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new north american party

category: parties [glöplog]
re: Forcer
Our reason for choosing a mostly demo watching instead of mostly compo event (There were compos people were welcome to submit to, they just weren't the core focus of the event) is that there honestly just aren't that many US demogroups. As the event grows we may see if compos are something we can expand on, but for now we were just trying to host a fun event giving people the chance to see a lot of demos including lots of oldskool on real hardware.

As for compo events on the east coast, check out PixelJam and @party. These are small events, but obviously that can be fixed if more people submit demos to them ;-)
added on the 2011-10-31 16:10:55 by lroop lroop
To be honest, I think that the US scene isn't big enough right now to support more than a couple of demoparties. I feel that the way forward is to recognize that the demo scene has historically been largely European in nature, and not to be shy about trying to achieve a similar culture/'feel' to European parties, rather than try to create an American 'feel' by trying to weld a bunch of 'American hacker culture' onto the side (which is why I'm a lot more enthusiastic about @party than ever I was for parties attached to Notacon - perhaps unfairly, but...)
added on the 2011-10-31 23:45:49 by t-zero t-zero
I also want a similar culture/feel to European parties, but we have a long ways to go to get there, and we're working with a different landscape in many senses of the word.

For my part, I want to encourage as many kindred communities and individuals as possible to take an interest in the demoscene, although my heart will always be with demos. I don’t want to dilute the feeling, or glom on groups that don’t fit, I want to bring other people in, and I know that is what Froggy intends with PixelJam as well.

My present strategy is to reach out to kindred spirits who are presently involved in other technological-artistic communities who have never heard of the scene. There are too many people in North America who don't know what the demoscene is but would think it is awesome if they did. I want to reach them.

When I say kindred spirits I mean the kind of people who gasp or say "holy crap" when they see an amazing demo, who make up the kind of audiences who break into applause when you show them Elevated or Debris or Ceasefire for the first time. (I like even better the kind of folks who stare fixedly at the screen and later add the music to their favorite tunes folder when you show them Edge of Disgrace, but I'm aware that's a smaller group, among them an artist who makes fantastical robots out of scrap metal and bicycle parts, believe it or not).

Whatever label these individuals go by at present . . . makers, hackers, circuit-benders, visual artists, or more 'traditional' demoscene denizens like chiptune musicians and game developers . . . I want to see them become sceners, too. @party is a demoparty, but members of all of these groups are welcome there. Heck, our parent organization is an ARTS FESTIVAL! (We're still freestanding as an event, but man it is nice to have their guidance and support).

Here’s a really crazy example.

I showed Darklite's "Build your own fridgertainment system" wild entry from Solskogen 2011 to a bunch of folks in the bicycle-nerdgang I'm in, and they loved it, and not just because we’re used to the dental-surgery smells and sounds of having fun with an angle grinder. : D

The scene feeling exists outside of the scene. I love this bicycle-nerdgang because it is a close-knit supportive community that reminds me of the scene. I love the scene because it encourages the kind of creativity and intelligent chaos that I love in that nerdgang. And admittedly the scene is also how I met my best friend, so it has definitely proved itself in my eyes not just technologically. The scene: where Swedes I had never met before drive me to a party in the Norwegian countryside where I speak French with a Swiss-Irish scener who I had never met before who gets me plastered on his Polish vodka and my best friend, from Hungary, is sitting there at the compo machine, and there’s an amazing demo on the screen by a group who never entered anything at a party before.

Creativity and intelligent chaos, there are my core principles.

And when I say intelligent chaos I’m not talking about tweaked Perlin noise.

To me it isn’t just who or what or how. It’s that feeling of wonder to see what other can do, the drive to learn, the desire to challenge oneself. Actually, I think kewlers/mfx said it best (in a variety of ways): To overcome formality with creativity.
added on the 2011-11-01 18:51:33 by metoikos metoikos
note: I'm not trying to define the scene.

I'm just saying what I'm doing, what I see.
added on the 2011-11-01 18:51:58 by metoikos metoikos
Well said, Metoikos!

I really feel like sceners are a specific kind of people at the core, the kind of people who appreciate things that look cool because they look cool, and who do crazy, far out stuff because it sounds fun. I think that openness and willingness to try out random cool things is what makes sceners sceners.

I don't know very much about the demoscene, and I may well be wrong, but this is the impression I get.
added on the 2011-11-02 04:18:27 by MidKnight MidKnight
To me isn't about looking cool or being fun. It is about the challenge.
Hence why I *will* do more than orgo one of these days.
added on the 2011-11-02 04:26:31 by metoikos metoikos
MidKnight, I think what you just described is nerds in general. The mentality that is common to productive demosceners is related but slightly different. It's a combination of appreciating the synergy of real-time computer graphics and music (this synergy being the core of what makes the demo scene the demo scene and not the Random Computer Stuff Scene), and having the desire and motivation to contribute such work yourself, which is incredibly important!

I feel like in the US scene there has historically been a degree of apologism for "Look! I got these cool lock-pickers into the demoscene!" Well, that's awesome and all, but there probably won't be a lock-picking combination at Assembly 2012... I like the demoscene because it has a distinct identity that is not the same as the zillion-and-one (other) facets of (American) nerd culture.

Frankly, I don't want to go to Insert US Demo Party Name Here and there be zero demo competition entries, zero 64k or 4k intro entries, zero streamed music entries, a few chiptune entries, a couple of retro demo entries and about 100 wild compo entries that are videos of circuit benders or whatever. There are already nerd-cultural outlets for that stuff, outside the demo scene.
added on the 2011-11-02 04:56:55 by t-zero t-zero
(Which isn't to say that people in other communities shouldn't be evangelized to, but it should be with an emphasis on "isn't this stuff cool? Wouldn't you like to do this stuff?" imo.)
added on the 2011-11-02 04:59:29 by t-zero t-zero
Thing is, as far as I can tell, American "nerd culture" is just watching a lot of episodes of The Big Bang Theory.
The people who actually make stuff like code and music tend, in general, to be a lot less nerdy, socially (in my limited experience). Either way, I have a lot more respect for the latter group than I do for the former :)

About creating content:
I'm somebody who lives in the US and is interested in making demos. There are a whole bunch of issues with this, though:
- I have no idea where to start! The lowest level I've programmed at before now has been Python, and now I'm dealing with terms like "vec4" and "pragma." It's very confusing!
- Making demos is like working in a vacuum. I know that the scene isn't very well-known elsewhere, either, but literally nobody I have asked knows anything about democoding. The best response I've gotten was "you mean like that second reality thing from a gazillion years ago?"
- Before getting into this whole demoscene thing, I spent most of my time on the computer working on neat little video games. Those are easier to write, easier to get praised for, and you can even make money off of them! Demos are awesome, but the alternatives are pretty compelling.
- I'm effin' busy! I actually ought to be working right now. How do I find time to code, let alone to code demos?

Woah, that turned out longer than expected. Sorry for the mind-dump. :p
added on the 2011-11-02 05:24:19 by MidKnight MidKnight
Ooh hey! I forgot to link this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gETbz4caT4
I'm not all talk and no show, I promise! I try, however unsuccessfully, to make stuff!
added on the 2011-11-02 05:26:07 by MidKnight MidKnight
I don't think it's necessary for a North American party to be all demos all the time. Why did we have talks, or a lock-picking competition, or retro gaming at Demosplash? Simply put, to get more people interested. This isn't a bad thing, it's a strategy for getting more people interested in the scene. Get them in, show them some demos while they're here, maybe they'll like them, maybe they won't. Out of the ones who like them, maybe some will even be inspired to write a demo in the future.

That's basically how it happened for us. Demo watching came to be a part of the club many years ago (which probably means 1990s, the institutional memory of a college club isn't that good), to the point that it practically became a yearly tradition to show a bunch of demos on some Friday night in October and give out free pizza to get busy college students to come watch them. Then after restoring an Apple Lisa that had been sitting on our junk shelf for many years, we were thinking "What the heck are we going to do with a Lisa? Accounting spreadsheets? Use it as a serial console?" and someone got the idea that we should write a demo, because as we knew from watching demos and confirmed with a quick look at pouet, nobody had ever written a demo for the Lisa. Did we write a demo? Yes. Is it the most amazing retro demo on the planet? No. Was it a fun experience for us? Absolutely. Did we manage to impress at least a few people? At the risk of sounding vain, I think so. Did we manage to piss off some people with square waves? Yes.

Could North America have european-style demoparties someday? Most likely, but that's something that will have to develop, and the only way that can happen is by exposing more people to the scene. Until then, send in the maker/hacker types. If they have enough free time and skill to make an animatronic rubber chicken out of some printer parts and an alarm clock, they have enough free time to watch (and maybe someday write) a demo.
added on the 2011-11-02 06:55:28 by lroop lroop
re t-zero

"Frankly, I don't want to go to Insert US Demo Party Name Here and there be zero demo competition entries"

Yes. A frickin HOPPIN 4K or 64K or both category at @party is a ***fond*** dream of mine. For me it is about the demos. The other compos for me, although cool, are about bringing folks who have never heard of the scene and folks trying to make demos on their own like MidKnight in where they can meet other sceners and start to move toward collaboration, move toward becoming demogroups. And making prods.

re Midknight

Embarassing admission: neither have I, YET. So read online about WebGL and Blender. Learn Processing. There is a lot of info out there on the web, and yes, you will have to slam your head against the wall a LOT. Das ist leben. Come to a party. Meet people. Talk to them on IRC. You can learn from one another. Learn a tracker or a VST. Not everyone has to be a coder. We need musicians and graphicians too. I'm starting with Processing and Schism Tracker. Will it be Debris? No. But I'm one person, and I'm inexperienced, and I'm giving myself a few months rather than two years. For me the point is output, and if it is a C grade prod rather than a AAA prod, it's better than no prod at all.

re ClarusWorks

"Why did we have talks, or a lock-picking competition, or retro gaming at Demosplash? Simply put, to get more people interested. This isn't a bad thing, it's a strategy for getting more people interested in the scene. Get them in, show them some demos while they're here, maybe they'll like them, maybe they won't. Out of the ones who like them, maybe some will even be inspired to write a demo in the future."

THIS THIS THIS THIS HELL YEAH

"Could North America have european-style demoparties someday? Most likely, but that's something that will have to develop, and the only way that can happen is by exposing more people to the scene. Until then, send in the maker/hacker types. If they have enough free time and skill to make an animatronic rubber chicken out of some printer parts and an alarm clock, they have enough free time to watch (and maybe someday write) a demo."

YES. Because you have to work with what you have, and most of the people we have in North America who are passionate about technology and challenge and creation and sometimes art are the makers. And I want to see them making demos.

I dream of a building a thousand person demoparty that people come to from all over the world where there are tons of oldskool and 4k and 64k demo entries.

But at the rate we're going, it will take some years before there is any event remotely like that. All we can do is keep pushing with what we have and not slacken our efforts.

Thank you for pulling the same ropes.
added on the 2011-11-02 13:27:10 by metoikos metoikos
Actually, I think alot of people ALREADY IN THE NORTH AMERICAN SCENE just need more drive :) There's plenty of talented people out there and they're capable of much more than we've seen so far. Guys like the Northern Dragons crew, Blackpawn, and MANY others have proven they have a serious amount of talent. I think something that would "kickstart" the US scene, really, is some competition, drive, and effort.

Yeah, that's a challenge.
added on the 2011-11-02 15:17:50 by ferris ferris
Well, it's a challenge to me as well, to make @party the best I can and worthy as possible of their efforts.

: D

\m/ Ferris, well thrown guantlet as well.
added on the 2011-11-02 16:16:02 by metoikos metoikos
Man, I wish I could be in a bicycle-nerdgang.
added on the 2011-11-02 16:19:25 by visy visy
I'm still pretty sceptical (as is my nature). I think of it like this:

Canada and the US together have a population of almost 350 million people -- and an unrivalled pool of expertise in the sort of skills that are directly relevant to the demoscene (real-time computer graphics, electronic music production, digital art, etc). Amongst this group are tons of people who love what they do so much they'd happily do it in their spare time for no money, simply the love of a cool demo and the appreciation of their peers.

And yet, ~ 15 years after NAID, the demo scene here is still on life support.

That's why I think the policy of "sending in the maker-hacker types," that has been pursued for much of the intervening time, has been a failure. Too much stuff on the periphery of what could be called the scene. Not enough that's at the core.

I know some people, such as metoikos, are trying to reach out to people who are involved in developing video games, and in similar industries. To me, this is the best path, and much of my own scene evangelism is targeted towards people I know who are already coders, or already musicians, or already artists.

But what Ferris said is also really true: those of us who are already in the scene here need to give more of a shit, collectively! (And I totally mean this for myself, too: my days of Lurking And Not Releasing Anything Because I Just Think All My Stuff Is Shit are well and truly over.)
added on the 2011-11-02 16:43:55 by t-zero t-zero
You should all just come to Revision and get drunk with us and then move to Norway to live with Ferris!
added on the 2011-11-02 16:50:04 by okkie okkie
okkie: okay i'll be there.
added on the 2011-11-02 17:10:47 by visy visy
visy: i know i can always count on you!
added on the 2011-11-02 17:14:03 by okkie okkie
I'll be at Revision too. AMIIIIGAAAAAAA!

And I won't be happy with my efforts in the NA scene until we get something NAID-sized again.

Also, I don't want to *just* reach out to people in the games industry because I don't want the scene in NA to be thought of as just related to games. I mean, the 2007 outreach in CA went to Pixar, that's not a game company . . .

re "my days of Lurking And Not Releasing Anything Because I Just Think All My Stuff Is Shit are well and truly over"

awesome.

SHOW US YOUR

added on the 2011-11-02 19:13:54 by metoikos metoikos
PROBABLY TOO LATE FOR KINDERGARDEN (LOL MAKING MUSIC OVER THIS LAST WEEKEND FAILURE) BUT I WILL DEFINITELY ENTER SOMETHING AT tUm IF NOT A PARTY BEFORE

ALSO WHY AM I SHOUTING
added on the 2011-11-02 19:58:40 by t-zero t-zero
the reason I was in caps was I was making a reference.

SHOW US YOUR

and

STAY THE FUCK

are jokes from Solskogen one year.
added on the 2011-11-02 21:53:28 by metoikos metoikos
I also have plans to attend Revision. My primary goals for this party are:
  • entering demo
  • [*]drinking
Not necessarily in that order.
hell YEAH squee!
added on the 2011-11-03 01:22:40 by metoikos metoikos
metoikos - I know. I'm not an idiot, you know. :P
added on the 2011-11-03 02:42:04 by t-zero t-zero

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