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A minor annoyance is majorly affecting demos

category: general [glöplog]
watching the contributions afterwards on their 14" CRTs

I'm revving up to watch the Amiga contributions on the stream now! I support local demoparties and don't go there only for Amiga. I wish I could be at Revision, but real-world expenses (and desirable purchases) has prevented me.

Afterwards, I will watch the best ones on my 32" :)
added on the 2018-03-31 23:04:32 by Photon Photon
photon: how it is that history shows your point to be true? we don't seem to have amiga demos running 160x100 with huge black borders. Amiga demos are fine.. there is no problem.
added on the 2018-04-01 01:13:13 by farfar farfar
i am in no way opposed of letterboxed demos but i also agree they shouldnt be zoomed, it creates an illusion which is not right.
added on the 2018-04-01 01:28:00 by wysiwtf wysiwtf
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.

It is a win for the audience, which is what counts. 99% of them don't care about how many pixels are on the screen. They only care about what you make with them.

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.

My demo (and all the other Amiga demos) competed with the PC demos for the audience's attention. And none of the Amiga demos were scaled up, which is exactly what I am complaining about here.

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.

Obvious answer perhaps, but wrong nonetheless. I set a minimum resolution because this was a challenge about a technical record, not a competition for votes.

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.

No demo gets an advantage over any other demo. The option is available to everyone, and the rules were published clearly well ahead of the party.
added on the 2018-04-01 20:32:58 by Blueberry Blueberry
A few give my observation thought and address it. This is progressive to me. I thank you for those comments :)


The argument is that this will perhaps only be optional if you don't want to win: On limited platforms, you can't code all that you can imagine. Therefore, the demo with the more awesome ideas might not win because those ideas cannot run on the platform and will not be in the demo. Or not run smoothly enough to audience taste.

Sometimes compos are combined, but as long as there are enough entries, like competes with like, and this is done to make comparative voting meaningful. Even though separate platform compos (or mixed-platform, single video signal standard compos) could display their entries alike, this is the minor point.

The major point is that what has typically been reserved for AGA will spread to other platforms just because of supported/selected aspect ratios of available projectors. Why would the group care if it looks impressive on anything but the bigscreen? I don't like cynicism, so this my third post on the topic of battling it.

A lot of groups do care, as evidenced so far. And of course fullscreen demos do win compos, and demos are not all about effects. But effects are part of demos, and if it is rewarded by voters, it could be an established standard. And that would mean platform users and fans would get to see only letterboxed demos on their computers, and there will be no screen or projector available to them to replicate the bigscreen impact, even on a rather big screen.

If cynicism wasn't rewarded, the world would be a better place. So, some idealism there. No apology from me. But the Demoscene isn't the world. We can shape it as we wish.

Again all instantly traded for displaying 5:4 platforms on the bigscreen as is :) It's just so simple to me.

But anyway, compo coming up! I promise to enjoy it ;) If the demos are good life is good :)
added on the 2018-04-01 23:19:07 by Photon Photon
As people have already said, it's not about how many pixels you display, it's about what you do with them. If you really think you're losing a compo due to the resolution or not filling the big screen, you're doing it wrong.
added on the 2018-04-01 23:59:51 by britelite britelite
Also, it wouldn't be a bad idea from the organizers to say which entires are cropped and zoomed
added on the 2018-04-02 00:01:12 by britelite britelite
I think that the widescreen thing is not a problem at all, but the square pixels and framerate raping that's done to what most people see, is a problem. Some sort of CRT emulation would be nice, because Amiga demos don't, didn't, shouldn't really look like that. I think it's unfair to oldskool platforms and the people who make and like demos to imply that the stuff they make is jerky and blocky. Unfortunately I don't have a working solution to this, but the widescreen zoom option is not a problem, to me it's just a way to translate the actual experience onto a widescreen better. When looking at a widescreen picture on a traditional 4:3 monitor, I'm not looking at and thinking about the black borders at all, I'm looking at the actual picture area and ignoring the black borders.
added on the 2018-04-02 01:01:35 by yzi yzi
I remember the 90s when the big-screens were so unclear you couldn't tell apart whether an effect was in 1x1 or 2x2. Then you awed at the hires effects in the compo and thought this must have been some awesome revolutionary code. Then watching at home you got disappointed it was only good old 2x2 (or blitterscreen, the horror).

If only we had 16:9 back then.. we could perhaps have noticed it with a pinch of extra zoom.

I'm now thinking of letterboxing the 16:9 because you can get away with a few black borders over/under the image. 320x135 would cover the same size as the ancient Ephidrena resolution of 320x192.
added on the 2018-04-02 08:32:12 by rloaderro rloaderro
Of course the 320x180 mode comes the year Ephidrena finally go outside our 320x192 comfort zone!! (yells at cloud)
added on the 2018-04-02 08:34:48 by rloaderro rloaderro
I started using 320x180 for my AGA stuff long time ago, perhaps 15 ago or so... Dammit I'm glad finally everybody except Photon agree with me! :]

Now, seriously... Cropping a 320x256 demo made for 4:3 ratio just to fit it on a 16:9 screen is sacrilege and the organizer that commit that act of sin must do penitence!

Btw, Zener Drive rules!
added on the 2018-04-02 10:48:37 by ham ham
I think Truck & co did an excellent job telling people how some amiga productions was zoomed? Or do I remember wrong? I had no problem understanding the concept even though I'm a pc coder :)
added on the 2018-04-02 11:32:51 by thec thec
Meh, I've used 2:1 ratio and it looks fine. ;)

What annoyed me back in the 90's was when projectors cropped the screen - greets placed in the bottom of the screen (not even in border, but inside the normal screen area) got cropped. People learned quickly to put anything important near the middle.
added on the 2018-04-02 14:37:15 by sol_hsa sol_hsa
I think this is interesting, but it's easily addressable by just putting an explanation before starting the projection :-)
added on the 2018-04-02 19:23:53 by Debvgger Debvgger
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added on the 2018-04-03 19:55:25 by Charlie Charlie
(now what would happen here if I accidentally leaked the info that we've silently been doing the same thing same thing to PC demos for years, eg. when the demo was 16:9 but its screenmode wasnt)
added on the 2018-04-04 11:38:09 by kb_ kb_
as a proud atari scener, i feel severely neglected by the revision compo team's lack of meddling with our video output. our zx and amstrad brothers are also clearly being discriminated against. so i propose a rally in front of the e-werk on april 19th 2019. please use baseball bats as sticks for your protest signs so we can beat up the compo team if they don't submit to our demands immediately. all we need to decide is if we burn their corpses on the bonfire or dump them in the saar after we are satisfied with our mutilation efforts. who's with me (except photon) ???
added on the 2018-04-04 12:04:31 by havoc havoc
reading all this crap makes me wanna do super ultrawide (32:9) demo on amiga 500. ;))))))

even that I haven't contributed this year, I really love cropping feature that Charlie introduced! (and made more work for himself while preparing compos!)

I say f**k black lines on the sides and top and bottom, you're at party to watch releases on the big screen, not 49.3% of it!
added on the 2018-04-04 14:18:50 by bonefish bonefish
What Slummy said/posted and also Preacher's 1st post.

What a whiny bugger.
I write demos in """16:9""" not because of some crop advatage or of less care what other viewers might think of it but because 16:9/16:10 is close to a natural view like our biologically field of view is. The latter ratio is even close to "Phi" and therefore "nature approved".

Lastly, I still have a 14" CRT at home -- sometimes one does need to literally count lines on a screen and needs to know how the colours really look -- and I never felt that modern 320x200 or now 320x180 productions "robbed" me of any entertainment. You might as well send an angry but belated letter to the producers of Ben Hur and their ridiculous waste of silverscreen height during the chariot scene.
I for one like the "cinematic look" in modern style productions and at the same time appreciate the oldschool look of employing the complete available screenspace in its originally intended form.
added on the 2018-04-04 14:41:43 by d0DgE d0DgE
@Charlie ... that feature has to be one hell of an elaborate troll scheme ... well played, Sir XD
added on the 2018-04-04 14:51:30 by d0DgE d0DgE
I'd take a well paced, well designed, well sync'd coherent demo in a letter box over an overscan bit of coder porn any day. Far more enjoyable to watch right?
added on the 2018-04-04 14:57:27 by djh0ffman djh0ffman
I was pretty near the screen at Revision so I think my demo was really too big and blocky :)

Anyway I'm totally fine with cropping the top / bottom of amiga stuff but I think there should be multiple cropping options at least. Like overscan 16:9 352x198 perhaps. Or 320x200ish that fits the full height of the screen.
There have been AGA demos released recently that use some overscan and I think It'd be a shame if people never went any wider than 320px because of some rule at one party.
added on the 2018-04-04 14:58:25 by dodke dodke
I've honestly never felt cheated when watching a letterboxed 060 demo on my purist 14" CRT. Besides, 060 demos have been letterboxed since pretty much forever. Tonnes of the classic OCS releases have parts where the screen is cropped or shrunk - Arte, WoC, Desert Dream...

The only major problem with the Amiga scene today is incompatibility, which makes it unnecessarily hard for people to watch stuff at home. Unless a demo utilizes OCS-specific HW tricks, which they almost never do, why not ensure it also works on the 1200?
added on the 2018-04-04 15:32:17 by grip grip
why not ensure it also works on the 1200?

Because its super annoying from the development site. There are so many different Amiga configurations out there, that cause different problems. Starting with the different Chipsets, Accelerator boards, A4000 has its own set of problems, Gfx-boards and flicker fixers, software issues like VBR in fastmem, timing issues on faster cpus, potential new problems on vampire and other FPGA fake amigas, ...

This leads to the fact that every halfway compatible OCS demos code consists to 50% of hardware detections and multiple code pathes for everything (with/without smc, different copperlists for all display hacks, multiple irq-handlers, ...).

And the last week before a release you spent with transfering data and building up and down all your different amigas for testing. Instead of polishing your prod.
added on the 2018-04-04 17:15:20 by axis^oxy axis^oxy
Okay so now that Revision is over and I had time to read this I'm still a bit lost at what the issue is here...?

Are we talking about cropping out black areas when the demo has a wider aspect ratio? Cos in that case, wouldn't it be obvious if it's cropped, since there'd be no black boxes on the side, and you could still judge whatever correlation you found between render target sizes and coding skill?
added on the 2018-04-04 18:05:57 by Gargaj Gargaj


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