Biggest System Flaws

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Negative Creep
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Re: Biggest System Flaws

Post by Negative Creep » Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:53 pm

PostieDoc wrote:
General Opulence wrote:PC - where do i start!? Still cant do proper plug n play with joysticks, mice without installing something, not all my mice work, but the biggest bugbear with PCs is that even today, not like its the 80s or even early 90s but 2015 is the incompatibility with games, you buy a game in the shop, install it, it crashes, update it, it crashes, spent countless hours trying to get it to work, finally find out its not 100% compatible even though my system passed all the specs needed on the box, not just one game, a few over several years, its the only system where that is possible and certainly pc gaming will never be regarded in high regard for me :lol:
Wait, you still buy PC games from shops? As in physical copies? :shock:
The only physical PC games I have these days are from kickstarter rewards, everything else is digital from GOG and Steam.
The incompatibility problems are not even a fraction as bad as they were in the 90s. The PC is very much a relevant gaming platform for many.
Having said that I'm going back to my Xbox 1 to play Forza 6.

It has definitely improved - I remember the "good old days" of having to constantly recalibrate joysticks, hoping you could find a patch on a floppy disk, blue screens of death and being told the program was shutting down because it had performed an illegal operation
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OldSkoolCoolFool
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Re: Biggest System Flaws

Post by OldSkoolCoolFool » Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:11 pm

The Beans wrote:ZX Spectrum - attribute clash.
I love me some colour clash, without it the Spectrum wouldn't be the same! When games were programmed with a little though about the limits of the Spectrums handling of colour they looked great.

Also the positioning of the mouse/joystick ports on the underside of the ST... Whoever thought of that deserved a good solid kick to the underside of their crotch!
Jagfest_UK wrote:Looks like your use of the letter T made your trousers fall down :wink:

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Matt_B
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Re: Biggest System Flaws

Post by Matt_B » Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:40 pm

OldSkoolCoolFool wrote:
The Beans wrote:ZX Spectrum - attribute clash.
I love me some colour clash, without it the Spectrum wouldn't be the same! When games were programmed with a little though about the limits of the Spectrums handling of colour they looked great.
Yes. Attribute clash isn't a flaw; it's a feature. It was the only practical way of getting a 16 colour hi-res display into the limited memory of the machine at the time and there are plenty of games that exploited it to good effect as well as ones that suffered.
Also the positioning of the mouse/joystick ports on the underside of the ST... Whoever thought of that deserved a good solid kick to the underside of their crotch!
It's not like Atari didn't know better either. On the original ST they were on the side in the position where the internal floppy drive later went.

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van
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Re: Biggest System Flaws

Post by van » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:03 am

From USA standpoint...

SMS Model 2 being RF only

Turbografx having only one controller port

Oh...and saturn being released. :lol:

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Liamh1982
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Re: Biggest System Flaws

Post by Liamh1982 » Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:01 pm

van wrote:From USA standpoint...

SMS Model 2 being RF only
Not just an American problem, I have to tell you. I did have a model 1 but it broke before I had the chance to try my Mega Drive RGB cable on it. :cry:

Still looking for one for the right price, problem is it might not fit into my current set-up.

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Re: Biggest System Flaws

Post by NorthWay » Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:12 pm

Matt_B wrote: Yes. Attribute clash isn't a flaw; it's a feature. It was the only practical way of getting a 16 colour hi-res display into the limited memory
Yes and no. Given the bandwidth they spend it could probably have been 4 colours like the mid-res CPC mode but then giving up the attributes. And the system was really controlling 16K for display use (though you can't use that in any way. Well, possibly not until the 128K.)

I like the sneaky way they access the attribute memory - other machines could have done some cool stuff if they had thought the same way.

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The Beans
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Re: Biggest System Flaws

Post by The Beans » Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:27 pm

Matt_B wrote: Yes. Attribute clash isn't a flaw; it's a feature.
I guffawed at this. The outrageous retconning of it. Of course, the attribute clash was clearly a desirable feature of the humble speccy. Of course it was. Game programmers everywhere must have been scratching their heads about how they could work some of that lovely clash into their latest opus. Maybe sacrifice some jerky scrolling? A few less pitiful beep sounds here and there? What a dilemma it must have been. Or not.
If it's slower than me, dumber than me and it tastes good ... tough titty.

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Matt_B
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Re: Biggest System Flaws

Post by Matt_B » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:31 pm

The Beans wrote:
Matt_B wrote: Yes. Attribute clash isn't a flaw; it's a feature.
I guffawed at this. The outrageous retconning of it. Of course, the attribute clash was clearly a desirable feature of the humble speccy. Of course it was. Game programmers everywhere must have been scratching their heads about how they could work some of that lovely clash into their latest opus. Maybe sacrifice some jerky scrolling? A few less pitiful beep sounds here and there? What a dilemma it must have been. Or not.
Er... no. The point I was making was that attribute clash is an unavoidable side-effect of the feature that allows the Spectrum to have colour graphics at all. Perhaps the technical aspects of it fly over your head, or you're just not interested in them, but there's no need to quote me out of context and totally misrepresent what I've said.

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RodimusPrime
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Re: Biggest System Flaws

Post by RodimusPrime » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:40 pm

Matt_B wrote:
The Beans wrote:
Matt_B wrote: Yes. Attribute clash isn't a flaw; it's a feature.
I guffawed at this. The outrageous retconning of it. Of course, the attribute clash was clearly a desirable feature of the humble speccy. Of course it was. Game programmers everywhere must have been scratching their heads about how they could work some of that lovely clash into their latest opus. Maybe sacrifice some jerky scrolling? A few less pitiful beep sounds here and there? What a dilemma it must have been. Or not.
Er... no. The point I was making was that attribute clash is an unavoidable side-effect of the feature that allows the Spectrum to have colour graphics at all. Perhaps the technical aspects of it fly over your head, or you're just not interested in them, but there's no need to quote me out of context and totally misrepresent what I've said.
umm, unavoidable side effect = flaw in my book.

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Matt_B
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Re: Biggest System Flaws

Post by Matt_B » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:25 pm

RodimusPrime wrote:
Matt_B wrote:Er... no. The point I was making was that attribute clash is an unavoidable side-effect of the feature that allows the Spectrum to have colour graphics at all. Perhaps the technical aspects of it fly over your head, or you're just not interested in them, but there's no need to quote me out of context and totally misrepresent what I've said.
umm, unavoidable side effect = flaw in my book.
In your book perhaps, but not in any dictionary I've come across.

Plus the fact remains that it's inextricable from the Spectrum having colour at all, as the only way for the machine to not have attribute clash was to not have attributes. Then again, maybe you think they should have gone with a mono display?

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RodimusPrime
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Re: Biggest System Flaws

Post by RodimusPrime » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:53 pm

So I guess Blurry visuals on N64, Bad scrolling on Amstrad, Wobbly textures on PS1, and motion blurr on game gear are all features rather than flaws then.

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OldSkoolCoolFool
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Re: Biggest System Flaws

Post by OldSkoolCoolFool » Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:07 pm

Colour clash, attribute clash, whatever you want to call it... It's such a huge part of the Spectrum and alongside the limited colour palette gives such a unique look that I wouldn't contemplate changing it. The ridiculous placement of the mouse and joystick ports on the Atari ST however, that I would love to change.
Jagfest_UK wrote:Looks like your use of the letter T made your trousers fall down :wink:

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Re: Biggest System Flaws

Post by Matt_B » Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:33 pm

RodimusPrime wrote:So I guess Blurry visuals on N64, Bad scrolling on Amstrad, Wobbly textures on PS1, and motion blurr on game gear are all features rather than flaws then.
In most of those cases, yes.

The "blurry visuals" you see in N64 games is bilinear filtering which is definitely a feature, as it can be turned on and off independent of what else you're doing with the machine. Most developers used it because it mitigated against low resolution textures which allowed the machine to render faster, and reduced the size of their cartridges. You could perhaps consider the latter flaws, but fixing them wouldn't come without costs.

The "bad" scrolling on the Amstrad CPC is certainly a feature too, and I use quotes because it's not like you'd look at games like Star Sabre or Edge Grinder and say they scroll egregiously using the same hardware. Even back in the day, there's the likes of Mission Genocide and Mr Heli - the latter of which scrolls rather better than the Amiga version - that look pretty good to me. Most bad scrolling on the machine is bad programming, or at least rushed programming by developers who didn't really have the time to get to grips with what the hardware was fully capable of. The flaw, if there is one, is only offering official support for horizontal scrolling in 4-pixel increments in the hardware, and that in itself doesn't look particularly bad when games use it well.

You see wobbly textures on the PS1 because it's using limited precision fixed point maths to calculate the shapes of polygons. Aside from the fact that even this was a revolutionary capability for a console at the time, it was a trade off between precision and being able to render more polygons. If games were only a quarter as detailed they could probably have looked rock solid, but that wasn't the trade-off that developers wanted.

Motion blur in the Gamegear was a limitation of pretty much all the affordable LCD displays at the time, and criticism of it seems mostly retrospective from an era when such displays have a much faster response time.

That's what it comes down to, for me. When something is a side effect of a justifiable design decision, it seems a bit harsh to be calling it a flaw. On the other hand, there were certainly plenty of better locations for the joystick and mouse ports on the ST.

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Liamh1982
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Re: Biggest System Flaws

Post by Liamh1982 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 3:17 am

Yes, the GG's screen wasn't great but even though it was in colour it didn't suffer half as badly from blur as quite a lot of the monochrome handhelds of the era - the Supervision, Gamate, Mega Duck, even the game.com which wasn't released until the latter part of the 90s.

Mind you, the fact the Lynx had a pretty crisp display for the era does add fuel to the fire about Sega manufacturing the GG with ALL the cheapest parts, not just the notorious capacitors.

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joefish
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Re: Biggest System Flaws

Post by joefish » Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:17 am

If you compare N64 and Playstation graphics, you can see that close-up, Playstation textures have large, sharply defined, big square texture pixels. But on the N64, each point of colour is blended smoothly into the next, giving a blurred effect but no big fat squares. It's definitely a deliberate feature. Which you prefer depends on how used you are to pixellated graphics.

A lot of the distortion in Playstation polygons is down to them not allowing for perspective when doing the texture mapping. The texture is just skewed according to two sides of the triangle as it appears on screen, meaning features like vertical stripes get slanted sideways.

It becomes apparent in an FPS where they want square wall sections, and lazily make each square out of two triangles. When you get close to the wall at an angle, any vertical lines in one triangle slant one way, and in the other triangle slant the other. To get round it, some developers would chop the wall sections up into four triangles, meaning less distortion.

A better game like Rage Racer actually chops up the scenery dynamically into more and more polygons as it gets closer to you so that there's less distortion when it's rendered. And if you listen carefully in Hydro Thunder, you can hear a tour guide describing the process of 'dynamic tesellation' as you whizz past the tourist boats in the jungle level.

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