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ABBUC Software-Contest 2013

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The rules for the ABBUC Software-Contest have been released, please find them HERE

 

We tried to make them more clear then last year to avoid questions, but of course nobody is perfect. So if there are questions, just ask me.

 

In general, it is as simple as that:

 

Software must run on stock XL/XE and boot from 1050. I am not a programmer myself, so I am not interested in HOW you did something, as long as it runs on stock hardware, it´s fine. Let´s keep it that simple.

 

And now grab your computer and start programming. :)

 

Edit (from the rules, thanks José for the reminder):

3. Submission

The program and its documentation has to be send to the head of software ressort by post

or email no later than 31.08.2013 22pm (GMT+1, German daylight saving time). Bugfxes

of software handed in earlier are still possible until this deadline. The timely reception will

be confirmed by email and in the ABBUC forums.

Edited by skr
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b) be fully functional on an stock PAL Atari 800XL (64KB) or 130XE (128KB) with an Atari 1050 disk drive and without any additional special software

 

"without any additional special software" - what it means

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Hello guys

 

It means that extra hardware shouldn't be required. If the software or hardware you are entering into the contest can use extra hardware, that's OK. If it requires extra hardware (like special devices not everybody has, or a memory upgrade (beyond the 128kB of memory the 130XE has)), that's no OK.

 

The 1050 is considered standard hardware.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

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b) be fully functional on an stock PAL Atari 800XL (64KB) or 130XE (128KB) with an Atari 1050 disk drive and without any additional special software

 

"without any additional special software" - what it means

 

Example: You write a Game using OSS Basic XE. It won't run unless the user has Basic XE (e.g. by using Panos' 5in1 OSS cartridge). That's not allowed.

If you can deliver everything legally, like Turbo Basic (will run from disc and is free), that's ok. I guess you talk about xbios: as long as you deliver it with your software (and are allowed to do so legally) and make sure that users can run your program, it's ok for me.

 

In case of doubt you can send me what exactly you plan and I can discuss it at the ABBUC.

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Example: You write a Game using OSS Basic XE. It won't run unless the user has Basic XE (e.g. by using Panos' 5in1 OSS cartridge). [..]

So, it is exactly hardware. Hardware with software build in (on EPROM) ;P

Special software will be for example 800Translator - putting on disk, that software emulate old OS for Atari XL/XE ;)

Edited by Sikor

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I am not sure, if I fully understand, what your concerns are about. So I just repeat: Let's keep it simple.

 

If you are not sure, if you're project will be accepted, just send me a message and I will check and tell you, if it is ok or not.

 

The most important thing is, just to do something. There were some nice BASIC programs last year, which entered the competition and had success. This is the nice thing about our beloved Atari machines: GFX and sounds are not as important as a nice idea and a good gameplay.

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b) be fully functional on an stock PAL Atari 800XL (64KB) or 130XE (128KB) with an Atari 1050 disk drive and without any additional special software

 

"without any additional special software" - what it means

 

Well,

 

it means the program must run without requiring some special third party software, e.g. commercial software. Example: You write a program in Kyan Pascal, to execute it every Atarian requires Kyan Pascal, which is a commercial program. Such a program would not be allowed for the contest then (as any other program that requires commercial third party software to be executed)...

 

Another example would be, that you write a program that requires a special driver (80 column driver, controller driver, whatever) or DOS version (e.g. MyDOS 19.3.2.5 RC 21 or SpartaDOS 3.2gxyz RC 5) and you do not deliver this driver or DOS version, just stating its PD/Freeware and it can be found on the internet. While we consider Atari Basic, TB XL and CTB Runtime being standard (not required to deliver them with your program), we do not have the time to search the internet for any other A8 programs, DOS versions or drivers to make your program work... Thus programs that require e.g. XBIOS to work are ok as long as Xbios is delivered with them.

 

Of course the same counts for hardware - your program must run on standard XL/XE computers, it must not require special / extra hardware, like e.g. U1MB, VBXE, Covox, etc. but it may support that hardware...

 

-Andreas Koch.

Edited by CharlieChaplin

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So, it is exactly hardware. Hardware with software build in (on EPROM) ;P

Special software will be for example 800Translator - putting on disk, that software emulate old OS for Atari XL/XE ;)

 

Errm,

yes if you say so (Atari Basic, Logo, Pilot, BXL, BXE, Action, Mac65, etc. can be considered as hardware, since they come on cart.). Therefore I have added another example above, this time with a programming language on diskette: Kyan Pascal, so this counts as special / extra / third party / commercial software...okay ?!?

 

You could of course use Advan Basic, Fast Basic, Hyper Basic, DVC C, Deep Blue C, C65, Antic Forth, X-Forth, Volks-Forth, Quick, etc. etc. since they are a) available on disk and b) are PD/Freeware (or have been declared PD/Freeware, like e.g. Advan Basic) - but it would be quite awkward if the user always has to load this programming language first, to execute your program (it is not forbidden, just awkward). Thus, we prefer compiled programs (exceptions are AB and TB XL) that can be executed as a ML-file from DOS (e.g. via binary load option) or Gamedos or simply booted from a bootdisk... ;-)

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Yes, I know. But I put this example, because Skr add his with cartridge language.

Anyway - program written in Kyan Pasca, compiled and linked with runtime will be o.k. ;)

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As I stated above: I am not interested in HOW you do something. I just look at the result.

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Update: The registration sheets were missing, I´ve added them in German and English.

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Logically thinking writing an already exist A8 game that was done so bad on the past that is completely done from scratch with all new (gfxs, pmgs, colours, sounds, loading screen,...) should be allowed right?

 

Other question that I post some time ago: Code a game on A8 that already exist for other machines that need all new code in A8 and just use the original gfxs and game map/logic allowed?

(on these games do we need the authors/owners of the copyright permission? If no or not possible to enter in touch with them then the tittle can use the or not original's name?)

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The official rules should answer your questions:

 

2.3. Also allowed as entries are:

a) further development of an already released program, if the program is essentially

extended or changed

b) Conversions from other computer platforms

c) Program collections, if the programs are thematically coherent (e.g. a DOS and its

utilities)

 

Your first question is answered by the rules 2.3 a) : if it is essentially extended or changed. We will have to decide, if the improvement is big enough or not.

Other quesition is answered by the rules 2.3 b) . Of course you have to make sure to have all the rights needed.

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Are you guys giving skr a hard time :D

The contest should take care of itself, If your game uses unusal hardware, is difficult to load, or needs a blue pineapple to control it then it's less likely to be played and even less likely to get votes. Voters will factor in the value of conversions and updates too - The recent changes to Amauroute[+] really made it much more playable. It would be nice if authors said what inspired their game, I rarely know if a game is a conversion or based on something else :ponder:

 

 

I have a couple of related questions:

 

Does releasing a game on ATR compared to XEX limit it's appeal - do modern storage devices only run XEXs from menus?

 

Does using an ATR leave more RAM for the program - vs XEX leaving space for DOS/loader/menu system etc?

 

Thanks :)

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Does releasing a game on ATR compared to XEX limit it's appeal - do modern storage devices only run XEXs from menus?

 

Don´t focus on the term "ATR" here. The rules at 2.1 c) say:

 

c) be available on one or more not copy protected 5.25" disk-side(s) or corresponding

ATR-images with 90KB or 130KB in size.

 

You can create whatever you like, as long as you put it on an ATR. The reason is, that every year CharlieChaplin tries to put the entries on as less disks as possible as we distribute real disks and Wolfgang and me copy them in real time (ok, we user SuperSpeedies, but still lots of disk swapping). You just have to make sure, that your software can be run from an ATR (and therefore deliver it as ATR).

 

Does using an ATR leave more RAM for the program - vs XEX leaving space for DOS/loader/menu system etc?

 

As above: It`s just because we put on a real ATR in the end.

 

Write you XEX, COM, EXE whatever. But when you hand it in, put it on an ATR, ideally together with DOS 2.5 or a game Dos and make sure it can be start without a doctor title in astrophysics.

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The are more general questions rather than for publishing on the contest disks :)

 

 

Does releasing a [boot] game on ATR compared to XEX limit it's appeal - do modern storage devices only run XEXs from menus?

 

Does using an ATR leave more RAM for the program - vs XEX leaving space for DOS/loader/menu system etc? [Trying to squeeze more in]

 

Thanks :)

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Errr, sorry. But now I am out. I don't understand what the question actually is. :?

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I have a couple of related questions:

 

Does releasing a game on ATR compared to XEX limit it's appeal - do modern storage devices only run XEXs from menus?

 

Does using an ATR leave more RAM for the program - vs XEX leaving space for DOS/loader/menu system etc?

 

Thanks :)

 

Well,

you can release your program as a bootdisk (without DOS, without DIR / VTOC) or as a diskfile, this does not limit its appeal in any way. Think Abbuc already had programs in the contest, that were released as a bootdisk (Milk Nuts for example). Bootdisks might have been a problem in the past, since you could not copy a 130k bootdisk onto a 720k/1440k 3,5" disk or a 16MB SpartaDOS/MyDOS harddisk partition. But many modern devices can nowadays boot/load ATR images of any size, e.g. SIDE, IDE+ and many others, so there is not much space wasted (imagine: in the past you could buy e.g. a msc-IDE interface, this one allowed for approx. 254 partitions; you then had the choice to use 254 partitions with 16MB each using max. capacity or just using 254 partitions with 90k or 130k each using only minimum capacity)...

 

Afaik, a bootdisk allowed your program to use more RAM and most of all use your own bootloader, your own OS (e.g. switch off the 16k XL/XE OS and use your own 128-Byte OS / bootloader instead), your own SIO routines, etc. There was no need to leave 8kbytes free for DOS usage or some kybtes for a certain gamedos. But nowadays even this has changed, we have packers (e.g. Superpacker/Exomizer) that can move code to almost any memory area (e.g. RAM under OS), use packing methods as efficient as ZIP and/or use the max. of 62kybtes RAM on a 64k machine, even when loading a file; we have XBIOS that also allows files to use up to 61kbytes RAM. Since there are no new commercial A8 programs anymore and most stuff is released as PD or Freeware it does not make much sense anymore to release a program as a bootdisk. I also guess that most Atarians prefer file-versions over bootdisk versions. Nevertheless, in the Abbuc contest one can release a program as a bootdisk or a disk-file. The program can utilize one or more 90k or 130k diskettes.

 

So, if you are going to program the missing parts of A.R. you can use bootdisks/ATR images, diskfiles/XEX files and load them from DOS, gamedos, your own bootloader, etc. as long as they work from 90k/130k disks(s) and on standard 64k/128k XL/XE computers... ;-) NOTE: This is my personal opinion, it does not represent ABBUC or the Abbuc Software Ressort !

 

-Andreas Koch.

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NOTE: This is my personal opinion, it does not represent ABBUC or the Abbuc Software Ressort !

 

I fully agree to what you wrote and thank you for your explanations. I am still not sure if Jasons question was about general programming or conditions to enter the contest, but your answer is good to make both subjects clear I think.

 

@trbb: Don´t think to much, keep on writing your game for the competition. This time I feel the Top 5 calling you! ;)

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