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Alive 8

                First CT60 demo!
               by Deez/Evolution

It's  been  a  little while since the CT60 started  to  appear  as  live
hardware.  The process goes back to last summer.  With twenty-odd people
listed  as  developers,  it  seems mainly to get their  hands  on  early
production  runs of the CT60 ;-) You might well expect it is  high  time
that something was released after all these months of waiting?

Well  just  in  time for this current issue of Alive,  comes  the  first
public release of demo code, made with the '060 in mind. We have Deez of
Evolution to thank for this state of affairs,  and about time too, as he
had been promising to be first on the CT60 scene for a little while now!

The name of this short demo is "1.0".  This holds an implicit promise of
more to come, both from Deez, and other people too?

According to the Readme file,  '1.0' needs at least a 68040 based box to
run  at  all,  but  he is really seeking an '060 machine for it  to  run
decently.  It is an overwhelmingly 3-D based intro, using a world engine
of  middling detail,  and a higher than normal resolution than the 160 x
100  screen  doubling  mode  normally  used  for  Falcon  demos  of  any

Starting  the  demo gets a brief and basic options menu, 60hz and  100hz
modes  for  VGA,  high  and low detail modes (I don't think  low  detail
worked?) Other screen modes for RGB, and off you go.

The  whole thing is over far too quickly,  here's my go at  interpreting
the different parts..

It  starts  with a screenful of 'spinning things'.  Not a  very  helpful
description,  but  try  something  like blue metallic shiny  lily  pads,
spinning together slowy, catching the light.

Followed  by  a  smart fade up to a series of 3D texts.  These  are  the
super-evolved  descendant of the old style scrolly texts,  and glory  in
their  solid 3D polygonal construction.  Not textured or anything fancy,
just stark black and white,  or white and shades of grey,  as there is a
light  source in there somewhere.  This section is used to introduce the
name of the groups involved,  good old Evolution,  good old Dead Hackers
Society as well.

With  reference  to  the  following  screenshots,   these  are  somewhat
bastardised from the original  320 x 240 truecolour screens.  Just close
one eye, and try to imagine as hard as possible to get the true glory!

I don't think Charles Darwin had this Evolution in mind?!

We  are  hit  by the first full on effect,  which consists  of  a  spiny
spinning ball,  doing its stuff between two other strange 3D objects. In
the background is a very gory little vignette of the dangers of  playing
with sharp objects, or something? What is eye-popping in this screen, is
the  rather odd browny poo-shaded colour scheme used for the  3D  stuff.

Now if they had stuck to blue and metallic?

Then straight into a flat, cold austere ST'ish 3D environment. It is lit
from  one  side,  a bouncing ball leaps,  stuck to the same spot,  as the
camera eye takes you on a tour of a cardboard box world.

Deez felt boxed in by the pressure to release something!

Sensing a bit more is needed,  we are taken to the penultimate sequence,
the 'Money-shot' effect if you like.  This starts off with a warping and
distorting  rounded  box set against a plasma  background.  This  "bendy
fridge" is very much like a typical Escape demo effect,  but in a higher
resolution,  with  a very large object onscreen,  and there is no DSP in
sight!  This  snaps  to a change of object,  one of those coiled bars or
knots  which is used as a grandstanding effect in many demos,  but works
out  at around 2-3 frames per second in reality.  It is nice to see that
very large onscreen, and no sudden episodes of jerkiness either!

I just died and went to wobbly metallic effects heaven!

Then it is all over far too soon. A basic 'Evolution' text or logo zooms
off into the distance, fading as it goes.

In musical news, it uses a modfile, nothing too fancy, just enough to do
the job.  This makes the intro a nice and compact download as well.  I'm
sure  there are plenty of memory  killer megademos with audio  streaming
on the way!

Running  it proved interesting,  as the first attempt produced something
like  an early beta Polish demo running 3D stuff on an 8mhz  machine,  a
slideshow in other words! A useful tip was passed on in the BBS comments
about  this  demo,  which was to switch off the cache delay in the  CT60
config  CPX.  This turned 'Revertant mode' off,  and produced a far more
satisfactory frame rate!  It might be useful to include such information
in future readme files?

The  speed and smoothness came out pretty well on my 66mhz cpu  /  20mhz
bus combination,  not really 1 VBL smoothness, but good enough. It would
be  interesting to compare with lucky 100mhz users how it runs on  their

This  experience in the world of total '060 code is all too  brief,  and
you're  back  to the desktop before too long.   Yes it does run  on  3rd
party  o/s's without being too upset.  I'm left looking forward to more,
from this tasty appetiser, and feel that the best is still to come!

It's a real CT60 code at last!
At last, a DSP killer in sight!
Penultimate screen worth the entry price on its own...
The first of many, we hope!

Slightly 'rushed' look and feel to it, no real 'design'.
Colour scheme in one or two places regrettable ;-)
Not made clear initially how to run it correctly.
Over all too quickly, more please!

CiH, For Alive Mag,Jan '04

Alive 8