The following competitions will be held at Black Valley:

Graphics πŸ”—

Music πŸ”—

Real-time πŸ”—

Competition rules πŸ”—

Hardware πŸ”—

Most entries across all competitions are run on computers provided by us. These computers have the following specifications:

  1. Windows / Linux PC: πŸ”—
    • AMD Ryzen 9 7900X CPU
    • 64 GB RAM
    • AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX GPU
    • Windows 11 22H2
    • Ubuntu 22.04 LTS
    • (Not available in the oldskool music compo)
  2. Commodore 64: πŸ”—
    • 1541 Ultimate II
    • SidFX with 6581R3 and 8580R5
  3. Commodore Amiga 500: πŸ”—
    • Kickstart 1.3
    • 512 kB chip RAM + 512 kB fakefast
    • Floppy emulator
  4. Commodore Amiga 1200: πŸ”—
    • Kickstart 3.2
    • TF1260, 68060@50MHz
    • 128 MB Fast RAM
    • 2 MB Chip RAM
    • Floppy emulator
  5. IBM-Compatible 486 πŸ”—
    • AMD 486 DX4 120MHz CPU
    • 32 MB RAM
    • Gravis Ultrasound sound card
    • MS-DOS 6.22
    • Floppy emulator

We also have much more equipment available, please contact us if you’re planning on bringing something for some other platform. If we don’t have the right machine, you can always bring your own to the party, assuming we have the ability to get a reasonable video / audio signal out of it.

We will list the platform on the beam-slides for all entries where platform matters.

General Rules πŸ”—

The following rules applies to all competitions.

  1. Remote entries πŸ”—

    We allow remote entries in all competitions. Remote entries needs to be uploaded to a Dropbox file request, which you can get access to by emailing us. All remote entries needs to be uploaded latest the day before the party starts. In addition, you need make yourself available via email or on Discord for any troubleshooting / questions during the party.

  2. Respect the deadlines πŸ”—

    We publish deadlines ahead of time, and these must be respected. If you fail to deliver a working entry in time for the deadline, we might not include your entry. If you’re in the need of more time to finish your entry, contact us; we’re sometimes able to be flexible. But no guarantees.

  3. No prereleased material πŸ”—

    We do not allow previously released material to be entered into any of our competitions. This includes “light” remixes of content. All productions needs to stand on their own creative legs.

    Complete remakes, demakes etc are allowed, but it is your duty to make sure you have the legal rights to do so.

  4. One competition per entry πŸ”—

    We do not allow an entry to be entered into multiple competitions. Pick the most appropriate competition and enter it in that. This only applies to the whole production; you can for instance enter the soundtrack for a demo in one of the music competitions.

  5. Only one entry per participant per competition πŸ”—

    If you’re entering a compofiller, please have the decency to make up a fake name πŸ˜‰

  6. Other reasons for disqualification πŸ”—

    We reserve the right to disqualify entries that are too unserious, boring, bad, disrespectful or otherwise illegal or inappropriate content. In fact, we reserve the right to disqualify entries for any reason we find reasonable.

  7. We won’t release disqualified entries πŸ”—

    In case an entry doesn’t make the cut for some reason, we of course won’t release it after the party either. This way you can hand it in at some other competition in the future.

  8. License πŸ”—

    When you enter a production in a competition, you implicitly grant us a world-wide, no-revokable license to display and redistribute your entry. The reason for this is that we need the legal rights to display the entry in the competition, and to upload the contributions to for archival reasons after the party is over.

Graphics competitions πŸ”—

We have some rules that apply to all graphics competitions, as well as some specific rules per competition.

  1. All techniques are allowed πŸ”—

    We allow all creative techniques, draw, scan, convert, whatever. Just make sure your entry is all your own original content.

  2. Deliver work-in-progress snapshots πŸ”—

    Entries must be supplied with three representative work-in-progress snapshots. These will be shown during the competition.

  3. Please deliver a PNG version πŸ”—

    We can’t support showing every conceivable format correctly, so please deliver an unmodified PNG version together of your entry. You’re free to deliver other formats in addition, but the PNG file is what we’ll show in the competition.

Pixeled graphics πŸ”—

  1. Maximum 256 colors, 8 bit per component πŸ”—

    The pixeled graphics competition is intended for up to 256 color, paletted images. You’re of course free to use fewer color or more restrictive palettes than this.

  2. Max resolution 320x256 pixels πŸ”—

    The maximum width and height of the entries are 320 and 256, respectively. Do note that our big-screen is 16:9, so if you want your entry to fill as much as possible of the screen, consider using a 320x180 resolution.

Freestyle graphics πŸ”—

There’s no color or resolution limit in this competition, but bear in mind that the image will be shown in 1920x1080 resolution on the projector, so consider delivering an additional PNG at that resolution if your entry is larger. Otherwise, we can’t guarantee how the image will be rescaled to fit the screen.

This year we won’t allow pictures that are largely generated by artificial intelligence or machine learning algorithms in this competition. We have a separate competition for that!

AI Graphics πŸ”—

Our robotic overlords are becoming the new artists. This year, we’ve decided to give them their own competition. Guide an artificial intelligence or machine learning algorithm into creating the coolest picture!

Music competitions πŸ”—

We have some rules that apply to all music competitions, as well as some specific rules per competition.

  1. Please deliver a pre-rendered version πŸ”—

    Where possible and applicable, we will try to play everything as faithfully and close to the original format and hardware as possible. However, should the original format not work for whatever unforeseen reason, we will play an MP3 version of the track instead. Therefore, you are strongly encouraged to pre-render your track to an MP3 file and submit it with your entry.

  2. Maximum 4 minutes play-time πŸ”—

    Music competitions tend to get tedious for the audience if there’s a lot of long entries. To avoid that, and to make sure we stay on schedule, we’ve decided to set a 4 minute play-limit on entries. Make sure your entry stays within that limit, otherwise we might cut it before it’s done!

Oldskool music πŸ”—

At Black Valley, we define “oldskool music” simply as something that is playable on our oldskool hardware (naturally excluding the Windows / Linux PC). If your music entry plays fine on the oldskool computers and music players provided by us, it’s considered oldskool and qualified.

All oldskool entries will have an upper file size limit of what’s possible to fit on a floppy disk or diskette (whichever is applicable) on the particular hardware. The music players and size limits are detailed in the below table.

Platform Music player Size limit
C64 SIDPlay64 1.21 170 KB (664 blocks)
Amiga Compo Player 1.1b 880 KB
PC FastTracker 2.08, ScreamTracker 3.21, Impulse Tracker 2.14 1.44 MB

If you want to play your oldskool music entry on a different music player or computer, please contact us in advanced and we’ll try our best to accommodate you.

Newschool music πŸ”—

There’s no limit on what kind of format or tools are used in the newschool music competition. Just follow the other rules, and you should be good!

That being said, Xerxes will automatically be disqualified, whether he submits an entry or not.

Black Metal πŸ”—

There’s nothing blacker and more Norwegian than Black Metal! So create a metal track that rocks our PA system!

There’s really just one rule here: it needs to sort of resemble metal. We’ll be fairly open to interpretation here, but music that clearly has no connection to metal will be disqualified.

Real-time competitions πŸ”—

We don’t differentiate between platforms in the real-time competitions. Instead, we expect our audience to take the platforms into account when voting, at their own discretion.

There’s several computers available that we can use to show entries on, see the hardware section above for details.

Maximum 8 minutes run-time πŸ”—

While we know that certain oldskoolers love their scrollmos to run on forever, it’s often not too fun to watch in a competition setting. To avoid that, and to make sure we stay on schedule, we’ve decided to set an 8 minute run-time limit on entries. Make sure your entry stays within that limit, otherwise we might cut it before it’s done!

Combined intro πŸ”—

  1. Maximum executable size πŸ”—

    The entry must be maximum 65536 bytes (64 kB) large. This includes any operating-system defined padding.

  2. Single executable file πŸ”—

    The entry must be a single executable file, without depending on any non-system default code or data-files.

We will list the size of the entry on the beam-slides for all entries.

Combined demo πŸ”—

There’s no limit on size in this competition, but do keep in mind that the entry needs to be practically possible to redistribute after the party. So please try to keep the file-size within reason.

Also, please to make the distribution as non-intrusive as possible. In other words, don’t require extra installation steps, don’t needlessly write files to the file-system… You know. Try to be nice to the system that the production is run on.

And that’s pretty much it! If there’s anything that unclear, or you otherwise are unsure about, don’t hesitate to contact us and ask!