MSXdev'05

by pitpan on 19-01-2005, 14:18
Topic: Websites
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Last year there was an MSX1 game development contest that surprised the entire MSX community: MSXdev'04. Within 6 months, 16 new and often addictive MSX1 games were produced. Right from the moment the contest was closed it was clear the competition would have a follow-up in 2005, and here it is. As of today, MSXdev'05 is a fact.

MSXdev'05 has just been announced on Robsy's MSX Workshop. Compared to the previous 2 MSXdev competitions, the rules have been changed slightly. Information on the contest, the rules and deadlines can all be found in this PDF file. At the moment there is only one prize to be won, but it's a big one: a superb Panasonic FS-A1 ST turboR.

As of today people can start developing their MSXdev'05 entries, sponsors are free to contact Robsy for offering new prizes and/or parallel contests. If you like, you can also become a member of the jury. All you have to do is write a brief e-mail about yourself to msxdev@robsy.net.

In a nutshell, these are the ins and outs to MSXdev'05:

  • Games have to be completed before December 20th, 2005
  • Games have to be supplied as .ROM files of 8k, 16k, 32k or, only if they work on all real MSX computers: 48k
  • All games should be 100% compatible with the first generation of MSX computers: MSX1 with 16kB RAM and 16kB VRAM, but should also work on MSX2, MSX2+ and turboR
  • It is allowed to use additional hardware like SCC, MSX-MUSIC, GFX9000, R800 et cetera, but support of such hardware will only be considered as an extra and will not be taken into account when judging the entries
  • Although original game concepts are prefered, remakes and ports will be accepted

Last year the competition ran for 6 months, resulting in 16 games. Who knows what 11 months of MSXdev'05 will bring us. Good luck!

Relevant link: Robsy's MSX Workshop

Comments (23)

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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19-01-2005, 16:26

Yahooooo! XD XD

By Bart

Paragon (1423)

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19-01-2005, 17:20

I'm curious what this years' MSXdev will bring us!

By pitpan

Prophet (3131)

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19-01-2005, 19:24

I am curious too... Working in different projects but I don't know if they will enter MSXdev'05.

By Sonic_aka_T

Enlighted (4130)

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19-01-2005, 22:16

Just out of curiosity... Why aren't ROMs with mappers allowed? What's un-MSX about that? Apart from that, what's wrong with a game with SCC music? Didn't Konami release a couple of those too? I think they even worked on basic MSX models, or am I wrong here?

By Bart

Paragon (1423)

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19-01-2005, 22:59

@Sonic, SCC (or any other soundchip) is allowed. It just doesn't affect the judging of the products. Nothing wrong with SCC...

By Manuel

Ascended (15753)

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19-01-2005, 22:59

As an idea for an alternative contest: create software for GFX9000! Smile
This thing has soooo many possibilities that are still unused or unexplored!

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9769)

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20-01-2005, 02:18

Regarding that g9k software:

Well I think something is holding people .. if you create a pacman for msx1, then you know it's not that much of work.. simply because the limit is there, and the genre doesn't need all the big things.
Most people who own a G9k prolly want to do 'big' stuff with it, big games, finally do all the things the v9938/58 couldn't do. Well, making big things (even with a fast card like the g9k) takes serious development time.. gfx, music, editors, more editors, even more editors (that all have to be coded), not to mention the fact that there's a shortage of pixelmeisters in the msx-scene. And - did I mention it before? Smile - lack of product/team-managers that are so required for large-scale stuff..

MSXdev'05 has small requirements, and a small project is something ppl can more easily oversee and plan. Which is why there were so many entries last year. If one sets-up a G9k contest, then I seriously wonder who's gonna compete.

There are salesfigures on how many G9k's are sold, but no-one has figures about how many ppl actually use it..

By BiFi

Enlighted (4348)

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20-01-2005, 08:14

to add another nitpick to my already growing list of nitpicks: it's against MSX standard to have an MSX-BASIC text in an 8KB ROM

@pitpan: There are 2 things in the rules that clash with eachother:

  1. disallow use of ROM-mapper
  2. allow use of SCC

To switch SCC on and off, you're required to use the ROM-mapper. Could you please clear things up on this?

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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20-01-2005, 08:16

Well, I personally think a 32KB game could be a pretty long project. With 32KB you can explore more genres than with 8KB (MSXdev04)... I mean platform games, adventures, big shooters, etc... well, "Kightmare" and "The Goonies" are games with a lot of graphics and stages and they fit with MSdev05 restrictions Smile. Before, 8KB. Now, up to 32/48KB... I think is a great step. For me the new rules rock! Smile. And surely we'll see great games at MSXdev during this year!.

By AuroraMSX

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20-01-2005, 09:00

Regarding that g9k software:

Well I think something is holding people .. if you create a pacman for msx1, then you know it's not that much of work.. simply because the limit is there, and the genre doesn't need all the big things.

Then make a pacman for Gfx9000 Smile

If one sets-up a G9k contest, then I seriously wonder who's gonna compete.

My guess would be the 'regulars' who entered Gfx9K stuff before in MRC challenges...

There are salesfigures on how many G9k's are sold, but no-one has figures about how many ppl actually use it..

Only a few, I'm afraid. And there's not too much Gfx9000 software out there, either. And since there's only a few people using the thing, not much software will be developed, which means that not many people will use it etc etc.

I'm hoping that getting Gfx9000 emulation to work will break this circle...

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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20-01-2005, 09:30

You are forgetting a very relevant point on this. Note that MSXdev05 entries are considered freeware. So, how many people will make a high-end game using Gfx9000 with Moonsound BGMs, etc... and will let his work become freeware?.

People who talk about higher requirements for MSXdev05 games must think about it and don't be so hypocrite... they won't join because they are little-crappy-32KB-MSX1 games, but with higher reqs they won't join too, because it's too much work to get a freeware game as result... you are talking about games which their developers actually sell for 10-15€!!... they'll never join a contest like MSXdev05, even with higher reqs!!.

By wolf_

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20-01-2005, 11:06

I don't think the money it could *make* is the issue here .. only the time it costs..

If a good g9k game is freeware, then ppl copy it.. if a good g9k game costs 10..15 euro, then ppl buy it. That's the advantage of ppl getting older .. job -> money Smile
Disadvantage, naturally, is the available time for game-development..

By Samor

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20-01-2005, 12:14

the whole big problem is the number of people with a gfx9000....

Turbo-R exclusive software already would have a small audience; moonsound users are probably an even smaller group, and gfx9000 most likely even smaller than that.....

In my MSX purchases I kind of opted for the most commonly used; as such I have 2 fmpacs and a bunch of SCC's.... moonsound's a great product (excellent hardware) but there isn't all that much software for it; aside from that they're not cheap (logical as theyre not being mass-produced) so I haven't purchased one yet.

I'm seeing more in optional support.... e.g. make a game that works on any standard MSX2; then add support for additional devices as desired.

By AuroraMSX

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20-01-2005, 12:27

Turbo-R exclusive software already would have a small audience; moonsound users are probably an even smaller group, and gfx9000 most likely even smaller than that.....

True, and if you're developing a game or demo for turbo-R + Gfx9000 + MoonSound, you'll probably be developing for less than 10 people. But the availability of emulators for this hardware greatly expands the number of potential users!

I'm seeing more in optional support.... e.g. make a game that works on any standard MSX2; then add support for additional devices as desired.

Unfortunately, optional support means even more code development Sad

By wolf_

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20-01-2005, 12:45

Moonsound is actually the widest group I think .. simply because it's an add-on, and not something fundamental like the g9k. Furthermore, the MSX was always a bit of a musically system in the 90's. Within the Moonsound group, 640k users are a niche again, naturally I hope I moved many ppl to upgrade from 128k to 640k. ^_^

By viejo_archivero

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20-01-2005, 13:26

For all your high MSX specs needs I think the MRC Challenges are great competitions for demos/games/musics with no limitations. So, make your big entries at the MRC Challenges and... develop amazing, compact and well-done MSX1 ROMS for the MSXdev05!! Smile.

By wolf_

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20-01-2005, 13:51

Could be .. but it's not entirely correct to state that g9k/moonsound etc. etc. are only for MRC challenges etc. Esp. with these 2 cards you can do very good looking/sounding games, so why not seriously make games for it..?

Ofcourse there's also an art in doing small games for msx1 with limited specs.., and MSXdev'05 is the good place for that.

By snout

Ascended (15187)

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20-01-2005, 14:20

I think it's a good thing the MSXdev competition takes one step at a time. Last year the 8kb games for MSX1 was a great success, now developers already get to work on much larger projects (8k to 48k!). Perhaps MSXdev'06 will be all about megabit games Wink

By viejo_archivero

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20-01-2005, 16:15

Wolf_:[...]but it's not entirely correct to state that g9k/moonsound etc. etc. are only for MRC challenges[...]

)^_^) I think the "man with our videos" was talking about development contests only... Smile

By Grauw

Ascended (8454)

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21-01-2005, 23:09

BiFi: if you have a konami in your 2nd slot, you won't have to use a rom mapper to use the SCC, you can just use the regular slotswitching. Anyways, given the restriction, even if you're assuming a Konami mapper + SCC, I don't think the strict meaning of 'no mapping' will get an entry in trouble, as long as you follow it in spirit.

About the Gfx9000, yeah, I don't think it's easy to do small things for it either...

About money, I honestly think this is not about money. If it's for a contest, there is a prize to win, after all (isn't that about money too?), and I think people will have no objections against declaring a small game freeware (as opposed to a big project worked on for years).

In any case, in my personal opinion, MSX1 is a little too limiting. But that's because I never really programmed for it (and the BIOS is my biggest enemy! Smile), and I wouldn't know what to do, just be frustrated by its limitations Smile. I'd love to see the v9938, next time, perhaps Smile.

About turboR: I'd rather have some stuff made for the Gfx9000 than for the turboR -_-;;. I own the former, not the latter, and buying a Gfx9000 is 1. cheaper, 2. easier (because it's still in stock and new ones can be made), 3. less intrusive (I won't have to change to a whole new computer while I'm comfortable with the one I have), 4. more powerful ;p. Basically, when efficiently programmed, I think you can often do the same on turboR as on an MSX2+ (for the average game, that is), or an MSX2 with a v9958 and 7MHz (oh, wait, that's my computer Smile).

~Grauw

By Grauw

Ascended (8454)

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21-01-2005, 23:12

p.s. about the SCC inserted as a secondary cartridge again... If you do that, at least I can make it run on my real MSX and won't be forced to either use an emulator or have a hard time finding a (probably butchered) MegaRAM-kind-of cartridge with an SCC on it. Secondly, the 'no mapping' limit also makes sense from a real-MSX-perspective; I can load the game with a rom loader, whereas a mapped game would require me to have one of those MegaRAM's again.

~Grauw

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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24-01-2005, 12:00

Grawn: [...] In any case, in my personal opinion, MSX1 is a little too limiting. But that's because I never really programmed for it (and the BIOS is my biggest enemy! ), and I wouldn't know what to do, just be frustrated by its limitations [...]

Just give it a try, Grawn!. MSX1 coding it's very challenging Smile

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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24-01-2005, 12:02

Sorry, I mean "Grauw"... I'd love the "edit" option in the news reactions too Sad