The demo came 4th, so no compo win hat-trick unfortunately; the Flash faction had raised their game this time, although I did receive Opera’s prize for best web-standards-based demo. In all, it wasn’t quite as polished as I’d have liked – I spent too much time fixing basic 3D bugs that I would rather have spent improving the design – but still I reckon it’s my most ‘mature’ production yet in several important respects. It’s the first time I’ve written a full 3D engine with controllable object and camera positioning, which in turn forced me to think about the composition of scenes in a much more artistic way; the soundtrack is my first ever piece of “real” music, as opposed to chiptunes and MIDI; and it’s also one of the rare occasions I’ve actively sought assistance from outside to make up for my numerous gaps in talent… in this case, my colleague and Flickr devotee NatBat, whose wonderful photos enhanced the stylishness of the final demo by several orders of magnitude.
Some random pieces of trivia:
- Gallions Reach is a station on the Docklands Light Railway with nothing at all notable about it besides its vaguely poetic name. It also has nothing whatsoever to do with the content of this demo, but if Fairlight can randomly name one of their intros after
a Cubanan Argentinian revolutionary then I can do the same.
- The gouraud shading is done by drawing triangles with strategically placed gradient fills. The maths required to do this is surprisingly horrible.
- The music was made with no trackers or sequencing tools at all. In particular, the flute section started out as a three minute keyboard improvisation, from which I repeatedly selected and edited out the 10-second clip I thought was the crappest, until I got it down to 30-40 seconds.
- The final shot of the flowers is a dirty great cheat.