DEMOSCENE ★ THE CPC IN THE YEAR 2000: THE TRADITIONAL REVIEW ★

PROLOGUE

Hello! Optimus is here, not knowing how to start :P First I wanted to congratulate the Pain Staff for the last issue. Many interesting articles where included in this issue. Especially this scene survey which may be very usefull for people beeing curious about the other scenes. I am wondering who had the idea to do this? (Because the same survey will appear in Showtime and Scenet too as far as I know..) I mostly loved to read the C64 articles, heh I am in love with the C64 scene, (Futurama meets C64? Oh, my god! How damn cult can C64 be?!?!) and so the "C64 in 2000" article (Oh, the PC2000 was good too ;) So I decided to write one about CPC in the year 2000. Btw, I am thinking to repeat this in 2001, 2002, e.t.c.. too! In Pain diskmag. Heh, why not? Why not making the CPC Scene which is too small, more known to the worldwide demoscene? Why not informing people about what happened in our corner of the scene? Just 1 article per year! So easy task! So, until next year! :)

Writing a simple article like this seems to be very easy task. Just report the most important prods, parties, events, progresses, etc. Give some addresses and talk a little about the future too. The strange is that I still didn't knew how to start. I wanted to start writing this shit in the morning and now it is night. Either I couldn't start, or I did other things on my computer or I had to stop because of some visitors and I finally started writing my very first words in the night. It happens everytime I want to start writing, even for the simpliest article! It took me 10 days to write a tutorial on firefx for our CPC mag, so simple, but everyday something happened and I couldn't start! Now I have to write 4+ tuts and 4+ important articles with thoughts for Ovation 6 until June. (Deadlines will drive me fast! :) Btw, this exam I was most active as an article writer now I am thinking it. Anyway.. let's fuck off, this is not another crazy Optimus article! This will be brief, elegant and typical. I promise!

THE CPC PRODUCTIONS IN 2000

First and very early prod I wanted to mention is Ecole_Buissoniere (which is French and means "Runaway from School"). It might be either February or March when I logged in the Genesis 8bit site from my university, which updates with news about any new CPC production uploaded on ftp.lip6.fr, and I saw a new demo beeing released by a group called Overlanders. "Hmm, a new CPC production? Probably another lame scroller..." I said. You see, CPC scene is so small now and it's so rare to see today something new released and usually you expect scroller parts. There must be 7+ demos in 2000, and only 1 was something very groundbreaking. And that was the demo I am talking about! I downloaded it very fast among with an emulator, did the usual configurations and runned the demo. The title reminded me of something, perhaps on the Ojuice handle of some CPC scener, it was there in his "Favorite Demos" and I was wondering why I haven't heard of that demo before. (He had got it by swapping before it was uploaded on CPC ftp probably).

Some minutes after running it, I had to duck to pick up my jaw which had just droped on the floor!!! I was seeing it through an emulator in my university, and people couldn't understand why I was staring so obsessed on the screen, and talking with myself, while seeing these "shitty" graphics! It is maybe the best software demo ever appeared on CPC! Plasmas, Rotozoomers, Image distortion, fake texture mapping, some colorful effect which I can't explain but looks very psychedelic (Now I am thinking it, it seems a little like feedback effect on some horizontal/vertical lines or something but anyway), a light mask, neat stuff and all done in a large area of the screen for CPC software effects! It was great to see such a demo to fill the gap on the CPC Scene. Imho, it shows something more than effects. That we are able to do trackmo like demos on CPC! All these effects among with many gfx and 3 compressed YM musics where loaded in memory and after that you could throw the disk away! When I compare C64 with CPC, people say that C64 can load from disk while doing stuff and that's why they have so many trackmos. Some CPC sceners prooved that there is a way to load from disk while doing stuff. But Ecole prooves that you can even find ways to put all these stuff in the memory without having to stop for loading from the disk! And btw. even C64 has some great trackmo demos which load all stuff in memory and you then throw the disk away! (Like the onefiller Oneder by Graham which is so economic in memory and does all these great, fast and amazing stuff!) Of course, we still have lot's of stuff to see, Ecole was not the hardcore trackmo I am expecting (There was always the same screen/logo, just the effect window was changing with some transmitions, but still a breakthrough of ideas and coding for what the CPC has seen until now) but it surelly shows the way!

Hmm.. so big amount of text for one demo. For me it was the event of the year for CPC. Next production that remainded in my mind on 2000 was Demoniak 7. I don't remember if I have told you how much important I find diskmags. Especially for our small CPC scene. Because they show the community behind demos, you read their thoughts, you read news, etc. That's why I find very important that we will finally release Ovation issue 6. Anyway. Demoniak 7 was lacking of gfx, this was because the Arkos team was kinda busy or something and wanted finally to release this thing. But the texts are very good and there are many interesting news from France there to read. I love to read especially some thoughts about the scene and the great amount of z80 asm coding tutorials. As for the charts, 14 voters, I hope for more in the next issue! There must be 100+ people around CPC, quite few, but.. Anyway. Get Demoniak 7 to have a latest idea about what is happening in the CPC scene (Because 95% of the scene is French and Demoniak is perhaps the only active French mag written in English language..)

Other prods? Just a few important? First of all, Roudoudou's_Plasma. I have only seen it from a CPC+ emulator and I am not entirely sure if it's showed right. I think that Arnold can do the job. Roudoudou claims that it is the first hardware plasma on CPC (Excluding the ones which are actually Wavulations and not real Plasmas) but I remember of another hardware based plasma done by Antoine on Divine Megademo. Anyway, I don't have very much idea of hard fx and perhaps I am wrong here. Still, I didn't liked the plasmafx of Roudoudou as long as I have seen it from the emulator,. the moving cycles are hardly seen and they don't move that much, mostly hiding in some horizontal color lines. I wish I had a real CPC+ to test it for sure. Btw. another CPC+ demo on 2000 was ZeMeeting 2000 intro by Hard'Os. Just a writer and a cool Iron Maiden pic. I don't think that the CPC Scene will move on CPC+ machines, many will remain in their old CPCs, perhaps we will only see some sceners wanting to try new things with the unused capabilities of CPC+ (I am still waiting for 2 CPC+ Demos from Kev Thacker, the author of Arnold emulator, I have done few gfx for his demos too..)
 


Some more prods. Not_Dead_Demo by Rainbird/Arkos. A simple scroller demo with some nice gfx. Rainbird was supposed to be busy with his university in USA. He suddenly released this demo to show that he is still interested for CPC or something as I see. Even just a lame scroller demo, but still a good sign of activity.

Ohh.. almost forgot WACWE_Demo by Eliot. It even gives me an opportunity to talk about something else on the CPC Scene. But let's first talk about the demo. It's a report of a small meeting which I forgot how it was called :P A typewriter writer (Heh ;) and a small distortion/cylinder fx from Madram, the coder magician of Ecole. Then, a hardware wavulating effect used nicely to wave the French flag. The most cool thing is the very cute gfx! Cute? Because they are retouches from Mermaid gfx ;)

This is the point I want to talk. I don't know about the first pic, but the 2 gfx are from Mermaid and the final pic is by Electric/Extend. They are retouched gfx. Generally on the CPC Scene I see some retouched gfx (But hopefully no Boris Valejo trend ;) and mostly I hear reused musics! I run a demo and say to myself "I know this music!". CPC Sceners reuse old musics and retouch gfx. (Well this happen in other scenes too you will tell me..) It happened that I have talked a little about this matter with the coder of this demo and he told me that in the CPC Scene it is not easy to find a very active gfxists who have enough spare time to do some gfx for your production in time. There are few good gfxians, but not hyperactive to be able to give you very fast some new gfx for your demo. Many CPC Sceners are coders who want to show their latest effect in a small demopart and they just need to get some ready gfx and an old reused music to fit the demo. Hmm, another reason why we don't see trackmo demos with vast amount of new gfx and music? Another reason why CPC demos are not so artistic like on other scenes, but just lame scrollers or menudemos showing parts? I don't want to say if I agree or not with the retouching and reusing of music on CPC, I am just reporting the condition on CPC Scene. Btw. I am sometimes jealious of the other scenes! They don't release only demos but also gfx and music in the compos. CPC doesn't have compos on meetings btw. The other scenes are gfx and music art too! Design too! (Trackmo demos and not scrollers ;P) Hopefully the gfx and music disks that sometimes are released on CPC too, can show the artistic side of CPC except from coding. But I beleive that CPC has still many artistic things to show up! I am still jealous from that great C64 gfx and of their trackmos too! (Heh, I seem like I am always comparing CPC to the C64, what a habit!)

Lot of text, don't you think? What I was saying before about brief, elegant and not-an-Optimus article? Heh, forget it! Let's talk now about our prods (The Dirty Minds) Just some previews on 2000.

A_preview_of_our_diskmag_Ovation_issue_6 and a preview of my first good newbie codings on Z80 assembly, Plasmaworld_preview. Actually I passed some simple plasma fx (using 4*4 dithered characters, but be carefull, CPC doesn't have a nametable based Vram like other machines, I still spent some CPU time to output) and Antitec got obsessed and did his own versions on more normal resolution. I wouldn't release an update, but Antitec wanted, so.. the preview is antiergonomic released in haste. But at least few people had seen my first things on an Assembly language ever! I am very proud :)

CPC on the net

My most important production on the web was my own site about CPC Demoscene. I just wanted at the beginning, that a non-CPC-scener would find easily infos like, how CPC Demos looks, which are the best to watch, where to find emulators and what is happening with the CPC Scene today. I did a page with an introduction to CPC scene, news, demo screenshots and fave demos list, etc.. I have many ideas about my page, but right this moment I don't find the time to do even the slightest thing for many of my web or not projects I have left, so it is there for now, just to serve the people from other scenes who want to learn more about our own. Btw, I have tried very much to make the CPC Scene more known to the other scenes, or to the whole Demoscene as a demomaking culture on every machine. I am just hoping for new blood from other scenes reaching CPC. Perhaps because we are very few, but still alive. So many of my web or writting projects where about introducing the unknown CPC Scene. 2 Interviews, several articles on mags, mypage, beeing involved on Scenet, adding CPC prods on Pouet, etc.

I think that I have to write down now some CPC sites for you to visit. The_CPC_Demoscene. It seems that there are some sites beeing worked now which are supposed to be CPC portals or something. CPC_Center_by_Juggler. Roudoudou owns a page for Url Redirection for CPC Sceners . You can also check Roudoudou's Page for some cool images from latest parties and more. Of course the usual CPC links are Genesis 8bit and ftp.lip6.fr . If you are more interested for CPC scene, don't forget to add yourself on the German_International_Mailing_List (Sometimes people go berserk and speak German, but it's a list that holds sometimes interesting talking in English, but not so active like the_French_one ) You can also login in the CPC Irc channel runned by Jammet. Jammet hopes that this channel becomes more active in the future (So don't be scared if you see it empty as usually..) so I thought it might be a good idea to mention a link to that too! And finally, talking not only to CPC but also to sceners from other alternative scenes: Invade these 3 sites. Scenet, the demoscene portal , Pouet (Adding demoscene productions and writing comments about them, etc. from every machine), Orange Juice . Invade these! Make your alternative scenes more known to the people! They are not only PC but about the culture of demoscene on every machine! Especially Pouet. I just like the idea of a linked Demoscene, I like to see people who enjoy demos from various machines and are involved on many machines, I like to see it not as a CPC or Amiga scene, but as The Demoscene. And these sites, especially Pouet, shows the demoscene in the way I like to see it!

SOME MORE

I forgot to tell you few more good news of 2000. (I hope I haven't forgot anything else). Two old wellknown CPC Sceners are willing to start on CPC democoding again! One is a German guy called  Prodatron (Did the very good Digital_Orgasm with these neat looking 3d lisseajous figures and much more on CPC!) and the other one is Overflow of Logon System, who coded hardware demos like S&Koh or that great Shadow_of_the_Beast_parallax_scrolling! Great news! 2000 was a good year. (For other scenes too as I see, e.g. great things on PC again! Some cool things on Atari too! And some neat C64 demos too..) The year I started my CPC Demoscene page and my "meet the CPC Scene" campaign now I am thinking it :) One demo called Ecole Buissoniere showed us the way, and one more Demoniak issue showed us some hopefull news from France. Two old famous CPC Sceners are back on CPC (Well.. almost. I shouldn't say that until they release something again!) What more? Enthousiasm? Hope? Waiting for what 2001 will show us? I sometimes dream that the CPC Scene will be so cool like the other scenes. I hope for more people, a more international (less French only speaking) scene, lot's of fun, more artistic/designed demos, more special fx, innovations. I beleive that we have a lot of way to go on CPC! Lot of art to show on that machine! I may become boring by comparing with the C64 (No! I am not a CPC-or-Die fan as it may seem! I love C64 scene very much, I just like always to compare with C64, just because it's the best 8bit scene there I know...) but by comparing it, I can see how much more things can be done on our CPC. (And btw. I beleive that even C64 has not showed everything yet.. what a great feeling?! Feeling that the machine that has been kicked to it's limits like hell, has still a lot of creativity to burn! Heh, imagine what other machines have still to show us ;)

2001?

The first thing I am expecting from CPC is Demoizart. It was supposed to be a Megademo from Arkos, we were waiting a lot of time, but I hope that we will see it finally released inside 2001. Mortel wanted also to code a demo called Virus and they merged their parts with Arkos ones. There must be more than 12 parts in it. From the few infos I have about them, the menu will be a remake of Shadow of the Beast parallax scrolling that Overflow had coded long time ago. There are also some 3d dots and vectorballs too and perhaps some other things too. I have heard somewhere that it was supposed to have Amiga and PC Design (With a menu?) but whatever it is, I just hope to see it finally released!

I am also waiting for 2 CPC+ demos from Kev Thacker which have few of my own gfx. What more? Jack comeback? A demo from Prodatron or Overflow? New demo from Madram? Some other French prods? (Everyone is working on something according to diskmags but I don't see anything..) Btw. another good new of 2001 is that Jfmc&Catloc, 2 old Greek people from the dead Chaos group will start a new group called Brothers. Hmm.. let's see. And the final thing I am waiting from 2001, is the German_CPC_Reunion_meeting_in_Erlangen. It's at 8-10 June, exactly inside my Exams :P I wish I can visit it, but there are very few possibilities. It is supposed to be a meeting where many old and new scene farts from Germany will meet again. Perhaps a comeback of the German scene? Who knows. I want to meet many online friends there, even from the French or Latvian corner! (No, there is no CPC scene in Latvia! Yet.. :) Just a friend who is interested for CPC... great chance to meet him too, if I ever be able to go in the meeting...)

And finally our (The Dirty Minds) products! I have to write 8+ big articles for Ovation issue 6 until June (We plan to release it in Erlangen) I may waste many days of inactivity until I decide to write a paragraph, but deadlines will drive me fast I hope. I hope that our Diskmag will be a big gift for the CPC Scene. Just because I find diskmags very important to keep the scene alive, especially on the CPC where we lack of them! And our diskmag seems to have lot of cool content according to what I hear from Antitec. We may reach 40 articles, Peter will write asm tutorials, I will write 3-4 tuts on gfx algos, Rex will write tutorials on pixelling (Pixelling tutorials? Interesting for me..) there will be many CPC related articles and I will write also some important big articles on various thoughts about some interesting computer subjects. If Ovation6 is how I imagine it, I am very possitive about how much it will help the CPC Scene..
I only hope that I will catch up writting my articles, and it's very important that I will have my own pace to write the articles carefully, because some of them will contain personal thoughts of mine about various computing subjects. After Ovation6, I will be more free. Another period is ending for me. This exam was mostly the article writting exam now I am thinking it, even if I wanted to code something too. I was planning to code a demo (Feauturing fx in 4*4 dithered blocks, like plasmas, fire, feedback, bump, rotozoomer and some other normal fx too..) but I either didn't even touched my CPC this exam or I am slow at assembly to start something new, so I left it for later. Perhaps I will start working for this demo on the Summer. Perhaps later? Bah.. I hope as soon as possible, it will be a good demo for what CPC scene needs. I just hope as soon as possible... (Grr. and I am still very slow at assembly :P)

I think that I have to go. Another harshly written article for Pain (I am always finishing my articles in the end of the deadline, hey.. ;) I may waste 10days of inactivity for one article, but I may finish another one in 1day if the deadline is tomorrow... what a strange world)

Tsaya

PS 1: Almost forgot to give you links for emulators. Use Caprice32, it needs Vesa. For more, you can find links in my CPC Demoscene site or in other links..

PS 2: Damn, most of the CPC Demos on ftp.lip6.fr are not in dsk but in multiple files. You will need a utility called Transfer found somewhere in the ftp.. Anyway. one future project of mine is to convert all CPC demos in dsk format and upload them in my page (Or in ftp too, why not?). It's much easier. Why in multiple files and not in emulator disk image? It's even easier to convert for real CPC too. As multiple files, I have to transfer them in a dsk through lame command line and then transfer the dsk in a CPC disk. It's easier both for people who watch through emulators and also for me the hardcore CPC scener who will transfer the demo to see it in a real CPC! I am also wondering about a bunch of C64 demos I had uploaded and needed special utilities to make them D64! Why not pure D64?

PS 3: 22kb? Damn.. I can't write less! That's my thing! I write so much because I want to say many things! I can't write less in an article... My Fire/Blur tutorial was 16kb and I first said "Wow! So big?" but then I said "But I can't write less! How much do they want?" I see people writting an article of 1-2 pages on a diskmag and I say "Is that all???" Writting so much stuff is just my realself.. I hope you have the patience to read that though....

Pain avril/2001 by optimus/dirty minds

★ LICENCE: FREEWARE
★ ANNÉE: 2001
★ AUTEUR: OPTIMUS

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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.