Assembly 20 years

Uploaded by AssemblyTV on 07.08.2012

This year, Assembly celebrates its 20th birthday.
We're now travelling in time to year 1992, when the event began.
The Soviet Union had just collapsed,
the world's first digital mobile telephone network GSM was introduced in Finland,
Amiga 1200 was launched,
and the most popular movie in Finland was Uuno Turhapuro -- Herra Tasavallan presidentti.
Jukka Kauppinen, a.k.a. Grendel, is a man who organized
the first demo competition in Finland in 1988, and was also one of the main organizers
of the first few Assembly parties.
Who came up with the idea of Assembly?
I believe it was Moku
And then what happened?
He organized Assembly. It was Moku and Miigos
Where and when did this idea come up?
I believe it was when I decided that I won't take part in organizing parties anymore
when I became fed up after Gathering '91.
Moku accepted the challenge to organize something similar in the future.
So who were the main guys doing this? You, Moku and...
Moku and Miigos started it. They ran the show.
And what was your role?
I was with them as an organizer,
but since I lived up there in Northern Savonia, I had nothing to do with scouting the party place
or visibility about anything what was going on down here in Southern Finland.
I arrived when everything was set up and just jumped in.
When the decision about launching the event was made, it was time to get to work.
In the year 1992, a message spread around Finland and the rest of the world.
Demogroups Rebels and Complex were setting up the summer's hottest computer party.
The message was spread on diskettes and in BBS's as invitation intros.
The organizers confidently claimed that the biggest and best computer party in Finland was about to come up.
On Friday, 24th July, local residents had a hard time believing their eyes
when an endless stream of teenage boys was marching from the Kauniainen train station towards Kasavuori,
with their Amiga, Commodore 64 and PC computers in tow.
The doors of Assembly were opened at 10 A.M. Entrance fee was 60 Finnish marks, or 10 Euro.
On Friday 24th July 1992 at 10 A.M., these doors were opened and Assembly 1992 began.
This is now the first time that you've been here in 20 years.
Oh yeah, damn... I haven't visited this place in 20 years.
It's a long time, we we're 17-year old teens then.
The years pile up but Assembly is still going strong.
This is a bit emotional, even.
Here we had a line
and there were some makeshift tables where we at least TRIED to sell tickets.
It was quite amateurish still at that stage.
Some people got in without paying, some didn't. That's what it is.
The focal point of the event was the school's dining hall.
In addition to computer places, there was a big screen that was two meters high!
It was humongous for its time
I remember we broke two projectors during the event, and that's all we had.
We had to present the PC demo competition from a big TV,
since there was nothing else available.
That was somewhere over there, it was a small auditorium that had a TV.
We used an odd converter to display the demos, and to be fair they didn't quite run properly.
At the same time the war between Amiga and PC was entering its fiercest stage.
The PC users were let in as an act of mercy.
We were like ''let's allow them to play here with us".
But in here the tables started to turn. Unreal was the first really impressive PC demo,
and Second Reality flipped the script so that PC became the frontrunner.
The visitors were separated into different classrooms.
Usually one demogroup or a group of friends took one classroom.
There we were in somewhat sweaty conditions.
Air conditioning wasn't that common and we drank a lot of soda.
And a bit of other drinks too.
It's visually a much different event these days.
Back then we had those old wooden school desks and we tried to pile them into something interesting.
People were sleeping on the floors and wherever they could.
It was a horrible mess.
Here's the classroom where Unreal was finalized.
That took so long that the demo compo had already began while they were still coding it.
Unreal crashed during the compo and they fixed it live on the screen.
Back then the scheduling was more flexible.
If the code didn't work, you had a chance to try and fix it live.
It was an entertaining sight when that happened.
The voting system didn't work.
In other words, the guy who made the voting system had disappeared.
And we had to arrange the voting manually so that everyone wrote their vote behind their entry ticket.
You'd write '5' for Unreal, for example.
The first Assembly gathered over 700 men, and about 3 women.
The amount of visitors is reflected on the fact that
there wasn't enough food at the event or nearby area for the whole weekend.
The closest grocery store was literally empty at the end,
and the store manager couldn't believe what he was seeing.
And that's when our mothers came to the rescue.
For example Abyss's mom brought us a big tube sack full of pizza,
and that's what we ended up eating.
The biggest worry was to have certain kinds of films out of the TV before mom arrived.
She wouldn't have appreciated that.
The hottest event of the summer turned out to be also the most sweaty.
Finland's biggest demoparty, Assembly, was born
I had already joined Future Crew by that time.
I maintained a BBS, which was a pre-internet messaging board where you could also swap files.
That's how I entered the scene,
when Future Crew came looking for a place to distribute their demos.
Then we left on a party trip to Megaleif party in Sweden.
We had heard that this party was coming.
PC was a fledgling demoscene platform still,
Amiga and C64 ruled and they wanted a good organizer to run the show.
Future Crew had a bit of prestige by then,
and we decided to release a legendary invitation intro called Fishtro for Megaleif,
and it became one of the most popular Future Crew productions.
It was around February-March when we heard that something was coming up
and in April we released the invtro.
It takes a few months to get things done even with a running start.
We prepared diligently, even though the end result was chaos.
What's your first memory of the event when you arrived at the party place?
Oh man, it was so long time ago.
There were a lot of nerds like myself.
It was like a homecoming, seeing that there are other similar people.
Then you just plugged in your computer and started doing stuff.
It just felt right, get in there and start doing.
I remember well that I was awake for two straight days.
Felt like a zombie, walking in a haze around and wishing that sleep would take over at some point.
That has some similarities with my impression of current Assembly too.
It's possible that people just might sleep a bit less than usual here.
In a way, yeah. Being away from home, away from rules.
It was exciting when you were 16.
A bit like going to a camp, you don't go there to sleep, do you?
Kim, who are the people that have stayed in your mind from Assembly '92?
Most of all this Future Crew group, since we had the same classroom and spent time together.
Maybe also Sonic PC from the same room.
We had good times there, watching Plan 9 From Outer Space and other quality movies.
Jukka, why did you choose Kauniainen of all places?
I don't know. Like I said, I was up there in Savonia.
Oh, right. Let's get this straight.
Jussi pointed out that we presented a slightly altered version of truth earlier.
So, who came up with Assembly, Jussi?
I don't know who came up with the idea, but in 1992 our main organizer was a guy called Miigos,
who vowed to never do that again,
although he was still there for the next year until Moku took the position.
Miigos learned his lesson quickly, unlike me and Pehu.
We've been serving this sentence since.
Do you have any idea why they chose Kauniainen?
If I remember correctly, they needed a place nearby where someone knew with the school principal.
Miigos lived in Kauniainen, he had went to school there and he knew the principal and staff.
I heard rumors that relations towards the principal cooled a bit after the event
He may not have expected to receive what we delivered, to put it that way.
There was a bit of mess to clean up.
'A bit' may be playing it down slightly.
Oh well. A horrible mess.
A lot of parties back then ended up with a mess to clean and a few words to exchange
At that time the whole Amiga vs. PC war was going, as heard in the last insert. How was it...
It was mostly Amiga sceners doing demos and PC guys watching, like
"whoa, these people are doing cool stuff". Amiga guys were like "oh, that's nice, I guess".
That's because Amiga rules. PC was still searching for its place.
The war was about to begin, gradually
What about Commodore's situation then?
It was good and excellent. Lots of sweet demos
And there was nothing like C64 guys being friends with everyone?
Of course Amiga was this sort of evil thing, a scary thing.
On the other hand, C64 groups had already branched off to Amiga side.
It wasn't that bad, and the C64 compo in Assembly 1992 was one of the most historic ever.
A quick question. Assembly 1992 had about 3 women.
Estimates vary, someone remembered 2, someone else 4.
Did you desire women?
A 16-year old kid? Is that a trick question?
In a way, not actually. That's not why you went there.
You went for computers and friends.
Even today, when kids come here, they don't come for the opposite sex.
But it's been nice to see that computer use has become more common.
As a hobby, there are a lot more girls and women nowadays.
So you can't say that we'd desired them, although in 92-93 we had free entry for girls.
So it was pretty rare then. No one wants to associate with us, we had to offer free entry.
Now you don't need to do that.
Since 1995 girls have wanted to be with us on an equal footing.
Outi, we are listening to questions sent to us on our IRC channel.
Are there any viewer questions in case the questions discussed here aren't satisfactory?
Yes, there are a few.
First: why are there no more raves in front of the stage?
We could take these questions when we're back in the modern day.
Are there any questions regarding year 1992?
Why did you pick the name Assembly?
The precise etymology is probably lost in time,
but party names back then usually had something to do with getting together.
There were Conventions, Crossroads, Gatherings and so on.
Assembly also associates with assembler language, which was used to make the best demos.
It's a low-level language, close to machine code.
And the word also had association of getting together.
Two birds with one stone. Computer stuff and then piling the nerds together.
Also one of the first words in a dictionary
Oh yeah, that too
There's time for one quick question
Here's a question: Was Abyss's mom's pizza good?
Damn straight it was good! And there was a lot of it.
I heard afterwards that my parents also brought pizza that I can't remember at all.
I don't remember that either.
Apparently they did. Had baked it themselves.
Soon we'll be joined by an assembler programmer,
but first let's see what happened after a successful event.
The second Assembly was organized the next year at Nikkari high school in Kerava.
Over 1400 visitors showed up -- double the amount from the first year in Kauniainen.
The winning PC demo from Assembly '93 is remembered especially fondly.
It broke all imagined limits of PC hardware.
The production is one of the best known in all demoscene.
The third Assembly was held in 1994.
No school was big enough for the growing number of visitors, so the event organizers made
a big leap towards the unknown.
The event was held in one of the biggest arenas available in Helsinki -- Helsinki Ice Hall.
Pre-estimate was for 2500 people, but in the end over 3300 visitors came to the Helsinki Ice Hall.
The amount of visitors had quintupled in the first three years.
The party program in Assembly 1994 was familiar from previous years,
containing demoscene competitions for PC, Amiga and Commodore 64 computers.
And other sorts of activities, such as disk throwing.
But the scale was much bigger.
The prize values had quartupled from last year. The overall amount was over 20000 Euro.
The first gaming competition in Assembly was also held in 1994.
The game was DOOM and it was played in a specifically built LAN.
Another novelty was the Internet.
Transfer speed was high end for it's time: 19,2 kilobits per second.
Due to the limited bandwidth, internet access was limited to light use, such as IRC.
Assembly 1994 also gathered media attention. For example, CNN reported from the event.
Helsinki Ice Hall wasn't an ideal location for Assembly.
Among problems were the windows, from where sunlight hit the main screen.
This caused the demo competitions to be delayed until sunset.
The PC demo competition ended on Sunday 4 AM.
In the year 1994, Commodore goes bankrupt and IBM releases OS/2 Warp.
Speaking of which, you should search Google with the keywords
"OS/2 Warp", "Jussi Laakkonen" and "Pekka Aakko",
and you'll find something interesting. Due to copyright issues, we will not present that here.
I've never advertised anything
Pekka, you've been one of the main organizers since year 1993. How did this happen?
We touched on this earlier in the studio. We discussed organizing with Moku after Miigos broke down
claiming that he won't be doing any organizing any longer.
We agreed with Moku that the party should go on, and I was really excited about it.
We had to find a new party place, so we went to my old school,
where I had very warm relations with the principal. Afterwards the relations froze a bit.
Nah, they're ok, but the are a lot of stories from there.
We went to Kerava and that Nikkari school over there was much bigger.
We assumed there would be a bit more people, as there turned out to be.
That's where my Assembly career began.
How old were you when you went to the Ice Hall?
What was that... we were twenty-something then. Could be 22 or 23.
How does it feel to go and rent the biggest indoor arena in Helsinki when you're 22 or 23?
"Give us space, oh and does this cost something?"
Well, it was exciting definitely. We did a lot of mistakes with the contract too.
I could tell a few stories from there too, but those are for some other time.
We did a lot of mistakes that we'd no longer make.
It was exciting, and we thought about the big money involved -- the place wasn't cheap
and what would happen if people wouldn't show up. Would we lose our money and what then?
Of course it was stressful. We had a lot of courage though, when you think of it.
Where did this visitor estimate come from?
You estimated 2500 visitors and suddenly you were looking at 3300 people.
What was the basis for estimating twice the people from each previous year?
To start with, you always make market research and think and ask around.
We did none of that, of course.
We just thought that we're so cool that if we build it, they will come.
We had doubled the audience the previous year and we thought we could do it again.
The best demos come from Finland. Of course everyone will come here
It was very gung-ho when you think of it, really.
We just agreed that if we won't hit the estimate, we'll worry about that later
What did you do in Assembly?
I think I was in charge of general organizing, and security
There might have been some tables too...
Oh yeah, I've done them. There were other people doing the compos.
Sponsor relations -- the few that we had -- I took care of. Just general stuff, plus security and these tables
Could you give a quick overview of the table business?
What happened exactly? Many of them broke during the event.
Yeah, that was because we had a strict budget and we couldn't rent or buy enough tables
for the whole place and we had to think of a solution.
Me and Moku had a brilliant idea that we could buy some plywood on the cheap and build something
It was particle board.
Oh, right. It wasn't even plywood.
A relative of Moku's welded us some cheap legs for the tables.
And then we ran out of money, those weren't so cheap after all.
And we had to buy b-grade boards, too.
Which couldn't withstand everything required in the end.
We picked up the last tables around 4 AM from Porvoo.
Party was about to start on Friday and I arrived at the party place at 4 AM dead tired.
And that's when we still had some building to do in the arena. That's what I remember
It looked worrying when the tables sagged like this when we started piling computers on them.
They started bending.
I remember the police stopping me somewhere around Porvoo.
I was in some strange mental zone and didn't understand anything.
I probably made an impression. The breathalyzer test was ok, though.
They let me carry on after I convinced them that I'm able to drive.
"I just organize these things at the Ice Hall"
I remember when I arrived in the parking lot at the arena.
I was ready to fall straight down from behind the wheel and take a nap.
Then we continued building and the party was started on time.
How are things in IRC currently?
We've had more questions.
The first one is for Abyss, but others can answer too.
What is your best memory from Assembly history?
There are quite a few
As an exercise, what's the best memory from 1994?
The best memory from that year is when Pehu and Moku asked me as a main organizer for the next year.
I was really pleased and didn't hesitate a moment. That's my choice.
Are there any other organizers that you can mention who were involved in 1994 and still hanging around?
Retu, for example
Matti... but he started in 1995
Matti Antila, I can't remember when he started. He's not here to answer questions.
But yes, there are about 10 people who were involved already then.
And then there are a few who were organizers then, dropped off for a while and came back.
5-10 as a quick estimate.
If you compare the Assembly from Ice Hall to modern Assembly,
how is it similar and how is it different?
After the table show in 1994 I declared that I'll never again do things from scratch myself.
Everything will be bought from outside. I was so spent afterwards.
That has changed the event so that us organizers can do a lot of other stuff
since we don't have to go weld table legs and so on.
Instead we can focus on other stuff. It's a clear difference.
What about the internet network there? There was an ISDN link.
And some terminals
Yes, we had some terminals where you could use IRC, and then we had the DOOM competition.
Jussi was probably right when he said that we used ISDN then.
Yes, it was 2x 128kb ISDN. Two ZyXELs.
DOOM computers were using ethernet. They had their own network
In 1994, Assembly probed that there is an arena's worth of computer enthusiasts in Finland.
The story goes on...
In 1995, the event moved to Helsinki Exhibition Centre.
Assembly was held at the same time as Ropecon, the main role-playing game event in Finland.
The amount of visitors in Assembly grew further. Over 4000 people participated.
The skills of Assembly Organizing to set up the event improved.
This time tables didn't break, chairs were fit for sitting in,
electricity had no shortages, the hall was dark,
and the competitions went without incidents
However, economically the year 1995 was catastrophic.
Damages made during the event resulted in almost 20000 Euro worth of expenses.
To cover that, the main organizers worked almost throughout the year to amass funds,
and to pay prize money to competition winners.
Due to the economic problems, it was unclear whether Assembly would even continue in 1996.
Funding was secured in the end, but since the decision came so late,
Helsinki Exhibition Centre was no longer available during summer holidays.
Because of this, Assembly was held after the school year had started,
which had an impact on the amount of visitors. Economic troubles continued for one year more.
The worries stayed behind the scenes, however.
Assembly established itself as the annual gathering event for computer enthusiasts.
Hello there, I'm from AssemblyTV.
You're wearing a stylish cape. Would you mind telling us about it?
Well, I've been to a few LAN parties
and I've noticed that wearing any other clothes except a cape is very uncomfortable when you start to sweat.
And you do that a lot especially when you drink a lot caffeine and don't sleep.
My solution was to make a linen cape so I don't have to wear anything under it.
Boxers, if I'm feeling like it, but even they aren't necessary.
Then I can just hang around in a cape,
getting attention from you guys and pretty girls like "Hey, you've got a nice cape"
That's all the reasoning you need. Do you wear that outside Assembly too?
Yeah, all the LAN parties I go to, and sometimes just for kicks while out on town.
Since the 1995 Assembly in Helsinki Exhibition Centre,
the main concept in Assembly has stayed stable.
Significant changes -- apart from a few that are discussed later -- have been rare.
One big change was changing to a four-day festival in the year 2000.
The others we'll return to shortly.
We'll now go on to discuss the visitor's perspective to Assembly from year 1995 onwards.
Two visitors have joined us: Jaffa from 1996, and Emilia from 2002.
Jari, when did you hear about Assembly for the first time?
I read about it in Mikrobitti in 1994 or 1995, but I didn't get there since I didn't know anyone yet.
In 1995 I bought my first modem with money from a summer job,
and when I got to know more of the guys, did some productions and joined a few demogroups,
1996 was easy to come here.
How did you like Assembly?
It was an awesome experience, getting in touch with similar people
and talking about all cool computer stuff that I didn't necessarily get to do so much with my other friends.
You could also get together with your group and do some music and other productions
and join the competitions.
I remember the excitement waiting for my own entry to come in the music compo
and waiting for our entry in the demo compo. It was fantastic.
Do you have any memories of arriving in the party place? How did it sound or feel?
The Exhibition Centre in 1996 was wonderful because there were Amigas everywhere
and lots of C64's and other machines.
In 1997 a friend's group were playing some C64 music and everyone turned around and were in good spirits.
Back then we used a lot of low frequencies and played really loud. There were no decibel limits.
Higher State of Consciousness by Josh Fink played everywhere then. That was also fantastic.
Fantastic, yes. It also hurt like hell.
It was so loud that you often had to ask other people "WHAT DID YOU SAY?"
If he was a bit more shy and you got closer to him, he'd take a step back.
It was some back-and-forth coreography trying to find out what people were talking about.
Emilia, you came here for the first time in 2002. What do you remember from that year?
It was intimidating. I didn't know anyone at first.
I ended up here from Kallio high school where I was the only nerd who can fix the printer
so the girls can print their poems.
Then I was asked to join AssemblyTV and I did.
The first time I walked into the Arena and heard the voices and saw the lights
-- both of which weren't under as strict limits as now apparently --
I had this huge migraine attack and went straight to first aid to ask for pain killers.
Virginity always hurts a bit - Right
We discussed earlier how there were 3 women in 1992.
How does Assembly come across now from a woman's perspective?
Now or in 2002? Now it's much better.
In 2002 or 2003 heads were turning when I walked along the corridors with my computer.
There weren't a lot of women then. Now there's more and I like that.
I'd like to see even more, though.
Has Assembly reinvented itself enough along the years?
The first year when I was here, I'd have been pretty lost if I didn't come as an organizer.
I didn't know anyone and I couldn't program back then and couldn't take part in competitions.
Nowadays there's a very diverse program. Not just competitions if they're not for you.
You can just play a game or go have a match of football.
Something's always going on.
Anyone can get a hold of something, no matter how much of a first-timer you are. That's wonderful.
What's going on in IRC at the moment?
They're asking what kind of noise levels were there earlier.
It actually hurt at some point. We got noise meters and had to tone it down.
The threshold came when someone came to me in the Exhibition Centre
and asked if it would be possible to have power for his amplifier.
I was a bit surprised, there are power sockets you know.
He had this thick power cable that couldn't fit into a normal socket.
He had his PA with him and at that point I thought that maybe we should do something about this.
When I went to the hall, I used double protection. I had earplugs and earmuffs on top.
It went way over the top then. It was an arms race, you had to have bigger speakers than the guy next to you.
And we had to do something when it went too overboard.
1998 was the year when the noise level was too high and we had to end that.
You could hear the music as well outside as inside. It came through the walls of Exhibition Centre
and the speakers were bigger than the guys who carried them.
Are there other questions?
Yes, they'd like to know if you've missed something from an earlier year
The Party Duck(?), well no.
There was a certain innocence earlier.
We weren't so capable but in the end everything got sorted out. It was like "It's showbiz!",
things just sort themselves. It was charming.
Today, we have so experienced and capable people that those things just don't happen.
Sometimes you wish that something would break down big time so we'd get to do some fixing.
Now we delegate tasks, people know what they're doing and everything is easier.
No visitor wants problems, but that certain adrenaline rush is missing.
It's too easy, we should invent challenges.
On the other hand it's still fun. I'm enjoying it
It's fun, no doubt about it
Maybe the memories just grow sweeter over time. A lot of them are things you'd never want to do again.
Now it's fun to remember. It's a bit like the army in that sense.
There you were pissed off at some point, but now it's just fun.
Something to tell stories about. It's always a bit like that.
The old times stay in your memory and maybe you miss them sometimes.
I can't say what I'd miss specifically, though
How about Jukka and Kim. You've always been here. Any comments?
The chaos was sometimes great.
Schedules went haywire and everything crashed and we tried to fix problems as they came.
There's something to it when things just don't work
Today the griping starts when a competition is 5 minutes late.
Back then 5 hours was the default. "Whoops, see you in 5 hours"
I miss a certain anarchism of the visitors. Exotic Men!
And others. It's cool, all the things that went on there
It was amateurish, in a positive sense.
When you look back to the early-mid 90's,
the demoscene productions were much more impressive than games.
The greatest achievements in real time computer graphics came from the scene.
Then games began to have much bigger budgets and teams, so that turned around.
But that was the golden age of demoscene.
The things you saw were the most impressive things being done on a home computer.
That was what made it big. You knew that you're seeing the best there is.
Today the budgets are so much bigger, you can't compete with that.
Now there's a different mentality. It's more of an art sensibility.
Back then the raw talent was unbelievable.
In 2006, a new trend started to have an effect in the content of Assembly.
Today at 7 PM in eDome play zone.
The man with nothing left to lose.
Max Payne competition.
Accept the challenge.
Join in.
Prizes, games, entertainment.
Help Max solve the mystery of New York.
Gaming has always been present in Assembly, and game competitions since 1994.
In 2006, Assembly too one step further.
Competitive gaming was promoted as one of the main activities in Assembly.
In 2007, Assembly expanded into two annual parties.
Assembly Winter that focuses on gaming,
and Assembly Summer that continues as a wide-scale computer festival that includes
finals of the year's most important gaming competitions.
The first Assembly Winter parties were held in Pirkka Arena of Tampere.
From 2009 onwards, the party moved to The Cable Factory in Helsinki.
Assembly Winter gathers over 1000 participants annually.
Pekka, how did the idea of Assembly Winter come up?
It started from the 90's when competitive gaming started to get more prominent.
People have always played games at parties, but competitive gaming was new.
Counter-Strike came, and other team-based games.
People wanted to play, internet became more common and people played over it.
We had a feeling that even though Assembly Summer is four days,
we have very little time to do everything that we want to do there.
If we wanted to arrange more gaming tournaments -- which was the visitors' request --
we'd have to find a way. We decided to separate these.
We'd keep Assembly Summer as it is and start a new party for players, Assembly Winter.
We thought about this for a few years with Jussi and we wondered how the team
and other organizers would take it.
And then you went and blurted it out in some Assembly afterparty we had.
We had our 15th birthday.
We had just won the Mindtrek award for the best e-Culture achievement with 15 years of Assembly.
We were in the middle of our afterparty and while our core group of 20 people knew, others didn't.
When the rest heard about it, this huge party turned into awkward silence
and people were like, "damn, twice a year now?". Facepalm.
But we pulled through.
It took some time to sink in what it meant that you couldn't take 10 months of vacation from Assembly.
It's like I said about the challenges. Let's do a bit more, it's so much fun, what's twice a year, right?
How about from a visitor's perspective, what comments do you have about Assembly Winter?
Not much since I've yet to go there. Demoscene has always been the thing for me.
What about Emilia?
It's a bit same for me.
I've been there once and it was something of Assembly 2002 revisited.
I didn't know what I could do there. I didn't know what they do there.
I'm not a gamer. Yet.
What's the response from Jussi and Pehu?
It's a new guard, in a way. Like Pekka said, people have always played in Assembly.
I started as a gamer. And ended up here.
Back then there was no competitive culture, that developed in the early 21st century.
It's a generational thing, you're just too old.
But it's true, there is a different culture.
They have their own stars. I'm not sure if the comparison to professional sports
is appropriate, but those people are very serious and competitive in what they do.
That way they're developing this own culture that is closely related to Assembly culture,
which is about being together. But they have their own characteristics.
Getting a grip of that requires -- as Emilia stated -- knowing the culture to get something out of it.
Kim, back in 1994 you were an organizer in the DOOM competition,
which apparently was the first gaming competition in Assembly.
How would you comment the gaming compo organizing of the modern day?
It looks so different now.
Back then, we could just barely get the computers to work after much tweaking.
We had loaned these beige Compaqs and played with them.
Judges drove levels first to get a good time limit. It was a lot of work, and very amateurish.
But it was very much fun.
Next, some questions from IRC
They're asking why Assembly Winter was moved from Tampere to Helsinki
In the end it's about seeing Assembly Winter become as big as Assembly Summer.
Finding visitors in Tampere was a challenge.
In Finland, you have to go where the people are. The capital area is so big.
Tampere was our ambition to expand geographically, but there were challenges to get people into the event.
What else is there?
This isn't related directly to gaming but they'd like to know from all of you,
what has been your motivator so that you've kept yourself organizing this event for 20 years,
or been here as long time visitors?
Or refrain from main organizing in the future
It's just so pleasant
It's the friends that you don't necessarily see elsewhere than in Assembly
Once a year
On my own part, regarding friends...
Naturally I do this with a big heart, I enjoy the scene and I want to see every year's compos here.
But on the other hand, Assembly and all its organizers have become a 'secondary family',
and it's really swell to see them once or twice a year.
It's become another circle of friends.
There are other friends, there are work colleagues, and then there is the Assembly group.
I'd miss these people if I wouldn't be organizing this event.
I've already stopped thinking which year is going to be my last. It's never gonna happen.
It's definitely the people and that Assembly spirit.
You can go have a chat with anyone and everyone is ready to help each other.
If you do some tricks over here, everyone finds them entertaining.
All the people do unbelievable stuff here, and people dare to be themselves here.
You can see stuff that you likely won't see anywhere else.
I agree about the people and friends.
This is one of the few places where you can grab just about anybody and have
really interesting conversations about typed and untyped programming languages.
Things you wouldn't just chat with people under the Stockmann clock.
I also love the moment when you're sitting in the dark hall watching compos.
I'm not much of a graphics programmer, but it's wonderful to see what others have done
and especially now that I've learned to program, I can appreciate the productions in a new way.
How much time, effort and skill actually is in those things. That is a great moment.
One more thing... What influences my motivation is that Assembly is basically an empty vessel.
We bring the tables, we plug in the electricity. But no one comes here to see some big star.
Normally, people come to the Arena to watch a worldwide star or to see their hockey team play,
but Assembly isn't like that.
Even though we have demo competitions and everything else, people come here
for Assembly itself and for their friends, and their friends do the same and it all
blends together into this really nice entity.
Where the event is not driven by a singular star or a focal point, but the idea of being together.
And people bring the atmosphere. It may be blinking lights or a demo.
It may be eSports gaming or the late night letkajenkka, which I'm looking forward to, by the way.
Hopefully we'll see that this year too. Attention everybody, bring on the letkis.
For me, to see the fruits of your own labor and there are hundreds, thousands of people out there who want to
come and spend time with us and bring themselves and all their friends with them. That's really special.
And the last day when some random guy comes to you and says:
"thanks, it was a really great year, we'll roll again next year".
I can't stop after receiving feedback like that.
That takes us to the next clip that was filmed when Assembly received an award last spring.
Two familiar faces are sharing their thoughts.
OMG, bright light
Is your makeup all right?
No idea, at least my zits are showing
Speech, one-two-three.
Here are the Emperors of Assembly.
Peliluola is the honorary award presented by Finnish gaming organizations to the people
who have contrubuted to gaming and gaming development in Finland.
Personally, it's an honor to have been working on Assembly for 20 years and now the partners,
distributors and developers have noted the achievement.
It feels great since we've done a lot of work for gamers and culture and it's awesome that it's recognized.
Yeah, 20 years ago, when we jumped into organizing the first Assembly,
it was impossible to imagine what kind of an effect Assembly would have in the Finnish gaming industry.
Or in Finland and the whole culture in general.
There was no gaming industry back then!
True, there wasn't. I know you shouldn't retrospectively look backwards
and say that it was great, but this has been fun as hell, pardon my French.
We didn't even aim for something like that.
We went to have fun and it was amazing for us to have a thousand guys together to play games.
- Exactly - And to make demos
Except in 1995 we tried to bring demoscene to mainstream
- That's true - Aye
I think we entered mainstream more through games than through demos.
First came the demo makers, then came the game makers.
There was Remedy, Housemarque, Bugbear, later Rovio.
A lot who came to Assembly for a demo compo became game designers.
Maybe it became mainstream that way
That's true. And you could also see how the culture developed along the way.
Assembly has basically been the same thing year after year since 1995.
We've been doing the same thing. People keep coming back.
There's a certain social need to have people who think the same way and enjoy the same things.
Metalheads have Tuska, people go to rock concerts. Nerds and gamers have Assembly.
It's the same with our organizers. The volunteer force that makes Assembly possible.
There are a lot of people who have done this for years and still enjoy doing it.
Young people doing this for other young people. Me and Jussi might not be so young any longer
Young at heart
Right, the youth's in the heart at this point. Face might show a few years, so what.
We want to do this. We enjoy every single Assembly Summer
and Assembly Winter that we do and I hope it shows in the event itself.
I wish we can have continuity. I wish the same people come to do this year after another.
And they do come. A lot of people have been here for 10 years and more.
I think the greatest moment in Assembly is when the party has been going on for four days,
it's gone well and the visitors have enjoyed themselves.
We have a tradition that at the end we show every organizer's name on the screen.
Like a cast list. Then the visitors start clapping.
They applaud more than anything else.
These people have put their own free time and energy to create an event for the others.
It's great that people appreciate that. That makes Assembly special. It's the culture.
Making it together, a wonderful party that we and thousands of other people can enjoy.
Almost a hundred thousand people have visited Assembly over the years.
With this speech, I'd like to send our former, current and upcoming organizers lots of love.
This award is also yours as much as it is mine and Jussi's
In AssemblyTV, everything always goes as planned. Let's take a few questions from our IRC-channel next.
Here's one: Has Linus Torvalds ever been to Assembly?
As far as we know, no.
We were working at the same place in Helsinki University, and we've discussed this back then,
but to my knowledge, Linus has never been here.
I tried to entice him but he didn't bite. He had some other projects then.
I wonder what he was working on
No idea, some UNIX clone but it's not like I understand anything about those.
Did you meet Linus often?
We had only two rooms separating our offices, so I'm almost like his father.
We were there at the same time.
Linus was working on Linux and I was there as teacher and assistant.
Any other questions?
Yes. There's a question how the organizers match their schedules and the rest of their lives
so that they're able to make Assembly happen. Meaning work life and other considerations
Many years' experience, I guess. You learn to have a family life without summer holidays.
Well, not really. You can have a summer holiday but not as much.
When you've done this for half of your life, it gets easier.
Here you have two guys sitting and others who've been organizers at some point,
but Assembly isn't the work of just a few people. It's the other way around.
This year, we have 230-240 volunteers doing this, and that includes many people
who've been doing this for years.
Experience and a big organization allow us to not drive anyone to the ground,
except for main organizers occasionally.
But this is done by having really skillful people who are motivated to make this party a reality.
Not by having two men who find themselves in television due to the number of years they've been here.
It's the whole organization that makes this happen.
And that's how it succeeds. A big party requires many organizers.
Greetings back home to each organizer's spouse, then. Are there any other questions?
This is a bit different. Which one of you guests would win in mud wrestling?
You're not afraid to get dirty
Let's take a final question. If you'd crystallize Assembly into one word, what would it be?
Let's start from Kim over there.
Pekka has win
Thanks for joining us here.
I can say that condensing the 20 year history of Assembly into 55 minutes proved to be somewhat challenging,
but next year we'll have an Assembly 21 year special program,
where we can discuss the history in even more detail.
In fact, the whole party from Thursday to Sunday is only about this topic.
We can come and tell about the old mishaps at some point.
Take this as a suggestion for a program for next year.
Old gits come to reminisce the old times when we still could mess things up.
Thankfully we have a recorder up on the studio roof that has recorded all the comments
we've had while the video clips have been rolling.
We went through the false statements and missed details I've had in them.
We'll go through those in more detail next year.
Thanks to all of you.