Saturday, 25 July 2015

C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition!


Here it is, the long-awaited announcement of the RGCD C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition 2015! Following on from the success of the last four competitions (yep, that's one, two, three & four), we're hoping that 2015 will be our biggest year yet!

We are currently in the process of securing 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!

Important! Please note that the deadline is NOT the 1st of December this year! December is a stupidly busy time of year for me and I don't want a repeat of last year's "sorry, I'm not available to close the competition" problems. Instead, the deadline is now the 1st of April 2016 - so you have plenty of cold, dark winter nights to code with your feet warming on the C64 power brick :)



RULES

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

  1. The competition deadline is 00:00 GMT on the 1st April 2016 (the beginning of the 1st April, not the end!) - 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).



USEFUL LINKS / INFO

The following links may prove useful:

http://codebase64.org/doku.php?id=base:code_frame_for_16_kb_crt-images
codebase64.org/doku.php?id=base:assembling_your_own_cart_rom_image
unusedino.de/ec64/technical/aay/c64/memcfg.htm

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



REGISTERING

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.



SUBMITTING A GAME

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.



GAME STATUS

There are currently 9 games in active development! Screenshots (where available) and development status are given below.

Competition Entry #1: Alienantor
(Developer: Georg Rottensteiner - Status: Complete & Submitted!)


Competition Entry #2: Vortex Crystals
(Developer: Richard Bayliss - Status: Complete & Submitted!


Competition Entry #3: Escape from Area 64
(Developer: Christian Gleinser - Status: Withdrawn!)


Competition Entry #4: Creepy Crawlers
(Developer: P1X3L.net - Status: Withdrawn!)


Competition Entry #5: Unknown
(Developer: John Ames - Status: Withdrawn!)


Competition Entry #6: Icicle Race
(Developer: Saul Cross & John Christian Lønningdal - Status: Complete & Submitted!)


Competition Entry #7: Platman
(Developer: Saul Cross & Andrea Schincaglia - Status: Complete & Submitted!)


Competition Entry #8: QWAK
(Developer: Saul Cross & Daniel Hotop - Status: Complete & Submitted!)


Competition Entry #9: Blap N Bash Revisited
(Developer: Richard Bayliss - Status: Complete & Submitted!)


Competition Entry #10: Ring On A String
(Developer: P-a Bäckström - Status: Complete & Submitted!)


Competition Entry #11: Pickle's Pod Patrol
(Developer: Saul Cross & Steve Ody - Status: Complete & Submitted!)


Competition Entry #12: Terra/Heaven/Eternity/Arctic
(Developer: Simon Quernhorst - Status: Complete & Submitted!)


Competition Entry #13: Bug Hunt
(Developer: Eric Hilaire - Status: Complete & Submitted!)


Competition Entry #14: Slime Deluxe
(Developer: Mr. NOP - Status: Complete & Submitted!)





THE JUDGING PANEL

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)
Hedning (Genesis Project)
David Simmonds/Jazzcat (RGCD/Onslaught)
Flemming Dupont (RGCD)
Frank Gasking (GTW64)
Jakob Voos/Jak T Rip (Protovison)
James Monkman/Heavy Stylus (RGCD)
Jamie Howard/Physcopanda (RGCD)
John Dennis (RGCD)
Martin Wendt/Enthusi (RGCD/Onslaught)
Matt Allen/Mayhem
Paul Koller/paulko64



SCORING SYSTEM

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.



PRIZES

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).

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