Interview with Sc0rp1o of X-Pression

Seffren / Defacto 2

Present yourself to the readers, who you are, what you do, etc.

I am Sc0rp1o of the group x-pression, I arrange projects ranging from code to art to music as requested by other groups. I myself also code whenever I have time.

I know that x-pression is not a "demo-group" in the usual sense, please explain what you do exactly.

Well maybe some background might be a good idea as to why I/we do what we do. Back in the 80s (and even further back) an "underground scene" was formed that was based primarily on piracy (warez if you will). These warez groups had coders that would program intros or little demos that worked as advertisements or "bragging" rights for their skills. These intros (or alternatively known as cracktros) were released with each sucessful product that was cracked, typically giving greeting information and that sort of information.

I became interested in these "productions" a long time ago and in march of 1998 I decided to found a group of people who were familiar with these old "cracktros" and try and create some for the active "warez" groups for the PC scene rather than coding for a particular group over and over again (unlike the past). We are typically commissioned by these warez groups to do an intro for an up and coming release and we try to tailor the cracktro to follow their needs. This way we get to develop for a variety of groups and gain more exposure of our skills in the process.

Since most demo sceners don't know much about these crackintros, please try to explain how you make these intros, for instance which languages you use, paint programs, trackers, etc.

Typically I imagine our cracktros are composed the same way an intro is. It really depends on the skills of the person in the group who has designed it and who they have chosen to help work on it (or who has shown interest for working on it). The scene is pretty much demanding a DirectX executable. The majority of our coders use C/C++ with asm optimizations (if necessary), grafix depends on requirements but it varies from Photoshop to Deluxe Paint. Tracking in FT2 or using AHX and Amiga emulation *smile*. We have been toying with the idea of doing an intro with a SID module to recreate some old c64 themes from the past.

We all love oldschool, don't we? *smile*

It's hard to resist. *smile* I try not to profess that I'm some sort of coding god or something along those lines, I missed the majority of the "old scene" but I look back in fondness on it, and this is my attempt to live something that I missed. That's probably what attracted the other people in x-pression as well.

Could you explain the motivation for your group to do these intros? Of course, being creative is obvious, but there must be a reason you do crackintros instead of usual demos/intros. As far as I know you are the only group doing cracktros only?

Well, my motivation stems from what I do in real life. I code real world applications (translation: extremely boring shit) so anything that will broaden my horizon and give me something to look forward to when I wake up in the morning is worth it for me. As for some of the other members, they have ties to some of the warez groups, i.e.: friends, etc. or are members themselves so they do it to help further the group. Due to the sheer amount of the PC scene you can almost guarantee that your work will be seen by tons of people. That is the whole point of coding in general IMHO.

There are other groups that do scene related stuff including coding but none as active as us. The old adage dies hard, many groups have dedicated coders that work ONLY for the group that they're in.

Ok. When your intros are packed up with a cracked game (or application) I would think many non-sceners would see it and want to do the same kinda work. Does this result in lots of "fanmail" or applications from people that wanna join?

Well sure we have a few people that apply to join our group. Many have this notion that joining our group will get them this pirated software, but the first thing that is mentioned to them is that we have NO affiliation with the software that the cracktro is packaged with. What the warez group does with the intro is their business. The creation of it is ours. Typically most people are turned off by that and leave, but some are still interested.

This pretty much covers it. Anyone you wanna send greetings to?

Well it's probably unlikely that anyone I greet would read a demo scene article but I would like to say that Purple, TBL and the other groups that are doing DirectX/Direct3d programming have made a huge impact on myself and many of the other members tho it's unlikely that we'd create anything of that calibre. I like to think that some of their stuff helped to push us to embrace Windows technology, i.e.: DirectX. Oh. And Statix... I loved his source code for Bleam, although it scared the shit out of me. *smile*

I guess we're done then *grin*. Thanx for your time.

Nps man. :)

Seffren - Defacto 2 Productions.