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96k of hilarity
April 25, 2007 4:36 PM   Subscribe

The demo scene is alive and well. Showing off just what can be done with your computer with tiny programs (serious hardware required, video link included). The point of this post? Sumotori Dreams. A physics based game packed into 96k. It's not the gameplay itself which is so great, it's the stumbling drunk AI characters. Play a round, then sit back and watch them stumble (youtube). Safe for work, if gales of laughter don't draw suspicion.
posted by tomble (49 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thats funny .
posted by nola at 4:53 PM on April 25, 2007


I clicked on it expecting it not to be funny, but that was hilarious.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 4:53 PM on April 25, 2007


For those of you on macs, a capture of the debris demo is available here. stunning stuff.
posted by phaedon at 5:02 PM on April 25, 2007


Maybe I'm just old, but Second Reality was much more interesting.
posted by wierdo at 5:03 PM on April 25, 2007


it brings back great memories of too much time spent in front of a computer trying to figure out the best way to impress other nerds who spend too much time in front of their computers.
posted by bhouston at 5:03 PM on April 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's pretty cool. Too bad the game seems to be Windows only. I'd love to try it.
posted by sveskemus at 5:16 PM on April 25, 2007


Well, 96K is an awful lot of memory for a demo if you remember when the world's most popular computer had not 64K but 4K. And it's not clear how much OS resources are being used to render those 3D robots. Nowadays the OS provides resources not available to even a supercomputer back in the when.
posted by localroger at 5:17 PM on April 25, 2007


localroger: They're talking about disk space, not RAM.
posted by delmoi at 5:20 PM on April 25, 2007


10 DRINK ROBOT BOOZE
20 GOTO 10
posted by churl at 5:27 PM on April 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Doesn't run under Parallels :(.
posted by basicchannel at 5:31 PM on April 25, 2007


maybe not NSFW, but definitely NSFCSIWYAAAWTAS.

(Not Safe For Coffee Shops In Which You Are Alone And Wish To Appear Sane)
posted by blendor at 5:36 PM on April 25, 2007


Nowadays the OS provides resources not available to even a supercomputer back in the when.

And I counter that back in the day, demos placed a huge reliance on the precice capabilities of the computer they were running on, taking advantage of quirks of the hardware that simply aren't possible now. If you were writing a demo for an Amstrad CPC, everything was finely tuned to take advantage of the exact chipset it ran on. If they upgraded the sound chip to a new model, suddenly your demo might be screwed. Today this isn't possible - every PC out there has different hardware, different amounts of memory, different clock speed, and coders can't afford to take advantage of the quirks of your exact processor, or the exact timing provided by the clock.

So, it seems to me, making use of resources provided by the OS seems only fair. In 1985, coders were making use of the "resources" provided by the sound chip. They were making use of the "resources" provided by undocumented functions of the CPU. Now, they're using the "resources" provided by an accelerated 3D card - computing has advanced, why can't demos?
posted by Jimbob at 5:44 PM on April 25, 2007


Does anyone else remember hornet.org?
posted by bhouston at 5:45 PM on April 25, 2007


96KB?! I can't even type "F=ma" in that amount of space, let alone implement it.
posted by DU at 5:48 PM on April 25, 2007


Cachinnates.
posted by tellurian at 5:52 PM on April 25, 2007


Maybe I'm just old, but Second Reality was much more interesting.

I take you you still have your Gravis Ultrasound and DOS, then? I kid, I kid.

Debris rocked hard, though.
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:03 PM on April 25, 2007



I take you you still have your Gravis Ultrasound and DOS, then?


These days I just pop in the MindCandy DVD. ;)
posted by wierdo at 6:05 PM on April 25, 2007


Me too ;-)
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:10 PM on April 25, 2007


Heh, that was great! Thanks.
posted by smably at 6:11 PM on April 25, 2007


Now, they're using the "resources" provided by an accelerated 3D card - computing has advanced, why can't demos?

I haven't looked at the specs yet on the demos (just watched them, and they were kick-ass). If they're using DirectX routines, your statement would be enormously disingenuous, since the DirectX libraries aren't simply additional hardware features, but fully-implemented, pre-coded libraries. That's dozens of megs of software already written for you. OK, I looked at the NFO file, and it does require DirectX 9.0c.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:27 PM on April 25, 2007


Nice post. I got sucked into the demoscene a while back with a beautiful little game called .kkrieger, and the whole concept really appeals to the minimalist in me. Awesome to see some stuff I'm unfamiliar with posted here.
posted by Spike at 6:36 PM on April 25, 2007


DirectX libraries aren't simply additional hardware features, but fully-implemented, pre-coded libraries.

Fair call. But all these demos require, for example, Windows, or at least DOS. No demo I've seen lately is made to be booted from CD, with nothing but BIOS between it and the hardware. They all require software libraries. It appears that it's just the way it is done nowdays.

If each of these demos were to talk to the 3D cards directly, they would, like in the old days, probably only run on one specific piece of hardware, which would kinda suck. That's why drivers were invented. And they would all have to re-implement DirectX or OpenGL or whatever, blowing out their size to dozens of unnecessary megabytes.

Just accept the fact that computers aren't made like they used to be, that these demos still require some considerable skill to create, and they look real purty.
posted by Jimbob at 6:42 PM on April 25, 2007


(Not to mention that if you insist on being a purist, people are still making old-school demos.)
posted by Jimbob at 6:44 PM on April 25, 2007


(And yes, I acknowledge that I are t3h n00b. I envy you guys who have been in on this since the Amiga days.)
posted by Spike at 6:53 PM on April 25, 2007


n00b away, dear brothers, do not let reality slow you down.
posted by phaedon at 7:11 PM on April 25, 2007


There's a secret mode - throw some cubes between the slats, underneath the "documentation" option on the title screen. Hitting a certain one of the border bricks takes you to the minigame...
posted by anthill at 7:13 PM on April 25, 2007


That was brilliant. I just played it for the last 15 minutes with a co-worker.
posted by waxpancake at 7:15 PM on April 25, 2007


Sadly, it won't run under Parallels on Mac OS X, presumably because of its reliance on direct access to the video card in a manner not supported through emulation.
posted by waldo at 7:33 PM on April 25, 2007


Thanks, anthill. I just spent half an hour trying to completely demolish the arena using only the robot's stumbles and flails, reserving the blocks for subtle nudging and traps.

Oh, and does the game randomly decide it's finished running for anyone else?
posted by Spike at 8:08 PM on April 25, 2007


Back in my day, we had to code demos with levers and pulleys and gunpowder.

Frankly, as long as beer and IRC exist, there will always be a thriving demoscene making absolutely incredible stuff, laughing at jaded dorks who declare the whole thing dead just because they've personally lost interest. It's been one long funeral procession since the mid-80s, very sad business. In summary, get off my lawn.

Just joined a demogroup last month. virt^brainstorm -- we straight stuntin'.
posted by jake at 8:11 PM on April 25, 2007


Great. 99% of scene.org's demo files are Windows only and require DirectX. Very few for Linux.

If those guys want a REAL challenge, they could write demos that play under any operating system. But I suppose this is mostly intellectual masturbation, so they don't care. Nice imagery, though.
posted by metasonix at 8:46 PM on April 25, 2007


The vido of Sumotori Dreams is hilarious. I can't wait to leave work so I can play it.
posted by lekvar at 8:58 PM on April 25, 2007


ditto the thank you for the "secret mode", anthill. I knocked my guy into the abyss with two blocks.
posted by JParker at 9:06 PM on April 25, 2007


I think sumotori dreams is really impressive. The drunken stumbling is emergent behaviour, and coding a physics engine detailed enough to produce such interesting emergent behaviour is very impressive.
posted by lastobelus at 9:34 PM on April 25, 2007


I watched the video, then downloaded it, all excited to play.

Then I remembered I was using Linux, and now I am sad.
posted by davejay at 9:34 PM on April 25, 2007


then I watched the drunken stumbling video again, and now I am happy
posted by davejay at 9:36 PM on April 25, 2007


If those guys want a REAL challenge, they could write demos that play under any operating system.

Great. Demos written in Java. Well, I guess it would be a challenge...
posted by Jimbob at 10:09 PM on April 25, 2007


Why is Sumotori Dreams funny? I couldn't stop laughing at it, but it's ...why is this funny? It encapsulates what made Wile E Coyote funny when I was a kid but aside from the drunkeness of box robots, which doesn't make any sense... why am I laughing at this? My. Brain. Hurts.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:54 PM on April 25, 2007


Omigod Omigod Omigod! No no no no you don't understand. You gotta see this one. Wait till he gets one up the butt! Oh I got tears in my eyes. WHY IS THIS FUNNY?
posted by ZachsMind at 10:58 PM on April 25, 2007


dangit it worked in preview what happened?
posted by ZachsMind at 10:59 PM on April 25, 2007


Yeah, to the `Why is this FUNNY?' comments, I managed to gasp out similar sentiments when I found it. I like to think my level of humour is better than `Haha, man fall down', but in this case I nearly passed out from laughter.

When the two sumo guys managed to get to their feet, stood close to each other, and in bowing clonked heads and fell over, I was massaging my cheeks to relieve the cramp.
posted by tomble at 11:08 PM on April 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


That is fantastic fun.
posted by greycap at 11:11 PM on April 25, 2007


Needs. More. Yakety Sax.
posted by kid ichorous at 11:37 PM on April 25, 2007


As a long time [c.1990] tracker/composer, who kinda' follows the demoscene [since the advent of the c128], this is hot, similar to dismount in its physics, but hella more fun in its interactivity. To the haters of dx9 [really, dx3+] demos, well, be thankful they run on your system and don't require particular hardware setups or emu[s] to run them. Today, I can run demos of boxes that I no longer have [vic20, c64, apple ][e, c128, a500, a2000, 520st, 1040st, Mac128, Mac512...And at this point, more than half of which, i can -and do, run, at full speed on my *cellphone*] -and this would not have been possible without the standardization of hardware interfaces [like those of which DX gives us]. Plus, to throw down the gauntlet, show me your code that does it better!
posted by ill13 at 1:01 AM on April 26, 2007


My video card didn't like it at all - I got an 'input not supported' message and a black screen :-(
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:36 AM on April 26, 2007


I've heard of the uncanny valley. This attempt at mimicking humanity is the hilarious peak.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 1:40 AM on April 26, 2007


You've gotta respect their tenacity.

(Or should I say tinacity?)



(No, probably not.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:17 AM on April 26, 2007


For me, the reason that video is so funny is I've been to parties that were exactly like that. Good times.
posted by lekvar at 12:08 PM on April 26, 2007


anybody else feel bad during the "hidden part"? i managed to knock the dude off the platform and he whirly burlyied into space.
posted by bam at 8:41 PM on April 26, 2007


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