August 7th, 2017

Game Engine Black Book: Wolfenstein 3D

How was Wolfenstein 3D made and what were the secrets of its speed? How did id Software manage to turn a machine designed to display static images for word processing and spreadsheet applications into the best gaming platform in the world, capable of running games at seventy frames per seconds? If you have ever asked yourself these questions, Game Engine Black Book is for you.

This is an engineering book. You will not find much prose in it (the author’s English is broken anyway.) Instead, this book has only bit of text and plenty of drawings attempting to describe in great detail the Wolfenstein 3D game engine and its hardware, the IBM PC with an Intel 386 CPU and a VGA graphic card.


Game Engine Black Book details techniques such as raycasting, compiled scalers, deferred rendition, VGA Mode-Y, linear feedback shift register, fixed point arithmetic, pulse width modulation, runtime generated code, self-modifying code, and many others tricks.

It also describes extensively the hardware of 1991. The architecture of the Intel 386, the limitations of DOS mandated real mode, the VGA, Input programming, and the audio cards: AdLib, DisneySource, and SoundBlaster.

Release Date

Game Engine Black Book will be released at the end of August 2017. Follow me on Twitter here for the latest announcements.



Fabien Sanglard @2017