Many years have passed since I first discovered this “demo”, and it still fascinates me.
I’m not part of any “scene” and I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this amazing piece of art. But sometimes I really like to watch it again.
Futuristic architecture featured in the demo - Courtesy of pouet.net

It’s an animated 3D scene rendered in DirectX, with music and credits, about 4 minutes long.
Find it here: http://farbrausch.com/prod.py?which=17 (the download link is broken at the moment)
Download it from here: https://files.scene.org/view/demos/groups/farb-rausch/fr08_final.zip
What’s so special about it? It’s an executable file smaller than 65536 bytes. About an average .torrent file, less than a Word document, way way smaller than a mp3 song.

If you know a little about programming and 3D graphics you are going to ask yourself how all of this can be compressed into 64KiB. Textures take space, meshes take space, music, meta data, all takes space… compression alone isn’t enough.

In one of the dedicated sites lies the explanation. There’s no compression.

  • Textures are not stored, they are generated: the executable stores the algorithms used to paint textures. (this is done in the initial loading)
  • Meshes are generated with primitives (cubes, spheres, triangles) attached together and animated.
  • Music is a MIDI track rendered by synthesizer.
  • The executable is stripped (all extra metadata is removed)
  • Data is stored and/or packed in custom formats
  • There was still enough space for writing credits

It was Windows XP times when the demo came out. Now with Windows10 and DirectX11 the demo works but the full screen is cropped and I see the window title and borders ruining the black background. Anyway it’s awesome. That’s exactly what I admire: knowledge, hard work, good team and quality.