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ABBUC Software Competition 2017


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#1 freetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 2, 2017 5:17 PM

First of all, happy new year to everyone and may 2017 give you ample time to spend with your 8-Bit Ataris :)!

 

I would like to start this post with a big thank you to Sascha who has helmed ABBUC's software resort and conducted the contests over the last years, and as the resort's new head, I know that these are not small shoes to fill. Just a few words about me: I got my first 800XL on Christmas 1985 and have written for German magazines User-Mag and Atari Magazin. In the last couple of years, my interest in my Ataris has intensified again, both in terms of hardware (MidiJoy) as well as minimal programming (Floppy Bird and ATASCII Blaster). As the father of two kids, it's always a bit difficult to handle multiple hobbies, but working with the Ataris has a lot of value for me because I still learn a lot, also in more general terms about how computers work (which is not necessarily the case nowadays if you code in modern languages/systems).

 

But enough with the intro, here are the news regarding this year's software contest (deadline again 31st of July 23:59:00 UTC+2):

 

The updated rules have been published in the last ABBUC magazine and are now also available in English on the club's website. As has been discussed/voted during the 2016 annual general meeting, the following changes have been applied and can be found in the rules in greater detail:

 

- The limitation to a stock 800 XL has been waived. You can now submit software that can make use of any extension available - but bear in mind that the more detailed your hardware requirements are, the less likely it is that the majority can run it and award points accordingly. So in case of very special requirements, you'd have to make sure that your game/application really rocks :)... The rationale behind this is that this should encourage authors to support a greater variety of extensions, such as MultiJoy or VBXE.

 

- It is now allowed to provide further disk images via download on the authors' websites as addition to the program submitted, as long as these do not run standalone. The idea here is that for some extensions such as VBXE, you may be able to fit the main program on the max. 2 disk sides allowed and distributed by the club during the contest, but complex levels or graphics might require more disks.

 

- An online submission as well as voting portal is planned, making both processes easier for everyone involved. This however depends on the extra time I need to code this portal, so as of now, there is no guarantee that it will happen for this contest already. If anyone wants to assist, you are more than welcome to do so!

 

You can find the fineprint on the website or get in touch with me in case you have further questions.

 

Cheers,

 

F.



#2 David_P OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 2, 2017 7:16 PM

Thanks to all the ABBUC members who do so much work every year for the competitions.  We all appreciate your efforts very much.



#3 gorgh OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 6:48 AM

I will contribute for sure



#4 freetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 7:00 AM

The online submission website for contributions is about to be ready soon which will hopefully make procedures easier, including online voting for ABBUC members. Stay tuned...

#5 therealbountybob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 3, 2017 11:26 AM

Thought I'm not entering this year as I'm still still finishing off last year's game "Space Fortress Omega" I am free to assist anyone who is with some testing, ideas, or even some MAC/65 assembler!

;)



#6 freetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 6, 2017 3:56 PM

The online submission (and later voting) system for the Abbuc Software Contest is now online:

http://asc.abbuc.de

 

There is an English version as well (rightmost menu entry).

Please use this system rather than submitting your entries via e-mail as you will be able to update your contribution until the end of the deadline all by yourself!

Any questions or problems? Just send me an e-mail at software (ät) abbuc dot de

 

Have fun!

 

F.


Edited by freetz, Thu Jul 6, 2017 3:58 PM.


#7 popmilo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 7, 2017 4:01 AM

The online submission (and later voting) system for the Abbuc Software Contest is now online:

http://asc.abbuc.de

 

Let the games begin ! :)

 

Wish you all many new games this year !


Edited by popmilo, Fri Jul 7, 2017 4:01 AM.


#8 gorgh OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:58 AM

just to keep you informed guys, our game is almost ready, I'm waiting for the music only, and probably at Sunday we will send it



#9 Josť Pereira ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:57 AM

Hi.
Indeed all is too quiet this year and none other(s) than Gorgh.
From me and my this year coder partner things seems too difficult to be ready untill the deadline :(.
What happens if there isn't at least 6 entries in one of the contest category like the games one?

Edited by Josť Pereira, Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:05 AM.


#10 freetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:22 AM

No worries, although the deadline will be airtight this year (the submission portal automatically closes at 23:59 of 31 July (UTC), we already have two submissions and I'm not sure whether Gorgh's is part of that. The rules state that three entries (of quality) need to be submitted, so I'd assume that we'll get to that by the end of the week :)...


Edited by freetz, Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:22 AM.


#11 freetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:26 AM

And please note that 23:59 UTC may be a few hours sooner or later depending on your time zone. So don't wait until the last minute :)!

In the online portal, you can edit your submission, including uploading a new diskimage until the deadline. So it might be worth uploading an earlier version to make sure you will be qualified for participation even if your computer breaks down at 23:57 on 31 July when you make your last-minute update. In any case, the last version uploaded to the online portal will be the one that is sent out to the members for voting - no earlier or in-between version!



#12 gorgh OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:30 AM

can I ask here if my game's name- "New Atari Game" doesn't break the rules of the competition? I mean if you will have any problems with "Atari" in the title?



#13 freetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:08 PM

Well, other than it's a bit non-descriptive, I don't see a problem here, because Atari here is an adjective. "Atari's new game" would be something else because that would imply that it would be the company Atari's new game, and that would most likely be a breach of the rules.

#14 gorgh OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:22 PM

thanks for the feedback, I'm glad there are other 2 games in the contest, I'm still waiting for the music



#15 Josť Pereira ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:22 PM

So at your timezone 23:59 the game file that is there is the one and can't have some more days if there is some fixes needed like in other years?
Just because on last year there was ABBUC members complaining that by the end of September they didn't received the games discs.
I may seem to try to get some more time, perhaps really am and isn't fair for others that finish in time but if there are only 3 or 4 submissions and others show something running...
Some days more to all can fix and do some updates, would it be fair?
Probably isn't and you as a true club vote the rules Months before by the members and is each participant that must find the best way of using his time though sometimes we'll all have personal life, job and some a wife and kids.
If not for ABBUC maybe the game I'm into can be released soon and if nothing bad and unexpected happens all gfxs and engine, maps and sprites for the next year contest game by me and my partner is already done and decided that it will need and be coded starting not less than 5 or 6Monts before the deadline, first because is a large levels game and second that life troubles,... the same as this year will not happen.
:(

Edited by Josť Pereira, Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:24 PM.


#16 Mathy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:31 PM

Hello Freetz

 

 

In your first posting in this thread, you mention 23:59 of 31 July UTC+2, in your postings above, you say 23:59 of 31 July (UTC).  That's a difference of two hours.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy


Edited by Mathy, Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:31 PM.


#17 freetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:34 PM

@Jose: Unfortunately, there won't be any leeway for late submissions, although as someone who often works very close on deadlines (right now as well on an article), I can understand your arguments very well. But in a competition, this also has to do with fairness. How much is "some more days"? One day? Five days? Two weeks? And how would one argue that for example one submission after five days is accepted and another one after a week isn't?

The deadlines have been clear since last year and also have to do with the fact that the people who have to do the post-processing (not just me) also have a job and wife and kids, and the deadline falls right into the summer holidays, too.

But we've had not 100% final submissions last year, too (IIRC, it was the "Monk"). And if the game is ready enough for voters to see the potential, it can still be getting a good spot at the end of the contest (and going by the quality of your previous submissions, I wouldn't doubt that even a not-100%-finished game of yours would rock!). On the other hand, if more fundamental parts of the game are still missing, some days more probaby also wouldn't do the fix, I think. So I hope you can understand the reason for this deadline.

 

@Mathy: Yes, in order to make it less ambiguous I decided to go for 23:59 UTC, which as a side-effect will give everyone two more hours compared to 23:59 UTC+2. Unfortunately, AtariAge doesn't let me alter my first post, but as it prolonging rather than shortening the deadline, that shouldn't be a problem.


Edited by freetz, Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:35 PM.


#18 therealbountybob OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:59 AM

I preferred the competition being later in the year, if there are not many entries perhaps this will be re-considered ;)



#19 freetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:46 AM

I'm not sure if that much later is really feasible, because the contest will always end at the ABBUC JHV end of October. Futhermore, some members still want to test the games on a real Atari and don't have the equipment to transfer disk images to floppies. That means they will have to rely on the disks coming with the magazine which itself comes out only four times per year. Maybe moving the deadline from end of July to end of August would still be possible, but then there woud only be a good six to seven weeks between the deadline and the JHV - inbetween which all of the vetting and post-production and delivery of the magazine has to be done.

 

And in the end, a year is still a year, whether it runs from July to July or August to August ;)...

 

But all in all, I'm not totally against it, you just need to find a member who puts this up for voting and suggest a specific deadline that still works in the abovementioned environment.



#20 Josť Pereira ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:00 AM

Yes I understand your point but for some people having Summer vacations to do some things is good but for others perhaps not.
If was deadline untill September and for most it will apply to all usually having vacations at this time of the year, at least the North world guys that seem to be most of the entries.
July is on this place a sort of breaking the Summer. If you have more people there have the meeting only on last weekend of October then maybe there's a way to also have all Summer to people do their entries.
You have to realize that is a long gap between the deadline and the meeting. It seems that even members have to wait about 2Months for playing the games that is a pain when the game developers start to show screens and videos doing their promotion.
Even on the recent years where my works entered in-time I trully wanted that people play the game(s) and not only see screens, videos and explanations.
As an example, in a similar C64 competition after the deadline and it hasn't a time and a meeting, people were waiting the releases for Months. Though it seems there wasn't nothing about when the releases, they didn't explained why the delay and all days many posts in all kind of C64's and retro websites.
I understand that you also have family and life but you as the part side you are that must find way(s) to as soon as possible save and send the discs to the members.
It doesn't seem fair to me and sorry to say that the developers have a deadline on 31st of July when you seem to send on things by September. If you there go into vacations maybe let others have, at least August, in the coming years? Just a proposal...
:thumbsup:

#21 freetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:05 AM

Ok, two things: For one, the online portal that I programmed will make it possible for members to access the games quite a bit earlier. We hope to do the vetting and the compilation of the disk during August, and as soon as this is done, members can download the games and start voting. Just about four weeks to do this (and again, I'm not alone in this process) is not too much to ask, don't you think?

Secondly, to prepare the magazine is a totally different thing and takes Wolfgang and the crew a lot of time, just to copy the disks for hundreds of members is quite a task. Please don't expect them to do all this in just 2-3 weeks - plus the members (who are paying for the prizes) also need time to play the games.

 

So, if you add 3-4 week(end)s that we need to vet the submissions and compile the disks plus 2-3 week(end)s for Wolfgang to copy the disks and send out the magazine (which can only start after the disk is compiled), plus 3-4 week(ends) for members to test an play and vote (some still via snail mail), that comes to around 8-11 weeks from the submission deadline to the JHV. Personally, I don't see how a later deadline could work reliably, because even 8 weeks from end of August instead of July would barely make it for the JHV end of October.

 

But as I said, it's the members who decide on that. So why not find someone who's putting it up for voting at the JHV to move the JHV date to end of November? If there's a majority for that, we can move the competition deadline a month later without a problem.



#22 +Adam+ OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:20 PM

Hi,

 

Some words about ABBUC Software Contest 2017 and Gorgh's entry (Google translated): link
 
Gorgh_N.A.G.(WIP).png


#23 +Adam+ OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:23 PM

... and about SuperFly XL entry created by Patjomki, Irgendwer and Miker: link
 
SuperFlyXL-Lite_1.png

Edited by +Adam+, Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:27 PM.


#24 miker OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:46 AM

Here's video I've made for Superfly XL (lite). Featuring my (cough) gameplay (cough, snap). :)

 



#25 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:10 PM

Would it be possible that the disks are sent out as priority by distance?

I live in Australia and have never voted as my disks always arrive very late. Could they be sent to the furthest away people first to make it so everyone receives theirs at around the same time?




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