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How Dino Dini's Soccer overcame the race issues posed by technology

Dino Dini's Soccer, the 1994 Sega Genesis game of yore, wasn't technologically prepared to introduce racially diverse sprite characters when development began.

According to developer Dini, likely best known for the Kick Off series of soccer simulation games, the Sega Genesis console did not have enough RAM to support all necessary sprites. When publisher Virgin asked for Dini to solve an issue that caused well-known black players to appear as white-skinned sprites, Dini was forced to re-think development of the game.

"Virgin said 'we need to make it so you have black and white players.' Black players everyone knew appeared with white skin. What am I going to do? I can't do that, there's no room."

"There was much thinking. Finally I thought 'oh, I have a cache. Why don't I take those sprites and re-color them on the fly. As it downloaded the sprite from the ROM, it took a shoe color and substituted it for skin color.

"That's why it worked. It hardly affected performance at all."

This would be the last game of his series of soccer simulation titles that began in the late 1980s. Dino Dini's work has since been overshadowed by the likes of FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer franchises; however, he continues to work in both developer and consultant roles for Igneous Entertainment Limited.

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