Hugi Magazine 32: Say It With Flowers

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Breakpoint 2006 report ( Written By Crest )

The mixed car and train trip to this year's Breakpoint started very early at 5 o'clock in the morning. The streets were pretty empty, so our car trip from Berlin reached the train station in Frankfurt after less than 5 hours, from where I continued my journey by train. At around 12:30, I reached the party location, namely (like 2005) the futuristic looking 'Rundsporthalle'.

After one year of complete absence from German parties I'm here now, as an Affinity member, to submit a demo for the group (just watch their Nullarbor demo 'Desolation' if you don't know them yet). Thanks also to qlone for lending the flat panel. The campfire was already burning, and the food stands were open. At around 15:00 we were thrown out of the hall for some preparations by the organizers and to pay the entrance fee. Finally, after this had been done, the party network with Internet access worked as well.

After some chats (with flapjack and digisnap for example), some hours later, it was time for the opening ceremony: the search for the lost scene spirit and the scene friends. Now we are just waiting for the live concert by Ultrasound. In the meantime, DJ Yoda was at the decks in the beer tent in front of the hall entrance. Finally, around midnight, Ultrasound started with their live concert, where they played several well known demo soundtracks and other music. It seems that most visitors liked it. The DSL connection to the outside world was pretty unstable for a while, but now, in the early morning, it's OK again.

After a few hours of sleep, it was time to have a shower. Luckily the showers were open at this time :) If you wanted to go to the toilet then you would need some time since there weren't really that many toilets available for the several hundred visitors. This day's weather wasn't as nice as expected, but at least it was not raining yet, and the sun shone through the clouds from time to time. The team was filming here and at least the day before there had also been a live stream from Breakpoint for some time. Also, the German TV station SWR was filming here. 13:20h was a memorable time, since it was the first time that a demo was running on the big screen (except for the visualizations during the Ultrasound concert).

At 14:00, the first compo started, namely the tracked music compo with several pretty good tunes. This also applied to the executable music compo which followed right after it. As usual you could follow these compos outside at the food stands as well. But now we were heading for the 4k compos (PC, Amiga, C64). The PC 4k compo brought us some very nice stuff (again). Especially the entries by bitpopler, tggc and the dancing robots in the intro 'cubeman' by bero^0ok were excellent.

t$' raving tomatoes returned once again, this time on a submarine in 'holy blasphemy'. The Amiga 4k-compo was cancelled as only one entry had been submitted. This one was moved to the 64k-compo. In the C64 4k compo, the intro 'artefacts' by krill + fanta of plush was clearly the best, setting new standards. During the compo, quite a few visitors were actually also outside boozing or having a BBQ. Loonies were easily beating all other 64k intros in the Amiga compo with their moved 4k intro 'planet loonies'. Be sure to grab it!

The animation/video compo was a real highlight this year. Watch out for excellent releases by jco (dreamchaser), aenima (egon & donci 2), a 'memorize your future' parody and a hell funny cartoon video about escaping tits by pluisje + solenoid. From the C64 democompo, you should be sure to get the kickass demos 'error 23' by resource & the dreams and 'non plus ultra' by singular crew. At 22:30 the welle:erdball live concert started. Regular visitors of German Easter parties probably know them from mekka-symposium 2001. At least the volume during the concert was twice as high as any compo before.

Two local Nazis tried to enter the hall, but according to scamp they were removed successfully by the security team and local police.

This year's host for the awards was netpoet. The show started with some bigger delay at 0:30. During the awards (for the results check the awards page, big winners are 'aether' by mfx and tbl's ocean machine) there was a short live video conference with The Gathering, and additionally a short video with greetings from The Gathering was shown. After some pinball playing on an Amiga, it was time to sleep a bit.

For some unknown reason, everything at Breakpoint 2006 was about Chuck Norris, at least on the party IRC, and sometimes even on the big screen :) The first compo on this Sunday was Sir Garbagetruck's ANSI/ASCII compo, followed by executable music (oldschool), the photo compo and the streaming music compo. Again, the music compos featured some pretty good tracks. After these compos, I played an electronic music set in the beer tent for about 2 hours, featuring a mix of commercial and scene music (playlist). So I mostly missed the 96k game compo.

The only game I saw was 'pinball dreams' - on a C64! Excellent work. Shortly after 19:00, it was time for the console/wild compo with interesting entries. For example a mobile demo for Sony-Ericsson K700 phones, or a demo which ran on a PC cluster consisting of 8 PCs. All eight monitors formed one big picture. An amazing GBA demo came from the shit faced clowns. Shortly before the PC 64k compo, kb told the visitors about an offcial letter with greetings from the authorities of the town of Bingen.

In the 64k compo IMO the intros 'memento' by conspiracy and especially 'meet the family' by fairlight were the best but you should also check the other releases. Once again the Amiga compo was remarkable, and you should especially watch out for the demos by iris (kilofix), ephidrena (lux aeterna luciat eis) and of course tbl with their 'requiem'. Now we can have a rest from the many compos. I had an interesting chat with nosfe outside the hall. At this time, the bass live concert started inside the hall. And the bass was really a shock to my ear over a long period.

Shortly after midnight it was time for the very last compo, namely PC demo with 29 entries. However, many of the demos were only average or even clearly below, and there was no real outstanding highlight. After watching the compo, I thought that the affinity demo 'bloodshot' deserved at least a place between 10 and 15 without wanting too much.

The highlights of the compo were the demos by anadune + nah-kolor (moonstone), synesthetics (electric kool-aid), asd (captive) and mfx (deities). The compo itself ran mostly without bigger problems, except that the beam system for the info screens was broken for some time. Now that the votes had been cast, the party continued outside at the fire or in the beer tent.

There I also had a nice talk with the iris members. In the morning hours there was a nice jam session with about 10 sceners near the hall entrance. The party was, all in all, very good, even though the special flair of Breakpoint 2003 + 2004 is hard to top.