This, believe it or not, is a zoomed-out view of a real-time strategy game for the PC called Factorio. A game that one guy has managed to turn into a working video player.
Factorio is an RTS title that, at its most superficial level, is a game about building factories. Inspired by some Minecraft mods, though, the game has a strong emphasis on research and automation, which allows users to “program” their builds.
This extraordinary effort by DaveMcW is one such example. He’s turned a complex of factories into a working video player.
The video below starts off zooming out, so you can see the coding in action before the actual footage kicks in.
How does it work? If you don’t play the game it’s a bit hard to explain, but you can program your factories kind of like…well, actual programming.
DaveMcW built a system where a complex of buildings work to handle memory, decoding and display. With ten of those complexes put together, they could be fed video code, and output a watchable low-res version of the clip.
Or…yes, if you want to get reductive, the video is a whole lot of blinking. Incredibly complex, programmed blinking, that can play a terrible old Darude video.
If you play Factorio, you can get a rundown on how it was all put together at the game’s forum.