rezmason 7d
I'm amused that we share initials and a passion for this kind of project! Mine's .

One key difference: this guy built his demo from scratch, whereas mine's a port of someone else's work. It's great to see another implementation, with its own techniques and features.

willhinsa 7d
This reminds me of the movie Drive (2011), in particular the first song on the soundtrack, Kavinsky - Nightcall

devsatish 7d
Really cool . Reminds me of the VR collaboration project (Dance Tonite) by Google Data arts team and LCD Sound System
jordemort 7d
I love this. I'd love an idealized version where nobody ever passes on the right even more.
aabbccsmith 7d
This is the sort of thing I'd leave on an unused monitor all the time or have on display somewhere. Really cool aesthetic
Apocryphon 7d
Well, that's beautiful. I remember a procedurally generated night city skyline demo that was on HN years and years ago, this is a somewhat similar endeavor.
kevinmchugh 7d
Weirdly I had the idea to do the same thing, including doing it in js, a year or so ago. This is much nicer than what I'd pictured. Mine would've been set to Kamasi Washington's Clair de Lune.

kdazzle 7d
Thats’s awesome. Kind of reminds me of this vector-y 80s game I had as a little kid - the Tomy Turbo [1]. I’ve been trying to make something similar myself but keep pushing it aside. Anyways, nice work - it looks great!


mdtusz 7d
This reminds me of this video:

He does incredible work with shaders and explains them in very clear detail.

mortenjorck 7d
> It's not a screensaver, because it's not the 90s.

It may be 2022, but I would love a screensaver version of this.

fulafel 7d
In demo terms it's an "effect".
chrisco255 7d
> What game can we make where the premise is that you're a passenger on the motorway at night time? It shouldn't be a particularly taxing game, I think the main experience should still be that you're just enjoying watching the lights, but it would be cool if there was some interactivity and some sort of goal.

If you wanted to make it interactive, maybe a Pokemon Snap like functionality where you try to capture photos of random environment features or creatures.

abetusk 7d
I love this.

It would be awesome to do this with a bladerunner theme. Like, sitting in a spinner going somewhere, with all the different cars, spinners and maybe buildings passing by.

pavlov 6d
> ’Maybe it's a "demo"?’

There’s a long-standing tradition of people creating realtime graphics software on personal computers that doesn’t offer any interactivity. They are indeed called demos and the community is called the demoscene. It goes back to the late 1980s and had a golden era in the mid-90s on Amiga and PC.

To be pedantic, this isn’t a full-blown demo. Small demos are called intros, and a category of them is the size-constrained intro (e.g. 1kB or 4kB). So this could be either a small intro or an effect as part of a bigger demo.

It’s worth looking up some of the small intros. People can squeeze entire GPU-raytraced universes with music into a few kilobytes.

altacc 6d
So realistic that it hogs the middle lane when it could move to the left ;)
z3t4 6d
Would be a nice "game" experience with VR googles
BigJono 7d
Love it.

Might be a good thread to ask. A few years ago I found a couple of sites that were like shadertoy but for 2D canvas shit like this. One I think was (which appears to have disappeared), and I can't for the life of me remember what the other was.

Does anyone know of any such sites?

rgovostes 7d
See also Martijn Steinrucken aka BigWings's The Drive Home:

ShaderToy: [WebGL]

Video: / Making of:

franciscop 6d
> "It's hard to classify what it is [...] Maybe it's a "demo"?"

Exactly, those are demos, and while I believe it's slightly different there's a whole culture around it that I've never been aware until recently called "demoscene"! I even have a small "Demos" section on my website with a bunch of those, not to the same level of quality though since for me it'd be a bit more like "self-contained small experiments that resulted in something cool so I put it together as a demo":

- "Zoom", hyperdrive-like effect:

- "Tree generation", specify a JSON/HTML structure and it'll generate a tree: (disc: it was inspired by a broken demo I saw from someone else)

- "Stereo Depth", calculate depth of a couple of stereo images using JS:

- "Terminal player", specify a bunch of commands in plain text and they'll be "played" like a video:

spookierookie 6d
Saw it for a min. Nice.

Then I bumped into the car in front of me which was changing lanes. Not nice.

shadowofneptune 6d
I love how this written. I've wanted to document how a personal project works, and this style's exactly what I was looking for.
rippercushions 6d
This reminds me of Desert Bus, the legendary/notorious driving game by Penn & Teller. During the second half of the game, you're driving at night and the view is not dissimilar.

Of course, because Desert Bus is literally the worst game ever, the steering continually veers to the side and you have to keep nudging the wheel or you'll crash.

svdr 6d
Is it legal to overtake on the right in the US? It's not in the country where I live (NL).
kenver 6d
This is wonderful, well done. The limitations you mention just add to the style.
7373737373 6d
I wanted to do the same for the train feeling:
kitd 6d

It would be cool if it flipped from left- to right-side driving depending on host's IP address?

dghf 6d
> It's hard to classify what it is.

“Synthwave multimedia project” would be how I’d describe it.

It’s very good. Made me think of the Jeff Goldblum / Michelle Pfeiffer film Into the Night (

hlandau 6d
Very nice!

Not exactly the same thing, since it's a high-paced action game, but I was always fond of the DOS game Skyroads, which has a similar aesthetic. (I believe someone has now made a web-based version called OpenRoads.)

coldtea 6d
>The entire scene is created purely by drawing circles on a HTML5 canvas. It actually works a lot better than I expected. The biggest flaw is that the cars are totally transparent, so you can see lights from distant cars even where they should be occluded by closer cars.

Hmm, why not just draw a black rectange around any pair of car lights? It should work for givimg the impression of a solid car within the context of the video...

Edit: hmm, he does say this "This would be slightly harder than street light occlusion. Probably a first pass would be to render a black cuboid behind each car's lights, so that the cuboid blocks out anything that would be blocked by the car."

zxspectrum1982 6d
Nice but I usually turn my lights on when I drive at night :-)
possiblydrunk 6d
>There are a few more things that I think would be fun to do:

First off, it's beautiful! Second, just because you can, doesn't mean you should :)

I think it's art, so be careful about adding more. The minimalism is beautiful. Just a bunch of moving lights, but they capture the feel of night driving! If you add everything mentioned as upgrades, it will be a simulation. An impressive engineering feat, but (I think) less as a work of art.

I wonder, what does someone who's never ridden/driven in a car at night 'feel' when they see this?

makach 6d
I just loved how the author explained writing code without using any specific code. That's clever, lovely done!
davidkunz 6d
As a German, it would have been more relaxing if cars on the left were faster.
bodge5000 6d
Im not sure the cars and lights need to be anymore than floating orbs, its quite a nice minimalist aesthetic with just the lights. I'm not sure it needs to be a game either, maybe the ability to steer the car would be good but any more than that might seem forced (and I'm not even sure it needs that). The only real problem I see is that cars pass through you from behind (the only time the floating orbs effect becomes an issue), but even that seems minor for what it is.
foobarbecue 6d
Love this, including the music, but here's an old favorite track of mine that would also fit:
btbuildem 6d
I'd call this a "demo" for sure -- harkening back to the mid-90's when people built things for fun / just because they could / to explore
tempodox 6d
The music should be Kraftwerk's “Autobahn” :)
DecoPerson 6d
Beautiful. This is something I’ve thought about too. Thanks for making it!

One of the most beautiful light effects I’ve seen while being a passenger in a car is the reflection of oncoming headlights on the underside of powerlines, whether they be mains power or for electric trains. It’s a dazzling pattern, reminiscent of the wormhole scene in Interstellar.

Perhaps something to add to your “more” list? :smiling-emoji-with-eyes-closed-and-sweat-bead:

Edit: At first I thought there were also stars, but it was just dust on my phone…

pacoverdi 6d
In a similar vein, check out the js1k 2013 winner entry, "Strange crystals" [0].

Also check out the author's detailed explanations.



foxbee 6d
Hugeeeeee vaperware vibes right now
jjslocum3 6d
> It's hard to classify what it is. It's not a video, because it's generated dynamically. It's not a game, because you just watch. It's not a screensaver, because it's not the 90s. Maybe it's a "demo"?

It's a simulation.

megalomanu 6d
Beautiful, congrats! This reminds me the final shot of Playtime (not a spoiler! at 2:07: )
system2 6d
Music version is amazing:
kesava 6d
Was lot of fun staring at it for a long time. However, every driver using turn signals when they change lanes is not realistic :)
teddyh 6d
Reminds me very much of Night Driver, the arcade game from 1976:

teddyh 6d
> It's not a screensaver, because it's not the 90s.

XScreenSaver had its most recent release two weeks ago.

err4nt 6d

    It's hard to classify what it is. It's not a video, because it's generated dynamically. It's not a game, because you just watch. It's not a screensaver, because it's not the 90s. Maybe it's a "demo"?
It's an animation.
simonjgreen 5d
I have many many childhood memories of long journeys up and down the country visiting my grandparents sat in the back of my parents car at night with scenes just like this etched in there. And I'm from UK too so was delighted they did this the "right" way round :)

Brilliant work, love this.

And the music reminds me of Kavinsky too with the obvious association with Drive.

Also, I know it's not actually there, but my mind insists on filling in a "not quite black" sky over the road and the occasional tree or similar to the sides as shadows. Fascinating effect.