Old Atari games had graphics glitches because of CPU bottlenecks

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Timothy J. Seppala
August 31, 2015 10:27 PM
Old Atari games had graphics glitches because of CPU bottlenecks

Now that we know how the graphics worked on the Nintendo Entertainment System and Commodore 64, The iBookGuy wants to tell us all about how the Apple II and Atari 2600 got their groove on. In the latest video he says that the Apple II actually used two different techniques for producing visuals depending on whether you had a monochrome or color monitor unit. And the reason white text on a black background appears almost rainbow-like in nature on color machines has to do with pixel placement. For example, blue and green being next to each other on screen requires perfect alignment lest you want white mages to have spots of the former bleeding into them.

For CPU-driven graphics (rather than those from a dedicated graphics processor) like what was found on classic Atari systems, the left-most portion of the screen had black lines because there wasn't enough time for the processor to run the game code and draw the screen simultaneously. You can even see it in the GIF up above!

Like this YouTuber's previous video, the information here is super easy to follow. The iBookGuy says he'll keep the series going with videos about how classic game music and sound effects worked. Clips focused on VGA graphics could be coming if there's enough call for it -- you can, ahem, color us interested. Sorry.

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