The Cartridge-Only philosophising

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By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1303)

Kai Magazine's picture

15-12-2015, 01:52

mfeingol, your point of view is reasonable.
There is a video in the main news thread of Life on Mars (if you are talking about Life on Mars at all). You can see the gameplay there
Also, several hours ago I posted in that same thread that once the english translation is finished, and some tiles (graphics) replaced, we can create a demo, no problem, exept for the fact that this game is not divided by levels (metroidvania), and its gameplay will change radically when you pick a new weapon (plasma bombs) or the hability to jump higher, which will allow you to defeat or evade dificult enemies in certain ways, and to explore other areas and hidden rooms within the big map of the mars colony.
That is very difficult to reflect on a small demo, in which you will start with only a gun and you will be able to explore very little. You will not feel the real exploration and strategy envolved further ahead in the game.

Regarding all the advantadges of the digital version, as you can read in both posts (this one and the Life on Mars news thread) We gave the chance to adquiere the digital version of the game for only 15 euro to the first 20 people who pre-order the game in digital format, but only if the list reaches to 20 people before February 1st (it is a social experiment). There is a list 1 or 2 pages before this one. If you are interested, put your nick in it and resend the entire list in your following post.
Thanks!

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

15-12-2015, 01:57

Space is a valid reason. Even in a regular sized house. It's a matter of priority what one wants to do with their space.

edit: that was aimed at iamweasel2 Wink

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1303)

Kai Magazine's picture

15-12-2015, 02:11

Hello iamweasel2, the situation in Spain is very similar regarding the apartaments, and the economy here is very bad right now (for the last 5 years and counting), and houses are incredibily expensive, and only wealthy people can afford them.
I understand that need and that point of view perfectly, and many here said just the same thing before.
What troubles me in particular, is the facts.
The facts show there are many of the here mentioned games for sale on digital format, and only very few people here as ever purchased a digital game, as shown in this social experiment, and in past releases we made, and for what I have been talking with other developers.
While your need for space is real and I belive it, the facts show that most people who demand digital releases to purchase here, never did and never will. Those are the cold undeniable facts, because we are seeing it right now.

By the way, regarding the "coding something", I PROMISE all coding and music on "Life on mars" as well as all our other games, were made by us with real msx, and no emulators were involved at any point (a a matter of fact, the game has an incompatibility issue due to the moonsound emulation, with ALL emulators at the moment, which I will only fix if the experiment reaches 20 people).
I am uncapable of coding on an emulator. It is much better, faster and reliable to code using tools like megaflashrom sd scc+ and eric boez SD card reader, which both have their advantadges and disadvantadges, and I used both to develope and code Life on Mars.

Anyway all this will be cleared soon enough. Let's see if the list reaches even 10 digital buyers...

By RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

RetroTechie's picture

15-12-2015, 02:59

Kai Magazine wrote:

I am uncapable of coding on an emulator. It is much better, faster and reliable to code using tools like megaflashrom sd scc+ and eric boez SD card reader, which both have their advantadges and disadvantadges, and I used both to develope and code Life on Mars.

There's no contest, really. Emulators allow things that aren't possible on real hardware (breakpoints in ROM, checking VDP registers between each Z80 instruction executed, quickly change some memory locations or Z80 registers on-the-fly and restart execution a few steps back, etc, etc). Any of such things can help a coder a lot to figure out what's going on, and get things running as intended.

Of course not all emulators support all such features, emulation is never perfect, and there are some very good debuggers to use on real MSX. Perhaps a good debugger may even simulate such feature(s) somehow. But one way or the other, debugger is in the way so there is side effect(s). So in the end: no contest.

That said: a lot depends on what developer is used to, and how well he knows his tools. And of course that has effect on productivity or end result. So I wouldn't argue with a coder who does a better job using real MSX for most of the coding. Not to mention that all testing is done on real hardware in that case... never a bad thing. Smile2

By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5382)

NYYRIKKI's picture

15-12-2015, 06:48

RetroTechie wrote:
Kai Magazine wrote:

I am uncapable of coding on an emulator. It is much better, faster and reliable to code using tools like megaflashrom sd scc+ and eric boez SD card reader, which both have their advantadges and disadvantadges, and I used both to develope and code Life on Mars.

There's no contest, really. Emulators allow things that aren't possible on real hardware (breakpoints in ROM, checking VDP registers between each Z80 instruction executed, quickly change some memory locations or Z80 registers on-the-fly and restart execution a few steps back, etc, etc). Any of such things can help a coder a lot to figure out what's going on, and get things running as intended.

You are forgetting now that Kai Magazine is developing on X-BASIC and in that world these features are not really that important. I've done lots of code with X-BASIC and in these cases emulator features have not really helped me. Sure I use these features when I code ASM, but that is a different thing.

Kai Magazine wrote:

The issue I had with the personal messages you sent to me were (as I explained to you in my last message) regarding your social skills (at least with me), not your ideas.

I understand you. I agree that I used very hard words to complain what you do to your paying customer computers (especially 64K machines) I also hoped that you would have accepted my bug fix. (BTW I'm now happy to tell you that the bug is now implemented correctly in latest version of OpenMSX ) As you can see I still have some minor issues that I find hard to put aside... Anyway... Let's try to get over with these stupid, minor details. Point is that I like your games very much. I agree I have a very bad habit of pushing very hard when I'm trying to proof that I'm correct, please excuse me that. I still recognize that your games are your products and I have to respect that.

Over all I enjoy your work very much and I find your games very innovative compared to most of other MSX2 titles mainly because you have the skill to use the graphics in artistic ways and create real game play ideas while most of us are just stuck to stupid technical details... That said I would be happy if you could accept me to your "Physical copy"-list.

By wouter_

Champion (418)

wouter_'s picture

15-12-2015, 09:43

Hi, I'd like to buy a .rom version as well.

Kai Life on Mars2000 ! digi-buy pledges list:
01 hap
02 mars2000you
03 guiseve
04 mtn
05 turbor
06 sd_snatcher
07 wouter_

By Grauw

Ascended (8442)

Grauw's picture

15-12-2015, 10:27

Kai Magazine wrote:

I am uncapable of coding on an emulator. It is much better, faster and reliable to code using tools like megaflashrom sd scc+ and eric boez SD card reader, which both have their advantadges and disadvantadges, and I used both to develope and code Life on Mars.

Me, I exclusively develop on emulators, I use the real MSX just for occasional testing. My iteration time is just so much faster, and I can use my PC development environment, with modern editors and tools etc., without having to transfer files to the MSX all the time. Also I have no risk of messing up my HD when the game crashes in some unfortunate way that the hard drive gets corrupted Smile. (Has happened to me several times back when I was still developing on my MSX.)

I’m coding in assembly, but also for Basic I would probably do the same, you can load them as ASCII (or put a small Basic tokeniser tool in the build chain), fast forward, etc.

Not that there’s anything wrong with developing on the real machine of course! But I moved to PC cross-development because of the benefits. Just worth noting, on the topic of whether emulator users are "real" MSX users, among MSX developers there are also many who use emulators, if not most of them.

p.s. I find making a distinction between "real" and "non-real" MSX users quite unproductive and unnecessarily divisive. Our community is small, why is there a need to introduce some kind of hierarchy of how "true" and MSX user you are? Especially if that’s judged based on the use of emulators or not, it’s crazy to me.

By Imanok

Paragon (1143)

Imanok's picture

15-12-2015, 10:30

Quite a long thread to read!

I think a lot of things have already been said, but I just wanted to highlight the two main subjects IMHO:

*  People acting the same way as giuseve should be warned / banned from MRC. It’s unacceptable such a lack of respect to the developers and what is even worse, people sending him the games he requested. Although I think the “I don’t have a real MSX machine” and “I don’t have spare space to set my MSX machine” reasons are just excuses (a real MSX machine is not that expensive and it requires the same space as a DVD player), I have never received a mail from him asking for digital versions of my games (that’s what he should have done in case of being really interested in paying for them).

* Support MSX developers. I don’t know if you realize we are just a few groups developing new stuff … just look back and check how many groups have stopped developing in the last years. I don’t want a community which just chats about the good old games and such… I want to play good new games and I know many of us think the same way. I felt really sad the last Barcelona MSX Meeting when talking with the MSX Area crew… they told me just 1 “Booming Boy” cartridge had been ordered from Holland… - JUST ONE COPY-!!. Holland has always been considered one of the main countries regarding MSX active users and dutch people are always claiming for MSX2 games… so I don’t understand what is happening, because the game is REALLY  good and not that expensive.

Let’s keep being an active and productive community. It’s up to all of us.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

15-12-2015, 11:09

I agree with Imanok comment and others like Warau, Ramones, MrSpock, Eric and other more people.

As head of MSX Area magazine, I have acces to the Booming Boy´s sales. And only one person in Holland bought the game.
I can´t understand how nobody in holland don't buy one game like this, (a really good game), with a fair price.

On the other hand, people like giuseve, mars2000 and similars should have all the repulse of the MSX community if we don't want to loose the few MSX's develovers (at least software) there are still.

I would like to explain more, but my English isn't very good.

By ericb59

Paladin (860)

ericb59's picture

15-12-2015, 11:16

Imanok wrote:

I felt really sad the last Barcelona MSX Meeting when talking with the MSX Area crew… they told me just 1 “Booming Boy” cartridge had been ordered from Holland… - JUST ONE COPY-!!. Holland has always been considered one of the main countries regarding MSX active users and dutch people are always claiming for MSX2 games… so I don’t understand what is happening, because the game is REALLY  good and not that expensive.

From my one year experience, people from Netherlands buy more hardware than games.
First "Market" for homebrew games is clearly Spain today.

Here some stats about homebrew game selling the last year (From Repro Factory web Shop Uridium/Zombie Incident/Booming Boy/Pang).

1 - Spain : 37,8 %
2 - Japan : 16,66 %
3 - France : 9,45 %
4 - Netherlands : 5,40 %
5 - USA : 4,50 %
6 - Italy : 4,05 %
7 - U.K. : 4,05 %
8 - Germany : 3,6 %

etc...

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