I don’t know if this is going to become some sort of tradition for us, but as a matter of fact, we attended all Easter parties since the creation of our group. This year was no exception, and we had a really great time at Revision.

Revision is the kind of party that is just big enough so even though at some point you think “Ok, I’ve met pretty much every one I wanted”, when you get home you realize how many people you wanted to meet and did not. It’s also the kind of party that is so massively awesome that when you get back to your normal life, you experience some sort of post-party depression, on top of the exhaustion, and you have to get prepared for when it strikes.

Sidrip Alliance performing at Revision

So we’ve been there, and this year we presented the result of the last months of work in the PC 64k competition. The discussion of the concept started back in May 2011, and we seriously started working on it maybe around August.

While Revision was approaching, rumors were getting stronger about who would enter the competition, how serious they were about it, and how likely they’d finish in time. It became very clear that the competition was going to be very interesting, but even though, it completely outran expectations. It even got mentioned on Slashdot!

Our intro, F – Felix’s workshop, ended up at the 2nd place, after Approximate‘s gorgeous hypno-strawberries, Gaia Machina. The feedback has been very cheerful, during the competition as well as thereafter. Also, as if it was not enough, to our surprise, our previous intro, D – Four, has been nominated for two Scene.org Awards: Most Original Concept and Public Choice. Do I need to state we’re pretty happy with so many good news? :) Thank you all!

Now a week has passed already, we’re back at our daily lives, slowly recovering, and already thinking of what we’re going to do next. :) Until then, here is a capture of our intro:

Every year, we enjoy going to the German demoparty at Easter. It’s always a great party, where we meet our friends again. However, we’ve been invited this year to the Scene.org Awards ceremony in Norway, and it was hard to make a choice between them. We eventually decided to follow Truck’s suggestion and go to both (thanks again Truck, you’ve been extremely helpful). We chose to take ten days of holiday, and visit Norway at the same time (Bergen, Oslo, fjords, etc.). Everything was awesome (and very expensive!).

The Gathering is a good party, it is huge, well organized. There are many compos, seminars, separate area for sceners. Alcohol is not allowed, but there is Easter Garden, a small and cosy place for sceners, next to it. Having both parties is a great idea, as they complement each other. The main problem with The Gathering is that the screen and the sound system are not big enough to cover the whole huge place, so many people (gamers) end up ignoring the compo shows.

Scene.org awards

Fairlight statues in front of our nominee certificate.

I’ve been very happy with the Scene.org Award organisation. The team has done a wonderful job, both for the show and the after party, thank you very much for this!

Revision was a great party, with almost the same mood as Breakpoint. Beer was cheap (especially when you come from Norway), organizers were friendly. Revision has been the occasion for Zavie and Cyborg Jeff to release D – Four (ranked 3/11).

Everyone should go to a demoparty at Easter.

Twenty four hours after getting back from tUM 2010 I almost completely recovered from the party coding, sleep deprivation, walking in the snow, and from the two hours late train ride to get there as well as get back from there. As planned, our new 64kB PC intro, E – Departure was presented there (sadly there was no other 64kB entry, so it was shown in a combined competition with PC demos).

What first drew my attention on this party was the website: carefully polished, with a beautiful layout, loads of useful and detailed information, random photos and links to productions from the previous years, etc. Also some details like the number of different music competitions (executable, tracked, streamed, loop : even though I am not into music myself, I think this is great), the fact that tracked music would feature a tracker rendering, the namevoting preventing rule, all stacked together left no doubt it was a carefully prepared event. Moreover, the so called Ultimate Breakfast and the free coffee and tea gave the feeling it would be pretty cozy.

Once there, all of this proved to be true. Flawless German organization. The Intranet had an embedded Google Map with everything a scener might possibly need, from food and cash dispenser to computer stores, and featured a food delivery service: the so called Foodwave. No need to get lost outside to find some hypothetical pizza, one just had to choose from the broad choice, pay at the food desk, and get back to coding or to whatever other activity more interesting than braving the cold the party was providing, until the food delivery was announced. A truly great service.

fr-063: Magellan, by Farbrausch

fr-063: Magellan, by Farbrausch

The party place itself, at a walking distance from the train station, is a very nice hall with a nice looking inside iron architecture. The wooden floor, although making stomps more disturbing during the night, contributes to making it a very warm environment. The work done on the lighting and theme is nice too: this year it was the 10th edition, and various artifacts from previous years were exhibited here and there, as well as some printed graphic productions. Those details and the rather small, but not narrow, size of the place make a cozy feeling, but not a mediocre party: there are great people there, and the competition have a fair level even though the number of entries could be way higher. The real downside of this place though, and maybe the biggest downside of the party altogether, is the absence of showers, and the absence of hot water in the toilet. Washing as little as hands and face with cold water during a German Winter is probably among the rites of passage into adulthood, along with explaining to Scamp you’re launching in Norway a demoparty called The Breakpoint Replacement.

Something I absolutely loved there was the job Franky did by bringing one of his pinball games. A good old late 80′s blinking and blipping pinball! It became a hot spot, where people gathered and chatted while playing when there was nothing to see on screen. I doubt I would have met as many sceners otherwise. The Ultimate Meat Thing was a very nice job done by the Nuance folks, even though a bonfire in the snow isn’t exactly as much fun as one during summer. The Ultimate Breakfast on the other hand was pretty cool, as a way to wake up and all have a meal together while waiting for the first events.

Rumors and Facts, by Rebels

Rumors and Facts, by Rebels

I won’t list all competitions, but the main productions were without a doubt the new Farbrausch demo, fr-063: Magellan, and the much awaited Easter Party invitation, Rumors and Facts, by Rebels. The 4k intro White One, by Never, also got the audience with its delicate feedback effect. Another production that blew me off was the epic streamed music entry, End Credits, by jco.

At last, a thing that disappointed me (apart from how we ranked) was the way the party feeling suddenly vanished once the competitions ended. While Breakpoint, Evoke and Main all had a live show to end up with, nothing happened and many people left, leaving the place with a weird feeling. It’s not like there wasn’t any live acts, there was even one right before the demo competition, but this felt like it was missing a decent final.

So as a conclusion, the Ultimate Meeting is definitely a good party, with the nice feeling brought by its small size and perfect organization. But to compare it to another German party, I prefered Evoke 2010 (which doesn’t have this family feeling though).

Here is a sketch made about a month ago, after Cyborg Jeff, our dear composer, let us hear the first elements of his soundtrack. This was the base of our upcoming next production, a 64kB PC intro codenamed E. Our first demo, B – Incubation, have received a positive feedback, but was criticized design wise. E is music driven and focused on the visual experience; I hope it will succeed on the points the previous demo missed.

There is still work to do, but I am pretty confident we will be able to release it at the Ultimate Meeting that will take in Karlsruhe, Germany, starting tomorrow. I do not guaranty the fulfilling of this assertion though, should any supervening circumstances amounting to force majeure. Such circumstances shall include, but shall not be limited to, strike, snow storm, riots, train hitting a truck, hard drive toast, power plug left at home, earthquake, war or acts of God.

See you at tUM!

Update: nor the snow and the resulting almost three hours delay on train schedule, nor the very addictive pinball game could prevent the release of E as planned. :-)

So last weekend we were at Evoke in Cologne, Germany. It was our first time there, and we decided to go after being told to do so by some friends and, to be honest, also because of the very engaging invitation demo. The event was great, beyond what we already heard about it: rather cheap entry fee, cool atmosphere, nice barbecue, great sound system and huge screens in an awesome location, an old factory (although not very straightforward to find). We were surprised by the number of productions and their level: there sure are things to watch or listen to. But from our point of view, one of the best things was the cheering feedback from other sceners. It seems some people liked the adventures of our spinning OpenGL cube. :-)

A Weighted Companion Cube and the Evoke 64kB demo trophee

We released earlier our first 64kB PC demo: “Incubation”, codenamed B.

The live feedback of the public, reacting at most winks we put, was really awesome. Likewise, the comments we can already see on Pouët are very much appreciated. Thank you all. As we are very tired, we will get some rest first (actually, two of us three are already sleeping somewhere :) ), then we will fix a couple of things: correct bugs some people seem to be experiencing, capture a video, etc.

For now, here are just these links:
Pouët page: B – Incubation
Download Incubation

Goodnight all.