20th birthday - Scoopex Restarted?
Will Scoopex celebrate its 20th birthday? Are new productions on their way? Will the new Scoopex demo run on the engine by Pantaloon of Fairlight? Scoopex actively back on the demoscene without Antibyte and TMB? Hugi tries to give you all the answers but in the end the future will tell the truth.
Written by and questions asked by Magic of Nah-Kolor
Thanx to Noogman of Scoopex for arranging the contact with Sir. Thanx to Sir of Scoopex for answering some questions.
This is probably my (Magic's) 4th article about Scoopex in 10 years. Yes, the life of a demoscene reporter tends to cross and double cross on different occasions down the line with the same group but from different angles. The last article was released in Hugi#33, an article about the failed merging of Scoopex with Deviance. But it seems some forces are at work now to at least create a nice 20th birthday for Scoopex in 2008. Hugi talked to Sir of Scoopex, a relatively unknown scener who on request of Noogman and Fishwave of Scoopex started as new main-organizer: "The name is Simon, 33 years and from Germany. I actually have no real scenish background and was never member in a group. I was always more like a male groupie or something: I attended THE PARTY in DK from 1995-2000 (we then stopped going there coz there were too many gamers and kid-organizers confiscating our beercans). Then I started attending MEKKA/SYMPOSIUM in Fallingbostel (one of the organizers is a friend of mine, he was with POLKA BROTHERS), and BREAKPOINT afterwards. Ever since I owned my first C64 I was thrilled by demos even more than by any other stuff done on computers. There is nothing else like the sheer power and impact a good demo can have on you - and there is nothing in comparison to watching such good demos with some hundred or maybe thousand other ppeople together in the same room. So, I can't do code, gfx or music (actually I earn my money doing DTP), I just love demos - that's why I decided to join SCOOPEX as an organizer when they asked me to. I come with no credit, just with my passion for demos", Sir comments.
Sir (right) and Noogman on BP07. Noogman looks as tired as always when sober ;) He actually only wakes up for doing GFX. Seen also on that photo my Judo Jacket, which is kind of my disguise and uniform when on parties. Part of the disguise is also the HAUFEN MACHEN Mütze. Don't ask for translation, LOL. On Breakpoint we spend quite some time in the parking lot, doing barbeque and talking nonsense. In fact, we are the only I ever saw doing also camping there, at least next to the "swimming hall".
How did it all start?
In the time Sir and I where exchanging e-mails about Scoopex for this article it became clear to me what the new structure
looks like from a management point of view. Sir could be seen as manager of operations for Scoopex with Fishwave and Noogman
being on the board of directors controling the strings. But how did Sir actually become the new Scoopex organizer? Sir explains:
"On our way back home from Breakpoint07 Noogman asked me if I would like to join SCOOPEX as an organizer. Situation was that he
and Fishwave just didn't find the time to sort things out, pull the team back together, you know, get SCOOPEX back on the road.
He said they would need some help. I thought about it a few days - and here we are. Noogman (and Fishwave) did that because
Noogman knows at least two things about me: I can be a real pain in the ass (not literally ;)). And I LOVE organizing in general.
You know, putting things together, keeping details in mind and so on..... it's just fun to start a thing, whatever it is,
from scratch and work till it's done. But don't get this wrong: I am not in charge alone - Fishwave, Noogman and I always
double-check." In my talk with Sir he told me Antibyte gave his permission to continue Scoopex, but they never asked TMB.
Ofcourse I immediatly asked Sir why TMB wasn't asked: "You see, I don't know TMB personally. But after all I heard about him,
there was obviously no real reason or basis to ask him for permission. There were quite some arguments before he left, and respect
which there once was had already vanished. Also even although some time passed, he still keeps flaming against Scoopex members on
Pouet. I heard and read some stories which make me truly believe that his reputation at least
within Scoopex had long gone when he left and wanted to shut down Scoopex, so Fishwave and Noogman just asked Antibyte to give his go for them keeping Scoopex alive. Why ask the prince when you can ask the king?" Sir explains. In my opinion forming a new team out of the ashes of the old Scoopex left behind by Antibyte and TMB sounds like a real challenge. Especially with no real 'active' background in the demoscene. So I asked Sir where he started first. Did he make a plan or something? Sir comments: "I consider the facts that I hadn't been a real part of the scene and knew no details of the recent history of SCOOPEX when I joined them in May 2007 as an advantage! After TMB left SCOOPEX and the group was officially announced dead (which some might still consider true), Fishwave and Noogman asked Antibyte if they could take over SCOOPEX and try to continue with it. Antibyte confirmed that and some time later Noogman and I drove back home from Breakpoint07. So I started gathering information, bringing back monthly memberlists, checking who is still active and willing and who is not....... You have to sort it out, like I said, start from scratch, which is considerably the best way to approach our goal: gettin' SCOOPEX back on track. We have to find the resources within the group, gather them in order to create something new. Noogman and Fishwave will always help me with any question I have." At the time of writing this article I have not read about the Scoopex 're-structuring' anywhere. Is Sir working incognito for the time being? Work silently before an official announcement is made? "Now you are getting me by the balls. LOL. We are currently (December) working on a new website, the purpose of which shall be mainly the official announcement that we are back, but also that we will have a real home again on the web. Also we are working on at least one new release. That one is planned for a major party in 2008! You see, it'll be our 20th anniversary! I believe if we don't come back THEN, we never will", Sir comments.
Who is part of the new Scoopex movement?
The obvious question is, in my eyes, who is part of this new Scoopex movement? Did Sir contact the old members if they still had interest in actively supporting Scoopex? And what exactly does the memberlist look like today? Sir comments: "Of course I contacted the old members. The last official memberlist I got when I joined in May07 was from January07. I introduced myself to everyone listed there and tried to get in contact with everybody. Since then Fishwave and I sorted out whom to consider as active, inactive or "very inactive" ;) People who came such a long way have the same problem as Fishwave and Noogman: lack of spare time. We are no youngsters anymore. We have jobs and families. 10 or 15 years ago, we had our passion and a hell lots of time for doing "our" stuff on our computers, whatever that was; nowadays it is most likely just the passion left. At this time, we have 12 more or less active members, 10 inactive. For example, PHOTON is doing the website at the moment, CORE contributed GFX to that, Noogman does GFX and PANTALOON is working on an engine.... Which is quite good. This is of course not enough by now, but we are working on it. As you said, it IS a challenge. To put this straight: We are willing to sort this all out and we will 'refine' this group down to the essence. Scoopex earns a chance for a comeback, we won't spoil this by carrying around useless weight with us. It is our only chance to get things back together."
Though Sir told me so far no new members have joined up, he is not ruling this out. I wondered if the only goal then was to give Scoopex a nice and warm 20th anniversary in 2008. Confronting Sir with these thoughts of mine he gave me quite a nice explantion: "As I said, we are trying to reactivate resources within SCX, gather what is left, see what we are capable of. The 20th anniversary is a) not only a reason, b) not the only reason. As most people don't know that we are still active and NOT dead, we are willing to pull this off on our own. Of course, if we stepped over someone 'by accident' who wanted to join, e.g. doing 3D, he'd be welcome - but we are not running all over, trying to recruit people. We are lucky as we have Pantaloon's support, so we will have a great engine we can use - which is of course the heart of any demo, but nevertheless, if we aren't able to do this on our own, say, stepping out of the dark, telling the scene: 'Hi. It's us. Scoopex. We are back', then it wouldn't be a real comeback. 20 years of Scoopex is definitely a reason, but not THE reason. It is just the deadline which we set for us. Literally. If we manage to cope with that, we will most likely check how we can improve and evolve from that point on, which could possibly mean getting new members to join. Time will tell." It seems to me that at the time of writing this article Scoopex is in the middle of beeing re-orginized. Nothing can be said for sure is my impression. So which members are basically shaping Scoopex now, at the 11th of december 2007, when writing this article? Sir gives us some names: "As the memberlist might probably change due to restructuring Scoopex, we won't give a detailed list. Key members and a complete memberlist will be hosted on the new website. Just dropping a few names: CoRe, KUFA, MERMAID, NE7, NOOGMAN, PHOTON, STINGRAY, LOSTCLUSTER, UNCLE TOM....... just to name some."
What can we expect from Scoopex in 2008 or beyond?
My next goal was trying to get Sir to give Hugi some scoops. Spoilers might not be what everybody is waiting on but who cares? :)
So what can we expect from Scoopex? Sir comments: "Noogman is working on a PC demo, with Pantaloon strongly
supporting him. There is still a lot of work to do, so I can't give any details. Also there will probably be some music releases." Just to make sure I asked if this was Pantaloon of Fairlight we are talking about: "Yes, Pantaloon of Fairlight. It is his Demolition-Engine we are talking about, the one also Fairlight uses. You might have got this wrong, he is not actually a 'real' member of Scoopex, but he is generously supporting us with his engine and coding, which we highly appreciate. So it is still 'Pantaloon/Fairlight', but we are crediting him as a member/supporter in our internal memberlists. In fact, he was already when TMB was still member of SCX some years ago, but as things went downhill back then, people were never aware of Pantaloon being with/supporting Scoopex", Sir explains. I also got to know about a new Scoopex website to state their ambitions. Sir told me that the design and code are almost done but they have to fill the site with some content: "As christmas lies ahead and Photon is quite busy we are estimating February for unleashing the new site. As we fear the URL to leak (don't want to spoil you, just to be safe) and don't want to watch people an unfinished site, we will reveal it when it is done. Might be January or February, at least early enough for Breakpoint 2008."
Time will tell if there will be new productions released by Scoopex on the demoscene. This article has given you an insight on what is happing behind the curtain of the Scoopex management and organisation department (so to speak). Hugi wishes Scoopex a happy 20th birthday in 2008 and hopes for the best. Noogman, Fishwave and especially Sir are giving their best for it in organizing this. Sir concludes: "We are just trying to get Scoopex back into the scene, we might have been gone, but just consider it taking a deep breath or something. By not recruiting new members right now and also having 'old' keymembers on board, we make sure that Scoopex stays as authentic as it can be, which we believe we need to be accepted, nobody of us wants a Scoopex v2.0 or something like that. Imagine the Rolling Stones quitting the stages for some years and then returning, Mick Jagger and Ron Wood being replaced by some other guys... that just wouldn't work, wouldn't be the real thing. That's why we keep it undercover, just working on our comeback. Of course, we rely on an engine not by us, but by Fairlight, but that in my opinion shows that reputation and history are worth enough providing such a thing for us. Expectations might be high, due to almost 20 years of history and a long-built reputation of Scoopex in the scene; and with hardware getting bigger and faster, technical and artificial limits almost vanished; demos are getting better and better.... this is a rough challenge we are facing. After this long period of 'downtime' we will have to work hard to rise from the ashes... We consider this a 'reboot' ;) We have good people with us, some are longterm members of Scoopex, and we should be able to get out some things in 2008. We might not make it to the top ever again, but that is not our aim anyway, competition is cool, but the scene at least is what it is not because of competition alone, but because of contribution. We know who we are, we know where we came from, and we know where we want to go. Rangerism is NOT dead."
Links related to this article
The new official website address of Scoopex will be:
(Thanks to Sir for giving this link a little while before the release of Hugi#34)
Magic of Nah-kolor