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IBM PC platform competitions

The competition machine is equipped as follows:

  • Pentium IV 1.6 GHz
  • 256MB RAM
  • Quadro2MXR
  • Soundblaster Live! 512 Value
  • Windows98SE with Detonator 21.83 (the 23.11 drivers are not working on this PC :-() and DirectX 8.1
  • Linux 2.4.18 with XFree 4.2.0, Detonator 28.02, SDL 1.2.3 and Allegro 4.0.1 Be sure to link any other libs either statically into your executable or supply a dynamic lib with your demo. Please have sources of all required libs and your demo with you, so we can recompile everything on the compo PC, if somethings fails.
  • MS-DOS demos are likely to fail, because of modern ages hardware.

Demo Competition

  • Maximum file size of all files (zipped): 10MB.

Intro 64K

  • Maximum file size of all files: 65536 bytes.

Intro 4K

  • Maximum file size of all files: 4096 bytes.

Notes to Win Coders: No exotic libraries will be installed. The given configuration is a fresh installed Win98SE with latest Microsoft Updates, drivers etc. If you need special libraries, provide them yourself, but keep in mind, that they will count into the file size limit.

Notes to DOS Coders: All productions will be started under Windows! Please consider making a native Win32 Demo, as this is more portable today, and you benefit from enhanced graphics and sound compatibility. If your demo does not run under Win98 you're out of luck.

Notes to Linux Coders: You can assume a fairly new Linux distribution, with custom made kernel, X and important libs. XFree 4.x with accelerated OpenGL drivers will be available. If you plan to make a Linux demo, please contact the competition organizer in advance, and tell him about your requirements.

For any complaints, comments or whatever contact the competition organizer:

Some comments on this year's rules

There have been quite some questions concerning those, so we decided to list the reasons for our decisions as well as the opinions that stand behind them.

First off, the size limit, which is 10MB (zipped) this year. This is 2MB more than last year, since we understand that with hardware that can render insane amounts of polygons per second and MP3 soundtracks, demos will get large if you want to use that potential. However, 10MB is really quite much, and the demoscene has always been about achieving something within more-or-less tight limits. If your demo is too big, you might either try something that compresses better than ZIP (like the excellent URARFileLib by UniquE of Vantage) or make your demo somewhat shorter, which will both decrease the size of MP3 soundtracks and required content, AND make the demo competition more interesting to watch -- remember, we usually have quite some amount of releases, and it surely is in no one's interest if the watchers fall asleep during your demo :)

Then, about the graphics card: We decided to stuff a GeForce2GTS (or rather, a Quadro2EX, which is a slightly improved version) into the compo machine, which is still a bit above the average scener's graphics hardware. Some people have asked why we don't use a GeForce3 instead - which has two primary reasons: First, GF3 is not really widespread hardware, and we think that releasing demos in a competition which nearly no-one can watch on his own PC is nonsense. Second, both Vertex and Pixel Shaders (which are the primary new features of the GeForce 3) can either be approximated or emulated to a significant degree by current hardware. Vertex Shaders can be software emulated, which, though not nearly as fast as Hardware TnL, still offers quite decent performance; Pixel Shaders actually don't really exist on GF3, instead they are mapped to register combiner states, which you can modify using OpenGL extensions on *any* NVidia card from TNT1 up, and with nearly all of the interesting features offered by Pixel Shaders (like Per-Pixel Lighting) accessible from Geforce 1 and up.

Last point, the machine will have 256 megabytes of RAM; not much to say on this one, it should be enough for any current demo if you take care of your memory usage.

If either of those limitations seem to harsh to you, please consider putting your demo into the Wild competition instead, which will have neither of those limits. You can execute the Demo on any hardware configuration you like, which we'll try to do in realtime for realtime productions. This year, we'll note what type of Wild production it is (i.e. whether it's an Animation, Realtime, etc.) and on what Hardware it's running on on the Bigscreen. Please don't whine about your production having no chance against rendered Animations, past years have shown that our voters do care whether something is realtime or not and running on limited hardware or not and take that into account (look at Hitmen's "Bitte 8 Bit", for example).

I hope this clears up the reasons for our decisions.

- ryg/farbrausch, January 2002, for the whole MS organizing team.

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