TMDC FAQ - last updated October 6, 2011
Q: Is java or .net accepted?
A: As long as they follow the rest of the rules, and the user does not need to install anything (such as the .net framework) on the PC.
So, basically that is still practically a "No", since you can't trust either Java or .NET being installed in the computer, and I doubt it would be possible to cram in the required redistributable files with your entry and still stay below the size limit.
Q: What does the jury expect? What should I do to score well? What shouldn't I do?
A: First and foremost, the jury likes good demos.
Apart from that, we're after good use of the medium. Use the textmode in new ways. Don't limit yourself to the four block characters. If you're rendering 3d objects, try to tweak the colors and the contrast to improve the image quality. And don't break the rules. Don't change the palette. Don't change the font.
Q: I'm running a non-English version of Windows, and textmode demos look weird. Any ideas?
A: Start a command prompt, go to the directory where you have installed the demo. Then, run "mode con: cp select=437", and then, while in the same command prompt, run the demo.
Q: Is linux really not allowed?
A: That's true. Since we're doing the jurying on several sites, and most of these do not have the possibility of using linux, we can't accept linux entries at this time.
However, if you're using standard libraries that can be found on both linux and windows platforms (fmod, ncurses/pdcurses), you can probably find someone to port your demo over. (Ask us if you need help finding this somebody).
Q: Why are font and palette changed not allowed?
A: This is not a hardware tweaking contest, but a 'ascii art demo' contest. If you're changing the palette or the font, you're changing the mode. the whole point is to make art with the limitations you have, not to fight them.
Q: Are DOS entries allowed?
A: Sure, as long as it runs under DOSBOX. Please note that digital audio is still required.
Q: Can I use 3d acceleration (in an offscreen window)?
A: You can feel free to try. Remember though that the demo must be able to switch between fullscreen and windowed modes, and this will - in SOME drivers, at least - destroy your surfaces. This will most probably cause some very undefined things to happen, as 3d rendering and full screen text mode isn't something driver developers expect you to do. Also remember that there are multimonitor (and multiple display adapter) configurations out there.
Note that Hybrid Graphics OpenGL ES Rasterizer can be used to render to a bitmap.
Q: What's the font you'll be using for judging?
A: The judging will, as much as possible, be done in fullscreen mode.
Palette will be the Windows default one. In windowed mode we use the 8x8 raster font, to keep an aspect ratio that fits with most monitors (and thus something similar to the fullscreen experience). If you're asking because you want to make a fake text mode, that's illegal (and there are ways to know what you're doing). The official codepage is 437 (you can switch codepages by calling "mode con: cp select=437" in command prompt).
Q: The size limitation is ridiculous! I could fit an animation into that!
A: Feel free. Do whatever you can to make textmode look good! (within the contest rules, of course).