Kick My Assembler
by Paradize and Cerebral Vortex
This was one of the surprise pair of ST/STe demos released at the Numerica
Artparty back in March. The other demo from Dune and MJJ Productions has its
own write-up, elsewhere in this issue of Alive.
This demo is more for the STe purists, with at least one screen which needs
the enhanced hardware to work. However, it starts in a very strange fashion,
as when you start to run the demo, it comes up with a plain GEM screen with
what is an advertisment for a new utility called 'Turbo Compiler'. This is a
huge leap in the world of code compilation on the ST, boasting of up to
15000 lines a second compilation on a humble ST. But is is still a
lurchingly odd way of starting a demo.
The utility promo theme continues, "Are you ready for a Turbo-compilation?
If yes hit a key and enjoy!!!" So you hit a random key, and things start to
make more sense. Someone with more time, curiosity, and cracking expertize
than me could confirm this, but the demo seems to have a run-only version of
this compiler with the demo code ready to go, which it then compiles and
runs, right in front of your eyes. If this is so, you do not have to wait
A Matrix style text character 'rainfall' starts up, this is made up from
Chinese characters, and swamps the whole screen. A couple of smart title
screens appear in quick succession.
At the same time, a pounding soundchip music kicks off. This is heavily
drum-based, and divided opinion as to whether it was liked or not. I'd say
that it was entirely appropriate to this demo :-)
A first real effect appears, with a stock favourite consisting of
overlapping semi-transparent circles which causes colour changes to the
overlapping parts. This theme continues when the circles go pseudo-3D in
three outstretching arms and you get some nicely colour combinations. As if
a little bit of "design" crept in.
The next group of effects announces itself "Lets try some real plasma!" they
What follows is variations on a theme of loopy globular plasma employing
different palettes. Nothing too wild and rainbow coloured, and tending to
stress a number of shades of a specific colour, IE reddish or blueish
Where this demo rises above the average is with the next screen. This is a
"200 colours screen with something special!!"
It starts with a majestically slowly down-scrolling raytraced pic. Full of
portent and omens and stuff. It looks like something rendered on a higher-
spec machine, and converted to a Spectrum 512 picture, although it it
described as having 200 colours. I'd like to know what format
Paradize/Cerebral Vortex are using, how they got it onto the ST, and if it
is a custom format, what it most closely resembles from the real world. Also
how much of a cpu hog is displaying such a picture, and how much time is
This would often be one of the highlights of an old style demo on the ST,
but we get more, as there is a scrolltext which goes across the screen in a
3-D fashion, fitting in nicely, and this is even reflected in the mirror
surfaces of a couple of the objects. This is quite a neat trick, and I'd be
interested to see if Paradize will return to this sort of effect, perhaps
with more complex things going on against a similar high-coloured screen?
The scroller ends and the screen slowly scrolls away. We are nearly at the
The endpart consists of a greets and info text screen which is upwardly
scrolling. Amongst other things, we are told that the demo was done 'in a
hurry' indeed started only 3 weeks ago. This shows to some extent, as it was
rather shorter than I hoped, but this is still a nice effort, and indeed a
good effort for a first one.
A lot of the credit is due to a new member of Paradize, Orion. He had this
to say on Pouet about the demo. "hope I will find time to do a final version
with faster transition and the second point of view of the raytraced
scroller that we didn't used 5min before the deadline because of a crash on
real STe and not steem :("
I would say there is a bright future in this demo-making lark for Paradize
and Cerebral Vortex. I hope they are whipping themselves into a coding
frenzy for Outline '07!
Good debut effort generally.
Great use of extended colours.
Cool and unusual first part.
(Pouet comment is appropriate - Would have been the best cracktro ever seen!)
A bit short and sparse.
Not the best design out there.
Music perhaps not to some tastes.
CiH, for Alive Mag, April '07.