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Member Since 01 Aug 2001
Offline Last Active Apr 10 2016 08:58 PM

#5032236 Why old games are so compact? (NES, SNES..)

Posted by on 14 February 2013 - 07:03 AM

I guess I was learning on limited resources too, which probably explains my attitude. I still think wasting space and energy is a bad idea

Even mobile games are clocking in at 1gb in some cases.

I doubt a producer, publisher or carrier would tolerate that size of binary - 180MB is pushing it in my experience and usually leads to office arguments.

Mobile dev is exactly the reason I have problems with the "Use everything you can!" attitude.

I said use what you need, not what you can. There is a world of difference between those statements.

What do you have to doubt? Go take a look around. A gig is a normal, expected size for a lot of the better mobile games I have. The GTA games clock in that big. FF3 is a few hundered megs. Several games, like TDKR are 1.8 gigs. Wild Blood, gameloft's new UDK game is 720m.

Several of these games even offer HUGE downloads of high resolution asset packs if your high end phone or tablet supports it.

Even 3DS carts are 8GB, which is overkill, but there is no reason why they can't come in at 16, or 32 gb soon.

We are over the storage space hump in games.

#5032219 Why old games are so compact? (NES, SNES..)

Posted by on 14 February 2013 - 06:03 AM

Nowadays, space is cheap, and the machines don't have as many restrictions. So use as much space as you need. :-)

Programming attitudes like this makes me cringe. I've seen horrid things happen when people take a casual attitude towards using memory and CPU efficiently - It leads to ugly botched code. I could name games but I'd probably get a legal letter.

I didn't say anything about memory, processing, or programming style.

When I was first learning to code, I was using QBasic and kept using it well into 2000. So I write all my code and allocate all my resources with a minimalistic attitude, because when I was learning, I had no choice!

But we are talking about file size in this thread. We don't have to worry about using every trick in the book to desperately try and cram anything in. Even mobile games are clocking in at 1gb in some cases.

So use what you need.

#5032174 Why old games are so compact? (NES, SNES..)

Posted by on 14 February 2013 - 03:09 AM

Content is made to suit the hardware that it runs on.

We all have 32 bit graphic cards these days with 32 bit frame buffers. So the best format to store graphic data in is usually images with 32 bits per pixel. This creates a nice 1:1 mapping. Even if not using the alpha channel, it's better to waste some memory instead of using 24 bits per pixel for better memory alignment.

Back in the day, memory was expensive and processors were super slow. Those old machines had much less bit depth in their frame buffers, and the sprites were small 8x8 or 16x16 images with 8 bits per pixel or less on the NES.

1 8 bpp pixel = 1 byte
1 32 bpp pixel = 4 bytes

Sound was done differently. It usually wasn't recorded directly, and was stored as instructions for a chip to follow. MIDI files were very compact, and people used to say you could store ~48 hours of it on a 1.44mb floppy disc! The quality of the midi playback was entirely up to the quality of the MIDI synthesizing hardware. All the sounds were already on the hardware. A midi type file simple wrote down which voices/instruments to play, at what pitch, for how long.

We do sound in CD quality now (16 bits @ 44KHZ Stereo). That's 16 bits of data, 44,000 times a second! What a 1X CD drive used to stream at. (which is 150kb.. you'd get ~10 seconds on that floppy, instead of 48 hours!) Some people also go above that and do 96khz or more.

As for text, as in your long storyline example. That was usually simple ASCII text, which was 8 bits/1 byte per character. It was good for it's day, but it is limited to 256 unique glyphs because of that. We often use different sets of wide characters now, which could be 16 or 32 bits.

Cartridges were very expensive, and only available in a few select sizes.

Nowadays, space is cheap, and the machines don't have as many restrictions. So use as much space as you need. :-)

#5031871 Are all fonts copyrighted?

Posted by on 13 February 2013 - 10:42 AM

Why do people always ask "But what about <some random combination of actions or transformations> on someone else's data." Every font has a license attached to it detailing it's use, just like any other creative work. If you want to use a font for anything at all, regardless of what you do on top of it, you still have to follow the original license.

Find some public domain or permissive license font files and use those. Read the licenses, as written by their actual authors. Lots of websites run by random idiots say all their fonts are free to use, but they are just pirating them and redistributing them without permission.

To get you started, I'll recommend the Bitstream Vera fonts.
http://www-old.gnome.org/fonts/ <-- license

#5030944 Just a *bit* more accurate than bounding spheres?

Posted by on 11 February 2013 - 12:02 AM



With your collision, you should start out as crude as possible, and keep working down. Sphere are used because it's a quick and cheap test to perform.

If the collision is outside the sphere, it couldn't possible collide with the object.

If the collision is inside the sphere, then you can do further checks.

This helps when you have lots of objects to test for collisions.

#5030888 Anyone else run into the "idk what programs to make" issue?

Posted by on 10 February 2013 - 07:59 PM

And it doesn't help the only games I can think of making are 3D.

So? Go for it. You learn by doing. 3D games are only harder for people who only think in terms of code, which is an epidemic on forums like this.

Go grab the Blender Game Engine, Unity3D, or any other toolkit and start prototyping it. Don't worry about their scripting languages not being C++, if you understand programming, you can pick them up quickly enough to hammer out your required logic in them.

Just make it sloppy as hell and keep refining it. Don't worry about code, focus on design, and use whatever tools you can get your hands on to make it easier.

Once you have something to show, and something that somewhat works, you can get show it off, and get feedback, and then if it's a good idea, it will take on a life of it's own.

#5030666 Just learning blender

Posted by on 10 February 2013 - 05:30 AM

For good tutorials go to BlenderCookie.com

#5030516 A few random screenshots

Posted by on 09 February 2013 - 04:56 PM

You're doing a great job with this. It all meshes well together and creates a great mood.


Add some simple distance based fog. It's a must for any scene. It's also one of the top things people get wrong with cg. It doesn't have to be thick, noticeable, fog. Just some subtle fog in the distance to create the illusion of any atmosphere, and a eye pleasing color fade. It is never not foggy out, and everything fades into the distance.

I'm not sure if your models are just flat shaded or if you don't have any shading other than just flat shadows. Are you toggling smooth shading on your models in blender, and are you using the sharp edge tag + edge shading modifier in Blender? If you don't understand, watch this video tip, it will explain it all. http://cgcookie.com/blender/2010/05/04/tip-using-the-edgesplit-modifier-to-smooth-lowpoly-models/

Your island is flat and looks like a plane instead of a terrain. Subdivide it a bit, and then pull some vertices up or down. If you use the proportional editing tool (the tool the toggles on your menu bar when you press 'o' in edit mode) with smooth or sphere mode, it will be easy to create a nice terrain like shape. It's a small island, so like the fog, use it subtly. This will also help with the flat shading look it currently has.

#5029902 Best image reduction method in Photoshop?

Posted by on 07 February 2013 - 06:08 PM

Try Lanczos to downsize? It has always given me the best results for downsizing (by eye at least).

Irfanview(free) has it as a rezie option. Not sure about Photoshop.

#5029868 A few random screenshots

Posted by on 07 February 2013 - 04:19 PM

Welcome to the start of your new addiction. smile.png

You're going to want characters soon, check out this blender tutorial video series to learn how to do them:

Also check out BlenderCookie for tons of general purpose blender tutorials.

Did you bake those shadows in Blender, or are they real time?

#5029663 Is this game worth saving?

Posted by on 07 February 2013 - 01:56 AM

Off the top of my head;

Open a Dev Log thread on TIGSource

Use #ScreenshotSaturday and #GameDev tags on twitter. Your game will be on ScreenshotSaturday.com, and the GameDev account retweets everything with that tag.

#5029653 Is this game worth saving?

Posted by on 07 February 2013 - 12:58 AM

I just gave it a try. It was a nice idea, but I died very quickly without even knowing why. One minute I was shooting a zombie who was far away from me, the next I had a game over screen. The grass tile needs to be darkened.

You should be happy you got any views at all. The internet is full extremely crowded with that type of stuff, and it's hard for anyone to get attention. The best way is to advertise it around popular gaming forums so people can be aware that it exists.

You should absolutely continue it. Keep polishing it until you get to point where you are happy with it and want to move on to something else, and then start a new game.

#5029637 Why don't games allow left handed shooting characters?

Posted by on 06 February 2013 - 11:08 PM

A lot of games let you switch by pressing a thumbstick, but it's temporary and is only meant to help out when you are behind cover and can't use your normal right handed view to shoot because of obstructions.

Something to take into account is that in a lot of games, it would mess with the composition and flow of the screen layout. The end result of any frame is just a 2D image that gets read like any other. Left to right and top to bottom. If there is a HUD element that is least important, it's ofen put in the lower left, and you have to consciously stop, refocus your eye, and look at it.

Here is a very specific example from RE4. And is not meant as a blanket statement in all situations.


That's also why you move to the right to advance in most 2D games.

Examples of this rule at work

This is also used in movie framing. Your eye is meant to travel right through the frame. Characters lean into the right, or the image flows naturally to the right. Characters will back up or seem disinterested by moving left, or looking left etc.


#5029551 Most pathetic question you will hear today

Posted by on 06 February 2013 - 03:52 PM

This is a thread about matrices, not about API choice.

CosmicDashie, I suggest a copy of Mathematics for 3d Game Programming and Computer Graphics. It's a bit expensive, but it's worth every cent because it explains everything about a ton of different topics from vectors to matrices all the way to the more advanced stuff, and how it all fits together. And it will be a great reference to have on your shelf.

#5029282 Mario Gameplay Analysis Video

Posted by on 05 February 2013 - 09:21 PM

Doesn't have to be in video form. I just posted something similar about analyzing beat em up games. We need more of that kind of stuff here in general, and less programming talk.

So many people here think game design is just about rendering something and making it respond to input. The art and design gets completely ignored most of the time. This place needs a culture shift.