Breakpoint demolog, days 1-7

So the quest is set, the aim is clear: create something for Breakpoint 2010. There won't be another opportunity; not at least under the Breakpoint umbrella.

The organizers have expressed publicly they don't wish to organize yet another edition of nowadays biggest demoscene event, so it's now or never! (At least until a new event this good takes off).

I already have had stuff of mine shown in their big screen. But that was before the true Big Screen, with capital letters. The 70 square meters one. I must release something, I said to myself.

Of course, this means that in a way, I'm going to break my own self-imposed rule (I will release things when they are done), but I'm working in a slightly pressurised scenario in order to finish the demo before setting off for the airport.

I have decided to keep a somewhat sporadic short demolog to keep people informed of what I'm doing. Hopefully it will help/force me to do things, daily, so that I don't slack or procrastinate, and maybe you may help me too when/if I get stuck somewhere ;)

I'll keep things short --this is probably going to be the longest post in the series-- so that writing here doesn't starve me of time to code.

This is the current status of the project:

  • the theme is approximately set, but I won't disclose it here
  • I'm working on converting my on-its-own rudimentary OO-C synth (sorollet) to a bit less rudimentary C++ synth that can be embedded and interfaced, VSTi style, so that I can sequence everything from Renoise and play with parameters and settings in real time...
  • ... and convert Renoise's Song.xml (inside the .xrns file) to my own data file -- kind of means recreating a simple tracker which follows Renoise conventions (Lines Per Beat for example). I have taken a look at the Song.xml file, extracting and using the relevant data seems easy, specially since Sorollet was already using a tracker style format.
  • So far I have managed to compile a VST plug-in in Linux. I had to solve several issues like having to compile for 32 bit while using a 64 bit OS, because Renoise is 32 bit too, gdb not willing to cooperate most of the times, the VST SDK docs being scarce and incomplete and not ready for Linux and etc, but I'm slowly progressing. Now I have a basic synth that can play sines or triangles, and transpose octaves. Awesomeness!
  • This means I'm not using an mp3 this time. Could this fit into an intro? Maybe, but I don't want to sacrifice code readability in order to make it fit into an intro... I'll be more than content with making a demo!
  • I need to find a way of producing a working Windows executable. Sadly, party organisers won't allow a non-Windows .exe to enter the demo compo. Big BOOOOOOH for them. I have thought of different solutions, the easier is to install mingw in a VirtualBoxed Windows I've got, recompile my sources there and run the exe in my main machine, using wine. But I still have to try that, and I hope it works in Windows Vista :-S
  • I still haven't thought about the visual part, I fear I'll have to script it as in ye olde times --no time for writing a visual timeline manager--, but I will probably use Lua to alleviate the pain.

Complimentary screenshot:

Sorollet VST

More later.