Dialogos 2000 report
Day 1: Catch the bus
Weekend - the last of our short holidays in Germany, time for another party experience. The Dialogos seemed perfect, not too far to drive also.
Ramon, our friend, well-known as our fan, sponsor and sometimes-4k-intro-coder again lent us their bus, very nice! Also on board: Ben, not a scener, but a cool guy coding mainly in real oldskool assembler and very interested in the scene. Also a member of our fanclub. =)
As always, they were late. I waited a shit long time at home, but finally they managed it to come around. We drove to ThUmB, catching up his machine and also himself.
Now we only needed to get to Jena. The party had already begun anyway, so it wasn't really important when we would arrive. At first things went well, but if you know Germany you also know that they never can finish any street or motorway. Thus we soon were stuck in a big traffic jam and when we arrived at the partyplace it was already 21:00. The travel was exhausting, so it was nice that there was an elevator to the party area. We bought our tickets and started to unload our equipment. As the partyplace was an empty part of a shopping centre (which also contained a cinema and restaurants) some people were quite confused about us carrying monitors and other hardware. :) Luckily the organizers had built up some walls so that people couldn't look inside as if it was a zoo. After we had found some empty table I was the first one to build up my equipment because I didn't have the stress with hooking on the network. I think that networks at demoparties are not really necessary anyway. Quite o.k. for releasing as long as the system works. Luckily the Dlg didn't have an internet access and thus wasn't very interesting for gamers and other folks. My opinion about inet on demoparties should be clear anyway. Did I miss it? Nope. I'm not that important that I need to check eMails every 10 minutes. I don't even own a network card as I don't think it's worth the costs and efforts with cables and crap just for releasing and voting. :)
After I had checked all hardware still being alive I walked around the partyplace because our demo was finished (we THOUGHT! read more about it later...) and I didn't feel like coding anyway. The atmosphere was great, no fu***ng gamers but no sceners I knew, either. Some friends would arrive later. Only TUM was already there, we'd got to know them at the TUM-demoparty. I must say that the partyplace really ruled due to a great lighting (looked a bit like a red-light district ;)) and a nice view over the inner city of Jena. The only thing I disliked a bit was the fact that smoking was allowed in the main areas. Hard for a non-smoker, but you get used to it after some hours.
Well, some more words about the happenings: everyone was coding, tracking or doing whatever you do as a scener. Many people were also finalizing their productions for the compos.
I realized that I'd had a cold since the travel, great that I had my always-present cologne scarf with me. =)))
When I didn't find any more people I knew I returned to our desk. Ctulhu had again started a 4k intro and I contributed to it with optimizing help. Although you might think we suck, it's definitely possible to make 4k intros with Pascal. =) I don't know why we couldn't convince the guy behind us that his 100% asm intro didn't have any chance to win against ours. ;)
A first compile told us 5180 bytes or something like that, but there was nearly a complete day left for hardcore-optimizing.
Next up ThUmB fixed a little part of our demo-music until we were satisfied. The next time I spent coding some little things for fun and from time to time looking at Ctulhu and his progress. :)
At night I realized that Unik was also present and also Tomic, who I knew via eMail. But I wasn't able to find him yet.
Ctulhu's intro was now around 4800 bytes. :)
Due to my cold and because I was simply tired I went for sleeping sometime. The sleeping hall was the weak point of the Dlg, it was also an empty room and because they had removed the bottom you definitely were lying in the dust. So you easily saw which guys were returning from the sleeping hall because they had this grey, dusty touch. :)
Day 2: Catch the party
In the morning, after a dusty night, Ctulhu and me went downstairs to get the great breakfast offer. After a coffee we felt like awake again and returned to the intro. Only some hours left for the first competitions.
After returning to my computer I realized how nice it felt to know that there were no lamers at the party which planned to return with more equipment than they had brought with them.
The intro still was bigger than 4096 bytes, but we had found a nice optimizing trick with the help of a hex-editor and thus shrunk it another 80 bytes. :)
Around midday the raytracing and gfx compos started in the local cinema. That ruled definitely, a great place for compos. As Ctulhu had a laptop we could code on the intro. I think it now was 4500 bytes.
The two compos were very nice although most of the German names of the entries didn't have much in common with the pictures themselves. :)
Especially the pixel gfx had some nice entries like the ones from Haujobb, TBL and unik.
In the early afternoon the 4-channel compo was held in the "chillout area". I must say, it definitely kicked ass!! (Probably also because finally there was a tech-crew that was able to provide a good and nicely balanced audio system.) I can just recommend you to get all the entries from this compo. Multichannel was also nice although I can't remember about the entries as particularly as about the 4-channel compo. :)
As KB and Yoda (Smash Designs), being the organizers of the intro and demo compos, arrived in the afternoon, I thought that we could upload our demo and test it. The two guys were very cooperative: "Just annoy us again and again with your stuff. Maybe sometime we will give you a kick." =) No, seriously, I must say a big THANX at this point to them because they were so patient with me. ;)
With the first try, the most horrible scenario for a coder happened: some things in the demo didn't work, in some point I fucked up the timing and finally it also crashed. Very nice. I was heavily amused. At first I looked for the problems with the missing things. They appeared to happen only on really fast PCs. After some hours I finally found the bug within the zbuffer stuff. The timing was easy to fix, it simply can't work if you calculate a nice timing-value but still use 1.0 instead of that one. :) The crash luckily disappeared in the final version. (I love this Watcom-automatic-buggin' n' debuggin'.)
Also thanx to the orgas for telling me to put up the brightness due to bad contrast on the projector.
During this bugfix-period Hellfire, Faxe and others arrived. Some people were looking at our demo and although they seemed to like it I realized that we were hopeless lost with a DOS demo.
In the afternoon, during a little shopping tour with Ctulhu, we met Tomic on the street. Luckily I was wearing my scarf and so he could recognize me. I didn't know what he looked like before that, so I wouldn't have recognized him. During the night I had a nice and very interesting conversation with Digisnap/Matrix especially concerning a VERY interesting comparison of his 3d engine used in "The Fulcrum" and ours. Although only 2 years lie between them, the "tricks" are absolutely different. (Not talking about his ones being better. ;))
At night the "Seelenfunken" concert was about to happen. Well, the name of the crew already told me what kinda music it was and so I definitely knew I wouldn't like it. No bad feelings, I'm quite tolerant to most music but this far too psychedelic stuff is not my world. As I was also not feeling too well due to my cold I thought that some hours of sleep were quite a nice idea.
During the night I missed a funny action of TUM: they held their own "Christmas is when we say it is" party with cake and beer.
Day 3: Catch the compos
Surprisingly I woke up right in time for the competitions. One hour was left, so I returned to the party area having fun with some dudes. The guy behind us finally had decided not to release his 4k intro (he wouldn't have had a chance against us anyway... ;)) and now was still working on it. It started to become really good.
Early in the morning we took Ctulhu's laptop and sat down in front of the cinema to wait for the compos. We had forgot, that there was a late-film in the cinema and thus the people going home were quite confused about some tired-looking, dirty and dusty beings hanging around on the floor and coding. ;) Some sceners had also been watching a film.
Because the compos were delayed we got some more free RedBull drinks from the sponsors, very nice idea. =)
Downstairs people were already waiting to be let into the cinema, among them also some local people interested in the scene. Delayed for about half an hour, the competitions started first with the 4k's. Maybe the organizers should have displayed some little explanation for the non-sceners because I think otherwise it's hard to understand what's the point about 4k intros.
The first 4k was ours, apart from the shitty colors it looked quite nice but well, it still wasn't something you call cool. :)
The next one had "music" (hmm, it was only a bassdrum ;)) but some cool 3d scenes, a good intro. Our fanclub also released one, you know, Ramon the "sometimes-4k- intro-coder". =)
In the end it was obvious that "Stoerfall Ost" of Frestyle would win because it simply had cool 3d scenes, music and even was OpenGL. Actually the last point was not the one convincing me to vote for it because I'm sure you also could have done that without GL, but respect for that.
In the 64k intro compo only 3 entries were on stock. TUM with a nice one called "Understate" containing some interesting 2d effects, good music and a nice overall feeling. Unik released their "lovemachine", a stylish flatshading intro with all that stuff that is in right now. Reminded very much of the "Select MTV" stuff, but they were honest that this had inspired them. The last one was called "fresnel" and had been made by Kolor. Actually the name was supposed to be different as far as I know, but during the prerecording for the compos it had somehow been screwed up (probably because it had been even more weird before :)). Also this time it was quite clear that this intro would win, containing a lot of cool 3d scenes. Unfortunately some fx couldn't be really seen because of bad contrast on the screen, but all groups had problems with that (what was bright was actually white, what was dark was black...).
Last up of course was the pc demo. At first of all our demo "Netherworld" (I think they showed it in the order of release time :)). It looked better on the bigscreen, but we sometimes had enormous problems due to the contrast. :( Next up were demos like "Digital" from Magic Dreams and "dumbnut" from Eichel, which looked definitely good. Maybe not smashing (talking about the possibilities you have with 3d cards) and a bit short, but still cool. A bit strange was "ASC-TRIX" by hicknhack, which was an ASCII-animation. Apart from the fact that you couldn't recognize much in it, it also was only the "Matrix"-preview as ASCII. Well well.
Another very nice demo was "Frauen pausenlos 3" (that's "Women nonstop 3" in English). The last one was from Farbrausch called "fr-06: black2000", being a very stylish demo with kick-ass music synchronizing and some very creative 2d stuff in it.
My opinion about all compos was: average with some very good exceptions. For the Dialogos being a smaller party I really think they had a good quality. After the compos we voted for the rest and I went sleeping again. During the morning before the prize ceremony I already started to pack some things together so that we later could leave in time (school started again the next day and actually ThUmB and me should have studied electrical engineering instead of partying. ;))
Quite in time the ceremony started. Before that some organizers tried to attach a Dialogos-banner with adhesive tape... of course this didn't work. The audience was very amused about their several attempts. :)
The organizers thanked the visitors for coming and making the party that good. After that also the sponsors shared some words with us to tell us why they sponsored this event and all that. Respect that they also spoke English because some sceners didn't think that this was necessary although international guests were there.
Now the ceremony could begin. Well, I already told you most of the results so I won't repeat me. For detailed results check their www-site. It's just to say that Skyrunner won a price in all music compos and seemed to be luckily surprised about this fact. KB of farbrausch (and SDS...) gave his prize, an internet keyboard, away to the audience because he thought that people should code instead of surfing through the net. That's the way!!! =) Besides that I just can say that most people weren't keen on speaking some words to the people and if they did usually in German. Shame on you. (Shame also on Ctulhu from my own group, speak English lamer! ;))
After that we packed the rest of our equipment and carried it to the elevator. Again, surprised people. Ramon was last due to his 580kg heavy 85" monitor. Back in the parking-area we had to see, that our car wasn't in the mood to work. The battery was dead-empty and it didn't even make a sound. This was a nice surprise in the morning, now we had to look for some friendly people to help us. (Of course no problem when there are sceners around...) So we found Diver/TUM willing to help us with his Ford Fiesta... our car was a VW bus, let's hope this works. :) Diver's car had some problem and only by giving full throttle his car wasn't fucked up, too. :) Thanx a lot guy, now we could drive home. Of course we couldn't switch the car off again now and had to load our equipment very fast. Thus we also couldn't say goodbye to anyone. The problem now was only that our fuel was also nearby zero. And Ramon was hungry, ohoh....
In the end we could make our way home. Of course, as always, a MASSIVE traffic jam. Usually we planned to be at home around 18:00, but finally it was 21:30.
Anyway, this was really the best party we had attended so far with a lot of scene spirit, cool people and a lot of fun. I think we'll try to be there again and if YOU are looking for some neat scene-only event you should definitely check this party.
- as always not from Cologne
Some greets thrown away in random order: the ones I know since asm, Tomic, Warp, Digisnap, demo-kompo organizaz, TUM, HCR-fanclub for the ruling intro, ThUmB for fixing the track and lending me his machine for tests, Ctulhu being the master of one-billion-plasma-intros, Diver for helping out with our car and all the ones I forgot.
Dialogos on the internet: http://www.dialogos.cc