Do colored borders bother you?

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Re: Do colored borders bother you?

Post by Pokun » Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:28 pm

Although it isn't pretty, weird borders and scrolling artifacts are along with sprite flickering part of the very common weirdness that you get used to if playing lots of NES games. I guess growing up in PAL land means I was exposed to scroll artifacts even more than people in NTSC land. I especially remember TMN(H)T to have lots of garbage at the bottom of the screen, and I wondered what it was and why it had to be there.

It could even be considered a Nesy thing done on purpose like the legacy mode in Rockman 9 which has some sprite flicker. If the game is aiming for a new audience that didn't grow up with the NES you might want to consider working around it as much as possible. Otherwise it's more case by case, what looks best to the artist and other people judging it.

To answer the question, I think I always thought the SMB2 title screen looked weird, but got used to it and long forgiven it because of that, so I'm not easily bothered by this. I'd had to see the actual screen to judge in this case though.

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Re: Do colored borders bother you?

Post by rainwarrior » Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:54 pm

Pokun wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:28 pm
I especially remember TMN(H)T to have lots of garbage at the bottom of the screen, and I wondered what it was and why it had to be there.
It sets the scroll to what is effectively -8 from the top. I think this is basically a convenience so that on NTSC you can put line 0 of your nametable at the top of the visible screen this way.

However, instead of using some black nametable from Y=232 (240-8) and letting the nametable wrap around to 0... they actually set the scroll position to Y=248 (256-8), ending up inside the attribute tables, and rendering them as nametable garbage. (Oops?) Actually I bet that could be patched fairly easily...

Edit: they actually are using a -4 offset, rather than -8? I dunno why they picked 4 specifically, but I think my explanation still holds, roughly.

I think I've seen the same problem in other games but can't remember any offhand. Solstice is an example where they just had garbage data on the nametables, and a lot of garbage sprite data that ended up either at the top of the screen, or otherwise hidden by higher priority sprite tiles. You can even see it in their official making of video. Clearly they didn't think it was worth the cost to fix this stuff.

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Re: Do colored borders bother you?

Post by tokumaru » Fri Mar 05, 2021 4:34 pm

Games like SMB3 or Kirby have less excuse for the scrolling glitches, being high profile games using a mapper with a decent scanline counter. The Crystalis way of implementing status bars in 8-way scrolling games (skip over the status bar with a scroll split) works very well and isn't particularly hard to code.

The Jungle Book is another MMC3 game that went out of its way to implement glitchless 8-way scrolling with a status bar, but what it does is relocate (draw it again in another place) the status bar whenever it's about to be overwritten by the scroll. That can have an impact on your VRAM update budget, so it's not as simple to add to why project.

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