Renaissance (demogroup)

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Renaissance ASCII logo by Untouchable.

Renaissance was an American PC demo group started in 1991-1992 by founding members Mosaic, C.C. Catch, Daredevil, and Tran.

History and contributions[edit]

The group made several noteworthy contributions throughout its existence, not only to its own subculture, but the entire computing world as well. Most notable was the creation of PMODE by Charles Scheffold (a.k.a. Daredevil) and Thomas Pytel (a.k.a. Tran) in 1993. PMODE was a DOS extender designed to be used in x86 assembly language programs, and was later expanded into PMODE/W, a drop-in replacement for the popular DOS/4GW DOS extender distributed with and used by the Watcom C, C++ and Fortran compilers.

Renaissance was also on the forefront of PC digital music software, having written the first PC-based 8-channel tracker, Composer 669, and the first combined FM+digital music tracker, CDFM. The first 32-channel tracker, MultiTracker, followed in late 1993.

Renaissance had intentions from the start to create games as well. The only well-released game to their credit was Zone 66, a shareware top-down shooter game, published by Epic MegaGames in early 1993. C.C. Catch also composed music for Epic's 1994 robot fighting game, One Must Fall: 2097.

There was much mystery as to Tran's participation in the group. Rumors surfaced at Assembly '93, as he and other members were in attendance to enter a demo but never completed it. Months later, the rumors were confirmed as Tran released his first independent demo, Hell, and announced his departure from Renaissance. He continued releasing PMODE and other demos independently.

Renaissance members[edit]

Founding members[edit]

  • C.C. Catch[1] (Kenny Chow aka Chou) — musician [1]
  • Daredevil (Charles Scheffold) — coder/sysop/organizer
  • Mosaic (Ray Lee) — musician
  • Tran (Thomas Pytel) — coder [2]

Other members[edit]

  • CyberStrike (Josh Jensen) — coder
  • Dark Avenger (Tony Proios)
  • Digital Sculptor
  • El Diablo
  • Leviathan (Andy Carlson) — musician
  • Nemesis (Andy Wise) — musician
  • Mr. Happy
  • Oman (John Hood) — graphics
  • Radioisotope
  • Ryan Cramer — Cramer was a tracker musician and also ran one of their main distribution BBSes in Virginia called Data Connection. As owner of a working BBS, Data Connection also acted as the U.S. distribution point for many European demogroups.
  • StarScream (Dan Goldstein) — coder
  • Untouchable
  • Whitefiend — graphics
  • White Shadow (Dave Cooper) — coder
  • Zeek (Rich Geldreich)

Significant releases[edit]

  • Black Glass 2 — demo (1992)
  • Amnesia — demo (1992)
  • Composer 669 — tracker (1992)
  • Zone 66 — game (1993), published by Epic Games
  • MultiTracker — tracker (1993)
  • Nothing On — musicdisk (1994)
  • Renaissance Music Player (1994)
  • Epidemic — musicdisk (1994), co-op with iCE
  • PMODE
  • PMODE/W (for Watcom C/C++)

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Not to be confused with C. C. Catch, (Caroline Müller), the German pop singer. Kenny lifted his handle from one of her album covers with the thought that Americans wouldn't recognize the singer's name.