Demo Compo

Phon by PlayPsyCo - Winner of the demo competition at The Gathering 2010.

Create an executable program that displays real-time rendered graphics and plays music. Show off the combined programming, musical and artistic skills of your team.

What is a demo?

A demo can probably best be described as some sort of real-time generated music video. Usually a collaborative effort, a demo represents the combined skills of several people, featuring stunning graphics and amazing visual effects synchronized to a kicking soundtrack.

A demo is an executable program, coming in sizes from just a few single bytes up to tenfolds of megabytes when including all data files. Using technology like DirectX and OpenGL, making demos is both an art form and a technical display.

Read more about Demos at Wikipedia


  1. Hand-in

    Entries in the demo competition must be delivered through the web-based compo system as a Zip or Rar archive containing the executable file and all necessary data files and dynamically linked libraries (DLLs).

    Number of entries per participant

    In the demo compo we allow more than one entry per participant.


    Weird platforms

    If your entry is on another platform than the platforms mentionened in §3, please contact the Creativia crew as soon as possibly after you arrive at the party place to agree on the details of your submission.

    If you know that your platform of choice is hard to connect to a projector, please bring a video capture of your demo. Note that we will still need to see that your demo actually runs on its platform even if we will use a video during the compo show. Also, the binaries must be submitted so that they can be distributed.

  2. Deciding a winner

    The winner will be chosen by combining the results from popular vote with a jury vote. The popular vote will account for 67% of the total score, and the jury vote will account for 33%.

  3. Allowed platforms

    This year, we will not have a particular limit on platforms for the demo competition. That basically means that everything goes, as long as it is a realtime production distributed as binaries.

    However, we are not able to support every platform in the world, so we have a list of supported platforms below. If you are going to deliver a demo on a platform not in the list, please be prepared to help us find a proper emulator and/or provide a video capture to go along with your binaries. If this applies to you, please contact the Creativia crew as soon as you arrive at the partyplace (you can find us at the desk in the Creative Lounge).

    • Windows (compo machine will run Windows7, with latest Service Pack, DirectX and drivers installed.)
    • Linux (compo machine will run Ubuntu)
    • Mac (compo machine will run OS X)
    • Amiga (emulated) - If you have a PPC demo, provide your own vidcap
    • Atari (emulated
    • C64 (emulated)
    • Gameboy Advance (emulated)
    • Flash
    • Silverlight
    • .NET 4.0
    • Java (SE 6, Update 23)

    Graphics cards and Windows versions

    Your entry should work on both ATI and nVidia configurations. If you have a preference for a particular brand, make sure you clearly state this in the .nfo file and in the comments field in the submission form.

    Our compo machines will be set up with Windows7 as standard, but we have Windows XP machines handy if needed. Please state clearly in your .nfo and in the comments field in the submission form if this applies to you.

    Configuration of emulators

    For entries showed using an emulator, you are allowed and encouraged to bring your own configuration file for the emulator. However, the demo crew has the final say in what settings the demo will be used to make sure that settings reflect actual hardware (we will not allow 8GHz Amiga500s).

  4. Compo machine specs

    • Intel Core i5 3.6 GHz
    • NVidia GeForce GTX 560Ti
    • 8GB RAM

    Testing on the compo machine

    During the party you are welcome to come to us and get your demo tested on the compo machine. You do not need a completed demo to do a test. This is a chance to check your init code (or other sketchy sections of your code) on the compo machine, possibly avoiding problems during the actual compo.

    If you are entering on another platform than Windows we strongly encourage you to make use of this offer.

  5. Size limit

    There is none, but that's no excuse for not cleaning up your data directory before submitting. Also, packed data files are still cool.

  6. Maximum playing time

    8 minutes (.. but your demo should be very interesting to justify being that long.)

    Try to keep up a good level of entertainment value throughout your production - remember that hundreds of people will be watching your demo, and they get easily bored.

  7. General rules

    The general rules for the Gathering 2011 creative competitions apply to this compo.

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