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Digital entrepreneurs review their demoscene past. A narrative art book full of 80s pixel-creativity.
Digital entrepreneurs review their demoscene past. A narrative art book full of 80s pixel-creativity.
Digital entrepreneurs review their demoscene past. A narrative art book full of 80s pixel-creativity.
398 backers pledged €22,328 to help bring this project to life.

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The Atari ST and the Creative People vol. 1

€22,328

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Indie Retro News "This anthology promises to feature all of the usual hallmarks of retro computing book crowd funding hallmarks: high quality printing, top tier binding, and a wealth of stretch goals and add on options."

Retro - Das Videospielkulturmagazin "Bücher über die Demoszene sind mittlerweile keine Seltenheit mehr und neue Bücher über dieses Thema sind gerne gesehen, vor allem wenn es um den Atari ST geht."

PN - PIXELNOSTALGIE"... (er) konnte bereits zahlreiche Kontakte in der ATARI Community knüpfen. So möchte er eine fundierte Buchreihe schaffen, die den ATARI ST und ganz besonders die kreativen Pixelmacher und Chiptune-Musiker zu würdigen weis."

8 Bit Central "While many examples of this era exist in digital formats, this hardcover volume, The Atari ST and the Creative People, will capture that art along with the story of that time."

RetroManiac"Grupos como The Exceptions, Level 16, TNT, Sync, Omega, Overlanders, Delta Force o The Carebears, fueron figuras importantes en el desarrollo de esta corriente creativa que quizás nunca ha obtenido el suficiente reconocimiento en la plataforma de Atari, en comparación con otras escenas como la de Amiga o el propio PC con MS-DOS."

Return - Das Magazin für die Generation 8-bit "Ein klasse Projekt, macht mit!"


The Atari ST and the Creative People is a hardback book series which tells the story of a generation of people who wanted to be creative at all cost. Interwoven with the rise and fall of the demoscene, Thalion and Atari, it's just fun to read and to look at.  

Volume 1"A true story of digital liberation... and Power Without the Price!"

  • Hardback Edition
  • 200-250 pages
  • Offset printing
  • Thread sewn binding
  • 230 x 170 mm landscape format
  • thick 130gr/m² matte illustration paper 

From 1986 till 1994: the anthology focuses on two volumes containing over 550 pages packed with pixel drama. A third volume might also be possible but is not mandatory.

Each volume needs to be crowdfunded separately.

Volume 1 kicks off with the roots of demo creation and follows the transformation of bedroom coders to professionals. From "The Union" to "Thalion". The Atari ST is in the center of the interest here, followed by the marketing of the STE. After the successful startup of Thalion the young sceners are confronted with the hard deadline business.

Volume 2 covers the "Golden Years", as well as the doom of a digital era (1991-1994). Atari tries to rescue its market share with the Atari Falcon and Thalion fight a bitter battle against their origin. It is the most dramatic and content-heaviest book – containing over 350 pages of glorious demos, behind-the-scene stories and pixel-art.

Volume 3 (?) is still a rough draft. It would observe the return of the homebrew scene and take a closer look at creating with Atari's Falcon machine. 

The text-only ebook preformatted for your e-reader. Please note in your order which language you prefer.

It doesn't contain the original book layout and therefore is not a digital copy of the book. If you are the type of person who takes an e-reader along for reading, this ePUB-version is for you. Initially there are two languages available: English and German.


The "early birds" of the demoscene announced their participation in this book project. They are the pillars of the book. Their memories are essential. I was lucky enough to meet some of those creative people at the last STNICCC in the Netherlands.

Erik Simon (TEX, Thalion) Jochen Hippel (TEX, Thalion) Richard Karsmakers (Thalion) Michael Raasch (TEX, Thalion) Tim Moss (The Lost Boys) Dave Moss (The Lost Boys) Michael Schüßler (The Lost Boys) Stefan Posthuma (The Lost Boys) Stefan Kimmlingen (The Respectables) Niklas Malmqvist (The Carebears) Anders Cedronius (The Carebears) Michael Grohe (Thalion) Celal Kandemiroglu (Thalion) Mike Mee (Atari Legend) Didier Plaza (Equinox).

With this book I take the opportunity to interview the makers about their achieved tricks and how they come up with their demo- and game designs.


How can a demo be presented in a book? No one has done it yet.

My concept is to print those works into the right environment: a book in the format of a screen. This makes it possible to show programming tricks like border removals as if you were looking at a monitor on paper.

Breaking the borders of the machine was the mantra, willing to bring fresh and smooth pixel scenes to the people. Imaginative tableaus illustrate those boundary expanding ideas, e.g. with the first game-like menu in the Union Demo.

 

The Exceptions, Level 16, TNT, Sync, Omega, Overlanders, Delta Force, the Lost Boys and the Carebears were the new kids on the block. It was an ongoing artistic battle on the conductor paths of the 80s, generating style-forming and influential pixel works – copied by a generation of digital artists.

I will never forget the early Rob Hubbard-conversations by Jochen Hippel.

I listened to them for hours and hours. But why not let the master speak for himself about his pioneering years? I am happy to announce the first Jochen Hippel-Interview since many years, exclusively held for this project.

 

1986-1990 were the years of software-battles for fundamental hardware-extensions like overscan (fullscreen), sync-scrolling, high quality sample routines, 4th sample channel, software envelopes, 512 onscreen colors, raster-routines and more... 

  • 1986 
    Fujiboink
    Grafik & Sounddemo
    Snowman 
  • 1987
    Readme.prg
    Little Sound Demo
    Little Color Demo 
  • 1988
    The B.I.G. Demo
    Fullscreen Demo
    F.N.i.L Demo
    The Amiga Demo
    Junk Demo
    Power Demo
  • 1989
    Swedish New Year Demo
    SoWatt Demo
    Whattaheck Demo
    The Union Demo
    What Time is it
    The Cuddly Demos
    Definitive Demo
    The Overdrive Demo 
  • 1990
    The Cebit’90 Conversion
    Galtan 6 Demo
    Delirious Demo 2
    Mindbomb Demo
    The Genius Demo
    Syntax Terror Demo
    Fish’n Chips
    Overscan Demos
    Life's a Bitch 


We celebrate the classic Megademos with a special multi-page layout like you have seen in the Union Demo-example. Rediscover those classics in a shiny new way on paper. 

  • SoWatt Demo
  • The Union Demo
  • The Cuddly Demos
  • The Overdrive Demo
  • The Delirious Demo 2
  • Mindbomb Demo
  • The Genius Demo
  • Syntax Terror Demo
  • Overscan Demos
  • Life's a Bitch


From freaks to professionals. From Gütersloh to Europe. 

2-in-1 book concept. The second part of the book is a special feature section about the professional life of the sceners. Thalion were essentially formed by the coders and artists of the Union. They united the european demoscene to achieve technical innovative Atari ST games never thought to be possible on this simple 68000-machine. 

 

 

 

One of the biggest challenges after the start of Thalion was the development of a complex role playing game in the tradition of Ultima. Role playing fans Erik Simon and Udo Fischer even started with Dragonflight before Thalion was founded.


Richard Karsmakers
speaks about content creation and the writing of a manual, enriched by the wonderful illustrations of Turkish artist Celal Kandemiroglu.

 


What would the demo scene be without the battles?

The continuous striving for records? The lust for the competition? The book collects all the contemporary fullscreens, game menus, unlimited sprites and big scrollers to bring them to life on paper and let them battle again.

Thalion games were always something special.

I was longing for every release back in the days. Frustrated by many bad arcade conversions on the ST I was astonished by the first smooth 16-way-scrolling and hundreds of sprites combined with digitized sound – without any slowdowns. How did they come up with that?

Many graphic artists, musicians and programmers started with the Atari ST and made their successful way into current-day IT business.

For this anthology they are looking back to content-creation in the 80s with tools like Neochrome, Degas Elite, TCB-Tracker or Audiosculpture. What's the relation to nowadays equipment? What was useful, what was challenging?

 

First a brief overview of the standard goodie bag. Some items are not designed yet. The limited XXL demoscene poster is exclusively available with the Undead Factory-Bundles. 

 

Graphic designer Gregory Le Roux crafted a gigantic XXL poster covering every single demo crew of the Atari ST creative scene. He worked for more than a year on featuring 549 logos of contemporary pixel-artists: a unique show of the Atari ST Demoscene for your wall.  

  • 9000*5062 pixels on a size of 160 x 90 cm
  • 550 Logo designs in brilliant quality
  • printed on thick 140gr/m² matte indoor paper
  • worldwide shipping in a safe roll

Browse through all the famous creative associations from the 80s and the 90s. The illustrative poster makes it easy to understand the different fusions and collaborations, since the beginnings of the demoscene.

Gregory's unique XXL poster is exclusively available with this book bundle and will be shipped worldwide in a roll. Limited amount in stock. Pandafox aka. The Undead Factory

 

We are excited to present you our poster ideas. After the end of the campaign we will start a poll concerning your motif favorites. Here are the numbers to choose from...

You see three examples here. Please note that these poster designs are only based on the numbers. Instead of just image the demo screens we decided to go for a quite surreal and unique poster art series. Hope you like the idea.

  • printed on thick 140gr/m² matte indoor paper
  • A2-sized folded poster (to fit the package)


Worldwide shipping. The goodies are packed in a safe bag which is included in the book package. Please notice the separated shipping costs for European countries (EU) and Overseas.

The staff team consists of professionals. My German text will be edited by a German lecturer before the english translation. The translation will be of mother tongue quality. Native speakers will test read the book before publishing. The layout will be crafted by an experienced Dipl.-Des. (Master of Arts) here in Germany. 

Atarimania is a non-commercial venture for all things Atari. It offers a huge historical tour to the new or experienced Atari user and aims for a complete database with catalogs, magazine scans and more.

RVG is the base for any retro video gaming fan. Reviews, features, interviews and guides for almost any system from 8- to 16-bit, Arcades and Consoles to Handhelds, Pinball and even Tabletops.

 

Risks and challenges

A book of this kind underlies certain kind of risks: An interview might fall through or the print does not fulfill 100 percent of the expectations. As far as it concerns the writing, I can rely on my long year experience as editor and journalist, where monthly magazine production was normal. I am used to work under hard conditions and a deadline doesn't disturb me, so to say. I also work with an experienced and professional staff for correction and for the prepress, which is important for such a visually and content-wise heavy book. There is one more thing: the delivery of the book might be delayed by a month. But we will in any circumstances try to avoid this.

Yours, Marco Breddin

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Funding period

- (15 days)