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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paranoid marvin
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Mag Screenshots

Post by paranoid marvin » Sun Aug 19, 2007 3:47 pm

Stu Campbell has raised an interesting point on another thread , stating that it is preferrable for RG to present screenshots of games in their best light - ie by use of an emulator , beautifying the graphics by increased resolution.

An example of this is the Blast Corps screenshots on the N64 - the graphics look a lot better than they ever did on Nintendo's cartridge-based machine

Would we prefer to see 'uglier' more realistic screenshots , or nice tidied-up ones from an emulator? After all , as Stu points out , many who will play the game after reading about it in the mag will be using an emulator and those who have the original already know what the graphics originally looked like
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Post by psj3809 » Sun Aug 19, 2007 4:13 pm

The best version by an emulator 100%. No point showing a poor picture

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Post by Mickey T » Sun Aug 19, 2007 4:21 pm

It would seriously dent the amount of Freelancers and games that RG could cover if Emulators werent used.

Most people today who havent experienced a game will play via emulation, despite what they might tell you. Weteher this is right or wrong is subjective, but as most peoples experience will be via emulation then there doesnt seem to be a problem.

One thing that is criminally over looked in my opinion is that the tv technology most of us used back in the day ranged incredibly through quality, some tvs were much better at VDU than other. For me I had a trusty nec 15 Inch colour tv, and at every oppurtunity when the folks were out couldnt wait to hook up the videopac/spectrum/cbm64 to the folks massive 22" tv, the display quality was very dfferent ignoring the size difference. And as back then users all had a different idea about brightness and contrast, how we experienced many games probably wasnt how they were intended to look regardless despite relotuions and refresh rates. Gmaes visual quality varied depending on who's house you were playing in.

So to get a true reflection of how a game originally appeared would be very difficult indeed, especially as the games themselves look different on todays tvs. Interersting topic, but I think from a technology standpoint gamers tend to forget about the evolution of tv Not pal and NTSC but the screems themselves. When was the last time Mr Do! ghosted in and starred in a world cup qualifier on a modern tv :)
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paranoid marvin
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Post by paranoid marvin » Sun Aug 19, 2007 4:43 pm

I realise that it is fairly impractical to use the original hard/soft ware in the mag , and I dont want/expectt them to change

I was just curious as to whether people would like to see shots of the games how they would like to remember them, or how the actually looked

I have a few old mags with screenshots literally be photographs of the tv screen!
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Post by Mickey T » Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:34 pm

get ya!
Its a curious one isnt it though, I often toy with idea of picking up an old tv from a boot sale to have a look and listen, but I dont think I would be pleased with the outcome.

It would be interesting if someone had some actual screens that we could contrast with.
Last edited by Mickey T on Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by NorthWay » Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:36 pm

paranoid marvin wrote:I have a few old mags with screenshots literally be photographs of the tv screen!
What, exactly, do you think the "screenshot"s used to be?
Pause mode (preferably), right film, right exposure, dark room, and Bobs your uncle.

Which is why (to repeat myself) I think pictures both used to look better and were more correct than the 'perfect' shots you generally see now.

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Post by Weblaus » Sun Aug 19, 2007 6:13 pm

When there were still PSone games around, we used a home-made method to grab the screenshots directly from the console's memory, very similar to the way Xbox and Xbox 360 screenshots are often done.

I think everyone can agree that this is the most true to the original screenshot there can be. So most PSone games had a resolution of 320x200 pixel. Now, using an emulator, much higher resolutions can be done, along with upscaling and all that fancy stuff - but it's a distortion of reality.

And the issue with the N64 is even more obvious. One easy way to at least lessen it would be to do screengrabs in the native resolution of the console

I'm curious what the pro-emulator-screenshots people would say if Retro gamer started using heavy anti-aliasing filtering on screengrabs for bitmap-based games on home computers and the pre-3D-consoles? After all, having smoother lines and less pixelation would technically show a better picture, wouldn't it? Yet I guess you'd prefer playing a downloaded game on Xbox 360 or Wii with the original screen mode?

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Tellah
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Post by Tellah » Sun Aug 19, 2007 6:18 pm

http://www.xiaou2.homestead.com/files/difference.jpg
Highest res does not equal better pictures. It's the opposite with most retro games imo.

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paranoid marvin
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Post by paranoid marvin » Sun Aug 19, 2007 7:02 pm

well , it seems pretty much 50/50 at the moment

Personally , I prefer to see shots of games as I remember them back in the day. I don't mind seeing rough-and-ready graphics , that's part and parcel of retro gaming. In all honesty , generally speaking I don't mind whether screenshots are taken using an emulator or not , because (again generally speaking) the games don't really look that much different.

Having said that , I thought those N64 shots of Blast Corp looked decidedly odd ; and the higher resolution with smoother outlines , actually made the game look far worse , far blander , than it actually was.
Tbh I wouldn't like to see any other N64 games presented using the same emulatot settings as Blast Corps was

I've seen and played many emulators Some machines seem to emulate better than others - (I guess that's partly down to the emulator)
Personally , graphically speaking , I think that the arcade and Spectrum emulators look closest to the real thing , whereas the C64 and N64 seem to be difficult to emulate accurately
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Post by CraigGrannell » Sun Aug 19, 2007 7:23 pm

The funny thing is, even older systems can be made to look entirely different, depending on the filters in place. For example, Power64 offers five different scaling/anti-aliasing options, and that's for an 8-bit micro.

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Post by Dudley » Sun Aug 19, 2007 7:36 pm

I'd turn off whatever filter puts those diagonal lines in, that's just confusing.
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Xesh
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Post by Xesh » Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:57 pm

I prefer to see screen shots of the games as they were and not "prettified".

The screen shots should be taken at the native resolution appropriate to the system in question, imo.

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Post by Antiriad2097 » Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:31 am

I like to see the games as they were. I don't tend to use filters or antialiasing, as imo it looks worse than nice square pixels. N64 games never looked good, we know that. If we're going to have prettified pictures, label them as such for comparison. And if we are going to do that, why not go the whole hog and show the high res texture pack versions? There's a few of those for N64 and by god it needs it.
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Post by SirClive » Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:33 am

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.
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FatTrucker
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Post by FatTrucker » Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:08 am

A mix of the two.

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.

If however the screenshot is being presented in a way that doesn't distort the image then I would prefer to see the screenshot as it looked on the original system.
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