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The state of the demoscene: 1991 - 2011

category: general [glöplog]
h0ffman: no, they're not linked. bitworld is based on zeg's collection of amiga scene stuff. (as a side note, there's also break's collection, which is easier to navigate and search). pouet is just ... stuff hosted at various locations. there's tons of stuff missing, but such is life.
added on the 2012-01-20 18:47:13 by reed reed
great article, and both it and other folks observations on this thread encourage me that my formal and informal outreach efforts here, especially to kindred communities unaware of the scene . . .

And hey, if anything motivates one to burn rubber, it's the threat of extinction!
added on the 2012-01-20 19:05:46 by metoikos metoikos
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There's so much competition for the scene now too - webgl, processing

in a way i agree with you, but the demoscene has to think where it can stand out imo. remember that most webgl/processing stuff out there now is totally shallow, simple, and pretty basic technically too.
we've had way more success outside the scene as well as inside when we started doing demos like agenda - which were interesting and relevant to some non-sceners because they didnt look like regular stuff they had seen in a game or otherwise, and in addition they were something that you couldnt go and do in webgl/processing because you really needed to get a lot of the power of the machine to do it at all.
there are ways where the scene can still win out imo. we do have the technical expertise that these other scenes on the whole just dont, if we use it right, and we have 20 years+ experience with the medium.
Amen. It's pretty much there for the taking..
added on the 2012-01-20 19:34:13 by gloom gloom
Relevant to this thread: http://www.xentax.com/?page_id=235 (and notice the other 2 articles there aswell).
CSDb - Growth of the past decennium

added on the 2012-01-20 20:04:14 by Sander Sander
in terms of "didnt look like regular stuff they had seen in a game or otherwise" sceners can win out too.

When I first saw demos (early PC demos), I didn't know what to think. It was like looking out a window onto an alien planet.
added on the 2012-01-20 20:44:07 by metoikos metoikos
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•Amiga/Atari - mostly unified hardware - very few ways to create demos, again highlighting the talents of the programmers. The Amiga is more popular than the Atari because it had a greater foothold in Europe which is where the demoscene was born, whereas the Atari was a way more popular machine in the US, which historically has had very little demoscene activity and to this day struggles with attracting an active community.


I don't know where you got that from but it's seriously wrong.

Atari sold close to no ST/STE/Falcon in the US, Europe was the main market. (I guess you're refering to those machines since they account for ~80% of all Atari prods on Pouet)

The reason why Amiga was more popular was because it was a better machine overall for games and demos thanks to its additional chips, allowing better graphics and audio, thus luring many more artists and leaving more freedom and place for design and ideas, whereas Atari demos where mainly about code for a long time, a few exceptions put aside.

I owned both machines at that time, so there is no Atari or Amiga zealotry involved, it's just how I remember things and people back then :)
added on the 2012-01-20 21:55:15 by keops keops
I think Atari was closer to C64 than Amiga chipwise, but i might be wrong if there where different models out there
added on the 2012-01-20 22:32:40 by rudi rudi
Now, let's discuss the amount of oldschoolers coming back compared to the average music quality in prods :)

ps: my favourite troll, really.
added on the 2012-01-20 22:39:37 by __ __
OLDSCHOOL! YEAH!
added on the 2012-01-20 22:47:51 by rudi rudi
Speaking of old school crews coming, I hear a certain Amiga crew is prepping an ocs demo as we speak! Nuff said!
added on the 2012-01-21 00:17:21 by djh0ffman djh0ffman
The CPC scene seems to be rising :)
http://www.pushnpop.net/articles-17.html
added on the 2012-01-21 10:08:48 by Optimus Optimus
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The trends we are seeing are not unique. If we compare to the indie game developer community, that too faced a sharp decline in activity and releases until the digital distribution system Steam started adding indie games to their catalogue as well as encouraging the indie game community to start adding their games through their Steamworks initiative. One could perhaps argue that the demoscene could use a distribution platform of its own?


pouet 2.0 :D

also i'd like to say that the overall quality of demos is rising and rising - and doing great demos needs time - so an overall decline in numbers is not surprising
added on the 2012-01-21 11:00:09 by v3nom v3nom
Late to the party, but not late enough to point out a typo in the article. ;)

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old school-enthousiast
added on the 2012-01-21 12:11:04 by tomaes tomaes
I think that the overall number of releases is on the decline is also because the polish of them goes up. Nobody does a copperbar-scroller-tro in 2 days anymore. (Ok, apart from those lets-convert-old-prods-to-web people ;)

speaking about interactivity: I think the gamedev-compos have gotten more and more love and attention the last few years. Once it was more of a fun compo to show hacked party-prods and ideas, now theres a lot of quality involved as well.
I think many sceners are or want to be on the gamedev world and thats why.

Mabye there is room for a new "experimental" interactive compo tho, one which isnt focussed on gaming but other sorts of interactivity.
added on the 2012-01-21 12:26:17 by wysiwtf wysiwtf
First: a few more typos fixed (thanks everyone), and Keops - I tweaked the Atari-bit, it was indeed a little unclear.

Secondly: I don't think that the discussion around polish or not is really relevant, seeing as demos were always seen as top-of-the-line in the age they were released. We can look at FR-08 now and say that it doesn't look very good, but when it was released, it sure as hell did. So our subjective opinion of what is polish changes with the years, which is unique in terms of our particular sub-culture.
added on the 2012-01-21 12:38:50 by gloom gloom
It's also questionable how much "incredibly developer-unfriendly" Mac is, especially these days. I don't think much of Xcode, but many people seem to, and at the end of the day OpenGL is OpenGL and SDL is SDL. Under the hood there's the Unix way of doing things, which is not that far from any *nix-like system.
added on the 2012-01-21 17:35:54 by Marq Marq
Gloom : imho it's not about being "unclear", it's just that this part was entirely wrong (and still is despite your corrections) :

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The Amiga was more popular than the Atari because it had a greater foothold in Europe which is where the demoscene was born, whereas the Atari was a more popular machine in the US, which historically has had very little demoscene activity and to this day struggles with attracting an active community


see what I explained above for more accurate facts.
added on the 2012-01-21 17:44:12 by keops keops
READ HACKERS OF THE COMPUTER REVOLUTION
added on the 2012-01-21 18:03:27 by rudi rudi
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Secondly: I don't think that the discussion around polish or not is really relevant, seeing as demos were always seen as top-of-the-line in the age they were released. We can look at FR-08 now and say that it doesn't look very good, but when it was released, it sure as hell did. So our subjective opinion of what is polish changes with the years, which is unique in terms of our particular sub-culture.


There simply is no denying that in order to create a top contender that's not a conceptual lucky shot (i.e. highly creative idea), the absolute amount of work has gone way up. So has automation (e.g. better tools, (usually) not programming the system directly in assembler), but that still doesn't make up for it, certainly not entirely :)

So I wouldn't discard it as a factor, not at all.
added on the 2012-01-21 18:08:36 by superplek superplek
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Atari refuses to die

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... the persistance of the C64 as a demo platfom. It is simply staggering that a machine that turns 30 years old this year is still such a favourite among demoscene enthusiasts.


Gloom, just for this two sentences, thank you, you made my day! :D
added on the 2012-01-21 20:35:40 by baah baah
wysiwtf:
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I think many sceners are or want to be on the gamedev world and thats why.

im not one of them sceners
added on the 2012-01-21 21:33:49 by rudi rudi
A very interesting read!
I think the peak of C-64-stuff around 1988 could also be explained by the constant productivity of the cracker age. Demoscene activities in the late 80s were backed up by the pirate network and the compunet scene, while demos after 1991 were mostly made for and released at the parties.
added on the 2012-01-22 00:11:07 by robotski robotski
1) re "Mabye there is room for a new 'experimental' interactive compo tho, one which isnt focussed on gaming but other sorts of interactivity. "
This makes me think of awesome toys like Secret Hideout, a not-game sadly only available for iOS thus far.

2) what baah said about Atari. Because old Apples like the one I cut my teeth on are really the underdog, I root for underdog platforms like Atari by instinct : D
added on the 2012-01-22 00:39:24 by metoikos metoikos
Go make a demo/intro about it!
added on the 2012-01-22 01:00:41 by las las
las: we've never heard that one before!
added on the 2012-01-22 01:12:03 by rudi rudi

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