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mechasm by Fairlight [web]
screenshot added by mayday on 2023-04-10 10:51:45
platform :
type :
release date : april 2023
release party : Revision 2023
compo : pc demo
ranked : 1st
  • 117
  • 12
  • 3
popularity : 73%
  • 0.86
  • 2
alltime top: #415
added on the 2023-04-10 10:51:45 by mayday mayday

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perfect. a new milestone in the demoscene history <3
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 10:54:35 by Murphy Murphy
superb! '
works fine on amd (rx6800) now, but really needs a shader cache warmup run first.
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 11:44:50 by Psycho Psycho
the jawdropper of revision 2023, brrrravooooo!
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 11:50:23 by aricz aricz
Nice demo with robots and wub wub wub music
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 12:46:11 by Queen_Luna Queen_Luna
Amazing (from what I've seen in the stream), will hope to be able to watch it later on my main PC although not sure I have 12GB ready on the GPU.,
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 12:52:02 by Optimus Optimus
impressive! putting that super high amount of talent into a production like this testifies to true scene love! thank you!
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 12:52:09 by orange orange
A solid prod! everything's well polished.
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 13:19:49 by 0b5vr 0b5vr
excellent rendering and scenes. I, Robot without Will Smith! :D
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 13:39:11 by post malone post malone
Some great moments; some of the rendering is superb (the foliage, wow) and the raytracing seems to be put to much better practical use than last time around. But for me, the robots seem to move around without much weight—they don't feel like physical beings. And some of the fluid and soap bubble stuff (marching cubes?) is artifacty in disturbing ways, which takes away some of the enjoyment. Overall a thumb, of course.
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 14:13:12 by Sesse Sesse

Side note, we're at the point where the demo [1GB] is larger than the video, and I'm not sure how I feel about it.
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 14:34:03 by micksam7 micksam7
Came for the Amiga compo, stayed for this mastery. Destroyed my new PC rig, raised my expectations.

Simply amazing, just watched it 3 times in a row.
added on the 2023-04-10 15:49:26 by iTeC iTeC
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 15:49:40 by iTeC iTeC
Excellent visuals with excellent soundtrack! =) =) Fairlight is back again. The multiple running droids part was the only minor minus point in the whole presentation, because frankly it didn't look so good in the otherwise so perfect overall picture.
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 15:50:44 by mayday mayday
Thank you
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 16:03:05 by prm prm
This hurts even more than my hangover from saturday :)
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 17:20:35 by gopher gopher
Excellent stuff. The compo was massive but this deserves to win. Also runs well on Linux with wine+dxvk
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 17:30:03 by luutifa luutifa
Deservedly 1st place in what has turned out to be a horror show PC demo compo...
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 18:44:27 by spiryt spiryt
Seeing this on the bigscreen, having the soundsystem in the back, must've felt amazing. It did on the stream. The moment you stop expecting anything else, it goes BOOM. Love it!
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 19:04:22 by CONS CONS
Fuck yea.
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 19:33:13 by NR4 NR4
The soap bubbles were really nice
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 19:41:34 by keops keops
Amazing in 360 degrees.
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 19:56:13 by Dascon Dascon
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 19:56:19 by rc55 rc55
good stuff and a message well presented in this one, as well!
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 20:03:15 by hollowone hollowone
Didn't worked for me. Some scenes looks really great (bubbles) but damn what it runs slow on my machine (3080ti).

The syncs totally stalls, the artifact effects stays way to long and some scenes runs in 5-12 FPS, despite a gigantic precalc and 1GB data.

Also, near the end, the demo popped out from fullscreen and continued on top of Win11 in the corner (demo executes in 1080p, Windows running at 2560*1440).

Concept is nice, some scenes looks great but the latency and bugs kills it for me.

Sound is well done, especially when watching the sync in the video which doesn't suffer from the latency issues.
Sound is great, some of the effects are dope, however overall composition is not up to previous Fairlight titles. Must have been awesome on the big screen though.
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 20:11:26 by Duckers Duckers
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 20:12:07 by SiR SiR
smash is operating on a different level...
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 20:26:34 by pandur pandur
cooool effects but the music...
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 20:30:37 by wrighter wrighter
what wrighter says.
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 20:43:14 by a-move a-move
I think it's the best demo in that outrageous compo. I'm in awe of the effects, effort etc. but I didn't like it very much. Of course I'm judging this as a winner Fairlight demo, that is - top end of what is out there right this moment, and will be for some time.

I can't precisely say what it is I didn't really like about it (apart from running exceptionally slow for what is on offer, however complicated it is supposed to be as a realtime demo offering). There is some sort of same old Portal Process-esque story about machines getting free and machine vs humanity conflict which lacks a grander scope. Maybe it is too short, interrupted too often by inane text that break attention. What are we supposed to feel about this information ?

For contrast, compare to Agenda circling forth - what drama, what mystery, what passion ! It makes you "feel" something; and trigger your imagination in a way "mechasm" doesn't. Much like many of recent cocoon demos don't - as
poly-shows with tons of (*free) modifiers that go round and round but really nowhere at the end.
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 20:50:41 by Navis Navis
Imagine if all this technical splendour was more than a sum of its parts.
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 21:18:37 by Preacher Preacher
Really demanding stuff, even my 4090 struggles at 1440p.

Here's my capture in 1440p upscaled to 4k on the following machine:
RTX 4090
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 21:23:35 by Time2 Time2
My 4090 handles it. Great work Smash, was good to see you again, bit worried if you were gonna make it but you fucking killed it. Respect.
rulezcdc added on the 2023-04-10 21:26:43 by superplek superplek
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 21:41:29 by siko siko
"Mechasm" by Fairlight is an incredible demonstration of the power and creativity of the PC demoscene. From the moment the demo begins, viewers are transported into a futuristic world of mechanical marvels and stunning visual effects.

One of the most impressive aspects of this demo is the use of artificial intelligence to generate some of the visuals. Fairlight has clearly put a lot of thought and effort into incorporating AI in a way that enhances the overall aesthetic of the demo. The result is a seamless blend of organic and mechanical imagery that is truly breathtaking to behold.

The soundtrack of "Mechasm" is also a standout feature, perfectly complementing the visuals with its driving rhythms and intense melodies. The combination of audio and visual elements creates an immersive and unforgettable experience that leaves a lasting impression.

In terms of technical execution, "Mechasm" is flawless. The attention to detail and the sheer amount of work that must have gone into creating such a complex and polished demo is truly impressive. Fairlight has once again proven themselves to be masters of the demoscene, pushing the boundaries of what is possible on the PC platform.

Overall, "Mechasm" is a stunning piece of digital art that showcases the best of what the PC demoscene has to offer. With its impressive visuals, innovative use of AI, and flawless technical execution, it is sure to leave viewers in awe. I highly recommend this demo to anyone who appreciates the artistry and technical skill that goes into creating digital media.
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 22:22:22 by red red
A news milestone for the scene and a real technical jaw breaker. Design, story, ideas and this time also the music didn't caught me as much as Another One, for example. Probably it misses a pinch of CNCD.
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 23:44:10 by Bobic Bobic
Even in a compo with 40 other entries this is on a quality level on its own.
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 23:55:50 by gaspode gaspode
Maybe not the absolute greatest Fairlight demo in terms of direction and aesthetic, but holy FUCK the technical details are out of this world. Bravo, Smash.
rulez added on the 2023-04-10 23:59:30 by Rastertail Rastertail
Looks nice, and thumb up for not using a 3rd party canned engine... the GPU requirements are unfortunate, but whatever, people will be able to run it sometime in the next decade, and it will still look nice I think...

But 1gb filesize is absurd. I don't remember when we lost the reasonable filesize limits for demos, but we need them back urgently. If you can pre-render your demo and ship a player with a video file, and end up with a lower filesize without perceptible loss of quality, there's something seriously wrong. I know it's not what this is, but come on...

I propose 150mb size limit for demo compos. It should be more than enough.
added on the 2023-04-11 01:42:25 by Nuclear Nuclear
First FLT demo in a long time I didnt really care for. The intro part was gorgeous but it went downhill pretty fast after that. Technically impressive, best in class, obviously, but this demo needed a proper artist. A mix of downloaded assets, iffy animations and odd design choices made it lose its luster quickly for me. And 1gb? What for? Didn't optimize the art assets properly or something? A very weak thumbs up just because it's still better than most stuff out there.
added on the 2023-04-11 02:18:49 by java java
(guess I pressed submit too fast)
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 02:20:22 by java java
By the way, I just noticed that the zip file is 1GB large. What is taking so much space? Did you precompute the entire demo? ;)
added on the 2023-04-11 05:15:22 by keops keops
Perfect prod, scenario, code, visuals, soundtrack. ( o )( o )
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 09:13:27 by roudoudou roudoudou
top tech, slapping music, tight direction, worthy winner
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 09:44:39 by psenough psenough
Some undeniably cool tech and visuals there, but stylewise this was definitely not for me. The robot stuff was mostly very cringe-inducing while the rest felt like a disjointed hodgepodge. Gloom never fails, but the soundtrack didn't really connect to the visuals for me either. The Destop and Mazor magic is sorely needed here. It also doesn't help that to run this in realtime you apparently need a time machine to bring back some mythical quantum GPU from the future.

Was going for a mild thumb up for the parts which were cool, but FLT has gotten plenty of those from me in the past and will surely continue to receive them in the future. Looking forward to the next one.
added on the 2023-04-11 09:50:38 by break break
a Fairlight demos fan.
but sorry, not this time.
Gotta work on that giant size, for me, seems pointless demos greater than the capped version.
sucks added on the 2023-04-11 09:56:36 by JaK JaK
While I love and admire this demo for what it is (if nothing else, a return for Fairlight to big demos), I don't get the "technical achievement" that people are raving about. Judging on "how it could be made efficiently" -

The scene with the bubbles is some (low) marching cubes to start with, then effectively a 2D cloth/physics engine with low tesselation on a handful of objects. Doesn't even need gpu for this
The red pulse net - We Cell had something of similar looking complexity back in 2004 (maybe minus the nice motion blurring)
The animation etc - a higher polycount / better textures than Arise by stravaganza (2004), or many animated robots sequences (including Fairlight's own from Media Error/2007). And run of the mill shadow mapping. The instances even intersect with each other, so I presume there is no collision detection or other physics.
The fractal zoom - impressive and a great idea to use it there, but think about how many of these instances you see at any point (not more than 200) and how simple Loding would work. The polycount could be as fake as the one from "Stars - wonders of the world". The nude model doesn't look much more than 20k triangles to me. If it is, they sold you a dud.
Lights hanging from ceiling reflections - project on floor (scale by -y), blur a little, same effect. It's the most visually complex scene that only lasts like 5 seconds.
Voronoi 3D cuts - precomputed (very low poly anyway) via Blender, with billboard blended particle effect for explosion
Smoke fluid - in background in quite "flat" resolution 3D, running full framerate since at least 2007 (* "Feed your machine" is 2003 !)
Voronoi net on grass - this was sweating buckets during performance, but it really looks like a static mesh with some simple vertex shader to move things around a bit. Ceasefire or Agenda did it with shitloads of particles 12 years ago (and looked ten times more engaging)
Last scene with two people and some voronoi CSG on a distance field - a couple of times before in Cocoon demos (* I presume from the equivalent notch plugin) from 3-4 years ago.

Yet... this is crawling on a 3070 / latest i9 and requires 11 gb + 1 gb assets - enough to easily precompute and stream all geometry (and quite possibly all renders as slide show at 100 fps).
added on the 2023-04-11 10:11:21 by Navis Navis
That was a kick in the butt. What an awesome show guys! It scares me a bit, but a C64 Demos from today would kick me back in 1983, too :-P
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 11:37:15 by vscd vscd
Loved it! And happy I stayed until the end to see this
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 12:33:17 by spiked-maniac spiked-maniac
excellence.. from a well known source.. with the perfect message.. :) fk ai..
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 13:04:55 by sense sense
video here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJcRHrp60t8

navis: while it's true you could probably do a fake version of everything as you describe, it would look worse. i dont want it to look worse. the extra 10-20% of visual quality takes a vastly larger amount of work and technical effort than the fake version. so i have to break with tradition about discussing on pouet, and argue the points. honestly i think you are oversimplifying this due to, well, ignorance. :)

for example, the red pulses, neurons: it's the lighting from emissives & volumetrics from emissives that make it look good - that's what 2023 brings vs 2004. volumetrics give it depth in the way glow does not. you could fake it to some extent with point sources but it's the details of the interactions when it comes from the actual polygons that make it feel natural. youd have to fake it really really well with a lot of detail.

the fractal zoom - if you can do this in the simple way with lodding and make the lodding look perfect, and also make the shadow look perfect and sharp all the way through (the real challenge), and not hide anything under a post effect, i think you actually deserve more technical props than doing it the way i did it, imo - it's probably easier raytracing it. i can give you the model if you want to try it, it's > 1m polys and there are at least 150k clones, you can see many of them when zoomed out. if it was lower poly, when you zoom in you would see the low polys of the higher levels when they get huge. it has to be totally seamless. maybe the shortfall in that scene is that it doesnt make it obvious enough visually about the counts. but it's a joke anyway, a reference to dope/complex. 7800 phong shaded polys.. :)

lights hanging from the floor: it's the detail (the way the light affects the character, the diffuse light interaction) that matters, really. if you fake it in the way you describe it looks like we're back to 10+ years ago.

voronoi cuts on text: if you precomputed it would be a lot of models, because the text animates constantly. also the voronoi cut pattern remains constant. that would be quite painful to achieve in 3d software as well. so you could fake it, but it would be really annoying to do it.

foliage: the challenge is about the poly count and the lighting quality. the shadows are ray traced and that gives it a much higher quality than shadow maps would, but at the same time makes the motion difficult because of the constant data structure rebuilds.

smoke: you could bake it, but the caches are massive. 1gig would be a distant memory. or i guess you could just render it out and comp it, but that really is a fake too far isnt it?

it was important for me personally to try and get it to look as good as possible. to have a render that feels good, even if the reasons why are not totally in your face, but just give an impression of "looks good". be it a correct reflection, an emissive interacting with the volumetrics, shadows in the foliage giving them the right sense of depth & volume as they move, the sharpness & cleanness of the render, etc. small things that add an extra few %.

also to be honest the process matters more to me. i was not really interested in spending my time working out how to fake everything, i wanted to achieve the result in a way that made me enjoy it. it's been 5 years since i last did a demo (and the first one i did on my own for even longer - no design superstars on this one which is probably why the direction is worse), and my interests have definitely changed - it's more about the process itself nowadays. doing it "for real" is a more enjoyable process because it's creative and iterative and you can change things easily, whereas the fakes lead you down a garden path with no other ways to turn at the end.
i guess it could be a fun challenge one day to do something that really is heavily faked and do it well, but just don't make it look cheap (as the fakes you describe would be).

but i must admit that it runs too slow with less VRAM (outside of compo machine) and it takes too long to load, and some stuff is a bit janky (ran out of time).
the main reason for the slowdown is VRAM swapping - the individual scenes actually run fine on a 3070 (i was on my laptop for last few days with that GPU, in fact). but when you put it together the VRAM use is a disaster, and it's that swapping that causes the slowdown. but i ran out of time and the compo machine had 48 gig, so the sacrifice was made. may be able to fix that.

the annoying thing for me is the load time, this is only a problem when loading from the compiled version, in the tool it's much faster. something is broken there and i didnt get time to diagnose it (the player only worked at all the day of the deadline..). it should actually load much more quickly than our older demos. this bothers me, may try to fix it.

the filesize..? it's 2023, guys. but also, the reason it's so large is that it was engineered to load quickly and run well, at the expense of size. for example there are like 200mb+ of compiled shaders here, compiling those at load time would be a long wait (why 200mb you say? well ^^ go back to the "visual detail" above.). the 3d is converted to a format that's fast to load not small (and again, focusing on quality and not saving bytes).
so in that respect i was not successful, it's a valid criticism, because it doesn't load quickly and it runs too slow without a lot of VRAM - that is annoying. but it ran perfectly on the compo machine and was totally out of time, so had to say fuck it for the compo itself, i had already pushed my deadline luck to the limit.
added on the 2023-04-11 15:48:32 by smash smash
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 15:51:35 by ferris ferris
Liked it on the bigscreen.
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 15:56:47 by Raven^NCE Raven^NCE
Incredible amount of eye candy
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 15:58:46 by Saga Musix Saga Musix
I agree with your points, more so because it's your demo and you want to develop things your way and enjoy it. Also your primary goal is to develop technology, so faking things etc. would not make that much sense.
I'm sure it's technically magnificent and beyond what others can't do, but this time it doesn't show as much (although it IS). It's as if it's beyond the point of diminishing returns for the effort that is put here (by the machine running it). I'm judging now the technical merits as a presentation, I don't know how it is coded (nor any other viewer is expected to know all of this) and can only take your word for it.

Maybe the very same technology would be a lot more obvious if used in a different way, at a setting that makes it clear (for example) that the lights hanging or neuron pulses are properly lit with some magic shaders that *should* make a modern card sweat. The example with the fractal zoom, which is an absolutely great effect - but nobody would ever guess that this model is 1m polys or there are 150k clones. It "looks" like it's maximum a few hundred at any given time, on a model that is a few tens of k triangles tops. Ok it might be billions etc. but it just doesn't show. That's not a failing of technology though, it's a failing of model selection, or design or camera work. But, at the end of the day, even if WAS only 150 milion polys, it's still a great, great effect.

It's like making a demo with a black screen with a single white pixel in the middle - "This pixel is the result of rendering a full blown raytraced model of the milky way, as seen from andromeda". Well, ehm, it's just a pixel. I don't believe you, show it to me !

In previous demos (for example Number one) I totally get (as a viewer) that all this tech cannot be replaced by fakery, but in this one I'm still not so sure.
added on the 2023-04-11 16:25:44 by Navis Navis
The screenshot scene alone deserves a massive thumbs up. The rest of the demo as well, even though the lack of the Finnish contingent is sometimes apparent.
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 16:35:54 by uncle-x uncle-x
I'm with Navis on this one. I don't know what is it, but there is something that doesn't pull me in. It's extremely well done, I have no idea about tech stuff anyway, I'm just a musician. But I failed to connect with it emotionally.
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 17:58:29 by jeenio jeenio
Rightful winner!
Love goes to Smash!
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 18:02:28 by willbe willbe
i like how the anti-ai demos comes with a dlss dll :)

on a more serious note: @smash i dabbled in realtime bvh construction myself recently, hit me up if you want to compare notes :)
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 18:32:46 by abductee abductee
As usual ahead of the curve. Technically boundary pushing. Wonderful work! Nice to see you still pop by from time to time :)
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 18:36:34 by okkie okkie
"In the end, it was always about the people."

That is the message the scene collectively needed to hear the most right now, and I'm glad it came through a massive, technically and artistically accomplished demo like this, and from one of the most revered and respected members in the scene. After so much both justified pessimism, foolish optimism and tired techno-fetishistic fantasies, I couldn't be happier to see someone come out and say the truth in a blunt and honest manner while not even relying on pure cynicism. This is the most important demo released at Revision, and not only that but one that also practices what it preaches.

Yeah, sure, robots and androids and whatnot. Perhaps the presentation in its bluntness still feels shallow and clichéd to some, but to me this is probably the first time anything with this visual theme has succeeded in delivering on something meaningful. There aren't many demos that reach out to something concrete in our real, flesh and blood world, at least not ones as well made as this. Without the message there'd be hardly anything left but a hollow shell of cool high fidelity visuals, and then I might be more sympathetic towards the comments dismissing it as such. I really do wonder how many had their brains checked out while watching this to completely miss or at least ignore this aspect… (or maybe it's just that I happen to be around the same wavelength as smash when it comes to being sick of the discourse around the topic.)

Oh well, this is not the most deep, profound demo ever of course, but personally I'm still in awe of how well the message is conveyed, but also just the overall style and level of visual fidelity. It's only really the 'androids running towards the camera' scene that others pointed out that feels a bit mediocre. Perhaps also the grid density of the 3D fluids should be a bit higher, but that's about it. Everything else is superb, and I love that almost every scene and visual also looks so distinct. So many different palettes across the scenes, yet it all feels so visually consistent… masterful. Not to mention camera compositions, blocking, editing and general pace; just top notch all around.

Heck, I even liked the music. Especially the piano and overall harmony in the middle is just beautiful and perfectly fits the theme. Maybe a bit canned to some degree in the climax part, but nevertheless solidly enjoyable and suitable overall. Not my favorite soundtrack in the compo, but far above average and one of my favorites from gloom.

Probably goes without saying, but I think this deserved to win the compo. This is nothing but pure passion and dedication to the craft. I had some tears in my eyes re-watching this. Huge respect to you smash for putting it together.

(ps. Complaints about size are seriously out of date. This demo doesn't become any better if you start reducing the quality of the assets just to bring down the size. The tradeoff between making it quicker to load at the expense of filesize makes sense to me in general. Regarding general performance, I actually found it to work fine on an RTX 2080S. Sure, the 8 gigs of VRAM is not really enough, but aside from the swapping around scene changes it ran just fine, with something like 30-60fps in most scenes at 1080p, and down to like 10fps at the lowest. Not great but certainly watchable, and that's on a system that's close to 5 years old. You can definitely run and enjoy this on current high end hardware.)
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 19:48:22 by noby noby
One stunning scene after another. Thank you, Smash and co ! :D I especially like the robotic hand.
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 19:55:46 by TomS4wy3R TomS4wy3R
Those fluid bubbles, statue zoomer and plant growth, damn.
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 20:16:05 by Zplex Zplex
Heck, I even liked the music.

T-shirt design sorted.
added on the 2023-04-11 20:18:17 by gloom gloom
banger demo
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 20:21:53 by slerpy slerpy
gloom: 😘
added on the 2023-04-11 20:24:22 by noby noby
What noby said
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 20:26:02 by emoon emoon
Not that I was in much doubt at the point, but seeing this on the live-stream just made me FULLY realize my wrong choice of going back to the hotel room before the compo started (even if we had to travel back early on Monday)

Boy, would I love to have experienced this demo properly in the hall (and I had the chance...)

Even through the stream on a laptop screen, I felt that the look/rendering/visual fidelity is higher than what I'm "used to" in real-time - and certainly in demos.
Sure, this demo is not as (visually and story wise) coherent as other (Fairlight) demos - but it looks and sounds awesome, and has tonnes of great content. Effects. Exactly some of the things I enjoy the most in demos.

Thank you for pushing things forward - and doing so in a relatively small subculture with an audience like me.

And thanks for a great demo - because that's exactly what it is.

As for the music: I'm already a huge fanboy of Gloom, and this only supports it.
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 20:33:33 by Puryx Puryx
Quite Impressive demonstration !!

i can't imagine the amount of work thtat is involved to produce this beauty

as always Smash you rocks :D and your comrades on this one too.

launched it in 1080p,
some parts (most of them) run smoothly on AMD Ryzen 7 5800X RTX 4080 16Gb
and others are (too) slow ...
but the show is highly enjoyable

i'm waiting for the next one ;-) don't wait 5 more years
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 20:54:03 by _wheely_ _wheely_
smash on his way to becoming the singularity.

a deserved winner in an epic (as in *long*) democompo. if this is not technically impressive, that must be due to an audience malfunction.

really impressive visuals, too, especially the first minute or so was so beautiful and immersive, also thanks to the massive soundtrack. After that things got a little showreel-ish and flow/pacing often felt bumpy but that's of course criticizing at a very high level.

Smash obviously paid close attention watching Destop do his magic all those years and if you squint your eyes you might not even notice the absence of the master. (only thing missing are these moments of sheer design-brilliance so I still hope there will be another flt/cncd cooperation sometime in the future.)
added on the 2023-04-11 21:06:30 by fiver fiver
plus the thumb of course.
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 21:12:34 by fiver fiver
I + everything noby wrote there!
The clear message, that deeply satisfying feeling of "we share the same values and they wrote it all over the screen", it's like discovering new friends.
Add that some scenes are just hauntingly beautiful and scary.
And gloom is being gloom. Except this time it's 4 to the floor gloom. We deserve more gloom! One gloom a day keeps the doctors away!
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 21:40:52 by alkama alkama
Impressive. Both in terms of demo and requirements ;)
rulez added on the 2023-04-11 21:42:18 by HellMood HellMood
awesome as always
Congrats mates!
rulez added on the 2023-04-12 00:47:40 by STRANGER/HMD^DLG STRANGER/HMD^DLG
Brilliant. The show of force that I always hope to see when I sit down for a compo, just what I needed after a too long wait.
rulez added on the 2023-04-12 00:48:26 by lug00ber lug00ber
true demo, once again fairlight shows off realtime art that pushes the boundaries of what can be done on modern computer, very exciting and loved the bubbles, what paper is it based on?
rulez added on the 2023-04-12 03:02:56 by randomi randomi
flt_mechasm.exe ZIP password: asd0978jhd
rulez added on the 2023-04-12 16:21:28 by bartman bartman
Guys man I love this demo! I've watched it back about 30 times today whilst I work. It's great to see Fairlight back as number one in PC demos. It's the sort of demo I would show to none sceners to celebrate the demo scene.

Gloom the tune is perfect for my ears. Is there somewhere we can download it from?

I couldn't care less about the file size but if there were some quick wins to improve performance that would be very welcome.

I salute you all.
rulez added on the 2023-04-12 21:19:27 by Toffeeman Toffeeman
that is a piece of art, good job Smash !
rulez added on the 2023-04-12 23:42:16 by med med
nice. real work of art
rulez added on the 2023-04-12 23:52:02 by error64 error64
Superb. That was a great reward towards the end of such a long competition.
rulez added on the 2023-04-13 00:29:12 by exocet exocet
Next level!
rulez added on the 2023-04-13 12:06:20 by Anat Anat
That is absolutely mindblowing!
rulez added on the 2023-04-13 15:15:54 by PRiDE PRiDE
Worthy winner, it just looked brilliant in the compo!
Boy am I happy to have stayed up late, this is the new high end demo standard for sure, no fakes allowed!
Designwise its absolutely solid in my opinion, yet brings nothing strikingly new to the table. Glooms track fits perfectly, as it mostly does =).

The VRAM usage is a little bummer for home-watching tho, my 4070ti jumps happily around between 5 and 80fps but I guess thats what you get for spending the time that you have for making it shine on the compo pc.
Id really fancy a final version but you do what you gotta do!
And as much as Id love an "RTX ON" Engine, would it really improve VRAM usage or make it even worse?
rulez added on the 2023-04-13 21:38:44 by wysiwtf wysiwtf
Beautiful techdemo.
rulez added on the 2023-04-13 21:52:28 by hornet hornet
one of these nowadays rare "wow, this is actually possible?" moments.
rulez added on the 2023-04-13 22:01:06 by dipswitch dipswitch
yeah, not too shabby!!
rulez added on the 2023-04-13 22:03:29 by DanLemon DanLemon
In the end it was always about 150 billion raytraced polys
rulez added on the 2023-04-14 11:54:37 by rloaderro rloaderro
Artistically and esthetically this is incredibly good and pleasing, of course. But really, really sorry to say that, we're at 1GB here, now we can also put the rendered video in a .exe file with a video player and that's it. We really need filesize limits back.
rulez added on the 2023-04-14 12:30:09 by neoman neoman
This is honestly missing the consistency and polishing I'm used to from ny'all.
There's a lot of pretty things in here, and while I don't think a demo needs a consistent theme, it feels like 3 unfinished demos mashed together and just doesn't hit right for me.
added on the 2023-04-14 18:44:27 by lynn lynn
Well done
rulez added on the 2023-04-14 21:35:11 by Frequent Frequent
The fact that this is not just head-and-shoulders but complete generations ahead of what the "average" is in the scene nowadays, and then Smash has to RATIONALIZE and DEFEND it is just beyond disheartening.
rulez added on the 2023-04-14 21:39:51 by Gargaj Gargaj
Insane conclusion of an epic compo!
rulez added on the 2023-04-14 21:51:39 by neon neon
But really, really sorry to say that, we're at 1GB here, now we can also put the rendered video in a .exe file with a video player and that's it.

This tired argument has been around since the days of 10MB demos.
1920*1080*3-byte color (should be 4 maybe?)*30 fps = ~178 MB/sec lossless. So no, not quite.

Oh yeah, the demo. Naturally it's more of an effect test than a design reel this time, but that's fine. The music drop after the quotes hits hard. And, well, it certainly *works* on an 8GB GTX3070Ti, but yeah, that VRAM gets chomped up fast and by the middle of the demo, it starts screaming for mercy. Could I have gotten a 16GB RX6800, or held out for a 12GB 4070Ti instead? Sure. But there's no sense in regrets or hindsight.

One nitpick: The gang of fem-droids moves a little too much in unison; it looks like you're duplicating the same object motion in a simple grid. A little more variety in motion start/speed and position would've helped in that scene.
rulez added on the 2023-04-14 23:16:05 by phoenix phoenix
The fact that this is not just head-and-shoulders but complete generations ahead of what the "average" is in the scene nowadays, and then Smash has to RATIONALIZE and DEFEND it is just beyond disheartening.
added on the 2023-04-14 23:18:43 by noby noby
This tired argument has been around since the days of 10MB demos.
1920*1080*3-byte color (should be 4 maybe?)*30 fps = ~178 MB/sec lossless. So no, not quite.

H264 is around 10Mbit (maybe 20 for really HQ) for 1080p so the demo can perfectly fit into 1GB.

I really love the demo. It’s way ahead. Still these limits have their right to exist.
added on the 2023-04-14 23:43:51 by neoman neoman
now we can also put the rendered video in a .exe file with a video player and that's it.
but ... we.... didn't?

Also what noby and gargaj said.
added on the 2023-04-14 23:48:56 by ferris ferris
Yes, a lot of yesses. Back to questionable color (coder demos apply) choices, when spreed wingss from Destop oppression. Clear cut, ninja style, execution. One thing though, Gloom's music was Oscar last year, now it's only mwahh. Keep the good job mates!
rulez added on the 2023-04-15 01:24:53 by AzzaroMWI AzzaroMWI
This is out of this world. I agree with Matt here. Some of the scene could have been made differently with less horsepower. HOWEVER looks at the neurons scene .. it’s been done before (Cortex / excess) but it never looked that good. The extra mile is what puts this demo above all the rest. It’s what makes the difference between « Nice » and «  holly shit « . Thanks Matt to keep pushing the standards further. That’s one of the reason we keep doing this ! This prod is once again a future classic. Just like many other FLT prods before.
added on the 2023-04-15 09:35:57 by nytrik nytrik
Here is the thumb. I wish I could give it 2.
rulez added on the 2023-04-15 09:39:41 by nytrik nytrik
There are no words for this demo. I can only congratulate you. It was a pleasure to watch every second of it.
rulezcdc added on the 2023-04-15 11:52:43 by netro netro
It runs 0 fps on my machine, but it's very nice!
rulez added on the 2023-04-15 17:11:35 by JvB JvB
Rulez , of course.

But I understand and somewhat agree with what Navis said. And he surely is entitled to confront Smash, I guess. =)

That said, we always expect top notch prods from Smash (and Navis). This demo is nice but did not impress me as much.

The 1gb size seems to have no reasonable explanation. The fact that it has ray tracing is not annexcuse for that -- much to the contrary.

Also it is excessively taxative on the GPU, but it also does not seem to be justified by the actual effects.

Finally, there are some obvious and even basic glitches present, like for example popping robots in the crowd part.

Kudos for the custom engine, which is the main reason why I still watch demos.
rulez added on the 2023-04-15 17:37:35 by imerso imerso
The 1gb size seems to have no reasonable explanation.

Here's one: The demo data is stored as a ZIP that's encrypted but not compressed, meaning the actual final ZIP can't find much to further compress on it. If it were encrypted AND compressed, it would go down to ~400MB or so, and you'd only lose 2-3 seconds on loading.
added on the 2023-04-15 19:08:49 by Gargaj Gargaj
One of my favourite Fairlight demo, all the different scenes looks great, Gloom's music is super good and I really liked the messages you added to your demo.

Also I was very happy to be able to spent some time to speak with Smash and his wife at the party :)
rulez added on the 2023-04-15 19:30:13 by rez rez
Ouch, my GPU
rulez added on the 2023-04-16 00:29:17 by pigpenpete pigpenpete
Visual excellence, way ahead of the scene. Loved the bubbles and the fractal zoom.
rulez added on the 2023-04-16 12:38:28 by Nezbie Nezbie
Technologically it's super impressive and pretty looking, but feels more like a series of disconnected Notch operator showcases with a common theme to tie them together, rather than something that tells a story. I approve of the message but I don't see a lot of connection to the visuals beyond the text on screen.

My favorite scenes were the robot running away towards the camera, and the final scene - I could connect to them emotionally. The rest left me rather cold beyond the impressive visual polish.

This is just me and my preferences though; the tech sure is impressive and I can't wait to see other prods made with it.

The fact that this is not just head-and-shoulders but complete generations ahead of what the "average" is in the scene nowadays, and then Smash has to RATIONALIZE and DEFEND it is just beyond disheartening.

Most of these comments sounded like constructive discussion to me, and I don't think even Smash is beyond that. Apparently the presentation made it hard for some people to comprehend the magnitude of the technical feats so I think the discussion was appropriate. It sure helped me understand.

The demo being 1gig when it could be 400mb instead feeds right into my pet peeve of people being needlessly wasteful with computer resources because "it's <this year>, disk/cpu/memory is free!" - but that said I understand that tradeoffs were made and I don't think a great prod like this should be rated based on file size. If someone really cares at this technical level the effort put into the visual tech easily outweighs the waste of space.
rulez added on the 2023-04-16 13:14:02 by dojoe dojoe
Truly wonderful!
rulez added on the 2023-04-16 13:38:55 by Mystra Mystra
Awesome demo!
rulez added on the 2023-04-16 18:58:38 by TMA TMA
Absolutely massive! Great tech, great artwork! I hope I can one day afford hardware capable of running it properly! 😅
rulez added on the 2023-04-17 09:54:35 by kusma kusma
The tech is miles above demoscene levels. Congrats!
rulez added on the 2023-04-17 10:35:30 by jimmi jimmi
Sorry to give a thumbs down, but the size made me do this.
> 1Gb is a no go to me.
sucks added on the 2023-04-17 14:14:29 by davince davince
Ha, my hardwares so pathetic to watch it, but it looked nice from YouTube.
added on the 2023-04-17 23:16:47 by AntDude AntDude
Awesome! And yes, we need more gloom!
rulez added on the 2023-04-18 11:34:21 by zeebr zeebr
looks as great as 1gb+ should :D

the beginning is so pleasant to watch. it kinda goes a bit downhill when the robots come into play but the movements don't look silly. not my fave from the compo but one can see why it ended up grabbing the crown.
rulez added on the 2023-04-18 17:08:58 by sensenstahl sensenstahl
nothing to add, rulez
rulez added on the 2023-04-19 03:04:43 by wullon wullon
I understand the next-gen thinking and reasoning, but seriously, the fact that even on a 4080 this runs poorly/staggers is quite a let down. Sure, when the compo machine has 48GB GPU memory (of which Im sure we will all have some day, but not now) and that is the benchmark, its really not a worthwile demo imo. And honestly, it is another example of demos trying to emulate vfx/non-realtime effects without anyone asking for it. There is really no need for it; the only demo that kinda got away with it was the video demo Global Trash 2 by Silents. (and that was a video). Anyway, Im sure a lot of work went into it, and I wish it ran on "current gen" (actually quite new and expensive current gen) equipment, but as it stands, its a let-down.
added on the 2023-04-19 23:38:06 by size size
The image quality is mostly top notch (although some geometry / bvh is updated at half rate?), and the music is really cool and fitting. I do have a problem with the size tho, especially - as it was pointed out earlier - it could have fitted into a third of it by just enabling compression. Which is the reason why the argument "it's 2023" is just bs.

Noby: simple compression is not a tradeoff, if anything it'd make loading faster. (In general - as Smash mentioned before, something's fishy about the loading times anyways.)

That said, i'd like to add that imho all the criticism in this thread is there because the prod is judged on a whole different level than other productions, due to its immense technological achievements.
rulez added on the 2023-04-20 12:52:05 by reptile reptile
That said, i'd like to add that imho all the criticism in this thread is there because the prod is judged on a whole different level than other productions, due to its immense technological achievements.
Great incentive to make better productions, what a wonderful community dynamic we have here!
added on the 2023-04-20 13:30:01 by ferris ferris
I've never read so much misguided vitriol, technologically depraved nonsense in one thread. Oh wait, that's probably not true, but close.

Great looking demo, great effort, I've said it before and I'll say it again.
added on the 2023-04-20 13:39:22 by superplek superplek
Ferris: well put, it's a great incentive.
added on the 2023-04-20 16:24:19 by reptile reptile
Great demo, with fantastic stuff. Very impressive. And Gloom nailed it as usual! Top class!
rulez added on the 2023-04-20 22:30:12 by Mygg Mygg
rulez added on the 2023-04-22 18:05:09 by Defiance Defiance
Scoozi I, my Babbers!

This stuff dominates, there's nothing more to add.

No need for next-gen hw. For the attention of 8G GPU owners:
After a clean boot, ensure no bloatware is running in the background to have at least 7.9G free VRAM. Run it @720p and windowed, make sure that the desktop resolution is matching your display's native resolution, otherwise some GPU upscaling will be applied by Windows (with extra VRAM demands).
After this, it'll run real real time, and without hiccups.
In this environment the peak memory usage is "only" 8.3G, so I guess, after some tweaking by Failight tech support we'll be able to run the FINAL VERSION <3 in fullscreen...
rulez added on the 2023-04-22 20:39:44 by andrewski andrewski
Uaaaaaaaa... perfect!
rulez added on the 2023-04-23 20:34:50 by MDW MDW
And honestly, it is another example of demos trying to emulate vfx/non-realtime effects without anyone asking for it.

Lol, isn’t this literally what the demoscene has always been about?? You people are wild hahahaha

This is a fantastic demo and will be a benchmark for years to come.
added on the 2023-04-24 15:33:07 by okkie okkie
yes, it's that uncanny valley / scene enthusiasm meme all over again. i take this rendering quality any time over some cubes with hypnoglow!
reminds me of
BB Image
rulez added on the 2023-04-25 10:39:41 by sm sm
watched this but I don't remember what it was about, hmmm.
added on the 2023-04-25 20:28:09 by mlc mlc
What is even happening in the comment section? :'D

You know, sometimes I'm thinking "Oh well, nowadays the commercial engines and the AAA industry are so far ahead with thousands upon thousands of hours worth of work, we can't even emulate them anymore; gotta find another direction to push to distinguish ourselves". And then Smash arrives and shows that some demos can still stand proudly side by side with the state of the art.
And that makes me happy and kinda proud, even though I had nothing to do with it.

This prod is not without flaws, all of which seem to have to do with a lack of time to polish. But at the same time, there is something genuine and demo-ish about it, which makes me appreciate it all the more. Compared to Ziphead which had reached professional level of perfection, this one has the unevenness that numb res had, making it more (under)grounded, rebellious and personal. I still hope a final version will come and make those plants not clip through the Voronoi mesh. ;)

Also, I usually don't comment on the soundtrack because it's a field I'm clueless about, but I wanted to point that I really liked the use of stereo here, which gave a really immersive feel to the prod.
rulez added on the 2023-04-25 23:27:02 by Zavie Zavie
crashes to desktop for me, ryzen 5600x rtx 3060
added on the 2023-04-27 09:50:11 by wrighter wrighter
nice... i like
rulez added on the 2023-04-27 22:01:48 by ultra ultra
Okay visuals but the music is absolutely worthless trash.
added on the 2023-04-30 05:31:53 by dex46... dex46...
First time I've wathed this demo since the party and I found Smash's comments very interesting. Based purely on the solid coding chops that went into programming this I have no option but to give it a thumbs up.

I have mixed feelings about the lack of limits when it comes to PC demos, but we still have the Amiga and old-school compos for that, so it's all good.

Would really love to see what Destop can do with these effects. Maybe a remix like 1995's Deep? One can hope.
rulez added on the 2023-04-30 13:39:29 by flynn_nrg flynn_nrg
it's a frametime rollercoaster
sucks added on the 2023-04-30 19:32:14 by keith303 keith303
rulez added on the 2023-05-03 03:47:32 by got got
Great composition with overall superb quality! Absolutely love the 'build up' in the first minute of the demo. The message delivered at the end nicely closes the theme.

Group of (somewhat awkwardly) walking andys reminded me of Equilibrium from 2002 IIRC.
rulez added on the 2023-05-03 10:35:03 by warp warp
1GB download, cool. Atleast it won't have a 2 minute precalc then, right...?

Well, on the second run it was a lot faster and smoother. I watched it on youtube too. Looking for something I guess. But still it just leaves me feeling like Gargaj's avatar.

What's with the constant glitch esthetic, how is that STILL a thing? I did get a chuckle at the scene with the polygon count and the self-deprecating by self-congratulating message.
added on the 2023-05-03 21:22:09 by Nosferatu Nosferatu
rulez added on the 2023-05-10 10:17:16 by spritus spritus
added on the 2023-05-22 23:13:37 by error64 error64
Having watched it a few more dozen times, I think I may have been a bit too harsh. At the end of the day, it doesn' t matter how it was made but what it offers to our ears and eyes.
I think it is the best windows demo of the last (at least) 3 years (There by Still second)
added on the 2023-07-14 17:23:17 by Navis Navis
The animations blew my mind!
rulez added on the 2023-07-26 21:57:16 by MartiniMoe MartiniMoe
I took this as a statement. Big relief and big applause. Welcome back, ace.
rulez added on the 2023-08-08 14:09:46 by NokoNoko NokoNoko
Breathtaking demo! Runs fine on AMD 6900XT.
rulez added on the 2023-08-15 09:49:15 by Cosmocat Cosmocat
What everybody else said. This is sheer excellene. Except:

One one hand I would have liked this demo to have more of an emotional impact on me. No idea if it's my role as Revision organizer that kinda forces me to keep a distance to the prods released at the party or the demo itself, but it left me colder than it should have.

On the other hand though, and I can't stress this enough: As it stands, Smash is the only person in the PC scene right now who really tries to push the envelope when it comes to graphics programming. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of brilliant people around, but when it comes to the sole purpose of making a GPU go brrr in new ways, there is, as of right now, absolutely no comparison. This is absolutely something we all should aspire to and get our heads of our collective rears, and I sincerely hope this will happen soon.
rulez added on the 2023-08-19 00:42:36 by kb_ kb_
I, like :)
rulez added on the 2023-10-27 08:57:42 by Olympian Olympian
Runs well on my RTX4090 / i9 13900ks monster. Lots of critisism but I thought this was awesome. Sell an organ like I had to if you need better hardware to run new games and demos. To quote sense "Its 2023 guys". Think about what you had to do to get an 060 Amiga and apply the same effort.
rulez added on the 2023-11-19 12:30:22 by A120068030 A120068030
very cool
rulez added on the 2023-12-29 20:42:12 by blackpawn blackpawn
The visuals are brilliant, but 1 Gb size is too much to call it demoscene. I mean it demonstrates the fact that having unlimited resources you can reach the unlimited quality. It's not what the demoscene is about.
added on the 2024-04-07 10:14:23 by Manwe Manwe
I mean we have great demonstrations of technologies in 64 kb intros like Dope on Wax. Mechasm is 16587 times larger, so we can expect x16587 quality gain. You can say things do not work this way, but what is the correct ratio?
added on the 2024-04-07 15:01:57 by Manwe Manwe
It's not what the demoscene is about.

Why don't you demonstrate that you can (1) produce on the level of this prod (2) do so in 64k with an appropriate size-quality-ratio?
added on the 2024-04-17 15:06:08 by NR4 NR4
until then: this prod is great, stfu
added on the 2024-04-17 15:06:29 by NR4 NR4
runs at least on RX6800. thanks for the AMD love! and it's goooorgeous
rulez added on the 2024-05-12 15:00:57 by plonk420 plonk420

submit changes

if this prod is a fake, some info is false or the download link is broken,

do not post about it in the comments, it will get lost.

instead, click here !

[previous edits]

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