TOPICS:
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INTERVIEW WITH SCICCO/SCARAB

Author:Zerox/Gods
Published:D.I.S.C. #12
Year:2002


By Zerox/Gods

INTRODUCTION

Zerox: As a short introduction, please tell the readers a few words about yourself, your function and what you want to achieve in the scene?

Scicco: Well, I think this will be the easiest question to answer. :) My realname is Dirk and I'm living in Berlin, the German capital. I'm 24 years old and I act as coder in the group Scarab. Additionally I'm responsible for our website.

The most important aim for me is to have fun in the scene and to produce some stuff which the scene likes. And building friendships all over the world is the best side-effect of it.

Zerox: When did you enter the scene and how did you first get attracted to it?

Scicco: It happened in the year 1999 when Lubber/Padua started to be active in the C64 scene again. He wanted to travel to the Mekka^Symposium 2k-1 and as he knew that I loved my Amiga he asked me to come with him.

The deciding voice that convinced me to start coding was the intro Grid by Nature which I watched at the MS 2k-1. After I saw this really great intro done in only 40 kb I knew that I want to do such stuff by myself, too.

Back home I started to learn Assembler which I still code. ;)



GROUPS

Zerox: As Scarab is a very new group in the scene, please tell us a few words about it and the reason why you all left Secretly!

Scicco: You might have heard that Secretly! worked quite well except one member, our so-called leader Mr. Vain. He always talked bad about StingRay and me, he wrote mean mails to us and later also to our internal mailing list as recipient. There are quite a lot of examples I can list here but this would be out of proportion.

Anyway, some days after the MS 2k+1 he wrote another really nasty mail to all of us, which should have been the last one. I decided to leave the group, StingRay did too. After I talked to all other members we decided to stay together and to found a new group as it was a nice working together.

Some weeks later Scarab was born and sniper and R.A.Y reinforced us. Today we have one more member, Puryx supports us with great music.

I know that it was quiet around Scarab till we presented our homepage and some people thought we lost motivation and died. But you can be sure that this is not the truth, we usually work quiet, that's all. ;)

Zerox: What do you think are the good and bad sides of your group?

Scicco: One of the best side is the location of the most members. We have five members living in or around Berlin, this makes the internal communication much easier. Another good side is the friendship between all the members, almost everyone knows each other. I have no idea about bad sides in the group, but remember that Scarab is too new for talking about bad sides. ;)

Zerox: As you perhaps could be described as the unofficial organizer of Scarab, how important do you think it is for a group to have a good organizing and real friendship between the members? Is it important at all?

Scicco: In my opinion the friendship is the most important thing if you want to have fun and success with a group. Of course some things have to be organized and all I do is to manage most of these work. I don't feel like a leader or the chief. For me it is very important that every member can say his own opinion and everyone listens to it. Most of the work is based on more than only on the imagination of the coders. Every member has got an own potential and it's just good for a group if you respect it.

Zerox: What's your all-time favourite group? And why?

Scicco: Well, this seems to be another easy question. :) As I said some lines before Nature was the reason why I started coding. I learned to know them on the last Mekka and they are really friendly! So it is not really hard to say that Nature is my all-time favourite group.

Zerox: Scarab have a few doublemembers, do you think this would be a disadvantage for you? Like slowing down the production speed?

Scicco: Of course a doublemembership will steal you some resources from the group which results in a longer period of development. So it is on the group to get most of the power out of a doublemember for the groups interests.

I think the key to keep a member interested in some work for Scarab is to give him a prospect of success and the feeling that the group still stands behind him.

Zerox: What's the next release we'll see from your group?

Scicco: You have to see that I don't want to tell you much about our plans. :) I dislike it to announce a production which might will not be finished in time. But you can be sure that we're currently working on some new stuff. So keepyour eyes open.



CODING

Zerox: As you're quite a new coder on the amiga scene you haven't released so many productions. But what's your favourite own-made production?

Scicco: That can be described with only four letters: Boom :) (Even though it's not completely own-made, StingRay did some codework, too.)

We spent much time to finish this intro and the work with it was real fun. I still like to watch it even I've seen it a hundred times now. Every time I loose a bit motivation I watch Boom again and I feel back on track.

Zerox: Tell us about your favorite production made by others?

Scicco: I can't say that there is only one production which is my favourite one. But there are several productions which I really like to watch now and then.

There are the 4kb-intros Revision and Bier, the intros Grid, Gift and 1000% and the demos Love, Nexus7, Rise and more.

Zerox: You usually make your productions together with StingRay, is there a special way you plan/build up a production together?

Scicco: There is no special way we plan our productions. Usually we try out some ideas and effects. When we finish a new routine we look at it and decide for which type of production this effect may be used. If we have enough routines to fill an intro we look at them and think about how they could fit together. But even this is no regular way, Artifictional for instance had a story before we coded one line for it. So you see that it depends. We only have a rule: we try to change our style each production to let every release looking different. This is really important for us as we don't want to 'rerelease' an intro with nearly the same effects just to have one more demo or intro circulating.

Zerox: Is there an effect you've seen from other coders which you know you would never manage to make?

Scicco: Well, I think that if someone did some code which works you are able to do the same, you just have to learn and understand how it works. Of course there are effects which are really hard to grasp so it may take a very long time to clone the effect.

Of course there are effects which I will never manage to make as these effects require some knowledge which is hard to gather, and I want to spend more time in coding some of my ideas instead of cloning some known routines. :)

Zerox: What's the most impressive routine you've ever seen? And what's your favourite coder?

Scicco: My view of the most impressive routine changes everytime I improve my knowledge. Two years ago I was fascinated by a tunnel, which is not that hard to code. :) But to speak with my actual knowledge there are two routines which really impressed me (and they still do): The strange tunnel in some of Exploders 4kb-intros (e.g. Humus) and the endless zoomer from TBL.

It's hard to name one coder as my favourite one, but I think coders like Mavey, Psycho, Blueberry, Pezac, Exploder, Kalms, Schlott and Pipe in soundrelated code often impress me with great codework. There are a lot of more great coders outside but I think it would be out of proportion to list them all.

Zerox: Do you think it's ok to include animations in demos/intros?

Scicco: Hehe...this question sounds like a tree. ;) A demo allows you to do everything you want to, including the use of animations. Even an intro does but you won't have that space to put impressive ones inside. If you think about oldskool demos e.g. Nexus7, Love, Brainbug etc. then you have to realize that they all used animations. But in my humble opinion you have to follow a rule if make use of them: everyone who watches the demo must recognize that he is watching an animation now. That's all.

Zerox: What do you think about nowadays demos? And what do you think about the 3d trend?

Scicco: There are so many points of view you can have depending on what you are looking at when you watch a demo. I think nowadays demos have changed the root though. In the past demos were done to show off what a scener is able to and, of course, what the hardware is really able to. Today the most important thing is the good looking of a production. Therefore a good teamwork in a group is more demanded than in the past. Of course the most sceners still take pains to do new effects though, but a lot of productions feature almost known code but good design. Today the thing is to have new ideas of fitting known and maybe some new things together and adapting them to some new looking stuff. All in all I like both oldskool and newskool demos, maybe because they are so different?! :)

The 3D trend is related to this development. 3D gives us the possibility to bring realistic or fantastic storys to a demo, therefore demos can be more interesting for non-sceners, too. But on the other hand 3D demos usually are not that good quality compared with those on PC. Additionally 3D demos mostly don't have new amazing effects and graphics, so you might feel bored if you watch hundred of 3D demos. But I think Lapsuus showed that 3D on Amiga can be high quality, too.

Anyway we don't need 3D only, the Amiga scene stands for great ideas and amazing productions instead of hundreds of boring 3D demos, right? :)

Zerox: How do you create a demo? Is there a special way you prefer to produce it? Like first getting a module/gfx, then get the idea or opposite?

Scicco: I don't have a special way, I just try to do some stuff which is usable for a production. If we decide to work with a story I try to code some things which should match to our ideas, of course. But sometimes I listen to a new module and think about some effects which are suitable for this tune and then I start coding a new idea. But all this depends. :)

Zerox: You're currently working on a few more productions. Can you please tell us something about it?

Scicco: Well, as I said before, I can't tell you much about our plans. But you can be sure that we won't stop coding 4k intros as we had much fun with Boom. :)



THE SCENE

Zerox: Do you remember the first demo you saw and mag you read?

Scicco: Yeah, I remember when I saw my first demo. It was State Of The Art by Spaceballs. When I saw it I didn't knew anything about a demoscene. I just enjoyed this nice piece of work. The first disc mag I've read was one of the EuroChart issues, but don't ask me which one. I started to read disc mags quite late as nobody told me about features of the scene. I started all by myself without knowing anybody who was active in the scene. So it took quite a long time till I knew all the things that normally are familiar to every scener.

Zerox: What do you think are the good and bad sides of the scene?

Scicco: In my view I think the best side of the scene is to learn to know so many people from all over the world and to build friendships. You can have so much fun in the scene. Additionally there's the friendly challenge which makes it to your task to improve your own knowledge. Anyway it's real fun to finish a planned production and to get back positive feedback.

The real bad side is that you must spend so much time to finish some good quality stuff today. This steals you a lot of sleep. But which coder needs sleep? ;)

Zerox: How should we manage to get more people attracted to the scene?

Scicco: Well, I think this is a real hard task. I really don't have a solution for it. If you show everyone in the world that there is a scene, the scene won't stay the scene anymore if lots of lamers join. I think the best way to get someone new attracted is to confront him or her directly with the scene. Bring them to a party, show them stuff done by the scene and let them read some disc mags. If they not only like it but also want to do such stuff by themselves or be involved into all of it they are potential sceners. But this will restrict it to a small amount of people. I really don't know. What about a poll which will discover the way the people stepped to the scene? Maybe this will help us in pushing a way.

Zerox: Do you have any special scene memory you want to share with the readers?

Scicco: Hmm...let me have a think. No, I think I have to disappoint you, there is nothing in my mind which seems like a special memory. All the things I love to remember are moments every scener experienced sometime before, like watching own productions on a big screen and hearing the people clapping after the show etc. Nothing real special. Forgive me. :)

Zerox: Well, it's time to find out what's your taste. What's your favorite:

Scicco:  SLOGAN        : hem...I don't have one... :)  SLIDESHOW     : Innocence - nice pictures, Wade!  INTRO         : Grid - no comments  DEMO          : Cybercinematastics - nice idea Loonies!  MUSICDISK     : Extravaganja - music vs. design  FRIENDLY TEAM : Nature - you guys rock  MAG           : depends on the contained articles  EDITOR        : I should say Zerox, right? ;)                  But I won't tell a name here.                  Most of the editors out there                  write in equal quality.

Zerox: Please tell your opinion about the future of the scene:

Scicco: OPTIMISTIC:

Some time God will become an Amiga scener, too. He will turn hundreds of people into sceners with nice ideas and knowledge. There will be thousand of new demos and intros each day. The Amiga will get an additonal chunky-chip and the scene will become the biggest underground organization ever. All sceners from nowadays stay as The Elite and we will win millions at every demo party out there and to beat Kimble black and blue will be the first price. Roughly like this... :)

REALISTIC:

I think the number of active scener has ceased to fluctuate. Some will leave, some new will come. So I think the scene will stay the scene for the next years. Maybe this will change in many years, but for now I think it won't.

PESIMISTIC:

The Amiga scene will never die, so the most pessimistic thought I have is that all the great Amiga sceners will leave the Amiga and that there won't be newcomers in the future. But you can be sure that the Amiga scene will always keep up with great stuff. Take a look to the C64 scene. They still produce lots of releases every year.

Zerox: And what do you think about the latest Amiga plans?

Scicco: To be honest I don't know anything about the plans of Amiga. I've got an Amiga at home and I do stuff for the scene on it. But not because I like the firm "Amiga" but I like the classic Amiga, the 68k processor generation and the AmigaOS. And as any new Amiga products will not feature this really nice processor and the real AmigaOS I'm not really interested in any new plans. :) Zerox: Do you picture yourself in the scene when you're an old man such as me? ;)

Scicco: Maybe it will be hard to reach your age, maybe not. But one thing is for sure: I will stay active in the scene as long as I can hit a key. :) Ok, maybe some time I will lose interest in the scene but I think this won't be in the near future.



MAGS

Zerox: What do you think about nowadays mags? Do you miss something?

Scicco: Nowadays mags are mostly interesting, at least from my point of view. I don't look at the code nor the graphics but on the articles, the important part of a good mag. And those articles are usually interesting. I don't miss anything. We have party reports, product reviews, interviews, discussion forums, general informations and loads of misc things in any mag. Do you miss anything? I don't. :)

Zerox: Are there too few mags around after your opinion?

Scicco: Well, if we have more mags around than we could have a problem: there aren't so many releases and happenings to write loads of articles about. So it might be better to release less mags but with more interesting articles inside. Additionally the most sceners have to concentrate on developing stuff, not in reading mags every week. ;)

Zerox: Do mags have any influence in the scene?

Scicco: I think they do. Mags bring informations to sceners which are not IRC addicted. And these informations can be quite interesting for one or the other person. E.g. it might be quite interesting in reading reviews of your own production to learn how you could make some things going better in the future. In addition it boosts your motivation if you read about the expectations of yourself or your group.

Zerox: What do you think about the various charts in todays mags?

Scicco: In my opinion charts are somewhat strange things. Some oldskool sceners might say that coders, musicians etc. from the old scene should be on top as they did marvelous things in the circumstances obtaining at this time. But for newer sceners which joined after this oldskool time it is hard to vote for productions done years ago. They maybe never realized the difficulty behind a blitter vector etc. But this is easily understood. So the charts may reflect different point of views. Maybe it is better to separate oldskool and newschool charts? Don't know...



REAL LIFE

Zerox: What's your occupation?

Scicco: I'm working for company which produces pace makers. My job is to help the employees with any PC problems and to code applications used in the office departments.

Zerox: Tell us about one of your normal days...

Scicco: Every morning I'm very tired, this is how every day starts. :) After working till about 6 pm I usually drive home and start to code a bit. Usually I'm awake till about 1 o'clock spending the most time in front of my Amiga. That's all. :) Not really interesting, believe me...

Zerox: Do you have any other hobbies than computing? In that case, which?

Scicco: I love to play billiards, do ice skating, having some fitness training and some more things. I need all this, it's too hard to spend ALL your free time in front of a monitor. :)

Zerox: What kind of music and movies do you enjoy?

Scicco: I enjoy almost every kind of music apart from german folk music. :) But I mostly listen to some trance or r'n'b sounds. Additionally I love to listen to some old chiptunes. :) Concerning movies: I like computer related movies like Matrix and 23. But I also like to watch action films, thrillers and horror movies.

Zerox: Thanks for spending alot of your time here answering these questions. Good luck with future plans... Now you can write whatever you would like, like greetings etc.

Scicco: Thanks to you! The greetings going out to all members of my group, hope we guys will have much fun in the future! :)

Respect to all Amiga sceners, especially to the active ones. Everyone of you is a part of the nowadays scene! Let's keep the Amiga scene alive!

GREETINGS

ARTICLES

MAKING OF BOOM
INTERVIEW SCICCO
STINGRAY - A RISING STAR (Interview)
HOW 2 MAKE 4K - REPLY
COMPARADE 8 REPORT
SCARAB - WE GAVE OUR MOTIVATION A NAME