Re: Which was the first demoscene demo?

category: general [glöplog]
@fizzer: That's true, but hypothetically if you had a disk containing the 1980s equivalent of an Archee or Virgil demo, you'd probably have a hard time determining whether it was culturally part of the demoscene or "just" a display hack that some bedroom coder came up with - mars springs to mind as that sort of borderline case (except for 1993 being outside the date range we're considering, obviously). I don't think we can avoid having a slightly-arbitrary-and-imperfect rule to serve as an "is this demoscene or not" heuristic.

The rule I'm really struggling to understand is this one:

It must be linked to a scene that is not a game scene, cracker scene, PD scene, mailing list, company, etc., but a demoscene. The link is mostly an absence of reference to the previous, and can be as simple as showing what you made with no words.

I don't understand how "showing what you made with no words" can be interpreted as a link to anything. Taken literally, it means that a Sierpinski triangle plotter with no text might possibly count as a demoscene demo (although admittedly it's hard to find a program like that which also satisfies the "multiple members with handles" rule), but the moment you add "greetings to Fairlight" it's instantly disqualified (because that's a link to the cracker scene).

But anyway, as a sort of baseline suggestion that seems to fit the letter and spirit of the rules, I'd like to propose The Art Of Scrunk by The Lords in 1987, which is the oldest Spectrum demo on Demozoo made by multiple people with handles and a group name that doesn't have "Cracking" in it. (There's a handy writeup about the history of the demo in ZAT fanzine from the mid-90s.)

The scrolltext specifically acknowledges the existence of C64 demos, and contains one identifiable (to me) greeting to another group: The Judges, who as previously mentioned were a non-cracker group. The one point that might arguably count against it is that it contains ripped music (from the game Zub).

Obviously that leaves the field wide open for someone to propose a Judges demo as the actual first one, but then they have to deal with the "is this sufficiently unconnected to the cracking scene" question. :-)
added on the 2018-09-24 21:24:51 by gasman gasman
The whole question and the rules feel a bit weird and misguided. What practical purpose would the answer serve, in the hypothetical case that a prod x was found that happens to fulfill the rules that Photon happened to state? In what kind of context would anyone use the "answer"? To me it would feel just ridiculous if someone claimed to have found "the first _proper_ demoscene" something. Just as ridiculous as claiming to have found the exact borderline between expensive and cheap - with such and such blah blah "rules". Wtf??
added on the 2018-09-24 21:34:26 by yzi yzi
For some reason, for me, this article, which is only semi-related, resonates deeply with this thread. https://noisey.vice.com/en_us/article/rpy377/sink-shower
(!) This post is not meant to be informative, just helpful.
added on the 2018-09-25 00:06:22 by wertstahl wertstahl
gasman, yzi, et al.:

The rules must be strict and free of loopholes in order to find some demo that could be considered the first demoscene demo.

The opposite are "who cares?" rules, or rules that are based on opinion. I'd love it if the demoscene started with engineers scavenging missile control boards and running programs on their oscilloscope :)

But the Demoscene doesn't go back that far. There are gaps. As we go back in time, the goal as I see it is to find the first demo before the first gap. This is the only way that I see that the demo could be connected to the continuing demoscene that we are a part of.

The rules certainly allow demos made by one person, and it may be that the first demo is made by a cracker or a cracker group, but the credits must bridge the gap to the demoscene that took hold and grew. This demoscene.
added on the 2018-09-25 00:23:50 by Photon Photon
The rules must be strict and free of loopholes in order to find some demo that could be considered the first demoscene demo.

i think the problem here is that it (those rules) implies "demoscene" existed when the first demo was made. it did not. the first "demoscene demo" was made at least 5, if not 10, years after the first demo.
added on the 2018-09-25 04:03:34 by groepaz groepaz
Photon: why? What purpose do you have in mind, for which it is not enough to say that the demoscene was established roughly around such and such years.
added on the 2018-09-25 06:45:33 by yzi yzi
How can any single thing start a scene? It wasn't a Demoscene until there were multiple demos and a community formed around them. Demoscene is a community, communities always evolve from other communities or other things. There is no such thing as a "first" Demoscene demo.
added on the 2018-09-25 10:53:27 by skrebbel skrebbel
You really have to dig deep and do a lot of research to eventually be able to find out what was the first true demoscene production.

Since demos came before the demoscene (I'm pretty sure), it's actually possible that the trend spread very quickly, and thus several groups were formed almost as the same time, making it very hard to rule out which one was first. I'd give up if I were you, this seems almost impossible.
added on the 2018-09-25 11:16:35 by 8bitbubsy 8bitbubsy
another problem is that in the beginning the scene developed independently at different places. crackers, compunet, the early US BBS scene etc. the idea of "first there were intros, which then developed into demos" is also flawed for the same reason.
added on the 2018-09-25 11:34:15 by groepaz groepaz
Very quickly was probably an exaggeration, but it's still possible that several groups formed at the same time.
added on the 2018-09-25 11:34:28 by 8bitbubsy 8bitbubsy
I don't think you are going to find the single one production that started it all. The term demoscene was coined by the existance of, well, multiple demos. Bear in mind that the demoscene originally was a branch of the cracktro scene which later developed to the modern demoscene as we know it. Demos and groups existed before that split took place and their purpose was to promote their cracked games and not their art. I believe it was multiple groups that later started doing demoscene stuff as we know them today rather than one single group that decided to make the first demoscene demo.
added on the 2018-09-25 12:16:31 by Defiance Defiance
But, guys, don't you realize that the first demoscene demo is yet to be made? :]
added on the 2018-09-25 12:19:44 by ham ham
Which will be the last demoscene demo?
added on the 2018-09-25 12:36:30 by Sir Sir
added on the 2018-09-25 17:29:00 by nagz nagz
I made the first demo but there was no Pouet back then so... *shrugs*
"Bear in mind that the demoscene originally was a branch of the cracktro scene"
no, thats simply a flawed idea. when the first demos popped up on compunet, they were a lot more advanced than the contemporary crack intros - which very often were just a simple text screen at that time. if anything, the two scenes developed at the same time. they know the other side existed, and there was a bit of overlap. but "first there were intros, then there were demos" is just wrong.

also "cracktro" was coined in the amiga days, the term didnt exist in the early scene :)
added on the 2018-09-26 02:15:42 by groepaz groepaz
- "demoscene" was not how they called it in the beginning. you'll have to forward to amiga times to find that separation being widely used. oldfarts like me still refer to it as "computerscene" because its really that, and in the oldfart platform world there isnt that much of a distinction either (still many groups do both, openly)

Just a comment on this. If I recall correctly, it was you who once said: "It is strange that some people even call themselves sceners. Any idiot can make a diskmag." If you did not say this, then I am sorry. But if you said that, I think you see the contradiction to this statement of yours.
added on the 2018-09-26 05:28:32 by Adok Adok
it would certainly be less contradicting if it didnt came from an idiot who makes a diskmag, indeed!
added on the 2018-09-26 07:08:39 by groepaz groepaz
greopaz: you say it yourself though, that the term cracktro was coined in the amiga days which they start late 80s - early 90s, the period where the scene split took place (or at least it was more evident that the two scenes where heading to different directions). I still believe that the first demos where heavily inspired from the first intros (drew ideas, code, execution) since there is lots of evidence pointing to this though.
added on the 2018-09-26 12:32:16 by Defiance Defiance
Do you think it's an interesting question?

added on the 2018-09-26 16:16:24 by gloom gloom
This here, looks promising:
(1985, all 3 rules apply)
added on the 2018-09-26 17:26:17 by wertstahl wertstahl
I'm not sire whether it's possible to pinpoint the one exact thing here. Usually, technological as well as sociological developments are gradual processes. Several factions having similar ideas at the same time. Identifying some early works which follow the idea of a demoscene release should be possible, but I seriously doubt that we can come up with a singular "guru" who "started the religion".
added on the 2018-09-26 20:25:14 by jco jco
Yeah, well, like Black Sabbath actually "invented" Heavy Metal, right? Sure thing.
added on the 2018-09-26 23:35:24 by Sir Sir
Tony Iommi invented Heavy Metal just as much as Falco invented White Rap. :P
added on the 2018-09-27 00:38:20 by jco jco