Designing The Original Xbox Boot Sequence


Gamasutra has a pretty cool article about the design process for the original Xbox’s boot sequence.  It goes into details about the limitations and hardware used in order to match the eight second animation with a very small memory budget.  Check out an excerpt after the jump.

“For raw materials, I used a couple of different techniques.  I was able to synthesize on the fly a few very useful waveforms: white noise, sine and sawtooth waves.  These are fast and easy to calculate and also provide great raw material from which to make sequences, particularly given the signal processing available on the Xbox.  And they required virtually zero ROM memory!  But that wasn’t quite enough.  So for additional waves, I recorded 8-bit sound data, concentrating on the attacks.  In total, 3 short digitized waveforms were used, a thunder sound, a cannon sound  and glockenspeil, each recorded at a horrifyingly low sampling rates of between 6kHz and 10kHz.   I also wrote a quick piece of code to reverse the data in the thunder sound, which provided me with a 4th digitized sound “reverse thunder” without needing any extra ROM memory which is mixed in as part of the lead-in to the big green flash about 6 seconds in.”

Read the whole article here: Gamasutra

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