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Alive 8


Nope, the Scene News section isn't back... As I mentioned last time, it's 
not worth writing about old news, better get  connected to DHS awesome and so 
fully  informed  website  to keep in touch  with everyday (or so :) news. I'd 
rather use or waste this space to have  a look backward to the  past year and 
hopefully another look forward to the newly born year !

What was HOT in 2003 then ?

    The  year  started  nicely with first  full demo by Lineout, understand the
active core of Fun. Earx and  his fellows delivered a 2 year long work labelled
Delta and it's surely the biggest demo ever seen (not considering size, on that
topic I guess that  Lost Blubb is unbeatable :). About 50 screens, most of them
very polished and so smooth on a bare Falcon show that the bird hasn't shown
its full potential yet !

    In the meantime, some major events  were strongly awaited  such as the next
Error In Line party or release to the public of the CT060 accelerating card. So
that most of us  were preparing something or getting ready to move another step

ERROR IN LINE 3 : It  was hard to  wait till Easter  with so little to feed
our  beloved  Fuji labelled  computers but the  wait was  worth !! More  than a
hundred people gathered  once again, tho in a  new location, for what proved to
be another MEMORABLE event ! We were  treated to the  usual great and  friendly
atmosphere and  like the  nice  kids we  are, we were even  awarded an awful of
great demos, mostly on  ST with Posh by Checkpoint, Moving into Darkness by DHS 
but also the first demo by Damo of Reservoir Gods, namely Grimey. On the Falcon
side of things, it  was a lot quieter but still impressive with Escape "_" demo
and tSCc (lost ??) Beams. I think  that * everyone * will  keep  warm and great
memories from this  great time and we  cannot wait  till 2005  when we will all
gather once again to... celebrate the ST's 20th birthay !

CT060 : we were about to calm down after EIL3 when the news hit the earth :
mythical (understand 'years awaited') CT060  wonder  flooded  over the  summer.
First impressions were good in spite  of some problems, gradually fixed so that
now about 100 of us can brag around, arguing that their Falcon has eaten viagra
(erm sorry, must be  spam intruding this article :). The  first CT060 exclusive
demo was brought to us some  weeks ago  by EVOLUTION, hopefully the  first of a
series !

    Summer passed on, mostly without any sign of  activity but could it last
long ? Time to get warmed up again as some months later ILLUSION was finally
released ! Due to be given away back in 1993, the fate of this huge demo was
very questionable  until brave ST  Ghost decided to face the challenge ! Tho
clearly outdated, this demo brings back a lot  of memories and offers nicely
designed screens supported by even neater gfx.

    Already  it was  November and the  only event  to look forward was upcoming
PARACON party. As shit happens, some back troubles forced me to stay home while
a dozen of cool freaks spent a nice weekend in a family atmosphere.

    Over the year, I have had several  guest staying at home : first there was
Strider who joined me to Dresden for EIL3, months later Cooper spent a weekend
at my place (ask him why he feels like a true man now :) and I even managed to
get C-rem  into my  trap ! Indeed I found a real  booze pretender there as the
both of us killed about 10  liters of beer  in a single (but endless :) night.
Edo was supposed  to  meet me  too but  due to  heavy train tickets, we had to
cancel. I hope to  host a lot more  of you, mail me  if you want  to be on the
guestlist but please bring in some beer (especially you Emeric ! :)

    Then DHS organized a 15kb Xmas online competition that saw many entries tho
of very limited  quality due  to size  restrictions. The  screens I liked  most
weren't even  qualified, like  Swe's entry or  Paradox late screen. Better luck
with the next compo.

    The year was almost  gone when  two events struck us hard : first on Xmas
eve, DUNE released FANTASIA first seen at EIL3 in a  very previewish way. Now
the full demo offers many screens mixing old and new school stuff with always
the same  dose of  design and  cool gfx  by Mic. I just don't  understand why
background looks so empty in the mapped screens :( Anyway this is undoubtedly
a great demo.

    Unfortunately some other even  blackened the end  of this year as news was
spread  that gfxman (and coder !!) Spiral had  brutally died. Causes are still
unclear but we  don't  have to interfere  with this. Later, Oxbab  and Leonard
released  a peecee tribute intro  that covered  the wide range  of  activities
Spiral had held.

2004 : A new start or repeat ?

    Well even if 2004 was a repeat of last year, it would perfectly suit me as
we were offered so many wonders, not to  forget YM Rockerz 2 compils gathering
chipping talents including from god knows where :)

    The Easter convention subject remains unclear at the moment : while Havoc
has unofficially announced setting up a party, nothing has been made official
less than 2 months  before the event ;( I doubt too  many people have time to
work on peculiar demo projects...

    Talking of parties, this reminds me that there are still some missing EIL3
entries such as Beams or Sprell. The fate of Beams seems quite bleak atm since
tSCc has lost one of their coders (hey better keep the leash tighter next time
pals :). As for Sprell... Hmm Nerve has managed to update Auto Behn so that it
runs on my  standard Falcon about once  in 10 tries... Not much more to expect
on that side I'm afraid (tho I've witnessed new gfx and another preview).

    Not  to  forget EIL 1999  missing, erm  what, 'preview' of  Heftig and Mind
Design last demo (as far as the crewname is concerned). If you happen to browse
thru Cream's diary you'll read that Ultra (formely  known as Candyman) is still
coding stuff, ultimately  reoptimizing each  screen for the hundredth time. Hey
someone has to stop him and get him to release the demo soon !!

Predictions ?

    Well, being Alive's main editor, I've had the chance to learn more about
some projects... I won't tell you  too much, just let me  say there are some
sweeties still in preparation :

Dune is currently working on two, yes two, projects ! While highly skilled
Corbo is focusing on My Galaxy, the other guys are planning an STe demo called
Seeds. Dunno yet if the  STe specs  will really be  used but I keep my fingers
crossed and trust Dune for bringing us more polished prods.

    The Falcon has had a good start with another prod by Lineout and the first
CT60 exclusive intro  by Evolution. We  hope to see  more on the  new bird and
surely DHS and Lineout have  their own ideas. As for Escape, it's hard to tell
whether or not they'll give CT60 a try...

    On the diskmags front, life seems  to extinguish slowly  and surely. We are
still waiting  for next  Chosneck and Grey's desperate postings on DHS bbs show
that release isn't fixed yet. UCM 25 is still  awaited and I have no idea about
its current state tho I've done some stuff for the intro :) Will it be the last
of a series ? It seems that the  answer is "yes" and though it's sad, I can see
Moondog's  point here. Indeed  even  Alive  has gone  thru hard times. It's not
possible to compete with extra  fast  internet  as has everyone  can read daily
news, reason for working on  an old school  diskmag are  getting very slim. But
you can read more about my views in the editorial.

   Well, we're left with  missing demos  from  Cream, Mind  Design, Creators or
tSCc. Having seen some previews, I can tell you that we are missing great stuff
and I sincerely hope that this year will bring us its lot of surprises.

   Games ? Well if you couldn't feed on Zombie Apocalypse (cough, cough), you
surely can expect a lot more from  Reservoir Gods ! Tho current state remains
unknown, Faery Lands is next on their schedule and no doubt it'll rock !

Last words

   There are still good things planned for the old ST. As for the Falcon, it's
too early to say if crews  fill keep to the  basic standard or go for the CT60
setup. Tho I don't own one, I'd surely love to see the Falcon scene join hands
and go for the same direction, but I'm not the one making such decisions :)

   2004 will surely see the death of diskmags tho. I can't believe people will
miss us, seeing the very little support all mags actually get. Maybe we'll try
to keep  up  with real  life  and go  online or  we'll vanish and be forgotten,
labelled productions from the old years ?

STS Awards

   After reading Chris article about  the Alive Oscars, I have decided to send
   some personal rewards to the people who have done things  on Atari over the
   last year :

Best ST coder : undoubtedly this is Defjam/Checkpoint with Posh but also his
   brilliant 4Kb intro ! Chuck, Corbo  and Frost of Dune  also deserve applause
   for Illusion and Fantasia of course ! Last but not least Damo/Rg and Evil of
   DHS have also brought us their share of cool stuff.

Best Falcon coder : two people share  the throne here : first  there is Earx
   who released  Delta and  then Out, showing  the world  that optimized Falcon
   still has the guts for it ! Also Charon of Escape amazed us with showing his
   skills in "_" with help from No.

Best Gfxman : No real competition here. On the one side we have C-rem, the
   guy has been busy like hell working with MJJ, RG, Dune, Dbug, DHS but also
   Evolution (Echos) but also UCM, Alive and surely others I have forgotten !
   Besides Emeric is of the kindest kinds of people, je t'adore mon poulpe :p
   Mic also deserves  some  greetings for  his art  seen both in Illusion and
   Fantasia but also soon in Faery Lands and Seeds.

Best musicians :  instead  of giving a single name, I would rather like to
   greet a full crew, namely YM  ROCKERZ, surely the  best and most flavoured
   collection of artists ! Most of them also brought contribution to the many
   ST or Falcon releases !

Best website : DHS ? Could you possibly spend a  single day surfing the web
   without checking it ? If the answer's yes, then you probably think that the
   Scene is dead :)

Best game : few pretenders but I'd like to grant special award to Roger, a
   10 year old game that shows many good things, esp smooth and fast action.

Best lamer : that would surely be me : I've been lazy and  demotivated and I
   think that I'll even drop my nickname for some time. But if you come to meet
   wee(r)do, hey it's me !


Alive 8