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Stars, Wonders of the 256 by Craw Productions

STARS: Wonders of the 256, by PsychoMan / Craw Productions
Influx raves:           "Looks like crap."
LakEEE exclaims:        "Is that all?"
Matju e-mails:          "I have stuff much better than that."
AliX says:              "That's nice, can I play Wacky Wheels?"

Requirements:   - Computer with VGA (MCGA) card, monitor, and keyboard
                - DOS 1.0 or higher (or Win95 DOS-box)
                - One cluster of free disk space
                - At least 256 bytes of free conventional memory

Features:       - Full 3D space simulation engine
                - Theoretically infinite number of stars
                - Both solid AND flickering stars
                - Stars elongate at high speeds
                - Advanced pseudo-random number generator
                - Full framerate (depending on speed)


        Concept         - PsychoMan
        Art/Design      - PsychoMan
        Code            - PsychoMan


        Matju           - For talking me into entering this contest
        King Influx     - For letting me use my computer
        LakEEE          - For not being impressed with this demo
        AliX            - For leaving me in the dust in Wacky Wheels


        Run this demo at your own risk!  I will not be responsible for
        any damage caused to your hardware or software as a result of
        running this demo.

        This demo may not be exchanged for money, goods, or services
        without permission from the author.

        This demo does not contain any animations.  All effects were
        calculated in real time by your computer while you watched.

About this demo:

        I got the idea for the "infinite starfield" from a Win95 screen
        saver which used a palette cycling method.  I had wanted to try
        out my idea but didn't really have an excuse until Matju e-mailed
        me the rules for this contest and asked me to enter.  I figured,
        "Hey, I bet I can jam that infinite starfield into 256 bytes!"

        My first attempt was 262 bytes, and that was before I added the
        random number generator!  After converting my 3D system to 16-bit
        instead of 32-bit (don't ask why it was 32-bit) and realizing that
        I wasn't using any of the segment registers, I got it down to
        238 bytes.  Then I went on an optimizing rampage and got it down
        to 198 bytes.  It can probably get even smaller, but who cares.

        Having so much space left, I decided to throw in some text at the
        end.  All-in-all, I'm pretty happy with it.  I still claim it's an
        "infinite" starfield, but because of the low resolution, you can only 
        see a few hundred stars at a time and there is a lot of flickering.

        If the stars go too slow (or too fast), you may want to try changing
        the speed.  This can be done by changing the word at offset 39 in
        stars.com.  I compiled with a speed of 400.  If the speed is less, 
        the stars will go faster, and vice-versa.  If the maximum framerate 
        is reached, then the speed will not change, but the rate at which 
        new stars appear will be reduced.  That's just a side-effect...  :)

About the author:

        PsychoMan is a member of the super-duo known as Craw Productions.
        This was my first attempt at a demo under 256 bytes.
        Actually, it was my first attempt at a demo under 500k.  :)

        If you want to give me feedback about this demo or just say hi, you
        can contact me by e-mail to manttila@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca.

        If you want to know more about my not-so-personal life and my other
        interests (like I have any other interests), feel free to visit my
        web page at http://www.undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca/~manttila/

About Craw Productions:

        This is not an official Craw Productions release, merely one of
        PsychoMan's many small side projects.

        However, if you want to know more about Craw Productions, please
        visit our newly-renovated web site at http://www.magi.com/~craw/
        or e-mail to craw@magi.com.
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