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Alive 14
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
for long.

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
end now.

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.

Alive 14