Euskal 14 live report (III)

It's happened quite a lot of things since the last entry, and I was so busy that I couldn't comply with my promise. So I'll try to be quite quick and summarise as most as possible.

The Airport Idea

We had to spend some hours in the airport (approximately 8) so we thought we had to do something in that time!! Then sitting in one coffee shop, whose name I can't remember, we decided to program something in flash for the wild compo, since we already had some code, but we had to clean it, make it work with each other piece, etc. Basically we tried to convert the non-OO code we had to an ActionScript2 version of it so we could have classes, instantiate them and all of that, like painting in the screen without deleting everything else and so on. We spend the most of the night finding how to do that since Flash is quite tricky and has hidden thingies you only get to solve after lots of trial-error pairs. But just when the battery of my mighty powerbook was about to die, it just started to work!

Then we went happy and delighted to check in, and it was so good too. We had sequence numbers 1 and 2! Is it a premonition? Who knows!

Euskal place

There's just one word for defining the party installations: H-U-G-E. Luckily Olatz got us a couple of seatings in the fifth row so we don't have to use lenses to look at the not-so-big-from-rear big screen. That way she also saved us to feel like a frying egg thanks to the heat which generate the gamer's computers, since we then were sitting in the scene area.

We have a good amount of non-windows machines around here. There are lots of Macintosh (specially in my row), and what I like specially, there are lots of MorphOs and a couple of Amiga's too. Not that I have talked with their owners but I am fascinated at how they just spend the time browsing Amiga repositories with a weird browser which looks so 90's and makes all the webs to look so 90's as well. And those machines' hardware is not old, so it must be a question of tastes - you like Amiga, you like the retro look, maybe.


I spent a good amount of time talking with old friends, which is the main point of the party I think (apart from being astonished with the releases). This year some of the old faces are missing, like network, stravaganza, etc. But we had mat! and ham so we can keep the spirit alive!

The chat with mat! was specially interesting since it kinda surprised me that he shared with me the opinion about the parties organization. Taking into account his vast experience partying, that made me happy :)

And there was also our american friend, blackpawn. Some of you might know him because he did code for MDMA/threepixels (if I recall properly, it was the spikes scene).


Anyway I let people chatting with themselves and passed to finish our airport-idea, which was called Holy Guadalupe! Don't ask me why but it was trace's idea. And I didn't choose the colours - for once the pink was not my responsibility.

Apart from converting code into classes (a good occasion to learn how to make inheritance work in ActionScript 2), I also could apply my algorithms optimisation knowledge. That part was quite challenging too, since ActionScript with Flash 8 is still quite slow and is even slower on mac's. So while macromedia/adobe decide to create a faster Flash player, we have to optimise our code, which is good stuff anyway.

So, just in case someone is interested... I did a lot of maths, like factorising, grouping multiplications, etc, since the formulae were very clear but not optimal, and sometimes there were things such as for example:

so to save one operation I changed it into something*8, saving one operation that way

I also tried to replace all the multiplications with bit shifts where it was possible. Like instead of having something*4 I changed it into something < < 2.

Also sometimes one value was calculated during each iteration of a loop but the value was constant, so those operations were put outside the loop. I also looked for places where to change products into sums, but I couldn't find none. And already the sinus and cosinus tables were precalculated and all that so I wasn't able to optimise anymore (at least at first sight).

Finally the effects gained some speed, specially the plasma, so we were able to double the resolution of that one! =)) And trust me, I really noticed the increase in speed in my mac. I am quite proud of that contribution.

Meanwhile blackpawn and trace were working very hard in their demo. At this very moment I still don't know how is it going to be called, we will see in a next entry! :P

We had a horrible lunch based on a nauseating tagliatelle with carbonara and lasagna courses. I have never produced such a disgraceful lunch in my whole life, even when I hardly knew how to turn on a microwave. The pasta was overcooked and dry, like if they had just reheated ten times, and the sauce was simply an uniform and unknown disgusting beige oily mass at the bottom of the plastic box where they served that piece of crap. So if anybody reads this, avoid going to the cafeteria 24h!

And after that we finally finished the wild compo entry (thanks also to the org which delayed the deadline an hour and a half) and submitted it. It quite surprised us to find so many entries already there, all of them using like 80mb, 400mb and even almost one gb, and ours was less than two megabytes. Amazing. Bloodrinker (the scene orgo) was already horrified after having prepared the [supposedly] high quality compo and anticipated a long agony for all the listeners/viewers. He was indeed so right :((

To the compos

So as I also predicted, the mp3 compo was full of boring tracks, most of them exceeding the recommended three minutes length. Preselection is reclaiming a place in this compo, as it is in the wild compo. There was the usual bunch of superboring videos of gamers exhibiting themselves, and of course one with a starwars fight, with the laser swords and all of that. B-O-R-I-N-G. Oh and I'm still a bit annoyed with one which ripped some scenes from this guay and another demo by purple studios, somehow presenting it as it was their own production. That is lame. The animation compo was the usual too, there was nothing which really managed to surprise me... |-)

After that I thought they were going to play some demos as the timetable said but I think the orgo was so depressed that he had almost lost all faith in the scene so he was just aiming for a bed and a long sleep to forget about this nightmare compo. So I went to sleep and that's all for yesterday.

Now I'm going to upload our wild entry to pouet before some dumb-ass does it.