MSXdev22 Results

MSXdev22 Results

by MSXdev Team on 11-11-2022, 20:22
Topic: Challenges
Tags: msxdev22, MSXdev
Languages:

The MSXdev22 game compo, that started at the beginning of this year, has come to a conclusion! With 32 new MSX games in this year's free-style edition, the match proves to still be a popular event. The jury panel has scored and ranked all entries, so their verdict is now to be revealed.

Running from January 1st until the end of October, MSX game developers had a chance to conceive, register, and compete with their creations in the annual MSXdev game competition. This year the compo took a radical detour from its original concept and allowed all MSX related hardware to be used. It was dubbed the "free-style" edition. This offered developers the opportunity to put certain hardware in the spotlight. It resulted in a wide array of MSX games variations, from classic MSX1 to MSX-extraordinaire entries. An interesting edition, for sure.

So, here's a top-10 summary of the overall best-game ranking:

  1. Lilly's Saga - The Stones of Evergreen by Fabulous 8bit (572/600)
  2. Sales Discontinued by NOP (522/600)
  3. DICED - Tournament by Mi-Chi & Def Danny (475/600)
  4. Bufonada by Roolandoo (466/600)
  5. My Sacred Place by Mario Cavalcanti (465/600)
  6. Sacred Valley by Visualedu & Bitcaffe (456/600)
  7. Shadow Of The Pig by thegeps (455/600)
  8. 1937 by joesg (421/600)
  9. Robo Rumble by RoboSoft Inc. (420/600)
  10. The Circus Mystery by DTenso Games (419/600)

Wow, that's an impressive list of excellent games, with a clear winner! The jury made no mistake about Lilly's Saga being the true heroine of this dev edition. You can read all about the decision process in the results report posted on the MSXdev website.

With that, congratulations to all participants and in particular to Fabulous 8bit for winning this contest. Outstanding job. As prizes, the compo has 1660 euros from donations, and 17 sponsored items to give away. Wow!

We are grateful for all the new MSX games that the compo delivered, but let's not forget about all those kind donators, and naturally The File Hunter for being a steady and sturdy host to all the games goodness. From MSX users to MSX users, in good MSX scene fashion. Nothing but awesome! Until next year at MSXdev23, then?

relevant link: MSXdev22 results

Comments (74)

By Uninteresting

Champion (339)

Uninteresting's picture

11-11-2022, 20:29

:trumpets and horns blaring:

Congratulations to the winners!

By roolandoo

Resident (50)

roolandoo's picture

11-11-2022, 20:41

.

By SjaaQ

Champion (365)

SjaaQ's picture

11-11-2022, 20:44

Again, congrats Fabulous 8bit with your 1st place!

By mi-chi

Scribe (37)

mi-chi's picture

11-11-2022, 20:49

Congratulations to the winners. And a big thank you to the MSXDEV organization team, there's a lot of work to be done in the background to make such a competition possible! Another year with an impressive line-up that keep our beloved system alive and vivid!

By Pineapple

Resident (39)

Pineapple's picture

11-11-2022, 20:49

Sorry to be negative, but after reading the judges comment for all the entries, I think I speak for a majority of those who entered when I say that Toni did a poor job of judging the graphics category, was overly negative towards most entries, left "cut and paste" comments and was insulting by comparing many game's graphics to those of the lowly ZX Spectrum.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10035)

wolf_'s picture

11-11-2022, 20:56

Weeeeee! Cool

In true Academy Award fashion: I'm going to thank my two cats for moral support and totally not walking on my keyboard while using MB. Also I need to shout out to openMSX for having FM sounding the way it should. In addition I need to laud 'Chateau' for making great chocolates! Most importantly: I need to tickle Ro a bit for pushing me towards Pally, in the thread where he requested a composer. I hadn't planned on doing anything at all - for the past few years I've been coding mostly - and I hadn't touched this silly FM-PAC for like a quarter of a century. Ahwell, it's like cycling; you never lose the touch, I guess.
Last but not least, no game would've been there without gfx, code and a tight scheme to stick to, and Pal is much like an office clerk regarding all that. Many years ago I kind of mentioned managing game development here and there, often it's something that's lacking in many teams, leading to dead and forgotten projects. If there's one example where this tight management style works it's Pal. Steady course, no feature creep, no risks, a little deadline nagging now and then, ample design documents, and then there is a game!

People make ideas, but project management makes games. If I recall correctly it's even a box you can tick in the MRC profile.

Finally, perhaps this is a nice opportunity to point out 9-channel music for FM-PAC. For decades we were all like 'drums, drums, drums', especially with Micro Cabin making those FM/PSG hybrids, and to match with the Music Module having drums during the MB-Stereo years. Well, do your thing without drums and you suddenly gain three channels, and then whole new things are possible. New instrument combinations 'n such, that's the lesson to learn from Lilly.

Well, it's been fun, might make orchestral versions of the tunes at some point. Ciao. Hannibal

By Bengalack

Hero (660)

Bengalack's picture

11-11-2022, 21:32

Woohooo. Thank you all. Tremendous news. Awesome to be on top with the league we have here this year.

And for the music - seems like a truly lucky shot that Wolf came aboard. Not sure what level of quality I imagined, when I first started thinking of music for the game - but the result is way better than whatever I was imagining. Shoutout to Wolf for a good creative process and a fantastic result.

Also, as mi-chi mentions: The organizers!!! Thank you for all this work. Pulling this off, doesn't come for free, so thank you for all the work. And also - very professional and high level on the whole "production". Awesome work! Thank you!

Now I need a break -- that's actually a requirement from my wife now - someone has HAD a tremendous patience for 2.5 years... Smile

By Uninteresting

Champion (339)

Uninteresting's picture

11-11-2022, 21:44

@wolf_ You mention project management. I'd be very interested in hearing how to do that when the project becomes a distant third after day job and family. And I am not being snarky, but I honestly want to hear how to make this work.

I haven't worked with others previously because then I won't have to worry about others not sticking to their deadlines and having to prod them along, and me sticking to mine when I'm dead tired after work.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10035)

wolf_'s picture

11-11-2022, 22:19

@Uninteresting:

Well, it's actually like what I wrote. Pal has been managing games for decades, so he's used to create technical documents on game design, overviews who should do what etc. There was already a list of levels, music, sound effects 'n such, a list of enemies and their behavior when I boarded the ship.
So, design your game on paper and stick to it. Admittedly, this rules out happy accidents that would result in spontaneous ideas and additions. Most of these 'happy accidents' however tend to be the cause of project failure. So, make a design, a choice, and then stick to it. Be firm, because everyone always wants more features. Stick to it and you'll hear Hannibal loving it when a plan comes together! Hannibal

Either way: at some point we'll present a kind of 'making-of', should be an interesting read!

But let's not hijack this thread about these things... there're other games to talk about as well here.

By valkyre

Hero (619)

valkyre's picture

11-11-2022, 23:10

Fantastic comp, many great entries. well done everyone

By DTensoMSX

Rookie (20)

DTensoMSX's picture

11-11-2022, 23:22

Congratulations to the winners! Smile

By roolandoo

Resident (50)

roolandoo's picture

11-11-2022, 23:29

Pineapple wrote:

Sorry to be negative, but after reading the judges comment for all the entries, I think I speak for a majority of those who entered when I say that Toni did a poor job of judging the graphics category, was overly negative towards most entries, left "cut and paste" comments and was insulting by comparing many game's graphics to those of the lowly ZX Spectrum.

Indeed, our friend Tony Galvez has managed to make many of the participants (including myself) feel offended by his words and scores.
Maybe not all of us can be great graphic artists like him, but I assure you that we work hard in each of our projects. Perhaps a little more respect for the effort would not be bad or even better: a correct selection of the graphic jury.

Greetings.

By shalafi

Expert (111)

shalafi's picture

12-11-2022, 00:00

I concur with @pineapple and @roolandoo while I might agree with the score (talking about my own game exclusively), the wording was harsh and demotivating instead of being feedback for improvement.
The same message could have been said in a better way. Forms matter.

And just for the record, MSX-1 does not support multi-color hardware sprites. My game uses 4 sprites in the same line, of 3 different colors to make a 32x32+ pixels playable character that moves smoothly. That is at the top of the MSX-1 hardware capabilities.

By thegeps

Paragon (1125)

thegeps's picture

12-11-2022, 01:18

I knew that Lilly's Saga would win. I adore this game! Congrats!
AlsoI'm happy avout my rank Smile

By black hawk

Expert (124)

black hawk's picture

12-11-2022, 01:23

Many thanks to all participants in this competition. You all did a great job. Of course there may be one or the other who is not satisfied with the rating. Nevertheless, I personally find the result understandable. Many thanks also to all sponsors. This competition was a milestone. Smile

By santiontanon

Paragon (1698)

santiontanon's picture

12-11-2022, 05:01

Congrats to the winners!!! Some amazing titles this year, and I am sure comparing all these titles for MSX2 vs MSX1 was no easy task!! Lots of hours of entertainment ahead of me, as I have only completed 1 of the games in the top 10 so far haha Smile

By tfh

Prophet (3258)

tfh's picture

12-11-2022, 08:32

A great big Thank You to the organisers & the contestants. It was a great ride again this year and with some new MSX gems released. Games that would have been deemed close to impossible at the end of the 80's, early 90's.
Looking forward to MSXDev'23!

By msd

Paragon (1508)

msd's picture

12-11-2022, 09:14

Congrats to the winner and to NOP for pushing the boundaries. Really enjoyed that game and its atmosphere

By AxelStone

Prophet (3177)

AxelStone's picture

12-11-2022, 10:53

roolandoo wrote:

Indeed, our friend Tony Galvez has managed to make many of the participants (including myself) feel offended by his words and scores.
Maybe not all of us can be great graphic artists like him, but I assure you that we work hard in each of our projects. Perhaps a little more respect for the effort would not be bad or even better: a correct selection of the graphic jury.

Greetings.

I totally agree with you, the graphic scores are excessively low. I love the graphics and atmosphere that you created in Bufonada, it is simply perfect. I don't understand notes like RoboRumble's either. The visuals are very nice, movement really smooth...deserves a better grade.

In general the grpahics scores were too low.

By Uninteresting

Champion (339)

Uninteresting's picture

12-11-2022, 11:00

I won't start defending my entry's graphics or choices, since I can read the judge's report in a way that I can agree with.

@Micha If you read this -- you mentioned finding some bugs in Mix? If you could give the list to me, I'd try fixing those (or at least checking if they're features Wink ) If you have a github account, you can leave them at the game's github page.

By Uninteresting

Champion (339)

Uninteresting's picture

12-11-2022, 12:21

@AxelStone: Re: Robo Rumble's graphics. When I first saw the MSX version, I remember being disappointed in the background tile graphics not using more colours than a ZX Spectrum game could. On one hand, there's the possibility of trying to improve on the old, and on the other, staying true to the original. Upgraded graphics/style don't always do well (Jet Set Willy on Amiga, Rainbow Islands: Towering Adventure on Wii, Gods Remastered on PC), so that's not an automatic "win".

I'm still happy that I can play a true-to-original Robo Rumble on MSX, but I also see that there was room for improvement with the graphics if they had been remade (unless I'm missing a specific art style the game was aiming for). Then again, the C64 port of Robo Rumble also has the same graphics, so maybe I just don't know the "cross-platform porting" rules, written or unwritten.

I'm not talking on the behalf of the judges or organizers (because I am not one of them and I haven't talked with them), but in relation to scoring, this is a contest and a big display window for the MSX scene facing outwards, not a mutual pat-ourselves-on-the-back event (which doesn't mean a few more less blunt words wouldn't have been appreciated). I haven't followed game compos on other platforms, so I'm curious how different the harshness of the scoring is compared to theirs?

By shalafi

Expert (111)

shalafi's picture

12-11-2022, 14:20

My issue, as I say before, is not the score but the wording.

Instead of: this game has poor graphics/poor use of colour
You can say: the game could have benefit from more detailed/colorful graphics

One is demotivating, the other one is giving constructive feedback.

Which is what the contents of the other 2 judges do. So it is an even bigger contrast.

By shalafi

Expert (111)

shalafi's picture

12-11-2022, 16:47

@uninteresting I'd say the previous 2 years were a lot less harsh.

Also, when I judged the MSX BASIC contest earlier this year I put a lot of effort on giving constructive feedback. I don't know if I succeeded, that's up to the participants to decide.

On 2020, I recall my game being second to last, reading the report and just nodding. It also motivated me to do something better the next year.

This time, I'm not motivated.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10035)

wolf_'s picture

12-11-2022, 17:11

@shalafi
One thing you can do (next time) is not waiting for the jury's comments to know what to learn for the next time, but showing some of the gfx here in the forum, and ask for criticism, all while you're still making your entry.

By Pineapple

Resident (39)

Pineapple's picture

12-11-2022, 17:12

I think I was annoyed most by how the scoring was based more on use of screen2 or higher, than anything else. It takes more skill to get good results in screen1 than it does in screen2 in my experience.

But anyway, it was a good competition and seems to get bigger every year, which is always a plus.

By Latok

msx guru (3886)

Latok's picture

12-11-2022, 17:23

msd wrote:

Congrats to the winner and to NOP for pushing the boundaries. Really enjoyed that game and its atmosphere

This!

By AnsiStar

Expert (127)

AnsiStar's picture

12-11-2022, 21:03

My regards to all! I hope some cartridges will be made in the near future!!
Thank you all!!! Wink

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3596)

sd_snatcher's picture

13-11-2022, 02:51

Thank you so much for the organizers and everyone who participated. And a huge congratulation for the winners!

I couldn't describe how happy I am that MSXdev finally gave us some new MSX2 games to play too. Big smile

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3596)

sd_snatcher's picture

13-11-2022, 05:21

BTW, what about the results of the MSX Levels and Editor Contest? It has been 1 year already since it has been finished...

By tonigalvez

Champion (311)

tonigalvez's picture

13-11-2022, 08:58

A big thank you for your kind words, sorry if I annoy somebody with my comments, no offence intended. Maybe my words where not the best, but the ones I had at that moment.

Sorry to Roolandoo and some other that feel bad about my graphics comments.

By ToriHino

Paladin (807)

ToriHino's picture

13-11-2022, 09:36

No problem Toni, I'm very happy you guys put all the time and effort in this, since it is a huge amount of work. Although most of the graphics in my games were intentional like that, I can also understand your criticism and just will take it along as a learning for the next projects Smile . Also big congratulations to the winners, this year the quality of a number of games was execptionally high.

By Apolonius

Resident (47)

Apolonius's picture

13-11-2022, 11:04

@ToriHino you are very polited. Your game Shadow Switcher is a very good port of a C64 game, with the same graphic style and very good music. The game play is fine, and the score of 15/100 on the "overall" part is simply an insult, even more if read the description of the other two judges.
With Randoom is even worse, his vote is 20/100 because there is no jailbars in the "jail" box, and have another music different to the original C64 game, it doesn't matter if are very good pieces, only matter if is different... the rest os the aspects of the game doesn't matter too.
And same for the Robo Rumble, poor colour... ok, it's an opinion and for that you vote 45/100 overall?, have you evaluated the other aspects of the game?... have you play these games?, really?...

"It looks ok for the developer to start, but got to learn to improve the graphics
and make good use of MSX possibilities" these words have been used for these three games (and some more), I think that the developers needs more respect when you go to judge a work with so many hours of work behind...

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10035)

wolf_'s picture

13-11-2022, 12:14

This is a somewhat peculiar situation, let me explain.

I've been music jury for 'dev two times if I recall correctly. So, yesterday I read back those jury reports again. And unless a game had a mere beep, I usually had something to write and/or to explain. See here and here. Now, I'm a writer; both by education and by profession. And usually you merely need to insert coin and you'll get a boatload o' words from me in return. And other jury members are also crafty with the pen, e.g. John knows how to cook a paragraph.

But is it fair to expect this from every possible jury member? Is it fair to expect every jury member to also be kind of a tutor, able to explain how abstract creative processes can be performed better? Even if you'd want both to be 'yes', you can't expect this from everyone. Heck, at highschool I had teachers who couldn't explain jack shit even if their lives would depend on it. I know, and I think everyone knows, that Toni is a really good designer, I've seen quite a few 'hot dang!' images from him. But perhaps he's not really a writer and/or a tutor. I would say this is at best unfortunate when people actually expect texts and tips. The ranking he makes is probably accurate (haven't checked it all tbh), and as a contest is about ranking, this is all he basically needs to do.

So, here's a question for all current and future contestants: do you want to read lots of texts in jury reports? Would the availability of extensive texts (where appropriate) have to be the norm? If the answer is 'yes', then there might be choices to make.

  • Unaltered jury reports, might have copypaste oneliners, might not be extensive
  • Altered (by the organizers) jury reports as to feature more texts, with the risk that new words and lines are added that don't really match the findings of the jury member
  • Only invite jury members who are capable of writing a fair amount of text, and then you run the risk of missing out on experts who may be crafty with the mouse but less crafty with the pen
  • No individual jury texts published anymore (just their rankings), the organizers should merge/glue all jury text contributions into one big final text

By roolandoo

Resident (50)

roolandoo's picture

13-11-2022, 12:09

I want to say that this controversy over the lousy work of the "graphics jury" should not obscure the true meaning of this contest: "Lilly's Saga" is a huge game and a fair winner.

Congratulations Fabulous 8bit!!

By tfh

Prophet (3258)

tfh's picture

13-11-2022, 12:18

wolf_ wrote:

This is a somewhat peculiar situation, let me explain.

I've been music jury for 'dev two times if I recall correctly. So, yesterday I read back those jury reports again. And unless a game had a mere beep, I usually had something to write and/or to explain. See here and here. Now, I'm a writer; both by education and by profession. And usually you merely need to insert coin and you'll get a boatload o' words from me in return. And other jury members are also crafty with the pen, e.g. John knows how to cook a paragraph.

But is it fair to expect this from every possible jury member? Is it fair to expect every jury member to also be kind of a tutor, able to explain how abstract creative processes can be performed better? Even if you'd want both to be 'yes', you can't expect this from everyone. Heck, at highschool I had teachers who couldn't explain jack shit even if their lives would depend on it. I know, and I think everyone knows, that Toni is a really good designer, I've seen quite a few 'hot dang!' images from him. But perhaps he's not really a writer and/or a tutor. I would say this is at best unfortunate when people actually expect texts and tips. The ranking he makes is probably accurate (haven't checked it all tbh), and as a contest is about ranking, this is all he basically needs to do.

So, here's a question for all current and future contestants: do you want to read lots of texts in jury reports? Would the availability of extensive texts (where appropriate) have to be the norm? If the answer is 'yes', then there might be choices to make.

  • Unaltered jury reports, might have copypaste oneliners, might not be extensive
  • Altered (by the organizers) jury reports as to feature more texts, with the risk that new words and lines are added that don't really match the findings of the jury member
  • Only invite jury members who are capable of writing a fair amount of text, and then you run the risk of missing out on experts who may be crafty with the mouse but less crafty with the pen
  • No individual jury texts published anymore (just their rankings), the organizers should merge/glue all jury text contributions into one big final text

A very big thumbs up on this...
And in the end, especially in this community, you won't be able to please everyone. There will allways be discussion.

Anyway, let's keep our focus on the result of this years MSXDev: We've got some great new games to play on our MSX machines!

By shalafi

Expert (111)

shalafi's picture

13-11-2022, 12:28

@_wolf I see your point and I think it's a middle ground.

There's no need for long text or tutorship, although it's definitely welcome. But there's a big gap between that and using demotivating and diminishing language.

When someone opts in to be a jury, they should be aware of the impact of their words. This is not a review on Steam, not even a review itself, it's a jury. It is on a different level of authority and responsibility. Understanding the impact of your words should be a requirement for a jury member.

Anyway, congrats to the winners, well deserved and impressive work in all aspects, truly masterpieces.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10035)

wolf_'s picture

13-11-2022, 12:40

shalafi wrote:

When someone opts in to be a jury, they should be aware of the impact of their words. (..) Understanding the impact of your words should be a requirement for a jury member.

That would equal my third bullet point, right?

By mzoran

Master (152)

mzoran's picture

13-11-2022, 13:04

Congratulations to participants and organizers. I my humble opinion top 3 places are well deserved. I wonder what will next year's edition bring since top two games were a multi year efforts. Any other gems like that in development?
Regarding scoring one can see a different level of effort from judges. My main concern is that graphics scores feel rushed, as if based on a screenshot, quickly copy pasted, very little specifics. MSX BASIC compo had a very good end report with a Youtube live delivery and comments of each entry and scores. That way authors feel that their game was given proper consideration. Something to consider for next year.

Now only to free up some time to dig into the games!
Smile

By shalafi

Expert (111)

shalafi's picture

13-11-2022, 13:12

wolf_ wrote:

That would equal my third bullet point, right?

It is similar but slightly different. I was not talking about the amount of text at all, just about an acknowledgement of the impact and responsibility.

By Apolonius

Resident (47)

Apolonius's picture

13-11-2022, 14:40

@wolf_ If you can judge a job with a lot of hours behind, at least take 3-4 minutes to give an explanation of your judgment, copy/paste a simple sentence is not doing your job well.
Btw, it's my opinion and after all I think that Lilly's Saga is the best game this year so, congratulations!

By theNestruo

Champion (387)

theNestruo's picture

14-11-2022, 09:04

Honestly, we cannot fall into the trap of avoiding criticism just to be polite. Everybody seems to be avoiding the elephant in the room, and I know I will get angry answers for pointing this, but Toni has made a losuy job as MSXDev judge.

Besides most of his comments being harsh and offensive -which is already a red flag-, they are useless to understand what has been judged and how he has determined the score for each game. I fail to comprehend how "a good example of how to use the MSX1 graphics capabilities" gets a 70/100 and falls to 5th position. Are we really accepting that it is correct to say that Diced graphics are on level with Bounce Mania? Are both really below Shadow of the Pig!? I just can assume he has judged quantity and not quality: the more colors, the better; the higher screen number, animation frames, number of sprites, number of scroll planes... There has been no consideration of the art style and how it suits the game. For example: Bufonada and Randoom may have "limited" graphics, but they look intentionally limited to me to serve a particular art style.

I think I'm not the only one that finds some of the scores are simply unjustifiable.

Developers deserves respect for their efforts, congratulations for their achievements, and proper and constructive criticism for their mistakes. General praise leads to mediocrity. Inappropriate criticism is annoying and demotivating. And lack of criticism prevents developers from learning from their mistakes and improving.

By ray2day

Paladin (704)

ray2day's picture

14-11-2022, 17:29

Congrats to all participants and ofcourse to the winners!
...and most of all to ourselves, because our scene is 32 great MSX games richer! Big smile

By M-A-D-M-A-X

Expert (123)

M-A-D-M-A-X's picture

14-11-2022, 19:07

Congrats to all participants Cool

By turbor

Champion (507)

turbor's picture

14-11-2022, 22:29

Congratulations to the winners, and my compliments to all participants and the organization.
The 32 new games provide a lot of content to the MSX scene and hours of gameplay (especially with the not-so-arcade-like games Wink )

As for the unfortunate incident with the style of one of the judges... Sometimes these things happens and we simply have to take lessons from it for the future. Maybe some simple guidelines for the next judges can be distilled and if needed some hand-holding can be performed by the other judges next time. Let's not forget that agreeing to be a judge for a contest that has an unknown number of participants at the start can be an underestimated strain on ones time. (For instance, I don't think we could expect all 3 judges to finish Sales Discontinued before passing a verdict. Smile )

Also I would like to say thank you to the organization for the high quality PDF as final report of the contest. Taking time to produce such document shows your dedication to produce a smoothly run and highly polished competition.

And finally I think we as community also have to say thank you to tfh for the change to play these gems online. I'm sure most first glances at the entries were made highly convenient through his hosting efforts.

By aoineko

Paladin (706)

aoineko's picture

15-11-2022, 01:56

In the end, I feel like everyone agrees:
- There were plenty of great games again this year for our beloved MSX.
- The winner absolutely deserved it.
- The jury's feedback on the graphics could be better next year.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to know if next year's contest will still be open to all MSX generations and all their devices.

Personally, I would love to have 2 distinct categories (and therefore 2 rankings):
- Original (MSX1, 16KB RAM, no mandatory devices)
- Free For All (any MSX/devices)

Limiting the game to MSX1 is the way to make sure that 100% of MSX fans can play it on their machine. Moreover, it allows the competitors to compete on equal terms. Smile

But on the other hand, I think it's great to have games on MSX2, on turbo R, or even on V9990. So, banning these games like in the previous years would be a shame.

The double rating would allow to have the best of both worlds I think.

By tfh

Prophet (3258)

tfh's picture

15-11-2022, 08:55

turbor wrote:

And finally I think we as community also have to say thank you to tfh for the change to play these gems online. I'm sure most first glances at the entries were made highly convenient through his hosting efforts.

Thanks! I'm just glad to be of service ;-) And looking at the number of people acutally trying these games online show that there is plenty of interest.

aoineko wrote:

Anyway, I'm looking forward to know if next year's contest will still be open to all MSX generations and all their devices.

Personally, I would love to have 2 distinct categories (and therefore 2 rankings):
- Original (MSX1, 16KB RAM, no mandatory devices)
- Free For All (any MSX/devices)

Limiting the game to MSX1 is the way to make sure that 100% of MSX fans can play it on their machine. Moreover, it allows the competitors to compete on equal terms. Smile

But on the other hand, I think it's great to have games on MSX2, on turbo R, or even on V9990. So, banning these games like in the previous years would be a shame.

The double rating would allow to have the best of both worlds I think.

But you'd probably end up with one category with 29 entries and one with 3 (or something similar).
I'd prefer an alternating MSX1/free style every other year.

By aoineko

Paladin (706)

aoineko's picture

15-11-2022, 09:04

This is the first year that the contest is open to MSX2, 2+, turbo R or V9990 games, it is normal that there are few entries. Moreover, these are often games that take more time to develop.

I'm pretty sure that if we make 2 categories, the gap between the number of MSX1 games and the others would eventually get smaller over the years. There will probably always be more MSX1 games, but I don't think it's a big deal that the 2 categories don't necessarily have the same number of entries.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10035)

wolf_'s picture

15-11-2022, 10:01

aoineko wrote:

Moreover, these are often games that take more time to develop.

This continues to be a tenacious misunderstanding. Not the system but the game itself tells you how much time it takes to make. Yes, an RPG will take more time to make than a pac man, and often people tend to link an RPG to MSX2 and a pac man to MSX1. Now I wonder: which of these likely took most of the development time (when reduced to an equal amount of full-time developers)? Konami's Shalom, or ANMA's Nosh?

If people choose to make a big game, it's because they want to make a big game. In which case using an MSX2 (or higher) is faster than an MSX1. More RAM, easier to do graphics. And if they fail, it's because the game itself was too big to handle (experience and time play a role here), not because the system itself was too big.

By aoineko

Paladin (706)

aoineko's picture

15-11-2022, 13:56

I kind of agree, but at the same time, if you want to make a simple game, why do it on MSX2 and miss the universality of MSX1? I have the impression that we tend to use more powerful hardware to make more ambitious games. This is obviously not an absolute rule.

Anyway, I know of some MSX2 projects that are in progress that couldn't be released last year. The Free style category is very new and there is necessarily some inertia among the developers.

If MSXdev remains open for all MSX generations, I think the number of MSX2/2+/tR/V9990 games will increase over time.
Maybe not as many as MSX1 games, but enough to have two distinct categories.

I think that the reasons why MSXdev was only open to MSX1 games before made sense. And on the other hand, I think it's a shame not to welcome all MSX games in this contest. So I'm looking for a formula that allows to have the best of both worlds.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10035)

wolf_'s picture

15-11-2022, 14:37

aoineko wrote:

I kind of agree, but at the same time, if you want to make a simple game, why do it on MSX2 and miss the universality of MSX1?

Probably because developers want to make a simple game, using the graphics of MSX2 because they think it looks nicer. Arkanoid is a reasonably simple game, could be done on MSX1 and on MSX2. Does 'being simple' mean people must choose an MSX1 to make it for? And really, universality? MSX1 is 39 years old, MSX2 is 36 years old. Both are old, and I doubt there's anyone left who only has an MSX1 and refuses to use an emulator.

So, the problem here is that people tend to divide games between 'MSX1' and 'MSX2'. While I would advocate to divide games between 'simple' and 'complex', regardless of platform. Simple games: easy to make, high chance of actually finishing it. Complex games: great challenge, potentially epic results, but you know there's a fair chance of it becoming bloated and thus becoming vaporware. The game that will eventually be made will depend greatly on how well a developer knows himself. Wink

By Micha

Expert (72)

Micha's picture

15-11-2022, 15:12

wolf_ wrote:

So, the problem here is that people tend to divide games between 'MSX1' and 'MSX2'.

For me (and probably a lot of other game developers) the main reason and biggest fun to program games on an older system like MSX is trying to squeeze as much performance as possible out of an old system. And that is why for me MSX1 and MSX2 are very different. It is way more difficult and time-consuming to squeeze the last drop of performance and best graphics possible out of an MSX2 than on an MSX1. It is really a totally different world.

By Uninteresting

Champion (339)

Uninteresting's picture

15-11-2022, 17:41

I know that personal anecdotes are not valid generalizations, but to me even "developer" sounds closest to "programmer", not "artist" or "composer". I'd say I'm 75% programmer, 20% artist, 0% composer, and that reflects in my output. If we had actual teams with someone who is into coding, one who is into graphics and one who is into audio (or even one person checking all three boxes), there'd be more reason to use MSX2 as a baseline.

(The only reason I'd go for MSX2 in a solo project would be to have the screen shaking as if it was a Vlambeer game, since I can do everything else I want to do already on MSX1.)

By Bengalack

Hero (660)

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15-11-2022, 20:26

People probably didn’t notice, but Lilly’s Saga uses screen-shake in the boss roomSmile

By Bodhi1969

Expert (93)

Bodhi1969's picture

16-11-2022, 10:34

I am always totally surprised by the great programmes that are created in this competition.

By santiontanon

Paragon (1698)

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16-11-2022, 20:53

+1 to what Micha said!

By aoineko

Paladin (706)

aoineko's picture

19-11-2022, 10:45

+1 too.

It's probably a programmer thing. ^^
Trying to get the best out of a given hardware is an interesting challenge, but when that same challenge is shared by a larger number of people, it creates a very positive emulation.
I think we all want to create games that are fun to play, but we should not underestimate the part of the seek of technical challenge that also animates many of us.
Of course we can easily make a Pacman on a turbo R with a V9990, but the pleasure of the technical challenge will be low for some programmers.

That's why, even if I'd like to keep MSXdev open to all hardware, I'd love to have a standard MSX1 category so that we can continue to compete (nicely) on equal terms.

By PingPong

Prophet (3992)

PingPong's picture

19-11-2022, 13:22

Maybe score of msx1 gfx is a bit to low.
But to be honest, we need to consider that msx1 only in terms of specs is better than spectrum, in the real case you often have the same limits of ZX Speccy. (Same n. of colour combinations, same resolution, the big limiting factor that is colour clash, on the paper more limited than zx but not in real situations.)
Take for example a simple splash screen converted even on CPC or C64. you need to fight with color clash that it is not an ussue on Y axis, but tremendous on X axis. Most of splash screen that come from other platforms that you want on TMS VDP are not only a challenge to be converted, but instead a *LOST WAR* without any hope.
Where msx could be ahead from ZX spectrum could be hw sprites (sw are even *worst* due to VRAM access speed or the 8 pixel blocky moving needed to avoid colour clash), but given the scanline limitations *VERY LIMITED USE*.

By constrast, on MSX2 you do not have colour clash limits, only number of color limits, palette. Simply throw the converted picture and get good results out of the box. Without fighting a *ALWAYS LOST WAR* with MSX 1 VDP.

Sprites are a little better, at least of n/scanline.
And if you do not need the blitter for X scrolling you can use for sw sprites, graphically more appealing than hw sprites.

Maybe it's challenging to squeeze the most from msx2 because of some limitations, but at least it is not a *ALWAYS a *LOST WAR*" as it is when working with MSX1 VDP.

So, in the end i think that HUGE limitations of msx1 gfx should have been took more in account without giving a so low score.

By thegeps

Paragon (1125)

thegeps's picture

19-11-2022, 13:45

I'm with Santi, Aoineko and Micha!

By PingPong

Prophet (3992)

PingPong's picture

19-11-2022, 13:46

@wolf: i think your considerations are correct to me. However the "MSX1 vs MSX2" thing and the "Simple vs Complex" games are a bit entangled, to be clear:

If one want a "complex" game maybe it is less difficult on msx2 than msx1 (not always true, but often IMHO).

People saying that getting good results on msx2 than msx1 is more difficult are simply negating the evidence.

Take for example Theseus, one challenge is to make smooth scroll. OK. We got it. But what the real satisfaction for the developer when you look the game gfx and you are disappointed from the "walls", ENTIRELY monochrome (because of colour clash limitations coupled with the smooth scroll requirement?). Answer: there is no satisfation, it's only frustrating seeing the effort compared with the final result.

One cannot deny that Theseus on a V9958 would have looked a lot better and get developer satisfaction.

What is the satisfaction for the developer in having pushed the hw to the max and got a shitty result? NONE.

Here comes the "simple" vs "complex" thing.
Most developer claim that is more easy to get things out from a MSX1 than MSX2 but they deliberately choose games that are sooooo simple to implement that are doable pratically on every 8 bit (from the most limited to the most powerful). So no need to MSX2 or V9990 gfx.
If all games were like pacman '80 why improve a MSX1 VDP? It is enough.

By AnsiStar

Expert (127)

AnsiStar's picture

19-11-2022, 15:18

I do not understand this discussion! I like it very much to see a new Msx game and thinking why not back then? Same with Msx 2.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10035)

wolf_'s picture

19-11-2022, 19:28

AnsiStar wrote:

I do not understand this discussion!

Neither does anyone. Wink It's just a kind of tradition that keeps coming back with every announcement of a new contest, and with the closing/results newspost of that contest.

By PingPong

Prophet (3992)

PingPong's picture

19-11-2022, 19:29

AnsiStar wrote:

I do not understand this discussion! I like it very much to see a new Msx game and thinking why not back then? Same with Msx 2.

I do not understand your post. what you are meaning?

By AnsiStar

Expert (127)

AnsiStar's picture

19-11-2022, 19:51

Sorry about my english. I just meant that i am
very happy to see a new game in such a good
qualaty. Then i ask myself why so many games
did not reach that level 30 years ago? Regards
to all!

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10035)

wolf_'s picture

19-11-2022, 21:15

AnsiStar wrote:

Then i ask myself why so many games did not reach that level 30 years ago? Regards to all!

Ah, well, I'll say that it's very handy to do cross-development these days. One can do gfx in e.g. Photoshop or some 3D-renderer, and reduce those images to MSX-resolutions, with dithering etc. If you'd only have the design tools on MSX, back then, you probably aren't going to think as high-level as that. Same with map editing; mapping tools these days are so much more comfortable than last-minute hack jobs that people had back in the days. It's extremely handy to be able to develop with this kind of helicopter-vision!

Let's say that back in the day you really had to be an MSX nerd to get somewhere. These days you can invite artists - who don't even have an MSX - and have them contribute to your game.

Another factor, perhaps is that back then everything was still new, also to the MSX nerds from the 80's. By now we have lots more experience with the system, so it's only logical that these days games can be made that are more impressive than what came out during the commercial years.

By Uninteresting

Champion (339)

Uninteresting's picture

19-11-2022, 22:49

PingPong wrote:

What is the satisfaction for the developer in having pushed the hw to the max and got a shitty result? NONE.

Why would there be no satisfaction? If I were the developer, I'd be happy to continue trying to improve it until I accepted that's the best I can do, and then be satisfied with that. There may or may not even be a game at the end but that's a mere sideproduct; the journey and challenge is the fun part for me.

I had a good amount of fun just implementing a probability model that ran at an almost sufficient speed on an MSX1. It never became a game because I didn't know how to make a fun game around it.

But maybe I'm just the exception to the rule, a weirdo who's in this for the fun it offers to me.

By Bengalack

Hero (660)

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20-11-2022, 11:40

Must start with giving massive praise to the Diced game. Just the great attention to detail I love!!! Really good approach to the game experience, guiding the player into the gameplay in a smooth way. Perfectly setting up those patterns in vram to maximize the visual output. Really well done, and thus an example where the TMS9918 is pushed to its limits. PSG works flawlessly and you obviously (also) benefit from our "saviour" - the megarom Smile

Micha wrote:

For me (and probably a lot of other game developers) the main reason and biggest fun to program games on an older system like MSX is trying to squeeze as much performance as possible out of an old system.

This is the main driver for me as well. The challenge.

Micha wrote:

And that is why for me MSX1 and MSX2 are very different.

I agree that MSX1 and MSX2 are different, but that does not change the challenge mentioned above. MSX2 is a really old system as well, and to be frank, the VDP is very slow and not as flexible as I would want. Or is fast and flexible? Maybe it is, but just haven't been scrutinized the same way as the old TMS9918 has been? I would love for us to have more incentives to develop the MSX2. Contribute to raising the bar on MSX2, and sharing techniques. It seems like a somewhat untapped area. But not sure.

When it comes to the MSXdev-contest, I don't have any strong opinions of how the different titles should be evaluated though (like open "Freestyle" or "Per Config" or something else). I see judging as a potentially difficult matter Smile

By Micha

Expert (72)

Micha's picture

20-11-2022, 15:53

AnsiStar wrote:

Then i ask myself why so many games
did not reach that level 30 years ago? Regards
to all!

I think the main issues were cost, speed and experience. Teams of people with no MSX experience (by definition, because the MSX was new) had to make games in a very short amount of time (e.g. to put the game in the market before christmas) and the cartridges had to be cheap (as little ROM as possible, that's why there are so many 16kb games from that era).

The challenge back then was not to make the best game, but the challenge was to make as much money as possible with the available resources; if they saw that 2 mediocre games would bring in more money than 1 good game, they preferred making 2 mediocre games.

By PingPong

Prophet (3992)

PingPong's picture

20-11-2022, 20:56

AnsiStar wrote:

Sorry about my english. I just meant that i am
very happy to see a new game in such a good
qualaty. Then i ask myself why so many games
did not reach that level 30 years ago? Regards
to all!

No problem for you english! I fully agree with you. there are games that make shame to what were available 30 years ago.
Maybe it's because we can use modern tools (assemblers on PC ,emulators, debuggers, screen converters) or maybe msxdev developers do not have such kind of costraints (time to market for example).
Someone told me that some speccy convertions had a very small time available to be converted into msx ones leaving almost no time for developers to improve general quality.
I remember a game where the intro screen ask you on msx if you want to use a kempston joystick interface... ...

By PingPong

Prophet (3992)

PingPong's picture

20-11-2022, 21:02

Uninteresting wrote:
PingPong wrote:

What is the satisfaction for the developer in having pushed the hw to the max and got a shitty result? NONE.

Why would there be no satisfaction? If I were the developer, I'd be happy to continue trying to improve it until I accepted that's the best I can do, and then be satisfied with that. There may or may not even be a game at the end but that's a mere sideproduct; the journey and challenge is the fun part for me.

I had a good amount of fun just implementing a probability model that ran at an almost sufficient speed on an MSX1. It never became a game because I didn't know how to make a fun game around it.

But maybe I'm just the exception to the rule, a weirdo who's in this for the fun it offers to me.

The problem here is that a msxdev competitor want a game, and want to reach a final product of decent quality, not only a prototype that when he is tired can be trashed into the bin. And for sure the her satisfaction is correlated to the result he expect relatively to its efforts .

By Uninteresting

Champion (339)

Uninteresting's picture

20-11-2022, 21:51

It's not just the tech either, but game design has also evolved in leaps and bounds.

By mi-chi

Scribe (37)

mi-chi's picture

21-11-2022, 00:35

Thanks for the nice words, Bengalack, that means a lot to us from someone whose quality standards for his own game reach for perfection (and a well deserved first place)! And yes, the megarom definitely invites to make no compromises in code-size and graphics due to its zero-loading-time spec.

By ducasp

Hero (612)

ducasp's picture

21-11-2022, 18:21

AnsiStar wrote:

I do not understand this discussion! I like it very much to see a new Msx game and thinking why not back then? Same with Msx 2.

I don't think most people understand that... It makes absolutely non-sense for me... You are just wasting the opportunity to have great games using features of the platform, it is not like we are on PS4/PS5 era asking devs to support PS4 because PS5 is too expensive / not widely available... MSX 2 and 2+ are widely available be it on emulation or hardware or FPGA recreation.

In the end, a great game is not only about graphics, you can have smooth scroll and beautiful graphics and a boring game. And graphics can surely be judged based on the platform (MSX1 or 2 or 2+) capabilities, that is not difficult. While a smooth scroll platform game is impressive on MSX1 and can be praised and block scroll can be excused, on MSX2 that is probably not quite nice as you could use adjust for horizontal/mask borders or not mask (Space Manbow still is loved right?) and on MSX2+ that is not understable at all...

About complexity, well, that is life, if you happen to participate on an year where someone working on 3 year long project is delivering and they have worked a lot during that time and created a complex and fun entry, kudos to them, they deserve winning... You could have done it as well, but you chose not to, and that doesn't make any entry less amazing, and the complexity question is not pertaining to being MSX1 / 2 or 2+ ....

Really hope next MSX DEV still opens up for MSX 2 / 2+ entries... Even OPL4 and other expansions as well... Praise to everyone for their great efforts to bring us their vision / games, no matter if complex or not, MSX1 or 2 or 2+... Amazing entries were recognized, complex or not, MSX1 or 2 or 2+... Wink

By Danjovic

Champion (320)

Danjovic's picture

22-11-2022, 20:51

Categories are nice and don't need to be excludent. Every entry can be freestyle and the categories can be picked after the deadline. The same game can win in more than one category, just like the oscar.
And the categories do not need to be restricted by platform as well. There are several aspects in game programming, frim the best original idea to the best adaptation of a game type (even hacks). Shortest game, longest, weirdest, beautiful, etc...
After all the great prize is the recognition for the good job done.

By DamnedAngel

Master (252)

DamnedAngel's picture

03-12-2022, 10:14

Danjovic wrote:

Categories are nice and don't need to be excludent. Every entry can be freestyle and the categories can be picked after the deadline. The same game can win in more than one category, just like the oscar.
And the categories do not need to be restricted by platform as well. There are several aspects in game programming, frim the best original idea to the best adaptation of a game type (even hacks). Shortest game, longest, weirdest, beautiful, etc...
After all the great prize is the recognition for the good job done.

I agree with many in this thread. But the one that I agree more, the one who made me want to express my agreement, is Danjovic.
This is the approach that I thing would best accomodate all tribes.