NESDev Compo Poll

You can talk about almost anything that you want to on this board.

Moderator: Moderators

Regarding the dates/plan below

Yes, that sounds good, I'd like to register an entry
8
62%
Yes, that sounds good, I'm here for the games and support
5
38%
Yes, I'd like to submit an entry if it were arranged differently (make your own proposition).
0
No votes
No, this is bad because...
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 13

tepples
Posts: 21813
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:12 pm
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Contact:

Re: NESDev Compo Poll

Post by tepples » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:52 pm

Do we really expect many entries for the 'everything else' category?
MMC1 is useful for switchable mirroring, PRG RAM, and 4K CHR ROM switching. The first two could be added by replacing MMC1_change_mode and MMC1_change_PRG_bank subroutines in individual games with equivalent mapper 28 routines. Tetris by Nintendo is a 48K MMC1 game; I don't know how much rearranging it would have needed for CNROM conversion. The winner of the anything goes category last year was the Super Bat Puncher demo, which used SNROM for PRG RAM.

MMC3 is useful for scanline counting, DPCM sample banking, and really fine-grained CHR banking. These features are useful for raster parallax platformers, rhythm games, and fighting games respectively.
I'd suggest that volume 2 not necessarily include all of the games/apps from volume 1.
Agreed. Let's start the cartridge fresh.

lidnariq
Posts: 8940
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:12 am
Location: Seattle

Re: NESDev Compo Poll

Post by lidnariq » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:28 pm

tepples wrote:Tetris by Nintendo is a 48K MMC1 game; I don't know how much rearranging it would have needed for CNROM conversion.
Allowing myself to get sidetracked:

I threw together a set of clever-disasm rules for Tetris (U). Tetris seems to leave the game always in 4K banks + 1screenA mirroring. SEROM doesn't support PRG banking, so that's easy.
Looking through the disassembly, I've seen only the following CHR layouts: 0,0; 3,3; 2,2; 3,2. Yes, I never see page 1.
It looks like it would have been trivial to use CNROM with the PPUCTRL register instead. It never scrolls, so it's not like the "using 1-screen mirroring" was useful.

User avatar
infiniteneslives
Posts: 2097
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:49 am
Location: WhereverIparkIt, USA
Contact:

Re: NESDev Compo Poll

Post by infiniteneslives » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:42 pm

tepples wrote:
Do we really expect many entries for the 'everything else' category?
MMC1 is useful for switchable mirroring, PRG RAM, and 4K CHR ROM switching. The first two could be added by replacing MMC1_change_mode and MMC1_change_PRG_bank subroutines in individual games with equivalent mapper 28 routines. Tetris by Nintendo is a 48K MMC1 game; I don't know how much rearranging it would have needed for CNROM conversion. The winner of the anything goes category last year was the Super Bat Puncher demo, which used SNROM for PRG RAM.
My point is one or two entries in this category don't necessitate a separate competition and prize payout. SNROM is actually a pretty good choice for a 'greater than discrete' mapper that comes close to the capabilities of the multi-discrete mapper. Support for 4KB CHR banks is free and trivial to add, we could toss it in there if we deemed worthwhile. PRG-RAM is already supported if we want to splurge the dollar and change to add it to the board. In the event miau decided to submit a sequel or more complete version into the 'anything goes' category it's within reason for us to build support if we can port him from SNROM to a more advanced multi-discrete. IIRC we didn't have prize payouts for the 'everything else' category last time. My suggestion isn't far from that, allow people to submit anything and everything if they please. The public can vote and we could award non-cash prizes for the category if it gains some approval and/or is able to be added into the next cartridge volume. In the event something like Super Bat Puncher were to get submitted we can make the call whether it's worth jumping through the hoops to include it in the multi-cart. SBP is something I'd vote is worthy of being the 'feature game' of the volume especially with a little more content. But since it would be in the 'anything goes' category of submissions there wouldn't be guaranteed inclusion in the multi-cart.

How about this along with some TBD definition of 'horable entry':
  • Main competition: 48KB or less (excluding RAM), supported by current mapper 28. Cash prizes, special edition carts for all 'honorable entries'. All honorable entries included on cartridge.
  • App experimental competition: supported by current mapper 28 No cash prizes. special edition cart and bonus gift along the lines of SNES mouse and adapter to top 3 entries. If this category gains popularity we can entertain the idea of small cash prizes for future compos. All entries included in cartridge.
  • Anything goes non-competition: Wild west of the NES/FC, submit anything you'd like, prior work, WIP, expansion on prior entry, unsupported mappers, adult content, etc. Open voting to include it in the cartridge if possible. Honorable entries get special edition cartridge. Main goal here is to allow people to get appreciation for their work and submit any work they'd like to see included on the multicart. This is not a competition and not subject to any rules.
As for collaboration, I think it should always be welcome. Although collaborators get to figure out how to handle splitting the prize(s).

I'm curious where the 4KB suggested limit comes from on the App submission. Probably a good limit, but don't want to be too restrictive to the point where we limit creativity. If the app can be made significantly better by allowing 8-16KB or even the full 48KB, I'd suggest we allow for the improvement. Since we're starting with a clean slate for each volume, I think we can afford the room. This is the 'windows' type applications idea correct? That and things like the 'toys' from volume 1, would fit into this type of category IMO. How big are those?
If you're gonna play the Game Boy, you gotta learn to play it right. -Kenny Rogers

tepples
Posts: 21813
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:12 pm
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Contact:

Re: NESDev Compo Poll

Post by tepples » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:07 am

infiniteneslives wrote:My point is one or two entries in this category don't necessitate a separate competition and prize payout. SNROM is actually a pretty good choice for a 'greater than discrete' mapper that comes close to the capabilities of the multi-discrete mapper.
Especially because I had SUROM on the brain when I designed it.
In the event miau decided to submit a sequel or more complete version into the 'anything goes' category it's within reason for us to build support if we can port him from SNROM to a more advanced multi-discrete.
Yeah, ROM-hacking a well-behaved SNROM game should be easy. After the setup code finishes, here's my (untested) first draft of the required support routines:

Code: Select all

.proc MMC1_write_8000
  pha
  lda #$80
  sta $5000
  pla
  ora #$30  ; $20 for 128K, $30 for 256K
  sta $8000
  rts
.endproc

.proc MMC1_write_E000
  pha
  lda #$01
  sta $5000
  pla
  sta $8000
  rts
.endproc
How about this along with some TBD definition of 'horable entry'
Looks fine, assuming rules on "prior work" can be nailed down.
I'm curious where the 4KB suggested limit comes from on the App submission.
From the Atari 2600 and old 8-bit microcomputers with tape storage. I guess 8K wouldn't hurt too much.
This is the 'windows' type applications idea correct? That and things like the 'toys' from volume 1, would fit into this type of category IMO. How big are those?
I'm not sure how big Axe the apps are because they share a lot of their core code (nametable loading) with ZapPing

Axe and Zapper Calibration are subroutines inside Zap Ruder, the 16K bank that includes ZapPing. I'll estimate their sizes from Zap Ruder's map file.
  • Axe: 2471 bytes (not counting CHR)
  • Zapper Calibration: 2612 bytes (not all actually used; only one screen is accessible from the A53 menu)
  • Music engine (shared with ZapPing): 1420 bytes
  • Controller and Zapper reading (shared with ZapPing): 489 bytes
Russian Roulette on the multicart is a subroutine inside Concentration Room. The standalone version of Russian Roulette is 1536 bytes of PRG plus an ASCII font according to my hex editor.

TapeDump occupies $8000-$941F, $E000-$ECFF, and CHR ROM.

User avatar
qbradq
Posts: 943
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:50 am

Re: NESDev Compo Poll

Post by qbradq » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:39 pm

Is the choice of 48KB informed by the mapper in some way? It seems oddly not round to me. Why not make it an even 64KB? That would allow many standard board configurations for the mappers that 28 supports.

Also, can we clarify whether entries may be submitted that are aware of and leverage the features of mapper 28?

I would also like to further clarify if an entry may use 8KB SRAM as most emulators provide by default, with the caveat that it may not be included on the multi-cart. That may be loosing the plot though.

I'm so excited! I can't frakin' wait! :D

tepples
Posts: 21813
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:12 pm
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Contact:

Re: NESDev Compo Poll

Post by tepples » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:12 pm

qbradq wrote:Is the choice of 48KB informed by the mapper in some way?
CNROM with 32 KiB PRG and 16 KiB CHR takes up one PRG bank. A game designed for UNROM that uses only banks 0, 1, and 3 can have an NROM-128 game's PRG ROM stored in the unused bank. I guess expanding to 64K and adding "value for size" as a judging criterion might be valid, in order to discourage gross wastes of space.
Also, can we clarify whether entries may be submitted that are aware of and leverage the features of mapper 28?
Which "features" might these be, other than switchable H/V/1 mirroring? The biggest danger here is that incorrect writes might cause a game to execute incorrectly depending on its starting bank.

lidnariq
Posts: 8940
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:12 am
Location: Seattle

Re: NESDev Compo Poll

Post by lidnariq » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:53 pm

I'd guess GNROM-like or mapper 70-like behavior.

Neither would be useful in a 64 KiB combined context, but.

User avatar
qbradq
Posts: 943
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:50 am

Re: NESDev Compo Poll

Post by qbradq » Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:54 pm

The only feature I was thinking of was software-select-able name table mirroring. And I'll clarify that I'm not terribly interested in using these features for the competition, I am just trying to have the conversation for clarity's sake.

User avatar
NESHomebrew
Formerly WhatULive4
Posts: 400
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:43 am
Contact:

Re: NESDev Compo Poll

Post by NESHomebrew » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:27 pm

I'll put my thoughts out here. Regarding the "apps" idea, I like Tepples idea of having a shared Music Engine/controller reading/etc and it makes a lot of sense. However if we treat it as a competition, then this idea doesn't work quite as well. I personally would rather see people concentrate on the "main" competition, and maybe they would. It would just be a bit silly to have 10 entries in the "apps" category and only a few in the "main" category. Last competition we extended the deadline since there were only a few submissions (which I don't foresee happening again).

So my question is, do we make the "apps" a competition, or just a community project/collaboration?

As for other categories, we need to reach a consensus. I think it really boils down to what will work best for the hardware/software?

Anything goes/free-for-all: Super Bat Puncher really stands out from the last competition. If we keep the same rule that you can submit entries you are already working on, then there could be some rather impressive submissions (judging by some of the WIP stuff posted in the PROJECTS section). Good points have been raised, it's the selling of the cartridges that ensures future contests and exposure to the NES homebrew scene. We would LIKE people to submit something that can go on the multicart. However, the whole idea behind the competition was just to get people out coding and finish something. Nintendoage has a lot of homebrewers that don't hang out here, so they probably didn't vote on this poll. I can pretty much guarantee there will be more than 6 entries.

In summary:

Apps - contest or collab?
Multicart destined category - Definitely a go, nail down the details.
Anything goes - Honorable mentions receive carts, and possibly on the multicart?

User avatar
qbradq
Posts: 943
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:50 am

Re: NESDev Compo Poll

Post by qbradq » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:22 am

So I know the deadline for details is a few days away, but I was wondering if there would be a rule against foul language? I'm writing my design doc (finally got some inspiration :) ) and the humor is coming out PG-13. Nothing obscene, but things I wouldn't want my five-year-old to repeat. As the whole aim of the project is to produce an entry for the compo, I'd like to find out early if I need to tone down the language.

Thanks

User avatar
NESHomebrew
Formerly WhatULive4
Posts: 400
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:43 am
Contact:

Re: NESDev Compo Poll

Post by NESHomebrew » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:52 am

I would think the consensus is to shy away from explicit content. That being said, Slappin' B_____ was included last time. I've got young kids who will probably be watching me testing. While they can't read, they can see lewd images I would rather them not see. Personally, I'm sure everyone has different opinions. It would seem from previous conversations that Tepples and Infiniteneslives prefer cleaner content as well, but I don't want to speak for them just voicing my opinion.

Yes, we are a few days from our goal of nailing down details, but we can't seem to decide what categories we want...

User avatar
qbradq
Posts: 943
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:50 am

Re: NESDev Compo Poll

Post by qbradq » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:11 pm

Decision by committee is typically painful in my experience. WhatULive4, just make the decisions and set them in stone. Everyone will have some opinion that differs from yours, but most of us will support you and the competition 100%!

User avatar
infiniteneslives
Posts: 2097
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:49 am
Location: WhereverIparkIt, USA
Contact:

Re: NESDev Compo Poll

Post by infiniteneslives » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:01 pm

IMO the foul language would be okay if it were able to be turned off via the menu and defaulted to clean language at startup for children. I don't think it matters as much on the compo submission as it does on the multicart. That's pretty much how it went down last time. Slappin B* was renamed for the cart, and the nudie girl game wasn't considered for inclusion in the cart however it was accepted as a compo submission.

As for the categories the discussions thus far have all been along the lines of the main 3. The exact rules of each category are what is still up in the air.

Here's my proposition for the final categories:
  • Main compo: max ROM 64KB, compatible with current mapper28 (no PRG-RAM).
  • App compo: max ROM 8KB, compatible with current mapper28.
  • Anything goes: wild west of NES/FC, everything accepted.
Sounds like that works for everyone that's chimed in, I agree with qbradq about decision by committee. We've had a few mentions of finer details like of judging criteria, prizes, registration, specific rules of each category. So everyone's had a chance to chime in and voice their opinion.
If you're gonna play the Game Boy, you gotta learn to play it right. -Kenny Rogers

User avatar
qbradq
Posts: 943
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:50 am

Re: NESDev Compo Poll

Post by qbradq » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:36 pm

I've re-worked the design document and changed the tone to PG and it turned out better for it. The first draft made reference to an obscure manga-within-a-manga that I was exposed to through the manga's cartoon adaptation. I think it was a lot funnier to me that it would have been to most others. Now the only reference in it is to the Bio Force Ape fake prototype thread, and I think the effect is roughly the same if you're not familiar with the source material.

After the first post I thought it would be a shame to work on a game and not be able to share all of it with my son.

tepples
Posts: 21813
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:12 pm
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Contact:

Re: NESDev Compo Poll

Post by tepples » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:50 pm

WhatULive4 wrote:I would think the consensus is to shy away from explicit content. That being said, Slappin' B_____ was included last time.
Because censoring one word in the title didn't affect gameplay one bit.
It would seem from previous conversations that Tepples and Infiniteneslives prefer cleaner content as well
Remember that the classification of a multicart is the strictest classification of all the games on it. For example, Midway Arcade Treasures 2 is rated M by ESRB because it contains Mortal Kombat 2 and 3, despite that other games on the disc have been released separately with an E10+ rating.

I just thought of another friendly collaboration: NES-friendly art. Draw a background using a nametable editor (such as Shiru's NESST) or using a PNG-to-NES converter (such as my savtool), and people can page through the slideshow.
infiniteneslives wrote:and the nudie girl game wasn't considered for inclusion in the cart however it was accepted as a compo submission.
Other reasons why it didn't get on the cart were 1. it's unplayable without a Zapper (unlike Operation Wolf, Baby Boomer, and ZapPing), and 2. the data in the ROM is not packed nearly as tightly as I'd want.
qbradq wrote:After the first post I thought it would be a shame to work on a game and not be able to share all of it with my son.
Trope: So My Kids Can Watch.

Post Reply