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 Post subject: Garage Cart - the series
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 7:38 pm 
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OK, I'm soon beginning work on creating the second edition of Garage Cart.

My goal is to get any and every homebrew game that I can get permission to use, and make them on a series of multicarts so people can play them or at least mess around with them (if they aren't real fun to play, heheh).

Here's the specs for the second edition's cart:
16kB (lower 16kB only), or 32kB pages. Can go either way at this point. Max PRG size is 256kB.
CHR: 8kB
hard-wired mirroring (probably will be vertical).

If anyone has any questions, or wants to submit their game or demo for consideration, let me know.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 7:59 pm 
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I have a really simple game called "The Game" on the 2005 minigame compo page in the games section. Yes, you can go use that if you want. It's like my first game ever, and I made it in 1 day, so don't laugh.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:14 pm 
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Memblers wrote:
My goal is to get any and every homebrew game that I can get permission to use, and make them on a series of multicarts so people can play them or at least mess around with them (if they aren't real fun to play, heheh).

Here's the specs for the second edition's cart:
16kB (lower 16kB only), or 32kB pages.

You'll probably want to go with 32 KB pages because of limitations of IRQs, NMIs, and the DPCM channel.

Quote:
If anyone has any questions, or wants to submit their game or demo for consideration, let me know.

I could probably fix up Tetramino again.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 5:30 am 
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I played "The Game" the other day, it's damn hard heheh, but yeah I'll have room for that on there. For being made in one day, it's pretty good.

tepples wrote:
You'll probably want to go with 32 KB pages because of limitations of IRQs, NMIs, and the DPCM channel.


Yeah, that's what I was thinking also. Since DPCM is pretty likely to be used somewhere. The board I'm making has jumpers to select page size among other things. NMI though is easy enough to redirect (to a JMP in RAM), just a minor hack that costs 3 cpu cycles.

Quote:
I could probably fix up Tetramino again.


That would be great. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:53 am 
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I'm now working a game that will have probably 32kb PRG and 32kb CHR (CNROM) or maybe 128kbPRG and CHRAM (UNROM). It will use vertical mirroring.
It won't be ready until several months in the best way, because of this f...cking scool steailng all my lifetime.
If you are slow enogh to wait it to be released... it would be fair to input this one.

_________________
Life is complex: it has both real and imaginary components.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:00 pm 
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Do these have to be NTSC/PAL dual compatible? Tetramino seems not to work in PAL mode; should I take the time to fix it instead of learning the Nintendo DS?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:47 pm 
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Bregalad: I was hoping this cart could be shipping by maybe January. Could be sooner or later though. If that's too soon, no worries, if everything goes well there will be a Garage Cart 3.

tepples: It doesn't have to be PAL compatible, though that would be a definite plus. Have you had anyone test it for you on a PAL NES? If not, I could find someone to do it. It would be good to have it at least playable and with a music speed adjustment for PAL. But I'm not gonna ask you to rewrite the game, heheh. NTSC is alright. With the first Garage Cart, only a few PAL versions were requested anyways.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 9:08 pm 
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Memblers wrote:
tepples: It doesn't have to be PAL compatible, though that would be a definite plus. Have you had anyone test it for you on a PAL NES?

That's my worry. It's been tested on a PAL NES and on a PAL Nintendulator. Fail and fail. The screen is blacked out, and it might have something to do with the technique I was using to hide the screen to eke out a little more vblank time.

EDIT: I found and fixed the problem. In PAL, the whole game logic was completing during vblank time. It turns out I have to wait for sprite 0 in the same way a lot of demos waited for vblank on nesticle or the way one has to wait for vblank on a GBA: first you have to wait for the flag to be clear (bit/bvs) and THEN to be set (bit/bvc).

While I was at it, I fixed most of the rest of the delays in game to be roughly 5/6 of the corresponding delays in the NTSC version. Please test Tetramino (PAL) build 20051025 on a PAL NES.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:43 am 
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Works with no problems on a PAL NES. Would be nice to hear some music in it though. =)

About the sprite 0 hit stuff you mentioned: It's not a bug, it's a feature! By taking advantage of the fact that the sprite 0 hit flag does not get reset until the end of vblank, you can use it to wait for the end of vblank. This is very useful when you want some extended vblank time and have some update code taking a variable number of cycles and some code taking a constant number of cycles. (sprite DMA is an obvious example, and animated tiles are a good candidate as well) Actually, since you can't scroll sprites off the top of the screen without having them disappear abruptly, you'll most likely want to blank the first 8 lines of the screen anyway.

Of course, for this to work, your sprite 0 hit must never fail or your game will probably lock up. So it's a little like juggling 5 balls, in that getting the pattern started is harder than maintaining it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:22 am 
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Has anyone got in touch with Matrixz at all about this? I believe NeSnake 2 meets the requirements you're looking for to put on a cart (though I may be wrong). I think that would be an awesome addition, and fun to play on an actual NES ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:11 pm 
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Bananmos wrote:
Of course, for this to work, your sprite 0 hit must never fail or your game will probably lock up.

That's why I do something like this in Tetramino:
Code:
@wait_for_spr0:
  bit PPUSTATUS
  lda vblank_nmi  ; set to nonzero by the NMI handler
  bne @got_vblank_first
  bvc @wait_for_spr0  ; luckily, lda doesn't change the overflow flag

where @got_vblank_first updates only those things that can be updated without extending vblank time.

And about music: I didn't have time to add any, and at this stage in development, anything more complex than the triangle-channel bloops in Lode Runner or the original Bomberman wouldn't fit into the game's primitive sound architecture. If you are willing to tackle an overhaul of the game's sound code (such as to shoehorn in NT2 or something), I'll send you the source code. I think I left page $03 available.

And as for games that use 16 KB of PRG, you could stick two games' CHR segments below that (if you're using a VRAM cart), or you could put one game in $8000-$9FFF and $C000-$DFBF and the other in $A000-$BFFF and $E000-$FFBF.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:47 pm 
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I'd like to trying adding NT2's replay code to it, I'm sure could get the SFX working with it. I'll likely be using NT2 in the cart's menu at least also, so I can probably recycle it there and save 3kB, heheh. Send the source code to (my usual user name) @ comcast.net when you get a chance to.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 11:09 am 
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In my opinion, "The Garage Cart Series" should be the premiere format to have your NES game published in. It would be structured something like a magazine or journal that periodically releases editted collections of games in NES cartridge format, with Memblers as the editor, intro programmer, menu programmer, and publisher. Obviously sales need to fund cart manufacturing to keep the series self sustaining, but will royalties be paid to the homebrew authors? Nobody is going to get rich or make a living off of it. Maybe the homebrew authors could simply be paid by sending them an early numbered cart that there game was published in? That is how it works for journal publication.

Anyway, count me in for a second series Garage Cart. I want to get low numbered cart :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 8:48 pm 
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Jagasian wrote:
Obviously sales need to fund cart manufacturing to keep the series self sustaining, but will royalties be paid to the homebrew authors?


Yeah, for sure. I'll have to know what all stuff will be on the cart before I can really get to that. But anyone who contributes stuff should be able to get a copy of it at the very least.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 10:03 am 
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I would be happy just to get my demo/clone of Mario Bros. on there, let alone receiving anything for it. Though my demo is not finished and i have limited time with class and work and everything else to finish it.


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