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Pulpe - Zone 512 (PC Demo 1997)

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Published on Nov 4, 2009

Zone 512 was meant to be the first full fledged demo under the Pulpe banner, our new group name after the merge of Ketchup Killers, TFL-TDV and Kloon following The Party'96.

Ecstasy, a new 3D coder, joigned us, Katana got really proficient with 3D modeling, TypeOne completed his SVGA/VESA graphic framework while I was having lots of fun with with 2D effects in 24bit mode inspired by some older code that emulated "Just" plasma. Magic Fred had a really great XM tunes tailored specifically for the mood and effects.

We initially planned to release Zone 512, a "rollercaster" ride demo, at Breakpoint'97. We had a full delegation there. I coded nearly non-stop at the party place, sleeping under our table while TypeOne carried on debugging. Meanwhile Katana was trying to finish more 3D scenes and textures with Ecstasy. As the deadline for the demo compo came closer and closer, it became clear we wouldn't be able to complete this demo here at the party place, much more work was needed on the code and the 3D scene.

So we went home and delayed the release to Wired'97. Unfortunately, party organizing took us many time like usual and while the demo was fully debugged and ran smoothly, the 3D scenes weren't exactly completed, many more time would be needed to fix the remaining glitches of the engine and the scenes. Since the code started to look old effects wise, it was decided to release it as is. You might wonder why it took months to display some rather basic 3D scenes by today's standard but remember that in 1997, there was no 3D acceleration; the 3D engine has to do everything by itself, data storage, loading, geometry transformation, texture mapping, color management in a constrained 256 colors space. Another challenge was to design the scene, usually in 3DS Studio and get them loaded in your engine, having to work with the obscure and limited .3ds format. All this really took a lot of time and, retrospectively, I think it really got on the nerves of everyone working on this product.

So in effect Zone 512 was the first true and last Pulpe demo. After that, most of us completed their studies and started working, bringing demomaking to a halt.

PS: Some effects appears slow in the video but that's because of the emulation and video record, there are smooth when watched on bare metal.

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