Self-Evaluation for All Software Submissions

This section describes all of the items which must be accounted for, prior to submitting software for evaluation by Nintendo. Checklists have been provided to help you keep track of the necessary information.

General
The following checks should be performed on all Nintendo 64 software.

____ The value contained in osTvType must not enable automatic switching of the TV system from NTSC to PAL, or PAL to NTSC.
____ When a Controller is not connected to the Control Deck at the time power is applied, a message such as, "Controller is not connected" should be displayed on the screen and the game should not start.
____ Verify that the Reset Button will function as intended at any time during game play.
____ For games in which the Control Stick is used, the developer should try to design the game program in such a way that the L Button, R Button, and Start Button will not be accidentally pressed during normal game play, to prevent an accidental re-calibration of the Control Stick.
____ Ensure that the size of the ROM file is the same as the capacity of the ROM which will be used for production. If a 64 Mbit ROM is to be used the ROM file should be 64 Mbit.
____ The licensing screen on all submissions should state "LICENSED BY NINTENDO".
____ Confirm the Licensing Screen information is correct.
____ Check the spelling on the Licensing Screen and Title Screen, as well as the spelling and grammar in the screen text.
____ Confirm the use of a TM, circle R ( ® ), or circle C ( © ) where applicable.
____ Run a "Bypass" Test to assure that, when the game is powered up, the Licensing Screen is visible for at least one second, even if any combination of Controller buttons are pressed repeatedly. Also "Power-up" the software repeatedly to assure it operates as intended.
____ Verify that all displayed data is within the screen boundaries.
____ Game characters should be moved in all possible directions or positions, regardless of whether it is required to play the game properly. For instance, if the game does not require going to a particular area to complete the game, go there anyway to assure there are no programming problems in going to that location.
____ The software should be paused many times during the test, as this often causes programming problems to surface.
____ All testing should be recorded onto a videotape, making it easier to review programming problems.
____ The entire attract mode (demo) should be viewed to assure there are no programming problems.
____ Routines designed to assist the programmer or developer in "debugging" the software should be removed from the game prior to submission. This includes routines to determine hardware type.
____ The following terms are acceptable when referring to the Nintendo 64 Control Deck and its parts.
Nintendo 64 Control Deck, Nintendo 64 Hardware, Controller Socket
____ The following terms are acceptable when referring to the Nintendo 64 Controller and its parts.
Controller, Controller Pad, +Control Pad Up/Left/Right/Down Buttons, Up/Left/Right/Down C Buttons, A/B/Z/L/R Buttons, C buttons displayed with left, right, up, down arrows and Start.
____ The following references are acceptable when referring to the Nintendo 64 Game Pak.
Game Pak or Software
____ The only acceptable reference when referring to the Controller Pak is"Controller Pak".
____ The only acceptable reference when referring to the N64 Transfer Pak is"N64 Transfer Pak".
____ All games are required to have a pause function.

Back-up Functions
The following checks should be performed on all software which uses a back-up function.

____ When the saved area is filled up with the following data, the program should recognize that the saved area is in its initial state.
All 00H
All FFFFH
01H, 02H,
____ Ensure that saved data works properly and is not destroyed when power is cycled off and back on.
____ In cases where saved data can be selected, ensure that the game functions as intended when the saved data is used.
____ If there is a rank list (high scores) in the saved data, verify that it is ranked correctly when new data is added. Be careful not to overflow data off the bottom of the list.
____ In cases where the user can delete or copy saved data, ensure that these options function properly.
____ Verify that unnecessary data is not written to EEPROM since data can only be written to EEPROM a finite number of times.

Controller Pak
The following checks should be performed on all software which allows the user to save data on a Controller Pak.

____ Verify the following three items when sharing Game Pak data among countries.
____ Use the same game code for all countries.
____ Write note names only in alphanumeric characters and codes (NCODE 0FH~41H). Do not use Japanese characters or codes.
____ Referring to the nosPakMenu routine for the Controller Pak menu, use the English version "Libnos.a" when making games intended for countries other than Japan. Use the Japanese version, "Libnos_jpn.a" when making games intended for Japan.
____ In games which require saved data to be stored in the Controller Pak, a message should be displayed informing the user that the game will not be saved unless a Controller Pak is inserted into the Controller.
____ Ensure that an appropriate message is displayed on the screen when there is not enough space left in the Controller Pak to save the desired data.
____ When Controller Pak(s) are exchanged during game play, ensure that an appropriate message is displayed on the screen when the new Controller Pak is accessed the first time.
____ The following message (with its accompanying two options) must be displayed when corrupt data is detected: "Corrupt Controller Pak detected." Option A: "Attempt repair (data may be lost.)" Option B: "Continue without saving."
____ Since a Controller Pak may be used to save data for more than one game, verify that the process of saving data for a game will not destroy data previously saved on the Controller Pak for another game.
____ When using a Controller Pak in Controller #1, verify that the Controller Pak menu comes up while holding the Start Button or the Reset Switch, when power is applied.
____ When the Controller Pak menu starts, ensure that a list of note names, the note extension, number of pages that are used, and number of blank pages is displayed. The game code and company codes should also be displayed.
____ Ensure that unnecessary game notes can be deleted by the user, using the Controller Pak menu.
____ When the user deletes game notes, ensure that a confirmation message is displayed on the screen which allows the user to confirm or cancel a game note deletion.
____ Verify that company code (ASCII code), game code (ASCII code), note name (N64 font code), and the note extension (N64 font code) is stored in the Controller Pak.

Expansion Pak
The following check should be performed on all software which requires an Expansion Pak. (If "Essential" is checked next to "Expansion Pak" on the Software Specification Sheet.)
____ The following message must be displayed on the screen at game startup, if no Expansion Pak is installed.
N64 EXPANSION PAK NOT INSTALLED
The N64 Expansion Pak accessory must be installed in the N64 for
this game. See the Expansion Pak instruction booklet.

N64 Transfer Pak
The following checks should be performed on all software which requires an N64 Transfer Pak.

____ Ensure that the power to the Game Boy Game Pak is turned off when the Game Boy Game Pak is not being accessed.
____ When power to the N64 Transfer Pak is interrupted during Game Boy Game Pak access, ensure that an appropriate message is displayed and that data will not be destroyed. Also ensure that the game can continue normally.
____ If no N64 Transfer Pak is connected to the Controller when the N64 Transfer Pak should be connected, ensure that a message is displayed instructing the user to insert the N64 Transfer Pak.
____ If another accessory (Controller Pak, Rumble Pak, etc.) is connected to the Controller when the N64 Transfer Pak should be connected, ensure that a message is displayed instructing the user to insert the N64 Transfer Pak.
____ Ensure that a message is displayed if the Game Boy Game Pak is removed from the N64 Transfer Pak between Game Boy Game Pak accesses, and a read/write is subsequently attempted.
____ Ensure that proper messages are displayed when Game Boy Game Pak is being accessed. Verify that all accesses to Game Boy Game Pak data are synchronized with messages on the screen warning of impending/occurring data transfer.
____ Ensure that power to the Game Boy Game Pak is turned off before displaying any messages to remove the Game Boy Game Pak.
____ If the Game Boy Game Pak is removed and reinserted during game play, ensure that the N64 Control Deck functions properly after pressing Reset.
____ Verify that data written to a Game Boy Game Pak by the N64 Transfer Pak functions normally on Game Boy.
____ Ensure that all messages which refer to the N64 Transfer Pak refer to it as "N64 Transfer Pak".
____ When a data transfer with the Controller fails, please display an appropriate message such as: "There is a problem with the Game Boy Game Pak connector. Turn off power to the N64 Control Deck and refer to the N64 Transfer Pak Instruction Booklet."
____ Ensure that the Game Boy Game Pak ROM registration data is checked to verify that the right Game Pak is being accessed. When a different Game Boy Game Pak is detected, a warning should be displayed.

English Version
The following item applies to all NTSC Version software.

____ North American software must be compatible with both NTSC and MPAL formats. Please check the osTvType constant before each osViSetMode() and set the mode accordingly.

PAL Version
The following item applies to all PAL Version software.

____ If the Nintendo 64 Library Files and the Partner-N64 Debugger software version is 2.0E or older, the following two statements must be in the application program before setting the audio frequency.

extern int osViClock;
osViClock= VI_PAL_CLOCK;

Licensee Game Play Video Tape Pass/Fail Guidelines
The following pass/fail guidelines apply to all games being submitted for approval.

____ If the product for which the software being submitted has not been rated by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB), a Game Play Video Tape must be submitted as part of the game submission package. Attention to the following details will improve the probability that the submitted tape will be approved by Nintendo
____ The licensee game play video tape must be recorded on a VHS tape, Standard Play speed (SP) for clarity.
____ No editing of the tape is allowed.
____ If more than one tape is needed to show the entire piece of software, then when a second tape begins it must show that the player is in the exact same location it was in when the first tape ended.
____ No codes or "built-up" characters are allowed.
____ All levels or areas must be completed, in succession.
____ Screen text must have correct grammar and spelling.
____ No deviations from NOA Software Standards Policy may be present.
____ The entire ending credits (if any) must be shown.

Licensing Screen Information and Pass/Fail Guidelines
The following Licensing information should be included for all software. This can be displayed on one (1) or two (2) screens.

____ Licensee's software title
____ Licensee's trademark and copyright notice
(© 19__ Licensee's name or copyright owner).
____ "LICENSED BY NINTENDO" must be included

Example

Tom's GolfTMor®
© 1992 ABC Corporation
LICENSED BY NINTENDO

Note: If a blank screen appears for more than two seconds after power is applied to the Control Deck, Nintendo suggests placing a graphic on the screen so that consumers do not think their game is inoperable. If a blank screen appears for more than five seconds during game play, a graphic must be displayed on the screen.

Proper Use of the N64 Logo
The following rules should be followed when using the N64 Logo.

____ For broadcast and game video, it is acceptable to use a black background behind the logo, with the "Nintendo 64" text appearing in white.
____ Logo colors should match as closely as possible the colors of the logo as it appears in static/printed form. Following are the RGB colors for the N64 logo:
Red: R196, G0, B38
Blue: R56, G56, B127
Yellow: R242, G171, B0
Green: R63, G162, B68
____ When spinning, the logo should rotate to the left (counterclockwise when viewed from the top) at about 16 RPM (one revolution per 2 seconds.)
____ The camera viewing angle must represent the "N" cube exactly as it appears in printed form. The sides of the logo should be parallel and the logo must not appear warped, such as with a "fish eye" lens.
____ Other camera movements, flybys, etc. can be used as long as the correct angle and orientation of the logo is used to establish the identity at some point in the sequence.
____ It is critical that the proportions of the "N" cube accurately reflect those of the printed version of the logo. The size relationship of the "N" cube to the "Nintendo 64" text should be maintained.
____ The "Nintendo 64" text should be placed above the "N" cube logo and the correct font must be used. (An Alias file of the logo is available from Nintendo Licensing Support.

Note: For additional information regarding the proper use of the N64 logo, please review the "N64 Logo and Application Rules" sheets included in your Software Development Kit.

Common Problems
Following is a list of commonly observed problems which may prevent approval of a software submission. A licensee's self examination of the software for these problems prior to submission for approval testing may reduce the time required for over all testing and approval.

____ The software locks up.
____ Scrambled blocks or characters appear on the screen.
____ The software won't pause.
____ Your character can get stuck somewhere with no possible way to get out.
____ Scrambled graphics at the edges of the screen when the screen scrolls in any direction.
____ Vowels in the passwords or password entry-system.
____ Colored lines at the top or bottom of the screen.
____ Shifting of the screen in any direction (other than normal scrolling).
____ Inconsistent scoring methods.
____ Flashes on screen.
____ Small flickering lines on the screen.
____ Camera positioning problems or polygon problems.
____ Hit or be hit by an enemy but no damage is incurred.
____ Incorrect Licensing Screen; "Licensed by Nintendo" must appear for all formats.
____ Violation of any Programming Cautions.
____ Use of the Nintendo logo or representations of Nintendo products in software without license agreement.
____ Using terms such as; Ultra 64, Nintendo, NU64, Console, Unit, or Controller Port, when referencing Nintendo 64 System Hardware.
____ Character actions are inconsistent (for instance, a character that cannot fly, being able to walk off the edge of a platform and stand in midair).
____ Using terms such as; D-Pad, Directional Pad, 3D Stick, Joy Pad, Joy Stick, Analog Stick, Key, or Trigger, when referencing Nintendo 64 Controller functions.
____ Referring to the Nintendo 64 Game Pak by an unacceptable term, such as; Cassette or Cartridge.
____ Referring to the Nintendo 64 Controller Pak by an unacceptable term, such as; Memory Pak.
____ If Licensor approval is required, please assure that this has been finalized before the software submission has been made.

A Note on Objectionable Material
A copy of the Nintendo "Game Content Guidelines" is included below. If you are unsure of whether an item of text or element of a game is within Nintendo Software Standards, you may contact our Product Approval Department early in the development process and they will go over questionable items over the phone. In cases concerning an extensive amount of text, please send it to the attention of NOA Product Approval Manager with the questionable items highlighted. The material will be evaluated and you will be contacted within a week to ten days.

Game Content Guidelines
The following Game Content Guidelines are presented for assistance in the development of authorized Game Pass (i.e., both Nintendo and licensee game paks) by defining the types of themes inconsistent with Nintendo's corporate philosophy. Exceptions may be made when an objectionable item is necessary to maintain the integrity of the product or the games' theme. Nintendo will only approve products (i.e., audiovisual work, packaging and instruction manuals) which do not:

Software Submission Results
Upon successful completion of approval testing, a formal letter of approval will be sent to the licensee by NOA's Licensing Department. When a submission is not approved, NOA may send a videotaped copy of the programming problem(s) which prevent(s) the submission from being approved. This is intended to assist the licensee in analyzing the cause of the software problem. It is the licensee's responsibility to send a copy of this tape to any developer(s) of the software. NOA strongly encourages that copies be sent to developer(s) of the software as quickly as possible, to analyze and correct any screen problems.


Copyright © 1999, 2000
Nintendo of America Inc. All Rights Reserved
Nintendo and N64 are registered trademarks of Nintendo
Last Updated February, 2000