Some thoughts on 4k competition rules

category: code [glöplog]
added on the 2012-11-08 00:17:47 by las las
does that mean we will have to "buy" demos? that's cool actually, i love the idea. we can sell them at $0.01 or for free. but if they are in the market/shop, then perhaps more people will download them, maybe it's a good outreach. i' only nervous about censorship... will they ban demos if they are not interactive or show (dem)obscene content?

MS's store rules seem to follow apple's very closely - in fact they seem to be following iOS as a whole in many ways that I'm really not comfortable with. And I say that as an iOS developer.

What apple have done is split desktop and mobile up as touch/non-touch(screen at least) and open/closed. On the mobile it's locked down and closed. That's generally OK, it cuts out all the issues with stuff modifying some system dll, installing a virus etc., and the times when you really want 'open' on mobile are few. The desktop is still open - there are restrictions on what apps are allowed to run, but it's a simple OS setting in the system prefs. You can run want you want, from any source.

MS on the other hand are hell bent on making a single OS for both. Metro is the new windows UI, and it's closed like iOS. The windows desktop (old UI) is still there for us, but only with the 'pro' version, not the RT version. I don't think they'll keep two versions next time round, hopefully they don't go metro/app store only.

And btw, what this means for demos: just look at iOS as an example. If you send a demo to apple for review, they'll reject it for multiple reasons:

- Non-interactive
- Doesn't serve any useful purpose (from this perspective a demo and a fart app are equal :)
- Demos aren't allowed on the store. Please submit a 'lite version' or the full app, but no demos. (Seriously, this happened.)

I guess my main concern is that windows will split like osx/ios has, but it will be consumer/business, with the games tech all going into an ios-like closed metro future.

gloom: it's open enough and flexible enough without being a pain in the arse :) (And yeah, I know, linux has improved etc.)
added on the 2012-11-08 00:35:42 by psonice psonice
are you SURE your lack of time doesn't come from forum posting?
added on the 2012-11-08 01:18:03 by Gargaj Gargaj
psonice: And the distinction between RT and what you call 'pro' is the same as Apple's. RT is closed platform for mobile, and standard Windows is open platform for desktop. The probability that they keep two versions separate in future is the same in MS and Apple cases, and currently looks like it's nearly 100%.

RT/standard split is clearly a mobile/desktop split. Not consumer/business one.

And no... fart apps will probably be percieved as useful by AppStore. ;)
added on the 2012-11-08 01:58:20 by KK KK

And no... fart apps will probably be percieved as useful by AppStore. ;)

That doesn't sound too unrealistic.
Tells something about Apples target audiences, doesn't it!
added on the 2012-11-08 09:34:44 by msqrt msqrt
gargaj: i guess my posting goes up proportionately with the complexity of the work i'm doing and the need to take regular destress breaks.. and I've spent the last week trying to squeeze a very highly optimised piece of code onto a platform with the same quality + resolution requirements but half the compute power. It's a fucker to say the least :/

kk: hopefully you're right, but it's not an rt/standard split as I see it, it's metro/windows, and with the start menu being metro now it's clear where the future lies.

(And fart apps are actually explicitly mentioned as being unwelcome in apple's store rules btw :)
added on the 2012-11-08 11:22:40 by psonice psonice
ofcoz i was trolling. but my bad sentence-crafting misleaded you in what i tried to say. ofcoz these calls are into the d3dx.dll. just not all of them in my list. my fault.
Shifter: Invalid point. BLAH BLAH BLAH

Congrats, champ. That's exactly the thing I was griping about.

Psionice: guidelines in the general sense are pointless. Compo guidelines, at specific parties on the other hand...

added on the 2012-11-09 02:37:31 by Shifter Shifter
Shifter: Valid point. Also before. We need to get the awesomnium back into 4k compos.
added on the 2012-11-09 02:48:10 by las las
Awesomnium is readily available at the right supermarket -next to the unobtainium.

I'm all for a stricter subset of 4k guidelines, but the people that make 4ks and the people that run compos rarely have the same set of rules in hand.

If I were to submit a revolutionary 4k that happens to require a live mariachi band playing along to the thing, how would that work? Public opinion would be to allow it simply because, well -people :) So either clamp down to raise the stakes or expect anything new to be outrageously exploited. Both scenarios will deliver, as time's told over and over.
added on the 2012-11-09 03:07:32 by Shifter Shifter
+1 for the mariachi band.
added on the 2012-11-09 10:07:47 by wysiwtf wysiwtf
I've thought about something like that before. If you submit a 4k with no sound you're not breaking any compo rules :) Playing music during the compos is usually against general party rules. Officially then the 4k + mariachi band is legit, but the band may get kicked out of the party.

It's totally against the spirit of the 4k compo of course - but then it would be so awesome I think that can be forgiven. It's like that "256b" with the picture encoded in directory names.. it's all kinds of fake but still makes me smile that they did it :)
added on the 2012-11-09 10:24:04 by psonice psonice
yes the dir-fake was good, even better than when they hid the extra bytes in the nfo ^^
added on the 2012-11-09 15:49:44 by wysiwtf wysiwtf
See hiding bytes in the nfo is cheating, because there are genuine bytes used on disk. The directory trick on the other hand is zero bytes, windows says so :)
added on the 2012-11-09 16:03:07 by psonice psonice
I recently bought a new PC and I installed windows8 pro 64bit.
I tried some 4k/64k intros in my PC without installing DirectX runtime or SDK.

Hartverdrahtet, Fractus and Shoal.

dont worked:
Coder Porn!, anglerfish, elevated, candy ~TokyoDemoFest 2013 Invitation~
anglerfish shows error with message "d3dx9_43"

I copied some d3dx*.dll from my old PC(vista 32bit with DX RunTime) to new PC.
TDF2013 inv worked.
Coder Porn!, anglerfish and elevated still crash as soon as I execute them.
anglerfish dont shows error with message "d3dx9_43"

It seems OpenGL 4k intros works fine in Win8, but Direct3D one require DX runtime or dont work.

D3D 4k intro without d3dx might work in win8 because TDF2012 invitation demo worked in new PC without addtional d3dx dlls.
But I dont know which d3d demo use d3dx or not.

Win8 have DirectX11 without installing runtime.
And it have d3dx9_*.dll and D3DX10_*.dll in System32 directory but no d3dx9_4*.dll and d3dx10_4*.dll

By the way, Spin by ASD worked and looks demoish in my new PC but rendered objects look different from cap video.
New nvidia driver has some bug or Spin use OpenGL in wrong way?
added on the 2012-12-17 19:31:04 by tomohiro tomohiro

New nvidia driver has some bug or Spin use OpenGL in wrong way?

My guess: Both. :)
added on the 2012-12-19 12:24:06 by las las
replying to an old post:
Wasn't the demoscene about making cool and incredible stuff with the currently available technology?

From the POV of a "lamer" (programmer and designer, but not scener) having observed "the scene" from 83' onwards:

It mainly - until perhaps around 2005 - was about getting the most out of a limited set of ressources. Before PC, those were fixed/static ressources for a given machine. Every few 4 years or so, a new "machine" would come out, and competition would happen inside that machine. So, "platforms" were clearly seperated, and assembly wizards would compete on a per-platform basis.

Heck, this "getting the most out of a limited set of ressources" is the reason why there are categories like 4k, or 64k even nowadays, even though the PC (unlike the past) is a "moving target". In my (lame) opinion, such "diskspace-based" restrictions at best just keep the "problem" in check. What i mean with this is, that the PC is a "moving target" anyways, as long as you just categorize by diskspace usage. Thats because if inside a compo, the restriction is just diskspace, then participants simply offload "cost" to other areas than diskspace - like cpu or gpu and especially ram.

Agreed, this still ensures that "skill" is needed, instead if just treating ANY ressource as "infinite".... but well, as a practical example, my buddy just today bought a laptop with dedicated GPU and 2GB VRAM, and it cant run some 3 years old demos at 60fps at 1024x768.

Now, don't understand me wrong. I'm not claiming that i have a magical easily solution for PC that will fix it all. Actually, i can't think of any practically efficient rules, to solve this problem (the "moving target" even inside a SINGLE COMPO (do you want to demo for an uber rig which only SOME sceners and powergamers have? But then a lot of people will only be able to view it as a vid. Or do you want to target the "above average" range of typical nowadays computers? Then you will look inferior at compos!).

I'm just saying - originally, this "problem" didn't exist. It's not something "the scene always was about". It is a PC thing exclusively.
added on the 2012-12-27 22:27:40 by myka myka
myka: I'd like to take this moment to commend you on your choice of avatar. ;)

For competition, the party organizers usually post the rig specs of the compo machine (which btw is never a laptop) well beforehand, so that's easy. The choice is still open for the coders to code for it or for an even more beefy PC, or they may be uninterested in adding fixes, optimizing, or adapting their demo idea to what the framework they've learned supports.

And yes, PC is not a platform, it has never been one. Some would argue 4K with dozens of megs of frameworks is not 4K. Still, it does what size limits do on other platforms: brings out code that otherwise would not have been written, such as tiny synths and GPU trickery. When your imagination is the limit, 4K adds a challenge for coders. They'd all like to be the genius that coded that "impossible" thing ;) Which is good.

PC could be a platform, of course. All you'd have to do was decide on a set of specs. But nobody wants that.

Many laptops have CPU strangling technology (tm), and the CPUs aren't that fantastic to begin with. Run demos on a demo machine. Coders can't be expected to code for random laptop specs.

That said, it would be nice if PCs that can run any DirectX/OpenGL game could run any PC demo. That's not the case for PC demos, which is annoying (since watching video of a demo is a very last resort for me - demos should be realtime).
added on the 2012-12-27 23:43:20 by Photon Photon
Pc has been a moving target for over 20 years and pc demos always targeted the high end. Cyrstal dreams 2 anyone? :) It used to be way worse - you had to upgrade your whole CPU and motherboard all the damn time at great expense. now just keeping the gpu up to date is mostly sufficient.
I think the problem now is an audience one actually. People understand less about the pc they are buying, the demos they are running (technically). They dont get why their new pc doesn't run everything perfectly. maybe since they dont need to tweak their config.sys to run stuff anymore it got too easy..
I will always target the high end - a good pc with a very good gpu (that you can buy for under 300$). Because that's what I like doing. :)
added on the 2012-12-28 18:53:39 by smash smash
PCs never had fixed specs in the first place. High-end machines with well-defined specs and why not a great lifespan like the Amigaaaaaaaa (sorry) in its time would be an awesome playground for demo coders, and it would probably be the return of "impossible things to do but they still did it", but I honestly doubt we will ever have again machines like that. No I don't mean Raspberry Pi. ;)

On a more serious note, and I'm surely not the first to say so, I doubt any new computer like that would rally the whole world and be "the real hype". Please don't say tablets! :D

Astounding demos will surely still be created, for sure, but even I who suck compared to real coders realize that with such a "variety" of machines out there, making the most out of a config means any PC demo has minimum requirements. I feel like saying obvious things and making you who read wonder what's my point. Duh... Err... Oh, reminds me numb res wouldn't run with my ATI/AMD video card, which in some way strengthens what I said. No fixed specs also means "great code portability/flexibility required", which also means "no you won't use that super-duper hax that can only be coded for that CPU/GPU 'cause there are 20 other existing models that won't allow that". Am I right or speaking like yet another complete moron ? :)

TL;DR: PC market is made of a bunch of different configs and good old fixed-specs days are somewhat gone.

Thanks for reading and please tell me what I got utterly wrong! :)
added on the 2012-12-28 20:28:51 by Korguiq Korguiq
I see... this thread will end with somebody proposing to kick out PCs from the scene...
added on the 2012-12-28 21:36:52 by merry merry
i'm with Smash.... ahhh those times where you'd have to play with MEMMAKER forever before a demo would work. i remember having several pre-cooked config.sys and autoexec.bat for different demos. still, then often, you had to remember by heart the particular VESA and GUS/SB settings that made any given possible demo work, before you could watch it ("which IRQ was this again?"). it often took more than a couple of attempts to find the right settings. what a nightmare boy. nowadays the experience is so much smoother in comparison, everything is pretty compatible and just works out of the box (or you download a driver, and then it does).
added on the 2012-12-28 21:38:33 by iq iq