nicolas @ uucidl

64k-intro: Walking on Four

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

The following is a web edition of my original report written in 2006-07-01



In September 2005, even before the release of Clothing Like A T-Shirt Saying I Wish I already had set my mind on releasing short intros for the next events of the year. Namely, the Saturne Party 6 in Paris, and the bcnparty101[9] in Barcelona. It turned out the cancellation of the former was actually beneficial to the overall project, since going back to work on an intro immediately after another one proved a bit too optimistic.

After some hectic crunch-time programming for the streamMega[10] party, I needed, or thought I needed a bit of rest. The code base also had suffered through the ordeal and some housekeeping needed to be done to clean up and package independent parts for later works.

So I cleaned up the mess, branched out the code, and started working again on it for the next effort.

In the end, after roughly 67 hours of work with a great deal taken by debugging, Walking On Four was released in the 64kb intro competition at bcnparty101[9], on 2006.11.05.

Maybe all I needed was a reason to visit the intoxicating city of Barcelona, and its illustrious inhabitants.


Starting with a fast moving red loading bar, it then displays the very same effect that ended Clothing Like A Tshirt saying I Wish, arrows going up and down diagonally across the screen.

But we notice a slight ghosting of the whole picture.

The soundtrack is distinctively electronic. The pad section is playing a seemingly aimless minor harmony, and the rhythmic section, consisting of just a bass drum and a click, is animated along a long
rhythm difficult to apprehend at first.

As the synthetic pads slowly fade-in, stripes, almost calligraphic drawings start appearing and drawing themselves below the frame. The
grey on dark drawings do not appear to mean anything, and appear one after another, as pieces of entangled ribbons.

Very quickly the original arrows disappear, and after a short display of the ribbons alone, a distorted pink plane of particles jumps in and out of the screen, locally swelling.

Around the 45 seconds mark, the display spreads and saturate into almost homogeneous whiteness. But slowly ripples back in to display another similar screen: transparent ribbons like in the first half, but on top of which a rotating, block of pink lights, pulsating with the underlying rhythm of the music.

With time, ripples form and emerge from the block of light. Saturated, harsh-looking ripples coming from the center of the screen towards its sides, like a suggested tunnel.

In the end, around the 90 seconds mark, the title “walking on four -” appears on a black display, followed in an unusual down to up order, with “!=” then “BCN 7005” as each new beat of the now almost alone rhythm resonates in.

Stay with us as we will cover its design and implementation.

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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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