Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Different groups of sceners

It's time for some random thoughts today.

The scene has traditionally been split into two groups, fighting each other: amiga vs PC, newskool vs oldskool, Gravis vs the rest... Now, I'm starting to think that there is a new category: "the party is outside" vs "the party is inside".

The first group tends to enjoy the "social" aspect of parties, such as boozing, live sessions, talking to other fellow sceners, etc, and dislike party coding or anything related to sitting in front of the computer for more than a few minutes. They also defend the idea of bringing a fully finished prod to the party, or bringing nothing at all.

The second group is what most people call "nerds". They usually spent the whole party doing party coding, aren't good at common partying, and usually are less "popular" than members from the first group.

I have always felt closer to the second group than to the first one, but also thought that there's always a time for everything. But I have suddenly come to the conclusion that I will never reach the first group. Why? You may ask.

Well, you may have heard about the Playboy Mansion Party. Everyone who has attended says it's "Like... best party -ever-... by far". It looks like it was a paradigm of the "party is outside" kind of party: pool, sessions, lots of people in a relaxed environment... And apparently nobody from the "party is inside" kind of people.

The reason for this is that the party was invite-only. Ok, that's not something to be criticized. It's their party and they do what they want. The only thing that makes me think is that no rgba member was invited, even though half of the European scene seems to have been there, according to the amount of people who came back saying wonderful things about the party.

Before anyone starts shouting "you jealous", even if I had been invited I'd probably have not attended, mostly because of my personal life. But it's interesting to see what people think about you, and how they put their thoughts into action.

Enough mental masturbation for today. Time to make something useful.

Friday, August 19, 2005


Becoming a father

Ok, It hasn't taken me long to write my first non-scene-related post, but this one is worth the exception. My wife will have a baby by the end of this year or the beginning of 2006. This is no big news, I knew it since some months ago.

News is that I just learnt that the baby is going to be a girl. Her name will be Marta. I'm happy, even though I am back from vacation.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Crossing the deadline, or some funny things about the 195/95/256 intro

After reading this post on sole's blog, I thought it'd be a good idea to tell some insights about our 195/95/256 intro. This is the kind of things that I usually like hearing from other people, so it might be of some interest for my first "real" post.

First of all, something that many people may not know: this was the first prod where we made some use of a custom intro tool... Wait a minute, a demo group without a tool??? Well, yes :). As iq usually says, we have little time to code, so we dedicate this time to make demos/intros, not tools :P.

The funny thing about it is that we only used the tool for about half an hour during the party (!!). We suddenly realized that we had some "design flaws", basically that the intro had some structures using function pointers, and those functions were hard-coded and being modified all the time... so there was no way to integrate them into the tool at that time. We had to revert to the old manual way of doing things (in fact, iq seemed to be more comfortable with this way), and we only used the tool to get the intro timings.

This was a good way to waste the effort we made since the Breakpoint, were we started designing the tool... But don't worry, I have started a tool redesign, so maybe some time in the future we'll see an rgba prod using it :).

Another interesting (and criticized) point about the intro is the music. Well, everything I can say here is wait and you'll see... Jewoll's version of the demo track was just great. He finished it just two days before the deadline, and I was amazed when I heard it. It was soooo close to the original! By then I thought that Gortu's softsynth was finished, but I found out I was wrong :(.

I'm not really aware of the softsynth inner workings, but all I can say is that it is a very ambitious project. Gortu spent the whole party trying to finish it (his red eyes were the proof), but we ultimately found that a) not all instruments were implemented, and b) some of the implemented instruments were buggy... The intro even crashed in my laptop if I enabled the music.

So maybe you will understand now why the music doesn't sound as it should, and why we had to wait until the very last minute to release the intro, even without knowing if the piano would play at all, or it would destroy the speakers :). It sounded bad, but at least no one was harmed by the sound.

Don't worry, Gortu is working on it, and the final version will have a much improved sound.

Ok, enough for my first post. Time to do something else.


Yet Another scener blog

Ok, I did it. I finally decided to create my own blog. For those of you who do not know about me, I am Javier Peña, a.k.a utopian, a coder of the rgba demogroup. With this kind of introduction, you might assume that my blog will be mainly scene-related...

Well, it will, but if I get enough confidence on my blogger skills I will start adding some more topics about my real life, some other non-scener interests, random ranting, etc.

I'll try to write most of my posts in English, but I can't guarantee that I will do that 100% of the time... You know, I'm old and lazy ;). So, if you find a post in Spanish and can't understand it, just skip it or ask for a translation :P.

So, welcome everyone!

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