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 Post subject: 2014 Compo feedback
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:26 am 
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Formerly WhatULive4
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I was hoping for some feedback on how things were handled with the competition this year. Specifically anything you liked or disliked? Also, for anyone who submitted an entry, did you think the voting process was fair? Any other comments would be appreciated!

-Brad


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Compo feedback
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:54 pm 
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I think this year went pretty well. I know it seems like there should be one multi-cart per compo and visa versa, but I think having the compo a regular annual or biannual thing should happen even if the current volume didn't fill up at the time. Optimistically I see the ratio for multicart's to compo's at 2:3.

For me starting the compo was also starting NES programing, and I had to take a good month just to learn the basics. So I wonder if there's something special we can offer for newcomers the month before the compo (and I an unusual case)?

I also failed to understand what the app category was meant for. I thought "small games" rather then "small tools".

Edit PS: to clarify I meant biannual to mean every other year.


Last edited by JRoatch on Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Compo feedback
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 3:01 pm 
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43110 wrote:
I think this year went pretty well. I know it seems like there should be one multi-cart per compo and visa versa, but I think having the compo a regular annual or bi-annual thing should happen even if the current volume didn't fill up at the time. Optimistically I see the ratio for multicart's to compo's at 2:3.

I'd say 1 multicart for each 2 compos if we want to keep doing 4 Mbit multicarts. The first multicart had a very extended submission period for unjudged entries, and one of the submissions (I Wanna Flip the Sky) was actually for a different compo entirely. The second is only three-fourths full four months after the deadline for the judged categories. To make an annual release cycle for multicarts, we might need to step it up and have two judged compos a year. Or we might need to add other non-game categories, such as a graphics compo or a music compo that specifically targets the subset of FamiTracker that Shiru's FamiTone engine can play.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Compo feedback
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:05 pm 
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And one must presume that you want to keep a certain level of quality, since you're trying to avoid the results of Action 52.

It felt too short to me, though I did not participate.

Is this thread also permitting for some feedback on entries that made it, or just the competition as-run? The SFX editor needs its bugs ironed out, and the waveform is not obviously belonging to a column. Some change making it obvious which channel each column plays on might be preferable to the current "currently-selected column's waveform only".


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Compo feedback
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:18 am 
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First I'm very grateful that this compo existed because it gave me the occasion to necro-bump my project between february and march, and do very significant progress, which haven't been made since 2008 I think. Unfortunately, if no one stress me to work on the project I simply pause it again, so I didn't do much significant progress since march :(

As for the entires I found myself not very interested in them. Actually I'm starting to figure out I have a totally different approach from other members when it comes to homebrew. I try to make my homebrew look as authentic as possible, while most other people just want to use the NES hardware for something new, impressive or innovative, that is very far away from games released in the 80s. Same interest, different goals I think.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Compo feedback
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:09 am 
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Bregalad wrote:
First I'm very grateful that this compo existed because it gave me the occasion to necro-bump my project between february and march, and do very significant progress, which haven't been made since 2008 I think. Unfortunately, if no one stress me to work on the project I simply pause it again, so I didn't do much significant progress since march :(

As for the entires I found myself not very interested in them. Actually I'm starting to figure out I have a totally different approach from other members when it comes to homebrew. I try to make my homebrew look as authentic as possible, while most other people just want to use the NES hardware for something new, impressive or innovative, that is very far away from games released in the 80s. Same interest, different goals I think.


I'm not sure that's so true. Both Shiru and Tepple's work show a good amount of polish one can expect from a true NES title.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Compo feedback
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:51 am 
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Myask wrote:
And one must presume that you want to keep a certain level of quality, since you're trying to avoid the results of Action 52.

Agreed. That's why I planned four volumes that total more than 53 games, so that we can drop the crap. That's why I also planned a remix compo, so that you can polish your own entry or polish someone else's.

Quote:
Is this thread also permitting for some feedback on entries that made it

Feel free to find the project's topic in Homebrew Projects (or create one if it doesn't exist) and post feedback there.

Bregalad: There will probably be another compo next year. Feel free to bump it.

mikejmoffitt: Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Compo feedback
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:30 pm 
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guidelines wrote:
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.
A couple of notes on the format...I realize that this is a rule made as it is because it is the maximum regulation that is enforceable, but it creates the interesting bit where, if one works for 10 years and keeps it private, one may technically submit it to the competition and qualify. This actually would appear to discourage engagement in the community, lest one wish to get "extra time" for the next compo. Whence "compo" as an abbreviation for competition, anyway?
And yet
guidelines wrote:
Use of existing tools/libraries/code qualify as long as permission has been granted by the author.
this rule seems to have the reverse effect. One wonders, when one makes a ROM of Theseus, what happens. Similarly, it is unclear whether graphics and sound are included under this provision, and the wording SEEMS to (but probably doesn't), in conjunction with the above, disqualify you from using your own old tools and bits.
43110 wrote:
I think this year went pretty well. I know it seems like there should be one multi-cart per compo and visa versa, but I think having the compo a regular annual or biannual thing [...]
Edit PS: to clarify I meant biannual to mean every other year.
Isn't English a pain? (Biennial?) In conjunction with the first rule-note, additional competitions do not necessarily grant additional coding-time, so it might have the effect of just bringing down the coding-time per entry, making the entries worse overall. (This was my comment more for the twice-a-year idea.) I'm probably overthinking this and the above.

Similarly, you would need more prize money for more competitions.

I would think annual would be nice, simply because it would motivate me to get my tools in order so I can participate next year. (Hand-assembling in buggy hex-editors gets old.)

There is one issue I thought of with having multiple competitions per multicart-
guidelines wrote:
Dev. Edition Numbered multicarts (#1 for 1st place, #2 for 2nd, etc) for all meritorious entries (at judges discretion)
There would be multiple #1 devcarts. I suppose strict seriality is not required, but it would seem to reduce the value. Of course, the judges could then have a get-together to mesh the winning/meritorious entries into some strict hierarchy, but...

Idea (likely incompatible with manufacturing realities): Gold/silver/bronze-colored carts for winning entries.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Compo feedback
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:42 pm 
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Myask wrote:
it creates the interesting bit where, if one works for 10 years and keeps it private, one may technically submit it to the competition and qualify. This actually would appear to discourage engagement in the community, lest one wish to get "extra time" for the next compo.

Yes, I've withheld some game releases from public view for a compo, but those are the ones I poured my heart into: Thwaite and RHDE. Concentration Room was severely cut down when I learned how much a publisher would charge for battery save, and Russian Roulette and Zap Ruder were really just tech demos.

Quote:
One wonders, when one makes a ROM of Theseus, what happens.

I guess it's inspired by similar rules in SpeedHack and Ludum Dare. I'd resolve the cognitive dissonance by somehow defining a "new game on an old engine". Unreal Engine licensees are allowed to license Unreal Engine so long as they don't make Unreal.

Quote:
the wording SEEMS to (but probably doesn't), in conjunction with the above, disqualify you from using your own old tools and bits.

Permission from the author includes permission from yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Compo feedback
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:21 am 
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I'm not sure that's so true. Both Shiru and Tepple's work show a good amount of polish one can expect from a true NES title.

No, that's exactly what I mean. Commercial NES games are rarely ever polished at all. I think it depends on what you mean by "polished".

Back then, developers would rather have a scrolling screen with bad graphics than a still screen with better graphics, because scrolling was considered awesome back then. Also you'd never EVER have a non 8x8 font in any game. That's this kind of stuff I mean. Don't get me wrong, this is nice and all, but it doesn't feel "NES" like philosophically.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Compo feedback
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:10 am 
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True, Shiru's games have a distinct visual style that doesn't quite mesh with the prevailing design norms of the mid- to late 1980s. But at this point we have to tread carefully to avoid "no true Scotsman" fallacies. As I understand the consensus, though LJN is bad, it's still better than Color Dreams, and Color Dreams is better than Active Enterprises. (There were some Color Dreams games I enjoyed, but that's beside the point.) I'll take any style as long as it's no worse than LJN.

Bregalad wrote:
Also you'd never EVER have a non 8x8 font in any game.

Plenty of NES games use 8x16 for short strings, and Snake Rattle n Roll uses 16x16. But apart from the menu of the first compo's multicart, you're right that I can't think of any commercial NES games that use VWF for Latin script, except for a few prerendered VWFs like the copyright notices in Klax, Rampart, and Tetris 2.


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