Sucking New Demo Trends
Written by StyX
In fact, it was the article "Less 3d please" of Makke in Hugi #15 which pushed me over the edge to write this piece here. You should know that I completely agree with the things written there. But I am not writing this to discuss these things again, but rather something which maybe some of you have also realized. ThUmB of my group leeched some new demos/intros over the past weeks and we had a look at them together. Not only did I realize that (hi Makke) most demos just contain boring 3d-shit, but I also found some new and really sucky trends:
1. Strange 3d worlds.
Most coders use really strange 3d worlds in their demos. They look mostly like this: psychedelic textures, undefinable, phong or gouraud shaded objects which look like pieces of litter mixed with some spaghettis and everything is surrounded by a sphere of textures. I don't know whats interesting about this, why don't they make some nice scenes? Just take the rollercoaster of Cubic's "Toasted" as an example.
2. Undefinable FX.
I guess many coders think that undefinable effects are really cool. So you often see a 3d world (as described above) that is anti-aliased, foggy and shaded, mixed with extreme light FX. At the end you just see a wobbling colorful screen, which you recognize from time to time as something like a 3d world.
3. Unreadable Texts & Greets.
It has also become popular to show mysterious texts in some parts which nobody can read. Mainly they fly in some way over the screen and are transparent. Mixed with the super light FX, nobody is able to read them. Greets are also often handled like this.
4. Incomplete screens.
A thing I also noticed is the use of incomplete screens. It looks as if the monitor is damaged and only shows some stripes or parts of the screen. It is also really cool to flash around in these parts, so nobody will ever figure out what the part deals with.
5. CPU fucking demos.
The latest trend, which is present in nearly every demo, is to fuck up the CPU. But fortunately the system requirements are not too high. So I often just need a PIII 500, 256 megs of RAM, and a SB AWE 64. Mostly I even don't need a Voodoo card! Wow! Phew, but I just own a P200... and the demos are slooooow, they craaaaawl over my screen. Hey, where are those nice demos, running on every fast 486 or normal Pentium? Perhaps you should think about, that most people just own something between a 486 DX/4 100 or a P266. I think people who code such demos forgot something: demos are mainly so cool because you can see FX you usually expect to see on FAST PCs. If you watch them on a PIII and they run smooth, it's nothing special - you wouldn't expect anything less.
Finally I have to say that watching the later demos is often no fun. As I said, wobbling, undefinable color-shock 3d-worlds which have nothing included which makes your breath stop. Where are the creative parts, which are cool and funny although the engine is bad? Where are the demos which are varied and where you don't know already at the end of a part what the next one will be like? At the moment I am working on a demo. Before I'll add a part, I think about it: Haven't we seen this already? Is it really so cool? If not, it will be discarded. And if an effect is running slow, I don't say, "Hey, all the others have faster PCs, it'll run well there", I try to optimize it.
As a last point, I just can repeat what Makke already said: Less 3d please. Some 2d-FX between the 3d-ones are really nice to create a cool mix which is fun to watch. And perhaps it's also better if you can recognize what is shown in a demo - or would you like to go to the cinema and watch a film in which most parts you see nothing beside undefinable things or black scenes?
Think about it - it's time to change the style of our demos.