Sunday, May 11, 2008


Back from Inspire, and some changes in the blog

Wow, it's been quite a long time :). I could define myself as an "almost retired" scener, since I have not produced anything for more than two years, but this weekened I have come back... well, just a bit. I have attended to the Inspire demoparty, organized by my friends at rgba.

So... what about the party? The partyplace was very nice & clean, and it has a looooot of room for expansion. The video & sound system were excellent (actually too loud for the place, the volume had to be quite low to be ok), and the sleeping place, although a couple of kilometers away from the party place, was also good. The only "complain" is that, if the party gets bigger, there will be a need for a real bus service to the sleeping place. For now, we managed to get there using the orgo's cars :).

Scene-wise, my only contribution to the party was persuading iq to finish his 4k intro, and giving him my computer to do so. As usual, we had last-minute problems, but finally the intro worked ok and got the 1st place. BTW, JosSs' music is f*cking awesome, congrats man!

Probably the best overall result of the party was that I may now feel like getting back to doing some scene work. I can't promise anything, and most probably I won't do anything high-end anymore, but doing stuff for my good old ZX Spectrum is an option... At least, I could reuse some of my knowledge from the retro game scene.

Oh, and as a last thought, I will probably be changing the orientation of this blog. Since I'm not really an active scener, it makes no sense for me to keep a scene-only blog (and let's admit it, one post a year is not that much). I will slowly add retro content there, about coding and experimenting will retro stuff.

As an example, I have recently purchased an Altera DE-1 board, and played a bit with it and the several implementations of old machines for it... Some of them may be of interest. Who knows.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Cannon Bubble!

It's done! My first game for the ZX Spectrum is finished, and you can download it from the CEZ GS web page.

What can I say about it? Well, as with every demo, you need to take into account the machine limitations... Don't expect fancy 3D animations, after all it's just a Z80 with no dedicated graphics hardware :). But if you enjoy vintage gaming, I hope you'll like it.

The game was first presented last Saturday at the MadriSX retro meeting. It seems to be enjoying a warm welcome from the Spectrum scene, so I feel happy.

However, the last days before the game was released reminded me of the infamous days of party coding: the game was ready more than one week in advance (wtf!), but getting the turbo loader ready took too much time, and we had some last-minute panic when we started looking at alternative loaders. Fortunately (as in party coding) everything worked at the last moment, and the game was released.

And... one more resemblance with party coding. A few days after releasing the game, we realized that the last-minute changes had hit a nasty bug of some Spectrum models, also known as ULA snow. Well, you can never escape from Murphy's Law :) . It's fixed already, so prepare your hook to be the best pirate of the Caribbean Sea!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007



I remember first hearing this term when applied to Matrix/Centosis, quite a few Euskals ago. He was not only taking part in the scener section, but he also competed (and won) in some gamer contests. So the term "multiscener" could be translated into something like "traitor", or so :).

Why is this relevant, you may ask? Well, you will soon be able to practice your multiscener skills: the ZX Spectrum game I am coding with the CEZ GS crew is almost finished, and we are planning on releasing it during the MadriSX vintage meeting. I can't say much about the game, since almost everything is a secret, but at least I can say this: this kind of game has never been done before, at least not that I remember.

You may think that I am not very much involved in the scene these days, and you are probably right. I am not officially "retired", but I cannot say I am active. Let's say I am in a long holiday season :). However, I just checked Pouet a couple of days ago and found that Farbrausch has released a new demo. Wow! It is top of the month, I have to see it.

Looking at some comments, it looks like it has created some polemic. Ok, let's download it first and decide then. Downloaded, run... So what?

Pity, it is definitely not my kind of demo. I am sorry, but the ambient soundtrack doesn't make me feel anything, and the scenes (with some exceptions) fail in being impressive, either technically or visually. At least it is the closest I have been to enjoying an ambient/artish demo, but no, this is not my taste.

I find it interesting how this demo has drawn the line between two different "scene cultures". On one side, you have those who like technically great demos: iq, bonzaj, smash, navis... They see similar problems to those I saw. On the other side, you have the "scene is art" people: ps, nosfe, rainmaker... They see fr-055:828 as "the best demo ever". Well, fortunately opinions are like asses: everybody has one ;).

BTW, one final thought: rgba is not dead (yet). At least iq is alive and coding, so expect some surprises in the future ;).

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


It's party time!

Yep, finally! After more than one year away from parties, I will be going to the BCNParty this weekend. Everything is ready: I have paid the entrance fee, I have the plane tickets and a hotel reservation. Yes, a hotel... You know, I am getting older (31 years since last Monday), and this time I will bring the family with me, so sleeping on the floor is not an option anymore.

I am looking forward to meet my scene friends, or at least those who can attend to the party :), and also some guys from the vintage zone. And, for the first time, I will go out and see something about Barcelona! Well, it looks like it isn't going to be my "traditional" kind of party, but I expect to have some fun nonetheless.

Producing? Hmm... well.... this...

Monday, September 11, 2006


What else could go wrong?

I know it's been a long time since my last update, and this update is not very scene-related, but I need to tell this to someone, or else I'll explode. So here we go...

Everything started yesterday afternoon. I was going to take a plane to London Gatwick, as I am attending a training course this week. Just at the check-in counter I was told that the plane had a long delay (more than 1 hour). Ok, not a big issue, I can wait for a while...

But this "while" became more than 2 hours. I arrived to Gatwick at 22:15, instead of the planned 20:10. Then things started getting funny: while the airport was nearly empty, it took them 40 minutes (!) to take the luggage out of the plane and give it to me. And now I have to take a train to my final destination (Guildford), but luckily there's a train station at the airport, so the connection should be fast...

Guess what, there are two terminals, and the train station is not in the same terminal as I am. I have to take a train to go to the other terminal. In non-peak hours, the train goes every 6 minutes, and I see there are 5 minutes left for the next train. So I just missed the previous one :(. Wait 5 minutes, rush to the train station, check the timetable, and surprise, the last train to Guildford departs at 23:07, and the clock shows 23:06:47 as the local time.

Well, things could not get any worse, could they? After paying 60 pounds for a taxi ride, the taxi driver does not know where my hotel is in Guildford. After asking 3 people, we are told that we are a couple of minutes away from the hotel (walking), and I prefer to get down the taxi and walk. I find the street, but after 5 minutes walking I realize I am going the wrong direction :((. In the first lucky moment after a few hours, I find some nice Brazilian guys who help me find the hotel. Thanks!!

Ok, it's late, I'm tired, but I'm at the hotel, nothing wrong can happen. Big mistake. They need to check my credit card and... hey, the connection to the Visa servers does not seem to work. Half an hour later, the hotel guy gives up and gives me my room key.

Oh, well, everything else has been more or less ok for the last few hours, with the only exception that it looks like nobody here knew I was coming for the training. They quickly solved it, after all.

So, if you ever have trouble when travelling, think it could always get worse ;).

BTW, I promise my next update will be soon, and somehow scene-related. Just to keep the interest :).

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Daddy utopian

Yep, a bit earlier than expected (3 weeks), but I am now a father. It was last December 15, so it took me 5 days just to touch a computer and start uploading photos. If any of you feels curious, you can check Marta's online album here.

I have no more time right now, I will update the post when I have some (some day in the future :), to add some more details. Just one word about being a father: everyone out there should try it.

Friday, November 04, 2005


Scene holidays

Everything looks sooo quiet these days... Maybe it's because everyone is very busy preparing new productions for the BCN Party, who knows :). BTW, I will not be there this year. I filled my party quota this year with Euskal and Breakpoint, so I will have to wait until the next year.

I am currently having a kind of "scene holidays". That is, I am spending my free time doing some non-scene stuff. I needed some rest, doing something different, to avoid getting bored and losing motivation. Anyway, I cannot stay away from computers, so my current hobby is to make games for retro-computers. I have to accept it, I am a nerd :P.

I have joined the CEZ GS team, a group of talented people who make games for long dead computers. I am starting to develop a game for my good old spectrum, but it's still in an early development phase, so I cannot give many details.

It's funny to forget about OpenGL, GHz processors, GPUs... and go back to some hardcore coding: 3.5 MHz, less than 128k of RAM and lots of color restrictions. That gives you a warm oldskool feeling

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