Less 3D please!
Written by Makke
(Warning: Destination Goatland is my favourite demo! I will talk about it and refer to it like a thousand times in this text. So if you don't like DG, I warn you. However, this article is about "too much 3D in demos". So please keep on reading.)
I've just watched "Toys" by Gods. A quite impressive piece if work. (BTW it doesn't require any Voodoo-card. It ran fine on my PII 300, 64 MB RAM, without trouble. Maybe not as 100% smoothly as it would've with a Voodoo-card, but the it didn't lag so much that you got bothered by it.) However, the thought hit me. It isn't as fun to watch pure 3D-productions as productions with more 2D. I, for example, only watched Tribes three times, then I was tired of it. However, I watched Destination Goatland by Noise three times the FIRST DAY I had it on my HD. There's something special with a well programmed 2D-effect that no 3D-engine can beat. 3D gets boring and stiff to watch after a few minutes, even though Toys was pretty nice indeed. With a classic story about toys which get alive when the child goes to sleep. I enjoyed it. But I wonder how many times I'll be able to watch it before it gets boring.
No matter how nice good 3D is, I miss the 2D-effects. 3D can be a good complement to the 2D-effects, but not pure 3D all over. I find that boring. Every production will be almost the same thing. Because actually, pure 3D demos are quite alike. Even if they have a different story, they still give you very few "surprises". There won't be any breathtaking 2D-effects. Because a 3D-engine is only breathtaking for the first minute. But then you've seen all it can do. It doesn't get better than that, and thus the demo gets no climax. Except maybe the first minute when you're still curious on the 3D-engine. But after that? You're left out with a story that only keeps you amazed the first two or three times you watch the demo.
I watch Destination Goatland every week. It's by far my favourite demo! Even some of my non-scene friends enjoy watching it with me and go: "Wow! That was pretty cool! Got any more of these stashed away?" So I show them some more, but still they like Destination Goatland best. (One of my non-scene friends asked me what he should download while being on IRC. I suggested: "Get some demos!". And he said: "Nah, I already have Destination Goatland", hehe. Pretty strange how a demo can interest a non-scener that much.)
Another demo I like that has this good combination of 3D/2D is 7g by Sense. The 3D engine used by Sense in this demo might not be too good, but anyway. Moreover, I like Bleed by Obscure - well. There's a lot more, so I'll stop, 'coz I'll forget 80% of them.
What I'm trying to say is, do we really need all this 3D? It's not so funny anymore! Of course there can be some 3D parts, but not the whole demo. It's boring! Really, it is.