Past party: 2017

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Results are posted on Demozoo

Who’s coming:
nom de nom | Flourish | Luis^TRSI^DESIRE | Dr.Claw / ThEMM | PenganZ
Jason Scott | wkend | MARO / UBULAB | Mike "Cobra" Erwin | DIYDSP
Sofian Audry | Shu | Spontaneous Panic | Sunsneezer | ohsqueezy
Milton Läufer | BarZoule | Rem


This year, Synchrony is implemented with Récursion.*

The party will include a concert in New York City (ticket required, can be bought at the door), an international train trip where coding and discussion can take place (requires a passport and train ticket, and a final gathering for the compos in Montréal (no charge). See the registration information for all the details.

Yes, remote entries are accepted. See the compos rules and categories for all the details.

* Récursion is the Montréal demoparty.


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January 27, 7:30pm+ Concert & kickoff, Babycastles, New York City
January 28, 8:15am  Amtrak train 69 departs Penn Station, New York City
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> PARTY EXISTS BETWEEN NEW YORK CITY AND MONTRÉAL <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
January 28, 7:11pm  Amtrak train 69 arrives Gare Central, Montréal
January 28, upon arrival  Reception & compos, Shopify, Montréal

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There are three parts of the party, a CONCERT (performers to be announced), a TRAIN TRIP, and the COMPOS.

There will be a reasonable admission charge, typical for New York and for Babycastles where the event is taking place, for the CONCERT. It is not necessary to buy a ticket in advance. You can pay at the door.

To get from New York to Montréal with the group on the TRAIN TRIP, you should buy a ticket on train 69 on January 28, 2017. Go to to purchase a ticket. The quickest way to indiacte New York Penn Station to Montréal Gare Central is by using the abbreviations "NYP" and "MTR". Select 01/28/2017 as the date and if you would like a one-way ticket just click the "Find Trains" button. There is only one train going from New York that day, the Adirondack, train number 69, departing at 8:15am and arriving at 7:11pm.

Sceners are likely to wish to book a round trip, Montréal-NYC-Montréal (if starting from there) or NYC-Montréal-NYC (if starting from there). There is no discount for round-trip travel on Amtrak; a round-trip ticket costs the same as two one-way tickets, but it saves time to book both at once. If you would like to fly into NYC and out of Montréal, or take the bus in the other direction, or do whatever else, fine. The main party will be on the train from NYC to Montréal on January 28, 2017, so if you want to participate in that, be sure to get a ticket from Amtrak for that trip.

Right after you have bought a ticket on Amtrak train 69, please register with us here: (form removed)

NAME as we should list it/handle/scene name/:
COUNTRY we should list you as from:
GOVERNMENT NAME as it appears on your Amtrak ticket:
RESERVATION NUMBER as it appears on your Amtrak ticket:

With this information, I will try to have Synchrony participants formed into a "group" (as if we bought a group ticket) about a week before the party, so we can board together. We may or may not get a car to ourselves, depending on how many of us there are and other factors. People coming along can talk, use computers, buy and consume food & drink including alcohol, and generally enjoy themselves as long as they follow the usual norms of behavior and don't bother other passengers or the crew. Remember, however awesome the demo you are looking at, pants can come off only during the compos.

There are power outlets but be aware that the power quality is not good and at times the power may cut out entirely. There is wifi, but the quality is also not great. At times one can get a cell phone signal but not everywhere along the route.

The trip involves a border crossing, so appropriate documentation (e.g., a passport) is required. Please check the information on the Amtrak site, and other official information if necessary, to ensure that you will be able to cross the border. There is a customs inspection at the border and officials check the documents of everyone on the train. It takes a while.

Alcohol may be consumed by those of age at Babycastles in NYC, on the train, and at Shopify during the compos. The Amtrak cafe car has food and drink, including alcohol, available for sale. However, because the train is US-based there are no alcohol sales during the short, final part of the trip that is in Canada.

Speaking of alcohol, there is a duty-free allowance for people to buy alcohol in the US and take it to Canada. But I don't think there is any option for people traveling by train this. Also, I doubt it would result in any savings, as even with the difference in taxes, the exchange rate right now makes it cheapest to buy alcohol in Montréal. Be aware, regarding any goods you have with you, that you are traveling between countries and may have to deal with tarriffs and customs. For instance, if you buy a lot of consumer electronics in New York and bring all of that along, you could be charged to bring those into Canada. It's all part of this being an international party and a trip that crosses a border.

Once in Montréal we will head immediately to the COMPOS, hosted at Shopify, a short walk from the train station. There is no charge to get into the compos.

It won't be possible for people to crash at a party venue in either city, so please make plans to find a place to stay. It might be very cold at this time of year, but on the other hand accomodations are probably cheapest around the end of January in both cities.

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Submit only work that you yourself have done, individually or collaboratively.

Use [very old link removed!] (once online) to upload your prod or, if this is impossible for some reason, email it to us at: [very old email address removed!]

Compo entries may not have been released before, although some previously released material may be incorporated in a significantly new production. The compos organizers will ultimately determine how much material of this sort is allowed, and should be consulted if there is any question.

Remote entries are allowed, but have an earlier deadline, to be specified.

We will allow competitors to fix problems to whatever extent time permits.

All entries that are included on the ballot will be released as soon as is practical.

Imagery or other content that is illegal, egregiously hateful and offensive, or otherwise unsuitable the environment of a demoparty will be disqualified. We respect that productions can have content, and that people may wish to make statements; please, also respect that we are having a fun party.

Entries must be either entirely original or use only officially licensed or public domain content, with adequate documentation provided to the compos organizers. Ripped music and video, for instance, is not allowed unless permission has been granted for its use.

Although we hope it won’t happen, the compos organizers may use their judgment and choose not to screen some productions; if they do, these will still be available to those at the party and on the ballot. The compos organizers may also skip lengthy parts of demos, such as scroller sections, once the relevant effects have been demonstrated.

If there are less than three entries for a compo, the given compo will either be cancelled or combined with another compo. If you wish to withdraw your production from a compo that is being combined, you may. In the event of a withdrawn production or a cancelled compo, you are of course welcome to release your productions elsewhere, later.

The compos machine will be a VR-ready PC with an NVidia 980GTx; more details upcoming.

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State the graphics hardware your entry is compatible with on the submission form. Also declare the graphics settings you want used.

Limit yourself to the following resolutions : 640×480 (4:3), 1024×768 (4:3), 1280×720 (16:9) and 1920×1080 (16:9) pixels at 60 Hz. If you do not, manual adjustment of the beamer, while your demo is playing, may be necessary.

All entries will be shown using aspect-ratio preserving stretch; that is, 4:3 and 16:10 video modes will be pillarboxed (with a black border at the left and right sides), while 16:9 images get to use the full area of the big screen. We will not stretch 4:3 demos horizontally to fill the whole screen. Most importantly, do not set a 4:3 video mode then perform letterboxing yourself (it will needlessly cause your entry to be shown smaller than it needs to be).

Pressing either ESC or Alt-F4 must end the demo instantly. The entry has to be delivered as single .zip or .rar file. We will not install any additional redistributable packages. For your demo it’s good to be sure that any additional DLLs are packed into your release.

If you’re nice and have time, please also provide a video file of your production for the people who can’t watch it in realtime. Please make it an mp4 file with h.264 video (30fps, Main Level <=4.1, two pass encoding, either 1280×720@>=3mbps or 1920×1080@>=6mbps) and AAC audio (stereo, at least 128kpbs). Don’t put it in your release archive.


Maximum file size is 256 bytes for the executable. Entries are allowed in standard interpreted languages that are standard with the OS, free software, or freeware (e.g., JavaScript, Perl, Processing, BASIC, QBasic). If the demo is for an interpreted language, the source file is limited to 256 bytes. If you wish to write an esoteric language custom-made to play your 256b production, that will be Wild! It will not, however, be Nano. All other files in the archive will be deleted before showing the entry in the competition.

Maximum running time: 8 minutes (including loading/precalc).

You may deliver bigger versions of the 256b along with the compo version (which must be <=256 bytes) in the same archive. We will not show any larger version in the compo.

For executables we will not install any additional runtimes, SDKs, codecs, drivers etc on the compo machine. For interpreted programs we will not install any libraries, and we will use the current stable version or a current stable version in the case of languages such as Python for which there are more than one stable version (2/3). This means that, among others, msvcr70.dll, msvcr71.dll and msvcr80.dll will not be available. You may not use the contents of the Windows “Media” or “Music Samples” directories. These directories will be deleted on the compo machine. Import by ordinal for DLLs with non-fixed ordinals is forbidden as of course is directly jumping into DLLs with hardcoded offsets.

Browser entries are allowed when they follow the rules above. Why not pack your intro as a single png-with-embedded-html file, checking out JsExe or pnginator for how to do this?


Allowed platforms are those from before 1992 in which the CPU has no data bus exceeding 16 bits (Atari VCS, VIC-20, C64, Amiga ECS, Atari ST, NES, SNES, Game Boy, Master System, Mega Drive, ZX Spectrum).

Maximum running time: 8 minutes (including loading/precalc).

Maximum size is 1 standard medium for your platform. For example: 1 disk (both sides on single-side media) on VIC-20, C64, Atari ST; 1 cartridge image for NES, Master System.

Please contact us beforehand if you are going to use any platform that does not produce a VGA or NTSC signal so we can plan to record your production properly; ideally, bring a recording yourself in this case. Remember that providing your own recording does not mean we don’t need to see the real hardware.

For C64: Please state which SID chip to use (6581/8580). This information will be displayed on the info slides for your production.

The entry has to be delivered as a disk or cartridge file (strongly preferred). Don’t have an image? Physical media are still allowed, don’t worry: first, create an entry number; then, label your media clearly with that entry number; finally, deliver your media to the organizers.

If entries cannot be projected from real hardware, you must deliver adequate proof that your entry works on real hardware. You can do this by bringing the hardware with you and showing the organizers.


You may not use fire, spill fluids, or generate unguarded arcs of electricity or potentially hazardous wavelengths of light. If your electrical entry needs to plug into the wall, make sure it runs from a standard 120V outlet. Test it beforehand. Other than that, please use your common sense and contact us with any questions. All entries must be demonstrated to the competition organizer before the deadline.

Maximum showing time: 8 minutes.

When applicable, submissions must include working binaries for the target platform, and you must prove that your demo works on real hardware/software.


Only one entry per composer and competition allowed.

As is generally the case for all productions: Do not use any copyrighted material in your track.

Maximum playing time is 4 minutes.

Please submit an NFO file or ID3 tag along with the media as with as much detail as possible. This can include author, tools used and name of the song.


Only one entry per artist and competition allowed.

As is always the case, your entry must be new work that has not been released previously. Also, if you have posted any work in progress images in public anywhere, your entry will be disqualified. You may not use photos or other source images in the production itself that you do not have the rights to use.

Maximum resolution is 1920×1080 pixels.

If the image is smaller, please include an upsampled version in your submission while preserving the aspect ratio! If the image is smaller than 1920×1080 pixels, we will display it with black borders around the image as necessary.

Maximum filesize for your final picture is 20 megabyte.

The entries will be shown once on the big screen and uploaded to the party site after the compo, so visitors can judge the entries on their own screens.

You must include exactly 4 (four) working stages together with your final version – the entry. All entries without plausible looking working stages will be disqualified. The working stages must have the filename “step1.???”, “step2.???”, “step3.???” and “step4.???”, where ??? is the extension of whatever format you use. Please put your 4 working stages into a seperate folder in your zip archive!

When uploading your entry you must include a list of the tools used, to be displayed on the big screen. Only still images are allowed in this compo, no animations.

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Lead organizer nom de nom founded Synchrony last year. He writes very small productions for the Commodore 64 and other platforms. He has five computer-generated books in print and another coming in 2017. He lives in Boston and NYC.

Photographer + Music curator EMiSpicer is a thirty-something good-for-nothing based of of NYC. She is best known for her work as a documentarian photographer who travels around the world proving that things happened. Her subjects often include music, video game culture, and creative technologies. She also acts as a lineup curator for events such as Pulsewave, @party, and our very own Synchrony. Sometimes she talks too much.

Montréal organizer Unkelben / GlandeurLessard has been the reluctant Montréal demoparty organizer since Coma'99. Made a number of computer games and makes a living talking about that in a University context.

New York City organizer Frank is a life-sized human with a human face stretched over bone. He transmits the origin of the universe through his vessel at a frequency that recalls the primordial ooze and heralds the age of the Sun. He lives in a small room with his microwave.

Compos director Luis directed the compos at last year's party. His own winning demos include ones for overhead projector and oscilliscope.