Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Demoscene: hackers making "digital graffiti" - Moleman 2 and Farbrausch

The computer hacker scene, particularly the demoscene, is one of the closest analogs to the graffiti community. In the demoscene, hackers crack games and write all over them with clever graphics and hand-drawn lettering, all done in machine language. (Machine language is code just talking to the chips without any of that fancy high-level computer language or 3D software application getting in the way.) The result is elegant, small, fantastic, and battle-ready. And demo crews do battle. Regularly, for decades now.

There's a new documentary about it, called Moleman 2 (free, complete, on YouTube, see below).

But first, to whet your appetite, below is a 2007 winner by Farbrausch, who just released some juicy sourcecode on Github.

Here's the elegant part: This video's original is a 180k snippet of code. One digital photo on your phone is likely 25 times that size! This blog post is probably bigger than 180k. And there's lots more where that came from. Check the relateds and do some searching.

If you only have 10 minutes: (Click "CC" to get English subtitles.) Here's the best overview Moleman has about the lettering: It's not the best ever done, but you get the idea.

The entire Moleman 2 documentary