24 Jun - 26 Jun 2011
Written by Krusty for Push'n'Pop
I arrive at the party on Friday at 9pm. Some guys are already here (Genesis8, Tom&Jerry, Eliot, Elodie, Power, Grim, Supersly, Barjack, Hicks and Beb), it's nice to see them. Cloudstrife, Pulkomandy and Plume Argentée arrive few time later. I have not seen them since the latest party I attended (maybe four years ago at Croco Channel 4). I install my CPC/CRTC 0 near Beb's CPC. As I mainly develop on my Laptop, it was not switched on a lot ;) Several other computers are present. Most of my time is consecrated to watch demos on these machines.
- a ZX Spectrum with an extension allowing to launch disc/tapes/sna from a SD card.
- an Atari STE with the HXC extension to launch discs from a SD card.
- a C64 with a 1541 Ultimate II which allows it to launch discs and listen SID music.
11:32pm, it is dinner time! Does Eliot really want to kill us? He has only chosen food which may contains Escherichia coli... vegetables. Everybody knows, excepted Hicks maybe, that vegetables are not the appropriate food for a CPC scener.
Don't worry, everybody is in good health since the party
After lunch we watch some Spectrum demos with Eliot, Beb, Hicks and Supersly. I thought I will become blink with all these flashing demos! Supersly is happy to see that he is not alone on earth... As a projector is present at the party place, we watch Batman Forever using it with Grim, Cloudstrife, Pulkomandy and Plume Argentée. It is a good thing to see BF with a projector. Very few demos work on such a kind of device: most of them are not really at 50 Hz or does not respect screen standards... We can quote: Big'O'Full'O'Demo, From Scratch, Camembert Meeting 4. BF only fails before displaying the interlaced picture. 3am, time to sleep at home.
I arrive on Saturday morning at 9am. Barjack and Hicks have not yet slept. Time for them to go to bed together in the projection room. There are not a lot of previews to see at this party. Power has coded several nice soft effects on his Amstrad Plus (a kaleidoscope effect, a Radial Blur, a Texture mapping effect, etc.). I hope he will release them one day! He has used the tool presented here to compute the tables for the mapping. As I will present later, he also works with Grim on a new CPC extension. Grim quickly explains me how to correct my 4K in order to be compatible on all the CRTCs. I apply these corrections and other ones, but as a results, I obtain a file bigger than 4K, so I need to remove them before the contest.
A wrong machine to make the best demos :)
Fano arrives at 12am. He presents R-Type to everybody. I play a bit with it, it is very nice, but I am not a really great player, so I have only seen the very beginning of the first level of the game ;) Tom&Jerry spends a large part of this morning to present new CPC games. There are really great. I only remember Sub Hunter and a short game called Edge Grinder built with C64 sprites (very nice) from the same author.
After lunch, there is another demos projection session: Parasites, DTC, bnd#2007, Arôme Tomate, From Scratch, Camembert 4 (big failure because of the HBL), TAF, Pheelone, Plasmorphy, Boules et Bits, Moody, Step Beyond. While the other continue to watch other CPC demos, I decide to watch some Atari and C64 demos before going to code the writer of "Senteur Sapin" (the demo I will present to the compo). In the end of the afternoon, Beb starts to draw the picture of the demo: a picture of us.
Some years ago, I have broken a CRTC1 when trying to install a PARADOS ROM, so I ask to Pulkomandy to repair it. He tries to solve my mistakes without any success... CPC cannot start anymore :( He has also applied the bootloader update of my HXC which was needed to install the latest firmware.
Shap, Camillo, Exin and Ram7 come at 4pm. It is interesting to see the kind of things Camillo is doing.
An important event in Eliot's meeting are the contests. The productions done for the them are presented on Saturday evening before dinner. The contests are: musics, graphics, demos, 4k.
The show room
Untz Unts Untz
The music contest starts by listening 9 musics! What?! 9 musics? Yes, we have a lot of music to listen to, but there are only 3 different musicians: Egotrip did 2/3 of the songs! It is hard for me to explain how they sound. So feel free to download the dsks, transfer them on your real CPC and listen to them with the buzzer output. Indeed, all the musics have been listened to without any external speaker, but only with the internal speaker. So they may not sound how their authors expected ... A good thing in this contest is that none of those musicians are known in the CPC scene. I do not even know if they have already composed for other oldschool computers.
The first sound we hear is "CPC Breakah" from Dma-Sc, an Atari composer. I find it really nice. The next three songs are on the first musicdisk from Egotrip. It was released during a CPC-Power contest. But as he was the only one participant, Egotrip prefered to submit it in another contest with other competitors. Very nice way of thinking. But, I do not really love this kind of song. It reminds me techno Spectrum musaxx, which I hate a lot. Maybe I am not enough open minded ;) Next sound is "Escape" from RoleMusic. Sorry, I do not remember well what kind of music it was, my brain is full of Egotrip music ;) The next sound is "Take Off" from McKlain, and after it, we hear again 3 Egotrip's songs released especially for the contest.
Size does mater
The next contest is the 4K compo. What a shame for the CPC scene, there is only one competitor with a quick and dirty easy-made compo! Of course, I am this competitor!
Beginning of autopromotion.
In this 4K you can admire the first realtime 50HZ overscan rotozoom ever done on Amstrad CPC. The good music is from EgoTrip and the nice colors are from Voxfreax.
End of autopromotion.
The file submitted in the compo is 4K long without header (and 5K with it), but the file released after the party is a real 4K file, with fully CRTCs compatible.
CPC Iz Dead
Once again, there is almost nobody to present a demo for the demo contest. Two unfinished demos from Benediction are presented, in a preview state. They are both almost finished and will be released very soon. The first demo presented is "Senteur Sapin" by Krusty for the code, Beb for the colors and one picture and a Count Zero Atari transfert for the music. The demo presents a nice mode 1 software plasma I did years ago, inside a box in the lower left part of the screen and a picture replaced by a writter in the top right part of the screen. The released version will change its name for "Les experts - Coutances" with an additional collaboration of Barjack for the font and the logo. The second demo is a musicdisk called "Outer World Music" by Eliot for the code, Rex for the graphics and Factor6 for the music. The picture of Rex is really marvelous. I think it would have won the gfx contest if it has been presented here. I even thought it was an Amstrad Plus picture the first seconds I saw it. I have not really listened to Factor6's musics, they are good but seem familiar to me. Eliot does not need to kill the CPC scene, it is already dead, only Benediction is still alive ;)
Several pictures are presented in the graphics contest. We can order them in 3 different categories:
- Amstrad Plus images.
- Amstrad old generation images.
- Amstrad images associated to hardware tricks.
Two Amstrad Plus pictures are presented: "LittleDGirl" by Rahow presents a nice little girl on the right of the screen with a volcanic background and a strange creature on the left (mode 0). Globally it is a nice picture but it is not enough dark in my opinion. The viewer is not centered on screen, but it is satisfying for a new CPC coder. I hope Rahow will continue to graph on Amstrad and his coder will continue to learn CPC code. "Bulldog" by Kris. It presents a dog face in grey colors and the text RESET 0 vertically displayed on the right (mode 0). The picture would be far better without these ugly letters, but the dog is interesting to see.
Only one picture is presented for the Amstrad old generation: "Laureline" by Exin. Ouf, no horse and dicks this time, my daughter can see this picture ;) This is a mode 1 picture with a girl lying on the floor. It has been quickly made in less than 2 hours at the party. A quick impressive result in so few time to draw, although the picture would need more time to cleanly finalize it.
Two hardware related pictures are shown: "Size does not mater" by Supersly. It is a mode 1 picture displayed on 3 screens. Some parts are not visible because they are supposed to be under the monitor plastic and in the space between two monitors. The picture is a digitalization of an old car in black and red, and the title of the graph in white. Impossible to see it at home ;)
"Interlaced 800*600" by Grim is the first real interlaced picture on Amstrad. It can only works on a real Amstrad CTM monitor. The picture is hard to describe, but trust me, it is a beautiful mode 2 picture. I will let Grim explaining later how the effect works, but basically the aim is to trick the monitor to display one frame out of two an half pixel line lower.
After the dinner at 11:45pm, Hicks or Tom&Jerry selects a lot of C64 sid to listen to. Once again, I continue to code for the writer of the demo presented before. Beb draws the main picture of the demo and Barjack the font. The name changed from "Senteur sapin" (reference to "Arôme Tomate" and can be translated as "it smells like death" and can be interpreted as "CPC is dead") to "Les experts - Coutances".
Real true color
At 1:30am Grim, Pulkomandy and Cloudstrife experiment an interesting thing in Basic: real true color on CPC. However such a kind of things only works on projector and TV screens and not on CTM screens. The aim is to trick the TV by letting it thinking that the black reference color is another one. Really nice to watch.. 3am, I am too tired, time to sleep at the party.
I wake up at 9:30 am. Grim and Barjack have not slept. Tom&Jerry is creating music. Exin, Ram7 and Pulkomandy are already here too. During the morning, Beb removes the CRTC of my broken CPC and plugs in my CRTC0 computer. Thanks to a switch, I can now choose to use one of the two CRTCs on the same machine. A must to have CRTC0 and CRTC1 without space problems! Thanks again man.
Dual CRTC 0 & 1
I have not seen many new projects. The only two things I can relate are: Pulkomandy is creating a new card which will be the successor of the Ramcard allowing to use 4 or 8 times more ROMs, I do not remember. Grim and Power are developing an interesting card allowing to communicate between several CPCs together or a CPC and a PC using a wireless protocol. The aim is to obtain an interface (faster ?) easier to use and cheaper than a CPCBooster.
The results of the various compos are presented before lunchtime on Sunday. The votes have been done during the night (each participant voted for one production per compo).
Each winner get a price:
- Rahow wins the graphics contest and obtains a cool propaganda T-shirt: the Push'n'Pop T-shirt.
- McKlain wins the music contest and obtains a cool numbered original picture from Made.
- Krusty wins the demo contest and obtains an original of Sub Hunter.
- Krusty wins the 4k contest and obtains another cool numbered original picture from Made.
To conclude, as usual with parties organized by Eliot, it was a really nice meeting with a lot of things to say and a lot of nice guys to meet. See you at the ReSet 0x08.