Twilight and the Takeover '99 Disaster
Written by Black
The Demo Scene, the one and only. With its start in the 80's the Demo Scene became one of the biggest, actually the biggest community to exist underground for quite a long period. But with the 90's there came publicity and people who wanted to earn money from the Demo Scene. The Demo Scene, which originated from the "old" Amiga, has throughout the decade spread over various systems that support pixeled graphics in one way or another. In the demo scene everyone has some name that is chosen by himself. I, Black, have joined the demo scene at its most-probable peak of evolution, and learned to appreciate it in all its glory and untold fame. As in every modern society The Demo Scene is divided into groups, and here comes the history of TWiLiGHT, one of the modern but not so well known groups.
It was the summer of '96 and I had just learned at school what Pascal was. As I didn't get much of the stuff Pascal was about, I asked a friend (later known as KLiMAX) to teach me the basics. But he did more, he taught me the basics, and as he was already then coding a 3d engine, I asked from where he got the knowledge to do graphics and then the most incredible thing happened. I was introduced to the magic of the demo scene. Coding tutorials by OUTLAW, intros from Complex and the pronoun at that time JMagic. By then I still had some weak processor power so I decided to buy a new one, and as I did KLiMAX convinced me to get C++, and so I got WATCOM. As I got a hang to Pascal already, I just ported my code (8bpp mainly) to Watcom, so I learned C in the course of the months. By that time Klimax did a very "nice" 3d engine in C, so there came a need to make the group bigger. KLiMAX was also a composer at that time, but still I asked around for musicians and artists, and at that point I was introduced to the BBS scene, and got the number of the Digital Force BBS Sysoped by MinMax, who had been in the scene for about a year before we came in contact. Then #scene.si was founded and I also met maLi and GREco, who had been in the scene a couple more years than me, too.
At the beginning of the new school year, cRAzYp joined TWiLiGHT. He was doing some really mean gfx. Then I heard news of a first Demo Party in Slovenia. By that time a professional composer by the name Trope joined. KLiMAX and I started working on the demo right away without the music or anything. So the demo for ABORT'97 was made in 2 weeks. As we had no idea how to synch the code to the music then, we didn't.
So we went to our first demo party. The party place was very nice. In the compo, maLi took the 1st prize, GREco the second, and we, then under the name of Impulse Connection, won the 3rd prize. Noname by Septic got #4. After the party we got hold on the code of Noname and realized how to synch the demo to the music. Then everything hyped up. We decided to go to Takeover '98 and try our luck there. As we had to finish 3/4 of the demo at the party place, we weren't able to make a very good production. We also had some problems with the disks, so I stole some 1.44's from vic@acme, not knowing who he was. Then our favourite demo was 303 (or was it Square already), well anyway Statix ruled the scene, so we kindly got to watch 303 on the projector, which had the size of a cinema and a sound system worthy of god himself. Nevertheless the compo machine was shit, so our demo moved by slowly. We won #4 out of 9 possible places with Gamma State under the name of Twilight (interestingly, we originally wanted to name it State of Mind as Skal later named his demo for The Party 1998).
After Takeover Twilight took courses in programming and graphical design, but right as the summer came, Twilight became active again. Noname was released in a 5 hour coding compo (promptly it was placed 1st). As the summer went by we started developing a demo for ABORT'98. We finished it just a week before the demo party, and this time it was a real party.
And then the dilemma started. After Twilight had won #1 with HYPNOSE, we reached an ultimate high and the question of continuing came up. The dream of every coder in TWiLiGHT had been to win a demo party, and after that, what should we dream for? We tried if we could do it at TRIP99 again, but as we had only 1 week and no lap tops the demo was half unfinished and we got the 4th place. So the dream of TWiLiGHT fell apart with two notable attempts to save the Future of TWiLiGHT. We decided that TWiLiGHT would now just try to make a goodbye demo for Takeover or not even that. Something was for sure: TWiLiGHT wouldn't last forever, nothing does.
Well, so I, Black, decided to create a demo for Takeover '99. cRaZY joined the fun. We named the demo iME.
As I more or less dislike Windows and lame people that don't know what Case Sensitive means, I added a little bit of code to the demo which was executed when you started the demo in Wondow. It prompted that you were in Windows and had to press 'C' to continue. Of course all lame dudes would press 'c'. This would cause the demo to display the message "'C' not 'c' you dummy. Restart the wild *thang*" and exit.
The snag: One of these lame people happened to be the Takeover organizing crew member who was supposed to run our demo. Read on below.
Arriving at the demo party, getting free entrance and all, since we are foreigners and had a very long trip (about 1300km if I'm not mistaken) from Slovenia, and meeting the people you competed or even worked with was very cool, and getting even re-acquainted with people that had been there last year was fun, too. As I coded a great deal of the demo at the demo party, I uploaded the final version to takeover.nl approximately 0.5 hours later than the original demo compo start was scheduled at first. Good luck for me that they re-scheduled the compos to a later time.
Well anyway, the demo compo started, and as they tried to run the demo on the compo machine under Windows the 'C' thing popped up. The guy at the compo PC pressed 'c', the demo exited, he re-booted in DOS mode, and hey... the set blaster line was fucking incorrect, no sound played, and so our demo was disqualified.
One minute after the people had been gone from the blue hall, where the demos were played, I pushed the guy away and ran the demo under Windows, pressed shift and 'c', and then I heard sound, and realized "Oh my god, it's too late", and tried to persuade one of the organizers to announce that the Twilight demo worked and wasn't disqualified for voting and anything, but he quickly refused and said something like... "What's done is done, and there is no way to reverse it. We will play it at the ending ceremony." That's when my heart and my will to carry on broke. It's a fucking shame that a group that had made demos of a reasonable or even high quality had to be disqualified, as one of my friends later on put it, disqualified because the organizers were too stupid to run it.
It was still nice of DaP to publicly apologize for what had happened, but this time a "Sorry, better luck next time" won't cut it. We haven't gone such a far way to be disqualified despite proving that the demo ran on the compo machine. And to the guy at the compo machine during Takeover... FUCK YOU... and another FUCK YOU goes to all the people who supported him being at the compo machine.
And he had the nerve to call us lame... for the "press 'C' to continue".
Well, after we had got home and I found out that our demo was in the results list placed 14th, I wrote a slightly shorter version of this text and put it online. It was still long enough to upset some of the organizers after they had refused to remove our demo from the results.
And so TheREW said, remove the homepage and we will remove you from the results. Apperantly, he hadn't noticed that the pages were long gone after I had posted a semi-formal letter to the forum at http://www.takeover.nl, and thus he still refuses to remove the demo from the results list.
On some occasions it is better if you are disqualified than placed last.
And one reply to the author of the production placed 10th, a member of Image, who said, in the German section of Hugi #16, something about his lame production written in Basic, and then refered to our demo: "6mb?!? What the hell did they put in that thing???" -
Well, there is only one thing I can tell you, don't judge before you download.
Anyway, Twilight will be back at to00 and will test the demo under the supervision of our own hands, which means we will be hanging on the orgs' arses until we prove that the demo can be run on the compo machine with no errors.
Meanwhile the Takeover dilemma has been successfully resolved. Sparcus of Nostalgia, one of the organizers, posted an official apology on the Takeover forum, and iME was put on the downloads list as requested.
Anyone who hasn't seen it get it now from: ftp.scene.org/pub/parties/1999/takeover99/demo/