Sohail Mirza, standing in for Peter.

Assembly ’07 just around the corner

Well, Assembly sure has changed since back in the day.

Assembly ‘03 in Helsinki (Thumbnail)

In 1994, our family bought our first computer. It was a way-too-expensive IBM Aptiva with a Pentium 60Mhz CPU, which was mind-blowing for the time. The very first Pentium-class CPU! At the time I was very interested in computer graphics and other such geekery, and I had convinced my mum to buy that monster of a system so that I could experiment in 3d graphics design and computer animation, which were only budding industries at the time.

A friend at school eventually turned me onto the demo scene. I was captivated from the very beginning. To me, the demo scene represented a melding of art and mechanics. The demo creators pieced together complex visuals with what are nearly the most basic building blocks of modern computing (assembly instructions). The sheer skill required was enough to impress, but I was totally drawn in by the amazing mod soundtracks and graphical prowess on display.

Future CrewSo, for a few years during the mid-90’s I followed the annual scene releases and would always download the top few demos of that year. I grew up on the Future Crew and other well-knowns in the scene.

By the late 90’s though I had fallen out of the scene. My computer had aged into obsolescence and wasn’t very capable at running the newer demos. As well, most of the groups I had first heard of had since left the scene. The demos of this time just didn’t capture my interest as much. The late 90’s also saw the beginnings of the PC as a 3d gaming system, thanks to DirectX and OpenGL. This made the demos being produced at the time seem less and less impressive relative to the games that were cropping up, at least visually.

Throughout that time and the first half of this decade, I did look up the Assembly scene to see how was doing, once in a while vainly attempting to download and run a demo, but very few worked well.

Well, today I looked up the website at and was quite surprised to find the site had meta-morphed into what looks like a thriving community for the demo scene. I suppose the demo scene never really died, and I’m not sure if the scene as a whole slumped or not, but it certainly seemed it to me. Anyways I was pretty impressed with the site, which I think only a year or two back was a simple repository for announcing the new shows and hosting the show submissions.

It was also nice to see that Assembly ’07, this year’s incarnation of the annual meet is to take place in only 2 days.

This year I’ll plan to check out the shows submissions. Let’s see if I can’t re-ignite the captivation and awe at the skill of some of the demo-coders.

Written by Sohail Mirza

July 31, 2007 at 1:56 am

Posted in Design, Personal, Software

2 Responses

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  1. Cool, found this page through random gogle search.
    I was somewhat interested in the demoscene back when I was first exposed to computers years ago. But hadn’t really kept up with it for several years, for the same reasons you sighted.

    It picked back up a bit a few years ago, when things like kkrieger came about.

    Then, Will Wright took an interest in some of it, and now has a bunch of coders working on Spore

    Interesting stuff. Good to see the geek world isn’t totally dying off these days.


    August 4, 2007 at 9:31 am

  2. So, Spore is actually being coded by demosceners? That’s interesting to know!

    Sohail Mirza

    August 4, 2007 at 11:37 am

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