If you check on the left of this blog to the products section there are a whole load of demos from the late 80's and early 90's that were the first real products I worked on. Some of these were done while I was at school ... all of them were done before I got a 'real' job. Writing a demo took an stupidly large amount of time. Some of them were multi screen with menus linking them all together. They went through a bug checking process, feedback from friends in the community .. the whole deal. They were major undertakings and way better experience to get me ready for the process of finishing making a video-game than University.
Many of the people who were in the scene at that time are now making a good career out of writing video games. I know of quite a few working at companies like EA, Microsoft, Sony etc. In fact one of the other guys from my demo crew is now a Technical Director at EA. I even was lucky enough to hire someone else from the french demo scene at Sony. He was one of the programmers on God of War 2.
I hadn't really paid a lot of attention to todays demo scene for many years. But recently I saw a demo called 'Debris' by Farbrausch ..... holy crap its good. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that in the same way as the games being made now are immeasurably more complex than 15+ years ago, so are the demos. But still ... holy crap. Heres the YouTube link, but if you get a chance download it and run it on a PC, its way more impressive running on a PC.
They have a web page as well . I don't even want to think how much time some of this stuff takes them to put together, its really very slick, great music etc.
Heres another, I think the latest.
Amazing stuff, I sometimes wish I could go back to doing this but I don't know how I would keep myself in Sushi and Ollie in Diapers.