On Developing for Hardware

Here’s a development tip…
Anyone who’s been to my house has likely seen this little area of mine.

I haven’t always been a CRT fan, I grew up with emulation, and I would have been the first person to tell you that “sharp pixels look fine to me.”

But a neighbor was giving away a free CRT so I took it. And when I plugged my Gamecube into it… the difference was astounding. Suddenly early 3D games, which I wrote off as “didn’t age well” in my experience looked fantastic. Sharp edges were smoothed, sprites blended against 3D, the image just felt easier to invest myself into.

This screen was integral to the experience of the type. Nobody who developed N64 or PSX games knew what these games looked like on sharp flatscreen TVs. They weren’t around. And they looked great, better than now, because they were designed with this hardware in mind.

Reverse this idea – use the technology that you are designing for as a key factor in its design. I mix and design sound on different platforms with different needs. TV speakers (console) sound different than PC headsets, or Switch speakers. The screen on a Switch is different than a TV across the room or a monitor on your desk.

Use your technology as a tool, rather than a limitation, and you will make a better game.

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