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Any programmer Interested?

Any programmer Interested?
by on (#66887)
Hello, my name is Tim & I'm new to this board.

I always used to love playing the old NES games based on game shows, unfortunately most of them were of poor quality. I was wondering if any programmer on this board would be interested in making a game based on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" (preferably that game show, or some other trivia-based game).

I would be responsible for the research & writing of the questions. I intend on writing 1,000-1,500 questions so the questions don't repeat too soon. You would be responsible for gameplay, graphics, & sound. If anyone is interested, just let me know & I'll get right to work on the research & writing aspect. I think there's a good niche of players out there that would like a new game show-based game for the NES, especially one with new, original material.

by on (#66889)
A multiple choice game like Millionaire would be fairly easy, as I wouldn't have to write the sort of spell-checker that a free-answer format like Jeopardy!, Win Ben Stein's Money, or Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? would need. But watch out for Sony, which owns Millionaire and probably won't want a Millionaire clone on a Nintendo console; you'll need to identify copyrights and trademarks and write around them.

What was so poor about existing games like Jeopardy! for NES?

by on (#66891)
The basic game logic would be dead easy to code, most of the effort would probably be spent on bells and whistles, such as animation, screen transitions and other effects.

I don't have the time though, must finish the projects I already got going on.

by on (#66904)
Play the GBC version and pretend it's a NES.

by on (#66908)
tepples wrote:
What was so poor about existing games like Jeopardy! for NES?


Nothing really other than the fact that they are getting really dated. Something that was trivia in 1988 could just as easily be common knowledge, or impossibly obscure trivia, 22 years later.

by on (#66912)
Thanks for all of the tips & advice. I think I'll stay clear of "Millionaire" because that would be a headache to try to sidestep copyright issues.

Here's my idea:

The game would be called "Trivia Chain" (as of now). Each chain would comprise of 10 questions (on "meh" difficulty), 20 questions (on average difficulty), & 30 questions (on WTH?!? difficulty). The correct answer to each question would be featured in some way in the next question, such as.

Question #29 (on hard difficulty)
Until 2009, the WNBA's Shock represented what city?
A. Los Angeles
B. Detroit (correct answer)
C. Kansas City
D. Dallas

Extra fact: The WNBA champs in 2003, 2006, & 2008 became the Tulsa Shock in 2009.

Question #30 (on hard difficulty)
What controversial figure received the key to the city of Detroit, in 1980?
A. Saddam Hussein (correct answer)
B. Jack Kevorkian
C. Howard Stern
D. Larry Flynt

Extra Fact: Other recipients of the key include actor James Earl Jones and former NFL star Jerome Bettis.

As seen in the example, I would also include an extra fact from time to time. I would make several chains so they would not repeat. The questions go from easy to hard as the chain goes on.

So far, here are some of the rules I've come up with: In "meh" mode, if you get 3 questions in a row right, you receive 2 "skip its," meaning you can skip any question entirely if you don't know it (every question except the final one in the chain). On "average, "answer 5 questions in a row right & you get 1 "skip it," answer 10 in a row & you get 2. On "WTH?!?," answer 10 questions in a row right & you get 1, answer 15 and you get 2.

In each mode, you get 3 "do-overs" to complete the chain. If you get it wrong, you are informed it's the wrong answer & not told which one is correct. You lose a "do-over" when you miss a question. If possible, I would like the game to track stats, like questions answered correctly & so on.

I don't know if I want the questions to be timed or not yet.

If anyone is interested in making this idea into a game, just let me know. Advice & criticism is welcomed.

Thanks!

by on (#66913)
Btw, I did really enjoy the Jeopardy & Wheel of Fortune games made for the system. I was directing that statement more to games like Remote Control, Double Dare, Hollywood Squares, etc.

by on (#66919)
All those games were made by Rare, except for Remote Control.

by on (#66926)
Classic Concentration's control sucked (as did that of I Can Remember, from the same publisher). So I made this.

I like the Connections 2 angle. But I'd recommend using trivia that doesn't date quickly.

by on (#66929)
nice game Tepples. must have been difficult to program an AI engine on 6502 asembly language!

by on (#66935)
Timmy112384 wrote:
Thanks for all of the tips & advice. I think I'll stay clear of "Millionaire" because that would be a headache to try to sidestep copyright issues.

Here's my idea:

The game would be called "Trivia Chain" (as of now). Each chain would comprise of 10 questions (on "meh" difficulty), 20 questions (on average difficulty), & 30 questions (on WTH?!? difficulty). The correct answer to each question would be featured in some way in the next question, such as.

Question #29 (on hard difficulty)
Until 2009, the WNBA's Shock represented what city?
A. Los Angeles
B. Detroit (correct answer)
C. Kansas City
D. Dallas

Extra fact: The WNBA champs in 2003, 2006, & 2008 became the Tulsa Shock in 2009.

Question #30 (on hard difficulty)
What controversial figure received the key to the city of Detroit, in 1980?
A. Saddam Hussein (correct answer)
B. Jack Kevorkian
C. Howard Stern
D. Larry Flynt

Extra Fact: Other recipients of the key include actor James Earl Jones and former NFL star Jerome Bettis.

As seen in the example, I would also include an extra fact from time to time. I would make several chains so they would not repeat. The questions go from easy to hard as the chain goes on.

So far, here are some of the rules I've come up with: In "meh" mode, if you get 3 questions in a row right, you receive 2 "skip its," meaning you can skip any question entirely if you don't know it (every question except the final one in the chain). On "average, "answer 5 questions in a row right & you get 1 "skip it," answer 10 in a row & you get 2. On "WTH?!?," answer 10 questions in a row right & you get 1, answer 15 and you get 2.

In each mode, you get 3 "do-overs" to complete the chain. If you get it wrong, you are informed it's the wrong answer & not told which one is correct. You lose a "do-over" when you miss a question. If possible, I would like the game to track stats, like questions answered correctly & so on.

I don't know if I want the questions to be timed or not yet.

If anyone is interested in making this idea into a game, just let me know. Advice & criticism is welcomed.

Thanks!




What is the deadline for the project? i.e. How long can you wait for the project to be completed?

by on (#66962)
Well, I'm hoping to be done with the questions in about 3 & 1/2 to 4 months, and with this format for the game, I'm now planning on having a lot more questions than I did originally. The range will now be from 3,000-3,500 questions so there will be a lot of variety and it won't repeat for a while.

After I get all the questions & answers to the programmer, I would like it all to be done in another 3-6 months. Overall, I'd like the game to be completed in 10 months to a year from now

New info regarding the game:
* I've narrowed the name of the game down to two choices: "The Trivia Link" & "Trivia Connected" (the front-runner to me).
* With each trivia chain, I'd like each question to be presented in this way: Questions & the four multiple choices in a box. Starting with question 1, there will be a line on the right side of the box going off the screen. If it is answered correctly, the screen will pan to the next question. So the gimmick is that whether you're playing the 10, 20, or 30 question link, all the questions will be visually connected (with only one question displayed on the screen at a time), with the final one connected to nothing at the right.

by on (#66963)
The gimmick: The correct answer determines the next question's category.

The tech specs: The scrolling effect you describe would be easiest to achieve with a horizontally arranged nametable, which implies vertical mirroring. For a text-heavy game, we're probably going to want a CHR RAM cartridge so that we can make the text look nice and easy to read. Depending on the memory size, this means UNROM/SGROM (128 KB), UOROM/SGROM (256 KB), or SUROM/modded SGROM (512 KB).

The memory size: You want to pack 3,000 questions and sets of four answers in an NES Game Pak. How many characters do you expect each question and answer to be, on average? I guess I had better get back to work on my text compression program.

by on (#66966)
The correct answer moves the player ahead in the chain. The correct answer won't be displayed upon the giving of a wrong answer, so the player can keep guessing. The player gets 3 tries in each chain. If all 3 tries are used up, the player cannot go further with the chain & the results are put in the player's career stats.

If you all have any further suggestions, let me know. You all sound very tech-savvy. & tepples, I don't have any knowledge of programming, so you can let me know what the NES is capable of when it comes how many questions, answers, & overall information it can handle. Whatever it takes to get on a cartridge and still look presentable, I could easily whittle down the # of questions I make for the game.

by on (#66968)
Timmy112384 wrote:
career stats

There's a reason that no NES quiz show simulator had career stats. Saving increases the cost of making cartridges by several dollars, as you need to build battery-backed RAM into the cartridge (unless you're tearing up a copy of Ultima Exodus).

Quote:
I don't have any knowledge of programming, so you can let me know what the NES is capable of when it comes how many questions, answers

Again, that depends on how long each of the questions and answers are. If you shoot for 80 characters for the question and 20 for each answer, it wouldn't be out of the question to compress the full 3,000 into a 256 KB cartridge (same size as Final Fantasy).

by on (#66970)
tepples wrote:
Timmy112384 wrote:
career stats

There's a reason that no NES quiz show simulator had career stats. Saving increases the cost of making cartridges by several dollars, as you need to build battery-backed RAM into the cartridge (unless you're tearing up a copy of Ultima Exodus).


Except that now it costs nothing extra to use FlashROM, which can be saved to. This would be especially helpful here, because you could save the LFSR(s) states, used for generating the questions. So if you wanted, in one 'career' you could prevent any repeats until you've seen them all.

by on (#66972)
tepples wrote:
Timmy112384 wrote:
career stats

There's a reason that no NES quiz show simulator had career stats. Saving increases the cost of making cartridges by several dollars, as you need to build battery-backed RAM into the cartridge (unless you're tearing up a copy of Ultima Exodus).


Is there something special about how Exodus stores its save state (like using eeprom instead of nvram)?

Or is it just a plentiful, cheap source of parts for a board, ram + battery?

by on (#66976)
With Flash memory it's also possible to modify data without having to erase the Flash each time. This is achieved by representing the data in a way that changes only involve clearing bits. A simple approach is to store the byte or word value at the beginning of a 256-byte page. If it needs to be changed, store a zero over it and put the new value just after it. This assumes the value 0 can be used as a sentinel value.

by on (#66979)
clueless wrote:
Or is [Ultima Exodus] just a plentiful, cheap source of parts for a board, ram + battery?

This. Because Ultima Exodus (not to be confused with Wisdom Tree's Exodus, which is a Boulder Dash clone) has low review scores among SNROM/SUROM games, it's cheaper than tearing up a Legend of Zelda or a Final Fantasy.

One problem with putting a 29F040 on a modded SUROM and devoting half the space to saving is that neither the PowerPak nor any popular emulator supports it, so it's hard to test with unless you own an EPROM programmer.

But to add to blargg's point: flash would be ideal for storing which questions have been seen in order to prefer new ones. A block of 384 bytes starts at $FF, and each question has a bit if it's seen.

I do want to make this game, even if only as an excuse to explore text compression.

by on (#66980)
In 2001 I wrote a very similar game not for NES but for DOS(using C). That's the only experience I have in this regard. So, I would like to help and be a part of the project(if I can) :)