MSXdev'09

by wolf_ on 02-05-2009, 22:40
Topic: MRC
Tags: Challenges
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The MSXdev competition is generally seen as one of the biggest events of each MSX year. In 2004, the competition raised an exceptional interest from an active part of the scene, leading to a very successful edition in 2005. The already increased specifications may have been the cornerstone of this sudden success, in previous years these were just enough for relatively small games. The edition in 2006 saw a slight raise of competition specifications again, leading to a few ambitious game projects, but also leading to a few canceled projects. In the next years, specifications kept climbing, while the number of finished entries went down. There have been countless discussions about this specifications:entries ratio at various places, MRC, other forums and IRC. In a nutshell: there seem to be two groups. The ones who are in favor of and low specifications, and the ones who favor high specifications (such as the amount of system RAM). Among the spectators some have mixed feelings about all the attention given to MSX1 gaming, which could perhaps cause MSX2 gamers to be left out in the cold. Others would say that general productivity has dropped a bit since the highly active period of 2003-2005. The problem is that everything you have just read is mere speculation. MSXdev'08 was on course of ending with a very meager entry count. During a remarkable few deadline hours however, the '08 edition still ended with the same amount of entries 2007 had. There's only one thing you can do to get all the answers: organize it again, wait and see..

And that's what just happened, MSXdev'09 is out! Despite any discussion about activity or specifications, MSXdev is still the most popular competition for MSX, so obviously it works.

Whereas in the past few years, the specifications changed slightly, the specifications of 2009 are identical to those of 2008. A significant difference however is the available development time, which has been set to seven months. One could say that this is more than enough. Over the years, regular contenders got more experienced and have more reusable tools. Perhaps they also have a few half-finished games laying around, for instance games that didn't make the MSXdev'08 deadline. Without further ado, seven months seems more than enough time, even for some of those legendary epic adventure games we're hoping to see!

This edition marks the last year where Karoshi-member viejo_archivero is part of the crew. Not only is he a regular contestant with exceptional games such as Malaika, he's perhaps also the most significant person participating in discussions about the competition in general. The reason for his decision is to actually spend more time on his own entries, using time which is more and more consumed by his private life - not an exceptional scenario for most of us. Whether his place will be taken by someone else, next year, has not been decided yet.

The rules are probably well known by now. But to recap:

  • CPU: Zilog Z80 running at 3.58 Mhz
  • VDP: TMS9918/TMS9928 or compatible video processor
  • PSG: AY-3-8912 or compatible sound chip
  • Cassette interface: 1200/2400 baud
  • RAM: 64 KB (non memory-mapped)
  • VRAM: 16 KB

Support for additions (SCC, MSX2, FM-PAC, etc.) is allowed, but they won't gain bonus points. The maximum ROM size is 128KB (a.k.a. 1-MegaROM). The exact rules (including allowed mappers) can be read here. The prizes are a combination of money donations and third party prizes. These parties could award anything, from best game to best music, from best graphics to best game in a specific genre.

High time to get things moving again. In July, the jury will be made known to the world. The most important date however will be the date of the deadline: December 1st. Still far away, but the clock ticks faster when the deadline's near. MRC wishes all the contestants the best of luck and creativity!

Relevant link: MSXdev'09

Comments (40)

By W76NearDark

Paladin (684)

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03-05-2009, 00:08

...and again no MSX2 specs oO

By Meits

Scribe (5484)

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03-05-2009, 00:39

What a wicked world this is

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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03-05-2009, 01:04

and again no MSX2 specs
Why would there be???

By W76NearDark

Paladin (684)

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03-05-2009, 01:08

Just because they can... No, for real. Why would one pass this system with it's nice specs again and again. MSX is more than just the MSX(1) specs...

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6236)

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03-05-2009, 01:20

again extras are not rated
good luck with the bare bone msx1...

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5407)

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03-05-2009, 03:32

Wasn't there this Passion MSX contest for #2 and higher?
This might just be a stupid question (a.k.a. DemonSeed Question®)

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

dvik's picture

03-05-2009, 06:44

Its a good question. There is indeed the passionmsx contest that is very much an MSX2 contest. Would be great to see some creative entires there Smile

By Randam

Paladin (916)

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03-05-2009, 08:41

Did anyone hear from the high profile entries that withdrew from the previous edition?

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6236)

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03-05-2009, 11:51

It could be nice to use the sponsoring system to instituite a prize for the best "multiplatform" game (e.g. exploiting msx2/2+etc features when running on those machines...)
viejo, this seems totally compatible with the rules you pubblished

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9767)

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03-05-2009, 11:53

More generally: a prize for 'best bonuses', including soundchips and videochips..

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6236)

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03-05-2009, 12:07

Sure, but this depends also on who/how will judge the "extended" game.
(wider the range of extensions allowed, harder to compare/judge them)

By wolf_

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03-05-2009, 12:11

I think the best would be to take the average of these two:

- amount of extras
- quality of the added value

This forces developers to -for instance- not 'just' add a palette. It would be an addition, yes, but a real MSX2 addition would be to have alternative graphics/tiles.

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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03-05-2009, 12:46

ARTRAG: Your proposal seems indeed totally compatible with the rules. Sponsorized prizes are there for people wanting to encourage developers at whatever they want (best music, best shooter, most konami-looking game, whatever...). If anyone wants to make a sponsorized prize about game with better add-ons, he/she is free to do it! (note that the sponsor must point how the prize will be juzged, I mean, a special jury just for that prize, the result of a poll, etc...)

By wolf_

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03-05-2009, 15:09

Speaking of 'best shooter' ... Tongue

Still haven't seen a pixel yet of the best shooter prize of 2005.

*slaps Pitpan around a bit with a large trout

By Yukio

Paragon (1541)

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05-05-2009, 02:00

What is wrong with last day projects? Maybe a unpolished game would be better than nothing ... since a lot of persons (around HERE) could have some complain about the number of titles for the MSX machines!

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6236)

ARTRAG's picture

05-05-2009, 08:36

do you mean msxdev08?
IMHO the number of good projects in msxdev08 is maybe 3 or 4,
where even the good one (including DD) have by far less deepth
than a large part of those of msxdev2006.
btw this is the same polemic discussion from many forum threads
elsewhere, not sure it is a good idea to reopen it here.

By ro

Guardian (4109)

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06-05-2009, 08:51

alright, another dev edition. hurray!

The MSXDev is a MSX1 comp. Deal with it. Use your MSX2 entries on other compos. Those are the rules, and they're fair. Stop wining dudes.

I hope the canceled entries ov dev'08 will atleast be released this year! Come on dudes, you've got just another 7 months to get coding.
So, let's put *those* on the calender fellaz!

good luck to all contestants.
Running Naked in a Field of Flowers

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9767)

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06-05-2009, 09:55

ro: make an entry yourself, this year.. Tongue

By ro

Guardian (4109)

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06-05-2009, 12:31

sure, I got plenty o'time... (not)
Only if you'll provide some tunez Tongue

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9767)

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06-05-2009, 12:44

If *you* do a complete game (story, gfx, code, whatever), then I can manage PSG/PSGSCC tunes for you. As long as you realize that when using psgscc our player is as heavy as the MBWave player. Tongue

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

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06-05-2009, 15:59

<ro> I hope the canceled entries ov dev'08 will atleast be released this year! Come on dudes, you've got just another 7 months to get coding.

Yeah! I'm finding some time to work on QBIQS. I hope that in a few weeks I can post a new video of the last year's progress. I'll put all my effort on finish it for Dev'09. There are many ideas on my mind, let's see if I can code all of them Big smile

By JohnHassink

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06-05-2009, 17:34

I really hope QBIQS will make it!!!
And that ro will make a game. Smile

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6236)

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06-05-2009, 19:20

QBIQS is a good example of msx1/msx2 game.
SapphiRe: if you promise to deliver QBIQS in time for msxdev09, I could also consider to do a multi standard entry too and to open a "sponsored" section for msx1+ games.
How many projects could join to a sponsored sub-contest for multi standard games?

I mean not only msx1/2/2+/TR but also any other extension (audio or video based on real existing HW) provided that all the basic msx1 requirements for joining to msxdev are met.

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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06-05-2009, 20:46

Just curious, what are the non-MSX1 features of QBIQS? To me it looks like a plain MSX1 game, but I've only watched the one year old video, so I could have missed something.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

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06-05-2009, 20:51

<ARTRAG> SapphiRe: if you promise to deliver QBIQS in time for msxdev09, I could also consider to do a multi standard entry too and to open a "sponsored" section for msx1+ games.

I'll try, of course. The sponsored section for msx1+ games is also a good idea Big smile

<dvik> Just curious, what are the non-MSX1 features of QBIQS? To me it looks like a plain MSX1 game, but I've only watched the one year old video, so I could have missed something.

There are many improvements since last year!!! I will grab a video one of these days to show some of them. Currently I'm relocating gfx to make extra visual effects in some levels... Of course, minimum requirements of the game are MSX1 with 16K of RAM, but if you run it on MSX2 you will see some extra visual features Tongue

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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06-05-2009, 22:32

but if you run it on MSX2 you will see some extra visual features
Sounds very promising. I must say the one year old video is itself very impressive. Maybe the best MSX1 games I've seen, so if you have improvements since then and also additional MSX2 features this game will be a huge success.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6236)

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07-05-2009, 10:01

hehehe
Dunno about the final version of the game, but at a certain stage of development,
the very same rom, when on msx2, was showing XXXX XXXX and more...
[EDIT]
sorry I was spoiling the surprise!
I didn't see that z80st's blog does not mention that XXXX features.
All the public official infos are here:
http://z80st-software.blogspot.com/

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

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07-05-2009, 10:18

Dunno about the final version of the game, but at a certain stage of development,
the very same rom, when on msx2, was showing XXXX XXXX and more...

Yes, but I had to remove some X's due to problems. Now are new X's and more planned X's for MSX1 too Tongue

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

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07-05-2009, 10:51

I just made a new mini video (on MSX1 mode) and it's available on http://z80st-software.blogspot.com/

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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07-05-2009, 11:58

Just beautiful

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5407)

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07-05-2009, 12:42

Yeah, incredible! Keep it up dude!

By Yukio

Paragon (1541)

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07-05-2009, 14:44

QBIQS - Video, the game seems to be very nice. It could be a amazing piece of software.

Strangely, the game concepts looks very familiar. Are you familiarized with the concept of brick games and tiles?

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

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07-05-2009, 15:10

Strangely, the game concepts looks very familiar. Are you familiarized with the concept of brick games and tiles?

Sure he is. He invinted the genre. Konami even bought the rights for their own version (Quarth). Sadly the development of Qbiqs is progressing much slower than the Konami version. This might make the impression that this game is inspired by Quarth. But to be exact; it is the other way around. Honestly

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5407)

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07-05-2009, 15:39

@ Huey: yes, that can always happen, unfortunately.
It's a shame how Konami finished their total MOAM-rip off called, ehm, "Labyrinth of Gary Busey" (or something like that) way before we did!

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9767)

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07-05-2009, 15:41

Goonies and Usas are both rip-offs of MJTT Tongue

Let's sue Konami! ^^

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5407)

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07-05-2009, 15:58

I think we have a case here! Hannibal

Let's get XL2S Entertainment to join us at getting back at them as well!
Very cheap how them Japs simply made an MSX2 version of The Cure and even ported that to other systems.

Let's sue them dry!

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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07-05-2009, 16:53

Wow, this is front page news. I always thought that Konami came up with all these game ideas. With all these facts my mind totally changed. I hope you'll succeed in your law suits, make sure it hurts.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6236)

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08-05-2009, 18:25

back on the msx1+ topic
I could present something based on this technology:
http://sites.google.com/site/testmsx/field-of-view

If you try fov.com on msx1 and you try it again on msx2 you will notice no difference (for now)...
BUT
there is a difference... and it could allow nice improvements on "+" machines
;-)

By Namo

Supporter (3)

Namo's picture

20-09-2009, 20:42

The MSXDev's always get good games. Like Txupinado (I think thats how its spelled).

By ro

Guardian (4109)

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01-12-2009, 07:16

Today's the deadline, looking anxiously forward for today's newposts here on MRC Smile