History SugarWiki / GeniusProgramming

29th May '16 10:30:49 PM rjd1922
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* VideoGame/{{Scribblenauts}}: game that boasts a dictionary of few dozens of thousands words, with each word having its own graphical representation, animations and interaction patterns (like elephants being afraid of mice and so on) was crammed into a ''32 megabyte'' NintendoDS cartridge. Even more impressive in SuperScribblenauts with added adjectives (everything ''still fits'' into a 32 MB ROM chip).

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* VideoGame/{{Scribblenauts}}: ''VideoGame/{{Scribblenauts}}'': game that boasts a dictionary of few dozens of thousands words, with each word having its own graphical representation, animations and interaction patterns (like elephants being afraid of mice and so on) was crammed into a ''32 megabyte'' NintendoDS UsefulNotes/NintendoDS cartridge. Even more impressive in SuperScribblenauts ''VideoGame/SuperScribblenauts'' with added adjectives (everything ''still fits'' into a 32 MB ROM chip).
29th May '16 3:31:32 PM rjd1922
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* Meet {{VideoGame/Nano Assault}} Neo. It's a Wii U eShop launch title, has graphics and sound that rivals a lot of big budget games, runs at 60FPS, and is only 60 MB!! As it was developed by Shin'en, the same developer as ''VideoGame/JettRocket'', it's to be expected.

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* Meet {{VideoGame/Nano ''{{VideoGame/Nano Assault}} Neo.Neo''. It's a Wii U eShop launch title, has graphics and sound that rivals a lot of big budget games, runs at 60FPS, and is only 60 MB!! As it was developed by Shin'en, the same developer as ''VideoGame/JettRocket'', it's to be expected.



* ''MuramasaTheDemonBlade'' is a game lauded for its [[AwesomeArt absolutely gorgeous 2D graphics]] (to give you an idea, [[http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/0/5469/1100244-943228_20090806_790screen007.jpg this is a screenshot of actual gameplay footage]]). The entire game also takes up less than a gigabyte (0.62 GB, to be exact, about twice the size of ''WiiSports''), and 0.49 GB of that is just the soundtrack.

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* ''MuramasaTheDemonBlade'' ''VideoGame/MuramasaTheDemonBlade'' is a game lauded for its [[AwesomeArt absolutely gorgeous 2D graphics]] (to give you an idea, [[http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/0/5469/1100244-943228_20090806_790screen007.jpg this is a screenshot of actual gameplay footage]]). The entire game also takes up less than a gigabyte (0.62 GB, to be exact, about twice the size of ''WiiSports''), and 0.49 GB of that is just the soundtrack.



* Death Race for the NES is a good contender for being the best unlicensed and one of the best NES games ever made. First of all, the game has a costumizeable vehicle option menu with guns, engines, cars, wheels, missiles, the gun speed..., RPG elements and the sprites are multicoloured. For an unlicensed developer to do this is a hell of an accomplishment.
* The port of ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha Street Fighter Alpha 2]]'' to the '''SNES'''. How did it do it? It used the [=S-DD1=] chip that the aforementioned ''VideoGame/{{Star Ocean|1}}'' used. While the port only had the normally accessible cast and 2 other secret characters (and one of them was DummiedOut) and characters and backgrounds had less animation (and obviously no CD quality music), either way it was still impressive that a game that was ported to [[FifthGeneration 32-bit consoles]] could run on a [[SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem 16-bit console]].
* [[VideoGame/{{Doom}} Doom Series:]]

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* Death Race ''Death Race'' for the NES is a good contender for being the best unlicensed and one of the best NES games ever made. First of all, the game has a costumizeable vehicle option menu with guns, engines, cars, wheels, missiles, the gun speed..., RPG elements and the sprites are multicoloured. For an unlicensed developer to do this is a hell of an accomplishment.
* The port of ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha Street Fighter Alpha 2]]'' to the '''SNES'''.'''UsefulNotes/{{SNES}}'''. How did it do it? It used the [=S-DD1=] chip that the aforementioned ''VideoGame/{{Star Ocean|1}}'' used. While the port only had the normally accessible cast and 2 two other secret characters (and one of them was DummiedOut) and characters and backgrounds had less animation (and obviously no CD quality music), either way it was still impressive that a game that was ported to [[FifthGeneration [[UsefulNotes/TheFifthGenerationOfConsoleVideoGames 32-bit consoles]] could run on a [[SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem 16-bit console]].
console.
* [[VideoGame/{{Doom}} Doom Series:]]''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' series:



** Requiem, a 1997 map pack, manages to use some clever programming to pull off some unusual architectural tricks in ''Doom'''s 2.5D engine that should be impossible given the vanilla engine's limitations - actual bridges that are not connected to the ground, ''bridges over bridges'' that can both be walked on, and simulated sliding and swinging doors.
** [[http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/megawads/av Alien Vendetta]] is another well-known level pack in the Doom community. The project was designed to be fully compatible with Doom 2 Version 1.9 (no source ports are needed to play), which is not a simple feat, considering the limitations on the original engine such as the infamous "VISPLANE OVERFLOW" that crashes the game when there are 128 unique floors and ceilings on the screen at once. However, Alien Vendetta combines well-detailed levels with challenging gameplay, and stretches the original Doom engine to its limits at times.

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** Requiem, ''Requiem'', a 1997 map pack, manages to use some clever programming to pull off some unusual architectural tricks in ''Doom'''s 2.5D engine that should be impossible given the vanilla engine's limitations - actual bridges that are not connected to the ground, ''bridges over bridges'' that can both be walked on, and simulated sliding and swinging doors.
** [[http://www.''[[http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/megawads/av Alien Vendetta]] Vendetta]]'' is another well-known level pack in the Doom community. The project was designed to be fully compatible with Doom 2 Version 1.9 (no source ports are needed to play), which is not a simple feat, considering the limitations on the original engine such as the infamous "VISPLANE OVERFLOW" that crashes the game when there are 128 unique floors and ceilings on the screen at once. However, Alien Vendetta combines well-detailed levels with challenging gameplay, and stretches the original Doom engine to its limits at times.



* Jez San's ''VideoGame/{{Starglider}}'' on the AtariST, particularly its sound. The system had negligible capabilites, but he managed to pull off sampling and proper wave forms (as opposed to square waves) by stripping the machine open and putting a voltmeter across the sound chip.

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* Jez San's ''VideoGame/{{Starglider}}'' on the AtariST, UsefulNotes/AtariST, particularly its sound. The system had negligible capabilites, but he managed to pull off sampling and proper wave forms (as opposed to square waves) by stripping the machine open and putting a voltmeter across the sound chip.



* ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolutionMarioMix'' runs on the VideoGame/MarioParty 6 engine. Yes, you read that right. Instead of using a dedicated engine, or even using the MAX or Festival engine like the other home versions of DDR at the time, the game uses an engine it wasn't even designed for.

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* ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolutionMarioMix'' runs on the VideoGame/MarioParty 6 ''VideoGame/MarioParty 6'' engine. Yes, you read that right. Instead of using a dedicated engine, or even using the MAX or Festival engine like the other home versions of DDR at the time, the game uses an engine it wasn't even designed for.
21st May '16 10:01:35 PM nombretomado
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* [[http://www.twitch.tv/eightysixed/b/463593588?&t=3h4m20s According to the developer]], Mike Z, ''VideoGame/{{Skullgirls}}'' managing to have six characters in a match on seventh gen consoles is absolutely insane. As [=.PNG's=], the animation frames for six different characters adds up to around 10.5 GB. With the compression tech made by Mike ([[http://www.twitch.tv/eightysixed/b/463593588?&t=3h8m25s based on a paper made by Farbrausch]]), the characters only take up around ''900 MB'', with 491 MB of that being used in any given match, which then has to fit into the 130 MB of RAM left over for the characters on the PS3. In spite of all this, the game is still able to not only have more frames of animation than any game before it[[note]]Between 1200-1500 per character, with the runner up being ''Blazblue'' with ~1000 per character[[/note]], but also real time lighting and shading effects on the characters, a first for the genre. The only problem is when the art doesn't load fast enough after switching characters, resulting in them being pixellated.

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* [[http://www.twitch.tv/eightysixed/b/463593588?&t=3h4m20s According to the developer]], Mike Z, ''VideoGame/{{Skullgirls}}'' managing to have six characters in a match on seventh gen consoles is absolutely insane. As [=.PNG's=], the animation frames for six different characters adds up to around 10.5 GB. With the compression tech made by Mike ([[http://www.twitch.tv/eightysixed/b/463593588?&t=3h8m25s based on a paper made by Farbrausch]]), the characters only take up around ''900 MB'', with 491 MB of that being used in any given match, which then has to fit into the 130 MB of RAM left over for the characters on the PS3.[=PS3=]. In spite of all this, the game is still able to not only have more frames of animation than any game before it[[note]]Between 1200-1500 per character, with the runner up being ''Blazblue'' with ~1000 per character[[/note]], but also real time lighting and shading effects on the characters, a first for the genre. The only problem is when the art doesn't load fast enough after switching characters, resulting in them being pixellated.
14th May '16 8:31:03 PM rjd1922
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* ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' may not be ridiculously small in size, but this game pushed the capability of the {{SNES}} [[UpToEleven to its limit]]. For example,the game's copious amounts of SceneryPorn, in quantities which were deemed almost impossible for a cartridge (at the time). Then the programming and sound team one-upped all this by... [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3SA9LuqQgA inserting a whole theme song with voice into the opening]]! This was completely insane and was thought to be absolutely impossible for a cartridge title, especially one sporting as much visual flash as Phantasia.[[note]]It's also insane from a technical perspective, too: the song itself is ''dozens'' of tiny voice clips, since that's all that will fit into the available sound memory, swapped out and loaded in sequence from the ROM cart as the song plays. Getting it to emulate cleanly was an infamous bugbear of the emu scene in the late 90s and early noughts (as the code makes a number of odd calls to the SPU to make the constant file-swapping work), and it uses more than a little compression on top of this, and "can cleanly emulate Phantasia" was a major feather in the caps of ZSNES and [=SNES9x=].[[/note]] Every Tales game since has a theme song, but it's all less impressive when more memory, both in RAM and storage, is involved. Almost every technical concept from [=ToP=] was then imported into ''VideoGame/{{Star Ocean|1}}'' (which featured many of the same staff, who had left Wolf Team/Namco in the interim) which was even ''more'' technically bonkers.

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* ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' may not be ridiculously small in size, but this game pushed the capability of the {{SNES}} UsefulNotes/{{SNES}} [[UpToEleven to its limit]]. For example,the game's copious amounts of SceneryPorn, in quantities which were deemed almost impossible for a cartridge (at the time). Then the programming and sound team one-upped all this by... [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3SA9LuqQgA inserting a whole theme song with voice into the opening]]! This was completely insane and was thought to be absolutely impossible for a cartridge title, especially one sporting as much visual flash as Phantasia.[[note]]It's also insane from a technical perspective, too: the song itself is ''dozens'' of tiny voice clips, since that's all that will fit into the available sound memory, swapped out and loaded in sequence from the ROM cart as the song plays. Getting it to emulate cleanly was an infamous bugbear of the emu scene in the late 90s and early noughts (as the code makes a number of odd calls to the SPU to make the constant file-swapping work), and it uses more than a little compression on top of this, and "can cleanly emulate Phantasia" was a major feather in the caps of ZSNES and [=SNES9x=].[[/note]] Every Tales game since has a theme song, but it's all less impressive when more memory, both in RAM and storage, is involved. Almost every technical concept from [=ToP=] was then imported into ''VideoGame/{{Star Ocean|1}}'' (which featured many of the same staff, who had left Wolf Team/Namco in the interim) which was even ''more'' technically bonkers.



** Also by the same company- the whole renderer in the Spyro games. It managed to do things on the Playstation that should have been literally impossible, including implementing an entire LOD system on the CPU and having it run in real time.

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** Also by the same company- the whole renderer in the Spyro games. It managed to do things on the Playstation [=PlayStation=] that should have been literally impossible, including implementing an entire LOD system on the CPU and having it run in real time.



* The Nintendo 64 version of VideoGame/ResidentEvil2 is/was noteworthy for squeezing a two-disc PlayStation game (1.2 GB), filled with voiced dialogue and full-motion video cutscenes, on a 64 MB cartridge, fully intact. Only the cutscenes took a slight hit, but besides that, it's still considered the one of the best versions of the game.

to:

* The Nintendo 64 version of VideoGame/ResidentEvil2 ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'' is/was noteworthy for squeezing a two-disc PlayStation [=PlayStation=] game (1.2 GB), filled with voiced dialogue and full-motion video cutscenes, on a 64 MB cartridge, fully intact. Only the cutscenes took a slight hit, but besides that, it's still considered the one of the best versions of the game.



** SNES Advance and Snezziboy are particularly impressive - fully playable {{SNES}} emulators squeezed into a GameBoyAdvance.
** Similarly, the various [console] Sound Formats, such as the Playstation Sound Format. They emulate the original sound hardware/software, [[NostalgiaFilter so you can listen to how the track originally sounded]]. As an added bonus, these files are often a fraction of the size of a normal line-out rip without any significant loss of quality.

to:

** SNES Advance and Snezziboy are particularly impressive - fully playable {{SNES}} UsefulNotes/{{SNES}} emulators squeezed into a GameBoyAdvance.
** Similarly, the various [console] Sound Formats, such as the Playstation [=PlayStation=] Sound Format. They emulate the original sound hardware/software, [[NostalgiaFilter so you can listen to how the track originally sounded]]. As an added bonus, these files are often a fraction of the size of a normal line-out rip without any significant loss of quality.
12th May '16 1:46:17 PM FordPrefect
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* The port of ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha Street Fighter Alpha 2]]'' to the '''SNES'''. How did it do it? It used the [=S-DD1=] chip that the aforementioned ''VideoGame/{{Star Ocean|1}}'' used. While the port only had the normally accessible cast and 2 other secret characters (and one of them was DummiedOut) and characters and backgrounds had less animation, (And obviously no CD Quality music.) either way it was still impressive that a game that was ported to [[FifthGeneration 32-bit consoles]] could run on a [[SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem 16-bit console]].

to:

* The port of ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha Street Fighter Alpha 2]]'' to the '''SNES'''. How did it do it? It used the [=S-DD1=] chip that the aforementioned ''VideoGame/{{Star Ocean|1}}'' used. While the port only had the normally accessible cast and 2 other secret characters (and one of them was DummiedOut) and characters and backgrounds had less animation, (And animation (and obviously no CD Quality music.) quality music), either way it was still impressive that a game that was ported to [[FifthGeneration 32-bit consoles]] could run on a [[SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem 16-bit console]].
12th May '16 1:43:51 PM FordPrefect
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* From the dawn of computing, the legendary [[http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/story-of-mel.html Mel Kaye's]] Blackjack program for Royal [=McBee=] LGP-30 and RPC-4000 machines. Not only was he able to squeeze the whole program into just the 8.2 kilobytes of drum memory, but he was one of the first [[http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/R/Real-Programmer.html Real Programmers]] who basically pioneered most of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_magic_(programming) Heavy Wizardry]][[note]]The programmers' jargon for a trick so deeply tied to a fine side of machine's function that it's totally non-intuitive and seems just a magic for the non-knowledgeable[[/note]] techniques discussed above, including using code as constants, optimizing the code by hand to eliminate even smallest wait states and delay loops, and using self-modifying code to do so. Ed Nather, the author of the story above, when asked to rewrite it spent a whole month just trying to understand Mel's code, and upon finding an endless cycle without a check, which just happened to use an overflow error to modify the last command of it into a different jump and exit the loop, he gave up out of respect.

to:

* From the dawn of computing, the legendary [[http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/story-of-mel.html Mel Kaye's]] Blackjack program for Royal [=McBee=] LGP-30 and RPC-4000 machines. Not only was he able to squeeze the whole program into just the 8.2 kilobytes of drum memory, but he was one of the first [[http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/R/Real-Programmer.html Real Programmers]] who basically pioneered most of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_magic_(programming) Heavy Wizardry]][[note]]The programmers' jargon for a trick so deeply tied to a fine side of the machine's function that it's totally non-intuitive and seems just a like magic for the non-knowledgeable[[/note]] techniques discussed above, including using code as constants, optimizing the code by hand to eliminate even smallest wait states and delay loops, and using self-modifying code to do so. Ed Nather, the author of the story above, when asked to rewrite it spent a whole month just trying to understand Mel's code, and upon finding an endless cycle without a check, which just happened to use an overflow error to modify the last command of it into a different jump and exit the loop, he gave up out of respect.
12th May '16 1:43:04 PM FordPrefect
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** ''BrutalMario/Super Kitiku World'' and its massive use custom assembly to do things ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' wouldn't do otherwise.

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** ''BrutalMario/Super Kitiku World'' and its massive use of custom assembly to do things ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' wouldn't do otherwise.
10th May '16 7:31:04 AM whatthepingas
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*The Nintendo 64 version of VideoGame/ResidentEvil2 is/was noteworthy for squeezing a two-disc PlayStation game (1.2 GB), filled with voiced dialogue and full-motion video cutscenes, on a 64 MB cartridge, fully intact. Only the cutscenes took a slight hit, but besides that, it's still considered the one of the best versions of the game.
8th May '16 12:09:05 PM JudasZala
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* {{Pinball}}.

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* {{Pinball}}.{{Pinball}}:



* Linksys's [=WRT54G=] (and its spiritual successor, the [=WRT54GL=][[note]]The "L" presumably stands for Linux[[/note]], [[labelnote:Addtional note]]which was released after Version 5 and later releases of the [=WRT54G=] switched to the [=VxWorks=] OS and reduced the RAM and flash RAM by half[[/labelnote]]) wireless router is one of the most hackable routers, because its firmware was based on Linux. After Linksys released the firmware source code under the GPL, software developers began developing customized versions of the [=WRT54G=] firmware, the most well-known being [=DD-WRT=] and Tomato. Not only are they considered to be more reliable and better performing than Linksys's stock firmware, they would add advanced features that are only available in commercial-grade routers.

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* Linksys's [=WRT54G=] (and its spiritual successor, the [=WRT54GL=][[note]]The "L" presumably stands for Linux[[/note]], [[labelnote:Addtional note]]which was released after Version 5 and later releases of the [=WRT54G=] switched to the [=VxWorks=] OS and reduced the RAM and flash RAM by half[[/labelnote]]) wireless router is one of the most hackable routers, because its firmware was based on Linux. After Linksys released the firmware source code under the GPL, software developers began developing customized versions of the [=WRT54G=] firmware, the most well-known being [=DD-WRT=] [[http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/index DD-WRT]] and Tomato. [[http://www.polarcloud.com/tomato Tomato]]. Not only are they considered to be more reliable and better performing than Linksys's stock firmware, they would add advanced features that are were only available in commercial-grade routers.
6th May '16 12:03:45 PM GBAuraRebirth
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* Many of the games made by Creator/HumongousEntertainment were technical marvels of the time. They pushed the SCUMM engine to its limits with their use of high-resolution fullscreen animated cinematics starting with the first ''VideoGame/FreddiFish'', then upped the ante by making spinoffs of their popular characters in arcade-style games that included decent clones of ''VideoGame/QBert'' and ''VideoGame/BreakOut''. And that's not even getting into the early ''VideoGame/BackyardSports'' titles, which not only featured full ArtificialIntelligence for both teams, but kept track of the statistics of every player on every team in every league, whether or not the match was played by you or not. All this on an engine originally designed for scripting [[AdventureGame point and click adventures]] like

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* Many of the games made by Creator/HumongousEntertainment were technical marvels of the time. They pushed the SCUMM SCUMM[[labelnote:meaning]]Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion[[/labelnote]] engine to its limits with their use of high-resolution fullscreen animated cinematics starting with the first ''VideoGame/FreddiFish'', then upped the ante by making spinoffs of their popular characters in arcade-style games that included decent clones of ''VideoGame/QBert'' and ''VideoGame/BreakOut''. And that's not even getting into the early ''VideoGame/BackyardSports'' titles, which not only featured full ArtificialIntelligence for both teams, but kept track of the statistics of every player on every team in every league, whether or not the match was played by you or not. All this on an engine originally designed for scripting [[AdventureGame point and click adventures]] like ''VideoGame/ManiacMansion'' and ''VideoGame/TheSecretOfMonkeyIsland''.
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