Starfield Simulation


A modern implementation of the starfield screensaver which takes advantage of Direct3D to create pretty stars


My favourite screensaver back in the days of Windows 3.1 was the starfield simulation that shipped with Windows itself. It was a very simple screensaver that represented stars as a collection of white pixels on a black screen, with each updated frame the 'stars' appear to move closer to the viewer by moving in a direction away from the centre of the screen (to give the illusion of perspective)

Soon after I got my first PC based computer with Windows 95, I also got one of the original Voodoo 3dfx 3D accelerator cards. The 3dfx cards supported a proprietry API called GLide which allowed developers to take full advantage of its 3D capabilities. I decided to rewrite the starfield simulation to make the 3D effect better. The result was good (and I also added a few optional effects such as exploding stars, shooting stars, etc)

Some of my friends saw my efforts and though it was pretty cool and they asked me for a copy. Unfortunately they didn't have the required 3dfx card that I had targetted... by this stage 3dfx cards were not the market leader anymore, and better graphics API's were being supported by card manufacturers (OpenGL and DirectX) - so I decided to port my screensaver to DirectX as it was now supported by Windows 2000.

The result is shown below, I only ported the base features and not the optional effects. The screensaver is written in C++ and requires DirectX version 7 or greater.


(Click for larger versions)
Original Version   New 'improved' Version


Compatible with Windows 2000/XP, and it does run on Windows 98 without password protection support (I removed the code as I believe it was a messy solution provided by MS - you should really consider upgrading to a more robust Windows NT based operating system!)

Name Filename Version Size Date
Starfield Screensaver 1.0 118 KiB 25/4/2004