Go to frontpage

> frontpage
> what is zine?
> download latest issue
> latest articles
> previous issues
> next issue
> contact us
> credits
> bitfellas
The Making of Rebellion
by Axel of Brainstorm and M:et of Rebels

ZINE talked to M:et of Rebels about the development of their huge musicdisk.

"The whole thing started one and a half years ago, when I talked to TMB about making another Crystal Symphonies musicdisk together with Scoopex", comments M:ET.

"We talked to a lot of musicians and were well on our way, but then Scoopex had some internal issues and it was all put on hold, which is a shame"

A few months later Virgill and H2O joined Rebels and the desire for a musicdisk grew stronger. M:ET spent some time talking to all of the musicians in the group and asking around to see who had the time and passion to take part in such a big musicdisk project. Amazingly he got a massive response from within his crew!


Pasy wanted to code it, H2O had some time to design and make all the necessary graphical content for it and all of the musicians really wanted to get out there and show their skills.

"We talked a little of having a few guest musicians in the project, but soon realized that we have more then enough of our own", continues M:ET. "So we put that thought on the backburner for another project."

"I don' t quite remember the exact date when we first started to talk about a 'Rebels only' musicdisk but this little idea really evolved into something great", remembers musician Chromag. "Not only is it a respectable production, but Rebellion has been an outstanding working process for all the members of Rebels with fruitful discussions for everyone that followed and/or participated in it. What can be described as the kick-off for the musicdisk was an internal meeting on IRC, where we discussed the whole concept of the disk over a few hours."


With an old fashioned understanding of what a musicdisk is, Rebels immediately wanted it to have a full-screen option. This was out of respect for the old Amiga musicdisks. Unlike some people who have stated that Rebellion didn't bring anything new to the musicdisk-sector, Rebels definitely was pretty fond of the idea to include different areas or 'lounges' as they called them.

"Every musician had to send his best tracks to our secret forum-hideout where a selection of the best tracks was made", explains Chromag. "The name Rebellion itself seemed to be the perfect choice because it symbolizes the work of the whole team. Originally it derived from a track called Rebellion I did when I was a member of Rebels on Amiga in 1994. The chip tune version can also be found on the musicdisk."

Chromag was very glad that so many of his tracks got selected. While the streaming tracks (mp3's) were all made in 2006 or 2007, the tracking section is stuffed with some of Chromag's older works. "I had a lot of fun on working on this production and we are already planning the next one(s)!" he concludes.

Ne7 was there from the start too. "I was quite lucky as I had a couple of tunes (Vibes for example) left over from Rebels Chip Music Disk 2 that we didnt include due to not wanting to swamp the disk from any one Rebels member", he comments. "Also made some specifically for the disk - the Sweetness tracks for example are brand spanking new.

Another musical contributor was Dalezy. "All of my contributions have been done in 2005", he admits. "For some reason there hasn't really been a chance for me to release them around the time I did them, so I kept them until the idea of Rebellion came up and each and all of us got asked to contribute with the best. Since Im a l(e)azy sod and most of the time unmotivated to come up with something different than what Im doing for like 80% of the time Im doing when I write songs, I just decided to hand out what seems to be my all-time favourite kind of musical creation - chip tunes." "There was a lot of internal pre-selection going on, which led to the songs Hemdator, Buletten and Still 13 Inside being part of Rebellion in the end. "I think one thing has to be mentioned. The tune called Still 13 Inside was originally made by Kjell Nordbo on the C64 and is by far one of my favourite songs made on that machine. Kjell sadly took his life in 2005 at the age of 29."


Pasy remembers that it was around January 2007 when development on Rebellion really started. "Half of the music pieces were already completed, but we had absolutely nothing done pertaining to GFX and general user interface (GUI) elements, so I had to wait until the main designer (H2O) made the first preview of the GUI", comments the Hungarian programmer. "When I saw the preview I was very happy to say the least. H2O did a very, very good job and I started to code. From February every 4-5 days I made a new build of the music-disk and posted that to our forum. We then would discuss what to do next, what to throw out and what to improve."

Assisting Pasy with effects was Pohar, another programmer within the Rebels camp. "Pasy asked me to make some 3D effects", elaborates Pohar. One for streamed music with smooth shading, and one for tracked music with flat shading. The main goal was making some simple objects that can be driven by music. The Bass sound system gives you nine parameters generated from music tracks - the currently played "bass" and "treble" sounds. It's comparable to the Spectrum analyzer of Winamp."

"I've chosen to use a torus, the good old friend of Sceners everywhere", continues Pohar. "Some years ago I experimented with such things in the 4k intro called Bend which is available here: http://pouet.net/prod.php?which=10885 In that production I had distorted the Torus with 4 or 5 parameters, to make it wave, curl, invert, or take the shape of a star, etc... But this time I had to go even farther, I had 9 parameters. I had two different approaches to doing this: On the left side torus I created a nine-pointed star, each point representing a single level of the spectrum (as well as that they are twisting a bit in space). The other torus in the middle part is the more complicated one: it has nine ways to deform itself and also pulsates in time to the music. It can change its shape in the inside ring, inside radius, length of the wings, bending of the wings in all directions, spinning, turning inside-out, thickness, etc... Both Toruses are recalculated in real-time. They consist of 16384 faces each. That's all about the "flowers", I hope you enjoyed them!"


A major contributor who tried to keep all the pieces together was H2O, the graphics artist behind Rebellion. "First off one thing was clear for me", he starts. "I wanted to do a real musicdisk, not a simple player, second was that with 1st class sound we also needed a superb interface and graphics. Since I have my roots on the Amiga, its no surprise that my favourite demo styles come from late ECS and first AGA demos from the Amiga scene."

"The first sketches where done relatively quickly: with a piece of paper, a pen and some glasses of nice French red wine. I sent the first sketches, pictures and ideas to Pasy and I got the best answer you can every get from a programmer: 'No problem, we can do this'. The final version of Rebellion is still using some of the original ideas from the early sketches I created at this time."

"We split the whole disk design in three separate sections, I liked the idea to give the user the possibility to switch between styles but I also wanted each style to have a fitting 'visualization' effect. Pasy created up to 5 effects per sound style (good boy!), since we wanted to have pixel-effects in the chiptune-section, xm was seen to be clear, and mp3/ogg should be state of the art. You can see the result of this. On our internal forum we talked about graphics, but to be honest I was totally free to do what I wanted in terms of the graphics design. Nobody was really complaining or making me change direction and Pasy was coding like hell."

"So after a lot of work for me (all coinciding with doing a Xbox360 demo with TRSI) I was a bit slow, which didnt turn out to be bad at all. Pasy optimized a lot of small things in the meantime, while M:et did what a organizer needs to do, asking in a friendly way but directly to the point - to move my arse. And believe me it wasnt that easy, really a lot of work. Anyone who knows me is aware that I am not Mr Nice Guy guy at all in stressful situations. Somehow we came to an end though!"


All of the members really shared the same positive experience though during the whole duration of the project. "This was SO much fun to work on", adds Ne7, "Easily the most fun I have had on a PC demoscene related production. The best thing was that all Rebels members had a hand in its creation - even if it was just passing on advice to the team or getting their hands dirty in design or music bits and bobs. Doing the .NFO file was a good laugh as I wanted to make that a mini production in its own right - I hope everyone liked that too."

"I loved to work on Rebellion, and I loved to work with the guys on this project and this was my biggest demo-scenish work since I got into the scene", admits Pasy. "Special thanks to Pontscho / Fresh!Mindworkz who made the Mac OSX version with Apple remote support. I also want thank all comments on all forums, and I'm sure Rebellion will be back soon."

Rebellion 2? Sounds like something worth waiting for.

Go back to articlelist

Comments: (click here to comment the article)

Hosting provided by Mythic-Beasts. See the Hosting Information