Assembly 2011 came and went as it always does, the first weekend of August. Pretty much a standard deal, nothing revolutionary on any front really. We only got some attendee tickets this year, as our usual gang kind of fell apart. We’ve usually had 7-10 computer-seats for our crew. Having just the 40 euro attendee ticket wasn’t bad. You always had a place to sit. The WLAN mostly worked (thanks probably go to the netcrew placing more AP’s in the arena, and Cisco…), and you were more free to come and go as you wished. We live 10 minutes away from Hartwal Arena where the venue is held, so it wasn’t a big thing to go home, grab a bite to eat, watch a movie or something. We were mostly on the Arena for the compos.
There were not really any mind blowing entries this year, except for perhaps the particle-laden “Spin” by Andromeda Software Development. It had some pretty awesome stuff in it! Also, the real wild compo had two entries that I really got a kick out of. One was built around an Arduino-platform with an LCD screen, and the other was a freestanding, rotating led-thingamajig that displayed text and images. Absolutely kick-ass!
The attendees are still mostly young and getting fatter by the year. Top three games are, as last year, Counter Strike, Starcraft 2 and World of Warcraft. Not too hard to see. Kids still have a hard time realizing that this is a demo event, and not a huge lan party. When the compo starts. we get the KAAL, or the Kill All Audio and Lights. This is a sign to stop playing, shut down your fucking Rihanna or whatever crap you’re listening to, and look at the big screen. And ever year it fails, because our darling 13-year-old rebels will wait until 3000 people are screaming at them until they shut everything down. Or they start playing music when the call for KAAL (see what i did there?) comes. I get it, it’s very rebellious, and you get to go back to your school and tell everyone what a tough guy you are. Also i get that when you get home, you cant:
- Have that nude chick as your wallpaper because your mom will take offense
- Play loud music
- Play games 72 hours straight
Being at home feels like being castrated. And there, in the bosom of Hartwall Arena, you get to be king for four days. It’s probably a great thrill.
But next year, if i decide to go, and i see a fucker pull this shit… I’ll just buy a bag of cheap wrenches from Clas Ohlsson and start throwing them around. I’ll go medieval.
Booth bitches and other promo-whores are getting ever more popular, which is really boring. They go around in their microshorts and talk to gamers and ask stupid questions and act like they know something. Then they hand out a fucking 10 cent lanyard or some other piece of shit. I remember one year, they came to our area and i think asked one of us why he or she had two screens. “Does that mean you’re really pro?”. No, it means go away you dumb shit. They are just doing their job, but what do we really get out of all this except a throbbing headache. Maybe the kids get something else. I don’t know. I find them annoying.
No 64K intro compo this year, because there was only one entry. Loads of 4k entries. None among them legendary. The 64k intro was put into the demo category, and came in second, which was deserved. Fairlight & alcatraz did a good job there.
Rovio was prominent with their own booth, and their own KAAL which was fucking awesome. Rovio, according to the organisers, actually got their start at Assembly 2003, i think. Which is cool!
Concerts on the main stage instead of every-night raves? Not so cool. We had Machinae Supremacy, who don’t play too well i think. And we had Press Play on Tape, who were good, but a bit too loud. Get off my lawn. And next year? Can we have the bloody raves back…
Ok that’s about it. A different experience for me this year, and next year… Well who knows. Maybe i’ll go, maybe i won’t. Like i say every year.
Check out the Results from all the compos here.
To download any of the entries, go to scene.org
My non-edited, non-framed, non-hipsterized photos from Assembly 2011 can be seen here.