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Thursday, December 14, 2000
Demo "mACROsTRANGE" Released
11:11 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

While this isn't a game by any stretch of the imagination, it is an interesting development for those eager to see what your graphics card and Mac can accomplish. The "demo team" hAUjOBB has released a Mac port of their demo mACROsTRANGE, which uses the OpenGL API.

This non-interactive demo is a literal demonstration of the team's abilities as coders, artists and musicians. Combining 3D visuals and effects, 2D artwork and stereo sound in MP3 format, this is a demo of technology and programming skill designed to max out your hardware and see what it can really do. Graphics demos are a tradition of the computing "underground" since the days of the Commodore 64 and Amiga, but in the last few years the PC has taken over as the primary platform for demo coding and display.

Here are details from the press release:

"Haujobb" are proud to present their new production called "Macrostrange".

Macrostrange is a scene demo. Scene Demos are computer art, something like a
video-clip full of fantastic animations, graphic effects and big beat music
packed into a wonderful design. No, you can't play anything while watching this
demonstration, but I guarantee you, that you won't believe your eyes.

Haujobb is a scene group (as all scene groups: non commercial!), with about 40
members all over the world. They're well known for their excellent scene demos
for PC and Amiga for many years now and have won many scene competitions. Now
they've ported their biggest success, the demo "Mikrostrange", to the Mac. It's
now called "MACrostrange".

While this isn't a game, you can see many game technologies and special effects being used; it is widely accepted in the industry that many of the effects, techniques and even ideas used in the game industry today were inspired by the demo scene. 3D engines were commonplace in graphics demos a year before DOOM was released, and special effects such as motion blur, lens flares, colored lighting and real-time morphing all saw their debut as demo features.

Being somewhat of a demo connoisseur -- I have a 300 MHz Pentium II with DOS 4.6 that I keep specifically for running them, and a library of hundreds -- mACROsTRANGE is actually a rather mediocre effort as demos go; it is very short, the transitions are choppy, and there is a tad too much bragging going on for what the demo actually contains. But seeing it run on a Mac in high resolution under OpenGL is quite a thrill indeed, and the porter did an excellent job. If you've got a 16 MB graphics card or better and a G3 or above, I highly recommend downloading this just for the experience. A V5 with 4x FSAA really shows off the gorgeous visuals, to say the least. Be forewarned: the demo is slightly unstable (it tends to crash with a Type 2 on quit) and it doesn't work well with File Sharing or Appetalk enabled.

If you want to learn more about the Mac demo scene, and download many more Mac demos, be sure and visit Mac Demos HQ; I recommend MacProphecy and the entries for the iQuest 2000 competition. Hopefully this port of a PC demo to the Mac platform will inspire other coders to port demos across -- many demos are open-source, and would be an ideal project for a beginning programmer to tackle.

Download Macrostrange (9.4 MB)
Haujobb Web Site
Mac Demos HQ

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Archives  News  Demo "mACROsTRANGE" Released