The first Simulaatio party was held in Varkaus (318km from Helsinki), Finland in March 2003, but it was such a success that a sequel was held already in November. The partyplace is one of the nicest I've been to, but travelling by train is expensive. It almost boiled down to Mohkale buying a car the day before the party, but he didn't and I thought I'd have to take the train. Fortunately after midnight a member of our group said that her brother would be going to Simulaatio by car. I contacted Cj7 and he'd drive MegaMies, Dairos and me to Varkaus. We arranged to meet 16:30 on Friday in Pukinmäki, Helsinki. Cj7 was late so we went shopping for food.
Our journey started at 17:00 and went smoothly, no accidents nor crashes. There were no northern lights like we hoped, but we saw a shooting star. We didn't get lost until we arrived in Varkaus at 21:30. We strolled around the city and I wondered why everything looked different from the last time. It was the wrong part of Varkaus. I was forced to ask two people, but they weren't very helpful. Eventually we did find the school. Several people were outside boozing and some were going to the KGB grill. I bought the entrance badge and someone also gave me a smaller badge saying "Ilo elää" ("Glad to live" / "Joy lives"). I later noticed that almost everyone was wearing one of those.
There was a demoshow on the bigscreen. I sat down to the table with windi, tic and Blueflame, Cj7 placed his computer besides me. I got to see Ananasmurska's intro, which was decent. Unssi showed me his water bottle and said he'd only drink water. Only half an hour later he was spotted drinking cider, but fortunately he only drank one can and was tolerable. Windi was soldering his laser thing, which followed signal from his soundcard. It was rather nifty. Cj7's unfinished prod looked nice too.
The only thing that annoyed me was the Internet connection, which was slow, laggy and flaky. Of course there were a lot of nice people to talk with in person. DJs started playing at 1:00. First one on the decks was Painkiller with an awesome techno set. He was accompanied by a strobo light and a smoke machine. The sound was very fat, actually the volume was so loud that I had to buy a pair of earplugs from the infodesk. Even when I went to the ladies' room with my earplugs on the volume was still loud. Someone fiddled up a little two-frame ASCIImation of a dancing stickman on the bigscreen. Yessa and bethvoid had made disco skirts and tops out of black trash bags (they did have their ordinary clothes underneath, though).
After an hour Painkiller was replaced with DJ Fuula, who played a psy set, stuff ranging from rather monotonic psytrance to things like GMS and 1200 mics. There were at most 8-9 ravers on the floor. I was the last one dancing and had to give up at 3:40 because of my sucky shoes. When I returned to my place, Cj7 was coding. We found the easiest way to communicate through the noise was by typing on Notepad.
During the DJ sets they also announced a new compo on the screen, a lowpoly modelling compo. The mandatory picture reference was a snail. Contestants had to either turn it into a vehicle or a robot/cyborg. The limit was 250 triangles. I tried to write the texts for our demo to our coder via ssh, but it was rather difficult as my laptop has a poor keyboard and ssh lagged severely.
DJ Fuula's set was followed by a "mainstream" one, wasn't my cup of tea. Melwyn continued with chillout tunes. The organizers found out that the extreme slowness of the net connection was due to one of the computers at the partyplace constantly flooding the network and they started tracking down the physical location of that IP with maglites. It turned out to be Blueflame's laptop and his NIC was nicked away.
At 5:30 I grabbed a wooden bench to my computer place and spent the next five hours in horizontal position. Only a handful of people stayed up, most were sleeping. We had nice conversations and at 12 Windi, Unssi, bethvoid, MegaMies and I left for the nearby KGB grill, which had just opened. We weren't the only clients there, at least 20 sceners appeared while we were eating and there were plenty of local customers as well. KGB served soft ice for only 50 cents and the meals and pizzas were so huge that hardly anyone finished eating what they ordered.
Back in the partyplace the chatting continued and people were uploading their entries. Demos were continuously running on the screen. Bethvoid and squeek had bought strawberries. We went grocery shopping to Citymarket with Cj7's car. Sauli, windi and annie concentrated on buying booze, but we only bought food. We started to get the impression that Varkaus really is full of old bicycling grannies and granpas. Cj7 was finishing his intro and we tried to troubleshoot the technical problems with our demo.
Tiny music compo started at 16:30 with "Ihan oolrait" ("Quite alrite"), which was a cool song. Its screen info paid homage to Europe for Final Countdown, though they also said Laibach did it better (and I agree). Sauli's "Bzm Hills cop II" received applause. LUKE's entry World of your choice was played fourth, I don't think it's one of his best songs. Entry #5 was called "Just one night" and the screen info read "the name of the song reflects the time spent on it - no other thoughts".
"Kill all kiksuaudio" was a nice tune with the info "vote for me and vousti will buy you a beer" (Vousti being a Finnish lamer and annoyance). "Trap. Dominate. Fuck." was "gabber made in half an hour". It was basically only bass and it had a certain apocalyptic feeling. I liked it and the next song "Kipinä" ("Spark"), too, it was fast and melodic. I found the last tune "Strong borders weak nation" a tad boring, but as a whole the compo was very good.
After that was the gfx compo. The first entry was called "Coming home", it looked pretty, but I found it hard to figure out. "Face_down_ass_up" had silhouettes of mating dogs, but due to the darkness of the screen many didn't understand that. "Uwaga auto" looked decent, but hard to see on the screen. The fourth entry was a photomanip called "Aliens ate my numedia", not particularly impressive. "Nightmare with Gimp" was an interesting alien thing and "Racing on the red blood cell" was a cool picture. Halfway through the compo Astu wanted to bring down the DJ stand which was in front of the screen and hindering the view, but fortunately he was calmed down.
"Outoja sattumuksia nuotiolla" ("Weird happenings at the campfire") had cartoon-like people and a Karhu beer logo. Many prods seemed to have some kind of aliens, Mustekala ("Octopus") too and "Vaaeyryden vasalli" presented a dude looking like Darth Vader. "Ragdoll dolls" featured nice ragdolls (how did you guess). "Comfort" had just a woman's open mouth, not impressing. Entry number 12 was "Rosa Quart", the picture of mine. It had girl in the forest and a magenta jewel, it was one of the few that didn't suffer from the screen gamma. "Kiihkeät sessiot" ("Hot makeout") was "MSPaint-like" colorful abstract thing. "Look mom, another space station" and the last picture "Magic cancer" were 3d renders.
Compos continued with music, the first entry being "Dynette groove" whose info read "jeppu etupeppu on niinkuulalaakeriseppele" (I'm not going to translate that). It was quite "trackerish" with weird long speech samples. "Varkaus City Depression blues" was a song about "the isolation, unemployment, alcoholism and depression of the people of Varkaus". It wasn't that sad or depressing though. The info for "Super Ninja Attack" said that "I made a game but that game wasn't made". Not very interesting. Song number four was another Boozembly hills cop theme. The next one was named "AII" and it was quite ...interesting, with a very short speech sample repeated over and over.
Some of the speech samples of _LUKE's_ "Konsonanttimusiikkia" ("Consonant music") were unaudible because of the bass, but many other songs had the same problem, more or less. "Great lacking", was an ordinary but neat tune with a dnb beat. "Discostar" sounded very groovy, just like the name suggests. "Thousand burning holes" was again dnb, but with a more original touch. When I heard "Murhamäen valssi" (which I knew was by Jobe) I guessed it would win, it was interesting and different, dark, a bit like a movie tune. There was a "heavy metal" tune too, "Elämäni päärynänä mutsis oli" ("My life as a pear, your momma was"). The 15th and last song in the compo was called "Dragons with chicks", it was an ordinary modtune.
After the music compo we watched The popular demo on the bigscreen. There were a couple of hours until the next compo, so we went outside to the barbeque. A whole bunch of sceners was sitting there and a car with doors open and the stereo blasting. Jean9 and jobe were singing Finnish songs, including some they made up. Someone accidentally knocked the barbeque towards me, but fortunately I dodged it and lost no hitpoints. The coals were put back in the barbecue bowl and bbq'ing continud, even though some sausages were lost in the accident. We also tried many other gadgets on the playground. There were some interesting seesaw things there and squeek climbed to a big tower-like thing with the help of a football goal. A group of local teens was playing basketball and I bet they looked at us funny.
Sgeneboylove and even heterosexual affairs were flourishing outside, bethvoid wanted annie (who, despite his nick, is a male) as her girlfriend and they started a threesome relationship with squeek. Also dodke, MegaMies and jean9 joined this relationship, but they weren't as passionate unlike bethvoid, squeek and annie who shared lots of hot kisses. I think alcohol might have had something to do with these things. We also started building theories about the high amount of people in the scene wearing glasses. I'd have stayed longer but it was very cold and I started to freeze, so I went inside.
Before the wild compo we were shown the gay Simulaatio invitation. First short wild entry was "Fiksaatio" ("Fixation"). The first Jumalauta entry was a huge mess of tourist pictures from Tunisia. "Sika" ("Pig") by Reko was a cool animation about a wrinkly anthropomorphic pig. Depressio/Naemok's entry was a "funny" slideshow. "Liian paksut hanskat" ("Too thick mittens") was a noisy video filmed in a forest. The next two wilds were both by "Isotissilesboliisa / Jumalauta", aka dodke and the eight one was also by Jumalauta, a Kraftwerk ripoff. The recording of our demo bugged even worse than I thought. Nosfe had as many as three wilds.
Intro compo started with FLO's prod. It looked a lot like a 4k intro. Aspekt's intro had a lot of numedia lines and different objects (mostly red). I didn't really like it, but the music was fairly nice. Moonhazard presented us a cheesy show of 3d flowers and sgeneboetry. Visualice's "FR-034 HJB-104" indeed looked like a Haujobb demo squished into 64k with Farbrausch tools. Fairlight had an intro with abstract 3d, I guess it was fine, but I didn't really like it. Dekadence's intro was named "Pikku G force", after a Finnish teen rapper Pikku-G. It had an awesome flying 3d-object.
Spiikki's prod "En tuu teidän partyille" ("I won't come to your party"), had pc speaker music and some 3d stuff, I guess it was done in Qbasic. The pWp intro only had cubes - and a rotozoomer. No texts this time. Next prod was Café's Channel C, which was quite decent for a first relese. "Funkytown" by Ananasmurska wasn't as funky as it could have been. The outlined dancing Britney was cool though.
Democompo started at 22:30. The firt prod was "mojito01", fancily styled with dnb music. It was followed by Sauli's "Unssian gay brainwashing", a flashy dissing prod, but not bad. It made people clap their hands and applaud. "Dream on" was a very mellow prod with lots of love sgeneboetry. "Demomaker is not a crime" was an Amiga prod for Windows, with scrollers, greetings and fuckings stating "When demopaja isn't enough". MFX's demo was named "Singularity", I found it a little boring and too simple. "Byzantium 2" was obviously a sequel to "Byzantium", it reminded me of Kosmoplovci, but was more boring.
"Jeesus pelastaa syntiä tehneet" ("Jesus saves the sinners") was yet another Jumalauta prod, boring art stuff. Virne had made a very weird demo presenting his own face talking stuff and psychedelic effects. "SUAMI" had some splendid effects, but poor design. "Ex-Lambada" was an ISO demo, which was accidentally shown already on Friday. It was a political story about lambada and discrimination. The last demo in the compo was by Jumalauta again, it was for N-Gage but run on an emulator, because it actually didn't work on the hardware. It looked nifty.
After the democompo they showed a legendary MPEG of a Finnish disco dancing lesson on the bigscreen. Britelite, Jaffa and some others started dancing, following the steps taught on the video. When the video finished, it was run again with "I'm raving" playing and our discotheque turned into a rave. For a while there were totally random clips on the screen, even after Thomas started his DJ gig a video of divers was run over and over. They also showed the Simulaatio invitation during his set and even that seemed to sync with the music.
Astu and jobe had passed out on the floor and sauli switched their eyeglasses. He also started taping astu's legs on a nearby chair, but astu woke up and started struggling and attacking sauli, saying "Paha, paha!" ("Evil, evil!"). Fortunately I photographed this memorable event. Thomas finished his set with gabber or something, I guess it was pitched because it was just too fast and almost sounded like speedmetal. I lay down at 2:30 and rested until 8:30, but didn't get more than 1h of sleep. During my chillout they showed a lot of ISO demos. When I got up, most people were dozing off. In the ladies' room I met osyn who was hanging there and we talked for 1.5h. Back in the partyhall aeb was showing random humorous videos, like Idols clips. Windi played Zero Wing, the famous AYBABTU-game.
At 12 KGB opened and we went to get some food. The place was so full that we had to queue outside of the door. There were two police officers too. Surprisingly, they weren't after any sceners, but fetching food. Windi and tic left for their train, we others returned to the partyplace, where they were still showing videos. Prize ceremony started at 14:00. The amount of prize money wasn't too big, because there were less visitors than expected. The organizers didn't have enough cash so someone was sent to the ATM and Jean9 exchanged a bill to smaller ones. Some winners were also given candy.
Prizegiving started with Tiny music. The usual winner Little Bitchard had to settle for the third place. Actually jean9 had just as many points, but accidentally he wasn't awarded. Second place went to Sauli and the surprise winner was Teel. Reko won the graphics compo again, geel taking the second place with his photomanip which he announced took 7 minutes to make. Great. Matt Current ruled the music compo, the winner was Murhamäen valssi by jobe as expected and Jean9 was second. No prizes were given out in the lowpoly modelling compo, since there were sadly no entries.
The short wild compo was dominated by Jumalauta, Jean9 (aka Natti tyttoe) was third and Isotissilesboliisa (aka dodke) won. Reko's pig placed second. Intro compo results were somewhat surprising. FLO came third and Farbrausch lost the victory to Dekadence with only two points. PWp ranked as low as sixth. Demo results turned out interesting as well. Third place went to iSO's lambada demo, MFX's Singularity was second and the winner was Virne's eccentric demo. He crawled to fetch his prize. The ceremony felt rather weird since reed and nosfe didn't receive any prizes. After the ceremony winners were again offered coffee and buns at the infodesk and the full results were briefly shown in a browser window on the bigscreen.
Everyone left after the prize ceremony, though the organizers later told us it took them 8 hours to clean up the place. There was a toilet full of blood stains, but fortunately nothing was broken or damaged. Our drive home was interesting due to a blur effect known as mist and all of us in the car had the invitation tune playing in our heads. Cj7 was sceptic about there being another Simulaatio after overhearing the organizers talking and I said that someone has to make an invitation for Simulaatio 3, so that one has to be held.