Vintage stuff from my days of 320x200-pixel 256-color VGA

Techniques demonstrated:

  • Ultra-fast font rendering
  • Ultra-fast bitmap scaling
  • Ultra-fast bitmap rotation
  • Projection of 3D structures to 2D for rendering
  • Invisible surface detection
  • Ultra-fast rendering of lines and polygons directly into video RAM
  • Gouraud shading
  • Ultra-fast dithering
  • A voxel rendering experiment
  • A tiled floor rendering experiment

Summary (just give me the TL;DR)

A collection of very short YouTube videos of graphics demos that I did all by myself at home for fun back in the mid-nineties (when I was in my twenties) rendering pixels directly into the video RAM of the 320x200-pixel, 256-color palette VGA without the use of any libraries. Everything is in C or C++ with the crucial routines written in 80386 assembly, in some cases generating machine code on the fly.


A few samples of my work on Darkfall Online

The development of a game like Darkfall Online in a country like Greece was a rather unlikely thing to happen, so I consider myself very lucky that it happened and that I was part of it.  Here is the wikipedia page for the game: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darkfall

The funding came from a Greek-Libyan family which has made enough money out of oil-related construction to be able to afford the luxury of investing on something fun, rather than on something with a high ROI, or even a guaranteed ROI. Thus Razorwax, a promising team of Norwegians some of whom were already published in the gaming industry, was brought to Greece to build Darkfall.  I was the first Greek programmer hired, and I worked primarily on the GUI of the game. I stayed with the company for about a year after the game was released.

Me at Aventurine, in 2004. Click to enlarge.
What follows is a rough diagram of the design of the GUI that I built for Darkfall: The graphics engine (written by a colleague in C++) provided me with just two asynchronous primitives, one for drawing textures, and one for drawing text. The layer we called middleware (written by another colleague, also in C++) provided me with the functionality of the "GetTextExtents" Win32 GDI function, and with an interface to the browser window (encapsulated instances of Microsoft Internet Explorer.)