DoWhackaDo by Shadow Productions & Renaissance
screenshot added by phoenix on 2001-08-28 02:18:44
platform :
type :
release date : january 1993
  • 33
  • 2
  • 1
popularity : 60%
  • 0.89
alltime top: #3622
added on the 2001-08-28 02:18:44 by phoenix phoenix

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Sorry, the screenshot isn't quite accurate (there should be more colors and more text at the bottom) but it's the best I could do.

I love this little old demo because of all the weird Atari-like scrollers.. and it uses about every video hardware trick in the book, making it a challenge to get running right (and take screenshots!) unless you have a 386 (or even a 286!). Includes a cool disco-pop soundtrack from CCCatch.
rulez added on the 2001-08-28 02:28:23 by phoenix phoenix
I learned about this demo from the Mindcandy DVD. It's too impressive technically for me and I am wondering if all the scrollers, even the ones at the front, are done with hardware tricks? How is it possible? Each scroller is 1bpp in reality no matter the raster colors (which doesn't exist on the screenshot), could there be a video mode on the PC with bitplanes where you could scroll fast parallax to each other images, each one beeing placed at a diferrent bitplane? I have no idea, but at first I thought that would be. I would like to find out what hardware tricks were used to do this. It's preety imperssive it can run fast in a 286 with the sound blaster music at 20hz. (Not that I have tried it yet)

Anyways, rules!
rulez added on the 2003-03-31 12:30:37 by Optimus Optimus
rulez added on the 2003-06-11 20:14:36 by Dubmood Dubmood
A masterpiece :)
rulez added on the 2004-05-04 03:36:02 by Blade^Absurd Blade^Absurd
Simply amazing. Goo whiteshadow!
rulez added on the 2004-05-12 20:11:28 by d3pth d3pth
come on be serious
sucks added on the 2005-05-28 13:23:46 by EviL EviL
This is one of the best "screen hacks" from White Shadow of Renaissance, and Phoenix is right: it pushed the limits on the old school systems. I have and did try it (hell, watched it for hours before realizing Dave (White Shadow) left his then address at the end of the bottom scroller, after which I wrote him a letter (old school, no email :p) and met him in real life), and it did indeed run on my 286-16Mhz flawlessly, 60-70fps, (you could also change the sampling rate as far as I recall, for slower machines).

Dave was my friend and guru while still around, and I got to know a lot of tid-bits about his works, but also many tricks which I used in my old school stuff. So, here are some technical details which lamers might not appreciate or understand:

Phoenix is right about the bitplanes more or less. First of all, it's in 16color VGA mode, 320x240 or some hacked higher-res mode, I don't recall and it won't run on DosBox right now, primarily for the following reason: it's using Dave's custom Amiga-like Copper system. It's IRQ based and can be told when to switch colors on a palette entry, as well as other hardware "commands". In more detail, the purple background is bitplane 0, the huge ass blue scroller is bitplane 3 (front-most), but it's coppered to have a blue gradient, every few scanlines. The vertical scrollers are bitplane 1, and they are also coppered, thus having a gradient, and the trickiest bit is the SPD logo which is 2 bitplanes, as far as I recall, thus giving it 4 colors, BUT what the astute and true-scener might notice is that it goes infront AND behind the big blue scroller. Now how the heck is that possible? If you know VGA programming, you can't order the bitplanes arbitrarily, unless you fake the effect by swapping the bitplane data (by copying it), but that's a costly operation on a 286 with a crappy 16bit ISA bus video card... even if you use VGA's vidmem to vidmem 32bit copies. Any guesses? I won't give it out just yet :)

Next, there's another very cool scroller at the bottom, which is using all 4 bitplanes, to give it 16 initial colors, but it's also coppered by Dave's system to give it a faded look on the edges, and the scrolling is done by a very fast vertical scaler, all on 286-class machines.

Finally the big playfield at the top is scrolled in hardware, and the blue scroller is redrawn each frame so it stays "in position". Of course it's also got a sinewave on it.

CCCatch's music is phenomenal, which makes this an absolute master piece!

Dave's inspirations were Atari ST and Amiga demos, and I'll be adding, in due time, some more "screens" as we used to call them, which have never been seen before.

R.I.P. Dave, you kicked ass!
rulez added on the 2007-02-28 02:18:07 by Dark Avenger Dark Avenger
Forgot to mention: the SPD logo I believe was pre-scaled and not real-time scaled, to save some CPU cycles.
I just noticed EViL's comment and I must add the following:

First of call, people, make sure you freagging WATCH the damn production. I know it's hard for the Amiga/Atari/etc folks, but hey, you wouldn't like to be judged by mere photos either, would you? I'm sure most cool Copper effects don't come out nicely with a screen shot. Then there's also animation and smooth motion, which certainly can't be captured by a photo. Let alone the music...

Second, don't compare the Amiga demos with the PC demos directly, at least not the old school stuff. The Amiga was FAR ahead of any PC at the time. I was programming the x86/VGA all along "crying" that I didn't have a 68k with 16 registers under the hood and an ECS/AGA chipset to play with. Most of our old school PC demos/intros were trying to come close to the Amiga/Atari productions. Any self-respecting old school PC scener will tell you his works were an homage to the phenomenal Amiga/Atari demos/intros/etc

Judge by merit while taking into account epoch (the year), the (lack of) hardware, and after witnessing (watch the damn thing!)

Old school forever!!!!! :)

PS. I know most old school demos won't run easily, so hopefully in-time emulators will get better and more videos will crop up. Once I figure out how to add a video here, I'll try to capture one.
whew, didn't know it was on pouet.

this demo totally killed me when i first watched it (must have been around 1995).

in fact, it still does, but by now i've learned to live with it :) - seriously, the experience of watching this with soundblaster music on a 286 or slow 386 is completely insane.

there've been copper-style tricks in other pc demos, like in copper and the good, the bad and the ugly by s!p, show by majic12 (iirc), copper faked by aardvark and kukoo2 by tfl/tdv. but IMHO, this is by far the best. the fact alone that he managed stable soundblaster playback without fucking up the interrupt timing elsewhere on the screen is just amazing, and it's the only demo with copper-style register programming AND sb sound that i've ever seen on pc.
rulez added on the 2007-02-28 04:49:07 by ryg ryg
rulez added on the 2007-02-28 05:03:56 by bdk bdk
I just noticed EViL's comment and I must add the following:

First of call, people, make sure you freagging WATCH the damn production. I know it's hard for the Amiga/Atari/etc folks, but hey, you wouldn't like to be judged by mere photos either, would you?

Dark Avenger: please, do not associate all 68000 freaks to Evil's comment, thanks :)
rulez added on the 2007-02-28 05:08:57 by keops keops
There are others too that managed sound and IRQ handling without hickups, but not many did it as well :) It was certainly a mind-numbing, "WTF! my computer isn't SUPPOSED to do all this" type of experience indeed :)

No worries, I will not, especially as I'm a huge retro-Amiga/Atari/68k freak myself these days :)
BTW, for any White Shadow fans, I've added the proper group, Shadow Productions, and 3 more of his released stuff. He didn't release most of his screen hacks, but one day I'll dig'em out and upload them on here.

rulez added on the 2007-02-28 06:15:59 by Buckethead Buckethead
Thanks for all the technical aspects in Shadow's demos Dark Avenger. They are very interesting to me. I didn't know how was it possible till someone told me that PCs can sometimes have bitplanes as the Amiga does, in VGA colors 16 (And then the obvious changing pallete per raster to give more of course :)

In the past, I try to run this demo in higher computers, like 486, a Pentium, maybe a Pentium 3 without sound, and it surprisingly still worked or almost worked with such displays. How a diferrent CPU cannot fuck up the sync so much or crash it, I don't know exactly.
added on the 2007-05-26 23:56:27 by Optimus Optimus
This and other demos now work in a special patched version of dosbox. Here's the thread (which includes a screenshot if you're logged in): http://vogons.zetafleet.com/viewtopic.php?t=15582

The link above is in the official dosbox forums believe it or not. The domain just doesn't make it obvious.
rulez added on the 2007-06-30 11:50:29 by bigcheese bigcheese
rulez added on the 2007-10-13 15:40:04 by seablue seablue
Long gone are the days of hardware banging demos on PC. Awesome code.
rulez added on the 2007-10-13 16:42:15 by flynn_nrg flynn_nrg
And I say that's a good thing that those times are a long past. That said, this demo is stunning.
rulez added on the 2007-10-13 17:05:46 by Preacher Preacher
haven't seen this for ages, but still remembering the great *WOW*!

this was the work of an ingenious wizard!

rulez added on the 2008-04-02 03:13:32 by RufUsul RufUsul
This is one of the coolest VGA demos of the old days. Screenshot is terrible though...

Youtube version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLVi2zKCgCo
rulez added on the 2010-05-20 15:41:01 by a life in hell a life in hell
Still kicks arse
rulez added on the 2010-05-20 15:53:46 by britelite britelite
Real HC VGA kicking!
rulez added on the 2011-08-28 20:45:28 by Marq Marq
Very impressive show of VGA mastery ! Mixes bit-planes, coppers, hw scrolling, hw screen-splitting in a single screen O_o poor CRT controller, it might have seen stars ^^
rulez added on the 2012-12-20 01:14:15 by marmakoide marmakoide
pretty wtf?! back then =D
rulez added on the 2012-12-20 02:53:02 by T$ T$
Pretty wft overall!
rulez added on the 2012-12-22 21:05:46 by Emod Emod
nice :)
rulez added on the 2013-02-04 22:15:01 by Queen_Luna Queen_Luna
Here from a real machine with TSENG ET4000:
I'll add later the link to the full fps version to the comments.
rulez added on the 2013-10-27 11:14:48 by enigma enigma
rulez added on the 2013-10-27 11:37:43 by bitl bitl
wow, this is amazing for 286
rulez added on the 2013-10-27 15:24:48 by dipswitch dipswitch
This is awesome!
rulez added on the 2013-10-27 20:38:29 by StingRay StingRay
The most impressive really oldskool single-screen demo on the pc ever.
I think I watched this on a 286/12. Full framerate, and software-mixed MOD music.
rulez added on the 2013-11-29 20:09:08 by yzi yzi
wow. Wish I had seen things like that when we had a 286 back then. :D
rulez added on the 2014-09-03 21:08:12 by Saga Musix Saga Musix
Scrollers still suck. This one has a funny aesthetic though, this kind of sensory overload rarely works, but the primitivity for whatever reason is somewhat appealing... but yeah scrollers suck. Piglett.
added on the 2015-03-15 00:47:44 by noby noby
rulez added on the 2015-04-11 23:01:07 by insane insane
forgotten (for many years) thumb
rulez added on the 2018-09-05 02:57:09 by frog frog
rulez added on the 2018-09-05 21:09:46 by Asato Asato
rulez added on the 2019-04-20 21:58:09 by remdy remdy
@EviL The logo never really goes in front of the scroller, it always stays on planes 1 and 2. However, when the logo appears to moves in front, it just loads another palette to give the yellow colors precedence over the blue ones and when it goes behind it switches the colors to be all blue colors again so the logo becomes effectually blue, i.e. you can't distinguish the logo from the scroller.
added on the 2019-09-29 06:21:46 by pan069 pan069
@EviL The logo never really goes in front of the scroller, it always stays on planes 1 and 2. However, when the logo appears to moves in front, it just loads another palette to give the yellow colors precedence over the blue ones and when it goes behind it switches the colors to be all blue colors again so the logo becomes effectually blue, i.e. you can't distinguish the logo from the scroller.

Sorry, I meant @Dark Avenger. The layout of these comments is, well...
added on the 2019-09-29 07:17:34 by pan069 pan069
Crazy shit for that hardware.
rulez added on the 2019-12-23 10:04:59 by axis^oxy axis^oxy
I get it now reading back again and remember how bitplanes works on Amiga and how they achieve other effects with clever palette usage, I guessed it also switches the palette when SPD logo goes in front or back (changing the palette color combinations of bitplanes 1,2 with 3). Previously I was counting bitplanes and thought there were more than 4 (impossible) but realized the SPD logo never happens to touch the vertical scroll, so they share one of the two bitplanes.
added on the 2020-05-07 13:53:45 by Optimus Optimus

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