Altparty IV report

by DiamonDie

I arrived at the partyplace at 2 pm. It was -20C outside and Gloria was also cold as Antarctis. As expected, not many people had appeared yet. Nosfe sold me a ticket and a women's t-shirt with red text "ALT" - I later regretted having bought that and not an ordinary red one. I picked a table close to a network switch. I had a cardboard Uppo-Nalle (I received several translations for it: Sinky Bear, Drowning Bear and Sub-Teddy) figure with me and placed it on top of the table. There was a slight problem: my cellphone said it couldn't connect to the network. Some people who were supposed to come didn't know how to find the partyplace and they only had my number.

The network wasn't working, so people mostly just sat at the tables. Nosfe and geel started playing Attack of the mutant camels on a screen which was placed on the stage. At first I thought it was the bigscreen. Fortunately it wasn't, as it was tiny. Network started working 4.30 pm. Yay. There was only one glitch after that. More and more people appeared. Yessa, hot, koira, BassCadet, jobe, jean9, droid, kataja and many more.

The first gig began 6.30 pm at the FPU stage, but I didn't even know where it was. Folio started their gig at 7 on the main (CPU) stage, in time even. MegaMies arrived. We went to get some food from the grocery store. When I returned I submitted three entries of mine and a song of LUKE's to the infodesk, had to fill out a bunch of papers with addresses and stuff. The infodesk people were all ladies when I visited there, just as most of the people selling tickets were females.

Analogia started playing. Good stuff. The most interesting gig started a bit before 10, it was really weird stuff, hard to describe if you weren't there. JoneK arrived and I chatted with him and yessa. BassCadet's gig was really nice. It was a bit weird that people just sat by their computers listening to live performances.

When the concerts were done with, the real bigscreen was brought in. Fortunately it was big. It had some weird stains though. The texts in the bigscreen were first written in Notepad, later also in MS-DOS edit and on a C64. As the invitation competition was about to start, people started yelling "iSO!" "Dekadence!" etc. Neuvostoliitto's invitation was shown first but the sound didn't work. It was followed by some tAAt prods that weren't participating in the compo. Neuvostoliitto's prod was reshown, this time with sound. Next up was Nosfe's plain and simple ANSI and then MFX's demo, which crashed on exit.

After the invitation compo was the disqualified compo, only a couple of hours out of schedule. It was interesting. Some prods were really nice, some were funny and a few were awful and boring. The compo lasted for a looong time, until 4 am or so. After that I tried to get some sleep, but failed because of the low temperature. Most people were sleeping, only a couple of monitors were lit in the hall. I listened to some people conversating about the anatomy of horses, bukkake and tapirs.

The morning was pretty eventless. Tempest 3000 was played on the bigscreen. I cast my votes on the first compos. The voting system was somewhat weird as it used SSH, but it worked. I complained about too many games and too few demos on the bigscreen and they showed us demos, mostly CNCD's. Oh and pWp's Kekkonen.

The guage compo was delayed by several hours so the realtime gfx started. Its topic was pontoon fish. I had no idea what a such fish looked like - and neither did other people. My fish looked more like a ball and drawing the scales took most of my time. The ludicrous speed gfx compo limited the drawing time to 30 seconds. It's even shorter than it sounds. The topic was insect. I drew a butterfly. It sucked. Nosfe managed to finish two pictures in that time, though one of them was disqualified.

We were shown gory flashes on the bigscreen while waiting for the Guage compo. I had planned to attend, but felt too feverish for that. The compo was played in textmode, but shown on the screen with real graphics so that at least the audience could see something. It was really funny to see players off themselves in lava, they couldn't see it because of the low contrast in the ASCII mode. Todistaja/uBBu was announced as "teh winner". The next one on the screen was the 30 minute gfx compo. It featured some interesting prods, especially the last one, which was really colorful. Astu's pic got a huge applause.

The 30 sec compo entries were taped on the walls as were the short stories - except for my entry, which naturally made me quite angry and I complained to Setok. He promised to take care of that, but said that Teque probably had my entry cd because LUKE's song was also on it and Teque wasn't present. Drats. Fortunately Teque arrived quite soon and I got to print my short story. There were several stories by Nosfe, one by iSO and even a poem in czech language. I liked Q-FUNK's and Setok's entries, Jaffa's story was also cute.

Just as I returned from upstairs the lovemusic compo began. There were as much as 28 entries, so Teque had done preselection and 15 were played. I most liked Kunnes kuolema by jobe (always liked his music), LUKE's Mixed Emotions and Teque's Wisal the electric love camel. There even was a song with eurodance-sounding vocals by Terminus. Nosfe had a really ...noisy entry as could be expected, involving samples from Finnish porn broadcasts. His other song wasn't played. MegaMies's one wasn't played either nor was Ravel's and both of jean9's songs were left out.

More music followed. The live music compo even had a loading bar on the bigscreen. First up was Neuvostoliitto Boy Choir. Iso terrorised the partyplace with something that can't be described, it would have reanimated corpses. Third one was Kokoomusnuoret with Porvari nukkuu erinomaisesti. At least it remotely resembled music at times. But Dekadence really kicked ass with their version of starfall.sid, especially BriteLite was really adorable. Fifth one was Pihti who had some style and sixth performed tAAt, presenting a version of Pikku-Kakkosen posti, a famous Finnish tv tune. They were also told "Soittakaa Paradroid". Their show lacked feeling. Folio had an interesting performance.

The photo competition contained many different types of photos. From arty style to animals, an ass (not the animal), some quite obscure ones and ones that were funny or were supposed to be funny. B&W video compo had several music videos, some of nosfe's sense raping, gay porn, etc. K-Statik had made a neat demo with a political theme and I entered a video called Alternative Cow, which featured my little sister. (Someone yelled that she should receive psychiatric treatment, grr.) MegaMies's video didn't work at first, fortunately they got it working. JoneK who had kept me company left after the b&w compo. He really missed a lot!

There was a long wait before the democompo. People played Mario on the second screen. Then Jeff Minter delivered a speech, a truly great one. We were told we're a bunch of intelligent and creative people. I think that during his speech everyone in the hall felt that way. He played to the microphone a voicemail message left by his girlfriend. It was "baaa". Everyone burst in laughter. He also finished his speech by saying "kalja on hjuvaa".

The democompo started with Jumalauta's noisy entry. The next demo "Life breakdown count" had a "deep" message about life and was practically a video/slideshow. Then they changed from C64 to Windows to show tAAt's Vaihtokaedet. It used the melody of a famous Finnish traditional song. It also borrowed the famous vati from iSO's disq prod. The fourth prod was only alternative because it was slow as hell. The next one was Jellied Veal, very short and quite nice.

Gluterol's demo was all red and somewhat boring, especially as it only had one effect. The MFX demo started with the audience yelling lot of stuff about uncle-x's sexual preferences etc. The prod itself was mfxish. It was followed by Melwyn's very nice ambient slideshow called The heart-shaped box. The next prod 12345 sucked. It's only scene was torus mangling. It wasn't alternative, only very boring.

Another Haujobb guy had played with ambient athmospheres. Visualice's result was pleasing, but not very alternative. Sleber Eid's prod kicked ass. I had waited to see this perl demo and it didn't disappoint me. The music was good and the effects so were the effects, there even was a rotozoomer. Sadly the next demo Alt-pier couldn't live up to the high expectations set to Qbasic, but was still interesting.

They were supposed to show a Nokia GSM demo next, but it didn't work and it was time for Unique's Amiga prod Trauma, typical Unique style. Jumalauta's MSX Megademo had a special feature: male genitalia of kakka/damones, displayed live. Prod #17, Kakka maistu by nunna/iso was disqualified suddenly. There was a huge delay. Some nice guys (MT_Felice and pahartik) brought me snack bars, which was nice. Then the Oric demo was finally shown. It was cool. Dekadence's Chillout was quite brief.

#21 was an iSO product too and thus started another yelling frenzy. Not to mention Saulin penis by Jumalauta. Viznut's VIC-20 demo was really impressive thanks to its soundtrack. Scary stories he invents. Only one left, and it was Life by CNCD, for VIC too. After that was still another by Sleber Eid. Didn't like it much. People started wandering out of the hall,going to have a kebab or similar (it was 4.30 am). Jaffa lifted me in the air, what a scary experience.

I slept a couple of hours on the chairs. Tempest ran on the bigscreen for the whole time. Jobe and jean9 wanted to update their webpages so I let them use my laptop. They finally started showing demos on the bigscreen, some classic Amiga ones. The TMDC prize ceremony started on the stage. First demo they showed was Tonrauschen's disqualified QBasic prod Antichrist. People were amused. Its sequel Antichrist II was also funny. 9th was The Crypt, which was slow and had awful colors, but otherwise ok. Antimatter featured a clichTd space odyssey kind of story. Atlantis used a weird rasterization, which made it look a bit messy. Grin's entry K had some cool scenes and I liked the music too. The fifth and fourth ones, Rapture and Tribute were perhaps the best ones, though they didn't have much in common.

Third was Insane by Dawning, sauli and rm fetched the prize including the banana. I have to say I didn't really like the demo. Infekt received the second place. It was a good demo, but not my cup of tea either. We were greeted in it though, yippee. Winner of the compo was 13rd December by Psikorp.

I went to take some last minute photos and when I came back, the bigscreen was already being put away. The price-giving was an hour late and a progress bar was drawn on the small screen saying "loading prizes". After the bar was full of dots, they made another bar saying "precalc". That wasn't enough, so they added "freeing memory". The next thing the screen read was Segmentation Fault. Core dumped". My Uppo-Nalle was awarded as "Miss alternative 2003".

The first one called on the stage was todistaja/uBBu. He got a t shirt and Clearasil. Haha. Clearasil was also awarded to winners of realtime gfx, along with a t-shirt and Atari plastic bag. Electric was the winner. 30sec gfx was won by Spiikki. Photography compo was won by st Rana with her picture of mallards. That was also the first compo where winners delivered speeches. ISO won the short story compo. Sigh. I was a bit disappointed, especially when I later heard I placed 5th. Invitation prize went to Nosfe, his second one. He won a shirt and changed clothes on the stage. Not a pretty sight, I can tell you.

Dekadence won the live vocal music compo, not a surprise. We got to see them perform again. The love music compo, was won by Teque. Coma was third in disq compo, but no one of them was present. Viznut came second with Demulamu and stated that "namevoting sucks". Vati won, not a huge surprise.

I shared b&w video's third place with Nosfe, who also won the first prize, which was parts of a Cray Supercomputer. My prize was a bottle of Clearasil, some earplugs plus a metallic case and a hug from Ravel (aww). Sleber Eid (=organizers) came third in the democompo with their Perl demo. Defense Force took the second prize. Viznut won with a big margin and was given a huge load of stuff. There was one more prize left, the most exotic computer, which was given to Dbug for his bulgarian Oric clone. After that it was announced that everyone who participated in a compo could grab an Atari mug coaster. They ran out though, I got the second last one.

I packed up my stuff, said byes to some people and left Gloria. This had been a very good weekend. I just wished that some particular persons could have made it there (or would have bothered) and that I would have talked with more people. That's the way it always is. But people were extremely nice and I have to give a big Pouet style thumb up for the organizers. Attitude and being nice is much more important than handling every little detail right and in time.

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