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Submitted by Jari Komppa, posted on September 03, 2001

Image Description, by Jari Komppa

Here are some images captured from my textfx4 library.

Yes, it's sanity check time.

The library supports two output modes; 'blocky colors' mode and 'ascii art' mode. It all looks *much* better in action, naturally..

The library can be downloaded from my site at

Image of the Day Gallery


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

September 03, 2001, 04:26 PM

This is so messed up... :)

I remember seeing quake played in ascii. It rocked.

Keep up the good work!


September 03, 2001, 04:31 PM


So what are you using? OpenGL or Direct3D?


September 03, 2001, 04:37 PM

Elikez - you're kidding, right..??? If not - Christ, you're stupid.

Jari - Cool to see the old Dos-stuff back again :)
Now implement the oldskool font-remapping too so you can really see graphics (per-pixel) in text-mode :)


September 03, 2001, 04:47 PM

Gotta say this one is really cool.. Brings me back to the days of zzt and megazeux.. Megazeux was basically an enhanced zzt with a better scripting language, and you could do more effects like character edits and palette edits. At one point I wrote a quick program that would convert flc videos into a series of character sets readable with megazeux.. Although I must say the quality on yours looks much better than mine, heh, keep up the great work!


September 03, 2001, 05:03 PM

On certain cards it would be faster to render the text as quads using a font texture. Most people wouldn't be the wiser.

Maybe you'd like to get soapy with mr. Rogers.


September 03, 2001, 05:14 PM

Are you thinking to implement Transform & Lightining to your engine?


September 03, 2001, 05:29 PM

Very cool iotd

Btw, does anyone know where to find that ascii-quake thingy? I know of the 'linux-version' (regular quake rendere through aa-lib), but can anyone point me to a windows/dos version?

keep up the great work dude...

Fabian Giesen

September 03, 2001, 05:47 PM

Isn't an "engine" without transform & lighting just a bunch of polyfillers and a scene graph?

(Sorry, couldn't resist :)


September 03, 2001, 06:35 PM

WoW! :) My first spining 3d cube was in text mode. But just because I was at the university under a linux termimal and the X server was not installed. But I have never seen something like that!



September 03, 2001, 07:25 PM

My first monster was in text mode and looked exactly like that:


(its obviously thing created by genius)


September 03, 2001, 08:23 PM

Looks fantastic m8!


September 03, 2001, 09:24 PM

I went to DigiPen, and the first game project (at the time) had the only requirement of being an ASCII game. Needless to say, aspiring game programmers took that to mean "ASCII art", but not just that. No, not just that... For those of you who can manage an 8 meg download, this one is definitely worth seeing. Just press 'D' then 'Enter' from the main menu. hehehe.

Super Adventure Puzzle Fighter Alpha 2 Gold: Text Edition



September 03, 2001, 10:11 PM


Baxton, you are really a good type of "idiot"... hehehehehe


i like it :) :) :) - M

My mom also begins with M - so my mom is MONSTER tooo - hoohhoho - i knew it :)



September 04, 2001, 12:48 AM

Yeah, people could really apreciate the billion of millions of quads with text on them.


September 04, 2001, 12:58 AM

I think I'm actually going to back MCB up on this one... I *think* this was a Rogue/NetHack reference. If so, I salute him. :D



Jari Komppa

September 04, 2001, 02:35 AM

I'm using d3d. =)

Actually, I DID write a 80x40 textmode emulation using d3d - using about 12k faces to render the screen - ran about 100fps on geforce256ddr =) I managed to do both front and back color in one pass (single texture).. I might release the source code someday.

This one, however, is pure nt console.

Jari Komppa

September 04, 2001, 02:39 AM

As far as I know the font remapping is impossible without some rather horrible hacks (like getting to fullscreen is) - but I think that's a good idea. I've never liked the font remappings. The only demo ever to use font remapping for some useful stuff was Future Crew's Yo! - you couldn't tell that it was in textmode. As such, I don't count it as a textmode demo.

I ran couple textmode demo competitions - most of the demos can be found on - and the rules I set especially said that font remapping, palette changes, etc hacks are illegal. Demos should be printable =)

A new text mode demo compo is being planned, but I won't be organizing it.

Jari Komppa

September 04, 2001, 02:40 AM

As far as I know it was available on linux only. Under linux, aalib can be used as a direct replacement for graphics libraries (now then, WHICH standard, I have no idea), while on windows side it's not that simple..

Jari Komppa

September 04, 2001, 02:49 AM

>As far as I know the font remapping is impossible without
>some rather horrible hacks (like getting to fullscreen is)
>- but I think that's a good idea.

Naturally, I meant "but I don't think that's a good idea" here.

Sampsa Lehtonen

September 04, 2001, 03:01 AM

We once made a text-mode demo called "Viritys" at one demo party. All we basically did was taking all our 320x200 8-bit mode effects (voxels, water and distortion effects, rotozoomers etc) and fitted them into 80x40 ansi mode. No palettes or font remapping used except blinking was disabled to get 4 bits for the bg color too :)

Now, the best part is that it looked very good on the big screen, far more better than on monitor. After the party when the demos had been released, some people actually sent us mail crying that "is there something wrong with my monitor/videocard - the demo looks bad!" ;)

I wish there were still text mode demo competitions...


September 04, 2001, 03:26 AM

Has anyone seen Sleepless by suprise productions?

Extremely cool choice of video modes - everything from 32-bit hires to ANSI, ASCII, C64 and even scrambled cable tv!


September 04, 2001, 03:58 AM

Hey, i remember SAPFA2GE during the freshmen presentations...that game friggen kicked ass!

- Beeeph

"You Play Games, We Hump Men - DigiPen"

Jari Komppa

September 04, 2001, 04:22 AM

Sampsa Lehtonen wrote thus:
>I wish there were still text mode demo competitions...

I'll post this on the main thread.. another text mode demo competition (TMDC4) is on the works, but I won't be organizing it myself. There will be an announcement on flipcode about it when the deadlines and prizes and stuff are set.

A textmode demo archive can be found on btw, although most of them require dos and some also require gus.


September 04, 2001, 05:12 AM

yeah - it is... but... gee - i just thought it stands also for momma - just i got this association with it... hehe...

Rui Martins

September 04, 2001, 06:00 AM

Is it just me, or something like Quake in ASCII Art would definitly look something like "The Matrix".

I wounder if that's where they got the ideia (ASCII Art).

See ya


September 04, 2001, 07:07 AM

Heeeh I think MC BAXSTON is funny...sometimes maybe


September 04, 2001, 09:21 AM

Nice collection over there! I noticed you gave our Textro only one star though... :(

Anyway, nice IOTD -- that library makes text demos possible for almost anyone. It's fun to see what one can do with a hand or two tied behind their back.

Jari Komppa

September 04, 2001, 10:17 AM

Sorry for the rating but I did explain why on the page. I think that tweaking text mode to look good is not the right way of approaching the problem =) It *IS* possible to make textmode demos that look good, without changing the font in order to get an akward graphics mode.. same goes for palette etc. Why bother? You can get the same result with much less hassle by using a 16-color graphics mode. Instead, one could think what one can do that looks cool in extremely low resolution and low color screen.. =)


September 04, 2001, 10:51 AM

Yeah, I hear ya. I understood your ranking. But to be fair, it was the first one in the PC demoscene (it's the oldest on your list, predating Win95), so we weren't bound by tradition or the rules of the textmode competition. We just decided that we'd limit ourselves to textmode -- no other limitations -- and see what we could do. I think some of the tweaks we pulled off were impressive in and of themselves.

Anyway, textmode is a pretty cool thing. It forces you to get creative. Handhelds are a good place for that too. Oldskoolers dig that sort of stuff for some reason -- they must just like feeling cramped by limitations like the ones hardware used to impose. :)


September 04, 2001, 12:05 PM

Isn't that why nVidia has put out the GeForce 3?

- Marco

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