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Industry Events

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AIAG June Packaging Technical Networking Session

Mark your calendars to join industry professionals for AIAG's 1st of 2 Pack evcoxbou. hublot classico cronografo di fusioneaging Technical Networking Sessions in 2017. Building on previous participant recommendations, the focus will be on the latest industry trends, innovations, and their associated technologies. Planned speakers will be directly associated with electronics packaging, mobility, and electrified vehicles.

Networking opportunities will be available to further exchange ideas.

Exhibitors will be present to display their solutions during breaks and lunch.

 LOCATION: Southfield


 PHONE: 248.358.9775

  6/1 - 6/1

 Facility: AIAG, Southfield, MI

 Sponsors: AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group)

Plastics in Motion 2017

Industry leaders will convene at "Plastics-in- Motion" to discuss the challenges and explore new technologies for using plastics in the transportation industry.



 PHONE: 313-429-3905

  6/4 - 6/7

 Facility: Detroit Marriott Troy

 Sponsors: Executive Conference Management

Vicari Auction New Orleans

Join Vicari Auction in New Orleans, LA at the famed Mardi Gras World for their annual auction on July 8. New Orleans is known for it's friendly people, great food, multitudes of attractions and late night activities. Vicari Auction will be holding their auction the day after the Louisiana Tour on July 6 & 7, which will cruise through the beautiful landscapes of Louisiana from Natchitoches to Baton Rouge to Madisonville to New Orleans on this two day journey. The following day, enjoy the auction at Mardi Gras World which overlooks the Mississippi River. There will be a car show with over 100 cars strutting their stuff and a special viewing of the first officially sanction Batmobile. We will be expecting around 200 cars for this one day auction.

Location: 1380 Port of New Orleans Place - Mardi Gras World
Admission: $10.00/day (Children 10 and under are free with paid adult)
Gates open: 8:00 a.m.
Car Show: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Float Den
Auction begins: 9:00 a.m.
Consignment fees:
Saturday: Sale Opener - $150, Standard Entry - $200, Prime Time - $250, Feature - $350
Express/Pre-Registration - June 23
On-site Registration Begins - July 7
Bidder fee: $75
*AFC, NextGear Capital and Floorplan Xpress accepted at auction

 LOCATION: 70130


 PHONE: 15042642277

  6/5 - 6/5

 Facility: 1380 Port of New Orleans Place
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The new tech making game preservation more authentic and future-proof

Digital Eclipse wants to build its engine into gaming's Criterion Collection.

For a medium that’s just a little over 40 years old (give or take), it’s kind of incredible just how many truly classic video games are completely out of print. Yes, there is a relative handful of random games available for download through Nintendo’s Virtual Console, Sony’s PlayStation Network, or Microsoft’s new Xbox 360 backwards compatibility. There’s an even smaller subset of games that have gotten the full “HD remake” treatment in recent years, making them once again available on a new generation of consoles.

For the vast majority of video games that exist, though, the only way to legally obtain a copy is to track down original hardware and used software that may not have been produced for decades. Digital Eclipse is looking to change that, using a mix of technology and attention to historical detail to ensure that the classics of gaming remain in circulation in a cost-effective, accurate, and respectful manner.

“Classic games are being devalued in the way they’re released,” Digital Eclipse’s Head of Restoration Frank Cifaldi told Ars in an interview (note: Cifaldi and I used to work together at Gamasutra). “The Virtual Console is a great platform for just buying a game and playing it, [but] I feel as a consumer when I download something like that, ‘OK, you sold me a ROM and an emulator. Is that all you've got for me?’”

To Cifaldi, spending a few bucks on an old game has to be about more than just the “convenience factor” of having the game on current hardware; “you have to provide some added value." To that end, this week’s release of Mega Man Legacy Collection, on Xbox One, PS4, Windows, and Nintendo 3DS, packs in the six original NES Mega Man games with the usual extras and more. The package comes with a full soundtrack, 800 pieces of concept art, a database of character information translated from the original Japanese development notes, and a new “challenge mode” that sends players through a grab bag of tough Mega Man moments.

Cifaldi compared the company’s efforts to The Criterion Collection, which makes definitive remastered prints of hundreds of classic movies, loads them with extra historical content, and keeps them in circulation through Blu-Ray and DVD sales. "We wanted to make this sort of a time capsule of contemporary classic Mega Man in the NES era," Cifaldi said.

Artistic Intent

A screenshot showing the filtering that makes <i>Mega Man Legacy Collection</i> look like it did on an old CRT.
Enlarge / A screenshot showing the filtering that makes Mega Man Legacy Collection look like it did on an old CRT.

Capturing a faithful experience of an old game on new hardware means paying a lot of attention to small, almost pedantic details. For one, games originally designed for a cathode ray tube (CRT) can look very different when shown on a modern, flat-panel LCD TV or monitor. Simply throwing up the same raw pixels on newer screen technology results in a blocky image that ends up unnaturally sharp and jagged when compared to a CRT's fuzzy, interlaced glow.

Emulator makers have already put a lot of effort into fixing this problem. Mega Man Legacy Collection builds on those efforts, offering a classic TV mode that tries to emulate the look and feel of an old composite cable being run through those old TVs, as well as a “monitor mode” that emulates a high-end, RGB broadcast monitor.

The team seems to have gone to somewhat ridiculous lengths to make sure that CRT recreation is tuned to what the developers at Capcom would have remembered. "We did sort of reference the screenshots that are in the Rockman 3 manual [in Japan], that appear to me to be photographs of the television that Capcom had in 1991 or whenever it was,” Cifaldi said. “We did go to that extent."

"A lot of the decisions we made were based on what was the artistic intent of these games,” Cifaldi continued. “The TV modes are in there because artistic intent for the pixel art, there's no definitive answer for that. I don't think these games were ever meant to look completely pixel perfect... but who knows, maybe [the developers] would have preferred that?"

Then there’s the matter of the aspect ratio Mega Man Legacy Collection can display its games as they were originally shown on the NES, as well as in a distorted, stretched mode that fills up an entire HDTV screen. "As a fan of those games, I'd prefer no one played it [stretched], but if you're the kind of person that can't stand your screen not being full, we've got you covered,” Cifaldi said.

Even at the smaller size, though, the team’s attention to detail means they weren’t satisfied with the usual square pixels used in emulated versions of NES games. “That's not how that game would have displayed on a CRT television,” Cifaldi said. “It would have been a little bit wider” because of the way the NES converted its video signal to horizontal scanlines. “If you were to actually measure the pixels on a CRT television from an NES output, it's not actually one to one, it's more like 8 to 7. So [our images are] stretched a little bit horizontally, which I don't think has ever been done in a commercial emulation project."

Future Proofing


After capturing historical context and artistic accuracy, the third prong of Digital Eclipse's preservation efforts is ensuring the games will still be playable as console hardware changes into the future. The Eclipse Engine is central to that effort, a proprietary piece of code scaffolding designed to make their games easy to port to any system that might come along.

"Whenever you port it to a new system, you're basically starting over,” Cifaldi said. “We made [the Eclipse Engine] with that in mind. How do we make this engine very easily portable, so that once we've made a game run on it, all we have to do is port the engine and the game should be mostly running on the next platform, we just have to fix it up…. It's designed with that functionality in mind where all the basic processes are easily portable, so the idea is once you have something running on it, it should run wherever Eclipse is."

Basically, Digital Eclipse wants its new engine to be the middle ground format that can help easily translate any classic game to run on any modern hardware. “The idea is that, when PlayStation 5 comes out, Capcom can give us a call about Mega Man and we can get it up in a month or two,” Cifaldi said. “It wouldn't be nearly as expensive as starting over.”

Sometimes getting a game into the Eclipse Engine will mean emulating the original hardware. Other games will need to be ported more directly by hand or decompiled and rebuilt for the new engine (as was the case with the NES Mega Man titles, due to publisher concerns with direct emulation).

Once these games are in Eclipse's engine, though, they can be ported en masse to any new platform in one fell swoop, with a minimum of work, regardless of where they originally came from. While it’s early days yet, Digital Eclipse hopes to build up a library of titles that it can convert to the Eclipse Engine, either by purchasing the rights or by working with the original publishers.

"The thinking is the more of these releases we do, the cheaper it gets for us to put other games on it,” Cifaldi said. “The idea is eventually to get to the point where you can go to a client that has old games and come at them with a very convincing argument that it's stupid not to keep releasing it in print, because it's basically free money.... We [want to] get to the point where keeping older games in print is a no-brainer."

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