You will find on this page the rules of the last MSXdev’ contest organized by the MSXdev’ team.

For the rules of the current edition, check the Karoshi MSX Community.



Welcome to the MSXdev’11 game contest

We at the MSXDEV Team are proud to present the 9th edition of MSXdev, the game development contests for the MSX system ! There are some new things to remark into the rules, so take your time, and read carefully the rules for the MSXdev’11 contest !

Important dates / MSXdev e-mail

The time line is set as follows :

* 04/04/2011 : MSXdev’11 rules published
* 04/04/2011 : registration opened both for contestants and sponsors
* 04/04/2011 : complete list of the general jury published
* 31/01/2012 : game submission deadline
* 29/02/2012 : MSXdev’11 results published

Game format specs

As in the previous editions of MSXdev, the selected format for the games is the MSX ROM file. Cartridges have been the most successful media format for first generation MSX computers, and most of the best games ever produced were published in this format. Nowadays, this format is also interesting because it can be easily loaded into real MSX computers, using a Flash cartridge, a ROM loader or a ROM converter, and it can also be used directly on emulators. Also, there exists a growing phenomenon at the MSX scene of people developing real cartridges, so the MSXDEV Team will try to promote the efforts of those people by mantaining the contest game format.

People who use MSX-BASIC can convert into the ROM format a file whose size does not exceed 16 Kb with the MSX-BASIC ROM creator, developed by José Luis Tur Santolaria. For longer MSX-BASIC files or games created first for disks, the tool DSK2ROM, created by Vincent van Dam is recommended. Use the good parameters to get a ROM with a standard size and check carefully if the ROM works correctly, especially in the MSX configuration that is described below.

All the games should be 100% compatible with this MSX configuration, that is defined as follows:

* CPU: Zilog Z80 running at 3.58 Mhz
* VDP: TMS9918/TMS9928 or compatible video processor
* PSG: AY-3-8910 or compatible sound chip
* Cassette interface: 1200/2400 baud
* RAM: 64 KB (non memory-mapped)
* VRAM: 16 KB

Therefore the games will be tested and evaluated using this configuration. Other compatibility tests will be performed in different configurations, including MSX, MSX2, MSX2+ and Turbo-R computers. The games should work perfectly in any MSX compliant machine with the amount of RAM needed to run the game. If a game does not run properly in all MSX generations, its score will be penalised in accordance to the importance of the detected issues or even disqualified. Those issues won’t be a task of the jury, whose only will judge full compatible MSX games, but for the organization to accept or not a game with compatibility problems or ask for a fix to the authors.

In addition, it is also allowed to make use of other additional MSX hardware or facilities included in newer generations, such as SCC, SCC+, MSX-Music, MSX-Audio or Moonsound music, or V9938, V9958 or GFX9000 graphics, Z80H, R800, disk drive, etcetera. Those additions won’t be taken into account when determining the final quality of the game. As a example, if a game requires SCC to play music it will be judged as if it has no music at all: or, as another example, if a game features MSX-MUSIC and PSG music, only PSG music will be judged.

The maximum size for the games will be 128 KB although smaller games are allowed. The following list are the only allowed mappers: konami without SCC, konami with SCC, ASCII 8KB and ASCII 16KB. Those are the most common MegaROM mappers, but still we think it is interesting to define the allowed mappers in order not to get games that could have severe uncompatibilities with existing hardware such as flash ROMs. For more information about these mappers, please check this technical document.

These ROM files can be developed using any programming language. There are no requirements here, but of course assembler is strongly recommended. Other compiled and/or interpreted languages are perfectly admissible. MSX BASIC can be used as well, when converted into a MSX ROM.

Although original games will be preferred, non-original concept games will be also accepted. This includes conversions from arcades and/or other console or computer systems, as well as adaptations of already existent games. However, recompiled games are not acceptable. Already released games or hacked games will not be accepted either. Also, direct graphic or music rips from other authors used without permission won’t be acceptable. In case of doubt, the organization is entitled to ask for proofs, such as the source code of the game. Any suspicious game would be disqualified if the organization decides so. It should be remarked that only complete games will be accepted: beta-versions, demos or “to be finished” games will not be included in the contest.

Besides this, all the games MUST be accompanied by the required game instructions written in english and a high-resolution cartridge full-colour sticker. Although every entry must be sent with both manual and sticker, this material won’t be taken in account when judging the game.

Jury selection process

Since the 2010 edition, the jury is composed as following : the MSXdev team (mars2000 and BodyHammeR) and a third member who will be selected from the MSX community attending to their MSX-related skills, MSX commitment and reliability. As it is logic, jury members cannot present games to the contest.

The final list of members will be communicated at the given date. Their final decision about the submitted games will be accepted without reserves by all the contestants. In case of doubt, the jury is free to interpret these rules.

Prices / Sponsorship

Open-sponsorship means that anyone could create a sub-contest inside MSXdev’11 or improve the prize list freely. Besides that, the sponsor can track his donations by establishing a new category and/or setting the judge for it. It might sound a bit confusing, so a sponsor file example would help.

Sponsor: The MSXDEV Team
Prize: [set your prize here]
Description: prize set for the best MSXdev’11 game
Decision: MSXdev’11 jury

In this example, the sponsor has decided that he wants to reward the best game of the contest, but he might want to reward the best RPG or the best shooter because he likes shoot’em-ups. So he has set a prize, a description and how the decision will be made.

It should be pointed out that the MSXdev’11 organisation is in no way responsible of the donations within the open-sponsorship system. Every sponsor should send the announced prize to the winner according to the descriptions and decision process.

Please note that a sponsor could be a contestant as well, but it that particular case the sponsor is not allowed to make the decision himself. He should select a judge or define a convenient decision system.

Registering a project

In order to participate in MSXdev’11 first you must register your project. Registering is as easy as sending an e-mail to including the following information:

* Name of the project / game
* Game size / RAM size requirements for the game
* Game genre
* Name of the group / individuals involved
* Contact e-mail

It will be included in the project list in the next update. By doing so, the group or individuals that owe the project are explicitly accepting MSXdev’11 rules. These include the following:

* Submit the finished game, instructions and sticker before the end of the deadline.

* Follow the game requirements described in this document.

* State in the instructions the freeware status of any game participating in MSXdev contest. Any freeware license can be used, as long as the full game can be freely obtained by the users.

* Do not redistribute neither unfinished or finished digital versions of the game before the end of the contest. Finished digital versions will be distributed only from the MSXdev’11 official web pages before the end of the contest. Beta versions used for debugging and testing purposes are allowed, but they should be only distributed to beta-testers.

* Avoid also to distribute the game on cartridge before the end of the contest. In case you want to make such distribution, you need first to inform the MSXdev’ team. Release of a game on cartridge before deadline of the contest has as result that the version submitted before this release is the definitive version and that no any other version will be accepted.

* All participants will accept the final decision of the jury.

MSXdev information and updates

All information regarding MSXdev’11 will be published in the official site. There, the whole list of contestants as well as the sponsors and jury members will be permanently updated. The result of the contest will be published there as well as any incidences or events related to MSXdev’11.


Some people we want to thank :

* Eduardo Robsy Petrus, founder of the contest. Without his hard work on the previous editions, this contest won’t exist.

* Jon Cortázar, member of the MSXdev’team for the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 editions. His passion, strength and power have contributed to the success of this contest.

* All the contestants, sponsors and jury of the previous editions, for their support and excellent contributions that made possible this 6th edition. We want to thank specially Patriek Lesparre (jury from MSXdev’05) for setting a well-balanced way to judge the games which we’ve decided to maintain, although partially modified.

* The whole MSX community for supporting and encouraging this event.


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