rezmason 14 days ago

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.

  • syndic8_xyz 14 days ago

    This person is really incredible. Just check out their work:

    • mandeepj 13 days ago

      Copied from

      Through the nineties, Microsoft software engineers carried on a tradition of writing clever and distinctive software projects alongside the software they were primarily tasked with writing— this is where Solitaire and Minesweeper came from, for instance. These engineers also wrote "easter eggs" into their primary software, such as the beautiful flight simulator hidden in Excel 97.

      Amazed by reading the above. I'm a sucker to read and learn from that clerverness.

  • jmiskovic 14 days ago

    Amazing to see you in comments; your version was inspiration for this project:

    The video didn't generate much interest so unfortunately I didn't release anything playable.

    • rezmason 13 days ago

      That's really neat! I like the tunnels under the giant trapezoids, they make me think of those enormous trapezoid buildings in Blade Runner.

      I can't take credit for Drivey's aesthetics, I'm just honored to have carried it to HTML5 ;) Somewhere out in Australia is the original programmer who I'm sure would love to see this, but who also loves avoiding the spotlight.

      I just did a quick scroll of your Twitter feed and jeez you're prolific, this stuff is really cool. I'll try Hexpress this weekend.

    • aaroninsf 13 days ago

      Among "features it would be neat to add", fading timelapse smeers as in your photo of the curve would be luvly.

  • justinlloyd 14 days ago

    I do not like how your city planners put pedestrian crossings on blind curves. That's really bad design that could lead to accidents.

    P.S. It's a joke. This is a really well executed demo.

    • rezmason 13 days ago

      I agree, but the original creator put them in and they add some spice to the environs.

      I like to joke that Australia (where Drivey originally comes from) has a low enough population that the pedestrians are in no real danger ;)

  • phist_mcgee 14 days ago

    As a fan of vaporwave this is

    aesthetic 可ぷき

    • S-E-P 14 days ago

      I’m vibing

  • mhd 14 days ago

    Oh, I think I remember the original Drivey and was following the dev blog for a while back then. But I think in the end, it didn't go anywhere (no pun intended).

  • jstanley 13 days ago

    Neat! I like that this is kind of the opposite effect (obviously Drivey is way more polished).

    Drivey shows objects as their silhouettes on top of a light background, whereas Nightdrive shows objects as their lights on top of a dark background.

    • rezmason 13 days ago

      Pleased to meet you! ^_^ Nightdrive is a jewel.

      Some people are making a strong case (I think) for calling these types of projects "demos", but also, I think the inability to fit them in the arbitrary structure of existing nomenclature is a good quality for a project to have. :D

      Have you considered using a small bokeh image in place of circles in your renderer? Their size is based on the (usually unchanging) optical properties of the eye, rather than the eye's distance to the light, so you'd fade them rather than resize them, and if you round their position to the nearest pixel you might be able to draw them with 2D canvas context speedily.

  • flanbiscuit 14 days ago

    interesting that this is running very slow (like 1 frame per second) on Chrome, but runs very smooth on Firefox. I'm on the latest version of both for Mac.

    • rezmason 13 days ago

      That is very odd. I wonder what your Chrome browser's zoom is set to, that might affect its resolution.

      If you create an issue on the repo, I'll try and figure it out when I have the bandwidth.

      • flanbiscuit 10 days ago

        Just tried it again on my work laptop Chrome (Mac, latest) and it's running smooth, so it was something with my personal laptop and not your code.

  • zxcvbn4038 13 days ago

    That is amazing, I remember seeing an early version of this on Windows and being impressed. It is great to see it revived and with source!

  • neilparikh 14 days ago

    Would be neat to have eye gaze be literally controlled by where you look using webcam tracking! Not sure how accurate it would be though.

    • nolok 14 days ago

      Only tengentially related but eye tracking + foveated rendering is the thing that makes me the most excited about PSVR 2 !

  • JKCalhoun 14 days ago

    Was yours based on "Drivey"?

    EDIT: never mind, it looks like it was, very cool.

    • rezmason 13 days ago

      Yep, my third attempt in ten years!

      The original was written in "JujuScript", with strong types and novel operators. I pretended it was Haxe, and ran around fixing compiler errors it till it compiled to JavaScript. I built out a small Three.js project to hook it to, built up the features, then refactored it into something I felt was maintainable. I tried preserving the organization of the original script as best as I could.

      Sidenote: I belong to the "port it" school of software preservation. My friend who runs the BlastEm project belongs to the "emulate it" school. I've seen both approaches have been employed to preserve Glider, which I think implies how important that game is to people. :)

  • zulu-inuoe 14 days ago

    That's really cool, but I wonder why on my machine is maxes out all the cores on my CPU and still runs at something like 1 FPS on high If I turn it to Low it runs okay but looks.. not great.

    But I don't see anyone else having issues so, is it just me?

    • enraged_camel 14 days ago

      Same here. I've also experienced it with other JavaScript simulations. I suspect it has something to do with Chrome's hardware acceleration because it works smooth as butter on Firefox.

    • 2OEH8eoCRo0 14 days ago

      Sounds like a lack of hardware acceleration. My i7-1185g7 is sitting at 20% but my Intel Iris Xe GPU is maxed. Runs smooth though.

  • tomcam 14 days ago

    Gorgeous and hypnotic.

  • zxcvbn4038 13 days ago

    That is amazing, I remember seeing an early version of this on Windows, its so great to see it revived and with source!

  • archon810 13 days ago

    Hmm, nothing happens for me on mobile (Chrome, Pixel 6 Pro). Just a black screen with some controls on the bottom.

  • sprkwd 13 days ago

    Yeah. That is awesome.

  • latchkey 14 days ago

    Great work on this though! Super impressed. Would be fun to clean it up and convert to typescript.

    • luismedel 14 days ago

      Honest question. What do you see "not clean" in the original code?

      • latchkey 13 days ago

        Good question. The honest answer is that I don't know and that's the problem.

        A compiler would tell me what all the types should be and if they are being respected. I'd also write a lot of unit tests to make sure that the code is doing what it is expected to as well as enable refactoring more easily. The code isn't formatted consistently, so that also makes it hard for me to read, I'm kind of OCD about that and having tools like eslint/prettier, which do it automatically, makes this super easy to fix. Linting the code would also point out other issues that the compiler misses. Putting it into CI would ensure that all changes get checked and builds would fail, if there are issues.

        So I guess that is what I mean when I say 'clean it up'.

        • latchkey 12 days ago

          Update: Getting a lot of downvotes (yes, I know against HN 'rules' to comment about that), but I don't get why people dislike my response so much and would love feedback on that (similar to how the OP asked for honest feedback).

          What I did was pull the source code, load it up in IDEA, convert the .js files to .ts files. Then looked at the errors. Most of what stood out was that the author included a copy of threejs directly and used parts that TS can't infer types on. Not a huge deal, but makes following the code more difficult for sure. I don't think it would take too much time to update it at all.

          • rezmason 11 days ago

            If you compiled me, you'd know that you are a type who I respect ;)

            I think you're right on many counts, and I appreciate the effort you took to see what TS could do for this kind of project.

            If you create an issue on the repo, I can notify you if I make an attempt at using TypeScript to maintain it, in a branch at least. No guarantees, but I've considered it before, and it'd be worth my time once I have some to allocate.

possiblydrunk 14 days ago

>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?

willhinsa 14 days ago

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

  • keyle 14 days ago

    Wow Drive is from 2011? Man... I feel like it's a new movie. I loved it, maybe that's why.

    • moffkalast 14 days ago

      Well it is a new movie, at least by period standards.

      Broadly speaking you've got the B&W era until the 70s, the "old classics" recorded in colour on actual film up till the 90s, then the period of questionable CGI and campiness up till somewhere like 2005 when what we feel like is new/recent cinema starts. The ongoing era of decent invisible CGI, quality digital cameras, and post-9/11 hopelessness.

      It's why I still watch a lot of 90s/early 2000s movies, there's just something different about that era that feels nice.

      • uhtred 13 days ago

        the period of questionable CGI and campiness is over? Have you seen the never ending churn out of marvel "movies"?

        • TOGoS 13 days ago

          Having grown up with the crappy "Jurassic Park somehow pulled off what no other movie of the time did" CGI of the 90s, the effects in the Marvel movies look pretty seamless up to the point where people's fingers start shooting green lightning or whatever. The nature of their plot holes and overall dumbness feels different, also. Much more polish, to the extent that I can almost ignore how stupid the whole thing is when I'm watching one. Almost.

    • Bakary 13 days ago

      I think we get that "goddamn years are going by" feeling with movies especially because they are connected to a specific year yet are disconnected from other memories (unless you brought your crush to one of them maybe)

  • jcynix 14 days ago

    Very nice! I instantly recognized the tune but from a completely different event, namely

    That's the cover by band London Grammar and TIL about the original one. Didn't know about the movie which now is on my todo list, thanks.

    • nickkell 14 days ago

      I remember Alt-J performing a cover of "A Real Hero", another song from the Drive soundtrack, at Glastonbury festival years ago. The film and soundtrack were really cool.

      • mckirk 14 days ago

        Incidentally, that song was written with Chesley Sullenberger in mind, the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549, which he glide-landed in the Hudson River.

        That guy is a real hero, and apparently a real human bean.

  • jgwil2 14 days ago

    Seems to be a popular aesthetic for synthwave compilations on YouTube:

    I wonder if Drive originated this aesthetic or if it's just coincidence.

    • Bakary 13 days ago

      I can't tell you what originated the aesthetic, but it's not Drive because some songs on its soundtrack were already part of the established aesthetic.

      It's definitely one of the major works in that world, however.

  • pcthrowaway 14 days ago

    I was thinking of this song exactly before I turned on the music; thought it might even be the same song for a second. I wonder why the (visual) aesthetic is evocative of this song?

  • aleksiy123 13 days ago

    Real human bean. Love this movie.

err4nt 13 days ago

    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.
rippercushions 14 days ago

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.

  • Mountain_Skies 13 days ago

    Wonder if anyone has built an AI to drive the bus and get that sweet single point.

coldtea 14 days ago

>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."

  • jetbooster 14 days ago

    I somehow feel the simplicity of everything only being paired lights giving an _impression_ of something somehow adds to the charm

mortenjorck 14 days ago

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

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

  • jcynix 14 days ago

    It would definitely fit into xscreensaver's collection, yes.

    • Jaruzel 14 days ago

      Depending on your OS it should just be a matter of starting a webview with the code as the default page and running it full screen. Then a small loop looking for mouse/keyboard events so it knows when to quit.

  • Method-X 5 days ago

    I want this on my Apple TV so bad.

mdtusz 14 days ago

This reminds me of this video:

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

  • ciaron 14 days ago

    I watched this video a couple of years ago and was blown away by what can be done with shaders.

kitd 14 days ago


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

7373737373 14 days ago

I wanted to do the same for the train feeling:

  • TOGoS 13 days ago

    Hmm, some of those trees appear based on parallax to be farther away than the shoreline that they're painted over. Otherwise, pretty nice.

teddyh 13 days ago

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

XScreenSaver had its most recent release two weeks ago.

shadowofneptune 14 days ago

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.

davidkunz 13 days ago

As a German, it would have been more relaxing if cars on the left were faster.

  • Mountain_Skies 13 days ago

    That was my first thought too. I was going to post "Tsk tsk, going slow in the middle lane, making people pass you on the right" but then noticed it was in the UK.

fiat_fandango 13 days ago

Does anyone have good resources for creating "generative assets" like this?

I have a decent handle on js but I have no idea where to start in terms of tooling. For now, I've been trying to build basic eye tracking to apply a "block" of color over eyes with an animation in said block on top of a real-time video stream.

Elsewhere, automating mouth animations from audio / even moving a character in a random motion when audio input is provided.

Any advice where to start would be greatly appreciated!

  • BasilPH 13 days ago

    I've done fun things with p5.js, which might have the primitives you need to do what you described.

    • scyzoryk_xyz 11 days ago

      p5.js is amazing and made just for this purpose. That coding train guy made countless tutorials on generating visuals with js.

DecoPerson 13 days ago

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…

sillyapple 13 days ago

If this is what most people see driving at night I'm jealous. Astigmatism makes every light source at night a big star-burst for me. Oncoming lights are near-blinding at some angles, the only way to cope is stare at the road lines on the opposite side.

aabbccsmith 14 days ago

This is the sort of thing I'd leave on an unused monitor all the time or have on display somewhere. Really cool aesthetic

tsuujin 14 days ago

Who else grew up playing Night Driver on the Atari 2600?

  • ASalazarMX 13 days ago

    I was pleasantly surprised the article actually had something resembling Night Driver. Such a simple concept, but it was a game that stimulated your imagination. That and star Riders were brilliant for their time.

  • axus 13 days ago

    First thing I thought of when I saw the title. Was using the paddle control less or more frustrating than the typical game?

    • ASalazarMX 13 days ago

      I loved using the paddle. Atari controls were not very durable, and the paddle's potentiometer degraded into a simple switch, which Night Driver handled perfectly too.

    • tsuujin 13 days ago

      The paddle was awful but it was also novel so young me loved it.

jensenbox 14 days ago

I suggest detecting the viewers geographic location and changing the left/right side drive.

gwillen 13 days ago

> I found it actually worked better if I omitted the x offset from the distance calculation (so just sqrt(y2 + z2)), otherwise objects near the edge of the field of view were weirdly distorted. But I wouldn't suggest doing that in the general case.

I think this is because you should actually just be dividing by y, the perpendicular distance through the screen. Probably adding z to the mix, while wrong, doesn't make it too weird because of the limited set of z values used.

If the result with just division by y looks distorted, then I would suggest fiddling with the value of k, which effectively controls how wide-angle versus telephoto things look.

franciscop 14 days ago

> "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:

  • Ruarl 14 days ago

    I would have classified it as a "simulation". Which is what the author calls it, but then tries to find other things to call it too. Simulation is fine.

pavlov 14 days ago

> ’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. (Pre-Internet, watching and making demos was one of the few socially and creatively oriented things you could do for free on a home computer.)

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.

  • skrebbel 14 days ago

    IMO the author could very much submit this to a demoparty in the "demo" category (assuming they'd substitute the music with a fitting original work).

    These days, the only notable difference between demos and intros is file size. If it's bigger than 64kb, it's a demo. You can totally have a short, single-effect demo like this one, and there's plenty such demos out there.

    Ergo, I disagree, I think this counts as "full-blown" for any reasonable current definition.

    • pavlov 13 days ago

      Fair enough. The definition of a demo in the '90s was definitely multi-part: multiple effects with usually still graphics in between (such as group logos or pixel art rip-offs from fantasy paintings). A single-effect demo that wasn't an intro would have been rare.

  • danjoredd 13 days ago

    Man...I need to get into the Demo scene. I have been disillusioned with the tech world because of just how utilitarian everything feels. I have been looking for something like this forever

  • soham 14 days ago

    Would love to see some small intros. Any links/sources you may suggest?

simonjgreen 13 days ago

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.

teddyh 13 days ago

Reminds me very much of Night Driver, the arcade game from 1976:

  • imknewhere 13 days ago

    I remember playing this game one time when I was a kid! I still think about it, from time to time, for some reason.

    I found the entire experience so disorienting. I remember my dad laughing at me, I did so terribly at it (TBF I was probably 6 or 7)

  • chclau 13 days ago

    That's also the first thing I thought when I saw the title

devsatish 14 days ago

Really cool . Reminds me of the VR collaboration project (Dance Tonite) by Google Data arts team and LCD Sound System

bodge5000 13 days ago

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.

  • jstanley 13 days ago

    Yes, the "self-driving cars" logic needs a lot of work. That's the part I am least fond of currently.

chrisco255 14 days ago

> 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.

  • justinlloyd 14 days ago

    A man running alongside your car window, jumping over obstacles. Technically this game already exists, but it would be interesting to combine with this demo.

abetusk 14 days ago

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.

dghf 14 days ago

> 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 (

uhtred 13 days ago

It's not just the driving on the left that gives away that this is not in the US, but also the fact that there are lights along the highway and reflectors dividing the lanes. Ha, safety precautions!

I hate US highways at night, they are so dark, sometimes I feel I might as well have my eyes closed.

Rant that no one asked for over.

stevenhubertron 14 days ago

Very cool. Of course the music is retrowave.

aerovistae 14 days ago

> The biggest flaw is that the cars are totally transparent,

This seems easily fixable, no? Just make cars opaque black and assign progressively decreasing z-index to each spawning light. (Unlikely anyone will leave page open long enough to reach min value, and you could just reset at that point.)

  • rezmason 14 days ago

    Someone with your level of optimism has an advantage.

    The tricky thing is, this project's renderer is currently a queue of circles to draw to a canvas. It's under 100 lines of JavaScript. So any increase in complexity will require substantial changes, like abstracting over types of drawables.

    • Joeri 14 days ago

      There’s probably a simple but effective way to do it, like drawing the body itself as a few black circles.

      • aerovistae 14 days ago

        Exactly. Whenever drawing a pair of red circles for tailights, draw ~10 overlapping black circles between them. Bam. Done. I don't think this requires naive optimism, just 5 minutes of additional effort. Maybe less.

        • twright0 14 days ago

          Only five minutes! - Here's the source, show us.

          • upwardbound 14 days ago

            I'm not the previous poster but thought this would be a fun challenge. No way it was 5 min though; took me at least 20 min to understand what to change.

            Anyways, run this in your browser inspector to hot-patch the live demo so that each car has an opaque black circle as its body/chassis:

                for (let i = 0; i < cars.length; i++) { console.log(i);
                    cars[i].headlights = cars[i].headlights.concat([ {xy: new V2d(0,0), z: cars[i].headlights[0].z, r:cars[i].headlights[1].xy.x, col: "black"} ]);
                    cars[i].rearlights = cars[i].rearlights.concat([ {xy: new V2d(0,0), z: cars[i].rearlights[0].z, r:cars[i].rearlights[1].xy.x, col: "black"} ]);
            • aerovistae 14 days ago

              Well done, nice job rising to the challenge! I definitely did not care enough to do it myself, so I applaud you. I just tried it out and it's perfect.

              To be clear, since of course this is the internet and one must be precise or else get nit-picked and "outplayed," I obviously meant 5 minutes for the author who already knows the layout of the code. Obviously. Any charitable interpretation would have taken that as a given. 25-40 minutes sounds more appropriate for a newcomer examining it for the first time.

              • upwardbound 14 days ago

                Oh yeah I totally get you, I just added the disclaimer about it taking me 20 min because I didn't want people to think I was trying to brag/flex about doing it in 5 min, which I didn't do and don't want to try to claim any credit for.

            • jstanley 13 days ago

              Really nice! I hadn't considered making the opaque car bodies out of circles too :).

            • skykooler 13 days ago

              hmm, this doesn't seem to change anything on Firefox.

jjslocum3 13 days ago

> 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.

svdr 14 days ago

Is it legal to overtake on the right in the US? It's not in the country where I live (NL).

  • blauditore 14 days ago

    This was made in the UK, so overtaking on the right is the proper way. Note the opposite traffing passing on the right too.

  • 93po 14 days ago

    Yes, you'd basically be stuck going well under the speed limit otherwise, because you will 100% always find someone going really slow in the left lane and oblivious to blocking tons of traffic. Even when there's sign after sign saying "Unlawful to use left lane unless passing"

altacc 14 days ago

So realistic that it hogs the middle lane when it could move to the left ;)

  • AnthonyUK 14 days ago

    The red line indicates the hard shoulder but yes, even after the law change here in UK I have not seen much actual change on the road tbh regarding middle-lane hogging.

    People are either ignorant, lazy or don't care as there is very little chance of being caught.

zxspectrum1982 14 days ago

Nice but I usually turn my lights on when I drive at night :-)

  • pixl97 13 days ago

    I mean, unless they are riding their brakes then their lights are on.... It just happens that all the cars have their front bulbs out.

Apocryphon 14 days ago

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.

danjoredd 13 days ago

I miss seeing little projects like these that don't serve a purpose, but just look neat. I love it! I hope to see more "demos"!

Ezhik 12 days ago

Representing cars as just two lights is so simple yet so effective. I've toyed with a slightly similar idea as well:

There's also a screensaver out there which generates an entire little city, with neon branding on buildings and all.

toss1 14 days ago

Very cool. One 'flaw' that immediately strikes me as cool is that the cars are transparent — so, for instance, when a car passes you between you and the oncoming traffic, you see the taillights, but also the oncoming headlights/streetlights are not obscured by the car. So it's sort of disembodied headlights and taillights, which makes the effect even cooler... fun!

  • skrebbel 14 days ago

    Tbf I think that's the point

kdazzle 14 days ago

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!


fulafel 14 days ago

In demo terms it's an "effect".

makach 14 days ago

I just loved how the author explained writing code without using any specific code. That's clever, lovely done!

kevinmchugh 14 days ago

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.

UberFly 14 days ago

Love it. It gave me a bit of that early-internet "wow, this is really cool and new" feeling. Thanks.

BigJono 14 days ago

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?

jordemort 14 days ago

I love this. I'd love an idealized version where nobody ever passes on the right even more.

  • gavmor 14 days ago

    Notice oncoming traffic is also on the right? It's UK traffic. For peace of mind, try tossing a `transform: scaleX(-1)` on the <canvas /> element.

caeril 13 days ago

> It's not a screensaver, because it's not the 90s

What's funny is that screensavers may end up coming back into vogue if OLED displays continue to have burn-in issues. Ray-traced flying toasters may be in our future.

gabesullice 14 days ago

I enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed watching the demo. Both the demo and the writing style are simple and calming, I didn't even notice that the cars were on the wrong side of the road until I saw the TLD ;)

hlandau 14 days ago

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.)

IMAYousaf 14 days ago

This is really nice. I'd actually love it as a screensaver/background.

dotancohen 14 days ago

  > What game can we make where the premise is that you're a
  > passenger on the motorway at night time?
The same game passengers on the motorway already play. Punchbuggy yellow!
xyzzy_plugh 14 days ago

Relaxing except the cars are driving on the wrong side, at least for me.

manunamz 13 days ago

It would be really neat to create a variation of this that simulates driving through mountain roads -- starry night sky, dark mountain silhouettes, the occasional cabin light...

rvba 14 days ago

I remember when I was very young I wrote something much simpler using PRINT and GOTO. Hand drawn formula car (drawn using /\ [] and |) would scroll indefinitely in a simple loop.

btbuildem 13 days ago

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

  • skrebbel 13 days ago

    People still do this.

z3t4 14 days ago

Would be a nice "game" experience with VR googles

techas 14 days ago

Very nice!

I thought this would be about the Atari game with paddles… lol

runxel 13 days ago

It's superb! Only needs city lights now. Think of driving up the hill next to a city. And then less cars. That would be soothing.

OzzyB 13 days ago

Yes, it's a demo, welcome to the Demoscene™

bee_rider 14 days ago

It might be nice to have something like this with very, very limited interactions to run in the background while programming or whatever.

kesava 13 days ago

Was lot of fun staring at it for a long time. However, every driver using turn signals when they change lanes is not realistic :)

holoduke 14 days ago

I would love to see someone making a video of this and put it in stable diffusion to generate a even more synthwave experience.

brap 12 days ago

Was that a helicopter I saw? Couldn't find anything about it in the source or discussion... nice touch!

aerovistae 14 days ago

> if your browser runs JavaScript:

I don't understand this remark. What browsers do people use that don't have javascript?

  • rezmason 14 days ago

    Some people run their browsers with JavaScript turned off. Some folks disable CSS. Some even browse via Lynx, a text web browser. It seems like the author's met some of these folks.

    • aerovistae 14 days ago

      I had never heard of Lynx, thanks!

  • b0afc375b5 14 days ago

    I think it just means "if you have JavaScript enabled". But to give a technical example, Lynx doesn't support JavaScript.

  • Bakary 13 days ago

    For most people, this will mean Ublock origin settings. For a smaller number of people, stripped down greybeard-approved browsers

  • jstanley 13 days ago

    I don't like to presume :)

garaetjjte 13 days ago

I feel this isn't complete without mesmerizing shadow patterns from streetlights on dashboard.

  • system2 13 days ago

    If he spends more time on this project I bet he will turn it into a full-fledged pc game.

spookierookie 14 days ago

Saw it for a min. Nice.

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

  • jstanley 13 days ago

    Yes, sorry about that. The lane switch planning is incredibly poor!

kenver 14 days ago

This is wonderful, well done. The limitations you mention just add to the style.

chclau 13 days ago

Very very nice, but I don't like that the cars are transparent

radar1310 14 days ago

It would be great to have the car I am in have headlights:)

windows2020 14 days ago

transform: scalex(-1);

It's beautiful art. The code too. Great work.

tempodox 13 days ago

The music should be Kraftwerk's “Autobahn” :)

felipelalli 14 days ago

I don't know why, but this is so cool.

Melatonic 13 days ago

Reminds me of the San Mateo bridge

edreismd 14 days ago

This is real art! Much more than SD

cooze 13 days ago

i'm desperately mashing my keyboard hoping that some button would allow me to drive

skrebbel 14 days ago

> Maybe it's a "demo"?


swayvil 13 days ago

Excellent vibe. Good art.

soupbowl 14 days ago

This is awesome, good job!

rajeshp1986 14 days ago

what an amazing concept. Thank you for making this!

pelasaco 14 days ago

nice, had a flash back of LSD, sweet old days.

pbronez 14 days ago

Fun, but backwards! Wish I could toggle right-hand drive

pnf 13 days ago

No headlights?

jdfx3 14 days ago

I love it

foxbee 13 days ago

Hugeeeeee vaperware vibes right now

nickdothutton 14 days ago

This is art. If a pile of bricks wrapped in paper, or a lump of decaying meat in a box is art, then this is art.

mavu 14 days ago

> 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"?

You know, even men are allowed to just make Art.

warmuuh 14 days ago

As German, the thing that annoys me after 5 seconds is that the driver is overtaken on the right side and does so himself ... Hate it

  • bnegreve 14 days ago

    The driver drives on the left, so over taking on the right is the proper way to do it.

  • kleiba 14 days ago

    I wouldn't use the word "hate" but I also find it irritating, even though I'm not German.

    Admit it, though: you dislike even more that in that app, you're not zooming by everyone else on the left-most lane, right? ;-)

masswerk 14 days ago

BTW, while we may think that driving is a universal thing, I instantly found it amazing how North American this is. From the integrated indicators, to cars passing on your right, to the road lights and even how the road undulates. Having said that, great project!

Edit: Well I got this entirely wrong and missed that this was meant to be lefthand traffic. (I caught a segment that looked more like there was an independent road passing an interstate crossing a city, rather than being opposite lanes.)

  • mbrameld 14 days ago

    I think it's from the UK or somewhere else that they drive on the left. Opposing traffic is on the right.

    • jansan 14 days ago

      Also, the domain may be a hint.

  • hugginn 14 days ago

    Isn't this left hand traffic though? As in, not what you'd find in America? It feels very Swedish to me, except for the traffic direction.

    • masswerk 14 days ago

      You're right. Still, cars passing on both sides was so North American to me that this blended in this specific impression.

    • Jamie9912 14 days ago

      What do you mean Swedish except for the traffic direction??

      • hugginn 14 days ago

        Depends on where you are of course, but reminds me of approaching Stockholm, just before it gets so thick that people start loitering in the left lane. Perhaps Salem, if traffic isn't too heavy.

  • berkut 14 days ago

    Erm, the cars are driving on the left (red taillights on left side of motorway, white headlights on right)... wouldn't North America be the other way around, with cars overtaking on the left?

    • masswerk 14 days ago

      I happened to watch a segment where the cars on the opposite lanes looked more like passing on an independent road, so I missed that this was meant to be lefthand traffic. And it really looked more like an interstate passing through a city. – My failure.

    • otabdeveloper4 14 days ago

      He means cars overtaking you using the lane to your right. In Europe this is against the rules.

      • berkut 14 days ago

        Yes, but the cars are driving on the left in this demo (like in the UK), so on the right is where you do overtake legally - in the faster lanes. I haven't noticed any "overtaking" on the left, where it would be illegal in some countries that drive on the left in the few minutes I've watched it.

  • jstanley 13 days ago

    What do you mean by "integrated indicators"? Don't cars have integrated indicators all over the world?

delronde 14 days ago

> It's hard to classify what it is.

It's generative art :)

You should launch it on

You might find these interesting:

  • jstanley 13 days ago

    I am a cryptocurrency fan but never understood NFTs.

    Can you please explain what anyone would get out of buying an NFT as opposed to just looking at the web page for free whenever they want?

    Not trying to be dismissive, just trying to understand.

    • delronde 13 days ago

      Why do people like to buy skins on Fortnite or Call of Duty? People like to own things to show status, taste or just express themselves.

      If the question rather is, "Is owning an NFT the same as owning a physical item?". It's not exactly the same, but it's close enough to feel the same emotionally (you and only you can decide whether you want to transfer, sell or even destroy it). And it's strictly better than owning any other digital license because it's on a neutral platform with deterministic rules.

      With respect to generative art in particular, it's a great fit because it allows a someone to own a unique instantiation of the algorithm. e.g. take a look at this collection: you can create infinite variations on the same theme, but the artist has determined that they only want 250 pieces in total to exist. So when someone "buys" the art work for the first time, a completely unique piece of work is generated based on the random transaction hash. The algorithm still exists as a whole and anyone is free to view and enjoy it, but people still buy and trade the unique pieces because they enjoy it.

      In fact, there's an upcoming project that really leans into the idea: Anyone is free to create any number of outputs they like and share them. But only 999 NFTs will exist, some people people want to pay for the right to have their selection immortalized as one of the 999.

      I don't understand the visceral hate (not from you, just in general). People who want to just look at it are free to do so, people who want to pay and own it do so, and the artists are paid directly (and get perpetual royalties). Who's losing out?

      Anyway, my original comment was not even about NFTs, just wanted to bring attention to the fact that this is generative art, and other artists have similar posts about their work and how they use JS to replicate similar real world phenomena.

      edit: I didn't realize you were the post author. Your work is amazing. I'm sure it will be appreciated by generative art collectors should you choose to publish it. Feel free to reach out to my username at if you have any questions. I'm a serious gen art collector, and there's nothing I would love more than to introduce new folks to the space.