Rescue on Fractalus!

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Rescue on Fractalus!
RescueOnFractalusBoxArt.jpg
Developer: Lucasfilm Games
Publisher: Epyx, Atari, Activision
Year: 1984
Platforms: Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, Commodore 128, TRS-80 CoCo, ZX Spectrum
Genre: Flight simulator
AI Era: (see era list)

Rescue on Fractalus! was a spaceship flight simulator in which the goal was rescue stranded pilots on an alien world.

Contents

Description of AI Behavior

Rescue on Fractalus! featured procedural terrain generation using fractals, which visually set the game apart from others at the time.

Architectures

Procedural Terrain Generation

Fractal Landscape
Procedural Fractal Terrain Generation
At the Lucasfilm Computer Division, Loren Carpenter was the primary creator of the fractal mountains in Star Trek 2's "Genesis effect" (video). Later he was asked by office mate David Fox if there might be a way to do similar fractal mountains on the Atari 800. Loren took home an Atari and within several weeks prototyped the fractal terrain for Rescue on Fractalus!.

Post-Mortem

What Worked

The fractal procedural terrain set the game apart with a unique visual look.

What Didn't Work

Due to the limited number of colors and processing power, the terrain was one color with jagged outlines. This made it a little difficult to make sense of the terrain depth when trying to land near a pilot. To help with navigation, an indicator in the top center gave additional information as to how close the ship was to the left and right mountains.

Reception by Public

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References

Reminiscing: Rescue on Fractalus, June 1997

Wikipedia, 2011

External Links

Gameplay video

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