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Atari 2600 Demoscene

VCS 2600 atari demo scene

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#1 Nognir OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:14 PM

Hey Guys!

I want to prepare an article about the demo scene of the Atari 2600 and I need your help!

I need a list of the various demogroups or people which released the demos for the machine.
Or maybe is someone of them online here?

Would be great if you could help me :)

#2 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:36 PM

List of 2600 demos on pouet :-

http://pouet.net/prodlist.php?platform[]=Atari+VCS&order=&x=21&y=6&page=1&order=

You should be able to get the authors from that list.

#3 Nognir OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:48 PM

Thanks very much!

#4 wongojack ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:03 PM

What exactly is meant by the term "demoscene?"

I've heard it for years and I think I know, but I'm not 100% sure.

#5 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:56 AM

What exactly is meant by the term "demoscene?"

I've heard it for years and I think I know, but I'm not 100% sure.


I'm not 100 percent sure either. I think some guys make crazy demos that they show at a huge yearly rave where everyone takes illegal drugs right before the big orgy starts. I think the demos play in the background as thousands of naked bodies writhe around on the floor.

#6 Serious OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:02 AM

What exactly is meant by the term "demoscene?"


So, like AtariAge would be part of the "retro gaming scene", there is a "scene" where assembly language programmers (who use aliases) who specialize in coding graphic effects (mostly on old hardware, like C64, Amiga, ZX Spectrum, etc), collaborate with others like them (as members of groups) to create and release "demo" programs to show off their skills, and sometimes try to beat other groups in competitions where the demos are presented and neutral people (other demo coders) vote on them.

These coders are usually very skilled at squeezing things out of their target hardware that were previously not considered possible (much akin to Atari 2600 game programmers).

Most demo coders are in Europe, where they have big gatherings called demo parties.

The whole thing is an evolution from the C64 pirate groups of the 80s. Pirate groups used to place intro screens on games they cracked, and demos evolved from those intro screens. (At first, demos were basically a bunch of intro screens glued together, and you'd advance from one to the other by pressing space.)

It is mostly a European phenomenon. The demo parties usually take place in Europe, which is a carry-over from the copy parties from the pirate days. (Modems were not popular in Europe in the 80s, so software was swapped primarily by mail and at copy parties.)

Some of the game programmers for European game companies in the late 80s learned their skills by coding intros and demos. Psygnosis is one of the more famous companies that hired lots of people who had been demo coders.


If you look on Youtube for "Razor 1911", "Fairlight demo", "Amiga demo", or "c64 demo", you will find stuff.

#7 Nognir OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:08 AM

Exactly what Serious said. I mean the graphic Demos which you can find on YouTube. Sorry for my inadequate expression.

I really didn't know that this kind of self running Demos weren't popular in the US as it is in Europe.
I always wanted to attend such a Demo Party like Sillyventure (especially for Atari platforms) or Outline myself, but I didn't have the opportunity yet.
Hope that I can do that some day.

#8 wongojack ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:07 AM

Yep - thanks for the explanation Serious

#9 Tjoppen OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:55 AM

Hey Guys!

I want to prepare an article about the demo scene of the Atari 2600 and I need your help!

I need a list of the various demogroups or people which released the demos for the machine.
Or maybe is someone of them online here?

Would be great if you could help me :)


I could answer some questions if you'd like. You'll also find most of us on IRC (#vcsdev @ IRCNet), see this thread. Plus some also have AAge accounts.

I always wanted to attend such a Demo Party like Sillyventure (especially for Atari platforms) or Outline myself, but I didn't have the opportunity yet.
Hope that I can do that some day.


I was at Outline this year (and last year). It's quite a cozy party.

#10 SvOlli OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:47 PM

Best explanation of the demo scene in 90 Minutes:

http://molemanfilm.c...man-2-download/

Have fun watching!

#11 johnnystarr OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:20 PM

I've been in to 6502 programming for the last 2 years or so.  I first learned it because I wanted to write a homebrew NES game.  After awhile, I realized that you really need several people to make an NES game in a reasonable amount of time.  So, I moved on to the 2600 and have had a blast learning ever since. 

 

What's funny though, is as much as I love game programming, I find that I am spending most of my time coming up with new TIA effects.  Games are great, but I'm starting to lean more towards the demo side of things these days.  I'm a pretty big nerd and have many geek friends, and I can tell you that NOONE in my area has heard of Demoscene.  I wish I lived in Germany!  Mike Stiel's video on reverse engineering the 6502 was the most influential video I've ever seen.



#12 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:16 AM

Best explanation of the demo scene in 90 Minutes:

http://molemanfilm.c...man-2-download/

Have fun watching!

 

Brilliant.

 

Thanks for sharing!

 

8)



#13 SvOlli OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:47 AM

I'm a pretty big nerd and have many geek friends, and I can tell you that NOONE in my area has heard of Demoscene.  I wish I lived in Germany!

 

You might want to take a look at: http://youtu.be/97bwN2U9SIQ#t=7247 with me explaining why I'm coding demos on the VCS in under five minutes.

 

And if you've got the time (and money) visit Germany on the easter holidays, to be at (imho) _the_ demo party of the year: http://revision-party.net/ . I'll be there giving a VCS demo coding workshop.



#14 johnnystarr OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:38 PM

 

You might want to take a look at: http://youtu.be/97bwN2U9SIQ#t=7247 with me explaining why I'm coding demos on the VCS in under five minutes.

 

And if you've got the time (and money) visit Germany on the easter holidays, to be at (imho) _the_ demo party of the year: http://revision-party.net/ . I'll be there giving a VCS demo coding workshop.

 

Yes, I've watched all your videos!  Great stuff.  April is a bit short notice, but maybe next year.  Are there very many 2600 demoscene authors these days?  I've looked up several demos on YouTube but it was mostly older stuff.  There's a lot of computer conventions here in the Dallas area, but there isn't much interest in retro-computing.  I think Europe in general as a deeper appreciation for this type of art form.



#15 SvOlli OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:52 PM

From what I can tell so far, this year's revision will have the most VCS releases since existance of the party. If I take all rumours in account, I know of at least four VCS releases. It's hard to tell, how many demo people are active on the VCS right now, my guess is that it's between about half a dozen and a dozen.

 

And don't loop up demos at YouTube, use the real McCoy or at least Stella and a demo pack. ;-) Like the one, I put together for my OpenPandora port of Stella: http://svolli.de/ata...00/openpandora/



#16 Mr SQL ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:04 PM

 

You might want to take a look at: http://youtu.be/97bwN2U9SIQ#t=7247 with me explaining why I'm coding demos on the VCS in under five minutes.

 

And if you've got the time (and money) visit Germany on the easter holidays, to be at (imho) _the_ demo party of the year: http://revision-party.net/ . I'll be there giving a VCS demo coding workshop.

Awesome SvOlli :) Hope you post the workshop again!



#17 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:52 PM

There's many more demos hidden in the threads of atariage, AND other rom packs. Some are game technology demos which are even cooler and perhaps more fun!



#18 WildBillTX OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:59 PM

The whole thing is an evolution from the C64 pirate groups of the 80s. Pirate groups used to place intro screens on games they cracked, and demos evolved from those intro screens. (At first, demos were basically a bunch of intro screens glued together, and you'd advance from one to the other by pressing space.)

It is mostly a European phenomenon. The demo parties usually take place in Europe, which is a carry-over from the copy parties from the pirate days. (Modems were not popular in Europe in the 80s, so software was swapped primarily by mail and at copy parties.)
 

 

Thanks for mentioning demos. It brings back memories of downloading pirated C=64 games off BBS's in the mid 80's. :grin: Most of those games were from Europe and many were never released in the USA..

 

For a good 2600 demo check out Sound Coder (NTSC). The YT video audio is poor - it sounds a lot better on Stella.

 


Edited by WildBillTX, Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:06 PM.


#19 Nognir OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:46 AM

Nice that someone rediscovered the thread! Reminds me that I finally have to start this..  ^^



#20 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:13 PM

Anyone try to compile "Sound Coder" ?

I sent a PM to Tjoppen, but now I see his last visit here was 2013. :(



#21 johnnystarr OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:34 PM

Nice that someone rediscovered the thread! Reminds me that I finally have to start this..  ^^

 

I'm just glad everyone replied.  As much as I like game dev, there's something freeing about focusing most of my efforts on effects and visuals.

Collision detection and game logic is kind of a downer.  Can't help but feel that I'm coming into this scene "late" though ;)



#22 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:56 PM

I got Sound Coder to compile (at home on Intel OSX).

It is a LOT of work to get something out that sounds good! Mostly get nothing out or an annoying beep at the quiet parts.

 

I would like to present "Popcorn."  One of the first popular electronic tunes (done in 1969 on a Moog synthesizer) on one of the first popular home video game consoles (Atari 2600 VCS).

This version is not that 1969 original.

Props go to the original demo coders!  I just used their awesome demo code.

 

Attached Files



#23 Nognir OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:43 PM

This is awesome!

I start right now to look up all available demos to list them up in an article. :)



#24 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:29 AM

It sounds a bit distorted. How many channels does it play?



#25 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:21 AM

It sounds a bit distorted. How many channels does it play?

I noticed that slight distortion also.
I may have compressed or expanded the original to be exactly 1 minute 10.283 seconds.
Stella shows changing frames per second during play, that would cause distortion.
Or maybe it is the cycles needed to switch banks affecting playback?

As to your question, "How many channels does it play?" Are you just being deliberately obtuse? I apologise if something I did or said offended you. I admire talented assembly coders such as yourself -- I am just a new-ish artist hack that struggles with coding game logic.





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