Demoscene competitions and rules

Assembly Winter 2021 Online – Competitions

Competitions offered at Assembly Winter 2021 are:

  • Demo
  • Combined Intro
  • One Scene
  • Graphics
  • Photo
  • Streaming Music
  • Tracked Music
  • Short Film

For participation info, please check here. Entries will be accepted from February 22nd 2021 onwards.

Compo Deadlines

The competition deadlines are early for us to ensure we have enough time to check the entries and record all the entries. This year we can’t all be there in the same space working together. Thus we need more time this time. We hope you understand. <3

There are two deadlines for the compos.

  • Deadline 1 | 8.3.2021 for:
    • Demo
    • Intro
    • Streaming music
    • Tracked music
  • Deadline 2 | 15.3.2021 for:
    • Gfx
    • Photo
    • Shortfilm
    • One Effect

Competition prizes

For prizes we have some Assembly goods in store for you! Enter our various compos for your chance to win some of the following:

1st place – One (1) Oldschool computer place for Assembly Summer 2021 and an Assembly swag selection (stickers, magnets and a reflector)

2nd place –  One (1) weekend ticket for Assembly Summer 2021 and an Assembly swag selection (stickers, magnets and a reflector)

3rd place – An Assembly swag selection

Competition rules & competitions for Assembly Winter 2021 Online

Each competition’s rules are regulated by the following general rules, as well as specific rules as specified in the following. General rules always apply, except if overridden by a specific rules.

The rules are intended to be compact and precise. We advise you to read them carefully and use conservative planning with a respect to the deadlines and other limitations. If in doubt, please contact CompoCrew for clarification.

Compomachine specifications

Both compomachines are running on AMD Ryzen 5600X, one machine using Asus GeForce RTX 3070 ROG Strix – OC Edition, and another ASRock Radeon RX 6800 XT Phantom Gaming D OC.


  • GPU: Asus GeForce RTX 3070 ROG Strix – OC Edition
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5600X


  • GPU: ASRock Radeon RX 6800 XT Phantom Gaming D OC
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5600X


Applies to ALL COMPOS!

  • Participating to compos is free of charge.
  • Competition entries must be uploaded to the competition system before the given deadline.
    • All deadlines are hard deadlines! However, if you are in trouble and need more time, contact the compo organizer.
  • All material constituting an entry must be previously unreleased. This means that the material in the demo (e.g. graphics, music) can not have been used in any previously released production.
    • You may, however, include material in your realtime or development entries that you have created for the event’s music or graphics competitions that year.
    • Also, you can include some previously released components in your work if it doesn’t constitute the main portion of your work. For example you can use previously released fonts and samples, if you have a permission to use them.
  • You must own or have a permission to use all the material present in your production. In case of a potential copyright infringement problem it is your duty to prove you have the necessary permissions. Please read the copyright FAQ.
  • Don’t use trademarked or copyrighted content, such as logos, without permission. If you have any hesitation whether your use of trademarked or copyrighted content falls under the fair use rules according to the Finnish Copyright Act, contact us in advance to verify this.
  • You must accept the competition contract when submitting your entry. This contract governs the rights and responsibilities of yours and the event organizers.
  • Organizers reserve the right to disqualify a production containing explicit sexual, racist or disturbing material, or for breaking any rule applicable to the particular competition.
  • Organizers reserve the right to change any and all prizes and prize principles in any competition. This applies specifically to competitions where the quality or the amount of productions is too low to justify the full prize amount.
  • Organizers reserve the right to augment or modify the competition rules if deemed necessary, especially to clarify ambiguities or to resolve contradictions in the rules.
  • Note that you MAY NOT use ANY music which you haven’t acquired necessary copyrights and permissions for. This means that you have to either compose the music by yourself or you have to have a permission from the original author, who is not a member of any copyright associations such as Teosto or Gramex. If the music has been published on a record label, it is then most probably controlled by Teosto and Gramex, thus it is impossible for you to get a permission to use it in your work for free. You will be liable for any and all possible copyright infringements caused by your work.
  • Shown entries are preselected by a jury and/or compo organizers. If your entry is not shown, it will not be released by Assembly.



General real-time competition rules

  • Entry must be in an executable form. Pure animation files are not allowed in real-time competitions. Executables including only an animation and an animation player will not be accepted.
  • Every competition has their own maximum duration shown, but the organizers may choose to stop the production before it finishes to play.
  • The production must work as read-only media and must not modify the system settings (for example Windows registry). You may however use the platform’s standard temporary directory during the execution of your entry for storing data, if such service is available.
  • The demo must show in similar manner every time it is executed.
  • Although not forbidden, to ensure better compatibility, we recommend not using import by ordinal for DLLs with non-fixed ordinals.
  • Entries which cannot be run on the compo machines will be disqualified. To prevent this you can ask us to test your production on the compo machines. Do this early and you will have time to fix any problems that might pop up.
  • screenshot image must be submitted with the entry to the competition management system.
  • You must hide your mouse cursor. Otherwise we will make sure the spinner/cursor is in middle of the screen on your entry. Visit this Pouet-forum for help.

Demo competition

  • LENGTH: Demo may not last longer than 8 minutes. Organizers may choose to stop the production before it finishes to play.
  • PLATFORM: Entry must run on a Desktop platform.
  • SIZE: While there is no specified size limit, we still expect it to be reasonable (i.e. something that fits on an average USB stick). As long as you can deliver it to us by uploading through the party system.
  • The user has to be able to exit at any time by pressing a key. On PC this key must be ESC.
  • The production needs to be submitted to the party system by the deadline. The deadline is 1.3.2021.

Combined Intro competition

  • Maximum size in executable form is 65536 Bytes.
  • The file size of the intro will be shown on the slide before the entry is shown.
  • Intro may not last longer than 3 minutes.
  • The production must be a single file. Additional info files are fine but they will be deleted prior running the intro.
  • Entry must run on a Desktop platform.
  • The user has to be able to exit at any time by pressing a key. On PC this key must be ESC.
  • The production needs to be submitted to the party system by the deadline. The deadline is 1.3.2021.

One Scene competition

In the One Scene competition the idea is to compete with only a single scene. You can participate to the one scene competition by coding an extraordinary effect(s) and submitting an executable containing the effect to the party system. This competition is especially intended for beginners but is open for everyone. Just remember that this competition is more about taking part, learning, and cheering for everyone than taking it too serious!

  • The scene will be shown for at most 1 minute. It may either loop over the same contents or finish at any time before the 1 minute maximum running time.
    • “One scene” is only a name and a recommendation – you can have two or more scenes if they fit in the 1 minute running time. If you are unsure if your production is fit for the compo, ask from the compo organizers!
  • Accepted platform for the compo is Desktop platform. Entries made using Processing are more than welcome as it is used also in Demo making workshop. You can check the specifications of the compo machines from the rules page.
  • The user has to be able to exit at any time by pressing a key. On PC this key must be ESC.
  • The production needs to be submitted to the party system by the deadline. The deadline is 15.3.2021.
  • Check more detailed instructions for making submission from the “Demoscene Participate” -pages.


General format rules for the rest of the graphics compos

READ THIS FIRST. The following file format rules apply to all graphics competitions except for pixeled graphics.

  • The only supported image formats are PNG and JPG. Only RGB colour space allowed – no CMYK images.
  • If the original image was in vector format you may include the image in the submission package also in SVG format. However, the PNG or JPEG image will be the primary submission and will be shown on the big screen.
  • Pictures will be shown in 1920×1080 resolution with full 24bit color depth.
  • Submit a version of the final image with NO visible signature. Name this file with “_nosig”prefix (e.g. “cool_image.png” for the final image and “cool_image_nosig.png” for unsigned version of the same image).
  • You don’t have to submit an image with a signature, only an unsigned version is necessary.
  • A text file named “readme.txt” stating used techniques and sources of any material used in the entry must be submitted. If possible, we will tell the information about the techniques when showing the pictures on the big screen and when voting for them in the entry/votesystem.
  • Once more: entries without a no-signature version will be disqualified.

Graphics competition

  • The image resolution must be 1920×1080 and must be submitted in supported file formats, see Graphics formats above.
  • You must submit clear evidence of the process of creating the graphics competition picture in the form of at least SIX versions of the unfinished picture that show the creation process.
  • This means that the different steps of the process (e.g. outline, coloring, retouching) are shown in different files from different points in time when the picture is being created
  • If you are using a modeler, it is not sufficient to submit six pictures of the final picture from different view points! If you are using a photograph, take few extra shots and include them as a proof.
  • The resolution of the unfinished pictures must be at least the same as the resolution of the final picture, but you can submit also higher resolution pictures.
    • Order the unfinished stages of the picture by renaming the files with appropriate prefixes (f.i. “stage1.png”, “stage2.png”) and put them into a subdirectory called “unfinished” in the ZIP archive.
  • You can use any technique you want to produce the picture: you can draw on paper and scan that picture, take a photograph and retouch it, use a 3D modeller tool, draw pixel by pixel or do what ever you want
  • Write the techniques used in the PMS while submitting the image, maximum of 5 words (i.e. “Scanned photo + editing”, “3DS Max + light photoshopping”, “completely vector based”, “Composition of multiple methods”)
  • You may also include the image in source or vector format in the submission package, if the size of the package does not exceed 10 MB
  • While you are allowed to use stock photos in your entry, clearly the major part of the entry must be result of your own creativity. Use only stock photos you have the rights to.
  • See also must-follow guidelines on Graphics formats.

Photo competition

The photo competition is themed. The theme for 2021 is: “Vacation cancelled. The photo entry must have the theme represented in it as the dominant feature and clearly seen on the picture.

  • The image resolution must be 1920×1080 and must be submitted in supported file formats, see Graphics formats above.
  • Only minor retouching and adjustments are allowed
    • crop, straighten, lens corrections
    • scale
    • color temperature
    • exposure adjustment
    • desaturate
  • Do not add or remove elements from the picture.
  • Composite photos are not allowed, meaning that the photo should be taken with single exposure. This rules out photos taken using internal photo stacking and HDR, for example.
  • Submit the photo without watermarks or signatures. If you make adjustments, submit the original version as a JPG or PNG (1920×1080 minimum if applicable). If you have submitted a scan of a photograph or a slide, prepare to present the original media to the jury as well.
  • Picture must be previously unreleased.
  • Since this is a photo competition, make art!
  • See also must-follow guidelines on Graphics formats.
  • Ignoring any of these rules leads very easily to a disqualification.


General music rules

  • There are no platform restrictions, hire an orchestra or a jazz ensemble or hit rocks with other rocks or a stick. Just make sure it’s and original piece and in a supported format.
  • All entries must be 100% original and unreleased.
  • No remixes, no copyrighted material.
  • If you are using Creative Commons or Public Domain material, state so in your entryform and cite the source! Do not forget to give credit where credit is due!!
  • Supported formats are 320kbps MP3, HQ OGG, WAV and FLAC.
  • Entry can be made on any platform.
  • If the music is created with something “oldskoolish”, the entry MUST have a) a render with the supported formats AND b) the original file AND c) a description in a “readme.txt”-file on how to play back the original file.
    • “Oldskoolish” generally meaning 8-bit systems with non-sample-based sound creation like C64, MSX, NES etc. and sample-based trackers without the use of VST’s and/or MIDI.
    • The render CAN NOT be processed, but SHOULD BE normalized.
    • A processed render of an “oldskoolish” entry will lead to a disqualification or at least lowered points in the jury.
    • Some sceners prefer to play back the music on the original hardware and it should sound relatively similar to the one that is played on the big screen, which is the reason for:
      • “Provide the original file”-rule
      • “No processing”-rule
    • This year you can also enter the oldskool tunes to the oldksool music competition! (check the rules below!)
  • It is up to YOU to make the call on which category to submit. Keep in mind that entering a acid track to the streaming music compo also means that it will face preselection by a streaming music jury and vice versa, which might not yield the best possible end result for your entry.

Streaming Music

  • Give us your best tune!
  • Entry must be no longer than 3 minutes 30 seconds (3:30).

Tracked Music

  • Maximum size: 2 MB
  • Maximum length: 3 minutes 30 seconds (3:30), if your song is longer the song will be faded out.
  • If your song loops, the song will be faded out after the first loop
  • Allowed formats: Anything XMPlay can play, with XMPZXTUNE-plugin installed
  • Entries will be played in XMPlay with following settings:
    • MOD: No Interpolation, No Ramping, 50% Stereo Separation, normal MOD playback mode.
    • S3M/XM/IT: Sinc Interpolation, Sensitive Ramping, 50% Stereo Separation.
  • All entries must be 100% original and unreleased.
  • No remixes, no copyrighted material.
  • If you are using Creative Commons or Public Domain material, state so in your entryform and cite the source! Do not forget to give credit where credit is due!!


Short film rules

  • The production must be playable on VLC media player
  • The film may not last longer than 5 minutes
  • Computer generated pieces of art (e.g. animations, machinima, …) are preferred over plain home video types of entries.
  • Submit a screenshot image of your entry to the competition management system.


Introduction to copyright law

The first attempts to protect the rights of creative authors were made in the 16th century. The first real laws in Finland were issued in the 18th century (the book printing laws). The first law called “Copyright law” was issued in 1927 and it was later revised in 1961.

Copyright laws belong to the wider concept of laws of immaterial property. This concept covers topics such as

  • copyright law
  • patent law
  • model law
  • trademark law
  • company name regulations

Copyright law in creative works

Copyright law protects all creative work. Creative work has to be independent and contain original ideas. There are no quality criterias, that is, the law protects both “poor works” as well as “the masterpieces of a renowed artist”. The law protects both the media and the content of the work, but it doesn’t protect the idea of the work. So, a music piece by a known Finnish artist about a rap style called “Freestyle” is protected against copying while anybody is free to do another original music piece on the same subject.

A copyright is created when the creative work is created. There is no need to apply for copyright protection or register one’s copyright. All rights to work belong to the creator of the work. These rights can be divided to two classes: economical rights and moral rights.

The economical rights are the right to make copies of work, to spread these copies and to publicly display the work.

The moral rights contain the right to be named as the author of the work, the protection against slanderous changes to the work or presentation of the work in slanderous context.

Limitations to copyright protection

Copyright protection is limited in several ways, which benefit the public interest. These include

  • copying of the production for personal use
  • photocopying
  • limited use of the work by educational institutions
  • Reference right

Note that computer programs are excluded from this part of the law, that is, it is also forbidden to make copies of computer programs for personal use.

Copyright can be passed to another person / organization by the author. This can be done with a simple (written) permission, by licensing or inheritance.

Other protections besides copyright

Performing artists, audio and video production, photography and databases are protected by a separate laws.

Protection times

Copyright law applies for the lifetime of the author and 70 years after the death of the author. Other protections (listed above) last for 50 years from production except for databases (15 years from production).

Penalties for breaking copyright law

Depending on the severity of the crime from small monetary amounts up to 2 years of imprisonment.

Copyright law applied to compos at ASSEMBLY

Can I freely use 5 seconds from the latest hit song in my demo / sound track?No. The copyright for that song is owned by its author or a organization supervising copyrights (e.g. Teosto or Gramex in Finland)
Can I freely use a song made by friend living in Burma? He doesn’t belong to any organization, but I haven’t got a permission from him.No. Copyright law applies to all countries of the world
I remixed a song by Jean-Michel Jarre, so am I allowed to use this new version freely?No. You have to have the permission of the copyright owner of the original work.
I took secretly a photo of a Pharao’s golden mask in an art exhibition. Can I use this photo?No. You didn’t have the permission of the owner of the mask and you are interfering with material property rights.
I’m making a parody for the Wild compo where the Sibelius monument is part of the show. Can I do this freely?No. No more than you could take a photo of monument and start selling them without the author’s permission.
I found a nice picture in a magazine and I would like to use this picture in my own production. Can I do this freely?Not without the permission of the copyright owner.
I subscribed to and bought a stock photo, which gave me a royalty-free permission to use this picture wherever I want in my productions. Can I use this picture in my productions in Assembly competitions?Yes. You have now acquired rights to use this photo in your productions. Please follow the rules of using the picture and denote in the info file of your production where and how you have acquired the rights and you are cleared to use the picture from our behalf in your Assembly productions.
Can I use parts of advertisement shown in television in my entry?Not without the permission of the copyright owner.
I just finished my production. Do I need to join an organization to get copyright protection?No. You production will automatically get copyright protection.
I found great pictures from the internet and there wasn’t any (C) sign on the page. Can I use the material freely?No. The copyright law applies even when it’s not explicitly stated.
I thought about making a documentary of ASSEMBLY and then selling it. Can I do this freely?Not without the permission of the arranger of the event (ASSEMBLY Organizing).
I got a permission from my friend to use his material and he has joined a copyright supervising organization. So I am entitled to use his material, right?Unfortunately no. You friend has transferred the supervising right to the organization, so he can no longer give you a permission to use the material. If you use the material, you are liable for the damages, not your friend.
Our group made a demo and I thought about selling it myself. Can I do this?You can only sell the demo if all members of your group give you the permission do this. You can not show the production either if all members of the group don’t give you their permission.
If all this is forbidden, what can I do?You can do a lot! All material that you have done yourself or which you have obtained a permission is available to you. The copyright law also protects your creative work regardless of your age, culture or country!

Links to copyright resources


“What the devil? Pages filled legal mumbojumbo and I’m asked to accept this? That damn ASMORG definitely is up to something” is probably the first thing that pops into your mind when you read the contract below. Before you get upset, please let us inform you why this contract is needed.

ASSEMBLY is a very large event and it is a nice target for organizations armed with lawyers to go after. Given the new visibility of the event through the TV broadcasts, it is necessary for us to be able to protect the continuity of the event. The amount paid on e.g. copyright infringements are much, much higher if the production has been displayed to a large audience.

So far we’ve been able to work on the basis of “gentlemen’s agreement”, that is, we have trusted the demo groups and individuals to follow rules, regulations and laws, but today there are several hundred people entering the compos and it is impossible to get to know everybody personally. It is imperative that the both parties (we and you, who participate in the compos) understand the rights and responsibilities of each other.

ASSEMBLY Organizing hasn’t made this contract to take over your intellectual property rights. Yes, we do reserve the right to use and publish the entries in marketing of the events. AssemblyTV will broadcast the competitions to internet and through other channels with our partners like YLE (the Finnish Broadcasting company). The contract allows us to show the competitions via these channels and transfer some rights to these partners as well. This needs to be done in order for them to broadcast the competitions. All demoparties have been doing this for ages: you can view entries on their websites and you can see last year’s winners in their ads. They could also make a CD compilation out of the party entries and sell it.

The permission to give your entries to be published by other parties sounds like a threat also, doesn’t it? Well, note the word “non-profit”! We will not give your entry to be distributed for a fee. This right is needed in order to publish your entries on other servers such as, to show the winning demo in a TV document about ASSEMBLY or to allow a journalist to use the winning graphics entry with his magazine article about ASSEMBLY.

The contract does sound ominous, but the contents are fair. We don’t aim to do anything else than to make the current unofficial conduct a real policy and to let everybody know about this policy. If you want more information about the contract, its intent or you just want to tell us how much this legal bs and commercialism sucks ass, feel free to read it below.

Competition contract


This contract governs the terms for the use of works of art submitted to the competitions held at ASSEMBLY event (organized by ASSEMBLY Organizing). The party owning the copyrights (later called Author) of the work of art (later called Work) accepts this agreement and its terms and is bound by them when entering an ASSEMBLY competition with the Work.

The agreement is valid effective immediately after the whole Work has been uploaded into the competition management system operated by ASSEMBLY Organizing or has been delivered by other means such as email or physical storage media to ASSEMBLY Organizing according to the rules of the particular competition.

ASSEMBLY Organizing is the marketing name of the Finnish company Assembly Organizing Oy (business identity code: FI 2245136-3). Thus this contract is made between the Author and Assembly Organizing Oy.

Responsibilities of the Author

  • The Author agrees to comply by the rules set for the competition
  • The Author(s) warrants, that any of the creators of the Work are not part of any copyright collecting society, which would limit the distribution of the Work as specified below
  • The Author (or Authors) affirms, that he either owns or has obtained all necessary copyrights for the content of the Work and that the public and/or private display of the Work is not restricted by the rights of third parties (such as the rights of copyright societies). The Author is responsible for the financial damages if said rights are not obtained and such damages are claimed from Assembly Organizing
  • The Author agrees to comply by the Finnish copyright legislation and affirms that the Work doesn’t contain material offending persons or other parties, nor racistic or pornographic material
  • The Author gives ASSEMBLY Organizing the right to use the Work or parts thereof, free of charge, in their original or modified form in the marketing, all kinds of broadcasting, publishing or distribution of material related to the current and future ASSEMBLY events
  • The Author gives ASSEMBLY Organizing the right to broadcast the Work in any media or channel, without limitations to the geographical areas and presentation time
  • The Author gives ASSEMBLY Organizing the right to make video records and video conversions of the Work
  • The Author gives ASSEMBLY Organizing the right to give these above mentioned rights to the Work to third parties to be presented or broadcasted in whole or in part, without any limitations to geographical areas or presentation time in the original or modified form for publishing and re-distribution of the the Work for non-profit or free-of-charge media operations.

Responsibilities of ASSEMBLY Organizing

  • ASSEMBLY Organizing agrees to comply and respect the Finnish copyright legislation
  • ASSEMBLY Organizing agrees to treat all competition entries fairly
  • ASSEMBLY Organizing is responsible for maintaining competition management system and if necessarily will update the system to provide fair treatment to all authors
  • ASSEMBLY Organizing agrees to show a Work that has passed qualification in fair circumstances on the competition provided that this is not prevented by a force majure situation
  • ASSEMBLY Organizing agrees to its best ability to take care of the fatherhood rights of the Author that is to name the Author whenever the Work is presented
  • ASSEMBLY Organizing agrees to pay the winners of the competitions the prizes announced at the ASSEMBLY WWW-site according to spesific competition rules and general rules. The damages caused to the party place during the event will be reduced from the prizes.

Changing of the contract terms

This contract can be altered when the Author and ASSEMBLY Organizing both agree on the change of terms. In case ASSEMBLY Organizing wants to change the terms of the contract and the Author does not agree to the change, the contract can be unilaterally terminated by ASSEMBLY Organizing after a 30 days notice period.

Validity period of this contract

This contract is valid for two years after the contract has taken effect and after that indefinitely, if it is not terminated.

Termination of this contract

The contract can be mutually terminated without further liabilities. Termination is valid immediately after both parties have agreed to it. After this the rights and liabilities of both parties are void.

The contract can be terminated unilaterally if the other party can be proven to have significantly broken the terms of this contract. In this situation the termination is valid after 30 days notice period, if the situation is not corrected during this time.

Resolving of disputes

The contract is governed by Finnish law. Disputes are primarly solved by negotiation by the parties and ultimately in court of law in Helsinki, Finland.