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4K VCS Assembly Programming Competition


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Poll: 4K VCS Assembly Programming Competition (9 member(s) have cast votes)

Which would encourage you the most to participate?

  1. Only assembly entries allowed (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Only BASIC entries allowed (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. Only BASIC with inline assembly (1 votes [10.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.00%

  4. Separate BASIC and assembly categories (5 votes [50.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

  5. BASIC and Assembly Combined! (4 votes [40.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 40.00%

How many kilobytes should entries be?

  1. 2KB (3 votes [25.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

  2. 4KB (7 votes [58.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 58.33%

  3. Larger than 4KB (2 votes [16.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 vidak OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:09 PM

Hello!

 

I am back! I have a job now! So with my first few pays, I am going to sponsor a 4K VCS/2600 Assembly programming competition.

 

I can muster up US$100, so that will be the prize for the best entry. This is just a post flagging my intention to run this competition, I will provide more details about the rules soon!

 

The competition will start on the 1st October, and finish on midnight 31 October in your timezone.

 

There is a webpage somewhere that has imaginative fake video game covers for 8 bit games, that is the theme! I will find the link to the page, I think it is on itch.io. So take inspiration from the cartridge label or box from a game, and make a game that reflects that.

 

The point of this competition is to popularise assembly language! Use this competition as an opportunity to learn it!


Edited by vidak, Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:37 AM.


#2 vidak OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:08 PM

The fictional game cases I was talking about are here:

 

http://famicase.com/18/index.html

 

The images are called the Famicase Exhibition - you can use any fictional game case, though!



#3 vidak OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:32 PM

ENTRY TO THE COMPETITION
 
- A standard binary that is executable by the Stella Emulator.
- The source code must be made freely available.
- Some brief instructions about how to play the game.
- Instructions made freely available about how to compile the source code.
- The source code must be able to be assembled by the latest DASM
- Borrowed from the IntyBASIC contest: As part of the validation process, each entry's source code will be built using its instructions and the final binary produced must match the submitted binary image 100%. Any entry that fails this criteria will not be judged.
- I encourage you to start a thread discussing your competition entry, where you post photos of your WIP, WIP ROMs and source code, and provide other information about your entry.
- You may co-author entries with people. That means more than one person can be an author to a game entry.
 
Your entry must be submitted to vidak@riseup.net
 
THE JUDGING PANEL
 
The panel of judges is as follows:
 
- vidak (myself)
 
Anyone who wants to be a judge can become one!
 
I /will/ permit judges to enter the contest, but they cannot score their own game entries. Anyone is allowed to give technical assistance
 
SCORING SYSTEM
 
The criteria upon which 4K VCS ASM entries will be assessed are:
 
Originality (1 to 10) - Is the game based on a new idea or a twist on an established design?
 
Concept (1 to 10) -The ''audacity'' of the game, how impressive the general idea of the game is.
 
Presentation (1 to 10)
 
Gameplay (1 to 10) - A measure of how enjoyable the game is to play.
 
Replay Value (1 to 10)
 
When the panel has scored each game accordingly, the totals for each criteria will be added together for each game to give it a final score.


#4 vidak OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:34 PM

I also have some cheap LEGO knock off kits that can be used as prizes. I can use the money to publish games in carts if that is popular - and I can also extend the competition development time beyond a month if people want more time.



#5 vidak OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:52 AM

Okay! I have received an offer of an eztra $50 on social media if we go with the cart manufacturing for the prizes - so for this competition we can manufacture carts for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes!



#6 JeremiahK OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:31 AM

Cool!  I've had a 2K concept brewing in my mind for awhile that I might try to tackle.  I would be willing to help with judging, as well.



#7 Karl G OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:44 AM

Just to be sure I understand, all entries must be based off of a fake game label that was made by someone else?



#8 vidak OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:39 PM

yo!

 

i am not sure if you're concerned about copyright or intellectual property, but you don't have to base it on a fake label with exclusive property rights! you can find a label in the public domain if you want to.

 

you can also /make/ your own fake label, if yiu want to.

 

basing your game on the label of an existing game is also okay! i know there are many great VCS labels!



#9 tygerbug OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:42 PM

Hi everyone! I'm a cover artist for Team Pixelboy, Acclaim/Collectorvision, and Intellivision Revolution. I've done art for Intellivision, Colecovision, SNES, Switch, etc.

 

Vidak suggested I link to some of my recent game art, maybe just as inspiration in this thread.   ;)

 

https://www.devianta...057/Video-Games



#10 Impaler_26 ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:50 AM

Some neat fake labels can be found here:

 

https://www.rediscov...mor-part-2.html

 

I hope someone makes Nutball! :lol:



#11 vidak OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:11 AM

Would more people feel encouraged to participate if it was 2K, and had maybe 3 months or so development time?

 

From what I am seeing of the covers, I may make an Ikari Warriors clone...

 

Or an adventure game...

 

Would it be better to include BASIC games as well? What would encourage more people?



#12 Gemintronic OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:19 AM

Would more people feel encouraged to participate if it was 2K, and had maybe 3 months or so development time?

 

From what I am seeing of the covers, I may make an Ikari Warriors clone...

 

Or an adventure game...

 

Would it be better to include BASIC games as well? What would encourage more people?

 

Allowing other languages would make it more open and widen your contestant pool.  2k games can certainly be done in batari BASIC.  But, that would dilute your intention to promote assembly.



#13 Karl G OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:18 AM

I think it's just not a huge pool of people from which to draw.  Experienced assembly developers may be busy with their own projects, and those who aren't experienced (those you are trying to encourage with the competition) might find a competition too much pressure as they are starting out.  I think your intention to encourage people to learn Atari 2600 development using assembly is good, but I'm not sure if a contest will end up accomplishing that.



#14 vidak OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:58 AM

I think, from your feedback, Karl G, and Geminitronic, I'll allow an open competition - I need to look at what factors will have to be balanced against Assembly and BASIC games, though.

 

Just out of curiosity - would many more people feel encouraged to participate if entries could also be in BASIC?



#15 Gemintronic OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:48 AM

I think, from your feedback, Karl G, and Geminitronic, I'll allow an open competition - I need to look at what factors will have to be balanced against Assembly and BASIC games, though.

 

Just out of curiosity - would many more people feel encouraged to participate if entries could also be in BASIC?

 

I think the assembly coders would be nonplussed.  If they do have hobby time for a contest then they could easily create a better looking graphic kernel (compared to BASIC or even C entries)

 

However, you'd gain all those batari BASIC game makers.  Some will be seasoned and some will be excited newbies.  Let the votes sort the results out.

 

Again, it depends on what your end goal is.  Promote assembly programming or promote 2600 game creation in general.

 

UPDATE:  How about allowing alternative languages *IF* they have assembly routines included or inline.  Although the routines would not have to be entirely by the game maker at least one element needs to be hand altered by the contestant.  Contestant should describe their hand written assembly additions in the entry.



#16 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:31 AM

Sounds reasonable since BASIC is essentially a Macro assembler.

 

Assembly is arguably a machine language representation, but Assembly+Macros = BASIC+pokes.



#17 vidak OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:36 PM

so people think a poll is a good idea?

 

i'll edit the original post to include a poll with options!



#18 vidak OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:51 PM

Okay! I have made a poll!

 

Let me know if you think there should be more choices!



#19 Karl G OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:35 AM

There's not a choice for allowing both basic and assembly without them being separate categories. If I were running this, I would judge how the games turned out, rather than the tool used to make them.

#20 vidak OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:37 AM

Okay!

 

Fixed!



#21 s0c7 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:27 AM

I really think you should reconsider the length of the contest.  One month is not a lot, and you're going to wind up with a handful of very simple titles.  To give you an idea, the only Atari project I've been involved in that sort of had a deadline was Stella's Stocking.  I think we started on it in Sept and tried to have it ready to go by X-mas.  It wound up drifting into Jan.  And the bulk of the games on it were written in bB.  Real life gets in the way.  I would make it run to the end of the year if you can.

 

Not fond of the fake label requirement.  I'd rather see what creative thing they can come up with on their own.

 

Anyway, I have no plans to participate in the contest, so take what I say with a grain of salt.  I do hope your contest encourages new people to try writing their first game.  



#22 Karl G OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:55 AM

I agree about the timeframe and the fake label requirement.  The latter can be good for inspiration if someone is stuck for ideas, or just likes the idea of making a game to go with a label instead of vice versa, but it can also be limiting if someone already has a game concept in mind.



#23 RevEng OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:25 AM

I agree with s0c7 and Karl G. The length of time is too short (IMO 6 months with regular warnings would work better) , and the fake label requirement constrains the coder too much.

I'm also not planning to join in, so use a heap of salt on my words too. I greatly appreciate what you're doing, but my time is short and money isn't the motivation. That's probably a good thing, since you're trying to encourage new blood.

If it were my rodeo, I might build this contest around a multi-cart instead, with the top 3 entries going to the cart. (3x 4k banks, and one for the menu). Give it a loose theme, and a guarantee of personal cart and manual for winners. Budget a small run of carts, and if there's anything left, figure out prizes from that. You might even be able to fund the contest with the proceeds from the limited cart run, and do it every year.

#24 Karl G OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:00 AM

A multicart sounds like a fun idea.  I think inclusion in a multicart could be more motivating to many than the prize money would be.  The money set aside for the top prize could be used for cart production instead.



#25 Karl G OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:10 AM

Also - once you have settled on the details, you might want to post in the Atari 2600 main group, if you are trying to interest newbies.






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