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 The Dark Court special: Floppy 2003    
The Dark Court Special - Floppy 2003When it comes to demos the Floppy parties really have a name to uphold. Two years ago it was "Feedback" by Triad beating "A quoi ca sert?" by Wrath Design, and last year "Pretending To See The Light" by Fairlight won the competition. This year it was Booze Design's "Industrial Breakdown" gathering the most votes. Here are the reviews of the top 5. In case you have missed the releases, download them from here.

[1] : 03. Mar 2003 02:55   
link to review page doesnt work. ---> see ? stop spamming our #c-64 irc comunity with non working bs. OR quality check your stuff first. thx.

[2] : 03. Mar 2003 03:30   
yes indeed... it doesnt work! damn you! :o)

[3] : 03. Mar 2003 03:39   
Dear anonymous over-reactor. The title had correct link.. the pic had correct link.. and it seems you are first time here when you don't know that you can click on title to get the article. Thanx for feedback "anonymous" but next time you will over-react or react or whatever, don’t be chicken and provide at least slightly believable sucked-out-of-thumb nickname, maybe something like... The Guardian (of #c-64 community) or something like that... ;-)

[4] : 03. Mar 2003 03:48   
haha lol...i grabbed the link from the source instead of just trying to click on the picture.... harhar :o)

[5] : 03. Mar 2003 05:17   
Anyone know where the releases from Floppy 2003 can be downloaded?

[6] : 03. Mar 2003 06:24   
They were released shortly after the party. You could also get them from Just check latest february news (click on february in navigation). Anyway, I’ve added download link to this article info so you don’t have to.

[7] : 03. Mar 2003 09:36   
Six: You can find everything at

[8] : 03. Mar 2003 12:32   
Hollowman’s demo is nice and consistent. It is showing standard effects neatly put together into smooth presentation. I would for sure vote it for the first place. Of course it’s not so off-stream like his previous demos, but it’s still a lot different in design than most todays demos. It reminds me of design of Antic demos: strong, simple, clean, straighforward, unusual. Only real objection against demo is size of the dots in dot-vector parts. Big screen become standard lately and 1x1 pixel effects are hardly visible on such type of media. I know it’s weird to ask for such optimisation, but it’s not *that* sick idea. In past demos were done in 4x4 and they looked "quite" good on big screen. Noone cared about TV demo-watchers. Today, projector is used very often so demo-maker should optimise his demo so it could be presentable on big-screen too. In pixel parts I would reccomend to use bigger representatins of dots as it gives demo better chances to score well in party demo-shows. ;-)

[9] : 03. Mar 2003 12:59   
I happen to think the last thing on a demomaker’s mind should be the big-screen presentation as this is only done *once* at the compo. What matters is that ppl are able to enjoy it to the fullest on their tv/monitor at home. And besides, how can 4x4 pixels look good on a projector? where each pixel is sized as a small matchbox?... :) Face it, low-res is a thing of the past. Good riddence.

[10] : 03. Mar 2003 13:49   
i hate to act like a bitter old fart, but this is unavoidable. i guess i shouldnt get too upset when tdj after a few years of laziness manages to write a few sentences but i hate to see my hard work being reduced to nothing. "not counting a small demo he did for Mainframe" , ahemm..a 603 blocks big demo with 10 parts coded by me + a bunch of gfx, i guess it could have been bigger but all work was done by puterman and i in 4 weeks. "it’s more of a generic effects show", ok half of the effects have been seen before, but then there still remains about 6 parts. please name all the demos you seen filled with the bricks, the scrolling isometric background with robo on top, the deformed 3d-hand, the filled vector city, the cube in the star, that got you so tired of those effects that my demo became just a generic effectshow. "Hollowman told me he just had a few parts laying around, added some new ones and considered it worthy to be released" , my bad this time. i obviously have to be more careful while chatting in private on irc, a couple of effects were done in autumn 2001, then i spent this autumn and winter coding and linking, which has taken pretty much all my time except for one month when i was working. my point is that this demo has been a hell of work, and eventhough i am not fully pleased with it, i dont want people to think that this was just some piece of crap i threw together with my left hand.

[11] : 03. Mar 2003 14:06   
Raven, you are right demo is shown at compo, but remember there are demoshows at many parties and also more and more people will have their home-projectors too sooner or later. And btw. having 1x1 pixels on TV screen is also quite hardly visible. I would really love to see some dots which are bigger. Of course I don’t ask for return of the chunky mode. Dots should be positioned precisely but they could be bigger (and round even ;-). Of course I don’t know much about coding of time-critical routines so maybe it’s much harder to make e.g. multicolor cross-dot with antialiased corners than just one pixel.

[12] : 03. Mar 2003 14:40   
Hollowman, you’re right about ’small’ being a mistake, I was under the impression that some small demo I saw last year was the one by you & Puterman, later I found out that I was wrong but I forgot to change that in the review. As for "generic effects show", I mean an effects show itself is generic, not the effects themselves (although some of them were). As for your last remark: I didn’t claim or even insinuate you just threw stuff together, I just quoted you, and after all isn’t this what happened? A mix of old parts, new parts and then you decide to release it. Has happened a million times before, a lot of c64 demos are probably like that, but it shows most of the time too. Roman, could you please remove the word ’small’ in regards to that demo Hollowman & Puterman did together?

[13] : 03. Mar 2003 14:58   
att: creamd. probably late by now. anyhows. bla bla. boring. nothing you can or will say change the fact that you fucked up in the first place. dont try to make more from this minor issue than there really is. ps: nice guess - glad to know you actually care about any non-existant privacy policy you may, or not, have.

[14] : 03. Mar 2003 15:17   
... You were overreacting, I don’t know why, but that’s your personal problem. You are overreacting again falsely accusing me of over-reacting. However, I admit, I don’t like anonymous complaints. If you have signed yourself I wouldn’t be ironic, I would correct the problem pronto. Thanx.

[15] : 03. Mar 2003 15:40   
I showed Loaded and the other demos from Floppy to many sceners at the Kindergarden party this weekend, and they all liked Hollowman’s demo a lot. Some PC sceners had already seen it in a c64 emulator and had seen his previous demos too. It got a lot of good reactions (from C64/Amiga/PC sceners - and most these sceners do actually watch new c64 demos) for being original and having nice effects. Just wanted to mention it to let you know that quite a few people seem to totally disagree with TDJ’s opinion that Loaded is an unimpressive, dull, generic effects show that is best forgotten...although you probably knew that already, I hope? Hollowman, keep up the good work.

[16] : 03. Mar 2003 15:52   
Aah, the old "let’s take everything out of context, and forget that there were also some positive words in the review, plus a quite high rating" routine .. very clever .. Just because a lot of people disagree with me doesn’t mean I’m wrong though .. although you probably knew that already, I hope?

[17] : 03. Mar 2003 16:11   
Generally I would say that I find the reviews quite appealing; they catch much of my own opinions about the top-five demos. "Loaded" is everything but a dull showoff, although I agree with the main content of the review. Perhaps the wrong words were chosen, but I did also expect something completely different after "Pretending To See The Light". And still - "Loaded" consists of some of the nicest graphical effects i’ve ever seen on the C-64 (eg. the isometric robostuff, the last part) so what’s to add? It’s a nicely conducted demo, but one of the keyparts of Hollowmans artistry lacks (eg. HIS art and much of a concept). I just loved Putermans demo, "WE/Laser". Can’t tell you why, something in it just grips me.

[18] : 03. Mar 2003 17:00   
Tdj, whatever the context, those were all words you used in your description of the demo. I never said you were wrong, just that the people I know who have seen the demo seem to have a different opinion, as do I personally.

[19] : 03. Mar 2003 17:20   
I wouldn’t expect anything else. But just to be clear: those were not the exact same words I used. There’s a difference between "not very impressive" and "unimpressive", as well between "somewhat dull" and "dull". At least to me.

[20] : 03. Mar 2003 17:29   
Okay, I’m very sorry. The next time you release a C64 demo, I’ll give it a bad review and then you can write comments where you use my statements from the review out of context.

[21] : 03. Mar 2003 17:38   
It’s a deal, but I guess you’ll have to be patient though .. By the way: this wasn’t a bad review, this was a somewhat bad review :)

[22] : 03. Mar 2003 18:02   
Ok, I’ll write a *somewhat* bad review then. Hope I won’t have to wait too long? A onefile demo would be enough perhaps. :-)

[23] : 03. Mar 2003 18:27   
Quite some great entries for Floppy 2003. I was ever so impressed with them demos. That Triad demo brings memory back to what them demos were like in the early ninetees. There’s a demo that has not been reviewed, which was some fake demo. Just as well really. Anything done using Demo Maker not really worth being reviewed. I wonder what cool demos are in store for Forever 4 :)

[24] : 03. Mar 2003 18:29   
Richard: I decided to only review the top 5, but even so: I would never review a fake demo. Waste of my time.

[25] : 03. Mar 2003 19:00   
Tdj - Thank you for spending your time actually giving us feedback on the Floppy releases. I’m sorry to hear you thought my demo was boring. It would seem I have to return to the slower slideshow-concept, as this venture of quicker paced effect-coding does not seem to be my...cup of tea. As for funky resolutions, that’s both Sophie in the intro and Sophie at the end. And they’re both in XL-fli, if you happened to miss the rather well-hidden note file, once again ripped by HCL. :) I could do well with some constructive criticism, as future releases might benefit from this, so please - what would it have taken to make Phases less boring? And for Hollowman - though your demo seemed devoid of a concept, compared to the more moody ’Pretending..’, this was one fine demo with a nice blend of effects and animations. It’s not a trashmo, but it sure as hell isn’t something you just threw together with your left hand.

[26] : 03. Mar 2003 19:46   
mhmm, clean gfx and clean effects is not concept enough, although dirty effects and gfx is... anyway, i tried to make a demo that i thought would appeal to most people in some way. a bit of usual effects, but with some twist to them. judging by peoples comments on irc, pouet and here quite a few enjoyed it, but i doubt that anyone would bother to check it out after reading tdj’s review. what really puzzles me is what the point of these reviews are. you get some highly subjective opinions, and tdj’s opinions are hardly the same as those of the general demowatcher. tdj says that hcl makes "pretty looking run-of-the-mill demos" while the publics votes puts hcl and his demos in the top three in the diskmag charts. what makes tdj’s highly personal views and opinions so interesting? can anyone get a space on to run lobbyism for their own taste in demos? is it the quality of the texts? the same quality that causes one misunderstanding after the other? why do i have to be satisfied with just throwing thumbs up and thumbs down on pouet. i could write my own mix of random facts and speculations to show how much insight i have, and then do my best to slaughter what i dont happen to like, ofcourse being bery careful with my words so i have a line free for retreat when someone gets upset and tries to get me up against the wall. or i could drop making huge demos that take months and months to make(yes, for me they do) and code a scroll and a life effect instead, since it only makes about 17% difference. or i’ll have a go at doing it the hcl way, he who after his run-of-the-mill demo royal arte(80 pts) dared to do something different and interesting and earned himself a whole additional point.

[27] : 03. Mar 2003 20:57   
"can anyone get a space on to run lobbyism for their own taste in demos? is it the quality of the texts? " Exactly. If there is anyone opionated enough and skilled enough and able to put together article or two. I respect what TDJ writes and I like his reviews. They are different than my opinions but IMO getting Universal Dmagic Birhday Demo reviewed and receiving 37 points (or how much was it) is much more interesting for me than getting nice shiny cup for accidental first place at Core 2001 party. Some random thoughts: Receiving "above average" for demo which is greatly put together, but visibly differs from previous productions .. the demo with much better coding and effects but inarticulate and quiet in comparison to your previous productions. Salute to the scene.. hm.. After seeing the demo I thought.. hmm.. hollowman’s code is getting better, but... don’t you feel like you’re being asimilated by the C64 way of democoding ;-). It’s clear that your last demo is a C64 production. Question is, whether it’s good or bad. And also, why should every well designed, or nice demo get maximum score... where would our taste end. Yeah If I wrote the reviews it would be probably completely different argue about completely different things. Maybe you would all tell me that I’m so commercial and don’t like experiments (yeah I don’t like bad looking experiments but I’m sure some ppl would appreciate them ;). When TDJ discussed with me about re-creating The Dark Court for he had warned me that I can expect a lot of controversy. Yeah I’m reconciled with that. At least we are talking about demos here. It’s much better than if they fell into oblivion shortly after the release. I believe, that this discussion and these reviews will make the affected demos best possible publicity. Thanx to this discussion many people who previously ignored the releases will check them just to see what are we discussing here and get his own opinion. Remember Six of Dloc who asked us here for link to the releases at the beginning of this discussion? I’m sure he isn’t alone who have and will check the releases thanx to this review... (and reactions ;-))

[28] : 03. Mar 2003 20:59   
Hollowman, now you really dissapoint me. So I didn’t like your demo as much as you wanted, well boo-hoo! Like you said yourself: what makes my views and opinions so interesting? Well, nothing, I just like doing them and CreaMD just likes to publish them on this site, that’s all. And ofcourse they’re subjective, that’s the whole idea behind it. The article is called "The Dark Court", not "Everybody’s Court". But you make it seem like it’s some kind of conspiracy, where I’m out to break you down. Why should I? You’re by far my favorite coder in this scene, responsible for, in my eyes, some of the most intelligent demos created. It just so happens that I didn’t like this one. You made something that you thought would appeal to most people. Well, I’m not most people, and you know that. But look at it like this: there are a lot of people who disagree with me, so why not concentrate on that? Because you’re afraid people won’t bother to check Loaded out anymore after what I wrote? Please, I may be an arrogant bastard but even I know that I don’t have that kind of power. As for the number game you’re keen on playing: I rate demos but it’s not an exact science. I don’t compare every demo to the ones I already have in my list. I just watch a demo, maybe multiple times and think: "74" or "39". Sometimes I pick up a book, drop it, and see on what pagenumber it fell open, then use that as a rating. So HCL only gained 1 point by being different? Well yes, but he also gained my respect. He probably doesn’t care, you probably don’t care, but I’m happy that somebody like him took a chance. In fact you could say you reversed roles somewhat :) One more thing though: I don’t retreat when somebody gets upset. And I’m not very careful with my words just so I can wiggle my way out of a situation. I’m not in the scene to make friends, in fact I think there are very few people who have been disliked more than me, especially in the dutch scene. In 1991 there even was an anti group against me. Why? Because I spoke out loud and didn’t agree with the majority. Sounds familiar? And here I am, 12 years later, still doing my thing, still not giving a fuck .. Maybe you should try it too ..

[29] : 03. Mar 2003 21:11   
Seems tdj with his VERY subjective review is stepping on someones toes... But are there actually REAL objective reviews out there? And how do we should measure demos? By there size, amount of graphics, music-style? That leads to that old question which every scener who had done a demo once in his lifetime asked himself: What’s a good demo? Is a demo good if enough ppl vote for it? In my eyes not. The only one who really has to enjoy my demos is at the first place - me. Bye.

[30] : 03. Mar 2003 21:26   
tdj, ofcourse your rating is not an exact science,since i doubt that there is 100 shades of your taste. hcl did something different, i did something different. he won your respect, i didnt. perhaps i get bored of being told that i dont code, that the programming i do isnt worth being called coding at all. i think it sucks to be told all the time who you are, what kind of stuff you do etc, now people dont know what i will do next and i am happy with that. and i do believe that being criticized for what you say isnt quite as painful as being criticized for what you do. unless you spend as much time and energy on what you say, as i do on my demos.

[31] : 04. Mar 2003 04:34   
The point actually is that anybody who actively participates in today’s c64 scene deserves credit for just doing so all and above any opinion about what they did first.

If we end up making everyone feel bad about their productions they might just stop producing. However there’s also a potential for change and innovation in criticism.

I can only say, whenever writing your comments, also keep in mind that the negative ones usually echo the loudest.

However I’d also like to say that I appreciate that TDJ actually takes the time to write down his feedback - I certainly enjoy reading it, even though sometimes he sounds a bit too harsh for my taste (hey, am I reviewing the review?) ;-)

[32] : 04. Mar 2003 09:32   
I dont like rewievs at all. Nobody can now what i like or what i dislike. I think loaded was a great demo, if I was present at the party i would probably have voted it nr1... but i respect hcl:s demo which also was very good and different.. as long as metalvotze or any others win over some serious demo i am satisfied. Dwangi.

[33] : 04. Mar 2003 09:35   
Reviews are always subjective, most people would agree with that, but in a way TDJ’s reviews are a bit like music reviews where most attention is given to the covers of the records. And as most demo reviews are like music reviews that only concentrate on the technical skills of the musicians, it’s no wonder they’re controversial.

[34] : 04. Mar 2003 10:16   
TDJs reviews sparking some discussion as always. I still think the fact that he gave Royal Arte 80 and Industrial Breakdown 81 is very strange. A masterpiece like Royal Arte is in my opinion 95+ easily, while Industrial Breakdown is more like 70-75. I also think that Loaded is probably the most enjoyable of all Hollowmans demos so far. But I guess this all comes down to me having a very ’conservative’ taste in demos, while TDJ has not.

[35] : 04. Mar 2003 10:24   
Dane: I can tell you what would have made the demo more interesting to me (showing the effects for a shorter time, some kind of background graphics) but that’s just me, doesn’t mean the rest of the scene would agree. Hollowman: you might have reversed roles with HCL for this party, but you’re still my favorite. He gained my respect, you already had it, that’s the difference. And ofcourse I don’t spend as much time on my reviews as on you on your demos, but I’ve been there in the past, getting riled up over people ’not getting it’. Alas, in the end it’s, like Quasar said, just the creator himself who the demo should be made for. Anonym: I disagree. People don’t deserve credit just because they do something, people deserve credit because they do something worthwhile. I believe in expressing my opinion, but at the same time I’m not deliberately trying to be negative, I’m just honest. Puterman: you’re almost there. No, I don’t concentrate on the technical side (anymore), but I don’t just look at the cover either. I’m judging a demo mainly on the feeling it gives me - do I like to watch it, does it give me pleasure, even if only for a short time?

[36] : 04. Mar 2003 10:25   
Goddamit somebody better tell me how I can get linebreaks here. Anonym, you, give it up! :)

[37] : 04. Mar 2003 10:45   
I?m glad Tdj is no authority on demo?s.

Trying to make us think concept-based demo?s are holy, I think, is very simpleminded. Of course reviews are personal, but this is taking things to extreme, and does not give an overall picture.

It?s easy to understand why Tdj is doing this, he has simply realised he will not ever belong to the league of Crossbow?s and WVL?s.

I think everyone should just do what they enjoy doing most and what they?re good at. So that doesn?t mean concept-based is rubbish, on the contrary, nor does it mean ?anti-conceptional-based? is.


[38] : 04. Mar 2003 11:00   
Ah, it’s my old nemesis. Hello Spek, how’re you doing? Ofcourse you’re wrong, the reason why I prefer concept-based demos is not because I’m not capable of doing technical demos myself but because I find most of them very boring. Not all of them, if you look at my top 10 about half is a so-called ’technical’ demo. But I’ve seen too many of them, so such a demo has to really stand out to get my respect these days. Also, not all concept demos are automatically good in my book, read my review on Clown by Civitas for example. But then again, it’s just like you trying to make things seem black & white. Welcome back.

[39] : 04. Mar 2003 13:10   
Oh, and just to be clear: no, I’m not a good enough coder to actually do technical demos but then again, I’ve never been, and it never stopped me from loving them before. That’s like saying you don’t like the Beatles because you can’t sing.

[40] : 04. Mar 2003 13:17   
Just some additional opinions to comment the load of opinions here; 1) First of all - NO - nothing should get appreciation just for the sake of it beeing created on the C-64. My opinion is that the scene would benefit a lot if we skip this friendly "everything-is-great-and-we-are-a-bunch-of-friends-which-love-eachother-and-I-love-every-release" kind of crap. Some, if not even a majority, of the releases on the C-64 (atleast concerning games and magazines) are pure crap which would have be worthwhile if there just were put down some soul and energy on the productions. But there isn’t, since the creators are too lazy to make it a quality release. Personally, i’d really do better without them - and without the retardscene creating them. 2) Every opinion and review - if they should exist at all in this kind of fora - ought to be highly subjective, not trying to pose with the false role of beeing an objective voice. I like when personal opinions shine through, but with more than one subjective review on the same topic you get a completely different perspective. Take the reviews of "Biba 2" (was it? hmm...) in the last Domination as a good example. 3) And, in my opinion Scenery 64 should be destroyed.

[41] : 04. Mar 2003 14:54   
Why Scenery 64 should be destroyed? (please drop me an e-mail it’s offtopic here)

[42] : 04. Mar 2003 15:03   
Guys, linebreaks can be done by using the HTML-tags <br>
TDJ wrote:
Anonym: I disagree. People don?t deserve credit just because they do something, people deserve credit because they do something worthwhile. I believe in expressing my opinion, but at the same time I?m not deliberately trying to be negative, I?m just honest.

And I am not telling you you shouldn’t be honest. As a matter of fact, I also appreciate you setting down and writing these review, like I said before.
Also I do think that the discussions are worth something, since they make people think, and you and others obviously enjoy discussing things.
However I would like to re-iterate my first statement: You are right, not everyone deserves credit in my eyes either. But people that put real work into their productions (which again, can be a subjective perception, but it involves how much they thought about it as well as how many work went into the music, graphics and code) still deserve some type of credit for the effort - at least that’s what I think.

At least I will give the creators credit for doing something on this machine, that they thought it was worth spending time on.

As for concept demos, I certainly think there should be more of them.

Twoflower wrote
My opinion is that the scene would benefit a lot if we skip this friendly "everything-is-great-and-we-are-a-bunch-of-friends-which-love-eachother-and-I-love-every-release" kind of crap.

This is not quite what I meant either. I tried to clarify my opinion above. I think honest and constructive criticism (yeah, flower power) can be very helpful. I certainly do not like every release. I never liked Mags and Music Collections for example. But I guess by making things sound fluffier, it might get harder to get your point across... Well anyways, I personally normally prefer a friendly attitude and way of dealing with people, but hey, that’s just me ;-)

[43] : 04. Mar 2003 15:06   
Just a clarification:
By flower power I was referring to love & peace & etc... Got nothing to do with your handle...

[44] : 04. Mar 2003 15:51   
Actually, I don’t see the harm in people releasing "crap". I’m not saying that they should get major acclaim for doing so, but it’s still a part of the scene. When I was most active on the C64 scene (88-92) shitloads of crap were released (I know I did! :)), and I didn’t see it harming the scene. Atleast I think it’s better if a compo has 10 releases, where maybe 8 of them are not-so-good, than a compo with just the 2 really good releases. Ofcourse this all depends on what you define as crap, fakedemos, BASIC and stuff done in DemoDesigners etc. I can understand categorizing as crap not worthy of release, but I don’t think that one should have to have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours polishing a release to justify it.

[45] : 04. Mar 2003 17:48   
Offtopic or not, I would also like to know why you think Scenery64 should be destroyed. So please Twoflower, enlighten us..

[46] : 04. Mar 2003 18:29   
One more thing...I’m not saying that you have to praise every c64 release, but using the term "retardscene" to describe other sceners who might not be as talented as yourself strikes me as being very arrogant.

Personally, elitism sickens me just as much as (if not more than) the love-every-release attitude.

Express what you feel, sure, but trying to put other people down by using words like that is just mean and doesn’t really help anyone.

[47] : 04. Mar 2003 18:46   

[48] : 04. Mar 2003 19:24   
Anonym: Something that you said about giving people credit about the amount of work they put into their releases appeals to me - and it might just have something to do with the fact that I’m not really a team player nowadays, but prefer to go solo. Does that give you extra review points? ;D

I really hope this linebreak thing works, by the way. I’d just like to say that Tdj IS very brave to go public with reviews like this. I wrote one of those Biba 2 reviews in Dom#17 that Twoflower mentioned, among others, and was immediately criticised for being the one who criticised, of course. Reviewing something, demo or music, is a matter of taste and preference, no matter what we try to tell ourselves. Maybe could have done without the one-man review. Maybe they should have been longer and more in-depth. Maybe this is a good thing that has sparked both interest and controversy about something that is otherwise quickly forgotten. Maybe. I don’t have the answers.

What is clear, however, is that it’s a whole lot more interesting than plain charts, or, say, the CSDB voting system. So, even though Tdj’s not going into technical aspects of my demo, nor analysing the music in it or comparing that to the soundtrack of the other productions, not even delving into the psychological aspect of filling your demo with faces (no, we don’t get that very often in reviews) I’m rather pleased that he, and others, have taken time to write something about it and the other Floppy releases.

[49] : 04. Mar 2003 19:48   
Hahaha, yes you can leave it up to TDJ to cause some commotion. Sharp as ever!
But in imho he’s right (bad habbit!), the days of effect based stuff is beyond us. The C64 isn’t a PC clone, so why clone the effects?
Remember the C64 was on the base of everything that’s stylish these days. Yes this is abstract, but think about it. No C64 Demos means No Amiga Demos means No PC demos means No fancy 3d stuff like flash-disabled websites!
C64 is Grandmother of everything stylish!.

[50] : 04. Mar 2003 21:29   
Personally (if I don’t lie to myself) I must admit that I find the term "retardscene" somewhat appealing and fitting, if also arrogant. Of course, everyone will have a personal idea of just what that means.

[51] : 04. Mar 2003 23:47   
Dane: The more I write, the more people would get pissed off, right? So be glad I keep it short :)

But seriously: most reviews tend to describe & analyse the complete demo, sometimes with separate reviewers for coding, graphics and music. I find this rather tiresome, both to read & to do myself. I try to view a demo as a whole, and also rate it as a whole. If the music sticks out, I?ll mention it, if it doesn?t, I won?t. (Dane: in case you didn?t get it, your music was mentioned, because it rocked).

And yes, maybe I should team up with somebody else for a more balanced judgement. However, the only person that could fill that role in my eyes is Sander, and he?s probably harder to please than me. So I?ll keep fulfilling this role by myself here at until CreaMD tells me otherwise.


[52] : 05. Mar 2003 08:25   
Mermaid: the way I understand it, the term "retardscene" isn’t used to describe people with little talent, but rather the people who release crap and are proud of it, don’t have any intention of trying to improve their skills and get upset if someone criticizes their crap releases or anyone else’s crap releases (because you should get _respect_ for releasing anything at all).

[53] : 05. Mar 2003 09:07   
Remember, demo debating is good, demo creating is better!

[54] : 05. Mar 2003 16:49   
What Oxbow said ;)

[55] : 05. Mar 2003 17:00   
Anyway, I do think demo reviews are quite pointless.. Its a matter of taste, nothing more.
There is ofcoz the ’crap’ and undeniable ’masterpieces’ but even those trigger different emotions & reactions in different people.
I know MY approach coding demos is doing things I like & enjoy, and hopefully others too.

About the term ’retardscene’, I find it highly insulting. In this day & age where our scene is so small, anyone producing stuff should get credit.
Terms like that can drive new people away or kill the motivation of not-so-talented sceners & i dont think we can afford it, not now.
What can be done, is help the ones that arent so good. From a coder’s perspective, there are very few good examples & explanations out there. C64 effects code (especially technical) is not straight-forward stuff. Its very hard to learn certain effects from disassembling demos, without knowing the principals first.
Maybe us coders should write some articles on various coding aspects that can help other ppl, dunno.
But I think it can be a good idea!
Just my 0.02$ :)

[56] : 05. Mar 2003 17:50   
If demo-reviews are useless, all reactions to a demo are useless. Think about it.

[57] : 06. Mar 2003 01:47   
Personally I think there *is* a point to reviews, be they of demos, or CD’s, films etc. It’s true whether you like something or not is down to taste, but I think good reviews can make you want to see/hear something for yourself you might not have otherwise known or cared about, or make you look at something in a way you might not have done previously. The former of those two is probably fairly irrelevant in todays C64 scene as demos can easily be downloaded for free and releases are so few that it’s easy to view everything without taking up too much of your life, but I think the later can apply and is something that TDJ’s reviews and also the Wrath Designs reviews in Vandalism News (which seem to come under similar critisism) can sometimes accomplish. Whether I or anyone else agrees with what is said or not, it can be sometimes interesting to read a different perspective on a production from the norm. I certainly find it more interesting reading than the more traditional demo review style where several people will comment on the code, graphics and music of a particular part in a long, drawn-out, formulated way. As a side note on my personal opinions on reviewing, me a couple of other people made out own music fanzine a few years ago (it was fairly crappy and didn’t last too long, but was fun while it lastest :) ). Something that we were all in agreement with was that our reviews should be about trying to *express our opinions* on something in a hopefully inspiring way, not to be a judge over something and to try and persuade others to *agree with our opinion*. For that reason we also didn’t use numbers at the bottom of the review (I also think it cheapens your review to condense all your opinions in to a digit, but maybe that’s just me :) ). This is personally the way I think reviews work best and it’s the way they’re written in most of my favourite publications. I’ll shut up now :)

[58] : 06. Mar 2003 09:39   
Deev: you’ve got a point about the usage of points (pun intended). Not that I think that it ’cheapens the review’, but people tend to concentrate too much on the difference between demos. I’m thinking about dropping them next time (I’ll still register them for myself, as I’ve been rating demos like this for many years now) and just use the more generic qualifications. So "above average" instead of "69 pts".

[59] : 06. Mar 2003 10:18   
Deev: With so few releases, I tend to get & watch everything, regardless of reviews or party rating.
I agree that previews can drive ppl to get the release & watch it. It might be true regarding ppl from other scenes as I think most C64 sceners usually watch everything :)
Btw, how do I contact you? If possible, send me a private msg on CSDB.

[60] : 06. Mar 2003 13:17   
TDJ: yeah, I agree that\’s another good reason to drop points

Raven: kill_yr_idols at ntlworld dot com (replace the at and dot accordingly - I don\’t wanna get spammed! :) )


[61] : 06. Mar 2003 13:24   
i’d like to express some of my oppinions. first thanks to tdj for putting honest effort into reviews. second, i agree with deev concerning the syle of review writing. i think demo reviews are okay. over the years i have realized that i like reading reviews no matter i agree with them or not. it is interesting to me that people sometimes make statements like "days of the mathematical effects are over" "the era of concept demos began" "such and such effect is old fashioned". i personally don’t aggree that anyone can accurately know what kind of productions will generally be liked or unliked throughout the scene. but on the other hand i also like seeing these same discussions about different tendancies, waves, and approaches of demo making people. i think this shows a rather high level of intellectuality throughout the c64 scene. it is much better than the immature pc scene forums where teenagers argue with eachother "you suck!" "no you suck" ... and last point: i think raven makes a very important point in his last message. apart from our own scene, we might start to think of ways of drawing attention to c64 scene from other scenes. i do not know how this could be done in an organised way but i firmly believe there are people among us who are very good at marketing. and if we could get publicity to the scene in the eyes of other scenes we would gain more dynamism than we would do by organising c64 nostalgia sites etc. ...all these are personal opinions ofcourse.

[62] : 06. Mar 2003 17:53   
"i firmly believe there are people among us who are very good at marketing. and if we could get publicity to the scene in the eyes of other scenes we would gain more dynamism than we would do by organising c64 nostalgia sites etc. ...all these are personal opinions ofcourse." WORD!

[63] : 06. Mar 2003 20:30   
Unbelievable. HCL just wires down some random pictures, links some code to it fast while keeping tons of bugs and releases a "trashmo" and some people actually believe that this has something to do with "style". PS. Loaded should’ve won the compo.

[64] : 06. Mar 2003 22:56   
It’s not about how you make it, it’s about how it looks. Ugly is the new beautiful.

[65] : 06. Mar 2003 23:04   
"ugly" stays ugly for me.

[66] : 06. Mar 2003 23:13   
It’s not about how you make it, it’s about how it looks. Ugly is the new beautiful.

[67] : 06. Mar 2003 23:20   
Oops... Sorry, i accidently refreshed the page, so please forget about Tdj’s second post.

[68] : 06. Mar 2003 23:41   
This time I will do an expcetion... ...that repetition has some point ;-). *ugly* stays ugly for me too ;-). But anyway I will try to run it at Forever demoshow, let’s see how audience receives the new beautiful ;-))

[69] : 07. Mar 2003 00:03   
Just look at your childhood photos, would you buy the same clothes again? In medieval times women being fat were considered pretty.

Or perhaps those rules don’t apply to people using a 21 years old computer ;)

[70] : 07. Mar 2003 00:56   
If ugly is the new beautiful, does that mean that the old beautiful is the new ugly?

[71] : 07. Mar 2003 08:16   
You all seem to agree that a demo has to be beautiful. I’d prefer to see more demos that could be described as interesting.

[72] : 07. Mar 2003 08:17   
very good question by mermaid...:) i personally think the real beautiful is "time indepenedently beautiful"... if something is the "old ugly" and the "new beautiful" then maybe it is "pop corn" waiting to be forgotten...

[73] : 07. Mar 2003 11:24   
I agree nightlord, the true beauty is the timeless. I think this applies very well to demos, some demos that are almost 15 years old are still nice to watch today, while some of the new demos would have been awesome in 1990 aswell, but many of the "new style" and "experimental" demos would have gotten a big "WTF is this random crap?"-reaction in 1990.

[74] : 07. Mar 2003 11:43   
I personally, still use some of my childhood clothes that fit on me. I always cry back the ’60s, I adore modern kitsch, Vallejo, Soroyama and socrealism, WD cartoons, although many says they all suck major dick and they’re tasteless.
I ignore the avantgarde, ignore red dots on green canvas that people call "art", I ignore talentless people to be praised just because of their works being "ugly". We live in a world where a pile of shit put on the ground in the form of a star and a cherry in the middle of it could be called "innovative" because there will be always numerous of TDJs who will approve it, and say fine-art and hard work is out of fashion.

But that’s just me, me who would pay more for the bricklayer than the designer of the house. Don’t know. Sometimes it’s sad to see hard working, blood sweating people preceded by dick-limping. Perhaps it hurts so much because I see my parents being at their job 10 hours a day and still live on the edge, or realising myself work my hairy butthole off wide for the everyday bread.

I ignore people that keep telling me what’s that I should like, and what’s that I shouldn’t. I think I have an own brain to decide.

However, I adore to read reviews because most of them perhaps can make my future works change a bit, or hence stick to something even more than before. Yet some of them are only interesting because you get the opportunity to see how other people think about the same thing your mind worked troughout on a completely different way.

I like HCL’s demo because it’s fast and nicely synched to the music, plus for the innovative idea that’s not intented to be, and minus for the ugly design. I like Hollowman’s demo much more, because it’s tasty and smooth, minus for the lack of concept, although demo-making for the love of it is a very fine, to-appreciated concept on it’s own. It wasn’t boring for me, infact I keep running it on my c64 for quite a while now, even people that have no clue about c64 said it’s rulez.

And if you still think ugly is the new beautiful, just go and marry one.

[75] : 07. Mar 2003 12:17   
You know what? I’m through defending myself here - I made my case, I explicitly stated that at least half of my top 10 favorite demos are technical demos, and if people like Jailbird etc. still want to take my words out of context and make it seem like I only appreciate concept demos no matter how ugly they are, so be it. I’m not going to get riled up about it, I have more important things to do with my time.

If people want to have a good, healthy discussion about demos I’m all up for it. But not like this. This is exactly the reason why we wanted to leave the scene a few years ago. Not because we thought we didn’t have anything to contribute, but because of people constantly attacking us for having a different opinion.


[76] : 07. Mar 2003 14:03   
people like Jailbird etc. still want to take my words out of context and make it seem like I only appreciate concept demos no matter how ugly they are

I realise my drawback by TDJ showing his mighty back to me, but just to make it clear, please.
People like Jailbird etc. just can’t remember taking your words out of context and make it seem you only appreciate concept demos.
Makes me wonder what are you talking about.
I can’t realise why is one feel attacked when another is bringing up different options and views. I never attacked you or said or meant by any of my sentence something like you suck or that your words mean as much as a fart in the wind, because I do adore everything you, or the whole Focus produced till now. I find your reviews interesting and therefore I enjoy them very much.

I expressed how I look on things, I told my ideas. Now if someone feels like attacked and want to quit the scene, please take my sincere apologies and consider my words as a production of a very humble mind that are not worth to get upset by them, especially not worth to leave the scene. No and I’m not even ironic.

Seems I just can’t learn, as I promised to myself that I’ll concentrate much more on my works than to argue on forums about the super sweet nothing.

And really for the end, excuse moa for having an opinion of the average.

[77] : 07. Mar 2003 14:31   
I’m not going to leave the scene because of this - I just said that in the past such things made me consider doing that. These days it doesn’t make me mad anymore, guess that’s because I already took my distance.

As for your wondering what I was talking about, let me quote you: ’We live in a world where a pile of shit put on the ground in the form of a star and a cherry in the middle of it could be called "innovative" because there will be always numerous of TDJs who will approve it, and say fine-art and hard work is out of fashion.’ Now, maybe I’m a bit too sensitive, but that looks like an attack to me ;)

Shit is shit, no matter what, but just because something is not as good looking as you’d expect, doesn’t automatically mean it’s shit. Consider my musical taste I love the Beatles, I love Velvet Underground. Beatleas = mainstream, Velvet Underground = different. I like them both. It’s not black/white.

Finally, I don’t have any problems with you or other people not sharing my point of view. My taste just changed over the years, and it probably will continue to do so in the future, but that doesn’t mean that I feel that what I left behind is ’wrong’. I respect you and others for ’having an opinion of the average’ (not-so-average anyway, because how many people do like c64 demos, period?) but please, respect me for thinking differently. In the end, like I said before, all I do is express my opinion, I’m not here to win souls or to make people see my way.


[78] : 07. Mar 2003 17:07   
As for your wondering what I was talking about, let me quote you: ’We live in a world where a pile of shit put on the ground in the form of a star and a cherry in the middle of it could be called "innovative" because there will be always numerous of TDJs who will approve it, and say fine-art and hard work is out of fashion.’ Now, maybe I’m a bit too sensitive, but that looks like an attack to me ;) No, it really seems to me like you approve, not appreciate, but approve anything that’s innovative, whether it looks good or not, have a lot of work behind it or trown together in no-time... The sentence you quoted I mean global, not addressing you directly, even though I mention you - it’s covering the idea that I don’t like something just because it’s plain innovative.
I admit I was too harsh, sorry, and believe me I didn’t meant to attack you in any way, all the more as I, from all of my heart, either respect your opinions and the way you make your very own roads on the scene.

Then again. Who thinks Hollowman failed on Loaded should raise his hand.
One?.. No more? Thank you.

Oh and by the way. I get your point, but wait, Beatles and mainstream? Perhaps some decades ago. Most of people tend to look on me like I’m an idiot when I tell ’em I like Bill Haley, The Pretenders or Abba :)

[79] : 07. Mar 2003 17:29   
Well, if it seems that way, so be it, but it’s not like that. I like HCL’s demo because it gave me a thrill, something that doesn’t happen too often anymore. And part of the reason I liked it was because it was different.

Oh, and Abba? Like they say in the english sitcoms: "do you have a boyfriend, then?" :)


[80] : 08. Mar 2003 08:49   
Most of the time I have problems to digest modern art especially because most of the time innovators don’t know what they are doing. Check the "Hollywood Ending" movie ;-))

[81] : 10. Mar 2003 15:44   
As always, i’m a bit late into the discussion.. Graham, unfortunately this demo wasn’t ment for you and i’m not at all surprised that you don’t like it. But agree with me when i say that DeeKay’s 200h-pixeling pictures wouldn’t have made Ind.Brk. any better. Personally i think that those wired pictures fit the whole thing just perfectly. I don’t say it’s beautiful. But as the technical coder i am, i couldn’t let go without including one or two *possibly impressing* effects, just for the satisfaction of people like you and me. You should be able to find them. Or you can as well follow the instructions in the note: Fuck off and wait for the next *very normal* demo. For the real discussion, i’d like to add a few words. Yes, i got all the possible feedback i could ever wish in this review, but don’t think that’s always the case for me. When you make a demo, you’re not only relasing some bytes. You’re taking part of the scene, and you have to coop with it’s reactions. If you can’t stand that someone lets you down, you should start doing something else. Yes, i also think that those who don’t like my demos are idiots, just read my comment to Graham above. So just tell it and forget it. TDJ just wrote the best point: "if demo-reviews are useless, all reactions to a demo are useless.."


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