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.
“Use a material for what it’s capable of doing,” Samia Halaby says. “You don’t make something out of wood that should be made out of Iron.” She’s not dinking around in Duluxe Paint either like that hamfisted hack from Pittsburgh did back in the 80s. Halaby is coding generative, animated art in AmigaBasic! The Guru […]
Games Nostalgia is a retrogame site with a useful difference: instead of simply providing files which then must be fed to the often-difficult gods of emulation, it packages the classics as ready-to-click apps for Mac and PC. Examples to eat your morning: seminal Atari/Amiga RPG Dungeon Master, DOS blaster Doom, and 1990’s original RTS Dune […]
The Commodore Amiga, ahead of its time and murdered by corporate mismanagement, etc., remains in fairly common use thanks to an enthusiast community and sheer physical longevity. And now a documentary is here so everyone can know how totally awesome it is, reports Ars Technica’s Jeremy Reimer. Viva Amiga is a wonderful look at the […]
With little more than a microphone and a bright idea, just about anyone can start their own podcast, but only a handful ever make it to “Serial”-level success. Featuring insight from a host of podcasting experts, the How To Start A Podcast Bundle Feat. John Lee Dumas breaks down the anatomy of a successful podcast, and […]
Drones are undeniably cool, but not all of us have the Top Gun-level piloting skills required to fly them—unless you’re using TRNDlabs’ new Spectre Drone. Designed new and expert pilots alike, this drone is loaded with fly assist features to make piloting easy, all the while you explore using its built-in HD camera. It’s available in the […]
Whether you’re set to give the toast at your best friend’s wedding or a presentation at work, you’ll be relying on those public speaking lessons you slept through during high school. Scary thought, right? Thankfully, the Public Speaking Bundle is loaded with hacks, tips, and techniques that will get you speaking more naturally and with confidence, […]