Nordlicht 2012 – Personal party report

Last weekend there was a small demoparty in Bremen and i, together with 50 others attended. This is my small and very personal report of how i experienced the weekend. The links on the bottom will be updated as soon as possible. Be warned, some bad english is about to enter your brain. This report was almost completely written at the partyplace during the party.

Arriving on Friday at 14.15 pm means being 2 hours early. The party start was about to happen officially at 16.00 h. We, Moqui of Titan and I chose to go there these two hours earlier because of the fact that we hadn’t anything better to do and thought, maybe we could help out a bit. The train ride was smooth and our trip to the party-place was without any delays or other obstacles. When we arrived, the first thing we noticed was that there was still a lot of work to be done. The cable system wasn’t in place, beamer and network wasn’t set up and the drinks weren’t bought. So we helped cleaning the tables and setting up the power system. We couldn’t help noticing that the place seemed smaller than on the photos that were published earlier and to be honest, we had our doubts that 50 people would fit into the location. There was a large garden and a small path, leading to the main house. The sleeping areas were aside and in front of it and seemed pretty small at first sight. There was a fireplace and a barbecue grill set up in the garden and lot of wood to burn. Inside the house, there was a smaller room where the organizers tables were placed. A small doorway led to the main room which contained 5 rows of tables for about 20 sceners to put their notebooks onto. A small bar on the right side was supposed to provide all necessary drinks to stay alive for the three days. As said, the fist thing we assisted was cleaning the tables which happened to be dirty beer fest tables, at least a few of them. And it proved to be a good idea to clean them first. Some time later, after the main setup was taken care of, I placed my stuff on the table in the back and with it, I claimed it for TRSi, since I was expecting streetuff and peiselulli later that day. As promised, they arrived later that day and it was great meeting them in person, although a certain Brüllwürfel and some half-known Kassierer texts tested my nerves a few times. Nono, just kidding, it was a pleasure! At around 19.00 hours, SunSpire came back with the shirts that had been delivered to Bremen train station by a colleague of Topy. There was quite a quarrel around the shirts, starting with hardly being able to chose a motif, going over to keeping the price reasonable and ending with printing and delivery problems. But in the end, everyone seemed happy. Right after that the beamer was set up and the sound-system started. The big-screen actually wasn’t that big, but the sound-system was huge and could have been used on a stage or in a stadium. Crazy. I tried to work on my things then, but the almost filled place and the constant noise made it really hard to concentrate. So finally I gave in and switched to party visitor mode completely. For the first evening of the party, there was a retro gaming tournament planned, but it got completely cancelled because of a hard-disk failure of the main computer. Actually there was a small fire inside the PC itself. First there was strange smell and then in the search for the smell, the flames were discovered, which destroyed everything they could get their hands on. Luckily, if you can speak of that at all, only the hard-disk took permanent damage. Unfortunately all remote entries were lost, too. Make backups people! We got them all back later through a message on pouet to re-mail them. The next hours I spent talking to a lot of sceners inside and outside the house and it was really great to meet so many of them at once. Inside, a demo-show was entertaining the people, but it was so loud that I decided not to move in again. A few hours later I left the party location to have a good nights sleep.

On Saturday morning, I returned to the place at around half past eight and found a few sceners already awake. As you can imagine many of them were marked from the party they had yesterday until the early morning. During the morning, we completed our compo releases and uploaded them to the party network. The administrators decided to fix the hard-disk of the broken PC and ran into more trouble as copying back the backup to the new drive proved to be more difficult than they thought. The deadline was postponed and so were all compos. At around 17.00, one hour after the compos should have started, they began sorting the entries and preparing them for the show and until now (18.30) they are not finished, so we are delayed 2,5 hours now. And it does not look like they will start anytime soon. At 20.00 hours the competitions finally started. The first one was the graphics compo which was one of the strong competitions that evening. With new-school entries from well known PC artists like Forcer and Prince and a few old-school entries from Ragnarok and myself to a PETSCII entry from CoaxCable there was a broad range of different styles and platforms. Enriched by a few entries from local heroes, the competition featured around 10 full-screen graphics everyone had to chose the winner from. The next competition was the photo-compo. There were only a hand full of pictures, half remotely entered and half submitted via the party network but there wasn’t a clear winner photograph in it. Right after that, the gravedigger competition was announced. It was expected to see century old, unfinished and unreleased stuff and have a good laugh about it. Unexpectedly there were quite a few entries and the range was from old intro routines over music to unfinished vector objects. The show was quite enjoyable. The oldest entry was from Virgill and me, which was an old unfinished intro routine from 1988. Nothing on the code was changed, it didn’t even started by itself. Again there wasn’t a clear favorite. Following that competition was the new-school music. 12 entries were placed and let me tell you, it was the strongest competition of the evening. Various styles and lengths of the tracks made it extremely enjoyable and there wasn’t a single track that I would consider as being bad. On a personal note, I must say that I have to learn more about mastering and making the track sound good on professional PA. I don’t dare to say who wins this, at least a hand full of entries would deserve that. Unfortunately one track was missing so actually only 11 were played and the 12th one was played after the final demo competition. Not a good solution in my opinion, because most of the people left the building after the demo competition to get some fresh air, drink and smoke. Next to that was the tracked music competition which was thin with only 4 entries. But in my opinion this category has a clear winner. The wild competition featured two animations, one stop-motion video by gaspode with a lot of fish, one comic animation with a bunny and a chainsaw and the video of a VC20 slideshow with a new gfx mode. Although there were only three entries, all three were pretty good, so it will be a hard choice again. Finally the demo competition was up and the 9 entries were played. Nearly all popular systems saw an entry. There was a 4k intro for Atari ST, a small demo and an intro for Amiga, a C64dtv production and a few PC entries. No one expected to see THE big demo here but what was delivered was entertaining and in some cases pretty cool. Concluding all the competitions was the playing of the left out track from the new-school music compo. The night continued with a DJ set from Ish and a lot of partying and drinking.

The overall mood of the party people was pretty good and there wasn’t any protest that the delay was so massive and that the retro tournament and the karaoke challenge didn’t happen. The HD crash pretty much killed those things in an instant and everyone was aware of that. So we concentrated more on socializing and partying inside and outside the house. The weather got better and better from friday to sunday and there hasn’t been a single drop of rain but more and more sunshine. There was a campfire and a barbecue grill that was almost permanently running and later on Saturday there was free meat and salad for everyone. That was a very welcome surprise, because the nearest food market was about 1,2 kilometers away. Not that far and since the weather was getting better and better not to much effort was needed to get your own stuff. Everyone seemed to enjoy the atmosphere and judging by the first comments arriving on pouet, most of the people had a great time and plan to come back next year, if there is a party then. Of course there were many things that can be improved for the next installment, but I am sure, the organizers, who cared warmly for the well being of all the attendees, are aware of that and will reflect the party with the necessary care. I will travel there again, that’s for sure.

Some threads and sites about the party you might want to visit:

pouet net party thread

graphics compo releases (still under construction)

download all releases (coming)

csdb party page

party pictures by mog



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