Why most demos are running on either Windows or old school machine?

category: general [glöplog]
@F-Cycles: The title of the thread asks why most demos are running on oldschool/windows. By what you say, it seems it should have been: why isn't there more creativity in the platform, either homebrew or even virtual? But on this point Preacher said everything!

Also what SURFING says, up to the point when he speaks about java! ;p
added on the 2011-10-12 14:38:45 by baah baah
@baah: No.. I am please with all comments. Sorry if you read my input has being something try to convince or argue. I want to know what demo maker and demo viewers feel about the platform where demo are running.

From what I read now, most demo viewers, like when they can run the demo on the actual hardware. But, may go with a youtube version first (like I do). While most demo makers, would go with the platform they are use to, have tools for it.

Additionnal comment I made was to know if you believe that hardware, API... can influence the type of demo?

added on the 2011-10-12 15:26:15 by F-Cycles F-Cycles
Optimus: "We had a lot of Amiga fans in Greece (even our own meetings and mag today) but I don't even know a single person who ever coded a demo for it."

That's interesting... does those people are coding something at all? I mean either on their Amiga, PC or other machine? I wonder also why demo on Amiga has stop to be the style they use to be on ECS... (refering to Desert Dream, Melon Tetris intro, ...)?
added on the 2011-10-12 15:31:33 by F-Cycles F-Cycles
Additionnal comment I made was to know if you believe that hardware, API... can influence the type of demo?

If I want to be mean, then I say yeah, the fact that OpenGL 1.1 is so easy might encourage people to stick to it instead of going into the whole shader extravaganza. But otherwise, no, I don't think in 2011 it does.
added on the 2011-10-12 15:44:38 by Gargaj Gargaj
I once heard that someone on a greek tv computer show in 1992, two people came and claim they started an Amiga demogroup. Then we never heard anything about the Amiga demoscene here. In Greece I think three machines (apart from PC) were dominant, the CPC, the Spectrum and later the Amiga. Maybe I am wrong about the Amiga, I don't know but I remember lot's of zealots and fans and there is even today a meeting called Amigathering. There is also Amigahellas so what was strange to me is that there is a community here but nobody seems to be interested about making demos. I met some people in one amigathering and had nice times playing old games and talking about the times but as far as I asked people, nobody seems to have the time, interest or knowledge to get to the bare metal. It just surprises me overall (even universally) that while Amiga was so popular, the scene is much smaller.
added on the 2011-10-12 15:47:45 by Optimus Optimus
Once or twice a year I dust off my C64 to watch the newest releases and my favourites from the past. But other than that I'm pretty content with youtube/dtv/capped/whatever. I watch some PC demos, rarely, but usually I'm not very motivated to watch them on real hardware: I don't even own any PC that's powerful enough to watch any cutting edge stuff.

Re: custom hardware, I enjoy stuff like what [lft] does, that's the spirit. As for demos in Verilog/VHDL, I don't see why not. I made a couple of old computer replicas in FPGA and it takes a lot of effort to replicate old hardware faithfully, leaving you with little energy to code for it. But if your goal is something like a hardware-based demo in itself, you're not constrained with obligations of being faithful to the original, you have a huge power at your hands. It's just we haven't seen many examples of creative people armed with FPGAs, yet. Only a question of time.
added on the 2011-10-12 15:51:37 by svo svo
Optimus: Wow, it's interesting to read what is the Amiga demoscene in Greece. From my point of view in North America, the first idea is that demoscene is a major European Thing! We can imagine that there is a demoscener in every corner of a city... almost! ;) Then, when we think why it's an European phenomena? My guess is that perhaps due because of social security... more vacation? I was thinking... perhaps in USA we will see lot's of demos these days.. because of the economic crisis?
added on the 2011-10-12 16:11:34 by F-Cycles F-Cycles
@F-Cycles: no i didn' feel like you wanted to argue pointlessly, i was just wondering where this thread was leading to... Now it's clearer:
I want to know what demo maker and demo viewers feel about the platform where demo are running.

I do like demos that are running on "exotic" platforms as long as it's of decent quality (like this demo). Of course lft's homebrew demosystems kick ass! So yes, there are people who are taking an interest in the platform used, and will try to guess and keep in mind the work involved for it, even if they see it youtubed.
You can continue to make GP2X demos with confidence, but not many people will install it on real hw, so bring it to parties to show to friends and give us a video. ;D

In a party, it's better if the demo runs on real hw, but i feel a bit ashamed because during last Outline i wanted the organisers to run my demo on a real Atari ST while i have coded it on emulator only. The orgos were fantastic and did it, but there was much a fuss about this emulator/real hw problem and i fear i played a (hopefully not too big) part in it by politely insisting. So from now on i'll always say emulators are ok with me and let the orgos do their best! They do for sure.
added on the 2011-10-12 16:30:33 by baah baah
baah: Thanks! ;-D To be honest, before moving on gp2x, I was writing tools to make a comeback on C64. Having a real hardware to test our demo prior to show at a demo-party.. I found it's crucial.

Knowing that you did something on emulator only and the first run was on party... this sound a bit stressing! Ideally, I like when I finish everything 1 or 2 days prior to a compo (that's show how secure I like to be! lol).

Btw, your icon 100%ASM... do you prefer coding in ASM? :)
added on the 2011-10-12 17:20:44 by F-Cycles F-Cycles
He prefers coding in his toilet.
added on the 2011-10-12 17:25:37 by xernobyl xernobyl
i code on windows pc since that's my main operating system - both at home and at work.

i have coded briefly on gp32 and amiga but it to be too much of a hassle for my likings (e.g. connecting the REAL thing to verify your latest hacks).

regarding europe having sceners around every corner - i guess that pretty much sums up the predjudices most americans have against europe (i.e. that it's pretty small).

in denmark we've had quite a massive concentration of sceners in aarhus and copenhagen. this is most likely due to the fact that universities are placed there and most coders have/will/do attend classes at such places.

i grew up on the country side and hooked up with fellow sceners via dialin internet (irc) and the well reputed bbs scene.
rasmus/loonies: Well, I say that, because in North America to put things in perspective. In my years at university (1995-1999)... out of 120 students in Computer Science.. we were about 5 who know about the demo scener. And out of 5... 3 of them were born in Europe and move here after they were 14. I went to France once for work (year 2000) and visit the R&D for the cie I work for. At that time, I needed to interview and meet various people but mostly programmer. All of them knew about the demoscene (event at the marketing). While in my place, I was the only one beside the VP from France. In my place, you ask a computer geek programmer working for a game company about demoscener.. (no, he doesn't know)... but I ask an European girl here who work in translation for the same company (Oh, yes.. sure she know about it!).

I don't know if I've been lucky/unlucky in my survey or what? But, I think the ratio for 10 000 people... is 1 in North America versus 50 in Europe who know about the demo scene.
added on the 2011-10-12 21:14:00 by F-Cycles F-Cycles
@F-Cycles: Yeah in the Montreal region I remeber around '96 on BBSs there were a couple of active sceners. But the scene seemed to have died :-(... That's why I was happy when there was the @party in mtl: A New Hope :-)

Any chances of a prod by Quebarium?
added on the 2011-10-12 23:24:01 by LovCAPONE LovCAPONE
Didn't you hear? The scene is dead.
added on the 2011-10-12 23:46:26 by gloom gloom
It's pretty logical...

Success of c64: Legendary status, where the cracking/demoscene started, the most sold single computer configuration ever, king of 80's home computers. Hardware is ideal for hacking with weird video/sound chip tricks, illegal opcodes, etc. Limits keep being pushed, so it's still possible to get a "whoa, it can't be done" experience.

Success of Windows: The most widely used OS currently, making life easy for game developers (and thereby democoders) has been a big priority for Microsoft. Apple are probably more focused on getting games developed for iOS than the Mac. And the Linux community probably doesn't have the resources to make drivers and API's for the constant flow of new gfx cards, where vendors only supply drivers for Windows.
added on the 2011-10-13 01:31:03 by cruzer cruzer
@LovCAPONE: It's a possibility... :)
added on the 2011-10-13 01:47:47 by F-Cycles F-Cycles
Let's face it then, some of those games are too distracting :)
cruzer: But I am surprise to see that there is soo many C64 fan, but none seem to have come with a project of making a C64 v2 version. There was a C128.. but, Commodore make it for more Business oriented computer. I consider the Amiga another class of computer. I read about a Coleco Vision 2 that might come out eventually. The guy behind that got agreement of Coleco to use the name and the project is to build a backward compatible but with enhanced capabilities to play MSX games. I didn't see that kind of project for C64?
added on the 2011-10-13 15:22:40 by F-Cycles F-Cycles
There is the C64 DTV which is pretty much exactly that.
added on the 2011-10-13 15:51:07 by Preacher Preacher
Preacher: so would you say that C64 DTV failed to attract demo maker? Maybe the fact that a keyboard is missing and needed to be hacked make it less accessible?
added on the 2011-10-13 17:03:53 by F-Cycles F-Cycles
We went cross-platform when Breakpoint stopped allowing Linux entries. We still release our 64ks on windows first for two reasons:

1) Porting from windows to linux is far less booby-trap prone than vice versa. Windows gave us all sorts of gip last time, so now it's windows first.

2) kkrunchy packs way better than UPX. Our last "64k" was about 71 on linux. I've heard rumours that waffle has a better linux packer, but we've never seen it.
added on the 2011-10-13 17:08:45 by MeteoriK MeteoriK
"c64 v2" <> c64, you might as well just use a PC after that point. vanilla c64 is SPECIAL. S P E C I A L.
added on the 2011-10-13 19:52:02 by 4mat 4mat
>When looking to demo released platform, windows is the most popular followed by old school machine like the C64.
Because we are all attention whores and most people have or had these platforms... Now I'll go an continue my VCS stuff...
added on the 2011-10-14 00:13:41 by JAC! JAC!
so would you say that C64 DTV failed to attract demo maker? Maybe the fact that a keyboard is missing and needed to be hacked make it less accessible?

There are some good demos for the DTV. I don't think not having a keyboard is an issue... not too many people code on the original hardware anymore anyway since cross-development is so much easier.
added on the 2011-10-14 00:19:29 by Preacher Preacher
To answer the original question:
- Like it's been said, Windows makes it easier. You know I've done my share of GP2X dev, with at the end only one demo released. While cross-development is much better than coding on the hardware directly, it's always a slowdown to switch hardware and look how much the perfs dropped and/or realize the lib you did no longer run the same way on both platforms, etc.
- For the C64, like 4mat said: it's special. Just like Amiga and Atari and Spectrum, etc. Even putting aside the nostalgia factor, it's so limited there's the wow-effect you can't have if you boost it, since you blur the expectations.

Virtual hardware / boosted-platform? no point, go straight to Windows. You can't really surpass that (unless you run your virtual hw on a cluster?).
Homemade hw: it's been done, but it's so much work.

+everything Preacher said (in this thread).

I'd also say that at least in the current state of the scene, there's plenty of variety and it's a good thing. There's much less platform wars and we've got youtube. That means you can choose/build the platform you want and we won't judge you + we'll be able to watch it. As long as you make a demo about it :)
added on the 2011-10-14 05:51:31 by BarZoule BarZoule