Interview with GooRoo/Kosmic


Originally published in Armor of Gods #4

What is your real name and where are you from?

Chris Egerter, from London Ontario, Canada.

Why did you call yourself 'GooRoo'?

Well, before I was making demos I wrote a graphics library called the WordUp Graphics Toolkit (WGT). Since I knew how to do all kinds of gfx routines I made up the nickname... I think people enjoy saying it and the many variations possible :)

Yeah, it looks great. :) 'GooRoo is a guru'. Are you only the coder in Kosmic, or something else also? Maybe a musician or an organiser?

Kosmic is mainly a music group, except for myself and Jmx who tend to do our own thing. I also have been tracking for many years.

Why you don't write music now, due to the work, coding or something else?

I still write music when I'm tired of coding. I released a music disk of all my songs from the past year recently.

What kind of music do you prefer?

Hmm.. lots :) dance, trance, ambient, techno, rock, etc, everything except country.

Ok, maybe some music group names? (Sir, without kosmic please!) :)

Hmm.. Crystal Method, Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, Orb, CJ Bolland.

Ok, now about coding and demos. Many people like the DMS demo, was it done 100% by you? And how do you like it?

Yes, I did all the gfx, music, and coding in DMS. I like it better than some of my other demos because everything fits together and it's timed to the music entirely. Every single frame of animation is related to a position in the song :)

I love the lizard part in this demo :) How much time do you spend coding in a day?

It depends how inspired I am... sometimes I code all day, sometimes I don't code anything :)

How did you get to the demoscene?

Like most people... I saw a demo, was amazed, and learned how to make my own. In my case it was probably Unreal.

Speaking of Unreal - do you like Pulse's Sunflower demo (code by Unreal)?

Sunflower looked nice, but boring :) And it doesn't come close to the stuff I'm doing with hardware rendering...

You did your own hardware/software rendering system called... Power Render, yes?


Is it your commercial project?


How much time you spend coding it?

Most of it :) Although I'm getting into some other work, doing contract jobs for games.

Oh.. Are you working on a game now?

One now, starting another soon.

And what's the project name? And estimated release date :)

I can't say either.

One question I forgot to ask before - how did you join Kosmic?

I wrote my first demo in 1994 (?)... then I met Maelcum on IRC. They didn't have any coders in Kosmic and they were the biggest North American group around, so I showed it to him and he let me in.

What was the demo called?

It was call GooRoo Nation :) written in Turbo C 1.0...

Can you tell us more about your WGT system?

I used to code games for the Atari ST in a specialized gaming language called STOS. I moved over to the DOS world and found that nothing like this was available, so I set out to build my own system. WGT has been under development for 6 years, and I still use it within my current Power Render system.

A long time, and a good system as a result.

Rushing is not a good idea when designing an API... you need lots of time to actually test and write programs with it so you know what real programmers need.

What 3D demos do you like? As a 3D developer you must know some :)

Demos have really bored me lately, especially since there is no magic to it.

Yes, i know that feeling... Demos looked like something great and mostly impossible to do some years ago, now they don't.

I know how the effects are done... good demos to me are ones that package the ideas together in an interesting way. I think if people would make 3D hardware demos, we'd see a nice change. They would spend more time thinking about design, instead of how to code a fast inner loop.

What do you think about the future of demoscene? If most effects are done, and most new demos copy each other, will the scene stay alive or not?

The scene will never die, because there will always be beginner coders who try to learn the techniques.

And what do you think about using such systems as OpenGL or Direct 3D?

I built the Power Render API to work over both D3D and OpenGL, so I have no problem with them :)

So, do you think the future of PC demoscene is under Windows?

I don't think it matters what OS you use. I have designed my libraries so exactly the same code will compile and run under DOS and windows. You can completely ignore 99% of the windows features to make a demo :)

Wise answer :) I really like this way of thinking/coding. :) What do you think about demos size? Must party organisers limit it or not?

I don't think they should limit it. Most people will find it difficult to make a huge demo anyways.

And what do you think about the pictures in demos? Must it be scanned or pixeled? Or there is no difference?

Doesn't matter. I tend to make my demos really quick, within 1-2 weeks. Expecting an artist to finish nice pixeled images in that time is impossible.

Do you like to read news about scene? And if you do, what news source do you use?

I read csipd every day, and sometimes the newsgroups.

Ok. Now I have to go, and we must close the interview. Closing words - can you give any advise to the beginning scene coders?

Learn through experience, not from ripping code.

Ok, thanks for the interview!

- Programmer/UniVerse