[In the first of a multi-part series of demoscene-related posts on GameSetWatch, AteBit's Paul 'EvilPaul' Grenfell looks at the Scene.org awards for the best demos of the past 12 months.]

Another year, another set of Scene.org nominations. These awards are intended to honor the best that the demoscene had to offer in 2010, and are chosen by a panel of expert judges from within the scene itself. This year we have 37 demos nominated across 12 categories.

With so many demos it seems cruel to cram them into one piece, so I'll be rounding up all categories over the next few weeks. The prize ceremony itself will take place on April 22nd at The Gathering in Norway.

First up then, let's take a look at the Demo, 64k and 4k categories.

Best Demo

In this category we see the most outstanding demos from last year. These are all well-rounded works, with strong visuals, music and direction.

Agenda Circling Forth by Fairlight & CNCD

Taking first place at Breakpoint in Germany, this demo expanded on the techniques used in Fairlight's 2009 demo, Blunderbuss. The result is a stunning visual experience, backed by sublime direction and soundtrack - which attracted criticism for its heavy sampling of a 70's prog-rock track. This demo is also nominated in the Best Effects, Best Graphics, Best Direction, Most Original Concept, Public Choice and Best Technical Achievement categories!

Ceasefire (all falls down) by Fairlight & CNCD

After Agenda, Fairlight moved on to make this demo, which placed second at Helsinki's Assembly. Improving on the previous demo's techniques this is again a very impressive piece of work. The original soundtrack (by Hunz) is particularly nice.

Finally Inside by Still

This hard-edged demo is a remake of the 2009 production, Outside.

FR-043 Rove by Farbrausch

Farbrausch released an impressive ten demos in 2010, and this is their best. It's also up for Best Graphics, Best Soundtrack, Best Direction and Public Choice awards.

Happiness is Around the Bend by ASD

Placing first at last year's Assembly, this is another epic journey from ASD. Happiness is also nominated in Best Effects, Best Graphics, Best Direction and Public Choice categories.

YouShould by Haujobb

The legendary demogroup Haujobb have been around for a while, starting out on Amiga but working on several other platforms over the course of their 15+ year history.

YouShould, a demo for Windows, was a bit of an unexpected gem from the group who have only released a few demos in the past six or seven years, especially when their last three demos made it look like they were returning to their Amiga roots. YouShould is also nominated in Best Graphics, Best Soundtrack, Best Direction and Public Choice categories.

Best 64k

These are the best 64k demos from 2010. Recall that a 64k demo means a single executable file containing all code, data and music that is no larger than 65536 bytes in size. Only four nominations in the category this year, and three of those come from the same party: Finland's mighty Assembly.

Ars Nova by Accept Corp

A great show of technology in this demo from the Russian group, Accept Corp. This is only their second 64k demo.

Behind the Curtain by United Force & Digital Dynamite
Typical UF & DD music and visuals in this one.

Ino by Quite

Something completely different in this entrancing demo from Quite.

X Marks The Spot by Portal Process

A big, red dancing robot. What more do you need?

Best 4k

4096 bytes is all you get to impress the judges here. This is still a very hot category in the demoscene, with new and improved techniques being forged every year.

Cdak by Quite & Orange

A stunningly impressive work from Quite, with fittingly ambient music by the Warp Records artist, Brothomstates, who started out as a musician in the legendary demoscene group, Orange.

Ergon by FRequency

Amazing water in this one from FRequency.

Ikadalawampu by Loonies

The only non-PC entry in the category this year is Loonies' Amiga AGA intro.

Neanderstaller by Pittsburgh Stallers

Pittsburgh Stallers have made a habit of creating great 4k intros that buck the trends of the genre. This one is no exception.

Quantum Core by DMA

A nice mechanical feel to this one from DMA.