-You may recall that I blogged about the rather fascinating demo-scene part of the NVision show in San Jose earlier this week. Well, as part of it, there was a pretty large demo competition, and the NVScene 2008 results -- including pictures, downloadables, video and comments where available -- are posted over at demo-scene nexus Pouet.net.

Basically, here's what's going on with the two NVScene 2008 competitions. All demos need to run in real-time on your PC -- even though they are non-interactive.

The best designed one that shows off impressive real-time effects (you may find you need quite a powerful PC to run them!) will likely win the competition. There were two sections to NVScene -- a regular demo competition, and a 4k intro competition, in which the application had to fit into, yes, just 4096 bytes.

If you'd like to watch the competitions 'as they happened', excellent streaming video resource Demoscene.TV has full web-streaming versions of both the demo competition and the 4k intro competition. In some cases, that's the only way to see a streaming version of the demo right now.

But of course, the best way to check these demos out is to run them on your PC (there are downloadable/streamable individual versions of quite a few of them too, if you get stuck). So let's link to the Pouet info-page for each (since all the info is contained there!), and add some brief commentary on the demos I personally loved in the competition:


-Texas by Keyboarders (1st, 4k intro)
[Absolutely spectacular geometric wonderland, with spiky objects, some kind of abstract story involving seeds being birthed that overwhelm the world, and just an insanely beautiful thing to fit in 4k. Vista-only, and there's controversy over it using samples from a Windows Vista-bundled song by Karsh Kale for the soundtrack, but hey, it technically fits within 4k.]

Receptors By TBC (2nd, 4k intro)
[Easily one of the best 4k intro soundtracks ever, with insane sub-bass and a wicked drum&base tune, given there are no samples used at all, one would presume - just synthetic real-time effects. The demo itself is distorted, geometric, and heavily music-cued, and surprisingly rocking.]

Photon Race 2 by Archee (3rd, 4k intro)
[Gather this needs a bit of a monster PC setup to run in a decent frame-rate, but nonetheless, this has -- wait for it -- real-time raytracing on multiple glass objects, all reflecting and refracting each other, all in 4k. Seems like a glimpse of the future, to me - although the demo itself is pedestrian past that rendering insanity.]

Stargazer by Orb & Andromeda (1st, demo competition)
[Already being hailed as an all-time classic, this is, for sure, a pretty conventional demo - wibbly effects, lots of polygons being thrown around, and 3D rendering techniques galore - but my God, some of the detail and effects in it (look at the liquid near the beginning!) are just crazy for real-time. Also, it's well-designed in an oldskool demo style. So a deserved winner.]

-Into The Pink by Plastic (2nd, demo competition)
[Taking a very different tack from Andromeda & Orb, this demo is gritty, with lots of organic shapes such as cockroaches, bugs, and rats, with the super-realistic rendering making things really interesting. As with a lot of the other demos, you need a super high-spec PC to see it running full framerate, but them's the breaks.]

n-0505 by Xplsv/Nine Inch Nails (Joint 3rd, demo competition.)
[The most interesting things about this demo is that it actually uses a Creative Commons-licensed Nine Inch Nails track from the Ghosts album as the soundtrack - something that I think is really neat, even as it causes a ruckus in the somewhat more insular demo community. Overall, lots of crazy overlaid blood and gloop effects and a creepy 'spreading epidemic' theme work well, though the end is perhaps a little anticlimactic - I kept waiting for the blood vials to explode.]

Midnight Run by ASD (Joint 3rd, demo competition.)
[Oh. My. Being a bit of a design geek, this is my absolute favorite demo, despite only making third. It's an almost Sgt. Pepper-ish trek through weird dynamically generated pipes, with swimmers and lines of weird people and hangliders and other extreme strangeness. Of course, it's all in 2D, and could practically have been done in Flash in terms of effects -- and also I hear it has similar elements to a recent ASD demo. But I still love it.]

[NOTE: The images in this article are from my NVision pictures -- mainly just some shots of everyone watching the earlier parts of the 4k intro competition.]