We've been called out

Discussion of hardware and software development for Super NES and Super Famicom.

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tokumaru
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Re: We've been called out

Post by tokumaru » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:03 am

Oziphantom wrote:if it doesn't work on hardware then it is not real.
Uh... Isn't that just common sense? Something that only works on emulators is obviously botched, as it follows a non-existing standard while carrying the name of an existing one (e.g. an NES game that only works on Nesticle is NOT an NES game!). You can't even guarantee that such a program will work across different emulators, since different emulators have varying degrees of accuracy and different made-up features. A newer version of an emulator could even break compatibility with with a broken program unless the emulator author deliberately chooses to keep supporting the specific inaccuracies that make the program work.

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Re: We've been called out

Post by tepples » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:22 am

I read Oziphantom's comment as implying that the scene would think a Commodore 64 computer modded to output PAL60 or PAL-M "is not real."

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tokumaru
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Re: We've been called out

Post by tokumaru » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:27 am

And then there's Brazil, which occupies a huge portion of that map, and despite being lumped together with the other PAL countries, actually uses PAL-M. The name of that standard is very deceiving, because PAL software doesn't work on our consoles, and our TV's don't support PAL video. PAL-M timing is compatible with NTSC timing, so we always used NTSC software on consoles that output NTSC-compatible video but with different color encoding. NTSC was even widely used in Brazil in rental VHS tapes (maybe as a crude form of copy protection, since most VCRs couldn't record NTSC? I don't know...).
tepples wrote:I read Oziphantom's comment as implying that the scene would think a Commodore 64 modded to output PAL60 or PAL-M is "not real".
Oh, I see... Well, I guess it's OK to include features in an emulator replicating mods that can be done on hardware, but developers targeting these special "modes" should know that their audience will be severely cut down due to the fact that most people can't or won't mod their hardware.

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Re: We've been called out

Post by byuu » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:06 am

> IIRC If the Z80 tries to access ROM while the VDP is doing a DMA from 68k RAM this can lead to corruption of RAM contents due to glitchy signals on the address bus (similar to the C64’s VDP bug).

Yeah, I mean if people want to say the Genesis is a better hardware design, then I guess they're entitled to their opinions, but ... I've emulated both now, and my opinion is that even though the SNES is also rough, it's far saner overall than the Genesis.

> Why make beautiful artwork to show off your skills and have it ruined by Never The Same Colour

Oh goodie, now we're doing TV format wars again. I'd rather NTSC than Picture Always Lousy :P </sarcasm>

> When you make a demo, you want the best machine you can get, PAL machines will slaughter a NTSC machine.

Only if you're obsessed with visible scanlines.

So NTSC gets you 224 active display lines, 38 Vblank lines. PAL gets you 240 active display lines, 72 Vblank lines. If you run PAL at 224 and letterbox your display, you get 88 Vblank lines.

Want 72 Vblank lines on NTSC? Force blank 17 lines from the top and the bottom of the display. This reduces you to 190 active display lines.

Yes, it's lower. Yes, it'll be letterboxed. But is it the end of the world to have a 256x190@60hz demo instead of a 256x224@50hz demo that most of the world can't even watch at its proper refresh rate? You are trading refresh rate for scanlines.

If I saw Overdrive 2 running at 190p/60hz instead of 224p/50hz, I would not have felt any less impressed by it.

> http://static.diffen.com/uploadz/thumb/ ... SC.svg.png

Who cares about Russia? Other than Tetris, what have they contributed to the gaming world?

Take that out, and ... I still don't know why you'd be comparing land mass for a TV standard. Population density is what matters for a popularity contest. Pragmatism is what matters for compatibility. PAL may or may not win on the former, but NTSC wins on the latter.

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Re: We've been called out

Post by tepples » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:46 am

byuu wrote:Who cares about Russia? Other than Tetris, what have they contributed to the gaming world?
LAN Master, Lawn Mower, Zooming Secretary, and anything else using neslib.
Population density is what matters for a popularity contest. Pragmatism is what matters for compatibility. PAL may or may not win on the former, but NTSC wins on the latter.
Out of the top 10 countries by population, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Russia are all 50 Hz (PAL or SECAM). USA, Brazil, and Japan are 60 Hz (NTSC or PAL-M).

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Re: We've been called out

Post by Sumez » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:52 am

I'm sure Nigeria and Bangladesh are both thankful that they can watch "Overdrive 2" on original hardware, but I'm pretty certain this is veering extremely off-topic, and was never really a point in the developers' thoughts behind using 50hz. If they even did put any thought into it, the extra CPU time is clearly the most obvious factor.

Personally I'd argue for 60hz too, though, if only because this is a video game console, and 60hz is the standard for every single video game created for that console. And as Optiroc already stated, "any console nut in europe worth his salt has a 50/60Hz switch installed". It's literally a 30 minute mod at worst, and fixes everything wrong with European MegaDrives.

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Re: We've been called out

Post by tepples » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:50 am

Sumez wrote:I'm sure Nigeria and Bangladesh are both thankful that they can watch "Overdrive 2" on original hardware
Sarcasm noted. To avoid this sort of pedantry elsewhere, such as on Slashdot, I've used terms like "industrialized anglophone market" to narrow the relevant market for a particular claim.

byuu wrote:> When you make a demo, you want the best machine you can get, PAL machines will slaughter a NTSC machine.

Only if you're obsessed with visible scanlines.
If you really want to push vertical resolution, nowadays I'd accept letterboxing all the way down to 336 lines on 480i (NTSC or PAL-M) or 400 lines on 576i (PAL 50 Hz) because that fills a 16:9 display. Let's see interlace get some love outside Sonic 2 and RPM Racing.

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tokumaru
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Re: We've been called out

Post by tokumaru » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:04 am

IMO, the frame rate difference isn't important, compatibility is. NTSC programs can usually be converted to PAL without issues (they might even work as is!), but the opposite isn't always true. Even if you use forced blanking to increase VRAM bandwidth, that eats away from the time used to generate the new VRAM contents, so you might end up losing performance either way.

I find it troublesome when someone releases a program for a certain console, but targeting only a specific version of that console, alienating everyone else who owns a different version. One could argue that home computers were always like that, where programs would work or not depending on the hardware configuration and available peripherals, but consoles weren't seen like that. Back in the day, if you bought a Mega Drive cartridge, you expected it to work on your Mega Drive, no matter if you lived in Europe (PAL), Japan (NTSC) or Brazil (PAL-M)*. If a game happened to require specialized hardware, that was usually indicated prominently on the packaging, or even marketed as a different kind of game (e.g. Famicom Disk System game, Sega CD game, 32X game).

Just imagine me showing this YouTube video to a co-worker and he's really impressed that a Mega Drive is doing that, and then he asks me if we could run the demo using a Flash cart on my real Mega Drive, to which I reply: "No". It's pretty nonsensical, is it or isn't it a Mega Drive program after all?

So yeah, I find it kind of a cheat when your game/demo is made more impressive by excluding half of the consoles by the same name, because your product will be unfairly compared to multi-region programs that have less resources available to them because of that, specially if you don't make your compatibility issues extremely obvious to the public that doesn't know about the technical details.

*Yes, sometimes there were artificial limitations preventing games from working across regions, but more often than not the software was programmed to be compatible.

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Re: We've been called out

Post by TOUKO » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:14 am

I've emulated both now, and my opinion is that even though the SNES is also rough, it's far saner overall than the Genesis.
And about PCE ???

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Re: We've been called out

Post by Sintendo » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:28 am

Don't worry folks, I'm sure the TiTAN call for some Super Nintendo competition extends to the 60Hz/NTSC MegaDrive scene as well! :^)

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Re: We've been called out

Post by Sumez » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:05 pm

In 50hz land we've been given the short end of the stick since the beginning of home consoles, so it's sort of funny to see the 60hz master race act like this about something as unimportant as a tech demo :P

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Re: We've been called out

Post by Hojo_Norem » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:47 pm

Sumez wrote:In 50hz land we've been given the short end of the stick since the beginning of home consoles, so it's sort of funny to see the 60hz master race act like this about something as unimportant as a tech demo :P
I agree.

I see it this way, if big companies cant be bothered to properly convert or even release their software in PAL land (and therefore lock themselves out of potential revenue), then who in their right mind would expect a small team of enthusiasts to spend extra time and effort, for free, to make their software work in NTSC land?

Lets not forget that some effects probably just aren't possible to achieve on a NTSC machine. Just look at all the NTSC 'fixed' games on the C64. Some of the more famous games still flicker badly.

It just reeks of NTSC entitlement.

The argument about limiting audience size by being PAL exclusive doesn't really hold much water. It's a bit of an assumption on my part, but I don't think that the average console owner is the intended primary audience for these productions. It's the fellow sceners, the ones who turn up to the demopartys, the ones who get listed in the greets section of most demos. The people who have the correct hardware (or are willing to put in the effort to gather the correct hardware) probably come a very close second.
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Re: We've been called out

Post by ccovell » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:05 pm

TOUKO wrote:
I've emulated both now, and my opinion is that even though the SNES is also rough, it's far saner overall than the Genesis.
And about PCE ???
PCE is a warm footbath and a toasty fireplace. No big surprises, no headaches (and no mode 7 or column scrolling.... :( )

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Re: We've been called out

Post by rainwarrior » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:27 pm

So, are there any Mega Drive emulators that are up to the task of emulating this one?

(I'm not well versed in MD emulators. I usually use Fusion or Bizhawk, but neither seems to handle this.)

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Re: We've been called out

Post by Shonumi » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:44 pm

Apparently Mask of Destiny, the author of BlastEm is working on getting it running. This is what was said to me earlier today.

Anyway, really impressed with this new demo. I loved the original Overdrive. Demos like this always feel like a trip.

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