Tuesday, 29 April 2014

C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition!

What? Another year has gone by already? Following the success of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 rounds, RGCD are proud to announce the start of the C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition 2014!

For a second year, the awesome Gideon Zweijtzer has kindly sponsored the competition with two 1541 Ultimate II Cartridges (RRP £110 each), and we'll be putting in £200 of prize money again ourselves. We are currently in the process of securing further prizes and sponsorship, and awards will be given to entries that place 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively. Drop us a line if you'd like to help out with the prizes!


So you can get started, the basic rules are laid out below:

  1. The competition deadline is 00:00 GMT on the 8th December 2014 (midnight on the 7th of December) - this gives you over 6 months of development time.
  2. There will be no competition unless a minimum of six entries are submitted by the deadline.
  3. All submitted games must be in working 16KB cartridge ROM format (help is available to test ROM files on real hardware). Compression is allowed (and encouraged) but the final file size must not exceed 16KB (.crt (VICE) at 16.0 KB (16,464 bytes) or .bin (C64) at 16.0 KB (16,384 bytes)).
  4. The games submitted do not necessarily need to be new, but must be your own work, not sold commercially or released in cartridge format previously. Cartridge ROM hacks will obviously not be accepted.
  5. PAL must be supported, with additional NTSC support optional (but encouraged). If possible, please consider GS compatibility.
  6. The maximum number of single entries from a person or group is set at three. If more entries are made, the applicant has the opportunity to replace a previous entry with a new one.
  7. All applicants that submit a valid entry (see above) will receive one physical cartridge copy of their game for free.
  8. The applicant owns their work, so therefore submitted games will *ONLY* be released for sale at an agreed price via RGCD if the coder expresses a desire to do so.
  9. There will be a panel of judges (announced in full over the coming weeks), and entries will be scored on a point distribution basis across several criteria. The decision of the panel is final.
  10. Judges *CAN* enter games themselves, but cannot self-vote (award points to their own release).


The following links may prove useful:


In addition to this, our resident cartridge expert Dr. Martin "Enthusi" Wendt has written some notes that should help people new to the format.


If you are interested in entering the competition, send us a message via the form on our contact page confirming that you'd like to take part and we will be in touch with more details.


You can send in your game via email, yousendit (or other service), upload it to your server or even pop it in the post on a CD-ROM/SD card/etc. but it *MUST* be received/downloaded by us prior to the deadline.


Where known, the current status of each competition entry is given below, together with an in-game screen shot.

Brilliant Maze (Geir Straume) In Progress

C-2048 (p1x3l.net) In Progress

Co-Axis RX (Jason Kelk) In Progress

Falling (Wanax & Saul Cross) In Progress

Fire Frenzy (Craig Derbyshire) In Progress

GEM (Ernst Neubeck) In Progress

Honey Bee (Richard Bayliss) In Progress

P0 Snake (Antonio Savona) In Progress

Penultimate Fantasy (Georg Rottensteiner) In Progress

Pickle's Pod Patrol (Steve Ody & Saul Cross) In Progress

Pixel City Skater (Luigi Vicari) In Progress

Race (Steffen Görzig) In Progress

Tiger Claw (Matthias Bock & Saul Cross) In Progress

Untitled (Roy Fielding) In Progress

Vovoid Attack (Achim Volkers) In Progress


We are still in the process of building up a panel of judges, which at the moment includes the following people (this current line up has been taken from last year, and is not confirmed as yet):

Andreas Varga/Mr. SID (HVSC Crew)
Anton MacArthur (RGCD/Retro Game Punk)
Flemming Dupont (RGCD)
Frank Gasking (GTW64)
Jakob Voos/Jak T Rip (Protovison)
James Monkman/Heavy Stylus (RGCD)
John Dennis (RGCD)
Martin Wendt/Enthusi (RGCD/Onslaught)
Matt Allen/Mayhem


The scoring rules are very simple. Depending on the number of entries, the judges will award points to each game over several criteria (as discussed below). If there are 6 entries, 6 points go to the best, then 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 to the worst.

If a panel member has entered a game themselves, then the number of points that they can award will be adjusted (in this example, to 5) and they will not score their own release. This may initially seem harsh (and disadvantageous), but is countered by fairly taking a mean average based on how many people judged each game.

The criteria that each game will be evaluated on are:

Originality (is the game based on a new idea or a twist on an established design?),
Concept (quality of game design),
Execution (execution of design, taking into account controls, NTSC/GS compatibility),
Presentation (quality of graphics, audio and overall presentation),
Gameplay (a measure of how enjoyable the game is to play),
Lasting Appeal (replay value, addictiveness).

When the panel has scored each game accordingly, the totals for each criteria will be divided by the number of judges to produce a mean average. These averages are then added together for each game to give a final score.

We are considering opening an element of the vote up to the public this year on CSDB, but how this will be incorporated has yet to be decided.


As well as a free copy of their submitted game on cartridge, there will also be prizes awarded to the entrants behind games that place 1st, 2nd and 3rd (as decided by the judging panel). Many thanks to Gideon Zweijtzer for his sponsorship!

1st Prize
A 1541 Ultimate II Cartridge (RRP £110), Sam Dyer's C64 Commpedium (RRP £25) and £100 (paid via PayPal).

2nd Prize
A 1541 Ultimate II Cartridge (RRP £110), Sam Dyer's C64 Commpedium (RRP £25) and and £50 (paid via PayPal).

3rd Prize
Sam Dyer's C64 Commpedium (RRP £25) and£50 (paid via PayPal).

(We are still in the process of securing sponsorship - more prizes will be added to this list as they are confirmed).