Demoscene

vslpx by xplsv

Quite close after Breakpoint05 came if05. We hadn't much time to prepare something, but still wanted to contribute to the party with a demo. I had been doing some "research work", preparing to move to a different (neater?) way of demo coding, so for the first time, events were stored in an xml file, and there were separated "scenes" and "effects".

But that's only in theory, because thanks to the proverbial demoscener's shortage of time I had to pack all the camera/visualization code in one big Scene. Still, it doesn't look bad, and at some points can provide a considerable amount of aggressively abstract eye candy which I happen to like, even if it has been four years since it was released.

This demo uses a song by the mighty Dalezy. He's an amazing demoscene musician, and I think he composes for pretty much every platform: C64, Amiga, XM, even Farbrausch's V2, which is what was used for this song. It got 2nd position at the executable music compo at Breakpoint 2005, but before the results were revealed, I knew I wanted to make something with that song :-)

vslpx by xplsv

It starts with a laser accompanied by a very raw wave sound. Yeah, recurrent theme, still equally electrifying. Only this time it's a powerful neon blue.

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Then before you can say boo, it begins to violent turn around its own axis with each bass drum hit, along with thousands (ok, let's leave it as "hundreds" instead) of strange spiky items which seem to move towards the end of the screen, like some sort of energy current.

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Strange concentric partial disks appear out of the blue (never had that expression been used more appropriately before) forming strange angular patterns.

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You can't have such an energetic scene without some sort of particles. So there goes another stream, of pink particles this time, leaving their trail behind like space comets.

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After an absent although probably unnoticed transition the viewer gets presented with an apparent continuation from the previous current, only the stream of pink particles seems to have scattered and formed something which somehow resembles a very simplified nebula, waiting for something to get there. The whole set is surrounded by fine wire lines and some continuously moving partial disks, like if they were protecting the cylinder contents.

This is also the greetings scene: they are a very simple scroller (indeed they are simple: it's just a moving texture). Yet it has quite nice design touches but funnily there is not a single vowel (unless we consider 'y' as a vowel).

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Things get pretty acid quickly. The blue laser ray beams again, stronger than ever, going through a grid of size changing pink-red cubes (which indeed are arranged forming a bigger cube themselves, but that can't be clearly seen in the demo).

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There are more camera games, field of view angles stretching until were it's probably too much, camera going too close to the subject (I'll speak about this later), and all sorts of visualization errors, but in a way they add to the psychedelia, I think.

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Following the music, the cubes begin to stretch until they are virtually invisible.

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More and more non-stopping, continuously moving psychedelia...

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... and the partial disks appear again, preparing to wrap up the song.

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Although this time the camera is going seriously crazy! (Look at the FOV changes!)

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And it finally finishes with the xplsv's canonical let's-close-with-the-current year style.

Known quirks

The camera gets too close to the objects at several points. It is due to two facts:

  1. when I prepared the demo in order to release it at the party, I did that in a non-stop night coding session. Closed the computer just to have time enough for a shower and going to the airport. So I didn't check things properly...
  2. the camera follows a path which is read from an ASE file. I think that stands for ASCII Scene Export, but what matters is that it is a text file and it was relatively easy to read, so I edited the path in 3d Studio and then loaded it into the demo using the exported file. The problem is that once you export an ASE file you can't load it back in 3dS again unless you install some obscure plug-in. And as you have probably realized at this point, I don't have a clue about where are the original .max files.

Since this issue is not a blocker and fixing it would destroy the original naivety/errors in the original version, I have decided to keep it, all the same that I did with the wrongly billboarded 'nebula' particles. Rest assured that any future elements like these will appear correctly :P

The synchronization also goes a bit off at some points. That's also attributable to the little time we could dedicate to the demo. The synch was done in something like two hours. Again, trace used one of his little flash utilities for drawing synch points and generating a txt, and I converted it into the xml lists that I load for events.

Code

As usual, the code is in my git repo:

  • Browse it
  • Check it out: git clone git://github.com/sole/demoscene.git Then it is in the releases/xplsv/vslpx directory