Outline 2004 Report

Text by Felice
Photos by D-Force/Lineout


Easter is a traditional time of year for coding parties, and this particular Easter was fortunately no exception. Although it took a short time after Christmas before we heard the final arrangements for the (since then) fabled follow-up to the famous Dutch Atari "Pre-Millenium Party" (PMP for short), the time went relatively quickly up to the week before the Easter weekend itself.

Outline was organized by the Dutch Atari crew, Lineout, itself a crew formed from active members of FUN (Falcon Users Netherlands). The organizers themselves are people that all Atari sceners should recognize - Havoc, D-Force, TheMatch, Tinker and Earx.

Having got the ferry booked a matter of weeks before, Chris Holland (CiH) came over to my place late on the evening of Maundy Thursday. This enabled us to get a bit of sleep before setting off at around 06:45 to drive the hour and a half's distance or so to the port of Harwich, ready to meet the catamaran ferry, run by Stena Line, that would take us across to the port of Hoek van Holland, on the coast of the Netherlands.

[Photo: Group pose]

The winners! Most named - from right: Mr Pink (Leon O’Reilly), Paranoid (Oliver Heun), Manou, Setok/Aggression (Kristoffer Lawson), CiH (Chris Holland), Dma-SC, Exocet.

Getting through the ticket and passport checks was very easy. We both changed some of our money over into Euros at the Travelex desk in the port building, had a brief snack then waited a while in the car until we were asked to move across into the holding area, before boarding the ferry. Soon after that, boarding commenced, after an unintentional wheelspin on the upward ramp by yours truly we got parked in the correct place and vacated the car, to go up to the main ferry deck. We got a burger meal each in the main fast food eating area and sat down on one of the front set of seats next to the huge video wall. This very same video wall is the one that you’ve heard about before in previous Atari party reports, yes, the one that plays the cheesy but amusing music videos! (Why not wire it up to your Falcon and get all the passengers playing Whip! Pong - Ed).

The crossing passed smoothly without any hiccups and it was a little over four hours later that we disembarked from the ferry, now at the Hoek van Holland port, got through the passport check area and away we went. We followed a slightly different route to the one we normally take, which took us to Richard Karsmakers’ (ST News) home city of Utrecht. Rather than turning off here as we normally do to go to Enschede via Apeldoorn and Amersfoort, Bathmen and so on, we kept on the same road, following it until we saw signs for Doetinchem. There we turned off the main motorway and joined the A18, which took us to the N18 and into the village of Lievelde, where the Outline party itself was being held.

[Photo: Group pose]

Party place.

The venue where the party was held was a youth-hostel type place called Beusink. A converted farmhouse, the place itself was divided up into two areas, both with sleeping areas upstairs. While we at Outline had the big room with sleeping area upstairs to the right of the building, a group of people from a Dutch orchestra took the other room. Even though both groups made a fair bit of noise, we complemented each other well, with no obvious signs of any trouble.

There were a lot of people around at the party place when Chris and I finally got in. We bumped into the Reservoir Gods guys straight away. Mr Pink, SH3, Damo, MSG and Partycle were among the first to greet us. We also had a very surprising greet from Twilighte, he of the Oric scene fame from Alt Party and a fellow Brit, like ourselves. We soon also let the organizers know we were there and unpacked the car, bringing our stuff out quite quickly and setting ourselves up in a corner of the room, near a back window.

The party had been on for some hours and was rocking already. We spent some time making sure everything was working OK, then dotted round the room, talking to friends who were based in various places. Baggio and Deez were spotted and chatted to for a bit, followed by Lotek Style, Nemo, Mikro, Xi and others also there. We weren't the last ones to arrive though - a while after we turned up, the rest of the Finnish guys, from the Aggression crew, arrived. These were Setok, Wiztom, Lance and another guy. We hadn't seen Lance for a while so it was great to catch up with him and the others again. Aggression appear to be back in business now as a crew, we're hoping that their forthcoming demo won't be too long in appearing. They managed to work on a lot of it at the party itself, mostly without sleeping.

The sleeping arrangements at the party were top-notch. Upstairs were a lot of wooden bunk beds very close to each other, consisting of slats on each bunk level. We all picked our beds relatively easily, but the funny thing was about getting onto them the first night. At least two beds had slats that broke when people were lying on them over the course of the night, whether that was to do with the reaction of the wood itself to the occasionally loud snoring and farting noises you tend to get on scene party nights I don't know, but I have my thoughts! Despite all this, most of us including myself managed to sleep quite well. Even the snoring, while in the background, wasn't too loud.

On the Saturday in the daytime, Chris and I went up to the nearby town of Groenlo to find the supermarket there to get some cheap food. There was plenty of hot food served at the party as well, in the shape of pizzas and pasta-based stuff. Along with that, there was a bit of drink on offer, soft and hard - with the speciality of a Dutch breakfast after waking up on all mornings at the party. This was a good chance for a get-together in true style, trying out a traditional Dutch breakfast and get going for the rest of the day.

The Saturday evening played host to a bit of entertainment. A short presentation was given by gWem and his girlfriend on the topic of chip music and how it may well be the next coming thing to hit the pop world. We shall have to wait and see on this one; keep our fingers crossed.

The former editor of ST News and author of the Ultimate Virus Killer, Richard Karsmakers, made his presence felt that evening at the party. He had a new release with him in the shape of the original STNICCC party DVD. Taken from a video release that only got spread around ten people or so back in the day, this was more or less a complete recollection of the original ST News International Coding Convention, held back in December of 1990. Many of the old Atari demo crews are featured, including Sammy Joe (Michael Schüssler of The Lost Boys), Rich K when he was a lot younger and others. Rich K has done an excellent job with this DVD and reviews of it should hopefully follow either in this Atari publication or elsewhere.

Towards the end of the evening two of the competitions were shown. These were the graphics and music compos. There were some strong releases here, it ended up being quite a hard job to decide which was the winner.

Sunday dawned and, after a bit more conversaton after the compos were finished, most of us cleared off to bed. Later on that day it turned out to be quite warm outside, so much so that some of us were sitting outside on benches for a while. The orchestra group also had regular breaks as well and seemed to be quite talkative among themselves. I personally didn't get a chance to talk to any of them but there was nothing holding us back. I guess the opportunities just didn't arise in regards to that, although they seemed friendly enough.

The Sunday evening was soon upon us and the rest of the competition entries were shown.

There were a fair amount of releases in all categories. The Wild & Fake demo was won comfortably by Dildo Fatwa, and judging by reports of the party it talks about, things were scarily not a lot different at this year's one!

The Reservoir Gods came in comfortably with their new game, "Clogged Up". We should expect to see this released in a couple of months or so. In the main demo competition, we were treated to what is probably (and if I'm wrong on this please forgive me) the first new demo for Falcons with CT60 installed. It was very good and is worth downloading, like all the releases from Outline.

All the releases, with the exception of the chip tune, "Wahoo" were good to see and hear. The "Wahoo" tune was an exception to me, but just from personal opinion I was surprised to see this get released, with it sounding very much like a famous BBC TV series. I'll not name the series here but I'm sure you'll recognize the tune when you download it!

All too soon enough, Easter Monday dawned, and it was time for us to start packing up our stuff and heading for home, which we did around noon. We had an extra passenger with us, in the shape of Twilighte (Jonathan Bristow) who was originally booked on a flight with British Airways but decided not to make the return flight as the timing was rather inconvenient. So he managed to call Stena Line and got himself a single fare across back with us. When we docked at Harwich we dropped him off at the train station there. Getting to the port of Hoek van Holland was simple after an hour and a half of driving, with a bit of waiting around for the ferry to come in. It arrived, we got on board and found our usual seats, this time also getting some stuff from the duty paid store on board. The cheesy music on the video wall was amusing as well, this time. We got through customs at the Harwich end and, after dropping Twilighte off drove back towards Cambridge.

Overall, Outline itself was a fantastic party. It was a refreshing change and also a nice time to unwind with real sceners. Yeah, people had a bit to drink and got merry, but there was no carry on at all, unlike at the other big party that happens every Easter in Germany!

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MyAtari magazine - Feature #3, May 2004

Copyright 2004 MyAtari magazine