Deadline for submissions is
Submissions may be uploaded using the compo management system.
Compos - Retro
Show off your skills at resurrecting the gaming and computing platforms of the past. We have one of the largest collections of original working hardware, on which we will make our very best efforts to show your work!
Important Update for 2020: If you are submitting a retro demo, please let us know what platform it is for 1 week prior to the submission deadline, by 13 November 2020. COVID-19 related issues have made it difficult for us to access some of our storage facilities, and we need time to make sure we can get the hardware ready. If you miss this date, please submit anyway (and still let us know), but your demo may be shown in an emulator or as a video instead.
- A "retro" platform is, roughly speaking, anything not in current or recent production. As a rule of thumb, anything produced before the year 2000 falls into this category. Arguments for more recent platforms must be raised with the organizers in advance.
- Submissions should not require any input beyond an initial loading/configuration screen. At any time during the execution of the demo, pressing the Escape key (or equivalent control) must cause the program to terminate.
- Submissions may not access any networking interfaces or modify system files, or in any way interfere with the playback of future demos.
- No specific limit on size is enforced as long as your target platform can handle it.
- All submissions must be original work that has not been previously released. A special exception is made for the ANSI/ASCII graphics competition (see compo-specific rules).
- Remote entries (submitted by a group which has no respresentatives present at the event) are accepted and will be eligible for prizes. Prizes will be delivered by standard US or international mail if a valid mailing address has been provided.
- Any content contained in a submission that is not the original work of the submission author(s) must have prior approval by its copyright owner. Submission of work to this competition affirms that all such approvals have been obtained.
- All submissions will be made available for unlimited public distribution by the organizers. Submission to this competition constitutes an agreement to such distribution.
- All submissions must adhere to the format requirements of the submission system, including required fields and maximum total submission size. Authors are strongly encouraged to review the submission system in advance of the competition deadline.
- Organizers reserve the right to reject submissions which contain unusually profane, disturbing, or shocking content.
- Organizers reserve the right to cancel, combine or split any categories for any reason.
- Organizers reserve the right to modify these rules at any time prior to the submission deadline.
- Any concerns not addressed by these rules are subject to decision by the organizers. All such decisions are final.
- Submissions may be of any length, however only up to the first five minutes of the demo will be screened during the event.
- The maximum supported display resolution is 1920x1080 (1080p) (in the unlikely event your retro device goes that high). Standard VESA video modes are strongly encouraged.
- Organizers will attempt, to the maximum extent practical, to screen all submissions on original hardware present in the on-site collection.
- Author(s), if present, may supply hardware on which to screen the submission. Almost all analog video standards as well as DVI/HDMI digital video are supported. Audio must be line-level analog mono or stereo.
- If playback on original hardware does not succeed, an attempt will be made using a default installation of the most common emulator for the submission platform. Authors are encouraged to provide known working emulator settings.
- Authors are strongly encouraged to provide a fallback video capture of the submission in the event that hardware and emulation playback are unsuccessful.
- Coordinate any special needs (additional libraries, special runtimes, etc.) with the organizers prior to the event.
This is a list of the platforms that will likely be available for demo running.
Please contact the organizers with any inquiries about platform availability and questions about bringing your own hardware.
- Amiga 500 - NTSC or PAL w/ 512k slow RAM expansion (provide floppy image)
- Amiga 1200 - NTSC or PAL w/ Blizzard '060 accelerator 64MB RAM (provide floppy image or hard-disk runnable binary)
- Amstrad CPC464 - 64k PAL (provide tape image or audio file to play as a tape)
- Amstrad CPC6128 - 128k PAL with HxC SDcard floppy emulator (provide disk image[s] as standard DSK or HFE format)
- Analog Oscilloscope - 60MHz parametric mode (provide stereo audio file and accompanying soundtrack, if any)
- Apple IIgs - ROM03 NTSC or PAL w/ Transwarp GS (provide floppy image)
- Apple Lisa - (provide Lisa Workshop or Lisa Office runnable binary or dc42 floppy image)
- Atari 2600 (VCS) - NTSC (PAL basically works) with Harmony multicart (provide ROM image in any supported format)
- Atari 130XE - PAL 1MB (provide floppy image)
- Atari 800XL - NTSC (provide floppy image)
- Atari 1040STE - PAL 4MB with Ultrasatan floppy emulator (provide floppy image)
- Commodore 64 - NTSC or PAL (SID version not guaranteed) with 1541ultimate/emulated-stereo-SID (provide floppy image)
- Commodore 128 - NTSC (provide floppy image)
- DOS PC - 333MHz Pentium II GUS(with-RAM-expansion)/SB16/Covox 128MB RAM (provide DOS binary)
- Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k - PAL (via Speccy2010) (provide TZX/TAP/TRD file)
- Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128k+ and +2 - PAL (provide TAP file)
- Sinclair ZX Spectrum Pentagon - 1MB clone PAL (via Speccy2010) (provide TZX/TAP/TRD file)
- Tangerine Oric Atmos - PAL (provide [preferably] Cumulus-compatible microdisk image or Oric-compatible TAP file or audio file to play as a tape [unreliable!])
- Timex-Sinclair 1000 (ZX81) - NTSC 16KB RAM (provide ZXpand-compatible binary)
- TI-99/4A - NTSC (provide floppy image)
- Vectrex - (provide 32kb or 64kb [must adhere to normal bank-switching convention] ROM image)