The CSSCGC 2021 - 25th Edition Extravaganza!

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TMD2003

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Dec 26, 2020, 4:16:33 PM12/26/20
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Hails to all the people of CSS, which I've never been part of before. But there's a reason I've signed up here - it's because, after a few words behind the scenes with John Connolly, he's given me the go-ahead to kick off the 2021 competition.

Given that it's now in its 25th edition *and* is celebrating its 25th anniversary - the anomaly due to the absence of a competition in 2019 - I'm pushing the boat right out for this one. Because it's comp.sys.SINCLAIR rather than "comp.sys.spectrum", I will accept entries for any machine with Sinclair DNA running though it (not that computers have DNA, but you know what I mean). So apart from all varieties of Spectrum, I want entries for the ZX81, ZX80, and particularly the QL - something I recommend if you've never tried to program one before. I'll take the Russian clones, or those from elsewhere in Eastern Europe or Brazil, I'll take the Timex models, the SAM Coupé, the Jupiter Ace, the Z88, and the "son of Spectrum" machines - the Next, the ZX-UNO, and the ZX-Evolution. As long as I have a way to emulate a machine I don't have, and some clear loading instructions where it isn't obvious (such as on the Jupiter Ace), I will consider it good to go.

I'm looking for "maximum effort, minimum attainment" for best results - see it as if I'm the editor of Sinclair Programs in 1983. Would I publish this Crap Game as a type-in listing in my magazine? If the answer is yes, that's a good start. Then throw all sorts of embellishments at it that it doesn't deserve - a loading screen or two, excessive documentation, a redefined character set (if such a thing is possible on the machine in question), a tape inlay card... anything to boost your "effort" score without affecting "attainment". I'm looking for the widest gap between the two!

Here's the official website:
https://www.rickdangerous.co.uk/csscgc2021/index.html

The competition opens at the stroke of midnight on 1st January, and closes at 23:58 on 30th November - UK times, obviously. I'll call back here regularly to update on the competition's progress. I'm hoping to smash as many records as possible with this one, so don't let me down!

In the meantime, John's got the last few reviews of 2020 to publish, and you can all get scribbling on the emulators of your choice...

TMD2003

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Dec 31, 2020, 7:03:31 PM12/31/20
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Hello, me, it's nice talking to myself! (As I think I will be here, all year.) Anyway... Jools Holland declares this competition OPEN, so get your entries in!

TMD2003

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Jan 1, 2021, 4:43:40 PMJan 1
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Crikey o'blimey, Eddie! Barely has the competition opened, than I get an entry from Alexandre Colella, from Brazil, and also from SC. It's called P.P.S. - Pixel Perfect Shot:

https://www.rickdangerous.co.uk/csscgc2021/review001.html

Matt Rudge

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Jan 6, 2021, 11:58:07 AMJan 6
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On 26/12/2020 21:16, TMD2003 wrote:
> Hails to all the people of CSS, which I've never been part of before. But there's a reason I've signed up here - it's because, after a few words behind the scenes with John Connolly, he's given me the go-ahead to kick off the 2021 competition.
>

Welcome. There are a few of us still here to rearrange the cobwebs.

>
> The competition opens at the stroke of midnight on 1st January, and closes at 23:58 on 30th November - UK times, obviously. I'll call back here regularly to update on the competition's progress. I'm hoping to smash as many records as possible with this one, so don't let me down!
>

Ooh...a CSSCGC that finishes *before* the end of the year?? This I have
to see!

TMD2003

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Jan 6, 2021, 2:44:18 PMJan 6
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On Wednesday, 6 January 2021 at 16:58:07 UTC, Matt Rudge wrote:
> Ooh...a CSSCGC that finishes *before* the end of the year?? This I have to see!

Correct. I run a tight ship, free of leaks and bilge rats. I might consider extending the deadline if I have 90-95 entries, in the hope of breaking a century. How Digital Prawn managed to get 130 in 2008 I will never know, though.

Now, as a former host who is presumably a true connoisseur of crap, how about sending me something? And not necessarily something on a Spectrum, either. Several other machines are vying for attention this year.

Matt Rudge

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Jan 7, 2021, 4:06:11 AMJan 7
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On 06/01/2021 19:44, TMD2003 wrote:
> On Wednesday, 6 January 2021 at 16:58:07 UTC, Matt Rudge wrote:
>> Ooh...a CSSCGC that finishes *before* the end of the year?? This I have to see!
>
> Correct. I run a tight ship, free of leaks and bilge rats. I might consider extending the deadline if I have 90-95 entries, in the hope of breaking a century. How Digital Prawn managed to get 130 in 2008 I will never know, though.
>
> Now, as a former host who is presumably a true connoisseur of crap,

Well...I have been known to dabble (q.v. every game I ever wrote for the
Spectrum)

how about sending me something? And not necessarily something on a
Spectrum, either. Several other machines are vying for attention this year.
>

I have a sparkly new Next on the way, and would love to do something in
NextBASIC when it arrives. In the meantime, I do have a few ideas for
games on other machines :)

TMD2003

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Jan 13, 2021, 6:09:14 PMJan 13
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On Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 9:06:11 AM UTC, Matt Rudge wrote:
> I have a sparkly new Next on the way, and would love to do something in
> NextBASIC when it arrives. In the meantime, I do have a few ideas for
> games on other machines :)

Time for some inspiration, then, because I've received the second entry.

https://www.rickdangerous.co.uk/csscgc2021/review002.html

"Mr. Don't!" by Dave Hughes of WOOT! Taper Magazine fame (and other projects) has gone back to CGC programming with a coin-op conversion. Now, what might it be a clone of?

TMD2003

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Jan 19, 2021, 7:03:36 PMJan 19
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And entry number three is in. Congraturation, I sucsess! The Challenges were worth devising, as Paul "Equinox" Collins has entered the Red YouTube Challenge (by intention) and the Magenta "weird commands and functions" Challenge (by default, looking at the BASIC source code). The YouTuber in question is "the lovely Heather Feather" and the game around her channel is called "ASMR Eye Examination":

https://www.rickdangerous.co.uk/csscgc2021/review003.html

Do try not to get too distracted.
Message has been deleted

TMD2003

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Jan 30, 2021, 6:09:48 PMJan 30
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I had a bit of a moan on SC and WOS about not getting any entries for a week. And then, within a few hours... boom! I was inundated with literally *a message*. It came from CSSCGC veteran Steve McCrea, a.k.a. Kweepa, who wanted to send me a maze game called "Cretans" that would have graced the pages of Sinclair Programs in 1982.

https://www.rickdangerous.co.uk/csscgc2021/review004.html

This game is so graphically minimalist that, despite its use of the POINT function for collision detection, I think it could be de-converted for the ZX81. I remind you all, that's what the Green Challenge is all about!

https://www.rickdangerous.co.uk/csscgc2021/challenges.html

TMD2003

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Feb 5, 2021, 1:51:30 PMFeb 5
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Well... that was an eventful week, in which I've been so distracted with a medical scare that I forgot to update the original source of the Crap Games Competition! So I'll take up the slack now.

On 31st January, Hedge1970 from the Spectrum Computing forum put himself in pole position to host next year's contest. What do you get if you cross James May with Pete Waterman? In one way, you get me. And in another way, you get a fanatical dedication to model railways. That's what you can experience with Hedge's "Mono-Rail Simulator":
https://www.rickdangerous.co.uk/csscgc2021/review005.html

And on 3rd February, John Connolly paid me back for all the games I sent him last year, some of which were for weird and wonderful machines. Taking on the White Challenge to program on a machine h'd never tried before, he learned a bit of FORTH and wrote his entry on the JUPITER ACE! It looks like a ZX80 with a Spectrum keyboard, it speaks a weird language, and John's effort was similar to learning just enough French to ask each other the way to the beach in annoyingly loud voices. A dreadful pun on a Biblical verse gives us the very simplistic "Genesis 1:28". But I'll say it again: it's on a JUPITER ACE!
https://www.rickdangerous.co.uk/csscgc2021/review006.html

TMD2003

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Feb 7, 2021, 11:24:55 AMFeb 7
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Jamie Bradbury tackled the Z88 for last year's competition, so I'm hoping that he's going to repeat that feat with some non-Spectrum machinery this year as well (I suggest the QL or the SAM Coupé, or preferably both). But for now he's brought us a 48K Spectrum game. It's called "Battle From Below"; it's a two-player game, so I've had a bit of trouble trying to play it with one hand for each player and this is reflected in the review. But it's also a "charity single" of sorts, dedicated as it is to a friend in need, even if he is more interested in the Bread Bin from 'Murica that has lots of colours, all of them dull.

https://www.rickdangerous.co.uk/csscgc2021/review007.html

TMD2003

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Feb 15, 2021, 6:45:00 PM (12 days ago) Feb 15
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Gah! What's all this Bitcoin spam doing blocking up the bathplug?

Anyway, more news: another hurdle has been crossed: the first author with multiple entries. Jamie Bradbury has submitted "Blind Snake Moan". No, I don't know what the "Moan" is all about either, but the "Snake" is obvious, and the "Blind" is best explained as "I can see the snake, but what am I trying to hit?"

https://www.rickdangerous.co.uk/csscgc2021/review008.html

TMD2003

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Feb 19, 2021, 4:03:36 PM (8 days ago) Feb 19
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Get lost, Italian spammers! I'd prefer to hear from Alessandro Grussu or Gabriele Amore or similar from the land of pasta and Ferraris, because they know what they're talking about.

Meanwhile, what's this? I did say this was comp.sys.SINCLAIR and not comp.sys.spectrum - and to that end the QL has joined the party, courtesy of Dilwyn Jones, one of the foremost authorities on Sir Clive's odd business machine with two microdrives. "Don't Shoot the QL" says Dilwyn - though you can shoot everything else, especially the Golden Macs!

https://www.rickdangerous.co.uk/csscgc2021/review009.html

TMD2003

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Feb 21, 2021, 3:57:12 PM (6 days ago) Feb 21
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We have a Crap Game Grudge Match on our hands! In the green, yellow and blue corner, it's Alexandre Colella, representing Brazil, who sent "Pixel Perfect Shot" on the opening day of the competition. And now, the challenger in the sky blue and white corner, representing Argentina, is Darío Ruellan. Let's get rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreadyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy to rrrrumbllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllle, as the wrestling commentators in 'Murica would shout, at great length... it's time to unleash... er... "Shower Simulator"! In which you... have a shower.

https://www.rickdangerous.co.uk/csscgc2021/review010.html

TMD2003

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Feb 24, 2021, 7:04:18 PM (3 days ago) Feb 24
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First, I've updated the package for Shower Simulator, so that there's a version that runs on 48K models. Neither will work on a 128K Spectrum, though, unless you want SPECTRUM and PLAY all over the screen.

As for today, if your meagre pocket money never stretched to a copy of 3D Deathchase in 1983, Rob Edwards has the answer, that would have been a fine addition to the type-in listings on the day... and only 38 years late! It's "2D Deathchase", which aims to capture as much of Micromega's original as possible in 4K of BASIC and a whiff of machine code.

https://www.rickdangerous.co.uk/csscgc2021/review011.html

TMD2003

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Feb 26, 2021, 4:13:34 PM (yesterday) Feb 26
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Sound the trumpets - because here's a first for the CSSCGC in 25 years: multiple QL entries!

72-year-old Steve Poole might also be the oldest entrant to the competition ever, though that's not something I can check easily. Anyway, that means he was 35 when the QL was first launched, and remembers those days so well he wants to take us right back to what the QL Forum call "The Wild West". His game is entirely based in text mode, though with four or eight colour graphics (only three at a time are ever used at most, mind!) and it's called... "Invaders" - no more than that.

https://www.rickdangerous.co.uk/csscgc2021/review012.html

If anyone ever sees this message, I get the impression that comp.sys.SINCLAIR was always a misnomer - but because it wasn't comp.sys.spectrum, I've taken the name of this group at face value. And it's paying off.

The ZX81's 40th birthday is in a week. Will I get a ZX81 entry in time?

Duncan Snowden

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8:18 PM (3 hours ago) 8:18 PM
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On Fri, 26 Feb 2021 13:13:33 -0800 (PST)
TMD2003 <h49...@gmail.com> wrote:

> If anyone ever sees this message, I get the impression that
> comp.sys.SINCLAIR was always a misnomer - but because it wasn't
> comp.sys.spectrum, I've taken the name of this group at face value.
> And it's paying off.

I'd say, back in the glory days[1], it was 93% Spectrum, 1% ZX81, 1% QL,
and 5% crisps.

> The ZX81's 40th birthday is in a week. Will I get a ZX81 entry in
> time?

The suspense is killing me.

[1] [Counts on fingers] Tw... twenty years ago? Hang on... that can't
be right. [Sounds of hastily-scribbled calculation] Yep, twenty years.
Crikey. I'll be late for my tea.

--
Duncan Snowden.
0 OK, 0:1


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