TCB

All about ST/STE demos

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Postby IllegalException » Sat Jan 28, 2006 12:39 am

What I would like to know is how AN Cool teamed up with Nck and Jas? AN Cool was not a very typical coder in the way that he seemed to be coding just for fun instead of coding being his life...as I know it was for many elite people on the scene. I also noticed that some swedish crew-members looked down on AN Cool and called him the "TCB pet" among other degrading things... It is pretty funny that some of these guys (in very respectable groups) were all talk and not much action themselves. Then again, only TCB would keep "pets" with that kind of coding skills... ;)

Curiosity:
"Seabear Studios" was the collective name of AN Cool's professional activities and was related to the street name where he lived with his parents, i.e. Sjöbjörnsvägen in Stockholm. :)

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Postby Tanis » Sat Jan 28, 2006 12:42 am

:)

Well... I think 'fired' is a too strong a word to use. Jas's father had his company going where they constructed temperature measuring equpiment for science purposes. So when the ST started to 'cool', it was kind of natural that Jas's father asked for his son's services. So Jas started coding the software for his father's machines on PC. This was probably a bigger job than he thought initially, so we didn't see as much of him as we used to. And since Jas was a key programmer in the group, TCB came to a halt... and Jas also brings us to your second question.

Jas and Nick... Nick and Jas... yes. You're right... they were a 'package deal', I suppose. They were friends since the they were toddlers, and nothing could come between them. I wouldn't say that there was one genius and one charismatic guy... to be honest - none of them were particularly charismatic. Great guys in every way and brilliant minds, but not very social... or at least two very shy teenagers. Nick was perhaps the better coder of the two, but I don't think Nick would've been that great without Jas to discuss ideas with.
I remember one time when I visisted Nick and saw his bookshelf. Back then, my own bookshelf was probably most full of playboy's and art books and crap... his bookshelf was completely filled with books of quantum physics and quantum mechanics, which Nick read only because he thought it was fun. Needless to say, i couldn't understand anything that was in those books back then. I still am somewhat of a novice in that area. I suppose Nick always has a fundamental urge to understand everything around him... and see if he can make it faster and better. I guess that is what brought him to do Javaquake shortly after Quake was released - 'hey... nice game... i bet i can do that in java... jep... i could... cool.'
But like I said... I don't think Nick would have managed to do what he did without the help and advice from Jas.

An Cool on the other hand was more of a self going coder. I'd say he was the more charismatic of the coders. More social. More action-like. He got an idea, and made it. He didn't care if it was the fastest routine... he just wanted to see his idea on the screen. I believe, however, that An Cool always was more interested in making music than in programming. I also think An Cool also always was more interested in making money then Nick and Jas, who still aren't too impressed with the bling bling poo that's so popular today. After Java Quake, lots of games companies offered Nick and Jas loads and loads of cash to get them working for them... but to little use. They want to be at the steering wheel themselves and do what they think is fun.
my god... it's full of pixels.

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Postby Arch Deviant » Sat Jan 28, 2006 3:55 pm

Hi Tanis,

I'm interested in your final point about doing it for love rather than money. Is that why you all set up Thalion?

When I started coding for a living rather than fun it became a chore, I'd code in 68000 all day long then come home, look at the ST and think no chance... In some ways working as a professional coder ruined my coding, I had to use kernels of routines rather than develop everything from scratch and got lazy. This was made worse when developing for PC's as even back then people were starting to have the attitude if the game isnt fast enough it must be the machine not the code.

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Postby jazz » Sat Jan 28, 2006 5:33 pm

Hey Tanis, i'm glad you liked these scans. Btw, i will ask you more questions :)

What about these other swedish pioneers from Sync and Omega ? Any news from them ? I still remember the nice graphics from Red/Omega, he surely was also one of the top artists coming from Sweden in the early days. Also, it would be interested to know more about TCB's view on other democrew, have you (i mean as a group) ever been impressed by other people's work on ST ?

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Postby Tanis » Wed Feb 01, 2006 7:25 pm

Hey Arch.
Well... I don't think that Thalion was started without any ideas of making money, and I am not sure what the reasons were that other people at Thalion started working there. I do know, however, that the reason Nick and I started was only because we thought it was fun. Another challenge if you will. Nick wanted to do a whole game as technically advanced as he could (Enchanted Lands) and I... well... I just thought it was great to work on games with old friends from the demo scene. Erik Simon, Thorsten Mutschall and I has been (and still are) great friends, and working together on various titles was just great fun. Of course - we were a lot younger back then, and didn't have the worries of life on our narrow shoulders, so money wasn't that important. As long as we could afford a few Hawaii burgers at Kochlöffel in Gütersloh (That was the most foul burger you can imagine. A real poo hamburger which they added a pineapple ring to, and called it 'hawaii'. Absolutely awful).
So to sum things up - I would think that around 50% of the developers at Thalion did it for love, and the rest went about it as a regular job. There were also a few administrative guys and investors working for Thalion, and I find it quite hard to believe that they did it for love. ;)

Hey Jazz... Yes... those scans were great. Even though the demo scene were part of the start of the snowball effect of globalisation, internet was still nothing that had reached out of the universities. So unless you had people who sent you magazines every time there was something interesting in them, you really had no idea what was written about us in other parts of europe and/or the world. Seeing those scans are really cool. Thanks again. :)
Sync and Omega. Yep. I have a pretty good idea what they are up to these days. Red of Omega (I agree that he was a brilliant artist. No doubt about it) and I worked together at a small games company here in Sweden. After that he went to Digital Illusions where he currently works. Redhead of Sync also worked for the same game company. He, however, dropped out of the game making biz completely and is more focused on art. With art, I mean technical installations, such as holographic projections of the human brain and stuff like that. Awfully hard core programming stuff, with cool results. :) Haq of Omega (or was it Sync?) was another programmer at our game company, and he now works for Propellerheads (music software company). The Flying Egg of Omega was yet another coder at our company, and is currently working with games for handhelds.
Hmm... who else was there. Who did I miss? I know there was another guy from Omega that worked for our company, but I can't remember his scene name, and nor do I know what he is up to these days.

The TCB view on other demo crews. Well. It's been a long time now, and I can't really remember our views on specific demos. Our views of different demo crews varied. We really liked the other Swedish crews. The Flying Egg and Red of Omega could be a little arrogant towards us at times, but I think that was because they saw us as their main competitor. Without sounding cocky now, but we never really saw other demo crews as competitors. Not because we thought we were the best, but because that was not really the reason we were into demos. We were more curious if the thing we wanted to do was possible rather than beat records of sorts... and I... well... I just like drawing stuff... ;) Anyways, TFE and Red were good friends... I wouldn't have liked working together with them otherwise. ;)
The Lost Boys made us their target quite early, which gave Nick a laugh every now and then. Again, not because we thought we were better, but because it was quite flattering... and like I've mentioned in other posts - The Lost Boys and I were, and still are very close friends.
The Union members were always very close to us, which I guess I don't even need to mention considering half of all union members worked at Thalion at one point or another. TEX were the first, and that is worthy of all respect and admiration there is.

I remember one thing that really impressed Nick though. It was Dogue De Mauve's GFA Basic demo. He was very impressed what he managed to do in GFA.

Cor, it's been so long... I can't remember all groups and guys we've seen great work from. I think the reason I mentioned the guys above is because they are still people I see and talk to on a regular basis. So I am sorry if I missed out on people that I should've mentioned. There were so many excellent guys and groups... programmers, musicians and graphics artists back then...
my god... it's full of pixels.

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Postby leonard » Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:39 pm

Tanis, many thanks for your long and complete reply about Nick and Jas. It's really cool to get true history about "living legends" now :-)

Thanks !
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Postby leonard » Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:41 pm

I remember one thing that really impressed Nick though. It was Dogue De Mauve's GFA Basic demo. He was very impressed what he managed to do in GFA.


And so I was.... I coded asm demos on Atari because I saw the "ultimate gfa demo" by Ovr. Great rememberance...
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Postby Zappy » Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:01 am

And so I was.... I coded asm demos on Atari because I saw the "ultimate gfa demo" by Ovr. Great rememberance...

I clearly remember making a fool of myself on Rtel, when I refused to believe the Ultimate GFA Demo was really in GFA :)

Anyway, for me this is crystal-clear: I started coding Atari demos because of (or thanks to?) the Cuddly Demos. Nothing ever blew my mind like this, neither on ST nor on PC later. I had seen enough to realize the world had never seen that before, but I hadn't seen enough not to be impressed anymore already...

I clearly remember the day I received the Cuddly from one of my contacts. I was mainly swapping games at the time, but there was a rising interest for demos around. So, one morning, I opened this letter with the Cuddly disk inside, inserted it in the drive, booted... and still, to this day, I think nothing ever shocked me like that :) This was so unreal. Complete magic, complete madness. It was like: "look at you, wasting your time swapping lame games while other people are doing this". It started it all for me. It is obvious that I wouldn't be in this country, with this job, with this past, without the Cuddly.

At the time the Cuddly Demos were released, I had no contacts at all in the ST demo scene (I think that word, "scene", didn't even exist. I first heard it on PC :)). When we started Holocaust with Elric and a bunch of other guys, we were just kids, fanboys, TCB-wanabees, discussing demos at school, trying to figure out where or how to start. There was a rumor saying the guy who invented the "hardscroll", Nick, was only a 15 years old kid. I am not sure this was very accurate (was it?) but it was very motivating for us, since we were approximately the same age. I found it magical that some kid like us could "beat Steve Bak" at his own game. For years and years it became our one and only obsession: beat Nick :)

I actually wrote quite a bit in the past, about all those things. I moved to the PC world a long time ago, but never found again the same flame, the same energy, the same passion, the same magical mood, the same feelings. The ST years were just better, and in large parts thanks to TCB.

- Pierre (Zappy/Holocaust)

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Postby sink » Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:56 pm

oldschool in force :) kikou leonard (thk for u work in emulation world) and zappy (hehe rtel tellement de souvenir et de nuit blanche)... Cuddly is like the rsi megademo on amiga , a major production for the scene nothing is comparable. God save TCB ;)

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Postby jace_stknights » Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:49 am

By the way, where are all the sources, pics and music of this unrelease demo?

Lotsa people around can finish the stuff!!! (hey Leo :)

So Tanis?

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Postby terence » Sun Feb 05, 2006 7:18 am

i never saw any source from TCB. i think they always kept it and did not want to them to be spread.

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Postby ggn » Sun Feb 05, 2006 1:12 pm

terence wrote:i never saw any source from TCB. i think they always kept it and did not want to them to be spread.


I have some TCB source ;)

Check out AN Cool's hompage sometime :)

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Postby jace_stknights » Mon Feb 06, 2006 2:01 am

terence wrote:i never saw any source from TCB. i think they always kept it and did not want to them to be spread.


At the past, "open source" was not so normal. And competition was hard. Now it is time to do it :wink:

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Postby lotek_style » Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:31 pm

dont share demo-scources! the competition must go on!
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Postby tobe » Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:43 am

As soon as we find competitors :lol:
step 1: introduce bug, step 2: fix bug, step 3: goto step 1.

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Re: TCB

Postby jazz » Sat Apr 11, 2009 1:13 am

Time to revive the topic.

2009, 20 years after the release of the Cuddly demo, would be a nice year for TCB to release the sadly missing piece to their history. In order to motivate Tanis in hassling even more the coders I've decided to put here some articles (some of them I've posted here before) covering TCB and also their involvement in games or other stuff. Articles are in french but I've tried to summarize what's in there. Big kudos to abandonware magazines for providing me with the scans of these magazines.

http://download.abandonware.fr/magazine ... %20125.jpg

Fist link is an interview with Tanis conducted during the icc2. First questions were about how worked TCB these days, Tanis explaining that TCB member weren't living quite far away from each others but that, despite of that fact, they would see each others every 3 weeks only while they would meet nearly everyday when doing the cuddly demos. Tanis is also explaining what TCB had done since the sowatt demo (mainly involved in games though it is also mentioned that nick is quite good also at watching movies on video tapes :) ).

The main subject of the interview is of course the new tcb demo : apparently graphists would have been involved quite a lot to make it visualy very appealing and not just technical (tanis hoping for some involment of Gogo in it). Some more precise about the demo : apprently TCB had considered doing a multipart demo but they finally decided to keep on with the tradition of having a main menu. Also each screen would have had an intro and the demo would have showcase Nick's 3D routs and their speed but in a different way from other demos (means no big 3D show I guess).

Last bits of the interview deal with a possible release date (no don't ask) and the views of tcb on the scene in general (overall they felt the competition was harder and that it would be hard to produce something as groundbreaking as the Cuddly demos).

Ok, another bit of article.


http://download.abandonware.fr/magazine ... %20047.jpg

This one mainly covers the arch rivals from tcb (namely sync and omega) where they give insights about their projects. Also you have a guest apperance of An cool.



Now articles extracted from Tilt which was the first gaming magazine in france at that time and had some demoscene articles written by Dogue de mauve.

http://download.abandonware.fr/magazine ... %20047.jpg
http://download.abandonware.fr/magazine ... %20049.jpg

Another interview with Tanis which, of course, deals with their new demo. Sadly Tanis explained that though being nearly finished (apart from some polishing that shouldn't take more than 2 hours) they might not release it because they felt that nobody would be interested in a new tcb demo (how wrong they were really). More details emerge : a few screens (only the very best ones) with lot of different graphics and only soundtrack musics. Also tanis mention the screen where a carebear takes revenge on the lost boys ( mixing 3D with bitmap graphics).


http://download.abandonware.fr/magazine ... %20078.jpg
http://download.abandonware.fr/magazine ... %20079.jpg

The next article covers the Flashback demo from tcb (which is a screen from their megademo actually) and show some of the graphics from the carebears revenge over the lost boys.


An finally an article covering future releases by Eclipse software, including a screenshot of what would have been the second sequel to wings of death :

>http://download.abandonware.fr/magazines/Tilt/tilt_numero093/TILT%20093%20(Septembre%201991)%20-%20Page%20013.jpg


Well, more articles as I find them. In the meantime I hope Tanis (and you guys) will enjoy these bits of history and that TCB manage to finish their demo, that would be awesome really (yes i'm a fanboy).

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Re: TCB

Postby Marcer » Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:13 pm

Too make things short..

TCB died in early 92.... an coool only action guy hunting for his crap tcb tracker.. thing is TCB was mastering haxxor in the 80's in compo of TEX and TLB code wise.. but.. they made too much action into makin an suxxor tracker into publish.. while even Audio sculpture was kickin harder with Expose...

Enchanted lands.. was the real defeat of an crew called TCB.. last final action on atari.. no questions why.. full power.. non-emulator proof.. heh

well.. power went on. but on wrong platforms.. still some quests unslovied... like M-Demo 2.. Cuddlye Demos 2.. unslovied screens (shouled be at least 6 screens never seeen!!)..

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Re: TCB

Postby nativ » Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:00 pm

Didn't one of TCB work on The polygon Motorbike game, No Second Prize?

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Re: TCB

Postby fpgaarcade » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:02 pm

"2009, 20 years after the release of the Cuddly demo"

Blimey, is it really 20 years? I remember being absolutely blown away by the Cuddly demo (it is one of the few floppy disks I still have) and it started me off first coding and then into hardware and now ASIC design. Cuddly is the first demo I will get running on my ST hardware clone.

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Re: TCB

Postby bod/STAX » Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:32 pm

nativ wrote:Didn't one of TCB work on The polygon Motorbike game, No Second Prize?

Thanks


Well code-wise no - that was down to Chris Jungen. Thorsten Mutchall (gogo) did the gfx though.
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Re:

Postby alexh » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:25 pm

Tanis wrote:If you, or anyone else, ever come across more old articles about Thalion or TCB etc, I would love to see them. I really have no idea what was written about us back then, so seeing things like that is great!

I have lots of reviews of all Thalion games, plus lots of articles (mainly in German) about what went on behind the scenes. Here are a few :

http://thalion.exotica.org.uk/corporate ... 2/cd2.html
http://thalion.exotica.org.uk/corporate ... nticcc.jpg
http://thalion.exotica.org.uk/corporate ... review.jpg

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Re: TCB

Postby troed » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:53 am

jazz wrote:Time to revive the topic.


:) Alright then.

jazz wrote:Lost boys ?? Hmm, i've always prefered the swedish maestros : TCB, Sync, Omega and Electra. The finest democrews on Atari IMHO.


:D

IllegalException wrote: I also noticed that some swedish crew-members looked down on AN Cool and called him the "TCB pet" among other degrading things... It is pretty funny that some of these guys (in very respectable groups) were all talk and not much action themselves.


I think we need to remember that we were all teenagers, and that there were a lot of cruel jokes being thrown around between groups. I remember some incredibly embarrassing moments that, looking back at them more than 20 years later, is hard to understand how they even happened. But, AN Cool being an extrovert guy with no qualms boasting about his own abilities of course got his fair share of crap talk ;) In jest.

Tanis wrote:Redhead of Sync also worked for the same game company. He, however, dropped out of the game making biz completely and is more focused on art. With art, I mean technical installations, such as holographic projections of the human brain and stuff like that. Awfully hard core programming stuff, with cool results. :)


It's hard not to be amazed at the brain that is Redhead's. Always was, still is :) He's absolutely found his true calling in digital arts.

This is an interview with him I just pulled randomly off Youtube for those interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QipeduMRWNs

(I met him a few weeks ago and discussed old Atari ST coding tricks. I had read up somewhat beforehand, he just remembered anyway ... )

Marcer wrote:TCB died in early 92.... an coool only action guy hunting for his crap tcb tracker.. thing is TCB was mastering haxxor in the 80's in compo of TEX and TLB code wise.. but.. they made too much action into makin an suxxor tracker into publish.. while even Audio sculpture was kickin harder with Expose...


Well ... we'd of course agree about Audio Sculpture being the best piece of software ever to hit the ST, but I would commend AN Cool for being quick out the door with his tracker.

jazz wrote:http://download.abandonware.fr/magazines/ST%20Magazine/stmagazine_numero050/st%20magazine%20-%20n050%20-%20mars%20avril%201991%20-%20page%20046%20et%20047.jpg

This one mainly covers the arch rivals from tcb (namely sync and omega) where they give insights about their projects.


Thx - I'll pass this on to the other SYNC members and see if anyone of them speak french (I don't) ;) It seems we might've been better at keeping in touch compared to a lot of other crews. Or maybe it's just thanks to Facebook ...

/Red Fox

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Re: TCB

Postby jazz » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:30 pm

Wow, thanks for the trip into the memory lane. I will try to translate some of the articles so that you get a better idea of what foolish people in their 20s might have said back then :)

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Re: TCB

Postby Chrischzz » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:43 am

I really liked An Cool's M-Demo's.
They were bold, maybe technically not brilliant, but very well designed and pretty nice tracks..




Anyway.. has Niklas posted that art yet? Can't see a link..


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