The Another World Chip

We cover many recreations of classic computer games on these pages, sometimes on original hardware, other times through ports to newer hardware, or even on emulators. But [Sylefeb]’s version of the Amiga classic Another World is in a class of its own. It doesn’t recreate an Amiga or run an emulator, instead it implements the game itself on a relatively modest Lattice UP5K FPGA.

This feat is possible because of the game’s architecture, it runs on a quite minimalist virtual machine that only needs blitter and rasterising hardware. This makes it a good candidate for the FPGA treatment. [Sylefeb] goes into a deep discussion of the hardware implemented in the FPGA, which makes a solid primer for how some of the 16-bit era games worked. In particular, we needed to read over the section about the rasterisation of polygons more than once. But it’s worth it.

The game can be run on a few dev boards featuring this FPGA, among which we’re particularly pleased to see the MCH 2023 conference badge. It requires a copy of the original to be owned for the game files, but we suspect if you’re this deep in you’d probably see that as a small price to pay.

6 thoughts on “The Another World Chip

  1. My dad bought Another World from Egghead Software for his Apple ][gs when I was young. I remember the game required excellent timing for jumps, and the animation was very smooth.

    That’s my story.

    1. I still regard it as one of the better designed games I’ve played, with amazing graphics for the era.

      Implementing a virtual machine into actual hardware is the opposite of virtualization. May I coin this as “realization”?

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