by Dune, MJJ Productions and Sector One
The Numerica Art-party can be considered to be a partial "Easter substitute'
for the Atari scene. We had the 'Kick my Ass'embler' demo or dentro from
Paradize Computing, and this, possibly one of the most keenly awaited
productions for this year from the combined might of the French scene, that
is, Dune, Sector One, and MJJ Productions. Or a shortened party version
My brain is programmed with an instinctive feeling for how long French demos
should last, and this one was over way too quickly. The good(ish) news seems
to be that there will be some more demo to come, that this was a rush-job to
beat the deadline, according to C-Rem in his Pouet submission, this was
completed at this state MINUTES before the deadline!
So let's see what we've got. It's all good stuff, even the screen that is
little more than smartened-up shade-bobs.
There's a classy opener, with a 'Reality Forever' theme, and a whip-smart
sineous wavy line. We are then told that 'We are all connected'. Then FLASH
and the group names scroll and down up the screen, on their end, and four
in a parallel row chasing each other. At this point it doesn't feel like a
French demo at all, having taken on some of the technical crispness of their
German scene cousins.
But normal service reasserts itself with a neat C-Rem fantasy picture
containing a heavily textured Dune logo. This effortlessly slides into a
Sector One based screen, all shiny curves and steel and stuff. This is
actually the background for the first full effect, which is a cunning re-
imaging of the old 3-D bobs combining themselves into bigger objects trick,
which wowed audiences of Red Sector and The Lost Boys, back in 1990. In this
case, we get a frenetic DNA-like spiral helix, with nicely shaded bobs in
two different palettes, the blue and brown.
These disappear, leaving the background intact. Then a spinning 3-D solid
cube arrives, holding itself in the background.
Just when you think it ought to come to the front of the screen and grow
bigger, a protruberence shoots out from the top, before you get the chance
to say "Careful, you'll have someone's eye out with that!" This is one of
those fancy enviro-mapped things, picking up from the shiny grey-blue
background. It then drops to the horizontal, spinning around and pointing a
dagger-like finger of accusation, or something. Then more and more spines
pop out from the centre, and the complete spiny star, very much like a
similar object seen in one of the early parts of the "Hmmm" demo, starts to
spin off-axis, in all directions.
After that stabbing outburst, it collapses back into a stubbier fatter spiny
ball or starlike object.
That part over, what looks like a half-finished screen drops down next, a
simulated pencil-drawn fantasy lady on the right hand side, and a large
black hole where a missing effect might yet be placed?
As if recognizing the unfinished nature of her screen, she soon disappears
back up, leaving the way clear for the smartened up shade-bobs mentioned at
the start of this review. They swirl, galaxy-like for a time. Another screen
which may have some more adjustments to get it finished perhaps?
A nicely drawn still picture follows, with the maximum use made of sixteen
colours, a cousin of Mussolini or Marlon Brando looks on for the ominous
message that "Altering one's mind becomes as easy as programming a
This demo is dominated by the bobs, or blobs, as a bunch of tiny meta-blobs
split and combine in various ways. This is another screen which is generally
sparse and may be subject to some more additions in the final version of
The penultimate screen is another "Oh wow!" moment, fortunately. This takes
dozens of tiny little balls, and puts it in a very smart and brilliantly
designed "Ultimate sprite record" affair, only much more fluid and dynamic.
This is another highlight of this party-version.
It is over too quickly, and we are left with the clearly unfinished end-
part, which currently consists of a beautiful picture, and not a lot else,
which fades out for the end.
The music is characteristic of the rest of the demo, using Sid-Sound
designer style effects to their maximum.
Well what else can we say? This was a worthy release, to support an Atari
presence at Numerica. It is also unfinished, and I'm hoping that a final and
greatly added-to version will make an appearance at Outline '07. Even at
this state, it is still showing that these groups are top of their class for
design and execution of classic oldschoolish French design demos.
So I'll hold off with any ratings until a final version is ready then.
CiH,for Alive Mag,April '07.