Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

Archive for April, 2007

Block Party: Hops!

Posted by Trixter on April 30, 2007

So here’s the deal with the Hops! inside joke.

As Phoenix reported, Necros, Phoenix, The Finn, and Inspired Chaos drank beer and chilled for a few hours, after which it seemed like a good idea at the time to create a beertro. They came back to the Block Party lounge and started to work on it. The high point of this was Inspired Chaos screaming “Water! Yeast! Sugar! Hops!” into a microphone as samples for the tune. All standard practice, I’m sure, except that at one point he wasn’t happy with his rendition of “Hops!” and decided to record multiple renditions of it. After 30 seconds of “Hops. Hops! Hops? Hops!! HOPS!!” etc. the entire room started to crack up, and it cracked up again when Necros started adding reverb/echo to it (“HOPS Hops hops…”).

They didn’t finish, but Necros made the mistake of giving the unfinished tune to Phoenix, who made it presentable and submitted it to the music compo where it amazingly didn’t come in last place :)

Posted in Demoscene | 7 Comments »

Block Party: Phoenix’s Report

Posted by Trixter on April 30, 2007

Just a quick post to direct you to Phoenix’s party report.

I agree with most of what Phoenix writes. I disagree with the part about 3 minute song length; if we extended it to four minutes, then we’d have to do jury pre-selection to toss stuff out to limit the length of the compo, and that has its own set of pros and cons.

I wholeheartedly agree with $15 per speaker DVD… $10 is a little more reasonable. Since mine in particular is nearly complete garbage because of the power loss and poor recording, I feel mine shouldn’t have been sold at all. (Yes, I’m still working on editing together a watchable version of mine.)

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Block Party: The rebirth of the True Real Wild

Posted by Trixter on April 30, 2007

These days, a wild compo usually means “animation”, and “real wild” means “any demo on any hardware”.  I miss the true real wild compos, where you could get up and sing, rap,

Well, the True Real Wild compo surfaced at Block Party and it was great.  We had a demos, sure, like a great TI-85 calculator demo, but other wild compo entries included:

  • Someone playing through the first level of Gradius without being able to see his player or missle sprites
  • The mention of a tool to help compose music for 4K intros
  • Home-brewed beer (!)

…etc.  That’s what I like to see.  Since the first inspirations of nerdcore came from true wild compos, I’d like to see them back in major competitions.  Oh well, yet another thing Block Party hit a home run on :-)

Posted in Demoscene | Leave a Comment »

Block Party: I’m back

Posted by Trixter on April 29, 2007

Block Party was Jason Scott’s attempt to single-handedly re-jumpstart the North American demoscene and simultaneously introduce it to 200+ creative hackers at NOTACON.  It was a smashing success and I’m going to post daily about it until I can’t remember any more.

Unfortunately for me, the presentation I gave was rife with technical difficulties. The previous presenter took 59 minutes for his presentation so I had no time for setup and wasted 15 minutes of the audience’s time jury-rigging something together.  Then 7 minutes in, the fucking power went out (NOT MY FAULT) and it was only me and my laptop on battery power.  That was enough to talk for ten minutes, but during that time there was no audio recorded.  There was also no audio recorded for the audience questions…  So, I’ll be spending a few hours days trying to edit together a watchable video for my friends and folks.

That was the only sore point, honestly. The rest of the 99% rocked the house and, while it’s nowhere near euro turnout numbers, the social and quality turnout was exceedingly saturated.  Hops!

Posted in Demoscene | 1 Comment »

Completing the trilogy

Posted by Trixter on April 1, 2007

For the first time in as long as I can remember, I’ve played a game to completion.  While I’m 3 years late, I finally finished Project: Snowblind, the unofficial sequel to Deus Ex: Invisible War.  (Why unofficial?  Because when they saw the poor sales numbers of Deus Ex 2, they decided to “salvage” the project and change the assets to something generic to distance themselves from the property.)

If you’ve played the original Deus Ex but hated the sequel, you need to play Snowblind because it offers a glimpse into how the series could have dug itself out of a hole.  The first two Deus Ex games were mostly about avoiding combat; Snowblind promptly thrusts you into combat and never lets up.  Unlike the first two games, it is finally satisfying to enable invisibility, walk up to an enemy, and shotgun blast him into another timezone.

Snowblind is less than $10 for any of the three platforms it came out on; I recommend a console version because the PC version has some major glitches and no patches were ever released.

Posted in Gaming | 5 Comments »