4k shameless plug


This is my first demo production! I originally began working on it three weeks before Revision 2019 and I intended to enter it into the Oldskool 4K Intro Compo there. Of course I wildly underestimated how much work a 4K would be and so I finished it just in time for Nordlicht 2019.

The whole thing is written from scratch in x86 assembly (plus a few tools I made along the way that run on the development machine to convert data) and includes a custom OPL3 player (with converter for RADTracker 2 files).

It should run on a 286, but needs a fast 386 with a decent VGA card to really shine. Tijn was so kind to contribute the music for this one and I think the music and visuals work pretty well together.

Since it runs in 16 bit real mode, I also went with 16 bit instructions only (32 bit instructions take up more space in real mode programs, something that I wanted to avoid). This turned out to be one of the most time consuming decisions. Let me tell you, 9.7 fixed point numbers are no fun and it's really important to think about the ordering of maths operations to avoid numerical overflows. If I had a Euro for each bug caused by this decision, I wouldn't have to go working anymore.

So yeah. Next time I think I'll go with 32 bit fixed point numbers instead, even though that probably only means I'll run into the same problems because I think "now I'm safe from such trouble!" and go beyond what I should with this precision.

Anyway, it was great fun making this thing and I had no idea how exciting it is to sit in the audience during the compo and see your own creation on the big screen with the great speakers. I had only listened to the whole thing with headphones and it was quite the revelation to hear the heartbeat in the beginning of the music in conjunction with the visuals. Great work, Tijn!

To my huge surprise it also placed second in the compo, so I got a nice trophy. The best of the trophies, actually, as those for first and third place have ugly colors, so thanks for everybody who voted me second ;-)

The trophy says "Amiga" and "C=" everywhere, I guess the orga team didn't expect any non-Commodore entries to have a chance at all in this compo. Interestingly, there was not a single Amiga production but first place was taken by a C64 entry.



Code: rnlf
Music: Tijn