pouët.net

I miss the old days... some thoughts from an ex-scener.

category: general [glöplog]
Hello sceners,

I was in scene about '88 to '93, in the last years of my scene-life i was the WHQ of an amiga-group called "GRACE International", which had many members around the globe. I don't think that anyone can remember it, because GRACE was not one of the best groups around, but we had lots of fun and we released something which was - at that time - called by someone from THE SILENTS "a milestone for scene", a literary disk-mag for sceners called "Scene Lyrics" (if you're interested you can download the only remaining issue at http://ftp.amigascne.org/pub/groups/g/grace/grace-scenelyrics03.dms). After i left scene in '93 i had nothing to do with it for some years, but about 1/2 year ago i discovered PC-scene again and started downloading and watching many demos. First of all i was very impressed, because nowadays demos are real peaces of art and they are extremly "polished", but after some time i realized that all that demos are missing something... something special, which is hard do explain for me... maybe that special "scene-things", which we loved so much in the past: the communication, the messages, the self-celebration (does this word exist in english language? *g*) of the creators and groups, the fun (e.g. nowadays there are nearly no happy songs in demos, it's all very serious) and all that stuff. What has happened to scene? Has internet changed it really in that big way? Could it be possible that the lost of swapping via mail (including handwritten letters) ended also the era of communication between scene-members in demos and diskmags? OK, internet is a strong platform for communication too, but it's not the same as writing a personal message to some contacts into a scrolltext, knowing that anyone watching the demo can read it. And what has happened to all those diskmags from the past, filled with news about sceners, with avertisments, articles and interviews? Where have they gone? Does anyone remember the old "Message-Centers", those diskmags which only consisted of messages between sceners? After watching some old productions on an Amiga-emulator i really started to become depressed, because it seems that all of this has gone nowadays, this whole (once very BIG) movement has changed so much since my "old days" on Amiga. Well, the good thing is that it is still alive, but to be honest: I really miss the old days...

Greetings, Markus. (ex. Wild Rage / Grace Int.)
added on the 2001-11-02 18:48:31 by wildrage wildrage
Sorry, wrong link, the right one is : http://ftp.amigascne.org/pub/groups/g/grace/grace-scenelyrics01.dms - the other one was the "not really working" version of the third issue, which was fixed some weeks later.
added on the 2001-11-02 18:58:25 by wildrage wildrage
"Cherish the certainty of now
It kills you a bit at a time
Cradle the inspiration
It will leave you writhing on the floor."
- Faith No More, The Real Thing

Time is a healer :P

regards,
prozac
added on the 2001-11-02 19:24:12 by prozac prozac
I totally know how you feel WildRage.
I use to run a BBS back in the old days, and brought many of the UK demos into Canada through it.
It was always exciting to download the latest from the scene (at 2400bps, and years later 14.4), see what's happening with various groups, etc..
Hope the next bunch of demo downloads had GUS support :)
Read news about asm 92, 93, wishing my 16yo allowance would buy me a ticket to Finland :)
It seemed, in those days, like a close knit bunch of friends just having fun. Trying to push the envelope of there systems.
Maybe I just know a little more nowadays, but some of the mystery and magic seems to have left the scene for me too.
Don't get me wrong, the scene is still going strong, it's just... different now.
But that is to be expected I suppose.
A new generation of sceners, a new generation of hardware, a new scene.
But I am sure of one thing. No matter how much the scene changes flavors, it will never die.
added on the 2001-11-02 19:43:03 by hd hd
I'll drink to that!
(in fact I'll drink to anything right now %))
added on the 2001-11-02 22:52:49 by bhead bhead
well, i think the old good snail mail was ways better than internet and e-mail... the feeling was completely diferent and you always woke up and run to the mailbox to check for something new.. You learned things about your contacts character through the letters they wrote (and the WAY they wrote 'em)..

That was back in 1992..
Sad thing all this is over.. technology changes everything dudez.. let's face it.
(btw.. anyone remember disk-cover painters? one more thing that got lost through the usage of internet..)
added on the 2001-11-03 02:03:09 by medron medron
Well, scene changed, we can't do anything about that.
Another thing that made it change, is that it is quite a lot of work to create a demo nowadays. I mean, a demo that people will want to watch. Few artists are left, many are not in any group, or too busy to make something.
That's why, when a group manage to gather something to make a demo, they usually try to make it "the right way", with a big project, etc. Quality joke-tro are no more interesting, since all scener now want to be known, and to be a star :)
added on the 2001-11-04 01:17:09 by tuo tuo
If being a star is what drives you to make a demo, you're in serious need of a mental check-up... demos are made for fun. That's the drive, anything other than that is rather pathetic if you ask me.

You think any artist makes paintings because he "wants to be famous and earn loads of cash"? No, he's just enjoying himself, making the things meandering in his mind become reality. That's what we do, too.

If the demos nowadays are a little more serious, some factors come to mind: there's much more possible technically these days, so a group can tackle more serious stuff, the angst produced by our current society makes us think differently during demo creation and/or the average demomaker age is somewhat higher with respect to the golden years and the heavier topics are now much more present in our minds blablabla :)

But don't worry too much... as always, time is relative and sooner or later, the pendulum swings to another direction and new styles, some perhaps closely related to yesteryear, may appear. Ahh, so much deja vu :)

Vince.
added on the 2001-11-04 23:07:14 by Vip Vip
Wild Rage :
i'm agree with you, i depress like you, i'm nostalgic like you, but why ?
- the rules have changed ? yes, they have changed but it's normal no ? snail mail with all the spread of culture things is dead, now it's networking, with other rules and other funny things. end of long scrollings replaced by NFO files...
- lots of my oldfriends left the scene ?, yes it's the life, i have new scene-friends now, but they are much young
- i'm too old in front of the youngs ones ? hummmmmm, probably yes, i have too much scene years in my head (12), too much demo seeing (4000+) and perhaps too much experience to be excited now. sad for me. i'm fighting this thing.

Da_Medron :
yeah, i remember disk painting !!! lot's of fun with it, and keeping the disks tagged by welknown sceners :))

Tuo :
hummm, no, i dont think we make demos to be famous, be famous is the result. the first target is to make a good demo, with feelings and technics and art. famous is only the result of a good demo act. sceners who made demos to be famous dont stay alive on the scene so much time.

All :
for me, depress is perhaps a problem of years, we, as nerds, dont whant to grow up, dont want to lose our dreams in becomming adult.

for me, the best years of my scene experience is 1993-1994, but in fact it's my 20-21 years. with the time i see that the best 'years of scene' of all of us was always 19-22 years period. and you ?
Hmm...

Back in '90-'93 I was an active Amstrad CPC demomaker, and then a passive Amiga coder, and then.. nothing.

We used to say: "For fun and glory"!
"Fun"? well, this feeling you had when coding and making a good and hard work to explode your computer's limits.
"Glory"? well, this feeling when you went to a meeting, where people are saying "Hey! he's the one who..."

Nowadays, what does mean "demo"? Years ago, I thougt it was a way to "demonstrate/show your abilities to make impossible code, gfx and sound". Is it still true? Err... No doubt that there's now a kind a demoscene where art and design is the priority. I don't like it. And I don't care.

But I'm respectful to the technical demoscene (256b, 4Kb, 64KB,...) and the alternative demoscene (C64, ZX, CPC(?), A500(?), ST(?), ...). I understand the "fun" you have when still coding on these limited machine or within limited code volume. And what about "glory" then? well, it's over: you now code on an obsolete machine to show what is possible on it, not to show that you personnaly are a great coder/gfx-er/musician...

Conclusion (to Markus?): you may still have fun, just take you old computer back! ;) like I do! :-D
I don't think ppl does demos to be famous, or at least they usually start with this idea, but the ones who really understand the scene feelings slowly change their mind and continues "scening" for fun (and they last long).
Regarding me... well I'm an active scener since 1989, but didn't manage to (and didn't wanna) get famous. Who cares ?? I get so much fun with mine old and new (young) friends.
Right now I just think that, yes, scene feelings are changed, but to be honest WE are changed too, I bet new sceners (real ones, read above) are having lot of fun, like we had some time ago.
Maybe they feel the same excitement while surfing pouet forums, like the feeling we had boxing to a foreign BBS, spending our youth in front of some ASCII arts.

cya
added on the 2001-11-05 14:13:15 by rIO rIO

About fame.

Actually fame is inside the game called demoscene too. But it's not the most important thing. But beware, it's still hidden somewhere there too,.. don't say that fame has nothing to do with the demoscene at all, because it plays a role there too that makes the scene more funny! (RPG, becoming a VIS, e.t.c. ;)

Surely, doing demos just for the one and only reason to become famous and nothing else, will lead you nowhere, cause someone could just rip a demo and just become famous. But of course,. the good fame is when you do something good and beeing appreciated too because you have really worked in that and you really deserve to. You have to like what you do, you have to have fun with that in order to succeed doing something cool by your own,. and then there comes the fame (Let's use a better word,. e.g. appreciation?) about your work you have done by yourownself too...

Fame is in the game of the demoscene too. I am aware of that as a newbie wanting to move on steps and reach the top. It's just that it's not the most important thing when doing demos because other things really made us to watch demos and join the scene in the first time...
added on the 2001-11-05 17:50:39 by Optimus Optimus
Well... OK, scene has changed, i understand that. But why are there no messages anymore in demos? Why not include a small message/greetings-part at the end of each demo - which would not disturb the design of the demo itself - as it was done in e.g. "The Product" from "Farbrausch"? I think if some groups would start with that again, others would do it also, just because of the pure fun of reading those messages and greetings. Ever read your name in some really cool demo from another group? Than you know what i mean.

Dear Scene, i really respect your work, but i think without that "personal touch" in your productions it's all like art... without soul. A cold demonstration of technology, just made to win some demo-competition. But that's NOT was scene was ment for, in my opinion! Where has the spirit of this movement gone? The feeling for beeing part of something really huge, some really special community, something that is a miracle for most people in the world "outside" of it? Is scene nowadays maybe dead... and it just doesn't know it?.

I really can't believe that.
added on the 2001-11-05 21:35:53 by wildrage wildrage
well, guess the ironic part of my post has gone way above everyone... nevermind.
Next time I'll try with some more smilies.
Anyway, I stopped demo last year. Even if I didn't realized it then. I probably need a mental check-up like said VIP (ironic when you consider my last "big project" ahah).
added on the 2001-11-06 08:20:12 by tuo tuo
Im all with you wild rage, i havent been active on the scene since late 1993, and things have really changed . a few months ago i stumbled upon some demoscene music that lead me to new demo's and i was nothing short of amazed whilest watching the sunflower, 3state etc demos. they are really great pieces of digital art. But they are all so alike.
Heheh last thing i remeber was the whole amiga(and pc actually) scene going on a polka brothers tip, after some extremely nice designed productions for the AGA machinery.

i miss productions like those, but it will come back..

you guess remeber when people started to make vectors? all those 25 min+ crap vector slideshows? (few good ones)
back then people realised how much power we had in the machines we just got, after *sob* leaving our beloved c64's (for a while ;)) and went down that lane.
Pc demos are in that stage now, there are incredible 3d accelerators to play with, powerfull cpu's and offcourse people are going apeshit about all those new features.'
But soon peoples gonna realise (once more) that it gets too sterile, and someones gonna break out and make a new (retro?!) direction. Just like polka brothers and their likes, did 8 years ago...

added on the 2001-11-19 19:56:37 by NoahR NoahR
First off - Wild Rage - I remember Grace (:

Second - I've been passively active since '87 - and yeah, it's in a constant state of flux.

the scene is alive. Sometimes it gets a bad case of ennui but I seriously doubt if it will ever die. It changes too much to allow stagnation.
The SCENE, a movement (says it MOVES) has been changing since the very beginning. Actually, there are many different factors that are to be considered when someone speaks about changes in the scene.

First, you must remember that everyone personally has a different feeling about the scene. it depends on how old the scener was when he joined forces - such as it depends on WHEN he joined the scene - at what age - and what he exactly did.

it depends on if he had a good or a bad time in scene and also on many factors in real life. Such as it depends on how long the scener needed to become "top". This process of myth, of spirit takes on until they realize that all these "gods" out there are just a few other normal pimple-based pizza-eaters - humans who ripped from their competition to know how the fuck something actually werks :)

the most important factor however is that the scene changes generations like every 5-7 years. I speak of sceners attitudes, technology, possibilities, restrictions etc..etc..etc.. also, the later a scener joins, the more has already been done, the more is already obsolete and the more people tell them they're fucking lame newbies.

we have the early 80's with the first ugly intros that were so much of a spirit because it was something completely new to everyone of us. we had the late 80's where these lovely intros have become stylish, where demos have been forming a new way of art... we have the early 90's, where these things have all gone to technical perfection - up to the real hardware limits of a machine until everyone was finally sick of always returning effects.. and we have the late 90's/today were the scene needs to use highest quality art and soundtracks in order to make people even watch all of the shit.

The boards have changed the mail scene, and the internet has changed all of the scene so much that it is no longer an underground movement - "every fucking 8yrs old can get 0day from the web".

The thing that is currently changing shit VERY dramatically is "highest-quality multimedia" now running on any standard PC, that can be authored with any standard clickediclick software and that makes things "almost IMPOSSIBLE in the past" to be normal crap today. This is why the scene is on a move to stay attractive. Years ago, a demo was like something impossible, today someone without scene knowledge will probably prefer a good flash to a medium quality demo if the flash works on every machine and looks fancy enough.

So the question is, how can the scene stay attractive for outsiders today? Oh yes, this was serious - don't tell me you have joined the scene because everyone pisses into your throat at school and you were looking for a loser club to hide - you joined the scene because you were fascinated by possibilities - you were fascinated to do something that others can't - you were wanting to express something by an art that can not be understood by outsiders but that makes them feel spirit - the spirit you have or once had.

to combine all this shit together: We have scene generations.. atleast four of them already.. and right now, the scene stands infront of its biggest change, leaving the underground for good, publicizing information like being sprayed on Berlin Wall to be read by anyone who comes by.

We have an internet that does not need sceners to cheat stamps or to phreak in order to be best informed possible. Nowadays, everyone can get the information for free, without being in a top group and without being a freak in general.

This will probably lead to a cultural mixture in scene. I can't say I'm looking forward to it and I also can't say that I regret it all happened like this. I'll be watching what happens.

When I look back and count the years from 1987, I do have my very personal best scene years in my mind right away. What are the best years for YOU is none of our decisions :)

The fashion is that people being here a little longer slam about the scene nowadays and hail the good old years. Well, that's normal human behaviour.. Don't we do this on every aspect in reallife? :))

Enjoy the time you're here.. it will change, DEFINITELY! For you, and for everyone else - and you can't stop it or bring back old days. Because you're getting older and life changes.

This is your time, dudes... Especially if you just begun becoming known to other sceners. Enjoy it as much as possible and hell, give a shit to what others say. You make your own scene life - and you ROCK if you just want. Not to forget that you will take all your knowledge into your future life, so if you miss a day at school because you were wanting to code a demo - then this is GOOD for you :)

thumbs up, pants down, penis mafia roques all our minds.

Chotaire/RZR

PS. If there are any mistakes in here, I don't care I'm not even gonna proof-read it. So if you don't understand something, play with your balls.
added on the 2001-11-21 04:49:21 by Chotaire Chotaire
Chotaire : you understand the scene very well and put words on my state of mind, thanx Dr Freud :-)
Ok, I'm not really a scener, but I've watched a damn lot of
demos, and I've been into these things for quite some time
(probably around 93 or so.. not exactly 'oldskool', but
let's just say I've always really been into it which is
even odder in the US). I also do graphics stuff for a
living so take that for what you will.

It seems to me that at a certain point the scene started
becoming more involved aesthetically, that is demos started
to crop up that didn't just look like 'demos' but instead
had certain styles that were partly original scene styles
and partly influenced by other aspects of pop culture. I'm
thinking of groups like melon dezign here. Although this
type of demo didn't always imply less impressive coding /
less emphasis on effects, it sometimes did.

Now we're in the year 2001, and the majority of productions
released today do have a very heavy emphasis on style and
design. (also it seems to me that the genre of 'demo' music
has somewhat gone by the wayside) ... Is this because no
one cares about cool routines anymore? Maybe to some extent,
but I also think it's because it's a lot easier to code
various things using different API's and what not (although
this is somewhat frowned upon). The tools available to
the graphicians and musicians are also vastly more powerful.
What I'm getting at is that code has lost its emphasis
because nowadays how awesome something is often depends on
how powerful the user's 3d card is etc. (yes i know this is
a generalization)

Because of this, though, there are more productions being
done for consoles, 'retro' machines, java etc. That way,
the coders can have the fun of creating cool fx from scratch
and learning new stuff. All of this is tied together
through the net.

So.. the scene might not be as cohesive or as much of a
community as it once was (again, not really speaking from
personal experience here, just what i know of scene history)
.. but on the other hand there are vastly more options-
for coders, artists, and musicians alike- to express their
creativity and have fun working with different things, and
also for getting in contact with people all over the world.
Sceners are all pretty much creative people and the internet
is the ultimate tool for the expression of creativity.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is: it's not as bad as all
that. :)
added on the 2001-11-28 12:09:46 by it290 it290
Oh yeah, I also wanted to say that there's nothing wrong
with Flash. It might not be 'leet but it takes talent
to make cool stuff in flash (it takes talent to make cool
stuff period), and there are a lot of sceners now doing
flash stuff (like melon who i mentioned above).

Although I do agree with you sir garbagetruck in that i
see a lot of various flash websites and misc. and although
i might like a flash design and think it's cool, it doesn't
impress me like a good demo does nor does it feel like it
has the emotion and energy put into it that a demo does.

People who grew up looking at demos (like me) understand
this, but people who aren't familiar with them (eg my little
brother) don't care. So as far as outsiders being
impressed, hmm yeah i guess this is important to
perpetuating the scene and keeping it fresh, but i think
that when people start to learn about what goes into making
a demo, if they're creative they realize that it's a really
awesome way to combine different talents (code,gfx,music)
in a way that no other art form can (except maybe making a
film or something). And that's cool!
added on the 2001-11-28 12:19:23 by it290 it290
my favourite demo platforms at the moment are the Spectrum(yes it is still alive) and the GBA. the 3D trip demo impressed me more than alot of PC demos, not because it was really flashy with 'pretty' effects. but because it showed me what the machine could be capable of. I watch the recent PC demos 'cause they are nice eye candy, but watching a cool demo, no matter how cool it is, on a system with no-limits is nothing compaired to a demo that has to really push the limits of the hardware of a restricted platform. For an interesting use of a Game platform(virtually no coding) there was the Quake Movie scene (which I was partly involved in. A site(made by my brother) with reviews of 99.9% of all the quake movies ever produced with links to where you can download the movies it's http://ppj.telefragged.com
I was more into this scene than any demo scene, where I have been just a passive viewer. Unfortunatly this scene(started in 1996) is all but dead now, and the sense of community there was in it too. It does still carry on, but it's mostly prerendered now(which my brother sees as not in the spirit of the original scene) I feel this draws quite a parrallel with the Demoscene of late.
Well that's my word :)
added on the 2001-12-14 08:15:34 by siccoyote siccoyote
Now, today this thread is more than two years old. This means the all the people who were in the scene back then are now oldies - time to reminisce.
added on the 2004-02-01 19:02:53 by Stelthzje Stelthzje
all working scene lyrics are still on http://www.scenelyrics.org
added on the 2004-02-01 19:28:17 by elkmoose elkmoose
ps: the problem is not that the scene changed, the problem is that you changed! stop wanking about old days and start producing something for today :PPP
added on the 2004-02-01 19:32:55 by elkmoose elkmoose
exactly, I only meet ex-sceners who miss the olden days of yore, well f!ck that, if you want action, get involved again or make something on your own ...

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