AMC - New kids on the block


There's a new star on the Swedish scene horizon. Ending up first at Remedy 2k with their Automatic Mind Control demo, beating such fancy opponents as for example Replay, definitely made AMC a group to keep one's eyes on. The group was formed - or at least has its roots - back in '97, when a young GammaWave started to get interested in the art of coding.

He formed a group called Alpha Millennium (a name which, he thought, sounded like the good old Amiga cracking groups), mainly based upon himself but also with other idle members, and started to code in Visual Basic (trying to make an adventure game).

When GammaWave started highschool (gymnasiet) he met Pegasus. They both attended the same Turbo Pascal-programming class, and GammaWave soon offered Pegasus to join Alpha Millennium, which he also did. Something which later on proved to be a huge milestone in the AMC history.

Anyway, GammaWave found a demo-coding tutorial and started to study it. He dug up his old Amiga 500 and started to hunt for old demos to study and try to "copy" the effects. After some time the two AMC-guys had learned all there was to learn from the tutorial, and started to experiment on their own, something which should have resulted in a PC demo (I thought it was a Amiga demo! /Makke) for Remedy '98, but never got finished.

The name Alpha Millennium was still used when they released their DreamHack'99 demo Solids of Revolution (which ended up at 2nd place after RZR1911). They had too many logos and stuff to change the name at that point. However, for their Remedy2k release Automatic Mind Control they cut it down to AMC (the initials of Alpha Millennium Crew, though that no longer is the meaning of AMC). The members don't really know what AMC stands for, and things got rather confusing when GammaWave found out that AMC had released a demo at SE2k, without him knowing it.

It has turned out that two Norwegian guys called D-Star and Loop somehow got the impression that they were members of AMC, though GammaWave only had said he'd think about it, but that things looked bright for them and that they might just become members. Another misunderstanding had also taken place. D-Star and Loop thought that AMC stood for Automatic Mind Control, which it doesn't. (Though it's easy to see how they came to that conclusion.)

Gamma Wave, which was your first reaction when you found out AMC had released a demo at SE2k?

Initially confused, and later quite pissed off.

What's up next in the AMC-lab?

IRLing, mostly. Living in real life. We're trying to motivate ourselves into making a final version of the Remedy demo, and it's not going very well. We have, however, made several improvements to our 3d engine, and are planning to construct a new and better demo system in the near future. So, if we ever get around to making it, you can count on the final version being far better.

Any plans for new smashing demos?

Lots of plans! Our next serious project will probably be for Dreamhack, but in the meantime we'll probably release some fast-coded-in-one- weekend-demos. Apart from that, we plan to put a lot of work into a demo for The Party. The Dreamhack demo will probably be sort of a "last rehearsal" before that.

Why cut down the name from Alpha Millenium Crew to AMC?

Wouldn't you? :)

(Weeeeell, you know. AMC is faster to write /Makke)

You won the non-accelerated demo-compo at Remedy 2k. What are your thoughts on demos using all the latest technology and hardware?

I'm a bit uncertain about that. Basically, I don't have any "religious beliefs" that forbid the use of 3d graphics chips. Demos have always been about showing off what hardware can do, even stuff it's not supposed to be able to do. But in the old days that meant digging into some serious hardcore hardware hacking, working around the system etc. Today it means using a 3D API, instead of coding stuff manually. I dislike that part a bit. On the other hand, the demo-scene has always been something of an artistic mirror of the game industry, as well as a nursery for budding game programmers/artists/ musicians. From that point of view, using 3D acceleration seems quite natural.

Have you totally left the Amiga-scene?

No. I've never been in the Amiga-scene. I only watched from distance, fascinated. I still do.

Ever thought about leaving the scene permanently and becoming an exotic dancer?

Can't remember, but I might have considered that at my peak of irritation about the indescribable stupidity and incompetence of the Dreamhack 99 organizers.

Do you read a lot of diskmags, and do you think there's any "use" for diskmags in the scene these days?

Less than I used to... now I mostly only read a few articles that seem interesting. Lack of time. As for your second question, once again I find giving you a straight answer hard. On the one hand, I have a nostalgic sympathy for diskmags - they contribute to creating the mysterious and almost mythological atmosphere that surrounds the scene in the eyes of a newcomer or outsider. On the other hand, they are an aged relic from a time without WWW. As a medium, they cannot compete with webpages/portals, but as a cultural phenomenon they have their given place in the demo scene, and their existence can be justified in historical and traditional terms.

In which state are you usually at demoparties? The only time I saw you, you were rather sober though you hadn't slept for several days (Remedy '98).

Well, I was sober. Not sleeping is a mistake I try to avoid nowadays. At the end of Remedy 98 I had an imprint of my keyboard on my face, after having suddenly fallen asleep on top of it some 4 hours before the prize ceremony. These days I try to find some sort of balance between sleeping, coding, drinking and talking to people. Still, the latter two activities tend to dominate. :)

Do you code/finish up the demos at the parties or do you do all that stuff at home and concentrate on socializing while at parties?

Mostly we concentrate on socializing with people when we actually should be finishing the demo. For instance, the Remedy demo wasn't finished at all, and we knew we probably could stretch the deadline half an hour or so, but instead we finished it REALLY fast, and went drinking in the nearby park with other people attending the party (practically all the Finnish people and maybe 10% of the Swedes :)) instead.

Got anyone you'd like to greet before we call it a day?

The rest of the AMC people, all our friends, and (almost) everybody I met at Remedy 2k. Also Fairlight, Noice, Replay, Woorlic and all the other groups that keep Sweden in a top position in the scene. Good luck to our "Swedish delegation" at Assembly - I think we'll be seeing a lot of your names next to numbers such as 1, 2 and 3 in the result list. :)