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Graffathon How To

Some creativity tips for a great Graffathon along with inspirations from the demoscene.

Challenge yourself (and nearby others!) to take the first step. Then go further. This post aims to help you get started at the Graffathon, and collect some improvement ideas and waypoints for the future. We wrote this for the Echtzeit Graffathon and feedback is welcome!

Step 0. Connect

Join the 👋 Onboarding, open a channel, discover the demoscene and its legends. Take part in a demoparty or local scene meeting like a demonight. Get to know some people, join forces, and make the demoscene you want to see.

Realtime Paintover by Dihalt Organizers

Step 1. Doodle

Get a large piece of paper, a pencil or your favorite drawing instrument, and find a comfortable place to sit down and lay out your tools. Draw something! Whatever comes to mind. Just doodle and sketch. Some people find that wrapping themselves into music is the best way to do this. Others like to doodle together. And some of us would much prefer to not start with a blank canvas. You can get all of this at a Graffathon.

The sketch by Doh

Step 2. Design

When you have filled your page with doodles, you may start to see one, two, three beautiful ideas emerge. Draw a box around one, cut it out, or take a photo. This is your initial scene design, your paper prototype. Use it to guide your next steps. Think of a message you want to share with the world. Talk about your ideas with people around you. Decide how you would like to bring your scene to life.

Etch-A-Sketch by Cybernetic Genetics

3. Reboot

Power up a device. This could be a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone, a gaming device, an A.I. bot, an LED strip, a retro-computer, some hackable consumer electronics - whatever strikes your fancy! This is your wall. Make sure that you have full access and permission to jam with it safely during the whole Graffathon. Get any software running that you plan to use for your project, or get some tips and tools from fellow participants.

Estrogen by Epoch

4. Jam

Use your device to render your design. Colorful blobs and spinning cubes are a popular option. You might find yourself going into a completely different direction. That's okay! We are here to follow our inspiration, not a customer order. Adding music often helps to keep things clicking. If you get stuck, perhaps you're not asking the right question. Do not panic if things go askew - this is perfectly normal - go get help. Take breaks, keep your body hydrated and fed, be social, play, rest and relax. Keep up the jam!

Melrose Space by Threestate

5. Submit

While jamming, look at the clock from time to time. The clock is our friend. When the time runs out, it's time to stop jamming - and submit! Take a screenshot and record a short video, package up your demo, and log into the Graffathon (MAKE) platform to share your results. In a few words (which we call a README file), explain how to get your demo running, describe your working process, perhaps share some of your motivations, write thanks to anyone who helped you and greetings to fellow demo-makers.

Clock Tower by Der Piipo / Orange

Further advice

Budding sceners can find more waypoints here:

Event finished

Edited (version 22)

21.08.2022 09:18 ~ seism


Event started

Find out how to make the most of the Graffathon here.

17.08.2022 19:56 ~ seism

Edited (version 17)

17.08.2022 14:46 ~ seism

Edited (version 15)

17.08.2022 14:44 ~ seism

Edited (version 13)

17.08.2022 14:43 ~ seism


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