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Rules for the ABBUC-Software Contest

The Atari Bit Byter User Club e.V. (ABBUC e.V.) runs a software competition in 2021.

1. Participation

1.1 Every individual or group can participate in the contest with one or more entries.

1.2 An ABBUC membership is not required.

2. Terms and conditions

2.1 Every entry requires

2.1.1 to be able to run on an Atari 8-Bit homecomputer.

2.1.2 to be submitted on a maximum of two unprotected 90KB or 130 KB 5.25“ floppy disk sides or ATR-Images). The authors are allowed to provide further disk images for download under the condition that those images are not able to run standalone, e.g. level disks.

2.1.3 to mention “ABBUC Software Contest” together with the year of the contest on the title screen.

2.2 Not allowed for submission are commercial programs, programs which already have been published for Atari 8-Bit computers (e.g. on the internet or in magazines), as well as programs which already have participated in previous ABBUC contests. Every submission may only be published after the end of the contest, i.e. after the annual general meeting of the ABBUC.

2.3 Also allowed are:

2.3.1 submission of an already existing program if it has been extended or altered.

2.3.2 conversions from other platforms under the conditions that the conversion has been programmed solely by the author(s) who submit the program and the author(s) confirm in writing that the author(s) of the original content have agreed to the conversion and that the submitted program does not constitute an act of plagiarism.

2.3.3 collections of programs as long as the individual programs are linked to each other (such as a DOS and its utilities).

2.4 Furthermore, the following has to be submitted alongside the program:

2.4.1 a description/instruction of 400 words maximum including three screenshots for publication in the ABBUC magazine.

2.4.2 a comprehensive documentation in case the 400 word description is not sufficient for using the program.

2.4.3 a postal address as well as bank account details for delivering possible prices.

2.5 Any kind of documentation needs to be submitted in German or English as ASCII or PDF text file. The text has to be printable and transferable via copy/paste (no copy protection, no text as image).

2.6 The authors need to confirm that they are the owners of all rights regarding the submission. If the submission contains material of which the authors are not (sole) owners, proof needs to be provided that the original author(s) allow the use of these materials.

2.7 By submitting an entry for the contest, the authors declare that they will do anything to prevent that the ABBUC is held liable for any legal infringement resulting of the individual submission. Should any financial or other damage occur to the ABBUC due to the submission, the author(s) declare that they will compensate ABBUC in full as well as bear the legal and economic consequences resulting from the submitted program.

3. Modes of submission

3.1 The program including its documentation has to be sent to the head of the ABBUC software resort via e-mail or via the ABBUC Software Contest portal ( The submission needs to reach the software resort no later then August 31th of the year in which the contest is held. Corrections of already submitted programs are allowed until the same date.

4. Testing the submissions

4.1 The head of the ABBUC software resort checks each submission regarding the conditions laid out in section 2. In cases of doubt, a decision is made together with the president of ABBUC whether the program is accepted or not.

4.2 The ABBUC reserves the right to:

4.2.1 reduce the financial awards in case of low quality of the submitted programs.

4.2.2 cancel the contest in case of less than three submissions by different authors. In that case, submitted programs may again participate in a later contest, provided they have not been published before.

5. Distribution to ABBUC members

5.1 Accepted submissions will be made available for ABBUC members as a supplement to the next possible ABBUC magazine on 5.25” disk(s).

5.2 Additionally, disk images will be made available in a protected  members-only area of the ABBUC website as soon as finalizing the collection is completed.

6. Promotion by the authors

6.1 Authors are allowed to freely promote their programs before and after submission, e.g. via videos, screenshots or texts in any kind of media. The programs themselves may not be published until the annual general meeting. Non-public beta tests do not constitute a publication and are allowed.

7. Voting

7.1 Only ABBUC members are eligible for voting. Any submitted program can be given points from 0 (very bad) to 10 (very good)

7.2 Following modes of casting votes are provided:

7.2.1 via filling out the ballot which is part of the respective ABBUC magazine and sending it via post to the club.

7.2.2 via the online polling site.

7.2.3 by handing over the ballot to an ABBUC board member at the annual general meeting.

7.3 In the cases of 7.2.1 and 7.2.2, the member needs to make sure that the ballot has reached the club one day before the annual general meeting.

8. Results of the software competition

8.1 During the ABBUC annual general meeting the submissions are being presented in a way determined by the chairman and the moderator, usually by the head of the software resort. After the official part of the meeting, the ballots are counted andthe submissions are being ranked. The higher the vote count, the better the program is ranked with equally ranked submissions sharing the same rank as well as the prize. The final ranking will be announced at the meeting, thereby concluding the contest. The results will be announced in the next ABBUC magazine as well as in the ABBUC forum.

8.2 If programs that are in the first 3 places have the same number of points, they will also receive the same additional amount for this placement, as listed under 9.1.

9. Awards

9.1 The ABBUC awards monetary prizes with a total of 2,850 Euro. Of this total, 850 Euro are shared among the first 3 places. 2.000 Euro are divided by the amount of points given to the respective entry in relation to the total number of points given to all participating entries. This will give a calculated share.

For example: 500€ + calculated share 250€ + calculated share 100€ + calculated share and all following places: calculated share

The share of the prize money results from the percentage of the votes achieved in relation to the total number of votes.

9.2 Awards will be wired by bank transfer or PayPal or sent by postal mail. In case the competition isnot being held due to reasons stated in 4.2.2, the awards will be added to subsequent contests unless the members decide to cease holding the competition.

10. General publication

10.1 After the annual general meeting each author can freely publish the program. All copyrights remain with the respective authors. The ABBUC e.V. will not make the software accessible to the general public without permission of the authors.

11. Disclaimer

11.1 Any software appearing to be plagiarized from Atari 8-Bit or other systems or is otherwise contravening German or international law is immediately disqualified from the contest. In case such a contravention is discovered only after the contest, the participant has to return the award to the ABBUC immediately. Recourse to the courts is not permitted.

Contact addresses:
ATARI Bit Byter User Club e.V.
President: Sascha Kriegel
Rückertstraße 23
22089 Hamburg

Software resort head:
Holger Bommer
73734 Esslingen


It is not sufficient if a program runs with an emulator. For those who have no ability to test their software on real hardware please note the following:
The RAM under the OS-ROM and the BASIC is filled with random values after switching on a real Atari (mostly $FF and $00). Atari Emulators often have 0 here. Before changing the display list (DLISTL/H) or switching on or off the screen (DMACTL) a vertical blank should take place (wait for it). Otherwise on real Ataris,especially with enabled DLIs, interferences (flickering) or even crashes may occur.
Sound should be initialized at the start and after each load operation with AUDCTL=0, SKCTL=3, otherwise it will sound false. Also the total volume of all four (4) channels should not exceed 32, otherwise sound on real Ataris is distorted.
The program has to run on PAL-Ataris. There are following differences to NTSC:
- The VBI runs at 1/50 second (instead of 1/60 second)- Color palette is different
- At PAL the vertical blank is notably longer
Programs in XEX-format have to run as ATR also, regarding topic 2.1.3. That means, instead of the Emulator direct start, the XEX file has to be startable with XEX-loader in memory. Most loaders require $700-$BFF, zero page $43-$49 and all SIO memory locations. (If the program requires more memory, one can eventually release it as a 90k/130k bootdisk without DIR/VTOC.)
The Emulators Altirra and Atari800Win offer color palettes that are not correct. E.g. the doors in "Project M 2.0" do not have the colors red, green, blue as in Altirra but brown, white-blue, blue-violet. A game developed on an Emulator can show different colors on real Ataris.
The SIO runs slower with a 1050 than with SIO2XXX-devices or Emulators. This might lead to timing problems, if the program has a self-written SIO-routine or runs interrupts while loading.

Extremely useful programming tips by JAC! (english only):

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