Retrogame Archeology

Exploring Old Computer Games

  • John¬†Aycock

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. John Aycock
    Pages 1-15
  3. John Aycock
    Pages 17-35
  4. John Aycock
    Pages 37-58
  5. John Aycock
    Pages 59-82
  6. John Aycock
    Pages 83-107
  7. John Aycock
    Pages 109-143
  8. John Aycock
    Pages 145-171
  9. John Aycock
    Pages 173-203
  10. John Aycock
    Pages 205-213
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 215-222

About this book


Drawing on extensive research, this book explores the techniques that old computer games used to run on tightly-constrained platforms. Retrogame developers faced incredible challenges of limited space, computing power, rudimentary tools, and the lack of homogeneous environments.

Using examples from over 100 retrogames, this book examines the clever implementation tricks that game designers employed to make their creations possible, documenting these techniques that are being lost. However, these retrogame techniques have modern analogues and applications in general computer systems, not just games, and this book makes these contemporary connections. It also uses retrogames' implementation to introduce a wide variety of topics in computer systems including memory management, interpretation, data compression, procedural content generation, and software protection.

Retrogame Archeology targets professionals and advanced-level students in computer science, engineering, and mathematics but would also be of interest to retrogame enthusiasts, computer historians, and game studies researchers in the humanities.      


Computer games Computer systems Computing history Data compression Code obfuscation Memory management Retrogames Video games Programming Interpreters Procedural content generation Copy protection

Authors and affiliations

  • John¬†Aycock
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept of Computer ScienceUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Computer Science
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-30002-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-30004-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site