The start of a unique book series about the atari st Demoscene, Atari Corp. and entrepreneurs of game developer Thalion.

Go on a visual ride through the 80s and inhale the neon-air again. Enjoy the pixel-art, the logos, the fonts and rediscover the tools of the makers on 300 extraordinary pages. Well-known programmers and artists are looking back to their productions – sceners who have started with the Atari ST and are still working in todays creative IT business.

From 1984 to 1994 and beyond. The complete anthology will encompass three volumes with 1000 pages packed by pixel fascination, interviews, demos, games, tools and computer history – presented in an all new manner. It covers the search for artistic expression and searches for the contemporary reasons. Each volume needs to be crowdfunded (once per year). 

creative layout

Original pixels are used to build an immersive layout. Mini-Features adding infos on the origin of the screen art. 

screen design

To capture the fast-paced movements all demo screens were taken by an emulator and rearranged on paper. 

digital history

Style-forming artists like Rob Hubbard, Steve Bak or Pete Lyon let their marks on the Atari ST Demoscene. 

demo culture

Scene vs. Scene. On the Atari ST the non-custom chip philosophy led to the creation of near-identical Amiga copies. 

special features

Double-page-features explain pop cultural influences. Pixel art often took the profit, like here from Megadeth.  

moving images

Wide picture sequences present the complex motion of the demo screens, thus scroller are scrolling on paper.  

“In the age of industry the game was a demarcated area for children and young people. [...] When life became serious, children had to stop playing. That was a good thing, considering the circumstances of a factory, where someone can hurt himself and destroy production values. [...] It’s an important sign of the emerging digital culture that we no longer have to stop playing.”

Gundolf S. Freyermuth in 2016, professor of Media and Game studies

Sign of the Times. Raster colors transformed the screen into a digital allegory of painting. Let’s put the disc back into the floppy drive and focus on the intensive engagement of digital artists and programmers of the 80s. How did those bedroom coders manage to overcome hardware limits by software? How was convincing pixel graphics made? What was it like to act in a digital underground society? Which mindset was needed?  

The biopic retrospective contains a year of research. The author has read many historic press articles and also switched on the original demos to read important scroll texts again. What shaped this Digital generation? With BREAKIN’ THE BORDERS Microzeit introduces a new kind of book series. Author Breddin refers as contemporary witness, who made his first creative steps with the help of the Atari ST Demoscene in the late 80s.

the creative start of a digital society

Breakin’ the Borders – The Atari ST and the Creative People vol. 1


1984 – 1990. From digital underground wizards to magic game developers. The 80s computer youth were on their own while building a digital identity. This is the captivating story of a European swarm intelligence, which fought against a truly limited 16-bit machine to create an exceptional style of digital art.  


  • Hardback Edition, Offset printing, Thread sewn binding
  • More than 300 pages packed by Atari- and Demoscene history
  • 135g/m² matt coated paper
  • 230 x 170 mm Landscape format (Atari screen size)
  • 10 multi-page Demo specials with 500 screens, over 40 demos exposed
  • 420 historical plates with adverts, photographs of developers, etc...
  • Double sided illustrations and compositings
  • 30 Features/Flashbacks deliver sidekicks and behind-the-scene facts
  • Tools of the makers and the programming story
  • Popculture integrated: influencial music, movies and inspiring artists 
  • 6 Thalion Game-classics with international press analysis
  • 40-pages Interview appendix with the makers
  • Sync scrolling & Fullscreen special by guest author Troed Sångberg
  • Explanations about techniques like Bit-blit, Antialiasing, Dithering, etc....  


A narrated journey through the Atari ST Demoscene – an important subcultural phenomenon in the era of home computers. First time the fast paced motion designs are captured on paper. A book in the format of a 12" Atari screen with film-like sequential tableaus presenting over 500 demo screens.  


How to dislike limitations and break system specifications? What about making something possible, which a machine truly doesn’t allow? Which challenges shaped the minds of those 16-bit computer geeks? What did they learned? What are they doing today?


Memories of the Makers from groups like The Exceptions, The Carebears, The Lost Boys, Overlanders, Gigabyte Crew, TNT, Respectables and ST NEWS.


16 exclusive interviews with legendary demo makers and game producers reveal inspiring insights about the beginning of creative careers in the era of 16-bit computing: Erik Simon (ES/TEX, Thalion), Jochen Hippel (Mad Max/TEX, Thalion), Richard Karsmakers (Cronos/ST News, Thalion), Marc Rosocha (Marc/Gigabyte Crew, Eclipse), Michael Raasch (Daryl/TEX, Thalion), Tim Moss (Manikin/The Lost Boys), Dave Moss (Spaz/The Lost Boys), Michael Schüßler (Sammy Joe/The Lost Boys), Stefan Posthuma (Digital Insanity/ST News, The Lost Boys), Stefan Kimmlingen (Tyrem/The Respectables), Niklas Malmqvist (Tanis/The Carebears), Anders Cedronius (An Cool/The Carebears), Mike Mee (Mug U.K/Atari Legend), Patrick Bricout (Mister Bee/Overlanders), David Mistouflet (Dim/Overlanders) and more...


BREAKIN’ THE BORDERS goes back in time, when the Atari ST and Amiga were still revolutionary mouse-operating machines and the future of DTP and interactive design has begun to shape nowadays IT professions. The book exposes the foundation of the Atari Corporation, surpasses the marketing of Atari Computers and explores the origin of the Atari ST Demoscene, whose creative people where on a rollercoaster ride to the blooming digital entertainment industry.


39,90 €

  • Delivery in Mai 2017