Entries for tag "demoscene", ordered from most recent. Entry count: 29.
# Revision 2017
I just came back from Revision - world's biggest pure demoscene party. It was held in Saarbrücken, Germany. That was first time I attended a demoparty abroad, as I've been going only to the ones in Poland so far, like RiverWash, WeCan, Silly Venture, or AmiWaWa.
I don't like the fact that it happens during Easter, when I usually go visit my parents, but I wanted to see it at least once. Revision was big, with around 700 participants, according to the page with non-mandatory registration - Visitors. There were various kinds of activities - from Seminars to techno party, and of course most importantly - competitions. Revision is a multiplatform demoparty, so there were compo categories dedicated to retro platforms (like Amiga, pixel art or tracker music), as well as modern PCs (like modern graphics, streaming music, PC 4K/8K/64K intro and demo). Entries can be found here: Revision 2017 @ pouet.net.
Many people said that PC 4K Intro category had best quality this year, so it's worth checking. Other than that, productions that I remembered the most are:
Most exciting for me was watching Shader Showdown - a competition where two programmers had to write a pixel shader live on stage, without any documentation or other help, in a time frame of 25 minutes per round. Winner moved on to semifinals and then the final. During each round a DJ was playing some music and its live FFT was available as one of the inputs to the shader. It's amazing to see how good knowledge of programming, graphics and math allows to develop some nice looking visualizations in such a short period of time. I've also heard opinions that watching it gave a good glimpse of how graphics programming looks like and what does it take to make a demo, even for non-technical people.
Here is a gallery of my photos from the event:
# Pixel Heaven 2014 - My Photos
Here is the gallery of my photos from Pixel Heaven 2014:
# Pixel Heaven 2014 - My Impressions
31 May - 1 June I've been in Warsaw on Pixel Heaven. As I haven't been on previous edition, I didn't really know what to expect. Timetable was full of various activities - lectures, competitions or just opportunities to play some games. Would it be only about retro games, or also modern games? Only about indie games, or AAA games too? Is it more for gamers, or for professional game developers? What about demoscene? Either way, I decided to go there.
I'm not really into these retro platforms, so I planned to go listen to lectures about indie game development. I've seen and heard many interesting stuff there, like Adrian Chmielarz from The Astronauts presenting their game - The Vanishing of Ethan Carter - for the first time!
But as it turned out, I met so many interesting people there (some of them I haven't seen for years) that I've spent most of the time talking with someone :) It's a coincidence that just recently I've heard stories of several people who work for many (some more than 10) years in just one company. Very often that's their first job after graduating university. They speak with confidence like they know a lot about doing career. Surely after all these years they were promoted many times. But at same time, I think sometimes such people preceive possibilities and limitations of their job as something obvious, its rules as something critically important, like it was whole world. I don't think it's good attitude and I want to avoid that.
On the other hand, noone can try in his life every possibility in terms of work and career. For example, someone who already has a house and spouse and children and mortgage many not be willing to move to different city or country or try to make his living from doing a startup or indie gamedev studio. That's why I think it's so important to talk to many different people and hear their stories. Knowing how working for some other company looks like, whether your competition or in completely different business, or how totally different may someone's work and lifestyle be (e.g. freelancing, working from home, being a consultant, traveling to different countries to do different projects, making a startup) is mind-expanding because it makes you think about your own career with all its pros and cons in the context of bigger picture of what's possible.
Back to the Pixel Heaven, I recommend this party to anyone who is interested in either retro games or indie games. There is a lot of things to do all the time so noone should be bored.
# Silly Venture 2013 - My Photos
8-11 November 2013 there was another edition of Atari demoscene party - Silly Venture 2013. Click on the image to see my photos from this event (quite big gallery this time :)
If I had to summarize the party in just one sentence, I'd say that even if you - just like me - have nothing to do with Atari computers and just like demoscene, it's definitely worth visiting Gdańsk in November to go to this party. This scene is big. There were total 113 compo entries this year! (graphics + music + intro + demo + game + wild, in many different categories, for different Atari platforms).
There is also:
# After WeCan 2013
Last weekend I've been in Łódź at WeCan - multiplatform demoparty. It was great! - well organized, full of interesting stuff to watch and participate, as well as many nice people and of course a lot of beer :) Here is my small photo gallery from the event. On the first, as well as second day in the evening there were some concerts with various music (metal, drum'n'bass). ARM - one of the sponsors, delivered a talk about their mobile processors and GPU-s. They talked about tools they provide for game developers on their platform, like the one for performance profiling or offline shader compiler. On Saturday there were competitions in different categories: music (chip, tracker, streaming), game, wild/anim, gfx (oldschool, newschool), game, intro (256B, 1k/4k/64k any platform) and of course demo (any platform - there were demos for PC, Android, but the winning one was for Amiga!) I think the full compo results and prods will soon be published on WeCan 2013 :: pouet.net.
But in my opinion, most interesting from the whole party was the real-time coding competition. There were 3 stages. In each stage, pairs of programmers had to write a GLSL fragment shader in a special environment similar to Shadertoy. They could use some predefined input - several textures and constants, including data calculated real-time from music played by a DJ during the contest (array with FFT). Time was limited to 10-30 minutes for each stage. The goal was to generate some good looking graphics and animation. Who had louder applause at the end was the winner and advanced to next stage, where he could continue to improve his code. I didn't pass to the second stage, but anyway it was fun to participate in this compo.
Just as one could expect by looking at what is now state-of-the-art in 4k intros, winning strategy was to implement sphere tracing or something like that. Even if someone had just one sphere displayed on the screen after the first stage, from there he could easily make some amazing effects with interesting shapes, lighting, reflections etc. So it's not suprising many participants took this strategy. The winner was w23 from Russia.
I think that this real-time coding compo was an amazing idea. I've never seen anything like this before. Now I think that such competition is much better - more exciting and less time-consuming than any 8-hour long game development compo, which is traditional on Polish gamedev conferences. Of course that's just different thing. Not every game developer is a shader programmer. But on this year's WeCan, even those who don't code at all told me that the compo about real-time shader programming was very fun to watch.
# About Demoscene - My Article in ProgramistaMag
In the latest issue of Programista 6/2013 (13) magazine, there is my second article: "About Demoscene" (in Polish). This time it is less technical, so it should be understandable to everyone, regardless of known programming languages. I might not be the best person to write about demoscene, but I did my best to gather my experiences, research and describe different aspects of this phenomenon - from history and the beginnings at the time when 8-bit and 16-bit computers were used, through the explanation of what demoscene and a demo really is, how demoparty looks like, few words about competitions, until some details about different kinds of productions (demos for retro platforms, modern demos, intros) and how are they made.
Besides my article, on 140 pages if this issue, you will find many interesting articles about programming from assembler to C#. I encourage to find the magazine in Empik store or subscribe it online.
# WeCan 2013 Demoparty
They announced date and details of 2013 edition of WeCan demoparty. The website is www.we-can.pl. There is also WeCan 2013 Facebook Event. The party will take place 20-22 September in Łódź, Poland, in "Broadway 18" club. It is a multiplatform demoscene party. Next to traditional compos in different categories (like PC demo, intro and others) with valuable awards funded by sponsors (including NVIDIA and ARM), talks and electronic music concerts, this time they are going to organize additional competitions: "36h code jam" about game development and "real-time coding competition" about writing shader effects. I'm sure it will be great event and I hope to see you there :)
# Silly Venture 2012 - My Photos
7-9 Dec 2012 in Gdańsk, Poland, another interesting event took place - Silly Venture 2012 - Atari demoscene party. Here are my photos:
Although I'm not a fan of Atari platform, as I'm too young to remember the time when it was commonly used (my first computer was 286 PC), I like this kind of events because of nice people I can meet there and the "demoscene spirit" that can there be felt.
I must also admit that the Atari demoscene looks very strong. They have several parties in Poland every year (Głuchołazy, Grzybsoniada, Silly Venture, ...) and lots of productions submitted to many different categories in the competition. This party was international - there were people from Finland, Czech Republic and other countries and all the official announcements, as well as intro videos were in two languages - Polish and English.
The party was very well organized, especially comparing to RiverWash or WeCan multiplatform demoparty. It was in a school where lots of chairs and tables available allowed to bring, setup and present many computers, a classroom was adapted as sleeping room, we were given paper voting forms so we could enter our votes as we watched the productions, we had unlimited beer, limousine ride and other atractions - all included in the ticket fee... So, thanks a lot and see you next year!