Table of content

1. Foreword aka “what’s this fuzz about?”
2. Gaming and a deep-dive into Twitch communities
3. Demoscene releases and projects
4. Streaming about music production on YouTube
5. Books I enjoyed the most or made me think
6. Podcast episodes that stood out and stuck


As an exercise of reflection, I started writing this before Christmas (read: anxiously staring at the blank page for a day).

However, I didn’t manage to finish it before our trip to China. Eventually, one week of collecting assets, reflecting about and coming to terms with them was a bit ambitious. Moreso, in a situation of just having signed a new position and quit my old job. A journey lasting 11 years.

Upon returning from the Middle Kingdom, which was a stunning vacation, I’ve had mixed feelings about this post. For one, there are still many things missing I would have wanted to feature. Then I feel it lacks a certain level of trimming and editing. Most importantly, I constantly need to remind myself I started writing this only for myself.

On the other hand, it contains a number of resources, both from my desk and the world out there, I want to share with my added perspective. So, bear with me as I’m hitting the publish button on this thing, feeling like an unfinished draft to me. For the lack of all the things I wasn’t yet able to include. The trips, people, places, favourite gear and so on. Yet, I need this off my desk. NOW. For focusing on new and other things.


Gaming, supporting a streamer, in-game photography

For the last 20 years I’ve been trying to avoid multiplayer shooters for a good reason: having spent countless hours with Unreal Tournament, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and Desert Combat later I better tried staying the fuck away from those.

If it wasn’t for my son (hi Luke) I’d probably kept it that way. It was around this time last year I got bitten by Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds battle royale bug. We gathered in front of Twitch watching others playing this Playerunknown Battlegrounds thing. And a number of things from the past clicked.

Coming from the C64 and Amiga it was quite common to gather in a group, playing a single-player game like Turrican in turns. I remembered playing Hyper Olympics and Winter Games with my parents. Watching a friend trying to master the sand deserts of Dune II. Much later playing Mafia on the PC in the company of my sons’ mother, urging me to continue the story. What seemed rather alienating about the “Let’s Play”-Format on YouTube and Twitch instantly vanished. We were doing exactly the same thing back then. Having a good time, a group of people in sync, focusing on the same thing.

Reminded me about this book:
SuperBetter” by Jane McGonigal, Chapter 2: ‘You’re surrounded by potential allies’
How games can positively impact bonding between people.

Now, shooters grew a little bit more complex during the last two decades. And dang, did I suck. All of a sudden I was on a user journey: interested in watching others play on Twitch. Easing my pain, finding as well as learning from like-minded people.

Long story short, a few weeks later I found myself assisting a friendly streamer and his folks with community management, design matters and reflection. I learned a lot about the technical aspects of streaming, the tools the Twitch community. Happy to be able to connect him with my colleagues from COMPUTER BILD SPIELE when they’re were looking into interviewing a streamer for a report.

Did you know that modern GPU’s allow virtual resolutions higher than the one supplied by your monitor? I didn’t. My poor AMD Radeon RX 580 didn’t really like running at 4k longer than 5 minutes either. Yet, the results were worth the hassle.

There are even 3rd party tools for super-imposing rendering techniques on existing shaders. But tbh, they didn’t really help. Last not least Nvidia released a virtual camera feature, “Ansel”, which will make life much easier for those interested in taking in-game photos. I don’t think it’s supported by too many games yet.

Moreso learned there’s a community dedicated to the art of in-game photography.

Meet F1rstlady at Twitch
Instagram: Society of virtual photographers


Demoscene activities

Meanwhile, zden invited Pandur and myself to the Demobit demoparty in Bratislava for playing a combined DJ/VJ set. With visuals driven by Pandur’s visual programming language I wasn’t expecting the hassle to make my Traktor/S4 DJ-setup to talk to the VJ laptop. In the end, it needed switching back and forth between Traktor S4’s native and midi mode to supply the clock. Took me a while to figure that out. Hope NI implemented this in a more straight forward way in the latest version of their hardware/software bundle.

Testing the setup.

We managed to share Traktor’s midi clock using a cheap USB-Midi cable with his setup, incorporating his midi controllers – a Midifighter and Novations Launchpad as a visual step sequencer. The Arturia Beatstep wasn’t used in the end.

The other challenge: supplying a stable tempo for the midi clock. Which, for a free-form-fashioned DJ like me, was a bit of a nasty restriction. It needed more music preparation than usual.

The set would’ve also benefited from a more precise way of communicating in the live scenario. Something like a cheat-sheet of situations and scenes. Nevertheless, it’s been a great experience and proof of concept. Yes, browsers are a 3D-realtime platform worth considering. Also: Thank you Gargaj for the spontaneous introduction (“the most german music ever” eh).

Intrinisic III with JVB & The Solution faced the light of day at Revision demoparty. Unfortunately, there’s no YouTube cap to include here. Enjoying the path-traced minimalistic environments of it a lot. My drone soundtrack seemed a bit tough to digest.

On top of that, “Hold on” by Holon received a Meteorik-Award for the “Best high-end demo of the year”. o.O

Fueled by that, a month before this year’s Deadline Demoparty in Berlin, Pandur and I sat down again to create something worthy of catching up. Despite taking a different direction. My initial idea of making a “kickass oldschool-newschool Elektrobass”-thing was first met with skepticism. But as usual, when working with a like-minded guy on the same level, Pandur found a visual style perfectly matching the concept.

Attending Demobit in February, Revision in April, Evoke in August and Deadline in October felt like a good groove. Nevertheless, I’ll be on a demoparty diet this year. Because aus Gründen.


Going streaming

This is where the streaming experience connected with the realization about mentoring. I covered the live-session in this blog-post already, so let me spare you the details. My favorite reaction so far:

The best part was it was about mindset and technique, I didn’t come away thinking I need the latest Elektron Korg Roland BastardSynth XL 3000 paired with Facefucker Compression unit to get a decent sound.

Sums up the idea.


Favorite books

Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

“Peace of mind produces right values, right values produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all.”

Published in 1976 it’s more relevant than ever. Thx Cupe, for insisting me to read it fully. Feels like somebody explained to me how I see the world.


Norse mythology by Neil Gaiman

Neils’ take on the topic is as well-crafted as his books can be. He manages to depict the gods as powerful as naive while delivering that strong sense of place and time. Somewhere out there.  The way in which they stumble into stupid deals at times gets almost cringe-worthy, yet uniquely amazing. A great read for children and grown-up’s alike. Reminds me about passing it on to my son.


The science of meditation by Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson

A factual and critical view on the status quo of research about the practice of meditation. Spiced with personal experiences. An easy and insightful read, explaining how which kind of meditation can affect which part of our brain, personality traits, and even genomes. Made me pick up the exercise more frequently again.


The revenge of analog by David Sax

I’ve got a bit of an issue with the patronizing tone this one’s written. At the same time, he preaches to my belief that there’s much more about analog things than just memorabilia. I’ve spent a shitload of time reverse-engineering music, trying to recreate a more analog sound in the digital realm. This alone taught me a lot about awareness for details. This book does a good job of revealing how physical interaction with real things silently makes a comeback in many areas of our lives. Affecting both personal areas and the working world.


Fave podcast episodes

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Frank Blake, former CEO of Home Depot, on Cal Fussman’s Big Questions


I just look at some things and go, ‘Why is that? Why does it work that way?’ Oftentimes, the people most entrenched in a system have no idea why.” Nick Kokonas, co-founder of The Alinea Group, on the Tim Ferriss Show


I recognize there’s a decision to be made, I’ll look at the data, I’ll analyze, I’ll do the pros and cons, project out the worst-case scenarios… But at some point, I let it go. And I just wait for that moment that something clicks. The switch goes off at the back of my brain and it alerts me: the decision’s been made.” Gregory Scott’s reaction to a readers’ question on The UBK Happy Funtime Hour


And a german one I recently revisited:
Deswegen ist mein liebster Text auch der berühmte von Kleist. Der von der allmählichen Verfertigung des Gedankens beim Reden. Deswegen rede ich so viel. Weil ich beim Reden mitunter so Kurven kriege.” Erik Spiekermann im Formfunk Podcast von Matthias Gieselmann


Looking back, all of these episodes did a great job of explaining myself to myself. (Does this sound weird?)

If there’s anything I can possibly add from my own to this, are these questions you can use in every everyday situation if something hits your nerves:

What do I like about this? Which part or perspective sticks?

Found them to do a terribly good job for me. Even if the answer doesn’t come instantaneously.

Wanna hide somewhere under a desk right now…