.kkrieger – a small miracle of the great demoscene

.kkrieger – a small miracle of the great demoscene

The demo scene is full of unusual projects. However, only a few of them become widely known. But perhaps the most popular techno demo was .kkrieger – a game in the first-person shooter genre with high-quality (for 2004 when it was released) graphics that took up only 96 kilobytes!

The unusual facts don’t end there โ€” starting today, you can download archive from .kkrieger via a link that is broadcast from the RUVDS server satellite directly from space! ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿš€ You can get it on a special landing.

At what price and how exactly were the developers from the German demo group Farbrausch able to compress to 96 kilobytes, albeit a small, but technically modern game at that time? In general, Farbrausch are not such simple guys. From the very beginning of zero, they made impressive demos, the volume of which did not exceed the same 96 kilobytes. And even though they were not interactive demos, they are still breathtaking: the combination of visuals and music is too good. The team was able to reach such dimensions of technodemos thanks to the tool they created for

RAD design

Werkkzeug demos, V2 MIDI synthesizer and kkrunchy – programs for compressing techno demos. Together, this software makes it possible to run very spectacular demos that take up very little space on the media.

Developers in their own right: giZMO, chaos and Joey after receiving two awards at the Deutscher Entwicklerpreis (award ceremony for German developers)

.werkkzeug1

V2 Synthesizer System

.kkrieger became one of the technodemons of the team. Only this time โ€” a fully interactive demo that has become a first-person shooter. The game used all the technologies listed above. At the same time, if you do not look into the details, the graphics are more reminiscent of Doom 3, which was released in the same year 2004. Gloomy corridors that need to be illuminated with the help of gunshots (thanks to which we will also see dynamic lighting), monsters that go against the player.

All the textures you see in the game are generated from three patterns, filters and text. Patterns are superimposed on each other, certain filters are applied to them. Some of the textures resemble some letters. And these are really letters – just heavily modified by the same filters. Standard Windows fonts are used for this.

Still, the graphics need to be put somewhere after unpacking. For example, in RAM, where, in fact, all 300 megabytes of data go. This amount seems funny now, because the average PC has 16 GB of RAM. And in 2004, such amounts were required, for example, by Far Cry and the same Doom 3. But not only did this small toy require a large amount of RAM, another piece of hardware was also required: a Pentium 3 with a frequency of 1.5 GHz and an Nvidia GeForce4 Ti video card with 128 megabytes of memory. In general, the more powerful the processor, the faster files are unpacked in RAM during startup. It is interesting that on modern PCs the demo is unpacked literally in a couple of seconds.

Minimum system requirements for Far Cry were lower than .kkrieger

Of course, such an impressive technodemo could not remain unnoticed: .kkrieger received several awards, which motivated developers to make demos further. However, despite promises to make a full-fledged game and a sequel, the shooter remained in the beta stage. Farbrausch, who were in constant crunches (they definitely did not go missing – pay attention to the name of the software for compressing the demos), simply did not have the strength (and perhaps the desire) to continue making the game.

“Warrior” (that’s how the German Krieger is translated) doesn’t even have any settings menu. But it has problems with collisions (the player can easily get stuck in enemies) โ€” the character and enemies get stuck in doors and walls. So if you get stuck, don’t hesitate to use M + a number from 1 to 9: it will take you to the nearest checkpoint. You should not use the Alt+TAB key combination – the game will simply freeze. And sometimes the game can be colored at the stage of unpacking the files. And the passage takes only about ten minutes. Game journalists complained about the duration, praising the level of technology.

Oil painting: both the enemies and the player are stuck

After such success, Farbrausch released several more techno demos, but without gameplay (at least in the sense we are used to). While many participants in the demo scene continued to release loads of multi-colored polygons, these Germans made impressive videos. What’s it worth fr-041: debris.: It’s hard to believe, but the volume of this demo is only 177 kilobytes! The graphics are quite at the level of those years (debris was released in 2007), but the system requirements have also increased: a Core2duo with a frequency of 2.4 GHz or higher, a gigabyte of RAM and a Geforce 7600 or higher video card with 256 MB of video memory are recommended. The demo runs on the same engine as .kkrieger.

In 2009, another technodemo was released – . Detuned. Only it is not released on the PC, but on the Playstation 3, and it is not free either – they asked for three dollars to download it. It cannot be called a game, rather “interactive modern art”. It’s funny, they also gave trophies for certain events in the demo.

Undoubtedly, .kkrieger and its creators have taken their place in the pantheon of the demo scene. Farbrausch are still releasing demos, and they look just as interesting. However, if developers continued to create games, perhaps new games or engines from such talented developers would see the light of day.

In 2012, Farbrausch released the source code of some of its products into open access, leaving some as closed source but available for anyone to use. Among them are the source codes of Werkkzeug 3, Werkkzeug 4, and synthesizer V2. All this is available on the official GitHub of the developers.

Don’t forget about space link to download .kkrieger – you can find it here.

Discounts, raffle results and news about the RUVDS satellite โ€” in our Telegram channel ๐Ÿš€

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