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carlsson
September 30th, 2003, 12:50 AM
While this message is not totally off-topic, I found no other category (maybe announcements) where this fits...

Anyway, the deadline for entries to the MiniGame compo has passed, and now it is time for voting. Everyone, including those not participating with their own games are welcome to register as voters and play through more than 60 small games for a dozen of 80:ties platforms: C64, C128, VIC-20, Plus/4, Spectrum 48K/128K, ZX-81, Amstrad CPC, Oric, MSX, Apple II, Atari 800, Atari 2600 and NES.

Go to http://www.ffd2.com/minigame/ to read more, download all the games and register to vote. The more, the merrier!

Erik
September 30th, 2003, 05:45 AM
You bring up a good point that an announcements section might be appropriate.

Meanwhile, I've seen some examples from prior years of this competition (if it's the one I'm thinking of) and it's a very cool concept!

Erik

CP/M User
February 9th, 2004, 11:56 PM
"carlsson" wrote:

> While this message is not totally off-topic, I
> found no other category (maybe
> announcements) where this fits...

> Anyway, the deadline for entries to the
> MiniGame compo has passed, and now it is
> time for voting. Everyone, including those
> not participating with their own games are
> welcome to register as voters and play
> through more than 60 small games for a
> dozen of 80:ties platforms: C64, C128,
> VIC-20, Plus/4, Spectrum 48K/128K, ZX-81,
> Amstrad CPC, Oric, MSX, Apple II, Atari
> 800, Atari 2600 and NES.

It's just a pity Turbo Pascal programs aren't
welcomed! :-(

Maybe that'll be the last one! ;-)

Cheers,
CP/M User.

carlsson
February 10th, 2004, 02:04 AM
The programming language is not restricted, but maybe you will have a hard time getting an executable from TP within 4 kB, even on a Z80 platform like the Amstrad. Secondary compression is allowed, but you may still have a difficulty. There has been talk about letting people show off entries not fitting into a category, only to get a bigger audience, but nothing official.

CP/M User
February 10th, 2004, 02:18 AM
"carlsson" wrote:

> The programming language is not restricted,
> but maybe you will have a hard time getting
> an executable from TP within 4 kB, even on
> a Z80 platform like the Amstrad.

Well if Z80 SmallC is anything like 16bit SmallC,
then I might be in with a chance (but I'd have to
do a lot of Inline Assembly! ;-)

> Secondary compression is allowed, but you
> may still have a difficulty.

What about an ASCII BASIC file with an
UUENCODE decoder which saves out this
10k TP COM file -> no they mightn't be
enough come to think about it & it must
be the program which is under 4k, not
some decoder program!! :-)

> There has been talk about letting people
> show off entries not fitting into a category,
> only to get a bigger audience, but nothing
> official.

The funny side to that is those 2k programs
would still look flashier than a 9k TP file,
though they aren't really Compiled now are
they! ;-)

CP/M User
February 10th, 2004, 02:21 AM
"CP/M User" wrote:

> What about an ASCII BASIC file with an
> UUENCODE decoder which saves out this
> 10k TP COM file -> no they mightn't be
> enough come to think about it & it must
> be the program which is under 4k, not
> some decoder program!! :-)

Actually, it would have to be some CP/M
program which compresses COM files &
when they are executed, it would have to
decode the code & execute that! ;-)

Unfortunately, I don't know of any CP/M
file compressors which do this (might
have to ask the CP/M newsgroup! ;-)

Cheers,
CP/M User.

carlsson
February 10th, 2004, 04:21 AM
Well if Z80 SmallC is anything like 16bit SmallC, then I might be in with a chance (but I'd have to do a lot of Inline Assembly!)
Sure, 4K may be into reach. Another idea is that you make a skeleton or prototype in a high level language, and when it works as you wish, you convert it by hand to assembly language - either parts or the whole thing. Three out of four MiniGames I've made for the VIC-20 were BASIC listings hand converted into 6502 assembly.

UUENCODE as far as I know only makes files larger, not smaller. It is used to send e-mail binaries through mail servers only accepting ASCII messages. I don't know how the compression market looks like, but certainly there has to be some.

CP/M User
February 10th, 2004, 01:03 PM
"carlsson" wrote:

> UUENCODE as far as I know only makes files
> larger, not smaller. It is used to send e-mail
> binaries through mail servers only accepting
> ASCII messages. I don't know how the
> compression market looks like, but certainly
> there has to be some.

No, I've seen UUENCODE used as a form of
compression. Back in the days when the
Amstrad was popular, one of the magazines
had a section called 10-liners (which were
essentally programs which were no more than
10 lines - there were a couple of exceptions
though) and very rarely you'd see a type in
using UUENCODE. This made it possible to
squeeze in a much larger M/C program into
10 lines of code & saving this program was
about 3k (so you could get it down, but having
thought about it, a 9k program would be too
big).

The only trouble with UUENCODE is it was a
pain to type-in & get it right first go & Decoding
it into memory took a little while.

Cheers,
CP/M User.

carlsson
February 10th, 2004, 10:47 PM
Hmm. Each byte of machine code can have any of 256 values, while the keyboard only permits inputting those who have an ASCII character connected to the value. In that case, a ML loader has to represent the code in some other way, often decimal or hexadecimal. However, it is probably true that UUENCODE or BASE64 will be even more effective than a hexadecimal listing:

10 DATA 100,25,254,92,36,blah,blah : REM decimal 10 bytes ?
10 DATA &64,&19,&FE,&5C,&24,blah,blah : REM hexadecimal 10 bytes?
10 DATA "%9!G^7\"0`",blah,blah,blah : REM UUencode 10 bytes
10 DATA "ZBn+XCQ=",blah,blah,blah : REM BASE64 8 bytes

Depending on how your Basic stores decimal (or integer) numbers, it may take more memory and certainly the lines will become longer than when it is represented like UUENCODE or BASE64.

Of course, if you can take a binary and squeeze something out of it by your UUENCODE program, I'm more than willing to be proven wrong. 8)

carlsson
June 4th, 2004, 05:05 AM
Oh well, rather than starting a new thread (and I still don't know in which of the other forums this would be on-topic; maybe Programming?), I continue with last year's thread.

The MiniGame 2004 compo has now been declared opened. All the rules and information is on the usual site, this year painted green:

http://www.ffd2.com/minigame/

CP/M User
June 5th, 2004, 02:30 PM
"carlsson" wrote:

> The MiniGame 2004 compo has now been declared
> opened. All the rules and information is on the usual
> site, this year painted green:

It's been very crudely opened, with a banner been
reused & some minor corrects to which year it's
referning to.

I can't believe they are still using that same old stupid
question about 128 byte headers on the CPC. If you
really want to avoid that, use CP/M for it! No headers
in 'COM' files.

Cheers,
CP/M User.

carlsson
June 6th, 2004, 02:27 PM
Logo reuse seems to be latest thing in the business. I visited some demo party website last week, and they had also patched a previous logo instead of drawing a new one.

I dunno about the Amstrad and file sizes - the platform sponsor and developers should know what is commonly used and how it should count. I know that the "|CPM" argument has been raised before, but if it involves another other negative side effects, I have no idea.

carlsson
April 3rd, 2006, 09:43 AM
Oh yes, the 2006 compo is up and running. This year, there are three categories and separate deadlines:

1K: deadline May 10th
4K: deadline August 31th
8K: deadline October 31th (experimental category)

http://minigamecomp.org.uk/index.php

I've not decided if I should participate again. Someone else in this forum? The 8K category should make it possible to have compiled CP/M Pascal programs etc, if you're not up to Basic or ML programming on your 8-bit platform of choice.

CP/M User
April 27th, 2006, 03:40 AM
carlsson wrote:

> Oh yes, the 2006 compo is up and running. This year,
> there are three categories and separate deadlines:

> 1K: deadline May 10th
> 4K: deadline August 31th
> 8K: deadline October 31th (experimental category)

> http://minigamecomp.org.uk/index.php (http://minigamecomp.org.uk/index.php)

> I've not decided if I should participate again.
> Someone else in this forum? The 8K category should
> make it possible to have compiled CP/M Pascal
> programs etc, if you're not up to Basic or ML
> programming on your 8-bit platform of choice.

I've been protesting my views 'bout this Minigame compo since
day 1 & quite frankly - I simply love doing that! ;-)

But yeah, I'm not at all happy with their attitude they've had
in the past - so that's their problem - not mine!

Anyway, I'd rather write whatever program I can - be it a game
or something or a specific computer, there's more freedom in
doing that - than sticking with a bunch of rules.

CP/M User.

carlsson
April 27th, 2006, 07:04 AM
Attitude, hm? Well, from time to time there has been small issues, but I don't know what has ticked you off from participating alltogether.

CP/M User
April 27th, 2006, 02:27 PM
carlsson wrote:

> Attitude, hm? Well, from time to time there has been
> small issues, but I don't know what has ticked you
> off from participating alltogether.

Yep, I've tried numerous attempts at getting one Turbo Pascal
program into this competition - offerning suggestions. I even
tried an argue my case that if BASIC programs are allowed,
then I should be able to hand in a TP source code to be
executed from the TP prompt, it's the same darn thing - yet to
them they don't see it like that.

The best responce I got out of them was if I could get one
compiled program within the stated game category - then
they'll take it.

So it's merely a compo with a list of stupid & silly rules &
I'll have no part of it!

CP/M User.

CP/M User
April 27th, 2006, 02:38 PM
CP/M User wrote:

> So it's merely a compo with a list of stupid & silly
> rules & I'll have no part of it!

I'll just add those rules were merely designed to target one
or perhaps two languages, BASIC & Assembly. What kills it in
TP is the Library routines, however at compilation it does
state the site of the Code & rules about Library routines
should be excluded - this would be benefit of any language -
cause at the end of the day it's the functioning of the
program which is what should be the focus.

CP/M User.

carlsson
April 28th, 2006, 02:59 AM
If you have a computer with ROM Pascal built in (perhaps such beasts have existed), it may be reasonable. The rule in this compo is that the program should not exceed certain size limitations and either autostart or start with a simple RUN. If the player is required to obtain a Pascal environment, load it from disc and then load the program source, it is a bit awkward.

There has been entries written in C, using e.g. cc65 and perhaps z88dk or sdcc too. Of course all those have been pre-compiled, and the overhead in libraries and complex code may be negotiated with how much easier it was to write. I'm unsure if crunchers existed for Spectrum, Amstrad, Atari etc platforms, but I'm absolutely positive they do. If so, a crunched TP binary may squeeze a fair bit of size from it. Otherwise, you may consider cross-developing in C using z88dk or sdcc, if those compilers are more memory effective than Turbo Pascal.

CP/M User
April 28th, 2006, 04:10 AM
carlsson wrote:

> If you have a computer with ROM Pascal built in
> (perhaps such beasts have existed), it may be
> reasonable. The rule in this compo is that the
> program should not exceed certain size limitations
> and either autostart or start with a simple RUN. If
> the player is required to obtain a Pascal
> environment, load it from disc and then load the
> program source, it is a bit awkward.

Yeah well you see that rule just doesn't work for me - period.
How 'am I supposed to download another entirely different
emulator (where I don't know where they are) & understand the
commands to load somebody's game to play it?
It's the same problem.

> There has been entries written in C, using e.g. cc65
> and perhaps z88dk or sdcc too. Of course all those
> have been pre-compiled, and the overhead in libraries
> and complex code may be negotiated with how much
> easier it was to write. I'm unsure if crunchers
> existed for Spectrum, Amstrad, Atari etc platforms,
> but I'm absolutely positive they do. If so, a
> crunched TP binary may squeeze a fair bit of size
> from it. Otherwise, you may consider cross-developing
> in C using z88dk or sdcc, if those compilers are more
> memory effective than Turbo Pascal.

Crunchers do exist for the CPC - the majority of them which
have been designed to de-compress & exectute programs aren't
generally used in CP/M COM files - which is what TP produces.
The ones which I know of for CP/M, are older based programs
which aren't designed to decompress & execute a program from a
COM file (those are usually LBR, ARC or ARK files), not aware
of any others. Not sure if I could get a compressed screen to
run in CP/M (and programs I usually tend to write are CP/M
v2.2 based - since all the CPCs have a fair go & because it's
easier to program for instead of CP/M Plus).

But it's just to much messing around with C - which I'm kinda
through with. I might dabble with SmallC if anything - which
is real simple stuff - though limited.

CP/M User.