The DemoScene (Pt.2)

27 05 2008

The reason I wrote about the Demoscene is because it’s an amazing concept when applied in video games.

In fact, it was a gaming article that introduced me to the Demoscene. I don’t have it on my PC right now, but I believe it was a Gamespot article about the upcoming Will Wright’s game “Spore”. Will Wright (the designer of the holy grail game: “The Sims”) pointed out how modern games are becoming more and more sophisticated in terms of animation and textures. He said that future games would require an army of animators to make the game as real as possible.

So, the point is, why use pre-generated animations if we can animate objects on the go?! Meaning that we could generate animations as needed in the game. The generation algorithm would be based on constant rules defined by the programming team.

That animation method will be used in his upcoming game “Spore”, where you’ll be able to create your own custom species, and the game will automatically generate the animations required to move your creatures around, make it dance, fight, etc… The creature generator would define the static points on the creature’s body, and the body structure (arms, legs) and the game would do the rest. The creature’s animations will be generated according to the laws of physics. So, the creature would actually move realistically, because his motion is built on real-world physics.

The great achievement here is that the user has the freedom to create whatever he/she wants, and the game would generate the animations required for that creatures behavior. So, the user is no longer bound by the game’s own pre-generated content! And game developers no longer require massive animation teams.

Wrapping it all up:

Realtime content generation = less animators = more programmers = more creative and expandable games = happy gamers all around the world.

And, for those of you who believe this is mere junk, take a look at “.Kkrieger” (developed in 2004) by “The Produkkt”, a 3D FPS in 96 KB! with all the fluffy 3D effects of a full-blown x GB game!

Check their website to download it and see for yourself: www.theprodukkt.com

Also, don’t forget to check the Spore official website: www.spore.com

It’s a new world out there. Imagine using that technology along with ray-tracing rendering technique!

WoW! I’m speechless!!!





The DemoScene (Pt.1)

21 05 2008

I wanted to write about the Demoscene ever since I saw the first real demo.

The Demoscene, as defined by Wikipedia “…is a computer art subculture that specializes in producing demos, which are non-interactive audio-visual presentations run real-time on a computer. The main goal of a demo is to show off programming, artistic, and musical skills.”

Those of you who owned a PC during the 90’s will surely remember those executable files that were bundled with certain pirated games or programs. They would probably show an animated scene about the piracy group who cracked the software. So, they’d show their names and make pride of their abilities. All that in a relatively small file. (That was my first contact with a demo.)

However, after some research I have found that the Demoscene actually started before the 90’s, on some early platforms, like the Commodore64, Atari, & Amiga.

Demos (or Intros) have evolved well beyond traditional pixelized images floating around on the screen, to become more like a short movie, including most of the artistic values of any real-life movie: art, direction, storyboard, photography, 3d art & animation, and music.

The really stunning fact about Demoscene is that Demos are a real programming challenge, where some groups are challenged to write a Demo in a restricted file size of 64 KB! There are even some recent Demos stuffed in a tiny space of 4 KBs. Early Demos are available in 256 Bytes!

So, yes, the Demoscene IS a programming challenge that focuses on new, innovative techniques to generate all the required contents in real-time. As opposed to saving each component in a separate file.

When I watched my first Demo, I was instantly shocked about the great amount of effort put in it. And as I watched more and more Demos I really started to notice how each Demo has its own artistic mood.

I could talk for hours about Demos and Intros, but it won’t matter, because you won’t believe it until you see it with your own eyes. So, I’m gonna cut to the chase and list some sites and groups to give you a head start:

– More info about the Demoscene: http://www.demoscene.info/

– Even more info: http://pilgrimage.scene.org/demoscene.html

– The Demoscene online TV: http://www.demoscene.tv

– One of the best groups on the scene (ASD): http://www.asd.gr/ (Go for their “Animal Attraction” Demo first)

– Another amazing group (Conspiracy): http://conspiracy.hu/ (I like their “Chaos Theory” Intro)

– And finally, the biggest Demoscene archive on the web: http://pouet.net

Have fun.