by Unlock/Vantage^Padua [issue 02/2002]
In a birthday issue of a diskmag, a short (or preferably a long) resume of the whole history of the said mag should not be missing. I've been waiting until the last moment before the deadline to type this down, because I've still been waiting for informations about PAiN I didn't know about yet. I wanted to get as many ideas, dates and rememberings out of the interviews with several editors and of what I got to know from other people. To understand this, you maybe need to know that I haven't been reading PAiN from it's beginning - my interest in the PC scene started something like one or two years after the first issue got released.
THE FIRST STEPS
As you know, PAiN started out in Switzerland. PAiN was born in 1994 as a media to glue the Swiss scene together, which worked out this way - more or less. Chicken and Uli were the ones pushing the idea of a diskmag towards the release of the very first issue in January. They also called themselves maineditors. Chicken also coded the mag engine and with Silent Mode they found someone contributing high quality music to every issue. PAiN was only of a local interested. For non-Swiss sceners the mag was not interesting at all because you were able to read about the happenings in the local BBS scene. There were a lot of jokes with and about persons which were only known inside a small circle of people. Nevertheless, also in the first year PAiN published some articles which would have been of a bigger interest to an international audience - I'm thinking of some of the interviews and one or another article that can be found in the issues from the first year. Chicken and Uli managed to release PAiN once a month, at least from January until autumn. Not that this would have been a hard job, since most of the articles were shortly hacked together. They covered the latest happening and there was no need for bigger researches on a certain topic. The ANSI based DOS engine was on the current level of development and with the ability to display graphic screen, PAiN even came up with innovations.
PAiN 2 - A SMALL BREAK
The last issue in 1994 was issue 11/94. Then, suddenly, in the beginning of 1995, there was something spreaded around the boards in Switzerland. It was called PAiN2, but, although it was using the very same engine, it came from different maineditors. Chicken and Uli got annoyed by their job of releasing diskmags and gave it away to Qube, Anubis and Alien. The mag was a bit more oriented to the board scene, nearly nothing about demos, demoparties or anything. The charts got reduced to up/downloader statistics and the kinda weird humour of the former maineditor Uli was missing. Nevertheless, Qube, Anubis and Alien tried their best to satisfy the needs of the Swiss scene. In the issues coming out in the early Summer of 1995 we were able to read that the Swiss scene was getting boring and inactive. This trend found its end in the issue 08/95 which was a special issue. Several months later, Chicken returned to the staff and Alien aswell as Anubis stopped. With Chicken being back, the mag found its way back to the tops. During the year, the engine didn't change a lot, the only major difference you can notice is a high quality DMF music player which got included with issue 07/95. Several isses this year suffered from low quality and from bugs that makes them crash on today's PC (For example I've never been able to run the special issue and I didn't manage to display all the articles from issue 07/95. The last issue in this year, issue 11/95, had some soundproblems. I've not been able to have any soundoutput on my Gravis Ultrasound PnP.).
THE REGULAR YEARS
From the very first issue in 1997, Furball and Chicken were the maineditors. This will stay like this for many further issues, and it's surely not the worst thing happening to PAiN. Regularly, the issues get released every single month. Some issues were skipped, but that's no problem since you could be sure that there will be an issue in the next month. Furball states in his interview in this issue, that his premier idea for PAiN was to release it regularly, and this fully worked. The titlescreens get better and better and there is even one or another highlight among then. There are first appreances of people still more or less known in today's Swiss or international scene like Calodox, Nowadays (Asc/Nowadays has made many cool PAiN titlescreens) and Shinigami. Buenzli is a topic again and again, whilst 1996 and 1997 there have been 3 Buenzlis - each a bigger success and the one before. The engine had some changes here and then, some issues were worser than other. The usual live and flow of a diskmag. PAiN slowly got more international, the first foreign people wrote articles. These were also the years when PAiN finally got a status of a real diskmag amongst other at that time.
STEPS TOWARDS THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE
With issue 0498, Fred/Calodox took over the maineditorship of PAiN. You were easily able to notice this because Fred was the first one that had enough courage to change the engine colors of PAiN. Furball decided to give up his job. With Fred, PAiN finally did the final steps towards its internationality. In issue 0698, there was an announcement that Furball and Zpider were working on completly new PAiN engine which then was introduced two months later. It's the engine on which the todays' PAiN still bases (at least idea-wise). Fred left thed PAiN editor crew in the end of 1998 and Iquito and Cockroach took over the editorjob. The new engine got more and more improved and also worked fine under Windows. There were even plans about a Linux engine to be created. The editor team managed to release exaclty three issues and then, the dropped off. PAiN seems dead - until Fred came back and ..
When I took over PAiN together with Fred/Calodox somewhen in 1999 we started out with the new and innovative engine which you're still using today - naturally it evloved a lot since that mighty 10/99 issue. Fred really pushed PAiN towards internationality a lot, since there was not enough interested for the magazine in Switzerland, and, of course, it's simply more interesting to create a diskmag if you know that more than some grateless Swiss guys are reading it. The international scene soon became the main target of PAiN, after I decided to drop out regular articles like Swiss reviews, news and the like, and it was also that place where I soon got the big part of the support from. Speaking about support, it was still a problem to fill up an issue with more or less qualitative articles. This lead me to the point where I included nearly everything that arrived at my place - unfortunately also some articles from a guy called Kozmik. It's kind of pleasure for me to think back to this amusing episode in the history of PAiN, because it shows how some guys take their scene life a bit too important. In the article I've published, Kozmik said that French sceners were lame and he also mentioned certain people and groups. This article got a huge amount of feedback and hate mails, also from people telling that they wanted to take us to the court. Well, unfortunately they've written their mails in French, so I was not really able to understand them. Fred then became the lawyer of PAiN and I wasn't afraid of any confrontation anymore - I've never really been.
After releasing two or three issues together with me, Fred decided to leave the staff, because his reason to take over PAiN again just was to push it a little bit to make it survive. That thing he reached. I then was searching for another one helping me with PAiN and found Asc/Nowadays, but he never helped a lot and decided to creep back again. I was alone and went to the army and so PAiN was stopped for a while.
When coming back from there after three months, I tried to release another issue which came out rather tiny. The good working support has been lost. With announcements like that I gonna stop PAiN and other horror-news I managed to gain support again. My next move was to set up a regular team which now contains of rather many people: Cockroach, the long time PAiN regular for charts and polls; Ghandy, our article supplier from our exchange program with the Amiga scene; Enzymer, supplying us with a regular flow of reviews and smaller articles; PS, managing some public relations stuff; Triztan, regular creator of our world famous 3D outro sequences, P. Doom, the genious coder of the PAiN engine and our newest member, Seven, who might be known from Static Line, as accepted and experienced review writer; Unlock, the editor in chief trying to keep the people together and motivate them. This bunch of people manages to release high quality issues on a more or less regular base now.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE BRING?
PAiN will of course try to go on and up in the diskmag business, although many people say that we can't get higher at the moment. Luckily there will soon be more diskmags competing with us (Cheese, ..) soon and not just PAiN and Hugi and maybe Static Line or Planet. This will fresh up the scene a bit and it will give new impulses and motivate everyone to increase the quality. For PAiN this means, that we will follow our ideas like having a good integration with the Internet (related links) and of course we try to find some new concepts for several things like charts and news. Generally it's my wish to stay as oldschool as possible which also means that we won't change our engine towards ideas like they were implemented in the last issues of, for example, Shine. Nobody know what the future will bring, but we will go on until we're not able to do so anymore. This, of course, works best if we can continue counting on your support and help with anything.