If you've been to Breakpoint in 2006 and just want to check which compo rules changed, this page is for you.
- There is no longer a seperate tracked music compo, just convert your entries to MP3/OGG and submit them to the streaming music compo (we feel the distinction between tracked and streaming music is pretty irrelevant nowadays).
- Time limit is now 8 minutes per entry for all demo/intro compos.
- The size limit for demos is now 20MB (20971520 bytes).
- Autostart entries are now forbidden (or at least strongly discouraged).
- The size limit for demos is now 64MB (67108864 bytes).
- Some retouching work is now allowed.
This year, we've notably increased the size limits for the PC and Amiga demo competitions. We did so with a reason; here are the main points:
- The main reason for size limits in demo compos is distribution, not that size limits are an integral part of what makes a demo competition. 15 years ago, anything that required more than 2 floppies was pretty awkward (and annoying) to distribute for disk swappers, and took ages to download with the slow modems of that time. 5 years ago, a lot of people already had access to broadband internet connections, but even more didn't. Nowadays, most sceners do, and traffic costs have dropped significantly. There's no pressing reason anymore to limit demos to sub-20MB sizes.
- You are allowed to use up to 64MB for a PC demo (or up to 20MB for an Amiga one). That certainly doesn't mean you have to use it, and it also doesn't mean that we think bigger equals better. Console/real wild entries have been completely without size limit for as long as breakpoint exists and we've yet to see a submission bigger than 40MB, even though some of them use completely uncompressed music.
- As it is, current size limits pretty much favor code-heavy demos over art-heavy ones. There's nothing wrong with that in principle, but there are already two types of compos (4k and 64k intros) with that particular bias (in various degrees). Right now it's really hard to do a demo that features complex models with high-res textures and possibly several texture maps (diffuse, specularity, normal maps, etc.) per model. This is not meant to suggest that demos should use these techniques, or that doing so would automatically give us better demos. We certainly don't want all demos to look like the newest 3DMark. But right now, it's nearly impossible to make a demo which uses art in that way, because current size limits are too restrictive, and that doesn't seem healthy either.
- Finally, most of the arguments above have been PC-centric, but they apply (to a lesser degree) to Amiga demos aswell. Our size limit for Amiga demos is 20MB because that is how big we think Amiga demos can reasonably get (Amiga hard drives normally being a lot smaller and slower than the ones in current PCs).
As mentioned above, we no longer have a seperate tracked music competition anymore. Again, we do this with a reason: The overall quality of this compo was declining; people increasingly saw it as the easy little brother of the streaming music compo, promising a less fierce competition for those who still used trackers or could be arsed to do so. In the meantime, trackers matured into software packages that offer everyone the means to make studio-quality music with them - Renoise, Sk@le, Modplug Tracker and a host of others can still output plain tracker files - but they can do so much more. Other trackers do not produce the file types allowed in the tracked music compo (psycle, buzz and others). We think trackers should face the music. Many of the entries in the streaming compo are already made with trackers. We decided to stop giving a couple of sequencers an extra break (an extra compo!). Trackers do not need this protection. We're confident that tracked music has more than just a fighting chance in the streaming music compo.