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April 25, 2019
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Video: How graphics worked on the NES, C64 and other '80s tech

August 19, 2015 | By Alex Wawro

August 19, 2015 | By Alex Wawro
More: Console/PC, Art, Video

If you've ever wanted to see a simple explanation of how game developers in the '80s managed to create striking multi-colored graphics within the harsh (by modern standards) technical contraints of systems like the Nintendo Entertainment System or Commodore 64, you're in luck: there's a new YouTube video for that.

Tech enthusiast David Murray (better known in some circles as "The iBookGuy") published the video to his channel this week in an effort to elucidate some of the tricks engineers used to squeeze more complex images out of their hardware.

It's worth watching this first installment (all seven minutes' worth) to see how color generation on the NES differed from, say, the Apple II or the Atari 2600, and how hardware limitations indirectly led to developers creating some of the industry's most iconic sprites. 

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