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Video: Crunching Retro City Rampage down to an authentic 8-bit game
February 27, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi

February 27, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi
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More: Console/PC, Indie, Programming, Art, Video



The story behind last year's Retro City Rampage is well known by now: programmer Brian Provinciano started the project as an authentic prototype running on Nintendo's classic NES hardware, as a proof of concept that a game like Grand Theft Auto 3 could have existed in the 80s.

That prototype ended up inspiring him to ship an actual multiplatform game which, while a close homage to the system, "cheats" in various ways and does a lot of tricks the NES wasn't capable of. But now that the game's out, Provinciano wondered: could he take the work he'd done and squeeze it back into a genuine game capable of running on the old NES, outdoing his now-ancient 2004 prototype?

The result is what he calls ROM City Rampage, a simple demo showing that a lot of his game actually was possible. In the video above, Provinciano details what he had to do to get the game running on the ancient-but-mighty 6502 processor, how he cut corners to display as large of a map as he could, and what concepts like "bankswitching" and "vblank" mean for those of you who never had the joy of working with old hardware.


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Comments


Brad Kavanagh
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Amazing demo, Brian. Blows my mind to see you explain all this in such detail. Respect++!

Dave Long
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@ Frank - Sounds like the game did well, and particularly well on Vita - http://www.joystiq.com/2013/02/27/retro-city-rampage-sold-much-mo
re-on-psn-than-steam-xbla/ Props to Brian Provinciano :).


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