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 Game Engine Black Books 
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:51 am
Posts: 50
The "hardware" chapters in Fabien Sanglard's "Game Engine Black Book" series provide a wonderful overview of early personal computers. They shed light on why many things are the way they are today, espcially for younger generations that missed the early PC period.

Subsequent chapters are also useful, because they go into detail on how the above hardware was used (and pushed to the limit) by id Software to create the game engines in question.

With plenty of hi-resolution photos, diagrams, and code samples, coupled with an absurd attention to technical detail, the series has plenty to offer anyone designing their own CPU or homebrew computer.

Also, the author has made the books freely available!

Some of the topics covered include:

Game Engine Black Book - Wolfenstein 3D
  • Intel 80386
  • VGA (modes, planes, hardware)
  • Interrupts (Intel 8254 PIT, Intel 8259 PIC)
  • ISA bus
  • Floating point, fixed point
  • Real mode, protected mode
  • Extended memory
  • Memory mapped I/O
  • Yamaha YM3812 (aka OPL2) sound chip
  • PC speaker (PCM control)
  • DOS

Game Engine Black Book - Doom
  • Intel 80486
  • VESA
  • Networking
  • NeXT computer
  • Early C compilers
  • Game console architectures


Last edited by quadrant on Wed May 06, 2020 3:55 am, edited 2 times in total.



Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:16 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:52 am
Posts: 4
Location: Sacramento, CA
I couldn't get past the first chapter. There's a big difference between simplifying or glossing over complex topics when writing for a lay audience and making broad, sweeping, and frequently inaccurate generalizations when writing for technical readers. Around the time he was claiming that there was no video card market in the early '90s while stating in the same paragraph that a bunch of people bought video cards of varying speed/quality, my inner pedant was clawing at the walls.

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Mon Apr 20, 2020 5:12 pm
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
Posts: 1419
I do seem to recall it's a very spirited kind of writing. Still, the technical content could be interesting, if one can filter out the opinions.


Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:09 pm
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