Amoeba by Excess running in Wine at 720p. There are black borders because the demo, from 2002, was made for PC monitors with a 4:3 aspect ratio.
The Amoeba PC demo
|Initial release||May 2002|
|Operating system||Linux, Windows|
|Type||PC scene demo|
|License||GNU GPL v2|
Amoeba is a PC demoscene demo by the still active Norwegian demo group Excess released at the Underscore demoparty in May 2002. It won 1st place in the demo competition. It is noteworthy for being the first demo party competition winner with Linux binaries and source code included in the release archive. It is still pretty cool and still worth a watch nearly 20 years after it was created.
HOWTO Run The Demo
Neither of two Linux binaries included in the "final version" Amoeba release archive from June 2002, E amoeba-final.zip, will run on any modern GNU/Linux distributions and the source code within the archive, in a folder named
src/, won't compile on modern GNU/Linux distributions due to a variety of compilation errors.
amoeba binary the GitHub repository as of April 2021 produces will fail to start with a message saying "Unhandled exception: demo.xml not found". The original E amoeba-final.zip contains a demo.dat, but no
demo.xml is there, in the GitHub repository or anywhere else. Copying the
demo.dat file from the original demo to the folder with the
amoeba binary won't work, and copying it to a file name
demo.xml won't work.. but there is a solution.
packer/pakfile.cpp in the source tree contains this interesting piece of code:
#if __unix__ int fd = open("/usr/share/amoeba/demo.dat", O_RDONLY); #else int fd = open("demo.dat", O_RDONLY | O_BINARY); #endif
This code in question was merged directly from the Debian packaging theme at some point.
"Some of the patches were taken directly from the debian packaging."
Fixing it is easy enough. You can either replace that encode block with
int fd = open("demo.dat", O_RDONLY);
packer/pakfile.cpp file and (re-)compile and copy
demo.dat from E amoeba-final.zip into the source tree folder with the
amoeba binary or, alternatively, create a folder named
/usr/share/amoeba/ and copy the
demo.dat file there. The Amoeba demo will run either way, but you won't get any audio. The only "Sound" option the
amoeba launcher lets you choose is "No".
The Open Sound System (OSS) was the dominant sound system on Linux when Amoeba was made in 2002. Audio libraries like PulseAudio appeared much later. It is quite possible that sound would with with OSS emulation of some sort.
The Amoeba demo is free software under the GNU GPL v2 license, and the source is availble at https://github.com/excess-demogroup/amoeba. You can study it if you want to learn how to make something similar, and you can probably make sound work on modern GNU/Linux distributions if you are familiar with C and Alsa and/or PulseAudio. It may become possible to run it natively on GNU/Linux with sound at some point in the future if someone look at it and makes it happen.