shmups.system11.org

Shmups Forum
 
* FAQ    * Search
 * Register  * Login 
It is currently Sat May 25, 2019 8:57 am View unanswered posts
View active topics



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: What resolution should my game be? (MAME resolution audit)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 6:59 am 


User avatar

Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 2618
Hello all.

I exported MAME's database to XML, filtered out the resolution tags using grep, turned each line into an SQLite insert statement in Emacs and ran the whole thing as a new table in SQLite.
According to my technique the following are resolutions by popularity.

Oddly 640x480 came in 2nd which seems fishy.
Usually these resolutions are ~300 x ~200.
Oh, and the super tiny resolutions are for displays on pinball machine score boards.
One other thing it doesn't count physical screen rotation so a 240x320 game and a 320x240 game both count as the same thing. :roll:

https://pastebin.com/TzwXSL7p
_________________
Some of the best shmups don't actually end in a vowel.
No, this game is not Space Invaders.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What resolution should my game be? (MAME resolution audi
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:43 am 


User avatar

Joined: 16 Feb 2016
Posts: 554
Location: Portugal
I think it mostly depends on whether you it is an horizontal or vertical game, and which aspect ratio you which for it to run at.

If you're developing for a 4:3 monitor, then I think 320x240 or 640x480 would be best. The difference mostly comes down to how much detailed you want it to be; that is, a 320x240 game scaled by two will occupy the same resolution as 640x480, so the only difference would be whether you want to draw the sprites at native 640x480, or to scale the ones drawn at 320x240.

I'm pretty certain that many, if not most, of those resolution would be scaled to 4:3 on an actual cabinet (some missing a few scanlines on the top/bottom, others on the left/right, etc), so all those different resolutions can be a little misleading. For example, 256x224 is NES NTSC resolution, and 256x240 is NES PAL resolution.

Similar with 16:9 resolutions; for example, 1280x720 or 640x360 (or similar; depends on whether you want the game to occupy the entire screen, because then you'd want to use a resolution that the monitor supports natively. Might support one lower than 1280x720, but I'm not certain).

And, if I'm not mistaken, Daioujou, for example, has a native aspect ratio of 2:1, but is scaled to 4:3 on an actual cabinet.

Of course, the actual playing area of the game doesn't have to be the same as the monitor's aspect ratio (unless you're going with an horizontal game, and you want it to occupy the whole screen, or you're going with a vertical game on a vertical monitor (3:4), again, also occupying the whole screen). Some games use a nearly square playing area, like ChoRenSha (don't know if it's actual square, but it's close).

You might want to play around with them a bit, and see what you think feels the best. :wink:


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What resolution should my game be? (MAME resolution audi
PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:15 am 


User avatar

Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 1118
Location: Gurmany
It totally depends what you are going for. This now is me speaking as an game developer and specifically as an artist.

If you want your shmup to use oldschool pixelart I would recommend sticking with something in the vicinity of 320x240 and having good scaling support.
If you are using prerendered 3D for most things, I would go as high as full HD, maybe even more, depending.

An important thing is of course aspect ratio, and for shmups this is not just a matter of what monitors people have, but what makes sense from a gameplay perspective.
Widescreen format for a vert would be somewhat awkward I imagine, but the extra screenspace could be used for HUD, in both tate and yoko.
For horis widescreen can work just fine imo, as it is more natural to the way our eyes take in things.
Widescreen horivert would potentially be the worst of both worlds. Jamestown does this, PLUS horizontal scrolling, and while I don't think it's a bad game, I don't think this helps.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What resolution should my game be? (MAME resolution audi
PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 10:06 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 16 Feb 2016
Posts: 554
Location: Portugal
An yes, I was thinking only of 2D games, given that the emphasis on MAME games' resolutions.

ptoing wrote:
An important thing is of course aspect ratio, and for shmups this is not just a matter of what monitors people have, but what makes sense from a gameplay perspective.


Yeah, the playing area is the most important thing; you can always add letterboxes/pillarboxes to match whatever screen aspect ratio the user has, which, while (possibly) not the best result, is always better than undermining the gameplay experience by focusing only on it. And you also have to keep the horizontal scrolling (for verts; vertical scrolling for horis) in mind, as they also affect how the game feels.

Personally, I really like 3:4 for vertical STGs and 4:3 for horizontal ones. I think they have a good balance between vertical distance to see enemies/shots coming, and horizontal space for moving around.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What resolution should my game be? (MAME resolution audi
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:35 am 


User avatar

Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 2618
ptoing wrote:
If you want your shmup to use oldschool pixelart I would recommend sticking with something in the vicinity of 320x240 and having good scaling support.


One thing to mention here is to render to the 320x240 buffer then scale the buffer. Never render sprites at double resolution and then have them moving and rotating on a high def grid.
New developers almost ALWAYS get that wrong.

'I'll just double scale my sprites and keep them moving in 1920x1080"
_________________
Some of the best shmups don't actually end in a vowel.
No, this game is not Space Invaders.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What resolution should my game be? (MAME resolution audi
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:34 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 1118
Location: Gurmany
Pixel_Outlaw wrote:
ptoing wrote:
If you want your shmup to use oldschool pixelart I would recommend sticking with something in the vicinity of 320x240 and having good scaling support.


One thing to mention here is to render to the 320x240 buffer then scale the buffer. Never render sprites at double resolution and then have them moving and rotating on a high def grid.
New developers almost ALWAYS get that wrong.

'I'll just double scale my sprites and keep them moving in 1920x1080"


I agree in principle, but it is not a gamebreaking issue. As in, if your game is good, it wont make your game really any worse. For a good recent example see ZeroRanger.
And depending on what kind of aesthetic you are going for it can work, but it has to look intentional. An indie game in which it works, imo, is Death Road to Canada.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What resolution should my game be? (MAME resolution audi
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:35 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 02 Dec 2010
Posts: 3551
Location: the black gate
__SKYe wrote:
I'm pretty certain that many, if not most, of those resolution would be scaled to 4:3 on an actual cabinet (some missing a few scanlines on the top/bottom, others on the left/right, etc), so all those different resolutions can be a little misleading. For example, 256x224 is NES NTSC resolution, and 256x240 is NES PAL resolution.

Oh, it's much worse than that. Many of those weird resolutions are correct. The 4:3 stretched picture is inaccurate for numerous games across numerous platforms. You can easily tell by looking at circular objects and how objects (projectiles, characters) travel. More often than not you get misshapen ovals and bizarre squished trajectories. The vast majority of artists and programmers were clearly making these games against the internal resolution, not the final picture on a normal TV screen or arcade monitor. It's very reasonable to assume that even games with unclear signs still have problems (e.g. Super Mario Bros).

Good example of an exception: Capcom with their CP System series. These three platforms have a very long, almost 16:9 internal resolution, but as far as I know every single game on all three platforms looks wrong at that resolution.

There's also some hardware that was either 320x240 or something very close. CAVE 1st gen hardware is 320x240, for example. The Mega Drive has multiple video modes, and one of those is a 320x224 resolution that is close enough you wouldn't really notice the difference. Another of those is a 256x224 resolution like the NES and SNES, and games in that mode do indeed look better without scaling to 4:3 like other platforms; Fire Mustang is a great example, and the original USAAF Mustang used that resolution as well.

blast processing is no joke, the mega drive is a very powerful machine that was underutilized
_________________
In 1989,The Great Wall was discoverd
In 1990,The Picket Fence was also discoverd


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What resolution should my game be? (MAME resolution audi
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:19 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 13 Dec 2014
Posts: 3322
Location: Ringing the bells of fortune
The answer to the thread is whatever this counts as.

More seriously, 320x240 or similar is going to be the most common in MAME given the sorts of games that MAME emulates in the first place, but if you're making a shmup nowadays I think you could easily justify 640x480 or higher. For instance, pretty much every Touhou game runs in a 640x480 window with a play area that's a fraction of that size but still well over 240x320.

ptoing wrote:
Pixel_Outlaw wrote:
ptoing wrote:
If you want your shmup to use oldschool pixelart I would recommend sticking with something in the vicinity of 320x240 and having good scaling support.


One thing to mention here is to render to the 320x240 buffer then scale the buffer. Never render sprites at double resolution and then have them moving and rotating on a high def grid.
New developers almost ALWAYS get that wrong.

'I'll just double scale my sprites and keep them moving in 1920x1080"


I agree in principle, but it is not a gamebreaking issue. As in, if your game is good, it wont make your game really any worse. For a good recent example see ZeroRanger.
And depending on what kind of aesthetic you are going for it can work, but it has to look intentional. An indie game in which it works, imo, is Death Road to Canada.

Agree with this - I think it also worked fine in Ten and Till.

ptoing wrote:
Widescreen horivert would potentially be the worst of both worlds. Jamestown does this, PLUS horizontal scrolling, and while I don't think it's a bad game, I don't think this helps.

I hear that the widescreen in Jamestown works better with co-op, though that's purely hearsay on my part, I've never actually played the game.
_________________
Image
NTSC-J: You know STGs are in trouble when you have threads on how to introduce them to a wider audience and get more people playing followed by threads on how to get its hardcore fan base to play them, too.
1CCs | Twitch | YouTube


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What resolution should my game be? (MAME resolution audi
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:20 pm 



Joined: 18 Aug 2015
Posts: 10
240x320 ! The ultimate resolution for a good ol' arcade shmup!


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What resolution should my game be? (MAME resolution audi
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:45 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 08 Feb 2009
Posts: 4829
I also advocate for 240x320 base myself, but if you think you can do better with a higher 3:4 (or 4:3 if you're doing a hori) then whatever floats your boat.

As to the reason MAME's database showed 640x480 as the second highest listing, it's probably because of skeleton drivers as well as PC-based hardware titles. All the skeletons I've seen default to 640x480 where information isn't readily available about the actual resolution, or even if it is and hasn't been fleshed out. For example, Cave CV1000 showed up with this res when it was just a skeleton.
_________________
Projects: G.M.O.S.S.E / Warbird A13:02 / Zenohell / XII STAG Hi-Score Thread


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What resolution should my game be? (MAME resolution audi
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:01 am 


User avatar

Joined: 18 Jan 2010
Posts: 432
Location: Frying over a jungle and saving the nature
Despatche wrote:
Good example of an exception: Capcom with their CP System series. These three platforms have a very long, almost 16:9 internal resolution, but as far as I know every single game on all three platforms looks wrong at that resolution.


Now I'm curious. Is this why many Capcom games during the CPS2 era looked horizontally squashed on actual hardware?
_________________
--Papilio v0.9 Beta now on itch.io! (development thread)--
Xyga wrote:
Blondest eyelashes ever.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Space Pilot 3K template by Jakob Persson
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group