Realtime competitions are the most prestigious of all Assembly competitions. Demos and intros are not pre-rendered animations but rather non-interactive programs made for a chosen computing platform (e.g. Windows, Mac, game consoles, ...). These programs are made to show off skills of the creators and to entertain the general audience. Since the user can not interact with the program flow the demos are kept short, packed with stunning visuals and often come with a catchy soundtrack.
Each competition requires its own tricks that you need to master to rank high and you never know which surprise is waiting for you.
The 1k intro competition is the programmer's competition. Intended to showcase solely the sheer programming brilliance of one or more coders, this competition takes place the 4k intro used to have. As technology progresses, 4k intros become increasingly complex, often team productions, so the 1k intro competition intends to bring the programmer back to the front as a solo artist.
The 4k competition requires participants to deliver a running executable of at most 4 kilobytes in size that will contain all the program and data. This limitation requires intricate knowledge about the CPU and graphics hardware, the operating system and other libraries in order to achieve anything at all. Do not let yourself be fooled by the limited sounds and graphics compared to the demo productions - each 4k entry is a little piece of magic.
The 64k intro competition returns to Assembly Summer after six years! In this competition, the participants have to deliver a running executable of at most 64 kilobytes size that will cntain all the program and data. 64k intros are very demo like but still limited to the size. This is the competition that makes you ask "How is this even possible?".
The Oldskool demo competition requires participants to program on old computers, which this year includes Pentium-class PC, Amiga AGA and Atari Falcon, along with other classic 8bit and 16bit platforms. This means they will encounter strict limitations based on the performance, memory, operating system and architecture quirks of the past computing platforms. Some programmers, by sticking with a platform for a long time, are always able to squeeze even more magic out of those old boxes from the 1990s.
The Demo competition is the main event of ASSEMBLY. The limits are gone and teams are pursuing the state of the art armed with their creativity, talents, and the latest computing power. Ranging from phantasmagorical, surreal creations to pumping high energy roller coaster rides and onto complex stories, be prepared to experience anything. Everything in this category is pushed to the highest level of quality: from animations and rendering to music, sounds, colors, emotions, and story.
Programmers and tinkerers like to go crazy - this competition is for all real-time, programmed creations that do not fit in the previous categories. You will find truly original creations, made on programmable calculators, oscilloscopes, and about anything that can run code. It's a digital freak show!
Entries in the demo competitions must adhere to the platform rules except for the Real Wild and Oldskool demo competition.