Editorial to Hugi Seventeen
Written by Adok
When a passionate demo watcher reads through a party results file, lately he often bumps into entries by well-known groups that were disqualified or placed in a lower range. These encounters are always a bit strange because you know that this demo could not be disqualified due to low qualities, and you start wondering what was the reason. Curiosity arises, and you contact the group responsible for the demo in order to learn the truth. Often you will then get a long story, whose essence is that the disqualification is both the makers' and the party organizers' fault.
One of these stories is included in this Hugi issue. Black describes how Twilight's demo for Takeover '99 got disqualified because of a stupid joke the organizers misunderstood, a silly obstacle that the coders had built in the demo in order to prevent lamers from running it - but also prevented the party organizers from running it. To make it even worse, the demo was later listed in the party results, not as disqualified but placed last. Read how Black reacted.
A similar incident happened at Assembly '99, and the news of it has spread all over the scene in a very short time. The victim is the Spanish group Incognita. After suceeding in local scene competitions, they thought it would be time to try their luck in an international party to measure their real strength. Two years of work had been invested in the demo "Platipus". The group decided that Assembly '99 was the place to present it to a large audience. So they traveled all the way to Finland. At the party, they uploaded their creation to Zepo, the compo management program, like everybody else. But then they made a fatal error. They decided to do some slight changes to the code of Platipus and upload an upgrade. Since the demo was pretty big, they asked the organizers at the Assembly infodesk whether they really had to upload everything again or whether it would be sufficient to upload just the new .exe file. According to reboot/Incognita, their answer was that a new .exe file would be enough. Trusting the organizers, the Incognita did that - even though Zepo displayed a warning message: "Upload the whole production."
Incognita tried to contact the organizers of the demo competition in order to check with them if all files had been uploaded correctly, but did not suceed, as they could not find them. Once they even were told that the democompo crew "couldn't be disturbed".
In the end the demos were shown, and Incognita's entry was not among them. When the Spaniards finally managed to reach the democompo organizers, they were led to a machine where they could check all the productions that had been uploaded using Zepo. There, both the original demo and the new .exe file were available, but in two separate directories; so unlike to what Incognita assumed after asking the people at the Assembly infodesk, namely that you could overwrite already uploaded files. The organizers had just tried to run the update, which of course had not worked. And despite the obvious message "dll missing, dat missing", they did not bother to run the original version of the demo, which would have been running perfectly. "This obviously shows a complete lack of interest by the organizers. They didn't even bother to call us (message on the big screen, through the speakers, etc.)," Incognita commented this in the infofile of their demo.
Of course the Spanish coders were at first very sad at seeing that their dream of worldwide sucess was to remain a dream. Seeing their despair, Saara, one of the reporters for the Assembly '99 e-zine, even decided to dedicate an article to them to console them a bit.
Reboot later posted on comp.sys.ibm.pc.demos, after thinking about the matter: "We don't feel our efforts are in vain - we're happy if people download our demo and like it. Much better demos than ours have placed second or third in smaller parties. These people didn't moan and whine and neither will we."
But it is still a great pity that the demo was disqualified.
How can such incidents be avoided in the future? First, Zepo will have to allow overwriting existing files; since you have to log on with your user-id and password to upload your entry, there are no security problems with that. Second, every competitor in the demo or intro competition should be allowed to start his production on the compo PC himself or at least test it before the beginning of the competition. Third, the compo organizers should always be reachable, and they should try to contact the competitors when problems with their entries occur.
Welcome to a new Hugi issue!
We seem to be cursed. Actually this issue was planned as an experiment. Our hypothesis was: if you invest less time in a new Hugi issue, it will have less articles. With less articles, every single article would get more attention. On the other hand, you would be able to release more Hugi issues within a short period, and thus the amount of text the readers would get to read per month would stay the same. So after finishing Hugi #16, we decided to release the next issue in just a month. We did. And our hypothesis was proven wrong.
This issue contains 1.4 mbyte of articles - just as much as every Hugi issue since Hugi #13, with the exception of the huge Hugi #16 (2.1 mbyte text), which was the main reason why we thought the number of articles in an issue had to be reduced. This is due to the massive support by our readers. Again, nearly 50 people contributed with texts. More than 40 dudes submitted news. And so on.
You can imagine it was a lot of work for the editors. Like last year, I spent the whole day on Hugi, nothing else, two weeks. Actually I had sworn last year, when I was working on Hugi #12, not to spend my summer holidays in this way again. But you see: if you have a good diskmag, you can't stop making it.
How do I feel? Proud. Of course. But also exhausted. Glad that there's still about a week of holidays, which I will use to relax and recover my strengths, care about my real life - which was not that important during the holidays as most of my friends I know personally were on vacation -, and get new inspiration for future Hugi issues...
It was clear that Hugi #16 would be hard to beat text-wise, as both the quality and quantity of the articles was high. And as said, it was not even our plan to make an issue with more contents than Hugi #16. In other words: Unlike in the past, we did NOT try to be better. We tried to be different.
So my main efforts were directed towards the design of the mag as this was one aspect I had not invested a lot of time in before and which had hence been a constant matter of criticism. This time I actually cared about the pictures fitting each other regarding the colours and the theme and the music fitting the mood of the pictures. You might have also noticed that there is a new font, the text layout has been slightly varied, and the text colours fit the background picture better. I hope to have answered the urge for some variety in the design of Hugi in this way.
As the evaluation of the 44 votesheets that have been sent to us so far showed that the voting results were not much different from last issue's charts, we decided to skip the charts in this issue, collect more votesheets and publish the next charts in Hugi #18. In general, we might publish charts only in every second issue of Hugi in the future as even a period of three months does not bring many changes.
You may have also noticed that no bonus.zip is included in this issue. That's because the bonus files for this issue make up 600 kbyte in total, and so the mag would be larger than 2.8 mbyte packed. For this reason the bonus pack was released separately. You can get it at our new web-site (http://www.hugi.de/). Featuring mainly example programs with source codes as supplementals to the programming articles in this issue, it might be interesting to coders.
The main hidden part in Hugi #16 was very hard to find indeed. Yet the four following people found it - congratulations!
1. TMB Inc. / dazed - 1999/07/28
2. ryg / Teklords - 1999/07/30
3. Dario Phong / PhyMosys - 1999/08/02
4. slash / ceg - 1999/08/16
To get to this hidden part, select International Section, Prelude, Where to get Hugi, press TAB, Enter, TAB, TAB, TAB, Enter, and select CoaXCable.
There was also a personal hidden part for Unreal/CNCD. If you want to see it, select International Section, Demoscene Forum, move your mouse cursor to the headline Most popular PC Coders, press TAB, and Enter.
This issue contains five hidden parts. Find 'em all!
Hugi #18 will be released one day. Certainly not again in just a month. Maybe in two months? Three months? Four months? You will see. Just keep on supporting us with feedback, articles, news, graphics, music, votes, etc., and be surprised when the new Hugi issue suddenly appears - in fact it might contain some real surprise.
Enjoy your life.