ok, here's our report to 'the party'
 
we need
tickets

the first problem occured in the middle of november. we want to meet our friends at the party and we want to sit near these people. so we have needed a reservation. but for this, you need a ticket. in denmark, you can buy tickets at every post office or newsletter shop. but we life in germany and so it is the only way to order tickets via billetnet. the billetnet page is a dream. you click on english and get a danish page with some words in english language but this doesnt help. to make it short, after few pages i was able to type in my address and the creditcard number from the card of my mom and then i have send this informations over a insecure http form to billetnet. this sucks big time. but this wasn't the end of the problems. next problem, the reservation himself. i'm not sure when the reservation had to start but it was delayed again and again. after some days of waiting it was possible to get some table space.


the releases
;-)

we had no idea what should we release. we don't want to go to a party without a release, and it should be a release which have the chance to win. time was fading away, and still no ideas. then i saw this irc interview with farbrausch on the party site and i saw this comment to what is a good party. i'm not sure but i think kb said that the mekka symposium and the dialogos are good parties here in germany. we won at the dialogos and so i had the pressure to make a good release for the party. don't ask me why, but this was the point to start with the chessboard. we had this idea some time ago but i had no motivation for this project. i never have worked on character stuff befor because i don't like it very much. but now i was sure i can stand this and i started with the first figure, bart. the process wasn't that bad and so i was motivated to push this project. next one was lisa and maggie and then i know i must start with marge. i had no idea how to create this anoying hair. 2 days without any usefull results and i was starting to going crazy. but then i found a way to bring this head to his end.

the creation of the last 2 figures was good and fast but we had no idea which board should we use. the original board is a simple piece of paper with some color on it. but we want to use a cool board. i tried out some different objects and then we thought a puzzle won't be bad. olbi does a good job on the surfaces, i finished abe and the final rendering was the last thing. we have tried some different hdri's but nothing was like we wanted it. only few days left and xmas was around. parents, friends, shoping, time was fading away. olbi wents to his parents for xmas, i tried new hdri's, only shit was the result. then i tried an old hdri, we have used this one for the abalone board. the result was good, so i fix some small problems on this hdri, tweaked the lightning and the position of the board and started the final rendering. i leave the office for some minutes, after i was back i was wondering about this rattle noise inside my pc. i opened the task manager and saw that my lightwave have eaten more than 1.5 gb of ram. this was sensless because i have only 1 gb of physical ram and it would take ages to finish rendering this picture. i spend some more time to optimize the objects, especially the board was the problem. around 250k polies. so i freezed the subpatch object and killed all these unseen polies on the underside and optimized the upper surface. now it was possible to start the rendering with around 1.2 gb memory usage. i went to bed and was back in the morning after 6 or 7 hours. nothing was done, only 40% of the first pass was visible. i was near to collapse. the surface on the shield and such things looks terrible, the time was fading away and there was a lot of work left.

so i called da_funk if he can help me. he have a dual p3/933 with 1 gb ram and a dual p3/850 with 1 gb. but he can't gave me thos pc but he have borrowed me this 850'er p3's. i put this nice pieces into my board and was surprised. the speed was incredible, the rendering was done in around half of the time the other p3's have needed. i fix the problem with the surfaces and after 6 hours i got the first picture. the lightning was not bad but not perfect and the situation on the board looks stupid. but finally we came to the end and after 8 hours we had our first release candidate.




the trip
to the party

first, we wanted to start at the 26th of december to arrive one day befor the pary starts. but the first problem, olbi was unable to find his car license. next problem, the picture wasn't perfect, next problem, we had no t-shirts, next problem, we was tired ;-). so we decided to stay one day longer at home and to finish all this unfinished stuff. olbi's sister gave us the license for the car, we finished the shirts, we slept some hours. at midnight snow began to fall and the temperature hasn't look good.

we started our trip to the party at 6 o'clock in the morning at the 27th. two pc's where still calculating but we hoped we can access these results via ftp from the party. the trip to the german-danish border was without any problems but the snow falling from heaven are increased from hour to hour. we are listened to cool c64 remixes from remix.kwed.org and the distance to falling bostel was done in only 4 hours. normally the trip should end here but we are not on the way to the mekka/symposium :-(. after crossing the border the situation became dramatically. max speed was around 60-80 km/h and still 350 km to go. we arrived at the party location around 7 o'clock.




the party

after transfering our stuff inside the hall we found the first problem. it was terrible hot inside the hall and we have forgotten our beverage. we had no danish money at this moment so _mis_ from #lightwavers gave us some money to buy some drinks at the cafeteria. the prizes wasn't what we usually paid for cola but we had no other choice.

next problem was, the ftp access to our server doesn't work because the port was blocked. olbi found a way to make a ssh connection and install an apache to gain access to the ftp directories. time was gold, the deadline was at 9 o'clock. i don't understand this bullshit, those deadlines are not good for finishing stuff at a party. i created some stupid nfo's, olbi got the images from our server, we put them all together and had the next problem. how to upload this stuff? we was unable to find any usefull information at the party page and the url's form the irc help channel doesn't work. after trying some url's we were able to create an account. but we were unable to upload anything because the account doesn't working. 15 minutes befor the deadline i tried the page with internet explorer and can't believe this. there are some menues on top of the page and the login works fine. this is really a shame. the page only works fine in mozilla and internet explorer. no opera, no konqueror (linux), only with this f#$%cking slow browser and this m$ shit. (we had only our notebooks at the party but this laptops are armed with 500 mhz and 128 mb ram, linux was the main system, i have only a win me on my vaio for all this camera stuff and normally we don't use ie) but let us continue with the party.

the compo's were in the night and started not at the exact time. i tried to stayed alive but this was impossible due the heat and the hours we were online since morning. i fall asleep around 3 o'clock and miss the graphik competitions. i was really angry about this and about the silence befor the compo's. i know this from other parties, every compo start with a jingle or an anouncement but not so at the party. so it was impossible for us at the end of hall 1 to take notice of such events except the musik and demo competitions. the stream from the big screen had a delay with a peak of some minutes or went down after some moments. and another f#$%cking fact, no competition was showed twice. this was the first party i miss my own entry at the big screen. the heat became incredible, some info was around that 2 people collapsed. the security opens the main door to the hall sometimes but the dramatical temperature drop was over after few minutes.

all our chocolate was uneatable and it was really impossible to do anything creative work. the gamers all around us played without any interception and all this fat and overclocked pc's with this big monitors increased the temperatur degree per degree. one highlight of the second night was press play on tape. but the start of the band was moved because this camperstrike final on the big screen wont finish. i never saw such a boring event on a party. to beat all this shit to an unbearable situation the band press play on tape begun to produce terrible noise at the stage. i like c64 remixes very much and some of the songs from ppot are good but the live performance was one of the worst performances i have ever seen. the level was incredible and the sound from the speakers was bad like hell. so i put these nice yellow noise blockers into my ears and went to 'bed'.

the long awaited wild compo was announced for 6 am at the last day. we moved to the stage, found some seats and started to wait. nothing happens. after half an hour a screen appears, the compo is delayed. we continued the wait. we and other people falls asleep for some moments, nothing happens. after 2 hours the compo started without any exact statement about this long delay. the entries were interesting but the presentation was, once again, too loud.

after finishing this compo, we played the waiting game and tried to download some releases. but there was no location for downloading such things. so we opened our page with our releases and posted the url to the party channel. i was kicked from the channel. nice, really. i never seen something like this befor. we finished our votes without seeing some demos or other entries on our pc's.the price giving starts and we went to the stage. the presentation of the places was poor, just a simple screen with the 3 winners, no surprise effects or dramatical bargraphs like at the mekka. i don't found our group at the raytrace result screen at my first look. but then i was really suprised, we won the competition. this was a kick ass feeling. after we found a way through the seats in front of the stage we stand on the stage, damn, this was cool.

the price was an asus geforce3 and 300 euro. thanks to asus for sponsoring this party. after a short performance on the stage (also, really cool) the last results were showed. _mis_ got the second place with his wild demo. i had do some small things for this demo so i went again to the stage. what a success. our first visit at the party and we won the raytrace compo.











 
please don't misunderstand this report, we are not pessimistic or don't like such parties and we don't have problems with other people or something like this but read on.