Someone Made A 3D Game Engine In Microsoft Excel Using Nothing But Formulas

Why bother with Unity, Unreal or even Game Maker, when you can fire up Excel and whip up a game made up of formulas? Sure, you’re spending sanity instead of money, but being sound of mind is overrated! Now, stare into this void of green with me… and see what stares back at you.

Created by one “C Bel”, the spreadsheet does not make use of macros, which means no Visual Basic for Applications. When he says just formulas, he means it.

Here are the features he was able to add:

– infinite procedural generated maze map
– real time ray tracer rendering
– occlusion calculation
– basic illumination rendering
– illumination and compute shader
– natural displacement engine
– No macro at all used by the 3D engine

Along with the formula-only sheet, C Bel offers a number of variations, including some that use VBA for input and optimisations, as well as a “high resolution” file for those that hate their computer.

As for the “game” itself, while it’s not pretty, it does have a certain old school je ne sais quoi:

If you want to have a play, all the download links can be found on C Bel’s Gamasutra blog. Good luck, brave adventurer and be sure to take SUM() equipment with you.

[Gamasutra, via Reddit]


    • So much more powerful than people realise. I love looking at stuff like this, just to see how they did things. More than once the ideas in stuff like this has helped get around annoying problems with other formulae I’ve been dealing with.

      With this, I wonder how hard it would be to add portals, and make some sort of puzzle game.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!