We don't need two-member beginner groups

Written by Adok

The typical way of a newbie into the scene looks like the following: Somehow he (or she) gets hold of a demo or another scene production, is fascinated and starts watching the scene passively. At some stage he gets the notion that he himself would also be able to do what the sceners do, invents a handle and starts to get active. Here, however, many dudes make a big mistake: While still learning the basic techniques of coding, painting, or composing, they found a group of their own, usually only with a second member apart from them, who often is a good friend of theirs but doesn't have more scene experience than themselves either. As a consequence of this, the scene gets flooded with loads of groups consisting of two or three beginner dudes, which are hardly known, have few contacts, mostly local ones, if any, and show no activity.

Beginner groups often explain their lack of activity, the fact that nothing has been released yet, by phrases like "We still have to learn coding". Other excuses are the lack of members and the simple sentence "We are new" - although the group might have already been existing for more than half a year.

That has only negative effects on the reputation of the group and its members. In this way, the group is regarded as inactive, the members get the image of lamers, and they can give up expecting experienced sceners to join. Even worse: the group might fall into oblivion. Still, this would have the positive effect of a second chance for its members to found a new group and start their scene career all over again.

Two-members groups are lame indeed because they are no real groups. They are just two friends enjoying the same hobby. An exception are small groups with really gifted people who have already shown their talent. Those groups are not lame, of course. But the groups we are talking about aren't groups of that kind, as at least the second point, that the members must have already shown their talent, is not fulfilled. And if you consider how many groups like we are talking about are existing in the German-speaking countries only, there are certainly hundreds of this sort of groups all over the world.

Considering this large number of beginner groups, a simple solution came into my mind, that simple and clear that first I didn't think I would have to write an article about it: To merge several of these groups to larger ones.

A fusion would have the following positive consequences:

- The group is larger, and only by that it gets more known because the members advertise for their group.

- The possibility that at least two talented people meet in one group is more probable. These two dudes could manage to rise the level and the image of the whole group, if they work together. This would also be possible with a single talented person, but then this group wouldn't earn its fame by demo-making since a single person usually cannot make a demo alone nowadays (and if someone does, he or she is a multitalent and would certainly be famous enough after a while to get an offer from an established group, so he/she need not remain a member in the beginner group).

- If a group is well-known and has perhaps even earned some respect, the probability that someone will join is higher.

- Projects can be started more easily.

There are also some disadvantages of a larger group, of course.

- Single persons will become less active among the mass of members.

- A lot of disagreement on several decisions will arise, at the beginning, for example, on the group-name, or if certain people are allowed to join.

- Single persons' ideas about the development of the group and similar internal decisions cannot be implemented that easily.

- Due to such problems the danger that the group will break up is always existent. However, there are two ways to prohibit that: If a person exists that is trusted by all the other members, make this person to the organizer of the group. If this is not the case, all decisions have to be put to the vote in a fair, democratic way. The latter solution is not so efficient as the first one and can take a lot of time in large groups. Therefore it is always good to have an organizer. Also in a group with an organizer, you can discuss in a democratic way, of course.

Naturally, merging groups takes some risks with it, but the benefits count more. It isn't a new idea, either. Many groups originated from a fusion of two smaller groups. Some examples: Riot, a fusion of Smashed! and Scream, is the most active group in Austria today. The famous group The CoExistence was first called "German Dynamite", which should symbolize that is group was "a symbiosis between small German demo-groups which cannot make megademos alone but have talented artists, coders and musicians".

And maybe your group will have the fate of Obnoxious, which once was a fusion of the groups behind two small German local diskmags. After a while all the members of one of those groups left. What remained were mostly dudes from the other small old group together with some new members of marginal importance, but nevertheless the style of the group has changed, the reputation has improved a lot, and nowadays it is one of the best known and dominating groups as regards German local diskmags.

So stop wasting your energy in a helplessly small group. First take time to learn everything you need. Then do something for the scene.

- adok^hugi