Sometime it seems like we miss some pretty good stuff because we are busy working and not trying to scour the interbaun for really cool things (any more). One of those things that appears to have passed us by are Ben Fry’s Distellamaps. These were made almost two years ago, but they are so cool they still need to be discussed.
Mr. Fry took original Atari 2600 assembly routines and printed them out, mapped the loops and jumps with curved lines among the instructions, then plotted the pixel art for the games right from the original code. If you are super nerds, like us, the result is a mind-blowing visualization of the beauty and majesty that was/is Atari 2600 game development.
Adventure, Combat and Pitfall! are the highlights, but 2600 Pac-Man is also there, and it’s fascinating to see the amount of loops the code it is comprised of, compared to something super optimized like Pitfall!
If you are in anyway interested in classic game development, you need to click over to Ben Fry’s website to see the majesty of these visualizations. The coolest bit of news it that Fry is now selling prints of the maps (for charity), which would make amazing wall art for your game studio, office, game room, dorm room etc. I know I’ll be buying the Adventure one for myself as soon as my next pay check comes in.