Thursday, August 9, 2012

E (1996)

Around 15 years of age I had a friend who also wanted to make games for a living.  We alternated between writing the required tools to create assets, and writing games themselves.

E (for editor) was the first somewhat serious graphical editor I decided to write.  I did so on and off in 1996,  over the course of a few weeks.  It was meant to work with the fixed palette I used within my video libraries, which essentially used 216 colors (6 possible color depths for each of red, green, and blue), along with a transparency key.  It supported the following features (more or less going off memory and a few minutes using it again to record the following video):
  • individual pixel drawing, lines, rectangles, and ovals (no fill - that would come in a later iteration of the program)
  • many methods to pick colors:
    • a full-screen palette
    • a mini-palette (full green-blue spectrum for a given red value)
    • red-green-blue level pickers
    • smooth shading gradient swatches; the user set either end of a gradient and the editor computed the intermediate colors
  • a console to enter commands (file-related, tool selection, running effects, etc.)
  • rectangular area selection
  • many effects like blurring, sharpening, adding noise, tinting, etc.
  • a snazzy windowing system

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