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:
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...