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Intel Competition 2007: The new faces
by Ghandy of Moods Plateau and Axel of Brainstorm

After a very successful first round of the so-called Intel Compo in 2006, a second round followed shortly after in 2007. ZINE spoke to two of the new participants, the German group Still and the Spanish group Xplsv.

Sire of Still was kind enough to disclose some background information about the creation of the group's winning entry "Iso9241".

"With the first Intel Demo Competition back in 2006 the organizers succeeded in bringing a remarkable line-up of the best groups of the scene into the competition", comments Sire. "Anyone who's active in the demoscene also usually wants a bit of fame, so it was a very tempting thought to be a part of it the next time around. Pixtur then sent our previous demo Perfect Love as an application for joining the competition. The demo was fairly popular up to that point and was also given a prize at last year's FMX show, which is something like a German mini-SIGGRAPH. However, we were positively surprised that we were among the ones chosen to enter the competition. Then we quickly thought about what our demo could be all about, given the relatively short time-frame we had to come up with an entry. For competitions at parties you usually start months ahead of the deadline. Since we almost forgot about that we applied to be part of the compo and due to the fact that we were in the middle of working on another production, we didn't have any ideas that were waiting to be realized. So we thought we could rush something and tag it together, but the better it looked, the more we really got going on it."

"Some additional exciting but hectic moments came up due to the fact that compared to regular competitions, like the ones held at parties, we were committing to actually releasing the demo. At parties you usually can still hold back on a release in case you can't get it finished, since there are other parties to follow, at which you can release it. With the Intel Compo however, the release date was set, and not having the demo ready on time would have been extremely embarrassing."

The whole idea of the competition spawned some more thoughts in Sire's head. "The way the competition is held is an interesting change and addition to how party competitions usually work. While, on the one hand, party moods can cause joke productions to win competitions, the jury-approach of the Scene.org Awards is the exact opposite model. The Intel Competition kind of is a combination of both, and adds the element of publicity into the mix - a broader audience with different voters. It's also a possibility to reach out to new people and to get them interested in the scene."

Back in the days of the Amiga scene of the early 90s, floppy disks with games and demos were swapped in schoolyards, and pretty much every Amiga user had come across a demo at some point. Since the Amiga isn't a mass phenomenon anymore, the audience for demo-creators mostly consists just of other demo-creators. The experts are amongst themselves. This might give everyone a cosy, familiar feeling but in the long run it's also a little dreary.

Intel's presence also repeatedly caused the scene to worry about whether everything would become more commercial now. Sire doesn't think so. "None of the entries look like a commercial, and there were also no criteria that had to be met to be allowed to participate. Would that have been the case, there would have been skepticism I'm sure. We weren't told to implement Intel logos into the productions either. As it is now, it's not getting any more commercial than it's been in the past. Considering that the prizes you get are still not measuring up with the amount of time you actually invest into a production. Prizes are a nice bonus, but they absolutely aren't the main motivation."

"The scene's opinion on sponsoring has changed a lot over the years, particularly with regard to Intel. In the old days, proud Amiga owners had put 'Intel Outside' stickers onto their machines and they would have called any involvement with Intel plain prostitution. But in the very same days you also had the passionate rivalry between Amiga and Atari owners. Today, the scene has grown up. Instead of intolerantly focusing on a single platform, the interest in variety has taken over. And some kind of easy-going tolerance has come with it. The way Intel further develops the scene isn't just okay, but very laudable. The responsible people there seem to have the flair it takes."

Trace of the Spanish participating group Xplsv agrees with the stance of his former competitor: "I didn't sign any contract that said my demo was owned by Intel. The product is still mine, they were kind enough to give the demoscene some publicity and kind enough to organize a competition and to even give hardware (not that they couldn't afford it, bit still, is a nice thing). Becoming commercial would be when Intel paid me $10,000 for doing a demo to use as publicity for their products. They just gave us a couple of chips."

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