Graffathon 2019

About Graffathon

Graffathon is a weekend-long computer graphics hackathon, aiming to introduce graphics programming and demoscene culture in a beginner-friendly way. Participants create a computer program that produces a non-interactive multimedia presentation, also known as a demo. At the end of the event, the demos are submitted to one of two competitions ("compos"): the beginner compo or advanced compo. The entries are shown on a big screen and participants vote for their favorites. You can check out last year's creations on Youtube.

Graffathon has been organized yearly by DOT since the summer of 2013. This year, Graffathon will be held at Urban Mill in Otaniemi. The event starts in the afternoon on Friday June 7th and lasts until Sunday afternoon. Some free snacks and refreshments will be provided to the participants, and there is a BBQ on Sunday!

The Demoscene

The demoscene refers to a loose collective of people who enjoy and create digital art, usually in the form of demos. The demoscene has its roots in the home computer video game sharing culture of the late 70's and early 80's. A demoparty is an event where "sceners" gather to show their creations and collectively enjoy them. The main attraction at a demoparty are the compos, friendly competitions where participants show off their skills in coding, music and design. There are usually multiple compos during a demoparty with different categories, such as limitations on the size of the program or the platform in use. Graffathon tries to capture at least partially the feeling of a demoparty, and hopefully inspire people to find out more about the demoscene culture.

What to expect

Friday June 7th

On Friday, the doors to the site open at 5 PM. The event starts with an opening ceremony at 6 PM. After the opening ceremony, there will be an inspirational presentation from a veteran demoscener and a tutorial on the basics of Processing, and how to use it to create a demo.

After the presentations, there will be time for participants to form groups. After that, groups can start to plan their demo, write some code and to gather graphical and musical assets.

Saturday June 8th

On Saturday the participants will be busy working on their entries.

Sunday June 9th

The deadline for uploading the demos to the party management system is at noon on Sunday. Before submitting your demo, you should check with the organizers that it runs properly on the party machine. Soon after the deadline, there will be a BBQ, followed by a tech talk. Finally, the results of the hackathon are be shown on a big screen. After the show, participants vote for their favorites and the creators of the best demos are awarded with a small prize.

For more details, see the Schedule page.


Graffathon has two compos: Beginner and advanced. Each team can choose which compo they participate in, but if the group members have some experience with making a demo, we strongly recommend choosing the advanced compo. Each participant will be given a vote key, which is used to register to the party management system, upload the group's demo and to peer evaluate the demos after they're shown on Sunday. The creators of the three most highly evaluated demos of both compos will be awarded with a small prize.

Have Fun!

Other important stuff


There is some bread, snacks and drinks available for free during the event. There is a kitchen at the venue. The A Bloc shopping mall is a 10 minute walk away frm the venue, with an Alepa store that is open until midnight and some restaurants. There's also a grill kiosk 500 meters from the venue, which is open until early in the morning. The BBQ on Sunday is on the houes. Fridge space is very limited, so please don't bring food that needs to be refrigerated.


We do not encourage sleeping at the venue and there are no designated sleeping areas, so please don't bring a sleeping bag or other sleeping gear. However, we won't wake you up if you happen to fall asleep.


When you enter the venue, register at the reception desk to get a wristband. Keep your wristband on for the whole weekend, you may not enter the site without it. If your wristband breaks, contact the organizers to get a new one. There are organizers at the site around the clock, and we will in general keep an eye on stuff on the site. Nevertheless, the organizers are not responsible for any damage or loss of your property, so please take care of your belongings.

Production rules

Compo machine specs

Course credits

Students of Aalto University, University of Helsinki, Haaga-Helia and Metropolia are eligible for one ECTS credit for participating in some compo at the Graffathon. More information at the event.