Written by Eliot for Push'n'Pop
The idea that CPC sceners could go to the ForEver was launched in the Plasmorphy demo in which music was composed by Factor6, who introduced me the ForEver party. Of course, I couldn't be sure that the idea is interesting for other sceners but who dares wins!
The topic has been opened on Push'n'Pop in the end of October without generating a lot of reactions I admit. Probably it was a too strange proposition in a CPC scene who rarely goes to the demoparties! Distance and time are frequent reasons not to move. Fear of the stranger could be an other reason in this case: C64, XL, Spectrum and its clones! So many unknown things in the CPC scene!
Finally Rouquemoute and Pulkomandy confirmed their will to come and I was more and more sure to come, related to my professional time. Due to different personnal situations, we traveled separately, after having support from Mike/Zeroteam. Pulkomandy traveled by Eurolines Bus, Rouquemoute with Ryanair for a short journey and on my own, also Ryanair but for a 6 days trip to visit Bratislava with my girlfriend and go to the party in Horna Suca village.
The Dirty Dozen
On the ForEver site, I proposed to offer CPCs to interested people. Among them, Ikon/SinDiKat kindly proposed us to take us in his new car to the party place. So we left Bratislava Friday at 5.00 pm. The route is about 1 hour on highway and 15 minutes in the country-side. During the travel, Ikon told me about SinDiKat club: the members regularly meet in Bratislava to repair and upgrade machines. A very nice iniative! Visit the blog here at http://sindikat.bloguje.cz
AY Riders liveact
Once arrived, people were already installed. We joined Pulkomandy at his table with the probably first Thomson MO5 in Slovakia. Mike/Zeroteam provided me a TV for my CPC, then I change it for a CTM brought by Pulmonady. I was now ready to watch the show! Yes, one of the most remarkable aspects in ForEver C is the will to produce shows. It was the 12th edition, so the topic was The Dirty Dozen, a famous american war film. I have to admit that the first minutes were surprising: Wotnau/Dmagic was dressed in military uniform and introduced the different events on the stage. The first event was the AY-Riders performance. AY-Riders is a chiptune band playing music with Zx Spectrums and upgraded 8 bits computers. Colorful demo effects illustrated the musical performance on the big screen. After the concert, it was the moment to walk in the room to look at the other computers: Atari XL, C64, Spectrum, Didaktik and other ZX clones. One important thing to mention is that extensions are wide-spread, mainly systems to store Disc or Tape images on Compact Flash and select them through a file browser. Atari 8bits are upgraded with memory and sound extensions.
"Oh, I've never seen this Spectrum before!"
The french CPC delegation had only 1 CPC with CTM, Symbiface2, HxC USB Floppy Emulator and 3.5" drive. So the CPC stand was insignificant and the people who looked at the 3 nude CPC put on the top of the CTM often asked what is an Amstrad computer! It was a shock! Few people knew CPC through emulators, POUET.NET and some PC Tools. To sum up: Winape, From Scratch, Arkos Tracker and Graph2X! So there is a large audience to conquer.
The most frequent request from interested guys is the graphical side of our CPC: resolution, colors, text mode, pixel encoding in memory, fullscreen, hardware sprites... Our machine gives the feeling that CPC graphic-modes are (too?) easy to master for experimented C64 or XL graphicians and coders!
ForEver is an important place to release productions in the 5 compos: Music, Graphics, Intro, Demo and Wild. People, mainly musicians, were completing their productions before the deadline, saturday in the morning. During the night, demos were projected on the big screen. But for Rouquemoute, my girlfriend and me, bedtime came fastly. Ellvis, one of the organizers, took everyone who booked a room in the pension. It's located in the village: you have to walk 15 minutes or 5 minutes by car. I have to say that the arrival at the pension was like a bad horror movie: a rainy night, a keeper with a barking dog, a strange building closed by a grid which must be locked just after you... But in fact, it was not so bad inside... Excepted the barking dogs, the singing chickens and the shower with only cold water. But we are demomakers! So, after the first night, we were back at the party place at 9:00, after having bought some food in a small grocer's shop.
Lotharek, the guy who sells the HxC Floppy Disc Emulator, was present. Rouquemoute had a defective USB Floppy Emulator, so Lotharek kindly changed it. I haven't HxC yet, so I'm provided now. It's really a very useful thing. Lotharek explained us the manufacturing in detail and the future of his products. For example, he showed us the black case to get a very proper installation. To meet such a passionate person was a great pleasure for me, as I consider this Hardware enables to continue using real machines.
Lotharek explaining his work
In the middle of the afternoon, we decided with other sceners to go outside for Pizza time! Then we walked in the village until we find the Pub/Pizzeria located near a river. Once entered, we realized that about 30 sceners were already in the restaurant! We had a lot of difficulties to understand the menu written in slovak and the 2 lovely waitresses didn't know any english words! Due to the influx, we have waited 2 hours to get our pizzas. Yes, we are demomakers!
When we came back at 17.00 the projection for compos has just begun. It started with the wild compos. A lot of participants moved their chair to set rows as in a theater. Funny... Ready for 89 entries to watch, listen, and not the least, note on the official vote-sheet. Wotnau presented each entry. Some entries made the audience laughing, like this picture showing an Atari XL team threatening a ZX guy with a Light-Gun by saying "registers or life!". Another funny production is a 1K demo on C64, with a scrolling-text telling there is only one K in the demo, so the K moves to be located in the words with K. This year, CPC compo was opened for GFX and Demos. 2 pictures: Supersly/Les Sucres en Morceaux and Mestaty/Frequency, 3 demos: Flames/Frequency, Wake Up/Benediction and Batman Forever/Batman Group. Sadly some guys have left before CPC compo and Wake Up preview provoked an incident with the projector: 2 effects have not been shown. Batman Forever was the last demo and it was a very good surprise. Factor6 claimed for several weeks the Rhino's demo was the best demo ever on CPC, but even warned, watch it on the big screen for the first time was impacting. I think a lot of people in the room were also surprised and their mind about CPC may change, at least to consider it as a demo machine!
During the compos
The prizegiving ceremony is something to be lived! The hour of the ceremony surprised us: 9:00 am in the Sunday morning! Wotnau is back on the stage to give prizes to the 3 best scored productions in each category. Every winner come on the stage, receive a diploma and is invited to tell some words. Factor6 was rewarded several times and also got the Eternity Prize, for being so involved in the scene. The atmosphere is very friendly: competition is maybe hard but respectful!
Eliot showing his Push'n'Pop T-shirt to Wotnau
So ceremony ended at 10:30 and I was surprised to see everyone tidying up the material. ForEver was closed! It's earlier than what we know in CPC meetings and also in other demoparties, according to Rouquemoute. So we tidied up fastly our material, gave my last CPC to Tinctu who gave me an Atari XL. 4 CPC were given and 1 other has been requested. Maybe we'll see something one day made with these CPC, or not! But at least, the owners know CPC is not one of the Spectrum clones... :)
Finally, Rouquemoute, my girlfriend and I came back to Brastislava with Ikon while Pulkomandy stayed at Mike's place. We visited the historical city center, typical Slovakian pub, the traditionnal market hall where we ate strange but good food like gherkins stuffed in the cabbage... Yes, we are demomakers!
So ForEver C was a very good experience! I have to congratulate the party staff: Mike, Ellvis, Wotnau the fantastic MC, CreamD, XI and other people involved in organisation. Maybe it could be better with an ordely organization of tables and with several coffeepots! I have also to thank Ikon for transport and I send greetings to everyone met there.
Arguments to go there:
- a friendly international 8-bit meeting with 100 persons
- Bratislava Airport or Eurolines bus service to Trencin
- cheap entrance fees
- accomodation facilities in the renovated pension
- excellent reception and helpful persons
- nice animations like AY Riders concert
- the most expected pizzas ever
- a trip in Slovakia
Ryanair flight to Paris-Beauvais was monday in the late afternoon. While we were waiting in boarding room, after having been checked, we heard a message "Mr Eliot is asked at the luggage scanner!". Then I came in the scanner room and watched my orange bag scanned on a control monitor: a dark mass in the middle with several wires all around! The woman operator and a policeman asked me to open the bag. It was the Atari XL given by Tinctu! Then she laughed: "Ah, ah, ok! Atari!". :)