FLaG 2002 report
Gargaj of Ümlaüt Design
Place: Budapest, Hungary
Time: July 12, 2002 - July 14, 2002
Organizers: Greenroom & Co.
Music: 4 channel, Multichannel, MP3
C64: Music, graphic, demo
Graphic: Pixel, Ray-trace
Demo: 256B, 4K, 64K, Demo, Animation
Others: Retro game compo, Hidden compo
I usually don't like to write about the way we got to the party, but this time I think I have to tell why we (me and Procyon) arrived half-drunk at the partyplace, while leaving home sober... What happened is that we were occupied in the train-coupe with two nice old gentlemen who just came back from their wineyard at Rátka, and brought some fine (and cooold) wine. As they saw that we were kinda bored because the trip was long, the first gave us their magazines, which I've replied with offering my beer. Guess what, they opened a bottle of wine, and we drank it during the trip while enjoying a chat about football, referees, and generally having a nice trip. I also had our ÜD party-box (a cardboard box with my PC inside) signed with them. The only thing that happened after the train-trip that we missed the stairs at the metro station 3 times, the rest was just walking to the place.
We bought the tickets (this time the usual size, with a little space to write your name on it, if you wish), I asked Noel whether I can have a discount for the old tickets I bought, he said "Yeah, sure, you can pay 2500 instead of 2000." As usual, Digital Dynamite was already there, BoyC was coding, TrX was hacking his computer together (after booting it was beeping like a wicked siren, and we had no idea why) and Meph was outside having a smoke. After unpacking our stuff, as we had no monitor yet, I decided to get a walk outside, as we were pretty exhausted after carrying my PC for 200 kilometres. Homen and Meph were outside, kinda knocked out, and we decided to be "Igy". NikoN also arrived, and he was also "Igy". Some newbie guys also were outside, including jUPeter, who was already drunk, and tried to give away his leftovers of 1L Tokaji. Tomcat came out, asked whether we made any stuff, we said we did a demo and two 256 byte intros. He also said there won't be any 486 demo, because of no entries and more important, no compo machine. Vickey also came out and showed us the design of the party T-shirt, which could be bought at the the infodesk for 2100 HUF (around 8-9 Euros). Not much happened (as we were helluva tired), until BoyC came out looking for me because he had encountered a problem in their intro code: The camera was moving from point to point on a spline, but it was gradually slowing down and speeding up from point to point. I had no idea why is it doing that, so I gave the sources of our keyframer (actually the whole engine) to him, (we borrowed the monitor from Jimmi, but didn't have the mood to set it in properly, so I copied the stuff with a monitor lying on it's side) so we can check whether if he wrote some equations wrong or not. He didn't. We were totally blown and had absolutely no idea what have gone wrong, we tried to replace the Hermite-spline with a Catmull-Rom one, with linear interpolation, none of them worked, and we were totally clueless. Meanwhile, Tomcat showed us the new party intro: "Each year we have a party... And each year we have a funny party intro... This year, we don't. Sorry." That happens when you don't have time to make one. We were still hunting for the bug, I also had to idea to hack in our keyframer in the intro, too bad we used two totally different systems, our being a 3DS-track-based one, with dynamically allocated arrays, the DD one being a one based on a single arc, with lists, and a framecounter which is between 0.0 and 1.0. We also made an approach for a conversion, but it was kinda useless. As we were consuming Pcn's pack of grape sugar and some cracker crunchies, BoyC asked, "hey, do we have to normalize the two tangentvectors?" "Erm, no we don't." We removed the code, and it worked. Damn those vectors. Happily, BoyC showed us some parts from the intro. I was flattened. They modelled scenes from Spot, Kasparov, they modelled the complete Hungarian Parliament, all in 64k. Like, daaaaaaamn. They also scared me a bit with the village part, because as the saying says "If there's a village, there must be a cemetery." There was, so I became a bit worried, as our demo features a cemetery in the mainpart. As we solved the problem, BoyC started doing the timers for the music, and I wandered to the buffet to buy a bottle of mineral water. I encoutered several weird things, namely pieces of paper stuck on things, like one reading "Shovel" on the aquarium, one reading "History" on the wall, or "BKV corporate breakfast" on the main entrance (BKV is the transportation company at Budapest). The toilets also had stickers named "Village" and "Cemetery", the floor had one, which suprisingly read "Floor", and for a short time, Nagz also had one, titled "Live". The lobby had two original Atari game-console with loads of available game cartidges, so you could practice for the retro game compo, for which I have signed up very quickly, as there were only place/time for 16 competitors. As I went back to the main hall with my newly bought (cooold!) liquid, Noel said, that he can't make any graphics, as he's busy, but we can take the ones in their current state. Well, those graphics were badass. All I had to wait for was a monitor to link the stuff together, since we finished the stuff two days before the party.
The CG-forum also started, with a presentation by Varimex Rt. about sculpturing CG-created models into reality. I don't really remember the technology, basically the main material was pressured paper. The method itself is used for sculpturing prototypes for e.g. cars, car accesories, and mechanical gadgets. Some examples we're also available outside in the lobby to inspect. The second presentation was made by Leonardo SNS, introduing the Matrox ET2500 card, with realtime videoediting abilities, which means you needn't wait for an effect in e.g. Premiere to get rendered to see whether it fits or not, you can immediately see the result on the fly. The stuff itself was cool, but the presentation wasn't spectacular enough, I think. They also held a second presentation, aimed at the hungarian Computer Graphics Academy, which was a real short one, but had a quiz at the end, on which you could win a course at the academy. Other presentations included a demonstration about 2D photo to 3D model conversion by Pantomat Kft., a Character Studio tutorial by Tomcat, and finally a great historical overview about 3D accelerators by Reptile.
The next program (the outdoor cooking was already started by IR) was the demoshow, which started with a small argument between Tomcat and the audience, because Tomcat excluded Kasparov from the demoshow, because he considered it unenterprising, boring and generally bad. However, we wanted to see Kasparov on the bigscreen, as it (IMHO) feels totally different. The demoshow itself was kinda usual (303, Mr. Black, You am the I You am the Robot, Hyperventillation), but we really missed stuff like Dope, Robotnik, Machines of Madness, Second Reality, however, 100 people singing "Nothing is as hard as me" was quite enjoyable I guess. The Windows part of the demoshow was kinda unlucky, most demos didn't even run, the others were unknown. [ONE demo failed to run, dear Gargaj. All others did. - Tomcat] (ASD demos ruled tho') The newest Farbrausch intro (fr-019) was only run in it's party version which caused it to bug up heavily. Le Petit Prince wasn't even started, because the crowd booed it out. At the end, the people started yelling "We want Kasparov!", and Tomcat said "Aww, allright, if anyone has a Kasparov, bring it here, but I'll go outside." Guess what: Nobody had a mobile Kasparov. Except for me of course. So, as it was announced, Kasparov was "sponsored by Ümlaüt Design". Unfortunately I only had the unfixed version (UPX-packed kasparov.dll is corrupted, won't run under Windows 2000), so I had to quickly boot up my PC, copy the files to a floppy disk, get back to the compo PC, copy and run it. Well, it certainly a different experience with a bigscreen and huge speakers... Too bad it managed to bug up at the crashzoom/motion blur/etc. 2D parts. Following up was the Amiga demoshow, which, alas, had no Planet Potion in it, because Charlie's wonder-Amiga kinda missed a PPC card. Anyway, demos like State of the Art, Desert Dream, Gift or Little Nell still rule hard. However, I nearly fell asleep on a TBL-demo (I just elbowed on the table, lent my head on my hand, and said "I can still see it from here...", and I woke up that it's not the same effect...), so ashamed I decided to go outside to the lobby, which had really cool sofas. I enjoyed some 10 minute doze, went to the washroom, had a quick satisfaction for natural needs, facewash, drink, a walk outside, and I was ready for more Amiga. After the last one, I asked Charlie, "What now?". He said I can play demos if I want to... We asked the public, and away it went... I was accompanied by a nice drunk guy, who said he's an oldskool musician (I still have no idea who he was...), and he wanted to see Dope by Complex. Unfortunately I didn't dare to reboot to DOS, as the Windows asked for a password on boot, so I played some cool Windows demos instead. I tried to do a bit alternating, one well known, one lesser known. I finally managed to check out Untamed by Fuel, which is a very cool demo (non-ripped metal soundtrack, codewise realtime physics, cubemaps, volumetric lights and stuff, and unbelieveably detailed gfx), but alas, it won't run on TNTs, because of the cubemap feature. I also played fr08, which really seemed to ".make .the .dude .happy", who was having fun twiddling the knobs on the mixer, sometimes making weird equalizing, but sometimes making it badass. He didn't realize it was a 64k tho. He was kinda surprised. I also ran fr-019's final version, however not suprisingly the demos that made the audience go wild were Glon243, Fr-minus-02: ah, VIP2, and State of Mind. After the dude left, he was replaced by TrX, with whom we turned the demoshow a bit into a request-demoshow. He also told me that some problems may arise concerning their intro, namely that Rigor got so drunk he couldn't walk. (He still managed to model the whole partyplace tho...) I also took a try on fr-06, but it quit, and the restart crashed the entire Win2k, and I was scared as hell to reboot, luckily after I reseted the system, I got back to the desktop. What I really really missed was 604, which was on my hard drive, and it was too big transport to the compo PC on a disk, so I played my other fav Russian demo, Sinum by T-Rex.
After the last demo (being Jumpy by Digital Murder I guess), we exchanged places with TrX, who started playing old videos from FLaG 2001. I took a quick nap (this was around Saturday morning 5:00-6:00 I guess), and checked the timetable what's next. Music deadlines. Oh well, it doesn't affect me. (At least I thought that then.) Well, let's do something. I went outside to check on the Ataris, and guess what, I managed to have a try on Combat against Ebola. First I thought the game was pretty simple, a maze with to tanks, shooting at each other. The controlling was kinda weird, since you had to rotate the tank, instead of simply controlling in a 'left goes left' manor. Later I also discovered that you can kinda 'swerve' the projectiles. After defeating Ebola, Zoom also took a try, however, we managed to convert a game a bit into a 'trench-warfare', as we could do (with a little practice) slaloms with the bullets, so we simply parked behind the walls, and started trying to shoot 180-turns and stuff. I finally got schooled 5-4. As I said, music deadline was nearing, and I was thinking about entering one of my Buzz tracks, and finally I decided to reorganize it a bit (add some resonances, some extra patterns, and a general check-over), and started rendering. After finished, a quick conversion to MP3, and off it goes to the orgz. Too bad that my mobile HDD is a bit on the coughy side, and Windows 2000 started to do an uncancellable scan, which took several minutes, and managed to piss off the organizers, and of course me too. I quickly borrowed another HDD, and handed the stuff over, this time it worked fast. However, Tomcat warned that if we have other (non-music) entries, we should try and burn it on a CD (or in our case, a CD-RW), because rebooting the compo machine is indeed quite time-consuming. I went outside to Ebola and Gem (The Artist Formerly Known As Gekko) and had a discussion about the newest demos, but suddenly I heard my name from the loudspeakers. I was really clueless, after arriving to the compo machine, Nagz told me that he wants me as the part of the music prejury. I immediately turned down the offer, for several reasons. First, I had a music in the pool, and I know very well how biased I can be. Second, I'm know real musician, I'm a coder/modeller, who makes musics for fun. Third, I don't want to be blamed for preselecting anybodies work, as I tend to be biased considering music styles too. So I said, "Sorry, I can't". (I still have no idea why Nagz wanted me to prejury...)
The first real program of the day was the retro game compo, so I began to wait for my turn, while Procyon copied the stuff and tried to find someone with a mobile rack drive and a CD-writer. I really got scared when we figured out that Combat has about 20-25 levels, each one differing from the other. (Tank mode: walls/no walls, simple bullets/ricochet bullets (only ricochet hit scores), tank always visible/tank only visible when fires or when shot; flying mode: single flight/twin flight, no clouds/cloudy level) Oops... However I managed to beat my first opponent on a level with deflection+invisibility+walls. Alas, I have no idea who my first opponent was, I still managed to beat him with 2 or 3 points I guess. There were some problems during the compo, but only concerning things like noisy view (projectiles were a bit hard to see), bad joysticks (microswitch would have been nice), and the fact that noone knew which tank did he control for the first few seconds. (Actually, I did, because I spotted that the joysticks were placed exactly reverse as the score display was on the screen (player with the left joy controlled the right tank, and vice versa). Unfortunately, I was massacred by Taky in the second round, however I must add that I was down by 3-4 points and I managed to equalize, but after the second 3 point lead, I only managed to score two more points, leaving the score at 9-8. (I managed to make a nice long range shot from 'the other side of the village'...) After this, I joined Tomcat in the 'commentary booth', and generally had great fun. The finals included Taky and Vhiiula/Analogik, both of them literally slaying their way to there, one of their matches being 21-2 or something around that. The final however was less balanced, Taky simply devastated Vhiiula, and finally he made a difference around 3 points. His prize was a Milky Way choccie bar, and a faulty joy offered by jUPeter. (We actually wanted to make a 'wandering prize' from it, each year the winner brings it back and the new winner takes it home.)
After a small break, handing our demo to the orgz ("Phew, there goes nothing..."), the music compos started, first with 4ch. Well, as I'm a huge musiclover, I really, really enjoyed them, especially the one by Vincenzo. There was a really wicked sicko one by Blakkhar entitled '1.4bc', which reminded me to a mix between Aphex Twin and oldskool techno. It was 4 minutes long, however, it was shot down because the audience was yelling Nagz to stop it. I must also mention two other tunes, one by the honorary Hungarian Finn Reed, which was his usual funkothek style music, however, as we felt, it was badly missing something. A tune from Phantom Lord was also appreciated, as it was the only one with metal sounding, sadly, it was weakly accompanied by other instruments. Multichannel musics, however, as I felt, wasn't as good as 4 channels. I must emphasize musics by KvAzAr, KCG and of course by Padre Vincenzo. MP3 compos really made me nervous, as I felt, "this time, I'll make it". There were some nice entries (BMC, Sly Spy, Mephizto), and mine was in! It was real cool to hear it on a great Hi-Fi system, and as I heard, everything came out just fine, all bass and treble perfectly balanced. (I kinda missed the high-pitched note at the end, but anyway...)
C64 compos approached, starting with musics. Well not much to say, whizzing arpeggios, flying slides, everything that makes a Commodore 64 music cool. The best one was IMHO Partymade by (guess who) Vincenzo, which had the speciality of being made on my PC (I swear it was the best, not just because of the fact that I helped him, after all, there were no greeting part...) We also recieved a nice contribution from foreign (Finnish I guess) guys entitled "Good Morning, Magyarok!" (Magyar = Hungarian). Also, Easygoing by Jammer was quite fun to listen to, as it had a real smoothly done change in the theme, basically from a cool quantized happy arpeggio tune to a faster, more simple rhythmic, but very melodic part. After the musics, graphics came, namely two, one being "Alone" by Padua, depicting a little girl, sitting afraid in the corner. The second one was "Rage II" by Jailbird, and reminded me a bit to these newly done Photoshop arts, however still considering the fact that it's C64. The lonely single demo was by The Dreams, and it featured... a crash during the first run. After the second one, we saw a nice dottunnel, featuring ~568 white dots, with it's emmiter being controlled by the joystick, but sadly, nothing more. Not even music. Whatever happened to the cool Resource/Singular demos?
As these compos were pretty short, the orgaz decided to play C64 demos, and I wandered outside to have a talk with Nagz, Vhiiula, Crusher and others. It was fun to watch people scram inside when they heard the first few notes of "Second Reality C64". I didn't, as I saw it at least a thousand times. After this, they announced that the graphical compos will start... (check this...) 3 hours later! Damn! Well, what do you do? Play. As deadline was way over, everybody was playing some game, e.g. the DD guys played some snooker games and a game called Bejeweled, which is kinda logical game, Ebola, Pcn and Gem started to play a tetris, written by me, with a special function of 6-player playability. I won't really detail this part, I mean what do you do, when you have nothing to do? Nothing, righy? There you go. Secretly, the hidden compo also started, which was basically threesomes sitting down and playing Doom DeathMatch. Not very demoscenish, you can say, but hey, as we said, there was hell lot of time to waste, and the people playing were all respected demosceners. Even Tomcat sat down to play too! Gfx compos approached, first being pixel. There were some yummy pictures, especially the ones from Magicboy, IR, Critikill and Mime. The raytrace compo was unbelieveable, as Tomcat said, a draw would end up with a result just as fair as the voting does. Simply incredible modelling skills has been shown. (And homour, concerning Zoom's teddy, and IR's 'Myroom', consisting some kind of a torture chamber.)
Following up was the 256 byte intro compo, a non-native compo at FLaG, sponsored by Robymus/Byteam. The first entry was CubeMania by Blala, and guess what, it chopped up on the 2GHz Pentium. Blala was mad as hell, however, he managed the show why this intro is particular: It features an external editor, so you can modify the texture on the cube. Nice idea, I must admit. The second was Glöbchen by Molecoola, which featured cool blobs, with nice colors, and the same effect in small, three times repeated on the right. The third one was Kistehén by Robymus, which was a karaoke 256b. (A little explanation: Some months ago, a weird cartoon appeared in the hungarian movie theatres, music TVs, and of course on the internet. This little flic featured a yellow cow, singing like a lunatic, totally off note, with absolutely senseless lyrics and nearly no melody. Of course, sceners are weird, and they tend to like stuff like that. Later this little figure served as an advert for Hungary's leading festival, the Sziget.) Anyway, imagine everyone singing the lyrics. (Me too.) Sickos... The fourth was Gwarp (or Green Warp) by Alexione, and it featured, as said, a green warp-like thingy rotating. The fifth entry was Pi by Procyon. This one featured inverted grayscale metablobs, and a Pi sign in the lower-right. Too bad most people didn't get the joke (see movie: The Net). The sixth one was mine (Yogg). The first effect (rotozoomer) was quite disappointing for some people, who yelled "Bah, rotzoom, everyone can code that..." The second effect (tunnel) suddenly made silence... not because it was cool, but it ran goddamn slow! Slower than on my PC! (And mine is a PII-333...) Tomcat decided to end it, despite we where shouting like idiots, "There's a third effect!" (I heard a voice in the back saying: "Third effect? Man, what a lunatic...") The next intro was a 256b tetris by Megasys, it featured every function a tetris should have. The 8th entry was Blob by FcR, basically metablobs, that distort the background in a raindrop way. Coolio! The last one was Gabucino by Árpi, blurred white noise with an "MPlayer" text scrolling. (You have to know that Árpi is one of the main coders behind MPlayer, a movieplayer for Unix.)
The next was 4K compos. The first didn't even run, it was a rotating 3D tree called "The Fa" by HHC, basically you could saw the leaves and fruits growing and disappearing, and the weather changing. Too bad it didn't run. The second allegedly also had problems, however, it ran silky smooth when shown, it was "Sugárzás 2" (Radiation 2) by License, and it featured a voxelblob morphing, with background music. The third one was "Past" and it showed us cubes, dot-cube, line-cube, flat-cube, gouraud-cube, feedbacked flat-cube, and a feedbacked gouraud-object. The greetz were quite unusual, as it featured real old groups like Abaddon or Unicorn. The next one was Wobbler by Gem. It was like... daaamn. Gem was sitting beside me during the compos, and all I could say was: "You... you... you crazy maniac freak!" Basically the intro consisted of (OpenGL) objects rotating, like question marks or dollar signs, or morphing cylinders and objects, all accompanied by nice TB-303 emulation. Nice design, awesome code, and a bit simple, but nice music. (And, according to Gem, one of the effects wasn't even displayed. Nevertheless it was easy to predict that this prod will simply nail his competition.)
64K compo arrived, and I was pretty excited about it, as I saw some screenies from the DD intro, and I knew damn well that these guys can do magic. Well, I didn't disillusioned. These guys managed to build an fr-08 type engine. The loading screen featured a label saying "Pascal Rulez". Later I said BoyC, that I thought that it shouldn't be there, and he explained that two foreign guys checked out his screen while he was coding, and they almost literally puked on his keyboard, when they saw that the code was written in Pascal. Hmm, some guys have to learn manners. Or start coding. I'm not sure if we saw any release from them this year. (Morons.) The intro (as usual), started with a space sequence, with the camera zooming on a planet. The second scene features the planet surface, with a little village visible. The next scene features the camera fly through the main street of the village, where you can see some peasants, some animals, some buildings (clock-tower, barns, church), and a real nasty chop. Guys, more texture, less detail next time... The next scene features a closeup on one of the doors, and after you enter the door, you see... TAH-DAH! A scene from Spot! With all the things, the clock, the lamp, the books, the boxes, and a new thing, a little castle under a glass bell. When the camera zoomed in, you could see the insane amount of detail put on the castle. This one recieved the first applause. The second scene was the huge 4-legged robot from Kasparov. Suffice to say, it also recieved an applause, despite of being totally static, and the camera showing everything except the robot. The next scene featured the Hungarian Parliament. This one recieved the biggest applause, I guess. However, as the camera zoomed on the top, you could see Pippiiiiiii being on it! The last scene featured the partyplace. This was the point where the audience started clapping to the rhythm of the Meph's music, which was somewhere between goa and psy-trance. Some people didn't even realize it was just 64k! I was wondering what kind of a competition can this intro get. Well, I was shocked. The second 64k only featured an ugly fractal-rotozoomer, and a sinus-scroller, with no music. I quite felt it humiliating for the DD guys...
And the big moment has arrived... FLaG 2002 demo compo took it's place! I was worried, damn worried, pretty damn worried. All I could do was to concentrate somewhere else, but I tried gaming, eating, sitting in a yoga pose, nothing worked. What oiled the fire was that the Fresh! demos had many many bugs, and they didn't run, and I was waiting for Tomcat to announce: "Sorry, ÜD guys, your code is totally lame, your demo crashed, we won't give it another try, you suck, and anyway go to hell." Luckily Procyon asked the orgas, and they said "It runs, with music". Pheeeeeeeeew. Well, let's get this over with. The first demo seemed to be entered by the Budapest Electricity Provider Company (ElMű, obviously it was a fun fakemo, made by the United Force guys). It was a simple demo with a torus shaking, and labels like "The torus is your enemy". The rest is music playing with the FLaG ticket scanned. And then, came our demo, "YouDie". The name itself made some people laugh, however, the demo made them quite quiet... I felt like, "OK, guys, here goes nothing, here goes our chance, here goes about a year of coding, if this crashed, I'm dead..." The loading didn't. (It actually does on XP, no idea why... I'm just allocating memory...) The epylepsy warning screen was laughed. They probably haven't seen epileptic people yet. If someone broke out in a convulsion during our demo, well, we had the warning. Anyway. The first BLAM pic made the mood, but what really counted was the sound system. I felt like the roof was blown off... I said, "OK, maybe it won't be so bad after all...". After the fourth BLAM, the heavy bassloop simply created an earthquake below us. And the last BLAM blew everyone away. The breakbeats, however, had pretty mad treble on them, and they just tore your head off. And as we reached the tunnel, I felt there's something evil going on. Something evil we created. Something wicked. We felt the potential in this demo, but never thought it can be that loud. And it began. The howling, the hardcore drums, the basswave on four channels, the constant... noise... Man, this was a true psychotic experience. It wasn't the same demo anymore, it wasn't the stuff we coded, it was something else, something very, very bad... All I missed was brightness. During the demoshow, I noticed that the projector has a very heavy contrast, but weak gamma. As our effects were pretty dark (as the demo itself), the tunnel was nearly invisible. (And some say the music was also reduced to a BOOM-BOOM noise. Weird. I heard it quite well...) Anyway, the first few effects ran fine, the sideways gaussian was a bit too smooth, however the interferencings were awesome, since they were flashy and stuff, and thanks to the powerful compo machine, we also saw the distortion of the background picture. The raytraced planes were also too dark, however, I spotted a weird thing during the strobe. The projector couldn't refresh the screen fast enough, and sometimes, blue spots appeared, not really noticable, but since I saw the stuff a zillion times, I saw that there was something weird. The particle system worked out quite well, as I thought. (It did some heavy chopping on my system.) The next two 3D parts also worked fine, and finally, we reached the main part. I was really afraid about a bug that we left in the code (check the closer polys), but luckily, it wasn't really visible (it was too fast to see), all the greetz were readable, and the last SLAM made me look around to see the faces. Silence. Total silence for a few seconds, the newcomers totally passed out. They didn't think demos also look like this... And finally, applause. Oh yeah! It managed to run, it didn't crash, it had an optimal impact, some people even liked it. what else do you want? (Yes, the demo has a hidden part.)
So, to talk about other demos too: The next one was "Fractal Regression" by Fresh!Mindworkz, and it featured a real cool jungle-type opening 3D scene, with the credits (subtitled in Hungarian...), after that, a bunch of 'partycle'-s, in definitely blue, which is (I guess) the official colour of Fresh! The next scene featured 'hydrogendioxide', commonly said, water. A pool of water, with a face and some blobs emerging from it. Cool! Followed by the Fractal Regression itself, a fractal plane in an infinite grid. The fractal was done very elegantly, especially the part when it reaches it's climax, it simply 'jumps' out. If I'm not mistaken, it also features a sphere-like wobbly thingy, which is quite usual in Fresh! demos. The rest is a movielike endscroller, with the same logos at the bottom (e.g. PanaVision). The next demo was Resurrection by TeVe, which also F!M, under a pseudonym. It starts with the usual "presents" stuff, this time with a nice feedback. It continues with effects like particles, potential wobbling, and stuff like that. It has a fun part with partymade-photos animating as a texture on boxes. The last part features a scroller on the right side, and some wicked objects rotating on the left. All in blue of course. Typical F!M demo. The fifth demo was Deep Somewhereover II. by Dilemma. I must admit, it screamed better than our one. Basically, it's a demo we call 'layer-demos', check Sunflower and Haujobb prods. The biggest difference was that this demo was totally on the wicked side of the spectrum, screams, sick videocuts, however, still wearing the DMA trademark, both code- and musicwise. The last demo was Ampére, by guess who, F!M. It was a DOS/GUS demo, but it didn't manage to run, despite the efforts by lead F!M coder Pasy. After the demos, I knew we'll be fourth... Three such great demos... We simply had no real chance. (Mainly because people didn't consider YouDie as a demo. Too bad.)
What followed up was the aniation compo (which is equals to the wild compo, with the restriction to computer generated anims). The first anim was a commercially aimed one, namely a videoclip for the song "Dogfish" for the band "Rémember", created by Immortal Rat. As usual, some messups occured, this time with XingMPeG, who managed to convert the music into static noise. Windows Media Player didn't, tho. It was a nice hand-drawn cartoon, with completely senseless story, and a music, which was definitely not my cup of tea. However, the second movie, "Tension" by Aenima, was a killer... Fast slamming music (by The Troops Of Doom), unbelievably detailed 3D, sky-high quality, interesting effects (the 'ice' which starts growing is cool), perfectly modelled creatures, and a chilling mood. And a sudden quit. However, that wasn't planned in. Everybody's pissed. DivX player starts again. (Media Player didn't even start.) Same awesome AVI, same quit. Codec reinstall. Nothing works. Can't fast-forward. Damn. Quick check. And guess what's the problem: AVI's corrupted (102 MB instead of 135). Recopy, run... Yeah, baby! You have to see this one. We expected the last one to be as cool as the first two. Well, it wasn't. It was more like, "Look, mum, I modelled a nice scene in 3D Studio!" Nothing serious. No music even.
Well, time to face the crowd and get killed. First, we congratulated to each other with BoyC, and called each other "abnormal lunatics". Then TrX came, looked at me, and started muttering things like "psychopathic crazy sickos... no, sick is too mild... nutters...". Hm, well it worked out all right... Outside, I chatted a bit with Charlie ("There was no ÜD grave, so we'll make one here..."), Pasy and Remage. After that, I met BoyC outside, and we just stared at each other, and we knew damn well what we think. We're just two maniacs who just keep making and making demos for nothing, and we really enjoy it. In the background, "In The End" from Linkin Park started playing, and I spotted BoyC grimacing. I asked why, after all, it's a cool song, even if it's a bit on the drooly side. He said, yeah, it is, but you can get bored from it, if your sister listens to is 3 months long. We decided to move back inside, and I noticed something weird: As the first hard riff entered, we both started headbanging, but totally perfectly to the rhythm. I was like, wow, this guy also has the music in his blood all right... After we went back, I found the leftovers of the grape sugar we ate when coding the camera routines. I picked it up and smiling I said to BoyC: "Keep it..." We just went laughing, shook hands (at least we tried, but we screwed that up too...), and I just could say, "It's nice seeing you guys again...", and he said "You guys too..." And totally tired, we decided to divide the compos, the demo compo being ruled by us, the intro by them. (Sentimental bit over...) See? That's how tired we can get. But yeah, it was well worth it. Zoom also came and said to me: "Congratulations. You're now officially sick." Isn't this just a hardcore demos ultimate goal? If it is, then we hit the target right in the bullseye. Well, not much to do now. Tomcat came and said whether I want to be a complete idiot. I said hell yeah! He explained: He, Nagz, Zoom and me go on stage, start jumping and yelling: "WE ARE THE DEMO! WE ARE THE DEMO!" And we did. People we're like, "Damn, these guys had a bolt totally loose... They should get a sleep." But that's not all! We also made demoeffects! Like we ran up and down hand in hand, that was a scroller! (I didn't react fast enough, so it was pretty bugged.) We also formed a torus, we did sinus waving, TrX bought a beer bottle for glenzing. As we walked down, we did the greetz part too, which consisted of yelling "HELLO!!!". Man, those faces were worth doing it. Later, as I had no idea what to do, I got challenged by Flashy for a match of Tetris. OK, let's bring it on. What he didn't say it was Tetripz, which is a simple tetris, that actually rotozooms, glenzes, flashes, color-cycles, and does generally nasty stuff. Basically, it's a game that you should play when you're drunk/stoned. We were tired as hell, so I guess it was quite a fitting state. I managed to win with a hairsbreadth, and set a new record of over 400.000 points. That means around 5 minutes of play. Try the game, and you'll see that that's quite a feat...
The prizegiving ceremony was less spectacular than last year, basically Tomcat read the results, and gave the prizes. If there was one. Begin story: This year, instead of a plaque, a little statuette was given to the winners. This statuette featured a torus, standing on a pedestal, a little metal label is on the front right, stating the party, category and placing, and in the front left is a little white figure, showing something category specific (these were told, I didn't actually see them, just the demo one), a tiny Commie for the C64 compos, a DJ dude for the musical ones, a pencil and a monitor for the graphicians, and a pyramid with three metaballs over it for the demo and intro compos. The problems: everything arrived on time, except the little white thingies, as they were made in Belgium. Definitely it was all screwed up by the customs office, who simply sat on it. Why? Read Tomcat's report, I won't copy the reason here. Thank you, dear officers, you managed to ruin some people's day. Story end. Luckily, some figures managed to arrive, so there were some prizes given away. By the way, the prizes (the basic models) were made with the technique presented in the CG-forum by Varimex Rt., the one called Rapid Prototyping. And believe me, they looked beautiful.
Considering the results, no real surprises occured, see it for yourself, it was a tight fight, our demo cleanly finished 4th, my 256b 3rd(!), Pcn finished 7th in a close match, my music finished 6th, in a very near competition (although many felt that it wasn't that good, including myself). What's left? An announcement that this was the last FLaG. Sad but true. This year's FLaG only had around 150-200 people, which is a disaster. The hungarian Amiga and C-64 scene was totally missing. (Wonder why...) However, besides AntIQ, a new party is waiting to born, organized by none other then the DD guys, named Towel. Weird, weird, but it's the party that counts. Well, what to do after party? Rest. Pack. Say goodbye. Get the party-box signed. And stay. (As we arranged our way back home for much later.) We stayed in the lobby with Flashy, Mrmaim, Maxie, Vickey and Tomcat, who found a pack of conserved military food, basically the one the U.S.A. army eats. This may sound bad, but it actually contains stuff like chips, coffee, Tomcat even found M&M's in one of them. So we just sat there, talking about the party, the scene, the demos, munching toothpick-design chips, we even helped Tomcat a bit (moving things), and we left the party with the feeling that something big happened in this 3 days, and we were part of it.
Conclusion. I know I shouldn't write one, as this text is getting to reach 45K, but I think I will. (And I still have 4K to... erm... whatever...) It was a great party. Real great. We really felt that these people, who were here, are our friends. We helped each other, where we could, we made productions, we liked/disliked each other's stuff. We had a great time. If you came, you'll know what I'm talking about. If not, we'll you probably had your reasons. I don't care. You missed a great party. If you missed it, because you have so-called 'policies', then I feel sorry for you. Anyway. (People will kill me...) Closing words? It feels damn good to be a scener...
Greetz to everyone who signed the Party-Box (in the order I read the signatures):
Padre Vincenzo, Töky, Flashy, Picard, Jimmi, KCG, Nagz, Pasy, Vickey, Maxie, Murphy, Tomcat, Charlie, Taky, Mrmaim, Remage, Stx, Zoom, Ebola, Noel, TrX, Pontscho, BoyC, Rigor, the two nice old gentlemen from Rátka, SDR, Gem, Árpi, Cete, Alvaro Acwellan, Zeed, Dudi, Tsw, Rigi.
Thanks for not thinking I'm a complete idiot carrying a cardboard box for pleasure, and signing without nagging. And of course kudos for the rest who didn't, but are cool.
Gargaj of Ümlaüt Design