Well, this page is here to give you basic and more info about:
What the ...... is this "DEMO"
Why, who, when, where and other "needful" info about demos, demo coders,
I will start with the first thing: What is a demo ...
A sophisticated definition of demo program is, that it is a program,
which is good for NOTHING. It means, that a demo may be just a piece of
junk, or ART. Well, sometimes is really hard to call some demos ART, but
at least, they were supposed to be a piece of art, so I will think, that
demo is art.
(You may think so too...) But, get some closer look... Demo program is
usually 3 - 15m(in) length (You don't know, how to check program length
in meters ??? *grin*) EXE file. The size of file vary ... from small 4kB
intros, 64kB intros to 4MB demos... The result is in 99% cases some output
to monitor (either images, or animations), and some sounds in your speakers
(music). Maybe the best comparison is to compare demos with music videos.
The main difference is, that music video is a sequence of still images,
already prepared and stored at video tape, while the demo usually does
not contain finished pictures, but only some data and program, which calculates
pictures from these data. This means, that if you see some in-tunnel-fly
in demo, your computer is not just putting these pictures at monitor,
but also generating them (at the same time). And demo needs for such tunnel
maybe about 100kB of data, while some 20 sec. long animation would need
maybe 10 times more data.
Demo is usually created from three main ingredients: CODE (program), MUSIC
and GRAPHIC. These three are mixed together by the glue called DESIGN.
And the quality of each ingredient and glue may REALLY vary (A LOT). The
truth is, that demos has been developed by Coders, first demos were created
only from real-time calculated effects, like text scrolling, or line drawing.
These demos were supposed to show programming skill of their "coders"
and to greet their friends. Because a lot of things were looking great
with pictures (scrolling picture), graphicians did join coders to improve
the look. And this silence was that ugly, that music was just a NEED.
The design is still a rare thing, but it's getting better every year.
And the demos are today not just "skill presentations", but they also
contains more "eye-candies" for "normal" people, who doesn't understand
too much about coding.
Who, why, when, where and other "needful" info ...
Q: WHO ? A: DEMO GROUPS
Q: WHY ? A: Who knows ? (we have too much of spare time ????)
Q: WHEN ? A: Usually at night (2:00am), but doesn't matter ...
Q: WHERE? A: At home, school, etc... just a computer needed.
Well, if you did read the previous text about "What is demo", maybe you
were confused by the "EXE file" text and other values ... These things
are typical for PC demos, where most of new demos are produced for W95/98
and partially in Java. The next "still alive" scene is working on Amiga.
And time from time there is new demo for some old 8bit computer like C64,
or ZX Spectrum (Speccy). Even few demos for game-consoles (Sony PSX, etc.)
Anyway, WHY is very ugly question ... We usually don't know why. For
some of us its one of the last possibilities, how to live and be creative
(and not just to consume, like most of today people live). And most of
us is doing demos to let other people see and enjoy them (in other words:
to consume our product ... just BTW comment). And some of us simply MUST
do demos. ;)
BTW, "to let other people see" ... Soon after first demos were created
demo makers started to meet at demo parties. Nowadays are demos released
mostly at demo parties ... days, when a demo was released JUST SO are
gone. Today are usually demos created for the competition at demo party.
A demo party looks like a quite big "party" ... It's a meeting of demo-freaks,
and the program usually looks like this:
Morning: (dis)organizers should arrive and prepare all HW stuff (big screen,
compo computers, audio, etc...). Demo groups are visiting each other,
watching, what have other groups prepared, chatting ...
Lunch time: (dis)organizers arriving, preparing HW stuff, collecting compo
products, and yelling, that the start of first compo will be delayed at
least for 1 hour... But they still deserve a credit for getting the room,
and they usually make it all running. Even when everything brakes and
Afternoon & Night: Showing compo products, voting, showing legends of
demos, partying, etc...There are several categories to compete in. For
example demo, 4kB intro, music, picture, animation, HDD throwing, and
so on ... After party are all products uploaded to some FTP-site with
results, party-logs, flame mail, and so on ...
Visit some party, if you didn't understand yet, how such party looks.
I think it's worth of it.
This page is supposed to give some basic info to anyone, it's not here
only for demo-freaks, so if you have some feeling, that something is really
missing here, or you are too confused by some thing, let us know to improve
Thank you for your time.