Author Topic: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user  (Read 2775 times)

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Offline Bug Powell

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CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« on: 13:34, 25 May 21 »
Hello. As I already wrote it in my presentation, I come from the c64 world and I recently discovered CPC demos. Here are some curious feelings about them: since the release of Batman Forever by Batman Group, there was nothing serious released. Don't get me wrong, there were some demos with many effects and lots of technics involved, implying a lot of work. But these demos are just a compilation of effects with no design, and often boring to watch. There were also neat 4k intros, but honestly, they just are little things. I find it a bit curious because the most popular CPC demo was made by an Amiga programmer. It seems that the CPC sceners have a high level of technic but don't know how to make good demos. Or maybe I'm wrong and they are not ambitious enough? Sorry if I am a little harsh but that is the view from a c64 user. Any demo programmer in the room?

Offline TotO

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #1 on: 13:36, 25 May 21 »
I come from the c64 world and I recently discovered CPC demos. Here are some curious feelings about them: since the release of Batman Forever by Batman Group, there was nothing serious released.
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Offline Targhan

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #2 on: 14:21, 25 May 21 »
I tend to disagree, many great things have been done. I actually don't particularly enjoy the Batman demo anymore (but no denying on what it brought to the table!!), because latest productions are more interesting.

But I think "we" still have to learn how to properly do a demo with great transitions, synchronized with music, etc. We come from a looooong history of coders asking a graphist for a logo of *this* size, without context, a font for a scroller, and using a music ripped from a game, and that would be the demo. Things are changing :).
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Offline norecess

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #3 on: 15:01, 25 May 21 »
there was nothing serious released
Sure, Batman For Ever was a HUGE milestone for the Amstrad demoscene and raised the bar to new levels.
Please refer to this (non exclusive!) list gathered from Pouet for everything released since.
Most of them are gems from my point of view.
Amstrad demos are different from C64 ones, and I'm perfectly fine with that. :)

Can Robots Take Control? by Benediction (April 2021): https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=88554
Square Roots by Vanity (April 2020): https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=85287
Octopus Pocus by Pulpo Corrosivo (April 2019): https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=81008
Gloire a Piou! (April 2019): https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=81132
One Screen Colonies #0 by Vanity (July 2018): https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=76730
Isometrikum by Vanity (April 2018): https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=75754
phX by Condense (April 2018): https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=75725
Logon's run - 3D meets the aging bits by Login System (April 2017): https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=69651
30 Years Amstrad Megademo by Benediction & Others (June 2016): https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=67656
Battro by Batman Group (January 2015): https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=64959
Breaking Baud by CRTC & 3LN (April 2014): https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=62934
Phortem by Condense (June 2013): https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=61465
Still Rising by Vanity (March 2013): https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=61177
Yap by Logon System (October 2012): https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=60660
Bloc Us by Benediction (August 2011): https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=57525
« Last Edit: 16:17, 25 May 21 by norecess »

Offline Bug Powell

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #4 on: 17:31, 25 May 21 »
First I want to avoid any misunderstanding: I respect the work of any coder put into a demo, especially on old platforms. All the demos listed by norecess are technically impressive and required a massive work. My criticism are not intended to hurt anyone, I know that it is hard to make a demo on old hardware. However (I don't speak about 4k intros which I consider as little prods not that serious): as I pointed out in my first post, the demos listed by norecess are a compilation of effects. One effect after the other with no logic or direction. Almost no sync with music. Effects are not integrated into a good flow. It is technically impressive but if you are not aware of the CPC limitations, it is hard to fully appreciate and it can be boring. It is obvious that no real designer worked on all these demos. It is what I tried to explain. Batman Forever was great, because even if you don't know CPC, you still enjoy it and take it in your face. On this way, I have to admit that Logon's run - 3D meets the aging bits by Logon System was a good try but it lacks of graphics and good sync with the music.
« Last Edit: 17:33, 25 May 21 by Bug Powell »

Offline krusty

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #5 on: 18:25, 25 May 21 »
Shit, let's hope @Targhan will not read this comment ;)


Offline rexbeng

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #6 on: 18:37, 25 May 21 »
Interesting topic. The first thing one needs to take into account is that the norm with CPC demos is they are made by crews of 3 people in most cases; even less in some. We are a small scene in comparison to the C64 where you can find demos done by an 'army' of developers.

Since your argument seems to be mostly focused on graphics/design, it's fact that graphic designers on CPC are even less than coders; and even fewer create original work from scratch (ie not reworked images from other media even if results are really good in a few instances). If you take Batman Forever as an example, I think we are matured enough to admit that while it was a technical marvel that dropped our jaws and has a flow and pace, the biggest part of it's graphical side is based on existing pictures which were wired and reworked and with results being mostly average.

So, no, there arent many 'graphically heavy' demos on CPC, but even so, demos in later years have very tight and coherent design (my mind goes to Vanity prods and Logon's Run as my first picks but that's without disregarding other people) which, in my opinion, is a benefit that comes from being made by crews of 2-3 people instead of a dozen. I admit there's instances I've thought (and complained to coders :P ) that certain  CPC demos might had been even better with some additional graphics, but in demos code is king and always will be (and what better example than Batman Forever, right?).

I am wondering though, what demo examples from the C64 scene you might be having in mind as 'well designed' and 'exciting to watch'? Would you care to share your ideas?
« Last Edit: 19:12, 25 May 21 by rexbeng »

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #7 on: 21:23, 25 May 21 »
Effects are not integrated into a good flow.
Like most of Amiga/C64 demos, only FX succeeding other FX, and short black screens between them...
Even when people says that demo is a good demo with flow and "no black screen", there is no flow and black screens between FX
In psychology we call this "denial"
Regards

ps: and don't get me wrong, i like those demos  ;D
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Offline Bug Powell

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #8 on: 21:45, 25 May 21 »
rexbeng: I am more focused on design, flow, rythm, that kind of things, than on graphics. I agree that Batman Forever graphics are not a revolution. However the flow, rythm, design, interaction with music are amazing. I didn't find any CPC demo with these criteria at the same level. You quoted Vanity demos: of course it is beautiful and technical, but the criteria I pointed out are missing. Boogie Factor or Sharp could illustrate my words (effects and graphics are average).


roudoudou: there are tons of c64 demos lacking of good flow. I just said that I didn't found any CPC demo with a good flow, contrary to c64 which has some. Also, what is the problem with black screens?

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #9 on: 22:04, 25 May 21 »
Black screens cut the flow, they are also the evidence of lazyness and/or lack of technical habilities (i include myself)
there is very few productions with full transitions between FX (you see, maybe i'm more fundamentalist than you  ;D )

Anyway, CPC scene is a very small scene, how can you expect the same amount of great productions as commodore scene?

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Offline Bug Powell

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #10 on: 22:18, 25 May 21 »
Black screens because of lack of technical habilities or lazyness (I agree with you, it is often the case), and black screens because of the designer's choice (it sometimes happens) are two different things. In the second case, it doesn't cut the flow, or it is done on purpose.
To me, flow and transitions are two differents things. You can have a good flow with no transitions.
Also I never expected anything. Sorry if my posts let you think the contrary.

Offline rexbeng

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #11 on: 22:41, 25 May 21 »
I see. You are mostly talking about themed demos then, where the main purpose of making the demo is to tell a 'story' rather than make some technical achievement. Well, telling a story (in oldschool demos in general) is mostly achieved with having a good number of pictures (either drawn or procedural) to go alongside it, I believe. The two C64 demos you mentioned do pretty much that (and thanks for reminding me of Sharp; I hadnt watched it in years). But generally I believe it's hard to do themed demos when you dont have enough people in the scene who can produce content for themed demos. If you take a look at Vanity 4K intros it's easy to understand that those could very well be parts of a bigger, themed demo. I mean, those C64 demos you showcased are pretty much '4k parts with a common theme packed together'. All in all, I find the CPC demoscene to be mostly about the technical achievement rather than storytelling.

That said, I personally regard the design of both Logon's Run and Still Rising higher than Boogie Factor and Sharp.
« Last Edit: 00:11, 26 May 21 by rexbeng »

Offline Targhan

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #12 on: 22:51, 25 May 21 »
Shit, let's hope @Targhan will not read this comment
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I think the CRTC demo (for which I provided the music) is one good step towards what a well synced demo can be, but I was only involved at the very end. Like I said, only recently are people working as a team. This will get better.
As for the Batman, there is no difference I think. It is "only" a suite of effects more or less synced with the music. But it was the first big trackmo, which is why it made a difference.
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Offline MaV

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #13 on: 00:43, 26 May 21 »
If you dismiss 4k intros on the CPC, you're really disregarding most of the productions of the last couple of years.


Besides 4k prod are in no way lesser prods than "real" demos. I challenge you to list C64 productions that are comparable to the likes of Vanity's and Benediction's in norecess' list. And let's not forget that the C64 scene is bigger than the CPC scene by a huge amount, so I expect an order of magnitude more 4k productions that rival the CPC's 4k intros.
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Offline GUNHED

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #14 on: 02:15, 26 May 21 »
Hi @Bug Powell : Can you please point me to a youtube video of a c64 demo (or two) which so have that kind of flow and the features you request please?
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Offline Bug Powell

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #15 on: 04:35, 26 May 21 »
gunhed and mav: I never said anywhere in my posts that c64 was better or anything like that. I was just wondering why no demo since 10 years could kick Batman Forever on the design, flow, rythm side. You are too much into a war CPC vs c64 which is not my cup of tea. I like demos whatever the platform (otherwise I would not be there). I dismiss 4k intros because I speak about big demos, it can in no way be compared to them. I don't request anything, I just share my feelings.
targhan: I did not say that CPC demos were not sync at all. But not well enough.
rexbeng: theme is not mandatory to have a good flow or rythm. Without any theme, Batman Forever would be as good (or even better as I found the batman theme ridiculous).
By reading everybody's comments it seems that I am totally wrong, nobody see any rythm, flow, design problem in any CPC demo.

Offline rexbeng

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #16 on: 09:42, 26 May 21 »
It is true that CPC sceners might get a bit defensive when they feel there's comparisons with C64 involved. Please don't let that put you off. I am actively involved in both the CPC and the C64 scenes and other than joking with the platforms' weaknesses and advantages there's no hatchet  that needs be buried.  ;D
So, to sum things up, if you are absolutely looking for a demo that has everything, ie: rhythm and sync with music, and flow, and length, and transitions, and theme..., well, Batman Forever is the only candidate.

But allow me to differ: 'well designed demo' doesnt mean that it necessarily needs to meet EVERY criteria. So I do find certain CPC demos to be very well designed (or perhaps the better term might be 'well directed').
So, all in all, because we are very few people in the CPC scene, it is VERY HARD to produce what you call 'big demos' with all of the above checked. I would say the CPC scene prefers well designed small productions or tightly designed bigger demos that meet certain criteria with the weight put on the technical side. And this seems to work out well so far, as a few of the higher regarded demos/intros produced are indeed very well done.

I find that it's fair.

Offline Optimus

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #17 on: 09:48, 26 May 21 »
What's a fact is that the C64 scene produces each year more than one demo of the same calibre as of Batman Forever. The C64 scene is much larger and popular and has way more talented and active groups than on the CPC. So, it's true the numbers of massive epic demos on C64 is more than one per year. On CPC it's Batman Forever,.. oh wait? What about https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=88554 or https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=75725. But it's true as C64 is much more popular with much more active an robust in their composition groups, and more represented in big parties, it's going to produce more. But I am happy with the CPC, I can enjoy the smaller demos too and appreciate them for what they are. Afterall, other small less known computer and console scenes suffer from the same thing too.


Now, I was under the impression all demos are really effects after effects divided by transitions and some random bitmap thrown there, even those who are consider to have great design. Unless the demo is made exclusively to tell a story (and I find certain demos which pretend to tell a story but then throw you some effects that happened to fit maybe). While I like some original graphics and some nice transitions in between (which for my coder's mind, transitions are also effects, a bit hard and interesting to pull out from a programmer's perspective), there is not much difference between the CPC demos and the C64, except the bigger amount of good demos produced per years and the more robust talented groups producing massive graphics for a single demo (all those tired multriscreen scrolling graphics in several of the C64 demos).

Offline MaV

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #18 on: 10:52, 26 May 21 »
mav: I never said anywhere in my posts that c64 was better or anything like that. I was just wondering why no demo since 10 years could kick Batman Forever on the design, flow, rythm side. You are too much into a war CPC vs c64 which is not my cup of tea. I like demos whatever the platform (otherwise I would not be there). I dismiss 4k intros because I speak about big demos, it can in no way be compared to them. I don't request anything, I just share my feelings.
I asked for comparable intros. You're assuming that I "wage wars", this notion is ridiculous. I personally know a lot more C64- than CPC sceners simply because Central Europe is dominated by Commodore, and never had a problem with them.
I asked for comparable C64 intros since that is the platform you're familiar with. You cannot deny that you disregard intros as lesser and that is the point of contention.
The question why there are no more big demos is easy: smaller community, fewer big demos.




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Offline MaV

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #19 on: 11:22, 26 May 21 »
I might also add that with a bigger community a synergetic effect sets in, like in "the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts". Bigger scene = many more big demos than its size suggests.


Terms like design, flow and rhythm are much too vague and everybody has different personal tastes as to what qualifies as good design, flow and rhythm. This is the reason why people ask for examples, nothing more, nothing less. It's an enquiry about your personal tastes. Only when we know your preferences can we agree or disagree to them.


And to avert the looming "wars", you're free to give examples from the Amiga, Spectrum, PC, or any other scene.
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Offline Bug Powell

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #20 on: 11:55, 26 May 21 »
Maybe the CPC demo community is small because it is a very closed world. If someone coming from another community makes some criticism, it is rejected. It gives the impression that the CPC people are closed to every criticism and think their demo are perfect gems.
The CPC community has talented programmers, graphic artists and musicians. We can see their amazing abilities in the list of demos given by norecess. I totally agree with that. My surprise is just: why these talented people didn't wake up one morning by saying "my next release will kick Batman Group's butt". Being a small community is not good argument: there were not 20 programmers involved in Batman Forever. It is 10 years old now.

Offline TotO

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #21 on: 12:01, 26 May 21 »
What I think is that you are rather closed to answers given to you by users of the machine.
« Last Edit: 12:19, 26 May 21 by TotO »
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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #22 on: 12:03, 26 May 21 »
I don't think you get this right .... there are people that like technical things/demos and some like more a story telling demo that gets you on a ride and BECAUSE there are more active C64 sceners that make demos, there are of course more that also tell a story ...



Oh and if you speak of critisism and/or bashing, there is way more CPC bashing in a C64 forum than C64 bashing in a CPC forum .... but oh well


I know both since I use both sides of the ocean (C64 AND CPC) and both have their benefits and downsides ...

Offline Bug Powell

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #23 on: 12:09, 26 May 21 »
toto: I can't find any answers from you in the discussion.
skulleater: in my initial post, I asked a simple question but everybody seemed to be hurted by it which was not my goal.

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Re: CPC demos viewed from a c64 user
« Reply #24 on: 12:15, 26 May 21 »
You got plenty of answers here ... and btw. this is in your post :


Quote
It seems that the CPC sceners have a high level of technic but don't know how to make good demos.


But that's VERY individuel, some demos I love are not liked by others, so what .... I think there are many good CPC demos out threre but that is because I'm not after a good story to be told !!! It doesn't depend on the system, it's just personal taste !