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MAGFest Demoparty 2020, Led by Polish Demoscene Gurus, in National Harbor, MD

December 28, 2019

Polish Cultural Institute New York is proud to present MAGFest Demoparty, a 24hr event, led by Polish Demoscene gurus Grzegorz “fei” Juraszek and Jakub “AceMan” Szelag, during the 3 days of the legendary Super MAGFest festival, taking place in National Harbor, MD from January 2 to 5, 2020.

Demoparty presents a digital artform known as the “demo”, and in 2020 a special focus will be on demo music created on old generation consoles! Demoparty program will include: music coding workshops, lectures about Demoscene background, demo showcase, the 24 hr 3-day Demoparty with live broadcast for attending participants and remote guests as well as the final competition with prizegiving. MAGFest visitors will be able to vote live on their favorite demos, interact with creators to learn their techniques, and watch in awe as new codes for music are developed in the making of this magical computer art form. The event is going to be livestreamed during the Super MAGFest Festival.

The Demoscene emerged in the 1980s as an informal movement of digital content creators who produce graphics, music and software. Some would release their work independently, but many joined forces to create non-interactive 2D and 3D presentations along the lines of movie or video game effects. These are called demos and are run on hardware in real time, computed on-the-fly. Demos (as well as their smaller, byte-sized counterparts, “intros”) were once distributed free of charge on pre-internet online systems as well as floppy disks with other software. In the early online era, demosceners wanted a place to meet, since sometimes they had not even met their collaborators. The Demoparty was born.

Demoparties have been running since the early nineties. They quickly became known for debut screenings of new demos and competitions for prizes. Since the European scene is much larger, the MAGFest Demoparty aims to grow the American Demoscene by building links between the gaming and Demoscene communities and introducing newcomers to the scene.

MAGFest Demoparty will be a continuation of a three-year cooperation of Polish Demoscene animators (previously gathered around the Riverwash initiative, now Xenium) with the MAGFest organization, thanks to the continuous support of the Polish Cultural Institute New York and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington DC.

MAGFest Demoparty will be an opportunity to foster the Demoscene environment in the USA. This movement in America is scarcely active, which is caused by large distances, objective organizational problems and concentration of people involved in the creative use of hardware platforms on consoles that are difficult to program/create music/graphics/animation on, whereas Europe (including Poland) has over 20 years of tradition in organizing meetings and Demoscene competitions, including the last 11 years involved in the largest Polish meeting of this type called Riverwash and the reactivation of Xenium event (September 2019). This collaboration brings Polish and American demosceners together with the MAGFest organizers in creation of a unique experience.

PROGRAM MAGFest Demoparty 2020

Thursday, January 2 nd

  • 6:00 PM – doors open (demoparty is 24/3 if there are people interested in watching so come anytime you want!, this is only the schedule for highlighted events)
  • demoshow till midnight

Friday, January 3 rd

  • 4:00 PM – Jakub “AceMan” Szelag: Music creation workshops for older generation consoles. Discussion of technical differences between platforms, characteristic features of sound systems, presentation of software which enables writing music for GameBoy, Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo equipment - introduction and beginner workshop
  • 6:00 PM – Brendan “Inverse Phase” Becker and Grzegorz “Fei” Juraszek: introduction to Demoscene for beginners - how to be a demoscener, early days and history of Demoscene, current trends, etc.
  • 8:00 PM – announcement of fast competitions, official beginning of MAGFest Demoparty 2020
  • demoshow till midnight

Saturday, January 4 th

  • 4:00 PM – Jakub “AceMan” Szelag: Music creation workshops for older generation consoles. Discussion of technical differences between platforms, characteristic features of sound systems, presentation of software which enables writing music for GameBoy, Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo equipment - advanced workshop for skilled musicians with their works going into the competition
  • 6:00 PM – competitions (entries submitted by participants of the party get shown on the screen and people vote for them, also remotely) Sunday, January 5 th
  • 10:00 AM – voting ends
  • 11:00 AM - prizegiving ceremony (best entries get trophies), closing ceremony

More information: http://magfest.modules.pl/