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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:43 pm 
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I'd like to see competition with coders coming up with really innovative sound engines/tools for the standard NES that are easy for the above-average musician to pick up easily; not necessarily for game use but for demoscene. Could be a sub-compo. The top-three engines could possibly have a Battle of the Bits competition on top of them.

Some examples would be PPU-out generated music, "beeper" engines, IRQ-heavy engines, etc. Go wild! NO HARDWARE MODIFICATIONS. :)


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:48 pm 
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I've considered making a free BASIC interpreter for NES, but I imagine that very few people would be willing to buy an ENIO and an imported Family BASIC keyboard to use it. As I wrote in a post to what has become the latest mouse topic, tpw_rules was working on a PS/2 keyboard to NES adapter, but real life intervened.


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:51 pm 
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tepples wrote:
I've considered making a free BASIC interpreter for NES, but I imagine that very few people would be willing to buy an ENIO and an imported Family BASIC keyboard to use it. As I wrote in a post to what has become the latest mouse topic, tpw_rules was working on a PS/2 keyboard to NES adapter, but real life intervened.


tepples, what about PC tools? I mean, it can't be that difficult to do something to insert BASIC code into a self-booting interpreter ROM right? That makes it way more practical to use.

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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:57 pm 
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Punch wrote:
1 - Rebrand compo to "NESDev game jam" or something similar. Not only the term "game jam" is well known in the indie games community, but it also brings a more newbie-friendly tone to the competition.

+1 on this.
While "competition" does describe the coding discipline factor, it's better to emphasize the community factor.

Punch wrote:
2 - Create good tutorials (nerdy nights but more polished and with more content); could be for ASM, the C compiler or even Family BASIC (more on that later). Again, this helps to bring more new people to something as daunting as "programming a game that runs on a real NES".

As with any programing endeavor, tutorials, documentation and tools made from documentation always helps everyone.


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:01 pm 
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Punch wrote:
hat about PC tools? I mean, it can't be that difficult to do something to insert BASIC code into a self-booting interpreter ROM right? That makes it way more practical to use.

My experience is that most Windows users are unwilling to install MinGW and MSYS to compile the inserter program written in C or C++. And if I try to make an inserter program in Python, there'll inevitably be some exception that I failed to anticipate or some required library that a user fails to install from PyPI, which has given Python a bad name on this forum.


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:24 pm 
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tepples wrote:
Punch wrote:
hat about PC tools? I mean, it can't be that difficult to do something to insert BASIC code into a self-booting interpreter ROM right? That makes it way more practical to use.

My experience is that most Windows users are unwilling to install MinGW and MSYS to compile the inserter program written in C or C++. And if I try to make an inserter program in Python, there'll inevitably be some exception that I failed to anticipate or some required library that a user fails to install from PyPI, which has given Python a bad name on this forum.


What's wrong with precompiled binaries?

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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:32 pm 
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If a dev project has already been started recently (but not finished), does it qualify for the competition?

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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:54 pm 
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Punch wrote:
3 - Create open-source/PD version of Hudson's Family BASIC; ok this is probably something that might never be done... but it would be great for the community in general. It is undeniable that Batari BASIC injected new life into the Atari2600 scene, it could be the same with the NES scene.


Kind of like uc65 for the NES?

I wrote my entries last compo using the uc65 mid-level language and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I did make a hello world example but pretty sure there was no interest. It got to the point of being a working release, but I think I'm the only one who's ever used it for anything beyond a hello world. I've thought about taking on maintenance of it myself to add features for personal use alone, but it obviously hasn't been enough of a priority to make happen. Considering using it again and using my next entry as part of a tutorial, but concerned uc65 will never been seen as a viable option..

I do like the idea of renaming the whole thing to a nesdev game jam.

I like the idea of T-shirts, is someone willing to draft up some artwork to get things rolling?

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If a dev project has already been started recently (but not finished), does it qualify for the competition?
Yes, the only thing not allowed in the past is previous compo entries. Even still, an existing entry/project would be welcomed if it were significantly improved upon. The renaming to a game jam is more fitting to express this sort of acceptance.

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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:35 pm 
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I like the idea of T-shirts, is someone willing to draft up some artwork to get things rolling?

I could screen print them, if we don't have a dedicated screen printer in the scene.


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:23 pm 
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darryl.revok wrote:
I could screen print them, if we don't have a dedicated screen printer in the scene.


That would be great! We have no such dedication. Perhaps we need a separate Tshirt thread.. I'm curious on details of pricing based on qty and number of colors, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:02 pm 
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I agree with your point pubby about the challenges of procrastination. There is only so much we can do about that.. Ultimately if we have the entries due the same time each year there wouldn't really be an official 'start date'. Does the idea of having a 'half-way' submission in 3-4 months where some prizes would be distributed change anything in your mind? You could consider that your deadline perhaps. Nothing stopping you from making your own deadline and early submission if you know 7 months is too far away. :)

I don't think I would enter a "half-way submission" contest, due partly to my belief that releasing work before it is finished kills motivation, but that is just me and I am a curmudgeon. Others will probably find a half-way contest to be helpful though, so I say aim high and do whatever you think will work.

Quote:
I like the idea of award for "best NROM", "best overall", "best mini game", etc instead of having multiple categories of entry. That way we can have a theme to the compo if we choose, but not segregate the few entries we have. I also like the idea of "best first compo entry" for people who are submitting an entry for the first time.

Bounties offered by non-organizers would be an interesting way to handle this. People would put up their own money for games/programs they'd like to see made, and then when the contest is over they would get to decide the winner of their prize.


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:18 am 
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To me, naming it as a game jam would be a branding mistake. Game jams have all had the common features that they are short (1, 2, 7, 10, 14 days) and only accepting content made during that time period. Here we'd have substantially more relaxed rules, seven months and previous work were mentioned.

The cash prizes could be variable - paid for by the limited edition production run?


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:13 am 
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Punch wrote:
tepples wrote:
My experience is that most Windows users are unwilling to install [a compiler]

What's wrong with precompiled binaries?

Cost of testing them. You buying?

I'd need to raise money somehow to buy computers on which to make and test precompiled binaries for each operating system. I don't own a Mac made in the past six years, for instance. And not only does virtualizing 64-bit Windows and 64-bit GNU/Linux on OS X need a lot of RAM, but Apple charges a premium for RAM now that it's more likely to be soldered down than DIMMs.

I might end up posting bounties for "7K water" and "bee" themes that I've mentioned earlier.


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:06 am 
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My brother has a MAC and he's told me he can run Windows binaries.

According to latest statistics, 91% of computers have Windows on them.

Of course, he also has (and uses) Python, so that's also a +1 for making Python apps.

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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:24 am 
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darryl.revok wrote:
I don't really have a specific prize in mind, just thinking in line of what would promote getting new people to make complete entries.

I think I'd like to make something for the next compilation, and I imagine many others would share my sentiment that it's not for the prizes. Asides from having a cart of my own work to own and show my friends, I'd mostly just want to contribute to the compilation.

I don't know how many copies the last one sold, but having a game on a well-distributed cart is a prize of itself. If somebody makes a simple NES game and puts the ROM online, there's a lot of work involved in getting people to know about it before anybody plays your work. Putting a cart on the compilation guarantees an audience. I'm also not sure about licensing issues, but I'm guessing that after somebody put a game on a compilation cart and it got a little popularity, that there wouldn't be a reason they couldn't then do a limited edition collectors cart, which the NintendoAge community loves.


Exactly my thoughts.

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