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!
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
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.
Category 2 (the non-contest): Tools and Toys
Please post any questions or ask for clarification in the community tab. Thanks and GOOD LUCK to all entrants!
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