Over the past 6 months or so, I have been active on a website called Battle of the Bits. Most of you reading this probably met me there and know me from there and so no introduction is really necessary. But for the few of you who are in the dark, it is an old and fairly respected chiptune compo website. A compo is sort of like a game jam – you have a short deadline and a prompt – but they are typically 1 hour long and for a specific chip format (e.g. NES, Gameboy), though there are popular broad formats for using any tools you want, or for using a specific tool like OpenMPT.
Anyway, as one would expect from the name (a battle of the bands pun), it started out as a music/remix battle site with a few formats, and as of Covid o’ clock, there are a lot of active users and weekly battles, but there are also a lot of basically dead formats that are only saved for special occasions.
So I thought, “What if Sunday at noon (New York time) were a special occasion??” and as of last Sunday, there is a weekly battle series at that time! I have decided to explain it here instead of on my botb profile page.
Secret Sunday Battles
Perhaps you wonder “what is so secret?” Well, it’s actually the format! A day or two before the battle, I use random.org to pick a format from a list of 40 that I came up with. Popular formats allgear and remix are missing and some obscure ones are missing for being essentially duplicates (eg boom and modXk), but nearly everything else is represented, even – and particularly – the non-music battles.
For the first compo, we rolled ASCII and I had a lot of fun figuring that out! This week, we rolled one that I know, but it’s not yet time to announce it~
List of formats
This is subject to change of course :)
Adlib Amiga AHX Amiga MOD ANSI art ASCII art AYM Deflemask DOOOOOOM HTML5 Famitracker Gameboy PC Engine klystrack LGPTracker Mario Pants Extended 8k tracker module 32k tracker module OpenMPT Panda Tracker NEC PC-x801 NTRQ pd pixel pxtone Renoise Atari Pokey (1x) Megadrive Master System C64 snibbetracker Super Famicom SunVox SVG Commodore Plus/4 Atari TIA TIC-80 VCV Rack Commodore VIC 20 Human Voice ZX Beep