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 The Dark Court Special - Floppy 2004    
The Dark Court Special - Floppy 2004Another edition of Floppy has passed, so I guess it's time for another Dark Court as well. By now you should know the routine: I tell you what I think about a bunch of demos, and then you collectively attack me on my point of view. After all, why change a winning formula?
Here are the reviews of the top 5.
In case you have missed the releases, download them from here.

[1] : 15. Mar 2004 13:20   

[2] : 15. Mar 2004 13:26   
come on tdj you could not wait for one more week until the end of floppy could you:)

[3] : 15. Mar 2004 13:26   
i mean forever not floppy

[4] : 15. Mar 2004 14:14   
Nightlord: it’s a Floppy special. No use reviewing Forever demos in a Floppy special, is there? :)

[5] : 15. Mar 2004 15:35   
Nice review. Liked how various screenshots were arranged for an ’avant-garde’ feel.
Todd Elliott

[6] : 15. Mar 2004 16:18   
I agree on most of the reviews, especially the one concerning our demo. One of the reasons why it’s called "Under the Edge" is that it miss an edge. What I disagree with is your review of "Brief Bursts of Happiness", a demo which I think shouldn’t be underestimated. Together with Extends "Hunger", I believe it to be one of the more important injections to the scene of late - showing that a demo not necessary have to consist of effects and standard gfx, but more of transmitting an abstract emotion. But I guess you stated that yourself in your review.

[7] : 15. Mar 2004 16:34   
@6: what exactly do you disagree on then? Because reading your comment we feel the same way about BBOH, only I think it would have been better if it was even more abstract (by removing the titles).

[8] : 15. Mar 2004 17:06   
TdJ, I beg to differ on account of the Wok Zombie demo. In my own warped perception of reality, it was the best Floppy 2004 prod with Brief Bursts of Happiness hot on its heels. A demo designer such as Hollowman needn’t concern itself with ’upholding his standards of ye olde’, he needs to look at himself and decide his own direction. Besides, I don’t see any great deviation from his older work - it’s clear that Hollowman and co. are experimenting. In this case, Wok Zombie is a demo which is light-hearted and just wants to have fun, without taking itself seriously. A theme which is different from Hollowman’s usually deeper ’stuff’, coupled with new techniques, effects, graphics, music... it needs time to mature, and one has to find out what works and what doesn’t. For me, it worked very nicely. The walking undead is a theme which lends itself perfectly for cheesiness. As a fan of everything Zombie (well, everything Romero’s trilogy and Resident Evil to be more specific), I was pleasantly surprised. I admit, though, that the demo, by trying to combine the cheesy elements with the mystique, lacked Focus (contrary to BBOH, which was one tight package) but hey.. Zombies aren’t particularly known for being Focused. Show them two pieces of brain and they won’t know what to go for. Give the crew time, DJ. I’m sure they’ll grind into their style, and when they do, their choice of theme and technique will not be so much of a deciding factor anymore - it will be a pleasant experience regardless. With that said, I’m off decapping a Zombie or two for mommy. Maybe they last longer, but my Shotgun at point blank sure is stronger...

[9] : 15. Mar 2004 17:48   
One thing that you might want to take into account when analyzing Hollowman’s latest demos is that I’m more responsible for the theme and story (or lack thereof) than he is. That’s probably why Emanation Machine and Wok Zombie aren’t up to Hollowman’s usual standards. Or maybe it’s just that our styles don’t fit together very well. Anyway, if we eat our broccoli, I’m sure our favorite coder and graphician will be back with more kickass stuff in the future.

[10] : 15. Mar 2004 18:12   
@7: Oh, the difference lies in the fact that BBOH was THE biggest demoexperience for me since "Hunger". I feel this is a demo of really vital importance for the further development of the demoscene and I think don’t think it should be waved away. "Cycle" might be nice in all its glory, but i’d rather see one BBOH than five of it, because of how it can effect peoples view of demos. But in general we share the same opinion, I just find it more important.

[11] : 15. Mar 2004 18:44   
@10: I prefer BBOH too, as I stated in my review of it. I just didn’t consider it good enough for 4 stars (Psykolog quality, so to speak).

[12] : 15. Mar 2004 18:49   
@8: I don’t expect Hollowman to uphold his old standards, I expect him to surpass them. I expect him to make me think, to make me feel. Quite a lot of expectations, yes, but justified by his output in the past. Ofcourse he has no obligations towards me (or anybody else) at all, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be dissapointed. Fortunately you weren’t :)

[13] : 15. Mar 2004 18:52   
@9: I must admit that I had higher hopes for you & Hollowman as a team, because you both had proven to be able delivering original products (I still like Thief a lot). And I think you’ve got much more potential than you showed so far. For the record though: I wasn’t that dissapointed with Emanation Machine. I think :)

[14] : 15. Mar 2004 19:32   
@8, 9: just to make one thing clear: the demo would have gotten the same amount of stars if it would have been made by somebody else.

[15] : 15. Mar 2004 20:01   
[9] My respect. As far as kickass stuff is concerned, it is visible through the demo. Just, you guys could omit most of the texts and tech-effects and keep it zombie-only. That would make the demo (shorter?) but also stronger. I can imagine that if we will be showing this demo on Forever5 demo show, Spectrum and Atari users will not understand why they have to wait so long to see the main part of the demo -> zombies.

[16] : 15. Mar 2004 21:08   
oh no...i never considered that. spectrum and atari users just dont understand..

[17] : 15. Mar 2004 21:19   
Hollowman, I mean. The general audience tont get what’s so cool on stretched sprite twisters and wiggling upscrollers, but they dig gore pics and vector and isometric walking zombies. I hope I was more clear this time.

[18] : 16. Mar 2004 00:10   
@12: Exactly, and that’s the only ’attack’ one can attempt against a paradigm-drenched review column; demonstrate other paradigms in which the production’s value differs. It’s not much of an attack of course, more a ’parallell review’ to the review. With that said, Wok Zombie has both gotten me into a creational ’jive’ and left me with an insatiable hunger for br... ehh expectations that need to be surpassed - within my paradigm ;).

[19] : 16. Mar 2004 00:21   
@18: I don’t consider your posts here an attack at all, in fact it’s just the kind of reaction I wish for. So thanks :)

[20] : 16. Mar 2004 03:31   
What was so special about the last part of the Antic-demo, then? The partyscroller I presume :)

[21] : 16. Mar 2004 14:18   
@20: I thought it was quite original and had a certain vibe that really got to me.

[22] : 16. Mar 2004 16:58   
Tdj: Yes, I made Thief, and a bunch of similar demos. I needed to do something else, as people were glueing labels to my forehead. Please try to look away from the myth about the creative genius. Design demos have been a trend in the last couple of years, and I could start enumerating reasons and structures that led to that (and still do), but editing text in a browser text entry widget sucks, so that will have to wait.

[23] : 16. Mar 2004 17:03   
CreaMD: You should switch to a better audience. :-)

[24] : 16. Mar 2004 17:20   
@22: Puterman, if you want to do something else, more power to you, all I say is that I liked your (and Hollowman’s) old stuff better. But in the end it’s all about the pleasure the creator gets, and not the viewer (but don’t tell people I said that, it might weaken my position as a reviewer).

[25] : 16. Mar 2004 17:20   
[23] I think there are about few demos in whole C64 history which can be shown to any audience, but generally most people (even Atari and Speccy sceners)don’t understand what’s so cool about most of the C64 technical effects even after explanation. C64 scene is talking to itself in this aspect. Demos try to beat demos, and content is taylored to form.

[26] : 16. Mar 2004 19:21   
note to self: dont use c64 effects in c64 demos

[27] : 16. Mar 2004 20:07   
As if you already haven’t done that before ;-)

[28] : 16. Mar 2004 20:12   
Why worry about what Atari and Spectrum sceners think? If you feel the urge to reach a big audience, go make a film, write a book or whatever.

[29] : 16. Mar 2004 20:39   
Or make a demo like Brief Bursts of Happiness.

[30] : 16. Mar 2004 21:32   
As long as you don’t do a pure demonstration of your skills. God knows people don’t want to see anything of the kind.

[31] : 16. Mar 2004 21:33   
@28: Maybe it’s easier to make a demo than a film for some of us? Ofcourse you can’t blame somebody for making a demo esp. pointed towards the c64 scene so in that view: f**k the atari/spectrum owners, their own fault for being on the wrong computer :) However, I for one like to be able to show my products to people outside of it, not necessarily those in other scenes but, you know, people in general.

[32] : 17. Mar 2004 07:58   
hmm... a number of personal thoughts of mine... i think, if you have something to say and decide to do a demo to say it, then you can use whatever you feel is necessary for the message. but i personally wouldn’t put in something so that a bigger audience would understand,,, i would also like to get better and better with my coding skills so that my technical skills don’t limit my imagination.

[33] : 17. Mar 2004 19:13   
if you watch wok zombie and think that it is a failed attempt to reach out to a big audience and non demosceners, then watch it again and see it as the stupid standard demo it is and was supposed to be.

[34] : 17. Mar 2004 19:22   
I would rather call demos using visibly badly converted multicolour pictures stupid and standard. At least some people try to enforce that "standard" on us.

[35] : 17. Mar 2004 19:23   
And I wouldn’t wonder if that "tunnel" routine was ripped out. But nowadays nobody seems to care about such things. P.S.: Nightlord, Oswald. Talk to me! ;-)

[36] : 19. Mar 2004 05:29   
@creamd: i just sent you the demo... would you please check your mail and let meknow if you have gotten it intact

[37] : 19. Mar 2004 09:33   
Yeah it works! Thanx man!

[38] : 19. Mar 2004 10:34   
And It’s lovely!

[39] : 19. Mar 2004 16:42   
@33: Yes, but it was a nice stupid standard demo this time. Focus on theme is good. Especially themes I like ;). @28: What CreamD said, and I do feel that there is a class of good demos that doesn’t need to be bound to any medium, so using a c64 to represent it is just as good as writing a book or a film - it gets the message across either way. They win on storytelling, presentation and well-done trickery. Remember, in the end, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. I think Magritte said it best a while ago: Ceci n’est pas un d?mo. (Est-ce un d?mo? Moi, j’crois pas :)

[40] : 19. Mar 2004 18:09   
@29: Yes, that’s exactly why I made BBOH, damn, you got me there. If our biggest problem is that Spectrum- and Atari sceners might not understand our c64 demos, then maybe we shouldn’t be making c64 demos at all. Now I’d love to stay here and write more nonsense, but I have to attend a business meeting with some Cartoon Network execs, aparently they have seen BBOH and want to do a tv series based on it.

[41] : 19. Mar 2004 20:26   
Sarcasm: Scandinavia’s gift to the world.

[42] : 19. Mar 2004 20:56   
TDJ. Surely The Netherland’s gift to the world then.

[43] : 19. Mar 2004 22:30   
TDJ: You mean to say that the offer sent to me from isn’t real..?! Do you know something I don’t? Should I cancel my flight to NY?

[44] : 19. Mar 2004 22:31   
Snappy comeback.

[45] : 19. Mar 2004 22:32   
@43: obviously I know nothing, so go ahead and say hi to the cast of Friends from me

[46] : 21. Mar 2004 00:44   
the thing is. i reckon. yup!


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