Who is Roy<SAC>? - Brief Introduction
Who am I? My real name is Carsten, but I am better known as Roy<SAC> from the numerous NFO file logos of pirate scene groups that were tagged with that name.
Next to ASCII art for what I am probably best know for, I also did ANSI art. I actually started with ANSI art first. I don't know for sure exactly on which day I did create my first piece of text art, because I lost the original file of my first ANSI that I ever created. I only have the version that I converted to a .COM executable in September 1993. However, I do have the original of my second ANSI that I made and the third as well. The second ANSI was created on February 17, 1992 and my third one on February 21, 1992. This lets to the assumption that I created my first ANSI either on February 17, 1992 as well or only a few days before that date.
Before I did text art, I already experimented with pixel art, which I started to get my head around at some time in 1991. My interest in pixel art also lead to my friend (Ufonaut/TUAG->Xerox->Extacy), giving me the copy of an ANSI editor and the request to create one for the WHO (Melmac BBS in Berlin/Germany) of the warez group he just joined as coder and cracker. I do not remember his exact words, but they were along the following lines: "You like doing art stuff, right? Try this out and see, if you can get something out of it that looks nice.".
You can have a look at all three of my first ANSIs further down below. Also a bit further down are examples of my early "big hits" that became known throughout the scene. If you still have no clue what I am talking about, I suggest visiting my ASCII Art Academy to familiarize yourself with the subject matter. I also recommend checking the academy out to everybody else as well, btw :).
I was also a "sysop" and ran my own Bulletin Board System (BBS) between 1994 and 1998 called "Closed Society". Learn more about my BBS or "Board".
Although my active scene history started in earlier 1992, my computer history started already 4-5 years before that, while I was still living behind the "Iron Curtain" in the Former East Germany, the communist part of Germany, officially known as "GDR" or "German Democratic Republic". I still have memories about some events when I had my first exposures to the creations of the early demo and warez scenes that just started to emerge of the classic 6 bit home computers that were available at that time and who's pupularity began to get bigger and bigger, on both sides of the "Iron Curtain".
I wrote about some of those earlier episodes of my "computer-related" life at my personal blog already. You you are interest in this and would like to learn the details, read the my post "The First Demo That I Saw in my Life"
Yeah, I was 15 years old and in Berlin when the Berlin Wall "fell" on November 9, 1989. I get the question a lot follwed by question about how it was like from my perspective, I sad down and wrote a blog post to this subject as well, check it out, if you are interested in this particular aspect and segment if my life. See: The Fall of the Berlin Wall - Personal Account of Events".
If you want to contact me, use the form at contact page to leave me a message.
Some Examples of My Artwork
Here are some examples of my Art Work. Click on the Thumbnail to enlarge. The Asciis and Ansis are converted versions of the original in gif-format. The complete collection of my ANSI, ASCII and VGA Art in original Format is available for download at my download page (art created between 1991 and 2003 only).
The examples are only meant to give you an overview of the broad range of Text and Pixel Art I did over the years. I did hundreds of ASCIIs and ANSIs, not that much Pixel Art though.
Additional Screenshots of ANSI/ASCII Text Art and VGA created by me are also available at my Deviant Art Homepage..
Deviant Art is a free and interactive online community for Artists and Art Lovers. Artists can interact and als publish their Art. Art Enthusiasts can purchase Artwork directly from the Artists who offer their Art for Sale at Deviant Art. You should check it out, if you are an Artist yourself or just interested in Art.
I am sure you noticed already the links to my Art Galleries here on my web site. I put all my ANSI and ASCII Text Art online for everybody to see. All pieces can be viewed almost 100% accurate via Web Browser without the need to install any Software or Browser Plug-Ins. I also published my VGA Pixel Art and some of my newer Web Art Work (Banners and that kind of stuff).
My Most Popular Deviations
Roy ASCII/ANSI Art, The Beginning - Full StoryA short trip back in time...
|1st ANSI||2nd ANSI||3rd ANSI||Other Early ANSIs from 1992|
<- My very first ANSI was an ANSI for a BBS titled "Melmac BBS". The "XEROX WHY" used to be blinking white instead of having the gray background.
A friend who just got his 14.4 KB modem and joined the group "Xerox" as cracker (and I got his 2400 Baud modem) said to me that they need an ANSI for their BBS. "Hey Carsten, you like to do graphics and stuff, we need something like this ..." and showed me some examples of ANSI BBS Ads (they sucked for the most part, thankfully). I said, "sure, I will try, how do I make those?". He gave me this tool called ANSIDraw and I started playing with it. This was in mid to early February 1992.
They liked and used by first ANSI, which was encouraging. I saw a bit later the first ACID and ICE art packs and realized that I suck at ANSI :). But I did not give up, because of the acceptance of my early art and because I realized that a lot of folks who do ANSIs (especially in Germany) suck even more than I do. The rest is ANSI and ASCII art history.
<- My 2nd ANSI was for myself, a "Roy" ANSI. Blatant self promotion, excessive ego and a distorted self image :).
I still have the original at the creation date is: February 17, 1992.
I assume that I did my first ANSI that you can see above either on that same day or maybe one or two days before that. It could not have been too long. I remember that I created my first 3-4 ANSIs within a relatively short period of time. When I say 1st, 2nd and 3rd, I have to clarify that this refers to the ANSI attempts that I actually kept and not deleted/discarded. I had to get used to the software, not to mention to the limitation of ANSI colors and text characters itself. I talk about those experiences in the next paragraph further down.
<- My 3rd ANSI, "ACC", was for the first BBS I ever dialed into. The BBS was running on a Commodore AMIGA 2000 and "Fast Call BBS" software. I found out to my surprise that the BBS was right where I lived, in walking distance from my parents home (that is close for Berlin).
I also still have the original ANSI file for this one. It was created on February 21, 1992.
I got to know the Sysop (another "ALF" hehe) and "saw" the BBS. He also showed me AMIGA demos after I told him about PC Demos like the "new mega demo" from Future Crew that blew everybody away back then ("Unreal" in summer 1992) and demos like Triton's Crystal Dream (1) and Cascada's Chronologia.
<- Early ANSI ... I saw Odyssey by Alcatraz, Hardwired by The Silents and Crionics and the Razor 1911 Mega Demo, which were released at the very first "The Party" in Denmark in December 1991, just a couple months earlier.
That got me interested into the demoscene. I also became his Co-Sysop. I became Co-Sysop of another BBS in the United States, which eventually led me to start my own BBS in 1994 right from my first own apartment (studio) after I moved out from my parents :).
My First ANSI Art / ANSIDraw
I created my first ANSI in spring 1992 for a BBS called "Melmac" (yes, the Sysop's pseudonym was "Alf" :)). The ANSI is available in my Art Collection which can be dowloaded at my download page. Unfortunately is my very first ANSI only available as ".com" executable. The original ".ans" Text File got lost years ago.
I created Screenshots of my first ANSIs and you can see them below. The screen shots include my very first ANSI for Melmac BBS, my 2nd ANSI - self titled ROY, my 3rd ANSI for ACC BBS (my first BBS), the ACC was blinking, but that works only under MS DOS. Last but not least another Melmac BBS ANSI, which is also one of my earliest ANSIs. It replaced my first ANSI as "Ad" for the BBS. You can also see, that I started experimenting with Font shapes. They are not pretty, but anybody has to start somewhere. I have no reason to hide them. I hope they encourage some of the artists out there who think that their art sucks and that they can not do it. That's BS. Yes, you can, stop whining.
I used a program called Ansidraw which was a real piece of junk. The maximum number of lines per ASCII or ANSI the program was able to support was 23 (which is exactly 2 lines less than a page in DOS. Anything above 23 lines triggered a "pause", if "page breaks" were not disabled.)
It was unable to load ansis which meant, that you had to get the colors right the first time or you had to load the ANSI as ASCII (without colors) and start colorizing from scratch ... argh. You can download Ansidraw here and experience the pain yourself, it's only 20 KB in size.
There is a number of tools available for download, including a number of ASCII/ANSI text editors for MS DOS and Windows at my download page.
My Early "Big ASCII Hits". 1992-95
The Creation and My Role as the "Leader" of SAC
My interest in text art lead me to the co-founding and leading of the German underground art scene group "Superior Art Creations", or SAC in short. The name was my idea, so if you don't like it, blame it on me. :).
SAC was actually the second group that I co-founded. The first one was the "trainers and cheats" group "Cardinals" (also my idea). The reason for the creation of SAC was simple. Europe did not have a strong text art scene like in the United States. Most U.S. art packs did not even make it across the atlantic at first, except for the ones from the top groups like ACiD, ICE or CiA. I only recall ICE Europe to be around and nothing else. I was thinking about applying to ACiD or iCE and had contact with one old ACiD and also iCE member with the name "Black Spyrit". I called his BBS, "Spyrits Crypt" and showed him some of my ANSI work. He encouraged me, but suggested to hold off a little bit, before I apply. That was in 1993.
In 1994 I saw ANSI art popping up in Boards in Berlin from other local artists. There were still no European art groups around and no packs to consolidate artwork that was created by various individual artists. Blueboxing was also not reliable working anymore, which caused communication across the atlantic to be constantly on and off.
I was in touch with some of the other artists, but it wasn't until Hetero came to visit me in person for the first time, together with Dr.Lazy (both LKCC), that became serious of founding our own group. I elaborated this with Hetero and he fellt the same. A few phone calls to some other artists in town the coming days and SAC was born.
SAC was not like an ACiD or iCE. SAC started to release packs every three months. Members worked very independent and everybody within the group had usually strong ties to the warez scene as well. Art requests were received and fulfilled by each artist directly. This process was never a centralized one. Check out the separate section on my site about the art scene group Superior Art Creations, its history and the art that was created by its members since 1994.
The role of the leader primarily the task (which wasn't always simple) to collect the new Art Work produced by Members and put the new SAC Art Pack together, update the Groups NFO File and to release the Pack. This was not a problem because the Leader of SAC (Roy) was also the Sysop of the SAC World headquarter BBS called "Closed Society".
For a more detailed story about how it was like to start and run the group, check out my blog post A Tale About A Group Called Superior Art Creations from January 2010.
ASCII Art Requests (and ANSI Art)
I made all my ANSIs and ASCIIs officially public domain in 2006 and refined that statement on August 24, 2008. You are free to pick any piece of my previous ANSI or ASCII text art you like from my ASCII art, ANSI art and Best of (ANSI and ASCII) galleries and create something out of the hundreds of ASCIIs and ANSIs by yourself.
I have also the tools needed to do that available at my download page. I am sorry, but I did already disappoint several other people who requested an ASCII or ANSI from me and I had to apologize for that. I won't do it again. Sorry mate.
I also want to make clear that this is not a money issue. I never took money for my art work and won't start taking any now. If I agreed to do an ASCII or ANSI, I did it without asking for anything in return. I simply don't have the time and motivation for doing any request work anymore. I am concentrating more on the preservation of what already exists and making it accessible to people who are interested in it. I am maybe creating 1-2 ASCIIs or ANSIs per year now and those are typically no external requests. I hope that the vast amount of content that I created throughout the years and made available for re-use and re-purposing on my site will help you with fulfilling your own needs.
Tips for Finding Another Artist
If your artistic skills are like not existent and you absolutely need the help of an artist for your required art work, then you might want to pay a visit to the IRC channels #SAC, #ACID and similar (on EFNet) to spot an text artist who is still active and willing to take on new requests.
You might also want to try to contact one of the following fellow artists (who are more or less active or on and off in unspecified time intervalls). The social network for artists, DeviantArt.com is a good place to get in touch and voice your needs. Here are the links to the user profiles of Sodium N4, Bym, Zerovision/Blocktronics, Tainted XL and Enzo.
Group Affiliations (Mine and My BBS)... since 1992 (Chronologically)
The Group List