Propaganda 25 ch09
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+----------------------+ |MEET THE PRESS | |MEET THE PRESS BY DUKE| +----------------------+ T The scene media has profound power to be a positive influence. It has the chance to tie the link between the consumer and the producer, but also the other way around. It represents the voice of the scene, and does therefore deserve to be heard. MEET THE PRESS is dedicated to the people behind the magazines, who are responsible for the scene being one, a family - together. M T P MEETING THE PRESS _________________ It has become somewhat of a pleasurable routine of mine to check in on my American friends, the creators behind DRIVEN, once in a while. I have always had great affection for the ntsc scene, which probably is due to my history of calling the American boards in the past. Those days the cracking/fixing part of the NTSC scene ran with most of the attention, but today the demo scene is pretty much all that is left to keep the home of our beloved computer alive and kicking in the name of the C64 - and the scene. DRIVEN is to me a great example of the one true reason why I love the magazine business, as it was created in an attempt to motivate the scene. Working hard to do just that, they have successfully injected new energy into the old NTSC demo scene, and as a result, we see a more lively NTSC demo scene. In addition, they have also managed to bring more attention to a part of the scene, that has been starving for attention since the dawn of time. I met up with two of the front figures of DRIVEN, COOLHAND and ELWIX, and we spoke about the popular American magazine, that has just released its 24th edition to the world. (D) = DUKE/PROPAGANDA (A) = THE AMERICANS, COOLHAND & ELWIX IMPORTANT NOTICE: COOLHAND and ELWIX decided to answer all questions together as though they were one voice. ________________________________________ (D) Welcome COOLHAND and ELWIX. Thank you both for granting us this interview. (A) No problem! It was nice and friendly of PROPAGANDA to ask. (D) Well, as you know, it is our business to ask questions, and luckily we work in a scene of helpful people - which is the reason why the scene is still going strong, if you ask me. Anyway, let me begin by commenting the great work you guys have done to keep the world informed on an otherwise unknown part of the world. You have most definitely brought the NTSC scene back as a part of the scene, and we all benefit from that. (A) Thanks, and we certainly hope most people agree with you - while it is smaller and less active, the NTSC scene can still make a great contribution to the whole world demo scene, in our opinion. It is still "rebuilding" so the future should be even better for it, if we work hard to keep it alive and growing. THE POPULARITY THE POPULARITY (D) DRIVEN continues to amaze everyone. Although a small magazine compared to others, it is as stabile and reliable as ever. What is the reason for the success of DRIVEN, and do you find it has grown to become, what you had hoped in the starting phase? (A) Lets start with the second question first. My hope at the start was just to create some kind of regular support and driving force to get the NTSC demo scene back into some respectable activity and growing again. I set out to only cover the kind of outfit with something relatively new (a very flexible color proportional engine). But basically my primary desire was to just do something that might increase the size of the NTSC scene, both in terms of demos released and active sceners involved. getting people involved - that was a major goal for DRIVEN. Why is DRIVEN successful? Of course this begs the question of whether DRIVEN IS successfull.. We would like to think yes, but there is still much left to be done to keep the demo scene living and moving forward. There were some decisions I made prior to the first issue that were clearly good; some were made with purpose, some were just lucky moves that in retrospect were good ideas but at the time did not seem of any importance. I wanted to do something interesting and somewhat different with the outfit, to give it some initial appeal (the color propor- tional as I mentioned); I decided to forgo the classic NTSC diskmag approach of full disk issues packed with submitted art, music, and demo pages as well as text - because I didn't want to have to reply on anyone but myself initially for material - otherwise the magazine would have bogged and slowed down; I wanted to release extremely regularly so hopefully by example the NTSC demo scene would follow and start pumping up the activity too. Lucky choices were made when I asked COOLHAND to help out on the first issue with an Internet oriented article. I ended up asking him to be the co-editor, and only because of this has DRIVEN lasted this far. It was also fortuitous that DRIVEN was single filed. At the time it was just logical to make it one filed for the smaller amount of material, but as it happens, I believe this is the reason DRIVEN managed to catch on so well in PAL lands - 1 file is so damn easy for swappers to copy and fit onto their swap disks. DRIVEN ended up being spread fairly well from what we can tell, with almost no intervention from us (our gratitude to all the swappers who spread DRIVEN in the early days as well as in the present!). Seeing this occur was why we devoted ourselves to also cover the PAL demo scene from about issue #7 onwards, and we've gotten excellent support from many PAL sceners submitting their work. But apart from the beginning our success is pretty simple. We try hard to deliver quality content; we we continually trying to involve all sceners in DRIVEN by asking for articles from almost anyone; we try not to repeat too much of the same "regular articles" and push hard for variety: we've covered the commercial scene to some extend; we don't engage in quarrels. We're here for the scene and not for the magazine, because what good would it do having ourselves trying to look like gods in front of an audience of 3? What we want is to be a small role in a giant active scene playing itself to an audience of thousands of interested demo fans. THE STAFF THE STAFF (D) Please tell us about the current status of DRIVEN, and describe the people behind it. (A) As we answer these questions #24 was just released. We had our longest break yet (3 months) over summer, but we're back on track to finish this year and kick off the next. People currently taking an active role in the mag: ELWIX, COOLHAND, CYBERNOID, DOKKEN, ZKYCLAD, DR. SOFT, STASH, FALCON, and EL BANDITOS. The first two of these are the main editors of course. The next two are contributing with their demo reviews, the next provides some news and commercial scene coverage, and the last 4 make up the legal release list helpers, tho school and other things kept them too busy recently. We would like to find a dedicated PAL demoscener with a desire to take an active role in driven. In the past we've had great help from a few different PAL friends, but what we really need is someone to take on a role of PAL co-editor and really work on the PAL demo scene coverage with us. Someone with a level of control over the PAL content nearly equal to ELWIX and COOLHAND. This person should ideally be on the inet. We're basically offering the chance to help shape the content and even to some extend the direction of driven, if this person would be willing to put in the same amount of work and effort as the current co-editors. (Any takers? Heh). (D) JAZZCAT is a former member of the DRIVEN staff. What is your opinion of this extremely involved C64 scener and his work for DRIVEN? (A) JAZZCAT (if we recall right) had actually offered himself to help out with the magazine, which is quite cool. We accepted and he started supplying some demo scene news and 2 or 3 articles over the course of a few issues. Lately his help dropped off as, we imagine, he is mostly focused back on his own machine. So we're in fact basically let him go off the staff, of course *not* on bad terms. Our impression of him is similar to all the staff who've helped with DRIVEN over its life, that is to say we really appreciate their help and support, and we'd be quite happy for them to come back and be more involved if they so desire. But anyway, our search for a PAL co-editor was mentioned before. (D) A while back, COOLHAND revealed plans for driven to switch to an IFFL-type file format. As we know, this obviously never happened. What is the reason for this? (A) After lots of struggling and getting opinions and trying to make up our minds, we finally decided driven cannot be made much better overall, currently, from being beigger. That sounds odd, but knowing the full picture: the time our lives allow us to work on each issue, the already mentioned advantages for us in being single filed, and the general feeling of most sceners we asked that driven was good as it is, we backed off from making any radical change in format. We currently get just about the perfect amount of articles submitted or written by ourselves every month or so to keep up regular releases (1-2 months apart) without getting too much backlog or running too low. DRIVEN issues contain essentially 31O-33O blocks of equ-packed text. For now, once again considering the big picture, this feels "right" for us. In the future we might re-evaluate this - if activity in the scene keeps growing, if we take on additional reliable help, etc. And of course we welcome the scene's opinion on what they'd like to see! (D) DRIVEN is a perfect example of a magazine acting as flag-bearer to boost a scene, that is sufferinng from lack of activity. How do you keep America and Canada interested in the C64? (A) Interestingly, by just being what we are. To clarify, we don't go under the assumption that DRIVEN is the sole force keeping the NTSC scene alive; we are one of several "factors" helping to do that, others being the active demo groups themselves, CMD with their huge product lines and fine magazine, LOADSTAR, etc. DRIVEN offers a varied but consistent range of articles and information on many aspects of the C64. Editorials and articles on demo scene issues and timely reviews of new NTSC demo releases are key areas which driven maintains. The interest is there; as you say, driven is just a "flag-bearer" or central point of information to keep that interest focused on the demo scene, our main purpose for being. THE RESPONSIBILIES THE RESPONSIBILIES (D) How do you maintain a critical tone towards the developments of the NTSC scene, when at the same time, you try to encourage optimism? (A) Balanced reporting is probably the best way to describe our formula, both in our editorials and in our demo reviews. In the reviews, for instance, we do tend to emphasize (but not exaggerate) the positive values we see in a demo. But at the same time we try to offer constructive comments and suggestions as to how the demo being reviewed, and future releases, might be improved. Ragging or unproductive comparisons to other demos do not have a place in driven. Optimism is in the eyes of the beholder, or driven reader in this case. We may try to plan the seeds of optimism for those who read DRIVEN, but we do so by being honest and accurate. So far, many people have takenn those seeds and produced a fairly healthy and growing demo scene. THE PAL AND NTSC SCENE THE PAL AND NTSC SCENE (D) What is the difference between the driven coverage of PAL activities and the coverage served by PAL magazines, if any? (A) DRIVEN is focused primarily on the demo scene. We generally do not cover any news or events unless it is linked somehow with the demo scene. The expectations are occasional commercial scene articles and coverage of Internet related topics, though we see the latter as as clearly beneficial to the demo scene. Of course, DRIVEN carries less text per issue than other magazines, but we try and make it up with regular releases. Due to the space limits we filter out some "plainer" news and leave the room for interviews, group stories, party results/reports and the PAL legal release list. In summary we try and get the most important PAL demo news out to the demo scene fast and accurately, and in our opinion we often accomplish this, but it's up to the PAL readers to be the real judge of our effectiveness. Finally, and obviously, we cover the NTSC scene to a high degree, as the fundamental purpose of the magazine is keeping the NTSC demo scene pushing forward. Our hope is by covering both the ntsc and pal demo scene, we will do three things: provide PAL readers with timely material directed straight to them at the same time as getting them interested and informed that there really is a demo scene in North America, and has been since the late 8O's; get NTSC readers interested and informed about the overseas scene so they realize just how huge and active the worldwide C64 demo scene is; and to bridge these gaps between the demoscenes and hopefully start communicating and working together in whatever ways are possible and that will extend the life of the C64. (D) What PAL magazines are available to the NTSC-market today - referring to the fixing problem, most PAL magazines have remained unsolved. (A) Refer to DRIVEN #2O which had an article answering just this question in a little more detail... But generally a quick list from memory looks like: ADWARP, CONTRAST, DOMINATION, EMPHATIC, PROPAGANDA, RELAX, TRIBUNE, VANDALISM NEWS, and a couple others; they've all released issues normally working well enough in NTSC. The biggest trouble in NTSC when it comes to diskmags is *loaders*. So hopefully more PAL diskmags will start using known NTSC/PAL loaders - a lot of NTSC sceners are interested just as much in the PAL demo scene so it can only help you! THE FUTURE THE FUTURE (D) Please let us in on the future plans of DRIVEN. (A) We're currently running the second year of the "NTSC 4K Compo" with events in 4K demo, 4K art, and 4K music this time (*anyone* is welcome to enter, entries are judged on NTSC machines, deadline is December 11th, send your entries to COOLHAND or ELWIX). We'll release another issue this year and then hiatus for about 2 months until January of 98. We're pretty happy with 1997, the scene was slower during summertime but recently got extremely active again. Several new guys got active and some old NTSC legends even returned. We hope 1998 keeps the trend of a growing, more active demo scene. What it means for DRIVEN is that we need to keep trying hard to push for quantity and quality demo releases, get new sceners involved, and set an example by keeping ourselves coming out regular as well. Expect another year of at least bimonthly issues. Future content should include a series of articles coveringng the history of diskmagazines in NTSC, increased interviews with NTSC and PAL demo sceners, improved quality of our PAL demo scene coverage (by finding a PAL co-editor, ummm, did we say that yet? heh), continued coverage of C64-and-Internet related topics, and maybe some cool surprises. We're going to work on the DRIVEN Homepage as well and try to make it a bigger central information/gathering place for demo scene freaks worldwide. (D) Thank you both for taking part in this interview and keep up the great work as a positive media institution! (A) We thank you very much for asking us. Our final words to our readers can only be: just keep up the activity, keep up the quality, and help us keep building up the demo scene, both in NTSC and in PAL! Contact DRIVEN with your comments, ideas, suggestions, criticism, or entries for the 4K Compo: EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com POSTAL : 22 Cottonwood Ct, Greencastle, IN 46135 USA +T---M--------R------+ |THE MAGAZINE REVIEWS| +--------------------+ Welcome to the obligatory magazine reviews, which has always been a popular part of meet the press. I have made myself the owner of the latest c64 magazines to have reached the internet, and will now serve you my humble opinion, on the experience of reading them. The point-system on which the magazines are rated should be obvious once it appears. They will appear after all of the reviews. Hope they are taken as a sign, that improvement is always a possibility in the world. Remember that! SUBJECT : NITRO, 24TH EDITION. LABEL : EXCESS. RELEASED ON : OCTOBER, 1997. ________________________________________ Well, blimey! Nitro is back on the magascene stage with another edition, and what a powerful return it was as well. According to the editors, it took them more than 6 months to put together this edition, so that certainly puts a lot of expectations on this comeback - of sorts - issue. NITRO is notorious for its lengthy issues, usually taking up whole disks. The main reason for this, was the extensive none-scene related chapters, which - according to the editors - were best left cut out. I salute this decision with a loud sounding cheer! In addition to a renovated program of the magazine, the editors behind nitro also proclaimed the desire to release on a more permanent - reliable, if you will - basis. Another reason to salute the creators with a thumbs up. But the editors seemed to have tired of quantity and therefore taken upon themselves the challenge of creating a more quality based magazine. Whether or not they will be successful at this, this review will draw a picture. Now having covered the stories behind the magazines, I will turn my attention towards the edition at hand. The 24th of its kind. nitro is fairly well written. The editorial consists of SENTINEL, H-BLOXX, RED ROCK, CAT and SPINBALL of EXCESS, among others. They appear to have a good head on their shoulders, and know their way around the scene - or at least enough to qualify for the gig as editor of a much celebrated magazine. The news coverage is more of a re-cap on the major stories since the last edition of NITRO, and considering its been a long while since that date, it certainly took its toll on the news chapter. What a pity! The charts were based on old sheets, which has been laying on the editors desk since the last edition as well. That gave a picture of who was on top of the scene over half a year ago - and not a accurate picture of today's popular names. This chapter was best left out! NITRO has not created any of its own chapters. All are based on the ideas and works of others, and therefore leaves nitro with nothing but a hardworking ideology. Not one chapter is exclusive to NITRO! Generally the 24th edition was quite a boring edition with no real intelligent reports, no scoops or interesting subjects or thoughts to leave the reader even a little satisfied. This is not what the editors had in mind, when they set out to do this issue - or at least so I hope! SUBJECT : RELAX, 22ND EDITION. LABEL : PHUTURE. RELEASED ON : 31ST OCTOBER, 1997. ________________________________________ Ah, yes. Another edition of relax, one of the oldest and most popular media institutions in the scene - or so the editor eagerly reminds us. Very well, RELAX is an old magazine, but age is not important, health is what matters. That being said, I have to admit, RELAX is showing no sign of old age - unless it is in terms of routine and experience, which more or less oozes out of this fine magazine. Editor of RELAX, RRR, is one of the most gifted editors the scene has today. He has a strong, well documented opinion about the scene; a colourful vision of the path he would like to see the scene take - and on top of that, he masters the queens English quite well, which ought to be expected of all editors - but sadly is not. RELAX is RRR's baby. RELAX may have been born by other parents, but lately it has grown to become more or less a creation of RRR. He is an experienced scener with knowledge about most corners of the scene, which is obvious and to the benefit of the RELAX readers. To make a long story short, I am of the opinion, that RELAX is a definite top magazine. It is written by top editors and supported by top sceners. The news is covered and edited in a professional manor, while the material is collected by reliable, trustworthy and respectable sceners. Everything appears fine and dandy on the surface. Although RELAX has a lot of fine features, and serves the sceners with a qualified scene coverage, there seems to be lacking something. I had difficulty trying to pinpoint, what I was missing - till I took another look at the program. Relax does not master the art of creating its own chapters - having taken the easiest road, and borrowed the best of others. GLOBAL REPORT and YEARLY RELEASES are chapters, which were first founded by THE PULSE MAGAZINE - in fact of the same names. The demo reviews are a world of demos invention. THE LOST FILES is inspired off the old SATIRICA - which is now known as THE SCENE SHOW, and I could probably go on and on. All right, there are no copyright laws in the magazine industry on the C64 - if there were, we would all be going to jail - but I do think RELAX should find ways to distance themselves from other magazines by covering the scene in a more unique way, instead of just trying to beat its competitors in the same events - or chapters if you will. However, RELAX is top of the class when it comes to getting the news and serving the articles in an interesting and attractive way. Perhaps RRR has decided to spend his energy on the writing process, instead of taking the magazine into uncharted lands. The writing itself is important, but it does not make a magazine champion by itself - in my humble opinion at least. A full coverage of the latest scene events, a list of the illegal and legal releases, the various charts and a guide to the internet is pretty much a full program for a magazine - and will leave any potential reader satisfied. In addition RELAX serves a lot of opinions, which makes for an interesting read, although much of it hardly is of the interest to the scene. Three chapters called GAMES PEOPLE PLAY is basically RRR defending RELAX against all its competitors in the magazine industry. I find that to be a gross misinterpre- tation of what a top magazine should use its resources on. RRR is a bit stubborn, and he is willing to walk the extra mile to get his opinion across - which is certainly not to the benefit of the reader. RELAX is much too proud for its own good, and hopefully this will decrease in volume in the coming editions. A magazine should not only be casting light on itself, but instead on others! PROPAGANDA - In it for the money - _________________________ SUBJECT : THE CREST, 4TH EDITION. LABEL : INDEPENDENT. RELEASED ON : OCTOBER, 1997. ________________________________________ THE CREST is the best thing to have hit the magazine industry this year, and they have surprised us all. Following a hefty debate about the name, they have proven true to their goal of releasing on a monthly basis - as the only mag today. However, the scene has changed since the days of THE PULSE MAGAZINE, and due to the decreasing activity level, it must be difficult for the editors to put together an exciting edition every month. And it shows!