I thought it was time for me to buy a new PC. Most demos wouldn't even start in my old Radeon 9600 these days or being too slow to enjoy. The timing was good but useless, since I learned too late that there was something called demobox. I am wondering now, would it motivate me so much that I would have made a new accelerated demo or 4k that wouldn't suck so much? Or would I just take the demobox and say goodbye? I don't know about me, but it really worked in a way for the rest of the scene. This year we had an assembly party empty of demos and all effort went into nvscene. 15 demos and 19 4ks, where several of them are quite decent is quite good for the american scene. Even amateur sceners who got a demobox evolved. Some are skeptical though about such a motive, how it presses you to finish the damn demo because you have to and how fun it isn't. And I don't think it will ever become a trend in the scene.
Normally this post would use half of it's text for praising Andromeda. Well, it wasn't just Andromeda but Orb and gloom too. But it was the Andromeda kind of demos since their first attempt on PC done much better and more impressively this time. What can I say? You know, there are most demos today which have 1-2 (if real) effects, several 3d scenes with tons of alpha images and noise to cover something that doesn't look as nice when naked. Ok, andromeda demos also use some noise effects and blending but only in the appropriate places and the effect/scene alone looks great and is the highlight of each part. I am not sure how to describe it. It's like the old style brought up into the new tech. When other good demos have plenty of 3d scene and the effect of the demo in the last parts, this one has at least three effects that stand on it's own, and also the music, sync and presentation is simply perfect! Awesomeness in everything!!! I was really wondering what they will bring after Noumenon and I think that Stargazer fulfilled my expectations were.
So, after this (over?)praise of the 1st place at the demo compo, let's move to the rest. I will try to be shorter here so that this post will not get 40 pages long. I am thinking about the half 3rd position right now. The ASD demo. It's like a sequel of Metamorphosis but maybe better or bigger. It doesn't have that gloomy or melancholic feeling of the first, the music is kind different, maybe happier, maybe weird with some silly greek lyrics that,. I am not sure but I laugh everytime I reach the part where the lyrics start. I will watch this demo few more times again. The other half 3rd place was the XPLSV demo. For some reasons I really like the colors even though they are too bright or too coder's. I don't care, I like them and the style is pure demostyle with some nice blob and other effects (I have to see it again to remember which were them :) and energetic music. I like this demo. More demos similar to this style at NV scene were proton by science & black maiden, maybe but not exactly Ersatz by Limp Ninja (I adore the 3d blobs effect) and maybe also visage by Nah Kolor. Other nice classic demos you should watch are rarefaction by Youth Uprising, life on air by SystemK (a japanishe group that improves), echoes by Anadune and yin by Brainstorm. I think most of the demos had something to show.
And the demos I have forgotten to talk about are the 2nd place by Plastik which has impressive visuals as usual (ahh,. that bugs are creepy :P), is simply state of the art, but for me it fails to give me what Stargazer and few others in the compo do. But I still adore it and it will make a nice benchmark on my friend's PC. Binary alchemy by northern dragons (5th place) has a nice pencil cross hatch rendering (long time since I have seen a demo based on some artistic rendering) but it's getting a bit boring after a while. Still I like that they try to experiment with something. And moove! by fresh!mindworkz was a nice attempt (with some original ideas for effects) to bring state of the art style demos back on PC, although the soundtrack and movement is not energetic as in the old Amiga demos of this kind. More red bull is missing in this one but I adore the idea and I would still watch it (for the girl? :). I am also happy to see Extrait's best effort at demomaking although some ugly 3d scenes and the too annoying camera movements ruined most of the experience. And the guideline demo was a funny joke. As if they have chosen the colors intentionally. And yes, I have forgotten to check on the music box :P
I will write less about the 4ks here. Because it's kinda lame linking every demo up there and I can't manage doing the same for the 4ks. Just have a look at the pouet page with results and link for each of them. The 1st place was really great at the video. It was dark, atmospheric, into your face. It needs Vista and steals some sounds from it they say. I purely enjoyed The TBC intro again with it's great music and visuals and Photo race 2 is an interesting experiment at raytracing with the GPU (it even has caustics!) even though the framerate jumps at times. From the rest I really liked Kybernetic by Still effectwise and I am happy to see Lord Graga from the GBA making his first attempt at 4k coding on PC (although this one ate up all memory on the PC at some netcafe and forced me to reboot :P). Astra has stars (even though they should be glowing or something), statics was nice, eco was nice, solitude was nice, ok,. you get the point, everything was nice, not spectacular but nice. Spectacular were the 1st, 2nd and maybe 3rd position. Ok, maybe not everything was nice, maybe I am exagerating (I am the guy who has one of the highest thumbs up percentage on Pouet, shame to me for not being objective and just happily praise everything that makes me happier in the demoworld :P) but what the fuck. Surely it was a great compo!
And yet again, Stargazer. You know, now that my PC doesn't run most demos I resort to videos. I download and watch the video once and then delete it. I never keep videos of demos because it doesn't make sense. But with stargazer it was the first time I wanted to download the video and keep it in my HD at least till I buy a new PC that can run this baby. Andromeda saved the scene for another time and this is not senseless praising or because of the name, I really felt like that again after watching this demo for the nth time. Maybe taste (because I am surprised to see anyone thumbing this down at Pouet) but that's it. I adore this group!