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Anyone using a custom fullscreen resolution?

 
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ethylene
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2002 4:45 am    Post subject: Anyone using a custom fullscreen resolution? Reply with quote

Personally, I'm running in 640x480, but I'd like to know if anyone has successfully implemented the PCE's video modes into their video drivers?
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Kaminari
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2002 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Problem is - whatever the resolutions you select in your .ini file, Magic Engine doesn't seem to take them into account. Better wait for the new fullscreen stretching modes on which David is secretly working Wink

You can still create specific screen modes with PowerStrip, though. Beware, it doesn't work with every video chipset and can be potentially dangerous for your hardware.

http://entechtaiwan.com/
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ethylene
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2002 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Powerstrip is a great utility. Between that and manually editing the registry, you can get some real wacky results. Sometimes, even useful ones Smile

Magic Engine does accept some different resolutions. I know I've gotten it to use:

320x240
640x480
720x480

Probably others... But it won't accept the PCE's native resolutions, or multiples of those... Sad
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2002 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it does accept different resolutions. Smile
But it will use only DirectX available video modes. If your video card has a 256x224 or 512x448 video mode, you can use it in MagicEngine, no problem, you will get perfect fullscreen, Smile but this mode must be available in DirectX, and it must be 15 or 16-bit.

BTW, MagicEngine prints a list of all the DirectX video modes it can use in the log.txt file, check it to see what mode your video card has.
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ethylene
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2002 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dmichel wrote:
BTW, MagicEngine prints a list of all the DirectX video modes it can use in the log.txt file, check it to see what mode your video card has.


That's great! I didn't know about that, that really helps Smile

Looks like my GeForce wants to be picky about the vertical resolutions, but is pretty flexible on the horizontal resolutions, these are the best I can do:

res_256=512,480
res_320=320,240
res_352=352,240

(all at 60Hz)

Looks like you've written some intellegent routines, so that when you load a game which regularly switches between modes (like Military Madness), MagicEngine picks the highest resolution mode and sticks with it. Good idea, but is there any way to let it freely switch modes?

Anyway, thanks for that post! The games look great in full-fullscreen Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2002 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoops, also wanted to ask; is there a way to set the GUI resolution?

Thanks a lot, David Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2002 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ethylene wrote:


Looks like my GeForce wants to be picky about the vertical resolutions, but is pretty flexible on the horizontal resolutions, these are the best I can do:

res_256=512,480
res_320=320,240
res_352=352,240



Lucky guy. Most of the video chipsets out there won't allow such exotic resolutions. I have a Rage128 GL and a GeForce2 Ti, and none of them have these kinds of resolutions listed as DirectX compatible.

It means that for most of us, we are still stuck with 640x480.

ethylene wrote:


Looks like you've written some intellegent routines, so that when you load a game which regularly switches between modes (like Military Madness), MagicEngine picks the highest resolution mode and sticks with it. Good idea, but is there any way to let it freely switch modes?



Not specifically related to your question, but these are some thoughts of the same order.

1. I'm not a serious technical insider, but from what I know of the PC Engine behaviour (and I believe I know it well Smile ) I think that when a game doesn't need (that is, doesn't call for) a specific resolution, this game expects the console to automatically assume that the default screen mode is 256x224 and *not* the last screen mode used. Some kind of hardware fallback mode, I guess.

2. Magic Engine seems to determine which screen mode to use depending on the screen area currently *displayed* in the game and not the screen mode called by the game. David can prove me wrong of course Confused

3. The three main resolutions of the PC Engine are 256x224, 336x224 and 512x224. There is no such thing like 320x224. The games which use a screen *area* of 320x224 are always displayed in 336x224 on a real TV (look at Ys 1 & 2 on a real machine and you'll notice the small vertical black bars on each side of the screen). The problem is that the games which use the full 336x224 space available (and there are many) are obviously truncated under Magic Engine (which uses 320x224 instead of 336x224). Just one example: Burai 2. Test it on a real machine and you'll understand.

4. An interesting side effect is the so-called widescreen mode of Magic. A 256x224 screen is correctly stretched to 640x480 (320x240 doubled, the same 4:3 ratio than a real TV). A 336x224 screen should also be shrinked to 640x480, however it is displayed as is (the area used is then 672x480), and of course a good portion of the original screen is lost. Erm... Do I make myself clear or not? Rolling Eyes

5. Last note: Magic Engine doesn't support 512x224 screen mode (look at Sherlock Holmes and you'll see what I mean).

That's all for now Cool
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2002 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kaminari wrote:

Lucky guy. Most of the video chipsets out there won't allow such exotic resolutions. I have a Rage128 GL and a GeForce2 Ti, and none of them have these kinds of resolutions listed as DirectX compatible.

It means that for most of us, we are still stuck with 640x480.


640x480 is not that bad, specialy if you enable the 'wide' screen option and switch to TV mode (F12), this option will stretch any 256x224 games to fit all the screen width (it does a 2.5x horizontal stretch with interpolation)

ethylene wrote:

Looks like you've written some intellegent routines, so that when you load a game which regularly switches between modes (like Military Madness), MagicEngine picks the highest resolution mode and sticks with it. Good idea, but is there any way to let it freely switch modes?


Yes, MagicEngine is a smart emulator. Smile
It does that to avoid screen flickering because of too many fast resolution changes, but if needed I can add an option to make this optional.

Kaminari wrote:

1. I'm not a serious technical insider, but from what I know of the PC Engine behaviour (and I believe I know it well Smile ) I think that when a game doesn't need (that is, doesn't call for) a specific resolution, this game expects the console to automatically assume that the default screen mode is 256x224 and *not* the last screen mode used. Some kind of hardware fallback mode, I guess.


No, there's not such a thing, games do have to set the resolution at least once. After a reset there's no predefined resolution, games have to set it.

Quote:

2. Magic Engine seems to determine which screen mode to use depending on the screen area currently *displayed* in the game and not the screen mode called by the game. David can prove me wrong of course Confused


You are right. Smile

Quote:

4. An interesting side effect is the so-called widescreen mode of Magic. A 256x224 screen is correctly stretched to 640x480 (320x240 doubled, the same 4:3 ratio than a real TV). A 336x224 screen should also be shrinked to 640x480, however it is displayed as is (the area used is then 672x480), and of course a good portion of the original screen is lost. Erm... Do I make myself clear or not? Rolling Eyes


Hmm, yes. Smile
I didn't implement that because it doesn't look too nice, enlarging a screen looks ok, like in the wide-screen mode, but shrinking it is usualy not nice looking.

Quote:

5. Last note: Magic Engine doesn't support 512x224 screen mode (look at Sherlock Holmes and you'll see what I mean).


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2002 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dmichel wrote:

Hmm, yes. Smile
I didn't implement that because it doesn't look too nice, enlarging a screen looks ok, like in the wide-screen mode, but shrinking it is usualy not nice looking.


Well... if you look at it from another angle, it's not really about shrinking a 336x224 screen to 320x240, but actually enlarging it to 640x480, which you will have to admit isn't such a bad deal Smile

I did try a test for this. I tested Strider with MAME configured in 640x480, fullscreen, stretch mode. Why Strider? Because its original arcade resolution is 384x224. The result is very good, and the animation stays smooth on my P2@420. You will agree that if Strider is running OK with MAME in 640x480 fullscreen, it should pose no real problem for NEC games in Magic Wink

Seriously, I think it's really worthwhile having a look at it. 10% of PC Engine games are running in 336x224, this is not a small figure. Please give it a try and let the users decide if it's an improvement or not.

What do you think? m(__)m
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2002 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hehehe Wink

Ok, I will give it a try... Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2002 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lucky wrote:

Lucky guy. Most of the video chipsets out there won't allow such exotic resolutions. I have a Rage128 GL and a GeForce2 Ti, and none of them have these kinds of resolutions listed as DirectX compatible.

It means that for most of us, we are still stuck with 640x480.


My "Voodoo 3" supports the resolutions nicely (and everyone says 3dfx cards are dead and they suck. However, maybe its your monitor that doesn't support the resolution and not your video card.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you David, I look forward to this Razz

djnforce9 wrote:

My "Voodoo 3" supports the resolutions nicely (and everyone says 3dfx cards are dead and they suck. However, maybe its your monitor that doesn't support the resolution and not your video card.


Oh yes, forgot to tell that I have a Voodoo3 too, and you're right - it's still an excellent chipset. It will allow me some exotic screen modes, but these are not really PC Engine-like.

As for my monitor, don't worry about that, it's definitely not the culprit. I'm using it on my Amiga too and if you could see what kind of screen modes I'm able to pull from it, you'd be gasped in surprise... Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kaminari wrote:
3. The three main resolutions of the PC Engine are 256x224, 336x224 and 512x224. There is no such thing like 320x224. The games which use a screen *area* of 320x224 are always displayed in 336x224 on a real TV (look at Ys 1 & 2 on a real machine and you'll notice the small vertical black bars on each side of the screen). The problem is that the games which use the full 336x224 space available (and there are many) are obviously truncated under Magic Engine (which uses 320x224 instead of 336x224). Just one example: Burai 2. Test it on a real machine and you'll understand.


I wanted to respond to this earlier. I don't have a way to test on a real TV, closest I have is my PCE using GeForce's TV input. But, that's not working right now. I'm finding out that it won't work until I get Win98 SE Rolling Eyes

The only 'truncation' I know of happens when you play 352x224 games in a screen resolution like 640x480. Mr. Heli is a clear example. Look at the grey borders at the top of the screen in 640x480, then in 352x240. Naturally, if you can use the 352x240 res, all your problems are solved Smile

But why does the 352x240 mode begin drawing four or five pixels later than the other modes? It's pretty easy to reach out and adjust the monitor, so it's not really a problem, but why?

Kaminari, can you think of any HuCARD games that use the 336x224 mode? I'd like to see this in action, but I don't have the Burai 2 game.

Does your name have anything to do with Red Kaminarimon? Smile

David, thanks for implementing the res_lock option! It works well with monitors that don't blank when switching modes, such as older NEC MultiSync monitors, or a Commodore monitor on GeForce's composite out.

It's really nice to have this board, and even nicer to see responses to our petty requests Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2002 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ethylene wrote:

The only 'truncation' I know of happens when you play 352x224 games in a screen resolution like 640x480. Mr. Heli is a clear example. Look at the grey borders at the top of the screen in 640x480, then in 352x240. Naturally, if you can use the 352x240 res, all your problems are solved Smile

But why does the 352x240 mode begin drawing four or five pixels later than the other modes? It's pretty easy to reach out and adjust the monitor, so it's not really a problem, but why?


(Please note that I'm specifically talking about the 336x224 screen mode here, not the standard 256x224 nor the marginal 512x224.)

Yes, the PCE is able to handle 352x224 but this is actually the overscan mode of 336x224, it is not meant to be wholly displayed on a real TV. That's precisely why it's called overscan. When a game appears fullscreen, it very well may be that the actual screen reaches as far as 352x224, but the visible display is always 336x224 (Burai 2, again). Add in the fact that Magic is only able to display 320x224 and you'll understand why some games appear heavily truncated Confused

People often think in terms of 'emulation on a computer', when they should think in terms of 'how does a real console behave on a real TV'. I don't care if my graphic board is able to display a full 352x224 mode. The PC Engine doesn't work like that. On a real TV, the PCE only displays 336x224 pixels and that's it. Since it's nearly impossible for most users to create a custom 336x224 and make Magic Engine recognize it, we have to stick with what we commonly have, and that's 640x480. Within that resolution and with a little stretching, we should be able to put in every possible 'virtual' screen mode, like the three PCE ones.

ethylene wrote:

Kaminari, can you think of any HuCARD games that use the 336x224 mode? I'd like to see this in action, but I don't have the Burai 2 game.


There are many, I'll list them here as soon as I restore my Access installation. For now, you could test R-Type, Ninja Spirit, Legend of Hero Tonma, Side Arms... Most of the Irem games use 336x224.

ethylene wrote:

Does your name have anything to do with Red Kaminarimon? Smile


Cool
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2002 2:15 pm    Post subject: 336x224 games Reply with quote

By any means, the following list is not exhaustive nor completely reliable. It is based on personal reviews or just plain recollections. Please feel free to point out any possible error or missing entry.

AndrÚ Panza Kickboxing
Aoi Blink
Battle Royale
Beyond Shadowgate
Burai
Burai 2
Champions Forever Boxing
Dai Makai Mura
Davis Cup Tennis
D˘kyűsei
Forgotten Worlds
Ghost Manor
Jack Nicklaus Championship Golf
Jack Nicklaus Turbo Golf
Jack Nicklaus Turbo Golf CD
Jack Nicklaus World Tour Golf
Klax
Legend of Hero Tonma
Loom
Might & Magic 3
Morita Sh˘gi PC
Mr Heli no Daib˘ken
Ninja Spirit
Order of the Griffon
Populous
Populous : The Promised Lands
Prince of Persia
Princess Maker
Princess Maker 2
R-Type
R-Type Complete CD
R-Type I
R-Type II
Saigo no Nind˘
Shanghai
Shanghai 2
Shanghai 3
Shape Shifter
Shinsetsu Shiawase Usagi 2
Sh˘gi : Shoshinsha Muy˘
Side Arms
Sol Moonarge
The Addams Family
The Davis Cup Tennis
The Kickboxing
Tokimeki Memorial
TV Sports Basketball
TV Sports Football
TV Sports Hockey
Yo Bro
Ys 1-2
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