What happened in the PC Scene
from February to June 2003
-=[ Coders' Stuff ]=-
Gaffer has sketched out a rough design for next generation TinyPTC library that takes advantage of floating point framebuffer and texture support on the latest DirectX 9.0 video cards. See gaffer.org and specifically tinyptc.hpp for details.
A new version (0.1.3) of the Omicron Game Engine has been released on sourceforge.net. The Omicron Engine is a multipurpose game engine for Windows and GNU/Linux Kolrabi wrote in his spare time to test various things and improve his skills. Since he started coding, it has become a good engine that can be used for writing games. Source, demos and documentation can be found on the engine's homepage.
Calvrak has created a FAQ for those who are learning or working with the shading languages Cg and HLSL. It covers topics such as profiles, semantics, vertex and fragment shaders, and interfacing the langugages with C/C++. The FAQ can be found at FusionIndustries.com.
The source of Space Waste, a demo for Game Boy Color, has been released; it's available at the website of the demo group Octarine. You can watch it using an emu such as Visualboy Advance.
-=[ Competitions ]=-
The 22nd Hugi Size Coding Competiton is now taking place at hugi.de/compo.
Flipcode started up a new coding contest: This time, "the topic is Environment Interaction. Imagine a demo featuring a room with walls that can be blown to pieces brick by brick. Or a terrain demo where the user can even pick fruit from trees. Or how about a simple soda machine. There are endless possibilities with a topic like this, so get creative!...". The deadline is (or rather was?) July 2nd, 2003. The original announcement ended with the words: "So grab your favourite compiler, check the rules, and win* a full copy of Visual Assist! (* winning not guaranteed)"
-=[ Demos ]=-
Apart from party releases, the following demos might be of interest:
Progress 2 - The Reloaded by K-Storm. Six months after Progress, K-Storm presents another OpenGL demo for Win32. It contains music by New-G, gfx by seven11 and an improved 3D engine by Skarab. Some of the special features of this demo are character animations, outside scenes (with per-vertex lighting and shadows), inside scene (with per-pixel lighting and shadows) and an effects browser for rain, lightnings and a particle system. Reviews and download links can be found at Pouet.
The final, bugfixed version of SquoQuo's Mansion (first released at Breakpoint 2003) by SquoQuo is available for download. Some bugs in the gamma correction and code that causes a major crash on some computers are no longer present in this new version.
-=[ Games ]=-
A group of comp-sci students are working on a free Zelda clone for PC with the working title Cataclysm. A very early beta has been released just for testing purposes; the included levels aren't that thrilling yet. Version 0.11 of Cataclysm can be downloaded from the official website.
Scienide have released Baktinet, a freeware game just like Dr. Mario, featuring both a four-level single-player and a multi-player mode supporting the Internet as well as local area networks (LAN).
-=[ Groups ]=-
Akira from Poland, who was a well-known mail swapper and editor of the Polish diskmag Bad News in the early 1990s, has joined his old group Surprise!Productions. Other new members: BoyC from Hungary (member of Digital Dynamite, placed 1st at the 64k compo at Breakpoint 2003), Dkdman (Austria), [Stv] (France) and Ciccilleju! (Italy). Mirrorman and Fireworm have recently left S!P. An additional homepage of S!P named "cyberhome #2" has been launched. The 64k intro "epileptiker 2003" by S!P and Speckdrumm placed 4th at Breakpoint 2003. Another news about S!P: The scene's most popular radio station, Nectarine, is now an official S!P production.
In May 2003, Bytegeiz was resurrected - two months after its split-up. However, with the exception of Spacecommander, none of the current members has been a member of Bytegeiz before. The URL has remained the same though: www.bytegeiz.de.
Four other ex-members of Bytegeiz have formed a new group called Brainwank. These four members are [neo], Tante Frieda, Kojote and wasiliy.
Scienide got their first female member: Odexa. She is currently porting Baktinet to Java. Like her boyfriend Exodus, she's studying mathematics, which brought her to Java programming. By the way: She's leading the top-70 high-score table at bakti.net most of the time.
-=[ Mags ]=-
Scene Rep now features an online mag called Scene Zine. Three issues have been released thus far. The mag focuses on reviews and interviews; its authors, among them some members of United Trackers, are located in the US, but the contents do deal a lot with the Euro scene.
Diskmag.de now hosts online editions of several issues of the legendary Amiga diskmag Generation. This collection is going to be expanded.
Marsmellows have released issue 2 of their new Polish diskmag The Voice, available at scene.org.. Since it uses Chris Dragan's Panorama engine, it looks very much like Hugi - Polish Edition.
Sliders are going to release issue 3 of their Spanish diskmag Exilium in late July. After that, they want to make another issue with a modified engine that will work using old PCs too and, finally, a "diskmusic". Exilium supports quite a lot of platforms, including Win32, DOS, BeOS, FreeDOS, Linux, BeOS and QNX. You can get it from the official web site quando tu haberler par espanol (you see, I don't).
In April 2003, Grape released Chaos #0, a Polish charts magazine (available at scene.org).
There's also a new issue of Jurassic Pack, issue 12 to be exact. As a matter of fact, it was released at Breakpoint 2003 (also known as "Freezepoint" due to trouble with the heating). JP is an Amiga mag edited by Zito of Scarab that works perfectly with WinUAE.
Ural of Suspend is planning to release Budyn #6 in late summer. Since it's supposed to be a bilingual issue (Polish and English), he's looking for people outside Poland who would be ready to contribute to the mag.
D.I.S.C #14, the last issue of the Amiga diskmag by Gods, was released at Kindergarten 2003. It can be downloaded from www.diskmag.de.
Finally, let me report that issue 46 of The Official EuroChart, the legendary Amiga chartsmag, is out - available at the Internet HQ of the Iris demo group.
-=[ Milestones ]=-
After Shane Pitman aka Pitbull, the former leader of the warez crew Razor1911, had been arrested by US police and sentenced to 18 months of jail ("Operation Bucvaneer"), Razor1911 announced the end of its illegal activities. A day later, two other cracking groups, Fairlight and nforce, did the same.
However, while the demo division of Razor1911 might continue their (legal) activities, Fairlight has been dissolved as a whole - including its demo and music divisions. This decision was made after a long discussion among the members of all sections. It is the end of an era since Fairlight used to be one of the oldest scene groups: It had been continuously active for 16 years. (But there are already rumours that the FLT demo division might be resurrected...)
A good news as a compensation: Farbrausch's fr-19: poem to a horse has got accepted for the Computer Animation Festival at Siggraph'03. It will be the first ever and only demo scene production competing with animations created by academics and yet more experienced professionals.
-=[ Music &emp; Disks ]=-
A remake of the old DOS-based Mirkwood MusicDisc has been released for Windows and Linux. You can download the .tar.gz from turricane.org. Linux users additionally have to get SDL and SDL_mixer plus the related dev. libs.
Kojote would like to report that the demo group Brainwank released an experimental hardcore track on June 2nd. The track is called "Fu**in' Shit" and is encoded as MP3 in 160/44. The whole download is approximately 4 MB.
After months of coding and song collecting, the Chip Pack Distant Memories has been released. This music disk was put together as a nostalgic collection of 50 songs from UK artists and has been created so that other people can enjoy listening to "some of the best music to hail" from the UK and also bring back some "Distant Memories" of happy days from the scene. It's available at www.ukscene.org.
On the 9th of May, Modulez released the music disk Module Addiction #2: Glamour. It features one tune each of the following 9 composers: JosSs, Reed (guest artist), sergeeo, Wonder, finnr, herotyc, Wizard, Sole and yero; in addition, a secret tune is hidden somewhere on the interface screen. According to the .nfo file, "the first 10 ppl who find the hidden tune will receive a free one-year-entrance to pr0n.modulez.org, where you will find all the erotic photos of modulez members". The coding was done by Jcl. You can download the disk at www.modulez.org.
Once every month, pHluid releases a new music disk in co-operation with the famous ascii &emp; hirez art group ACiD. In June, ACiD presented "Volume 46: Implant", a full-length music disk composedentirely by tracking veteran Pinion of pHluid. Featured are 12 "dark, atomospheric and experimental" tracks with a total run time of 77:30. The disk is available for download at ftp.superiorart.org; it's distributed in five RAR archives that occupy a total of 95.5 megs. pHluid is also on-line at mp3.com; check out www.mp3.com/phluid.
Razor 1911 chipdisk#3 is available at Pouet.
Finally, it's worth reporting that www.chiptune.com now features a SEGA section. Now you're able to download the themes of Sonic the Hedgehog and all your other favourite Mega Drive (Genesis) games.
-=[ Outreach ]=-
Tomcat is still writing his history book about the scene, entitled Freax. He has just finished the Amiga chapter, and the 400-page margin has already been exceeded.
Fusecon and Hornet are working on the Mindcandy 2 DVD, which this time is going to be a collection of Amiga demos. After weeks of vote counting, demo watching and tough decision making, the DemoDVD crew has recently presented the first draft of the proposed list of demos for MindCandy Volume 2: Amiga Demos. Demos are divided into four categories: high, medium and low priority respectively, and "stand-by". Among the high-priority demos you'll find only very well-known prods such as 9 Fingers and State of the Art by Spaceballs, Lapsuus by Maturefurk and Megademo by Red Sector. For the full list check out the related page at demodvd.org.
Parkstudios have published an audio CD called "Out producing..." that contains about 60 minutes of fresh music. You can order it at their website.
Crest has also released a new CD with scene stuff. It's called Planet Scene. Its focus is music: 127 tunes - mainly demo tracks - are provided in ogg vorbis format; total duration: 9 hours. In addition, the CD contains more than 600 DOS intros, nearly 250 Windows intros (some of them being ports from DOS), 60 c64 demos in d64 format, 78 Amiga demos in adf format and a few PSX demos. The emulators for these platforms are included as well as a couple of tools such as F-Prot (free anti-virus software), Ultimate Zip and an emulator for the scene's most popular sound card in the early nineties, the Gravis Ultrasound (GUS). More information can be found at Crest's homepage.
Merregnon II, a commercial CD with tracked music made by demo as well as game musicians (such as Purple Motion, Lizardking, Chris Huelsbeck and Brimble), will be first presented at the first live Symphonic Game Music concert of the world (outside of Japan) that is going to take place in Leipzig, Germany. The event features titles such as Final Fantasy, Medal of Honor, Tomb Raider and Primal, and it will include a medley from the upcoming Merregnon II soundtrack as well. The concert is going to take place in the concert hall "Gewandhaus zu Leipzig" on August 20, 2003.
-=[ Parties ]=-
On the Easter weekend, one of the major parties of this year took place: Breakpoint 2003; location: Bingen, Germany. Some party reports are included in this issue. On the same day, a few hundreds of kilometers in the north, in Norway, another party was held - The Gathering.
Excess, Spaceballs and Ephidrena are going to arrange another Solskogen in Norway this summer. Time and place have not been decided yet, but the party will definitely take place. Up-to-date information will be made available at solskogen.demoscene.no/.
The next major events will be SceneCON (Salgótarján, Hungary) and Symphony (Poznan, Poland), both taking place on July 04-06, Assembly (Helsinki, Finland) on August 07-10, Pilgrimage (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA) on August 09-10, and Evoke (Germany) on August 22-24. For the most complete and up to date party calendar, check out Orange Juice.
Assembly 2003 is going to feature a mobile game-dev compo, sponsored by Nokia and HP. The prize for the winning team is a free trip to the HP Bazaar camp which is going to be held in California in September 2003.
In case you'd like to participate in one of the Symphony compos, you can upload your productions already now via FTP. The correct login is Symphony2003. Simply hit ENTER when the server asks you for the password.
If you're planning to attend Pilgrimage, it would be much appreciated by the organizers if you registered yourself as a potential visitor at the Orange Juice Party Calendar.
Oh, and perhaps I ought to mention that the officially first international demo party in Russia, CAFe (short for Computer Arts Festival), is going to be held the second time on August 23-24, 2003. (Actually it's already going to be the fifth CAFe, but only the second to which international visitors will be expected.) Last year, CAFe had foreign visitors from Finland, Portugal, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
The organizers of CAFe regard their party as a bridge between Russia and the rest of Europe. "You will see the other scene world. The style of Russian demoparties style is different from all others in the world." They promise that they will provide Russian visa for foreign sceners as well as English-speaking guides in Moscow and Kazan (the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, which is one of almost 100 territorities that constitute the Russian Federation; CAFe is going to take place in this city), hotel reservation and a tour of the historical sites of Kazan city.
At CAFe 2003, 64k, demo, music, gfx and wild compos will be held for PC, Amiga, ZX Spectrum, C64 and a Russian scene computer named BK. The party is going to feature a banya, a special Russian type of sauna. Additional information can be requested via e-mail; feel free to write in English.
Now about something different: Astroidea released a new version of their Scene Party Results Pack - v7.3. It now contains the results of most parties until mid May 2003. After ten years, also the results of the classic party 'Computer Crossroads 1993' are finally supposed to be more or less complete.
-=[ Personalia ]=-
Coplan at Scene Spot: "After a long, relaxing weekend, I'm finally back from my vacation. But this wasn't just any vacation. This was the vacation that I popped that magical question. Well, my girlfriend (my fiancee) said yes! So now I'm engaged to be married." Congratulations!
-=[ Utilities ]=-
Demosaver by Glob is a tool that allows you to run demos as Windows screensavers. The latest release, Demosaver 1.5, fixes many bugs, along with user interface enhancements. It's bundled with fr-019: poem to a horse, so in case you don't have this wonderful 64k yet, this is reason enough to check out the Demosaver.
A Pouet searchbar is now available at the mycroft site: Type 'pouet' and hit go.
-=[ Wanted! ]=-
Ascend is a new group working with the X-BOX; they are planning to release a demo at the Evoke 2003. For the time being, there are only two members, the KNIGHT (coder) and tTD (3d graphician using raytracing). In order to speed up the process of demo creation, they are therefore searching for more members, especially talented sounders, but also graphicians and coders. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speckdrumm is searching for experienced 2D and 3D graphicians. Check out speckdrumm.org.
-=[ WWW ]=-
The following websites have recently been opened or significantly updated:
Addict group site: releases, history and more.
CoolPhaT group site: art packs, music disks, ascii graphics, intros and other releases.
Dalezy/Scoopex personal site: .sid, .mod and .xm chiptunes and a list of productions Dalezy has contributed his works to.
EChO/Level-D personal site: music, articles (on music and programming), TrackNews magazine.
Lesnik/Altair personal site: chiptunes, modules and chipdisks.
Speckdrumm group site: members list, news, links. The group that was originally started by Paralax and Bauchi now has 9 members from Austria and Germany, including ReeBoK a.k.a. The MegaBrain (TM).
(This section used to be called the "news corner". It has been renamed in order to make clear for once and good that my intention is not to publish only the latest news which nobody has heard yet before, but an overview of the interesting events and releases of the time since the previous Hugi issue. I want to provide a historical chronicle so that if you read all Hugi issues from #11 to the current one, you'll get informed on the development of the PC demo scene during this period.)