Competition Dates and Overview
These rules are the main rules to the competition and apply regardless of the sub category chosen. The sub category rules are to be considered supplemental to the main rules.
Isn’t that just a mouthful? Basically, look at the category you want to do, check the criteria then nip over here for all the important technical bumph so you don’t get yourself disqualified for not reading this page in the first place!
Registering For The Competition
You will be required to pre-register for the competition in order to reserve an upload slot – an entry form will be made available within the first fortnight from competition launch.
Registrations will close at 23:59 hours (GMT) November 23rd 2008.
The competition runs from 00:00 hours (GMT) on September 1st 2008 and ends at 23:59 hours (GMT) December 6th 2008.
No entries will be allowed after 23:59 hours (GMT) December 6th 2008 – this includes bug fixes or amendments to entries already submitted.
All competition entries are judged on the version submitted to Retro Remakes during this period.
Any errors that occur during uploading must also be remedied before this time. We will not accept, nor discuss further submissions or resubmissions of existing files after this date.
It is your responsibility to allow for time differentials – if you’re not sure then we recommend that you leave yourself ample time to upload your entry to our server, as come the stroke of midnight GMT, the upload feature will be switched off and any scripts removed from the server. If you are still uploading during this time, the upload will fail. No more entries will be accepted.
Don’t leave it to the last minute. We really can’t stress enough not to do this. Every year someone leaves it till ten to midnight, and complains when their upload fails. Don’t be that person.
In submitting an entry to the Retro Remakes 2008 Competition you acknowledge that your entry will be put forward for the grand prize competition. The grand prize competition takes into account your final scores regardless of category chosen.
As well as this, you may choose one sub category per entry into the competition that you wish your entry to be judged upon.
If you enter only one game, you may only choose one sub category. If you enter two games, you may choose one subcategory for each of the games to enter into.
You may submit multiple entries into the Retro Remakes 2008 Competition in order to submit to different sub categories (or more than one entry in the same category).
Each entry must be a different game. Amended or edited builds of the same game will be disqualified.
We Like It Retro
You’re more than welcome to use whatever modern hardware tricks you like with your retro category entry. Honestly, we’re not going to berate you for using transparency or scaling just because it’s not authentic to the original hardware. Nor are we going to count the colours to check the palette is accurate.
The provisional date for the results to go live is January 6th. In the event that we receive more entries than we anticipate, this date is subject to change.
General Conditions For Entry
Entries must be developed exclusively for the Retro Remakes 2008 Competition
In case you’re unsure, this means that the games must be new creations, not seen elsewhere, and coding work commenced on or after the start date. You may use pre-existing libraries or tools to facilitate your entry, but no code specific to the game you are working on must be used.
Games that have been proven to have began before September 1st 2008 will be ineligible for prizes, and disqualified from the competition.
All entries must be freeware and remain freeware.
By entering the competition, you also agree to Retro Remakes offering and distributing the titles for free download after the competition has closed. This may also include distribution via cover disk deals as necessary. All ownership of any respective entries remains with the author/copyright holder, and may be featured on their own or other’s sites as they see fit – beyond providing the files for free download ourselves, anything else is not our concern.
You are free and encouraged to include readme files or HTML documentation with full credits for your work and, if relevent, links to your own websites within the zip files.
We request that you do not attempt to solicit for donations or financial recompense within your competition entries or accompanying documentation in any way, shape or form using the files you submit to the Retro Remakes 2008 Competition.
You are, of course, welcome to do so from your own web site or from non competition builds.
We insist that all entries promote the competition sponsors and our website.
If you are developing directly for a piece of retro hardware (eg – ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Atari 2600):
i) You must promote Retroremakes.com either on the loading screen or the first screen in the game itself.
ii) You must include the readme file supplied by Retro Remakes detailing the sponsors of the competition within your zip file/distribution package.
If you are not developing for a piece of retro hardware (eg – Windows PC, Apple Mac, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360):
i) Displaying the splash screen is a requirement of entry into the competition and is non negotiable. You may not adjust, resize, change, deface or make any additions to the splash screen that we supply beyond those permitted by the competition rules. It must be displayed as is, in isolation, with no counters, changes or amendments, or additional text for the display period other than instructions on how to progress from the splash screen. No reducing the colour depth, resizing it, nowt.
ii) You may not fade the splash screen in and out. So don’t ask. No fancy tricks, nowt, zip, nada. This question comes up every year. “Can I fade the splash screen in/out, make it dance the fandango, do a pixellly effect so it zooms in?” and so on and so forth. Every year the answer is no. This year, the answer is no. So to save you asking, if you’re thinking it, the answer is no.
iii) Acceptable methods of progression from the splash screen are as follows:
* A time delay of over 4 seconds
* Any key to progress
* Mouse button to progress
* Joystick fire button to progress
* Any sensible combination of the above.
iv) We will provide a space within each splash screen with ample room to display progression instructions if necessary.
You may not:
* obscure any of the information on the splash screen in any way
* add anything other than reasonably sized text in the space provided for you.
v) You may use audio cues during the splash screen displays, but may not play music or a tune.
vi) Any attempts to circumvent any of the splash screen display rules will result in your entry being disqualified from the competition.
vii) If you require a custom sized splash screen to fit with your game, please make a request within the competition forum, and a member of the administration team will be happy to help. Custom sized splash screens must conform with the resolution that your game runs at.
viii) Just in case you need to know, the Retro Remakes logo is made using the Telegrafico font by Ficod. It’s very nice.
Updated Splash Screen 640×480
Updated Splash Screen 800×600
Updated Splash Screen 1024×768
Updated Splash Screen 1280×1024
Nintendo DS Splash (TOP SCREEN)
Nintendo DS Splash (BOTTOM SCREEN)
Additional Files Required
All entries must include at least four screenshots of your game/entry. The screenshots are not counted towards your final file size. We will provide seperate upload slots for your screenshots.
These must be minimum of 640×480 in size, preferably without borders around, and include a screenshot of the title screen. We will not consider an entry completed unless these screenshots are included. If you have not provided screenshots by competition close then your entry will be disqualified.
All entries must include a readme.txt explaining everything there is to know about the game. What is it a remake of, what do you have to do, what are the controls, any details about the authors etc…
The Technical Stuff
All Sub Categories and the Main Competition
The game can be coded using any software you choose, you are not limited to just the utilities being offered as prizes, including but not limited to Game Maker, Multimedia Fusion, Blitz, Allegro, XNA etc…
We will accept games coded for the following platforms, but be aware that the only constant amongst all the judges are Windows and the NDS. If you develop and enter a game for any platform other than Windows or the NDS solely, you are running the risk of losing valuable marks from judges who do not own the respective machine you have developed for, or do not have the ability to run suitable software required.
* Windows XP
* Windows Vista
* Nintendo DS
* Apple Mac
* Xbox 360 via XNA Creators Club
Please see the list of judges for confirmation of systems owned by each judge.
We know this section may seem a bit unfair but we just don’t have the cash to buy each judge one of every OS or machine required to run this across the board, however, it does mean you’re perfectly welcome to include cross platform stuff. Sorry, but none of us have a Linux and we’re not likely to install it especially either.
Entrants may submit the same game for multiple platforms within the same archive file, providing it falls within the 50meg limit. Entrants who wish to submit their games across multiple platforms but will not fall within the 50meg limit must contact the competition administration team to discuss whether a secondary upload slot can be provided.
This will be judged on a case by case basis and is not a right of competition entry.
Sub Categories That Allow Retro Hardware Development
Certain sub categories of the competition allow for development for obsolete or retro hardware.
All entries for retro hardware must be provided as an emulator image. It is recommended that you provide details of the preferred emulator and if necessary links to the emulator and provide set up instructions within your judges notes upon upload to the Retro Remakes servers.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the judges can run the file you provide.
For the purposes of the competition we define Retro as any system over ten (10) years old.
The judges reserve the right to refuse to make additional installations as they see fit. All judges run games on their home machines and are perfectly entitled to refuse to do anything they don’t wish to. It is your responsibility to ensure your game runs on their system, not theirs to ensure that your game runs.
Unless a necessary requirement of the system you are developing for, the default control standards are to be assumed to be one of the following:
* Keyboard and Mouse
A gamepad or joystick is, for the purposes of the competition, considered an optional control method, and must not be a requirement of your game. This applies to any non standard controller, be it trackball, wiimote and yes, the 360 controller for non 360 builds etc…
* Joypads may only be defaulted to for Xbox360 specific builds.
* Stylus control can only be defaulted to for Nintendo DS specific builds.
* Where applicable, entries that require an emulator and a joystick/joypad must be able to run on an emulator with the ability to map joystick to keys.
Please try and keep your controls to a minimum wherever possible. Ideally a game entered into the competition should use no more than six keys to play (4 directional and 2 fire), with the honourable exception of text adventures obviously. Whilst this isn’t a rule per se, it’s a pretty strong recommendation.
The maximum file size for each remake is 50meg after zip compression.
Please take into account the size of your build when uploading a file to our servers. Uploading 50 meg at ten minutes to midnight on the night of the deadline is likely to see your file fail to upload in time and your entry not be submitted into the competition. Do not contact us in the event of this occuring, it is your responsibility to leave yourself enough time to upload the file to our servers.
The larger file size this year is to allow for people to use dev environments that require larger installs before running the game. Whilst you’re welcome to use higher resolution graphics etc… be sensible. Don’t pad out 50 meg with FMV or 300 ‘high quality’ mp3’s. Actually, if we never see any FMV again we’d be quite happy.
Your entry must not be reliant on an internet connection in order to be playable. Your game should be able to be played by one player, with one machine and no internet connection.
Games must not connect to the internet without the player’s consent / authorisation.
We welcome the addition of online features, but they must not be a requirement to running your game.
For Windows and Mac builds, the minimum resolution your game must run at is 640×480. We will accept games opening in a window but the preference is for full screen.
We strongly discourage and disapprove of the following:
* Forced resolution changes unless absolutely necessary. We like our icons left where they were before we loaded your entry.
* Forced refresh rate changes.
* Forced colour depth changes.
We respectfully recommend that your program should make no changes to our preferred display settings whatsoever; we do, however, understand that certain packages enforce limitations upon you, and this will be taken into account with our judging. It should be noted that judges and staff have experience of a selection of packages, so attempting to pull the wool over our eyes is not advised.
We will reflect any of the above rules being broken in the judges final marks, with the exception that any games that run below 640×480 on Windows or Mac, which will be disqualified from the competition instantly.
Installers and Zip files
When uploading your entry, the following things are to be taken into consideration:
i) The use of installers is forbidden unless it is a necessity required by the package you have developed your entry in.
ii) We will not accept any entries that require any other zip package than Winzip to unpack. This includes 7zip, Winrar etc…
iii) Your media can be protected in any way you like. This is not a mandate for inclusion of any form of DRM with the game itself.
iv) The maximum size of zip file/entry we will accept is 50 megabytes – no exceptions. This total will not include any additional material that we ask you to supply such as screenshots/text files etc….
The judges decision is final and non negotiable. It is your responsibility to comply with the rules and any failure to do so on your behalf will result in suitable penalties as detailed above.
If you’re unsure or wish to discuss any of the rules then you may do so in the official Retro Remakes 2008 Competition Forum. Please remember to be polite and abide by the rules of the forum when discussing your query. Oh, and don’t shout at the organisers. That makes them unhappy bunnies.
All that remains is to say “Best of luck!”