Way to make people aware about the demoscene...

category: general [glöplog]
i think it's actually a pretty easy sell getting people to come to a demoparty like revision - i've managed it myself. there's a nice atmosphere, some cool people, lots and lots of cheap booze, lots of lights and loud music - what's not to like? however i'm unconvinced that necessarily results in active productive demo-making sceners. theres a difference between demoscene as in drinking + parties + pants off and so on a couple of times a year, vs demoscene as in sitting down at home and spending hours and hours making a demo.

im not saying there's anything wrong with this, but if you follow the current trajectory parties with no actual demo releases will become commonplace in the next few years. and then it's just a load of old guys drinking in a hall and talking about computers. :)
added on the 2014-11-04 14:16:53 by smash smash
nic0: it's a 4-day booze-a-thon in a place filled with hackers, artists, musicians, assholes and elbows.
added on the 2014-11-04 14:17:44 by farfar farfar
smash: I'm afraid you're right .. =) eventually that's sure to happen anyway, once the C64 guys die.
added on the 2014-11-04 14:18:40 by farfar farfar
I just blog about some oldskool demo code every now and then. I think most people follow my blog because of the CPU/GPU/graphics API news/comments I usually post, but it seems that some of them enjoy reading about these computers and routines from a completely different era/world.

Some people had no idea that you could do 3d graphics without an FPU (heck I heard that someone actually put that in their master thesis some years ago... something like: "Gaming on phones will not be possible because phones lack an FPU"), or that some CPUs are so primitive that you actually have to implement things like mul/div in software.

Who knows, perhaps it inspires some of them to make a demo about it.
added on the 2014-11-04 14:19:45 by Scali Scali
If these students are a group of friends, then they can enjoy themselves in their own company and don't even need to meet anyone else, they'll have a blast with some computering, alcohol and the live acts like you find groups of people havign at any other festival.

The "Demoscene" of understanding how those visuals are even made, meeting people behind them, competing along are all things that aren't necessery for a visitor of a party of considerable size.

We went to 5 breakpoints/revisions before ever going anywhere else, I suppose Evoke is just as well a great party to have fun because there is enough to do all the time without even knowing other sceners.
You know the problem of the demoscene? It's mocking unlimited detail instead of trying to make similar engines in demos to show what is possible. Seriously, people talk a lot about voxels, raytracing, it's trendy topic in gamers. Demos are unique, they do different stuff. But in the past you were watching things that you would never see in games. Of course there were reasons for that, I understand. You would not see high detailed head or car from Cascada demo in games, because obviously games have also big game world and all that. But it was awesome! I was imagining, playing Alone in the Dark, and finding items, and have them rotate with phong shading and bump mapping like those 1996 demos. Of course we can't compete with games, but more interesting demo effects with voxels and stuff, some reproduction of interesting algorithms that you see on youtube and blows the mind of gamers imagining these things will not be possible.

Also, if you make shinny objects today it's gonna be cheesy (but why?). I believe there are some norms that unconsciously makes us follow the same direction. Some dubstep, some blur/noise filters, make the same "cool" stuff, avoid the considered cheesy stuff of the past. Same demos all over again.

Ok, ok, the demoscene is not about gamers, do whatever you want. I just had these random thoughts today.
added on the 2014-11-04 14:25:26 by Optimus Optimus
I was a bit sarcastic about the unlitmied detail :)
added on the 2014-11-04 14:29:19 by Optimus Optimus
But yeah, if the scene was more about code (or effects) that does look impressive (no need necesarily to be some underlying tech that few people would understand) then maybe.

And maybe give them something that even games don't give. Engines are the same now. People are not so easilly impressed. The new game engine might boast about global illumination and such, but are these features honestly visible? But if you have some more visible impressive stuff (particles, physics, I know, we already do some of these) people might notice.

Sorry, thoughts flowing.
added on the 2014-11-04 14:31:54 by Optimus Optimus
good point all of you - the plan was to do an intro-run as part of a course where they'd actually get their hands dirty creating some sorta production. I was contemplating having them submit to the evoke interactive compo since that is actually the kind of stuff we do (sensors, arduinos etc)
added on the 2014-11-04 14:46:27 by nic0 nic0
we could transform the scene into a terrorist organisation and threaten to behead computer illiterates if the infidels don't release enough demos at our parties! allah copperbar!
added on the 2014-11-04 14:51:49 by Maali Maali
i'm unconvinced that [getting people to come to a demoparty] necessarily results in active productive demo-making sceners. theres a difference between demoscene as in drinking + parties + pants off and so on a couple of times a year, vs demoscene as in sitting down at home and spending hours and hours making a demo.

Coming to a demo party can be very motivating to actually start with creating stuff. I watched and admired demos for many years, but only after visiting my first demo party (Revision 2013) I started to spend hours and hours making a demo myself. The whole atmosphere can be very inspiring for new/future sceners.

(Another reason was I felt guilty about being a mindless consumer between all those active and creative people. It took another Revision and two Evokes for me to realize just how many people go to parties who no longer really do anything... %-))

But yeah, if nothing changes, one day we will have demoparties which only keep the "demo" part in their names for nostalgic reasons...
added on the 2014-11-04 14:59:18 by Kylearan Kylearan
Coming to a demo party can be very motivating to actually start with creating stuff.

Sure, but motivation isn't usually the issue:
BB Image
added on the 2014-11-04 15:45:06 by Gargaj Gargaj
Sounds about right.
added on the 2014-11-04 15:51:51 by D.Fox D.Fox
Note that I wrote "motivating to actually start with creating stuff" (with emphasis on "start"). Motivation helps to tackle that initial hurdle of learning where to start, deciding on what to do exactly and how to do it.

Once you got the ball rolling, of course you need discipline to actually finish the project, but keeping up one's discipline is much easier once you've actually started and maybe have a roadmap etc.

At least that's how it usually works for me.
added on the 2014-11-04 16:07:22 by Kylearan Kylearan
eeew, discipline *runs*
added on the 2014-11-04 16:07:30 by wysiwtf wysiwtf
nic0: For two years in a row the HTW Saarbrücken (University of Applied Sciences) bought tickets for the students to visit Revision. In return the students had to write an abstract about their experiences. If I remember correctly the abstracts were overall positive. The students stated that they enjoyed the party but sometimes felt a bit left out. A few stated that they want to visit Revision again, even without the support of the university.
added on the 2014-11-04 16:10:25 by Madame Madame
As one of your groupies I'd like to say...

Please just keep doing what you love. We'll find you. You guys rock.
added on the 2014-11-04 16:14:43 by NokoNoko NokoNoko
Why am I learning to make demos, and why did I make a first demo and release it even though I knew nobody would like it?

Because I want to learn stuff, I want to prove to myself I can, and I have something to say.

And when I start a project, as long as it isn't a Bad Idea (vs a Really Bad Idea, which is usually awesome) especially one that gives me an excuse to make new friends, or hang out with old ones, I'm going to finish it.

Other people often want the same things we want. It works for fundraising. It's just a matter of finding a match.

Busloads of students = win.

In my case, the thing that really tipped the scales on organizing were working on scifi conventions, and Blockparty, because that said to me "You can do this here."

On demos, it was an awesome person saying "I have a demotool, and I will teach you to use it." And then he did. And I'm still learning. Man learning is awesome.
then again, we're talking about new blood, not you.
added on the 2014-11-04 16:56:39 by Maali Maali
New blood will have the same motivations as old blood. Not just the ones I have, but the different ones that different people have.
We're all people.

It's just a question of bringing them (e.g. busloads, e.g. livestreams that get them interested to attend) and then being welcoming.

And if folks welcomed me, they can welcome new blood.

There have been less welcoming times and places, but at this point most of my active friends are in the scene, and certainly the folks I talk to the most times a week are in the scene, and my my side job is in the scene.

In 2008, when I attended my first demoparty, I knew nobody and was not active. Now I know tons of people, have run two different parties (now I just run one because energy limits), have been making graphics and learning stuff, and am starting to make demos.

Case study for you.

In fact, I'm amused by the fact that now I'm no longer new blood.

Or maybe it's just because I'm sort of almost around the same age as all the Commodore guys, I'm just a late bloomer. ( ;
well, apart from bringing in busloads of people who can observe the demoscene zoo... it also takes a certain skill or background in doing technical relevant stuff for demos. if you're good at design class at school, you're still pretty useless in terms of making demos. even with the current existence of tools, you need some knowhow on basics of doing demo visuals, learn how to cooperate with and merge input from others for music/graphics/code. you don't pick those skills up from being at a party, but by learning and experience and investing a lot of effort into something you are dragged into. it is not as romantic as you make it seem. and i can understand demos can be experienced as nice or even inspirational to some, but there's a huge hurdle in between liking demos and making demos.
added on the 2014-11-04 17:22:17 by Maali Maali
You don't need superskills to start making demos. You need a lot of patience, however. I mean, as Gargaj pointed, you need to persevere and cultivate some discipline.

If you persists, and you complete and release prods, then your skill will grow.

I think that most people related to art (in general, not necessarily digital art) or people with mathematics, engineering or technical background are quite capable of appreciate our scene and they just need a little motivation to dive into demomaking.

Still, they need to be patient and spend months doing things.
added on the 2014-11-04 17:31:50 by ham ham
I'm done now, but all I need to say is:

1) The new blood does not need to make the next Debris.

2) "if you're good at design class at school, you're still pretty useless in terms of making demos" Oh yes, that's why some very demos don't resemble films at all, or share the same visual language. What's that I smell? Bullshit!

3) How many times have we had this conversation?

BB Image
Maali wins the thread :D
added on the 2014-11-04 17:41:05 by xTr1m xTr1m
so... advertising demoscene this way... good or no good? ;-)
BB Image

hum... adding that idea for a demo.. although does not seem the most cool to code! ;)
added on the 2014-11-04 17:44:15 by F-Cycles F-Cycles