Magnus by Youth Uprising - Winner of the Intro compo at The Gathering 2010. This Intro is only 4096 bytes in size - including graphics, code and music

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. In less than 65537 bytes. Or even smaller.

What is an intro?

Intros are in essence the same as demos, but written to comply with a file size limit. This introduces a whole new set of challenges for the creators, as sound waveforms, 3D model meshes and graphics usually take up a lot of the space in a normal demo.

Size-efficient code, microscopic software synthesizers and efficient compression algorithms are required to meet the strict size limits. Of course, the intro still has to be exciting, beautiful, and well designed.


  1. Hand-in

    Entries in the intro 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 intro compo we allow more than one entry per participant.

  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

    Note that in contrast to the demo compo, these platforms are the only ones allowed.

    • 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
    • Java

    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

    The compo machine(s) final spec is not ready yet, but it will be something along these lines.

    • 2GHz+ CPU (Dual core or more)
    • SM5.0 (DX11 capable) graphics card
    • 4GB RAM or more

    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

    64kb or below. If your entry is less than 64kb (4096 bytes, for example), this will be announced to the audience before the entry is displayed.

  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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