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AndyUK

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8th September, 2012 at 08/09/2012 04:00:54 -

What do you guys think about a new Console wars competition?

Only this time we all have our own 'format' and have to select the specs from a list of available specs but limited to a few from the list.

For instance there is a basic computer/console

256x192 resolution, 4 colours, games no larger than 500kb, etc

but you can select, say 3 enhancements from a list that like

320x240 resolution
16 colours
2 layers
transparency effects
more memory
more sprites
bigger objects sizes

Suggestions encouraged!

 
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Fish20



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8th September, 2012 at 08/09/2012 07:15:51 -

I have an idea for this. Make it team based.

There is teams of three. Each team will develop a for a different console. The console which has the best line-up of games wins the console war.

Real World Example:

Team 1: SNES
Games: Super Mario World
Super Metroid
A Link to the Past

Team 2: Mega Drive/Genesis
Games: Sonic the Hedgehog
Battletoads
Mortal Kombat II

Team 3: Neo-Geo
Games: Metal Slug 3
Nam-1975
Blazing Star

Team 4: TurboGrafx-16
Games: Bonk's Revenge
Bomberman '93
R-Type
Except the Consoles would be based on your post above. One has the best graphics, one has the most power, two have the other combinations.



Edited by Fish20

 
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8th September, 2012 at 08/09/2012 12:55:26 -

I like this idea. Even though I am still working on my game for the previous console wars competition

 
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AndyUK

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8th September, 2012 at 08/09/2012 20:04:36 -


Originally Posted by Slowbro
I have an idea for this. Make it team based.

There is teams of three. Each team will develop a for a different console. The console which has the best line-up of games wins the console war.

Real World Example:

Team 1: SNES
Games: Super Mario World
Super Metroid
A Link to the Past

Team 2: Mega Drive/Genesis
Games: Sonic the Hedgehog
Battletoads
Mortal Kombat II

Team 3: Neo-Geo
Games: Metal Slug 3
Nam-1975
Blazing Star

Team 4: TurboGrafx-16
Games: Bonk's Revenge
Bomberman '93
R-Type
Except the Consoles would be based on your post above. One has the best graphics, one has the most power, two have the other combinations.




Thats a good idea. A crack team of inhouse developers getting the launch line up ready lol. Perhaps we could bundle the entries together as a sort of pack in demo disk for each console. Just so that people don't have to finish their games (as some people don't)

Edited by AndyUK

 
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AndyUK

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8th September, 2012 at 08/09/2012 22:03:01 -

This is what I had in mind for selecting specs. We can either invent one computer per person or have various computers then get teams together later on.

Standard computer specification (no enhancements)

256x192 screen resolution
8 colours from a palette of 16
32 unique background objects
16 unique sprites
1 layer only + separate background colour
no more than 30 frames per second
128k ram (mfa files have to be 128k or less)
double pixel width
3 channel sound (square wave, triangle wave, saw wave, noise etc)

Choose list 1 or list 2. Pick 4 from list 1 or 2 from list 2.

Enhancements - Pick 5 from the list below

Square pixels
4 channel sound
samples allowed in music (but only 3 channels unless you also choose 4 channel sound)
16 colours (you can choose any 16 colours)
64 unique background objects
32 unique sprites
Transparency
256x224 resolution
2 Layers
Status bars or Huds with their own unique palette
256kb ram (mfa can be up to 256kb)

Enhancements 2 - Pick 3 from the list below

Unlimited sound
Unlimited layers
1mb ram (mfa can be 1mb)
320x240 resolution
128 unique background objects
16 colours + sprites have their own 16 colour palette ( you can choose any colour)
Graphical extensions or effects allowed (Mode 7, resize/scale, ink effects, alpha channel etc)

Edited by AndyUK

 
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jamesh



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10th September, 2012 at 10/09/2012 11:08:24 -

Sounds interesting!

 
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Jon Lambert

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11th September, 2012 at 11/09/2012 02:46:31 -

I would participate in and support the heck out of this.

 
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AndyUK

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12th September, 2012 at 12/09/2012 03:56:52 -

I might have to tweak it a bit.

 
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Jenswa

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16th September, 2012 at 16/09/2012 13:44:16 -

Do limitations drive innovation?

It's always fun to program with restrictions, like the java 4k contests.

Too bad you really can't have 16 colour palettes and swtich between them.


 
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AndyUK

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16th September, 2012 at 16/09/2012 21:32:43 -

Ok Ive come to the conclusion there isn't likely to be enough people contributing to have several teams i'm afraid. there were never many entries on previous Console wars competitions...

 
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AndyUK

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16th September, 2012 at 16/09/2012 23:40:13 -

An updated list of specs

Standard computer specification (no enhancements)

256x192 screen resolution
8 colours (you can define your palette)
32 unique background objects (max 16x16)
32 unique sprites (max 16x16)
1 layer only + separate background colour
128k maximum rom size (game can't exceed 128kb)
3 channel sound (square wave, triangle wave, saw wave, noise etc)
Pixel explosions and fire effects etc and Text don't count towards the object limit.
double pixel length background
sprites use only 3 colours + tranparent

Game carts can come equipped with up to 5 additional add-ons. These add to the price of the cart but

allow for better looking or sounding games.



Enhancements - Pick up to 5 from the list below

Square pixels
4 Channel digital sound chip
Sprites and Backgrounds get their own 8 colour palette (16 colours + background)
64 unique background objects (max 32x32)
64 unique sprites (max 32x32)
Enhanced graphics chip allowing for semi Transparency effects, rotation, resizing, distortion etc.
256x224 resolution
2 Layers + allows for a gradient background instead of a single colour
Active picture objects or text blitter allowed (to load images from external sources)
256kb rom (game can't exceed 256kb)

As with Nes and Snes carts, games can come equipped with extra hardware at an additional cost.

These can be calculated later on and maybe we can write out reviews for the other games too.


Say a game would normally cost 15. Add 2.50 for each add on up to a maximum of 5.

How does this sound to everyone?

 
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lembi2001



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18th September, 2012 at 18/09/2012 20:57:48 -

I'm in but i have a question. Can we use the Quick Backdrop object to create long backdrops? Strange question i know but if it obeys the 16x16 limit i assume it would be ok.

 
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AndyUK

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19th September, 2012 at 19/09/2012 03:09:00 -


Originally Posted by lembi2001
I'm in but i have a question. Can we use the Quick Backdrop object to create long backdrops? Strange question i know but if it obeys the 16x16 limit i assume it would be ok.



Yes you can.

 
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Jon Lambert

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19th September, 2012 at 19/09/2012 04:50:00 -

I'm in. I'm just debating inside myself whether or not I should go for the 64 uniques/32x32 enhancement. I kinda wanna limit myself, but I feel like the idea I have wouldn't work that small.

 
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Fish20



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19th September, 2012 at 19/09/2012 16:25:01 -

I assume the number of sprites/background applies for the whole entire game and not just one frame right?

 
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19th September, 2012 at 19/09/2012 17:22:42 -

Maybe I can do a re-make of that old C64 game, "Rags to Riches," for this.

 
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lembi2001



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19th September, 2012 at 19/09/2012 18:31:51 -

Stupid question 2:

128k maximum rom size (game can't exceed 128kb)

Does this mean the executable can't be bigger than 128kb? If so we have problem. a blank compiled exe is 700kb or have i missed the point lol??

 
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AndyUK

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19th September, 2012 at 19/09/2012 19:26:51 -

That would be a problem. But I mean for you to just have an MFA,CCA or GAM file + any outside files Zipped or Rar'd.

If you want to include an executable in order for those without MMF2 to actually play the game then feel free to do so. I just feel the source is a more accurate equivalent to a rom image.

 
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AndyUK

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19th September, 2012 at 19/09/2012 19:56:51 -


Originally Posted by Slowbro
I assume the number of sprites/background applies for the whole entire game and not just one frame right?



no, each frame or level or whatever can have it's own tilesets. They're not totally fixed for the entire thing.

 
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lembi2001



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19th September, 2012 at 19/09/2012 20:36:16 -


Originally Posted by AndyUK
That would be a problem. But I mean for you to just have an MFA,CCA or GAM file + any outside files Zipped or Rar'd.

If you want to include an executable in order for those without MMF2 to actually play the game then feel free to do so. I just feel the source is a more accurate equivalent to a rom image.



Thanks for clearing that up, but you might want to rethink the memory limits. a blank mfa is 260kb lol

 
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s-m-r

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19th September, 2012 at 19/09/2012 21:06:39 -


Originally Posted by lembi2001

Thanks for clearing that up, but you might want to rethink the memory limits. a blank mfa is 260kb lol



Maybe set the limits to 388Kb and 516Kb respectively (this factors in the 260Kb base file)?

As opposed to simple blank files, are there any other additions brought into MFA files when graphics and sound are added? I mean, in addition to the size of an audio file, are additional functions added to the MFA that increase file size? Perhaps all this needs to be double-checked prior to limiting file sizes...Although I do certainly agree in spirit that the file size limits should be followed.

 
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AndyUK

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19th September, 2012 at 19/09/2012 21:17:47 -


Originally Posted by lembi2001

Originally Posted by AndyUK
That would be a problem. But I mean for you to just have an MFA,CCA or GAM file + any outside files Zipped or Rar'd.

If you want to include an executable in order for those without MMF2 to actually play the game then feel free to do so. I just feel the source is a more accurate equivalent to a rom image.



Thanks for clearing that up, but you might want to rethink the memory limits. a blank mfa is 260kb lol



I just made a blank mfa. it's 19kb for me. When zipped it's 9kb.

What I really want to do is clarify exactly how much of your game is just the code, graphics, music, whether internal or external. So it's a totally level playing field. MMF2 exes are bigger than say. TGF1 exes.

 
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19th September, 2012 at 19/09/2012 21:45:22 -


I just made a blank mfa. it's 19kb for me. When zipped it's 9kb.



That is weird. Is the extension count factored even though they aren't used i wonder? Can anyone else do a similar test.

I'm on build 255 (standard) with 261 extensions in the extensions folder (including the mvx files). Display mode is standard and colours set at 256.

 
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AndyUK

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20th September, 2012 at 20/09/2012 21:30:31 -

Do you have any exporters installed? I haven't bought any.

 
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Fish20



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20th September, 2012 at 20/09/2012 22:38:22 -

I just made a blank TGF2 mfa and it is 60kb.

 
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21st September, 2012 at 21/09/2012 02:43:03 -

No, not got any exporters installed. I wonder why there is such a variation in file sizes.

 
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AndyUK

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21st September, 2012 at 21/09/2012 04:37:47 -

Ok well maybe we could start a new thread about that.

in the meantime lets just get on with our games.

 
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22nd September, 2012 at 22/09/2012 05:36:15 -

Or you could include a blank mfa with your game when you post it. Just an idea!

 
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22nd September, 2012 at 22/09/2012 07:59:02 -

Or you could include a blank mfa with your game when you post it. Just an idea!

 
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23rd September, 2012 at 23/09/2012 19:51:55 -

It seems like people with exporters installed get a bigger overhead.

 
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3rd October, 2012 at 03/10/2012 01:16:02 -


Originally Posted by Akai_R
Or you could include a blank mfa with your game when you post it. Just an idea!

If someone else posts his or her game before you, you could take that mfa (that might be larger than yours) and say it's one you generated.

 
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3rd October, 2012 at 03/10/2012 03:01:27 -

Why even go to the trouble of doing that?

Just do this.. Make a blank MFA and save it to the C drive.
Then open command prompt and do a file append.

Type this:
cd /
copy Application.mfa copy
copy Application.mfa+copy /B

and do that as many times as you need to. Taa Daa! Huge blank mfa!

Beat that dirty trick!

 
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3rd October, 2012 at 03/10/2012 03:08:37 -

Even exe files vary quite a lot depending on if you're using Directx9 or the colour graphic mode you're using.

I guess the best solution would be for everyone to select the exact same options in their game so we all know exactly what extra data MMF2 has put in.

 
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3rd October, 2012 at 03/10/2012 03:32:55 -

Or get everyone to use that free version of GF2

 
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3rd October, 2012 at 03/10/2012 10:49:25 -

Instead of imposing a memory limit why not impose an object limit? This would get around the overhead issue. For example, for the basic limits set the maximum number of objects on screen at any one time a maximum of 20.

Just a suggestion

 
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AndyUK

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5th October, 2012 at 05/10/2012 23:51:00 -

I guess we could have an object limitation. although I don't want new rules added in the middle of the thread so people can easily miss them.

But... I guess it would be cool if more than 20 visible active objects causes slowdown, bar text. Say... half the frame rate. More than 30 halves it again.

Let me know if your game uses tons of objects. Don't want to render anyone's work useless.

Edited by AndyUK

 
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AndyUK

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14th October, 2012 at 14/10/2012 19:23:21 -

I have a problem getting objects to be active and non-active. I'd like a counter that only shows objects that are visible in the frame so we can actually have a sprite/object limit of some sort.

The only way i can think of is to have a mask and an animation object for every sprite so i can easily display a certain amount at once and be able to see how many are in a frame.

Edited by AndyUK

 
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14th October, 2012 at 14/10/2012 19:41:36 -


Originally Posted by Jon Lambert

Originally Posted by Akai_R
Or you could include a blank mfa with your game when you post it. Just an idea!

If someone else posts his or her game before you, you could take that mfa (that might be larger than yours) and say it's one you generated.



Maybe you could post a blank MFA file, and make everyone download that as the source file with which they would build their project. Watermark it in some sneaky way so that you know that your blank MFA is the one you created.

 
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14th October, 2012 at 14/10/2012 23:13:22 -


Originally Posted by s-m-r

Originally Posted by Jon Lambert

Originally Posted by Akai_R
Or you could include a blank mfa with your game when you post it. Just an idea!

If someone else posts his or her game before you, you could take that mfa (that might be larger than yours) and say it's one you generated.



Maybe you could post a blank MFA file, and make everyone download that as the source file with which they would build their project. Watermark it in some sneaky way so that you know that your blank MFA is the one you created.



I have a sneaky feeling that as soon as you open the blank mfa and edit it the file size is inflated dependant on your build and extensions.

I have temporarily postponed work on my game until we have established exactly what this limitation is going to be.

 
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15th October, 2012 at 15/10/2012 20:48:16 -

When would the compo end?

 
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16th October, 2012 at 16/10/2012 05:21:07 -

It looks like there are far too many variables to be able to include a filesize limit.

But we can still limit the amount of frames or the size of each frame. I guess the size of the frame roughly corresponds to the amount of Ram in a console/computer? So i guess it kind of makes sense.

Just as a sort of benchmark, Super mario bros 1-1 is 3384x224.
http://ian-albert.com/games/super_mario_bros_maps/mario-1-1.gif

So lets say as a standard our computer can have levels a bit more than twice as big.
Does 7000x192 (or any equivalent size) sound reasonable?

 
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AndyUK

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25th October, 2012 at 25/10/2012 03:18:14 -

Ive been trying to make some reliable flicker when there's more than 20 objects on screen. So basically if there's more than 20 'sprites' they will randomly vanish until there's only 20 showing.

But it's not working properly.

So for now i'm just going to actually make the game.

 
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