Party Review for The Gathering 1994

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by Shade of TRSI

The Gathering 94 is considered as one of the most important yearly events, by both the Amiga and the PC scenes. ROM managed to gather, around our quickly assembled round table, Anders and Ompa 

of Darkzone, one of the current leading PC groups, and Necro and Optic of Banana Dezign, a very promising Amiga Norwegian group, just after the demo competitions were held, to inject a new 

breath to the long lasting debate concerning the latest achievements of the modern PC and Amiga scenes.

After witnessing the competitions, what can you comment about the quality of both the Amiga and the PC releases? Is it possible, after all, to make a fair comparison between the two?

A&O: The Amiga demos surely kicked  the PC's ass! The PC entries were quite disappointing; The reason for this is probably that The Gathering is looked upon as an Amiga dominated party, rather 

than a PC one. For instance, The Assembly and The Party are considered, to a larger extent, as PC parties, in the eyes of the whole PC scene.

N&O: Most PC demos were the usual 20Mb of animations, so we didn't really expect anything else. The Amiga demos were of an unusually high quality too, so we can't really see the PC demos 

comparing to anything like Sequential, even if this had been a "big" PC party!

The Amiga has, at least up to now, been looked upon as THE superior demo machine. Is this still a fact, or is the PC actually closing up?

A&O: The Amiga is still the superior demo machine, but the gap between the two computers is always getting smaller and smaller. Consider effects like gouraud shading and texture mapping which 

are very popular nowadays. The average PC has a faster CPU and therefore has more possibilities with such particular effects.

N&O: Obviously you can do a lot more with the hardware setup provided by an average PC, armed with a 80486 processor or better, 16 bit quality sound chip, and such other gadgetry. But somehow 

the demos still fail to compare to the average  A500 demo! If we were to introduce the same hardware standards on the Amiga scene, we would only have A4000 demos running off immense hard drives, 

and well, if the 486 was at the same level of the A500, it would surely be the total end of the PC.

At this party, Crusaders held common graphic and music competitions. Do you believe that this will once again strengthen the position of the Amiga as the best machine, or are the PC users also 

good enough to place themselves amongst the top three, and maybe even win?

A&O: Personally we think that common graphic and music competitions should be held, as long as each machine is allowed to use its technical advantages. In the graphics competitions there is 

little difference between the AGA graphics and the SVGA ones. A problem might appear with the music competitions, though. This is because of the fact that four channel modules are starting to 

get rather rare in the PC scene, and therefore PC musicians would like to compete with 16 channel modules, rather than the more limiting four  channel ones. If a common music competition is to 

be held, modules with more than 4 channels must be allowed.

N&O: PC graphics and music, and Amiga ones, mostly hold the same quality, but as the Amiga scene is somewhat vaster than the PC one, there is a much bigger chance of Amiga sceners to find 

themselves amongst the top placings. Since we're only talking about which machine the picture or module ORIGINATED on, as there is essentially no hardware difference in the end product, it's 

very difficult to define exactly what is a PC production and what is an Amiga masterpiece. For artists and musicians, it's only a matter of preference  what computer they work with; the end 

result is potentially the same for both computers.

Everyone knows that the Amiga scene is fairly bigger than the Pc one, and some also believe that this will stay a fact in the future. What are your reactions concerning this? Is the Pc scene 

really that small as some Amiga owners might seem to imagine?

A&O: We believe that the Amiga scene will be bigger than the PC one in the future too. But the PC scene will approach the Amiga's size throughout the future. Concerning the Amiga owners' 

thoughts of the PC scene, we believe that they actually think that the PC scene is much smaller than it really is. And the number of entries in the competitions at the Gathering just help to 

reinforce these wrong thoughts!

N&O: Nowadays the demo making part of the PC scene is somewhat small, compared to the community in the Amiga scene; most PC owner use their machine for games  or word processing, and all those 

GIF pictures their mothers are not supposed to see!

Some of the more popular Amiga personalities (Tec and Microforce are amongst these traitors!) have lately joined up with the, rapidly increasing PC scene. Do you have any reasonable explanation 

to this strange occurrence? Where do you believe all this will finally lead us to, in a year or so?

A&O: This has been a common phenomenon since the dawn of the demo scene. When the Amiga was originally released, a great deal of C64 owners joined the Amiga scene. We believe that we are 

witnessing the same phenomenon just now.

N&O: We can't really say that it has been any mass migration! there have been isolated cases, but then again sceners also move from the PC to the Amiga too! They're still completely different 

platforms; it's not like it's a change of generation, as with the C64 example. We can't imagine the Amiga scene ever suffering from loss of man power at any serious degree.

Why have you chosen to be involved in the machine and scene you are into for the time being? Has all this, maybe something in common with the level of difficulty demanded?

A&O: The reason for us being involved in the PC scene is that almost everyone we used to work with before we joined the PC scene, joined in here, so we just moved, more or less "with the crowd".

N&O: To the novice buyer, someone who's not particularly interested in word processing and spread sheets, the Amiga is a more natural choice over the complex PC. Amiga sceners mostly develop 

from that level; that of a games player. We can't really imagine the PC users developing into the kind inhabitants  you normally find in the scene. That's just the way it happened, too.

Have any you intention of sticking to your current scene for the future, or do you have any other upgrading plans?

A&O: We intend to stick to the PC scene.

N&O: Of course not . It would be stupid to think we would! The Amiga isn't going to remain a primary generation computer forever. In ten years' time we expect it to become the standard computer 

of the day; what the VIC 20 is to the Amiga today! It's not out of any sense of patriotism that we stuck to the Amiga; it's just that it's one of the best computers around.

Commodore have developed a series of new Amiga models in these last few years. Do you believe that this will affect the choice of future sceners, pointing in the direction of the Amiga?

A&O: We think that the creation of the A1200 will divide the Amiga scene in two parts. How this will affect the recruition of members towards the Amiga scene is rather hard to tell, at least for 

a PC user.

N&O: No, the development of new and better computers is a natural process, and it happens just as much on the PC side as on the Amiga. It won't matter either way, except that the quality of the 

demos on both computers will steadily increase.

What is your prediction for the future? How do you think that the "war" between these two platforms will turn out? Will the Amiga reign forever, or will other computers be closing in?

A&O: From our point of view there is no actual "war" between the two scenes. The only thing one can witness at major parties is the "intel outside" manifestations, but we consider this a joke, 

rather than a war.

N&O: Personally we have not noticed any particular "war" between PC and Amiga sceners, since there have only been occasional itching and scratching. We guess most Amiga owners consider the 

"intel inside", a joke too!

The ROM Team would like to thank Anders, Ompa, Necro and Optic for taking the time to stand our interrogation at the end of this event, at a normally very stressing hour!