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How to make Atari games look better by making them look worse


You might find it comical that someone's concerned with the graphical presentation of emulated Atari games -- after all, they're pretty much beyond help, right? It might be even more amusing to think that emulation (and modern TV technology) makes Atari games look too good. But it's true! Atari VCS games running in Stella or other emulators don't look like they look on a CRT, and artificial scanlines alone don't make for an authentic presentation.

Ian Bogost presented the challenge to a team of Georgia Tech computer science students, who then modified Stella to simulate the characteristics of a CRT -- texture, afterimage, color bleed, and noise. The results can be seen above, compared with the pixel-perfect original. Enduro really demonstrates the advantages of an authentic display: when the colors blend properly, the sunset actually kind of looks impressive. These features will be added to the public releases of Stella soon. Maybe they can be integrated into the next-generation Atari Flashback console -- if another one ever happens.

[Via Kotaku]

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