Mag Screenshots

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original or emulated

Poll ended at Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:47 pm

I prefer to see the game in its best light via emulation
22
42%
I prefer to see the game as it should be , even though it doesnt look as nice
24
45%
Don't care either way
7
13%
 
Total votes: 53

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CraigGrannell
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Post by CraigGrannell » Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:52 am

SirClive wrote:On emulation I use the software as it comes. I don't change the display settings, so I would say just use the standard emulator view, as that is what most people will see if they try the game today.
The thing is, we then have another argument: should be we using the software 'as it comes', or should we be amending the images to show what they actually look like on a screen? You might say, "Sure, Craig—that's what we've been talking about, you idiot," but I'd also say, "Think about the NES, then." That machine has a roughly square output via emulators, but this was scaled when the output hit a TV. In Retro Gamer, should we be using the de-facto output from the emulator, or should we be using grabs that have the correct aspect ratio?

As for the enlarged comment, I'd say grabs look significantly worse when they're anti-aliased—at least for older systems (Amiga and before). You end up with a blurry mess of pixels, rather than clean lines and shapes.
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Post by merman » Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:06 am

I do prefer the shots to look as close to the original as possible, but the Blast Corps shots were a good compromise.
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Post by Bub&Bob » Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:33 am

So, does the mag have to buy a copy of every game that it has an emulated screenshot for?! :wink:
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Post by CraigGrannell » Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:53 am

Bub&Bob wrote:So, does the mag have to buy a copy of every game that it has an emulated screenshot for?! :wink:
Nope. There are 'fair use' laws for the purposes of journalism—if there weren't, you wouldn't see any reviews for any media until about six weeks after it was in the shops or in cinemas.
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Post by Antiriad2097 » Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:34 am

FatTrucker wrote:If the screenshot is going to be enlarged in the mag making it a stretched and therefore pixellated mess then I think perhaps enhancement through an emulator is the way to go, simply so the larger screenshot retains an authentic look.
Even a double page spread barely matches the size of my old Bang & Olufsen telly. Stretching it and keeping nicely defined pixels makes it look authentic. It doesn't need 'enhancement', as in my eyes that's a degradation.
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Post by SirClive » Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:00 am

CraigGrannell wrote:
SirClive wrote:On emulation I use the software as it comes. I don't change the display settings, so I would say just use the standard emulator view, as that is what most people will see if they try the game today.
The thing is, we then have another argument: should be we using the software 'as it comes', or should we be amending the images to show what they actually look like on a screen? You might say, "Sure, Craig—that's what we've been talking about, you idiot," but I'd also say, "Think about the NES, then." That machine has a roughly square output via emulators, but this was scaled when the output hit a TV. In Retro Gamer, should we be using the de-facto output from the emulator, or should we be using grabs that have the correct aspect ratio?

As for the enlarged comment, I'd say grabs look significantly worse when they're anti-aliased—at least for older systems (Amiga and before). You end up with a blurry mess of pixels, rather than clean lines and shapes.
I think what I was trying to say was... 'I don't care'
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Post by paranoid marvin » Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:58 pm

merman wrote:I do prefer the shots to look as close to the original as possible, but the Blast Corps shots were a good compromise.
I thought the Blast Corps shots were the biggest argument for NOT using emulators that there's been . Imho the emulator made the game look far worse than it actually did on the N64
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Post by CraigGrannell » Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:45 pm

paranoid marvin wrote:I thought the Blast Corps shots were the biggest argument for NOT using emulators that there's been.
Frankly, if we didn't use emulators, you wouldn't have a magazine (or you'd have one without very many images). There might be an argument for trying to use default/'realistic' settings, but there's certainly not one for avoiding emulators entirely, unless a very rich Retro Gamer fan is willing to, say, quadruple our rates!
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paranoid marvin
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Post by paranoid marvin » Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:50 pm

CraigGrannell wrote:
paranoid marvin wrote:I thought the Blast Corps shots were the biggest argument for NOT using emulators that there's been.
Frankly, if we didn't use emulators, you wouldn't have a magazine (or you'd have one without very many images). There might be an argument for trying to use default/'realistic' settings, but there's certainly not one for avoiding emulators entirely, unless a very rich Retro Gamer fan is willing to, say, quadruple our rates!
sorry , I meant for using 'souped - up' shots
I've no problem with the use of emulators , provided they look like they should
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Tellah
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Post by Tellah » Mon Aug 20, 2007 5:40 pm

CraigGrannell wrote:
paranoid marvin wrote:I thought the Blast Corps shots were the biggest argument for NOT using emulators that there's been.
Frankly, if we didn't use emulators, you wouldn't have a magazine (or you'd have one without very many images). There might be an argument for trying to use default/'realistic' settings, but there's certainly not one for avoiding emulators entirely, unless a very rich Retro Gamer fan is willing to, say, quadruple our rates!
For 'realistic' pictures you can still use an emulator, running the output to a TV via s-video...taking pictures of the TV screen.
Clearly this would be a pain in the butt.
All this isn't something that bothers me much, but it can't be denied that retro games simply looked different to the shots in the mag.

let me ask... would you want pacman to look like this:
Image
or like this:
Image

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CraigGrannell
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Post by CraigGrannell » Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:49 pm

Come now—clearly, he should only look like this:

Image

Or like this:

Image
Last edited by CraigGrannell on Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Celebaglar » Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:59 pm

I think people forget that the eye compensates for indistinct graphics , specially when they're moving, so the idea that the blurred screenshots are "what we actually see" is a misnomer. In most cases it doesn't really relate to what you see when you are playing the game and just ends up like a blurred mess. Never liked that back in the '80s when magazines printed screenshots distorted by screen curvature and additional blurring, and wouldn't really like it now.

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Post by Xesh » Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:10 pm

CraigGrannell wrote:In Retro Gamer, should we be using the de-facto output from the emulator, or should we be using grabs that have the correct aspect ratio?
As I said before I think screen shots should be taken at the resolution appropriate to the system, and game, in question. :)

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will2097
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Post by will2097 » Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:13 am

Looking at the result it looks like we'll have to have three screen shots for every, err, screen shot.

1. Emulated.
2. Photographed from TV.
3. In Blank & White because that's how remember them, since we didn't get a colour telly until 1992.

:)

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Post by Heavy Stylus » Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:16 am

I'm all for emulation for the practical purposes of taking screenshots, but I positively despise 'smoothing' filters. I like my pixels blocky!

However, I think that RG does a superb job with their screen grabs - regardless of how they are taken.
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