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Alive 9

The Dead Hackers 10th Anniversary Online Competition - ST and STe stuff

The  ST/STe response to the DHS online compo was lighter and less  ambitious
in  general than the Falcon entries.  The majority of the entries for  these
machines were lightweight,  or more correctly, lighthearted in approach. But
there  are  some  promising signs in there for the future.  Here  are  their

'French Kiss'- STe 1MB
We  kick off with 'French Kiss',  an MJJ Production from Cerebral Vortex and
others.  Effects follow upon effects in a fairly thick and fast fashion,  so
here goes...

We  start  with  a  very  fullscreen  upwardly  scrolling  infotext  with  a
background  texture.  This comes complete with an Amiga-ish modfile playing,
to  emphasis the STe-ness of this intro.  At this point,  the whole look and
feel of this intro is curiously old-fashioned?

Following on,  there is a pastel coloured title picture,  which gives way to
the first full screen of the intro. This takes the form of some pixel packed
top  and bottom borders,  and a large expanse in the middle,  where the main
action takes place.

The  top  border  is  filled by a '10 Years  Anniversary'  graphic,  with  a
rotating 'DHS' 3-D logo, although this is probably a pre-rendered animation.
A  'Cerebral  Vortex' logo crams into the bottom border.  In the  middle,  a
variety  of  effects and events follow.  We start with some good  old  style
vectorline 3D,  outline objects, boxes and all. In between things, there are
some horizontal starfields, complete with "what's next" infotext.

Another   older   looking  screen  follows,   which  can  be  described   as
multiscrolling textures going around a logo in a sort of parallax effect, to
show  how "busy" the machine can get.  C-Rem donates a sweet rear view of  a
babe  in  a pool.  I guess he gets to be the lifeguard in  some  interesting
places!   To  end  the  main part,  we get some twirling comets  which  were
"borrowed from the Electronic Images 'Pete' megademo. To round things up and
conclude, we get some greets, which are a repeat of the very first screen.

The  whole  intro  is  very  oldschool indeed.  I'm not  sure  if  this  was
intentional,  or a way of using up that decades old source code? Anyway, for
those  people wanting an instant nostalgia blast,  but can't be bothered  to
get one of their old demo's out, this would hit the spot!

Rated at:- 6 out of 10 - (Code) Partying like it is 1991!

'First Step'- STe 1MB
The  ever-eager MJJ Productions open their second front with this,  probably
the  best of their entries.  'First Step' aptly describes a first attempt at
Asm coding by Tobe of MJJ Productions.  I would have to say it is not at all
a bad first step,  from what was on display here.  Indeed,  this seems to be
the only really ambitious ST-based 96ktro from this competition.

Tobe  is keen to reprise some of the classic French scene 1  vbl  Dune-alike
older school style effects.

The intro starts with a back and forth scrolling large logo text. You are in
no doubt it is an MJJ Production. What was a plain screen then gains a bunch
of overlapping colour circles in the background, to immediately liven it up.
Musical  matters  are  very  ably handled by  Floopy,  who  could  give  his
distinguished zik-composing peers a decent run for their money.

C-Rem  gives  us a lovely crystalline effect MJJ logo,  followed swiftly  by
some bouncing rubber balls onscreen,  each with an MJJ member's names on it.
These crowd out the screen, and overlap onto each other.

A  scrolltext  waves  up and down the screen,  with  some  colour  graduated
sunbursts  forming behind it.  These merge and demerge with each other for a

We  get  a pause for the highlight,  a still pic proclaiming that  "This  is
Gloky  style!"  Indeed a 512 dots sineous,  constantly morphing 3-D bag,  or
cloud does its thing immediately after.

Getting  near  to the end is a very smart looking  infoscreen.  An  animated
monkey head jabbers back and forth, and in the background, some transforming
squareish patterns impose their presence. To complete it, we get to read the
semi-transparent infotext as it appears.

A  final 'Happy birthday DHS' still picture finishes the intro,  with a sort
of lava lamp look in places.

This  is  a solid effort,  rather than a spectacular demo which puts  itself
respectably  midway  on  the achievement curve.  The only way from  here  is
upward.  Future  releases  of greater ambition and artistic scope from  this
direction are awaited with interest!

Rated at:- 7 out of 10 - A good first step leading to some giant leaps?

'Cosmotro'- STe/Falcon
This  is a short and sweet production.  In fact,  you could consider it as a
digital  greetings  card  to  Dead Hackers and the rest  of  the  scene.  It
showcases  some  sublime  graphics  and sound  from  two  masters  of  their
artforms.  That  is,  Exocet  on the pixels,  with Dma-Sc kicking out a sweet
tune to go with them.

There  is also a tiny bit of well-realised GFA code from Cooper,  with  some
slight  star-shaped  dot  effect going on in the far  corner.  The  infotext
updates with happy exortations, greetings, and in time to some variations on
the dot effect theme, such as solid vectors and large bobs.

Exocet  draws  a  spaceman fruitlessly alien hunting on  a  very  small  but
perfectly formed planetoid. There is a Gary Lawson 'Far Side' twist right at
the end, where it turns out that the "hunted" alien is more than a match for
the space guy!

We  look  forward  to  this winning combination of  graphics  and  sound  in
something with a bit more code to it!

Rated at:- 7 out of 10 - Small but perfectly formed!

'Gwem Intro'- Any ST 512k
This one barely makes it into the category of "intro".  It was a last minute
throw-together,  merely  intended to showcase the new killer sound  routines
from  Gwem's  forthcoming  'MaxiMiser' chip tracker.  The  intro  serves  to
include  the 'Readme' comments that Gwem was not allowed to put in with  his
standalone music entry.

There is very little to it.  A picture of Gwem,  slaving over a hot tracker,
and  a  big  yellow  infoscroller  at the  bottom,  that's  it.  Coding  and
presentation wise, there's nothing at all to write home about, but listen to
the fantastic music! The tune singlehandedly picks this intro from face-down
in the lake and carries it to dry land for a quick spot of heart massage,  a
swift towelling down,  and a nice cup of tea with a drop of brandy in it! To
be  fair to Gwem,  he really is not expecting too many votes for the  intro,
but do vote for the stunning tune in the music compo instead!

Rated at:- 5 out of 10 - (A 9 out of 10 tune is dragged down a bit ;-))

'Gloky Cat'- STe 512k
Where  do  Badger badger's go to,  when severe competition file size  limits
start to bite? Well they might mutate into a Gloky cat perhaps?!

This  is yet another production from the extremely prolific MJJ  Productions
team.  This time, the main part of the honours, such as they might be, go to
Mr Nours.

There isn't a lot to this one.  They've converted another flash animation to
the  'humbler'  world of a standard STe.  The 'Gloky cat' is a  farting  and
laughing  cat,  but that is as far as he goes.  Samples splutter and scream,
and the cat seems to be constantly laughing his head off. This is less of an
intro,  and more of a screen saver.  If you consider it in that light,  then
this  intro might have some longer term value,  otherwise it is gone in five

This one isn't reset proof by the way, I checked!

Rated at:- 5 out of 10 - Nicely done, but a very slight production..

CiH, For Alive Mag,Dec '04

Alive 9