By DHS for the Atari STe

This demo was described as a compofiller for the Sommarhack 2010 party. It was the last in a distinguished line of Atari STe demos going back to the release of ‘More or Less Zero’ at the 2008 Alternative party. This demo was intended to announce the end of a higher activity period for the Dead Hackers, who were taking a well-deserved break for the rest of 2010.

In some respects, this demo might be seen as a sweeping-up of so far unused routines, or else trying out one or two things which weren’t quite ready. However, I would consider that there is enough here to make it a worthwhile standalone production, even with its buggy party release flaws intact.

At the very beginning, the music starts. This tune is from 505, who’s appearance in most contemporary Atari demos is almost as ubiquitous as Mad Max was, back in the olden days.

The first effect to get things going as it were, consists of some kind of blobby bloody plasma background. There is a mad whorl of dots in front of it. There are many dots forming what looks like an amazingly complex knot.

Dots and dots!

We have to know who was responsible for this, so there are creator credits drawn in a bold blue font, that turns into a swift and decisive melt-o-vision swirl to banish themselves offscreen.

Proteque is halfway through transforming?

The next part is intriguing. This feels a bit like a not-quite realised beta version of something? It looks like the top part or crown of a globe with a 3d fractal thick vector line landscape rotating with it. Looking at the relatively slow framerate, this one is definitely realtime and pushing the STe hard. It seems to sit outside of the mood of the rest of the demo, which is a super smooth oldschool effects fest.

On top of the world ma!

A return to normal service follows, with a 4 pixel RGB plasma, in a very full screen, three is just a bit of side border left.

Plasma fun

At first glimpse, this next screen looks a lot like a screen from the Sommarhack invitro. It has a piece of ‘design’ graphic to the right and what appeared to be a plasma effect midscreen. When running for a bit longer, the the ‘plasma’ is revealed to be a rotated and zoomed bitmap. So a nice variation on an old Sanity favourite.

Rotate and zoom has its eye on you!

The not completely debugged grand finale is a screen which would have pride of place in a demo from 1990 or therabouts. In the background is a Lost Boys-tastic chessboard scroller. This is fullscreen, very fullscreen. There is a little bit of glitching from time to time, which they may fix, one day. In the foreground, no, right in your face is a huge goldbrick font scrolltext screaming across the screen from right to left.

The chunkiest scroller since god was a carebear?

When the text ends, then that is more or less it.

Creator credits are, Code by Gizmo and Evil, Music by 505, and graphical input from Proteque, who is proving his worth more, day by day.

Overall, this is another nice intro, a worthy Dead Hackers production, even if it felt a little truncated and over too quickly. I hope a version 1.1 does see the day to tidy up the loose ends, but I won’t be too upset, or surprised if it does not.

CiH, for Low Res Mag, December 2010.


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