How Crash Bandicoot Hacked The Original Playstation | War Stories | Ars Technica
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How Crash Bandicoot Hacked The Original Playstation | War Stories | Ars Technica

February 29, 2020


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  1. The thing I remember hearing about Crash's tech but wasn't mentioned in the video, was that they didn't use the whole disc. By using only the outside of the disc on game data, they could load it faster and therefore get more data to the processor in real time.

    By happy circumstance, this also made the game slightly harder to pirate, since burnt copies would usually try to put the game data on the inside of the disc.

  2. Very interesting documentary. Crash Bandicoot was one of the favourite games of my childhood, so it was fascinating to hear about the technology and design. I had no idea it was that advanced.

  3. “It was not a very game friendly world on PC”
    And THAT is why you members of the “PC masturbaiter race” will ALWAYS be second fiddle. Because YOU copied consoles and then still felt so F*****g inadequate you went and overcompensated, and still do to this day.

  4. My favourite thing about Crash was the sound effects. If I ever hear an apple being picked up it transports me back to the mid nineties

  5. There is an absolutely fantastic multi-part blog-umentary on the making of Crash that dives a bit into the coding and design of the game for anyone who's interested!

    https://all-things-andy-gavin.com/video-games/making-crash/

  6. so i probably missed something but how did they hack the sony library ? i thought they bypassed it using the cpu. how is that hacking ? what did i missed ?

  7. Really interesting episode! Recently got Sonic Forces on sale and although it's not terrible, listening to Andy Gavin talk about how ND tried to play with the dimensions, perhaps the main Sonic Team could still learn a thing or two about how to make a level exciting, without being so disorientating!

    ND really were ahead of their time with this game. The remake trilogy still plays so well, proving that their level design stood the test of time.

  8. I wanted to know how they fixed the maths problem. We were just told about exchanging 2 bits of paper.
    Really liked the documentary though. I was amazed when I first played the game.

  9. This video, narrative, and Andy are simply incredible! He did an excellent job breaking it down and it makes me happy that such innovative people could come together to create freely.

    If only they hired the same kind of brainpower for 90s gaming commercials 🤢

  10. I always hear how mario 64 put Crash to shame at the time. For me, Crash was the more exciting, more skill-based, more graphically intensive option. A no-brainer.

  11. This guy is a beast. I don't understand why naughty dogs does not have the rights to crash. They are clearly the only ones that can make crash games. Even the remaster should have been done by then

  12. im happy to see these developers still talk with passion after all these years in the industry. What they were able to achieve back then is something to be proud of and they seemed to enjoy tackling these challenges as puzzles.

  13. I can only say that the editor of this video is a genius. If you would have let a “Duck Tales” slip without a “woo woo” at the end, no ones life would have ever been truly complete upon reflection. Thank you

  14. It sucks how activision remastered crash bandicoot because they changed the music to the worse but anyway think how cool it would have been if you could change between the original and the new music like in the remake of the resident evil 2 and change the graphics between original and remastered in the middle of the game like in halo master chief collection 😀

  15. I wonder where he got all his technical knowledge from. Seems he did his degree in Neurobiology not programming/computer science.

  16. These war stories interviews are fantastic. Hearing the creative ways devs took to overcome these problems is so cool and inspiring. Thanks for making them!!

  17. Crash 1 demo was one of the first PS1 games (demos) I played and I don't think I was ready for it at the time. Crash 1 was ahead of its time, especially that they hacked the console to set it above other games at the time.

  18. this was soo good. I have looked into the making of this game so many times and still learned a lot of extra details here 😀

  19. Thankyou for helping shape my childhood. Crash was one of my introductions into gaming at a super young age and I cant imagine I'd be me otherwise!

  20. And then later in Jak and Daxter the Precursor Legacy they just went and did the whole game loading time free between the world transitions.

  21. That is how 'true' developers were these days. Now you just have unlimited resources and most of the games are incomplete when released.
    Very good documentary.

  22. Crash Bandicoot 2 : Cortex Strikes Back was my first PlayStation game coming off a SNES and I was blown away. That entire trilogy aged amazingly well.

  23. Crash Bandicoot (especially CTR and Warped) even today looks and plays perfect!!!
    I play a lot of 3d platformer released now…. but is like Crash was too ahead of its time. Crash Bandicoot could been released in 2020 and still i consider my favorite franchise 😉

  24. Wish they at least involved you for the production of NST and NF. Would've not ended up as gruesome and abusive as they're now

  25. Choosing Sony was probably the best decision you've ever made; but I also wonder what someone like you could've done with that hot mess of an Atari Jaguar

  26. This is what all video game designers should've done back then.. get the most out of the system. There were alot of crappy games out there. People spent good money for crap alot of times unfortunately.. basically people too lazy to make a good, quality game.

  27. One of the best CS/graphics interviews around! Excellent work on this: Just the right depth to appreciate the brilliance behind the ideas without interrupting the pace, perfectly in keeping with the style of the subject matter 🙂

  28. i always wonder why western made games in Playstation looks bad graphically then japanese made games. Now I know the reason is because they didn't have proper instruction from Sony and Sony is forcing them to use their C libraries to process things

  29. I'm a software developer, and I enjoyed this video and the way he described things, but I am strongly against the concept of software patents. When he said he patented the method for loading data off a CD-ROM on-demand (instead of pre-loading the entire level) well that lost me. To me that is an obvious enough concept to not be patentable. Depending on what scale you approach it, that is already how all CD-ROM games functioned, just at a different scale. No games of that area loaded in 100% of all their data off a CD-ROM at one time, because that wasn't even possible. So whether you are loading level by level, sub-level by sub-level, or only by the area that is immediately visible, it is the same concept and only a matter of the granularity.

  30. Great video but Crash wasn't the "first 3D platformer". I'd argue its not even 3D. Jack Flash was the first truly 3D platformer on console and even if you ignore that game Mario 64 (which is still considered by many to be the greatest 3D platformer ever made) was released three months before Crash in June 1996.

  31. Look how excited and inspired this man is to talk about his craft. Also, note how he didn’t say the word “microtransaction” once! What a great guy 😆

  32. I picked up the Trilogy on Switch, currently 97% on Part 1 🙂 I love this game brings back memories…
    Didnt recall it being so hard tho getting all gems etc. !!!!
    Thanks for creating this masterpiece.

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