Programming Seminars

Programming 101

Ever wanted to create your own game, demo or, say, iPhone-app? Then why not use TG to start learning the essential skills? As last year, The Gathering will host a very beginner-friendly introduction to programming.

When: Wednesday 16:00-17:00
Where: Creative Lounge
Speaker: Anders Bondehagen
Level: Beginner
Tools used: JavaScript, fScript

Get familiar with concepts like variables, operators, loops and functions with hands-on examples you can play with on your own computer after the seminar.

After the seminar, you can also get help from our mentors to learn more. We hope to see you show off what you've learned in one (or more!) of our programming competitions.

Make a demo already!

The Gathering is Norway's oldest still running demoparty. Since 1992, TG has considered the Demo competition the climax of the party. This is your chance to get introduced to the ancient arts of using the computer to generate awe-inspiring real time graphics effects synchronized to music, and try your wits on the big screen.

When: Wednesday, 17:30-19:00
Where: Creative Lounge
Speaker: Anders Lassen w/guests
Level: Beginner
Tools used: Various

This session is an introduction to what demos are all about - graphics programming. You'll see a few demos, get introduced to a range of tools you can choose from to get started, and get some pointers to where you can get help.

The tools discussed will be:

  • fScript - This is a programming tool made by people from the TG community, specially designed to be super easy for beginners who want to get started with graphics programming.
  • C#/XNA - The C# programming language and the XNA framework is a beginner-friendly combination of graphics programming tools which has become very popular over the last few years. Lots of documentation and an active community also makes it easy to find help online.
  • C++/DirectX/OpenGL - This combination of tools is still the de-facto standard for professional game developers and the experienced demosceners. Not recommended for beginning programmers, but very powerful for the experienced.


After the introductions we hope you've decided which tools you would like to start learning. The mentors in our Creative Lounge will then be able to help you no matter which of these tools you choose.

GNU Rocket science - a general purpose, ad-hoc demotool

Since the beginning of time (that is; some time in the beginning of the 80's), demogroups have strived to create the perfect demo: a product of the best within music, programming and graphics. But to succeed, the different elements must be combined in a way that looks, sounds and feels right. Erik Faye-Lund aka Kusma^excess shows you how this can be done using his free-as-in-beer GNU Rocket toolkit.

When: Wednesday, 19:00-20:00
Where: Creative Lounge
Speaker: Erik Faye-Lund
Level: Intermediate
Tools used: C, C#, GNU Rocket

GNU Rocket offers a simple way of converting your demo into a specialized demotool, without taking control of your code. Through a simple yet powerful Windows GUI-editor you'll be able to rewind and fast forward your demo, and key-frames can be edited, copied and pasted. All this including undo/redo support.

This seminar will give a quick introduction to how GNU Rocket works, and how to integrate it into a simple demo (with examples for both C/C++ and C#).

Intro to 4k Intros

Jake Taylor (Ferris of Youth Uprising) returns to The Gathering this year to talk about how you can create your own demos in 4096 bytes or less. Learn the dark secrets of tiny demo production, from graphics to sound and beyond.

When: Thursday, 17:00-18:00
Where: Creative Lounge
Speaker: Jake Taylor aka Ferris^Youth Uprising
Level: Intermediate
Tools used: C/Assembler

A 4K starter kit will be provided, and the session will cover how to use the kit and the concepts and tricks that make the demo so small. An introduction will also be given for various content creation tools and effective framework design techniques.

Introduction to deferred shading

Thomas Austad aka datsua^PlayPsyCo teaches you the shading technique used in last year's democompo winner "Phon" by PlayPsyCo.

When: Friday 13:00-14:00
Where: Creative Lounge
Speaker: Thomas Austad
Level: Advanced
Tools used: C++, OpenGL

Moving from a traditional forward rendering model to a deferred rendering model has a reputation of being hard. However, according to Datsua, it really is not difficult at all. And he'll show you how to do it. There are however some pitfalls and new ways of looking at rendering. This seminar concentrates on building a simple but extensible deferred renderer in OpenGL 3.3.

Topics covered are: g-buffer, lighting models, shaders, post processing.

Controlled Chaos: Procedural Content Generation

Learn how the 64k Intro masters manage to pack enormous amounts of eyecandy graphics into 64 kilobytes.

When: Friday 18:00-19:00
Where: Creative Lounge
Speaker: Decipher^Youth uprising
Level: Advanced
Tools used: C++

Procedural generation is the creation of data in functions of mathematical representations of the same data. It is an amazing tool for those who can control chaos. It can let one represent more with less. It is not only for the sake of size-coding, either. It is a necessity to achieve the immense level of detail we expect in games and animated movies. Yes. Even with today's technology.

This seminar is all about procedural generation. It will start with the basics and build up to a climax of extreme technicality. There will be real-life case studies embedded throughout the seminar.

twitter • facebook • forums