What about something like a "48KB ROM or less" category instead of NROM specifically?
That gives some freedom of mapper choice, doesn't split out more categories, while still encouraging space efficency.
Some example options would include:
- Standard NROM 32KB+8KB=40KB
- NROM with CHR-RAM = 32KB (aka 32KB BNROM)
- UNROM with three 16KB banks = 48KB
- CNROM with 32KB CHR-RAM = 32KB (unsure if supported by most emu's... Could be distributed for judging as standard CHR-ROM CNROM)
So that would give 3 categories:
- 48KB ROM or less (above) contest
- Everything else
- 4K minigame/app collaboration
I'd also propose a rule that NROM games that don't win a prize, such as multiple entries from one developer or developers who score fourth, fifth, or sixth, will get judged as if entered in the discrete contest as 40+8K CNROM or 32K BNROM games.
Not sure I follow the logic here, almost like making two contests out of one. Do we really expect many entries for the 'everything else' category? In general this 'everything else' category creates entries that aren't able to be added to our current multi-cart design. To some degree I think we should do away with the category all together. Or if we do allow entries, the prize structure isn't comparable to the main "48KB contest". So people can still make entires if they'd like, but exclude themselves from the main contest. Perhaps we can combine it with the 4K app contest.
What about two 'contests' for the 3 categories:
Main contest "48KB"
Large cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place entries.
All entries are included on the multicart, all 'greater than pong' entries earn a "special edition" compo entrant cartridge for submitting an entry.
Thinking no cash prizes for this category. If we expect to have something like 10 entries or more then smaller cash prizes might make sense.
4K minigame/app collaboration:
top three entries get the "special edition" compo entrant cartridge. Maybe other prizes like a SNES mouse with SNES to NES adapter?
This category is more of a way for people to submit a project that they want to share and possibly gain public interest/praise. Entries are not guaranteed to be placed on multi-cart for multiple reasons. Some reasons may be mapper choice, adult content, game size, or author doesn't desire to release rights to allow their work submitted in the multi-cart. We're not trying to motivate people to make entries in this category, but it does allow people a venue to get their work some recognition.
Perhaps the alternate contest could be a 'people's choice' type of thing where there is open voting to the public to rate the apps/entries. For "anything goes" people could vote on whether it is a 'honorable entry' that grants the submitter a "special edition" compo cartridge.
In the event that someone were to submit something on the level of Streemerz, Battle Kid, Nomlos, etc there could be a vote to make it the 'signature game' of the volume. Kind of like how Streemerz became the signature game of the last compo's cartridge (aka Action53 volume 1). This would of course require a mapper that's supported by the intended hardware. Not really expecting many entries of this nature, but it would be nice to have some sort of guidelines of how someone could create a 'feature game' to follow in thefox's footsteps like he did with streemerz. Or even how to handle games/apps that are included in the multicart which were generated outside of the contest. Perhaps these 'off season' creations could get submitted into the following competition and not be subject to all the rules and time/date submissions of the main contest. The "anything goes" really would be for anything someone wanted to submit. Then we can aknowledge their work and honor them with a special cartridge type of thing. Thinking about it in that way though, makes me think it should be something separate from the compo completely and just a means to get one's work in the next Action53 multicart's next volume if desired. Utilizing the compo for voting and such would help out though. We could ask people to vote by simply asking "If they'd like it to be included in the next volume." Or "Honored with a special edition cartridge" for entries that don't get placed on the cart.
I kind of like the use of a special limited edition contributor's cartridge. The prize is a small investment from our funds, but the prize would probably be pretty valuable/highly coveted to the public. Having a system like that allows us to award and recognize people's work outside of the main competition. Additionally it motivates people to contribute to the communty and not necessarily by means of submitting a compo entry.
tepples wrote:INL's parallel flash boards work up to 1 MiB. This can fit up to about 25 NROM-256 games or only eight UNROM games. There is a feature in my menu software to stick one game's compressed CHR ROM data in another game's unused areas of PRG ROM, but that can only be pushed so far. Beyond that size, we'd need to switch to a structure that logically resembles an FDS or PowerPak, containing a boot ROM, a 128 KiB PSRAM simulating PRG ROM, and an SPI flash memory (which is more or less a microSD card's guts in a surface-mount package). That would take the multicart's size all the way up to 2 GB, but I'm not sure how far INL is in building it.
I don't think we're safe to rely on my SPI flash 'homebrew FDS' for the next compo right now. I hope to use it in the future, but probably best for it to not be relied upon in it's current state. I'd suggest that volume 2 not necessarily include all of the games/apps from volume 1. That allows us more room for entries of the given compo/recent homebrews without incurring costs and challenges of 1MB and above hardware. Once things are up and running with my SPI setup and a multicart interface has been created to support then we can work on creating carts with all volumes combined since expansion is next to free and allows for relatively easy compression and menu 'multicart file tetris' with SPI flash.