Jump to content

Photo

4K Short'n'Sweet game contest


395 replies to this topic

#26 InsaneMultitasker OFFLINE  

InsaneMultitasker

    River Patroller

  • 2,078 posts

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:11 PM

4K sounds good to me.  I prefer RAM over ROM, given the other retrictions in place (i..e, unexpanded system).   I do not have any love for LBLA.  ;)   

 

At present, I feel about 40% confident that I will participate, and am actually looking forward to a fun challenge to get me back into the TI programming saddle.
 



#27 TheMole OFFLINE  

TheMole

    Dragonstomper

  • 769 posts
  • Location:Belgium

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:23 PM

I'm eager to start a small new project, something manageable, and this might just be the nudge I need to get going. However, my assembler-fu is weak... would an entry written in C be acceptable if it met all the other requirements re RAM/ROM usage, unexpanded system, etc...?



#28 InsaneMultitasker OFFLINE  

InsaneMultitasker

    River Patroller

  • 2,078 posts

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:26 PM

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

 

But the contest only comes around once every seven years - sort of like the Vulcan pon farr!   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pon_farr

 

(I guess I should not have read that Adult topic thread earlier today)



#29 Vorticon OFFLINE  

Vorticon

    River Patroller

  • 3,201 posts
  • Location:Eagan, MN, USA

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:51 PM

Alright I'm in. Nothing is stopping me from still using the LBLA anyway, and it will be a perfect match for my whip, leather undies and shackles  :lol:  (Ok baaaad mental image warning here...) 

Dragonstomper brings up an important point however: Is the use of high level compilers allowed or are we going to stick to straight assembly? My feelings are that straight assembly is much harder to code in than a high level compiler, so we won't really be able to have a fair comparison if we allow both. 



#30 Asmusr OFFLINE  

Asmusr

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,748 posts
  • Location:Denmark

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:57 PM

I'm eager to start a small new project, something manageable, and this might just be the nudge I need to get going. However, my assembler-fu is weak... would an entry written in C be acceptable if it met all the other requirements re RAM/ROM usage, unexpanded system, etc...?

 

I don't think we should restrict which tools or languages are allowed to produce the machine code, but majority should decide.



#31 Vorticon OFFLINE  

Vorticon

    River Patroller

  • 3,201 posts
  • Location:Eagan, MN, USA

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:52 PM

Well in that case that changes the entire flavor of the contest by allowing C and compiled XB into the mix.
On the plus side, it does open it up to a lot more people who might not be comfortable with straight assembly but could easily come up with a great game using a high level language. I like that.

#32 adamantyr OFFLINE  

adamantyr

    Stargunner

  • 1,332 posts

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:21 PM

 
But the contest only comes around once every seven years - sort of like the Vulcan pon farr!   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pon_farr
 
(I guess I should not have read that Adult topic thread earlier today)


Hah! Good one.

I also lost interest when the LBLA was mentioned. That's not even a 4k contest, more like 770 bytes. I'm not sure how anyone at Texas Instruments thought it would be a viable platform for assembly language development.

If you had the 32k expansion it was a bit more viable... Rock Runner was written that way.

My personal recommendation on the contest is to just say your program should be fully runnable in a 4k space of RAM for both code and data. No file reading either, so that graphics and character sets are minimalist.

#33 retroclouds OFFLINE  

retroclouds

    Stargunner

  • 1,606 posts
  • Location:Germany

Posted Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:36 AM

I would propose there are 2 subcategories:

4k ROM/RAM
8k ROM/256 bytes RAM

I think that is fair, as having less RAM to your disposal can lead to more ROM code :-)

#34 Tursi OFFLINE  

Tursi

    Quadrunner

  • 5,071 posts
  • HarmlessLion
  • Location:BUR

Posted Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:30 AM

We tend to get bogged down in rules, many of which are un-enforceable anyway (ie: prove what tool was used ;) ). Take inspiration from 4k contests on other machines - only the result matters.
 
-Final executable must be 4k or less (although, since MiniMemory can only load EA#3 images, we'll just have to assume the resulting code is. It should be easy to prove - the only other RAM EA#3 could load to is scratchpad. If someone wants to cheat over 256 bytes I don't think I'd worry.)
-Must run from the MiniMemory cartridge and must work without any memory expansion.
-Must not load any additional external files
 
After that, let the programmer be creative. That's the whole point.

edit: yes, I'm also suggesting the standard ROMs are fair game ;) Nobody wants to waste 2k of their 4k on a character set that's already there in ROM, have at 'er.
 
Higher level languages will enforce different challenges than assembly, they won't automatically be easier with a 4k restriction and an unusual memory map. :)
 
That's my two bits anyway.
 
If anyone is using Classic99, you can paste this into your Classic99.ini and select it to get a MiniMemory environment with no expansion memory available:
 
[usercart1]
name=MiniMemory No 32k
rom0=O|0000|0008|Mini-memory=0(Apps),8(Index)
; replace RAM space with ROMs so there's no 32k
; should normally be 0 bytes, but we'll just use
; the exe for now since we know it's there.
; Obviously you shouldn't use it for data ;)
; This will produce some length warnings
rom1=C|2000|2000|classic99.exe
rom2=C|A000|2000|classic99.exe
rom3=C|C000|2000|classic99.exe
rom4=C|E000|2000|classic99.exe
 
Rom1 through Rom4 are just there to load "something" into the 32k addresses, which flags them as ROM and prevents writing to them. If you have a file full of zero bytes laying around, that's a better choice, but the EXE file works too. ;)

Edited by Tursi, Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:35 AM.


#35 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

sometimes99er

    River Patroller

  • 4,113 posts

Posted Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:33 AM

I would propose there are 2 subcategories:

4k ROM/RAM
8k ROM/256 bytes RAM

I think that is fair, as having less RAM to your disposal can lead to more ROM code :-)

 

I guess "4K ROM/RAM" means 4K ROM or 4K RAM. I think with the FinalGROM in mind, 4K ROM and 4K RAM is one feasible config (image header).
 
And then "8K ROM/256 bytes RAM" means 8K ROM with 256 bytes RAM.

 

:)

 



#36 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

sometimes99er

    River Patroller

  • 4,113 posts

Posted Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:52 AM

Well in that case that changes the entire flavor of the contest by allowing C and compiled XB into the mix.
On the plus side, it does open it up to a lot more people who might not be comfortable with straight assembly but could easily come up with a great game using a high level language. I like that.

  

There are of course many versions of Compiled XB, but I think they can occupy a good chunk for support / framework. At least that may be a factor with a 4K RAM constraint.

 

:)



#37 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

sometimes99er

    River Patroller

  • 4,113 posts

Posted Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:08 AM

We tend to get bogged down in rules, many of which are un-enforceable anyway (ie: prove what tool was used ;) ). Take inspiration from 4k contests on other machines - only the result matters.

 

Yes. With one contest, I was very surprised to see judging criteria / poll questions, that were specified by one of the contestants after seeing the other entries.
 
:)
 



#38 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

sometimes99er

    River Patroller

  • 4,113 posts

Posted Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:17 AM

In the spirit of the Mini Memory Module, the contest could allow TI Basic programs that can be saved in the 4K RAM (commands are: SAVE MINIMEM and OLD MINIMEM). Of course these programs can then use the extra commands like CALL POKEV and CALL CHARPAT.

 

:)



#39 Vorticon OFFLINE  

Vorticon

    River Patroller

  • 3,201 posts
  • Location:Eagan, MN, USA

Posted Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:47 AM

I am in favor of the rules Tursi outlined. They make total sense and provide enough of a challenge to make things interesting and creative, but not excessively so such as requiring use of the LBLA  ;)

Now to come up with a game idea...

PS: would I get extra points if I stick to the LBLA?  :grin:



#40 ti99iuc OFFLINE  

ti99iuc

    Stargunner

  • 1,445 posts
  • Location:Italy

Posted Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:09 AM

Very nice... I would like to choice an award for the winner. Will check into my stuff for the award if you are agree.

#41 adamantyr OFFLINE  

adamantyr

    Stargunner

  • 1,332 posts

Posted Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:32 AM

I like the Tursi rules set as well! Also...

Instructions are not necessary to include in game. We would all offload all that to disk for ANY game anyway unless we had RAM to burn on it in the game binary.

#42 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

Sinphaltimus

    River Patroller

  • 2,494 posts
  • Distracted at the Keyboard
  • Location:Poconos, PA

Posted Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:00 PM

I'm confused - does XB code compiled count?



#43 Tursi OFFLINE  

Tursi

    Quadrunner

  • 5,071 posts
  • HarmlessLion
  • Location:BUR

Posted Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:50 PM

PS: would I get extra points if I stick to the LBLA?  :grin:

 

hehe, I'd give you one just for the pain involved! ;)



#44 Tursi OFFLINE  

Tursi

    Quadrunner

  • 5,071 posts
  • HarmlessLion
  • Location:BUR

Posted Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:57 PM

I'm confused - does XB code compiled count?

 

I was proposing yes, but you have two challenges (and I don't know if they are big or small challenges).

 

First, the entire thing - including the support runtime code the compiler needs - has to fit in 4k.

Second, it needs to be able to load and run at >7000, which is the address of the MiniMemory RAM.

 

The first might be easy depending on how the compiler builds the final, the second will probably need support from Senior Falcon ;)



#45 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

Sinphaltimus

    River Patroller

  • 2,494 posts
  • Distracted at the Keyboard
  • Location:Poconos, PA

Posted Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:29 AM

I have a 2 - player game in mind.



#46 Asmusr OFFLINE  

Asmusr

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,748 posts
  • Location:Denmark

Posted Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:05 PM

AtariAge are not able to restore the disappeared poll, but here are the questions with arrows next to the options that got the most votes.

 

 

1. Amount of memory: How much memory should the games be allowed to use?

A. 2 KiB
B. 4 KiB <--
C. 8 KiB


2. Types of memory: Which types of memory should games be allowed to use?

A. ROM only
B. RAM or ROM <--


3. Usage of console resources: Which of the console's built in resources should it be possible to use?

A. None
B. Scratch pad
C. Both scratch pad and ROM/GROM, including characters sets, GPL interpreter and BASIC interpreter <--


4. Tools: Which tools and languages should be permitted in order to develop the game?

A. Mini Memory 'Line by Line Assembler' only
B. Any tools are allowed, but you have to program in assembly
C. Any tools and languages are allowed <--
D. Other (please post suggestion)

5. Mini Memory: To which extent should the games rely on the Mini Memory?

A. Games are not required to run on a Mini Memory <--
B. Games must run on a Mini Memory, but routines in the Mini Memory ROM/GROM cannot be used
C. It should be possible for games to rely on routines in the Mini Memory ROM/GROM


6. Joysticks: Games must run on an unexpanded console (possible with Mini Memory), but how about joysticks?

A. Games must have keyboard control
B. Games are allowed to require joystick(s) for control <--


7. Deadline: How much time should be available for the development?

A. 1 month
B. 2 months
C. 3 months <--
D. More than 3 months


8. Evaluation: How should the entries be evaluated?

A. Anyone on AtariAge should be allowed to vote<--
B. AtariAge members should appoint a panel that will vote
C. Other, please explain below


9. Do you think you would participate in the content?

A. Yes <--
B. No

 

It's surprisingly hard to write clear and unambiguous questions. One thing to clarify is that all VDP RAM may, of course, be used for any purpose, including graphics or temporary storage.

 

The votes were pretty clear on not requiring games to run on a Mini Memory or allowing games to depend on one. So the 'ordinary' compo entry would probably be a 4K cartridge binary image for the Final GROM or a Super Cart. An object file for the Mini Memory would also be OK, but since the Mini Memory does not allow a full 4K to be loaded, most contestants will probably prefer the binary image.

 

There's also the question of whether TI BASIC entries are allowed. I have no problems with that, with or without the use of playground machine code, provided entries are within the 4K limit. Loading them, of course, requires a tape recorder, which again is fine as long as it's not used for loading additional files.

 

And just to repeat the requirements: you are allowed to use 4K RAM + 256 bytes scratch pad RAM + 16K VDP RAM + anything available in the console ROM/GROM. You are allowed to require joysticks, and the use of a tape recorder for loading TI BASIC, but dependence on disk drives, RS-232, F18A or other expansions is not allowed.

 

The deadline of 3 months brings us to the end of March 2018 whereby all entries should be submitted. You do not have to register in order to participate.

 

At the beginning of April, a poll at AtariAge will be set up to choose the winner. The poll will have 3 questions: 

 

1. Which game is your choice for 1st prize?

2. Which game is your choice for 2nd prize?

3. Which game is your choice for 3rd prize?

 

The poll will not divide the games into further categories, and will not ask voters to take development language or development tools into consideration.

 

It would be great if somebody could come up with some prizes. I might be able to provide some Knight Lore cartridges for the winners.

 

Does anyone have objections? Otherwise let the games begin!


Edited by Asmusr, Thu Mar 8, 2018 12:21 PM.


#47 TheMole OFFLINE  

TheMole

    Dragonstomper

  • 769 posts
  • Location:Belgium

Posted Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:31 AM

Otherwise let the games begin!

Yes!



#48 Vorticon OFFLINE  

Vorticon

    River Patroller

  • 3,201 posts
  • Location:Eagan, MN, USA

Posted Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:56 PM

Just to clarify: we're not allowed to use the Mini Memory routines or anything that depends on it?

#49 Vorticon OFFLINE  

Vorticon

    River Patroller

  • 3,201 posts
  • Location:Eagan, MN, USA

Posted Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:59 PM

According to the poll, Mini Memory is not a requirement, but It's not disallowed either. My hope is to come up with something specifically for the MM and to use its internal resources.

#50 Asmusr OFFLINE  

Asmusr

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,748 posts
  • Location:Denmark

Posted Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:39 AM

According to the poll, Mini Memory is not a requirement, but It's not disallowed either. My hope is to come up with something specifically for the MM and to use its internal resources.

 

I'm not sure what the internal resources are, but if just the VDP routines (VSBW, VMBW, ...) you would have to provide your own. They won't take up many bytes and it's the same for everybody. 






0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users