August 29th, 2017
Floating Point Visually Explained
In the early 90s, to write a 3D game engine for PCs largely meant to repurpose the machine. PCs of this era were built to run word processors and spreadsheets, not perform 3D calculations at 70 frames per second. A significant obstacle was the CPU which despite being powerful did not have an hardware floating point unit. Programmers only had an ALU available to crunch integers.
... read the whole story at fabiensanglard.net.
As I was writing Game Engine Black Book: Wolfenstein 3D (ebook) I wanted to vividly demonstrate how much of a handicap it was to work without floating points. My personal attempts at understanding floating points using