DirectX creator Eric Engstrom dies aged 55

Soldato
Joined
31 May 2005
Posts
15,435
Location
Nottingham
https://developer-tech.com/news/2020/dec/14/directx-creator-dies-aged-55-game-changing-legacy/

DirectX creator Eric Engstrom has sadly passed away at the age of 55, following a career which helped to shape the gaming industry as we know it.

Engstrom created the DirectX gaming APIs in 1994 – alongside Alex St. John and Craig Eisler – to simplify Windows game development and make it the stellar platform it remains today.

The APIs were originally developed for Windows 95. Game developers at the time were reporting they preferred MS-DOS for its low overhead and found Windows 3.1 too difficult to develop games for—hence why DirectX was born (originally called the Manhattan Project, in relation to the WWII effort of the same name.)

Microsoft’s management almost ditched the project and wrote off Windows as a gaming platform. Fortunately, they were convinced otherwise.

Engstrom and his team presented the first DirectX APIs at the 1995 Game Developers Conference before they were released in September that year as the Windows Games SDK.

Then came Doom…
Microsoft approached id Software’s John Carmack and offered to port Doom and Doom 2 free-of-charge from MS-DOS to Windows 95. id Software would even retain all publishing rights—a difficult offer to refuse.

Doom 95 was subsequently released in 1996 as the first published DirectX game. The rest, as they say, is history.

DirectX went on to pave the way for Xbox to become yet another successful gaming platform; despite the fierce competition from Sony which Microsoft never really faced in desktop gaming from its main rival.

Few people have been more influential in the gaming and wider development space than Engstrom. DirectX continues to be developed and remains a key gaming technology today, even with newer low-level competition from the likes of Vulkan and Metal.

Engstrom died on December 1 from complications following a recent injury. Despite his death, his game-changing legacy will remain.

What a legacy to leave behind.
 
Caporegime
Joined
28 Oct 2003
Posts
30,277
Location
W'stchestershire
Having just watched some YouTube videos on PC gaming back in 1995 before DirectX became a thing, you have to hand it to the DX team at Microsoft. It was just a gamble previously as to whether your chosen make of video card would be supported by the game you wanted to play.
 
Caporegime
Joined
1 Dec 2010
Posts
44,793
Location
Welling, London
Having just watched some YouTube videos on PC gaming back in 1995 before DirectX became a thing, you have to hand it to the DX team at Microsoft. It was just a gamble previously as to whether your chosen make of video card would be supported by the game you wanted to play.
Many sad memories of spending my pocket money on games, only to get home and find it incompatible :(

RIP Eric
 
Soldato
Joined
1 Oct 2006
Posts
12,957
Guy dropped something on his foot, then took too much Tylonol for the pain and died of liver damage. What a sad way to go. :(
 
Top Bottom