Still - Loose network of demosceners
Written by Magic of Nah-Kolor
Pixtur talks about amongst others Still, their latest demos, Haujobb and shines a light on Still's future.
Still is a network of senior members of the demoscene coming from groups like lkcc, bauknecht, matrix and haujobb. They try not to focus on who is a member and who is not, but on making cool projects with flexible teams. Hugi spoke to Pixtur of Still to speak about Still and some of the marvellous productions released under the Still label. Under the name Still alot of nice productions has been released since the start in 2007. Just to name a few, The Seeker, Passing, Finally Inside, Square and Calcifer. In 2014, at the time of releasing this issue of Hugi, Eternal Dream of Beauty and New were released by Still. We asked Pixtur for an introduction and a look back on everything he did since he entered the demoscene. Pixtur: "I lost track about all the details. A long time ago, I tried to practice my English by writing this. In short, I learned programming on old East-German home computers in the late 80s. We eventually started to make demos for a machine called the KC87, long before I even heard of the demo scene, and founded a small group called LKCC – an abbreviation for last KC club. Anyways, we spent most of the following years playing Doom and volleyball. I eventually found my way into the demoscene through LAN-Parties and my flat-mate and friend Nero. During the years I made a couple of demos with Mad, Cynic and Pirx and a number of musicians."
Still's History and Members
So... What can Pixtur tell us about the history of Still? For example when was it founded and by whom? Why the name Still? Which members does Still exist of and what do they all do and contribute to Still? Hugi confronted Pixtur with all these questions and asked Pixtur for a reaction. "The idea was basically to have a loose umbrella for collaborations, similar like in a music label. The people involved in making a release (e.g. album) are more important than the group. There is no leader who decides what or what not to release. (Although I wish the Bauknecht guys would release their Plus4 stuff under this name). Anyways, 'Still' seemed to be a nice name, because it's double meaning of quiet/frozen/still frame/but. It even exists as a German word, where it only means 'quiet'. Like in 'Stille Wasser sind tief'", Pixtur explains and constinues: "You don't become a member of Still. If you participate in a release, you're listed on the website. That's it. However, the tag cloud shows, that some people are more active than others."
Making of Eternal Dream of Beauty and New
At the time of releasing Hugi#38 the two latest Still demos were 'Eternal Dream of Beauty' released at NVscene 2014 and
'New' released at Revision 2014. Not quite the normal Still quality and style. What information can Pixtur tell us regarding
these two Still demos? Pixtur: "As a control-freak and a UX-Designer, I'm obsessed with content creation tools. We have been working on
such a tool for quite a while now. Recently we teamed up with Alex Lehmann, one of my all-time favorite visual artists. We looked for a nice starting
project to get Alex up to speed with our tool. And a not too serious project on the topic of kitsch seemed to be the ideal thing. The amount of
work got a bit out
of control after JCO send us his kick-ass soundtrack. I have to say, I never had that much fun working on a project. And damn, I'm so happy we left the jesus in."
"Regarding 'New': Because I strongly believe, that the only way to learn how to make better demos, is to release demos, we did a quick project for Revision, too. We were fooling around with the question of how to motivate people to watch the real thing, instead of going to YouTube. It's amazing that so few releases actually embrace all the advantages that come with realtime graphics. We only spent a couple of days on 'New', and it is certainly not the most stunning release ever made. But I still like the initial concept. And seeing Chaos' face when we ran it on the compo-machine made it all worth it. I'm really looking forward to do more experimental and interactive stuff. It's interesting to see that people associate Still with a certain style. This is all bullocks, of course. You don't make demos for pouet, you make them for yourself. To learn something. To experiment. But sure enough there is nothing like the look on peoples faces, when you don't match their expectations. I really hope, that we manage to release our Tooll one day. It's a nice system to play around with. And it would be fun to see more interactive releases embracing things like Kinect, LEAP or oculus rift. If you wanna be a beta-tester, drop us a mail."
Still - Miscellaneous
In 2010 Haujobb released the very nice demo called 'You Should' which was also the invitation for Evoke 2010. But this demo was made mostly by Still members. why was this demo released under Haujobb and not Still? What's the background of this production? What background information can Pixtur give us on this subject? Pixtur: "The lesson: Don't talk to xxx if you're too drunk to defend yourself. But seriously: the great thing about You Should was, that we got 2d-artists on board. Working with Nero and Helge is awesome, because you're not just swimming in your own soup. Along the way, it was quite interesting to experience the effect of name-voting the other way around."
Every demoscene group has its good and bad times. As said earlier Still started in 2007 and is still actively around today. We asked Pixture to look back on the last 7 years of Still. To name a highlight but also a downfall in the excistence of Still. "My personal favorite is 'Passing'. In essences, its a nice combination of music, concept and computer graphics. And it looks halfway decent too. From all the ideas I had, this is the only one that turned out better than I imagined it." Pixtur explains and continues: "Not releasing 'You Should' at breakpoint hurt quite a bit. Everybody had been working for days like crazy. And when you decide a couple of hours before the deadline, that what you have so far is just not good enough, that's a a real downer. On the other hand: it's also a good reason to get drunk. Not to arrive at a party with a finished release, is a chronic issue of mine. I do regret this for every single demo I make, but I can't do anything about it, either."
A look into Still's future
Still has a very rich past releases wise. Just click on the beneath pouet link to see all of them in the blink of an eye. Of course the future is where we are all be going to. Could Pixture give us a sneak peak behind the Still curtains? Could Pixtur give some details on what Still production(s) are in the making or on the drawing board? What can the demoscene expect from Still in 2014 and even along further in 2015? Pixtur: "We have a wiki, where I constantly dump my latest ideas. I have a couple of things I'm thinking about right now, but nothing more than a couple of storyboards came out of it. I had a pretty promising discussion with Smash, But now that he has even less time, I have to find somebody else for that one :-) I heard the Nero is working on something. And the Bauknecht-guys are finishing up their +4 release. I'm pretty sure, it's going to kick some serious ass."
Demoscene groups come and go. Some even sleep for years before releasing some new productions again. Will Still be still around in 5 years from now? How does Pixtur see the future of Still and their position on the demoscene? Where will Still be going artistically, style and design wise with their productions? Before we departed to release the 38th Hugi issue we asked Pixtur these final questions. "5 years? Seriously? Maybe we have all uploaded into cyberspace by then. I don't know. There are so many reasons for the demoscene to die. And there are so many reasons to just continue playing with code and design and going to parties", Pixtur tells us and concludes: "I guess in the end, nothing will change. Everything will go on. The only thing I'm wondering is, if we'll still be making our demos on Windows PCs."
Links related to this article
Official Still website
All Still productions at Pouet.net
New by Still, 7th place Revision 2014
Eternal Dream of Beauty by Still, 2nd place NVscene 2014
Calcifer by Still, 1st place Evoke 2013
Square by Still, 1st place Geeks can Dance 2012
YouShould by Haujobb, 1st place Geeks can Dance 2010
Passing by Still, 1st place Function 2008
The Seeker by Still, 1st place Intel Demo Competition 2008