Thursday, 14 August 2008

Love the scene..

..it was reviving. To finish a demo that doesn't suck too much (a 64k intro actually :P) and present it at a demoparty with lot's of people.

I have more than a year since I last finished a good demowork. The same long time applies since I last visited a demoparty. Yep, somewhere between the army period, a mediocre slow and ugly demo for GP2X, still with new effects I enjoyed coding, and two nicer GP32/GP2X in August 2006 a month before visiting the greek army. Two years of some kind of inactivity, two years that many things have changed (finished studies, army, got a job, etc.). I have done more things that I feel like during this period.

I am enthusiastic for the scene again. It's not just an aftereffect from visiting Euskal. It's not just because I was there in the prize ceremony with four thousand people around me, getting some kind of scene medal and praise. Maybe it's these factors too. But I think I am changing. The demoscene is not a reason for my sometimes unbalanced mental condition. I think I am able manage to regulate my emotions more now. There might be more times in the future where I hit the blues, I know, but I am able to struggle for a bit, accept it and then revive back. The demoscene is good, it is creative, I even persuaded myself that it's better at the end to code something (even if a random thing) for 1-2 hours than play games for the rest of the day. Of course when I want to relax I can leave myself take some day off from my hobby, but moderation works better and I try to remember that it's worth it. Demomaking is worth it. Slowly coding sometimes because of the job but worth it.

So, I am back!

I already have in mind what I will be coding next. There is a lot of unfinished code and a lot of projects and ideas. Currently I should be starting my new CPC demo and hopefully here I have support from two over enthusiastic and active greek sceners at the time. I shouldn't miss this! Unfortunately more dedication is really needed to write assembly for an old platform especially now I might work for 2-3 hours at times. Opening a C compiler for few hours in the evening to write a new effect for fun or experiment with unreleased sources is possible and might give me feedback on the screen easily. Assembly, especially on an old 8bit, might not give me any feedback that evening and I may feel that my evening was spent without getting something. I am slow with it and spend time figuring out how the hell the videoram or char memory works and why I see black or everything crashes (the last time I tried to code something on C64, I had to read docs again just to remember how the complex screen or char ram works). So it's really hard but I do think possibly for the CPC demo with these dudes. I wish I can also find an opportunity window to start writting my first good C64 demo. Not something extreme, just few midschool pixel effects to show that I can do it.

CPC and C64. Assembly. CPC maybe soon, C64 maybe later. Both need a lot of dedication for several hours per day, not few evening hours after the job. C projects work better for the latter.

So, about C projects. I think it's time to get into 3d acceleration again. Some people argue that I am choosing the wrong hardware for software rendering, I am also thinking that maybe I could create some neat things in OpenGL and pixel shaders. I should try! I am already planning to start coding a new demo framework with just the basic things (hopefully also a demo scripting engine to make my life easy). Lately I am more into coding little frameworks and organizing my code snippets into bigger things and I even really enjoy it. In the past, each new demo was a unique ugly code just for the demo. Now I am more organized and I am trying to do it this way so that it will help me in the future. The big thing is OpenGL framework now. I will be just evolving my latest framework and 3d engine from the software rendering world into the new accelerated one. Each time I write a new demo I notice some things I could be doing different. I want to give time to myself. Maybe I'll release something small in between (4k/64k?), maybe not, but for the big OpenGL demo I am planning for Breakpoint the next year. I might be visiting. 8 months. A lot of time..

And then there are various C projects lying around. My evolving framework, more organized software 3d engine I just checked now after several months, little coding for gamepark (GP32/GP2X) or nintendo devices (NDS/GBA). More little projects that stand around or will come in my mind. Unfinished X86 asm tiny intro. A lame abandoned attempt to code a X86 emulator in C. Some little game experiment. Maybe flash. Little fun with DBF interactive competitions. Maybe I start with 68000 AtariST. 386 demo. Quickbasic code. Evolving my just started engines (raycaster, raytracer, voxel). Lot's of ideas I have in mind. The small stuff that come and go. You'd be telling me that I should concentrate on one or two things. But I am doing so. I have one or two plans in mind (CPC demo maybe soon or maybe not, OpenGL framework and demo till Breakpoint) that I will primarily focus on, and the new prescription that seems to work = when I hopelessly procrastinate with the primary goals, switch to coding for any of these small ideas you currently have in mind and wish to code at the time for fun. It works because it makes me happy and maybe motivates me to work tomorrow. Instead of procrastinating with games, procrastinate with smaller projects you find more fun than deadlines, and at least you have plenty of random code left in your HD that you might find handy in the future. And being content with still being creative even if not working for the primary goals!

I love the scene. I even love code even if it is a bastard sometimes :)

p.s. And till the next crush, I think I can handle it...

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