by Wade/Haujobb [issue 11/2002]
|Madwizards robbed of Victory?
Every year Amiga owners from all over the world converge and compete at what
has become the most prestigious scene event of the year: The Mekka
Symposium. Praised for its atmosphere and organizing, this German party has
played host to some of the most memorable occasions and finest releases in
This year, hoping to offer their support to the waning Amiga presence,
a large group of Poland's most dedicated sceners decided to make the trip to
Fallingbostel with the intention of presenting their latest releases. Among
them were Potion, with their outstanding 64k intro, Planet Potion, and
Madwizards with their two demos, Heavy Traffic and New Dawn Fades. Although
these releases were written specifically for PPC systems with enhanced
graphics support, this was permitted and encouraged by the Mekka Symposium
After months of preparation and hard work, the time had come for them to sit
back, revel in the applause and reap their due rewards. Indeed, this is
exactly what happened for Potion, as their intro stunned all observing
attendees and secured first place in the Amiga 64k competition. For Mad Wizards,
however, their hopes did not unfold as they had anticipated.
As Heavy Traffic reached the big screen it was apparent that something was
severely amiss. The demo they had spent many hours creating and fine-tuning
for this moment had been stripped of all graphics, such as credits, cliparts
and design; the synchronization missed its timing, and only 70% of the
screen could be seen by the audience. They watched helplessly as their
bastardised labours continued to roll, only to find that the second part of
the demo never even appeared. As for New Dawn Fades, for some reason, it was
completely left out of the competition.
As expected, the Madwizards team were quick to confront the organizers about
this. After all, they had not only been cheated out of a possible victory,
but their pride and creative reputation was at stake. In such circumstances
one can accept that mistakes are made, software has been wrongly configured
or that files have picked up errors. And with so little support and
documentation available, PPC releases are perhaps more susceptible to such
setbacks than most. Mad Wizards organizer, Flapjack, speculates that "It could have
missed some important system files, I am not sure, but the fact is that both
of our demos worked great on every single PPC system we tried on Mekka and
believe me we tried a couple of them."
Yet, the reaction they received from the organizers was quite patronizing,
as they tried to pass the blame onto the coder, while making cheap jokes at
"Well, they commented on what happened in extremely malicious way, making
jokes of Polish people. Sort of '...it's Polish and that's why it is not
working properly...'" he recalls. "We CAN understand orgaz are just humans
and something may not go the way it was supposed to, but everybody deserves
respect and fair treatment."
The Poles had paid ticket expenses and had funded their travel expenses to
be present at this party. Moreover, they came with something to contribute
to the competition; a factor that is sure to increase attendance figures,
profits and prizes in the upcoming years. Surely then, Mad Wizards's participation
should have been appreciated, not ridiculed, as Flapjack alleges.
Nevertheless, the Mad Wizards guys refused to give up and spent the next several
hours seeking a solution:
"We even tried to bring Mavey's/Potion AmigaPPC up there, to the orgaz room,
but due to some reasons (power failure or something) it got fucked up and
was then fixed up by some German fellow scener, who came up from nowhere
with soldering iron..." he explains. "Later on, when they played the demo
using Critikill's AmigaPPC, they displayed some kind of a 'we-fucked-it-up'
statement on the bigscreen, but as it was nearly 5am, most of the people
In spite of these obstacles, Heavy Traffic still managed to take 4th place
in the competition - just short of winning a prize. Whether or not Mad Wizards
could have taken the number one spot from TBL had it not been for the
difficulties they encountered, is something we will never know.