MSXdev22 goes all out

MSXdev22 goes all out

by MSXdev Team on 24-06-2021, 15:56
Topic: Challenges
Tags: msxdev22, MSXdev
Languages:

While MSXdev21 is still in progress and promises to be yet another amazing edition, the MSXdev team has announced the rule set for next year. MSXdev22 will break free from the Classic category and opens up to accept all MSX hardware games. You asked for it, and holy cow - they listened.

The MSXdev compo was once set up with MSX1 specs in mind to show what that machine is capable of; to bring back the glory of ye olden days. As most of you will know - in this form, the contest had very tight restrictions. Each and every entry was required to run on an MSX1 with 16KB of RAM. Throughout the years, the homebrew scene has proven fair and square that nowadays, it doesn't take a professional game studio like Konami to create true smash hits with such restrictions. Some MSXdev editions, however, allowed for other hardware specs too. As an experiment, the upcoming '22 edition is one of those.

With MSXdev22 any piece of MSX software is allowed to be submitted! That's right, anything goes. From humble MSX1 with 8K to MSX turbo R with OPL4 and V9990 extensions running on 1MB of RAM. Sure, go ahead! The Free Style category, as it is officially dubbed, will be the one and only category for MSXdev22. All games are rated equally on their quality. Meaning, that next year the MSXdev Team will make sure to once more have a knowledgeable jury aboard. A panel of jurors who can tell the difference between a 2MB ROM, V9990 game that requires R800, but which plays like you're attempting to cut down a tree with a plastic spoon, or a 32K ROM that runs on any MSX, crammed full with enticing gameplay and artfully crafted graphics and sounds.

With that, the long running MSXdev compo awaits an interesting edition next year. Although this is not the official kick-off, there's no excuse to not start planning your next project!

In the meantime, enjoy MSXdev21 which runs until October 1st 2021.

relevant link: MSXdev official web site

Comments (50)

By Parn

Hero (645)

Parn's picture

24-06-2021, 16:21

Great news!

Although I'm constantly amazed by the work done by our fellow MSX1 developers, I always wanted to make something for MSXdev myself, but I've never been especially thrilled about being restricted to MSX1. I hope this can bring even more amazing suprises. Thanks and congrats to the MSXdev Team for being open-minded about this. I'm very excited about what the future has in store. Running Naked in a Field of Flowers

By tfh

Prophet (2902)

tfh's picture

24-06-2021, 16:26

I'm looking forward to what kind of releases MSXDev'22 will bring. A nice MSX 2 / 2+ SHMUP (horizontal or vertical) would be great. And since the rule-set is already known, people can start already!

But first things first: Let's see what MSXDev'21 will bring us Smile

By aoineko

Master (160)

aoineko's picture

24-06-2021, 16:39

Great news!

Some prizes category could be split in two:
- Best Graphics: MSX1 | MSX2/2+/tR
- Best Sound: PSG | SCC/OPL

But other are not hardware related (Gameplay, Polish and Originality).

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9876)

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24-06-2021, 17:29

By Wlcracks

Champion (438)

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24-06-2021, 18:29

This is great news.

By Uninteresting

Master (197)

Uninteresting's picture

24-06-2021, 19:03

And I can then sponsor a prize (some money) to be given to the best game using MSXdev'21 specs, i.e., MSX1 with no extra hardware? Is this correct?

By valkyre

Hero (542)

valkyre's picture

24-06-2021, 19:26

Sounds good to me!

By Grauw

Ascended (9917)

Grauw's picture

24-06-2021, 19:55

Meanwhile, the donations for MSXdev’21 are going through the roof!

(And as someone who grew up with MSX2, I also like next year’s rules.)

By tfh

Prophet (2902)

tfh's picture

24-06-2021, 20:02

Grauw wrote:

Meanwhile, the donations for MSXdev’21 are going through the roof!

(And as someone who grew up with MSX2, I also like next year’s rules.)

Well.. you do have something in the works. I don't know what your planning is, but maybe it could be a MSXDev'22 entry?

By albs_br

Champion (296)

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24-06-2021, 20:26

WOW. Really great news!!

By ducasp

Champion (431)

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24-06-2021, 20:28

Really happy about those news, today is a really happy day Cool

By Latok

msx guru (3828)

Latok's picture

24-06-2021, 21:16

Nice, but the way I read it, the specs your game uses will affect its rating. I believe thats a wrong approach. A game should be judged by just how good it is, whether it's playability, gfx or sound. No penalty points should be given because you used dual plane mode to get that parallax scrolling right. That will end up in terrible discussions. Just rate the game, please! Only condition should be it runs in some kind of MSX set up. Thats true freestyle Smile

By raulsantacruz

Hero (592)

raulsantacruz's picture

24-06-2021, 21:17

Excellent news!! All MSX models are MSX systems! Indeed SCC , FM , V9990 , etc. Different categories is the perfect solution to have a fair competition!

+10000 for the rulers!

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9876)

wolf_'s picture

24-06-2021, 21:28

I think the jury points will be given relative to the expectations of a certain chip, hence the "knowledgeable jury". Someone submitting Nemesis 2 for MSX 1 would probably win over someone with a g9k game featuring simple graphics. Following that logic, Space Manbow would win over Nemesis 2 for all the right reasons. If one compo anno today gives us both Nemesis 2 and Space Manbow, no-one has a reason to complain.

By Randam

Paragon (1323)

Randam's picture

24-06-2021, 21:59

This is great news. I love the great games the MSXdevs have brought forth but I also like higher speced games. And like wolf_ and others said: I would love to see the best games, win whether that is Nemesis 2, Space Manbow or X-tazy. Hopefully this will bring the best for all msx gens!

By MsxKun

Paladin (992)

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24-06-2021, 22:02

So now the question is... does a MSXVR count?

By ro

Scribe (4422)

ro's picture

24-06-2021, 22:08

Latok, it is exactly what you think should work. Ratings are for the game, not the specs.

So, Wolf, jury panel next year?

By mariocavalcanti

Expert (94)

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24-06-2021, 23:46

Great news, my friends! Big smile

By mariocavalcanti

Expert (94)

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24-06-2021, 23:47

A very good suggestion. Smile

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3450)

sd_snatcher's picture

25-06-2021, 03:05

This is like a dream coming true!

But please do not go back on the following year if not that many >MSX1 entries end up showing. Changes like these might take some time to take roots.

By tcruise

Master (133)

tcruise's picture

25-06-2021, 09:21

And to assist I will be looking at extending my Sprite & Tile Editor to support the newer graphic modes.

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1397)

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25-06-2021, 14:10

Finally! Freedom!
Exelent news!

By AnsiStar

Expert (77)

AnsiStar's picture

25-06-2021, 20:40

Hi Folks!
I`am very close to the MSX I System. When I`m thinking of the past Dev contests, i`m thinking of gems and highlights like "The Cure", "Uridium" or "Zombie Incident" and so on. I was and still be amazed what is possible. I thank you all who were involved to this.
But I`am also excited and full of joy about the Dev contest in 22!! Wink

By PingPong

Prophet (3738)

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26-06-2021, 10:14

umh, i think the rating should have parts not related to hw capabilities and others related to.

for example concept, playability are unaffected by hw capabilities.
when rating gfx/sound however, the graphic quality should be evaluated taking into account the hw capabilities.
For example a multiplayer smooth scroll on a TMS9918 VDP should have a very high rate than the same on V9990 because on the latter this is a lot easier to achieve.
the same apply to sound. if one game uses MoonSound and produces sound like beep, blip and other things that a simple msx1 can do with the sound port, it's rating should be very low, at least if moonsound is a required hw

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9876)

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26-06-2021, 10:16

That was the point I made earlier, hence the "knowledgeable jury". Cool

By PingPong

Prophet (3738)

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26-06-2021, 12:52

wolf_ wrote:

That was the point I made earlier, hence the "knowledgeable jury". Cool

Wolf, do you think that the jury would rate the games in wrong way because they are msx1 biased?
In that case, i think it would be easy to spot this.

By ren

Paragon (1811)

ren's picture

26-06-2021, 14:10

wolf_ wrote:

Following that logic, Space Manbow would win over Nemesis 2 for all the right reasons.

What you say ?

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9876)

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26-06-2021, 14:26

PingPong:

I think a jury should know exactly what an MSX1, MSX2, MSX2+, tR, G9k, FM-PAC, SCC, MSX-Audio, x amount of RAM, x amount of ROM, and a disk can do, and what should be expected from it. The more you can do, the more is to be expected. This is regardless of the gameplay quality of course, a small game can be insanely fun while a high-spec game may look nice but is kinda boring to play. But alas, when artwork is considered, the jury should consider what is to be expected.

Ren:

I think SM is among the best games of any MSX platform, others would probably be RPG's like SD-Snatcher, DS:TLoH and Xak TToG, and I think Aleste 2 would also rank highly. I'd say it's fair to state that - regardless of how well done Nemesis 2 is - SM does use all the extras of the MSX2. So, in a contest, SM would win over Nemesis 2.

Now, it might actually be a different story when comparing Nemesis 2 with Hydefos. I'm not so sure which game would win there.

By Bengalack

Champion (393)

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26-06-2021, 17:35

Great! This is truly a nice addition the fantastic msxdev.

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1397)

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27-06-2021, 15:52

I really hope the jury doesn't judge the games based on what they know or expect of each hardware generation;
Expecting a Nemesis2 for msx1 or a SMW for msx2 or a GnG for v9990 is not realistic, those games took many years to develope (or a large, highly funded professional team in the case of Nemesis2)
So judging on what they expect for each system would not be fair.
For example:
What does people expect of a v9990 game?
Most people expect a NEOGEO looking game or a Capcom cps2 game such as Dungeons and Dragons - "shadows over Mystara" (for real, people have asked me to do that game in particular and several NEOGEO games...) while the v9990 P1 mode is actually closer to a 1984-85 arcade hardware, 10 or 20 times less powerful than what they expect/imagine.
How many people can actually judge objectivelly what an v9990 is capable of doing with a z80 or a r800?
I am not talking about people who have read the specifications on a PDF or a web page, I am talking about people who experienced the actual limitations and have finished something with it (because most who try fail to finish something and therefore they don't get the full experience. It is very different to start something as a demo than actually finishing a whole game, with all the perks that go with this experience).

I can count them with 1 hand.

IMHO I belive the games should be judged as any player judges them:
How you feel after you played them, based on the whole experience.

You don't need to be a wine curator in order to know if you like a particular kind of wine more than another, and you don't need to know how it was made in order to enjoy it.
The final taste is what counts.

But because sometimes things get lost in translation on the internet, I want to assure everyone that I am not trying to be a dick to anyone, just giving my 2 cents.

By Parn

Hero (645)

Parn's picture

27-06-2021, 16:48

wolf_ wrote:

Now, it might actually be a different story when comparing Nemesis 2 with Hydefos. I'm not so sure which game would win there.

IMHO Nemesis 2 is the best one. Just a better game all around. Not especially challenging in respect to technical achievements, so in that particular aspect only I would rate Hydefos higher.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9876)

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27-06-2021, 19:20

Kai:

msxdev entries have since almost forever been judged in the areas Gameplay, Graphics, Sound, Polish and Originality. It's probably based on what the jury wants though, I'm not sure whether these five are a fundamental msxdev law that can't be changed. If it doesn't change, then the artwork will be judged, so will the sound/music. Those are the areas where a jury needs to know what chips can do and what can reasonably be expected. Rest assured: there have been many FM-PAC games that would loose from Usas' PSG music (which, in my book, has the best PSG music in MSX history).

As for G9k: it's right that there's been very little software made for it, so you could say that no-one's ever seen the edge of the G9k-universe yet. Yet, at the same time, you know that it has pattern mode, which is quite like MSX1. But with better pixels, a better palette, better sprites, and with a multilayer that doesn't require a hackjob with tiles. One aspect that people need to keep in mind is the amount of sprites to deal with. As you can use more sprites per screen and per line: before you know it, you are using them, and you'll need more CPU cycles to check all the collisions. So, best would be to not forget that a sprite limitation does create a good balance. It's just that things can look better. And then the question is: how much better? And does it justify the G9k-potential? That's up to the jury.

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1397)

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27-06-2021, 20:30

Yes, I know the theory, but in practice, people "work" differently.
They still expect NeoGeo games out of a v9990 with an 8 bit processor (for example).

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9876)

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27-06-2021, 20:41

Hence, you need a "knowledgeable jury" Tongue

By erpirao

Paragon (1190)

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27-06-2021, 21:12

please, a sonyc 2 (or a remake of sonyc made by pazos)

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1397)

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27-06-2021, 23:16

Regarding v9990 at least, "knowledgeable" is the tricky part.
There are just not enough finished games and much less in several v9990 graphic modes in order for people to even compare, and much less people who actually have finished something and have a real understanding of what can be expected.
Reading and understanding the technical specs from the pdf is very different from what can actually be achieved with a z80 or r800.
For example:
Yes, you can put 128 sprites on screen (in order to make a big boss move, together with all the bullets and all the regular enemies), but for a z80, sending all those instructions alone eats up a big chunk of the z80 resources already, so you have little to no CPU resources for the rest of the game, much less when you add collisions.
Add opl4 music and sound (sending the 24 channels of data to the opl4 requieres A LOT of cpu cycles) and you have no CPU left.
People don't grasp this unless they actually try and suffer through this.
I could go on all night with examples such as this.
People who can judge this are people who actually suffered this, a lot, and made it to the other side alive, and there are not many of those, so knowledgeable jurers, at least for v9990, very tricky.

Anyway I will not insist anymore.
I will wait for the actual rules to be posted and for the jury to be revealed before I decide to participate. That seems the best bet at this time.

By santiontanon

Paragon (1420)

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28-06-2021, 18:21

I actually think that we don't really know "what to expect" from the more advanced MSX hardware, as there are not too many full-fledged projects that have tried to exploit them to their max capacity. As Kai was saying putting everything together is tricky. While there are demos of very fancy music, or just very fancy graphics, etc. when you try to put it all together in a game, the story is very different. So, I think if the competition gets lots of entries, this could be a great opportunity to start learning what can really be done with this hardware.

I would honestly not worry too much about judging the games, what would be more or less fair, and just take it as motivation to get new projects going on, and get a batch of interesting games! And then, as for the final ranking, there'll be disagreements as always, but I think it's ok Smile

By raymond

Hero (524)

raymond's picture

28-06-2021, 19:39

Great to hear!

I hope this will give a boost in the usage of various hardware extensions. I would love to see more GFX9000 games!

By wolf_

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28-06-2021, 20:43

santiontanon wrote:

While there are demos of very fancy music, or just very fancy graphics, etc. when you try to put it all together in a game, the story is very different.

G9k should be easier than making an MSX1 game though. If a developer keeps an MSX1 mindset regarding game genre and scope, G9k will do just fine. It's just that you have the added advantages of better graphics, more sprites and scrolling. Especially the latter two are what cause headaches when doing this for MSX1.

So, for all those who fear cold feet: just think of an MSX1 game, then uplift all the graphics to G9k standards and go for P-mode. Will it be easy? No, but that's because making a game is not easy. But there shouldn't be much of a difference compared to the MSX 1 games we've been making since 2003'ish.

By santiontanon

Paragon (1420)

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28-06-2021, 22:15

Oh, don't get me wrong, I didn't mean it as a deterrent! Let me say what I was thinking in a different way: my point is that this is an experiment year and it's going to be hard to have fair evaluation criteria, but that's ok!!! Even if I am sure there will be disagreements with the rankings, as an experiment, I think it will be a very good learning experience. So, I am very supportive of the idea to extend to other MSX generations/hardware! It'll be an interesting year! (although I'll probably still focus on MSX1, I am very interested to see what other people can do without constraints Smile )

By ro

Scribe (4422)

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01-07-2021, 10:43

so, got me thinking...
did we ever did a poll on "Best shooter" ? Smile

By ren

Paragon (1811)

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01-07-2021, 14:53

So personally I favor N2 over SM. But if they would be new games in this compo, then prob. SM would win indeed, but I don't think it's a straightforward matter. SM is shallow story wise ('arcade style'), where N2 is not. Both are immersive (that should be a big judging factor), but in a different way. (@wolf_)

By GhostwriterP

Hero (595)

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01-07-2021, 21:20

Definitely curious about what this contests will bring. I am tempted to join myself but I am probably too busy with other things, so I'll think it over.

By Manuel

Ascended (17947)

Manuel's picture

01-07-2021, 21:56

Don't think, just start working on the entry Smile And when you miss the deadline, you still have a nice project to finish after that Smile

As for MSXDev22: fantastic! I'm really looking forward to see what people come up with.

Regarding the target hardware: just create a cool game and use the hardware that is the most fitting for it.

By MSXdev Team

Master (196)

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03-07-2021, 00:37

We are very sorry about any confusion on the judgement of the games.
As English is not our native language, we assumed that this statement was clear enough:

Quote:

All games are rated equally on their quality. Meaning, that next year the MSXdev Team will make sure to once more have a knowledgeable jury aboard.

Apparently, our English writing skills fall a bit short here, so please accept our apologies for that.

By ren

Paragon (1811)

ren's picture

03-07-2021, 11:33

Hmm, sarcasm? Perhaps better to respond with something more substantial and/or address some questions, e.g. from Uninteresting (which I think is quite funny/interesting Smile)

Uninteresting wrote:

And I can then sponsor a prize (some money) to be given to the best game using MSXdev'21 specs, i.e., MSX1 with no extra hardware? Is this correct?

I believe, like this year's edition, you can do that (although this is a bit different from the categories given as example):

People who donate either money or tangible prizes are also allowed to specify a certain category to which they wish the reward will go to. Think along the vein of “Most Original Game”, “Best Soundtrack”, “Highest Ranked Shooter”, etcetera.

(Btw, unless I read over it, this is not mentioned @ https://www.msxdev.org/msxdev21/)

By ro

Scribe (4422)

ro's picture

03-07-2021, 13:53

Hai,

Ren, you're right. The initial Kick Off post is out dated regarding sponsoring. I corrected it.

MSXdev21 winners get the option to choose an item of choice out of the Winners Loot Box, which contains sponsored items. First place winner gets first choice, followed by second place and so on.

Hope that clears it up.

ps. we're about to release a news post about sponsored items for MSXdev21.. keep an eye out on MRC Smile

By Uninteresting

Master (197)

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03-07-2021, 20:21

My question on a sponsored MSX1 prize wasn't intended as a joke. While my love for MSX is effectively limited to PAL MSX1, I wouldn't want to counteract the intended purpose of the eased limitations.

By ren

Paragon (1811)

ren's picture

04-07-2021, 10:15

I didn't think you were joking btw, and I think it makes a valid/interesting sponsoring category.

Now I suppose we wait to hear from MSXdev whether they are okay with it?

By ro

Scribe (4422)

ro's picture

04-07-2021, 14:38

Hai,

As one of the organizers of the msxdev21 party, lemme just thank you all for the positive feedback. We are as exited as ya'll about next year's edition too. The official kick-off, around the end of the year, will explain more on that edition. For now, this news post is just a heads-up so folks can prepare their plans already.

Meanwhile, let us enjoy MSXdev21 (and the summer, of course)

cheers!