An FPGA, or Field Programmable Gate Array, is a type of integrated circuit that can be reconfigured after its manufacture. openFPGA, on the other hand, is “the first purpose-built, FPGA-driven device and ecosystem designed for third-party development for video game hardware.” It was also “specially created to preserve the history of video games”.
space war! Apparently, a large part of the video game history has been an external developer “recreating” the game released on PDP-1 in 1962 by developers at MIT using openFPGA public domain open source code.
Using openFPGA, third party developer “Spacemen3” has recreated PDP-1 and Spacewar! Using the original source code in the public domain. You can play it today on Pocket with openFPGA by following this guide here: https://t.co/XFS3ARmaUe pic.twitter.com/ut6N6Ovois
Analogue 29 July 2022
There’s always been a big question mark besides video game preservation, especially with companies like Nintendo planning to shut down the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShops and make it harder to play older games. Hopefully, with this new development, fewer games will be lost in the history books.
space war! Inspired by the science fiction books by EE Doc Smith and developed by a group of MIT students who want to make a space simulation video game. It was a space shooter and a two-player versus-style game that offered “gravity star orbital mechanics”. It was developed to be powered by dedicated “controller boxes” which were also the first video game consoles.
The PDP-1 was a 1024 x 1024 CRT vectorized display and Spacewar! He himself used it to the fullest with “beautiful, cascading, explosive, and decaying blue-green phosphors amid modernist hexagons.”
The developers behind Spacewar! It also created certain criteria that a computer game must meet, which are as follows;
- It should clarify as many computer resources as possible, and tax these resources to the maximum.
- Within a consistent framework, it should be interesting, which means that each run should be different.
- It should engage the spectator in a fun and active way – in short, it should be a game.
Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, played Spacewar! And he was so inspired that he would go on to create Computer Space, the first commercial video game and arcade game.
If you have Analogue Pocket and want to try Spacewar! Check out our support page that walks you through everything you need to know to check out this important piece of history.
Learn more about Spacewar! And the early days of video games, take a look at the history of Atari.
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Adam Pankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter Tweet embed and on Twitch.