sub-question: if you have the time to develop now (keep in mind that 40 hours a month is 'only' 2 hours a day), why aren't you? What's keeping you? Don't you have a team to work with, or an idea to develop? Inspiration? Motivation? Do you need an audience, a Zandvoort/Tilburg-sized fair or a 'market'? Tell us!
Mental note: this sub-question is not pointed to the people who -are- already actively developing for MSX.
I have tons of weird ideas in my head, but unfortunately I don't have time to implement all of them. I'm also quite bad at finishing projects that I start. If I stop doing the project for week I usually stop it permanately. If it was good project, I may continue few years later...
It also tends to take more than 4 hours to get me even started, so if I don't have at least 8 hours I don't even start. I also tend to focus so hard to the project that I "turn off" the rest of the world. Sometimes I can't even sleep if the code doesn't work. Unfortunately rest of the world does not like to be "turned off" so in worst case I'll get problems @ home and make mistakes @ work. Well... I'm MSX addict.
If you regognize similar behavior, I must say that what ever you do, DON'T TRY BRAINFUCK in any situation. That is something that made me zombie for a month... (You know; tools in fridge, you don't know what you have been doing, answering question like "do you want to eat" takes about 10 minutes etc.)
Of course the actual truth is that everyone has as much time as he wants. It's purely a matter of priority. If you spend all your hobby time to MSX programming, you can get to quite some hours per month... But most people don't do that of course.
The better question is: how much time do you want to spend on developing for MSX?
That's chapter II .. don't rush it
I do very little coding on my MSX these days. I did start a Suduko generator. I didn't get round to completing it, I have replaced my PC desk with a smaller model, it is a pity that my TurboR is no longer located on it
I might get another table after Christmas, and start to use my MSX again. I find that the lack of "REM" statements in my code make it hard to go back and understand what I was doing. Some of my early MSX coding I have no idea how I went about compiling it
Well I spend maybe 20 hours a month on MSX development but thats mainly because I've spent 100+ hours/month on the emulator. Does the latter count as MSX developent as well?
In this particular case we're trying to find out why the last year showed a decrease in productivity, in mainly the graphical and musical sections. That's why the poll aims at code, graphics and music. Hardware-creation and website management isn't included here, and I think we can cancel out emulator development as well.
The thing we'd like to find out (after me nagging for it, some days ) is how to boost activity, and in particular, the activities required for demo/game development. You might think: "Game development? what about MSXDev?". Yes, all those people or groups doing a dev game are appreciated. Still that leaves the MSX2/2+/tR people out, the people who roamed the 90's so to say. Where have all these people gone? Or better (because many of 'em are even here!) : why aren't they doing any thing like the things they were doing in the 90's?
So, apart from this poll, we might have some more polls and things in the future that should hopefully lead to more activity from those who have the potential, but aren't using it atm.
One thing that might help a bit is to do a new MRC demo competition. It hasn't been one since Snowfall or Bounce (its been so long so I forgot which of them was the last one). Both resulted in several really nice MSX2 demos.
As you said wolf it seems like most of the current active MSX developers are developing for MSX1. I don't mind that at all since I'm an MSX1 person and don't care too much about later versions. But I think it would be great if you could start something and find out what would motivate more people to do MSX2 development. I think a simple demo compo is a good start. That would perhaps get some MSX1 people to try doing something for later versions.
There are some nice concepts already for a classic theme-challange again (like underwater, bounce, etc.), we'll prolly start one right after MSXDev. But other than that I also would like to see a boost in the MSX2-gaming corner, the RPG-graphics challenge was an investigation to see how many ppl were up to those kinda gfx, well, we know the result by now.
It also depends a bit on what the MSXDev team decides for the new year.. several ideas have been around, one of them being two seperate challenges.
I would also like to see another MRC demo contest.
I still remember Diary from NYYRIKKI and Technicolor from dvik (this last one did not participate in any contest, though).
And MSX Unleashed!
I personaly don't care anymore about MSX demos or music disks. Also the platform (MSX1,2,2+,tR) is of no importance to me.
Only way to create more activity is more activity
There have to be more handles for new developers to start developing.
If the right tools and code-building-blocks are available you will see that non-hardcore-developers (like me) will pick up development. Now everything is all over the place or unavailable.
Code building blocks:
- Compression code (bit buster/pletter etc.)
- Code skeletons (ROM init for example)
- Music replayers (with integrated sfx -> pt3+sfx anyone?)
- Lots of examples.
- Music editors (VortexTrackerII, moonblaster, scc blaffer, ..... etc)
- GFX editors (Polka!, age, graph saurus)
- GFX convertors (ColecoPaint+ converters (THEY RULE ), bmp2msx etc.)
- Lots of example tools (Tools are mostly depending on the current project)
- People need to explain/describe how they did things.
We cannot expect from people to 'reinvent the wheel' over and over again. Time is very valuable these days (as most MSX'ers are 30+ by now -> Families, Responsibilities toward work etc.). As long as we don't start sharing we see a decrease in actvivity.
I had an idea for an msxdev game and all that, but then I discovered SPOJ and now I'm an addict:
BEWARE, brainfuck inside !
incognito ergo sum (109)
Actual coding time: about 5 hours on weekend.
Developing time: I allways carry a little notebook to write some ideas when I'm going to the university on metro. You never know when a good idea will come to your mind!!
Well, I started programming an msx 1 emulator in basic (Blitz3D, in the case you want to know it) as a learning tool for myself, to acquire a more comprehensive understanding on the features/oddities of the system. Because of limitations of the compiler, I was forced to program it entirely on basic (no asm at all), and the sound emulation was limited to psg sound without envelope (only frequency and volume are taken into account for each channel). I first thought to finish it and release for those who have no knowlege on asm or c to have a glimpse in a higher level language on how things work in a msx. It has lots of bugs, and the only two games I know to run fine on it are Galaxian and Yie Ar KungFu. The instruction set isn't fully implemented on it and not all basic commands work. C-Bios doesn't work, other bioses (from real msx) work fine.
The problem is that I readed some posts at emulation section and they, sort of, "killed" my enthusiasm. There are already many excellent msx emulators. BlueMSX debugger, for instance, was a great help to understand the way many instructions are executed. So, I felt my work on my project was just useless, and this made me think about the meaning of developing new programs for MSX at all.
Msx emulators are there to run legacy software and are, in many ways, better than the real machines to execute them. Of couse, "Hardcore" users woul prefer to run their programs on the real machine, but with this in mind , the new software would not be "original" (from the time msx ruled over the earth). Running it on emulators would be pointless, too. If you need to run an emulator prior to run the software, why not just to skip the emulator step? If a machine is able to run the emulator, it can run native software much better, and these programs could "imitate" msx characteristics, such as resolutions, colors... Some of you might rais the question of portability, as emulators are already available for many platforms. But in the same way these emulators are ported to many software/hardware platforms, a program can be written to be easily recompiled for the desired system.
Finally, registering software here, in Brazil, is a complicated issue. I don't even know how to start to register a program as public domain, and after a hard time on developing it, it isn't nice to have lots of trouble with copyright issues, as Brazilian law doesn't seem to have been made to encourage people to produce local work.
I'm deeply sorry for making you all read this, but they were the words of a sad programmer, looking at thousands of lines of wasted work .......
- didn't you know on beforehand that there already existed much better emulators?
- didn't you still learn a lot about the system by making the (maybe useless, but fun!) emulator?
- didn't you have indeed fun making that emulator?
You can still use your knowledge to produce some cool MSX game
About licensing: you don't need to register anything. You just supply the license with your program. There are many examples of licenses and even better: just use an existing license for your work.
Yes, I already knew about other emulators, I used BlueMSX for helping developing mine. I made it just for fun, at the start, but I put a lot of effort on it, so I decided to share it.
The problem is, distributing the code along with a license is not enough proof I made it first. If somebody replaces the license with one of his own, I have no way to prove I made it first, without an "official" registration.
Isn't that the case with all open source software? It's quite illegal to do that, by the way. You own the copyright, you decide the license. No one can just replace it and distribute it then.
Lots of open source software is made in Brazil. I can't imagine you'd be the only one with this problem.
I think the best place to discuss such matter is not here, is at discussions in portuguese, in the forum. Anyway, thanks for the advices!
Sofar, the figures don't look well, if you ask me
'no time' and 'less than 8h' is quite useless. 8-16 isn't much better.. 16 is like 3.5 hour a week, one single afternoon in the weekend orso..
Just some random quotes and responses:
the RPG-graphics challenge was an investigation to see how many ppl were up to those kinda gfx, well, we know the result by now.
The flaw in that contest was, imho, that creating just some wild (RPG-)graphics without any context feels like a exercise in futility -- just like creating a set of MBWave patterns without actually trying to build a complete music piece.
(as most MSX'ers are 30+ by now -> Families, Responsibilities toward work etc.)
And I think exactly that is the issue.
'no time' and 'less than 8h' is quite useless.
Well, statements like these don't really motivate people either, eh...
It's just logical, 'no time' is of no use.., and 8 hours on average is such a little amount that it's very hard to get things done. That's not much related to motivation, is it? It's not about 'what it is', but about 'how to improve'.. which would be step 2: how to MAKE more time..
should we start doing courses in time management @ MRC? ^_^
Seriously though... even with only 8 hours a month (which is not an awful lot indeed) you can still do quite a few thing. If everybody who voted that option actually spent that time on MSX development, we might have double the entries in MSXdev.
Make more time!?!?!
Guys you have no idea in what kinda problems my current 'available' MSX-time brings me.
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