Competition Rules – General Info

  • First rule: Be creative and have fun! We invite everybody to take part in our compos, no matter if you are a beginner or a scene veteran.
  • Your contribution(s) must not have been released before.
  • You can’t make it to the party, but would like to participate? We accept remote entries for all compos! Please send us a message to and we will send you a key and link to our online party system where you can upload your release (and also vote for the compos during the party).
    Please note: If you win a prize we will try to send it to you or bring it to another demoparty, e.g. Revision to hand it over. This usually works out well, but no guarantee. We will also have a livestream of the event, which can be found on the website (once live).
  • You must hand in your contribution(s) via the party-system before the respective compo deadline: The compo system (aka. partymeister) is online!
  • By taking part in a competition you agree that we spread your entry (e.g. through and that we’re allowed to use it in non-commercial promotions for upcoming editions of Deadline demoparty.
  • Entries must be free of any content with third-party copyright, and they must comply with German law. We have to disqualify any entry that is in violation of copyright or other laws!
  • The following rules apply regarding AI generated content:
    • Pure AI content is not allowed. We don’t have a “prompt engineering” compo.
    • If you have been using AI as a source of inspiration or as a creative tool, you have to mention this in the entry description, and it will be shown on the beam slide for your entry. Failure to declare AI content results in immediate disqualification.
    • AI generated content should not be the main element of an entry.
    • The compo organizers reserve the right to disqualify any entry where too little human involvement is recognizable. This will be a subjective decision of the compo organizers, no discussion.
  • In case of too few compo entries for one compo (e.g. less than three), the compo organizers can cancel or combine competitions.
  • For all compos except music, we strongly encourage providing a thumbnail image along with your entry. This will be shown on the voting page, and thus help voters remember your entry.
  • If you have questions about these rules, contact the organizers at

Compo Machines

We will have two PC compo machines with the following specs:

  • CPU: Intel Core i9-10900K
  • 32 GiB RAM
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
  • OS: Windows 11 64bit latest version and latest WHQL Nvidia drivers
  • CPU: Intel Core i9-10900k
  • 32 GiB RAM
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
  • OS: Windows 10 64bit latest version and latest WHQL Nvidia drivers

We will also provide a dual-boot environment for Linux productions, running Ubuntu Desktop 22.04 LTS with the latest Nvidia drivers from the Ubuntu repositories, but no other special software installed. Contact us if you need specific packages.

If you plan to release a macOS production, please contact us before the party, so we can see if we can provide suitable hardware for you.

We have the following oldschool compo machines to present your entry on:

  • We will provide the following machines: C64 (Dual 8580 SID on Ultimate 64 for Audio, Real C64 with 8580 for Demos), Atari 1040STEAtari Falcon 060Amiga 500 and Amiga 1260Sega Mega Drive (Model 2 with Mega-Amp Sound-mod).
  • DOS entries are run in DOSBox 0.74 or DOSBox-X (recent Git version). If you need special settings, tell us in the release notes or provide a dosbox.conf file with your release.
  • For the most authentic 90s experience, DOSBox MIDI output will be played through a Roland SC-88 MIDI sound module instead of Windows’ built-in MIDI synthesizer.
  • We allow every other oldschool platform with 8 and 16 bit as well – but please bring your own hardware then.
  • If you can’t bring your own hardware, please tell us in advance and we’ll see what we can do.
  • Please contact us in advance in case of unconventional video signals.

Executable Competitions:

PC Demo

  • Maximum running time is 10 minutes.
  • Size limit: 1 GB

PC Intro (64K + 4K)

  • Maximum file size of intro executable is 64 KiB (65,536 bytes) / 4 KiB (4,096 bytes)
  • All other files in the archive of the intro will be deleted before showing the entry in the competition.

4K Executable Graphics

  • Maximum file size of executable is 4 KiB (4,096 bytes)
  • All other files in the archive of the intro will be deleted before showing the entry in the competition.
  • All platforms allowed (PC + Oldschool)
  • Maximum precalculation time: 60 seconds

Oldschool Demo

  • Maximum running time is 10 minutes. Long end scrollers may be cut off earlier than that.
  • The entry must be provided in a common file format for the target platform, e.g. .prg/.d64 for C64, .prg/.st/.msa for Atari ST/Falcon, .adf/.dms/single executable file for Amiga.

256 Byte Intro

  • Entries must be one file, and that file must be 256 bytes or less.
  • Entries will be shown for approx. 1 minute by default. They will be shown longer if there’s significant progression. Maximum running time is 3 minutes.
  • Any platform is accepted (note: this explicitly includes fantasy consoles like TIC-80, Pico-8 or MicroW8).

ThreeDee Competition

  • Deadline will again enter the third dimension! Put on your red-cyan glasses and follow us in three-dee hyperspace! ™
  • Allowed formats: Everything that outputs a red/cyan picture e.g. graphics / (GIF) animations / executables (newschool and oldschool). Go wild!
  • Useful ressources: Anaglyph How-To by kb, Anaglyph shadertoy sandbox by LJ
  • Red/cyan glasses will be provided at the party
    • If you need one in advance for testing, please send us your address and we’ll try to send you one via mail.

Wild and Video


  • Anything possible! It can be run on any other platform which is not listed in other competitions, or be something other than a demo (e.g. a music disc, artpack, game, …)
  • No size limit.
  • Maximum running time is 10 minutes.
  • Either bring the platform and we will try to hook it up, or include a digital video of your entry, or perform it on the stage!

Video / Animation

  • Provide a video or animation file, please use a standard format, ideally H.264 High Profile for video, PCM or AAC for audio, and a MP4, MOV or Matroska container
  • Maximum running time is 10 minutes.

Graphics competitions

  • Up to two entries per artist and graphics competition allowed.
  • We recommend that you also provide a list of the tools you have used to create your entry.

Freestyle Graphics

  • You can use every tool you wish (pixel/render/scan & retouch), just be creative.
  • The entry should be delivered in a lossless format, e.g. PNG.
  • Animations are not allowed.
  • You must include at least three working stages of your entry.

Themed Photo

  • The theme this year is “Brutal(ism)”. Go get creative!
  • It has to be the competitor who took the picture.
  • Retouching and collages are allowed.
  • If it’s not a pure photo: Do not forget your working stages! Without them, your entry will be disqualified. Please ensure that your entry includes the original, unmodified picture(s).

Oldschool Graphics

  • Entry must be in a native graphics format for an oldschool platform.
  • Entries for platforms without a standardized image format (Atari XL, C64, …) must be handed in as executable. Otherwise, a picture in a standard image format (e.g. IFF on Amiga) is accepted.
  • Animations are not allowed, except for scrolling.

Textmode Graphics

  • ASCII/ANSI: Maximum width is 80 characters, no maximum height/lines.
  • PETSCII/ATASCII: Maximum width is 40 characters, maximum height is 25 lines.
  • No XBIN, custom fonts, custom palettes, blinking or Ansimations. iCE Colors are supported.
  • Please declare whether your ASCII should be displayed as PC or Amiga ASCII.
  • PC ASCII/ANSI is shown using 80×25 VGA mode.
  • Amiga ASCII/ANSI can use any font supported by AnsiLove; the default is “topaz”.
  • If you’re unsure whether your entry will be displayed correctly, provide a PNG as a fallback along with the original file. (optional)

Music competitions

Up to two entries per artist and music competition allowed. Maximum playing time for all entries is 4 minutes. If your entry is longer it will be faded out between 4:00 and 4:10.

Streaming Music

  • Entry must be in MP3, OGG, OPUS or FLAC format.
  • Entries will be played back using the latest XMPlay.

Tracked Music

  • Entry must be in any format supported by OpenMPT (MOD, XM, S3M, IT and many others).
  • We will play back entries using the latest xmp-openmpt plugin for XMPlay.
  • Please specify if you want any specific playback settings in xmp-openmpt (e.g. interpolation, stereo separation).
  • The number of channels used will be mentioned on the bigscreen during the competition.
  • Size Limit: 2 MiB

Oldschool Music

  • Allowed formats:
    • SID, DualSID (will be played on 8580 SID)
    • Atari ST SNDH
    • AHX+HVL
    • Adlib/OPL3 (RAD2/ADT2/Furnace/VGM)