Featured Events at Demosplash 2022

Event planning for Demosplash 2022 is ongoing, and this page will be updated as featured events are scheduled.

Talks and Workshops

Come to hear engaging discussions on topics across the demoscene.

What is old is new again: Amiga and C64

Presenter: Alynna Kelly
As home computers of the 1980s and early 90s, it is easily tempting to think of the Commodore C64 and Amiga families as increasingly vintage static relics of an earlier time. But this is far from true! Not only do these machines continue to draw a lively culture of demoscene creations, but they are also at the center of a vibrant ecosystem of varied hardware and software development, modification, and enhancement. This talk will introduce and demonstrate several recent hardware expansion mods and full system re-implementations built on current technologies that provide an authentic yet greatly enhanced experience. It will also describe ongoing development and offshoots of the original operating systems that keep these computers interesting and relevant in the modern day. Join us to see the world of internet access and video players on these old favorites now equipped with not just faster CPUs and more RAM but also USB disk loading, HDMI video, WiFi connectivity, and more!

All you have is a 20-bit Framebuffer: Games and Demakes for the Atari 2600/VCS

Presenter: Vince Weaver
The Atari 2600/VCS is a game console launched in 1977. It has some extreme hardware limitations compared to other systems of the time: only 128 bytes of RAM and a stripped down 6507 processor (a 6502 that only has enough pins to address 8k). Graphics are limited: despite a large color palette it only has a 12-bit (yes, bit) framebuffer and extremely limited sprite capabilities. The sound chip is designed for effects and is bad for music (it's actually physically impossible to generate many of the standard music notes). Despite this many impressive games and demos were made for the system over the years. In this talk I'll describe the many challenges found when programming the system, and describe a few demakes I've made including yet another version of Myst as well as a port of the flash game "Secret Collect."

Floppy Disk Copy Protection on Fujitsu FM-7 and FM TOWNS

Presenter: Soji Yamakawa
This talk presents findings from joint research with Game Preservation Society on copy-protection techniques used in Fujitsu FM-7 and FM TOWNS series computers. Floppy disk copy-protection was a very interesting dark art from the 1980s. Earlier copy-protection prevented use of the system utility VOLCOPY, but had no defense against sophisticated copy tools. Then came copy protection that targets a specific floppy disk controller. However, many of these could have been copied easily using other computers with a different floppy disk controller. In the later years, the company that provided disk duplication services to the game developers also supplied protection. Those disks could not be replicated by using a consumer-grade computer system. However, since many games used almost or exactly the same protection checkers, it became relatively easy to find the checker code. Nonetheless, some games used outsourced checker code in a very creative way against those who attempted to crack the protection. Although the copy-protection technique was a very interesting part of the history, the preservation can be challenging. I will also discuss issues in preserving history of the copy-protection techniques.

Demoscene Fun

Come celebrate the spirit of the Demoscene with live screenings and competitions.

Live Demo Screenings

Throughout the weekend, we'll be offering live showings of demos running on real machines, old and new, from the CMU Computer Club's large collection -- Amiga, Atari, Commodore, PC, you name it! We'll be showing both eternal classics and recent releases. Check the schedule for more details and times!

Demo Authoring Competition

No demo party is complete without the chance to write your own demos and submit them to be screened and voted on by the audience! We have several categories - check the compos page for more info.

Chiptune and Rave Demos Room

Enjoy bootlegs, remixes, and concert recordings of some of our favorite chiptune-style music and game soundtracks. Listen to some of the most famous artists in the scene and discover a few lesser-known ones too.

In the evenings, we'll switch over to a playlist of rave demos. Loud, flashy, and generally seizure-inducing, these are the demoscene's link to the techno/rave culture it grew up alongside. We can't usually play these on the main big screen, but you can come see them here!