If you had been alive and busy with computer programming back in the day you too would have been clever as hell. It was the only way you'd get anything done and if there is one thing that will bring out the hacker in people it is a bunch of unreasonable constraints and a job that needs to be done anyway.
Don’t underestimate the power of internet today and the ease of obtaining information - that certainly was not the case in the ‘80s. Unless you were close to demo groups you were left with two choices: a) reverse engineer the code (good old “Monitor 49152”), or b) give up
I remember waiting for someone to explain how the “giant scroll” worked (letter the size of the whole screen, with borders removed) as I couldn’t disassemble the demo successfully. Months later, the article appeared explaining the technique. To a young inquiring mind that seemed like eternity.
Here is a quote from that film that makes me a bit envious of those work environments: “Working in an environment which fosters the uninhibited search for answers to riddles of science related to communications’ needs.”
Wow, to work in an environment that has that sort of mission must be rewarding.
I still have my copy after all these years.
Here’s some old c64 intros I did, including a trick of bank switching to fake z ordering of fonts and sprite scs rasters, as well as using FLD to stabilize rasters in the presence of moving sprites in both PAL/NTSC modes.
Meaning that every C64 was like very other C64, so you knew what you had to work with on the hardware side.
You could see this with consoles as well, as the games steadily improved as developers learned how to push that fixed hardware around (though the cartridge ones often allowed in-cart chips to assist).
I guess we have gotten so incredibly used to either being able upgrade piecemeal, or simply replace wholesale every few years, that having a steady set of hardware to explore and learn has become "foreign" in a way.
Compare and contrast the C64 and say the RPi. the former was more or less steady for 24 years, while the latter have been releasing beefier variants every 2 years or so.
Well, other than:
1) PAL vs NTSC systems. True compatibility breaker.
2) Two different versions of SID sound chips (and every SID being more or less unique)
3) Different VIC-II versions (or at least some chips where VSP (variable screen positioning, a fast method for horizontal scrolling) works and some where it doesn't)).
Animation by essentially "panning" inside a larger pre-rendered image is one of those tricks:
The best one I have seen: Cubase-64 
Hand animated cartoons would often used that trick as well.
The anime Bubblegum Crisis used a massive cityscape painting for their panning shots.
In those years it has gone from a 700mhz single core ARM11, to a 1.4ghz quad core Cortex A53.
The c64 in contrast stayed largely fixed for over 2 decades!
I think he is very good at keeping the content interesting. I never get the urge to fast-forward and I've got the attention span of a 2 year old with ADD.
I don't remember what esd the port for that, somethin un the 4p sets... except if you wait for VSYNC like if you were usibg a double framebuffer.