More 3D in Demos

Written by v0id

After reading tons of articles about how bad demos with 3D are, or that there is too much 3D in demos, I want to share my opinion on this subject. I'm a 3D graphican, which is one reason why I want to see more 3D in demos, otherwise I would be "unemployed". But the main reason is I love 3D effects and believe and know that we could do some really cool stuff with it if we just tried.


Many people complain that 3D in demos is boring to look at. I can't understand those who say that, because 2D effects have been used for over 10 years. And most of the 2D effects we see in today's demos have been used before, too. It's hard to be original when making 2D effects because after more than a decade we lack imagination. Because of that, we have started re-using old effects. Isn't that a good argument for starting to explore what cool things and effects we can do with 3D? The scene needs to look forward, we can't just sit here and watch those old 2D effects. We need to make those new 3D effects that haven't been done yet.

Isn't Sunflower by Pulse a perfect example for what cool things we can do with 3D? I love that demo. From a 3D lover's view it contains all that's necessary. Good looking 3D rooms with advanced objects. Also very important: high speed. It works fine on a Pentium with 133 MHz and 32 MByte RAM. Thank you, Pulse.

Or what about Incoming Future by Gods (released at The Party '98)? That must be the coolest 3D demo I have ever seen.

There we go, two examples what nice things we could do with nearly pure 3D.

Okay, I understand that 3D demos that just show a box rotating in the middle of the screen are boring. But there are so many demos which do not contain that rotate-a-box-on-the-screen effect. And I hope there will be more of them in the future.

Difficult? Hard?

Okay, many people say that it's hard to code good and fast 3D engines. Yes, it is, but why not use the time you spend to code those old 2D effects for coding that 3D engine instead? Sure, it will take a little longer time than making a simple 2D effect. But I think it's worth it, and I hope you agree. If Unreal, Statix and a lot of other people can code a 3D engine, then of course you can do it, too. It's just a matter of time.

Closing Words

It may sound as if I never want to see a 2D effect again. That's not true. I also like 2D effects and don't think a demo would look nice with no 2D at all. But I hope that in the future 3D effects will be even more present in demos.

- v0id / Alpha Millennium

"Don't Fight The Future, Fight The Past!"