My journey began 3.30 PM on Friday when I left home. Just 15 minutes before that I had finished my GFX entry. As I was leaving, my mobile rang. "This is midiclub from Germany". Uh. I'd rather have had you in Finland joining the party.
At the center I met hot, with whom I took a local train to Puistola. There we stuffed ourselves in thti's car where we sat for the following five hours. We got lost once and in Varkaus we drove back and forth asking people for directions, because those printed from an online service led us nowhere. The Varkaus high school actually is in the middle of nowhere, but from inside the building wasn't bad at all. It had three floors and the partyhall was three stories high, so it looked quite cool. There were six long tables with computer places, organizers were located on the second floor. There were also many classrooms in use, one as a rave room, one as a sleeping area and some as organizers' places. Infodesk served cafeteria-like stuff, such as chocolate bars, Karelian pies, coffee and soft drinks.
Not many people had arrived yet. I placed my computer and stuff on a random table where unssi sat and thti sat next to me. I had some trouble with the laptop I had taken - NT refused to log me in with the right l/p combination - but jaffa kindly borrowed me his computer while he went out boozing in the nice -3C weather. Jaffa had a nice partylog, which was updated both manually with pen and paper and with an SMS system. I helped him hang the colorful brainful Coderz! banner on the second floor. Later many more were added, perhaps thanks to the banner compo. Even the famous yellow Byterapers banner was there.
Demos were constantly running on the bigscreen, until they were replaced by Bubble Bobble. The projector was hanging in the air, kept safe with six strong wires. We had a long talk with yessa about Commander Keens in the ladies' room. Probably lost the little scene credibility we might have had had, since we talked quite loud, especially yessa who was a little tipsy.
At 1 AM or something Synteesi started his dj gig, which was quite good. Surprisingly, people besides Duracell astu didn't dance until a blonde chick took over the equipment and played Prodigy's Voodoo People. I later found out she was a dj called Grace. Her set was fatal, manic music, I've never danced to anything with a BPM so high. After some time it felt like the floor and the ceiling had changed places and that I was going to faint, but I still continued for quite a while.
The partyplace was quiet, but I heard the barbeque outside was still going. Would have visited hadn't it been so cold. I chatted with florent, aeeben and some other people. Droid was quite drunk and babbled something about kebab animals. Mr. Eeben wanted to record my voice with his Nokia Communicator, he said he'd use it as his ringtone (hopefully not). He also recorded something at Synteesi's second gig. This time there were people dancing - and they say that drunken people can't dance, apparently people can even combine dancing and boozing. The rave chamber made the whole building shake and the cool strobo light was also visible from afar, as that classroom had windows inside. There also was a blackboard that soon became filled with drawings, greetings and fuckings. I really wish there would have been a chalk compo.
I dozed for an hour in the Saturday morning, but couldn't fall asleep. Paavi coded a Pascal program to randomly loop iSO demos, he said there were over 500 of them. We went grocery shopping with hot and slaye. A teacher offered us a ride to the nearby supermarket where we spent over 30 minutes puzzled by the huge amount of variety. When we returned, the C64 demoshow had already began. After that they showed VIC-20 demos.
The stuff got pretty hairy. Yessa did my hair and her own into pigtails. The next up was Zelex, whose long hair looked great in pigtails. Jaffa joined our campaign too and Zelex did Geel's hair. Jaffa also improved hot's semi-dreadlocked hair. We were so trendy and hip.
The first compo was the raytrace competition, which contained exactly one entry presenting a castle, but at least it was good. It was followed by the tiny (64kb) music compo, which wasn't as interesting as it could have been. Little Bitchard's Kiks-U was my favorite of the lot. Before or after that compo some reporters visited the party. Booze was hidden under the tables and drunken Zelex was carried elsewhere. They mostly talked with the organizers and took some photos.
216 offered unssi some fiery liquid, which turned out to be booze spiced up with habaneros. Unssi felt like he had an allergic reaction and took an antihistamine tablet. Afterwards he remembered that he had just taken one not too long ago and also that antihistamines and alcohol don't mix. Don't know if it was because of that, but the closer the drawn gfx compo became, the more ballistic he went. During the compo he kept yelling "Shit!" and "Vote for me!". There were only six entries: my "demos.fried.my.head" (formerly known as naisenpaeae), unssi's nekogirl, two jokeprods, Windi's ANSI and one weird being.
The music compo had a lot of breakbeat/dnb kind of entries. Little Bitchard presented a song called Nu Metal, dedicated to Fred Burst. I may be biased, but I really like lostchild's tune, which I got to hear a couple of times before the party already. Jobe's entry was nice, but not among my favorites from him. People complained about the tunes being too long, the limit being five minutes.
Just before the short wild compo it was time for Hirmu's muna. Too bad people didn't sing along. The short wild compo included adult entertainment, the burning of the Atari logo and my little sister - fortunately in different prods. The actors of the porn flick were also present at the partyplace. Six prods at most 45 seconds each didn't make up for a very long compo.
The first prod in the scroller demo compo was in text mode and featured a hemp leaf, but no music. The scroller text was a very long quote from lame anti-cannabis site and Jumalauta people read it out loud. Too bad it was too long and was interrupted. MFX's prod was noisy, neat and chaotic at the same time. The scrolling text was just random babble, greetings and reminders. Ananasmurska had made quite an average demo with ugly cube things.
The demoshow continued yet again, still over an hour until the 64KB compo. I can't remember many parties with this much demos shown. Also a bit of Dragonwing. Shortly before midnight they displayed "The women of Simulaatio Organizing wish you a happy Women's Day" and played that "I've noticed you around, I find you attractive" song.
Intro compo started a couple of minutes ahead of time. Flo's prod was noisy and featured lovely sgeneboetry. The second entry was viznut's VIC-20 intro. Besides Pelulamu it had a political message worth a big hand. There were no more intros, but Flo and viznut definitely were good competitors. Then began the 1.5h wait until the grande finale. People were still sitting at the fire, I heard the flames were more than a meter in height.
There was still a chance that the compo would be delayed, because FAG hadn't finished their Amiga entry yet. They did manage it in time, surprise surprise. Zelex appeared and was told that she had been crawling around and grabbing MarieRose's tits etc. We heard a lot of swear words.
The compo started with a Byterapers prod, w00t. The notes on the screen said that it was made five years ago. It was quite cool, smooth. Matt Current's prod didn't provide any groundbreaking stuff, it was just nice, a lot of red and blue. I digged the third one Liquid, it was quite undemolike with monotonous music, reminded me of weird space tunnel flying games. ISO competed as fourth. A lot of cartoon animals and terrorists were killed in their demo collection. The last one was FAG's long awaited demo with gay porn.
Yay, at 2.30 it was finally time for Second Reality, which received a lot of booing. After that we were also made to rewatch the C64 version. Maybe it was Second Reality's credit part, but something made me finally decide for sleeping. I wandered in the sleeping room, which was quite crowded. It wasn't as cold as the main hall, but too chilly anyway. I found a huge scarf I used as a blanket, but still kept waking up because of freezing. It didn't really help that astu, Zelex etc kept making random noise and flicking the lights on and off. Also a cell phone rang not once but twice, intruding my sleep with Dido's Here with me for painfully long.
After two hours I could no longer sleep and returned to the partyhall. Jaffa was at the laptop and wanted to show me some webcomics. The demos were still playing on the screen, which was very nice (super extra mega greetz to the orgs for showing 303). At Simulaatio you couldn't forget for a minute that you were at a demoparty, perhaps excluding those ones who suffered memory loss thanks to someone named Al Cohol.
Organizers started cleaning up the partyplace floor. They were also kind enough to rerun the demo compo, because many people missed it. Only the PC entries were shown, though. Most people were present now, I guess the fire had been estinguished. I watched some old Static prods with Jaffa and Ansichrist. It was still so cold that I borrowed hulu's sleeping bag and just lay in it, feeling comfy and warm.
Most of the time until 2pm was spent waiting for the prize ceremony. It was probably scheduled too late and many had to leave just before its start. Nosfe changed into his kilt and walked around selling his cd's. Yessa and viznut fell for his marketing tactics.
The prize seremony took place below the big screen. Too bad the organizers didn't have microphones, but Scala slides announced results on the big screen in case they weren't audible to everyone. Prizes included money for most compos, t-shirts and candy. The democompo winner was also supposed to receive a sponsored motherboard, but the organizers had forgot to pick it up. Whoops. They promised to deliver it via mail.
Byterapers won the banner compo, which was quite weird since most of the banners looked much better. bC! came second and third was iSO's graffiti banner made by Ansichrist. Not that surprisingly, Uncle-X won - or came last, like the organizers jokingly said - the raytrace compo with 265 votes, so people actually voted for him, even though it was the only entry.
MFX also ruled in tiny and ordinary music compo, both were won by Little Bitchard, though the former with only a one point margin. Paavi came third in both compos, second comers were reed (namevoting!1) and jobe. Too bad lostchild only came 11th. Drawn GFX was won by Reko of Instant Ejakulation, which hardly surprised anyone. Nosfe's joke ranked second, not a suprise either, just a little frustrating. Windi's ANSI was third, in my opinion I'd have deserved the place. Not big difference between the points of #3, #4 and #5 places anyway.
Porn ruled the wild compo, nosfe being the one to pick up the first prize. The actors didn't come on stage for some reason. My wild ranked 7th, but the amount of points indicated that at least someone had voted for it. Aem was second and Hirmu third, Visualice ranking as low as 6. MFX also won the scroller demo, followed by Jumalauta and Ananasmurska. In intro compo viznut had to give up his series of first prizes that had continued for who knows as long, astu beat him by 12 points. Astu had disappeared, so nosfe took his prize, too. The rumour has it that it was even delivered to him.
Byterapers won the democompo, probably quite deservedly. I was a bit surprised that Liquid came second. The third place was shared by iSO and Matt Current guys, but the organizers forgot to award iSO. FAG's demo came last, showing that namevoting doesn't get you everywhere. The compo winners were offered coffee and buns for free and most took advantage of the offer, even though it wasn't free booze. Then most left for home, except for astu who was found passed out in the toilet a while later.
I'm still a bit amazed by the whole thing. This was the first party PHn organized and suomiscene is famous for getting banned from schools after total disasters. People were almost asking for trouble by getting even more drunk than usual. But nothing was broken, no one got hurt, barring someone who injured his arm and had to go to the hospital to get it fixed. There wasn't even much to clean, except for the campfire place. The newspapers described Simulaatio as a nice geek event, where alcohol was banned and people partied with cola juice. Media weren't the only ones left with a good impression of the party. PHn hinted that there might be a new Varkaus party already in the summer. I'm ready to pack up my sandwiches and underpants!