Jump to content

Photo

4K Short'n'Sweet game contest


398 replies to this topic

#1 Asmusr OFFLINE  

Asmusr

    River Patroller

  • 2,946 posts
  • Location:Denmark

Posted Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:20 AM

I'm starting a new thread in order not to pollute the SSGC racer thread any further. There has been 3-4 expressions of interest in this idea already, so probably enough to proceed. 

 

The idea for the contest is that by limiting the size of the task hopefully more people will join. Writing a game for a 512K cartridge may seem overwhelming, but with only 4K available there's a natural limit on the time you can spend. We could also choose 2K or 8K, but I think 4K is a good compromise between having room for a bit of graphics and the time it takes to produce.

 

My first idea was that the 4K would be ROM, but since 4K RAM is what the Mini Memory provides we could also make this a contest for a game to run on an unexpanded console with a Mini Memory? Unexpanded means no 32K, speech, disk, RS-232, or F18A required. I think this is important to limit the task and make the entries comparable. I think it would be OK to require joysticks.

 

 

See rules here: http://atariage.com/...-2#entry3919501

And one more addition here: http://atariage.com/...-3#entry3920373



#2 InsaneMultitasker OFFLINE  

InsaneMultitasker

    River Patroller

  • 2,298 posts

Posted Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:49 PM

One of the draws (for me) of the first contest was the size limitation as it kept everyone in the same ballpark and made for some very creative efforts given the size and programming language used.  Assuming there is enough interest in machine code (versus using XB, for example) 4k doesn't sound overwhelming and it is a nice amount of code and data for a simple contest.  (Edit: I'm not sure that everyone would be able to load and run the programs without 32K or disk system, unless this were emulation only? Or would having a certain cartridge i.e. FR99/FG99 become a requirement?)


Edited by InsaneMultitasker, Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:55 PM.


#3 Asmusr OFFLINE  

Asmusr

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,946 posts
  • Location:Denmark

Posted Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:15 PM

One of the draws (for me) of the first contest was the size limitation as it kept everyone in the same ballpark and made for some very creative efforts given the size and programming language used.  Assuming there is enough interest in machine code (versus using XB, for example) 4k doesn't sound overwhelming and it is a nice amount of code and data for a simple contest.  (Edit: I'm not sure that everyone would be able to load and run the programs without 32K or disk system, unless this were emulation only? Or would having a certain cartridge i.e. FR99/FG99 become a requirement?)

 

To rephrase the requirements, the games should work without 32K and disk, but the games would also be expected to work with them. With the source code available it should be easy to turn any 4K cartridge image into a E/A#5 file running from 32K for those who don't have a FR99/FG99 or similar. 

 

I don't think it will be relevant, but there are a few things that might work on the 9918A but not on the F18A, e.g. if the game runs in 'bitmap text mode' or uses undocumented features of the 5th sprite flag. Those entries would be allowed, of course, since there is no requirement that a game runs on the F18A.

 

For the contest all entries should be evaluated on an unexpanded console.      

 

Does anyone have an opinion regarding the question of RAM vs ROM?



#4 notwhoyouthink OFFLINE  

notwhoyouthink

    Chopper Commander

  • 124 posts

Posted Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:18 PM

 

I thought this was going to use playground to load them from cassette?



#5 Asmusr OFFLINE  

Asmusr

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,946 posts
  • Location:Denmark

Posted Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:35 PM

 

I thought this was going to use playground to load them from cassette?

 

That's a good idea for a competition, and I believe SeniorFalcon has invited to something like that before, but it's not what I'm suggesting here.   



#6 Willsy OFFLINE  

Willsy

    River Patroller

  • 3,086 posts
  • Location:Uzbekistan (no, really!)

Posted Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:18 PM

Does anyone have an opinion regarding the question of RAM vs ROM?


RAM. Keep it old school. That way people can load from disk using EA or MM or load from tape using MM. They don't want to be blowing EPROMS or having to use the super grom thingy cartridge.

I might have a go at this myself. Nice idea!

#7 palmheads OFFLINE  

palmheads

    Chopper Commander

  • 202 posts
  • Location:Christchurch, New Zealand

Posted Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:22 PM

Sounds like a great idea!

 

Having MM/4k limit is perfect. There really was only a handful of games written for that platform that didn't require 32k as well (Entrapment, Defend the Cities II). Given the quality of games for other platforms with similar memory (eg: unexpanded Vic 20) always has felt like an unexplored environment.

 

And like you say, given its limits, more achievable.

 

I could even rip out some of my code from my stalled "Thrust" project to get something working.

 

cheers

Daryn



#8 PeteE OFFLINE  

PeteE

    Chopper Commander

  • 171 posts
  • Location:Beaverton, OR

Posted Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:11 PM

Looking forward to this.  I've had an idea for awhile to port an Intellivision game I enjoyed as a kid, and I think it ought to fit in 4K ROM.



#9 Tursi OFFLINE  

Tursi

    Quadrunner

  • 5,353 posts
  • HarmlessLion
  • Location:BUR

Posted Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:35 PM

If it runs from the MiniMemory RAM but doesn't use it as extra RAM, then making a ROM cartridge out of it is basicaly adding a header and some padding, so any entry that wants to make that possible simply needs to keep that in mind. But I'm not proposing that as a rule. ;)

 

I think I can throw something together. What's the deadline?



#10 MueThor OFFLINE  

MueThor

    Space Invader

  • 49 posts
  • Location:OMG, yet another good former TI customer from Germany ;-)

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:30 AM

Hi folks,

 

The proposal of a competition in programming of 4k playground games would be great. Thereby all guys participating in such a competition would generate a bunch of programs, which can serve as sample programs for dummies like me :P ;).

 

 

Regards     


Edited by MueThor, Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:34 AM.


#11 digdugnate OFFLINE  

digdugnate

    River Patroller

  • 2,035 posts

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:36 AM

i'm interested in seeing what everyone comes up with.  I have a basic understanding of Assembly, but just can't devote the time to working on it a lot for probably a couple of months.



#12 Vorticon OFFLINE  

Vorticon

    River Patroller

  • 3,458 posts
  • Location:Eagan, MN, USA

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:59 AM

Well, it certainly sounds interesting. But I would like to propose that the programs be developed strictly using the MiniMemory module and the line by line assembler, whether in emulation or on real hardware, nothing else, to make it truly authentic. We are all spoiled by all the programming aids available to us, from modern text editors to sophisticated compilers, and the art (or perhaps suffering?) of producing a good program within the limitations of the era is gradually being lost to the mists of time.

Yes, it will be a stiff challenge, but one you will be able to wear as a true badge of honor! 

Let the tomatoes fly  :grin:



#13 notwhoyouthink OFFLINE  

notwhoyouthink

    Chopper Commander

  • 124 posts

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:30 AM

Let the tomatoes fly  :grin:

 

flying-tomato-4d92000a8c285_hires.jpg


Edited by notwhoyouthink, Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:31 AM.


#14 senior_falcon OFFLINE  

senior_falcon

    Stargunner

  • 1,277 posts
  • Location:Lansing, NY, USA

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:31 AM

Well, it certainly sounds interesting. But I would like to propose that the programs be developed strictly using the MiniMemory module and the line by line assembler, whether in emulation or on real hardware, nothing else, to make it truly authentic. We are all spoiled by all the programming aids available to us, from modern text editors to sophisticated compilers, and the art (or perhaps suffering?) of producing a good program within the limitations of the era is gradually being lost to the mists of time.

Yes, it will be a stiff challenge, but one you will be able to wear as a true badge of honor! 

Let the tomatoes fly  :grin:

Remember that the LBLA takes up a significant portion of the 4K RAM.  I think you have under 1K of memory to use for your program.



#15 Asmusr OFFLINE  

Asmusr

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,946 posts
  • Location:Denmark

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:54 AM

Well, it certainly sounds interesting. But I would like to propose that the programs be developed strictly using the MiniMemory module and the line by line assembler, whether in emulation or on real hardware, nothing else, to make it truly authentic. We are all spoiled by all the programming aids available to us, from modern text editors to sophisticated compilers, and the art (or perhaps suffering?) of producing a good program within the limitations of the era is gradually being lost to the mists of time.

Yes, it will be a stiff challenge, but one you will be able to wear as a true badge of honor! 

Let the tomatoes fly  :grin:

 

Would we need to pass a lie detector test?



#16 Asmusr OFFLINE  

Asmusr

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,946 posts
  • Location:Denmark

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:04 AM

If it runs from the MiniMemory RAM but doesn't use it as extra RAM, then making a ROM cartridge out of it is basicaly adding a header and some padding, so any entry that wants to make that possible simply needs to keep that in mind. But I'm not proposing that as a rule. ;)

 

I think I can throw something together. What's the deadline?

 

Having RAM instead of ROM opens a lot of possibilities, e.g. for generating and storing maps. I would certainly take advantage of that.

 

Regarding the deadline I'm thinking we should have around 3 months to finish. Does that seem reasonable?



#17 Vorticon OFFLINE  

Vorticon

    River Patroller

  • 3,458 posts
  • Location:Eagan, MN, USA

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:51 AM

A lot can be done in 1K of RAM using assembly. Come to think of it, this kind of limitation could level the playing substantially and really spur creativity.
And to answer Rasmus' question, I am a big fan of the honor system...

#18 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

--- Ω ---

    HexaCoreRunner

  • 13,180 posts

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:52 AM

If this ends up going the Mini Memory route, all you guys without physical Mini Memory cartridges might want to

download << THIS ALTERNATIVE >>.



#19 Willsy OFFLINE  

Willsy

    River Patroller

  • 3,086 posts
  • Location:Uzbekistan (no, really!)

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:56 AM

Ha ha! As it happens, I've literally just come back from the opticians where we determined that I need new glasses. They were clearly right, because I thought I just read Vorticon saying to use the line-by-line assembler.

Clearly my eye sight is a LOT worse than I thought! ;-)

#20 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

OLD CS1

    Technomancer

  • 5,782 posts
  • Technology Samurai
  • Location:Tallahassee, FL

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:48 PM

The problem I see with developing with the LBLA is the only native way to save MM RAM is via cassette.  Aside from the amount of memory it consumes.



#21 Vorticon OFFLINE  

Vorticon

    River Patroller

  • 3,458 posts
  • Location:Eagan, MN, USA

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:51 PM

Ha ha! As it happens, I've literally just come back from the opticians where we determined that I need new glasses. They were clearly right, because I thought I just read Vorticon saying to use the line-by-line assembler.

Clearly my eye sight is a LOT worse than I thought! ;-)

 

Remember I'm the guy who just programmed an entire AI for the Game of UR on a tiny handheld computer with a 24 character LCD...

I never claimed to be normal, merely different. :) And in a community where most of its members devote large amounts of free time on a decades old beyond obsolete platform, I think I can safely say that I am not alone! 

In other words, I still think limiting ourselves to the LBLA would be a fun thing to do  :-D



#22 Tursi OFFLINE  

Tursi

    Quadrunner

  • 5,353 posts
  • HarmlessLion
  • Location:BUR

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:59 PM

Afraid I'm not going to use the LBLA. I started there and have no nostalgia for going back. :) But I also don't have three months to dedicate. I know more or less what I'm going to do (and started prepping already), if it doesn't qualify in the end at least it'll still be new software! :)



#23 RickyDean OFFLINE  

RickyDean

    Stargunner

  • 1,006 posts

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:00 PM

Afraid I'm not going to use the LBLA. I started there and have no nostalgia for going back. :) But I also don't have three months to dedicate. I know more or less what I'm going to do (and started prepping already), if it doesn't qualify in the end at least it'll still be new software! :)

From you, that will be enough!!  :)



#24 Asmusr OFFLINE  

Asmusr

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,946 posts
  • Location:Denmark

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:30 PM

I will let comments come in for a few more days, and then I plan to make a poll to finalize the rules by majority vote.

 

Does anyone have an opinion on how to choose the winner? I'm thinking either anyone on AtariAge can vote, or we appoint a panel that chooses the winner.



#25 adamantyr OFFLINE  

adamantyr

    Stargunner

  • 1,393 posts

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:01 PM

I'm focused on my CRPG, and trying to stay that way despite many tempting diversions, so I won't be participating, sorry!




0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users