Dogma demomaking

category: general [glöplog]
4gentE: "third new car" are you serious?... in today's economy level one is just to pay a rent.
added on the 2024-06-09 23:00:06 by tomkh tomkh
4gentE, congratulations for missing the point completely.

Real Life Adult Shit can include situations that have been imposed, that you can't get out of, that you are, well, duty bound to attend to, so not really 'bigger house and fancy boobs for the mrs.'

I've nothing against the original premise of the thread, it is a bit of fun, but the reasons why people use emulators and other modern tools isn't necessarily that it's 'too easy', but it may be the only way some people can even be vaguely productive.

Apart from one lone poster earlier in the thread, this point has been somewhat underappreciated in this discussion.
added on the 2024-06-09 23:10:50 by CiH CiH
I get it. Life. Obligations, family, parents, kids. I got it the first time around, it just sounded like we’re so stranded for mere survival I couldn’t resist.
added on the 2024-06-09 23:28:20 by 4gentE 4gentE
Thank you 😊

On another aspect of the topic, what's the dogma level on using FPGA hardware for something like this, especially if people want to preserve old hardware from an intensive devepment workload?

Reason for my enquiry, I spotted an Amiga Mini, hooked up to a very mini screen, with a bodged-on working keyboard at a retro revival event yesterday.
added on the 2024-06-09 23:42:11 by CiH CiH
For example, I use PC for production of C64 artifacts because I can’t be assed to write text in 40 columns or wait for slow saves. I don’t use macros or any sort of readymade code libraries and I don’t code little python scripts to produce speedcode etc. Write asm, compile, send to hardware / CRT.
Just like the natural dev platform for A500 is a bigger Amiga, the natural dev platform for C-64 is... a C-128. :)

Gives you 80 columns, a second 64K for your assembler and source code, and fast saving plus mass storage devices exist for it just like for C-64. And it's nearly 100% compatible with C-64, just like an emulator. =)

And people who use macros or even scripts to produce unrolled loops... are likely not the kind of people to ever even try going Dogma. (Not sure what's wrong with "readymade code libraries", though. Ever used an irq loader or included a SID tune?)
added on the 2024-06-10 07:40:41 by Krill Krill
the natural dev platform for C-64 is... a C-128.

I was thinking about that a lot. I was just never able to get my hands on a good one locally.

what's wrong with "readymade code libraries"

No, no, absolutely nothing wrong. I was just describing my neanderthal way of going about these things. It's because I don't know better and don't care to learn. Smon level. Just enough for my lamey artifacts. I'm no coder, I just push and pull switches, see what happens. I don't even have labels for border/paper color registers. ;-)
added on the 2024-06-10 09:16:27 by 4gentE 4gentE
I was thinking about that a lot. I was just never able to get my hands on a good one locally.
In the olden days (pre-2002) i used an REU (+128KB or more external RAM) on the C-64 with an REU-enabled Turbo Assembler variant (and VASS for that one +H2K part with more than 5,000 lines of code).

Solved the extra-memory for assembler and source code problem, but not the 40-column problem... which i didn't find much of a problem then. These days, i cannot even stand the 50 Hz CRT flicker. (But i don't mind the 15 KHz whine.) =)
added on the 2024-06-10 10:40:16 by Krill Krill
The prevailing sentiment here seems to be that dogmas are just something you can impose on yourself as a challenge. You can then go brag about it so people can judge your demo by a lower standard.

I think there is more to it than that.

Dogma movies have a certain character to them that contribute to the viewing experience in its own right. The limitations lead to artistic choices that the creators would otherwise not have thought of making.

This is where dogmas (and creative limitations in general) get interesting, IMO.

So how does this apply to demos? What are examples of interesting (and therefore worthwhile) artistic or technical choices in recent demos that were made only because the creators followed a dogmatic approach?

And, crucially, how do these choices, made with today's knowledge, differ from what people did back when this was the only way of developing demos that they knew of?
added on the 2024-06-10 12:42:53 by Blueberry Blueberry

It's twofold, it has technical and artistic implications. Like Dogme 95 I'm expecting that it will act back on choices - not only how you achieve a certain goal, but moreso which goals you're setting yourself in the first place.

I want to work more in the way I did in the beginning, for example by sketching a logo on pen and paper first. The same applies to technical drawings for designing code.

Technically, if I cannot throw gigehurts on the creation of tables and optimizations anymore, I would probably (or so I suppose) try harder to find "smarter", more organic, more human, more artistic or philosophical ideas than breaking records that are available only to brute force optimization still, for example.

Unfortunately I'm not such a "naturally" creative person, but I remember I have been much more creative 30 years ago. I guss that was due to the availability and kind of tools. And I observe this problem in many demosceners :-) but what demosceners usually react on positively is to set themselves a certain ruleset to achieve a goal.

Exploitation of the gigahertz disproportionality was an obvious choice in demomaking for old computers - it always goes like this. The low-hanging fruits that wanted to get picked in this field have been picked now, mostly, and perhaps we might want to set ourselves new goals at some point. :-)
added on the 2024-06-10 13:06:10 by bifat bifat
All of my releases are already either Dogma 1 or 2. The OS, tools and workflows are a big part of why I enjoy the Amiga. Making scene stuff gives me a reason to keep using my Amigas for something creatively.

I don't care what platforms other people use to make their demos, but I think this is a fun idea and I also think everyone should give it a try, time and resources permitting. An A1200 with a hard drive and a bit of extra RAM is a great machine for Level 2.
added on the 2024-06-10 14:02:38 by grip grip
Everyone pointing out crossdev isn't new, can only cite games as examples. Did anyone do crossdevelopment of demos in the old days?

I've felt personally the crossdev attitude can get out of hand, as I try to find faster and more effective ways of compiling and producing. It only lead to burnout and boredom eventually.

With a build cycle of less than second, coding can become a matter "didn't work, I change this a bit, didn't work, change again, didn't work, change, oh now it works" rather than thinking it properly through and getting into the actual hardware.

The dogma might be a useful exercise for personal sanity, like a musician throwing away the omnipotent DAW and going to non-computerized synths, building modulars and analog sequencer etc.

I suspect the demos that would come out of this attitude might be different. Maybe smaller and with less content!

But perhaps it shouldn't be too "dogmatic", not a specific category or a debate of "is this really a dogma demo or not?"
added on the 2024-06-10 20:51:24 by DrTerrorZ DrTerrorZ
Everyone pointing out crossdev isn't new, can only cite games as examples. Did anyone do crossdevelopment of demos in the old days?

Well, Krill just mentioned the C128 usage. And using bigger Amigas too. But maybe it doesnt' count? :) And then all of the console stuff was cross-developed from the get go, early 1990s demos with PCs and Magicoms. Chris Covell was using an A1200 to develop NES intros in year 2000. (does that count as 'old days'? :)) Many others were using PCs too.
Interesting idea but I doubt it'll take off. The demoscene is niche and the number of people making old (or mid) school platform specific demos is a fraction of that. I imagine like most people, myself included, have a finite amount of free time to spend on their creative endeavours. Current and future cross dev tools allow us to maximise that time and, probably the biggest benefit, collaborate with other people no matter our location. Blueberry already hit the nail on the head. It can take as little as 10 seconds for a creative strain to fade if you're held up waiting for something to build.

On the flip side, why not go nuclear?

Dogma Level 0

Only target platform allowed for development and tools
No internet
No phone ( or at least throw £20 out the window each time you call your mate from overseas )
Code and ideas sharing via post
added on the 2024-06-12 12:26:04 by djh0ffman djh0ffman
Oh OK, you can use the phone but it must be with a stolen AT&T calling card.
added on the 2024-06-12 12:28:06 by djh0ffman djh0ffman
As we've seen, the niche already exists and people are actively working in it.
This here is just to give it a name and to talk about it, and for the recognition of those who do the extra efforts of keeping material machines in a productive state. That's not always that easy, especially for anything before A1200.

Demoscene is always about carving niches. To give you an impression, check out the artificially sadistic and satirically wasteful compos at Evoke... rubbervector and checkerboard challenges, and so on...
What sets Dogma apart is just that it doesn't intend to enforce a proof, you'd be doing this more for yourself, for more fun, for possibly different (and even better, in some sense) demos, and for talking about it. I had the idea primarily because I'm somewhere between level 1 and 2 and would like to have a more clearly outspoken goal to improve against.

Phone?, what would I need a phone for making demos? :-D Right, for chatting with the group members in other cities but landline would serve that alright. If someone wants to do a demo on at least level 2, send me stuff on floppy disk if you like - e-mail is fine too, e-mail did exist and I used it in ca. 1988, although not in real-time, but using a point BBSs. :-)

(Written mostly on Amiga :-)
added on the 2024-06-12 15:35:16 by bifat bifat
A landline is an emulator nowadays too. Circuit switched networks don't really exist anymore.
added on the 2024-06-12 16:06:52 by Preacher Preacher
it's land lines all the way down
added on the 2024-06-12 17:36:30 by farfar farfar
yeah, it probably came up already, but even 4k and 64k are dogmatic limits. It's fun to limit yourself sometimes, but you don't have to of course.

Also, make entries for Boozedrome! the file size limit is 500kb which is HUUUGE for amiga!
added on the 2024-06-12 18:31:00 by okkie okkie
Work Family Stuff: well, mostly work, usually. If you prioritise enriching your boss above giving yourself the time needed for the activities you love, I'd start by adressing that. Plus, not having to buy a computer every 5 years saves you time (well, I like to alternate good arguments with shitty ones).
Also, the same excuse could apply for the use of AI. I'm busy earning money, I pick the most productive tools.

"Slow loading, crashes often" Are you telling me than your beloved machine environment is crap? And that the solution is using another computer? I wouldn't have bet on that, from a programmer perspective.

Blueberry: very good point (and nice nutrients). Artistic choices : less animations, more love! Yet I reckon it doesn't necessarily foster a "touch" as dogma did. It's more similar to sizecoding: you have to know the constraints for the extra wow factor. Oh wait, that's the whole essence of demomaking, sizecoding or not. Edit: oups, it probably came up already.

We often see comments such as "Amazing, I'd never thought they could do that on C64". Well, most of the times they didn't! That being said, have an amazing day folks.
added on the 2024-06-13 20:22:17 by m_dr_m m_dr_m
dogma I <> I am god
dogma 3> <> <3 amgod
added on the 2024-06-20 06:44:12 by m_dr_m m_dr_m
Also: Dogma I <> I'm a dog

added on the 2024-06-20 06:49:11 by ham ham
I guess what we share is that we like challenges/restrictions but these do not necessary apply the same way. For instance one can be to sticking to the artist vision and make it fit in the targeted platform (say a500...). As opposed to creating a routine first and then trying to find a usage/design around it.
Typically, it will mean 1x1 resolution for FXs (big NO NO from graphists otherwise), no ugly copper leaking border (easier on ECS than OCS I believe) and not reusing the same set of routines incrementally improved every single demos but going all in with new approaches based on the concept as required.
What I am trying to say is that even if not applying something like the dogma proposed here, it doesn't mean that the route is necessarily that much easier -- it just different issues and even expectations. Also, I believe that if you stick to the platform native tools and all and not use precalculated data from faster computers then it makes sense to get a free pass for imperfections and glitches that you don't get otherwise.
added on the 2024-06-20 09:31:25 by Fab Fab
My idea of Dogma is just a limitation in tool usage, I wouldn't consider it a free pass for bad artistry or imperfections. There are limitless ways to good and bad artistry. :-)

Just to the contrary, if you work on limited hard- and software, your perception might shift to other points of interest. Like, for example, pedantery: Is it worth investigating bus cycles in a DMA monitor to squeeze out a few more pixels or scanlines? And spending time and optimizing against this? Certainly, if you enjoy this, do this.

Or, for example, overscan: On my CRT I see only a few millimeters of overscan on either side, because the screen space is so scarce that I wouldn't want to tune it to see as much overscan as possible. So glitches in the far overscan, yes - there's some wiggle room for tuning some issues away and out of sight.

Dogma is an ethical conduct to stay within the hardware and software that were available at the time these computers were contemporary, or - and that's another challenge - that you create yourself.

This is what fascinates me most at the moment - tool creation for and on the target machine. Tools that are programmed with demomaking mindset and skills, against limitations which seem harsh only nowadays. My very old PC is ~200 times faster than my A3000, but the A3000 was once considered a mighty workstation. So what went wrong? Were Amiga demos worse when made with a fraction of computational power? Or did that imply worse artistic choices? I don't think so.

If you enjoy using PCs for making Amiga demos, that's totally fine. Here is just an offer for recognition, if you choose to do something differently. I hinted at it already, Dogma is also full of loopholes if you think about your workflow and choices. And that's part of the fun.

When it comes to the artificiality of restrictions - for example, it could be argued that a machine from the 1980s poses enough restrictions already, so you can't really go wrong if a production fits on a single disk. While I do get the point of super size restricted productions for the challenge, I question their point if they do not have an exit. How would an intro "introduce" anything if you can't exit it to continue booting? So a super small production without an exit is the epitome of artificiality in my view.
added on the 2024-06-20 10:29:19 by bifat bifat
and the award for most inefficient workflow goes to...
Spinning thumb: If you're interested in my process, I'll show you at the next venue. My workflow on Linux and running things via network was so fast that it felt like cheating. (I suppose you can have similar turnaround times by putting code into an emulator's $f0 ROM hook. :-)
Just refactoring the tools when porting them to Amiga brought a twentyfold speedup, but I need another ten to twentyfold speedup to be in the ballpark again where my comfort zone begins. So still a lot of work and fun to be had!
added on the 2024-06-20 12:13:34 by bifat bifat