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S.A.T.U.R.N. Contest

Discussion in 'Saturn Dev' started by Amon, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. Amon

    Amon Staff Member

    SegaXtreme is proud to annouce the very first "Saturn Annual Talentuous Unofficial Retro Niche Contest" S.A.T.U.R.N. Contest.

    This contest will run from May 1st until Dec 1st 11:59PM 2010. Entries may include ports, demos, games and applications. Rules and Judging will be similar to the C4 contest. More details to follow. This contest is not intended to replace the C4 contest, mearly a contest inbetween C4.

    In the words similar to Steven Colbert... Exclusive Contest of the 2010. Watch annual dark room coding competition. Defeat the world!!!!
  2. Runik

    Runik Staff Member

    I guess there was a lot of brainstorming behind that name ... [​IMG]
  3. losinggeneration

    losinggeneration New Member

    Sounds like fun. I hope I can find the time (and skill since I've never done a contest or Saturn coding.)
  4. Amon

    Amon Staff Member

    Call to arms for prizes!!!!

    This contest lacks prizes at the moment.

    I have 1xDreamcast game 2x3 Genesis games and 1x Saturn System for the prize pool all NTSC

    Would anyone like to donate prizes?
  5. mic

    mic New Member

    Not sure if I've got any hardware to spare. I've got a few shitty Saturn games (PAL), but I doubt anyone would want them. But I could probably fork up some cash for the prize pool if people find this compo interesting (like $100-ish).
  6. Amon

    Amon Staff Member


    It must run on real hardware.

    It must show "SATURN Contest Entry" at some point.

    Teams are allowed but it is up to you to figure out how the prizes are distributed.

    One entry, per prize pool, is eligible to win a prize; multiple entries allowed. It is up to you to decide which entry is judged.

    Entries submitted previously to C4 must show significant improvement otherwise only new features will be judged.

    Prize System:

    Prizes first awarded for the top three games followed by the top three game ports/demos/applications based on the amount of points acquired.

    Games are rated on three categories graphics, sound and game play. 5 points max can be awarded for Graphics and sound respectively and 10 points for game play unless the game is a port. Ports can only obtain a maximum of 5 points in the game play category based on playability and accuracy of game play.

    Emulators written from scratch will be considered for the games category.

    Extra Points:

    An entry may earn extra points through implemented features listed below. Each feature is worth one point unless otherwise specified.

    Peripheral support

    - 3D Analog pad

    - Back up memory cartridge (2 points)

    - Keyboard

    - Light gun (2 points)

    - Link cable (5 points)

    - Multitap (2 points)

    - Netlink modem (5 points)

    - RAM cartridge


    - High resolution AND interlaced background images (2 points)

    - High resolution OR interlaced background images

    - High resolution sprite/polygon display (2 points)

    - Significant portion of in game graphics consisting of polygons

    - 3d scenes with space partitioning

    - Real time gouraud shading with dynamic lighting (2 points)

    - Dynamic lighting

    - Depth Cueing

    - Parallax scrolling (1 point per scroll)

    - Animations without using SBL or SGL (3 points)

    - Full motion video

    - Special effects such as smoke, point sprites, texture mapping (2 points per effect)


    - Sound effects with background music

    - Non CDDA background music

    - AIF streaming from CD

    Game play / Other

    - Multiplayer support

    - Save game support

    - Artificial Intelligence for cpu controlled player or opponent (2 points)

    - Busy or very active screen

    - Effective dual cpu usage (it must add to the game) (3 points)

    - Use of SCU DSP (5 points)

    - Use of homebrew libraries instead of using SGL and SBL (5 points)

    Dev Tools - Along with earning points with a game/demo/application/port one may earn points in addition for releasing dev tools or libraries

    - ISO 9660 file system implementation (15 points)

    - SGL/SBL replacement (points dependant on features implemented)

    - Background image converter (10 points)

    - Sprite image converter (10 points)

    - SCU DSP assembler (25 points)


    - Money - USD $300 ($100 from mic, $200 Amon)

    - Genesis game (NTSC U) - Sonic and Knuckles (cart only)

    - Genesis game (NTSC U) - Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (cart only)

    - Genesis game (NTSC U) - Disney's Aladdin (cart only)

    - Dreamcast game (NTSC U) - Evolution 1 (Sealed CIB)

    - Dreamcast modchip

    - Saturn system (NTSC U) - CIB oval buttons

    - PC game (Win 9x) - Last Bronx

    - DVD movie(NTSC 1) - Star Wars Trilogy Widescreen

    - Svideo amp (from jeffro11 a member of racketboy.com) [it takes Luma and Chroma and amplifies it]
  7. FacundoARG

    FacundoARG New Member

    Hi friends,

    I have to register the project in a specific place?

  8. Amon

    Amon Staff Member

    Nope you do not have to register. When you are finished just email it or upload it to a website like rapidshare.

  9. Amon

    Amon Staff Member

    So... anyone started?
  10. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    I started in January [​IMG]

    At first, I wanted to do a command line download utility for my USB DataLink, but it turned into a file transfer utility + memory viewer + debug terminal for Saturn.

    And in the case of parallel-port based devices (like original comms device, freewing, etc), I added some bonus, such as data compression and transmission error correction. Thanks to this, I could reach 20KB/s with my $15 freewing device ^^

    Also, I finally fixed the bug that made me give up a project 3 years before, so I restarted it.

    By the way, I got some questions about the contest rules.

    1. At present time, I am making a debug framework (which include transfer tool, file compression tool, debugger itself, custom ARP firmware, and some more), and an application that uses this framework.

    -> Is it one entry ? 2 entries ? more ???

    In the case of more than one entry, is it OK that I publish one entry, and that my 2 years old son publish another one ? [​IMG]

    (To be honest, I don't understand the meaning of restricting the entries count to one per contestant.)

    2. About the scoring system, I advice you to rank the entries source too. The main reason of this is that binaries without source code actually doesn't bring anything to the Saturn homebrew scene.

    Here is a ranking example below.

    No source code : -5 points

    Incomplete source code, or source code license is less permissive than GPL : -3 points

    Source code under GPL : +2 points

    Source code under a license more permissive than GPL (Public Domain, BSD, etc) : +3 points

    3. What about the prizes sharing rules ?

    Can you make the rules in order that I get all the money + DataLink device (<- mine is broken) ? ([​IMG])
  11. ExCyber

    ExCyber Staff Member

    I really should get a working Saturn dev setup again. Right now I have a broken AR and no PC-side comms interface, and I'm not that enthused about the AR-comms interface in general these days; I think an FT232 hanging off the serial port or a controller port to parallel solution (that's for Genesis/Sega CD, but the Saturn controller ports are closely related) makes a lot more sense. I have an idea for something to work on, although I don't know that it cleanly fits in any of the project categories. For contest purposes you can probably think of my project as equivalent to cafe-alpha's, although the details of my project would be very different (they might end up overlapping somewhat in an abstract sense, but certainly neither would be a direct replacement for the other). Maybe it'll have to wait for the next C4 anyway, but I guess I could at least try to get a "rough draft" running in Yabause for now...
  12. Amon

    Amon Staff Member

    Firstly you are welcome to submit multiple entries, however, only one application/demo and one game will be judged. This is to prevent someone from coming along and winning all 6 prizes. Depending on the application you could argue both ways, that it is a single entry or multiple. Since the application would rely on the framework I would submit it as one and have a stronger entry rather than two weaker ones. Technically you would be able to have your son submit another entry. That would be frowned upon though, since you would have a greater chance of winning more prizes, nor would it be fair to the other contestants.

    In the previous c4 contests source code was submitted to Rockin-B for proof that the contestant wrote it and to apply any extra points accordingly. Other judges were presented with binaries. The source code were never published without consent. It will be the same for this contest. I will not force anyone to post their source or use a specific licence. Would you rather I awarded some extra points for allowing the source to be published on SX?

    In short no. Like the previous c4 contests you are awarded Prize points and with those points you get to pick which prizes you want. The higher the placing the more priority you have in getting to pick the prize. What I can do is allow you and other contestants that would rather only get money is to opt to receive the cost of shipping the prize in leu of the prize. Shipping in Canada can be quite expensive and in some cases cost more than the item being shipped.

    I decided to start up this contest because there was no C4 in the hopes of keeping C4 alive. I changed the name in respect for Rockin-B who I hope will return soon. If everyone feels that the contest should be changed then by all means I will. This is as much for the community as it is for me. Should the contest be tweaked, if so, how?
  13. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    Sorry for the late reply.

    About my son: of course it was joke ! And he doesn't know C language yet %)

    What I wanted to point out is the fact that it may be unfair not to reward people who wrote multiple entries.

    Of course, publishing source without consent, and forcing to publish source are negative to the contest itself.

    However, a programming contest is (in my point of view), the occasion to trade prizes/money for fresh code, which may be reused/improved in the next contest and so on.

    Hence, I think it may be a good idea to grant contesters that publish their source code.

    In my Saturn debugger project, I use code from ExCyber's arflash, Charles MacDonald's VDP1 example, Rockin-B's Saturn Save Game Manager, etc. I would have give up development a long time ago without theses resources.

    I live in Japan, so it would cost even more than shipping to Canada. (I suppose prizes are shipped mostly from USA or Europe).

    So, in the case of winning non money prize, I think it would be better to receive money instead.

    ... Well, at first, let continue coding my entry [​IMG]
  14. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member


    The forums were down this month, but it seems to be OK now.

    Is it still time to participate in the contest ?
  15. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    Hello, what about the contest deadline ?

    In my case, it is OK to release my entry anytime.

    My entry is composed of a Saturn application and its framework that allows to execute/debug the Saturn application from PC by using a freewing communication cable.

    The Saturn application itself hasn't been modified from November 30th 2010.

    However, I would like my framework to work also with USB Data Link cable (so that other people can use it), but as I don't own a working USB Data Link device, debugging transmission-related stuff for it is quite a pain ...

    (and my january-february workload doesn't let me so much time too)

    Ideally, I would prefer to do an official release on sx forums after adding/debugging stuff for Data Link device, but as I don't know how long it would take in order to achieve this, it is OK to release everything now in the case deadline is soon.

    BTW: what happened to the "translucent blue data link device" that disappeared from the prizes list of the contest ? I would have been glad to receive it so that I could do some debugging with it.
  16. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    You can find my entry at the following address: http://ppcenter.free.fr/satcom/

    (Current version is available here for download, but I recommend to check on my homepage for the latest version.)

    My entry is composed the following stuff:

    - ietx2: a Saturn adaptation of the yeti3d engine. (Videos taken from my Saturn are available here and here)

    - SatLink: a PC<->Saturn transfer program that currently supports freewing and USB Data Link devices.

    - satcom_lib: a framework for Saturn application that allows to send debug messages from your Saturn application to SatLink application on your PC.

    - SCFirmWare: Saturn Action Replay custom firmware made by using satcom_lib. (thanks to this firmware, fast and error-proof transmission can be performed with my freewing communication device)

    - SCtest: sample application that use satcom_lib.

    - Various developpement tools, like data compressor, Saturn application → ARP firmware conversion tool, etc.
  17. Amon

    Amon Staff Member

    Anyone besides cafe-alpha and vbt have an entry?
  18. FacundoARG

    FacundoARG New Member

    Hi, yes I have one.

    Now i'm making a tool to edit levels.

    Sonic Jump SS
  19. Amon

    Amon Staff Member

    Would you mind handing in your entry soon. The contest deadline has technically past but since there are so few entries I would hate there to be only one. Would you and vbt mind submitting one asap. Cafe-Alpha, you are more than welcome to update yours and if you do not object give these two another day to submit.

    Would anyone like to judge?

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