniteneslives wrote:
na_th_an wrote:
In the guidelines it just says "not released", but I find that a bit forgiving, or maybe a bit blurry.


I think a clearer way to move forward with that would be to change it to "not previously submitted as a compo entry". The reality is we want to be as flexible as possible. Reuse of code from other compo entries or anything else one has permission to use is perfectly fine. This seems to be a FAQ so perhaps it should be made clear on the compo page.


Do you also mean to exclude commercial homebrews releases, or do you think that should be acceptable. I wouldn't want someone not to enter because they don't think they have a chance of winning (even though everyone who submits an entry usually gets a prize).
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169680)
Yeah commercially released homebrew games often exceed the 64KB limit anyway. If someone wanted to submit a previously commercially released game, my suggestion would be the anything goes category. Perhaps the game is no longer being published, and it we'd be happy to include it in the action53 project. Honestly I don't think we need to be too concerned about people abusing the rules here to try and win the competition. I'm more concerned about people feeling their work doesn't quality for submission when it would be welcomed.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169692)
For anybody who might find it useful, I've compiled the Everdrive N8 USB loader tool for LInux x86_64: http://csh.rit.edu/~moffitt/bin/ednusb

The source is an unmodified copy of Krikzz's Everdrive N8 USB source that comes from here: http://krikzz.com/pub/support/everdrive-n8/development/
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169710)
It is now 100% clear, thanks everybody.

It's just that I've seen other competitions in the past in which organizers were really anal about this issue. And I mean really anal. I've seen entries disqualified 'cause the author announced he was coding it in his blog before he did in the official forum. As silly as it sounds.

I like the way it is in the NesDev compo.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169715)
NESHomebrew wrote:
Perhaps we should use compé?

Image
I'm afraid I'd confuse the compo with Strong Bad's shortest lived (well, not time-wise) computer.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169718)
Everyone is familiar with the (admittedly strange) word "compo", so it's best to just stick with that.

All this discussion - we all could have put out a simple game in that time!
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169818)
mikejmoffitt wrote:
All this discussion - we all could have put out a simple game in that time!

You are all behind, and I am ahead! :D Heheheheh! :twisted:

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=13925&p=169816#p169816

Can someone hardware test it for me, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease? :shock: (don't kill me!)
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169821)
Congrats! You beat me to the first progress thread! 8-)

There seems to be an issue on hardware though. Something with the graphics. Are you bankswapping CHR-ROM?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169832)
I am unsure whether I want to make a progress thread or not. Having the game as a surprise would be fun.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169845)
Jedi QuestMaster wrote:
You are all behind, and I am ahead! :D Heheheheh! :twisted:

I wouldn't be so sure. 8-)
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169846)
Kasumi wrote:
I wouldn't be so sure. 8-)

Uh oh you're in this too?! :?: Awesome! :!:

Now the game is really afoot!

*bows before the duel* :lol:
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169962)
So can we start doing our games right now or do we have to wait for the start date?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169967)
Punch wrote:
So can we start doing our games right now or do we have to wait for the start date?

Can anyone prove when they did or didn't start a project? There's no way to enforce this, so that would be a pointless rule.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169970)
Punch wrote:
So can we start doing our games right now or do we have to wait for the start date?


Feel free to start now (or in the past). tokumaru's right there isn't a means to enforce it, nor do we have interest in enforcing any such rule. Only thing we don't want submitted is a game has already been included in an Action53 volume which doesn't have significant expansion/improvement. Something like a sequel to a previous submission that reused large amounts of code would be more than welcome IMO.

Sounds like we've got enough input on the details now to start drafting things up.

The only thing I can think of that hasn't been specifically covered is the cash prize amounts. From what I gather the cash prize really isn't a significant motive for most people who have chimed in. There is a preference towards prizes for all which I agree probably will do a better job of attracting entries.

2011 Cash prizes totalled $175 ($100-first, $50-second, $25-third)
2014 Cash prizes totalled $850 ($500-first, $250-second, $100-third)

Thinking something between those two is will be a good plan this time around.

2016 Proposed cash prizes total $480 ($250-first $150-second $80-third), please chime in with any input on these numbers so we can make the final decision soon.

Again if contestants are more interested in cash than their limited edition contributor's cart they are free to resell it.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#169985)
I'm doing this for the cart, so anything you decide is perfectly fine :)
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170035)
I'd like to get in on this action. Have set up a basic dev environment for the NES with UNROM (think I already said all this so this is just old news), now to get to making a game...welp.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170047)
If I can keep this pace up over the summer, I think I'll have a good game or two ready.

The cartridge should be embraced as a good means of exposure as well. The last one got played by the Cinemassacre guys, and they get lots of views.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170050)
I was thinking. People send them these games to play online and somebody sent them Action 53. Maybe next time an official "care package" with the T-shirt and stuff might be nice? Exposure at launch > exposure years later. Don't get me wrong, they just started airing homebrew games relatively recently, and it's cool that they did at all. Now that they are though, I'd think some love from the leading edge of NES development could be fitting.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170053)
infiniteneslives wrote:
2016 Proposed cash prizes total $480 ($250-first $150-second $80-third), please chime in with any input on these numbers so we can make the final decision soon.

$250? That's $6 away from a nice round number! :P
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170054)
Prizes should be $256, $128, $64.
:lol:
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170055)
pubby wrote:
$250? That's $6 away from a nice round number! :P

You mean square number? :wink:
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170068)
Punch wrote:
Prizes should be $256, $128, $64.
:lol:


I like this idea.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170073)
Now that would be nice :D
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170076)
When can we expect the rules to be decided?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170086)
calima wrote:
When can we expect the rules to be decided?


I think for now you can base it off the existing rules from the past compo with 2 categories. NROM and Anything Goes. I think that has been the consensus, at least I haven't heard otherwise. A few other suggestions regarding themes and stuff have been thrown around but I don't know if that is something everyone would like. I'll set up a poll.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170157)
Is there any rule against collaborative entries? It might be a good way for less experienced people (like me) to get a foot in the door.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170159)
Rahsennor wrote:
Is there any rule against collaborative entries?

No. I had graphics and music help for RHDE, which placed second in 2014.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170223)
Rahsennor wrote:
Is there any rule against collaborative entries? It might be a good way for less experienced people (like me) to get a foot in the door.


If I remember correctly, previously in these cases it was up to the collaborators on how they wanted to split any winnings.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170277)
So, where do I find the rules of the compo and the proposed categories, and the deadline ? I'd like to know if I can participate, and if so, how many entries.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170293)
Bregalad wrote:
So, where do I find the rules of the compo and the proposed categories, and the deadline ? I'd like to know if I can participate, and if so, how many entries.


There has never been a restriction on the number of entries. 2 categories, NROM (same rules as last year) and anything goes. Since the end of December is not a good time to end the compo, I'd like to propose January 31st as the deadline. I've been working a full week of 12 hour shifts so I haven't had much time to draft something up. I will try to put together a complete document asap.

Everyone else OK with a Jan 31 deadline?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170300)
Jan 31st sounds good!

The only limitation we had with multiple entries was that you could only place once per contestant. For example if your games judging score put them at 2nd, and 3rd, you'd get 2nd place and the 4th place score would recieve 3rd.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170301)
I'm fine with January 31st as well... Hope to actually finish something this time around, now that the development period is longer.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170312)
Jan 31st is perfect.

To sum it up and to get everything clear... so we have "NROM" and "Anything goes", but there's also a 64K restriction for the games so they can be included in the cart, isn't it?

Appart from that, you can enter as many games as you want but you can only opt to a prize.

I gather that the multicart will be using the same Mapper 28 as always and that the same guidelines apply.

Then, I'd say we pretty much have the rules already sorted out!
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170344)
If there is time, I might make an NROM game as well with some simpler concept. That's a good category split.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170346)
NESHomebrew wrote:
I think for now you can base it off the existing rules from the past compo with 2 categories. NROM and Anything Goes.

By NROM do you mean NROM-128? Allowing NROM-256 in that category seems less interesting...
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170348)
The category is NROM-256 (unless I'm severely mistaken), but nobody's stopping you from making an NROM-128 game if that's your desire. If you're asking why the category isn't more restrictive, the concern is that we don't get a high enough volume of entries; it's a lot harder to make an NES game than a Ludum Dare game.

I presume NROM-368 is excluded from this category. (As an aside: has anyone ever used NROM-368 for something?)
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170351)
Thwaite won the 2011 compo as NROM-128. But then LAN Master was the only NROM-256 entry.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170356)
NROM (128-256) should only be a suggestion. You're welcome to use the chr-ram with BNROM. UNROM, ANROM, etc. or even banked "CHR-ROM" via CNROM/GNROM up to 32KB chr which mapper 28 supports.

The 64KB limit is based on summation of prg-rom and chr-rom. So games that use chr-ram (chr-rom = 0KB), have a prg-rom limit of 64KB. There's 32KB of chr-ram available in 8KB banks, feel free to only use a single 8KB bank though.

You're correct, NROM-368 is not supported.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170360)
infiniteneslives wrote:
There's 32KB of chr-ram available in 8KB banks, feel free to only use a single 8KB bank though.

However, is it legal to utilize this? It would offer a significant advantage to those who do.

As long as the rule is the same for everyone I'm cool either way.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170361)
So in short, this is a mess and nobody knowns the rules yet.

That doesn't matter, I'll have to prepare one or two entires, and if they don't fit any category they could go in the "anything goes" cathegory.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170363)
Bregalad wrote:
So in short, this is a mess and nobody knowns the rules yet.

I'd interpret the questions as a display of interest rather than a failure on anybody's part. As long as we're making the games and hammering out the details, I feel like we're making progress. I'd be more concerned if nobody was asking for clarifications, especially with a lot of newer users wanting to enter. (Like me! Still three months from coding for NES for a year)
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170364)
I thought the categories clear, but maybe I don't understand who's an authority here.


For the purposes of judging/competition:

1. NROM (<= 32k PRG, 8k CHR ROM or RAM, fixed H or V mirroring, no other mapper features)
2. Anything else


Independent of this is whether or not it could go on the compo cartridge:

1. Compliant with the compo cartridge mapper and size restriction (<= 64k PRG+CHR ROM)
2. Not compliant
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170365)
Oh ok, thanks this makes everything clearer.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170385)
From what I recall last time the requirement last compo was <=64KB and compatible with mapper 28. All category 1 entries choose to utilize NROM. I figured we'd keep with that and not limit people to NROM and CHR-ROM. The 8-32KB of chr-ram available on the cartridge would be available to anyone who chose to make use of the available hardware. If collectively we feel that last compo's requirements were too confusing and we are better off to strictly limit to NROM that's fine, I'm just curious If there is other logic behind that thought.

From a multi game menu creation use of chr-ram by entries would make the multi rom creation simpler, perhaps it's not that significant though. We would need Tepples input if from his past efforts.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170388)
Solar Wars was mapper hacked from CNROM to UNROM because at the time, it was easier than adding full CNROM support to the builder and adding a larger CHR RAM to the cartridge board. Where the original game switched CHR ROM pages, the UNROM version would switch to bank 0 or 1, blank the screen, decompress one of the game's four 8K pattern table pages to CHR RAM, and switch bank to bank 2 where the code was. This effort also exposed and corrected stack overflow bugs in the movement code.

But if a compelling CNROM game uses rapid CHR bank switching, I could add CNROM support to the builder.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170392)
I didn't realize that any of the mappers supporting CHR banking lack PRG banking, so having access to CHR banking would be a trade-off for having half the total PRG size. That seems like a fair trade. I'll be sticking to UNROM for the 64KB.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170395)
Mapper 28 does support it, although you'd have to juggle modes via writes to $5000. It's just that tepples's multicart assembling tool only supports the 90% case formed from NROM/UNROM/BNROM/ANROM right now.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170415)
You could also target MMC1 with CHR banking set to the 8KB mode and use that during development if the emulators you use don't support mapper 28, and switch it over once your game is all debugged and finished.

Edit: Though you would probably need to use CHR ROM, and switch it over to CHR RAM.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170422)
My "main game" uses mapper #3 with 32kb PRG and 32kb CHR, 64kb in total. Is that ok ? It does not switch rapidly CHR-ROM with the screen on, so a CHR-RAM conversion would be possible and the game would take even less space, as there is significant repeat between the CHR-ROM banks.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170453)
rainwarrior wrote:
I thought the categories clear, but maybe I don't understand who's an authority here.


I'm a bit unclear on this myself. I know InfiniteNESlives is an authority. I'm not sure if tepples is involved as a contest official or rather on the side of a contestant/general contributor of tools and knowledge. NEShomebrew, I am entirely unfamiliar with, but it appears as of they were an official of sorts to the old Compo.

Clarification on this matter could be helpful especially for newer members such as myself.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170508)
darryl.revok wrote:
rainwarrior wrote:
I thought the categories clear, but maybe I don't understand who's an authority here.


I'm a bit unclear on this myself. I know InfiniteNESlives is an authority. I'm not sure if tepples is involved as a contest official or rather on the side of a contestant/general contributor of tools and knowledge. NEShomebrew, I am entirely unfamiliar with, but it appears as of they were an official of sorts to the old Compo.

Clarification on this matter could be helpful especially for newer members such as myself.


For the first competition, people kept bringing it up but no one wanted to organize it. I volunteered, eventually got the website up, maintain the email account, and organize the voting etc. InfiniteNESLives volunteered his time and services with the creation of the cartridges, managing the financial aspect of the competition, and general organizing. Tepples has combined the previous entries for the multi-carts.

Other people have also helped in the past, in one way or another. The unique thing about this contest is that pretty much anyone who wants to help can. There was help with label artwork/manuals, and in the first competition we had a panel of judges, and of course any and all suggestions are always considered. For the most part people haven't had a whole lot of suggestions in the past, so having a couple of main organizers making the final decisions seemed to help.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170572)
As I take it, the community is the authority. I like to consider myself more of an organizer, not the authority. Ultimately decisions do need to be made though. I try my best to make organize everything based on input from the forum. Best way I've found thus far is to post plans publicly prior to making final decisions. Sometimes it's consensus by crickets, other times a wide spectrum of input is received and we try to appeal to the masses as best we can. Everyone's input and comments are welcome and valued.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170807)
This conversation is quite hard to follow over the 9 pages.

Just to clarify:
there is a competition going on, you can start whenever you want as long is you finish before the 31st of Jan (right?)
You can use N-ROM 128 or 256 whatever.
Anything goes, you can decide on a theme yourself (for the uncreative among us here's one: Spaghetti Western, and another: Chinese Tea Masters)

So. Is this thread the announcement? Or should we make an announcement page of sorts? Where you can find the submissions easily?

I offer myself up to do make a small site where you can submit your entry.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170811)
Is this a thing?!

NesDev compo??

I am a newbie round here, but made a NES game for Global Game Jam this year so where would one find more information/stay tuned with regard to this?

I would LOVE to be involved - and get other people involved if this is a THING that is HAPPENING.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170815)
fritzvd wrote:
Just to clarify:
there is a competition going on

Hint: Open a thread where all rules and infos about this compo are posted in the 1st post
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170823)
Image
Teal Deer Crossing


I'm detecting tl;dr, so let me summarize this topic, as well as things we've learned from past compos, polls, and the like. I'll edit a link to this post into the first post on page 1.

  1. We need to set a date, but 3 months isn't long enough for preparing a quality entry in spare time. A December 31 deadline isn't helpful because holidays are hectic. We're thinking June 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.
  2. Anything substantially finished and widely available to the general public before the compo is disqualified. According to NESHomebrew, this rule is "intended to exclude entries that had already been 100% completed, available to the mass public for distribution, or released on cartridge (not including one-off prototypes or small runs for friends etc)." We may still need to fine-tune the wording for this.
  3. To attract a greater volume of entries, use participation prizes, such as a physically distinctive copy of the resulting multicart or a T-shirt or some (inexpensive) developer hardware. We're still offering cash for entries that win (#1), place (#2), or show (#3), on the order of $250, $150, $80, or $256, $128, $64. If you win a category, you cannot place or show in the same category, and if you place, you cannot show.
  4. A way to share progress with the public without disqualifying one's entry is desirable. It helps to identify entries that cannot be included for a legal or other serious reason. This could be rewarded with bonus points at judging time or a hardware prize at halfway time.
  5. A category with a mandatory "theme", such as a harsh size limit or playing as a bee, would probably not be popular enough to draw entries. Stick with a 64K discrete category (N/CN/UN/AN/BNROM) and anything goes, but possibly add bonus points for meeting an optional theme.
  6. The 2011 and 2014 compos didn't produce the expected 512K of material for a cart, and carts were delayed until out-of-compo homebrew releases could be found to fill them. We may want to run compos more often to produce one cart from two compos' entries. This may encourage more polished work, as a work can be delayed until a later compo, but may also complicate funding the prizes.
  7. B00daW wants an original 2A03-only music compo, encouraging engine innovation rather than just exporting NSF from FamiTracker like 232 out of 275 Famicompo Pico entries did.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170830)
Thanks for the summation Tepples.

I think part of the confusion is this is more of a 2016 nesdev compo "survey" or "brainstorming" thread than an announcement thread. The announcement thread will come soon enough as a conclusion of this thread. I think my proposal to iron out details and announce official compo rules by the end of this month still is a good goal. Major decisions are similar enough to past compos that people are welcome to start development now if they don't want to wait until final announcement.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170831)
cash prize quantities $100, $80, $40, ... (in decimal) would be fun
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170834)
Cash prizes of $1000 would be MORE fun ;)
(Not a real suggestion, just a playful one).

Edit...reminds me of "FUN sized" candy bars. Where somehow getting less than a regular bar is supposed to be more "fun". Because the offer was $256, and you then suggest $100 would be " fun". Confusing.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170850)
Fun fact: (250+150+80) = (256+128+64+32) = 480
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170852)
This remindes me of tepple's post above...
https://youtu.be/ESFRqmitki8#t=7m40s

(Caution, language).
{It's a walkthrough/let's play of the impossible quiz 2, question 90.@ 7min 40sec}
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170857)
And who will finance the prices ?
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#170909)
Bregalad wrote:
And who will finance the prices ?

We have a balance of funds available.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171079)
I've been having some private talks with InfiniteNESLives and we were in agreement that it doesn't make sense to sit on a bunch of cash in the bank. I proposed cash prizes of: $512, $256, $128, $64, $...... for the main category and $128, $64, $32 for the anything goes category. We'd like some feedback on these suggestions.

We are also in agreement that a portion of the current balance should go towards the hosting of NA and NESDev for obvious reasons.

@Tepples/InfiniteNESLives, are the technical aspects of category 1 from 2014 still accurate, or do some changes need to be made?

I'm hoping to have everything officially confirmed by June 1st so I can update the website. If anyone still has suggestions or comments please speak up asap since the deadline for decision making is coming up quickly.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171081)
Can we post our finished projects to the public before the deadline? I'd really not like to wait until January of 2017 to post something that may have been finished by, say July 2016.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171083)
NESHomebrew wrote:
I've been having some private talks with InfiniteNESLives and we were in agreement that it doesn't make sense to sit on a bunch of cash in the bank. I proposed cash prizes of: $512, $256, $128, $64, $...... for the main category and $128, $64, $32 for the anything goes category. We'd like some feedback on these suggestions.


While, as I said, I'll be entering the compo just for fun, to get exposure, and 'cause I'd like my games to be featured in the cartridge, I like the proposed cash prizes.

I mean, that's a whole lot of cash prizes. I'm sure that developers will be more enticed to participate in a compo with 7-8 prizes.

So yes, count on my vote.

Jedi QuestMaster wrote:
Can we post our finished projects to the public before the deadline? I'd really not like to wait until January of 2017 to post something that may have been finished by, say July 2016.


I'm also interested on this issue.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171095)
Jedi QuestMaster wrote:
Can we post our finished projects to the public before the deadline? I'd really not like to wait until January of 2017 to post something that may have been finished by, say July 2016.


Of course it can be posted. They aren't really meant to be a secret, although many people in the past have preferred it that way. I think for the first compo we were a little more strict with this. I'm sure having a project posted to the forums for 6+ months will give you a lot of feedback that will improve the quality of the submission. In the past there had been some frustration from people waiting on the judging process, and just wanted people to see their projects. Making a thread for your game(s) is a way to avoid this frustration.

Depending on how we deal with submissions this year, I'd also advise holding off until near the end of the competition to submit your entry. We allow revisions, but in previous years I had some people submit 10+ updated entries fixing bugs etc. That gets a bit messy on my end, and I have to make sure I have the most recent build.

We also haven't decided on the judging criteria yet, so you might want to make some tweaks based on that as well.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171097)
NESHomebrew wrote:
are the technical aspects of category 1 from 2014 still accurate, or do some changes need to be made?

As far as I can tell, they should still work.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171103)
NESHomebrew wrote:
I proposed cash prizes of: $512, $256, $128, $64, $...... for the main category and $128, $64, $32 for the anything goes category. We'd like some feedback on these suggestions.

So am I understanding correctly that what is understood as the "main category" is NROM?

The prize being 4 times as high for a more simple project seems backwards to me.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171104)
Perhaps the rationale is that the category 1 entries are all but guaranteed a slot on the multicart, and the prize for such an entry would act as a royalty for inclusion.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171108)
tepples wrote:
Perhaps the rationale is that the category 1 entries are all but guaranteed a slot on the multicart, and the prize for such an entry would act as a royalty for inclusion.


Exactly. As eluded to previously, the compos themselves in the past have not provided enough material to fill the compo cartridge. Since the funds from the competition come from the cartridge, it makes sense to encourage nrom entries so a timely cartridge release can occur. Also, a smaller NROM project is much easier to complete than a larger more complicated project, and one of the foundations of this competition was for people to finish projects.

I'm open to change though if the consensus is that we need to restructure the prizes. With this longer development cycle, and the possibility for more elaborate projects we may need to re-balance.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171121)
64k and A53 compatible [is there a short name for this mapper yet?] seems more à propos for a category (as before) than straight NROM, though.

...so does it use CHR-RAM or not? It only seems to be implied through everything Tepples writes about things that it does (compression), not actually specified on our wiki page.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171125)
Myask wrote:
64k and A53 compatible [is there a short name for this mapper yet?] seems more à propos for a category (as before) than straight NROM, though.

...so does it use CHR-RAM or not? It only seems to be implied through everything Tepples writes about things that it does (compression), not actually specified on our wiki page.

If you check the 2014 rules page I linked to, it will tell you exactly what we are looking for. I believe the original competition (in which we called category 1 the NROM competition) was created before the hardware existed. The 2014 rules show that more than NROM is available, and if you scroll down on that page you will see the specific requirements.

That being said, Tepples still had to work his magic with a lot of the entries to get them all to work, but if the guidelines are followed it makes it much easier to compile the competition cartridge.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171126)
I've been calling it the "Action 53 mapper". It's designed to use 8K or 32K of CHR RAM, though boards so far have used 8K, and all entries have used 8K due to lack of NES 2.0 support in many emulators (such as FCEUX prior to r3000-something). If 8K is used, the feature set closely resembles that of SGROM (MMC1):

  • PRG ROM bank switching: 32K banks, 16K banks with $C000 fixed, or 16K banks with $8000 fixed.
  • CHR ROM bank switching: 8K banks only. Several games by Shiru use $2000 bits 3 and 4 to switch between two 4K sub-banks within an 8K bank.
  • Nametable mirroring: 1-screen A, 1-screen B, vertical, or horizontal. In either of the two 1-screen mirroring modes, if the CHR bank or PRG ROM bank is selected, D4 switches between A and B as in AxROM.
  • No bus conflicts.

NROM (#0), CNROM (#3), BNROM (#34), ANROM (#7), UNROM (#2), and UNROM (#180) are all subsets of the Action 53 mapper (#28). If your entry uses any of these subsets, it can be added with very little effort, as the menu will configure the mapper appropriately. You'd want to use the Action 53 mapper directly if you want to mix and match features of these boards, such as UNROM-style PRG bank switching with 1-screen mirroring, or CNROM-style CHR bank switching with 1-screen mirroring, or switching both CHR and PRG banks, or changing among 1, V, and H mirroring at runtime.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171140)
Hi, sorry, I came for the teal deer but caught something alarming; I thought the A53 supports AOROM? The wiki says that mapper 28 was designed to support AOROM. I just switched my project over to it and I want to be sure that I should stick with this and not oversized BNROM. Granted I don't understand their functional differences, but if possible I'd like to tell my friends that my project is built on Battletoads' architecture.

EDIT: I see now the only difference between AOROM and ANROM is 50% prg rom and no chance for bus conflicts so I can do that if needed. My project is overly ambitious though and if it goes well I might actually need the extra space (don't count on it).
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171142)
Guilty wrote:
I thought the A53 supports AOROM?

All AxROM boards are pretty much the same, what changes is the maximum PRG-ROM size and the presence/absence of bus conflicts. ANROM doesn't have bus conflicts, which makes it a superset of AOROM, so you should be fine.

Quote:
Granted I don't understand their functional differences, but if possible I'd like to tell my friends that my project is built on Battletoads' architecture.

PRG-ROM functions exactly the same on BNROM and AOROM, so you can still say that you're using "Battletoads' architecture" (you can probably even use a Battletoads cart as a donor for a BNROM game, with a bit of rewiring). The only difference between them is that BNROM has fixed name table mirroring (either vertical or horizontal), while AxROM has switchable 1-screen mirroring. IMO you should go with whatever fits the type of scrolling you're gonna use (if any) better, instead of ending up with scrolling artifacts just to be 100% like Battletoads.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171143)
IMHO, I'd rather have these categories:

1.- Multicart-compliant
2.- Anything goes

Restricting category 1 to NROM is not a good idea. That would encourage some people to trim games to fin in NROMs to get the bigger prizes.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171159)
na_th_an wrote:
IMHO, I'd rather have these categories:

1.- Multicart-compliant
2.- Anything goes

Restricting category 1 to NROM is not a good idea. That would encourage some people to trim games to fin in NROMs to get the bigger prizes.

Those are the categories.
tepples wrote:
You'd want to use the Action 53 mapper directly if you want to mix and match features of these boards, such as UNROM-style PRG bank switching with 1-screen mirroring, or CNROM-style CHR bank switching with 1-screen mirroring, or switching both CHR and PRG banks, or changing among 1, V, and H mirroring at runtime.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171161)
NESHomebrew wrote:
na_th_an wrote:
IMHO, I'd rather have these categories:

1.- Multicart-compliant
2.- Anything goes

Restricting category 1 to NROM is not a good idea. That would encourage some people to trim games to fin in NROMs to get the bigger prizes.

Those are the categories.

I thought the categories were:

1. NROM
2. Other multicart compliant mappers

Sorry there's been a lot of confusion on this topic. Multiple posts do point to the NROM/Not-NROM categories.

I wonder how many people have already started on their projects. For me, a lot of the appeal was to do something quick which could get a little exposure and hopefully some positive reinforcement. For that, the idea of lengthening the deadline by a year is a bit discouraging.

Edited for negativity.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171163)
Guilty wrote:
Hi, sorry, I came for the teal deer but caught something alarming; I thought the A53 supports AOROM? The wiki says that mapper 28 was designed to support AOROM. [...] I see now the only difference between AOROM and ANROM is 50% prg rom

The Action 53 mapper supports AOROM, but AOROM entries go in "anything goes" due to their size.

darryl.revok wrote:
I thought the categories were:

1. NROM
2. Other multicart compliant mappers

The 2011 compo's categories were NROM and anything else, and I was originally going to make the multicart use oversize BNROM. The Action 53 mapper was created to suit its entries, not the other way around. I designed it for the compo entries and the post-compo STREEMERZ game, with a bit of room for expansion, hence its MMC1-esque feature set as a superset of all major discrete mappers.

The 2014 compo's categories were 64K discrete, 8K discrete, and anything else, where "discrete" means "anything the Action 53 mapper can simulate". The consensus as I understand it is that this compo will use the 2014 rules (but without the 8K category), meaning a 64K UNROM qualifies.

My NES remake of Artemio's 240p test suite is a 64K UNROM (actually 48K because bank 2 is blank). It would qualify for the main 64K discrete category if it hadn't already been released. I plan to submit it to anything goes because I guess Shmups Forum members are likely to buy a cart just for that.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171165)
tepples wrote:
My NES remake of Artemio's 240p test suite is a 64K UNROM (actually 48K because bank 2 is blank). It would qualify for the main 64K discrete category if it hadn't already been released. I plan to submit it to anything goes because I guess Shmups Forum members are likely to buy a cart just for that.

I think it would qualify, my wording might have been a bit harsh in the past. I would say that we would just exclude commercial releases, and entries previously submitted without any changes.

I hope people aren't too upset about the requirements. I thought that it had been pretty clear that the categories would be pretty much identical to the 2014 rules. Maybe people didn't know where to find the rules for previous competitions. My apologies.

The main focus is for people to release their projects. The second focus is to provide financial and physical incentive to finish their project, by selling cartridges with compatible entries. Large games most likely merit their own physical release and there are different routes to do that (but feel free to submit in the anything goes category). But for this contest, we are restricted by the current hardware.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171179)
tokumaru wrote:
IMO you should go with whatever fits the type of scrolling you're gonna use (if any) better, instead of ending up with scrolling artifacts just to be 100% like Battletoads.


I have grandiose plans for scrolling and a status bar that I'm pretty sure will only work with single-screen switchable mirroring if I understand how that works. IIRC, one of the only other ways to do unlimited 4 way scrolling with a status bar is to pull a Crystalis and do horizontal mirroring, but that doesn't fix the horizontal artifacts. Provided I disable the left 8 columns for sprites and backgrounds, I should end up with a pretty small <8 pixles of attribute glitch on one side. But none of this is really on topic I guess...

tepples wrote:
The Action 53 mapper supports AOROM, but AOROM entries go in "anything goes" due to their size.


Noted, thank you.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171180)
Guilty wrote:
NESHomebrew wrote:
The Action 53 mapper supports AOROM, but AOROM entries go in "anything goes" due to their size.


Noted, thank you.

Sure.... I'll take credit for saying that. 8-)
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171181)
NESHomebrew wrote:
Sure.... I'll take credit for saying that. 8-)

Definitely that didn't just happen. I 100% know how to quote on forums correctly.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171182)
NESHomebrew wrote:
I thought that it had been pretty clear that the categories would be pretty much identical to the 2014 rules.


Here are a few sources of the confusion as to why people would believe that NROM specifically is the only mapper that's allowed for the main category:

NESHomebrew wrote:
I think that two categories would be good. NROM and Anything Goes.

NESHomebrew wrote:
You can pretty much guarantee that there will always be an NROM category.

NESHomebrew wrote:
As for the anything goes category, it is pretty self explanatory. Entries can include projects submitted in other contests, projects already released to the public that they would like included on the cartridge, and anything else that wouldn't fit into the NROM category.

NESHomebrew wrote:
I think for now you can base it off the existing rules from the past compo with 2 categories. NROM and Anything Goes.

NESHomebrew wrote:
2 categories, NROM (same rules as last year) and anything goes.


Guilty wrote:
IIRC, one of the only other ways to do unlimited 4 way scrolling with a status bar is to pull a Crystalis and do horizontal mirroring, but that doesn't fix the horizontal artifacts.

I fail to see how the results you get with single-screen will be better than the results you'll get with horizontal mirroring.

Crystalis has a pretty neat approach of forcing scroll to a boundary where attributes can be corrected. That's probably honestly the best approach I think I've seen.

What Alfred Chicken did seems like a huge waste of sprites for such a small issue. Nobody was returning their copies of SMB3 as kids for scrolling issues. That game even has problems with mis-scrolling tiles, which is a result of their engine and not a hardware limitation.

Guilty wrote:
NESHomebrew tepples wrote:
The Action 53 mapper supports AOROM, but AOROM entries go in "anything goes" due to their size.

Noted, thank you.

...Only if it exceeds 64KB, right?

Or is a 64KB discreet UNROM legal but a 64KB discreet AOROM isn't?

Sigh... I give up.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171184)
Old habits die hard :(
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171185)
Guilty wrote:
I have grandiose plans for scrolling and a status bar that I'm pretty sure will only work with single-screen switchable mirroring if I understand how that works.

Using 1-screen mirroring is indeed the easiest way, but it comes with horizontal attribute glitches (which you may hide with sprites if you find necessary).

Quote:
IIRC, one of the only other ways to do unlimited 4 way scrolling with a status bar is to pull a Crystalis and do horizontal mirroring, but that doesn't fix the horizontal artifacts.

There are other ways. The Crystalis technique also works with vertical mirroring, but you need to blank a few scanlines to hide the scroll seam.

Another solution is seen in The Jungle Book: Instead of skipping the status bar like Crystalis does, it redraws the status bar at a new position when necessary. If you don't have mapper IRQs, this is easier to implement.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171187)
NESHomebrew wrote:
Old habits die hard :(

Was this just a terminology error? I can be bad with that too and I wouldn't fault somebody for a mistake.

Did you just mean essentially discreet 64KB Action 53 compatible mapper when you said NROM?

In the beginning I went from this, from the 2014 rules:
Quote:
Mapper 28 compatible entry up to 64KB with NO PRG-RAM


I thought I understood the categories at first then more people kept saying NROM and things got blurry. By that point I'm already pretty far into my entry.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171188)
darryl.revok wrote:
Guilty wrote:
NESHomebrew tepples wrote:
The Action 53 mapper supports AOROM, but AOROM entries go in "anything goes" due to their size.

...Only if it exceeds 64KB, right?

The confusion here is that with AxROM and other board types, the second character usually refers to different sizes and configurations. "AOROM" implies a 128KB or 256KB PRG ROM, which is out.

Mapper 7 itself is perfectly fine.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171189)
darryl.revok wrote:
NESHomebrew wrote:
Old habits die hard :(

Was this just a terminology error? I can be bad with that too and I wouldn't fault somebody for a mistake.

Did you just mean essentially discreet 64KB Action 53 compatible mapper when you said NROM?

In the beginning I went from this, from the 2014 rules:
Quote:
Mapper 28 compatible entry up to 64KB with NO PRG-RAM


I thought I understood the categories at first then more people kept saying NROM and things got blurry. By that point I'm already pretty far into my entry.


In 2011 it was called the NROM category, since that is exactly what it was. This was before Mapper 28 existed. I did not design the hardware, or the menu software and haven't spent a significant amount of time analyzing either so I can't say exactly what is or isn't compatible. I will say, that category 1 is exactly as it shows for the 2014 rules. I think the reason Tepples said AOROM would be part of the "anything goes" category is because AOROM boards support 128/256 and only 64KB is compatible
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171191)
NESHomebrew wrote:
I think the reason Tepples said AOROM would be part of the "anything goes" category is because AOROM boards support 128/256 and only 64KB is compatible


Hey, speaking of which...

tepples wrote:
A category with a mandatory "theme", such as a harsh size limit or playing as a bee, would probably not be popular enough to draw entries. Stick with a 64K discrete category (N/CN/UN/AN/BNROM) and anything goes, but possibly add bonus points for meeting an optional theme.


ANROM on the wiki is listed for 128KB PRG. Doesn't that exclude it from a 64K discrete category, and AN1ROM would be more correct? Or is the 128KB PRG listing just a maximum, not a mandatory amount? Still not very familiar with the pcb differences.

Anyways, I'm hearing that mapper 7 is fine provided the rom is 64K or lower excluding header.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171193)
Guilty wrote:
Or is the 128KB PRG listing just a maximum, not a mandatory amount?

I believe these values are the largest ROMs the boards were designed to support. An UOROM board, for example, will run any UNROM game just fine.

Quote:
Anyways, I'm hearing that mapper 7 is fine provided the rom is 64K or lower excluding header.

That's my understanding.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171195)
darryl.revok wrote:
I fail to see how the results you get with single-screen will be better than the results you'll get with horizontal mirroring.

Not necessarily better, just easier because you don't have to move the status bar back and forth.

Quote:
Crystalis has a pretty neat approach of forcing scroll to a boundary where attributes can be corrected.

But can it be done efficiently without IRQs?* The DPCM Split technique might work (cf. Time Lord and Fire Hawk), but I'm not sure everyone here is brave enough to try it with a variable split point, and some of us want to leave that channel free for the music engine's use.

As far as I can tell, the Crystalis technique is a workaround for lack of single-screen mirroring on TKROM (MMC3, #4) as opposed to SKROM (MMC3, #1), TKSROM (MMC3, A10=CHR A17, #118), a hypothetical JKROM that would have been a battery-backed version of JSROM/NES-BTR (FME-7, #69), and a hypothetical version of AOROM (#7) with the battery circuit from Family BASIC.

Quote:
Or is a 64KB discreet UNROM legal but a 64KB discreet AOROM isn't?

Functionally there is no difference between ANROM and AOROM for ROMs 128K or smaller. AOROM just uses special PRG ROMs with a +CE input instead of an extra 74HC02 for bus conflict avoidance and routes Q2 to PRG ROM A17 for 256K support.

To put it even more clearly: Mappers 2, 180, 34, and 7 with 64 KiB PRG ROM are allowed.


* Spinning for the majority of draw time != efficiently.
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171204)
The rules seem to be getting pretty close to solidified. Is there going to be an official statement of the rules at some point?

This thread seems to be called "NesDev compo 2016" but it seems more like "NesDev compo planning 2016" to me. I would imagine the official rules should go in a sticky topic with this thread's current name? Is there a hosting website? (NesDev? NintendoAge? INL? tepples?)
Re: NesDev compo 2016
by on (#171205)
Rename complete.

As I understand it, this compo will be hosted on the same subdomain where the 2011 and 2014 compos were hosted. The final rules will be posted there, probably by NESHomebrew, and once I'm made aware of them, I'll make a new topic with a copy of the official announcement and rules.
Re: Planning
by on (#171206)
Why are there suddenly empty subforums for 2011 and 2014?

Do you like to waste the time of people who are tempted to click on them? O_o

Edit: oh, I see what you're doing. (It's hella confusing, as always, but I was opposed to extra sub-forums from the get go. :P Carry on, I guess...)
Re: Planning
by on (#171210)
Quote:
seems more like "NesDev compo planning 2016" to me


Seems like a long confused discussion about mappers to me =)
Re: Planning Mapper Confusion
by on (#171240)
darryl.revok wrote:
NESHomebrew wrote:
I thought that it had been pretty clear that the categories would be pretty much identical to the 2014 rules.


Here are a few sources of the confusion as to why people would believe that NROM specifically is the only mapper that's allowed for the main category:

Sigh... I give up.

No, that was quite helpful, that was what I was trying to get at.
Re: Planning
by on (#171593)
Judging. This is something that needs to be looked at before we announce the official rules. I have posted below the 2014/2011 and Ludum Dare judging criteria. Honestly I'm leaning more towards a Ludum Dare format where each category is judged out of 5 stars, and if for some reason a category does not fit an entry, then it can be N/A and won't be counted towards the full marks for the entry. I figure this is a good way to even the playing field if someone submits something like a test rom. As for categories, this is something I would like some input on.

2014
Gameplay and Control
Originality
Art and Style
Replay Value
Sound and Music
Polish/Completeness

2011
Graphics
Gameplay
Originality
Replay Value
Completeness
Sound/Music

Ludum Dare (old) - Rated 5 stars each or N/A

Innovation – The unexpected. Things in a unique combination, or something so different it’s notable.
Fun – How much you enjoyed playing a game. Did you look up at the clock, and found it was 5 hours later?
Theme – How well an entry suits the theme. Do they perhaps do something creative or unexpected with the theme?
Graphics – How good the game looks, or how effective the visual style is. Nice artwork, excellent generated or geometric graphics, charming programmer art, etc.
Audio – How good the game sounds, or how effective the sound design is. A catchy soundtrack, suitable sound effects given the look, voice overs, etc.
Humor – How amusing a game is. Humorous dialog, funny sounds, or is it so bad it’s good?
Mood – Storytelling, emotion, and the vibe you get while playing.
Overall – Your overall opinion of the game, in every aspect important to you.
Community – Journals, photos, timelapse video. Everything you do above and beyond just making the game.
Re: Planning
by on (#171602)
I feel that there should be some kind of category denoting how remarkable something's code is. Something that would net a 5/5 for CatQuest's AI/room compression, or a 5/5 for Battletoad's insane vblank handling (large amount of ppu updates, tons of tricky raster timing).

As a newbie I really love to see the crazy tricks people come up with to fit more data/prettier graphics into smaller chips, and I want to see people commended for that in some way. But, as a newbie I'm easily amazed, so not sure if the examples I used are good ones.
Re: Planning
by on (#171603)
I seem to remember mentioning something along similar lines earlier because more "value for size" means more fun games fitting on a multicart of a given size.
Re: Planning
by on (#171636)
"Usually" in competitions, only the game itself will be rated (gameplay, replay value, graphics, etc.) and not technical achievements.
One exception: Sometimes, there's a size-restriction (e.g. 64k)
This may sound odd, but a size restriction actually helps finishing a game, because the developer has to focus on the essentials. Starting a project is easy... Finishing a project is hard... (maybe this sounds familiar to you) :D
Re: Planning
by on (#171637)
Lazycow wrote:
Starting a project is easy... Finishing a project is hard...


understatement of the year
Re: Planning
by on (#171779)
NESHomebrew wrote:
Judging. This is something that needs to be looked at before we announce the official rules. I have posted below the 2014/2011 and Ludum Dare judging criteria. Honestly I'm leaning more towards a Ludum Dare format where each category is judged out of 5 stars, and if for some reason a category does not fit an entry, then it can be N/A and won't be counted towards the full marks for the entry. I figure this is a good way to even the playing field if someone submits something like a test rom. As for categories, this is something I would like some input on.

Overall should be a category on its own; it should not be the sum or average of the other categories.

Here is the category spread I recommend:

  • Overall
  • Innovation
  • Gameplay and Control
  • Graphics
  • Sound
  • Tone and Mood
  • Polish and Completeness
  • Community
Re: Planning
by on (#171787)
I question the inclusion of a Tone and Mood category, because I think that's something that a lot of entries aren't going to place in. I feel like that should instead be a consideration for the Overall category, since it's sort of a 'more than the sum of its parts' thing. Other than that I agree with Pubby's suggestion.
Re: Planning
by on (#171837)
Are you guys thinking weighted categories like previously, or the 5-star system?
Re: Planning
by on (#171852)
Quote:
question the inclusion of a Tone and Mood category, because I think that's something that a lot of entries aren't going to place in.

Well you're right; different games will go for different things, and I think that's something that should be
celebrated by having all of these different categories. Look at it this way: it's like the Academy Awards. Not every Oscar-worthy movie will be in the running for Makeup, or Special Effects, or whatever, and in the same vein, not every contest entry will be in the running for Tone and Mood. But for games that do focus on tone and mood, I think it's fair to acknowledge what they attempted with a category.

Honestly, the more categories the better. It allows more people to win that way.

NESHomebrew wrote:
Are you guys thinking weighted categories like previously, or the 5-star system?

5-stars per category, with "overall" being the only category to have monetary prizes. That's simple enough.

I hope I'm not being too assertive on this whole judging thing. I just want to see the website updated soon :P
Re: Planning
by on (#171906)
pubby wrote:
I hope I'm not being too assertive on this whole judging thing. I just want to see the website updated soon :P

I was really hoping for a lot more input on the judging, as there is a rather large amount of prizes and I would like it to be fair. The judging was always the hardest part of this competition.
Re: Planning
by on (#171907)
Here's a thought I had a little while ago.

How feasible would it be to reveal at a classic gaming convention, and get votes from the audience?
Re: Planning
by on (#171908)
darryl.revok wrote:
Here's a thought I had a little while ago.

How feasible would it be to reveal at a classic gaming convention, and get votes from the audience?

It's an interesting idea, and selecting 1st place might be plausible, but anything other than that would be more difficult. For the last competition the entrants were all judged by their fellow competitors, with the incentive being that if you judged, you would get a full score counted towards your entry. This seemed more fair than the panel of judges from previous competitions.

Also, depending on the amount of entries, an audience probably wouldn't have the time or patience to try every entry and compare them all.
Re: Planning
by on (#171912)
All good points.

If judging is too much of a workload to expect at a convention, then convention exposure would still be great for the cart release.

What if we did judging first, and then at the convention, did a demo reel of all of the games, highlighting the winners?

No way to make PRGE this year, but next year wouldn't be hard if we don't push the end date all the way to next new year. (that still seems excessive to me, but delaying for half of that time to make the PRGE would make more sense to me)

On a side note, I'm going to be wrapping up the rough draft of my game engine over the next few days, and I plan to spend the next month doing graphics for myself and some others. Among those projects is doing a rough draft of the NESdev Compo 2016 t-shirt. So far the only suggestion I've read is the logo. The 3d text would be doable but I'm not convinced that it would look great on a shirt. I think the "NesDev" font in flat text would be workable with more pop on a shirt than 3d text.

If anybody has any more suggestions I'd be happy to hear them.

As for judging,

I don't know if community should be rated as part of the main category. I'd like to do a lot of stuff in the community category for my project, and that's great for the game and for the Compo, but I don't feel like it's particularly fair to group that in with judging of the quality of a game.

There was a suggestion at one point of a "best progress thread" or perhaps "best community involvement". I'm not sure what the prize would be. Something to increase exposure would probably be sufficient.
Re: Planning
by on (#171916)
Hosting a table at a convention is a pretty hefty burden to task someone with, IMO.

I think having entrants judge is the most fair way to do it.
Re: Planning
by on (#171927)
rainwarrior wrote:
Hosting a table at a convention is a pretty hefty burden to task someone with, IMO.

I think it sounds fun, personally. I'm in the country so I rarely meet new people in real life with the same interests. Plus I haven't been to Portland in years and I love that city.

I'm just saying, I wasn't trying to shoulder somebody with a burden because in my eyes the task would be anything but.
Re: Planning
by on (#171967)
Wouldn't judging at a convention be unfairly biased to those with great graphics, even if the gameplay was bad?
Re: Planning
by on (#171987)
If some portion of judging at a convention is able to happen that'd be fun. But the logistics of doing so sound like a challenge. If we plan to do it, I only suggest it be setup in a manner in which waiting around for the convention judging to occur doesn't delay announcing results of the compo.
Re: Planning
by on (#171996)
Is the port of a game allowed by the compo rules ?
Re: Planning
by on (#172035)
It depends on the nature of the port. Some ports are allowed, such as my port of the 240p test suite (by permission through the GNU GPL; ruling by NESHomebrew). But don't try to submit anything that infringes copyright, like a port of Tetris.
Re: Planning
by on (#172058)
If we keep the "originality" category a port seems likely to bomb there.
Re: Planning
by on (#172064)
Myask wrote:
If we keep the "originality" category a port seems likely to bomb there.

Basically it is to discourage 10 pong clones. Especially since nerdy nights pretty much completes a pong game. But honestly, feel free to submit a pong clone. There will just be no advantage, if we keep that category.
Re: Planning
by on (#172522)
It's june... What about publishing the final rules and the deadline? :roll:
Re: Planning
by on (#172525)
and will there be 1 compo, 1 cart, or 2 compos, 1 cart? I think that's the most radical question. The other ones are details imo.
Re: Planning
by on (#172527)
WheelInventor wrote:
and will there be 1 compo, 1 cart, or 2 compos, 1 cart? I think that's the most radical question. The other ones are details imo.

One competition consisting of two categories. Basically the same as 2014 guys.

I will try to make an official thread shortly, I've been working 12hr night shifts the last 3 days and really haven't had time to put anything together. I'm also limited by the proxy at my work (they block NA as a "gaming" site) so I don't have access to update the website. That being said, as long as things don't get too busy at work, I should be able to get an official thread started within the next 4 hours.
Re: Planning
by on (#180488)
Still nodeadlineposted? Iwasexpecting Jan 31, if just so that the end of the period isn't occupied by holidays.

I can read I swear