Developer Brings Toon Shading And Dynamic Shadows To Nintendo 64

Quite the marvel that we're after here.

“Reality can be whatever I want” – probably the developer of the Styx game for the Nintendo 64 that features advanced graphical features like toon shading and dynamic shadows and not Thanos. A YouTuber called James Lambert has seemingly done the amazing, making the N64 conquer new heights after all this time. 

Taking to YouTube to showcase the development of the entire project, Lambert has explained how he came about developing a game that would go on to comprise such ahead-of-its-time mechanics, especially running on a platform that came out 26 years ago more or less. 

According to Lambert, the Nintendo 64’s Reality Display Processor (RDP) is the component of the console that required a bit of a tweak here and there. Since the console does not have a programmable pixel pipeline and rather has a fixed one, configuration of the pipeline was required in order to achieve certain effects.

The Rundown:

  • A game developer has just created a downloadable N64 ROM for Windows, macOS, and Android. The game is called Styx and it features toon shading and real-time use of dynamic shadows.
  • These advanced graphical mechanics work on the original Nintendo 64 hardware, which is basically a first for the iconic Nintendo console ever since it came out in 1996. 
  • The game’s development started on August 30 and was all wrapped up on October 30, which is just a span of two months. A total of 3 people have worked on creating the game.
  • The developer — James Lambert — has created Styx as their entry into this year’s N64Brew Game Jam–a small-time game competition that challenges people to create Nintendo 64 games in two months.

On-screen effects formed by the Nintendo 64 are all made possible with the help of the console’s Reality Display Processor. The limit at which this particular component can operate dictates the depth of the effects that you see on the screen. Realizing just that, James Lambert had to get creative with the rendering process

Therefore, the developer in question utilized the efficiency of an 8-bit color buffer in the context of revamping the RDP of the Nintendo 64. the This was all so that toon shading could become a part of Styx. Here is a complete breakdown of everything that had to be switched up in order for these visual enhancements to come to life.

YouTube video

As for the game itself, Styx is a lightweight, fun-filled game that is painted in the colors of typical Nintendo 64 fashion. The fact of the matter is that the title features elements that pertain to Jeff Bezos’ Amazon. The protagonist of the game is called Albert who is a skeleton-like figure. 

You’re expected by Tony — the warehouse manager where you work — to deliver items from one point to the next. Upon dropping items, a ghost pops out of the warehouse and comes after you. It’s your task to prevent that from happening and meddle about with due diligence.

Gameplay Snapshot of Styx
Gameplay Snapshot of Styx

Here’s what the description of the game reads, 

Now many Styx customers are Prime Members and they expect their skulls, pumpkins, candles, and rats NEXT DAY for FREE. It is your duty and purpose to get them what they want. So go get em, Albert.”

Quite amazing to see how people are utilizing their talent in the gaming industry to make flat-out breakthroughs come to the light. Do let us know what you think in the comments section down below about this. Oh, and if you’re thinking of trying the title out, feel free to grab it from the official Styx website.

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John Rooney is a News Writer on eXputer who’s been keeping up with the gaming and technology industries since he was 14. If there’s a buzz in the industry, John’s news report will be among the first you’ll read on the internet. He’s got a Bachelor's in Journalism and has several years worth of experience reporting on the gaming industry. Experience: 6+ Years || Education: Bachelor's in Journalism || Published 200+ News Stories ||

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