Work-thread of a Volume of Action 53 with 53 Games

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JRoatch
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Work-thread of a Volume of Action 53 with 53 Games

Post by JRoatch » Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:28 am

About 7 years ago the idea of making a better Action 52 was formed. During that time we have streamlined a process for producing original content, the Nesdev Compo. That process is soon going to leave the initial idea far behind in it's dust. So I am going to help assemble the master version of Action 53.

What I propose is that we continue normally with producing Volume 4 and in parallel I'll work on assembling the master 16mbit cartridge. We are over 53 games already so it very possible that volume 4 will contain games and things not found in this proposed master version. My target release date will be Thanksgiving 2020 and there's a lot to be done. While I'm not as busy as tepples I too need to spend time to keep food on my plate and a roof over my head.

I recently got tepples's workfiles for the previous volumes, and I'll be working from that. I'll still have to search the fourm threads and web links to find improved versions. Rom size is a big concern, so analyzing that is what I'm working on first.

I will write later on what I think would be good criteria for inclusion.

Edit 1: Removed the dot from the topic name.
Edit 2: Renamed thread ("master" left a bad taste in my mouth)
Last edited by JRoatch on Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Action 53 Master Version Work-thread.

Post by na_th_an » Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:00 am

I've yet to produce the final version of MiedoW (my entry for the 2017 edition), but I can provide completed, 100% enhanced versions of all the games I've produced for Action 53:

- Sgt. Helmet's Training Day (NROM256)
- Sir Ababol (NROM256)
- Wo Xiang Niao Niao (NROM256)
- Cheril the Goddess (UNROM)
- Lala the Magical (UNROM)
- Zombie Calavera Prologue (NROM256)

Let me know what would be best for you and I'll post them in the way you prefer.

Sgt Helmet's Training Day and Sir Ababol were Mojontwins' first two NES games, so the version available in Action 53 vol.2 is pretty ancient. Both games have been much improved ever since (i.e. rewriten from scratch!).

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Re: Action 53 Master Version Work-thread.

Post by JRoatch » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:11 am

Publicly posting links or attachments in this thread is fine, but If it's private you can PM me on this fourm, email me at jroatch@gmail.com, or DM me in twitter at @_jroatch. I went ahead and fetched what I could find from the Mojon Twins website.

Also note that i'm considering expanding the possible game selections to more then just what appeared in the nesdev compos.

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Re: Action 53 Master Version Work-thread.

Post by tepples » Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:22 am

This may require careful choices of the category count and names for the tabs at top, or a UI revamp to allow more categories. The original plan to have three categories with about 16-20 activies each or four with 10-15 each might be compromised by inclusion of award icons.

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Re: Action 53 Master Version Work-thread.

Post by JRoatch » Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:34 pm

If I'm going for more then 53 games I would probably have some sort of key combo unlock, or multiple layers of menus, so that at first it'll appear to only have 53 games. More likely then not the ROM size requirement will limit me first.

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Re: Action 53 Master Version Work-thread.

Post by NovaSquirrel » Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:32 am

I feel like DABG (extended into the four-player Quadruple Action Blaster Guys) and Sliding Blaster would be definite choices for inclusion, but probably not Forehead Block Guy, as it's obsoleted by DABG. Later I'm going to work on fixing up QABG because I think there's a memory corruption bug somewhere in there that I need to fix, but once that's out of the way you've got a four-player game for the cart.

I did keep Nova the Squirrel mapper 28 compatible for this purpose, but it's probably too big (~160KB) and requires extra RAM. That might be best as its own release.

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Re: Action 53 Master Version Work-thread.

Post by JRoatch » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:07 am

Yeah the extra RAM is a real blocker.

I think it'll be alright if I assume that the github repositories is where the most up to date versions of games are.
in [url=http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?p=188248#p188248]Progress Thread: Cheril the Goddess[/url] FrankenGraphics wrote:Should future compo multicarts have a parental lock setting (preferrably stored in non-volatile memory)? That could enable contributors to do content that isn't "E for everyone" and still get it included without altering their original concept.
Is there still interest in this?

If so I have a thought of a easy to implement mechanism. A key sequence (of no less then 8 buttons) would be inputted at the a53 menu, which then passes the unlock setting to the game as a particular byte via CPU register Y and RAM location $00ff [1]. Of course it's temporary and would have to be inputted every reset.

[1]: tepples, I'm aware of the memory clear loop. It would simply be moved downward by one byte.

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Re: Action 53 Master Version Work-thread.

Post by tepples » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:10 am

Videogame Rating Council (VRC) in the Sega Genesis era didn't rate content unlockable only by keypresses or by hacking; hence ABACABB and DULLARD codes in Mortal Kombat. ESRB does; hence the Hot Coffee scandal in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Though we don't plan on seeking a rating by ESRB, I do recognize that the practice of ESRB is the industry's common practice.

Would it be too much trouble to offer Action 53 and Action 53 (Unrated) SKUs?

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Re: Action 53 Master Version Work-thread.

Post by FrankenGraphics » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:33 am

i'd say the intention would be to create a "family friendly" setting for parents who want to share the experience with their kids, without feeling they might need to talk seriously about what is experienced. The hairy bit is coming up with a standard for what is called family friendly, in which case modeling it after some industry standard might be the simplest option. The method for how we present/lock content doesn't really need to comply with any standard, though.
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Re: Action 53 Master Version Work-thread.

Post by JRoatch » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:36 pm

tepples wrote:Though we don't plan on seeking a rating by ESRB...
I might have fantasized about doing that at one time, but yeah, we don't need to subject ourselves to more regulation.
Would it be too much trouble to offer Action 53 and Action 53 (Unrated) SKUs?
Yes, I feel it would be too much hassle, and IMO needlessly brings too much attention to a issue that is in reality only about a 100 byte difference.

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Re: Action 53 Master Version Work-thread

Post by JRoatch » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:33 am

Attached is a build with only the game list and descriptions. I wanted to get good thumbnails generated by now but I'm having difficulty figuring what the color selection algorithm would be, so I've put placeholder thumbnails and will revisit that on another day.

I did say that I would "write later criteria for inclusion" so here I go.
I have so far selected a list of 50 games, that will change over time as new things, improvements, issues, and permissions comes up.
Guidelines I'll be attempting to follow, in order of importance:
  • Must be Legal to include, and proper permissions must be given for everything. A TODO item I have is to confirm that those permissions exist or need to be sought.
  • Must fit. Source code availability would be preferred so that game code can be relocated and improved.
  • Be well made.
  • References or likeness to some point about NES bootleg. The fact we are having a multicart is a homage to the various xx-in-1 multicarts, and that the title of "Action 53" specifically calls out a specific infamous one. The limit of "53 games" doesn't necessarily mean we are limited to 53 things.
  • Uniqueness between games. One aspect of the xx-in-1 multicarts we will not be doing is the repeated re-skinning of a single game to pad out the game numbers.
  • Games should be complete and not just demos of full releases outside of this multicart. I found this to be a good heuristic to fulfill the "Must fit" guideline.
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Re: Action 53 Master Version Work-thread

Post by tepples » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:14 am

I guess my next responsibilities on this are
  1. Get the ROM builder up on GitHub: Done
  2. Allow all files related to one collection or set of related collections (such as half-volumes for PowerPak testing) to be kept in one folder, so that folder can be safely .gitignore'd: Done
  3. Reduce the space between tab titles from 16 pixels to 8 pixels by making a special "between tabs" image similar to how Chrome crosses the tab titles diagonally (or at least did before the forthcoming Material Design update squared them off like in Edge): Done
  4. A remix compo entry collecting all my own ROMs so far so that they can share a bank (and share library code, fonts, etc. as applicable)

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Re: Action 53 Master Version Work-thread

Post by JRoatch » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:49 am

So the conversation at "Why aren't more homebrew games sold as ROM only?" got me thinking a bit about how we should go about the release of this. The cartridge price is going to be $53 USD to make it $1 for every game on it (can't find the fourm thread ATM). At that price there's going to be a profit. The question is where should those profits should go (not ever going to be 100% into my pockets). I guess I could easily just direct profits to the nesdev compo fund but this isn't really part of the compo series, or does that even mater?

The other thoughts more in line with the original linked thread topic. I think it might be best both publicity wise, and for the option of donating, to release on itch.io for the digital release.

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Re: Action 53 Master Version Work-thread

Post by JRoatch » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:14 pm

@tepples, I think allpads.nes would be a great thing to include. Would there be anything particular about the INL hardware that interferes with the controller probing? if not then again I think allpads.nes would be a great thing to include even in volume 4.

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Re: Action 53 Master Version Work-thread

Post by tepples » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:09 pm

JRoatch wrote:@tepples, I think allpads.nes would be a great thing to include. Would there be anything particular about the INL hardware that interferes with the controller probing? if not then again I think allpads.nes would be a great thing to include even in volume 4.
The exit patching would interfere with the "Reset to reprobe" functionality. Pressing a button to reprobe is not reliable if there's no button to press other than the button to start the test for that controller, such as the Zapper and Arkanoid Controller that have only one button. But yes, I agree that it'd be good to include, provided that we can notify the user that Reset acts differently in this program from the rest of the collection.

It's OK if I pull changes from your fork, correct?

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