The P.H.F. was formed in 1983 by Grazey. In the first couple of years our output consisted mainly of BASIC demos for the C64. Our `famous` Who-Zone demo series followed. Who-Zone's I-III were mainly sprite based demos with ripped music and scroller (bogg standard CompuNET fodder). Who-Zone IV was a slight departure in that it was a computerised quiz featuring a variety of ripped gfx and msx, the user was asked to guess which games they were from, sounds easy but in reality if you had the main sprite from IK+, Way Of The Exploding Fist, IK and Karateka; could you tell the difference! The final Who-Zone demo (V) was an indication of things to come as it was a full music disq demo containing around 40 of the best SIDS around.
The Morts joined 1985/6 ish he was really just a C64 swapper but also coded a bit.
By 1987/8 our ranks had swelled to 4, Johnny 99 joined the crew along with Cal(Calsoft). Our hardware had also changed. All 4 members bought Atari ST's. Cal, J99 and Morts bought standard 520 STFM's whereas Grazey bought the obscure 520 STM which had an external floppy (atleast it had a modulator though!). During the next couple of years the PHF were at their most productive. The 68000 learning curve was very smooth, both Cal and J99 had Z80 experience (Spectrum/Amstrad) while Grazey and Morts had dabbled in 6502. Each issue of the legendary ST News provided the catalyst and inspiration to learn new coding tricks. Our first full demo was released in 1989, it was a typical sample demo which everybody cut their coding teeth with (Even the mega-mighty Carebears). The demo was called the Rescue Demo and featured a 700k looping sample with a picture of a R.A.F. Seaking helicopter pixelised by Grazey.
Morts left the PHF at around this time due to our college course ending. A second sample demo hit the PD libraries a couple of months later. The Sanxion Demo was again a sample demo but this time used a sample sequencer to loop samples which made the completed song around 5 minutes long. The demo also featured some nice sinus rasters and starfield by Cal and a text roller by J99. This was Cal's last real contribution to the ST. He did do some screens for our UMD`s but by now he was hooked on the Amiga`s powerful custom chips!
Steely Dan joined the group in 1990. At this time we also had a side line of producing Sewer Software doc compils, these packed two disqs onto one. During the next few years we released all Sewer Doc disqs 1-36 (saving 18 disqs).
Ultimate Muzak Demos
During the past couple of years Grazey had been ripping sound chip musics and sending them to Was(Not Was) of Automation. By 1990 he had accumalated around 400 tunes. It was at this stage the idea of Ultimate Muzak Demo was born. The demo used a barrel scroller selection screen and mainly had Jochen Hippel, David Whittaker and Nic Alderton tunes as these were so easy to rip. UMD also contained many tunes which had never been ripped before such as the digi drum zaks of TLB's Oh Crikey Wot A Scorcher plus all Jochen's B.I.G. demo Hubbard conversions.The demo had a favourable reception so work started on the follow up UMD II. This demo was the first example of Steely Dan's coding talents, with the game type mainmenu (ala Cuddly, Overdrive & Spoon) been the vogue we took a similar approach and coded a multi-directional sync-scrolling menu using gfxs from Turrican. Grazey coded a nice C64 emulator front-end which fooled alot of people on their first viewing! UMD II incorporated many tunes from lesser known ST musicians such as Ant Lees (remember Mindsmear??), Jurgen Piscol and Pierre Loriaux. UMD III followed, but this time used digital ST music, again none of these tunes had ever been hacked before (Warp digi, Turrican digi, Stormlord digi). UMD IV was very similar to UMD II in both look and content. UMD III part two was a two disq demo and featured all the tunes from the Amiga classics - Pinball Dreams/Fantasies (Coding master pieces by TSL.). UMD V was our final music demo and was hastily put together, it contained musics for one reason or another had not made it into any of the other previous 5 demos, the demo also included PHF member mug shots! but these are about 7 years old!
AMIGA / future?
Cal has released a couple of PD games on the Amiga. Lamertron is a good old fashioned blast in the mould of Robotron/Llamatron. Projexion is a horizontal AGA arcade quality shoot-em-up running at 50 f.p.s. however this was never released due to the lack of graphics, hint hint - Grazey!! Cal also did the Amiga commercial conversion of the ST game Hollywood Hustler. He is currently coding a network game that utilises TCP/IP. Grazey is currently converting ST tunes to work with the new Amiga YM2149 emulator by Nicolas Pomarede. Grazey has also started coding a new ST music demo (UUMD - Ulitmate Ultimate Muzak Demo) this will contian over 3000 chip tunes! (See UUMD 8730 section). Both Johnny 99 and Cal are commercial coders so their time is limited.