MSXdev’20 jury revealed!

Hi everybody! Before we introduce this year’s jury to you, we should provide you with some context, which means it’s time for a little bit of history.

In 2003, MSX fans and prolific software developers Jon Cortazar and Eduardo Robsy of former Karoshi Corporation kicked off what is now known as the MSXdev contest.

After some bumps on the road, like a lack of entries (which is never a good thing for a contest), their plan finally came into fruition in 2004, with MSXdev’04. And boy, did it turn out to be a ride!

In the years that followed, MSXdev became a smashing succes within the community. Throughout the years, it yielded a treasure chamber with an almost innumerable amount of amazing MSX software. All thanks to these two gentlemen.

Flash forward about ten years later, in 2015… Jon Cortazar and Edu Robsy got caught up by life beyond MSX, and asked Konamito and John Hassink (yup that’s us) to take over the contest. Apparently, they deemed the both of us as guys who could get the job done.

It felt like an honour and big shoes to fill, but they seemed to be right. After some initial e-mail communication problems, which are quite funny in retrospective, the new MSXdev Team had finally come to life and started running like a machine.

We turned out to be a great team. But as it also turned out, organizing a worldwide contest, even around a relatively lesser known platform such as our beloved MSX, is quite the heavier task than both of us had expected beforehand.

Along the way, we became what can be considered friends, even if never having met in person. We shared some great moments, conversations and victories, as well as disappointments, stress and confusion.

The road was still bumpy and perilous as ever. One of the mountains to conquer every single edition was assembling a jury team. Each and every year, we had a hard time with this.

It’s not easy to find a whole bunch of different people willing to do this jury task, year after year. People who are at least reasonably (or very well) qualified to give an opinion that can be taken seriously as well as respectful, righteous and expertly by all those great people who submit their hard labour.

This last aspect was always extremely important to us. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the jury members of the past years from the bottom of our hearts for collaborating with us.

So now, to wrap this up, we have two announcements to make.

First off – for us, the current MSXdev Team (Konamito and John Hassink), this will be our final round in the ring.

We’re relinquishing the keys to the kingdom to the MSX Resource Center from now on, in great trust that Cortazar and Robsy’s legacy is in good hands, just as they trusted the both of us with the exact same thing.

Please believe us that we didn’t decide this because we’ve lost interest in the contest itself, or MSX in general, for that matter. It’s simply because, well – you maybe know how it goes; as fun and nostalgic as MSX is and will forever be to us, the life beyond MSX sometimes needs some extra care and attention, too. Just as happened to the organizers before us.

We just have to catch up with our professional and family life, before it catches up with us, but we truly hope that we have served you well in the past 5 years.

Secondly, like the two gentleman before us had done when it was necessary, we have decided to be the MSXdev’20 jury ourselves, as a means of saying goodbye to all of our wonderful MSX friends (or should we say: “family”?) in the worldwide community.

Why? Well, for the past few months, we had some difficulty assembling a jury for what we already knew would be our final joint effort. So, suddenly, it came to us: we figured to just do it ourselves. The entire thing. All of it, those 21 entries that we all cherish and are thankful for in our own way, like we were with the entries of the past 5 years, each and every edition.

This would be our ultimate goodbye present. Oh, it was quite the task. Again, maybe more than we bargained for, as was organizing the contest in the first place, but here it is.

Friends, you could be surprised by both of these statements, so we hope you’ll not be disappointed with these decisions as we were committed to do our very best in analyzing and judging the 21 games that participated in the contest.

To explain what we did – we both wrote our own jury reports independently. Then, our (five out of five, times five) scores of both our jury reports were merged to make the final top 21, so to say.

Special thanks go to tfh for monitoring the contest closely and faithfully each year to provide the service to play new entries conveniently online as soon as they were published. The same goes to all of the sponsors and donors. You are freaking awesome and we hope you realize that. Without you, we couldn’t have done it anyway.

To the community: we love you all, and of course, MSX for ever! Please keep on creating so many fantastic games for the best and cutest computer platform the world has ever seen! For sure, we will enjoy your creations a lot!

A big hug to you all and thanks for all your support. You know who you are!
Never stop dreaming… Never stop believing…

Signing off,
Konamito and John Hassink
MSXdev organizers from 2015-2020