Commodore VIC-20 demos
|Alternative demo platforms|
On many classic 8-bit platforms, such as the Commodore 64 and the ZX Spectrum, the organized activity of democoding was started by crack intros, a side product of software cracking. This was not the case with VIC-20, whose userbase shifted to other platforms before the software pirates developed a crack intro culture of any kind. The VIC-20 demoscene was born at a much later time as an offshoot of existing scenes, particularly that of the Commodore 64.
Arguably the first actual VIC-20 demos (within the demoscene context) were created in 1989 by the Commodore 64 demogroup Pu-239 and Andreas Dietmair. Although both produced several demos, the activity of VIC-20 demomaking retained a curiosity status rather than evolving into a larger-scale demoscene.
An influential demo Veni vidi vic! was created in 1996 by an international group of mostly non-demoscene-affiliated volunteers led by Marko Mäkelä, a Finnish Commodore enthusiast. This demo pioneered many techniques on the VIC-20, such as stable raster routines and track-loading techniques, thus becoming a major source of inspiration for a new wave of VIC-20 demos.
The unexpanded demoscene
The early 2000s (decade) saw a boom of VIC-20 demos competing in various competitions at several demo parties, particularly in Finland. Many VIC-20 productions even took first places in major competitions such as at Alternative Party or the "oldskool" demo compo at the Assembly demo party, while competing against demos written for more advanced machines such as the Commodore 64 or the Amiga.
Unlike most of the earlier VIC-20 demos, the demos of the 2000s (decade) were usually written for the plain machine without RAM expansions, although some of them required a disk drive. This presented a clearly defined and challenging restriction to the demomakers. Also, many enthusiasts considered VIC-20 expansion cartridges quite difficult to obtain.
In 2002, Aleksi Eeben of CNCD compiled a single-sided floppy disk containing all demos written for the unexpanded VIC-20 ever since. The demos on the disk were from CNCD, Creators, Dekadence, PWP and Pu-239, and it also contained parts of Veni vidi vic! compatible with the unexpanded machine. Many of the demos on the disk were specifically written in order to fill up the leftover space.
As of 2006, there are three floppy disk compilations of unexpanded VIC-20 demos.