Year 1998 - The Scene

Written by Kaosmaster and Ghandy

Two days after the release of Showtime 11, I (Kaosmaster) planned to make a break during all the summer months and wanted to drive around with my bike and enjoy the beach with some friends. But... but inspired by a lame person last night on the IRC I thought to write down some lines in order to give you some enlightment on that matter. This article could and should help to spot out what Soda/DKG has opened with his article in Showtime#11 which got many replies. The scene. Here we are again discussing about our scene... the place where we live virtually and where we act... While reading these lines the summer is over, and therefore also the first half of '98! So we can try to give an analysis of the present situation.

Transitional?! While a huge part of the scene is equipped with 040 and 060 and already PPC boards are available and installed more and more, we can affirm that we are living in a transitional period as some companies like for example Phase5 developed and still are developing new "AMIGA" machines capable of HYPER performances... And also still a lot of people (the most) use the old chipset. We are in between... The last second news are that Gateway 2000 is also planning a new Amiga-series with a special and yet unknown multimedia processor beeing five times faster than today's PC intels. This year in November they plan to bring out OS 4.0 and next year in November the fifth revision of the Amiga OS was promised. The outlook should then be compareable to professional multimedia systems like Apple's Macintosh and other workstations. (Source: the German papermagazine PC-Direkt.) Amiga users can't take the company manager's promises very seriously anymore after the bad experiences in the last years but what can we do? Nothing special so far! We can hope, hope and not to forget to hope for a better future of our machine.

The dacade of legends!! In the past years, we have noticed an attitude of many people's relay and cry for the old legends with the negative effort of eclipsing and disabling the new ones... Wake up, we are in 1998, and we should be more realistic and open our eyes to point out the new masters! Today it's useless to confront the current scene to the old one, too many things have changed, too many!!

(Note from Ghandy: But for example for me as a real oldskool scener it's hard to forget about the good old times. Talent, creativity and hard work were a lot more "normal" about three or four years ago. With mediocre intros or demos you would have had no chance to get anybody's attention. With productions beeing nothing special you could be sure nobody would talk or write about you or your crew. People would say that they would be okay, but that was all. These days were a lot harder but I love 'em. Now it ain't any problem anymore to get the scene's attention as not many good people are left. Or am I wrong? Just look at the number of Slideshows or Musicdisks beeing kicked out since 1996... If we can get hold of one quality slideshow every four or five months we can be happy after all. That's really a pity! The big and almost negative changes were never a reason for me to leave the scene but a good reason to understand why "older" people again and again compare oldies with newbies and think that the present scene is quite poor in many points of view.)

Hero of the day... Once you opened your eyes, you will notice names like Scoopex, The Black Lotus, Haujobb, Limited Edition, Mellow Chips or also Nah-Kolor, if you want I (Kaosmaster) can add more! Could we replace them or put them at the same level of groups like: Anarchy, The Silents, Kefrens, Andromeda or the later Virtual Dreams?? I guess YES, even if they were operating in different scene ages, why shouldn't they be at the same level?

What was an old demo team capable of which ain't a demo team in '98? Well, if you do not see (generally) innovative demos, it's also caused by the hardware LIMIT of our machines, not by the abilities of the coders...

(Note from Ghandy: Sorry, but again I can't agree. Doing a demo is like doing an artwork for example like painting a picture or making a movie. It's the kind of style how you link your effects. It's the art that you show or not show. Maybe some small jokes play an important role between your parts or the design which should be nice to look at. The hardware limit can't explain it all. Thinking of Nexus7 by Andromeda, this is the fucking best demo in my eyes that ever saw the lights. And it only runs on a plain Amiga 1200. No accelerator card, no fastmemory needed. Why do so many people vote for it? It has a wonderful design and atmosphere. Just think of the first seconds with the spinning stars, the black background and the slow start of the module. It all fits perfectly!! You can see it from the first seconds that Andromeda worked a long time on their demo, over one year. Many, but not all groups today link their effects together as fast as possible just in case to be ready before the deadline. And that's how their crap looks like. There were also a lot of good demos in 1998 but I'm simply tired of this new demo style.)

Quantity and Quality: The first half year of '98 has shown us a good goal in demo making and many groups made really good & well designed demonstrations, some of them are also impressive, even if they need a 060 or a high powered PPC Amiga. But most of them have moved into the right direction!

Sleeping or? To our luck many sceners seem to wake up from their dreams! A small minority is still sleeping and being amused by the idea of living in a fairy land of the past waiting for a special Anarchy (ocs/ecs) comeback! Waiting for the glorious days to come back doesn't make any sense, but we shouldn't forget about the legends. Also, some people seem to believe that the PC scene is totally cool... They should really open their eyes and face the facts.

The Numbers! Face the truth, look around and you'll notice that the PC scene is something that does NOT exist at all. Try to compare it with the Amiga one! Theorically the Amiga community is 1.000 times smaller (or more?) than the PC one but just in 1997 we released OVER 80 demos! What you think about that?

(Note from Ghandy: The PC scene exists but not in the way we are used it. As the PC scene is so big many people don't know each other and I had the experience that they are often also not interested to get in touch with each other but that's only a personal impression which could be wrong... Concerning the PC-diskmag scene the main editor (Darkness) of the leading PC-mag called Imphobia wrote me the following lines: "Well, the problem is that, except of Imphobia, there has never been any major diskmag on the PC scene... There has also been a very nice newsletter called "DemoNews" (you might have heard about it) which was released about every week and had 200 issues... But now both Imphobia and DemoNews are "dead" or "sleeping"... So there isn't much... And with the Internet ppl are maybe less interested as there are WWW sites etc. with lots of information... Still I think diskmags are much more interesting as they have a feeling that HTML pages haven't reached yet. Some "nice" diskmags have been released... I would recommend "Hugi #11" (which for the first time has an English section) and Restless #2. Their interface is "ok" and the content of the English articles is quite ok too but there isn't much content and that's the problem... I might re-start Imphobia but this is far from being sure... It takes a lot of time and somehow I have nothing to prove anymore in that direction so it's less motivating... But I might work on a chartsmag soon... I'll let you know." So you see there are no mags and neither charts coming out regulary. The communication seems to be a lot more worse... As I said before you can't compare it, it ain't the same. If you don't resist too much on communication it's okay as the PC demos really improved a lot during the last two or three years, but if friendship is important for you, there's no way out... [of the Amiga jungle] ;-)

The Traitors! The average PC scener and Ex-Amiga freak hangs regularly on our channels, do you ask yourself why? Many of them are great friends of us! On our side there IS friendship and we do not care to chase them away. But there are some lamers like Surfing of RamJam who like to say, without having an Amiga or a clue of anything, that our scene is dead! But is it worth to listen to such a figure like him? Please answer this question yourself!

The reality! We are better than them because we believe in something, we do NOT follow any trend. We keep the faith! Well, it's true that we don't own a state of the art computer anymore, but we can offer a REAL scene!

The conclusion! Let's remember what Odin of Gods said: "Honestly the PC makes me boring and I hate Winsucks 95, arghh..." Chris wants Odin to code a slideshow for Typhoon and if Chris (the leader of Gods) could decide, Odin and Liszt would continue working on demos on the Amiga. Are they (Gods) frustated and torn between two systems? Possibly, but in general the PC has nothing comparable to the Amiga spirit and soul. The Amiga Scene is like a religion, a credo, something that they cannot get us away...

Asking persons who have tried both systems and who can really compare them, nearly everybody will tell you that the Amiga is the BETTER computer. For me (Ghandy) my compy at home should make me fun using it. And that's what the Amiga fullfills. I'm not interested in wasting 300 megabytes only for the graphical interface (Windows 98). Do I really need more than the good old workbench and some small tools to upgrade it? Nope!

Amiga - Modern Demo Scening...

Conclusion: Well, I (Kaosmaster) did not want to reach any particular conclusion with this article.. =) I wanted to make you notice that since the last two years the scene has really been back in business kicking high and that there are many brave dudes that work hard and can be simply awarded as "scene stars" and mentioned as legends, so close one eye on the past and face one on 1998, because the heros are here in the middle of us!

The leading PC-democoder Unreal of Pulse & CNCD wrote some weeks ago on the IRC that if he had the money he would buy an Amiga 4000 at once as this would be a fantastic machine in his opinion. He would like to start coding demos also on Amiga but he can only afford one computer system. Sad, sad... Maybe we should collect some bucks for him. There's no doubt it would be worth it... hehe.

- kaosmaster & ghandy of darkage