I'd like to try to write some C code to create similar animated graphics to these, which are from a very old Commodore 64 game called "The Sentinel". I've been researching but I can't seem to find if there is terminology that would lead me to information/algorithms on how to implement this sort of thing. Does anyone know what terminology relates to this sort of super low poly/resolution terrain generation?


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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ retrocomputing.stackexchange.com - people there might know more about it. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 8:06
  • $\begingroup$ Could it be Toon Shading or Cel Shading (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cel_shading) $\endgroup$
    – Vectorizer
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ Look up painters algorithm $\endgroup$
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 5:23
  • $\begingroup$ The terrain itself is looks like a "height map grid", although I don't think there is a standard term for it. $\endgroup$
    – PaulHK
    Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 8:21

1 Answer 1


If the terrain is indeed represented by a 3D mesh as it looks like in the images, then I'm not aware of any specific terminology (and I dont believe there might be one).

I could say it was similar to a faceted shading model, but shading looks very rudimentary and lighting computations might not exist at all.

In case you intend to replicate these looks, I'm afraid you already hinted how to proceed very low-polygon non-textured meshes and no lighting.


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