Monday, December 25, 2006

Mindcandy Volume 2: Amiga Demos Finally Here!

Mindcandy II DVD - Amiga DemosIt has been 4 years now since the release of Mindcandy Vol.I, which featured PC Demos and was a huge success.

The waiting is over and it was absolutely worth it.

Mindcandy II - Amiga Demos - is now finally finished as well. I was on their notification list for years and didn't trust my eyes at first when I got the email that it is available to order now ... at last.

The Demos were originally written for the Commodore Amiga Computer and are available for download on the Internet for free.

You can enjoy them paying absolutely nothing, if you have the hardware to run them. Most people don't, including myself and even the ones that used to have one don't have a working one anymore (that includes myself too hehe).

The DemosMindcandy DVD II - Amiga Demos
  1. Megademo by Red Sector Inc.

  2. Mental Hangover by Scoopex

  3. Enigma by Phenomena

  4. Voyage by Razor 1911

  5. Hardwired by Silents & Crionics

  6. Human Target by Melon Dezign

  7. World of Commodore by Sanity

  8. State of the Art by Spaceballs

  9. Desert Dream by Kefrens

  10. Groovy by Lemon

  11. 242 by Virtual Dreams (Fairlight)

  12. 9 Fingers by Spaceballs

  13. Arte by Sanity

  14. Friday At Eight by Polka Brothers

  15. Love by Virtual Dreams (Fairlight)

  16. Nexus 7 by Andromeda

  17. Deep - The Psilocybin Mix by CNCD & Parallax

  18. Closer by CNCD

  19. Tint by The Black Lotus

  20. Sumea by Virtual Dreams (Fairlight)

  21. Captured Dreams by The Black Lotus

  22. Killer by CNCD

  23. Relic by Nerve Axis

  24. Smokebomb by Ozone

  25. Klone by Dual Crew - Shining

  26. Concrete by Ephidrena

  27. Perfect Circle by The Black Lotus

  28. Lapsuus by Maturefurk

  29. Fate Fits Karma by MadWizards

  30. Silkcut by The Black Lotus

The two demos I care about the most are on the disk. I was probably not the only one that was demanding to have them on the disk during the pre-selection process 3 years or so ago. The two demos are my alltime favorite: "Hardwired" by Silents & Crionics and "Desert Dream" by Kefrens.

"Hardwired" won the 3rd prize at the very first "The Party" Demoparty in Denmark in 1991. The Demo "Odyssey" by Alcatraz won 1st prize but did not make the disc (you will understand why, if you get the chance to see this 40+ minute demo ;) and "Voyage" by Razor 1911 was second. "Voyage" made it on to this disc as well.
Mindcandy II - Amiga Demos
"Desert Dream" was the last great Demo on the Amiga 500 IMO, after that did the AGA Demos on the then brand new Amiga 1200 dominate the Amiga Demo Landscape. Ironically was "Desert Dream" only released a bit before "Second Reality" from Future Crew was released for the PC and closed the huge gap in quality between AMIGA and PC Demo Scene. For a period after that were Amiga and PC Demos head by head in quality but the PC eventually surpased the Amiga Demos and eventually dominated the scene.

When Commodore closed computer production at the end of the ninetees a lot of great Amiga Demosceners switched to the PC which was more and more becoming a normal household item and continued their great creative work there.

The only minor "bummer" is the fact that "9 Fingers" by Spaceballs was selected instead of the surprise winner of "The Party 1992" - "State of the Art", also by Spaceballs. "State of the Art" was new and different. "9 Fingers" is maybe better than "State of the Art", but it was only a naturally improved version using the same concept as "State of the Art" and thus less revolutionary. I will be able to live with that though.

Update 12/26/2006: The DVD finally arrived today. The List of Demos on the Mindcandy Website is incomplete and so was the List in this blog post. The disc has 30 demos and not 29. I fixed the list above. The missing demo is "State of the Art" by "Spaceballs" :D . Yeah! Okay, that means: No Bummmer anymore as stated in the previous paragraph ... Now it is only A.W.E.S.O.M.E!

The Disc was made for the Demosceners of the early and mid nineties, but that does not mean that it is only something they will be able to enjoy. No, for them is this DVD a "must buy" (or they were no real scener anyway).

For everybody else is this a small piece of computer history. Pleasant designed with matching music running in the background. Not a boring book that gives you the tech details like "imagine this, the computer this was designed for had less than 10 Mega Hertz tact frequency and was 8 bit. Today's home PC's have 2, even 3 GIGA Hertz and are 64 bit" ... yeah, whatever that means :).

If you watch the DVD together with a old school scener and you see him suddenly overly excited about a specific part of a demo that might not get you excitement up to the next level don't worry. It only means that it was hard to do back then. Say something nice like "fascinating" and continue to watch the show.

If you are still undecided, download for free the Trailer and/or the preview disc for free to get a glimpse of the complete disc which is packed to the roof with OVER 3 HOURS of old school entertainment.

If you are from the US, then you can order the Mindcandy Volume 2: Amiga Demos DVD from, Germany, UK David Poves, Canada SceneStuff and Hungary Tomcat's T-shirt Shop.

Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Contest Ruling Is Finally In - Special Bonus Prizes Revealed

The ruling for the ANSI/ASCII Text Art contest at deviantART is finally in. I blogged about the end of it and my personal favorite about a week ago. Unfortunately did the other judges not agree with me.

What surprised me a bit was that skylined's entry did not even make the top 5, but it shows how different the opinions of the 6 judges were. Being voted #1 by one judge does not make it a sure win.

Somebody that was voted #3 or #4 by all judges has a much higher chance of winning.

Here is how the judging works. Every Judge has 15 points to assign, 5 points to the #1, 4 points to the #2, 3 to #3, 2 to #5 and finally 1 point to the #1. This makes 90 points altogether for all 6 judges combined. 5 points does not look like that much anymore, right?

Anyway, all entries can be reviewed here if you want to check them out. The 5 Winners are the following:

Next to the official prizes will every one of the five winners get a one of my "deviantART ASCII" Mouse pads (since all winners were ASCIIs), a small Magnet of my "deviantART ANSI" print and a post card of my ANSI print as well. I hope the winners will like the little extra bonus prizes. Merry Christmas.



Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Space Art - Prints and Calendars

Alex Gibson aka Sphereuk is another of my favorite artists at deviantART which I would like to introduce to my blog readers and subscribers.

I did something like this back in April already for the artist with the name Dilekt. I just discovered planet and space art at dA at the time. Space Art now makes up a considerable percentage of art in my dA Favorites and virtually 100% of my dA Wish list.

I think that this is a good Idea, because it extend the reach of these mostly young artists that are still students for the most part. Spheruk, who is from Great Britain, for example just finished his first semester at the university. He studies design (surprise) and wants to become a game designer.

Because of the time he has to dedicate for 3D art and rendering did he say that he has to cut down on the time for creating space art. I hope he will not stop doing it, because his Space and Planet artwork is amazing.

I sent Alex an Email last weekend and requested that he makes a Calendar available at the dA Print Shop with the IMO 12 best of his space art pieces.
He promised to create one and I am looking forward to be able to buy it.

Here are the 12 pieces of space art which I ask Spheruk to use for the calendar which will hopefully become available soon.

In the meantime check out the existing prints by Spheruk at the dA Shop. He gets a cut of the revenue his prints generate. So if you buy a print, you will help Alex out and increase his allowance. You might now that students are poor and are grateful for every extra dollar they can get.

I already bought two other calendars from two other artists which I would like to show you.

Sci-fi Scenery CALANDER
by Swaroop.B.G.Prabhavathi aka Swaroop.
 Reflections Calendar
by Andrea G-Zenith aka Anjicle.

I also bought some more of my own designs. The dA ASCII and ANSI Mouse pads. They are great gifts and make some of my friends happy. It's a great gift, because it is personal and practical.


Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The ASCII/ANSI Contest Is Over

Last week did the ASCII and ANSI contest at deviantART end. You can see all contributions to the contest here. I already made my judgements, but a few are still outstanding. That means that no results are available yet.

Yet I still want to present my personal favorite. The artists name is Berend-Jan Wever aka skylined.

His contribution is the 7bit ASCII called "Julia at Awakenings". Here is a small version of the image. It is not original size. Click on the image to get to the deviation which is in original size that you can clearly see that it is made out of regular characters which you can find on your keyboard.

I like the style. I like the ASCII logo of his name actually even better. Especially this one. .

Yep, it's a shark. I think that the Idea alone is already astonishing, let alone the realization by using simple text characters.

The following two logos look like "Disco" style.. without the bright colors hehe. I don't like them as much, but they are somewhat cool anyway.

This one seems to be the predecessor of the contest entry. The Idea is already visible, but the realization is much simpler than for "Julia at Awakenings".

Well, I am looking forward to hear the ruling. More to that later this week.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Non-Existent ASCII/ANSI contest extended!

The deadline for the deviantART ASCII/ANSI art contest, which I blogged about earlier this month, was extended for a few more days. This will be the last chance to enter and win some great prices for everybody with some Text art skills who has not entered the contest yet.

Also some other things changed a little. Here are the words from DiamonDie who is the initiator and organizer of the contest.

Sorry for the bit of a late notice, but the deadline of the Non-Existent ASCII/ANSI contest has been pushed back by two weeks, making 9th of December the new deadline.

Due to the very small amount of ANSI entries we'll probably have to merge the two contest categories, but in that case we'll be offering prizes (subscriptions and DVDs) to five winners. That means you stand a good chance of winning something!

So those of you who have said you'll participate but haven't and those who have had their entries disqualified and have agreed to fix them, you've got two more weeks left. Even if you had missed the original contest announcement you still have time to draw an entry. So start typing already!

There will also be a surprise which will be announced AFTER the contest (or it would not be a surprise, wouldn't it? :) )

So you better get the Text Editors on the coming days and get something delivered before the new deadline.

You can check the contests rules here, if you haven't already done so earlier.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

ANSI and ASCII Text Art as Print!

Mhhh... It seems that I post at my ASCII and ANSI Text Art blog always in pairs now. I should better plan those things I guess, but the heck, who cares.

Okay, here is post number two for today.

I took the new deviantART Prints Service for a spin, which was launched parallel with the
new deviantART shop. I made two of my deviations available for purchase for your and my own pleasure.

Fans of ANSI and ASCII Text will probably love it. I already ordered one of each for myself.

For all the Fans of dA and ANSI Text Art is the left piece available (click the image for the LARGE Version, 1390x1165) and for all Fans of the ASCII Text Art the right one.

Buy ANSI PrintBuy ASCII Print

Following formats and item types are available for each of the two with the price right next to it (I ordered for myself the Mousepads):

Canvas Prints 28x36 cm $78.95

Regular Prints
Lustre Prints 25x30 cm $15.49
Matte Prints 25x30 cm $12.79
Glossy Prints 25x30 cm $12.79

Small Magnet $4.95
Large Magnet $6.95
Matte Postcard $2.49
Glossy Postcard $2.49

Mouse Pad Mouse Pad $9.95
Coaster Set of 4 Coasters $20.25

Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Chemical Reaction (cRO)

It took me 5 months, but I finally managed to create the Wikipedia entry for the fellow Artscene group cHEMICAL rEACTION or simply cRO.

I talked with Dennis aka Radiators, the founder and ex-leader of the group and Amgits at the #cRO channel at EFNet about this in June. Dennis sent me some graphics and Amgits found an old cRO history in the Google cache. The current cRO Website does unfortunately not have a history page to draw information from.

I am glad that I finally managed to get this done and of my very long list of things to do and I am sure that it will be appreciated by the ex- and current cRO members as well as other old-school sceners who remember the creations of this fine art group.

The cRO entry is a good addition to the already existing artscene groups entries at Wikipedia. They are now recognized along with other famous art groups like ACiD (ANSI creators in demand) and of course SAC (Superior art creations).

If you see any errors or missing information in the article, don't hesitate and simply change the wikipedia entry yourself. If you do not feel comfortable doing so, shoot me an email and I will do it for you.

Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Sunday, November 12, 2006

ASCII and ANSI Art Contest at deviantART

It's a bit late for it, but better late than never. There is also still plenty of time for people that are interested to participate.

You Text Artists out there, get your editors started up and start creating some nice Text Art. This is also a good chance for newbies to get your art seen by others and useful feedback.

DiamonDie over at launched an ASCII / ANSI Contest with the topic "Non-Existent"

The Deadline for the contest is 25th of November 2006. The entries can be edited until the deadline. You can read the details and Contest Rules in DiamondDie's News Article at deviantART.

Is it worth your time to participate in this contest? You bet it is! Not only fame and fortune can be gained, but great prizes too.

Okay no fortune , but a lot of fame and did I mention the prizes? How do these prizes look like? Pretty, don't they?

1st prize in both categories ASCII and ANSI:
a copy of the Dark Domain DVD from ACiD Productions and a one-year subscription to DeviantART

2nd prize in both categories ASCII and ANSI:
a six-month subscription to DeviantART

3rd prize in both categories ASCII and ANSI:
a three-month subscription to DeviantART

I will be one of the judges hence not take part in the contest myself. I am looking forward to see your contributions.

You can read all the details about the contest, including the detailed rules, background information about ANSI/ASCII Art contests in general, ASCII and ANSI tools used, Tutorials and more in her Article about the Contest Announcement.

Hop over to to check it out. If you don't have an Account yet, then it is about time to get one; it's free so there is no reason not to.

Good Luck and no, I can not be bribed :)

Carsten aka Roy/SAC

FF XII - The Saga Continues - and more Movies and Anime

I got this week my pre-ordered copy of Final Fantasy XII for the Playstation 2. I was eager to have a look at it, but I was kept busy all day that I could not check it out before this weekend. It has been 3 years since the last "real" FF Title, which I consider to be Final Fantasy X-2 (no FF XI was bunk).

The game has Gorgeous CG cinematics and cut-scenes in Dolby Pro Logic II combined with real-time graphics which is rivaling those of next-generation titles. I have a hard time to imagine how future FF titles on the PS3 are going to look like.

The Semi Real Time Battle System introduced with FFX-2 was taken a step further by the new Active Dimension Battle (ADB) system which allows players to move seamlessly between exploration and combat mode.

It still uses the classic Gambit system to control your characters AI during battles.

The Plot Line:
Two years after the fall of Dalmasca, the citizens are without guidance and direction. In the capital city of Rabanastre, the denizens gather and await the introduction of Archadia's new consul. To Vaan, a young man living on the streets of Rabanastre, the Empire is a hated enemy who took the life of his brother, the only family he had left. In an effort to exact revenge, Vaan hatches a plot to break into the palace and steal from the occupying imperials. There, he gets more than he bargained for as he runs into Princess Ashe, the sole surviving heir to the Dalmascan throne. Together, the two will embark on an incredible journey through Ivalice, tracing the mysteries behind the Archadian Empire's invasion. The choices they make will determine the very fate of the world. License board gives the player the ability to customize each character's skills and abilities.

The semi-realtime battle system was introduced back in 2003 with Final Fantasy X-2 on the Playstation 2, the only true sequel to a FF title Square-Enix ever made. All other Final Fantasy titles are independent stories which confuses some people who rightfully ask "Why the Games are numbered I .. XII and imply to be a series with inter-connected story-line?".

I have no answer to that question. It can't be the style of the game either, because the great Squre-Enix Classic "Chrono Trigger" is just like a FF game, but is not part of the series. Chrono Trigger got me into playing the FF titles btw. which I find interesting.

I am not a big fan of it and still struggle with adapting to this way of fighting which is a lot different than the classic turn based battle mode that was a hallmark of the FF titles up to Final Fantasy X.

Final Fantasy X from 2001 was actually the first Final Fantasy title for the Playstation 2 with breath taking graphics and animation and the main reason why I decided to buy a Playstation 2 versus the more powerfull XBox.

It seems that the title was re-relased this fall since it is available new again (and not used or refurbished) at retailers like You should get a copy of it. It's darn cheap. The Game is great, but the voice-over of the english version is a bit cheesy IMO.

Square-Enix also entered the realm of Movie making, which did not really surprise me. Their awe-inspireing cut-scenes from the Video Games made it a logic step to enter the movie market IMO.

They released last year the movie: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
(See Trailer at

It was a great movie and I was surprised that it never made it to the big screen like in Asia, but was release directly on DVD only. They did the same in Europe.

I wrote a detailed Review of it on

Following the story of Cloud, the Hero of the PS1 Classic Final Fantasy VII (also available for PC) which is considered the FF series best game and also one of the best RPG Games of all times across all gaming platforms. Its hard to get a copy of it and I am lucky to own one myself.

Their first movie project was the title: Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within, which was released in 2001 (see the Trailer at

This one was released in the theatres, but poor advertised and "flopped". I missed it too and found out about it, when it was already on DVD.

It was a great movie and today a DVD Classic. I believe they made profit with the movie after all.

Thanks god, because I don't believe that they would have made Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children if they would have lost tens of millions of $$$ on the first one.

I also wrote a detailed review for Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within on if you are interested in learning more about it.

If you haven't seen any of the two Final Fantasy movies, go check them out. If you are a fan of the game series and haven't seen the movies yet, shame on you.

The Movies follow a great tradition of great japanese Anime movies which have cult-status in Japan and also gain more and more Fans outside Japan and countries like the United States.

A good example of a japanese Anime Movie that gained cult-status in the US and Europe as well was the Hayao Miyazaki's classic "Princess Mononoke" from 1997.
(see the trailer at

The Tagline of the Movie sounds epic:
The Fate Of The World Rests On The Courage Of One Warrior

Hehe.. great stuff. You should check that one out as well. Good family entertainment without any sex or gore and un-necessary violence. Just great story-telling.

I hope you liked my brief review and short trip back in time. The titles were all worth my time to play or look at and I believe that they would be worth your time as well. Enjoy!

Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Cirque Du Soleil Extravaganza

Roy/SAC aka Carsten CumbrowskiI just had my first "real" weekend in months. I left Friday afternoon to Las Vegas to have fun (and not to a trade show).

I stayed at the "Aladdin" Hotel and Casino which is currently under construction, because it is being transformed to a Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino.

I watched two Cirque Du Soleil shows, the two which were the highest on my "have to see" list.
One on Friday and the other one on Saturday. I had already a ticket for Cirque Du Soleil's "KA" at the MGM Grand for Saturday.

I decided last minute to try to get a ticket for Cirque Du Soleil's "O" at the Bellagio on Friday. You can see the "O" Trailer for the show at the official Cirque Du Soleil Website. I was lucky. I got there 1 Minute before the show started and got a ticket because somebody else did not showed up (the show was sold out). I got for $150 a premium seat in Row F (6) right in the center of the row, quite a bargain.

Next on my list are "Mystere", "Zumanity" and "Love"

If you are going to see "KA", try to get seats in the center of the venue and not towards the side, trust me on that. I was sitting at a "medium" quality seat more towards the side. I might have to watch it again from a center seat. Great show! I can highly recommend it. Here are 3 Videos from the Show. You have to watch the 2nd one: Extract from "The Slave Cage", which shows the act "Wheel of Death" which is one of the best parts of the whole show.

Most people I talked to who have seen "O" and "Le Reve" say "O" is the better one which I disagree with. I like "Le Reve" better (playing at the Wynn) . Le Reve is an in-official Cirque show by Franco Dragone, the creator of the cirque shows "O", "Mystere", "Alegria" and "Nouvelle Experience" as well as Celine Dion's "A new Day".

Yeah, I became a Cirque Fan, whcih should be obvious by now. I joined their free Cirque Du Soleil Club to get news, updates, access to special content and promotions. The Membership is absolutely free. I also got most of the shows as video now and several of the shows soundtracks on CD.

Carsten aka Roy/SAC