Breakpoint (demo party)

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Breakpoint 2004 — 'the real party is outside'

Breakpoint was a German demoscene party. From 2003 to 2010, it took place annually at Easter in Bingen.

Breakpoint was the successor to the legendary Mekka & Symposium. With over 1000 visitors, it was the world's biggest pure demoscene-party, attracting demosceners from not only Germany, but also from other European countries (e.g. Sweden, Finland, Poland, Spain), or even from overseas (for example Australia, Canada). The party was also the traditional host of the Scene.org Awards ceremony.

History[edit]

The concept of Breakpoint was born in late 2002 when internal tensions within the Mekka & Symposium organizing team made another M&S party impossible. Part of the remaining organizing team teamed up with organizers of other German demo parties like Dialogos, Evoke and the Ultimate Meeting, and decided to create a new demoscene party for Easter. The location was changed, from the northern city of Fallingbostel to Bingen, a small town near Frankfurt. The party place was decided to be an abandoned military depot out at the city borders.

Breakpoint 2003 proved to be an unmatched success among demosceners who attended, both veterans and newcomers applauded the party's incredible atmosphere and almost literally unlimited freedom, often designated by a large (often 25–30 feet tall) bonfire. (The nearest residents lived kilometers away from the party, thus noise pollution and the general rowdiness was never an issue.) Criticisms of the party were minor, but pointed out that due to the failure of one of the heating pipes, the party hall became freezing during the night - this was actually parodied in various demos released there, entitling the party "Freezepoint".

Breakpoint 2004 saw a major change in the funding of the party: ATI Technologies became the main sponsor of the event, and apart from the lucrative prizes, offered various other features to the party, such as seminars and workshops.[1] Also, ATI was sponsoring a helicopter flight for willing visitors over the hills of the Rhine-region. The sponsorship remained constant until 2006. The party was an inarguable success, although not as buoyant as its precursor, especially considering that the heating issues from the year before turned out to be unsolvable due to the structure of the hall which served as a party hall — this caused the party to be even colder than the previous year.

View from the grand stand at Breakpoint 2005 while a competition was running.

Breakpoint 2005 caused some sad moments to the demoscene when it was announced that the military depot was scheduled for condemnation by the German government, and the next edition was scheduled to be held in the city's gym in the middle of Bingen. A part of the visitors feared that the degrees of liberty which made Breakpoint so popular will be lost at the new location, including the symbolic bonfire. They were, however, proven wrong when the party turned out to be what most people stated as "the best demoparty ever". The limited nature of freedom was proven to be enough for sceners to use the surrounding outdoors area as a chillout zone, even having a bonfire (although not as grandiose as in previous years). The new location also provided a solution to the heating problem. The floors inside were covered by the organizers by a layer of carpet so visitors were even able to walk barefoot or sleep on the floor. (Some visitors even joked about spending the night outdoors to get the "good old Breakpoint freeze-to-death-feeling".) The party's atmosphere was improved with both seminars for the interested and 4 live concerts of bands playing demoscene music live. The competitions also featured high quality releases and the event was voted as the "Best Alltime Demoparty" in the PAiN diskmag.

Breakpoint 2006 promotion started almost immediately after its precursor, and many sceners who had been avoiding demoparties for years signaled that they would attend. The party organizing team created a "jungle" theme. The party place was adorned with torches, rocks, skeletons and vines, doors were surrounded with totem pole-like ornaments, speaker stands and other accessories were wrapped in an Inca-esque setting. The party theme revolved around sceners losing their scene spirit and fighting their ways in competitions to retrieve and free them. The event featured the annual Scene.org Awards ceremony in a much more formal and ceremonial setting, and various live acts, including a performance by Welle: Erdball.

Breakpoint 2007 lost one of its major sponsors, ATi, as a result of their merger with AMD (Intel remained a primary sponsor). To keep a balanced budget, the organizers decided to not only raise the entrance fee to 60 Euros, but to remove the "girls get in free" tradition and charge females equally. Despite the financial challenges, 2007 featured the usual array of competitions and seminars, including one from the infamous film director, Uwe Boll. The Scene.org Awards ceremony was restructured with shorter screening times to reduce the show length. The regular party band, BASS, returned with a slightly revised lineup, and the Danish Commodore revival band Press Play On Tape performed a live set as well.

Breakpoint 2008 added nVidia as a major sponsor and thus was able to lower the entrance fee to 55 Euros. The "big screen" grew again to 70 m² as the organizers acquired two Full HD projectors.

2009: brokepoint[edit]

Breakpoint 2009 lost nVidia as a major sponsor, losing most of its budget and forcing it to ask for public donations under the temporary name "Brokepoint". They received enough donations to hold a basic demoparty, albeit without some features such as the seminars. The entrance fee remained 55 euros, and "supporter tickets" were added at 250 euros and up for donors. Soon before the party began, 20th Century Fox stepped in as a major sponsor to promote the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine. A special Wolverine Contest was added for demos, videos, art, and music based on the character and film trailer. While Breakpoint could no longer pay performers, Xerxes, Romeo Knight, and Bendik returned for a free concert.

2010: Like there is no tomorrow[edit]

Breakpoint 2010 was the final Breakpoint event. It had record attendance of more than one thousand visitors. The last day of the party coincided with the launch of the STS-131, which was streamed on the bigscreen before the prizegiving.

Successor[edit]

After it was announced that Breakpoint would cease, rumours were generated about a possible successor for a German Easter-party. After a series of viral teaser videos, the invitation to the official follow-up demoparty called Revision was released, and the party took place in Saarbrücken, largely sharing the same organizing crew as Breakpoint.[2]

Events[edit]

  1. Breakpoint 2003 — (April 18–21)
  2. Breakpoint 2004 — "The Code Inside" (April 9–12)
  3. Breakpoint 2005 — "Aliens Ate My Demomaker" (March 25–28)
  4. Breakpoint 2006 — "Rumble in the Jungle" (April 14–17)
  5. Breakpoint 2007 — "Demoscene Through Time and Space" (April 6–9)
  6. Breakpoint 2008 — "Digital Garden" (March 21–24)
  7. Breakpoint 2009 — "Everything Is Under Control" (April 10–13)
  8. Breakpoint 2010 — "Like There's No Tomorrow (April 2–5)

Competition winners[edit]

Breakpoint demo/intro compo winners, 2003–2010
Year Platform Demo 64k intro 4k intro
2003 Amiga Magia (The Black Lotus) Cancelled Timur Lenk (Ephidrena & Spaceballs)
C64 Beertime 3 (Dekadence) N/A Voyage Sans Fin (K2)
PC FR-025: The.Popular.Demo (Farbrausch) Project Genesis (Conspiracy) Mojo Dreams (Frenetic & R0k)
2004 Amiga Silkcut (The Black Lotus) A Dream (Scoopex) Ikanim (Loonies)
C64 You Know The Routine 2 (Camelot) N/A Bar4kode (Plush)
PC Winnerdemo (Metalvotze) Saturday Night Scener (Conspiracy) Ex-Fabric (Frenetic & KB)
2005 Amiga Ocean Machine (The Black Lotus) A Dream 2 (Scoopex) Noxie (Loonies)
C64 RCC 2005 Invitro (RCC Team) N/A Pico (Dekadence)
PC 195/95 (Plastic) Binary Flow (Conspiracy) Parsec (Frenetic, r0k & Sonic)
2006 Amiga Kilofix (Iris) Planet Loonies (Loonies) (combined 64k/4k compo)
C64 Non Plus Ultra (Singular Crew) N/A Artefacts (Plush)
PC Deities (mfx) Meet the Family (Fairlight) Origami (Kakiarts)
2007 Amiga Senzala (Madwizards) Leon (Elcrew) Swex ([S]carab)
C64 Desert Dream (Chorus & Resource) N/A Cancelled
PC FR-041: Debris (Farbrausch) Phantom Eye Syndrome (Brain Control) Sprite-O-Mat (Alcatraz)
2008 Amiga Twenty (Drifters) Psylteflesk (Loaderror / Ephidrena) - 4k (combined 64k/4k compo)
C64 Cauldron (Resource & The Dreams) N/A Cancelled
PC Masagin (Farbrausch & Neuro) Pimp My Spectrum (Ate Bit) Atrium (TBC & Loonies)
2009 Amiga Jesus Christ Motocross (Nature & Traktor) Superkewl (Supergroup) Luminagia (Loonies)
C64 Das Gottler (Extend) N/A Cancelled
PC Crush (Anadune & Floppy) 060659 (Rebels) Elevated (RGBA)
2010 Amiga We Come In Peace (Elude) Charger (Focus Design) Ikadalawampu (Loonies)
C64 Snapshot (Glance) N/A Dramatic Pixels (PWP)
PC Agenda Circling Forth (CNCD & Fairlight) Imagine (CodingCat, Hel, Turri & TGGC) Darwinism (Archee)

External links[edit]

Invitation demos[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Breakpoint 2004 press statement". ATI Technologies. 5 Apr 2004. Archived from the original on 5 Apr 2004. 
  2. ^ Göhler, Stefan (2010-12-29). "Demoszene-Osterparty geht in "Revision"" (in german). heise.de.