Including some background information small talk with Trixter!
Written by Magic of Nah-Kolor
In our previous issue, released back in April 2010, we had a huge sneak preview article about Mindcandy volume 3, Which you can read online here. A Blu-ray disc with the best PC Demos from 2003 till 2010 and a lot of extras. I received my Mindcandy 3 package shortly after the release in November 2011. Kindly provided free of charge by Trixter and Phoenix. Thank you guys!
Which demos made it onto Mindcandy 3?
The demos that made it on the Mindcandy 3 Blu-ray disc are:
The Popular Demo by Farbrausch
Stargazer by Andromeda & Orb
1995 by Kewlers & MFX
Wir sind Einstein by United Force & DD
Iconoclast by ASD
Masagin by Farbrausch & Neuro
IX by Moppi Productions
Track One by Fairlight
LifeForce by ASD
Final Audition by Plastic
Size Antimatters by ASD
Electric Kool-Aid by Synesthetics
Theta by Farbrausch
Deities by MFX
Passing by STILL
Only One Wish by Fairlight & TBL
Bombman by Matt Current
Nazca by Cocoon
You Should by Haujobb
We Cell by Kewlers
Faded Memories by Farbrausch
Instant Zen by Synesthetics
Onwards by Traction
Metamorphosis by ASD
Midnight Run by ASD
Route 1066 by UK Allstars
Agenda Circling Forth by Fairlight & CNCD
Aether by MFX
Ferner by STILL
The Beauty by Einklang.net
Inflorescence by MFX
Vokawardoai by Satori
Chromosphere by SQNY
Debris by Farbrausch
Rupture by ASD
Frameranger by CNCD, Fairlight & Orange
Shad 3 by Cocoon
Into the Pink by Plastic
Happiness is around the bend by ASD
Rove by Farbrausch
Experiencing Mindcandy 3
Watching them on my full-hd 104cm television in 60 frames per second is just awesome! My Playstation 3 doesn't have any problem playing it. I especially like the background information in the demo provided trough voice commentary. For a lot of demos this has been provided by one of the creators of the demo itself. This extra alone make the purchase valid! I mean of course you can download the demos free from the Internet, for example at scene.org. But the good part next to the extras on the disc is that you now have just one disc with a nice menu ready to watch! Besides, if you don't have a state of the art PC some demos might run with lower frame rate or perhaps even don't run at al in real time. To sum up all extras:
- The NVscene 2008 seminars (almost 8 hours of it!)
- Intros - demos in 64 kilobyte or less
- RVscene: The Tailgate DemoParty
- Production notes.
Mindcandy 3 delivers a good view on the PC demoscene 2003 - 2010. The whole package including the booklet is in my opinion a must get!
Small Talk With Trixter (Jim Leonard)
The last few months untill reaching a final version of Mindcandy 3 could be very hectic and busy. New obstacles could occur or known ones still need to be dealt with. What did it take exactly to finally finish such a huge project as Mindcandy 3, which has been in developement for years? Trixter explains: "The last two months were spent learning about the Blu-ray mastering process, and then dealing with immature Blu-ray authoring tools. During this time period I learned things like:
- A rewritable Blu-ray has slightly less space on it than a BD-R, so I had to re-encode to fit the target
- Compatibility problems with some players (most players either prefer or assume that most assets will fit onto the first layer) so I had to rearrange everything so that only the largest asset (the main movie) was split onto the second layer.
There are a lot of roadblocks you don't know about until you actually slam into them :-)
Because of budget limitations, we used Adobe Encore CS5 for authoring and BluStreak Premaster for creating a BDCMF that the replicator could use to press Blu-ray discs. BluStreak Premaster was really great -- it was Adobe Encore that was terrible. It was so full of bugs that I got frustrated and wrote a blog post about it, actually.
Adobe products are usually really great, but Encore has a surprisingly high number of showstopping bugs and an equally surprisingly silent support group (not a single bug I submitted was acknowledged or fixed). Encore + Premaster was the cheapest option, but it cost us months of time and frustration. If you are making a simple Blu-ray, Encore is fine, but MindCandy Volume 3 was not a simple Blu-ray (many different resolutions, pop-up menus, 45GB of assets, etc.). In retrospect, we should have spent additional money for something like netblender DoStudio -- it cost more, but would have saved a lot of time."
When writing this article in March/April 2012 we are already 4.5 months since the release of Mindcandy 3. It could be interesting to see what feedback Mindcandy 3 got till now. Was it a commercial success? What reactions did Trixter receive? Did Mindcandy 1 and 2 have a saleboast because of the release of Mindcandy 3? We presented all these questions to Trixter. "MindCandy Volume 3 sold really well the first few weeks; we sent hundreds to Maz, who sold out really quickly and we had to send them more! Overall sales have slowed down, and we still haven't broken even. However, we're attending some parties this year where we can spread the word, and some people have offered to help us sell them at parties we can't attend, so hopefully sales will pick up. We hope to eventually make our money back, or at least break even. (Just like compo organizers, I'd imagine :-)" Trixter tell us and continues: "All of the reviews have been positive, even from magazines and websites that don't know anything about the demoscene, so we're really happy with how it's been received. You can read some of the reviews here. Sales of MindCandy 1 and 2 picked up when MC3 was released, especially since we offered a discount for ordering them together. As a result, there are only a few Amiga volumes left -- you can go to Enno's site to see if he has any more. If not, then Volume 2 is sold out completely :-)"
Towards the end of this article I tried to confront Trixter with a dilemma about a possible Mindcandy 4 project in the future. And I managed to make it a bit difficult for him :)
a) Never again!
b) Never say never!
c) Thinking about it!
d) Already preparing and working on!
Trixter: "I'm stuck between A and B. We are old sceners, most of us are over 40, and Real Life(tm) tends to eat away at your involvement in the demoscene (except for Gloom, I have no idea how he juggles work+family+demoscene; I suspect he himself is some form of optimized demoscene production). There are also financial factors to consider -- if we never sell all of MindCandy Volume 3, we can never make enough money back to produce a 4th volume. I hate to say 'never', but that is probably what will happen. But I'm not sad; I think we did some really great work and, thanks to the commentary from the guys who made them, preserved some scene history forever. I'm really glad we did them. However, all is not completely lost: I still find time here and there to make some nice captures of demos that couldn't get onto MC3 for some reason, and other demos I like as well. You can view those at the downloads page."
After such a long time on the demoscene, with yet another huge project finished, what does the future hold for Trixter demoscene wise? Are there any real projects or challenges still ahead of him? "I'll be going to two NA parties this year, PixelJam and @party, but I probably won't be able to head to Europe this year. I'm an oldskool coder for the PC, similar to how C64 coders are", Trixter explains and concludes: "Someday I hope to code my magnum opus, which will probably be on the original IBM PC or Tandy 1000/PCjr. A friend and I have really broken down the Motorola MC6845 (the video chip used in CGA and Tandy/PCjr graphics) and we feel we can do some pretty cool effects with it, maybe even try to emulate copper with the CPU. Copper effects, multi-voice sound coming through the PC speaker... all on a 4MHz 8088 -- should be possible! I've also designed a video playback system that improves on the work I did for 8088 Corruption -- now I just need to find the time to code it... :-)"
Links related to this article
MindCandy Volume 3 (and Volume 1, if you missed it!) can be purchased from http://www.mindcandydvd.com/