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Outline 05 4ktro's

The 4k category enjoyed a slight revival of popularity at Outline '05.  This
is probably because the people concerned were working on bigger productions,
but ran out of time.  Curse these early Easters! Still what we got were some
interesting harbingers of grander things to come..

'Scape 4k' - (Lineout, CT60)
The  first  of these releases is an '060 special from Earx.  This  has  been
described  as  a  preview  by him.  It is unclear whether the  rest  of  the
forthcoming  demo  will also be an '060 exclusive,  as I was pretty sure  he
said  it  could  make use of accelerators if these  were  present,  but  not
necessarily be an '060 production? Still, time will tell.

Scape  is a voxel landscaper,  you are gliding through a landscape of  misty
sand dunes,  as if you are in the Sahara desert, first thing in the morning.
Of course, misting as an effect is possible on the Falcon '030, but you have
to get into some seriously heavy DSP coding first!

                      Earx in 'Desert Dream' frenzy!

There  are keys mapped for a degree of flight control,  so you can bank left
and right, and also adjust the height to skim just over the top, or for real
hardcore nutters, plough through the hills!

Interestingly,  it  isn't  '060  exclusive  code,  as it will run  on  other
Falcons. On my CT2, it was sort of 'Revertant' speed ;-)

Ultimately,  this  is  a  simple  single-screen effect,  but with  a  strong
technical background,  and at least some care taken with the design side, so
it looks good as well.  Damo helped out with the palette for that, according
to the readme blurb.  In the slightly longer term, it will be interesting to
see what Earx is pulling out for his next demo?

Overall:- 70% - A quick and fresh single effect, promising more.

'Episode 666' - (DHS, CT60)
For our second 4ktro, here's a real treat from the Dead Hackers Society.

This intro was born from disappointment. The original intention was for Evil
to  attend  Outline  '05,   with  a  full  CT60  demo,  and  possibly  other
productions!  Unfortunately, he was not able to make the trip, then the full
demo was scaled down to a 96ktro,  then further laziness took over... An all
too  familiar  tale  was redeemed at the last minute,  with this  4k  entry,
submitted from outside the party.

When  the words "DHS" and "4ktro" are paired together,  you expect something
pretty special,  and happily, Evil has revived the tradition from 1997-98 of
making amazing dentro-sized productions inside 4k.

It  starts innocently enough,  with a spinning dot-object,  which looks like
many  F030  demos before it.  But this solidifies into a solid  complex  3-D
object,  which  looks  something like a mutant orange squeezer.  The  simple
plain background is filled with a warping plasma effect.

Whilst this is going on, the main part of the intro kicks in, which includes
a  procession of 3D solid objects of increasing complexity and  bizarreness.
For example, one object seems to resemble Scorpion claws! Other people might
make their own interpretations as to what these things are.  Still,  it is a
big  jump up from the simple cubes and blockier objects of  previous  Falcon
demos. CT60 demos will be nicely rounded in the future!

                       Orange squeezer madness in 4k!

Like  the  Scape intro,  it runs indefinitely,  thus acting as an  appealing
screensaver to make your non-CT60 owning mates jealous.  Also like the Scape
intro,  it isn't exclusively '060 only code,  and runs quite well on my CT2,
still  reasonably  quick,  if choppy in motion.  A couple of tech facts that
Evil  mentioned  in  passing are worth mentioning.  Firstly  it  is  running
anything  up to 1000 faces on the objects,  and secondly,  the '030 tends to
choke at those sort of values!

Oh, did I mention there's a nice zik tune in there too? No? Sorry!

There  is  a  slight  technical issue,  as there are separate  RGB  and  VGA
executables,  but  the  latter  does not like my 60hz flatscreen.  But  then
again, this was a quick production.

Like Scape,  this promises some great things for the future. Maybe we'll get
a full demo soon?

Overall:- 80% - A welcome revival of the mega-4ktro tradition for
               the '060.

'Monkiki' - (Various Frenchies and gwEm - ST/Falcon)

Something  to  finish  off nicely with,  a determinedly oldschool  4ktro  to
contrast against the high-end stuff.

I  actually saw this one take shape,  in-party,  as I was sitting and facing
the  screen where it was being made.  It is kind of hard to maintain secrecy
for a new production,  unless you finish it before the party. I found myself
doing audio checks on 'Elvis' with the screen switched off! However, in this
case, it isn't quite the case that the surprise will be spoiled by premature

I  think  the  demo  is a semi-tribute to the  Badger  badger  demo,  as  an
increasing  number  of  monkey  sprites  appear  on  screen  to  a  thumping
chiptrack. These are set against a rastered borderless skyline. The icing on
the  oldschool  cake  is  a  vertically  scrolling  'bouncing'  logo,  which
constantly goes up and down at the sides.

This  is  a lighthearted screen,  which for a while I thought was  going  up
agains  the 'Elvis' demo,  but it went into the 4ktro category against  even
more  crushing opposition!  Never mind,  there is always the next time for a
faketro duel to the death!

Overall:- 60% - A nice oldschool reminder.

CiH, for Alive Mag,April '05.

Alive 10