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Technical Requirements Sticky

A topic by Matt Hughson (NES Dev) created 29 days ago Views: 881
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Host (3 edits)

Technical Details:

The competition is broken up into 2 categories: Games and Tools/Toys.

IMPORTANT: A big change from previous years is that the Tools/Toys category will not be submitted via the jam submission form. Instead they will be submitted here.

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 ROM with up to 32KB CHR-RAM and NO PRG-RAM
    • Failure to follow these restrictions will get you disqualified.
  • Prizes as follows:
    • 1st Place - $512
    • 2nd Place - $256
    • 3rd Place - $128
    • 4th Place - $64
    • 5th Place - $32
    • 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.
Mapper-specific advice:
  • 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, usually with value $FF. (Mapper 180-style fixed $8000 mapping needs longer initialization; contact us.) Match the values written to $80 to the size of the entry: $00-$0F for 32K entries and $10-$1F for 64K entries, depending on desired PRG mapping and nametable mirroring scheme. Specify whether $FFD0-$FFF9 or $BFD0-$BFF9 is unused.
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.
  • 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

IMPORTANT: A big change from previous years is that the Tools/Toys category will not be submitted via the jam submission form. Instead they will be submitted here.

  • 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 here. Thanks and GOOD LUCK to all entrants!