In 1996 someone operating under the business name "Axisim" put out a PC flight simulator called "Flight Action," and it's one of the strangest pieces of DOS software I've seen.
It has strong EGA energy, something you won't be familiar with unless you were playing late 80s DOS games; very crisp 640x350 graphics, few gradients, lots of very basic system-ROM-font text, clear "programmer art" ImageImageImageImage
it also has strong "single independent programmer" energy, wherein you see techniques that would not have been used by most software studios of the time. For instance, the image behind the menu is not a bitmap, it's is a single static scene rendered with the 3d engine
This is probably to help the program fit on a single floppy, and yes, this is a 1996 full 3d combat flight simulator that fits in under a megabyte, a concern no commercial developer would have had at the time.
Here's a short clip of the demo, and I have a lot to point out about it.
The color palette & shading techniques are absolutely unique. It looks cel-shaded because typical gouraud is not being used, instead this completely homebrewed flat shading with dithering, and all in the palette of a pamphlet promoting travel to the Florida Keys
The clouds seem to be rendered using an extremely terse technique of splotching circles on the sky and then randomly drawing dark grey rectangles over them, which jostle and vibrate on every frame
The head movement is most interesting to me. Could this be mouse input? It seems almost too organic to accept, as if it were perhaps recorded using one of the early VR headsets of the 90s.
This part is what sticks in my head. Could this be drawn in real time? The camera can smoothly rotate, so it feels like it must be 3D, but looking closely at it, perhaps it's just a brilliant implementation of a hand drawn cockpit that wraps around the camera? Image
myabandonware.com/game/flight-ac… looks like you can grab it here if you want to see how it runs
extremely powerful enhanced EGA aesthetics just radiating off this program Image

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More from @gravislizard

25 Nov 20
here's an opinion i've had about retrocomputing / nerd culture for a long long time
the overwhelming majority of "cool" computers that everyone "wishes they had" were created to perform dreadfully boring tasks, by people who wished they were anywhere else, in the service of people who did a ton of coke and left our economy a smoking husk that can't support life
you do not want a cray-1. all they are is calc.exe but very fast and you can't even touch the buttons, you have to write a program that touches them. the purpose of a 'supercomputer' is to sit humming for 24 days and then produce a single integer, or 25 million integers
Read 23 tweets
24 Nov 20
unboxing a protogen. lifting them out of the styrofoam blocks. peeling the plastic film off their faceplate
throwing away the 6" USB cord that came in the box and digging a nice 10' anker with a velcro strap out of a drawer, plugging it into their ear. CHARGE COMPLETE IN: 116 HOURS. you dejectedly sit on the edge of the bed and look at your phone
series of snapchat screenshots
"unboxing my protogen"
"man they used those packing peanuts ugh haha"
"nice long cord"
"here's his d*ck"
Read 4 tweets
20 Oct 20
imagine if microsoft offered professional services to anyone who could pay. i would pay $300, one time, to have someone at MS who actually knows something log into my PC and figure out why explorer can't render thumbnails
no sfc /scannow bullshit, i mean they raymond chen that shit, they get in and coredump explorer and go "okay you have a png library that paint.net installed, that's the problem"
honestly, i'd pay any company for that if they were trustworthy, but "repair windows pc" is basically a stopword. there are hundreds of millions of people who think they have complicated and interesting problems, but don't, and millions of amoral vultures preying on them
Read 21 tweets
18 Oct 20
i'm watching the first episode of house m.d. out of curiosity but almost the entire episode is in monochrome other than flesh tones and i swear to god the house m.d. i watched on hulu in 2007 didn't look like this. i love the revisionist history of rereleases
this is absolutely not how it looked when i watched it 15 years ago. what the fuck is this war crime color grading it looks like i died in a 1950s hospital and my ghost still haunts that place @Emoji_Nakamoto ImageImageImageImage
the last movies i watched were 300 and sin city and they had more life and saturation in them than this. this is *not* what i watched in 2008.
Read 18 tweets
27 Sep 20
occasionally i try to play a diablolike - i apparently bought grim dawn ages ago? i have no memory of this. but like. do you like this game? i have a question: when you look at this, do you... see something? not just a blur?
i don't understand how a human brain can contain this many numbers simultaneously unless you're a math savant. this is what every single diablo game (including current-patch diablo ii) looks like now and I just don't get it.
i don't understand what's fun about having 9 things side by side that have literally 20+ attributes i need to compare, all of which differ by a percent or two, and no shorthand whatsoever for deciding which i should use
Read 22 tweets
26 Sep 20
power outage selfie
all cats are always halloween
Read 4 tweets

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