Is The Scene Becoming Old-Fashioned?
Written by STDIO.H
PC Demos are about pushing the PC hardware to the limit, to explore the boundaries of the PC and to push them to achieve great things. Demo sceners were always at the forefront of the new technologies and coding techniques ready to utilise or enhance them to create stunning visuals. Now this seems to be dying out. As the PC moves on we are lagging behind, refusing to use what is as good as industry standard. In trying to keep the 'old school' style of demos we have become too old fasioned, churning out the same type of demos instead of exploring new ideas.
Graphics cards with built-in 3D accelerators, 3DFX, etc. - these are all as good as standard now and next to nobody wants to use them. Didn't we code to see what we could do with the hardware? We are kidding ourselves if we think the scene can survive if we carry on as we are, with our stone-age coding techniques and only using half of what the PC has to offer.
When the scene started, everyone coded in Assembler because it was the only way to achieve what they wanted to achieve. Now they all code in C. To me this only means one thing, that coders are becoming slacker, that new boundaries are not being explored. Saying that 'the scene is more about visuals than coding nowadays' is a cop-out. It's laziness.
How about realtime 3D Studio Max quality rendering in a demo. Some of the coders among you are probably laughing at my ignorance now but Why Not? Dust off your copy of Turbo Assembler and reach for your 3DFX coders manual and optimise until you bleed. I believe it can be done. 800x600 unchined 32bit graphics - explore the possibility. Choose something that should not be possible and work around it - aim high. If DOS holds you back, then write your own little OS! Have people boot your demo from a floppy!
By all means use MP3s in your demos! This raises the quality of the music to a professional level. Sound cards are capable of some amazing MIDI and effects, but modules cannot use these.
The PC has moved on, it's time the scene moved with it.