Chaos Constructions 2004 report
CC04 was my 3rd party ever (previous were CC01 - I kind of didn't see any new demos since that time till 2003 - and ASM04), so I can't call myself an experienced scener and don't have a lot of events to compare with. Another thing is you won't see any boozing stuff down there (well just a bit, I suppose), coz the report was written by a geek who doesn't drink at all and is not a fan of we-were-drunk-to-death-and-kicked-arses stories.
Now you're warned and just the most boring guys [I know no girls read this crap, probably except wonderful DiamonDie 8)] take their seats around and are preparing to get asleep.
No parties had been held in Petersburg since 2001 (CC01). A lot of people (including myself) were really glad when first messages about planning CC appeared. It's a tradition to make the party in the end of summer (21-22 august). As far as I know first CC (1999) was held in some school and was mostly a "ZX-party". All the next festivals were placed in an old small cinema. This year's party place was somehow promising – "Leningrad Youth Palace" (up to 900-1000 visitors capacity). Another good news was to see the name of people, who were at the head of Enlight, among organizers. Enlight was the first party held in exUSSR (in 1995) and it's now considered legendary.
After a trial to participate Assembly'04 (that failed because of some nasty ATI bugs), the only way to release our first intro was to show it at CC (wish Peregrinius and Nina hadn't left the town at that time). That was a positive side as intro was dedicated to Saint-Petersburg a lot [and I'm also not sure a lot of guys outside Russia know "Crime and Punishment", the reason is not we are so educated and intellectual. It's simply because every pupil is made to read it ;)].
The biggest part of the first day was given to Speccy. I can't call myself a fan of Speccy so I knew there was no need to hurry. I was also informed AND and RCL were going to fly to town. Sure a nice idea was to meet them at airport, as it's not that easy to get to the party place from there. The town showed them its real face. It rained that way Noah would have started preparing his ark [prepare to find a lot of cliches]. Still a bit later it was almost sunny.
All together we arrived at the party place. Following an ancient tradition, the party schedule appeared to fail. It started about 2 hours later (I know some people from other towns hurried a lot to be there in time but came to a closed door with "CC04" A4-paper on it) so we saw a couple of ASCIIs on screen (the first compo). Another kept on tradition was big delays (this time they were big not HUGE like some years ago).
There were some old and rare computers collected in a dark corner of the party place. One could see and try a programmable calculator (it was about 3 times bigger than any laptop today), C64, EC 1841 (Soviet copy of IBM PC XT 8086), Indigo 2 graphics station from SGI and new generation of Amiga (Pegasos) with MorphOS.
We decided to go out to eat something. While filling stomachs, I started flaming about our intro and an old woman in it, who was supposed to be killed. Guys thought granny would be some smooth 3d model. When I told it was a 2d half-handdrawn b/w picture, they were really disappointed and finally understood the intro wasn't going to be something technically impressive.
When we were back in about an hour, a new compo hadn't even started! We decided to stay for ZX gfx and music (yes, take us for heroes!). What I felt, was that the sound system was weird. The basses were incredibly strong, killing all other frequencies (still the floor shaking effect was amazing), and sometimes they were dissonant. A lot of chaps were of the same opinion.
The next compo was 512b ZX Intro. There were 3 entries. Hard to remember, grass generation with pretty sync, some plasmas. Another one that ranked 3rd (just a piece of it was shown and author wished to kick orgas+security). There was a kind of pseudo 3-d rectangle tunnel effect with zombing sound. It was shown about 5 times more in pauses and the audience wanted even more. That seemed to be the thriller, ZX-fan's soul balsam.
Wild continued the event. Strangely I missed most of the entries... The best thingy was "Poppa Carlo". The coolest piece of laugh I had! A guy was chopping firewood (with real hate and wish to destroy in every single movement, even though he was giving life to a creature called Pinocchio, aka Buratino in Russian) with blackest metal (or whatever you'd like it to be called) as soundtrack.
There were only 2 animations (consider one, as the second was a small track about two lamps). DLC created another maximalist's destructive hi-tech centered movie. Looked delicious on a big screen and bass overdrive fitted the idea. Some more about DLC later. I've almost forgotten there was some watercolor drawn animation, that could be something really interesting (I like such experiments), but on some reason just a small part of it was shown (because of CODEK bugs or archive corruption, don't know at all).
8 bit game compo came after another delay. The first one was a cool Wolfenstein 3D style game with different bosses, weapons and corridors. I'm not familiar with the speccy's possibilities, but knowing what CPU and RAM amount it has, I'm sure those guys are real masters. People laughed a lot when the main hero picked up some bonus looking like a Quake logo (just take a look – Quake on ZX!). The second entry was a chess game (with modem play support). Not much to say except that the AI was defeated in 3 turns =) [Garry Kasparov's got to study the match carefully preparing for another game against DEEP XYZ.] Some puzzle game followed. And last shown was "first ever Hentai game on Speccy" as it was declared by the authors. It seemed to be a kind of "make her do that" quest with a lot of maho-siodzo girlies and tons of dialogs (I surprisingly didn't notice any nude bodies. That was a plus, as I didn't feel showing those innocent schoolgirls dark libido was what I wanted [what a shameless hypocrite]).
The last compo of the first days was 8-bit demo. That's what I can say:
"Traumwerk" - nothing special for my taste but all together graphics, music and some nice 3d effects looked pretty ok. "Father" was really a sincere thing. Private emotions brought to screen (associations with lost fathers). There was also some bravado propaganda demo in placard style urging to revolt, back to Lenin, kill bourgeois blah, blah, blah. Probably they didn't pay a lot of attention to history at school or maybe I've taken their stylization to serious. The one I liked the most was "Nature Rulez". I found the pictures (let's call them woodland scenery) and graphics properly impressive. Forest'n'cottage scene reminded me of well known "Paper" on PC.
Hard to restore the sequence of the events. But in some break we were shown a short film about first "Enlight" parties. Didn't even imagine those hundreds of sceners were watching demos on a couple of usual monitors! It's great that modern parties in Russia are held on such a high level although there are almost no sponsors around.
After all, the first day was over. I wasn't looking for after party activity and headed for home [ohh, what a neat boy, wish my grandsonny was the same].
The first part of the SECOND DAY was mostly dedicated to music. You all know, talking about the music is like dancing about architecture. That's why I'm not going to come in for details. And I'm for sure not a "tracked music connoisseur". Some seemed to have an idea plus some melodic base others were just repeating beats containing rhythm only. All as usual I suppose.
Organizers also tried to make real-time coding compo (as it was at Enlight), but it failed again; just DEN/Bemz manifested the wish to participate. Probably all the coders were too drunk or had already left the party place. What for me, I was still too tired after preparing an intro to have another 2 hours of stress and didn't really feel I was able to compete, simply let me have fun and watch some more stuff.
Yeahh, it was high time for the sweetest part of the show – intros'n'demos!
Unfortunately, there was one entry for 4K intro only. It was a pretty looking landscape with a couple of procedural trees, lakes and fog around. I've seen only one texture on all the plants and hole product was REALLY slow on Radeon 9800 (was it no culling at all, overwasted cameraman or another ATI-driver bug?). I wasn't really impressed after what I've seen at Assembly (could some Hartwall Areena staff return my lost jaw, please).
The mobile compo failed too (1 entry only). We were shown some starfield'n'tunnel following palm's stylus moved by hand.
Ahh, I need to take a deep breath now… It was what I had been waiting for so long. 64K INTRO IN DA HOUSE [congratulations, the most inappropriate phrase I was ever irritated with]! And I knew our intro was already digitized [still can't find out, why it wasn't destroyed by a spontaneous ignition or overwritten with Brazilian series]. First was some traditional intro with rotated meshes like phone, boot and some distorted meshes. Not my type of intro, too bored of watching that stuff hundreds of times (what I found cool was the way car appeared and started to drive). I felt many people liked the performance, it had classic feeling and sure was potential 1st place. Later I found out it was a soft engine [now I remember that big hairy coder's hand directing the process]. Can't recollect a lot from second one, just some old-skewl effects, cheap tune and paintbrush-drawn baseball bastard. Third entry looked like noisy bugging winamp plug-in (was it ORG's fault or intro's shocking concept?). At last I've seen the loading screen of our intro! Wow! I couldn't read any small letter, but some people noticed Dostoevsky's name there. Fourth second of demonstration I discovered it was an old version! ORGs promised to digitize the last I've sent them and the one on screen was an ASM-version. Anyway, it didn't crash, people didn't whistle nor were seeking for author with bloody eyes. It was too dark and some sound parts were even more terrible. Still it was a great pleasure. I've stolen a glance at the visitors… They all were gazing at the screen and looked like being interested in the show. Some dudes even applaused when my beloved granny appeared [beloved because you have the same face features, thickheaded narcissus]. When it was finished, I knew it couldn't rank worse than 2nd [Look, it's popstar there! Sign my underpants and grandpa's sock too, pleeease!].
As always, the party's culmination was Demo Compo. And again I don't remember all the entries in spite of the fact I've seen them all [diagnosis: marasmus simplex]. Still there are a couple of words to be said. As soon as "Imagination" started we thought their designer admired Haujobb: models, text decoration and hole style reminded me of famous demos by Hjb. Others were somehow close to that type of demos. Last shown was "UNDERSPACE" by CROLYX TEAM. I felt it was the best thing of the day for my taste. Relaxing, calm, a bit gloomy but not depressing music. Black and white picture with slight noise. Surrealistic scenes mixed with urban theme. As it went on I liked it more and more. When camera was moving through train I started to feel it was shown too long, but after a rock levitating under sky appeared and... No way, I won't spoil the pleasure you've got to see it with your own eyes. I know some people may call it static and dislike some big texels or polygon glitches, but it has got the mood, atmosphere and spirit. I want to believe their world is real!
Once the compos had finished Random (main organizer) started talking about the scene, some opinions, ideas. After about 5 minutes of oration an announcement behind him appeared. Someone had written "Random Speech Compo" on main screen. Everyone started to laugh. Random thought the reason were his jokes, he-he…
Hmm, strange there were almost no delays between compos. Was something wrong? Hah, no it wasn't a paradox, ORGas were simply accumulating small delays. Thus we were said results were to be expected in 2 hours (it was already 19.00 and Prize-giving ceremony was scheduled for that time). AND, RCL and other guys from Voronezh-town had to leave for train. They were close to leaving the event without watching demos, not to be late.
While drinking some cheap yoghurt in the street I've met Daedman/DLC finishing another bottle of beer. We chatted about the process of creating demos, future plans and some funny things concerned with real scene buddy Bypasser/DLC. He also told, there was some finnish guy at the party (yo, real fan!) who didn't booze. Daedman gave him a master-class of drinking vodka right out of bottle. The reason I'm writing it: The Finnish comrade was about 25 years old and Daedman just 15! Greets fly to all the world, thinking Russians drink "fire-water" with white bears right on the Red Square. You all are right, dudes!
We were back to hall at 21.00. Just one third of original audience returned. It was clean no results were yet calculated and would not appear soon. Some old and new demos were shown to entertain annoyed visitors. For sure, first of all we've seen "Zoom3" and "Squish" by AND. Great opportunity to see these impressive blockbusters on big screen, despite I've seen them dozens of times. Some demos from latest Assembly followed. We've been waiting for results for about an hour. And at 22.00, when people were getting mad about the delays (a lot of them had to leave the town), the prize giving started. Sure, Crolyx ranked first, "Imagination" second. Our intro got first prize, and "Nelikvideo" placed second. An acquaintance of mine hurried before metro closing, thus we had to leave the party place right after I was given a diploma.
What can I say after all the above flame? It was a wonderful and inspiring event. As always there were some problems [did you see any bugz-free proggy?], but I'd like to thank organizers and all the participants for a colorful celebration, we all were part of.
CU @ CC05!
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