Sunday, October 23, 2005

2005 mini-game compo!

The mini-game compo is a annual event, running for a few years now, that encourages people to write little games under tight system resource requirements. Typical limits are 1K, 4K & 8K of total program size at system load time. That's right Kilobytes, not Megabytes!

Of course, some of the systems, like the wonderful Atari 2600, fall well within these meagre constraints. The 2600 weighs in at an absolutely tiny 128Bytes of system RAM and 4K rom. Hardware tricks in the cartridge can add to this, but still the whole thing is an 8Bit system, meaning one byte variables and limited address spaces. Totally cool, if you are into computing for computings sake.

I've got an entry this year called Ooze! It runs on the 2600 and I think it's pretty cool actually. Competition is stiff however with many great games entered this year. Win or lose, my only regret is not having participated sooner.

There are no prizes, just the commentary from fellow gamers and authors and that almost forgotten wonderful feeling that comes from others playing your game. As kids, us gen-x ers used to do this on our old 8Bit computers and it was a lot of fun. Crafting games, showing them to others and sharing both code and ideas is really what computing is all about for me. This little compo brings it all back.

Interested? Please do check out this years compo, I'm sure you will be glad you did. Links to past years efforts are provided and they feature lots of very interesting, creative and fun games. How are they played? Emulation of course. The computers of today are more than capable of reproducing older systems and that's how the games get written and published. Atari, NES, Color Computer, Apple ][, and more are all there waiting just as they always have been. Play some games, read the comments and maybe next year I'll see you at the compo!


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