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Agrippa Vanities - TIC-80 512 bytes

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Released in december at Inércia 2023, started out of boredom in early 2023 from some star polygon algorithm (with thickness) and as a tribute to black metal, the initial sketch which was JavaScript didn't satisfy me enough aesthetically and wasn't animated and i didn't consider a release at first but kept iterating and eventually converted it to LUA (better for compression), the first idea to improve the original sketch was to add some classic demoscene effects related to the theme so i added a fire effect (common for this theme) and later the starfield effect (fire sparkles ?) with a background gradient.

Not a great effort size-wise but i still enjoyed fighting with the packer/code to polish the end result and add content, there is many more size optimizations left though, could perhaps go to 256 bytes with slightly different algorithms (bundled tris ?) or ordering, there is redundant code right now for the smaller pentagram and the fire / starfield / overlay effect could be smaller.

Was silent at first but since it was a black metal tribute... just couldn't ship it without some buzzing noise with code i borrowed from my Chmmr intro and added one week before the party.

Lua code packed with pakettic.

Anecdote : The moon symbol at the center was added as a filler, thought it looked cool and didn't add much bytes, curiously found out a bit later that the moon symbol was also at the center of the pentagram on Man inscribed in a pentagram from Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa's De occulta philosophia libri tres, i also added ORZ signature as Dotsies for fun, the program without the moon symbol and signature is ~470 bytes.

Forgot to hide the TIC-80 cursor but there is bytes left to do this without any other changes, there is also bits of green on the pentagram outline that i don't like, noticed this much later, it can be fixed easily though.

f=.31415
--{
b={}
c={}
n=f*4
--}
for i=0,3e4 do
 --{
 b[i]=0
 c[i]=.02+math.random()*.1
 --}
end

function q(e,s,m,p)ab
 --{
 line(120+e*math.cos(s),68+e*math.sin(s),120+e*math.cos(m),68+e*math.sin(m),p)
 poke(65455+e,64+e%6)
 --}
end

SCN=function(e) poke(16320,e/4) end

TIC=function()
 cls()
 -- fire seed
 for i=90,269 do
  b[120+48*math.sin(i/58)//1+(68+48*math.cos(i/58))//1*240]=math.random(8)
 end

 for i=0,5 do
  -- big penta
  for e=-40,40 do
   q(e/8+50,i*n+f,(i+2)*n+f,3-e/20)
  end
  -- chaos lines
  for e=1,120,6 do
   q(e/2,i*n+f,(i+2+e)*n*e/4+f*e/8,12+e/28)
  end
 end

 -- small penta
 for i=0,5 do
  for e=1,29 do
   q(e,i*n+f,(i+2)*n+f,16)
  end
 end

 -- black penta with heavy weight (hiding chaos lines)
 for i=0,5 do
  for e=24,27 do
   q(e,i*n+f,(i+2)*n+f,4-e/13)
  end
 end

 -- penta overlay (sides)
 for y=0,135 do
  for x=70,169 do
   if pix(x,y)>0 and pix(x,y)<2 then
    --{
    pix((x+120)%240,y%136,2)
    pix((x+120)%240,(y+64)%136,2)
    --}
   end
  end
 end

 -- fire
 for i=1,15360 do
  b[i]=(b[i-1]+b[i+240]+b[i+240+1]+b[i+480])*.23
  a=peek4(i)==0 and poke4(i,b[i])
 end

 -- starfield
 for i=0,240,4 do
  z=c[i+3]
  --{
  x=c[i]/z
  y=c[i+1]/z
  c[i+3]=z-c[i+2]
  --}
  z=x*x+y*y/3>.17 and pix(120+x*120,68+y*68,z%5)
  if x>1 or y>1 then
   --{
   c[i]=math.random()*5-2
   c[i+1]=math.random()*5-2
   c[i+3]=4
   --}
  end
 end

 --{
 print("(",118,66,2)
 pix(235,131,2)
 pix(235,135,2)
 pix(237,131,2)
 pix(237,133,2)
 pix(237,134,2)
 pix(239,131,2)
 pix(239,132,2)
 pix(239,134,2)
 pix(239,135,2)
 --}
end

Versions

initial version, didn't like the circles

slightly better animated but still felt it was missing something

Pentagram


The code that construct the thick pentagram geometry, it all started from this :

u=math
l=u.cos
h=u.sin
f=.31415
n=f*4
d=240
g=d/2
function q(e,s,m,p)
line(g+e*l(s),68+e*h(s),g+e*l(m),68+e*h(m),p)
end
TIC=function()
 cls(0)
 for i=0,4 do -- penta
  s=i*n+f
  for e=-40,40 do -- thickness
   q(e/8+50,s,(i+2)*n+f,3-e/20)
  end
 end
end

Starfield

classic demo effect, filtered in my case to only show stars outside of a black disk : if x*x+y*y/3>0.17 then plot... end

d=240
c={}
g=d/2
for i=0,504 do
 c[i]=0.02+math.random()*0.1
end
TIC=function()
 cls(0)
 for i=0,500,4 do
  z=c[i+3]
  x=c[i]/z
  y=c[i+1]/z
  c[i+3]=z-c[i+2]
  pix(g+x*g,68+y*68,z%5)
  if x>1 or y>1 then
   c[i]=math.random()*5-2.4
   c[i+1]=math.random()*5-2.4
   c[i+3]=4
  end
 end
end

Fire effect


Another classic demo effect which is related to Poisson's Equation, a directed diffusion (blur) of values across a grid, seed values here are randomly chosen on half of a circle at each frames, the diffusion is done through a lookup of 4 values for every pixels and scaling down the combined values so it goes toward 0 which correspond to the background color.

On my version the fire effect is behind some other effects so i also needed a conditional to only plot on background areas, different layer ordering could also works perhaps but i also read the framebuffer to show the edges overlay so i don't know how it would work out.

d=240
b={}
g=d/2
for i=0,3e4 do
 b[i]=0
end
cls(0)
TIC=function()
 for i=90,269 do
  b[g+48*math.sin(i/58)//1+(68+48*math.cos(i/58))//1*d]=math.random(8) -- half-circle random
 end
 for y=0,64 do
  for x=1,d-1 do
   -- diffusion (note : replaced with poke4 / peek4 + single loop on the final release)
   b[x+y*d]=(b[x+y*d-1]+b[x+y*d+d]+b[x+y*d+d+1]+b[x+y*d+d+d])*.235
   -- plot on screen
   pix(x,y,b[x+y*d])
  end
 end
end

Aside : Black metal

Black metal music is something i engaged with as a teenager in the early 2000s (after Rock and Nu metal and before delving into Electronic music and Jazz) with bands such as Dimmu Borgir, Bathory or Arcturus, i was not really interested by the lyrics (i rarely care about lyrics at first) but i guess i was impressed by the seemingly general irreverence, the energy and profane symbolism, all good fuel for teenage rebellion, the moody romanticism was also important to me as i was favoring music with high keyboards emphasis. This period is also when i discovered the demoscene.

Best example of these years was perhaps moody tracks such as For all tid (always likened the drums pattern as some kind of trot), always liked these cheesy preset keyboards intro independently of any metal genres. (dungeon synths which carry these keyboards into full length tracks strangely bore me though with some exceptions such as early Mortiis or Summoning)

The satanic theme wasn't of any interest to me beyond the edginess of it, i didn't care much about it and still don't beyond what is now curiosity, i am pretty much agnostic sometimes leaning to atheism with a Spinoza view, i was never accustomed to any religious ideas whatsoever in my life.

Then i became interested in other type of music, still kept listening to black metal stuff such as Bathory but not so often, i revisited black metal years later after going into trash and death metal first which eventually led to this intro after a happy accident involving the creation of a pentagram with tiny code.

The satanic theme re-framed into a theistic Gnostic / dualist cosmogony (could also fit pantheism) pushed by some black metal bands (eg: Abigor on Time Is The Sulphur In The Veins Of The Saint - An Excursion on Satan's Fragmenting Principle (2010) for example, this interpretation is loosely based on the lyrics but i also heard some of this in Brigitte Fontaine Hermaphrodite song, Coil Blood from the air or even in Jean Genet works), this view devoid of any liturgy nor rituals is something interesting to me, i see it as some sort of extreme spiritual extension (much wider in scope) of the sort of principles that one can find in anarchism (pursuit of personal knowledge, liberation from oppressive forces, high skepticism etc.), all the paradoxes that this theme spawn could fuel and resolve to a sort of mythology / cosmogony with the commonly seen biblical figures (reversed) referring to man (actually all that exist) and whatever system of oppression he (whatever 'he' is here) is currently in (so demiurge is the keeper of that structure ?), in this case the best state is non existence i guess which can be considered one of the higher realm; primal chaos, existence can be seen as an everlasting try (rebellion) to reach that state even if briefly (for those who knows i guess ?), it perhaps always "fall" through though (never ending falls, never works), singularities, the true god is something abstract (fragmented ?) and self referential for anything that exist, it may actually refer to one self across time and fields of possibles, it also means that believing it is actually believing in one self, we are one  (which is probably a reference to the first principle which i guess refer to the first law of thermodynamics which state that energy can only be altered, neither created nor destroyed), the Gnosis of the Gnostic (a trail, bottle message) lie in everything that exist (more or less) as some sort of leitmotiv to catch on.

Time may also have a special meaning : Time exists so that everything doesn’t happen at once. so time would actually be the mechanism by which rebellion, salvation is realized (Gnosis), if everything would happen at once there would be perpetual servitude (immediate and total subjugation to oppressive structures), the illusion of time (?) is a fragmented way to avoid and realize this (through experience ?).

All this is probably farfetched edgy individual interpretation (aka bullshit) though and should be highly questioned and disregarded; just had some quick interpretation fun after listening to some music. I guess that the interesting bits i draw from this is that some of the essence of what is talked on in black metal has close ties with anarchism and its values in some ways (i see some of this in the demoscene as well), rebellion from the status quo, personal freedom, black metal has punk roots so no wonder, it is known there is overlapping ideas there, most of the ideas doesn't draw from organized religions / coercive authority but from earlier forms that existed prior it which were less dogmatic, free form and wilder, such ideas were often severely punished by history through the later implementation of heresy and orthodoxy; metal music also draw from all kinds of outsider stories such as witches in Bathory For all those who died which was inspired by a Erica Jong poem, it is outsider music at heart.

A fun (mostly related) essay on Gnosticism in metal : Of chaos and internal fire: the quest for nothingness by lyrical manifestations of re-interpreted Gnostic thought

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