One of our favourite pre-party traditions has been kept up in advance of the Outline 2010 edition  . Namely the more or less kick-arse party invitation expressed in demo coded form. We’ve had some memorable entries from people as diverse as Ephidrena, Lineout, Limp Ninja, tSCc, a nice ‘060 based one from Dead Hackers Society, and even an Atari VCS invite produced last year by Trilobit. Now it is the turn of top-notch code-botherers, Checkpoint, to take the pole position for this year  .
So with an air of barely suppressed excitement, I click to run the intro. The comments are already promising a brain-blaster. But I calm down by recalling that I’m about to watch an invitro, where any awesome factor is ultimately constrained by crow-barring in a load of party info text at the end. Will this be the case today?
We skip off to a stylish start, a singing muso-text kicks off. Apart from the pain and other stuff, we are left in no doubt we will have “100 percent reason to remember the name!”
We go all wobbly and oldschool, as if we’re at the start of a Lost Boys demo, with the opening growl of a Mad Max tune. In other words, a dark screen with a classic onrushing star-field, glimpsed in parts.
This is just to keep the senses occupied whilst the title is being built. This starts slowly with a series of flat single bitplane blobs a-merging. The iconic title screen slowly materializes out from this.
The title picture is nicely done, arresting, leaving you in no doubt which party this is shouting for. The regal Outline logo takes the centre of the screen, and it looks like one of our favourite party organisers is facing a mirror image of himself!
We do have some proper music by now, and this is nicely spiked up at regular intervals by the vocal intervention of another of our favourite party organisers, who also leaves us in no doubt about the identity of the party we are being asked to visit.
The informative remit bubbles up at this point with sparse and to the point infoscreen. This is done in the form of text scrolling from left and right.
There are some more effects, as Defjam shows off some more metablobs. These are multilayered, an effect in itself rather than helping to reveal something else.
The credits are next. We find out the following had something to do with the demo.
Defjam – Code (of course!)
Havoc – Graphics, good with faces as always.
Excellence in Art – Music, a rather nice tune actually.
Okkie for the sampled voice.
The brainblaster is fast approaching, with a batch of group greetings. It’s not just basic text, but text wrapped and blurred in a feedback melt-o-vision style effect, with some kind of light sourcing going on as well. This is where the intro is getting its brain-blasting reputation from. It isn’t the prettiest effect, opting for a moody grey colour scheme, but it sure gets the job done.
Before we get too excited, we are finally reminded that this is an invitro after all, as the last part in the form of a crisp smart text reader, with the Outline logo in the background, appears. You read the party facts, as if you did not remember them from last year, and something similar for the year before.
So is it a brain-blaster? Well maybe. It has a nice atmosphere, there are a couple of stunning bits in there, but at heart it is ultimately still an invitro. An appetite-whetter looking forward to some cool new Atari stuff at Outline 2010.