Steve Klabnik

fr_public: Demoscene tools

Hey everyone! It’s Friday, and a good friend of mine (@DeMarko) just tipped me off to a really interesting repository.

If you’re not aware of the Demoscene, you should be. Basically, they make awesome crazy videos with computer graphics. That sounds boring, until you realize that they work within crazy constraints.

For example, here’s a ten minute Demo made on the Amiga:

Here’s one on the Commodore 64, in 1982:

While these videos are old, the Demoscene certainly isn’t dead. Here’s another C64 demo, this time from 2010:

Anyway, I could go on and on. Point is, many modern demos are made on modern computers, but with a different constraint: file size. Generally, it’s “make an awesome video with graphics and sound that’s less than 4k.” That’s smaller than a blank word document. Here’s an example of one of these:

Make sure to tell YouTube you want the 1080p (!) version.

Anyway, I’ll stop with the history. Here’s the point: There’s a repository that’s basically just a raw dump of the code people have written to make these kinds of demos. An archive of the last ten years of a bunch of people making awesome things.

The README warns that much of the code is hard to compile, and if you don’t know C or C++, you probably won’t be able to make heads or tails of it. Note also that these are tools used to make demos, not necessarily the code of the demo itself. Point is, there be dragons in this repo. Lots of dragons.

You can check out the Farbrausch tools repo here.

UPDATE: One of my other friends (@davewilkinsonii) pointed me to this article, which refers to the above repository, but also has links to download source code of a TON of demos:


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