Format War :: arguing the toss over which machine is better
FWar server failure :: posted by Jason :: 07 May 2017

It feels pretty crappy to be adding a news item after three years to say this but...

The server hosting FormatWar.net suffered a catastrophic failure at some point during the night on 05/05/2017. When I tried to restore things it turned out the backup jobs hadn't been running or reporting errors. The newest version of the database i've got is dated 23/03/2017 so over a month of posts and private messages will be lost if I rebuild from that. Since there was almost no visible activity during that time anyway I'm going to leave the forums offline unless folks say they want to see them resurrected; I can be contacted via the usual addresses or on Facebook.

Format War turns five! :: posted by Jason :: 16 Aug 2014

Since the 16th of August has rather arbitrarily become Format War's "official" birthday, here's another excuse to buy a nice cake, pose it with an Breadbin (where else would you keep a cake for a retro gaming website's birthday?) and then eat it. It was a very nice Victoria sponge with strawberry jam filling and don't worry, these birthdays aren't just an excuse to binge eat a cake or anything because I only had a quarter of it and the rest went to other members of the family.

Yay, cake again!

There hasn't been much news of late (although the news poster has just been upgraded to match the one added to Oldschool Gaming last month) but I was quite proud to see a new version of Format War's first collabortition Edge Grinder released for the ZX Evolution and taking second place in the fifth annual Your Game competition. Perhaps this is a good time to be thinking again about a second collabortition...?

RGCD 16K compo announced :: posted by Jason :: 05 May 2013

The now annual RGCD 16K Cartridge Competition was launched a few days ago. For those who haven't followed the previous installments, the rules are pretty simple; each entry has to run from just 16K of cartridge ROM. Previous years have seen some excellent games such as Molusk, C64anabalt and Jar's Revenge. In fact there's already four entries announced including Max Hall's Cosmic Ark and Rocket Smash, both of which we've been quietly following during development. More information, a list of entries and the complete competition rules are over at the RGCD website.

  • External link:   16K Cartridge Competition at RGCD

Amstrad CPC 16K ROM Dev compo :: posted by Jason :: 02 Jan 2013

We love a good game coding competition here at Format War so were pleased to see one announced for the Amstrad CPC over at the CPCWiki forums (that link aims directly at the relevant thread). Here's a borrowed couple of paragraphs explaining the rules:

"After seeing the success of this kind of competitions in other platforms, we would like to announce the first Amstrad CPC 16KBs ROM Game Development Competition."

"The reasons for the size limit are mainly for opening the compo to more participants. Small games are more probable to get finished than big games. We feel that the focus will be in the playability, originality and making fun games. And a nice feature of the size is that we can fill a gap in the CPC catalog, the lack of "rom games"; there is a lot of romboards these days (Megaflash, Symbiface, ...), but no games. We want to change this and hope, it will help to bring new CPC+ cartridges to the public soon."

Hopefully this'll take off like the ABBUC or RGCD competitions have previously.

  • External link:   Amstrad CPC 16K ROM Dev at CPCWiki

Happy Birthday to us! :: posted by Jason :: 16 Aug 2011

So a few weeks ago I was renewing the domain when I realised that this site's second birthday was due - Format War's forum went live along with the domain around the 16th August 2009 (with the actual website coming quite a bit later) so that's two whole years. And like any other two year old it's slightly whiny, doesn't go to bed when told to and has demanded a cake... and to prove said confectionary isn't a lie, here's a photo of the one purchased just yesterday, balanced on a tasteful cake stand...

Mmm, cake!

...and rather gorgeous! But to actually celebrate the event properly we've got the official announcement that the first Format War collabortition is up and running (yes, I forgot to post about it okay?!) and I've spent the last couple of days making the first group of comparative reviews that I threatened promised last year ready to actually go live.

So we'll just cut the decorative ribbon on the 8-bit computer game reviews section with a ridiculously oversized pair of scissors, thank James Monkman over at RGCD for proof reading the text, Trevor Storey and Sean Connolly for their excellent work on Edge Grinder and indeed offer around virtual cake to all the lovely fluffy forum bunnies who've helped to make Format War a quiet but surprisingly fun place to be on the interwebs - who knows, maybe an actual argument will break out eventually?

Replay 2011 tickets on sale :: posted by Jason :: 17 Apr 2011

The best retro gaming event in the UK is back for 2011, tickets for Replay have gone on sale at the website. The first event, which was early November 2010, was excellent, with huge names such as Sony, Sega and Nintendo bringing friends like Sumo Digital along to play as well and, off in one corner room, were indie developers Ovine By Design and the almost legendary Jeff Minter demonstrating the then not-quite-finished iOs blaster Minotaur Rescue.

And, because the adorable, fluffy bunnies who organise Replay had a bit of a lapse and asked a certain long-haired wazzock with the organisational skills of a goldfish in a plastic bag to put together something to showcase homebrew gaming, there's going to be an Oldschool Gaming (and, since they're sisters, Format War) presence at Replay 2011! For any coders wanting to contribute there's more information in this thread over at the Oldschool Gaming forums.

  • External link:   Replay Expo website
  • News source:  Oldschool Gaming

Minigame 2011 launched :: posted by Jason :: 27 Mar 2011

After a slightly shaky start, the 2011 Minigame competition is now under way with a first entry called Wiwo Dido (for the Spectrum) submitted and published on the new website. Organised by Dr. Beep, the competition has, as with previous instalments, been divided into 1K, 2K and 4K categories with the closing date for submissions being the last day of August, October and November 2011 respectively.

As we've noted previously, the original MiniGame competition evolved from a cross-posting flamewar between the denizens of various USENet groups, so it's proof that good can come from these discussions, at least as long as they're about the machines and not reduced to personal insults and fanboyistic "arguments".

  • External link:   Minigame 2011 website
  • News source:  World of Spectrum forums

Old Gold Tech videos :: posted by Jason :: 21 Jun 2010

Old Gold Tech is a podcast about old technology - you'd never guess it from the name! But their first two videos, which are here and here, make them relevant to Format War since they both revolve around the C64 and Spectrum... but unfortunately, the "facts" presented are pretty wide of the mark for both machines!

The presenters are under the impression that only later revisions of C64 had a cartridge port, that the Spectrum used a "Sinclair Z80 chip" and they even get caught out making some fairly n00bish mistakes (at least by our standards here at FWar) such as looking at a 1MHz 6502 and a 3.5MHz Z80 and assuming the latter is three and a half times faster. Still, it's amusing to watch them and the second "on the couch" video which isn't scripted is probably the more enjoyable of the two.

  • External link:   Old Gold Tech
  • News source:  Speccy Live

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