Breakpoint 2006 quick report

Experiencing new airports

This was the first time we departed from Heathrow Airport. Past year we went from Stansted Airport, with all the ukscene mates, but we decided to go for the Heathrow option as it was nearer and basically because going to Stansted is a pain in the a**. And also the tickets were cheaper even with a non low-cost carrier! So we were happily going through the boarding controls in Heathrow and we had the weird surprise of being asked for taking our laptops out of their bag and put them in trays. First question which arises to mind is: why? what do they expect by doing it? Clumsy ideas...

Anyway we passed that control and then went for waiting there. For our displeasure, there weren't too many places in which we could have something like a decent coffee. So we ended buying some Dr. Pepper and chewing gum. Eeew... Then it appeared that our flight was delayed X( ..., and as I knew that the bus which had to bring us to breakpoint departed not too late after we arrived in Frankfurt, I just sent a message to sml! (which had to take that bus too) so he could inform people about that fact.

Frankfurt Main stinks (really!)

Apart from that and the fact that we were given separated seats and had to ask a guy to exchange his seat, the flight was quite ok, until we tried to get our precious suitcase. Ha! We were stopped of going to the luggage collection and sent to another escalator. Then we went downstairs and thought we were going to die of asphyxia because of the pestilent stink that was dispersed throughout all the area. Everybody was putting their hands in the nose, that disgusting it was. And then we were stopped again by a group of rude policemen which said us a long series of german sentences (which we didn't understand at all, of course) and which was only able to say "NO WAY. TEN MINUTES." when we asked what was happening there. Sml called us again (he did just after we had landed) and informed us that the bus driver was willing to leave. He also said something about uncle-x/mfx wanting to leave as well but I am not sure what happened. So we finally got our luggage, and also lost the bus and had to take the RegionalBahn, i.e., the train to Mainz and then change there for Bingen. It was pretty easy and fast. And cheap (6 euros in comparison with the bus which was 10 euros). Sorry, I don't really like to travel long distances by bus, it makes me sick. Train is cool, and you don't see rabbits waiting for the train to pass everyday, don't you?

First encounter

We took the opportunity to check in at the hotel, as we had just arrived in Bingen. Then we went towards the bus stop and suddenly found part of the spanish expedition degusting the german beer in a little cafe before the stop: merlucin, sml, pain, bp, stealth, napalm, madgoblin, pere and ufix if I remember correctly. We sat there but didn't want to start drinking (yet).

Finally all of us boarded the bus and registered at the door! Yes, even they hadn't registered yet, as there was such a long queue when they arrived they simply took the bus back to Bingen.

I started greeting people but I just can remember now the people from Bixo (although this time they didn't come to the party driving from Spain... they have got old). Then I went inside and found Slack and Corsario, thanks to a light ray which entered through one window and stopped exactly at Corsario's ultra shaved head. Like a heaven signal...

Beer box

Everybody started buying beer boxes and we weren't going to be less. So we got one box and we started having some beer. We realized we had forgotten the uk-european socket adaptor, so we couldn't plug in the laptop and finish the visuals for the Ultrasound gig until we had it! I was going back to the hotel (as the adaptor was in my laptop bag), and then Corsario said he was going to there too, to check if there was any free room. He had seen the party installations and decided he was too old for party-sleeping so...

The Goldenersomething

The receptionist told us that there weren't places at our hotel, but she made a quick german call and also guided us how to reach the other hotel -the Goldenersomething- (she even accompanied us outside the hotel to explain it better!). Then it came the funny part... the other hotel was managed by a pair of elders, which seemed very nice, but hardly spoke any english. I don't know how but we managed to explain everything with a mix of gestures and english.

So there we came back, with our main missions achieved! A hotel room and a socket adaptor!

First mental gap

I don't remember exactly what happened during this time. I think we continued drinking beer and greeting people. Basicly I didn't feel like doing too much, although I had to finish my demo and I was fearing that I would have to release it in the wild compo, as I hadn't managed to make it work properly on pc (it just showed a white screen). So I went to the org and asked them how could I capture it, just to be safe.

Jeenio was also around there, as well as Sir Garbage Truck. Truck was also commenting me something about the importance of women in the scene of southern countries but he didn't finish the sentence and I am still intrigued. So if Truck is reading this, it would be nice to know what you meant, if you can remember of course.

Anyway, the Ultrasound gig was about to start, so we went to have the first currywurst in the nice tent (which was less warm than inside the main hall).

There was quite a lot of expectation about the gig.


There they go, in the middle of nice shoutings from the spanish sceners which were dedicating the following words to Jeenio:



He was so moved that I thought he was going to start crying. You could even guess he had wet eyes... (And I have just remembered that he also was the star of the opening ceremony which was a kind of continuation of the invitation demo).

The gig was great! They were also helped by Zaania which seems to be very worried about something that she did wrongly but I must say that nobody noticed anything. The visuals were very funny too, people liked the result (at least what I heard in my area).

Second mental gap

I think at a certain point appeared Ithaqua, Tekno, Wonder and Shash (Bixo had rented a car so they went and picked him up from the airport). I chatted with lots of people more but I can't really remember anything else, apart from coming back from the party in the minibus and feeling really sick.

BASS! training

Awakening was even worse but nothing that a good shower and breakfast powered by german pastries can't beat.

We went to a weird storage area where the BASS guys were practising. The place was near the river, in Bingen, and seems like it was used also for building all the decoration of the party, as there were lots of that white packaging thing everywhere, silicone, glue, various tools, etc.

They were a bit wasted: Jeenio had slept just one hour, Wonder might have slept something like that... Gargaj had even some wounds in his hands (because of the drumsticks). The bass player (sorry, I can't remember your name) had to leave and so did Jeenio. Then we took the opportunity to play a bit! First wonder gave me the BASS but it really didn't convince me so I got the guitar (which was Maali's guitar by the way) and that way I could play the electric guitar for the first time in my life! It was quite cool, even if it had some sort of green dust on it :-|

I think I need to get one guitar or I'll forget definitely all the few chords I knew.


Once all that finished, we came back to our hotel and waited for the people to arrive, as they were still aslept (i.e. Ithaqua & co). During our wait we were entertained by Wonder and his hat and Julio-Iglesias-goes-skying sunglasses, which everybody had to test. Unfortunately, Merlucin has a tape where all of this is recorded. And then we went to practise some gastroscene. Seems like the German are allergic to still water and the water comes sparkling from the taps. Or something like that. So we asked for beer when the first sparkling water glass finished. The food was great and it had a great amount of salad which is always very appreciated, specially during a party.

We had lots of discussions about charts and the ability one can gain to dominate the world just by hosting some charts, which was very funny too.

Fighting with Visual Studio 2003, 2005 and a stupid bug

Back to the party, I finally discovered which was the reason for the horrible bug which was preventing me of releasing my demo in the demo compo, and started fixing it on my mac. But I needed one pc to compile it too! Corsario/tlotb said he would help me, so we started trying to compile in windows as well. The problem was that I used visual studio 6 in my home pc, and he had vs2005 and 2003, none of them worked with my code because of some incompatibilities which I would have been unable to fix. But he did! And before the awards we had a win32 version of our engine. That was great!

Also Ithaqua came with an usb pen and asked if he could borrow someone's computer to upload his demo entry. When we all saw the title (cafre2) we got a bit scared... Somebody even said "This entry is really promising".

The Awards

Well, I suppose all the awards ceremony is recorded and everybody will be able to see what happened, and who were the winners. I will just tell that my back and my bottom suffered a lot, specially on the second part of the awards (after the break).

I also could experience the long queues which were appeared on the girls' toilette during the breaks. We were commenting that as we didn't pay the entrance, we didn't had rights for more toilettes. Well, I would pay if we could have more than just two toilettes for all the girls in the party. (In fact this girls enter for free rule is quite stupid, they should remove it at all).

When the awards finished, I hardly can remember what happened. I just know I had one idea in my mind: finish synchronizing the demo and upload it, and then socialize. But I wasn't able to do anything else that night. I just got the layers for the demo, and somehow we managed to arrive to the hotel, accompanied by the drunken boys from Zona Neutra, which were experiencing a different way of partying.

Fast demo synchronization

Even if I was quite tired I put the alarm quite early so I woke up, had the usual shower, and managed to finish the synchro for the demo in the hotel (without anyone annoying and asking once and once again have you finished it yet? are you doing something for the demo compo? can i have a look? why don't you put "bla" in the demo?). At around 13h, a pair of hours before the deadline, I went to the bus stop and found that everybody was at the hotel door, including Corsario (which is whose computer I needed in order to check that all was ok!).

I convinced him to come to the party place and help me checking the demo, instead of going to practise some gastroscene with the spanish guys. So we went there, checked that all was ok and submitted it with the intranet. It was funny to get an entry number #337. If only there had been 1000 prods more before...

Socializiiiiiiiiiing!! o\ \o/ /o

To celebrate that we had finished with all, we decided to have lunch. It was also the first time I have ever eaten a pizza with cucumber. Specifically, a spicy pizza with cucumber.

From that moment onwards I just remember wandering around the party chatting with everybody I knew (no I didn't make new friends, I wasn't feeling that socializing :P). The funny part was realising how quickly Maali had learnt the most popular word of the party (PUTA), as he greeted us like that:

Hi Maali!


Obviously Corsario was quite surprised. A pity Maali didn't bring his PUTA t-shirt, by the way.

Also Iq/rgba showed us some experiments he had made with shaders and so on. What surprised us more is a little utility he had developed for playing with texture mapping without recompiling, just by changing the formulas used in the mapping. There was a good amount of people looking at that, as the way he managed to achieve quite different effects with just some mathematical factors, and his natural ability to do so, looked quite impressing. I would say it was the didactical moment of the party.

Then I remember being impatient for the demo compo to start. Really! I was willing to see the work of almost one year of thinking and coding in the bigscreen :D And while that moment arrived, we continued talking with lots of people and so on. Was funny.


And there was also the big moment of the BASS concert. I think almost all the spanish scene expedition was there in front of the stage, on the first row, like the Big BASS Fanclub. No one will doubt that the band members were quite pleased of having that devoted audience! They shouted BASS BASS BASS BASS!

It was delirious. And it was even more delirious when they started playing. It was ages since I had to move away from the mass in a concert, as they started to dance like in those heavy metal concerts were each person throws himself against the others and act like ping pong balls. Obviously my sense of self integrity and survival adviced me to get out of there before dissappearing under a mass of BASS fans, and so I did, while recording and taking pictures of all of that, for being able to bribe them later when they were sober. Which reminds me I haven't looked at the pictures yet.

The concert had some stelar appearances by Zania, and the ASD guys (Leviathan and Amusic) also got on the stage when one of their songs was played.

They played even a version of Smells like teen spirit, renamed as Smells like scene spirit, because of this years theme with the scene spirits and so on, which turned to be quite funny. I didn't expect that one!

The best of all was that nobody was harmed during the concert. :-O

The democompo!

Finally it was time for the demo compo and for the long queue in the toilette, both at the beginning and in the break of the compo. As our demo hadn't been played in the first part, I thought that they had disqualified it or something like that. Corsario was also worried about that, he said that no demo submitted from his computer had been played yet (as cafre2 was submitted from that computer too) and he was fearing that they weren't uploaded properly. Stressful moments...

But finally, our demo was there and... woh! I never noticed it had such an amount of BASS in the music. That soundsystem is awesome. Luckily seems like some people enjoyed the demo as it was way more changing (and shorter) that most of the look-ma-I-have-a-3d-engine-I-will-bore-you-until-death demos which were played. And just after ours finished, cafre2 was played! omg omg! Tekno was trying to pump the audience as there was a mass of people dancing on one side and a mass of almost aslept people sitting hypnotised in front of the screen. I must say that I understand them, and I also did the same but I had released a demo so I was exempted of dancing (as I was terribly tired)...

Ok, I have no excuse. I'm plainly boring!

Following came the best demos of the compo. I don't know if it's good to have the prods played in quality order, even if it's just the organization tastes, but it usually tends to coincide with the real quality of the demos. Sometimes I think it could be better just to play them as they were submitted so it would be a bit more varied.

After the democompo everybody continued talking and being friendlier than ever, as always happens. The guys made an interview to a drunk shash which I think is willing to see it to be able to remember what he said! :D

Basicly after all the excitement of that day/evening, the remaining of the night consisted in struggling to be awake while speaking with people. I specially can remember a conversation with mnemonix in which he tried to convince me to go to bcnparty, and release a demo, so that there's more competition in the demo compo. (As I don't think that I'm going to bcn this year, maybe you can do it for me and release more productions there, so mnemonix feels he's got competitors!)

Monday monday...

After leaving the hotel for the last time, we went to the party to see the prize giving ceremony. Which was quite confusing, sincerely. Starting with that decision of showing slides which didn't had nothing to do with the actual works, and continuing with the stupid idea of calling everybody up to stage at the same time. Funny when they ask "is that you? which prize did you win? are you really you?"

Is it that difficult to give prizes one by one? :-|

This ceremony dissapoints me.

Also I had to break one of my best new habits of this year and had to drink a coke. I hadn't drunk a whole bottle of coke (not even a single can) for almost four months and I had to do so because they didn't had real still water. You asked for still water, the guy at the infodesk promised it was still water, the bottle's label said "still water" but hell no! It was midly sparkling water, which I think is more disgusting than completely sparkling water.

Could please somebody explain me why? 8-|

Bye bye

Finally we left the partyplace, not too late as our bus was departing at 14h. Then we had a nice gastroscene stop in one italian restaurant, and finally a horrible nightmare thanks to the incompetence of Lufthansa plus the stupid security procedures which the US have exported worldwide and that lead you to have to pass like three times the normal controls, with lots of stupid details like having to take your laptop out of your bag, doing a control when the corridor ends, etc, etc.

In short: LUFTHANSA SUCKS, and FRANKFURT MAIN STINKS. Avoid them for your mental safety! I was so pleased when we arrived back home and everything seemed so normal and logical that I even felt the need to do another demo!

So all in all a very cool and motivating party. Then is when I don't want to go to any other party anymore, as no one will beat it (well, pmp will do, certainly).

And thanks to all for reading until here!