Fears and Initialize by Nah-kolor
Nah-kolor is a well-known Amiga scene group. Its foundation dates back to July 1995. Founding members were, for example, Lazur, Norby and Qba. The group grew and developed, and for about two years, they have been trying to get established on PC, too. This year Nah-kolor released two big demos, Fears and Initialize. Both were placed 1st at their respective parties.
The people behind Fears are Spark (gfx, design), Siatek (music), and Performer (code, some objects.) As development tools, they used LightWave3D 6, PhotoPaint 9, SoundForge 5 and Perfomer's own VR engine PsychoZA3D DTK (also available to the public at klosz.art.pl). PsychoZA3D itself is developed using MSVCC 6.
The preparations of the work on the demo, such as the creation of the 3D engine, have taken a few years. "I believe in making a strong engine although none of our demos at this time exposes its full possabilities", says Performer. The work on the actual demo only took approximately two weeks, but the objects and textures had been created a few months before, when the main shape of the demo was about to crystalize. As far as Performer knows, Siatek finished the music just before the party (Abstract 2k1), where it won the 1st place.
As to Initialize: The general idea and motivation for making this demo is the "downfall of the industrial civilization". Performer recommends reading works from Erich Fromm and Alvin Toffler in this context.
The info file explains the motivations more closely: "This production presents our unique, and somewhat unconscious, feelings and even deeper thoughts about industrial civilization. So, any similarities between it and Kasparov, and any other Farbrausch production, are purely coincidential, although we have much respect to this group and we admire their works."
Originally, the demo was supposed to be released at Mekka & Symposium 2k1. Most of the work on it was done in the week before it. Yet they didn't manage to finish it in time, therefore it was released at Symphony 2k1. The development tools used for the demo are 3ds max 4, PhotoPaint 9, PhotoShop 6, SoundForge 4.5 and RaditZ tools; the last have been developed by Nah-kolor using MSVCC 6.
The crew behind Initialize is similar to the one that made Fears: Performer performed code, models and design, while Spark created gfx, design and models. The music was taken from Mobby's latest album, it's track 12.
According to Spark, the party audience was first rather upset at Initialize due to apparent similarities to Elitegroup's Kasparov. Nonetheless it won 1st place in the demo competition.
A little bit on philosophy
What's the spirit of Nah-kolor? I talked about this with Magic. He told me: "The main reason why Nah exists is to have friendship inside the group. To believe in Nah... It's very cool to meet some old Nahs on IRC #amisia or #amigascne from time to time and they can't believe Nah is still kicking as it is doing when we are nearing anno domini 2002!! On Amiga and also on PC!! Nah friendship rules forever. That's the main prophecy: To have fun with the members who are in close contact with each other. To be creative and create art on a computer in the form of a demo next to the friendship!"
And Performer also has to add something: "As for me personally, I regard demos as a real form of XXIst century art. I admire real-time art and technology. I like very much to see it in action. I perceive demos as cybernetic happenings doing their works inside the computer. This is far better than destructive art or katatonenkunst. ;)
"A few years ago I wrote an entire article of my philosphy concerning the computer scene. It is entitled 'My thoughts about the Computer Scene'. It is a bit outdated at this time, but nowadays, when we consciously ask ourselves 'quo vadis demoscene', its key ideas are even more current then ever. Its main thesis is that we, in the demoscene, should focus rather on the Art than technology and slowly try to promote the demoscene to a larger audience than computer freaks (maybe to the mainstream artistic community). But we should keep the non-commercial 'oldskool' scene style at all cost. Maybe we should try to cooperate with the open software community."
"The years that have passed and the developments in the demoscene have not changed my opinions on these matters."
You can meet Nah-kolor at the group page and at Magic's personal page.
Performer, Spark, Magic & Adok