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Does anybody remember The Golden Floppy?
Thomas Harte
Member #33
April 2000
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I'm a person from the olden days, trying to help somebody who has contacted me with some research: The Golden Floppy was the original Allegro game competition, concluding in January 1999. I was amongst those taking part, as was Max Monahan, and the various official materials were hosted at the old canvasnet.com/allegro site, which is not archived. I'm pretty sure we voted to pick the winner, but not certain. I recall very little else.

Did anybody else here take part? Do they remember who did? Who won? Does anybody recall any additional details on the rules — how long did the competition run for, were there any requirements beyond the product being an Allegro game? Any other details at all?

Elias
Member #358
May 2000

Ha - if you find out please let us know, I also want to know who won the Golden Floppy now!

It was about a year or so before I joined Allegro. My first of the Allegro competitions was Trent Gamblin's "size hack". (And I'd have no idea who won that either.)

--
"Either help out or stop whining" - Evert

relpatseht
Member #5,034
September 2004
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I was able to find an entries list, but I believe it's for AGC2: The Golden Keyboard, since your entry is Anarchy, instead of Prelude to Anarchy

I also found a link to jtris, which claims to have won AGC, but doesn't say which.

I'm pretty sure Arron Shutt's (Version8) (the competition organizer) entry into The Golden Floppy was Warp Space.

Drumroll...

It took an hour of research, but I've found the winners!

For posterity:
Winners:

#SelectExpand
1Best Game 2 3 Operation Black Sun - Joerg "Sharky-X" Rueppel 4 5 Best Non-Game using Allegro 6 7 No non-game entries were submitted and therefore no-one won this award. 8 9 Best Use of Allegro 10 11 Ghettica Galaxy - Sulea Cosmin 12 13 Best Use of Graphics 14 15 Operation Black Sun - Joerg "Sharky-X" Rueppel 16 17 Most Innovative Developer 18 19 Operation Black Sun - Joerg "Sharky-X" Rueppel 20 21 Best Use of Audio 22 23 Operation Black Sun - Joerg "Sharky-X" Rueppel 24 25 Most Promising Newbie Programmer 26 27 Chess Guess - Max Monahan 28 29 Best Remake 30 31 JTRIS - Guan Foo Wah 32 33 Best Original Game 34 35 Chess Guess - Max Monahan

Awards:

#SelectExpand
1Here's what you can win by entering the Allegro Games Competition... 2 3 1. A trophy 4 5 Don't get too excited. 6 7 The Allegro games trophies were going to be a floppy disk sprayed gold and sealed in epoxy resin. The problems I found with producing these is that my casting doesn't produce anything that I would like as a trophy. Believe me - you don't want to see the results! 8 9 The awards trophies are CD-ROMs with all of the entries on it, and a label showing your name, your entry and the award you have won. Its not just a prize, its functional as well. 10 11 You can be the envy of your fellow contestants with an one-of-a-kind CD-ROM which you can treasure forever. 12 13 The new first prize trophy is a keyboard, sprayed in gold and suitably customised. This will be awarded to the person whose entry wins the Best Game Award using Allegro. Truly a prize well worth the effort - so get out there and start on your entries now! 14 15 2. A GIF for your website 16 17 Impress your fellow Allegro users with a swish graphic that will last for an eternity on your web site..well until the server disk crashes anyway... 18 19 3. The respect of your fellow Allegro coders 20 21 Perhaps this one is a bit subjective... :-)

Rules:

#SelectExpand
11) All entries to the competition must use the Allegro Game Library. 2 32) Shawn Hargreaves should be credited within the software (as per the Allegro swapware agreement). 4 53) Each entry should be easily identifiable as have been created using Allegro, either by the CTRL-ALT-END key combination, by the use of datafiles etc.. 6 74) All entries to the competition must be complete versions and stable. This means that all features supplied as part of the entry are fully functional, and the entry can be run on any PC without problems. 8 95) Entries are permitted from either individuals or a development team. 10If the entry is on behalf of a development team, a leader should be nominated as a contact. All members involved in the development are to be listed on the documentation supplied with the entry. 11 12Individuals or teams can supply more than one entry to the contest , but each must be separately registered. 13 146) All entries must be created by the entrants. 15 167) In order that the contest is fair to all, Programs completed before the 28th February 1999 cannot be entered. Software still in development on this date is eligible for entry. 17 188) All contestants, either as a individual or a team must register to enter the competition. Registrations are by E-Mail, as described on the register page on this site. 19 209) This registration must be performed on or before the 31st January 2000. Registrations after this date, unfortunately will not be considered. 21 2210) Nominated judges are not eligible to enter the competition. They are not permitted to have assisted in any entry, no matter how small their involvement in the development. 23 24This rule does not apply the development of the Allegro library itself! ( At least three of the judges have written code for Allegro! ) 25 2611) Entries can be either downloaded from a webpage or sent through the post. 27 2812) An entry from a web site should be zipped using a PKZIP compatible compression utility, and small enough to make downloading possible within a reasonable time. Passwords and access information must be supplied (if required) to access the site. If the entry is larger than 1 MB, then a postal entry is recommended. 29 3013) Postal entries must be supplied to the address given. 31 3214) No responsibility is taken for any entry lost or damaged in the post. 33 3415) Any entries which are damaged, corrupted, virus infected etc, shall be inadmissable. 35 3616) All entries should be received by midnight on the 29th February 1999. Any entry received after this date will not be admissible. All entries are to be supplied with the requested submission information, installation instructions, and full operating instructions. The submission information is detailed on the submit page on this site. 37 3817) Copyright of any entry remains with the entrant throughout the competition. 39 4018) After the competition, all entries supplied by post will be destroyed. Individual entries cannot be returned. 41 4219) A panel of judges will be used to asssess the entries. These will be selected from elected volunteers or invited candidates of sufficient experience. Judges should not be related to, or have an bias towards any competition entrant. 43 4420) The winners will be notified by E-Mail, and the results of the competition will be displayed on this web site. 45 4621) In order to receive their trophy by post, the winners will required to supply an address. This address will only be used for that purpose. 47 4822) The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Any attempt by an entrant to influence the judges by bribery, intimidation or blackmail etc, will result in disqualification. 49 5023) The competition organisers reserve the right to change any or all of these rules at a later date.

That was quite a nostalgia trip. I recommend clicking around where you can. The colors alone make it all worthwhile.

Peter Hull
Member #1,136
March 2001

Does anyone remember Thomas Harte?

Great to see you back! (even if it's only briefly..)

Thomas Harte
Member #33
April 2000
avatar

There's no reason why anybody should remember me, I think; I used Allegro for probably the better part of a decade but the Skater demo, which I see survives in Allegro 5, is probably the only thing I contributed back.

Thanks to relpatseht for unearthing all that information! I have no recollection whatsoever of having entered the follow-up competition — but since it overlapped with my first year of university I suspect it wasn't very active in my mind. That's my excuse. Nothing to do with the close proximity of middle age, I'm sure. Sometimes I'm at "wait... didn't I already wash my hair?" but I'm still a distance from "wait... didn't I already eat lunch?".

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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Of course I remember him! I don't know how, or from what, but the name is definitely stored in distant memory!

Polybios
Member #12,293
October 2010

I remember T.H. for giving good advice on several issues I was interested in back in 2000-2 or so, but I was only reading the forums at the time.

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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Thomas Harte: Miss ya buddy.

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
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I remember TH from when I first joined A.cc.

Upon doing a Google search for Arron Shutt, creator of AGC, I found this article from 1999.

https://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/131793/allegro_inspires_a_new_generation_.php

[Off-topic rant incoming....]

This is the biggest thing for me as to why Allegro's popularity has dwindled.

SDL has Ryan Gordon that is the face and focal person for the library. Ask him something and he replies or gives you a location to look.

SFML has Laurent Gomila.

Allegro has....? I've seen some say Shawn Hargreaves, not realizing he hasn't been connected to the library in years. Some have named Matthew Leverton, not realizing he is the web master of A.cc and not really connected to Allegro.

I see the occasional Laurent interview pop up, Gordon is more vocal as he does Panels and seminars praising SDL and Steam. While that 1999 article is the first one I can think of seeing for Allegro. I got into Allegro because I stumbled upon Operation Spacehog, asked Peitz about how he made it and advice, where he directed me to A.cc

I think, for Allegro's popularity to get back where it was, it is going to take much more than an occasional mention on sites like Slant or an announcement of a competition from time to time. Someone has to become the face of the library, be vocal, write articles, answer questions, etc.

An author had tried to spark interest in Allegro via Game Programming All In One, and apparently something happened where the author views this community as volatile and the library as a niche library that doesn't warrant a new book for it.

We have the wiki for A.cc, but outside that we no longer have Loomsoft or any of the other former helpful sites. After more googling, most Allegro references I can find are to Allegro 4.2.2 (about 2009 or so) and nothing newer.

I fondly remember Operation Spacehog, KQ, Fenix Blade, Helicarrier (of course I'm partial as I beta tested it), Monster 2 (again bias as I beta tested it), and a few other games I played from the Depot. It's a shame there aren't more modern made games to showcase the power of Allegro to put it back on equal footing with SDL/SFML as viable otpions for video game production.

"Can't a man even talk to himself without being interrupted?" -Krull(1983)
"Through vengence I was born. Through war I was trained. Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose." -- Specter Phoenix
"Programming == AWESOME the rest is just tools to accomplish it."
END OF LINE

beoran
Member #12,636
March 2011

@spectorphenix, well, I think I agree more or less with you. I am more like the left ring finger if Allegro than the face. You know, sometimes useful, often overlooked... ;) Maybe the role of face would be more something for you?

As for the community, I find it very stable. If small. The crowd from 1999 is gone, but it makes sense. Then, learning C and Allegro was perhaps the easiest way to make pro quality games. Allegro5 is generally just as easy to use as the previous versions, but you still need to learn C, and that not so easy. Nowadays there are plenty of engines, even open source ones with various scripting languages that are far easier to program. Think of Godot, Renpy, Love, Blender Game Engine, etc.

I think most amateurs who want to make games would probably prefer not to learn how to program. These days that is more or less possible. They are no longer our customers. Our target group are (beginning) programmers who would like to make games or similar applications. To convince them, we should keep improving Allegro5, write wrappers for various programming languages, add-ons, like, say GUIs, etc.

I vaguely remember the Golden Floppy, I was in my 20ies then. How time flies!

Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
avatar

Doing more searches for Arron Shutt and AGC revealed a lot of users whom disappeared whom also ran sites that no longer exist. It's sad to see so many sites suddenly die with and have no clue what the former creators are up to now....like Barry Gillhespy [yes I know that isn't his real name, but still makes you wonder what they are up to now].

In '99 I was 17 as I turned 18 in '00 like four or so months after I graduated high school, though I never came to this site til '01.

[APPEND]
I shouldn't assume everyone recognizes Barry's name as I'm not sure how many current members remember him as the original creator of Allegro Games Depot.

"Can't a man even talk to himself without being interrupted?" -Krull(1983)
"Through vengence I was born. Through war I was trained. Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose." -- Specter Phoenix
"Programming == AWESOME the rest is just tools to accomplish it."
END OF LINE

Mark Oates
Member #1,146
March 2001
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Oh wow, Thomas Harte and Peter Hull!

Welcome back, guys 👋

:D

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
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I remember TH! I used to hang on his every word!

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Bruce Perry
Member #270
April 2000

I remember you, Thomas.

--
Bruce "entheh" Perry [ Web site | DUMB | Set Up Us The Bomb !!! | Balls ]
Programming should be fun. That's why I hate C and C++.
The brxybrytl has you.

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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Thomas Harte
Member #33
April 2000
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I remember you, Thomas.

No need to relitigate that, I hope; I believed a thing to be cancelled that I wanted to happen so I took independent action, and in my haste I misjudged the community effects of doing so. I was young, I learnt from it.

That last sentence was the theme of my time with Allegro.

MiquelFire
Member #3,110
January 2003
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RetroHack, I never got a chance to join that.

---
Febreze (and other air fresheners actually) is just below perfumes/colognes, and that's just below dead skunks in terms of smells that offend my nose.
MiquelFire.red | +Me
Windows 8 is a toned, stylish, polished professional athlete. But it’s wearing clown makeup, and that creates a serious image problem. ~PCWorld Article

Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
avatar

Seems there were a lot of compos that are no longer active.

"Can't a man even talk to himself without being interrupted?" -Krull(1983)
"Through vengence I was born. Through war I was trained. Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose." -- Specter Phoenix
"Programming == AWESOME the rest is just tools to accomplish it."
END OF LINE

Neil Roy
Member #2,229
April 2002
avatar

Funny, I was just discussing SpeedHack'99, I still have many of the entries and source for that, being the packrat that I am. Good times. Aaron was just a little younger than I am, not by much though, like 5 years. Wow. We're all aging rapidly! :)

I just threw up a zip with the source I have from SpeedHack '99 for someone else.
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/oqvk7oc44oapiud/Speedhack99.zip?dl=0)

I vaguely recall the golden floppy.

GullRaDriel
Member #3,861
September 2003
avatar

I remember you, piece of scum. How can we forget you ? You're the one who forgot us.

You whooped nearly a decade before popping back up here, for my own and best pleasure. I missed you.

Now my dear, let me ask you: What happened between 2009 and 2011 that made you away from posting the next (nearly) ten years ?

Anyway I'm happy to see you back.

And ....

I HOPE YOU REMEMBER ME >:(

"Code is like shit - it only smells if it is not yours"
Allegro Wiki, full of examples and articles !!

Bruce Perry
Member #270
April 2000

No need to relitigate that, I hope; I believed a thing to be cancelled that I wanted to happen so I took independent action, and in my haste I misjudged the community effects of doing so. I was young, I learnt from it.

I think I was younger, wasn't I? Although perhaps not that particular occasion, I definitely had some bad moments, way worse than yours - and in general, I always saw you as someone who knew what he was doing and could spell :)

Speaking of relitigating, you went into law, didn't you? What area of law did you go into?

I didn't remember The Golden Floppy at all - a little before my time and I guess it wasn't still talked about by the time I joined the community. The second SpeedHack (2001) was my first competition and is a fond memory for me.

Neil, did you know Matthew has the entire SpeedHack history hosted here in theory, including downloads?

--
Bruce "entheh" Perry [ Web site | DUMB | Set Up Us The Bomb !!! | Balls ]
Programming should be fun. That's why I hate C and C++.
The brxybrytl has you.

Samuel Henderson
Member #3,757
August 2003
avatar

I don't recall it as I started lurking around allegro.cc a couple of years after 1999.

=================================================
Paul whoknows: Why is this thread still open?
Onewing: Because it is a pthread: a thread for me to pee on.

Thomas Harte
Member #33
April 2000
avatar

Now my dear, let me ask you: What happened between 2009 and 2011 that made you away from posting the next (nearly) ten years ?

Speaking of relitigating, you went into law, didn't you? What area of law did you go into?

No, I merely studied law. After graduation I went into publishing, eventually in law and in London. Then there was a global recession so I jumped not necessarily of my own volition into iPhone development, being a then-ascendant industry for which I was qualified. I went over to San Francisco to hang around startups but that's difficult when you're a foreigner for a variety of visa-related reasons so after a few years I moved over to New York and scaled up my target company ambitions. I was on the periphery of Google's virtual reality team for a couple of years but I've recently jumped ship and am now working for a Wall Street firm, connected to low-latency trading. Conclusion: I'm the worst.

RetroHack, I never got a chance to join that.

If you want to run a new one then I wholly endorse the title 'RetroHack 2: For Old Times' Sake'.

Stray observation though: the 2002 competition modelled a fictional late-'80s machine. So, one of maybe 15 years prior. The equivalent offset today would be the original XBox. Or the original RetroHack. How can it be that a twenty-year old such as I am now looking not too far ahead to forty?

beoran
Member #12,636
March 2011

Heh, are you taking in the dough? If you feel guilty I can set up a Patreon account and let you fund me for developing Allegro. ;)

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