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SMS Power Rush Coding Competition !
Post Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2002 5:46 am
Don't blame me for the idea :) but SMS Power Rush Coding Competition is open.

From March 20 to March 27 (inclusive), our coders are up to deliver some nice little game/demo/utility programmed for a Sega 8-bit system (usually SMS).

Martin,
Charles Mac Donald,
Steve Snake,
Dave,
Heliophobe,
others (Maxim, Eric, Mike ?) :
the world is waiting for your entry.

This is a rush and compos quality will be of course taken in account - it's probably ok submitted a static, non scrolling text.
Hopefully we'll have some nice little stuff done for the 27. Mind you, it is the five year anniversary for this site!
And i'll be personnally very happy seing Charles coding something other than a technical test =)

Development is welcome to be discussed on this forum.
Participating coders may want to release demos that are in relation, even.
Entries are to be e-mailed to me at the end (27).

Question ?

Ready --------- set ---------- go!
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Waaaagh!
Post Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:03 pm
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> Don't blame me for the idea :)

Who shall I blame then?

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> From March 20 to March 27 (inclusive), our coders are up to deliver some nice little game/demo/utility programmed for a Sega 8-bit system (usually SMS).

> others (Maxim, Eric, Mike ?)

Waagh! My most advanced code so far is an 11-byte level select patch for Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars. But... I accept the challenge. I think. Now I really ought to download an assembler... if I had a floppy disk... bah. And I have less than a week, I will be away from the 26th to 28th. Ah well.

Ideas: VGM player, WAV player, bitmap displayer (getting a bit advanced, I considered some months ago making bmp2sms, but I think it'd take me much more than a week), Pong, Chip-8 emulator? Hey, that'd be quite cool actually :P

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> Hopefully we'll have some nice little stuff done for the 27. Mind you, it is the five year anniversary for this site!

Ah, that's why :P

Maxim
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WLA DX binary?
Post Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2002 1:27 pm
So, I got a floppy, then I thought I may as well try and start with WLA DX since those in the know seem to say it's the best. So I go to the site and what do I find? You can only download the source; the advice for Windows users is to do a full install of cygwin and compile it there. Well, I don't think I'm gonna get *that* on a floppy. So, has anyone got a reasonably recent binary? Or is it TASM for me?

Maxim
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Re: Waaaagh!
Post Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2002 2:46 pm
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> I considered some months ago making bmp2sms, but I think it'd take me much more than a week

I have a bmp2gg program, it take me one hour ;)
 
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I finally made them
Post Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2002 4:34 pm
Well, I thought I'd try installing Cygwin here since this computer has an unfeasibly fast connection (somewhere over 3Mbit/s) and many Gb of free disk space. And dammit, it kept giving me an error. So I Googled for the error and every one said "you haven't installed w32lib" and/or "you should install *every* package". So I installed w32lib, many times. Then I did a full install. Then I deleted everything and did a full install. None of them stopped this #!%$ error. So I deleted everything again, cleared out the registry, and did a full install again - it didn't work. So I copied the required w32lib files, which until this install were never there, into the /lib directory and it finally worked. So look here for all the exes in a zip, 100% unofficial and all that. Maybe rip out the non-z80 stuff and put it in the dev section? I wasn't sure what I could throw out so I left all of the exes in there.

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2002 4:54 pm
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> From March 20 to March 27 (inclusive), our coders are up to
> deliver some nice little game/demo/utility programmed for a
> Sega 8-bit system (usually SMS).

I'm in. I have no ideas (or time) but I'll try to come up with something.

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Eric Quinn
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2002 8:57 pm
Um, uh, uh, um... uh.

Well, I'll release something
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2002 5:55 pm
Well, I'm already a day late and highly rusty at Z80 and SMS internals but I've always wanted to try and get an animated character walking across the screen. I guess I'll shoot for that.

Chris :o)
 
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SMS Power Rush Coding Competition, so ?
Post Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2002 7:34 am
I'm waiting for little entries for the competition. =)
Any feedback ? Feel free to discuss it.
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:(
Post Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2002 10:31 am
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> I'm waiting for little entries for the competition. =)
> Any feedback ? Feel free to discuss it.

I would have loved to have done something for this. Unfortunately I only saw the post the other day, due to being away... and I have no free time to get something done by tomorrow :(

Oh well, maybe next time...
 
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2002 1:23 pm
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> I'm waiting for little entries for the competition. =)
> Any feedback ? Feel free to discuss it.

I've almost finished my entry :)
I'll send it tomorrow.
 
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2002 2:38 pm
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> I'm waiting for little entries for the competition. =)
> Any feedback ? Feel free to discuss it.

My project is almost done. Can entries be submitted on the 27th itself, or only today?

I had some great ideas for the SMS, and found that it is really impossible to do any kind of palette changes on every single line of the display without flicker. ;( So I had to rework my program, (wasting valuable time) which now is for the GameGear and looks much nicer on such a small screen.


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2002 3:13 pm
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> I'm waiting for little entries for the competition. =)
> Any feedback ? Feel free to discuss it.

I don't know if I'll make it in on time, my SMS skills are so rusty and I wasn't able to wrangle up the time I needed for it.
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2002 8:41 pm
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>> I'm waiting for little entries for the competition. =)
>> Any feedback ? Feel free to discuss it.
> My project is almost done. Can entries be submitted on the 27th itself, or only today?

It's ok on the 27th.

Quote
> I had some great ideas for the SMS, and found that it is really impossible to do any kind of palette changes on every single line of the display without flicker. ;( So I had to rework my program, (wasting valuable time) which now is for the GameGear and looks much nicer on such a small screen.

:-)
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grumf
Post Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2002 9:38 pm
Darn it. I'll probably miss 3/27 altogether. Maybe I'd be able to finish it late tonight (that'd be March 27 in California time), but definately not in the next couple hours.


Hopefully there was enough entries submitted to make a worthy presentation.
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Re: grumf
Post Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2002 9:59 pm
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> Darn it. I'll probably miss 3/27 altogether. Maybe I'd be able to finish it late tonight (that'd be March 27 in California time), but definately not in the next couple hours.

Common, e-mail me something.. anything..

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> Hopefully there was enough entries submitted to make a worthy presentation.

3 (well 4, as Maxim submitted two). Things are actually pretty good for such a fast contest :)
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Re: grumf
Post Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2002 10:24 pm
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> > Darn it. I'll probably miss 3/27 altogether. Maybe I'd be able to finish it late tonight (that'd be March 27 in California time), but definately not in the next couple hours.

> Common, e-mail me something.. anything..

at the moment I have ripped music playing to a black screen. not too exciting.

if you're going to put up a presentation with those four, maybe you could add me in after the fact as a late entry?

I should have stayed home from work today. (*cough cough*)
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Re: grumf
Post Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2002 10:26 pm
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>> Common, e-mail me something.. anything..
> at the moment I have ripped music playing to a black screen. not too exciting.

I'm dying for that !

Quote
> if you're going to put up a presentation with those four, maybe you could add me in after the fact as a late entry?

Whatever you want. I can't say I'm very strict.

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> I should have stayed home from work today. (*cough cough*)

You should quit your job and devote your life to SMS, actually.
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Girlfriend in 16 colors ? Rush coding competition entries are up.
Post Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2002 8:42 pm
I've updated http://www.smspower.org/dev/demos with the 4 entries for the rush coding competition.
I also took the occasion to redo the demos page a bit, and added Maechiko's old SG-1000 demos.

The entries are:

GG Demo (Charles Mac Donald)
Not Only Words (Maxim)
Photo (Maxim)
Zoop'em Up (Martin Konrad)

Thanks all of you for submitting something.

(I'm pretty impressed especially by how polished is Martin's work!)

May I have your benediction for running another rush coding competition in a few months ?
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Source code
Post Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2002 2:42 am

I didn't even think to include the source code until I saw Maxim's program, and figured that would be a good idea.
So here's an archive with my GG demo, and full sources:

http://cgfm2.emuviews.com/zip/demo3.zip

I promise I'll stop updating it now. ;)

Having another competition would be nice, programming against a deadline is a real challenge.

I also thought Martin's game was really great, especially when played on a real GG. The little details like autofire, being able to pause, etc. gave it a professional feel. Reminded me a bit of Aleste, but that's a good thing. :)


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2002 3:21 pm
Excellent work by everyone! I wanted to submit something myself, but didn't have the time during the weekend. Any way, I'm definitely up for the next coding competition.

I wanted to ask the three authors what their experiences were while writing and debugging their code. Do you have any insights into what kind of tools/features for a debugging emulator would have been useful to you?

Things I'm already working on for MesaDX are:

Sound
Game Gear support
Tile viewer
Breakpoint window

But what about more advanced features:

call stack
memory protection
I/O protection
branch tracing
de-featuring (e.g., VDP de-features that disables scrolling or screen blanking)
line-by-line stepping

Would these have been useful? What about interactive debug? How useful would memory/register editing have been if you could break at any point during execution to modify values? What about statistic gathering, like number of page frame swaps, or palette register writes?

If any of you have suggestions, please let me know. I do keep a log of all the suggestions made (over the years), and eventually they will be added to MesaDX.

Thanks.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2002 10:43 pm
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> Thanks all of you for submitting something.

Very good, everyone. I'll post my late entry once I get a chance to work on it, though it won't be much.

On one hand I wish it had come at a better time for me, on the other hand I knew the 5th anniversary was coming up and had wanted to do something anyway. I Didn't budget my time very well.

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> (I'm pretty impressed especially by how polished is Martin's work!)

Pretty snazzy. The fact that it took him a week and Damiana took me almost a couple of months makes me hate him though.

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> May I have your benediction for running another rush coding competition in a few months ?

For sure, but next time I want an entry from you.
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2002 11:01 pm
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> Excellent work by everyone! I wanted to submit something myself, but didn't have the time during the weekend. Any way, I'm definitely up for the next coding competition.

> I wanted to ask the three authors what their experiences were while writing and debugging their code. Do you have any insights into what kind of tools/features for a debugging emulator would have been useful to you?

> Things I'm already working on for MesaDX are:

> Sound
> Game Gear support
> Tile viewer
> Breakpoint window

> But what about more advanced features:

> call stack
> memory protection
> I/O protection
> branch tracing
> de-featuring (e.g., VDP de-features that disables scrolling or screen blanking)
> line-by-line stepping

> Would these have been useful? What about interactive debug? How useful would memory/register editing have been if you could break at any point during execution to modify values? What about statistic gathering, like number of page frame swaps, or palette register writes?

I'd like all of it, statistics gathering probably being the least important. By 'interactive debug' do you mean like single a single stepping debugger as in BRSMS? That would be the most important to me.

I don't think I can think of anything that I didn't mention the last time this came up (post Y2Kode), but the three things I remember that would seem like the most important to me would be:

-Automatic per-frame save states, so you can 'back up' the action frame by frame. This is handy when you're tracking a bug that doesn't always come up in the same place, so you can play until the bug occurs, back it up a bit, and try to see where the train derailed. It might be handy if you could have per-instruction save states when in single stepping mode, so you can back up in the debugger.
-Memory watch points. Set it to break (or optionally) log access to certain memory locations, possibly with fine tuned controls such as breaking only if a memory location is a specific value or outside of a specific range. 16 and 8 bit watch points would be handy too.
-Importing symbol files from WLA-DX. Branch locations in the symbols can be displayed as the actual labels from the code, and let you set breakpoints from a list. WLA-DX is smart enough to be able to build multi-banked roms all by itself and puts information about it in the symbol table so when we cross over past the 48k address space in our projects WLA-DX can handle it.

If you need any programming help with these features I can offer my assistance. (It's easier to work on Windows applications at work than sneak in SMS coding). You'd probably think my code's ugly though.
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2002 7:41 am
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>> Thanks all of you for submitting something.
> Very good, everyone. I'll post my late entry once I get a chance to work on it, though it won't be much.

We're waiting for it =)

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>> (I'm pretty impressed especially by how polished is Martin's work!)
> Pretty snazzy. The fact that it took him a week and Damiana took me almost a couple of months makes me hate him though.

I guess work and experience paid off. Martin has done incredible yet unreleased work, from what I've seen.

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>> May I have your benediction for running another rush coding competition in a few months ?
> For sure, but next time I want an entry from you.

Yeah, I wanted to make one aswell. You can't guess how busy I am since two months :(
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My submission
Post Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2002 1:54 am
I finally got some time to work on it this afternoon. I can't get into my web hosting right now so I emailed it to you, you can put it in the demos section.
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2002 4:05 pm
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> I'd like all of it, statistics gathering probably being the
> least important. By 'interactive debug' do you mean like
> single a single stepping debugger as in BRSMS? That would be
> the most important to me.

Well, MesaDX version 0.02 already supports single-stepping. By 'interactive debug' I guess all I meant was the ability to mess around with memory or registers while code was running. This allows you to continue execution without having to recompile (right away) when you find a bug.


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> I don't think I can think of anything that I didn't mention
> the last time this came up (post Y2Kode), but the three things
> I remember that would seem like the most important to me would
> be:

> -Automatic per-frame save states, so you can 'back up' the

O.k.

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> -Memory watch points. Set it to break (or optionally) log
> access to certain memory locations, possibly with fine tuned
> controls such as breaking only if a memory location is a
> specific value or outside of a specific range. 16 and 8 bit
> watch points would be handy too.

With the exception of value and range checking, memory breakpoints are already implemented in MesaDX version 0.02. The user interface is poor, but the feature definitely exists. Also, you can set as many memory breakpoints as you want (up to 64K). Value and range checking is planned for future releases.


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> -Importing symbol files from WLA-DX. Branch locations in the

O.k.


Quote
> If you need any programming help with these features I can
> offer my assistance.

There will be a time when I request help from everyone on S8-Dev, but not yet. There will probably be a few more releases of MesaDX that include the "basics" (like GG and sound emulation) before that time comes.

Any way, thanks for the suggestions. I'm still working on some of the suggestions you made last time. It's slow going, but the features are definitely there. Some already exist in version 0.02 put were turned off for the release.

Thanks.

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Noo, i missed the competition :( oh,well, nice work!
Post Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2002 9:13 pm
Noo, i missed the competition :( oh,well, nice work!
Well, i am learning Saturn C right now, so i would probably not be able to do anything special on the Sms whatsoever, since all i can do on Saturn is display text and take inputs from buttons :) .
 
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