News Team Current issue History Online Support Download Forum @Pouet

01 - 02 - SE - 03 - 04 - 05 - 06 - 07 - 08 - 09 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14

Alive 14
My Galaxy
                    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
this demo?

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.
Alive 14