Music and Gaming Festival MAGFest
Thursday, January 2 - Sunday, January 5
GAYLORD NATIONAL RESORT•NATIONAL HARBOR, MD
201 Waterfront Street | National Harbor, Maryland
Check out our MAGFest Demoparty trailer here!
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
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
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
- 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
- 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
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