Let's Play Quake On an Oscilloscope

Let's Play Quake On an Oscilloscope

Oscilloscope + Nine Inch Nails soundtrack = creepiest game ever.

Thanks to the wonderful folks over at Valve, you can play the 18-years-young shooter Quake anytime you want on Steam. But have you ever played id Software's famous shooter on an oscilloscope?

YouTube channel Kepuli Games got id's shooter up and running on a PC connected to a Hitachi V-422 oscilloscope, a piece of electric signal monitoring gear normally reserved for displaying testing waveforms on a graph. But this oscilloscope was destined for something greater -- making one of the most famous shooters ever even more creepy than its Trent Reznor score already allows.

In this science experiment gone terribly awesome, Quake is running on a modified Darkspaces engine, which then converts images in the game to 96 kHz audio signals. These signals are then displayed on the oscilloscope as some of the most trippy waveform we've ever seen.

The end result is a surprisingly playable game. While there's a bit of a struggle to see doorways and portals, the enemies show up just fine. And since the audio is still coming through standard speakers, you'll still get the classic shotgun blasts, and Nine Inch Nails soundtrack.

Between this, and Doom running on an inkjet printer, you really can play id Software games on anything.

Source: Kepuli Games (YouTube)

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I'm trying to think up words for this since it's the most amazing thing I'll see all week. I mean........gah *head explodes*

That's thoroughly awesome.

Very cool, never would of thought it was possible to play a game on a oscilloscope.

With Doom running on TI-83s and printers and Quake now on oscilloscopes, what's next? Wolfenstein 3D on digital multimeters? Commander Keen on telegraph machines?

Briantb:
Very cool, never would of thought it was possible to play a game on a oscilloscope.

One of the first video games ever, called the cathode ray tube amusement device, used a CRT (Probably from a radar, similar to an oscilloscope's CRT) to simulate a missile firing at an airplane. I think the airplane was an overlay. (Anyone remember the overlays from the pre-2600 days?)

The oscilloscope here is basically a glorified TV, with a special signal conversion to adapt to what it's designed to accept.

Between playing Doom on a calculator and this... I'm beyond words to express how freaking awesome this is.

Hairless Mammoth:
One of the first video games ever, called the cathode ray tube amusement device, used a CRT (Probably from a radar, similar to an oscilloscope's CRT) to simulate a missile firing at an airplane. I think the airplane was an overlay. (Anyone remember the overlays from the pre-2600 days?)

I think there's an AVGN episode about one of the first consoles using an overlay on your TV screen and moving a bunch of knobs to move the light, it was pretty much a glorified tabletop game with a TV screen showing a little light.

Wow, that's like three obsolete things in one :P

Is there a version where it gets loaded up on a VCR at the same time?

Damn, if you watch that you will get headaches :D
But damn this is great! Nice work!

Sigmund Av Volsung:
Wow, that's like three obsolete things in one :P

Is there a version where it gets loaded up on a VCR at the same time?

Since when is an oscilloscope obsolete? I'm guessing you don´t do much electrical DIY?

So how long before some indie shooter does this art style intentionally? Like a trippier Fotonica?

That'd be rad. I'm in.

Sigmund Av Volsung:
Wow, that's like three obsolete things in one :P

Is there a version where it gets loaded up on a VCR at the same time?

I used an oscilloscope almost every day while at university this year. Maybe you should look into what they are actually for?

Mike Richards:
So how long before some indie shooter does this art style intentionally? Like a trippier Fotonica?

That'd be rad. I'm in.

Me too, I'd totally play it.

I feel like they could make the screen a lot more "readable" if they cut down the image to just outlines instead of the whole wireframe. There are methods for doing this. I don't know anything about oscilloscopes, but reducing the lines being drawn would also cut back on the flicker I'm seeing, wouldn't it?

 

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