The Vague - Amiga Diskmag on stage
Written by Kas1e
(Part 1 can be read in Hugi #32, which was released in August 2006, while part 2 was published in Hugi #34, released in February 2008. -ed)
It was 2 years since we released the first issue of our diskmag, and in December 2009 we managed to release the second number of our magazine! It was a surprise for all of us to see how many people were interested in our production. It was very pleasant to catch so much support and help from all of you. Thanks to all of you, and we can only hope, that you will continue to support us in the future.
If you are reading about our diskmag the first time, then visit our web-site at http://vague.lorraine-design.com, where you can find different versions of the diskmag: standalone archives (for all the Amiga and Amiga-like OSes: AmigaOS3, AmigaOS4, MorphOS and AROS), online-html versions (for all lazy slackers), as well as screenshots, videos and music from all the issues. For the 68k-only freaks we have also made a plain AGA-RTG version of our diskmag (with, of course, lesser quality, fewer effects, fewer colors, and, if compared with the Warp3D version [Warp3D is a 3D API if you didn't know], less enjoyable and less interesting). We worked hard on the Warp3D version to make it feel light and it works well on all the Amiga and Amiga-like OSes.
Some of you may think: "For whom are you doing an Amiga
diskmag today?" Well, to be honest, all those die-hard 68k-only Amiga fans are already old, lazy, and have tons of other problems in their lives which, all in all, makes the whole 68k Amiga-scene become smaller. Of course some groups and people still release prods, and those prods are mainly for 68k, but... but that is only 68k... Other people who are interested in Amiga and want to have something modern, but with an "Amiga-feeling", start to use new Amiga OSes like: AmigaOs4, MorphOS and AROS.
So, the answer to the question "For whom are you doing an Amiga diskmag today?" will be: "For all the active Amiga users, be it OS3, or MorphOS or any Amiga-like OS user." That increases the reader-base and, all in all, the count of the potential readers is high, compared with only 68k sceners.
The download statistics of the diskmag show that the readers prefer a modern Warp3D diskmag today, with all that true-color stuff, animations, flipping and effects. It's about 1:4 (1 68k version, 4 Warp3D version) downloads. And by that we can understand that the whole Amiga scene is bigger when not limited to the 68k only. Maybe this is the reason why all the other Amiga diskmags are dying, because making only 68k diskmags makes no sense nowadays, and almost all active Amiga users today use AmigaOS4/MorphOS and AROS.
Well, let's talk about the second issue. In that number we provide more articles for our readers and, we can hope, more interesting articles, more music and more graphics. Articles, as usual, are only scene- and coding-related (and only Amiga-related), and there is a list:
- Perspective of AROS demo-making
- Diskmags on the stage
- Amiscene 2008. Bring out the Gimp!
- Amiscene 2009. Keeping it FRESH!
- Inside of the AOS4/MOS scene
- Demo or die!
- Scene story
- Amiscene on DVD
- A decade before
- The cube in the graphics
- Debugging on the Amiga
- One more time about dithering
- Coding with Warp3D. Part 2
- Mixing MiniGL and Warp3D
- Crunch Attack
- Amiga Demosystems
- 68k Linux Coding
- Is VBCC a solution?
- Mixing assembler and C. Part 2
- Perfect animation
Some of the articles may be interesting for someone, some are not, but mostly we try to write them well. There have not been many authors, but Wayne, Jpv and others helped us with that.
Regarding music, we have 10 well-made modules for the second issue (while we had only 5 for the first one), and even if you do not have an Amiga or Amiga-like OS, you can download all the music on our page without any problems. The people who contributed music for the second issue are: FBY, Okeanos, Wizzard, Daxx, Esau and Jakim. Some of them are very nice (I like Esau's one very much, and Ephemere by Okeanos), some of them are nice too but maybe not for everyone. :)
The graphics were mainly done by Daxx, Arvind and Bojan. They did a pretty good job. And that nice look of the diskmag is 100% because of the graphicans' work.
Before we released the second issue of the diskmag, we did two major "beta shows" of it at two parties: Breakpoint 2009 and Pianeta Amiga 2009. At Breakpoint 2009, we showed some promo image for all the visitors on that nasty big-screen. :) Also Wayne showed the beta version of the diskmag itself for fellas who were interested in it. So, as the BP party is THE main demoscene related party, it was very nice to do some promo at it. Pianeta Amiga 2009 was an Italian Amiga-only party. Palombo David showed the beta version of the second issue at that party with big success and interest from all the visitors. And after PA (which has become a tradition) we released the second issue to the public.
I'm writing this article two months since the release of the second issue, and we have more than 600 downloads of the Warp3D version. For the not-so-big Amiga user base, and for this kind of prod, that is a good count (we also all understand that with every year the demoscene itself becomes smaller, and that's not only Amiga-related; it's happened on all the platforms, and with the demoscene, as well). All in all we are more or less satisfied with the current activity on the Amiga scene, but, of course, it's not the same as 10-15 years ago. :)
Today the Amiga scene is mostly a "software/hardware kind" scene. We have many different types of hardware: Pegasos1/2, Efika, AmigaOne, Micro Amiga One, SAM and even PPC Macintoshes today can be used for running the latest version of MorphOS on it. All in all, the Amiga today has no problems with hardware, but the most powerful for it now is Macintoshes with 1.5 GHz CPUs (Well, if we talk about AROS, then of course any modern x86 computer can be used for it).
Some time ago, Hyperion Itertainment announced new hardware, which will be available in the summer of 2010, and it will be called AmigaOneX1000. It will be a fully modern dual-core computer which will be shipped with the preinstalled AmigaOS4, so it will be interesting to play with it. Time will tell, but for now, let's switch back to the topic, which is about an Amiga diskmag. I've put in some words from our second issue, from the article called "Diskmags on the stage" written by me about my vision of the future of Amiga-diskmags:
"What kind of articles should be put in demoscene related diskmags? It IS about the scene, the people, the releases, the parties, the demos, the computer art, etc. If there IS no scene, then who are the diskmags for? The answer is clear: If a computer has a demoscene, then diskmags will live and rise again. It has been said that the Internet with blogs and all of the features which modern browsers employ, like hi-level WWW programming languages, can completely kill offline diskmags. Well... it's possible. Will that be bad... or not? It will be bad, if the quality of these mags is poor. It will be good, if the quality of these mags is high. Remember, it does not matter what hardware and software are used for production, as long as the end production values are good.
The first mags were on DISK, and because of that were called disk mags. With ASCII text it became like little browsers with articles. After these 720 kb diskmags grew to archives of 10-50 Mb in size. Can we say that the Internet magazine projects are the evolution from the first diskmag concepts? We all remember tons of projects in recent years which do not have too much imagination, like the 'kubika' www-diskmag. It tries to play mods in the background. It tries to make a 'like diskmag' window. But, in the end, it's still a www browser. It's still the same www browser borders, colors, pointer design, and desktop on background. In other words, all of the new WWW projects have the main idea about articles themselves. Personally, for me, diskmags are ART. That means graphics, sounds, music, code, and articles. Diskmags are a cooperative work of many people. It's cooperative like a demo. Offline diskmags are, and I hope tomorrow will continue to be much better than, for example, a blog, where someone puts unbelievable news on the web (which no one will read, of course, except maybe 1-2 times per year).
I'm not just talking about these 'smart new ideas' about the CVS 'scene', like someone running a web-server and saying 'now we're opening the new mega-disk-project where you can add yourself and make and design whatever you like.' Why the hell would I do this if I just want to see something that works with good design and art, and articles already done by others in a stand-alone release? Yeah, right. Eventually, we will know what happens on the diskmag stage. Then we can reopen some kind of mega-WWW archive (or similar), browse Cracker Journal, ROM, SeenPoint, Excess, Jurassic Pack (and of course The Vague :)). Let us see what the future has in store."
If you are interested in supporting our diskmag you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org or catch me at amigaworld.net or amigans.net. Or just visit our web page: http://vague.lorraine-design.com where you will find all the info and contacts.
Thanks all for you support, for feedback and see you in the next issue of "The Vague" and in new Amiga-related articles in HUGI.