Atari Demos - History


The Atari Demo Scene can probably be traced back to a group called "The Exceptions" (TEX for short) who created a series of music demos (enhanced with a bit of scrolling text and some nice rasters) in 1987. In 1988 the Atari Demo scene gathered further momentum with the release of the B.I.G. Demo, which was a large collection of music ported from the Commodore 64 by Jochen Hippel onto the Atari ST.

Following the B.I.G. demo, various crews continued to push the limits of the Atari ST hardware with innovative and efficient coding techniques (pre-calculated sprites, table driven calculations etc.), as well as discovering and exploiting undocumented hardware features and bugs (synchronised coding, border busting, sync scrolling).

  • The Union Demo (1989, the first big multi-crew, multi-screen demo)
  • The Cuddly Demos (1989, The CareBears big splash in the Atari demo scene)
  • The Decade Demo (1990, by a UK based group called "Inner Circle")
  • The PHF Demo (1990, by a UK (Hull) based group called "PHF (Psycho Hacking Force)")
  • Ooh Crikey Wot a Scorcher (1991, the last by a group of Brits known as "The Lost Boys")

Besides the major contributors a number of unknown crews were active during this period, mainly preparing to become game developers - the ultimate ambition for many on the demo scene.

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