The polygons of Another World

Another choice would be Eric Chahi’s 1991 critically acclaimed” title “Another World”, better known in North America as “Out Of This World” which also happens to be ubiquitous. I would argue it is in fact more interesting to study than DOOM because of its polygon based graphics which are suitable to wild optimizations. In some cases, clever tricks allowed Another World to run on hardware built up to five years prior to the game release.

This series is a journey through the video-games hardware of the early 90s. From the Amiga 500, Atari ST, IBM PC, Super Nintendo, up to the Sega Genesis. For each machine, I attempted to discover how Another World was implemented. I found an environment made rich by its diversity where the now ubiquitous CPU/GPU did not exist yet. In the process, I discovered the untold stories of seemingly impossible problems heroically solved by lone programmers.

In the best case I was able to get in touch with the original developer. In the worse cases, I found myself staring at disassembly. It was a fun trip. Here are my notes.

The first article in this series deals with Another World in genera, while two follow-ups dive deep into the Amiga version and the Atari ST version. Another article about the DOS version will be published over the weekend.


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