#msxdev Compo 2012

#msxdev Compo 2012

by wolf_ on 01-01-2012, 02:20
Topic: Challenges

The yearly MSXdev contests have their roots firmly positioned in MSX1 soil. While popular (especially in the years 2005 and 2006), there have always been people who want more creative freedom. Later on, the PassionMSX2 contests offered more freedom by aiming at MSX2, but these contests somehow never really blossomed.

Sooner or later, someone would've come up with a new contest. Coincidentally, 2012 marks the tenth year of the #msxdev chat channel and 15 years of MSX Banzai, which makes it a special opportunity to launch a brand new contest for all of us to join: the #msxdev Compo 2012. So, what are the specifications? The answer to that is rather easy: anything goes. MSX1, MSX2, turbo R, Graphics9000, games, utilities, any MSX model and expansion. Just think of something nice for MSX, and make it.

Is it fair to have an MSX1 entry compete with a fully blown turbo R game while also using a Graphics9000 and Moonsound? Well, practically speaking, all our MSX hardware is old, with only mere years between all these generations, and that's decades ago by now. Also, programming a game simply takes its time, but it would take a designer as much time to draw for screen 2 compared to screen 5. The bottleneck probably wouldn't be on media, and that's a strong argument to state that development doesn't differ much between all MSX generations.
In the other corner are people who state that some form of limitation is usually the primary drive to get somewhere, to prove the impossible and to have a level playing field with competitors.

So, it's a daring and interesting experiment for sure. Will it be successful? Everyone who couldn't join the previous MSXdev contests because the requirements have been too tough, may have a chance in this new #msxdev contest - in a way there are now two contests with the same name! Without doubt, more details will be revealed later, but for now everything important can be read in the rules section on MSX Banzai.

Relevant link: MSX Banzai - compo

Comments (10)

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

01-01-2012, 16:12

Some corrections:
As the announcement on MSX Banzai! clearly states, the anniversary of #msxdev merely coincides with the launch of the competition. It is a COINCIDENCE, not the reason. Furthermore, the anniversary of MSX Banzai! has nothing to do with the competition whatsoever.

About the name, I complained to Karoshi Corp in 2003 when they started the MSXdev'xx competition because it could create confusion with #msxdev, so... We try to avoid confusion by calling it #msxdev Compo 2012 and not #msxdev'12.

Anyway, there's already been quite some interest and we're expecting the first registrations soon! Smile

By Latok

msx guru (3908)

Latok's picture

01-01-2012, 16:25

Thanks for the additional info, GuyveR800 Smile

By Manuel

Ascended (19204)

Manuel's picture

01-01-2012, 16:29

Looking forward to see these registrations!

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10076)

wolf_'s picture

01-01-2012, 16:48

G800: made somewhat of a tweak there, I think it's ok now.. no?

Know that the original text was from last night, after way too many bits o' cheese, sausage, oil balls, chips, and hilarious anecdotes from my uncle who was in the immigrant shelter business for more than a decade.. Tongue

By Lord_Zett

Paladin (807)

Lord_Zett's picture

01-01-2012, 18:09

i Know this from the channel. I really like this. finaly no rom files.!

So what do i gona make?


Enlighted (6912)

ARTRAG's picture

01-01-2012, 19:56

Great news! My best wishes!!
This compo could give new life to the msx scene needs (I hope ;-)

By Huey

Prophet (2693)

Huey's picture

02-01-2012, 11:08

I hope to see some great new software.

I expect the MSXdev complainers to enter for sure! Wink

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

07-01-2012, 19:48

@G800 (or whoever's reading and/or part of the organisation)

So, I've read the rules a bit and I've seen some regulations that are a bit arbitrary or contradictory, so I'll drop 'm here for discussion..


  • Registration closes November 30th. All participants must submit a working development snapshot at this time or cancel their participation.

Going down memory lane: we (Infinite) submitted RNFF during the last seconds of MSXdev'06, and only because we spent the last 3 or 5 days creating it after our initial plans couldn't be finished anymore. That's how things go.. large projects may fail, but for sake of fun one could still create a game within a week. Also, for MSXdev'xx challenges there's usually some unannounced game that gets released during the last day/evening. Personally I see no harm in leaving out this registration deadline. Nothing wrong with that sudden surprise when you find another entry in your mailbox at T minus 2 minutes.. no? Smile


  • Software will be published for free download on the competition website no sooner than when the competition closes in the first week of January.

Ok. As a side note: does this mean that entries are always 'freeware' (and could be included as such in any freeware database)?

  • Software is not allowed to be publicly downloadable during the competition.


  • Software may be released on physical cartridge, diskette or cassette at any time during the competition, but this must be the same version that enters the competition.

Huh? So, so it can be released on a medium during the contest year? How is that different from 'making it available for download'? I mean, yeah, formally only those who buy it will have it, but let's face it: we all know how this scene works. Does the name Kralizec ring a bell? Once it's out, in whatever form, you can't control its public availability any more, rendering a rule to forbid releasing it to the public prior to the deadline pointless.
Added to that, releasing on a medium would mean that it's allowed to sell it.. right? Carts, disks and tapes (and boxes/booklets) aren't free either, so one way or another: currency flow is involved..

  • Selling improved or extended versions after the competition is strongly discouraged. The competition is not an advertising platform!

'Discouraged' is no hard science, so why make a rule out of it? Why would it be wrong to iron out a few bugs, or heck, even improve a few sprites?
So, if it's allowed to sell (see previous point) the original entry during the contest period, why would it be discouraged to sell an improved version after the contest period? What's there to gain with such a rule?

Also, 'The competition is not an advertising platform!', not really sure about that statement either. Don't you think that any MSX activity such as a contest actually *is* MSX promotion? I do use the term 'promotion' here rather than advertisement. Who loses if someone creates a game for a contest and later on sells it on a cartridge? I would say that everyone wins when someone creates something for a contest, and selling it on a cartridge afterwards is the ultimate cherry on the cake. I mean, each Nijmegen fair I see Bitwise with MSXdev'xx entries on cartridge.. that's cool, no?


  • Each participant judges the other participants' entries. Tactical voting is not allowed.

That's quite arbitrary. I know the idea of tactical voting, I've seen it often enough in the PC demo scene where groups got disks containing voting sheets. And yes, people who compete with some entry give their votes to the lamest entry in that competition. I know the principle. However: it's still arbitrary. For sake of argument: imagine there are 3 entries.

  1. A very good looking and sounding Japanese RPG with lots 'n lots of texts - think Sword of Legend Lenam, so you really need to be able to read Japanese to get anywhere, you can't really finish the game by chance.
  2. An English clone of Columns
  3. An English tracker for FMPAC+PSG

Now, these 3 groups should give each other points? Technically, the RPG has the potential to win on all aspects. Are groups 2 and 3 expected to give their top points to the RPG? Chances are, if I were to be entry 3, that I'd give the top points to Columns, and chances are that the group who made Columns would give their top points to the tracker. Who looses? Yes, the RPG that would actually be the best entry on all aspects. And that's just taking language into account. What if someone simply prefers puzzle games over RPGs? These are all aspects that make a rule like this tricky business. Personally, I would go with one of these three options: (and I've ordered them based on my own preference)

  1. an unbiased third party jury
  2. third party voting by a crowd (e.g. a poll at some public place)
  3. voting by competitors without this tactical voting rule, as it's arbitrary and prone to arguing
  • Requirements must be taken into account; eg. great use of weak hardware should be more appreciated than poor use of powerful hardware.

Arbitrary rule again. I do understand the intention of such a rule however, but which game is better? Shalom or Columns? Maybe I should mention a more consistent comparison instead. Which game is technically better? Malaika or Manbow 2? It's the word 'should' in the rule that's (from my p.o.v.) open to debate between competitors (who are supposed to cast their votes). Once again I think a third party jury (with enough experience and knowledge on every aspect of game/utility development) would be the best option.

  • Additional voting will take place on the public #msxdev IRC channel.

Will the chat log be made public? At least parts of the jury log in the other MSXdev contest are made public (quotes on sound, gfx, code, gameplay).

So, there! :-)

Note that these are just general ideas about the contest, I've no plans to compete in anything myself so far, so it's not like I"m trying to adjust things to my liking.. Smile I rather think these points are all quite generic and relevant to all contestants.


By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10076)

wolf_'s picture

07-01-2012, 19:35

Oh brother.. the height of posts like these in this new interface.. ^^;

By mars2000you

Enlighted (6395)

mars2000you's picture

07-01-2012, 20:19

Oh brother.. the height of posts like these in this new interface.. ^^;

Suggest to Jorito to use only one sidebar, not two ! Wink