Demoscene Origins - Part 1


Here is a small piece i've written describing my experiences with the demoscene. Starting in the early 90s up until today. This was written mostly for myself now that I still have a good memory of most things, but feel free to join me on a trip down memory lane...

Look mum, Demos!

My first experience with the demoscene was watching the demo's and cracktro's on my C64 and later on my Amiga 500. I was amazed at all this technical marvel and awesome graphics and music.

Enigma, by Phenomena (1991)
Vectordemo, by Ultraforce (1991)
Ray of Hope, by Majic 12 (1991)
Megademo, by Budbrain (1990)
Extension, by Pygmy Projects (1993)

These demo's were a far cry from what I was able to produce myself in Quick Basic and later Turbo Pascal. However, we had small gathering at local computer shops in our town where we would hijack a PC in the shop and show the small intro's that we've created with other folks from around the area until we were kicked out of the shop ;-).

Entering the Demoscene:

It was around this time I met Flash, a local coder with which I formed our first demogroup called: Chronic (named after the Dr.Dre album at the time I think) with which we released our first proper intro called: Chrontro, released in 1993.

Chrontro, by Chronic (1993)

A simple but nice little intro done in assembler with adlib music (created in HSV tracker) and graphics done in Deluxe Paint for PC (even now I can see the inspiration I got from Rack, which did the awesome graphics for the Ray of Hope 2 demo by the way I drew my handle under the logo).

Learning the skills:

So later that year I went to my first ever demoparty , The Party1993 in Denmark with Aap/Acme and Balance, with which me and Flash would later form the aforementioned Logic Design in 1994. It was an awesome experience I wouldn't forget.

One of the things about that party that stuck with me the most was:

Arte, by Sanity (Third place at The Party 1993 Amiga demo compo)


The good, the bad and the ugly, by: Surprise! Productions (1993) which came in second place at the demo compo

(I honestly couldn't tell you what won that year, but it obviously didn't make any impression on me).

This was a typical Amiga style demo but done on a PC with great coding by Rick Dangerous and awesome graphics by Joe. To see these blitter and bitplane effects executed so well on a simple 286/386 DOS machine just blew my mind.

I got my hands on a copy of the demo and was able to contact Rick Dangerous, which led to us exchanging several handwritten Fax-es (yes you read that right!) and disk, eagerly awaiting when a new Fax from Rick came in ;-) Rick told us about the different effects and the 16-color bitplaned VGA mode which we just didn't know existed :D

Forming Logic Design:

As 1994 rolled around, we starting off the new year with a new group formed by Flash, myself and Balance called Logic Design and soon thereafter released our first intro “Lunatic Asylum Intro” for our BBS WHQ. The intro makes good use of the 16-color VGA mode described by Rick ;-)

The top logo is a bit shitty in retrospect to be honest, but overal I think it is a well made intro for its time.

Later that year we released our first proper demo Performance at the Bizarre'94 demoparty. This was the very first dutch multiplatform demoparty I can remember.

This is also where we met the folks from Genuine, a demogroup from a neighbouring town (zevenaar) that we already heard great things from through some of our friends. There were only a handful of dutch demogroups those days so it was nice to meet most of the dutch sceners around from that era. Some of which we've built a friendship with until this day.

The Party 94 came around and ofcourse we had to be there again! We had a great time with the folk from Acme, Hypnosis and Red Ice/Genuine, who later joined our group as Jace.

Crawl, Walk, Run!

In the flowwing years we've created 3 more demos as Logic Design: Spring, Performance and Fashion, of which I personally like Performance from 1995 the most as I think it captures the vibe of the time perfectly well.

With a very active demoscene in those days, there were a lot of cool prods coming out all the time. Although there are too many to choose from, Here are some of my favorite demos of that era:

X14, by Orange (1995)
Dope, by Complex (1995)

After a 3 year run of making demos with a great group of guys, the group was disbanded with some of the members along with members from the dutch group Massive joining the TBL PC section (as we already shared some members between Logic Design, Massive and TBL on Amiga) and went on to do more great things in the demoscene like the excellent Jizz and Stash 64k intros!

Having just finished my education as well as released on my first commercial game around this time together with Contrast/Hypnosis, I was about to set up my own game studio in the Netherlands and sink my teeth into game development.

I still visited a few demoparties at the end of the 90s and released a few things here and there Magicboy Robot 2, by: Trepaan (1998) before fully commiting to game development on gameboy and mobile with my company Karma Studios.

More about this as well as my adventures in retro gaming and my return to the demoscene after 20 years can be read in part 2 of this (to be published at a later date)

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