Visions of Light by Valhalla




                              Table of Contents

                       How to use this document viewer
                       A few things about the demo
                       Information about us
                       Messages section
                       Cursed! The tale of Asm '94 :-)

                       How to use this document viewer

Simple :) Cursor keys scroll around the document in the normal boring way :)
Some areas of text, eg. the contents page, will be highlighted. These are
active areas, and if you put the cursor somewhere in this area, and press
return, you will jump to another point in the document, so to look at any
topic on the table of contents, just put the cursor in the table of contents
on the topic you want, and hit return. Cool, huh? :-) (PS. This was my first
ever C program - Imp. :)

                         A few things about the demo

This demo was developed in its entirety after the two of us met in our first
year at university, and decided a demo would be a really cool thing to do :)
It started off (as they do) as loadsa little ideas for routines that we
gradually had a bash through (including a few failed ones)... and then I
(Imp) volunteered to do the music and put the whole thing together (worst
mistake of my life :-) which at times dealt me a major no rester trying to
understand Sandman's code ;-) (Hmm... in fact trying to understand MY code
was bad enough!) Anyway, the whole thing from start to finish probably took
us about 4 months or so... right up until we finished it... about 1 hour
before the deadline :) (see the lil' story below!) I wrote all the music for
the credits while we were at Asm'94 with a pair of minature headphones
plugged in tut' GUS trying to compete with a however-many-thousand-watt
speaker system they had erected in the hall (best bit about Asm i reckon ;)

The machines we used to develop the demo were :

486DX33 (at times a DX40 :), GUS, Tseng Labs ET4000 supa fast jobby (Sandy's)
486SX25 (whimper whimper), GUS (suprised? :), Trident 8900D (Impy's)

This gave me quite a bit of hassle when putting the whole thing together,
since I was doing it all on my SX25 with a pretty slow graphics card,
compared to the great mother of a machine they had at Asm :) (nice seeing
your stuff run that fast ;) Had to work out quite a few clever bits of code
to make the demo run the same speed whatever you run it on... only bit left
which I let run as fast as it likes is the 3 coloured glass lenses bit which
I have never seen run on anything faster than a DX66 with a really sh**e
graphics card, so someone with a fast machine tell me what it looks like :-)

Sound support : Although we had a modplayer, it only supported GUS and
only did MODs... We kinda thought it would be a bit lame to make our demo
GUS only, and more to the point, MOD format really sucks :) (S3Ms rule! gimme
those 7 octaves :) so having fiddled with Demo-VT a bit before, I decided it
would be a much better idea to use that. I had a few minor problems with it
along the way... and about 2 pretty major ones :) so I can't thank Jcab of
Iguana enough for all the continued help he has given me with it (even to
the point of Emailing me bug fixed versions of the EXE :-) (bugs??? where did
that word come from? :) sorry! *undocumented features*) Please note (so that
we don't get 20,000 tons of mail about it) that we have experienced minor
timing problems on some SoundBlasters, but it works ok on most.

Minimum system requirements :

This depends a lot on processor speed, graphics card speed, and more than
anything else, sound card. Although I have never tested it on a 386, a friend
ran it on his 386DX40 (I think!) with GUS, and it ran fine. On no sound it
runs a little bit faster, so you could probably get away with an even slower
386, but I don't guarantee it. SoundBlaster is another matter entirely :)
The music to all of the demo except the end credits is in 16 channels... and
if your processor is trying to mix this in real time at the same time as
running a really cool headache, then you can really expect it to have a
mare :) I ran this on my friends SX25 with a SBPro, and it was quite funny :)
Basically, don't try this at home :-) A DX40 is probably about right for the
slowest machine you can use with a SoundBlaster... sorry about this you
people out there who still have SoundBlasters! As for SoundPlayer on LPT1:
and PC speaker, tee hee, 'nuff said :) (you ARE joking, right?!)

                            Information about us

                        1) The members of Valhalla
                        2) Our productions to date
                        3) Possible future productions
                        4) How to contact us


1) The members of Valhalla :

 | Handle    | Age | Tasks                                              |
 | Sandman   | 19  | Coding, Graphics, PR, Design                       |
 | Implode   | 19  | Coding, Music                                      |
 | Dambuster | 19  | Raytracing, Object designing *not official member* |


2) Our Productions to date :

 | Filename     | Size* | Date* | Description                               |
 | CRITICAL.ZIP | 190k  | 2/94  | Critical demo by Occult, a one man demo   |
 |              |       |       | produced entirely by me, and done in a    |
 |              |       |       | hurry, done before Valhalla formed.       |
 | BSCRTEXT.ZIP | 20k   | 3/94  | A small bit of my old source to do a text |
 |              |       |       | scroller, should be of use to people      |
 |              |       |       | starting up in demo coding, as it was one |
 |              |       |       | of the first things I coded on the PC.    |
 | SRCTIMER.ZIP | 20k   | 4/94  | A little util to help you optimize your   |
 |              |       |       | code, times how long the program takes to |
 |              |       |       | execute, and gives the frame rate.        |
 | OTT.EXE      | 40k   | 8/94  | Over the top 64k intro for assembly 94    |
 |              |       |       | again done in a hurry. will probably      |
 |              |       |       | re-release with improved music.           |
 | VOLBYVAL.ZIP | 1.3Mb | 8/94  | Visions of Light demo for assembly 1994   |
 |              |       |       | our most recent production, and the best  |
 |              |       |       | so far >:->                               |

* Size and date are not exact, just a rough approximation of the release
  size / date.


3) Possible future productions :

I (Sandman) am currently improving my vector engine, and doing some more
effects for our next production, I have also got a comercial project to work
on at the moment. I hope to release an intro at the Party 94 - as long as I
can afford to go there.

I (the other I, ie. Implode) have started work on a new funky tracker/
modplayer thang and if I can ever be bothered to try and write it, a really
cool game is on the horizon :) (Sandy is working on a game too! oooohh!)


4) How to Contact us


Sandman                                Implode

----------------------------- Mail (Holidays) --------------------------------

Peter Jones                            Nigel Gay
78 Windmill Close                      Bramble bank
Brixham                                Le Vieux Beaumont
South Devon                            St. Peter
ENGLAND                                JERSEY C.I.
TQ5 9SQ                                JE3 7EA

--------------------- Mail (Term time) (Valid until 6/95) --------------------

Peter Jones                            Nigel Gay
29 University Road                     101 Warren Avenue
Highfield                              Shirley
Southampton                            Southampton
ENGLAND                                ENGLAND

------------------------ Telephone (Voice) (Holidays) ------------------------

+44 (0)803 858080                      +44 (0)534 26774

------------------------ Email - The best way by far -------------------------

psjones@freenet.fsu.edu                ndg93@ecs.soton.ac.uk


       Or call our World Head Quarters at the Sound and Vision BBS
                              +44 (0)932 252323

                               Messages Section

Sandman says hi to :

Pitbull / LD :
Nice to see ya at asm, shame you didn't have any time to chat, any chance of
that texture mapping stuff that you said you'd send me ?
See ya on IRC (mid september) >;->

Yaka / Xography :
Erm, didn't understand much about how to do fractal zoomers, can you explain
again on IRC maybe ? Good luck in your exams (if they are still going on)

Fear / Mental Design :
There's just 1 word i want to say to you : Version ! Version ! Version !
Version ! Version ! :)
Also all the best for you and Tina ;)

Stone / Dust :
Sorry that I didn't reply to your letter - i'm just lazy, I hoped to see you 
at asm'94 but we didn't bump into each other. I really liked your 4k intro 

The Wizard / Imphobia-Cascada :
Looking forward to seeing Imphobia 8, it's by far the best mag - keep up the
good work >;->

Zoomerella / Codex :
Any chance of sending my disk back sometime before the next century ? 
nah - didn't think so :)
And what's happening about this 'ere merger thang ?

Optics / British Knights :
Still trying to do Gouraud shading - it's only taken me 6 days so far :)
Let's show the world that Brit's can code too :)

Leviathan / Select :
Stop Growing !!!!! (or you'll start making me look short :)

Welti / ??? :
Sorry about messing you around with your modplayer / music etc. no-one would
give me a definate decision about anything :(

Jmagic / Complex PC :
BSpline texturemapping eh ? How the hell did ya do it ?????

The Faker / S!P :
Sad to hear that you couldn't make it to asm'94 - i was looking forward to 
meeting you, oh well, see ya on irc and good ol' usenet

Otto Chrons / Virtual Visions ????? :
OC OC Occety OC ! We still can't get the damn GUS to play a sample :) help !
I might even send you one of these lovely Devonian postcards for writing such
a wonderful program as DMP (?!?!!??) what version are you on know ? *grin*

Tim Clarke :
Did you come to asm ? - I saw a 4k intro with exactly the same code to mars in
it. (well - it looked the same)

Members of FC :
Shame I didn't get to meet any of you guys, you never seemed to wander out of
your little enclosure, next time maybe.

Kefrens :
Keep making the demo's dudes - you're by far the best amiga demo group, I was
hoping to see a new demo from you at asm, but sadly it never came :(

Sonic PC :
Both Implode and I agree that putting 'Boo if you think it's crap' on the
message board really sucks bigtime ! I think if people have spent alot of time
writing a demo, you should at least show the courtesy of showing it all (if it
succesfully qualified)

Members Of Jamm :
Sorry about not being able to show you our demo - i needed some sleep :)

All Brit's intrested in Coding / Music / Graphics :
Contact us !

Any groups that we haven't got in contact with :
--->>> CONTACT US <<<--- :)

Sysop Of Missing Link BBS :
Please get in touch, i didn't get your phone number
(or anyone else who knows the voice number)

                         Cursed! The tale of Assembly 94
                           Told By Sandman / Valhalla

Well, it all started at about 12:00 when I caught the bus to Heathrow airport,
5 and a half hours of total boredom with crushed legs because of a fat woman
fast asleep on the seat infront of me. After what seemed like 2 days of bus
travel, I finally arrived at heathrow airport, it was 5:45 in the morning, and
I had to hang around until 10:20 when my flight left to Helsinki. I met
Implode in the departure lounge and we had a chat for a while. Implode heard
his computer rattling, so he decided to open his big black tower case in the
middle of the departure lounge, you can imagine how many people looked very
warily at us. The flight to Helsinki went without a hitch, but when we got
there the problems began to start.
   After going through passport control we went to collect our luggage, after
a long wait, my rucksack finally came out, but implode's didn't make it :(
So, after going to the baggage reclaim desk (well, i think that's what it was)
and after implode had shown his lovely 'i've just been released from a russian
prison' photo in his passport we were told to go to this other baggage place.
We met Fear / Mental Design outside the arrivals place, and we went into this
little room to get implodes luggage sorted out. Fear got a parking ticket for
waiting for us too long, and we began to think that maybe luck wasn't going
our way.
   It was about 28 degrees outside (?!???!) and we drove around the city
centre quite aimlessly until fear found a part that he recognised, and then
drove back to fear's flat. We set our computers up, but because Implode didn't
have his luggage, so we had to borrow one of fears' finish keyboards. After
having an initial laugh at it and boggling over what all the extra keys did,
implode decided to get down and do some coding. All the alphanumeric keys were
in the same places as UK/US keyboards, but when you were in DOS and you wanted 
to use the '\' or the '/' key the problems started, and needed a key sequence
similar to Ctrl+AltGr+Rshift+LeftMouseButton+Lightswitch+'7' and you can 
imagine how much this slows you down ! So after about 10 hours of coding at 
snail speed, we decided to go to bed at about 5:00am
   Not much happened the following day, we did alot of coding, and went 
shopping (which is another story). Fear went to sleep at 5:00pm and we coded
again until 5:00am. We all woke up at about 9:00am and and squashed all of 
stuff into fear's car. We then drove down to Wizard's house, but then disaster
struck ! Fear's car broke down :( about 100 meters away from wizards house.
This couldn't of just been bad luck, we thought that we must have been under
the curse of the dreaded Future Crew. So we went down to Wizards house, and 
he came back and had a look at the car, we found that there was something 
wrong with the electrics, so we phoned a garage up, and they collected the
car. Whilst we were waiting for the car to be fixed, we went down to wizards
house, and went on his 386-16 :) we decided it was only fit for ftp'ing and
playing pinball on :)
   After collecting the car, we finally got to assembly (5 hours late), we 
parked the car infront of the party place, then went to pay the admission fee
after reluctantly handing over 140 marks, we got given a vote disk and a badge
with the face of some blue bloke on (one of the organisers?) and we also got
a sheet with all the events on (written in finnish of coz ): We then got as
much stuff as we could carry, and hauled it all into the party place. We went
into the main room, and saw a hall completely filled with ppl and computer
equipment, it was quite breathtaking. We carried all our stuff down the steps
and set it all up next to the speakers and the vid-screen. This wasn't the 
best of places to have stopped, because of the volume of the speakers, but hey
shouting to the person next to you for 3 days was kinda fun :)
   After saying hi to Moleql/Mental Design and Moomin, We got down to some
serious work in order to finish our demo in time. After about four hours of
coding, the C64 competitions started. Although the music was about as good as
expected, the C64 graphics and demo compo's amazed me, I never thought that 
you could do kewl stuff like bitmap rotation on a c64, and the quality of the
graphics was awesome :) After a bit more coding, the 4 channel music compo.
started, all the tunes were very good, I didn't think that any were
exceptional. Later on came the multichannel music compo, after about 2 tunes
I thought I'd better catch up on some sleep. I slept all the way through the
multichannels (don't know how :) and woke up at around 5:00am to get on with
some more work on the demo (some graphics I think). 
   Both us and MD worked all morning to get our entries finished (the 
deadline was at 12:00). We finished off our demo at about 10:00, and MD were 
still busy working on theirs to find a mysterious bug which was crashing their
machine (curse of the Future Crew again maybe ?). They decided to bodge their
code just to stop it from crashing during the compo (by having a 64k stack :)
Implode had major trouble trying to compose the mod for the intro, and we just
entered it as it was :(
   After entering our intro and demo's we relaxed for the rest of the 
afternoon. Before the competitions began again in the evening we went down to
Carolls (a burger place - like MacDonalds) It tasted okay, and was around the
same price as in England (although everything else was about twice as 
expensive in finland). We got back in time for the graphics competition 
(delayed), there were some really kewl piccies, but it was really hard to 
choose the best one. After that came the amiga 40k intro which was again  
delayed. The intro's were really kewl, better than most of the PC ones I
thought, but it was really hard to choose a winner, until number 16 turned up
(I've got no idea what it was called), It was by far the best intro I've ever
seen - loads of really cool animated gouraud shaded objects, 3d gouraud shaded
fish swimming in formation. I don't know whether it won or not, because as far
as I know the results for the 40k intro haven't been published. There were 25
(I think) amiga intro's - this set back the whole programme of events.
   After a bit of a delay came the PC 64k intros, I wasn't very impressed by
them until Airframe by Prime was shown - a really kewl intro, which was a 
class above the others - it had loads of neat effects - vector flythrough,
voxel flytrough and spacecut & texturemapping. We all thought this was a 
deserving winner. Our intro didn't get shown, which was understandable seeing
that it was done in a hurry. After another delay (what a surprise :) came the
amiga demo competition, most of them were digitised animations and raytraced 
animations, I think that there was only 1 demo which had no anim's in it - a
rave demo about the USSR which was quite good. One of the animation demos
which i liked was about this bloke who casually walked around shooting 
storm-troopers, killing Darth Vader, killing At-At's (those big walky things 
out of the empire strikes back) and doing a bit of dancing. Unfortunately I
didn't get the name of this one either >;-<
   Finally came the PC demo compo (45 mins late I think) after a couple of 
nice demo's came our offering - it looked awesome on the big screen, and
sounded really cool out of the BIG muzak system they had (unfortunately it
was not stereo to most of the people in the party place) The first few 
effects ran withought a hitch, but then came the interfearence effect which 
was hardly visible on the big screen (Implode coded it - not me :). Then
Disaster struck ! our demo crashed ! and would of continually displayed
our freaky interfearence effect until eternity if i hadn't told FC and the 
the guys to stop it. The demo had never crashed before on any computer that 
we had tried it on (4 computers in all !) so we knew that the curse of FC was
again upon us. Mental Design's demo also crashed on the first effect (they must have been cursed too :)
but worked okay when they re-tried it (buhuuu - didn't do that with our demo):
Legend Design's 'Warp' demo also crashed as well as quite a few others did, so
after alot of Booo'ing from the people in the place the organisers showed it 
again, and it worked fine this time. It was a really nice demo - load's of 
nice vector effects and ended of with an awesome gouraud shaded egyptian head.
After a few more kewl demos passed, came Iguana's demo another really kewl one
, the effects i especially liked was the rubber objects bouncing around the 
edges of the screen, and the credits done in voxels, but was made to look like 
it was done on a lava bed or something. After loads of more cool demos (the 
ones which didn't crash) from groups like emf, epical and grif came the end of  
the demo compo when they re-showed the demo's which had crashed, but they only
had time to show 3 of them because it was coming light (about 5:00am). After
having a chat about how much the orginising of the demo competiton sucked we
decided to get a couple of hours sleep. I woke up again at about 7:00am to see
a lovely banner right outside the the organisers enclosure basically saying
'FC and Sonic PC Suxx' :-o
   Later on came the 'Award ceremony' which was basically displaying all the
results on the message boards (with a wait of about 5-10 minutes between each
result), So I went and had a chat with XToto, and I was amazed that his 4k
intro 'spam' didn't get anywhere (could he have been cursed too ?) Neither us
or MD won anything, and even LD and Iguana only came 3rd and 4th in the demo
compo. I don't think that the results to the amiga 40k intro compo were 
displayed, so I didn't find out whether number 16 won or not.
   Shortly after we were basically told to leave the building, so we packed up
all of our stuff, and promtly left. After dropping Wizard off at his place, we
got back to Fear's flat, and unpacked the car. We then had a chat about the 
compo and found out that it was not FC who organised the PC competition, but
it was in fact Sonic PC ! We then realised instantly that it was not Future
Crew that cursed us, It was infact the dreaded curse of Sonic PC ! After 
apologising to the great FC god. Fear then sat down and fell instantly asleep 
like he had done so many times during the competition. Implode then sat down
to do some work on the release version of our demo, and i just sat on the bed
and watched him. It was about 3:00 pm and i was getting bored of watching
implode, so I decided it was time to get some sleep. I woke up again at about
8:00am, Implode and Fear were both asleep, so i had a play on the computer
for a while. When fear finally woke up, we downloaded all the stuff which was
released at the party (including about 90 4k intros :) and 4000 lines of irc
which occured just after asm94 ;) After that we went shopping, bought some  
postcards and some food, because we hadn't eaten anything for the last 36 
hours or so.
   Later on, Fear drove us to the airport and we said goodbye, after going
through all of customs etc. we sat down in the departure lounge, and wrote 4
of the 9 postcards we had intended to send :) On the plane we had a nice 
argument about whether the blobs below us were islands or clouds, and
watched the england Polo team chat up the waitresses :). When we got back to
Heathrow we waited for our baggage, and mine didn't turn up, and i only had
10 minutes before i had to catch a bus 1 1/2 miles away so after telling the
baggage people that my luggage had been lost (*sigh* - obviously cursed by
Sonic PC again ):, I ran all the way to the bus station, and got there 1 
minute before time, unfortunately the bus was late. On the way back home, I 
devised more effects to win the next competition that I will attend - maybe
the party 4. Finally I arrived in Paington bus station, and waited for my Dad 
to pick me up.
   I later found out that my luggage had gone to Madrid ! so it had a longer 
holiday than i did (and it didn't even pay for the privelige :)

Precautions to be taken against the curse of Sonic PC :

1) At all cost's try to avoid going to Helsinki - their power seems strongest 
   there (assembly 95 is a suitable reason :)
2) Buy our patented Anti-Sonic Medallion (tm) - A Bargain at only $200 US (if 
   your name is Mr (or Mrs) N.O. Brains )
3) Install Sonic-PC curse protection code in all of your productions.....
   (if you have no idea how to code this - here is an example)

; *--------------------------------------------------------------------------*


Cursemsg db 'Oh Shit ! Sonic PC Curse detected, Please reboot machine',10,13
         db 'and ask The members of Sonic PC to leave the room :)',10,13,'$'

CurseFlag db    0       ; 0=not cursed, 1=cursed


        mov     ax,@data
        mov     ds,ax

        CALL    CHECKIFCURSED           ; sets curse flag if cursed

        cmp     CurseFlag,0
        jz      Phewnotcursed!
        mov     ah,09h
        lea     dx,Cursemsg
        int     21h                     ; display meassage
        mov     ax,4c13h                ; returncode 13h
        int     21h                     ; Back to dos

                                        ; continue on with demo

; *--------------------------------------------------------------------------*

I haven't yet worked out how to code the CHECKIFCURSED procedure, so any help
would be greatly appreciated ( Maybe some ot the other groups have already
coded a similar procedure :)

Anyway, I'm now re-united with all my Luggage, and no harm was don really, I
really enjoyed Assembly 94 (despite a few mishaps), All of the facilities were
really good, and if they got the orginisation right it would have been one
helluva party !

Well, I've been writing crap now for a couple of hours, so it's time for me
to finish.

L8r Dudes...

Sandman / Valhalla