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A minor annoyance is majorly affecting demos

category: general [glöplog]
Obviously this is not new, but the explicit statement with recommended letterboxing values for the hardware makes it linkable, so therefore it happened, or whatever.

Normally on most platforms, overscan is an achievement and "shrinking the screen until it runs fast" meant the code was lame. "Presented in Cinemascope", indeed...

Why worry? The only ones who will be annoyed are the ones who actually run your demo on their computer.

(The ones who have a modern screen for their computer might be... even more annoyed from the vertical and horizontal letterboxing :D)

The prediction, then (which isn't being very clairvoyant...) is that Amiga or other PAL platforms will not see a single major release in the future where the screen isn't stamp-sized. Why bother? It will look more impressive than it is if you just crop it and increase the size. (Just don't fire it up on the real thing, ever or you might get underwhelmed...)

Pity. Or something that we can do something about. We could accept the minor annoyance? :) Or stop offering to crop demos.
added on the 2018-03-30 21:22:46 by Photon Photon
I’m pretty confident that amiga coders are more interested in showing what they can do than exploiting some loop hole in the rules
added on the 2018-03-30 21:37:02 by farfar farfar
So what are you saying really? That oldskool demos should only be watched on 4:3 screens, or at least not zoomed to fill widescreens, because zooming gives an unfair impressiveness boost compared to retro purist demos? ;)

Anyway, is this what you're thinking
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added on the 2018-03-30 22:52:00 by yzi yzi
Go make a demo about it?
added on the 2018-03-30 22:58:12 by Preacher Preacher
some parties have already been cropping demos for a while, and nobody cared.
added on the 2018-03-31 00:37:33 by britelite britelite
farfar: history shows the opposite is true.

yzi: Whoever wrote that doesn't even know PAL isn't 4:3, so ask him to try again. Even console gamers know more, probably because they care more than demosceners and run stuff on the real thing cos they want to enjoy it.

Now, after the aspect ratio is corrected, put actual 16:9 prods in the right column, and you instantly see what I mean ;) They're tiny, even on a flatscreen bigger than anyone has space for on a big computer desk.

So the demos are not really meant for users who actually appreciate the platform enough to run them.

Preacher: see my demography. Apart from that, there are enough made for bigscreen/Youtube-only demos to prove my point already.

Point is if bigscreen rules the roost, small screen (like 32") will show only tiny demos for the platforms you say you love and want to impress demosceners on. You will never again see a fullscreen demo on your beloved platform, whichever it is, and whatever screen you show it on.

All this major negative shit can be traded instantly for the minor annoyance of full height and side margins. If we want to.
added on the 2018-03-31 00:40:19 by Photon Photon
also, funny how people have been making non-fullscreen demos for years already
added on the 2018-03-31 00:45:44 by britelite britelite
Personally, I don't have any problem watching widescreen stuff that has black borders on the top and bottom of the screen. That's how proper movies looked like back in the day. A widescreen crop not only looks cool in its own way, but it's also lighter to compute because there are less pixels to draw. Win-win!

Tough choice... make a widescreen because it looks cool (and runs faster, and can be zoomed to fill a compo screen), but then Photon will think I'm a lamer. Dang. Everyone knows I'm a lamer anyway, so I'll just take the widescreen because I like it.
added on the 2018-03-31 01:27:38 by yzi yzi
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How about you make your demos the way you like them and we do ours whichever way we want to?
That option constitutes a precedent I do not like. As a compromise, how about 352x198, that's 16:9 with 85% of a PAL screen's number of pixels. $8e,$4971,$90,$0fd1,$92,$30,$94,$d8
added on the 2018-03-31 05:43:30 by bifat bifat
An option is an option is an option (you can still submit your party-winning 4:3 demo, if you can).

We have been using a 200 lines window since the mid 90s (when CRTs were still common) and happily changed it to a 320x180 lines window later on. The obvious advantage of 320x180 now is that you can reach modern 16:9 display-sizes with pixel doubling which preserves the look. It thus presents the best compromise.
added on the 2018-03-31 07:46:32 by noname noname
I guess this really boils down, again, to the question of what demos are, or what they ought to be.. and that varies by taste.

I mean, I was annoyed by tweaked text mode demos that claimed to be text mode. Sure I can appreciate both, but I had a specific idea of what a textmode demo ought to be. That didn't invalidate other people's opinions..

So, should demos be just technical achievements? Or if you sync four sprites to the beat, something technically anyone can do, isn't that a demo too?
added on the 2018-03-31 08:46:14 by sol_hsa sol_hsa
Square monitors FTW! Casuals have destroyed the screens with their malti media
added on the 2018-03-31 09:23:50 by Optimus Optimus
I used a 19" CRT up to 2009 with my 'big' PC, after it an 8:5 (they call it 16:10) 24" 1200p aMVA and just some weeks ago I found finally a propper 32" UHD MVA on the market. So black bars, scaling or zooming was normality and now it looks odd. /o\ The most modern (polished) executable demos run without bars for nearly all common resolutions and if not it's the demo as it is, so I do not understand the point. It's about the habit?
added on the 2018-03-31 12:41:51 by aqu aqu
@noname: For reducing the effective number of pixels you should not be rewarded with a bigger screensize. That's all. So let it run with black borders in an Amiga's 4:3 area - and everything is fine.
added on the 2018-03-31 13:31:28 by bifat bifat
Maybe square screens would still be a thing if they were called 16:12 instead of 4:3 ;)
added on the 2018-03-31 14:44:54 by sol_hsa sol_hsa
5:4 or nothing!
Normally on most platforms, overscan is an achievement and "shrinking the screen until it runs fast" meant the code was lame. "Presented in Cinemascope", indeed...

No, normally, the choice is a compromise between complexity, resolution, framerate and time/effort spent optimizing. The result is a matter of taste and circumstances more than anything else.

Why worry? The only ones who will be annoyed are the ones who actually run your demo on their computer.

Who are you quoting here?

(The ones who have a modern screen for their computer might be... even more annoyed from the vertical and horizontal letterboxing :D)

More likely they will be happy that they can see a capture running on their whole screen.

Pity. Or something that we can do something about. We could accept the minor annoyance? :) Or stop offering to crop demos.

I can't count the number times I have seen an Amiga compo on a huge screen like the one in front of me now, only to be annoyed that the productions (my own among them) did not use the whole screen like the PC productions did.

This is a great initiative! Big thanks to Charlie for enduring the hassle of having such an option, and thanks to the compo organizers in general for prioritizing the experience of the people who are actually here over "purists" watching the contributions afterwards on their 14" CRTs.
added on the 2018-03-31 18:50:40 by Blueberry Blueberry
It's because it's such a win for the coder (he can save half the processing time or more) and a win for the bigscreen (only, shown once, with conscious manipulation of the demo on the part of the orgas to make it look bigger and more impressive) that it's so tempting.

You could reduce it to a simple case: a certain type of effect is in vogue, and one group makes a fullscreen effect and the other for it to be cropped and blown up. The effect is cool, they both look and sound good. But the group who moved heaven and earth to make the effect fullscreen will be "rewarded" by having their demo displayed smaller on the bigscreen...

Wouldn't the knowledgeable scener who couldn't check if the blown up demo had sideborders in the blacked out arena feel cheated when he got home and ran it on his 5:4 or 16:9 screen? The 5:4 demo that looked smaller was twice as good as the blown up demo!
added on the 2018-03-31 19:04:05 by Photon Photon
2 things:
1) I think you should trust people more.
2) it's obvious if people abuse loop holes like that - the general opinion will reflect this.

either way, it's not a problem.
added on the 2018-03-31 20:01:47 by farfar farfar
Maybe instead of counting the amount of pixels rendered per frame, this is a gentle nudge towards making those pixels count, ie. making them look good. After all, now the audience can see them properly.
added on the 2018-03-31 20:13:06 by Preacher Preacher
Atari ST demos are 16:10 when they don't kill the borders. I can't imagine what kind of setup the party organisers would need to arrange.
By the way, since I've done quite a few captures in my day, the PAL signal is 768x576 pixels whatever the demo resolution might be. Console gamers know this (they know quite a few things really, except on how to get an ST signal on modern TV's).
added on the 2018-03-31 22:26:23 by ChrisTOS ChrisTOS
the number of the id of this topic, close enough :)
added on the 2018-03-31 22:37:39 by Optimus Optimus
I thought groups made prods as they wanted them to be, not according to some kind of standards?
added on the 2018-03-31 22:40:11 by Foebane72 Foebane72
farfar: 2) again, history shows the opposite is true. Otherwise, 1) would be sorted.

blueberry: Your demo didn't compete with PC demos. It competed with other Amiga demos, some of which were displayed normally, and some were cropped and zoomed to fill the screen.

If shrunken screen sizes don't matter on the bigscreen, why did you set a minimum resolution for your Checkerboard Challenge? The answer is obvious: so coders wouldn't get an unfair advantage by using the shrunken screen size and get twice the processing time. If the party just upgraded to a 16:9 projector, they would also get bigger screen impact, just the thing you'd want for your demos, as you mention.

My argument is that demos within the same compo are run on the same machine, and the output goes to the bigscreen.

I think that's compatible with most people's notions of competition.

I'm very good at seeing arguments on both sides, but I can find no argument here in favor of giving some of the demos in a competition the advantage of double the processing time plus more screen impact.
added on the 2018-03-31 22:45:53 by Photon Photon


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