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Post Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:31 pm
i'd love to enter, but i'm too busy with the Mega Master System and a new project not related to emulation. I went ahead and donated $20. Hopefully there will be some good entries.

also, while it might not be 1st prize material, i think this would make a nice prize for an SMS fan:
eBay: Light Phaser for Sega Master system Brand New!
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:10 pm
Thanks, MiracleWarrior! Wow, that's some prize fund we've got. We might want to think about runner-up prizes as well as a grand prize.
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:43 pm
Two months sure seemed like a lot of time... two months ago.

So how's everybody's entry coming along? I still have a lot to do and very little time to do it in but I think I can make it work.
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:49 pm
Heliophobe wrote
Two months sure seemed like a lot of time... two months ago.

So how's everybody's entry coming along? I still have a lot to do and very little time to do it in but I think I can make it work.


I don't know about the other people, but I could sure use an extension to the deadline. :)
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:36 pm
Hmm.. damnit, this would be one more scheduling debacle for SMS Power :)
How come we works more efficiently under tight pressure?

My game is still very incomplete but coming along nicely (worked on it a dozen hours so far). Of course I could use an extension, but everyone can use an extension. What shall we do? I think Maxim is the boss here, he decides.

You guys shall release something awesome!
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:15 pm
I do my best work at the last minute - partly because I quit kicking around dozens of ideas and really drill down on the things I have a chance of accomplishing.


I certainly wouldn't complain if there's an extension, if it stands to improve the quality of entries and not just give us all a chance to procrastinate longer and play Dance Dance Revolution all night instead of code. I think a short extension, no more than a week, would give us a chance to polish things off without us losing that deadline panic which is such a fabulous motivator.

On the other hand, it would be nice to have releases on the actual anniversary date, and sticking to the deadline makes the contest seem a little more "legitimate", for whatever that's worth.
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Coding competition 2006
Post Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:26 pm
Hmmm...good point (points) Helio'.

Unfortunately for me I have to announce that due to a hugely increased workload my comp entry of "Super Su Doku" will not be ready for the comp. (sad face)
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Submission Accepted
Post Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:33 pm
Submission Accepted: (although I suspect that coders won't submit until the last minute)
http://www.smspower.org/dev/competition/submit.html

We originally had an upload script, but it seems broken now (problems with large files) so reverting to good old e-mail with return receipt. My e-mail address happily takes giant files.

Note: Because I intend to submit something as well, I will NOT open or play the coding competition entries until March 27. Entries name wil be posted on the main competition page as they are received.
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:19 pm
Heliophobe wrote
So how's everybody's entry coming along?


Almost complete. :)

A few minor things to add and a few bugs to squish, but it should be ready by the deadline. Not that I'd mind an extension on the deadline, but I can live without one. :)
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 12:48 am
Programming entries will get an informal 24 hours extension if you register your project before 27. Please e-mail your project details so it can be added to the registered entries list. So far we have (only) 4 music and 1 coding entries.

Entries, even very simple or incomplete, are welcome. Especially for coding, since many people are bound to get discouraged by the steep learning curve of developping for SMS/GG. Every published work makes you better :)
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 4:33 pm
I'm sorry to say that also but due to my lazyness my multipart demo will not be ready for tonight, actually there's only two screens with music. I'll surely post it but please, please, don't kill me :)
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 4:55 pm
Please get your a** off and submit something! Consider owning a SMS Power tshirt, that would impress people around you.
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 7:50 pm
Bock wrote
Please get your a** off

That one's going in the list :)
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 11:31 am
I have avoided coming here on purpose, but curiousity got the better of me...

I kicked around a few coding ideas, got majorly into one (a port), but abandoned it for another day. On Saturday, I started coding a game and getting over the SMS learning curve as this is my first time cutting code for this gem.

Now at 10:30PM Sydney time (I guess 12:30PM GMT), I have a semi working game. I have all the remaining logic mapped out on paper, so with fingers crossed, it should be ready for 10AM Sydney time (12AM Midnight GMT).

But then again, I may have just jinxed myself. LMAO. Where do I email to register it?
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:07 pm
MadMikeAU wrote
But then again, I may have just jinxed myself. LMAO. Where do I email to register it?

http://www.smspower.org/dev/competition/submit.html
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D.E.A.D. Request
Post Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:03 pm
The Deadline Extension Associative Delegates have been asked by "Anonymous Coward", to delay "The SMSPOWER! Coding competition 2006" deadline.

Actually "1" peoples are looking for "The SMSPOWER! Coding competition 2006" deadline extension, feel free to contact 0xdeaddead@gmail.com with subject "DEAD #36335" if you are looking forward extending "The SMSPOWER! Coding competition 2006" deadline.

Thanks in advance for you support.
--
D.E.A.D, extending deadline since 1995.
*This is an automated message* if you're interested by using the same service for other competition, contact 0xdeaddead@gmail.com with the name of the competition in subject.
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:08 pm
At my opinion the poster of the above should get his a** off and submit his code anyway :)

Edit:
Quote
Proppy posted, not me!
...but the sentiment still applies :P
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:33 pm
Coding entry submitted, though incomplete.
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:47 am
Yeah, turns out that I'm greatful for the deadline extension. All the little loose ends I needed to tie up are turning out to be major projects. I might have to save an effect or two for next year's entry.
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Entries up!
Post Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:49 pm
The 5 entries are now up and available:
http://www.smspower.org/dev/competition/
Please try them all before voting.

I'm sorry I did not receive anything from Heliophobe in time. :( hurry up!
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:10 pm
The hell you talking about? I have forty-five minutes left and I intend to use them.

Oh god dammit I forgot about daylight savings. Fine, fine, let me just do a last build and I'll send it on over.
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:14 pm
Heliophobe wrote
The hell you talking about? I have forty-five minutes left and I intend to use them.
Oh god dammit I forgot about daylight savings. Fine, fine, let me just do a last build and I'll send it on over.

HURRRRY UP1
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:25 pm
THERE! It's off.

Sadly it's not bug free, I'll post a fixed version sometime after the judging, so please don't upload this anywhere (like poeut.net or homebrew rom pages) until then. Except for Bock. He can post it on the contest page.
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:57 pm
In the interest of fairplay and all that I am not going to vote. A do ask voters to be gentil as this is my first time cutting code for the SMS and I only started my entry on Saturday morning. My guess is that I spent about 8 hours on it if put end-to-end. Most of that was spent on getting over the learning curve and cursing the fact that I chose not to use a compiler (I coded using a hex editor and a Z80 opcode sheet...old school stuff).

Extension didnt help me as I chose to do paid programming instead :)

Only the scoring system is missing anyways.
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:01 am
Last edited by Heliophobe on Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:09 am; edited 1 time in total
I figured we'd all vote (if we want to) but give our own entries an N/A to be sporting.

Darn it, somewhere between my next to last and final build all my punctuation marks went away. Oh well.


I'm embarassed to say how long that took me. I actually worked on it fairly steadily for the last month, but if there was one critical error I made, it was that I spent a long time on effects that weren't on the screen very long. For instance, the stretch effect (not sure what to call that) after the fake decrunching routine, that was about three days (10-12 hours of code time) and it's finished in about a second (and glitchy at that).. I intended to make more use of it but I didn't have enough segments to use that as a transition for.
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:04 am
Great job Heliophobe!
It's a bit short (most SMS demos are) but the effects are very well done.

The initial 9 drawing is very sexy, never seen such effect done with such care on SMS. Did you actually bothered writing pixels/lines plotting routines or it is mostly precomputed into different tiles?

It took me a bit to figure out how the "blending" lookalike on the bottom text was done. The idea of simulating blending using sprites and foreground BG as a mask is clever and very reusable on real case scenarios.

Same thing for the faked blending layers done with animated tiles. Gives ideas.

Thanks for your work - where are the sources? =)
Notice I released my game's sources, as lame as they are (look at CallHL function for a laugh).
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Fairplay Voting
Post Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:06 am
As Heliophobe mentionned, fairplay voting would be choosing N/A for your own entry if you submitted one (that's what I did).
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Draw Poker
Post Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:13 am
MadMikeAU: Unfortunately I think your entry is gonna be under appreciated (by the votes) given actual output and not all voters would consider technical achievement. I am however very impressed of coding by inputing instructions manually.

Did you at least use any debugger/disassembler to confirm your input being the intended code? I can imagine nightmare debugging sessions without such tools when you have an unnoticed typo. Pretty strong exercice on mind and concentration. Must try that someday, but I may get mad before getting at the point of showing cards.
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:25 am
Sources will be released, once the bugs are squashed and it's been cleaned up a bit. Please bug me about it in the future if I don't post them within a reasonable amount of time. I think some parts would be useful in other productions.

I'm glad you liked the effect, that took me much more time than any other part. The zoom effect was a piece of cake next that (regretably the logo I chose doesn't look very good zoomed in).

I wrote a pixel plotting routine - The neat thing about it is that, starting with a blank screen, I can plot anywhere on the screen. The putpixel routine checks to see which tile the pixel would fall in and sees if it is a zero (blank) tile. If it's not zero, then the pixel is drawn into that tile. If it is zero, then the next unused tile is placed into the tile map at that spot and the pixel is drawn on that. So long as I don't put pixels in more than 256 tiles, I can write anywhere. Of course you could plot in more than 256 tiles but that would complicate the code a great deal. I believe this is similar to how Lemmings fakes a bitmapped display, although their system is clever enough to allow for a scrolling window.

The sprite masks for the nine after it is drawn is precalculated, however.

I'll leave it to you to guess how the laser is done.
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:11 am
MadMike: Wow. How many lines of code was that? I can barely write ten lines of code without recompiling and testing, and nothing I write ever works the first time. I can't imaging having the patience and focus to hand assemble code.


Martin K: if you're reading, I did use your PSGMOD player in the demo (I noticed in the IRC logs that you were wondering) and probably should have credited you in the scroller. I also want to say I really appreciated the debugging tools in Emukon - I might have gone mad without them.

Incidentally, the voice in the intro says "SMS Power Activate". I used the Amiga's speech tool to generate the voice. I'm not sure why it doesn't sound very good, the sample itself should be clean enough.
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Re: Draw Poker
Post Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:44 am
Last edited by MadMikeAU on Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:48 am; edited 1 time in total
Bock wrote
MadMikeAU: ...Did you at least use any debugger/disassembler to confirm your input being the intended code? I can imagine nightmare debugging sessions without such tools when you have an unnoticed typo. Pretty strong exercice on mind and concentration. Must try that someday, but I may get mad before getting at the point of showing cards.


Short answer: I had Meka running the whole time to do quick like tests.

Long answer: I was going to port a atari 2600 game to the sms for the comp. But I could not find a disassembler for the 6507. So I wrote one in VB. I then abandoned/adapted the whole idea in favor of porting a Colecovision game (got the bios booting on the sms at least, btw). This required me to change the 6507 disassembler to also disasseble the Z80. But I abandoned the colecovision idea for this Draw Poker. It was this dissasembler that I used to code with. Thats where my 2 months went :)
I dont think it would be much effort to convert the dissasembler to be a limited assembler...hmmmm.......
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:47 am
Heliophobe wrote
MadMike: Wow. How many lines of code was that? I can barely write ten lines of code without recompiling and testing, and nothing I write ever works the first time. I can't imaging having the patience and focus to hand assemble code...


The "game" was designed on paper first as a state engine. Thats the technical achievment, I guess. Which will be appeciated only by the knowledgable few. I will post the commented code a bit later this week.
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Re: Draw Poker
Post Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:52 am
Bock wrote
MadMikeAU: Unfortunately I think your entry is gonna be under appreciated (by the votes) given actual output and not all voters would consider technical achievement...


I bet it will still finish in the top 6 though. LMAO
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:46 am
Mike poker thats something cool, but I don't know the rules of poker so I dunno how to play it.

But I must say I am very impressed by everyones entries.

Digger Chan should be a game that remains in development, for me this has lots of potential.

The pong was good, although haroldoop beat me to making a pong game, never mind.

Heliophobe, your dem is simple but its just so cool I love some of the graphical effects in your demo.

Bock, what can I say. Where you drunk when you made that game? its very hard and very cool.

Paws was quite good considering the persong is the same age as me so I think that Furrtek will go along way in SMS development.

Thanks everyone for providing me with new hours of entertainment on my SMS.

Jacko
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:22 am
Heliophobe wrote
Incidentally, the voice in the intro says "SMS Power Activate". I used the Amiga's speech tool to generate the voice. I'm not sure why it doesn't sound very good, the sample itself should be clean enough.

The sample itself is not using much of the 8-bit range - I see a maximum of $a5 and a minimum of $5d - and by the time you've chopped off the low 4 bits, it's almost entirely using just volumes 7 and 8. It needs to be compressed and normalised to improve the sound quality.

It also switches between $7f and $80 a lot so you end up with a huge amount of noise in the quiet parts. Simply replacing the 7Fs with 80s would probably help a lot.
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:03 pm
I was very impressed with the entries, and honestly can't wait to see what people make next year (assuming we are doing this again, hope so!)

KunKun & KokoKun was amazingly well done, there's a lot of strategy in every move you make. Having smaller objects in the game was very clever allowing for huge playfields, though on a regular monitor the SMS blurry display obscures a lot of the detail (would look great thru RGB instead of composite/RF). What really makes this game great is the level design, many hours work must have gone into planning each stage. Bock, if you continue with this game, please add 252 more levels so I can stay addicted.

I also thought the idea of dedicated forward/backward jump buttons was brilliant. Once you get used to the controls, it plays a bit like Jerry Boy on the SNES.

Simply put, Nine Pixels was mindblowing. I ran it a zillion times in Meka with all the hardware info displayed trying to figure out what Heliophobe did in each part. Great design and music, and I'm guessing quite clever code. ;)

Aypok's Digger Chan seemed very promising and was fun to play. The gameplay mechanics are easy to understand from the start which is a plus. I'd really like to see it developed further, maybe with some animation/sound added.

Harold's PongMaster was cool, writing a game on the SMS in C is an achievement in itself. I think it needs a little more work (CPU controlled 2nd player would be good) but it was a good entry. I had some trouble running Mike's and Furrtek's software on my SMS so I can't really comment on those. It's hard to get all the little odds and ends right to make software run happily on The Real Thing.
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:56 pm
I'm holding off on commenting (and voting) until I've given every game a good going-over but Charles has summed it up pretty well. I wish I had any clue about poker so I could be nicer to MadMikeAU, and I wish I had a second player for Haroldoop's Pong just to do play it properly; maybe I'll try for some netplay in Kega. But I need more levels for KunKun & KokoKun, and less evil levels in Digger Chan :)
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:36 pm
Last edited by Heliophobe on Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:58 am; edited 1 time in total
Maxim wrote

The sample itself is not using much of the 8-bit range - I see a maximum of $a5 and a minimum of $5d - and by the time you've chopped off the low 4 bits, it's almost entirely using just volumes 7 and 8. It needs to be compressed and normalised to improve the sound quality.


True. Although now what I'm really confounded about is that it doesn't play at all on a real SMS, it just plays a tone for a couple of seconds. I know it worked at some point, although with a different sample. I don't remember changing the playback code since then. I was originally going to having it play a PWM sample so it would be louder but just didn't have the time to write a PWM converter.

MadMikeAU: That's a novel approach to software design. Although I just realized who you are (author of Mimic) so I can kind of see why it would appeal to you to try to program a rom that way. If you have access to a scanner, would you consider releasing scans of your state machine design alongside the code?


Like Maxim, I need to spend more time absorbing the entries before I can vote, but I'm please with the quality and quantity of entries. I'd like to give them all a real hardware test too, but unfortunately I don't know where my control pads are right now.


I did test the final build of my own demo, aside from the aforementioned sound problem, there's also some glitches when I change the background color midframe (looks like my cycle counter is off by a few cycles) and the screen sync turns off during the transition from the outline to the filled 9. There's also some screen corruption at the start of the scroller, but that's also on Emukon, though it's not in Meka. At least there are no crashing bugs.
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:19 pm
Heliophobe wrote
... If you have access to a scanner, would you consider releasing scans of your state machine design alongside the code?...


Not a problem, though it is basic enough to realise in ASCII. The more I think about it, I may just slap it all together in a tutorial-esque page.
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:28 pm
I enjoyed all entries but damn,
Bock, your games is perfect! only thing I missing is some music and maybe some sound effects :P.

Heliophobe: really nice stuff, nice nice effects!

Haroldoop: I liked this :P, though it reminded me about tennis a few times cause of the way the "ball" went sometimes. :S cant explain :P.
but great, and Maxim, Ill play this game with you on Kega! hehe :P

Digger Chan was also a great entry! and with some music it would be even better.

the other two was also good but I diddent understand the "DrawPoker" one...
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:53 pm
Heliophobe wrote
...and the screen sync turns off during the transition from the outline to the filled 9.

Do you happen to turn on the old TMS9918 modes here?
In SMSAdvance the background is corrupted for the first few seconds until it repaints all the tiles behind the 9.
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:30 pm
FluBBa wrote
Heliophobe wrote
...and the screen sync turns off during the transition from the outline to the filled 9.

Do you happen to turn on the old TMS9918 modes here?
In SMSAdvance the background is corrupted for the first few seconds until it repaints all the tiles behind the 9.



I don't deliberately switch modes, but the vdp register with the bit that turns the screen sync off also controls which video mode is enabled, so something tells me there's an unintended VDP register write in there somewhere. No emulator that I know of (well, perhaps MesaDX) does anything with the sync disable but, since nobody in their right mind would ever use it, so I guess SMSAdvance switches the display to TMS9918 mode until it is corrected by the next update to VDP register 0.
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:07 pm
Last edited by Heliophobe on Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
Here's an quick explanation of Draw Poker (both the card game and the SMS game) for those who don't know what to make of it. I'll assume everyone is at least familiar with what a deck of playing cards looks like.

You start out being dealt five cards. In the game, you press the '1' button once for each card.

When they've been dealt, you'll see five face up cards. This is your 'hand'. Here's an example hand:

3(c) 3(d) K(s) Q(s) J(h)

( 3(c) = three of clubs. the other suits are: d=diamonds, s = spades, h = hearts)

At this stage you want to look at your hand and see if you've got any of the combinations that are worth points. Here are all the combinations that are worth something in poker:

One pair - You've got two cards with the same number or royalty, such as two 5's or two Queens (this is not worth anything in Mike's game)

Two pair - You've got two pairs of cards that are the same, such as two 5's AND two queens

Three of a kind - You've got three of the same number or royalty, such as three Kings.

Straight - All five of your cards are consecutive numbers. The non numbered cards can be treated as numbers, where J = 11, Q = 12, K = 13, and A = 14*. It's still considered a straight if it wraps around from A to 2. So the following are straights: 7-8-9-10-J, Q-K-A-2-3.

Flush - All five cards are the same suit (diamonds, spades, clubs, or hearts)

Full House - You've one pair and one three of a kind in the same hand, like 3, 3, Q,Q,Q

Four of a kind - You can probably figure this out on your own by now

Straight Flush - You have a straight, as defined above, and all your cards are the same suit.

Royal Flush - The cards you have are 10,J,Q,K,A, and all the cards are the same suit (it's highly unlikely you will ever see this)

Note that the order that cards appear in your hand is not relevant. 3,5,4,7,6 is still considered a straight, Q,4,5,J,Q is still a pair, etc.



Here's the part where you choose which cards you want to get rid of. Looking at the hand, you see you have a pair, which isn't worth anything, but if you throw out the J,Q, and K you might get dealt another 3 for three of a kind, or another pair for two pair, or even a full house or a four of a kind if you are really lucky. However, there's also the makings of a straight if you throw out the threes and are dealt a 9 and a 10, or an A and a 2, or a 10 and an A. Your chances are higher, though, that you'll get a better hand if you hold onto the threes, so we'll say we want to discard the J, Q, and K and have them replaced by new cards.

Move the pad left and right over the cards and press button 2 to toggle whether the card is marked 'hold'. Cards marked 'hold' will be kept, the others will be discarded. To deal new cards, press the one button five times (this is the confusing part for me - I would think I'd press it once or press it once for each new card I wanted). This is your final hand. Whatever combination you got is your score - of course it's up to you to figure out what you got and keep score.

The rules are different when you play against others, but the combinations and concept of holding cards is the same. I won't go into it, of course, since it's not covered in the game.



Now if someone would explain mah jong and hanafuda so I could play all those porn games in MAME.....






(* A can mean 14 or 1, as there is no 1 card. Usually, aces are considered a 14, hence the term you may have heard, "Aces high")
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:39 pm
Heliophobe, I know I should be patient and wait for the source code to be released, but do you have any tips about how you implemented the bitmap zooming part? :)

I had found a game that does this too (Galaxy Force II on the Genesis) though their implementation is more confusing. I think the DMA in additional tilesets for more levels of detail on the bitmap as the zoom progresses so it doesn't look too chunky when fully zoomed up.
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:43 pm
My own thoughts on the entries:

Digger Chan - Very well done. All the game essentials are fully realized, which I think counts for a lot in a time limited contest. There is room for more polish, but the levels are complete, there is scoring, and even if the levels were semi-random they felt as if they were thoughtfully done. I haven't gotten through it but I imagine I could spend several hours beating it. The difficulty curve is a bit steep and I missed having sound, though.

Draw Poker - Yes, it's minimal, but considering how it was made (hand assembled?!) it's a notable achievement on its own. Now just think what you could do next time with an actual assembler!

KunKun & KokoKun - Awesome. A nice classic game feel with fluid, innovative controls. What impressed me was that, although it's essentially a puzzle game and all moves result in 8 pixel increments, which I understand greatly simplifies the play mechanics, the motion and animation is so fluid that it feels like a full platformer. Good level design, particularly in the expert level. Sadly, there's no sound (psgmod player problems?) and it's over too soon. I suppose there's nothing stopping anyone from generating new levels if they want.

Paws - Not a very complicated entry but I can tell that the programmer is beginning to wrap his head around the hardware and might very well produce good things in the future. And I did appreciate having music in an otherwise very quiet competition lineup. I echo his sentiments that it would be nice to work with others, particularly pixel artists.

Pong - Difficult to test because I am a loser with no friends and this lacks a 1 player mode, but I did play both sides for a bit. On occasion the ball physics change and it seems there is some sort of gravity, upwards or downwards, and I can't tell if it's a bug or if I found a 'special move', as there is no readme in the .zip. Of course, the major achievement here is it's the first homebrew rom on the system that I know of that was written in C. By this time next year there might well be a full featured SDK for the SMS, so it will be interesting to see how it affects future contests.


Thanks to everyone for their entry. And if your entry doesn't win, just remember that you did better than everyone who didn't enter!
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:23 pm
Charles MacDonald wrote
Heliophobe, I know I should be patient and wait for the source code to be released, but do you have any tips about how you implemented the bitmap zooming part? :)

I had found a game that does this too (Galaxy Force II on the Genesis) though their implementation is more confusing. I think the DMA in additional tilesets for more levels of detail on the bitmap as the zoom progresses so it doesn't look too chunky when fully zoomed up.


Sure. As you've probably noticed by looking at the tile viewer, all the action happens in the tile map and the tile patterns do not change at all. I create a virtual 64x48 4 color bitmap mode by loading every conceivable combination of four pixels (an 8x8 pixel tile subdivided into four 4x4 pixels) in the four different colors into the first 256 tiles (4x4x4=256). You can then turn any individual 'chunky' pixel on and off via the tile map. I use dual tile maps to double buffer so I'm writing the next frame into the tilemap at $3000 when $3800 is being displayed, and vice versa.

The zooming routine itself sets the VRAM pointer to the first and then outputs the tile map sequentially, calculating four pixel's worth at a time, never reading back from vram or adjusting the vram pointer.

I structured both the source bitmap, and the arrangement of the fat pixel tiles to allow the zooming routine to run as quickly as possible. The source bitmap is 256x64, one byte per pixel, even though that's more pixels in between than ever appear on the screen. Yeah, it takes up a whole bank of ROM, but it does make things faster as I can treat the high byte of the scaling accumulator (using my own terminology here) as the low byte of the offset into a particular column in the source bitmap. I also arranged the placements of the tile patterns to make merging four pixel's worth of data into one quicker than if you used the intuitive layout. More on that when the source code is released.

Of course I have to turn interrupts off during the zooming phase, as anything that affects the VDP ports would screw up the routine, and the zooming inner loop uses SP to hold a delta value added to the scaling accumulators for each pixel. Pressing pause during the zoom routine does indeed crash the demo.

I can go into detail about the zooming algorithm if you want, though I suspect you know all about how it's done. With this fake bitmap, you can do a number of things, though there are probably a limited number of effects you could pull off due to the sheer number of cycles it takes to completely update a tile map. Zooming is relatively easy as it only takes one read from ROM per subpixel on the screen and I can hold all the variables in registers. I was originally going to do a fire effect, but that requires several reads and math for each subpixel, it would have been way too slow. Lo-res full motion video would be easy as it's just data dumped from ROM straight into the tile map, though you'd probably want to institute some layer of compression on that. I was going to have a brief FMV section, but I couldn't work out a way to convert a source video stream into decent looking 64x48 4 color bitmaps in time.
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:56 pm
Say i'm half alseep here and hadn't had a chance to try the entries myself, but who ever made Draw Poker, if your'e going to end up continuing with it you should add 7 card stud too.

I'm pretty sure there's 5 card and 7 card stud in poker ain't there?
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Post Posted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:10 am
Chesso wrote
Say i'm half alseep here and hadn't had a chance to try the entries myself, but who ever made Draw Poker, if your'e going to end up continuing with it you should add 7 card stud too.

I'm pretty sure there's 5 card and 7 card stud in poker ain't there?


Why not, there is plent of room left on the 32k ROM. :)

Actually, in the last couple of days, I have been slapping myself for entering Draw Poker. I mean, if I was thinking, I could have so easily turned it into Blackjack with a basic scoring system and AI. That conversion could easily have been done during the 1 day extention. (sob) LMAO.
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Post Posted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:33 am
Ahh well, a future project idea or extension now perhaps heh heh.
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Post Posted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:56 pm
Well, here's my

Digger Chan - A pretty nice Mr. Diller clone. It would have been better if the blocks could fall and crush you, like in the original (although I imagine that would be very hard to implement), but it is still a fun game.

Draw Poker - Extra points for doing it with an hex editor! ;)

KunKun & KokoKun - A very fun game, it makes me remember classics like Lode Runner, King's Valley, Manic Miner, and others. Suggestion: how about making an level design contest for it?

Nine Pixels - Very cool graphical effects, nice music.

Paws - Pretty nice demo.

Pong Master - Well, you who played the game may have noticed that the ball behaves strangely sometimes; it's because I had tried to add a "spin" feature, meaning that whenever you hit the ball while the paddle was moving, the ball would spin, causing it to follow a curved trajectory, that could be used to confuse the opponent. Unfortunately, I could never get the physics for this to work correctly. :/
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