Report on the Symposium '97
it: When the normal scener looks and opens any party report, it
is quite certain that he wants to read about himself.
Party is over -- What happened there?
What do you
expect to find in here? It was a party; that's it. Nothing more
than the average party. Something less than the "ideal"
party as we could suppose one to be. There was a wide hall, and
I appreciate this. But it had also an inefficient and badly "equalized"
audio diffusion system that turned this same wideness to be quite
a lot of tables... but quite no room to sleep. There was a funny
"graffiti wall" made out of white paper but there were
just two brushes available and this meant that I was only able to
use one (in bad condition) when the wall had turned into an obscure
web of dark and illegible lines. Not to mention the many obscenities.
Not that I am that kind of person that judges the icon of one of
the best-loved organs as "vulgar"; it's just that, let
me be clear, isn't it boring? To sign the old, obvious dick on a
wall, just to maybe gain the status of a "very rebel young"
is a bit boring. Haven't we seen it already? Is the need of showing
our parents that we're "rebel, independent and distant from
the good education that they gave us", really so strong? Not
to mention that the need of drawing a big dick on a wall is a way
to compensate for the scarce measures that mother nature gave to
seemed to like this wanna-be-vulgar style and followed the usual
standards, screaming loud un-intelligent words and generally behaving
like a sad standard rebel. One of those sceners liked to roll himself
in the dirt because it made him feel "transgressive".
As a matter of fact, there are other ways how to be different. Nietzsche
said that the only way of being different is to produce our own
dimension. Producing and following our own tendencies.
In the C64
demo contest, Smash Design showed up with a perfect demo; long,
well synchronized and technically amazing. It was strange to watch
how sceners behaved during its projection. There was a loud cheering
from the crowd for every effect shown. The only effect that witnessed
a deep silence was the one introduced by some writing, announcing
to "prepare yourself... you asked for it, so now get ready
to scream in amazement" Useless to say, the crowd was very
pleased to delude AEG, the German coder of this marvellous demo.
In the C64
graphic contest I have personally voted for Rayden. His picture
can make you wonder how it is possible to draw something like this
on a C64, as well as make us understand where the Amiga scene has
The C64 music
competition was a big chip tune happening. I personally followed
with a certain interest "Staggering Home" by Rayden but
every tune made it worth the attention. I noticed a certain anguishing
tendency towards hard techno. "We are in Germany", someone
told me with sadness. As if being German should mean total musical
ignorance. Possible? In the home country of J.S. Bach?
of the funny 32K game contest raised as many laughs as you can get
from party people. The game consisted of many Bill Gates faces showing
up from behind cardboard boxes with faked names of Microsoft products.
The aim was to shoot at every face using the mouse to aim and the
mouse button to shoot bullets. "Rise of the rabbits" by
Abyss was a really cute Dynablaster clone that I enjoyed playing
for some minutes. Weird to tell, I can't even remember what "TREXX",
the game by Polka Brothers and Submissive, was about.
I'm very proud
of the result that the group Deathstar had in the PC demo contest.
It seems like Italy is slowly losing it's reputation of a "second
hand" scene place. I was personally impressed by some design
in "Zeitgest" that featured a very complex water-like
warping. Too bad that a wide percentage of the PC demos were, as
always, showing just complex scenery of 3D objects with no design
Sanction, the winner of the PC 4K competition should be remembered
as a masterpiece of coding. It featured an amazing Descent clone.
I'm still wondering how Sanction managed to compress all the stuff
in just 4k.
the Amiga demo competition, and there is nothing strange in it.
Other strange things happened though. One of the first is that "SMART"
defeated "THE SIGN". The "dark age" is over
but Scoopex still insist to show satanic faces and their favourite
upside-down star, as if there still was someone frightened or even
fascinated by "the dark side". I can understand such an
exigence..... but the time is over. The old sacred vanished amongst
the new generations and modern sceners hardly feel this emotion
at a party. New emotions. New exigences. New experiences. That is
what sceners ask for today.
projection of "THE SIGN", right after the title screen,
in the most crucial part of the beginning, I have heard someone
It was a pity
that this demo ended up with no cheers from the crowd. However,
when one puts faith in something that doesn't exist... the results
as well, can't exist.
that springs out from this confrontation is that SMART featured
a high number of 2D effects while THE SIGN consisted quite completely
of a complex but cold 3D world. Sceners are bored of texture-light-environment
mapped object shows.
fact is that Interpol didn't win anything. They presented a true
masterpiece that should have shut the mouth of any coder. Their
"Tahiti 3" was a very complex demo showing an incredible
3d world with every kind of effect you could put in a demo. Environment
mapping, light sourcing, textures and even a "foam" effect
that left the party people absolutely bored. The representation
was about some smiling girls having a shower... so real that you
could have been saying that it was just a digitised animation. Amazing?
The only thing that I still can't understand is why they competed
in the Amiga demo competition instead of the wild one.
the opponents with some great effects design in their 40k intro.
The overall impression was that the average Amiga 40k is heading
towards a better design instead of pretending to create complex
3d effects. This was also explicitly remarked by some writings in
some intro seen around the party.
I have personally
found Virgill's winning tune to be a bit boring but it featured
absolutely good samples and a very polymorphic structure. What I
can't realize is WHO is that single voter who gave his points to
Barman instead of me! I would also like to hear again Barman's tune
since, as a matter of fact, I can't remember anything from it.
many quality pictures that showed up in the graphics contest, I
was impressed by "Eat more chemicals" from Pixie of Polka.
There were a high number of "jokes" presented in this
competition. I am referring to that kind of pictures that aren't
meant to seriously compete in an event but that are however presented.
It was interesting to see how they reflected personal opinions or
social diseases... I would have liked to be able to read German...
the winner of the wild competition, was one of the most impressive
pieces of code presented at the party. It was developed on a weird
Apple II alike machine that was never released commercially! No
one knows how the competitors put their hands on this little gem
of technology! In the first few screens of the demo, the authors
wrote a small presentation claiming it to have a 2.8Mhz main processor.
I also appreciated
"Stiftung Warentest", a funny home-made movie of an IBM
case tied to a car and pulled along a country side road, then hammered
by a young boy and finally exposed to the deliriant public in all
its devastation. The final results were shown in the end of the
movie and they correctly reported: Quality 6, fun 1.
It was a nice
party. It was nice to go there, it was nice to stay, it was nice
to go away.
I would like
to comment to the organizers that they have put little attention
when they thought about the rewards for each competition. I was
third in the 4 channel contest, and I won a Party T-shirt. Someone
answered a question in a small and poorly advertised surprise competition
about formatting disks, and won a Party T-shirt... and some disks!