[The timeless way of building a 64k...]
A strange story and a masterpiece intro


"Do you know how many of these you can fit on a 1.44Mb diskette?"

Yeah, you probably do. The answer, by the way, is 1.474.560/61.952=23,8. Or maybe 42. Or maybe you have to take into account the space allocated for the boot sector, the FAT and the root directory. So that would really be 1.457.664/61.952=23,52. But I'm just digressing. The truth is that we want to talk about this 61.952 bytes intro (sometimes known also as "64k") that threw millions of coders into panic since the first frame appeared on the megascreen.

Yeah, because Mercury has *hexagonal* *lens* *flares*!

Yeah, because Mercury has *dust* *on* *the* *camera*!

(Did I say they have hexagonal lens flares?)

Hexagonal church
Well, ok. But let me tell the real story of how the masterpiece that flattered the entire demoscene was born.

There were those two coders, urs and cupe, that had nothing to do that day, and were greedly devouring their copy of "The timeless way of building", a book by Christopher Alexander that explains how to create beautiful buildings using design patterns and blue screens of death.
Suddenly, urs said: "Hey, why don't we do a 64k for Revision, a 64k that has nothing to do with this book except for the title?!". Cupe answered: "Yes, that's a great idea! People will try for ages to understand what this book has in common with the intro, except for the title!!".

Unfortunately, in the next days, ideas were lacking (as usual).
But why inventing something when you can copy?
Yeah, that's a design pattern! That's the beautiful truth Christopher Alexander taught us!
So they started with an ocean scene, copied from NeHe's tutorial number 12, but adding *hexagonal* *lens* *flares*. Then urs came with a great proposal: "14 years have passed from fr-08: the product. It's time for another church scene, with multicolour glass and, obviusly, *hexagonal* *lens* *flares*". But cupe said: "Hey, I think people still remember that scene...". And urs: "Nah, just add more dust on the camera and that will be fine".

Things were going on steadily.
Urs added three or four camera paths "a-la-Elevated", one Still-esque scene with nonsense trapezoidal buildings, some more dust and, obviously, *hexagonal* *lens* *flares*. Then, the stroke of genius hit cupe: "Urs. Hey urs. I've got it. I've got our main scene for the intro. People have never heard of this". Urs said: "What's that?". And cupe: "Get ready: a *city* *scene*". Urs: "You mean... a scene with buildings, shadows, fog, reflections, hexagonal lens flares and all the rest...?". Cupe: "Yeah! That's fantastic! A scene where the buildings move like in Incep... err, where the buildings move!!! Isn't that insane?". Urs: "Yep...".

Trapezoidal buildings
Time passed fast, and Revision was approaching. Cupe decided "platipus" by Incognita was a demo noone remembers today ("It's a 1999 demo, you morons"), and added a scene with marble textures on the walls and some beautiful columns. Then he made the columns distort like in Incep... yep, the columns distort.
Only one thing was missing: one majestic closing scene. Cupe&urs where out of ideas (as usual). In that precise moment, las came out of nowhere and said: "Guys, I've got your definitive, psychedelic, groundbreaking final scene! Listen: think of Times Square at night, think of the lights, the illuminated signs, the cars running and their lights reflecting on the wet asphalt!!! Think of that!". But cupe&urs said: "Are you joking? One scene with *cars*? What is this, some sort of 1992 Amiga prod? Or "Rush Hour" by nextempire???". And las: "But you know, this night scene, with some hexagonal lens flares...". "Oh, shut up and go back to your framework, you silly framework coder!". And las sadly went away.

Glared sunset stoups
April 2014 arrived, and Revision was there.

The entire Mercury team was adding the last bytes to the intro. And a couple of hexagonal lens flares here and there. Deadline fastly approached. Then Okkie announced their 64k. Lights went out, strangely there was silence in the hall in Saarbrücken.

"The Timeless" started running on the screen.
Two coders committed suicide just as the first sea-wave rolled in. All of cupe's and urs' lives were passing in front of their eyes.
At the 10th hexagonal lens flare, many heads exploded just thinking of how the hell did they do that.

"The Timeless" was a milestone.

And at last, the final scene, some night city with cars, yes cars, and neon signs glared on the screen.
Las said: "But... you put this scene... this was my scene...", to whom urs&cupe answered:
"Shut up, you silly framework coder!".

You silly framework coder!
When the intro finished, the two coders were overwhelmed by the crowd, and brought all around Saarbrücken in triumph.

That's how a successful 64k is born.

Because, you know, it's not important if you copy 10 thousand times from Debris, it's not important if your scenes have no logical link, it's not important if a city scene has been seen in 4879128 different intros.

No, that's not what counts.

What counts, dear friends, is *hexagonal* *lens* *flares*. All of them.

Remember that.


posted by friol at 4/23/2014 01:00:00 PM - under: , , , - comments? here (6)



6 commenti:

urs ha detto...

You forgot to mention the simulated and completely useless CCD sensor bloom, the annoying HDR glare effects and the completely unrealistic architecture of everything.

Also, I didn't do the camera paths, I just wrote shaders.

But apart from that, a fairly precise account! :)

cupe ha detto...

In addition to what urs said, you also forgot the annoying "squint" effect we paint over everything even if the sun isn't there, the overly cheesy rainbow halo that pops in your face at inappropriate times and the pretentious particles. And the uncalled-for chromatic aberration.

This pattern is called GRATUITOUS POST and goes well with our favourite patterns OVER-BRIGHT LIGHTS, KOYAANISQATSI-WANNABE CAMERA and NO REAL CONTENT.

Anonimo ha detto...

This scene has hell of a problem, encouraging their offspring… *slowclap*

Anonimo ha detto...

Guy is mad about success of a thing he doesn't like. Fabricates not-really-funny account of how it supposedly came to be. Wow. Nothing to see here.

friol ha detto...

Artificial intelligence in spam comments is getting better and better these days...

Z3k ha detto...

Nice story.
Fuckings to Ati untill they support
gl_*hexagonal*lens*flares*

the tunnel - demoscene blog - (c) friol 2k10