General Rules

  • Don't be an idiot.
  • Don't break any UK laws, respect copyright law and don't cheat.
  • Don't show up to the town hall with COVID.
  • Remote entries are allowed in any compo. We are happy to receive them at
  • Competitions can be consolidated or cancelled at the compo team's discretion.
  • Technical details, formats and platforms for entries will be made visible on the beamer before they are shown. Please share this in your submission!
  • You must provide captures for any non-PC entries.
  • If you feel that your entry for any unlisted platform shouldn't be run in the Wild competition, please get in touch with the compo team as soon as possible.
  • The compo team has the final word on things. We are reasonable people though, so we will do our best to be of help!

Competition machine

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 8700K @ 3.7GHz
  • RAM: 64 GB DDR4
  • Graphics: NVIDIA RTX 3080 10 GB
  • OS: Windows 11 Pro Version 22H2 with the latest WHQL NVIDIA drivers, .NET and Java runtimes installed.

Hardware and software configuration are subject to change by the compo team at their discretion.

PC Competitions

  • We officially support entries for Windows and Linux. We also accept Mac entries, but please bring your own hardware.
  • We also welcome realtime web browser entries. We'll have the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge installed. Please specify the preferred browser to run your entry with.

New School Demo

  • For PC based productions that are larger than 64k.
  • If there are less than 3 entries in the competition, it will be merged with New School Intro.

New School Intro

  • For PC based productions that are 64k (65536 bytes) or smaller.
  • Please ensure your beam slide states the size limitation.
  • If there are less than 3 entries in the competition, it will be merged with New School Demo.

Old School Demo

  • Productions for any old school platforms, C64, Amiga, BBC, consoles etc.
  • High Quality Video Captures and binaries must be provided for all entries.
  • Intros and demos will be mixed, please ensure you’re beam slide states it if is a demo or size restricted production.
  • Please provide a video capture if possible. If this is not possible, please contact the compo team as early as possible.
  • Maximum playtime for all entries is 10 minutes.

Tiny Intro

  • For productions that take up to 256 bytes on oldschool, newschool and fantasy platforms.
  • We will split the Tiny Intro competition into separate 128 and 256 byte competitions if we we receive enough entries for both size discplines.
  • Please supply us with specific hardware and instructions on how to run your entry. Quality video captures and "compatible" binaries are highly appreciated.
  • Maximum running time for entries shown on screen is 5:00 -including loading times.

Music Competitions

  • Original works only; remixes, covers, and previously released songs are not allowed.
  • Maximum playtime for all entries is 4 minutes. Longer entries will be faded out.

Streaming Music

  • The entry has to be delivered as single MP3, OGG or FLAC file.
  • Maximum running time is 4:00.

Old School Music

  • Music made for obsolete machines, this includes computers and consoles from 8 and 16 bit era as well as tracked music formats MOD, IT and XM.
  • The platform will be displayed on the big screen so our party goes know the difference.
  • Maximum file size: 2MB (2097152 bytes).
  • Entries will be video pre-recorded where possible. Please state the tracker / player you want your capture to be taken from and any audio settings required for playback. Ensure your entry is not late to avoid disappointment.

Executable Music

  • Executable file size must be 32kb (32768 bytes) or smaller and runnable from Windows.
  • The executable must have a WAV Writer option. If you cannot include an option provide a second executable which produces a WAV file.
  • Maximum running time is 4:00.

Graphics Competitions

  • Original works only.
  • Use of AI is prohibited.

4K Executable Graphics

  • Entries will be run on the competition PC and must be delivered as executable in a .ZIP file (or other archive).
  • If your entry is for another platform, it must run on a fresh, standard OS install.
  • Maximum resolution is 1920x1080 pixels.
  • All entries will be shown using the original aspect ratio (i.e. 4:3 or 16:10 images will be letterboxed, not stretched). The stream will be 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • Animation and sound are not allowed! Entries must start with a blank screen (solid colour, typically black) and switch to the final image as soon as it is ready. Fade-in effects or incremental rendering count as animation.
  • Maximum rendering time: 30 seconds (from starting the executable to the final image being displayed).
  • Maximum size is 4096 bytes for the executable. All other files in the archive will be deleted before showing the entry in the competition.
  • It is okay to deliver bigger versions of the 4k along with the compo version (which must be <=4096 bytes) in the same archive. We will not show the bigger version in the compo. If your packer doesn't work on the compo machine, it's your problem. We will be able to provide you with details about the compo machine, though.
  • Please include a full-res PNG screenshot of the entry, it will allow for better display during the compo.


  • Still images only, no animations
  • The viewer Sahli will be used during the compo, please check your entry looks correct.


  • You have to be the creator of the photo entered.
  • Retouching and collages are allowed but you must state this with your entry.
  • If submitting a collage, please provide a PNG or JPG images of the original unmodified photo(s).
  • Maximum image size 1920 x 1080 pixel.
  • Please deliver your image in PNG or JPG format

Old School Graphics

  • Graphics created on any old school platform (C64, Atari, Amiga, Spectrum etc.).
  • Please include at least 4 work stage images.
  • Please include the tool used on your submission so we can check the working stages. If that is not possible for some reason, contact us on the party.
  • All formats/modes are allowed. Please specify which mode you use, it will be displayed on the beam slide before the entry.

New School Graphics

  • Anything goes, rendering, pixelling etc.
  • Please include at least 4 work stage images.
  • You may include a hi res version of your final picture.
  • Please deliver your image in PNG or JPG format.


  • Back once again by popular demand!
  • Entries can be made using the fantastic site
  • Please submit the saved link of your Teletext image and also a PNG


  • For productions on strange new platforms, videos, animations, poetry, interpretive dance, etc.
  • A video for the production should be provided where possible, obviously poetry is exempt from this.
  • Maximum running time for entries shown on screen is 5:00.

AI Wild

  • A new competition - create anything you like using AI Tools.
  • Please provide a video of your production where relevant.
  • Make sure you provide an explanation of how your production was made.
  • Maximum running time for entries shown on screen is 5:00.

Shader Showdown

  • Competition is no longer open for entry as our participants are confirmed. Friday night knockout heat will consist of two rounds at 20 minutes.
  • The winners of the heats will then go head to head in the Saturday night final for 25 minutes.
  • Participants will be using [Bonzomatic][3]

[3]: entries of either size are submitted.

Remote entries welcome!

If you cannot attend NOVA in person, we accept remote entries in all competitions.