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Lecture: Demoscene now and then

The demoscene is an underground computer art culture.

The demoscene is an underground computer art culture. The Speaker is a member of the Demoscene since the 1980ies and gives insights how it is now and how it was back in the days and how you can participate!

The demoscene is an underground computer art culture. The term demoscene comes from the word demo, short for demonstration. In the context of the demoscene the word demo means a realtime audiovisual application which is demonstrating the capabilities of the machine it runs on.

Demosceners ("sceners") are what we call the folks with too much free time that abuse their computer skills to create releases under the demoscene.

Demosceners often use nicknames ("nicks" or "handles") to identify themselves. They also tend to hang out in so-called demogroups. Some demosceners are active members of multiple demogroups, with or without using the same nickname.

Let's get one thing clear: the demoscene has no commercial purpose. The only thing you'll get out of the demoscene, and this only comes after investing a significant amount of your free time into it, is a few useful soft skills and a large community of computer nerd friends.

Demoscene releases are meant to show the limits of the machines, the technical skills and artistic sensibility of the makers. There are no rules to what kind of release you can make on the demoscene. Some demos are made as technical benchmarks, others as conceptual art, most are done just for fun. It is entirely up to you to explore what you like doing and share it with other demosceners.

Demoscene releases can be divided into certain categories:

Track, an audio piece, can be in an executable format, in a tracker module format or in a pre-rendered wav/mp3 format
Graphics entry, drawn or rendered images with fixed resolutions and/or a restricted color palette
Demo, an audiovisual real-time executable demonstration for a certain platform
Intro, typically a demo with file size limitation all packed into a single executable file that includes all the assets (popular size formats are 256bytes, 512bytes, 1kb, 4kb, 8kb, 64kb)
Animation, rendered graphics videos
Demopack, a collection of demos in a single disk
Musicdisk, a collection of demoscene tracks with an executable player interface
Diskmag, a collection of texts about the demoscene with an executable graphics interface
Wild entry, everything else (including live performances, videos of demos on uncommon platforms, videos about demomaking, etc)
Releases typically occur at demoparties, gathering events for demosceners.


Day: 2023-12-28
Start time: 20:15
Duration: 00:40
Room: Saal 1
Track: Art & Beauty
Language: en




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