The main compos started with the ASCII and ANSI graphics, where people show off clever pictures made with text graphics.
Next up was the executable old skool music entries, which evoke memories of 80s synthpop, Jean-Michel Jarre and Mike Oldfield.
This was a very pleasant part of the evening, with drink and food being enjoyed while the compos pumped on in the background. Scroller guy and his group had betaken themselves to the front of the venue, albeit leaving some questionable images running on their screens. One had admitted being at a rather infamous series of German Easterparties in the past, where the guys preferred to download x-rated stuff and misbehave all night rather than submit actual compo entries. It seems as if they think they’re still there now, partying furiously all night, sleeping during the day and being constantly drunk from beginning to end of the show.
The animation and video compo followed and then a demonstration of some of the games in development by the scene, including one really clever 2D curved space game which looked like a cross between a marble shooter and space invaders and in which the game space was constantly moving. That looked fiendishly difficult to play but would certainly appeal to fans of space invaders-style games.
An epic DJ-set by Knoeki vs. glxblt was next on the agenda, which allowed time for some serious work on my many and varied writing projects. Then, to howls of “AMIGAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!”, the first of the Amiga intros was aired. Things went rapidly downhill from there, with the noise building and the drunken yelling ratcheting up a decibel every few seconds. True, some of it was deserved, as some of the entries in both the Amiga intros compo and the following oldskool demo compo were very well done. But some of it was simply blokes that don’t dance having a Saturday night with several beers too many and a computer. In public, rather than in their homes.
(As I type the bass-heavy thump from behind me tells me that Scroller guy and his crew have risen from their pit, more like zombies than Jesus this Easter Sunday. I don’t even have to look round, I’d know that racket anywhere.)
Anyway, back to last night. Come the end of the compos and Scroller guy was back at his machine, watching a football match. I hope it was on the German equivalent of iPlayer or that’s another offence to add to the many ways he’s already transgressed this weekend!
We didn’t hang around after that much, as after the football was finished, he went into full Obnoxious Git mode and started yelling obscenities into his microphone. Now, I’m no prude thanks to years spent working in male-dominated industries, but really, sometimes, I just need to get away from people until they and/or I calm down. So after telling him firmly in English and then colloquial German to please pipe down a few decibels (as it were) we left.
This morning, I woke up with one blocked sinus thanks to falling face first into bed and staying there firmly until shaken awake by my husband. After the usual solid breakfast, we headed out to walk back to the party place. This time we followed the route which the shuttle bus had taken the night before and then branched off to walk alongside the river, which eventually brought us out under the railway bridge and in through the pedestrian access to the retail park.
Almost immediately we were in place, the compos started up. First, the executable newskool music compo which was just as good as the oldskool version yesterday. Then the modern graphics designers had their turn, before more tunes with the streaming music entries. More graphics followed and then the fascinating Wild compo.
The Wild compo is so called because it’s where the really creative coders get to show off their skills. This year’s entry list was notable for two truly groundbreaking demos.
The penultimate entry was a demo written for an Adventure Vision tabletop games console. There are only four known games for this machine which has a red monochrome screen powered by spinning mirrors. The demo featured scrollers, animation and an awful lot more than you might expect the machine to be capable of.
The last entry was performed on an oscilloscope. Yes, a medical oscilloscope. Copies of the demo will allegedly be available on VHS video tape!
And now, if no one minds, I’m going in search of some wine while I listen to tonight’s DJ-set from h0ffman of Unstable Label.