No Man's Sky is a beautiful game of interstellar exploration: something about its epic psychedelic wonder stays with you even after you've internalized its procedural patterns. Blake Patterson wanted to see how well a classic Amiga 1000 would render some of its scenery. Granted, an Amiga isn't going to counting frames by the second, but it was the first machine to offer thousands of colors on-screen at once and its peculiar pallete trickery gives NMS an even weirder look.
Investigating a reasonable way to convert the images, I discovered a fairly amazing Java-based application known, colorfully, as “ham_converter” which uses extremely optimized algorithms to get the most out of the Amiga’s bizarre HAM mode. The results, rendered in a 320×400 pixel interlace (and a 4:3 aspect ratio), are well beyond the quality that I recall seeing my Amiga 2000 generate with early, basic HAM converter programs, rendering MCGA images to the screen in HAM mode back in the early ’90s. In fact, they are so good that their shockingly high quality takes a bit of the “retro” out of this post; the images look a little too good! And, just to let you know this wasn’t just a click-and-drag process, the systems involved in the conversion were: a gaming PC [specs] able to run the Java app, an iMac [specs] not able to run the Java app (apparently) but also running an FTP server, an accelerated Amiga 2000 [specs] with a LAN connection and a floppy drive (and an FTP client), and the Amiga 1000 [specs] with a floppy drive, SCSI hard drives, and no LAN connection. Getting data to and fro was … involved.
In the future, all viewscreens on starships visiting other worlds should be limited to what Hold-And-Modify screen mode could render in 1985.
Remember the days before beautiful CGI was everywhere? Newtek’s Video Toaster was revolutionary, now largely forgotten.
Thirty years after its mostly-European heydey, the Commodore Amiga remains a cult favorite with a huge library of excellent and often weird games to discover. But what if emulation isn’t your idea of fun? This guy went out and bought a real one. The Amiga still has an active and faithful community, and it’s thanks […]
Game engines aren’t just the lifeblood of the video game industry. They may soon be the lifeblood of Hollywood. Since emerging in the late ’90s, the Unreal game engine has quickly become one of the world’s foremost tools for game creators. Now, Disney’s hit Star Wars spinoff series The Mandalorian is using Unreal as well. […]
Apple AirPods have become the default earbuds beloved by millions. Unfortunately, they also cost $159, so it’s no surprise that since they were first introduced in 2016, companies have battled to produce comparable headphones at a lower price. The UK-designed and engineered Veho STIX true wireless earphones may have cracked that particular problem, striking a […]
Instagram isn’t just for tweens and foodies. In fact, the image-heavy platform not only wants to mint new Instagram influencers — it also wants to make them rich. In the last few weeks, the company announced ad revenue sharing on IGTV videos, special badges you can buy from your favorite accounts through Instagram Live, merchandise […]