nicolas @ uucidl

64k-intro: Clothing Like A T-Shirt Saying "I wish"

February 1, 2006 by nicolas, tagged in64k, filed under works

The following is a web edition of my original report written on 2006-02-19.



In 2005, after a couple of years of ambitious, year-long objectives that never really manifested, I decided it was time to release again. I naturally became interested in
finding out what really is the difference between fooling around and being productive. Those projects probably did not fail for being too ambitious. Fatigue, and changing interests are more realistic threats to works that take long too manifest themselves.

Fixing this was an inspiration, but inspiration also came from my own enthusiasm: The rediscovery of the trance-inducing graphics of the finest manic shoot-em ups. The increasingly out-reaching exposure of the demoscene. And a feeling that it is now that we should think and act instead of leading our lives in the future tense, like todays mass culture, politics and work environment all seem to suggest.

It was time to join the choir again.

In September 2005 something emerged, product of many choices, some conscious and some other unconscious. Clothing Like A T-shirt Saying I Wish was released then, on 2005.09.17, at the streamMega demo party, near the Finnish town of Tampere.

My intro, like its title suggest is very thin and fragile. It does not punch you in the face. Oh it may stay opaque, or exude a sort of confidence, but it just stands there, and I wanted to give it a body so it could be hurt by others.


Clothing Like A T-Shirt Saying I Wish is a sixty four kilobytes intro. Its duration is approximately ninety seconds, quite a bit shorter than usual intros and demos. It is strictly black and white, and the graphics and music are fully generated in real-time, two images excepted. (a TV on its side, and the label “!=”)

This duration of ninety seconds is divided in parts of almost equal length, approximatively ten seconds long. Each part draws two-dimensional patterns in rhythm over an uniform vertical canvas.

The canvas has an aspect ratio of width / height = 3 / 4, in opposition to the wide-screen and large field of view formats much in use today. ( 16/9 , 16/10 ) The two dimensional patterns make use of relatively simple mechanism: most of them appear to be made of moving objects (simple squares, arrows) moving along predefined paths,
or interacting with each-other.

for an abstract piece, by narrative we mean the manifestation of cause and effect
The only apparent signs of a macro-scale narrative are firstly the rhythm established by the music which, although it does not seem to control the succession of parts, seems to rule the patterns themselves, the speed of elements, the appearances and causes and effects particular to the pattern itself. Secondly, on a wider scale, after forty-five seconds, the simultaneous appearance of a bass-drum, a kick, and the inversion of the colours between black and white. The canvas is afterwards uniformly black, and the moving objects white. The bass-drum also appear to be strongly linked to the patterns’ movement, especially at the inversion point, where a more singular pattern is displayed: a not so uniform black canvas see two white-on-black images successively appear and dissolve again and again.

After this inversion, a succession of variations of the original patterns appear, until the end where the music and visuals both fade into the black canvas.

Hereafter you will find the story behind it, and details about its implementation, or how a shoot’em up engine came to serve as a base for a 64k intro.

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