MSXdev'09 - Closed

by wolf_ on 02-12-2009, 22:31
Topic: MRC
Tags: Challenges
Languages:

In May of this year, MSXdev'09 was launched. This morning at 0:00 CET it closed with nine entries. While the entry count was certainly lower than the previous edition, the overall quality of the entries may actually be higher. A summary of the entries:

  • Plumber, by AG Software, a retro platform game in which you have to switch levers of pipes without being caught by the rodents who are in charge of the place.
  • Castle Tomb, by AG Software, another retro platform game in which you have to kill vampires in a castle.
  • Cow Abductors, by Paxanga Software, in which UFOs have the mission to abduct cows from our planet. Apparently E.T. needs milk too!
  • X0rz, by Vampier & Hydragon, a mini puzzle game in which you have to turn a grid with colored tiles all white. Be sure to check the game newspost reactions for a quick bugfix.
  • British Bob, by Relevo Videogames, a retro platform game in which you have to recover tea cookies for the queen.
  • Menace, by The New Image, an innovative Galaxy Wars clone.
  • Retaliot, by Video Hazard, a smooth horizontal two-directional shooter with stacked layers for an impression of depth.
  • Stray Cat, by Imanok, a fast platformer featuring a cat running over the rooftops of a city.
  • Dr.Pill, by Infinite, a simulation of a doctor's office with lots of pitch dark sadistic rants and jokes. As a bonus: this evening, wolf_ uploaded a Dr.Pill trailer to YouTube for your enjoyment.

Unfortunately, not every announced entry has made it to the banquet of released games. If anything, it's already a challenge to finish a single game in time. Perhaps strict planning is an area which developers could develop for the future, given there's enough spare time of course. A number of unannounced games may see daylight in the future, maybe for another challenge, maybe as a casual release. Games that have been announced for this contest, that may be released in the future are:

  • Blinking Magic, an RPG by Yukio
  • An untitled space shooter, by Yukio
  • Running Way, a gambling game by Yukio
  • Ba-Boon!, a puzzle game by Relevo Videogames
  • Jumping in the Bridge, an action game by Yukio
  • In Jail!, a mini game once again by Yukio
  • In Jail II, the sequel by Yukio

It's now up to the jury to decide who gets MSXdev'09 gold. Jury members are: Albert Beevendorp (The New Image), Rudi Westerhof (Darkstone) and Tomas Karlsson (blueMSX). A new prize this year is the MSX1+ category, which awards all the extras compared to the bare specifications of MSXdev, such as support for extra sound chips and extra video chips. The results of this extra challenge will be presented soon. More prizes are two T-shirts for the winner and the runner up and three Portuguese magazines for the top-3. Naturally, these will be be decided by the main jury. If everything goes according to plan, December 20th will be the date when all the results will be published. Until then! Finally, perhaps you'd like to share with us who you think should win, or perhaps a top-5!

Relevant link: MSXdev website

Comments (31)

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

dvik's picture

03-12-2009, 00:21

It was a pretty good msxdev year this time. Although the number of entries are fewer than previous year, I think the quality are higher. Several of the games could have won quite easily if they participated last year.

By LeandroCorreia

Paladin (944)

LeandroCorreia's picture

03-12-2009, 02:53

Well, IMHO problem is the same, technically superb games with bland gameplay, or excellent gameplay with conventional technology.

Anyway, my bets for this year are Stray Cat and Dr. Pill. And BTW, Retaliot has GORGEOUS graphics and intro music. Smile

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

Huey's picture

03-12-2009, 09:52

It's really nice to see all the entries.

I have yet to find another retro computer competition that can come close to this quality (even counting in last years edition Wink )

I hope to compete in next years edition. When is registration opening???? ;P

By Manuel

Ascended (15842)

Manuel's picture

03-12-2009, 10:30

I'm waiting for Yukio's reaction...

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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03-12-2009, 11:04

Must agree with dvik, I also think this year the quality of games has raised, although we've get less entries. And about Yukio, we did not received at the msxdev mail any new about him.

By Zezus

Rookie (28)

Zezus's picture

03-12-2009, 12:52

Agreed. The overall quality of the games this year is better than MSXDEV 08. There is one outstanding game (Dr. Pill) and several good games (British Bob, Stray Cat, Retaliot) and no crap at all.
The best editions were 2006 (Monster Hunter, Malaika, RNFF), 2005 (The Cure, Griel´s Quest) and 2007 (Caos, Txupinazo). Those were outstanding games.

By muffie

Paladin (933)

muffie's picture

03-12-2009, 17:19

Dr Pill, by far, seems to be the more "professional" entry. Very polished and great music. Too bad I don't really like this kind of game.
The one I had more fun playing was Menace... British Bob is kind'of cool, but music is a little bit repetitive. Now I want to try Stray Cat. As soon as I manage to decompress a .RAR file inside my newly OSX machine! O____o

By cidra

Master (202)

cidra's picture

03-12-2009, 19:17

Zezus said: ..."and no crap at all".

That's why we have RetroCrap, baby...

www.retrocrap.org

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5417)

JohnHassink's picture

03-12-2009, 19:51

Lots of very fun and beautiful new games to play, which is delightful.

I guess I'm biased for having participated in dev '08, but actually I'm still quite surprised that people appear to find it such a bad year.
Actually, I was very pleased with, for instance, La Corona Encantada, laughed MAO @ Hose Diogo Martinez, cursed at Danger Tower but kept playing, _O_ -ed to the swiftness of release, in-depth making of and surprise of PWND, smiled at Tomb of Genghis Khan...
but maybe I'm just easily made happy, dunno. Smile

Anyway, can't wait 'till '10!

By muffie

Paladin (933)

muffie's picture

03-12-2009, 20:33

Time for that old discussion about hardware limitations again? I think we pretty much reached MSX1 limits now.

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

dvik's picture

03-12-2009, 20:44

No I don't think its time for that. The competition is not about pushing technical limits (although thats an interesting side effect) Its about getting good homebrew games. Just because the competition has seen some good games over the years, doesn't mean that we depleted the ideas for good games on the MSX1 system. I'm sure we'll see many more good games in the future.

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

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03-12-2009, 20:44

@Muffie: 3 words.. MSX Passion Contest........Cool

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9778)

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03-12-2009, 21:58

If Dr.Pill shows anything it's that a super simple concept can still become a MegaROM due its media (over 30KB faces, over 20KB music). And system RAM is needed to store the dossiers of all those patients. The point I'm making is that the size of ROM and the size of RAM doesn't have the assumed bad influence on the development of a game. If a game doesn't make a deadline the most plausible reasons are that people started to late, or bumped onto a sudden unexpected bug. I don't really believe it's because the graphics and music weren't done in time, and those are the ones that fill up ROM and RAM.

By LeandroCorreia

Paladin (944)

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03-12-2009, 22:59

If Dr.Pill shows anything it's that a super simple concept can still become a MegaROM due its media (over 30KB faces, over 20KB music).

Nah... Dragon's Lair had already proved it many years ago. Wink

By lionelritchie

Champion (439)

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03-12-2009, 23:35

british bob rules. 16k of WINRAR
retaliot = 128k of fail

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6286)

ARTRAG's picture

04-12-2009, 09:21

I agree with wolf about the fact that the games fail the deadline mainly because of unexpected coding problems that delay the development of just because of lack of time of the coders.

In this regard I cannot understand the choice, this year, of anticipating the deadline.

Around Christmas people tends to have holidays and a bit more spare time.
It is not an accident that the best entry (IMHO) is a game that was planned to be delivered two years ago and that has been kept in hold for a full year...

And I agree again about the rom size.
In the 99% of cases the room is needed for audio/video data, not for the code...
Filling a rom of musics and graphic is not critical, but the 16K-20K of code controlling all the stuff are!!!

other subject
the mean level of games has risen wrt the last edition, returning to the level of msxdev07.

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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04-12-2009, 09:36

Agree with the asumption of art (data) = the main size of a cart. But imho art=the most time-consuming part of the development stage of a game too (with art I mean gfx, music, maps... data buffers, if you want). So making a game featuring more graphics, musics and maps will surely extend the game developing process. That leads to what I've always said: bigger ROMs are mostly bigger projects that requires lots of time to develop.

@lionelritchie: I love British Bob too, but please do not compare it with Retaliot (moreover by using those terms), as they are really different game concepts. Whatever your preferences are, both BB and Retaliot have been worked hard for you to play them free, so have a bit more respect to developers, ok? (brief: try to be polite, dude) Wink

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

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04-12-2009, 09:56

But imho art=the most time-consuming part of the development stage of a game too (with art I mean gfx, music, maps... data buffers, if you want). So making a game featuring more graphics, musics and maps will surely extend the game developing process.

Well that depends on the person making the gfx,music etc. I personaly find myself making tons of material in no time and then spend a lot of time fitting everything in the small amount of ROM available. So having more room available will speed up my development for sure.

By muffie

Paladin (933)

muffie's picture

04-12-2009, 11:01

Viejo, congratulations for British Bob. But what happened to the music? You went out of space? It's too repetitive.
*PS* I just did a sacrilege yesterday. I was playing all MSXDEV`09 games on a PSP!
*PS2* Just finished Menace...

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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04-12-2009, 11:58

@muffie: nope, I still had +700 bytes free or so for adding some things more, but I considered that 3 little tunes were just enough (2 alternating tunes for the ingame and another one for the ending), along with the stage opening and game over jingles. For the sequel (if any) I promise more graphics, larger musics and more stages Tongue. Btw, no one still noticed the coolness of SCREEN 1 on British Bob? Wink

By lionelritchie

Champion (439)

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05-12-2009, 15:34

british bob music is great, its at the same level as the castle, bokosuka and eggerland musics.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6286)

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06-12-2009, 00:09

I do prefer dr. pill's musics
maybe i'm byased due to scc, but they sound great

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9778)

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06-12-2009, 00:09

You can always check the PSG versions by holding down F1 during boot.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6286)

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06-12-2009, 19:39

I'll not try with F1, I'm not in the jury, I do want SCC and any other extra you can put in it Wink

By hap

Paragon (2021)

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11-12-2009, 15:52

perhaps you'd like to share with us who you think should win, or perhaps a top-5!1: Dr.Pill, nice music + references (Arkeloid, Lucifer Beta, etc)
2: Retaliot, release v1.1 working on real MSX1 and with bg music? pwease?
3: British boblet, 4: Menace, 5: Stray Cat or maybe Cow Abductors (I haven't tried with 2 players yet)

The other games aren't half bad either, bonus cheers for having joined the contest and releasing a new MSX game.

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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15-12-2009, 04:36

Yep, I basically have the same ranking as hap. There aren't any bad games at all this year, so thumbs up to all participants. I hope next year will be as good Cool

By MadonnaMk2

Supporter (3)

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20-12-2009, 18:58

> 2: Retaliot, release v1.1 working on real MSX1 and with bg music? pwease?

Yes hap. I'm currently cleaning the code, because in the rush -the game was devised and implemented in just 2 months- it got quite quick'n'dirty (hence the incompatibility issues, plain in-game sound, etc.)

We still don't know for sure whether we'll be releasing a "1.1" fixed version or we'll go straight and publish the MSX2 sequel Wink It will depend on the time and resources we'll be able to allocate to each project.

Thanks for your support Smile but if we were the jury, we would disqualify ourselves, LOL Evil

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6286)

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21-12-2009, 00:03

no msxdev results.....

# 20th December 2009: MSXdev'09 results published

The jury is late....

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9778)

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21-12-2009, 00:04

.. like, we're just in time for once, and now the jury misses the deadline.. :-)

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6286)

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21-12-2009, 00:49

they should be disqualified ;-)

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

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21-12-2009, 09:23

Sorry for being late with the results. One person from the jury has been late with sending us his final comments, and I have been the whole weekend ill in bed with no chance of making the html with the detailed results: please be patient, as I will upload all results tonight (although I am not feeling ok at all yet, but anyway...). Thanks in advance for your patience.