The following competitions will be held at Black Valley 2024:

Graphics 🔗

Music 🔗

Real-time 🔗

Wild 🔗

The kitchen sink of competitions. It’s in the name: Go wild!

Competition rules 🔗

Hardware 🔗

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

  1. NVIDIA PC: 🔗
    • AMD Ryzen 9 5900X CPU
    • 32 GB RAM
    • NVIDIA RTX 4070 GPU (12 GB VRAM)
    • Windows 11 23H2
    • Ubuntu 24.04 LTS
    • (Not available in the oldskool competitions)
  2. AMD PC: 🔗
    • AMD Ryzen 9 7900X CPU
    • 64 GB RAM
    • AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX GPU (24 GB VRAM)
    • Windows 11 23H2
    • Ubuntu 24.04 LTS
    • (Not available in the oldskool competitions)

    The NVIDIA PC will be used unless you specify that you prefer the AMD PC in the entry-notes.

  3. Commodore 64: 🔗
    • 1541 Ultimate II
    • SidFX with 6581R3 and 8580R5
  4. Commodore Amiga 500: 🔗
    • Kickstart 1.3
    • 512 kB chip RAM + 512 kB fakefast
    • Floppy emulator
  5. Commodore Amiga 1200: 🔗
    • Kickstart 3.2
    • TF1260, 68060@50MHz
    • 128 MB Fast RAM
    • 2 MB Chip RAM
    • Floppy emulator
  6. IBM-Compatible 486 🔗
    • AMD 486 DX4 120MHz CPU
    • 32 MB RAM
    • Gravis Ultrasound sound card
    • MS-DOS 6.22
    • Floppy emulator

If you need something else than the above, please reach out well in advance, and we’ll see what we can do!

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

General Rules 🔗

The following rules apply to all competitions.

  1. Remote entries 🔗

    We allow remote entries in all competitions. Please don’t email us your entries yet, details on how to submit remotely will be announced closer to the event.

  2. Respect the deadlines 🔗

    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 need more time to finish your entry, contact us; we’re sometimes able to be flexible. But no guarantees.

  3. No prereleased material 🔗

    We do not allow previously released material to be entered into any of our competitions. This includes “light” remixes of content. All productions need 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 🔗

    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 🔗

    If you’re submitting a compofiller, please have the decency to make up a fake name 😉

  6. Other reasons for disqualification 🔗

    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 🔗

    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. Maximum 8 minutes run-time 🔗

    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 (unless otherwise specified). Make sure your entry stays within that limit, otherwise we might cut it before it’s done! If your entry is particularly repetitive or intentionally tedious, we might cut it early regardless.

  9. License 🔗

    When you enter a production in a competition, you implicitly grant us a world-wide, non-revocable 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, on streaming and social media, as well as to upload the contributions to for archival reasons after the party is over.

  10. Respect the code of conduct 🔗

    We have a code of conduct this year that needs to be respected by everyone, and this also applies to entries. It’s not really earth shattering stuff, just make sure to treat others with respect etc. Read the full code of conduct for the details.

Graphics competitions 🔗

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

  1. All techniques are allowed 🔗

    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 🔗

    Entries must be supplied with three representative work-in-progress snapshots. These will be shown during the competition. This does not apply to the textmode graphics competition or 4k executable graphics.

  3. Please deliver a PNG version 🔗

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

Pixeled graphics 🔗

  1. Maximum 256 colors, 8 bit per component 🔗

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

  2. Max resolution 320 x 256 pixels 🔗

    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 🔗

There’s no color or resolution limit in this competition, but bear in mind that the image will be shown in 1920 x 1080 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.

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 🔗

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

Textmode graphics 🔗

  1. Maximum size 80 x 500 characters, 16 colors 🔗

    No custom colors allowed.

  2. Either PC ANSI, PC ASCII, Amiga ASCII or Commodore PETSCII 🔗

    We will run entries on real hardware, so please make it obvious how.

  3. No work-in-progress snapshots needed in this competition 🔗

4k Executable graphics 🔗

  1. Maximum file size is 4096 bytes, no animation 🔗

    In this competition, you have to deliver an executable file of maximum 4096 bytes that displays a static image. No progressive rendering or fading etc.

  2. Maximum resolution 1920 x 1080 🔗

    Feel free to have alternative executables that can render higher resolutions, but our projector is 1080p resolution. If your picture isn’t 16:9 aspect ratio, please add your own stretching or letterboxing as desired.

  3. Maximum rendering time 30 seconds. 🔗

    This is measured on the compo-machine.

  4. No work-in-progress snapshots needed in this competition. 🔗

Music competitions 🔗

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 🔗

    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 a rendered version of the track instead. Therefore, you are strongly encouraged to pre-render your track to an MP3 or FLAC file and submit it with your entry.

  2. Maximum 4 minutes play-time 🔗

    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 🔗

At Black Valley, we define “oldskool music” simply as something playable on our oldskool hardware (naturally excluding the NVIDIA / AMD PCs). 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 advance and we’ll try our best to accommodate you.

Newschool music 🔗

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!

Black Metal 🔗

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 🔗

Combined intro 🔗

  1. Maximum executable size 🔗

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

  2. Single executable file 🔗

    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.

Oldskool / newschool demo 🔗

This year, we’ve introduced a separation between oldskool and newschool in the demo competitions, similar to what we’ve done for the music competitions in the past. See the list of hardware for those competitions available above.

There’s no limit on size in these competitions, 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 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.

Fantasy console 🔗

This is where you would enter your PICO-8, TIC-80 or similar entries. Otherwise, the same rules apply as above.

If your platform requires a proprietary emulator, please provide a proper license for it. We already have a PICO-8 license.

Wild 🔗

As the kitchen sink of competitions, anything that doesn’t fit in the above competitions is allowed. You are free to submit a video file or do a live performance on the stage.

We do, however, respect the audience more than your creativity, so please be aware that we will be moderating this category strictly. The more work you’ve put into the entry, the more likely it is that we will show it.

Video files should be in a format that VLC can play and preferably in 1920 x 1080 resolution. If your entry is in another medium (such as a live performance), please be sure to coordinate with the organizers well in advance so we can prepare properly.

If there is a more appropriate competition for your entry, please use the specific competition. If you have any doubt or questions on this, please contact the organizers.

We will not play music-disks in their entirety. We will show the interface and play some example music for a few minutes, and then try to arrange for the music to be played in the lobby afterwards if time allows.

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!