Textro by OTM

                 T       E       X       T       R       O

                        an introductory demo by OTM

        Welcome to Textro, OTM's first production.  It has taken us over 
        a year since our group was organized to make a true demo, but the 
        wait is over.

                            - Files Included -

                TEXTRO.EXE              The demo itself
                TEXTRO.GDM              "Dextrous" composed by Stalker, 
                                        playable through OmniPlayer by 
                                        Zilym Limms
                *.MSE                   Sound and Music Engine loadable
                                        device drivers, BWSB v1.15 by
                                        Zilym Limms
                TEXTRO.00?              Data files
                TEXTRO.NFO              This file...surprise!
                OTM-NFO.EXE             OTM info loader coded by Hurricane
                FILE_ID.DIZ             BBS file description

                         - Hardware Requirements -

        This demo requires the following to run:

                80386 or higher microprocessor
                A VGA monitor and register compatible VGA card
                About 512k free conventional memory

        The following sound cards are supported:

                Sound Blaster 1.x, 2.x, and compatibles
                Sound Blaster Pro
                Sound Blaster 16
                Proaudio Spectrum/PAS+/PAS16 and compatibles
                Gravis Ultrasound

                             - Technical Info -

        Textro was coded in a mixture of assembler and Turbo Pascal.  Since
        this demo uses an extremely low resolution video mode, it was not
        necessary to write the entire demo in assembler, this saved us a
        great deal of time.

        The only video modes used in Textro are 80x25 and 80x50 text modes.
        If you don't believe us, try running Textro under windows from a
        full screen DOS box, and switch from full screen to a window during
        the demo.  Textro will run VERY SLOWLY because of poor hardware
        management under windows, but it should be obvious that no high
        resolution graphics modes are being used, because it is not possible
        to run a program using such a video mode in a window.  Most of the
        scenes in Textro look like they are textmode, with the exception of
        the wireframe vector routines by Phred.  This code uses character
        set remapping before each frame to draw the line segments needed
        to compose the object.  If you still don't believe us, run in a
        window and you will see a lot of garbage characters on the screen,
        because windows doesn't allow character set remapping unless an
        application is running full screen.

        In reality, textmode provides the programmer with a wider range of
        cell colors than any standard VGA graphics mode.  The combination of
        16 foreground colors, 16 background colors, and the 4 standard 
        halftone characters give a total of 1024 unique color combinations 
        for each cell.  This attribute of textmode is demonstrated by the 
        plasma and voxel landscape portions of Textro.

        In order to utilize these features to their fullest extent, Hurricane
        created numerous utilities for converting images to textmode and 
        computing an optimum palette.  These utilities were used to convert
        the images used in the lens effect and the multidirectional scroller,
        as well as to convert the texture map for the voxel landscape.  This
        code, which was originally used to do color matching in digitized 
        sprites, may be released at a future date.

        When running Textro, try using the arrow keys to navigate through
        the voxel landscape.  If no keys are pressed, a random Bezier spline
        path through the landscape will be followed.

                               - Textro History -

        Textro was Hurricane's brainchild, and consequently he did the 
        majority of the coding for this demo.  The sound and music code
        was done by Zilym Limms, and the remaining code by Phred and 
        Voltaire.  The fine music in this demo was composed by Stalker,
        and the artwork was made by Supreme and Nameshift.

        As the name implies, Textro began as an intro.  Hurricane caught
        the textmode bug after he and Voltaire viewed a demo called
        Lunatic by Extreme.  The final scene in Lunatic was a textmode 
        vector cube, and Hurricane thought it was just about the most 
        incredible thing he had ever seen.  Soon afterward, he began
        pushing us to do some textmode effects, but we ignored him because
        we thought of textmode as lousy considering the vast array of 
        higher resolution video modes availible on the PC.

        Hurricane didn't give up easily.  He put together some textmode 
        effects and started spreading them around to the rest of the group.
        Soon enough, we all caught the textmode bug.  We figured that a 
        textmode intro would be a perfect first production for us.  It would 
        give us a chance to brush up on our design and organization skills
        using a demo that would not be extremely tough to code, and the 
        result would be a truly original production.

        As the project picked up steam, Hurricane coded some more effects,
        Zilym finished his sound and music engine, and Phred and Voltaire
        each offered to code a scene in the area of their expertise.  It
        soon became obvious that Textro would be slightly too big to be 
        called an intro, but we kept the name because it had such a nice 
        ring to it.

        We have only seen a few other textmode productions.  They range from
        the filled character textmode vectors in Lunatic, to a simple 
        textmode production with a scroller and a plasma, to an intro called
        'textro' which was a text file in a nicely coded graphics mode 
        viewer.  In our opinion, our Textro is the definitive textmode 
        production because it combines a wide range of effects, including
        many that to our knowledge have never been implemented in textmode
        until now.

                              - The Near Future -

        What is currently cooking in Arizona?  Quite a bit actually.  The 
        majority of OTM members are currently enrolled in school.  Phred,
        Hurricane, and Voltaire are all studying computer science/electrical
        engineering at various universities, and the rest of OTM is in high 
        school.  Therefore, school takes up a large chunk of our time.  In
        addition to making demos, the majority of OTM members are also 
        working, some of us are working for commercial software companies,
        while others are working on video games.

        As for the future, OTM plans on thrilling the world with more 
        impressive demos.  Voltaire and Phred are constantly improving their
        respective 3d rendering code, which will surely be put to use in many
        future productions.  Zilym is also working on his sound and music 
        engine, adding support for more sound cards, new file formats, and 
        performing general enhancements.

                                - Final Words -

        We really hope you enjoyed Textro, because we had a lot of fun making 
        it.  Hurricane said he would like to see some more textmode productions
        released, possibly even a textmode demo compo? :)  Happy coding...