MSXdev'06

by viejo_archivero on 17-04-2006, 13:14
Topic: Software
Languages:

And there it is, for the fourth year in a row: MSXdev, the annual MSX1 game development contest that took the MSX community by surprise. After a slow start, MSXdev'04 resulted in 16 new MSX1 games, whilst MSXdev'05 even surpassed that success with 21 brand new MSX games for the whole community to enjoy. Contestants from all around the world sent in their contributions, including real new-classics and near to professional quality productions. Now, the time has come for MSXdev'06!.

Eduardo Robsy, founder of the MSXdev contest, and the person responsible for its huge success, has decided the time has come to hand his task over to a new team: the MSXdev Team. Their goal is to organize new contest, trying to maintain the original spirit that boasted the success of the previous editions. On Robsy's MSX Workshop you can find more information on Robsy's reasons to move on.

The new MSXdev website shows that the new team have understood the spirit of MSXdev very well. It contains a lot of information (and downloads) of the previous editions of the competition, and it only takes a short look at the rules of MSXdev'06 to see that the spirit of the challenge has remained the same. In short, these are the rules for MSXdev'06:

  • Games have to be supplied as .ROM files and can be up to 128KB in size. Of course, smaller games are allowed as well
  • All games should be 100% compatible with the first generation of MSX computers, being an MSX1 with 16kB RAM and 16kB VRAM. The games should also work on MSX2, MSX2+ and turboR computers
  • It is allowed to use additional hardware like SCC, MSX-MUSIC, GFX9000, R800 et cetera. This time those add-ons will be taken into account when judging the entries, even giving them extra points!
  • Although original game concepts are preferred, remakes and ports will be accepted
  • Games have to be completed before December 31st, 2006

So, for now, people can start developing their MSXdev'06 entries and -like in previous editions- sponsors are free to contact the MSXdev team for offering new parallel contests, following the same sponsorship system we saw on the last edition. At the moment there is only one nice prize to be won: a Panasonic FS-A1GT MSX turboR computer!

So, there we are, already looking forward to the new pile of MSX games that is going to be released in light of this competition this year. Developers: you have more than 8 months left to develop your games so you have no excuses. Happy developing, and good luck!

Relevant link: MSXdev website

Comments (136)

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9765)

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17-04-2006, 13:17

8 months?

oooooh... I think we can start somewhere end November orso, we'll prolly make it 1 minute before the deadline ^_^

Needless to say, we're in again .. Cool

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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17-04-2006, 13:24

Fast and nicely corrected post Wink. Thanx for reporting that fast!. And the most important thing: every MSX developer around the world, start your projects! Wink. As you may expect, Karoshi Corp. will join too with some games!. Let's the game creation begin! Wink

By Sonic_aka_T

Enlighted (4130)

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17-04-2006, 15:02

/me waits for MSXDEV'07, which will have a seperate category for MSX2 games? Wink

By Manuel

Ascended (15600)

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17-04-2006, 15:08

What kind of mapper is supposed to be used on the 128kB megaROM? To run it on a real MSX, you would need certain hardware to put it in there, I suppose...

By BiFi

Enlighted (4348)

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17-04-2006, 15:28

It's probably either ASCII (8 KB or 16 KB) or Konami (without or with SCC).

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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17-04-2006, 18:07

What is the penalty for not being compatible with later MSX models, such as MSX2+ or Turbo-R?

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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17-04-2006, 18:53

The basic spirit of the contest is to make full MSX compatible games. Taking this as a basis, we can get this lecture: the less compatibility, the more penalisation points. I mean, if the game have some minor issues in a few MSX models the penalisation won't be that hard as if the game does not run on MSX2 or higher: but the main goal is to make the games as much compatible as possible, so if you expect compatibility issues due to certain routines in the game, my advice is to re-design or not use those routines. The same for the ROM mapper... objective: compatibility. In other words: try to fit the standard on every aspect Wink

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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17-04-2006, 19:02

I understand that its nice to have games run on all MSX generations. Just unfortunate that they didn't make newer MSXes fully backward compatible. But I guess its not too hard to not use those non compatible features. I just wanted to make sure what the rules are before starting coding something too MSX1 specific.

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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17-04-2006, 20:55

Remembering your last MSX1 demo, I'm pretty curious to see how far you can reach with a game, dvik Big smile. I really hope this time you consider joining the contest Wink.

By snout

Ascended (15187)

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17-04-2006, 21:00

Although I'm certainly a fan of hispec games and demos, I like the approach of MSXdev a lot: taking one step at a time, whilst always supporting every single MSX computer in the world... I hope (and expect) the new MSXdev team will continue the success of the previous editions, and am already looking forward to games as original as Cheating Wives and Parachuteless Joe, or games as stunningly professional as The Cure and Universe Unknown. Way to go, guys!

By [DK]

Resident (58)

[DK]'s picture

18-04-2006, 09:46

Hey viejo_archivero! Your English is not that bad mate, what an overflow of text! Big smile

Happy to see news like zis won. I mean, bugabuga for everybody!

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

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18-04-2006, 11:33

I'm personaly a little disapointed with the 128KB and the extra points for MOONSOUND, GFX9K etc.

Please remember that it are mostly individuals (or small groups) who also want to compete. Removing the original restrictions from a nice addition to bonus points is making it a team only competition. I can't possibly imagine one person doing a decent game with: psg/moonsound/fm-pac with alternate GFX9000 graphics.

I would say just stick with the old rules. Let developers use their creativity to get the full out of the MSX1 and focus on gameplay and don't judge the 'fancy hanky panky'. oO

Or are there are lot of groups around who have the time and manpower to develop MSX games?

By pitpan

Prophet (3131)

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18-04-2006, 11:43

Good luck to the MSXdev TEAM and congratulations for the new site and the new MSXdev'06 contest. As a part of Karoshi Corporation I will join it for sure!

I am so happy to know that MSXdev will go on. For me it has been a pleasure to organize the previous editions and I will keep all the good moments that we all have shared. The most important thing is that we will have more and more games coming every year. That was my original goal and it think that we have done it. This year edition will be the full consolidation of the contest as one of the most important MSX events. My best wishes to the MSXdev TEAM!

Kind regards to all MSXdev contestants and thank you for your efforts!

Edward Robsy

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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18-04-2006, 11:50

Huey, please note that there is no need to build a big MegaROM with MSX2 functionabilities in order to compete in the MSXdev'06. It is just the next step into the rules, but it is not a need to get to this maximum, it is just an option: just check out the MSXdev'05 game entries and you'll find a bunch of 16 KB ROMs (some of them coded in MSX-BASIC), a lot of 32 KB games and just two 48 KB ROMs (the maximum game size to enter the contest). And there are some 16 KB gems there, like Magical Stones, Caverns of Titan or Namake's Bridgedrome that were very competitive games, despite its size Wink

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

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18-04-2006, 11:56

@viejo_archivero: I'm just a little disappointed. All those fancy stuff is the main reason most of all efforts in the past to make a game have failed. I believe it's just distracting. We'll just have to see to know.

Good luck to the competers!

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9765)

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18-04-2006, 12:01

Actually, additional support for all the extra expansions is tricky, where to store all that stuff in ROM or/and where to unpack it to with only 16kb RAM?

I think for our game we'll have SCC for bonus and some MSX2 palettes.. these won't take up too much extra data..

For some reason I expect this year's games to be kinda like that.. psg and fmpac/scc as bonus, and in case of MSX2: switch to sc4 with more sprites and a palette as bonus.

By KNM

Master (172)

KNM's picture

18-04-2006, 12:25

MSXDev´06 will be one of the greatests events on the MSX scene of this year.Can´t wait to see the games involved in this contest!LOL!LOL!LOL!LOL!LOL!LOL!LOL!LOL!

By GhostwriterP

Champion (510)

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18-04-2006, 12:39

Let say you are making a game with an scc mapper rom... does this mean you still have to
support psg only? In this case the scc is not an add-on is it?

By GhostwriterP

Champion (510)

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18-04-2006, 12:45

Or does this mean you get one bonuspoint for the scc and one penaltypoint for not supporting psg?LOL!

By marison

Expert (104)

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18-04-2006, 12:57

One more time I will offer the code and binaries of Cosmic Battle, a unfinished enter from the last MSXdev.

I hope someone finish it...

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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18-04-2006, 13:09

@GhostwriterP: the same answer than the one I write for dvik: if you only make SCC musics for your game, only an MSX with an SCC cartridge plugged in will be able to play your musics (if not, then there is NO musics): that's not what I call "high compatibility" Smile.

By wolf_

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18-04-2006, 13:12

ghost: the latter one I think..

I think they jury will give his/her primary points to the msx1/psg/16k config and bonuspoints to any additions. The pure msx1/psg/16k game is what makes the main/minimal body of points..

By sunrise

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18-04-2006, 13:16

Huey, I think you are not facing the reality. You speak and live into the past.
As former user from what you called fancy stuff it is a fact that since 2003 till now we sold again 50 moonsounds and lately the demand for GFX9000 is increading especially from Brazil. Besides the sellings active contests as this stimulate , the improved emulators that support a moonsound, the return of the cartridge feeling make it even necessary imho to let people profit from those extra's.
That all is changed is since let say 1995.
Even more important is that it test skills of supporting extra ram,slotsupport( moonsound /gfx and even scc run from another slot, if it an emulator or real. To use all directly I agree with wolf , that is not necessary. But as viejo already said , please do it your own way.
I will see if it possible to add some prize from our side. Thinking of distribution a game into mega(rom) and a GFX to win

By viejo_archivero

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18-04-2006, 14:11

sunrise, it will be great if you finally decide to set a prize. Please, feel free to contact us, and thanx for your support!. (btw, I already noticed the upper MSXdev'06 banner, thnx snout Smile )

By GhostwriterP

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18-04-2006, 14:12

viejo: The hole idea would be that the 'original' would be a scc rom so from that perspective it would't
need a scc to be plugged in since it is already in the rom. It also crossed my mind that if you make a game that uses gfx9000 only, it could verywell be compatible, just as long as you state it needs a gfx9000 module. There are also eye-toy games being sold without an eye-toy-camera right?

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

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18-04-2006, 14:15

@Sunrise: Maybe your right. But in the past I/we started about 4 GFX9K games but they never finished due to to high demands and lack of time from our side. I was one of the firsts to buy the Moonsound and GFX9K (The boxless versions oO) and really want to see some game for the GFX9k. But I think the MSX-scene is to small and the posibilities (hardware wise) are too numerous to cope with nowadays.

We will have to see what will happen. By all means I think think Robsy and MSXDev team did/are doing a great job. This should have been done 10 years ago. Just imagine...........

By wolf_

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18-04-2006, 15:02

There's a lack of gametools for the msx-scene to use. Mapeditors, gfx-editors and the like.. I figure ppl make their own tho. Ghost: how did you map The Cure btw?

Also, the G9k was marketed a bit like "easy to make games" etc. etc. That gave the impression that all the owners should make games easily and they could therefor go 'a step higher'. Well, the truth is that the gamelogic isn't easier. Sure the gfx are better, faster, and easier to code, but does that make it easier to make an RPG or a shooter? Ofcourse not, you still need quite a big system for all the events and logic.

By viejo_archivero

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18-04-2006, 15:07

GhostwriterP: yeah, I get it. You mean that your ROM would be intended to have a built-in SCC inside... but that's all imagination as long as you don't create the physical ROM the way you want and distribute it with the SCC. If you JUST release a .ROM, you'll need an SCC somewhere if you want to play it on the real thing with the original bgm... but, anyway Wink, the thing is to get the original spirit of the contest, which is that [/i]all games should be all MSX compatible[/i] (with add-ons when particular hardware is found). Other lectures that differs of this main goal of the contest are a clear misunderstanding of the purpose of the contest itself Wink.

By only_69

Hero (565)

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18-04-2006, 15:24

How about transforming the winner entries into real carts?

By GhostwriterP

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18-04-2006, 15:26

wolf_: Notepad. The stages are just a bunch of line drawings.

By wolf_

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18-04-2006, 15:36

ah, so some kinda macro/script or something?

like:
CreatePlatform x,y,width, texture

etc.

omg, must 've taken some time.. didn't you prefer a visual editor or something (with the same macromethod, just immediately visable) ?

By viejo_archivero

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18-04-2006, 16:05

"wolf_: Notepad. The stages are just a bunch of line drawings."
I reciently discussed with someone if it The Cure stages where macro-tiles or were "drawn". I guess I was right Wink.

By wolf_

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18-04-2006, 16:18

I also brought the idea to edwin during UU, but we stuck with normal maps and bitbuster. Tongue Tho I still like to try this method some day.. Ghost: can you share any figures on average map-sizes per screen?

By GhostwriterP

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18-04-2006, 16:18

I used 'stamps' like the bows in the bridge and the skull in the background. They are macro-tiles but with
each theire own dimensions (pset or tpset). So a bit of both I would say. Wink

By GhostwriterP

Champion (510)

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18-04-2006, 16:52

About 64 bytes per screen, enemies included, but without the stamps. I've got a seperate buffer for
those. And then there are some bytes for the shared backgrounds varying a lot (5-96).
Adding all that stuff up I would say 128 bytes, but then also softsprites are taken into count.
All is also bitbustered (using our own buster) so it is a bit smaller.

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5486)

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18-04-2006, 17:35

Thanks for all the reactions : as member of the MSXDEV team, I'm not really surprised, this contest has proven since 3 years his utility, giving chance to develop new games !

Of course, it is also the result of the great impulse given by pitpan and the MSXDEV team will always try to keep intact the spirit of this great contest that should had never existed without all the efforts of pitpan.

viejo_archivero has already explained that in some of his answers, so I don't need to say more, only the fact that the rules are evolving each year and that for the first time, all non-MSX1 additions will be give extra points ! LOL!

I'm pretty sure that the 2006 edition will give many interesting new games and some good surprises !

What concerns the website, viejo_archivero has made a fantastic work and I'm very happy to host such a beautiful site on my ever growing domain msxblue !Smile

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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18-04-2006, 18:15

Another minor question. Is it allowed to use V9958, msx-audio and msx-music? These are also kindof an extension and should give bonus points, right? Again, I just want to make sure before start planning how to implement my idea.

By mars2000you

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18-04-2006, 18:32

It is indeed allowed (as we have mentioned 'et cetera' in the extension list), but keep in mind the compatibility with the MSX1 machines to avoid penalty points. So it means that your game can include a VDP type detector and an extension detector, so it can be runned differently if the MSX2 VDP and the music extensions are detected without losing the compatibility with the MSX1 VDP and the PSG.

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5486)

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18-04-2006, 18:33

The same of course for the MSX2+ VDP or the R800 !

By viejo_archivero

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18-04-2006, 18:39

Yes, dvik Wink. Is allowed to make use of these extensions AS LONG AS they are offered to the player as add-ons to the game. In other words, the game shouldn't REQUIRE those extensions to run, show graphics or play musics... so, the game should be 100% playable/viewable/audible on a plain 16KB RAM MSX1.

By dvik

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18-04-2006, 18:45

Ok, think I'm starting to understand the rules. Bonus points is given to the use of 'extra' features but if the game depends on these features it will be minus points.

So for example if a game supports GFX9000 and Moonsound as an extra feature it will be given bonus points as long as the game also runs on a plain MSX1 without these features. Is that correct?

By wolf_

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18-04-2006, 18:52

in short: it should run on an "msx1, 16k, psg".. and the rest is up to you Tongue If it doesn't run on "msx1, 16k, psg" then you failed and the timespace-contiuum explodes. ^_^

By viejo_archivero

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18-04-2006, 18:57

"Wolf_: If it doesn't run on "msx1, 16k, psg" then you failed and the timespace-contiuum explodes. ^_^"

LOL!LOL!LOL!LOL!LOL!LOL!

dvik: THAT's the thing!! Wink

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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18-04-2006, 19:00

Then I'll try to make something explode as long as the explosion looks good on an MSX1 as well Tongue

Thanks for the clearification. I'm pretty sure this years competition will be as great as last year Cool

By Manuel

Ascended (15600)

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18-04-2006, 20:05

A 128k ROM that keeps to the MSX standards? Um, there is no MSX standard for 128k ROMs... So, what do you mean?

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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18-04-2006, 20:11

I'm a bit confused about the rom standard and if there really is one. To me it seems like game companies needed more memory for their games and they invented paging and implemented it somewhat different (konami, ascii, koei, ...) but does the MSX standard really tell how a cartridge should do its memory mapping? I guess the main reason why there weren't any MSX1 games with mapped carts is a cost issue. I bet it would have been quite expensive to make a 256kB mapped cart in 1984.

By Edwin

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18-04-2006, 20:14

I was thinking the same thing. For most extras it's pretty clear. But for a 128k game you need a mapper, which is as much external hardware as anything else. In fact, there is little scc difference between a mapper and a standard scc chip as both are delivered in the cartridge with the game. It's probably good to make some explicit mention in the rules of what exactly is considered to be part of the base features.

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5486)

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18-04-2006, 20:14

??? Maze of Galious is a MSX1 game and his size is 128Kb ! That's only an example ...

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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18-04-2006, 20:29

A cartridge is indeed a piece of hardware but if it has a mapper or not doesn't make it more or less MSX1 compliant. On this point I think the rules are really clear actually. The media should be a cartridge with at most 128kB read only (?) storage. Earlier msxdev's had the same media but restricted it to non mapped carts iirc.

Maybe a good idea to only allow certain common mapper types that work well with e.g flash carts so users can run the game easily like the once mentioned earlier; ASCII8 ASCII16, Konami.

But I guess its also good to mention whether SCC is allowed as part of the base package (and if it is, what about carts with built in DAC's for example).

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5486)

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18-04-2006, 20:34

SCC is not part of the MSX standard, it was added later only by Konami on some cartridges.

What concern the mapper, you can choose any kind of mapper ... but it must work with all types of MSX computers.

By Manuel

Ascended (15600)

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18-04-2006, 21:39

The point is, if it must work on all MSX computers, and the game has a 128kB mapper, you need to put it in a physical cartridge to make it really work.

Maze of Galious doesn't work without the mapper mechanism in the cartridge. Just the ROM file is not enough! Smile The code in the ROM file makes use of the characteristics of this mapper (the normal Konami mapper type), by writing values to certain addresses, to switch ROM banks in the cartridge.

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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18-04-2006, 21:51

Well, if you think it is necesary (and I think not, but anyway), we can update the "Rules" section pointing the common mappers for a MegaROM without SRAM Wink: konami 4/8KB, konami 5/8KB, ASCII 8KB and ASCII 16KB

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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18-04-2006, 21:53

Even non mapped carts have certain characteristics that may make them unusable outside a cartridge, for example an 16kB rom that is mirrored and this is actually used by the game. In this case, the cartridge makes reads to address 0, 0x4000, 0x8000, and 0xc000 return the same value. This is of course just because the higher 2 bits are not connected to the rom chip. But even a 'feature' this simple does require that the game resides inside a cartridge to run properly in all cases.
So there isn't really any fundamental difference between a 16kB mirrored cart and a Konami cart. Both have some hardware specific characteristics that a game may or may not use.

To make it easier for users I think it would be good to restrict the mapper to one of the more common once so the game can be run on a real MSX with MegaRam, FlashRom or something similar. Or at least give minus points for using a custom made mapper that is not defacto standard.

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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18-04-2006, 21:54


Well, if you think it is necesary (and I think not, but anyway), we can update the "Rules" section pointing the common mappers for a MegaROM without SRAM : konami 4/8KB, konami 5/8KB, ASCII 8KB and ASCII 16KB

I think that would be very good Smile

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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18-04-2006, 22:13

Due to your comments I've just updated the "Rules" section of the MSXdev'06 in the MSXDEV Team website, being more specific about the possible mappers just allowing some commonly used mappers. Hope things are clearer now Wink

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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18-04-2006, 22:19

Thanks Smile I just wanted to make sure I understand the rules before planning something. Now everything is chrystal clear Cool

By Manuel

Ascended (15600)

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18-04-2006, 22:22

Oh, and please don't call it Konami 4 and Konami 5... They are just Konami with and without SCC... No reason at all to use the 4 and 5; in fact, these are just numbers made up by Marat Fayzullin to number the ROM types in fMSX.

By pitpan

Prophet (3131)

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18-04-2006, 22:27

The only thing to take into account is common sense: for example, it won't make sense to use SCC sound and use a ASCII mapper. My choice is by far Konami SCC mapper -or even better- Konami SCC+. Both supported by the upgraded Konami Sound Cartridge [includes SCC-I], MegaFlashSCC [includes SCC], Padial's flash cart, ESE Artists' cartridge and MegaRAM.

Anyway, I would suggest not to use the extra space for static images and sampled sound. Instead, make the game concept more detailed. More fun, less intros!

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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18-04-2006, 22:31

Corrected. Everything clear now or not? Wink

By Manuel

Ascended (15600)

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18-04-2006, 22:40

I think pitpan's suggestions are quite sane! Devs, please check those out Smile

By pitpan

Prophet (3131)

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18-04-2006, 22:57

Sean Young's document -dunno if BiFi modified it- would be of great help to all dev'rs. Time to code again... Or maybe, to add megaROM support to asMSX first Wink

By BiFi

Enlighted (4348)

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19-04-2006, 06:45

That document is maintained by me. I've gathered some more detailed info on the ASCII mappers which be updated in the near future... so it is updated.

By pitpan

Prophet (3131)

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19-04-2006, 09:19

Then congratulations for your work, BiFi! It is THE reference regarding MSX ROM mapping devices.

By snout

Ascended (15187)

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19-04-2006, 10:43

If the amount of views and reactions to this newspost set the tone for the amount of entries in MSXdev'06, we're certainly in for a beautiful ride this year. Within no-time, most views relative in time, hottest discussion and in the top 10 most reactions to a newspost ever in our stats... way to go! :)

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6228)

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19-04-2006, 13:51

There is more ppl developing games than ppl playing them...Smile

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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20-04-2006, 10:17

ARTRAG: I'm sure that people developing games also play to the rest of the games Big smile

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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20-04-2006, 10:37

Btw, the first entry for the MSXdev'06 has been just announced!. Read more in this forumpost!

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

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20-04-2006, 16:01

Is there a deadline for registration you project or can I just register 3 days before submission date?

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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20-04-2006, 23:40

Huey: you can enter a project in the contest everywhen before the deadline (31st dec.). Anyway it's nice too if you decide to send your entry while developing the game in order to receive some feedback from MSXers all around the world!. It's up to you to reveal it or to mantain the surprise until the final day! Wink

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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20-04-2006, 23:48

Is the game cover also concidered a part of the entry (e.g. can a good cover give bonus points)?

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

viejo_archivero's picture

21-04-2006, 07:17

Nope. It should be submitted with each entry, but the only thing judged is the game itself, not the sticker. The same goes for the instructions.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

21-04-2006, 09:09

The only thing to take into account is common sense: for example, it won't make sense to use SCC sound and use a ASCII mapper. My choice is by far Konami SCC mapper -or even better- Konami SCC+. Both supported by the upgraded Konami Sound Cartridge [includes SCC-I], MegaFlashSCC [includes SCC], Padial's flash cart, ESE Artists' cartridge and MegaRAM.

The Padial's flash cart is an ASCII 8/16 mapper, not a Konami one.

Furthermore I think the ASCII mapper is standard (or at least it's the one used by most of the comercial MSX cartridge of different brands). That's the reason I consider the ASCII mapper is "more MSX" then the Konami thing.

By pitpan

Prophet (3131)

pitpan's picture

21-04-2006, 09:12

AFAIK, Padial's flash can emulate any mapper by adjusting the jumpers, but I haven't used it.

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

dvik's picture

21-04-2006, 09:42

I use ESE carts and they work very well. They come in two flavours, one ASCII8/16 version and one SCC. The most common mapper is ASCII8. ASCII16 is actually not that common but could be handy depending on how the memory map of the game looks.

By BiFi

Enlighted (4348)

BiFi's picture

21-04-2006, 11:04

the padial flashg is ASCII8/16 only. I haven't seen a konami setting on it...

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6228)

ARTRAG's picture

21-04-2006, 11:08

About ASCII8
what is the .ROM format that an ASCII8 rom should have?
what is the header? how rom pages are stored in the file?

By BiFi

Enlighted (4348)

BiFi's picture

21-04-2006, 12:22

a ROM mapper is basically the way smaller parts of a whole ROM are switched. Such a ROM works exactly the same way, with the difference you need to add some code to switch to a different part of the ROM where the required info is stored. Depending on the ROM mapper used it can be done using addresses or I/O ports. For more detailed information you might want to check out this page.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6228)

ARTRAG's picture

21-04-2006, 13:10

I am not asking how to program a rom with a mapper once I have one,
all I need to know is how the ".rom" file (loaded by an emulator) is organized
wrt the pages.

A non mapped .rom file is loaded in memory (by the emulator) according to
the start address (I guess).
How do the emulator allocate the extra rom pages in case of a mapped rom?

E.g. assume a 32K rom
If I designe the game with two 16 k pages to be seen both at #4000, and I put the pages
in the same rom file,
how can the emulator distinguish this rom file from a rom with no mapping where the
pages are seen one at #4000 and another at #8000?

By pitpan

Prophet (3131)

pitpan's picture

21-04-2006, 14:14

The first 8/16 KB are page 0. The rest follow sequentially. Only page 0, that usually is located at address 4000h, requires the ROM header "AB",init_address. The very first thing to do is to locate the subslot/slot ID for page 2 (8000h) and set up the appropriate ROM pages. I know the explanation is not clear. There are physical pages (0-3, corresponding to 0000h to C000h) and ROM pages, with a size defined by the mapper type. But think of it as an "extended" 32 KB ROM.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6228)

ARTRAG's picture

21-04-2006, 18:20

actually quite unclear....

Question:
how to do a ".rom" file that contains an ASCII8 rom of, let say 16 pages, to be loaded in openmsx ?

assume I have the 16 pages, each 8192 bytes,
should the .rom file have an header ?
should each page have an header ? (e.g. AB something)
should they be merged in the single ROM file in any specific order? (e.g. orderer as thieir mapping number: 0.bin+1.bin+2.bin+3.bin... => foo.rom)

By Manuel

Ascended (15600)

Manuel's picture

21-04-2006, 19:57


how to do a ".rom" file that contains an ASCII8 rom of, let say 16 pages, to be loaded in openmsx ?

It's just loaded Smile The ROM file has a mapper type (either specified or guessed). This determines how the mapper is handled, depending on what the code does. See BiFi's link.


assume I have the 16 pages, each 8192 bytes,
should the .rom file have an header ?
should each page have an header ? (e.g. AB something)
should they be merged in the single ROM file in any specific order? (e.g. orderer as thieir mapping number: 0.bin+1.bin+2.bin+3.bin... => foo.rom)

The ROM file does not have any special header. It's just the contents of all pages in the right sequence. One page has an AB signature. This page is put into the normal Z80 address space in the slot in which the ROM is present. It will be found by the MSX BIOS ROM and executed. The code in the MegaROM can switch the pages of the ROM by using the methods described in BiFi's page (e.g.: writing a value to a certain address in the ROM triggers the mapper hardware in the cartridge).

Is that clear enough? If you need more details, I hope someone else can answer, because this is about the level of my understanding of this. Smile

By mth

Champion (481)

mth's picture

21-04-2006, 21:20

Manuel's reply is basically correct, I'll just sharpen it a bit.

ROM files do not have any header at all. They contain the raw data from a ROM IC, using the addressing of that IC. For ASCII8 this means the first 8K of the ROM file is mapper segment 0, the second 8K is mapper segment 1 etc.

There is no way to know for sure what mapper to use for a ROM file. openMSX uses these three steps to determine what mapper to use:
1. if the user explicitly specifies a mapper type, this type is used
2. if the checksum (SHA1) of the ROM is found in the software database, the mapper type stored in the database is used
3. as a last resort, openMSX will try to guess the mapper type by looking at which addresses the game writes to

For development, option 2 is not useful, since the checksum will change every time you change something in the game. Option 3 is not that great either, because openMSX might guess wrong, selecting the wrong mapper type and your game will hang, while you might think it's a bug in the game itself and waste time on debugging.

Therefore I advise you to use option 1: specify a mapper type explicitly. You can do that in Catapult, or on the command line: "openmsx coolnewgame.rom -romtype ascii8"

By mth

Champion (481)

mth's picture

21-04-2006, 21:31

And one more thing: the "AB" signature for booting the cartridge should be at #4000 after reset. In most (all?) mappers that means you should put it in segment 0.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6228)

ARTRAG's picture

21-04-2006, 22:01

OK
tnks

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

dvik's picture

21-04-2006, 23:39

Same rom detection model in blueMSX. As mth mentioned, its best to explicitly set the mapper type during development. In blueMSX you do it in the Files page in the Properties dialog.

I guess a non-mapped 64kB does not have the AB signature in the beginning of the rom but thats the only exception I think. All (I think) mapped roms have the AB signature in the first page which would be in the beginning of the rom image.

By BiFi

Enlighted (4348)

BiFi's picture

22-04-2006, 00:04

the AB signature can be detected on 3 addresses: $0000, $4000 and $8000

By Haohmaru

Paladin (772)

Haohmaru's picture

22-04-2006, 20:07

UPDATE: A new entry for MSXdev'06 named Cyberware: Chapter IV ~ Katarsis episode II ~ by TNI - The New Image has been submitted!

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

Huey's picture

24-04-2006, 15:35

Is it allowed to have your own WIP page somewhere. Or is it agains the rules to expose anything of the game (graphics screenshots /music snippets or specs /development choices etc.) while in development?

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

viejo_archivero's picture

24-04-2006, 18:01

Nope, it is perfectly legal to show your progress wherever you want, AS LONG AS you do not distribute public betas of the game, as it is stated in the rules: "Do not redistribute neither unfinished or finished versions of the game before the end of the contest." and "Beta versions used for debugging and testing purposes are allowed, but they should be only distributed to beta-testers."

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

Huey's picture

24-04-2006, 19:20

'Kay. Just wanted to be shure......

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9765)

wolf_'s picture

24-04-2006, 20:46

What about prereleasing a small previewgame, like one playable level only? (not that it applies to us orso, just curious Tongue)

By GhostwriterP

Champion (510)

GhostwriterP's picture

25-04-2006, 09:19

A non playable demo or a movie is allowed isn't it?Smile

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

Huey's picture

25-04-2006, 09:52

I never understood why someone would release a playable demo other than a commercial purpose.

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

viejo_archivero's picture

25-04-2006, 10:21

Wolf_:"Do not redistribute neither unfinished or finished versions of the game before the end of the contest". This implies both playable and nonplayable demos. With videos of the game running I guess we can accept them, as they aren't a (partial) MSX software release (like a demo). So I think screenshots, videos and MP3 files, for example, are acceptable, but MSX (non) playable demos are not allowed to be released before the end of the contest. Wink

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6228)

ARTRAG's picture

25-04-2006, 16:29

what is teh difference between a nonplayable demo and a video ?
IMHO they are the same Question

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

viejo_archivero's picture

25-04-2006, 16:55

You do not see any difference between a non-playable demo and a video Question ?. Well, if you need the explanation Smile: a non-playable demo would be previously unreleased MSX software (with the (partial) game engine inside), and a video is a pre-recorded sequence of screenshots.

By GhostwriterP

Champion (510)

GhostwriterP's picture

25-04-2006, 17:18

Well... theire is the size that differesBig smile

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6228)

ARTRAG's picture

25-04-2006, 18:13

do you mean that the non palyble demo can be reverse engineered by some unfair competitor?

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

viejo_archivero's picture

25-04-2006, 18:19

... I mean it is a pre-release (no matter if playable or not), so it is not allowed as it is stated in the rules. Wink

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9765)

wolf_'s picture

25-04-2006, 19:19

100 Big smile

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

Huey's picture

25-04-2006, 20:15

Ah well. It is much more fun just to surprise everybody than to hype your game.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9765)

wolf_'s picture

25-04-2006, 21:03

* confirms that

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5486)

mars2000you's picture

25-04-2006, 21:06

And Wolf knows exactly why he comes always at the very last moment with a big surprise ! Smile

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9765)

wolf_'s picture

25-04-2006, 21:15

Yeah, because we always start too late (UU), find editorbugs the day of the deadline (Sphere) and sometimes miss deadlines anyway (Wings). Tongue

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6228)

ARTRAG's picture

26-04-2006, 20:12

Again about the rom size and the memory mapper:

Having 128Kb of rom size allows the use of pcm samples for music and SFX
(maybe only in the intro or in the intermediate scenes....)

Is there someone who has planned to use pcmenc in its developement ?
http://www.msx.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=Downloads&file=index&req=visit&lid=736

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

Huey's picture

26-04-2006, 20:22

I had the same thought today Wink

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

Huey's picture

27-04-2006, 10:18

4th entry is in...... Is almost everybody working on platform games Crying

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9765)

wolf_'s picture

27-04-2006, 15:12

ppl aim at succesful and approved concepts for msx1 games, let's see what Konami put in msx1-megaroms:
- shooters were popular
- platformers like MoG were popular
- Penguin Adventure was popular

PA: requires quite some advanced artwork, and you can't do much else around this concept.. it'll become like PA quite quickly.
Shooters are tough to make! Period!
Platformers are prolly easier to do (we've yet to start ^_^).. easy choice then!

Smaller games, like puzzlegames, tetris, etc. could be nice, but:
- is it really a challenge?
- how to fill a megarom with a puzzlegame, other than flooding it with oodles o' artwork?
- ppl might 've seen enough Tetris on MSX for the first 45 years to come.. Big smile

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

viejo_archivero's picture

27-04-2006, 18:19

Not exactly agree: are you sure that platform games are easier to develop than shooters?...

By Edwin

Paragon (1182)

Edwin's picture

27-04-2006, 18:46

I expect to have a bit more breathing space codewise. In the shooter everything was very tight, few cycles left to do something really special.

Of course the main reason to do a platform game is that I didn't want to code another shooter again. Smile Plus, something with a less flimsy story would be nice.

But the term "platform game" doesn't really narrow it down. There quite a few ways to make one. And we plan to be different from the rest.

By Ivan

Ascended (9092)

Ivan's picture

28-04-2006, 23:30

4th entry is in...... Is almost everybody working on platform games

I love platform games!!! More than shooters.

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

Huey's picture

29-04-2006, 11:13

Well. You'll be a happy gamer at the end of the year Tongue.

By Haohmaru

Paladin (772)

Haohmaru's picture

11-05-2006, 14:23

5th entry in the MSXdev'06 contest : Dash by XL2S Entertainment

The winners of the MSXdev'05 contest, XL2S Entertainment, with the game The
Cure, have announced their participation to the 2006 edition with Dash!,
another platform game.

Formerly planned as a possible MSXdev'05 entry, it looks like this awesome
Boulder Dash clone will make it for the actual edition of the contest.

This is the fifth entry in this contest since his launching on 17 april and
the second participation of XL2S Entertainment to the MSXdev'06 contest
(first participation is LUX, a platform adventure game)

MSXdev site : http://msxdev.msxblue.com/

XL2S Entertainment site : http://www.xl2s.tk/

By Haohmaru

Paladin (772)

Haohmaru's picture

15-05-2006, 23:40

MSXdev'06 6th entry: Malaika - Prehistoric Quest by Karoshi Corporation

Less than one month after his launching, the 2006 edition of the MSXdev contest seems to become really a great edition, as 6 entries have already been announced and we guess that other projects are also planned, but for the moment kept in private area.

The 6th entry is made by the founders of this great challenge, Karoshi Corporation (Jon Cortazar and Eduardo Robsy), who have released in the previous editions a total of 8 games (Duck Hunt, Factory Infection, Griel's Quest for the Sangraal, Guru Logic MSX1, Picture Puzzle, Saimazoom, Snail Maze, Soukoban Pocket Edition).

With an atttractive intro screen, Malaika - Prehistoric Quest will be another platform game ! And we guess that Karoshi Corp. has other surprises in preparation Wink

MSXdev site : http://msxdev.msxblue.com/

Karoshi Corp. site : http://www.karoshicorp.com/

By Haohmaru

Paladin (772)

Haohmaru's picture

10-06-2006, 16:22

MSXdev'06 7th entry: Monster Hunter by Nerlaska Studio

Time now for another different genre entry, one of the top genres in the most wanted games for the MSX: a brand new RPG ! Prepare your armour, weapons and magic spells for Monster Hunter !

This 7th entry for the MSXdev'06 contest is very promising as it will include a turn based fighting system and SCC music !

The team entering the contest with this promising game, Nerlaska Studio, is new into the MSX development, but expert in developing videogames for PC, mobile devices and even PlayStation 2, as you can check in their corporate website.

The author of this project started to code in 1988 with his MSX-1: now, he decided to enter the MSXdev contest with this good looking MegaROM !

MSXdev site : http://msxdev.msxblue.com/

Nerlaska Studio site : http://www.nerlaska.com/

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

Huey's picture

13-06-2006, 16:14

Im realy hoping for some other screens of the entries. Are they kept secret for a reason?

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9765)

wolf_'s picture

13-06-2006, 17:02

I guess all the other screenies are kept secret
..or they are screenshots of things that aren't made yet.. ^_^

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

Huey's picture

13-06-2006, 21:09

Mmmkay. I just think the title screen thing is a bit akward. Isn't a title screen the last thing to do on a game? I'd rather see some concept gfx.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9765)

wolf_'s picture

13-06-2006, 23:16

mhoa dunno, I think it's fairly logical. The titlescreen is something to hold on to, kinda like a summary of the story. If one thinks of a new concept/story, one typically needs to fold it into something. This titlescreen could be like a protective box you could put the game into.

I even wonder whether you should have a titlescreen at all Tongue Movies usually start with opening-titles, and for some older movies an overture of the music. More recent movies 'just start' and have *all* the credits in the end-titles. It's just a way of doing things..

Too bad the end-titles are cut-off @ TV-broadcasting, due being in the way for those glorious commercials, and in the cinema everybody leaves their seats as soon as the first end-titles word shows-up. Bastards! Tongue This way credits are never seen.
Ofcourse I'm always the last one to leave the place, with those waiting cinema-operators prolly wondering why I'm reading *all* those creds ^_^ (in reality I just listening to the music, usually the best is kept for the end-titles)

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

Huey's picture

14-06-2006, 11:49

[wondering]
Hmmm. Should it work if you embed the credits and title in the game itself?
[/wondering]
Thanks wolf Wink

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

viejo_archivero's picture

14-06-2006, 18:51

You can check some unveiled in-game gfx at Karoshi development forums. In the same thread you can see some gfx concept for a game that will probably enter the MSXdev'06, 'Tam Tam Twins' form Paxanga+various developers.

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

Huey's picture

14-06-2006, 22:45

That's what I wanted to see. Thanks

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6228)

ARTRAG's picture

15-06-2006, 16:51

Huey, up to now your gfx looks (for me) far better than
that in any other game in this and in the past msxdev competitions
Smile

(Ok I maybe am biased Tongue)

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6228)

ARTRAG's picture

15-06-2006, 16:51

Huey, up to now your gfx looks (for me) far better than
that in any other game in this and in the past msxdev competitions
Smile

(Ok maybe I am biased Tongue)

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9765)

wolf_'s picture

15-06-2006, 17:30

uhm.. where can we O_O at those gfx?

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

Huey's picture

15-06-2006, 18:46

@wolf: Show me yours and I'll show mineWink

I only have done some concept gfx. I'm still looking for my own thing. And more importantly I don't have a titlescreen Big smile

So please be patient, I have some homework to do first ( looks at ARTRAG Wink). I will put a screenshot of the level-editor (thanks to wolf_) on-line after that.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9765)

wolf_'s picture

15-06-2006, 18:52

We're kinda first doing the gfx-management, technical internal stuff.. there're some gfx-concepts already, but I can't break Infinite tradition Tongue

but uhm.. exactly what did I do to get this mention in context of a 'map-editor' ??

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

Huey's picture

15-06-2006, 19:33

You got me started with blitz basic by mailing me your polka loader code. Now I can directly use my polka project in the editor. It saves me a lot time Cool

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6228)

ARTRAG's picture

16-06-2006, 00:47

what about a multigame ROM with the best of msxdev 03-06?

can be done? at what cost?

could the sells of such a rom support the promotion of the
next msxdev ? (e.g. to pay the prizes, the web space etc)

the cartridge itself whould be a great prize...
Wink

note that i mean a no profit initiative (income = cost)

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

Huey's picture

17-06-2006, 16:19

Ok here's a little preview of my gfx. These are just concept gfx so there isn't al lot to see.

http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/4775/huey6fi.gif

oO

By jltursan

Prophet (2145)

jltursan's picture

18-06-2006, 21:36

Cool gfx indeed!. Seems that you've some enemies gfx also...Smile

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

Huey's picture

18-06-2006, 22:28

Apart from the spikes I don't have any enemies (patterns) yet. But I do have some sprite enemies; but I'm currently making a sprite editor/animator/manager and a tool for pattern enemies.
But with Blitz Basic that will be done soon. After that.... who knows maybe an official MSXdev entry.....

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

viejo_archivero's picture

20-06-2006, 09:55

Nice graphics, Konami-like!. Keep on, Huey! Wink

By Manuel

Ascended (15600)

Manuel's picture

22-06-2006, 20:43

Darn, I get a time out Sad

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6228)

ARTRAG's picture

27-06-2006, 19:39

Huey's artwork is at this very promising site...

http://retrodevelopment.wordpress.com/

;)

By Haohmaru

Paladin (772)

Haohmaru's picture

03-10-2006, 13:07

MSXdev'06 - new entry 'MSX Invaders' by Nerlaska Studio's

With 3 months left for the deadline the contest is really alive!. Here we have a new MSXdev'06 entry, the 2nd one from Nerlaska Studio but with RC743's concept and direction. Now it seems we have a remake from a classic but with an MSX twist: it is time to announce MSX Invaders!.

With Monster Hunter, this is the 2nd entry from Nerlaska Studio, now with an idea from RC743, who will make the graphics too (Mars Lander, Drink-It) and Dop, who will compose the musics. In this freestyle version from the all-time classic Space Invaders with a nice parody touch, we will be able to play with 4 well known MSX heroes: Pentaro, Mr. Ghost, Randar and Joe (from the hilarious Paxanga game Parachuteless Joe). We will surely keep you informed about this funny project!.

MSXdev Team Website
MSXdev'06 Status
Nerlaska Studio's official website