I want 3D vector graphics – LISP, linked lists, Vectrex, meshes, voxels and more

I’m totally fascinated with primitive 3D vector graphics – especially ones like the tank games – and honestly, I always wondered how it was done back then.

There was a home video game system called the “Vectrex” I think it was. Saw it on TV. Wanted it. Those primitive 3D green (or blue?) lines just fascinated me to no end. Heck, they still do.

The trend in 3D for a long time has been triangles and there’s only recently been a return to voxels, which came and died in the mid 1990s when meshes and such came into vogue, thanks I think Duke Nukem 3D’s “draw a wall and stick a bitmap on it” … method.

I rooted for voxels but had to wait.

But even before voxels, I rooted for lines. Not triangles but lines like you’d draw with a pencil and doing 3D thing on paper.

I know it’s possible to do it of course – seen it many times; but I always wanted a really easy way to do it. It’s out there somewhere and I just haven’t found it…

it’s a weird thing – I know what I want to see, and I know what it’ll look like when I see it, but i haven’t seen it. The processing / openprocessing comes really close to it for me; play around with it some time, it’s a lot of fun…. if you can get past the all-over-the-place documentation.

But yeah, the creativity required by programmers-of-the-day fascinates me as well. There was an atari 2600 game that actually remapped the buttons on the game console ITSELF to get a few more features in the game and if I remember right, you had to unplug the Atari to stop the game, because they hijacked the power button as well.

Love that kind of stuff!

I think that’s why I’ve been “going primitive” lately – there’s some really basic computer science things that I just never understood properly – like linked lists. I mean, I know what they are but I also know that they have a secret power and I could never figure out their secret power but now I’m starting to understand it better, after a little experimenting with LISP and trying to understand what’s behind its thinking.

Just fascinating stuff for me. My favorite part of it it is instant gratification; you have a line to type code in and it instantly evaluates and compiles and gives you an answer right away. But it’s not really “interpreted” – it’s just compiled right there. And I actually love all the parenthesis (I’m a fan of nesting).

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