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Forums > CSDb Entries > Event id #2678 : The 128b font compo
2018-03-18 13:25

Registered: Jul 2007
Posts: 355
Event id #2678 : The 128b font compo

Welcome to the 128b font compo!

The goal is to create the most legible, stylish, and/or awesome font using an executable program no larger than 128 bytes. The assumption is that the ROM font will be used as a basis somehow, although this is not a formal requirement.

The deadline is end of April 8, 2018, in a time zone of your choice.

The compo is held at CSDb, and the result is determined by the weighted average rating (including non-public votes). The ratings will be sampled one week after the deadline, end of April 15, in a time zone of my choice.

Judges are asked to consider screen codes 00-3f only. This comprises the uppercase letters, digits, and punctuation. The rules do not mandate that reverse-video characters work, so it is all right if the cursor doesn't work properly.

I reserve the right to modify the rules if there is a good reason.

Technical requirements

Maximum file size including load address is 128 bytes.

The program must load to the default location ($801), and must be executable with RUN. The new font should be installed at address $3800, after which the program should return to the BASIC prompt, with the VIC bank register ($d018) updated to point to the new font.

The entry should be uploaded in .prg format.

A person may be creatively involved in at most two (2) compo entries. (Idea/test/help credits don't count towards the limit.) It's alright to withdraw an earlier entry in order to submit a new one, up to the deadline.


The following template code is offered as a convenience, and may be used as a starting point. It simply copies the default ROM font.

        .word   $801

        .word   $80b,1
        .byt    $9e,"2061",0,0,0

        lda     #$33
        sta     1
        ldx     #0
        ldy     #2
        lda     $d000,x

        ; ...
        sta     $3800,x
        bne     loop

        inc     src+2
        inc     dest+2
        bne     loop

        lda     #$37
        sta     1
        lda     #$1e
        sta     $d018


Happy hacking!
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2018-03-31 00:49

Registered: May 2002
Posts: 22
A little side step (outside compo) - 80x25 screen mode in 125 bytes :-)

80 Columns [125 bytes]
2018-03-31 03:54

Registered: Apr 2002
Posts: 4266
"screen mode" as in please write the rest of the routines yourself that didnt fit into 128 bytes.
2018-03-31 13:07

Registered: May 2002
Posts: 22
@Oswald haha, true. It would take at least another 128 bytes to fork CHROUT :)

Btw. In this one I combined upper and lower case characters ($d000/$d800) with a little offset and a few bytes fixed afterwards - Did anyone else try this approach yet? Yie Ar Kung-Font [113 bytes]
2018-04-05 12:20

Registered: Jul 2007
Posts: 355

In light of recent, hmm, controversies regarding the CSDb weighted average formula, I've decided to move the voting for the 128b font compo to a different platform, where a straight average (arithmetic mean) will be used.

More details will be posted here soon after the compo deadline. The deadline is still end of April 8, 2018, in a time zone of your choice.

Please double-check that you have at most two entries in the compo (i.e. set any additional entries to "outside compo"). This will simplify my job.
2018-04-06 19:35

Registered: May 2002
Posts: 22
How about having two series / two scores given to each font: 1. aesthetic (design, only end result matters as long as it fits in 128b) and 2. codew*nk (for smallest record and code tricks, where smart code matters)?
2018-04-07 07:03

Registered: Apr 2002
Posts: 144
Aleksi Eeben: I've ever thought that the perfect overlapping of the two would have been the real reason and the zero point for the concept itself of "demo" :o
2018-04-07 17:46
Account closed

Registered: Oct 2012
Posts: 10
lft, we don't need to move the voting elsewhere. Average can be computed based on the voting stats.
2018-04-07 18:51

Registered: Jan 2014
Posts: 20
@Bubis sounds like an idea for a greasemonkey/tampermonkey script: calculate uniformly-weighted "compo-score" on csdb ;)
2018-04-07 20:42

Registered: Jul 2007
Posts: 355
The deadline is looming, and a native voting tool is in the works!

I have reviewed all entries, and most of them are fine. However, the following entries are disqualified for relying on additional setup code, not included in the 128 bytes:

* 4x4 font [128 bytes] by bubis
* Yet Another 2x2 Font by Monte Carlos
* Fieser font by fieserWolf
* 2x2 font by Camelot
* Gotcha 45° 2x2 [126 bytes] by bubis

"Multicolor Font" by Cruzer will be included in the voting tool, because it is reasonably legible at 1x1. But the special 2x1 combo chars will not be displayed (because the rules state that judges should consider screen codes 00-3f only).

4-Mat, you have 1 font in the compo and 2 outside. Is this correct?

Finally, I have decided to clarify/change the rules to disallow relying on a particular filename. This means that "Smallest We Can [30 bytes]" is out; sorry, Pex! My rationale is that this technique can be used to shrink many other compo entries down to exactly 30 bytes, and this would take away an important aspect of the competition.
2018-04-07 20:45

Registered: Jul 2007
Posts: 355
Also, I forgot: Bubis, you still have three entries in the compo after removing the disqualified ones. Either you or I will have to reduce that number.
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