Welcome to the annual NESDev Compo Game Jam! This yearly tradition has been a staple of the NES Homebrew community for over 10 years, and for the first time ever it's coming to Itch!
Past years have seen the debut of some of the biggest names in NES Homebrew: Super Bat Puncher, Twin Dragons, Nebs 'n Debs, Project Blue, Witch n' Wiz and many more!
What makes the competition really special is that at the end of it all, every team that enters gets a real physical NES multi-cart with all the entries on it, often referred to as Action 53. Our hope is to continue that tradition, but to be fully transparent, manufacturing on the previous years carts are quite back-logged, so a new cart this year isn't guaranteed. Please keep that in mind!
The multi-cart is also sold to public in physical and digital form to fund the prizes for the next year! Yup, that's right, there are cash prizes too! (more info)
The competition is broken up into 2 categories: Games and Tools/Toys.
Category 1: Game
- This category is reserved for games. Any tools or toys should be submitted as category 2.
- All games must be Mapper 28 compatible entry up to 64KB with NO PRG-RAM
- This likely means you will not be able to submit NESMaker games due to mapper incompatibilities.
- Failure to follow these restrictions will get you disqualified.
- Prizes as follows:
- Stretch Goal: Limited Edition multicarts for all meritorious entries (at judges discretion)
- Please note: We are still backlogged with the previous year's carts, so this is not a guarantee this year.
Excessive padding is discouraged. For example, an entry's 10 KiB of PRG data shouldn't be strewn across a 32 KiB PRG ROM; it should instead be packed into 16 KiB. Nor should a CNROM have two CHR ROM banks that are less than half full; NROM with $2000 switching is usually better for that situation. This helps ensure more entries can fit on the multicart.
- NROM-128: Be careful not to write to $8000-$FFFF. Test with a breakpoint on writes to ROM.
- NROM, CNROM: Be careful not to overwrite CHR ROM. Test with a breakpoint on writes to PPU $0000-$1FFF.
- NROM, CNROM, ANROM, BNROM: $FFD0-$FFF9 of each 32K PRG ROM bank must be unused.
- UNROM (2): $FFD0-$FFF9 must be unused.
- UNROM (180): $BFD0-$BFF9 must be unused.
- A53: Write to register $81 only once, at the beginning of the program, and match the values written to $80 to the size of the entry: $00-$0F for 32K entries and $10-$1F for 64K entries. Specify whether $FFD0-$FFF9 or $BFD0-$BFF9 is unused.
- Commercially released entries, and previously submitted entries with no changes are discouraged.
- Multiple entries are allowed and encouraged.
- Only one cash/cartridge/other physical prize will be awarded per entrant across all categories. If multiple submissions place in a cash winning position, the greatest prize will be awarded, and the runner up will receive the lesser prize.
- You can only win one cash prize.
- In the event that a single entrant wins multiple cash prizes, regardless of who collaborated on the projects, the person who submits the project represents the whole. i.e., Project A and Project B won 1st and 2nd respectively. They were submitted by Bob. Larry was a collaborator on Project B. There will still only be one cash prize for the two projects.
- You can only win one cartridge.
- If the entry is a collaboration, additional cartridges may be purchased at cost for fellow collaborators (or deducted from a cash prize if applicable).
- You can only win one other physical prize.
- Entries must be original. Plagiarism and copyright infringement will result in disqualification.
- Use of existing tools/libraries/code qualify as long as permission has been granted by the author.
- Collaborations are allowed, prize distribution will be decided by those who collaborated on the project. This decision should be known by the person who submitted the entry as they will be our primary contact. Please make these decisions beforehand.
- There are no restrictions on submissions including explicit content.
- Publishers and organizers reserve the right to request changes to your entry for content exceeding E10+ ESRB rating prior to inclusion on published cartridges.
Category 2 (the non-contest): Tools and Toys
- Anything Goes - old unreleased stuff, modified existing stuff, whatever. If it runs on the NES/FC feel free to submit it.
- There will be no cash prizes awarded for this category.
- Multicarts and possible physical prizes for all entries included on the multicart (at judges discretion)
- Depending on the configuration of the entry, it may not be possible to include it on the multicart, however, at the judges discretion multicarts and physical prizes will be awarded. For exceptional submissions, extra effort may be done to adapt the game/cartridge hardware to support being included in the multicart.
- Entrants are not required to consent to multicart inclusion upon submission.
- Since this category will not be ranked or judged, it will also not be under the strict submission dates and times. If it is submitted before the multicart is released, then it is fair game. Keep in mind, the sooner it is submitted the better chance it will have at making it onto the multicart.
- Entries in this category will also not be under the restriction of the General Guidelines above, but material you do not have rights to will not be considered for the multicart.
Please post any questions or ask for clarification in the community tab. Thanks and GOOD LUCK to all entrants!