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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 10:03 am 
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tepples wrote:
Perhaps the rationale is that the category 1 entries are all but guaranteed a slot on the multicart, and the prize for such an entry would act as a royalty for inclusion.


Exactly. As eluded to previously, the compos themselves in the past have not provided enough material to fill the compo cartridge. Since the funds from the competition come from the cartridge, it makes sense to encourage nrom entries so a timely cartridge release can occur. Also, a smaller NROM project is much easier to complete than a larger more complicated project, and one of the foundations of this competition was for people to finish projects.

I'm open to change though if the consensus is that we need to restructure the prizes. With this longer development cycle, and the possibility for more elaborate projects we may need to re-balance.


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 1:20 pm 
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64k and A53 compatible [is there a short name for this mapper yet?] seems more à propos for a category (as before) than straight NROM, though.

...so does it use CHR-RAM or not? It only seems to be implied through everything Tepples writes about things that it does (compression), not actually specified on our wiki page.


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 2:00 pm 
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Myask wrote:
64k and A53 compatible [is there a short name for this mapper yet?] seems more à propos for a category (as before) than straight NROM, though.

...so does it use CHR-RAM or not? It only seems to be implied through everything Tepples writes about things that it does (compression), not actually specified on our wiki page.

If you check the 2014 rules page I linked to, it will tell you exactly what we are looking for. I believe the original competition (in which we called category 1 the NROM competition) was created before the hardware existed. The 2014 rules show that more than NROM is available, and if you scroll down on that page you will see the specific requirements.

That being said, Tepples still had to work his magic with a lot of the entries to get them all to work, but if the guidelines are followed it makes it much easier to compile the competition cartridge.


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 2:16 pm 
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I've been calling it the "Action 53 mapper". It's designed to use 8K or 32K of CHR RAM, though boards so far have used 8K, and all entries have used 8K due to lack of NES 2.0 support in many emulators (such as FCEUX prior to r3000-something). If 8K is used, the feature set closely resembles that of SGROM (MMC1):

  • PRG ROM bank switching: 32K banks, 16K banks with $C000 fixed, or 16K banks with $8000 fixed.
  • CHR ROM bank switching: 8K banks only. Several games by Shiru use $2000 bits 3 and 4 to switch between two 4K sub-banks within an 8K bank.
  • Nametable mirroring: 1-screen A, 1-screen B, vertical, or horizontal. In either of the two 1-screen mirroring modes, if the CHR bank or PRG ROM bank is selected, D4 switches between A and B as in AxROM.
  • No bus conflicts.

NROM (#0), CNROM (#3), BNROM (#34), ANROM (#7), UNROM (#2), and UNROM (#180) are all subsets of the Action 53 mapper (#28). If your entry uses any of these subsets, it can be added with very little effort, as the menu will configure the mapper appropriately. You'd want to use the Action 53 mapper directly if you want to mix and match features of these boards, such as UNROM-style PRG bank switching with 1-screen mirroring, or CNROM-style CHR bank switching with 1-screen mirroring, or switching both CHR and PRG banks, or changing among 1, V, and H mirroring at runtime.


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 12:01 am 
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Hi, sorry, I came for the teal deer but caught something alarming; I thought the A53 supports AOROM? The wiki says that mapper 28 was designed to support AOROM. I just switched my project over to it and I want to be sure that I should stick with this and not oversized BNROM. Granted I don't understand their functional differences, but if possible I'd like to tell my friends that my project is built on Battletoads' architecture.

EDIT: I see now the only difference between AOROM and ANROM is 50% prg rom and no chance for bus conflicts so I can do that if needed. My project is overly ambitious though and if it goes well I might actually need the extra space (don't count on it).


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 12:26 am 
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Guilty wrote:
I thought the A53 supports AOROM?

All AxROM boards are pretty much the same, what changes is the maximum PRG-ROM size and the presence/absence of bus conflicts. ANROM doesn't have bus conflicts, which makes it a superset of AOROM, so you should be fine.

Quote:
Granted I don't understand their functional differences, but if possible I'd like to tell my friends that my project is built on Battletoads' architecture.

PRG-ROM functions exactly the same on BNROM and AOROM, so you can still say that you're using "Battletoads' architecture" (you can probably even use a Battletoads cart as a donor for a BNROM game, with a bit of rewiring). The only difference between them is that BNROM has fixed name table mirroring (either vertical or horizontal), while AxROM has switchable 1-screen mirroring. IMO you should go with whatever fits the type of scrolling you're gonna use (if any) better, instead of ending up with scrolling artifacts just to be 100% like Battletoads.


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 12:59 am 
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IMHO, I'd rather have these categories:

1.- Multicart-compliant
2.- Anything goes

Restricting category 1 to NROM is not a good idea. That would encourage some people to trim games to fin in NROMs to get the bigger prizes.

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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 7:59 am 
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na_th_an wrote:
IMHO, I'd rather have these categories:

1.- Multicart-compliant
2.- Anything goes

Restricting category 1 to NROM is not a good idea. That would encourage some people to trim games to fin in NROMs to get the bigger prizes.

Those are the categories.
tepples wrote:
You'd want to use the Action 53 mapper directly if you want to mix and match features of these boards, such as UNROM-style PRG bank switching with 1-screen mirroring, or CNROM-style CHR bank switching with 1-screen mirroring, or switching both CHR and PRG banks, or changing among 1, V, and H mirroring at runtime.


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 9:03 am 
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NESHomebrew wrote:
na_th_an wrote:
IMHO, I'd rather have these categories:

1.- Multicart-compliant
2.- Anything goes

Restricting category 1 to NROM is not a good idea. That would encourage some people to trim games to fin in NROMs to get the bigger prizes.

Those are the categories.

I thought the categories were:

1. NROM
2. Other multicart compliant mappers

Sorry there's been a lot of confusion on this topic. Multiple posts do point to the NROM/Not-NROM categories.

I wonder how many people have already started on their projects. For me, a lot of the appeal was to do something quick which could get a little exposure and hopefully some positive reinforcement. For that, the idea of lengthening the deadline by a year is a bit discouraging.

Edited for negativity.


Last edited by darryl.revok on Thu May 19, 2016 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 9:12 am 
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Guilty wrote:
Hi, sorry, I came for the teal deer but caught something alarming; I thought the A53 supports AOROM? The wiki says that mapper 28 was designed to support AOROM. [...] I see now the only difference between AOROM and ANROM is 50% prg rom

The Action 53 mapper supports AOROM, but AOROM entries go in "anything goes" due to their size.

darryl.revok wrote:
I thought the categories were:

1. NROM
2. Other multicart compliant mappers

The 2011 compo's categories were NROM and anything else, and I was originally going to make the multicart use oversize BNROM. The Action 53 mapper was created to suit its entries, not the other way around. I designed it for the compo entries and the post-compo STREEMERZ game, with a bit of room for expansion, hence its MMC1-esque feature set as a superset of all major discrete mappers.

The 2014 compo's categories were 64K discrete, 8K discrete, and anything else, where "discrete" means "anything the Action 53 mapper can simulate". The consensus as I understand it is that this compo will use the 2014 rules (but without the 8K category), meaning a 64K UNROM qualifies.

My NES remake of Artemio's 240p test suite is a 64K UNROM (actually 48K because bank 2 is blank). It would qualify for the main 64K discrete category if it hadn't already been released. I plan to submit it to anything goes because I guess Shmups Forum members are likely to buy a cart just for that.


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 9:31 am 
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tepples wrote:
My NES remake of Artemio's 240p test suite is a 64K UNROM (actually 48K because bank 2 is blank). It would qualify for the main 64K discrete category if it hadn't already been released. I plan to submit it to anything goes because I guess Shmups Forum members are likely to buy a cart just for that.

I think it would qualify, my wording might have been a bit harsh in the past. I would say that we would just exclude commercial releases, and entries previously submitted without any changes.

I hope people aren't too upset about the requirements. I thought that it had been pretty clear that the categories would be pretty much identical to the 2014 rules. Maybe people didn't know where to find the rules for previous competitions. My apologies.

The main focus is for people to release their projects. The second focus is to provide financial and physical incentive to finish their project, by selling cartridges with compatible entries. Large games most likely merit their own physical release and there are different routes to do that (but feel free to submit in the anything goes category). But for this contest, we are restricted by the current hardware.


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 2:57 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
IMO you should go with whatever fits the type of scrolling you're gonna use (if any) better, instead of ending up with scrolling artifacts just to be 100% like Battletoads.


I have grandiose plans for scrolling and a status bar that I'm pretty sure will only work with single-screen switchable mirroring if I understand how that works. IIRC, one of the only other ways to do unlimited 4 way scrolling with a status bar is to pull a Crystalis and do horizontal mirroring, but that doesn't fix the horizontal artifacts. Provided I disable the left 8 columns for sprites and backgrounds, I should end up with a pretty small <8 pixles of attribute glitch on one side. But none of this is really on topic I guess...

tepples wrote:
The Action 53 mapper supports AOROM, but AOROM entries go in "anything goes" due to their size.


Noted, thank you.


Last edited by Guilty on Thu May 19, 2016 3:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 3:07 pm 
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Guilty wrote:
NESHomebrew wrote:
The Action 53 mapper supports AOROM, but AOROM entries go in "anything goes" due to their size.


Noted, thank you.

Sure.... I'll take credit for saying that. 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 3:17 pm 
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NESHomebrew wrote:
Sure.... I'll take credit for saying that. 8-)

Definitely that didn't just happen. I 100% know how to quote on forums correctly.


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 Post subject: Re: NesDev compo 2016
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 3:25 pm 
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NESHomebrew wrote:
I thought that it had been pretty clear that the categories would be pretty much identical to the 2014 rules.


Here are a few sources of the confusion as to why people would believe that NROM specifically is the only mapper that's allowed for the main category:

NESHomebrew wrote:
I think that two categories would be good. NROM and Anything Goes.

NESHomebrew wrote:
You can pretty much guarantee that there will always be an NROM category.

NESHomebrew wrote:
As for the anything goes category, it is pretty self explanatory. Entries can include projects submitted in other contests, projects already released to the public that they would like included on the cartridge, and anything else that wouldn't fit into the NROM category.

NESHomebrew wrote:
I think for now you can base it off the existing rules from the past compo with 2 categories. NROM and Anything Goes.

NESHomebrew wrote:
2 categories, NROM (same rules as last year) and anything goes.


Guilty wrote:
IIRC, one of the only other ways to do unlimited 4 way scrolling with a status bar is to pull a Crystalis and do horizontal mirroring, but that doesn't fix the horizontal artifacts.

I fail to see how the results you get with single-screen will be better than the results you'll get with horizontal mirroring.

Crystalis has a pretty neat approach of forcing scroll to a boundary where attributes can be corrected. That's probably honestly the best approach I think I've seen.

What Alfred Chicken did seems like a huge waste of sprites for such a small issue. Nobody was returning their copies of SMB3 as kids for scrolling issues. That game even has problems with mis-scrolling tiles, which is a result of their engine and not a hardware limitation.

Guilty wrote:
NESHomebrew tepples wrote:
The Action 53 mapper supports AOROM, but AOROM entries go in "anything goes" due to their size.

Noted, thank you.

...Only if it exceeds 64KB, right?

Or is a 64KB discreet UNROM legal but a 64KB discreet AOROM isn't?

Sigh... I give up.


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