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Maes

Quake on an oscilloscope

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Imagine a Vectrex powerful enough to run Quake...that's what it would look like. The signal distortions create a haunting warping effect which adds to the atmosphere, IMO.

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Well, seems the guy figured out a way to deliver a better signal just a day after the original vid was posted:

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That looks surprisingly awesome - like a combination of Tron and The Matrix. To be honest, I wouldn't mind playing through a level like this in a shooter game. Maybe the antagonist is sucked into a computer or something? Like a lightning world - really cool stuff. Although it would suck to have epilepsy. That might not turn out too well.

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It's a cool achievement. On the other hand, I don't think that I'd feel comfortable playing through this environment made only of strobing and twitching thin lines. It looks odd and eye-hurting to me already at first glance.

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Looks like a good way to claim the crown of King Geek of Dork Mountain, and to blow your eyeballs out at the same time.

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Makes me wonder, presumably someone could write up a renderer to actually make a source port of Quake that would work this way on a PC, maybe without the flickering, though. 'Cause damn, that would be sweet.

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GoatLord said:

Would this work on Doom, being that it's sprite oriented?


3D rendered ports would have an advantage here, as they already produce a mesh which can be rendered in wireframe, at least for walls/floors. Sprites would be somewhat of a challenge though.

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geekmarine said:

Makes me wonder, presumably someone could write up a renderer to actually make a source port of Quake that would work this way on a PC, maybe without the flickering, though. 'Cause damn, that would be sweet.

I don't see why not; NPRQuake is 13 years old now (video).

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Although the constant strobing is a it annoying, I wouldn't mind seeing some kind of FPS that intentionally invokes this for either a segment of the game or the whole game. Or maybe just a total Quake mod.

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GoatLord said:

Would this work on Doom, being that it's sprite oriented?


It would work with the geometry. Sprites, however, would appear as rectangles (of varying dimensions depending on frame and rotation). So it would be even more illegible than the Quake version.

Alternatives include using a model pack and playing with a modded Doomsday/Risen3D/GZDoom, or adding some code that detects the boundary between transparency and solid pixels so as to draw the sprite's outlines.

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This could work pretty well for a surreal-horror action FPS of some kind.

Something that could be done is to remove the flickering, and then design monsters just for this map whose bodies are intentionally hard to read, but easy to see just the same. Maybe make them large and slow to compensate for the sudden handicap with the crazy Hulk-Virtualboy graphics.

Then replace all the sounds with simple tones and static.

And then make it compatible with the Oculus.

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Gez said:

It would work with the geometry. Sprites, however, would appear as rectangles (of varying dimensions depending on frame and rotation). So it would be even more illegible than the Quake version.

Not if you do a little preprocessing to transform the sprites into wire meshes based on averages of color and such. :D

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sheridan said:

Not if you do a little preprocessing to transform the sprites into wire meshes based on averages of color and such. :D

Or at least do outlines.

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William Blazkowicz said:

And to think the first game was created on this very device.


I very much doubt a game has ever been created on an oscilloscope. You need computers for that. :p

Now there may have been some very early games displayed on oscilloscopes, but that's a different thing. The first computer game was probably done via print-outs or setting memory addresses to light up specific indicators on an operator's panel in the 40s as a research project (because programming 40s computers wasn't fast enough for somebody to get away with it at night when nobody was looking).

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Aliotroph? said:

I very much doubt a game has ever been created on an oscilloscope. You need computers for that. :p


Indeed, you need a computer to do the actual game logic. The oscilloscope itself is just a display device, and without at least some source of signals/measurements, you can hardly define anything you can do with it as "a game", let alone "developing for the oscilloscope".

An an analog computer would work, too ;-)

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