Noice - The Goats to blame
Noice is one of Sweden's oldest still active groups, and has brought us wonderful demos such as Goatland (C64), Destination Goatland (PC) and Noicetalgica (also PC). (All of them are among my "all time"-favourite demos. / Makke)
It all began way back in the fall of 1989, when Gnilk and Swoffa had one of their local meetings. They had both been fooling around with some "demo-stuff" before, but under the name of FUS. However they found it hard to make demos with just a C64 user-manual and a Final Cartridge III.
Back then Gnilk made the graphics (something he himself only comments with the word 'HUH!'), and Swoffa did the coding. Because of Gnilk's limited graphic skills they had to name themselves NOICE instead of NOISE, as Gnilk wasn't able to pull of a decent S for the logo. It shouldn't all be blamed on Gnilk though, as they actually didn't know the proper spelling of the word anyway. (Note: The spelling does not have anything to do with the Swedish pop-group called Noice.)
So the Noice-boys made some demos which they sent to the few contacts they had, and didn't get much more feedback than a "motivating" derisive laugh. This however didn't bring our heroes down. And so the story continues into the 90's.
1990 was the year when it all started to make sense. They were finishing their first real demos and intros, which they put on a disk and sent around to their, still very few, contacts. "Our first demo/intro was called Crazy Bitz. It featured nothing. We were still learning asm coding on the C-64", Gnilk comments. One of these contacts was Rocket, who Gnilk got in contact with through the legendary Swedish computer-magazine DatorMagazine. And it didn't take long for Rocket to join Noice, and with him a guy called Virgin. Anyway, this very year Swoffa, Gnilk and a guy called Dj (also a member of Noice) went to the Horizon Easter-party in Stockholm, where they were supposed to hang with the really cool guys and release an, according to themselves back then, awesome demo called "Propp" (Swedish for Fuse) or GetUp. No one really seems to remember this demo.
[We had a demo almost finished called "GetUp", but we didn't release it. Instead some of the parts were merged into the demo "Propp". // Gnilk]
"At the party we realized what the other demo groups were able to code so we decided not to release our demo. I have been told that this demo exists on some Triad member floppies, but I don't know about that", is probably what Gnilk will write in his memoirs about this demo.
[However, the demo "Propp" actually turned up in a mail some time ago, so we can now put it on our web-site. // Gnilk]
At this party, which was held in almost total darkness because all the fuses broke, they met a few guys from Skaane (the very southern part of Sweden). Gnilk and Swoffa swallowed their pride and started to nag on these guys to join Noice (all though they were much better at... well... mainly everything than Gnilk and Swoffa were). After a few oohs and aahs they finally agreed to join. And this was the beginning of the Skaane-wave, as Gnilk likes to call it.
Even though the party wasn't a success, Swoffa and Gnilk had been infected by the scene-virus. Swoffa spent most of the summer coding the next Noice demo called Kanonkorven (something like "The Awesome Sausage" or, as stated in the scrolltext, "Supersausage"). Gnilk contributed with a few more or less satisfying parts.
Kanonkorven became quite a popular demo. The guys got some positive feedback, and after this the amount of contacts increased. Which also resulted in a few people joining the group.
During fall Gnilk and Swoffa made the demo Heatseeker, which was presented at the Halloween-party held by Censor Design outside Gothenburg. The guys worked hard to make the demo work until the compo deadline. Unfortunately the demo became one big bug when it was about to be shown. Why? Some evil madman had pierced the disk several times with a needle. Not the usual demo-bug you might add. The members of Noice at this time were: Code - Swoffa, Gnilk, Virgin, Cyclone, Maze, Helix, Gaston. Graphics - Rocket, Jay, Gumby.
One year passed, and during a holiday in February '91 the first Noice-meeting was held. During this meeting the classic demo Aefro was produced. It mainly consisted of weird samples and other sick stuff. The production of what would later turn out as the demo Humanoid also began here. Once again the guys attended the Horizon easter-party. Very proud of how the Humanoid demo turned out the guys started to mingle with the other party attenders. They made many new contacts, and met a lot of weird people. For instance some Censor Design guy threw a smokebomb outside the Noice room, some Zeta guys played sick samples on their computers the whole night, until some Horizon guy made them stop it, and the Zeta guys fell asleep. Now the Noice guys felt that they had to joke with the Zeta guys, and thus removed all the keys from their keyboards, only leaving the letters L, A, M, E, R and S.
Another funny thing that happened was when some Noice guys visited the Triad corner of the party. The Triad guys were watching the Noice demo Aefro and started to talk to the Noice guys about how good it was (without knowing that the Noice guys actually were the Noice guys). "So which group are you in?" the Triad guys asked. "Uhm... Noice", the Noice guys replied. Imagine the Triad guys' face expression! This later lead to the co-op demo Devotion.
Two Noice-meetings were held during this year. On one of them (namely the, back then, yearly Week 44-meeting) Igge joined as an Amiga coder and also Devil joined during this time. One really important thing happened at this Week 44-meeting. The GOAT became the symbol of Noice. Somebody (unconfirmed sources claims it was Bluebird) had brought a Donald Duck movie to the meeting, and in this very movie a mountain goat is giving Donald a hard time. The goat is a exact copy of the goat as it's about to give Donald a great blow. Some members (read: Gnilk) were a little skeptic (read: really skeptic) about this... goat. But soon all members had accepted the goat as the official Noice symbol.
This year Gnilk and Maze bought Amigas. Maze made the first Noice Amiga intro together with the new member Jaggadash (who is a legendary c-64 programmer).
During spring '92 Swoffa was working very hard on his trackloader for C64, and Gnilk worked some on vector calculations. Swoffa managed to finish his loader and some vector stuff for a new demo. However, all text in the loader part bugged and the whole end-part just went bananas. This didn't stop the Noice guys from releasing Digital Dreams, the first (but very buggy) trackloaded demo released on the C64. (Don't ask me what the hell a trackloader is, I'm just writing this shit. / Makke)
[Hehe... A trackloader is "the core of the filesystem", which means it loads data directly from the disc, bypassing all normal functions for file-access. Very common on the Amiga. // Gnilk]
Just as a real side note, the "internal history of Noice" states that this year, before going to a party, they all met up at Total Chaos' place to booze. They ended up at some older chicks place, and Gnilk became declared immature for throwing up in stairwell outside the girls apartment, and Swoffa became declared mature for helping him out. The rest of the story is unknown, but we do know that it includes a hospital. Gnilk, you made boozer you. During this time Network and Mazy joined Noice. As far as Gnilk can remember anyway.
The very same year the Noice bunch released the Amiga demo Digital Excitation, coded by Igge and Rickard, graphics by Gumby and music by John M. It won the demo-compo at a local party in Oskarshamn.
Summer comes, and so does fall. A few meetings are held, and another week 44-meeting approaches. Bluebird joins, and Gnilk gets caught by the lady they lent the "house" they had the meeting at with a whole lot of empty booze bottles. (If they were to borrow the house they couldn't drink any alcohol, and so you can see she got truly pissed.) An Amiga intro called Goatintro is made at the meeting, unfortunately no one has a copy of it. Swoffa and Mazy worked on their demo for TP'92 called Goatland. Goatland ends up at 3rd place at TP, and their odd Amiga demo called Reduction Ad Absurdum is released. The German C64-magazine C64'er makes a big report about the demo.
And so it's 1993, and the show goes on. At this point Igge and Gnilk had started to get interested in PC-coding. Neither of them owned a PC, but they could do some testing on the PC at their school. Igge hacked together a vector-routine and the other Noice-people got mighty impressed. At easter they held a meeting which was so wild that the police came to the place and wondered what the hell they were doing. Thanks to some smooth talk by Drakir the day was saved, and the police left without reporting anything to the authorities.
Up came The Computer Crossroads-party. The demo Imse Vimse Get (Itsy Witsy Goat) was released, and so was the first Noice PC production, called "30 sek demo". The PC demo was no serious attempt at PC demo-coding, as Igge and Gnilk made it in school. The Imse Vimse Get demo however were better, and ended up 3rd or 4th, no one really remembers. Why? Well, it seems as the Noice guys really liked/like boozing, and so a few black holes in time were created.
In summer the European Computer Crossroads party was held, and the Noice guys were there. The party itself was however a disappointment because of the "We wannabe big and elite"-attitude which dominated the party. Noice mainly worked on getting their Amiga demo G ready (G as in g-spot), and it ended up at 2nd place. Headache got some mental whiplash and bought a PC at the party (a 486 33Mhz with 4 Mb of RAM. Taste that you PIII-homos out there). While they were asleep that night somebody came and stole their Amiga 1200. Which actually belonged to the school where Gnilk was a pupil. A VERY lame act of thievery. Later the organizers of the party confiscated the beer that Noice kept at their place at the party. It was a no alcohol policy, so I guess the organizers had the right to do that. However, a few hours later there was a beer-drinking compo which the organizers supplied with beer. And that seems a bit odd. None the less, Noice have their revenge as Probe wins the compo, though he can't remember anything from the "celebration" afterwards. Rage wins the demo-compo, and Noice ends up 2nd. Probe wins the music-compo with his song Excellate. Rocket wins the Graphics competition. Rocket was at this time regarded as one of the best pixlers, in Sweden.
Fall invades Sweden, and another week 44-meeting is held. Igge ends up in the "drunken-cell" at the police-station (though he can't quite remember if he WAS in the cell or not, so his dad calls the station to confirm), and Gnilk gets a ride home with his girlfriend's parents (this is the first time they meet him, and he's... well... DRUNK!).
Drakir released the first serious PC production from Noice, during this fall. A BBS-intro called Phobia. Not long after 2nd Phobia is released at The Party '93. 2nd Phobia was actually ment to be an intro, but as Drakir didn't make the deadline, he released it as a "demo" instead. Placed 6th in the demo-compo, which has to be considered very good for an intro.
1994, the year of the "split up". The group loses a bit of contact with each other after TP'93. The Amiga and PC sections are still pretty integrated, but the C64-section lives its own life. However, this year was the year of the Noice PC outburst, and the beginning of a totally new era for Noice.
During summer a meeting is held. Drakir has been working on a demo called Confusion. It's far from finished, but the other members are excited to see what Drakir has done. Krikkit is making hi-res amiga images. Network is working on a musicplayer (NMS - Noice Music System). Shadow has made a rotozoomer with a little twist, and a few other things, and Igge is working on a GUI. Everybody is having a good time. After the meeting Drakir and Binkley decide to try to finish the demo, with a goal to release it at Assembly '94. Sadly they don't make it, but the Noice guys attend the party anyway. In a hurry they finish an intro coded by Gnilk, but the result is less satisfying. Shortly after Assembly Drakit and Binkley finish the demo, and compete with it in a local party called Virtual Conspiracy. They win, but don't feel like making a final of the demo. "Which was a pity, I may say, 'cause the demo was really good", Gnilk sighs.
Drakir gets a job, and quits the demoscene the same fall. Gnilk moves to Umea to study, Igge and Karg do their military-service, Krikkit moves to Uppsala to study. And so Noice is put on ice for a little while, even though Network works on his music-system. Nothing gets finished, and so the guys go to TP'94 without a demo in the luggage.
During the time after TP Gnilk is working on a 3d-engine and a few demo-effects. Network re-writes his music-system to protected mode assembler. Balrog, Omen, Bluebird and Lietning make a demo for Icing '95 called Brilliance. They end up 2nd, but during fall of '95 all of them leave Noice. Unifier is however accepted as a new member. Gnilk, Network and Unifier work on a demo for TP'95. The purpose is to make Noice's first big and advanced PC demo. On arrival at the party they realize they have no music, too much boring 3d and too little graphics. Gnilk threw himself on the phone and called Probe in the middle of the night to ask if they may use his old ECC'93-compo tune. Balrog smacks an intro song together and an old song by Tommy is used for the end part. At the same time all the unnecessary 3d parts are cut out. Left is nothing that can be considered special. But, as Noice is an old group, with the old scene-values (that's: "We won't win, but what the hell..."), they enter the compo anyway, and place way down with the bottom entries. Krikkit enters an Amiga 1200-intro, which is pretty advanced, but he doesn't place well anyway. Not the "best party" Noice has experienced, if you just see the compo-results.
After TP'95 the group gets even more split up. There's almost no contact within the group. Gnilk and Network starts using Watcom, for their code, which has proven to be very important for the future of Noice. During May '96 they both work on the 3d-engine, but lack of knowledge in algebra makes it impossible to solve a few problems. But the v.1.0 of the 3d-engine SAGA is finished anyway, at the same time Network is working on his music-system, which by now is starting to become more advanced. During summer Gnilk is called for by the army, and Network starts studying at the University. Shadow codes the demo Perplexity. He ends up 2nd at a demo-party in southern Sweden. This is the only release made during this year.
Fall of '96 is calm, and nothing is worked on until Christmas, when Gnilk writes a few routines for the new SAGA-engine.
Spring '97 comes fast. Igge and Krikkit help Gnilk and Network out with the SAGA-engine. Both Igge and Krikkit study maths at the University, and can make some advanced calculations for the engine. Krikkit also writes a raytracer for Unix, and Igge is working on various 3d-systems and at the same time Flood joins as a graphician. In March noice.org is registered as the new Noice homepage URL. When summer comes, SAGA is almost finished. The guys are satisfied with the engine. It's advanced and has good-looking code. A small meeting is held by Gnilk, Igge, Krikkit and Network to discuss 3d-systems among other things, which results in the demo Live in Love and the start for the new engine GOA.
They decide to release the demo at a local party to see what kind of response it will get. However, twelve hours before the meeting they still don't have any music! An omen? Balrog once again saves the day and spends the whole several hours composing a track. The demo turns out fairly good, considering the short development time. Unfortunately the party turns out to be the worst demoparty in the world, and no compo is held. However Noice release the demo anyway.
During summer the core of Noice starts to communicate again, and the contact is once again established. Network leaves the group to work for the software house UDS. Igge and Krikkit decide to get more active and fill the gap after the loss of Network. A few test codes are made, but nothing results in anything usable. Gnilk starts working during fall, but finds time to convert SAGA into truecolour and starts working on new effects. These effects turn out to be the first building blocks for their The Gathering '98 demo Goatigue. Noice gains four new members, Andromeda, Hubble, Iceman and Marwin. Gnilk and Krikkit work hard on the demo, and Hubble releases a textmode-demo.
During spring of '98 Krikkit works on his raytracer for PC and Gnilk codes demo-effects. The tight cooperation with graphicians and musicians are once again established like it once was. None the less, Goatique has to be considered a codersdemo, rather than a groupdemo.
At The Gathering a few problems with tickets arise, and Flood, Krikkit and Andromeda hardly get in. But they do, and during the party they finish what they started. Flood wasn't too happy with the design, and he also managed to get Tudor / TBL to make a 3d-scene for the demo. At the last minute some bugs in the 3d-engine were discovered, and the 3d-scenes had to be remade in a less satisfying way. The result in the compo was a disappointment. The aim was Top 5, but due to some bugs and last minute fixes the demo wasn't as flashy as many others were.
By this time Mithris and Evade have joined the group. Ironically enough, Noice now has some of the best trackers in Sweden in their group. One year ago they had none.
The work on Destination Goatland begins. The aim is Remedy '98, for which Gnilk coded the Invitation-intro. This demo had more focus on design and flow. So the group worked very hard on it, which also paid off as they won the demo-compo, beating the famous Byterapers Inc. demo Hyperventilation. A small fight starts, as Noice is accused of cheating. But as there are no proof what so ever to this, the people who made the accusations withdraw what they've said, and everything ends happily.
After Remedy Igge takes of to study computer graphics at a university in Hong Kong. Krikkit goes to Italy to study women, food and the language (which of course was the official meaning of the trip).
But before these two keymembers of the group disappear for a longer time, the guys starts working on a new cross-platform graphics-engine (and demo-engine). This new engine will be the death of the old SAGA engine. Again new members are gained. Maze (not to be mixed up with our old member Maze) joins the group, and Rico returns to the group.
Gnilk starts the work on Goatzilla, which after a lot of work was released at Dreamhack '98. The intro becomes quite a success, and Noice wins. Damaq/Doomsday strides up to Gnilk and says: "Gnilk, you must be the most hated person in Finland." After beating Byterapers at Remedy, then giving Virne, Visualize and Carebear a blow over the fingers. "No offence, but we think we never will release a demo in Finland", Gnilk comments.
In early 1999 (the year of the goat), Gnilk started to plan for the next big demo, Goatage. First only meant as a test of the new Noice graphic-engine GOA, the demo turns out to become a potent full length demonstration. So what happens is that the group spends all spring working on the demo, to get it done for Remedy '99. Pixy and Sigge join Noice during the production. Due to the hard work on Goatage there's not much time for other productions, but they manage to get a small demo together called Noicetalgica for the demo-compo at Birdie'99. The demo is a tribute to the old times, and consists of nothing "new" as such, but rather a "remix" of old effects. (And hey! It has a scroller! Who said scrollers were lame?)
A week before Remedy, Flood, Gnilk and Pixy team up to finish the job on Goatage. A lot of things are changed, only for the better. The guys draw the conclusion that no matter how early you start on your production, you never know when it'll be finished. Goatage turned out as a true MEGA-demo. (Though it eats a little too much computer power for my taste. / Makke) [Join the 21st century! // Gnilk] Noice win the demo-compo once again, and they all take a deserved vacation from the scene during the summer.
A small fake production is made for Assembly under the name Duplo.
Right now the planning for their 10 years anniversary is being planned, and the Noice line-up looks like this (in alphabetical order): Andromeda [musician], Evade [musician], Flood [art director], Gnilk [coder], Headache [moral support], Hubble [coder, juggler], Iceman [coder], Igge [coder], Inco [musician], Karg [moral support], Krikkit [coder], Marwin [musician], Maze [coder], Mazy [coder, fruit-modeller], Mithris [coder], Pangea [moral support], Pantaloon [coder], Pixy [modeller, graphician], Rico [graphician, 3d-modeller], Sigge [graphician], Stasi, Swoffa [webmaster, coder], Tommy [musician].