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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:31 pm 



Joined: 23 Mar 2011
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WelshMegalodon wrote:
Is this tidbit at all related to many PC-88 and PC-98 games appearing to look correct in letterbox?


Exactly. Here's Cotton X68000 running on real hardware on a 29'' arcade CRT. in 15khz wide (512x240) mode:
In truth the X68000 is actually outputting in 512x512. 512x240 are the pixels actually being drawn, the rest of the output is just empty unused space.
As you can see, full screen = bad. Manual letterbox = good.

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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:54 pm 



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er ... interestingly enough on the authoring intent issue moon vs bubble (?) seem to be different ratio'd circles, and the moon still looks stretched vertically in widescreen ... and the eyeballs on enemies appear stretched horizontally in widescreen?

... they're will be no perfect, there wasn't meant to be, just the way it is. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:14 pm 



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gray117 wrote:
er ... interestingly enough on the authoring intent issue moon vs bubble (?) seem to be different ratio'd circles, and the moon still looks stretched vertically in widescreen ... and the eyeballs on enemies appear stretched horizontally in widescreen?

... they're will be no perfect, there wasn't meant to be, just the way it is. :P


Well yeah, pixel perfect is almost impossible really. For example, I'm using a flat-glass monitor here, while original Sharp monitors were curved glass.
The X68000 works very similar to arcade pcbs, meaning you pretty much have to adjust the monitor for every single game. The idea of perfect 4:3 240p games is a total myth. Everything was slightly different.


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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:38 pm 


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tomwhite2004 wrote:
another game that i dont think has been mentioned is galaxian 3 which used multiple projectors rather than monitors.

YES! Thank you! This is one of the other shooters I was thinking of but couldn't remember.

gray117 wrote:
Aside from general curiosity I don't think there's too much need to know?

I'm considering building a dedicated multi-monitor or wide-mode MAME cabinet for a project but I'm trying to figure out how many games would utilize it, what the specs should be, and if it's even worth it. If nothing else, it would be nice to categorize the games separately when using a graphical launcher in a generic MAME cabinet.

SuperDeadite wrote:
Here's Cotton X68000 running on real hardware on a 29'' arcade CRT. in 15khz wide (512x240) mode:

OK.... that looks like the very first Cotton game then?

gray117 wrote:
vs bubble (?) seem to be different ratio'd circles,

The bubble outline looks to be fairly round to me in the second pic. I think the strong horizontal shading/transparency band in the middle might be throwing you off.


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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:54 am 


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I find it rather amusing how we simultaneously have near the top of Shmups Chat a thread listing current-gen console games that run in 4:3 and a thread listing classic arcade games that don't run in 4:3.
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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:08 am 


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It should be noted that Taito's stuff was using two different specs: three 4:3 monitor and two 4:3 monitor. Darius and The Ninja Warriors uses three-monitor, Darius II and Warrior Blade uses two-monitor. There are even conversion kits related to this. Strangely there was even a conversion kit for three-monitor games that turns them into a three-monitor Darius II. The resulting game is kinda jank, but it exists. I wonder if there's a three-monitor Warrior Blade as well...

That aside, Dariusburst AC also uses a two 16:9 monitor setup. None of the other Darius arcade games use multi-monitor, and almost none of the ports and related console games do either; that one exception is Dariusburst CS, which contains a port of Dariusburst AC in it with full multi-monitor support (in the PC version). The Darius II Saturn port tries to work around this in a really strange way...

komatik wrote:
tomwhite2004 wrote:
I think Capcom may have seen widescreen crt's in peoples homes

Not in '97 they didn't. I dunno what their rationale was for including the mode, but that wasn't it.

For some reason, a few Saturn games have anamorphic. This was before 1997 in many cases. NiGHTS had it, unsurprisingly.

Some PlayStation games did too, though many of these were 1998 or later. Strangely I think the earlier Formula 1 games (the two Bizarre Creations ones) have anamorphic...

Also, weirdly enough, the 32X port of Virtua Fighter has anamorphic. The Saturn version does not, however. No other 32X game does either, not even Virtua Racing Deluxe.

Shepardus wrote:
Or the developers just messed up/didn't care that their circles weren't circular. Surely they weren't just completely oblivious that everyone was playing their games on 4:3 screens?

That's exactly the thing, they clearly were! This isn't just a handful of games, this is almost the entire lineups of multiple consoles and the vast majority of arcade hardware that uses a non-4:3 internal resolution. This is so common that there is no other explanation. You have to actually hunt down the exceptions, and unfortunately it's the exceptions that people repeatedly cite as proof against this.

Yet every time I point this out, I get people denying it so vehemently that they will say things like "numerous developers clearly intended for all of this wrong behavior time and time again across multiple platforms", without a trace of irony in what they're saying. That's what happens when you believe something for so long, I guess. If anything, CPS games are proof of just how wrong this is, as they're a good example of a developer actually accounting for 4:3 screens properly. It's especially frustrating because anamorphic widescreen is a thing that exists, and it basically works like what the CPS games do but in reverse.

WelshMegalodon wrote:
You and me both. There are legions of idiots on the Internet who think that DUH DEVELOPPERS INTENDEDDED for games to be seen at some weird-ass display ratio. I chalk it up to people not knowing how ubiquitous 4:3 displays used to be and not understanding what a pixel clock is. Whether they are related to the morons who swear up and down that PS1 games were INTENDEDDED to be seen at 1080p and above I'm not certain, but I do have a hunch.

Oh please, I'm probably the only person on the internet who's even aware this happens, and it's precisely because so many people get so angry like this whenever I point it out.

If you wanna compare this to the idiots who let 4:3 games get stretched to 16:9 and think that's okay, YOU'RE the ones acting like that. That's the same thing as trying to play anamorphic widescreen mode on a 4:3 TV, and the same thing as trying to play all of these old games I'm talking about on a 4:3 screen.

donluca wrote:
The issue is that now there are entire generations that have never even seen a CRT monitor and they only play on emulators which, of course, map pixels 1:1 on the screen, so the aspect ratio is fucked up.

Although it would be easy to blame the players, I really want to call out the early emu devs on this for not putting 4:3 as the standard option on aspect ratio, even on full screen, thus leading to this whole mess.

It's a good thing they didn't, as this is literally the only way anyone would have ever known about it.

The real issue is that you worship this tech so strongly that you're willing to lie to yourself about something that's obvious to the kinds of people who don't just let 4:3 games stretch to 16:9!
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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:50 am 


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Despatche wrote:
The real issue is that you worship this tech so strongly that you're willing to lie to yourself about something that's obvious to the kinds of people who don't just let 4:3 games stretch to 16:9!


I've completely lost you on the tech part. What are you talking about? CRT?
I'm not worshipping anything at all and if you think that this whole thread is about CRTs it goes to show that you have absolutely missed the point. CRTs were simply what was available at that time and it happened that every single CRT in production was 4:3 and that's what everyone used.

I'm not saying it's a superior tech or whatever, just that since the developers and artists themselves used them (again, not because they were superior, but simply because there weren't alternatives), that's what they were looking at during the development time and, before shipping the game out, they looked at the result on their 4:3 screens and said "this is ok, we can start shipping the game".

Which means that if the moon is not perfectly round, they knew that and were ok with that.

Now, if you tell me "I don't like seeing an oval moon" then I really can't argue against that, same if you say "the moon is meant to be round", you're 100% correct.
But if you come here telling me that what we see in a 4:3 aspect ratio is not what the artists have envisioned, you're dead wrong.

EDIT: if you want I know a couple of developers who made games back in the 16-bit era, if you wish I may ask them directly about this if that would put your mind at ease.


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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:18 pm 


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Despatche wrote:
Taito's / Darius / conversion kits

Oh interesting thanks. I've seen AC but never played it, I always thought it was 3x 4:3. I know the console ports were single-screen obviously but I'm not considering those because I only care about PCB/MAME for this project.

Despatche wrote:
anamorphic

Hmm. My memory's fuzzy but I don't recall people having widescreen TVs until the 2000's. According to Wikipedia the first HDTV broadcast in the US was in 1996 and they were still uncommon in 1998. I know the 16:9 standard technically preceded HDTV by a decade, and that it's technically possible someone could have had a 16:9 standard def TV in the mid 90s, but I feel like that would have been so uncommon there's no way the devs would have cared. While arcades like Street Fighter may possibly have used an actual 16:9 for its wide mode since everything was already custom hardware, I think for home consoles I'll partially agree with tomwhite2004 that it was probably more a case that for some games adding widescreen was trivial and the developers were forward thinking enough to want to play with it for experience, but never expected anyone to use it.

Despatche wrote:
Shepardus wrote:
Surely they weren't just completely oblivious that everyone was playing their games on 4:3 screens?
That's exactly the thing, they clearly were!

Dude, no they were not. Seriously, think about what you're saying. It is NOT a sane argument to claim that the developers were oblivious to 99.9% of screen technology.

I will give you that 16:9 was an emerging standard, but you need to understand- 10:7, 8:7, 5:4, 3:2, and any other wacky ratio CRT screens Were. Not. A. Thing. They just weren't. No, the developers did not say "oh wow you mean people are playing our game on a normal 4:3 like literally everyone? I never would have guessed!". That is not a thing that happened. 99.9% of these games were displayed to the end user on a 4:3 screen and the developers were well and truly aware of that. If you're honestly trying to claim otherwise then you're a troll or literally insane.

Despatche wrote:
almost the entire lineups of multiple consoles and the vast majority of arcade hardware that uses a non-4:3 internal resolution.

Yes this is true. But what you're failing to grasp is that the width and height of the internal pixel grid had no bearing on the resulting output display aspect ratio. Arcade machines and home consoles are not some mythical magic talismans lost to the sands of time. We still have perfectly functional SNESs and arcade machines and shit, right now, today. You can take one and look at what it does, you can disassemble the circuitry and understand what it does. These systems output video with non-square pixels to 4:3 ratio screens. We know this for a fact. The developers knew this for a fact.

Despatche wrote:
This is so common that there is no other explanation.

There is another explanation. There are even two of them: "the devs cared about money not art and didn't give a fuck that the game would look distorted" and "the devs explicitly wanted it to look this way, just because you don't like the result doesn't invalidate their intentions". People have been telling you these explanations.

You have this weird idea that there's no possible way the very human developers could have just not cared about the result or wanted something different than what you want.

Despatche wrote:
Yet every time I point this out, I get people denying it so vehemently

People are arguing with you because you're the gaming equivalent of a flat-earther. The position you hold is just plain wrong, and your justifications are nonsense.

Despatche wrote:
It's especially frustrating because anamorphic widescreen is a thing that exists,
Despatche wrote:
you're willing to lie to yourself about something that's obvious to the kinds of people who don't just let 4:3 games stretch to 16:9!

    * "this game appeared to have support for the then-new 16:9 standard"
    * "you are stretching a non-16:9 game to fit your 16:9 screen, and that's wrong"
    * "I know this game was originally displayed in 4:3, but I personally don't like the way that looks so I'll run it differently even though it's technically wrong"
    * "this game was meant to be displayed at 23:17 on a custom CRT built just for this one game"
    * "developers had no clue that 4:3 was a standard and that 99.9% of CRTs and TVs were 4:3"

These are all separate arguments. The first three are sane, the last two are NOT. You are conflating them together and trying to use the sane ones to justify the insane ones.


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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:06 pm 


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The only other part of this argument I'll give you is that it's technically possible that for arcade machine conversion kits only (NOT home consoles or pre-built arcades) the designers could theoretically have included a manual to instruct the operators to manually adjust the CRTs with some weirdo scaling. I've never seen or heard of this happening but I'll leave the door open in case someone else has evidence that it did for a specific game.

For the purposes of my list I'll also make a note of any games people remember where all the operators commonly fucked up the screens the same way and what users ended up seeing wasn't what they were supposed to see.


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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:29 pm 



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I own about 50 pcbs, all of them show a grid or circle pattern on boot or in test mode. This exists so operators can adjust the display properly. While I'm sure that 99% of operators didnt care, the devs included the information needed to display as intended.


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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:48 am 


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Despatche wrote:
Yet every time I point this out, I get people denying it so vehemently that they will say things like "numerous developers clearly intended for all of this wrong behavior time and time again across multiple platforms", without a trace of irony in what they're saying.

They did though, I asked the NMK programmer about how they handled their pixel aspect ratio and he said the artists drew on a 4:3 display with their internal pixel aspect ratio, but the software doesn't account for the difference at all. It sounded very intentional and planned.

And again, in that situation, what would you (particularly) even consider "correct"? Graphics drawn for 4:3, program designed for 384x224 doesn't really leave you with a single "correct" ratio. The reality is it doesn't matter what the devs "intended" because that doesn't matter. The correct experience is the experience that you get without esoteric tuning that developers did not do: playing them in 4:3. They may have drawn them on a square pixel system, but when implemented into the game, they would only reasonably show up drawn to 4:3. So even if they look "wrong", the developers had to have seen them "wrong" during development, and did not feel it necessary to change it.
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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:15 am 


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SuperDeadite wrote:
I own about 50 pcbs, all of them show a grid or circle pattern on boot or in test mode. This exists so operators can adjust the display properly. While I'm sure that 99% of operators didnt care, the devs included the information needed to display as intended.

So this is an interesting piece of the puzzle and the only one that bears any investigating, I've noticed grids too when playing games in MAME.

A grid pattern isn't definitive either way in regards to display aspect ratio since there's nothing that says a grid must always be composed of squares or not. The only thing we can say for certain about a grid is that you can use it to adjust/eliminate overscan and make sure that the spacing between the lines are even so you don't have lopsided stretching.

A circle/oval however is a different story. It would certainly seem like if they included a pattern that draws a circle (using square pixels) that that circle should be preserved. I'm not sure what the rationale would be for having an oval, but then again I don't know everything about adjusting arcade CRTs and if you'd need this for some reason.

The only thing I can say myself is that I don't play a whole lot of MAME games and I've only ever seen a grid personally. If you can list which games drew circles/ovals maybe we can figure out a pattern.


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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:56 am 


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Of all the test screens on arcade PCBs I own, there is always only a grid, never seen a circle. Can you provide examples so I can see them in MAME?

And putting a grid and circle together is kind of a nonsense, because the grid is there so you can set width and height to cover the entire screen and the circle... ? I'm shooting in the dark here but I'm willing to put my money that the circle is perfectly round when the grid is adjusted so that it fills the entire screen.

Otherwise it doesn't make any sense, they could have put just a circle without the grid.


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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:06 pm 


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These are such dumb responses to something so fucking obvious.

komatik wrote:
You have this weird idea that there's no possible way the very human developers could have just not cared about the result or wanted something different than what you want.

Literally my entire point is that the devs probably didn't care.

komatik wrote:
People are arguing with you because you're the gaming equivalent of a flat-earther. The position you hold is just plain wrong, and your justifications are nonsense.

Hmm...
komatik wrote:
    * "I know this game was originally displayed in 4:3, but I personally don't like the way that looks so I'll run it differently even though it's technically wrong"
    * "this game was meant to be displayed at 23:17 on a custom CRT built just for this one game"

Nah. You're putting all sorts of words in my mouth.

You are deliberately refusing to understand this. The vast majority of old games do this. This is not a handful of games on very specific platforms, this is thousands of titles. This is not just "some ovals", it affects every shape in the game, and also affects the physics for basically every object in the game. This is not my "opinion", this is not my "preference", this is not my "perception". Trying to handwave away what is clearly being displayed on the screen across numerous games, however, is all three of these things.

It's already bad enough that we've got all these idiots who let 4:3 games get stretched to 16:9, get used to it, refuse to consider that it's wrong, and then pass this way of life on to their friends. Yet here you are, basically doing the same thing, despite supposedly being the people who would take issue with this.

The answer is very simple: the devs didn't care. There's is nothing "controversial" or "insane" about stating that, especially given how ad-hoc the entire idea of game development was back then.

trap15 wrote:
They did though, I asked the NMK programmer about how they handled their pixel aspect ratio and he said the artists drew on a 4:3 display with their internal pixel aspect ratio, but the software doesn't account for the difference at all. It sounded very intentional and planned.

And again, in that situation, what would you (particularly) even consider "correct"? Graphics drawn for 4:3, program designed for 384x224 doesn't really leave you with a single "correct" ratio. The reality is it doesn't matter what the devs "intended" because that doesn't matter. The correct experience is the experience that you get without esoteric tuning that developers did not do: playing them in 4:3. They may have drawn them on a square pixel system, but when implemented into the game, they would only reasonably show up drawn to 4:3. So even if they look "wrong", the developers had to have seen them "wrong" during development, and did not feel it necessary to change it.

You know you're actually agreeing with me, right? This example, assuming that numerous devs worked in this way (which you assume yourself as you said), is exactly what I'm talking about. This is literally my exact point until you start going on with that "esoteric tuning" bullshit. There's nothing esoteric about a basic bitch video output implementation.

Why don't you people actually think about what you're saying for a change? If you're telling the truth, you don't have to twist people's words. If I'm so "wrong", you don't need to completely misinterpret what I'm saying to prove that.

There's a really fantastic article, probably multiple at this point, about how people like to talk around each other rather than talk to each other. God knows how many times I've tried to point this out to people. That's what you're doing. You're making things up and crediting them to the Despatche in your head, a construct that says funny things you want to laugh at. Cut that shit out. Stop twisting my words to make me look bad. I don't do that to you, and if I have, please point it out to me so I can either explain it or apologize. If you're confused about something I said, ask me about that something.

I'm tired of this shit happening. I'm tired of being blamed for it, even when I witness people literally claim I said things I never even implied at any point. I'm tired of being challenged over stupid shit that isn't really controversial. You don't call someone a flat earther over this shit. That is more ridiculous than anything I've said in my entire life, no matter how many fucking substances I could have been on.
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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:46 pm 


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Chill, dude.

No one is blaming you for anything.

You've stated an opinion and we're discussing it.

We've come to agree on a point: the artists/devs didn't care if the moon looked oval and not perfectly rounded. They knew that because, as stated multiple times, 4:3 CRTs were what we had at that time.

Still, they could have changed it without issues and the same goes when the game's physic is involved: during the playtesting phase the devs decided that it was ok which means that that's how the game was meant to be played.

Think about this.

You're an artist and have just made, let's say, a painting using the impressionist style known as pointillisme but applying a dithering technique so that by using a restricted palette you're able to trick the human eye into seeing more colors.

You put on show your work knowing that the painting needs to be seen at a certain distance, but then a group of guys wants to see it closer and tell "yeah, this is definitely how it is supposed to be looked at, the dithering effect meant is more pronounced this way" instead of following the artist's direction.

Are they wrong? Not at all, because that's how they enjoy looking the painting at most, but since *you* are the artist, *you* know exactly how it is supposed to look and that's why you tell people to stand a certain distance from the painting.

This is really the entirety of this discussion.
What you're expressing is nothing more and nothing less than a personal preference. You want the moon to be rounded and that's perfectly fine, but don't go shoving your own preferences down other people throats and don't go around saying that custom aspect ratio is how the original dev artists intended the game to be looked at, because that's not true.

Again, for the last time: devs and artist did all their work on 4:3 monitors and *everyone* was using 4:3 monitors so *that's* what the target was when developing a videogame and that's how you're supposed to play them IF you want to play them like the original dev/artists intended.

If you don't like it, then it is absolutely fine because everyone has preferences and that's ok, but don't go around spreading misinformation that "you have to use custom aspect ratios because that's how it was supposed to be looked at" because that's not cool at all.

EDIT: and that's the last from me, really. I've ended up reiterating the same thing 5 times over.
Enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:03 pm 



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i) Do you serve lowest common denominator or optimal experience? Both? Does anyone even agree what that is?
ii) What someone intended.
iii) What someone else intended.
iv) What actually happened.
v) Did anyone care, and even if they did, did the gatekeepers of the project grant them the opportunity to re-visit?

... Any of this not aligned, a mistake was made, or decided on a basis that we may disagree with, or just not kept consistent... And hey presto - something both intended and unintended.

vi) Fodder for generations of chat and forum fans.
Ports and NTSC/PAL versions... :/

My opinion:
If you get a near aspect ratio wrong on a roughly 4:3 game on a 4:3 screen - I don't really care.
You stretch that (near) 4:3 game to widescreen - you're a criminal.
You squash a widescreen to 4:3 - you need testing.
Your widescreen game is slightly out; 16:10/16:9/overscan/resolution/tv zoom not quite right - it annoys me, but I get it happens. I'm disappointed with the world not you... well, maybe you too.
You've got a multimonitor game and you're not sure whether it's square or rectangular pixel aspect - Just use whatever looks best on the screen(s) you're now displaying it on, the basic gimmick will still be there.


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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:59 pm 


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donluca wrote:
and that's the last from me, really. I've ended up reiterating the same thing 5 times over.
Enough.

You keep reiterating the same thing over and over again because you don't seem to understand that I'm challenging it directly. You keep saying this is my opinion, my preference, my perception. It's not. You keep using language like "custom" and "obscure" as if this is some weird tiny quirk and not a huge part of how these games actually work. You keep asking me to think about what you're saying and to hear you out, but I've done that repeatedly. What you're saying does not make sense with what the topic is about and what we're actually seeing.

We are literally at the point where people are saying it's a personal preference if the fucking moon is supposed to be round. The crowd that has no problem telling me that I'm thinking like a flat earther literally uses the next best thing as an excuse. God knows I've tried to explain repeatedly now that this is more than one simple graphic here and there. For over a decade now, I've gotten into stupid rows with people who want to be wrong about the most basic shit in the world, shit that's as easily verifiable as just looking at the situation for five god damned seconds. This is the absolute dumbest conversation I've ever gotten myself into in these communities, and the only thing this conversation tells me is the vast majority of people in the retro communities have no god damned idea what they're talking about on a very basic level.

How the fuck are you supposed to talk to anyone or take anyone seriously when they repeatedly take you to task over the most banal and most simple shit on the planet? It makes no sense whatsoever. You're supposed to be developers, artists, scholars, people with actual talents and knowledge, and you waste them. You might as well have none of those traits for all the fucking good they do you.

There's not much more to say on this that doesn't involve you repeating yourselves for millenia and me begging you to stop for a few fucking seconds. Fuck all of y'all. This is so fucking dumb.
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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:19 pm 



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One of the worst offenders, while not a shmup is Taito's Super Chase

The deluxe cabinet, pictured, clearly uses some kind of Wide Screen display
https://www.exotica.org.uk/mediawiki/fi ... alt%29.jpg

The upright cabinet was a 4:3

However, the game doesn't know what it wants to be, some graphics are meant to be displayed at 4:3, others are meant to be displayed at something closer to 16:9 and the whole thing is a giant mess. Honestly in that case I don't think all the artists were on the same page, or aware of what the target screen was at all and it shows, it's not just slightly out, it's massively out and not correct for any screen.

but yeah, 99.99% of CRTs were 4:3, Capcom games were all 4:3 and are one of the worst cases of people claiming they should be widescreen because the pixel aspect is closer to widescreen. I don't think ANY shooters were 16:9

things like VR and (strangely) SF3 2nd impact, but not 3rd strike have an option in service mode to do 4:3 or 16:9. For SF3 it might have been a developed more for if they had home ports in mind.

Both VR and the aforementioned Super Chase were 1992, while in theory it might be that somebody was making 16:9 screens at that exact moment, the Super Chase manual suggests that the Deluxe version uses a mirror, so it's probably some distortion trick from a 4:3 screen to give a widescreen image via the mirror.

a fair few PS2 games, for home use, have a 16:9 option, often this gave aspect correct rendering of the 3D elements, but an ugly stretched HUD (this mode is forced on some of the recent emulation based rereleases) Probably one of the earliest examples of that is the 32X version of Virtua Fighter which has an option to do the same (in that case, it doesn't change the resolution at all, just scales the 3D elements differently)


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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:35 pm 


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Outlaws of the Last Dynasty on the Sega ST-V has a widescreen mode.

komatik wrote:
Hmm. My memory's fuzzy but I don't recall people having widescreen TVs until the 2000's. According to Wikipedia the first HDTV broadcast in the US was in 1996 and they were still uncommon in 1998. I know the 16:9 standard technically preceded HDTV by a decade, and that it's technically possible someone could have had a 16:9 standard def TV in the mid 90s, but I feel like that would have been so uncommon there's no way the devs would have cared. While arcades like Street Fighter may possibly have used an actual 16:9 for its wide mode since everything was already custom hardware, I think for home consoles I'll partially agree with tomwhite2004 that it was probably more a case that for some games adding widescreen was trivial and the developers were forward thinking enough to want to play with it for experience, but never expected anyone to use it.


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The above flyer came with my copy of WipEout bought in 1995.

Funnily enough WipEout didn't get a proper 16:9 mode until the third game in 1999. I actually got that TV in '96 or '97. Still own it to this day.

donluca wrote:
Of all the test screens on arcade PCBs I own, there is always only a grid, never seen a circle. Can you provide examples so I can see them in MAME?


Strikers 1999 is the last PCB I booted I've noticed it in.


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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:38 pm 


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.


This is an insanely long post, but hear me out.


Despatche wrote:
You know you're actually agreeing with me, right?
Despatche wrote:
We are literally at the point where people are saying it's a personal preference if the fucking moon is supposed to be round.

...ok... so.... I was about to just call you a troll and point out that you're contradicting your previous posts, but I make it a point to at least try and see things through the other side's eyes before I write someone off, so I went back and re-read this whole argument a few times and looked at the earlier posts while considering what was written in the later ones. I think I figured out what's going on here, maybe.

There appears to be a major communication gap happening between you and the rest of this forum. Your phrasing and word choice means something very different to us than what you think it does, and likewise when we try to refute what we think your points are, what you think we're arguing is not what we actually mean, and neither side is realizing this. I honestly don't mean this as an insult but is your native language not English? Because I've seen this sort of thing happen before with non-native speakers; if you use broken english everyone knows to second guess your words, but if you're so fluent you sound like a native speaker then no one thinks about that and they just chalk up communication conflicts to you being an idiot. Either way, I want to try and point out a few things. Although we should both be aware that there may very well be a whole bunch of communication gaps in this post too so what I'm trying to do here may not work.

Your use of the phrases "intended screen", "internal resolution", and "designed against" are totally misleading everyone in a huge major way, and when we use these phrases you're getting equally misled. I want to try to explain some points about our position, as clearly worded as I can, so we're on the same page. These are points that I'm given to understand 'everyone' agrees with, and by 'everyone' I mean everyone participating in this thread on this forum as well as other people you've argued with about this topic elsewhere on the internet. I heavily suspect that you also agree with these points, or at least most of them.

- The vast, vast majority of CRT screens available in the 90s, both arcade screens and home TVs, were 4:3 aspect ratio. It was understood by both developers and gamers that games would be presented to the public on a 4:3 screen (except in rare cases of 16:9).

- Nearly all home consoles and the vast majority of arcade games constructed video frames into a grid of pixels. (I am acknowledging vector games existed but I'm excluding them from this conversation).

- In nearly all cases for nearly all games, if you were to take this pixel grid and assume the pixels are square, the resulting aspect ratio of the video frame would NOT be 4:3 or 16:9. It would frequently be some other random ratio like 8:7 or something.

- For a significant majority of games, if you display their video frames using square pixels, the objects displayed would appear to be proportionally correct: objects you would assume to be circles would be presented as circles, and objects you would assume to be square would be presented as square, etc.

- For these same video frames, if you were to stretch them so that they fit a 4:3 screen, such that the pixels were no longer square, the objects would NOT appear proportionally correct.

- People who are not blind or clinically retarded are well aware that stretching these video frames to a 4:3 screen looks weird in many cases.

- The developers who made these games were well aware of all the above points.

- For one reason or another, developers commonly released games that appeared stretched when presented on a 4:3 screen. (Some appeared to go through the effort to make things look correct, most did not).

- Given that the developers were aware of the stretching problem, and still chose to release these games anyway even though they appeared stretched on a 4:3 screen, we MUST assume that these games appearing stretched was either what the developers explicitly wanted or at least what they were willing to accept.

- The end result of all this is that nearly all gamers experienced playing these games on a 4:3 screen, commonly with stretched video. This experience is what purists try to replicate and what they argue is "correct". They are NOT claiming that stretched video is necessarily correct in its own right, but rather that stretching the video to 4:3 is the correct way to replicate the experience of playing on these systems, since that's the behavior these systems exhibited.



All of the above are points that I personally agree with. They are also points that I believe everyone arguing with you agrees with. One of the main conflicts I think I've identified here is a fundamental miscommunication about that last point.

When you say "these games were not intended for 4:3!" the statement you appear to be making is that "these games frequently do not look correct when played at an aspect ratio of 4:3", but what everyone hears is "Despatche is an idiot who thinks devs made custom CRTs for each game".

When everyone responds "yes these games WERE meant for 4:3!" the statement we're making is "these games were played on systems that stretched the video to fit a 4:3 screen, and although that often looks wrong, it must have been what the developers wanted (or at least accepted) and you need to replicate that if you want a faithful experience", but what you appear to hear is "we think these games look perfectly fine and not distorted at all when played at 4:3, the concept of distortion is arbitrary, the issue of a circular moon vs an oval one is merely personal preference".

When you use the term "internal resolution", what you appear to actually mean is "the aspect ratio of the rendered video frame, assuming the pixels are square". When everyone else uses the term "internal resolution" we're only referring to the literal rows and columns of the pixel grid, because the terms "aspect ratio" and "resolution" mean very different things. "Aspect ratio" is the relationship between the overall width and height of a thing with no regard to how many sub-things comprise it (a 4:3 image could equally be 320x240, 100x100, or 1x1), whereas "resolution" only refers to the raw number of pixel rows and columns with no regard to their shape or what the resulting dimensions of the overall grid would be (you can display an image with a resolution of 100x100 at literally any aspect ratio including 4:3, 16:9, 8:7, or anything else).


Anyway, I hope my analysis is correct here because it would go a long way to explaining why we're still arguing about this. If I'm not correct then try to point out parts you can and maybe phrase it two or three different ways and maybe we'll figure something out.


Despatche wrote:
There's a really fantastic article, probably multiple at this point, about how people like to talk around each other rather than talk to each other.

I believe this is what's happening, but that it's not on purpose.

Despatche wrote:
I'm tired of this shit happening. I'm tired of being blamed for it, even when I witness people literally claim I said things I never even implied at any point. I'm tired of being challenged over stupid shit that isn't really controversial.

If this is something that happens to you a lot (and it seems like it does), I think you should seriously investigate taking some communications classes or seeing a language therapist. If it was just me vs you then it could easily be argued that I was the one with the problem, but if everyone teams up against you in every thread then there's something different about the way you communicate that doesn't jive with the rest of the world and you really need to look into that or you're going to give yourself a heart attack.


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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:58 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:07 pm 


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MameHaze wrote:
Honestly in that case I don't think all the artists were on the same page, or aware of what the target screen was at all and it shows,

Yeah that sort of thing doesn't surprise me. As someone who works in tech it's all too common for scope creep and middle management meddling to cause these sorts of issues.

nem wrote:
The above flyer came with my copy of WipEout bought in 1995.

Oh that's really interesting. I have no memory of 16:9 TVs really being around that early. However, given that both the console (Playstation) and TV (Trinitron) are Sony products, I feel like this was mostly an ad to try to get people to dump money into an expensive toy more so than that they expected anyone to already own one of these and use this feature. Trinitron's in the mid 90s were the rich-people TVs that normal kids dreamed about.

donluca wrote:
And putting a grid and circle together is kind of a nonsense,

Not necessarily. You kinda need an edge-to-edge grid for knowing overscan and uneven distortion, whereas adding a circle to that would imply that you're not just supposed to naively fill the 4:3 screen but mess with the image to be something else.

nem wrote:
Strikers 1999 is the last PCB I booted I've noticed it in.

OK, downloaded this, ran it. The circles presented do not help clarify the situation here at all. At 4:3 (3:4) the smaller circles in the corners appear to be correctly proportioned to my eyes but the large one in the center looks like an oval. I'll need to turn off all filtering and produce a few different images scaled nearest-neighbor at 1:1 PAR and 4:3 DAR and measure them in Photoshop to get exact numbers.


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 Post subject: Re: Which/how many PCBs were NOT 4:3/3:4?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:38 pm 


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Despatche wrote:
A really big exception is the CP System series; far as I know, every single game on all three of these platforms actually were designed against regular 4:3 CRTs, despite using a strange internal resolution (the same one for all three platforms)


Had to come back to this as I stumbled across this choice quote a couple of months back which was the first time I had seen the issue directly referenced by an actual Capcom artist...

"When Akiman started designing sprites for Side Arms and Forgotten Worlds (which became the first CPS1 game, although its development started before Daimakaimura / Ghouls'n Ghosts), he complained that the pixels weren’t square, to which he was answered that it was impossible since the engineers had been asked to make square pixels. He eventually learned that it was due to a calculation error from the hardware team, which explains why the CPS systems have such an odd resolution (384x224). This also explains why he used a custom grid paper made of vertical rectangles when he designed key frames (otherwise his drawings would be stretched once scanned and displayed on screen)."

https://vgdensetsu.tumblr.com/post/1784 ... he-artists

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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:04 pm 



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"He eventually learned that it was due to a calculation error from the hardware team"

Very unlikely.

It would have been a design choice to squeeze more pixels on the screen and give them a competitive edge. That just sounds like an excuse made up for the artists.

Generally it worked too, those extra pixels squeeze in a fair bit of extra detail, and also allow for a bit more text etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:41 am 


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Quote:
which was the case when Capcom switched from the SMC-70 custom to the A-CAT X68000 during the development of Street Fighter II


Wait, so Capcom really did develop CPS1 games on the X68000? I thought that was just an Internet myth perpetuated by collectors talking up its "arcade perfect" ports.
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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:01 am 


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WelshMegalodon wrote:
Quote:
which was the case when Capcom switched from the SMC-70 custom to the A-CAT X68000 during the development of Street Fighter II


Wait, so Capcom really did develop CPS1 games on the X68000? I thought that was just an Internet myth perpetuated by collectors talking up its "arcade perfect" ports.

A lot of game studios developed their games on X68000, including Toaplan even. The large Toaplan collection that came out a few years ago has a lot of documentation on their tools that ran on X68000.
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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:19 am 



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Hmm, I swore Gradius IV had circles, but it seems I was wrong. Anyway, it does have a more advanced grid pattern. There's a red cross to show you the exact center point and multiple red squares to help with size and convergence.

For those of you emulating, also don't forget that these games were meant for curved displays. Flat-CRTs didnt come until later. Just like a map of the world, forcing curved objects onto flat surfaces cause distortions. Hence why my flat CRT has issues at the edge of the screen. When emulating on a modern flat-panel, circles in the center will always be a bit different then circles in the corners.

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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:49 am 


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tomwhite2004 wrote:
This also explains why he used a custom grid paper made of vertical rectangles when he designed key frames (otherwise his drawings would be stretched once scanned and displayed on screen)."

This is brilliant.

komatik wrote:
If this is something that happens to you a lot (and it seems like it does), I think you should seriously investigate taking some communications classes or seeing a language therapist.

I'm not gonna call myself an English pro, but I am gonna say I'm better at the language than most native speakers. I actually use clear language and I actually try to fix grammar problems, unlike most people. I actually care about this language and about what words mean. I do this for the exact reason you claim here, but it seems to have helped me none. I have spent years trying to figure out what in the hell people have such an issue with, and I've never found it. In nearly every situation, the problem is someone else's responsibility, and there's absolutely nothing I can do in those cases even though I very much want to. When it is my responsibility, I apologize, fix the problem as best as I can, and move on.

This is more than a simple "communication breakdown". I have stated things explicitly and have had them denied, seemingly because I've made the effort to state them explicitly. It's not "the way I communicate", it's the things I care about. The #1 reason people come at me is because I'm willing to say the things noone else is. The #2 reason is because I get angry about it after having run into a problem repeatedly. The only other thing I can learn from any sort of communications class is how to lie effectively, and I will not do that for anyone's sake.

Yes, sometimes everyone else can be wrong. It's not as unusual as people think. History is paved with people who were right when everyone else around them was wrong, about both important life-changing things and small trivial things. Call me "pretentious", call me a "martyr", call me an "elitist", call me whatever you want, none of those words mean anything to me because they do not describe who I am. I'm tired of blaming myself for the actions of others. I just wanna talk about some fucking video games and share the cool things I've found over the years. My name is never going to be in history, and I don't really care for it to be. All I care about are small trivial things. Let me fucking do that in peace.
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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:00 am 


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Despatche wrote:
I'm not gonna call myself an English pro, but I am gonna say I'm better at the language than most native speakers. I actually use clear language and I actually try to fix grammar problems, unlike most people. I actually care about this language and about what words mean.

I mean, you can say that, but just because people care about a thing and think they're good at it doesn't mean they actually are. Again, I want to point out your use of terms like "internal resolution" because you appear to be either confusing "resolution" and "aspect ratio" or you know the difference but are mistakenly using the wrong phrase to refer to it. At the very least, what you appear to mean when you use all these different words and phrases is not what everyone else means when they use them, and that's causing no end of confusion on both sides. I believe you that you're trying to communicate effectively, but for one reason or another that doesn't seem to be what's happening.

Despatche wrote:
I have spent years trying to figure out what in the hell people have such an issue with, and I've never found it. In nearly every situation, the problem is someone else's responsibility,

There's an old saying: "if everywhere you walk smells like shit, try checking your shoes". If you find yourself in situations where it's "Despatche vs literally everyone else", and you KEEP finding yourself in these situations over and over year after year, you can't just blame the entire rest of the world for being assholes. There comes a point where the only common denominator in all your conflicts is you.

Despatche wrote:
I have stated things explicitly and have had them denied, seemingly because I've made the effort to state them explicitly.

I agree with you that you are stating things explicitly from your point of view, but what you need to understand is that the way you're phrasing this stuff and the way you're using these terms is not entirely normal (or at least, not common to 99.9999% of the internet). What you think is explicit is actually coming across as rather ambiguous and/or misleading- there's a LOT of assumed information that's being lost in translation. Likewise you're assuming a lot of information in everyone's responses when that information was never intended.

People don't argue with someone just because they tried to write clearly. People are arguing with you specifically because you appear to keep making extremely strong statements that are factually incorrect. I do not currently believe that you consciously intended to make factually incorrect statements, I believe that the way you choose to present your statements heavily implies factual incorrectness to everyone else in the world because of the way your writing style transmits information. I also believe that this affects the way you consume and process information as well because the problem appears to exist in both directions.

Despatche wrote:
It's not "the way I communicate",

I strongly believe that it is.

Despatche wrote:
The #1 reason people come at me is because I'm willing to say the things noone else is.

No it's not, although this is a very common sentiment from people who are experiencing this kind of communication problem. You're seeing people try and counter what they perceive to be incorrect statements you have made, but you don't recognize this breakdown for what it is and are instead assuming that people must be attacking you in an attempt to hide or suppress the things they don't want to hear. This communication breakdown is something that happens all the time in political arguments where one person gets hyper defensive and starts yelling "you only hate me because I speak the truth". That's not what the argument is about and never was.

Despatche wrote:
The #2 reason is because I get angry

It's certainly true that getting angry and swearing at people a lot doesn't help someone be liked when they're already in a heated argument, but this is really just a side issue.

Despatche wrote:
The only other thing I can learn from any sort of communications class is how to lie effectively,
Despatche wrote:
Yes, sometimes everyone else can be wrong. It's not as unusual as people think. History is paved with people who were right when everyone else around them was wrong,

Please, please do not be a stubborn neckbeard here and take the stance "It's me vs the world and the world is wrong" and that there's nothing anyone else could ever teach you. While I do agree with you that history is full of martyrs who fought the status quo, this is used far FAR too often as a defense by people who refuse to admit they have a problem. In your case, at least as far as this thread goes, I don't think you're even actually wrong from a factual perspective so that defense wouldn't even apply in the first place. (Although you never agreed or disagreed with my list of points so I can only give you the benefit of the doubt).

I'm not going to claim that I'm 1,012% correct in my analysis and that there's no way I could be wrong myself, however based on all your posts previously and what you've just written, I strongly believe that the repeated conflicts you're experiencing are near totally due to the way you communicate being different from everyone else, and that you don't want to face this because you feel that you would have to admit that you're in the wrong. I've tried my best to avoid calling your communication style "wrong" since I don't believe that these sorts of things can be objectively wrong or right, but it is nevertheless different and apparently incompatible with how everyone else communicates, and you really ought to try and address that or make peace with it for your own sake. If you want to try and fight the world and make everyone else be the ones who change, that's your choice, but the odds are not in your favor.


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 Post subject: Re: Which PCBs used abnormal or multi-monitor displays?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:52 am 


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SuperDeadite wrote:
also don't forget that these games were meant for curved displays

Thank you for pointing this out, I did in fact forget all the things my CRT shader emulates and what its defaults are.

So the Strikers 1945 III/1999 rom I have outputs frames at 320x224. The four corner circles are 64x64 pixels and the center circle is 176x176. Displaying this at 3:4 on a flat panel makes all the circles slightly wider than 1:1. However when I glanced at the screen before I glossed over the text in the center which reads: "Please adjust the monitor when these circles are displayed in the oval." I cannot for the life of me figure out wtf this means. "Displayed in the oval"? What oval? Which way am I supposed to adjust the monitor? Is having the circles "in the oval" wrong or right? If I enable CRT geometry correction in my shader then depending on how it's configured I can make the circles equal again, but I can't tell if that's "correct" or not because I don't know what the text is trying to tell me.


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