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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:50 pm 
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May 2/14

The website has been updated with all the entries. Thanks to everyone for making this another success. The judging is also done, but will be posted when I've awoken (night shifts... zzzz)http://nesdevcompo.nintendoage.com/contest14



This year there are three categories.

Category 1:
  • Mapper 28 compatible entry up to 64KB with NO PRG-RAM
  • Prizes as follows:
      1st Place - $500
      2nd Place - $250
      3rd Place - $100
  • Dev. Edition Numbered multicarts (#1 for 1st place, #2 for 2nd, etc) for all meritorious entries (at judges discretion).
  • Judging criteria and full submission requirements to be posted shortly
  • By submitting an entry into this contest, you are giving full consent to use the entry on the multicart. Submissions must meet multicart standards to be inlcuded (at judges discretion).
  • See General Guidelines below.

Category 2:
  • App entry - Mapper 28 compatible entry up to 8KB
  • Prizes as follows:
      1st Place - $50 + SNES mouse with converter cable
      2nd Place - $25 + SNES mouse with converter cable
      3rd Place - SNES mouse with converter cable
      Above cash prize inclusions subject to at least 5 entries in this category (<5 entries, you just get the SNES mouse)
  • Dev. Edition NON-Numbered multicarts for all meritorious entries (at judges discretion).
  • Judging decided by the public on the Nintendoage and NESDev forums (This could be interesting....)
  • By submitting an entry into this contest, you are giving full consent to use the entry on the multicart. Submissions must meet multicart standards to be inlcuded (at judges discretion).
  • See General Guidelines below.

tepples wrote:
Mapper-specific advice:
  • 8K entries: Use $E000-$FFC9, and leave a few bytes of RAM open for NMI redirection. If your game is accepted, we may ask you to relocate it.
  • 8K entries and NROM-128: Be careful not to write to $8000-$FFFF. Test with a breakpoint on writes to ROM.
  • NROM, CNROM: Be careful not to overwrite CHR ROM. Test with a breakpoint on writes to PPU $0000-$1FFF.
  • NROM, CNROM, ANROM, BNROM: $FFD0-$FFF9 of each 32K PRG ROM bank must be unused.
  • UNROM (2): $FFD0-$FFF9 must be unused.
  • UNROM (180): $BFD0-$BFF9 must be unused.
  • A53: Write to register $81 only once, at the beginning of the program, and match the values written to $80 to the size of the entry: $00-$0F for 32K entries and $10-$1F for 64K entries. Specify whether $FFD0-$FFF9 or $BFD0-$BFF9 is unused.


General Guidelines (cat. 1 & 2)
  • Contest runs from January 1, 2014 until April 1, 2014.
  • Registration and submission will begin January 1st.
  • Entries must be submitted by midnight April 1st.
  • Entries cannot be submitted if they have already been released prior to the contest. The exception would be if there are significant changes making the original release something completely different.
  • Multiple entries are allowed and encouraged.
  • Only one cash/cartridge/mouse prize will be awarded per entrant across all categories. If multiple submissions place in top three, the greatest prize will be awarded, and the runner up will receive the prize. You can only win one cash prize. You can only win one cartridge. You can only win one mouse.
  • Entries must be original. Plagiarism and copyright infringement will result in disqualification.
  • Use of existing tools/libraries/code qualify as long as permission has been granted by the author.
  • Collaborations are allowed, prize distribution will be decided by those who collaborated on the project.
  • Explicit content is not prohibited from the competition, but will most likely not be considered for multicart inclusion.


Category 3 (the non-contest):
  • Anything Goes - old unreleased stuff, modified existing stuff, whatever. If it runs on the NES/FC feel free to submit it.
  • There will be no cash prizes awarded for this category.
  • Dev. Edition NON-Numbered multicarts for all entries included on the multicart (at judges discretion)
  • Depending on the configuration of the entry, it may not be possible to include it on the multicart, however, at the judges discretion NON-Numbered multicarts will be awarded. For exceptional submissions, extra effort may be done to adapt the game/cartridge hardware to support being included in the multicart.
  • Entrants are not required to consent to multicart inclusion upon submission.
  • Since this category will not be ranked or judged, it will also not be under the strict submission dates and times. If it is submitted before the multicart is released, then it is fair game. Keep in mind, the sooner it is submitted the better chance it will have at making it onto the multicart.
  • Entries in this category will also not be under the restriction of the General Guidelines below, but material you do not have rights to will not be considered for the multicart.

infiniteneslives wrote:
The main benefit of category 3 I see is that it's a means for people to include their work on the multicart which would otherwise be disqualified due to timing, prior compo entries that were submitted previously as WIP, etc. Even if not able to be placed on the cart, it also allows people to get some publicity, aknowledgement, and praise for their work. This will gain a little more attention from the retro community as a whole compared to making a single post here/NA about your game


Judging criteria, registration details, and submission guidelines are still pending. This will be updated (along with the website) once the details are worked out. Please reply on this thread, PM me, or email NESHomebrew@gmail.com with any questions or clarification. Thanks and GOOD LUCK to all entrants!


Last edited by NESHomebrew on Fri May 02, 2014 9:48 am, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:07 pm 
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Looks pretty good to me, glad we've got things ironed out relatively on time too! :)

Minor comments, the time zone is not provided. I assume EST? Also I would try to make it a little more explicit that the general guidelines don't apply to category 3. I know you mentioned it, but perhaps move the guidelines above category 3 and name them "Category 1&2 General Guidelines"? Reading through it the way it's structured confused me for a min.

Explaining the intent of category 3 might help people understand why it exists. The main benefit of category 3 I see is that it's a means for people to include their work on the multicart which would otherwise be disqualified due to timing, prior compo entries that were submitted previously as WIP, etc. Even if not able to be placed on the cart, it also allows people to get some publicity, aknowledgement, and praise for their work. This will gain a little more attention from the retro community as a whole compared to making a single post here/NA about your game.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:26 pm 
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infiniteneslives wrote:
Minor comments, the time zone is not provided. I assume EST?

I did this on purpose to allow for a bit of flexibility, I've had my fair share of last minute coding sessions and would have killed for a bit of flexibility.

Quote:
Explaining the intent of category 3 might help people understand why it exists.


Quoted.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:51 pm 
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WhatULive4 wrote:
I did this on purpose to allow for a bit of flexibility, I've had my fair share of last minute coding sessions and would have killed for a bit of flexibility.

Fair enough. In that case, maybe just say the entries are due on April 1st 2014 instead of specifying an ambiguous time.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:59 am 
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YAY!!! Great work! I've already started on art and freaking out about what to do for sound :)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:14 pm 
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So it appears that the structure of this will be a bunch of actual mapper 28 images. That can work so long as no game writes an incorrect outer bank number. So should I try my hand at making an automated tool to mapper-hack individual NROM and CNROM images to mapper 28 so that entries won't exhibit failure modes like Concentration Room, LAN Master, Lawn Mower, Zooming Secretary, and MineShaft did when they mistakenly overwrote CHR ROM?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:46 pm 
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I guess it should say mapper 28 compatible entry for the first one. Does that really make a difference? I don't know the particulars about the problems related to putting them on the multicart, are there particular guidelines that should be posted to avoid having to mapper hack the games once they are submitted?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:34 pm 
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WhatULive4 wrote:
I guess it should say mapper 28 compatible entry for the first one. Does that really make a difference? I don't know the particulars about the problems related to putting them on the multicart, are there particular guidelines that should be posted to avoid having to mapper hack the games once they are submitted?

The big guidelines I can think of are:
  • Don't overwrite the pattern table (PPU $0000-$1FFF) when you don't mean to. This can happen with overzealous VRAM clearing (as in games using older versions of Shiru's library) or with accidental +32-mode writes to the palette (as in Concentration Room).
  • In a mapper 28 entry using a fixed bank, write to register $81 only once, at the beginning of the program, so that the builder can NOP it out.
  • In a mapper 28 entry, make sure the value written to register $80 matches the size of the game. For example, always use $0x for a 32K entry or $1x for a 64K entry.
  • An 8K entry needs to leave a few bytes of RAM open for NMI redirection, and if it's included, we may ask you to relocate it to $C000 or $E000.
  • Leave $FFD0-$FFF9 unused for reset redirection.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:38 pm 
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I think that having a bunch of actual mapper 28 images is kinda pointless, since the games will have to bother initializing details they won't really have to when put in the multicart, since the menu will take care of that. IMO it would be much better to just have the entries be NROM/CNROM/BNROM/UNROM/AOROM images.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:43 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
IMO it would be much better to just have the entries be NROM/CNROM/BNROM/UNROM/AOROM images.

I agree for the large part, but some people will want switchable mirroring.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:49 pm 
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Well, if people want to use switchable mirroring with mappers that don't originally support it, then yeah, they'll have to use a new mapper that does (mapper 28 being the obvious choice, since it will be used to make the multicart).


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:02 pm 
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tepples wrote:
tokumaru wrote:
IMO it would be much better to just have the entries be NROM/CNROM/BNROM/UNROM/AOROM images.

I agree for the large part, but some people will want switchable mirroring.

I also agree, so should we specify NROM/CNROM/BNROM/UNROM/AOROM or Mapper 28 with the stipulations posted above?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:56 pm 
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I guess so.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:00 pm 
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My thought was the only REQUIREMENT be that the config/mapper be supported by mapper 28. Not that submissions be mapper 28 roms necessarily. We need to be able to get it on the multicart. We should suggest different standard configs NROM/CNROM/BNROM/UNROM/AOROM etc and accept entries as those configs to help make things clear to people who don't care to have knowledge of mapper 28. We will have to make sure they play freindly with the mapper 28 hardware in the end. Specifically listing out Tepples' guidelines is a good idea, but I don't think we should go as far as disqualifing an entry for messing that up.

I just don't want to limit people from being able to use the available hardware on the cart. Not only is the selectable mirroring useful, but having bankswitchable CHR-RAM is a nice zero-cost feature.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 9:13 am 
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Then it might be better to frame it as mapper-specific advice:
  • 8K entries: Use $E000-$FFC9, and leave a few bytes of RAM open for NMI redirection. If your game is accepted, we may ask you to relocate it.
  • 8K entries and NROM-128: Be careful not to write to $8000-$FFFF. Test with a breakpoint on writes to ROM.
  • NROM, CNROM: Be careful not to overwrite CHR ROM. Test with a breakpoint on writes to PPU $0000-$1FFF.
  • NROM, CNROM, ANROM, BNROM: $FFD0-$FFF9 of each 32K PRG ROM bank must be unused.
  • UNROM (2): $FFD0-$FFF9 must be unused.
  • UNROM (180): $BFD0-$BFF9 must be unused.
  • A53: Write to register $81 only once, at the beginning of the program, and match the values written to $80 to the size of the entry: $00-$0F for 32K entries and $10-$1F for 64K entries. Specify whether $FFD0-$FFF9 or $BFD0-$BFF9 is unused.

EDIT: Added NROM-128 caution


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