Quick question about Win KQ6 mouse pointers

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Bluddy
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Post by Bluddy » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:14 am

Musically Inspired, I agree that ideally we should have a checkbox that allows enabling/disabling undithering. In the meantime, I think about it like this: if the undithering was an opt-in option in the ini file, the average user would never find out about it. Since it's activated by default, those users who are purists (such as yourself) care about it enough to dig in the ini file and turn it off.

As for your examples, I personally think (again, just my opinion) every one of them save the last one illustrates the beauty of the undithering. Those 'jagged lines' you complain about were there to begin with, you just chose (in my opinion) not to see them. You're interpreting the dithered elements as 'soft brush strokes', but that's just your interpretation. I interpret them as 'the artist gasping for more colors' and that's where we differ, and art is very open to interpretation.

The last example is one I agree with. The rock obviously stands out, and that's a product of an imperfect undithering function which our amazing SCI devs have been tweaking over time.

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Post by BobbinT » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:26 am

I did notice that object that can be interacted were still left dithered on undithered scenes. Pretty weird actually.

And although I kinda enjoy the undithered version, I have to agree regarding the comparison on QFG1. I'm not a big fan of dots, but it does help blend the scenery.

I wonder if there's some sort of blending option? That way, after undithering the graphics, the blending will take care of the graphics scenery so that the obvious border between 2 colors can be mesh together.

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Post by Serious Callers Only » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:27 pm

You should just enable it on your config file. You're actually projecting what most users want by default. I for one want the most enhancements i can get. For the "real" purists, there is always dosbox.

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clone2727
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Post by clone2727 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:53 pm

Serious Callers Only wrote:You should just enable it on your config file. You're actually projecting what most users want by default. I for one want the most enhancements i can get. For the "real" purists, there is always dosbox.
I completely disagree with you. There should definitely be a GUI option for this, as it seems to me, there are a more than a handful of people that are bothered by the feature. Not to mention the "enhancement" doesn't always work, as shown in various screenshots. Furthermore, I don't believe that the undithering is an enhancement; but to each his/her own.

And good luck playing the Mac/Amiga/Atari ST SCI games in DOSBox.

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Post by md5 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:04 pm

And it all started from a quick question about the Windows version of KQ6... :P

You are correct, that option shouldn't have been enabled by default, making it awfully hard for an average user to disable it.

A checkbox has now been added in the graphics options tab of the ScummVM options, which can be used to toggle the feature. Undithering is now off by default to satisfy the purists (as it should have been from the start), and it's now easy to enable it from the graphics options, if needed.

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Post by m_kiewitz » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:18 pm

Bluddy wrote:The last example is one I agree with. The rock obviously stands out, and that's a product of an imperfect undithering function which our amazing SCI devs have been tweaking over time.
The view is using color combinations that arent used in the background. In that case view undithering assumes that the colors are not to get undithered. It's the same special case like the one view in the SQ3 intro.

That gate was actually the reason why FreeSCI didn't have undithering enabled on default. It was fixed now by working heuristics and that's why we (SCI team) decided to enable it on default.

Those special situations occur really rarely and are easy to get fixed. Still MusicallyInspired didn't know what he was doing and the screenshots do not reflect fully, what ScummVM would actually show.
MusicallyInspired wrote:King's Quest I DITHERED - The tree on the righthand side is the focus. The artist used jagged dithered lines on the tree leaves to resemble subtle depth and shading. Looks quite nice.

King's Quest I UNDITHERED - The tree now looks like a bizarre mishmash of jagged lines. Looks nothing like shading.
You switched during the game between modes. That caused the gate to remain dithered, because the view is cached. If you switch to undithered mode before entering that screen, the gate in KQ1 is also undithered and it looks quite nice then.

Before posting screens, you should have informed yourself first about how undithering works instead of posting inaccurate comparison screenshots.

Normally it looks like this
Image

purists will still complain, but anyone with a little taste and working eyes will say that the shot below is much better looking and it actually reflects the artists choice of colors. The pictures are not undithered, we just don't do a dithering run on them. The only problematic area is view-related, those are actually really 16-colors and in really rare cases they are integrated into the background, which means we have to undither them to make them match against each other.

MusicallyInspired is a purist, although I don't understand why he doesn't complain about the sample ability of ScummVM for SCI0/01 games or the mouse cursor in PC AGI games as well. The original Space Quest 3 PC release didn't play a "Where Am I"-sample in the intro for example.
md5 wrote:Undithering is now off by default to satisfy the purists (as it should have been from the start), and it's now easy to enable it from the graphics options, if needed.
Thank you for just changing a default w/o any internal discussion first.

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Post by LordHoto » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:15 pm

m_kiewitz wrote:Those special situations occur really rarely and are easy to get fixed. Still MusicallyInspired didn't know what he was doing and the screenshots do not reflect fully, what ScummVM would actually show.
MusicallyInspired wrote:King's Quest I DITHERED - The tree on the righthand side is the focus. The artist used jagged dithered lines on the tree leaves to resemble subtle depth and shading. Looks quite nice.

King's Quest I UNDITHERED - The tree now looks like a bizarre mishmash of jagged lines. Looks nothing like shading.
You switched during the game between modes. That caused the gate to remain dithered, because the view is cached. If you switch to undithered mode before entering that screen, the gate in KQ1 is also undithered and it looks quite nice then.

Before posting screens, you should have informed yourself first about how undithering works instead of posting inaccurate comparison screenshots.
While I agree that this looks like the research was not done properly, I can't agree that you blame him for not researching properly how the undithering works internally (or that caching of views). I mean it is not documented anywhere at all (except maybe in code form, but I wouldn't assume that everyone can read C(++) code).

I guess you all should calm down a bit.

I mean that gate example didn't work, because if you start the game (or enter that room?) with dithering on in the first time, it looks fine. That's good to hear at least :-), since that seemed really ugly.

But well I couldn't have said that swichting the undither mode during runtime would have such an effect either (and I doubt you could've done that if you hadn't worked on that code yourself).
m_kiewitz wrote:
md5 wrote:Undithering is now off by default to satisfy the purists (as it should have been from the start), and it's now easy to enable it from the graphics options, if needed.
Thank you for just changing a default w/o any internal discussion first.
Yeah that change seemed rushed, but I don't think the forums are the place to discuss that.

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clone2727
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Post by clone2727 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:58 pm

m_kiewitz wrote:MusicallyInspired is a purist, although I don't understand why he doesn't complain about the sample ability of ScummVM for SCI0/01 games or the mouse cursor in PC AGI games as well. The original Space Quest 3 PC release didn't play a "Where Am I"-sample in the intro for example.
He doesn't sound like being a "purist" to, but just someone who doesn't like the undithering mode (feel free to correct me, MusicallyInspired). The difference is between a feature that people think enhance the gameplay vs. a feature that people think doesn't enhance it. Everything is subjective.

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md5
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Post by md5 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:00 pm

I reverted the default behavior: undithering is on again (but the checkbox is there), until we decide what is the project's stance regarding game enhancements (there's a discussion on IRC and a mail on -devel)

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Post by Flo » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:10 pm

IMO, whenever there's a choice (i.e. not hardcoded behavior/fixes/improvements), the default option should resemble the original game as closely as possible.

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ScottT
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Post by ScottT » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:28 pm

m_kiewitz wrote:[...] didn't know what he was doing
The obvious thing here would be to read the README, but that doesn't mention it anywhere. Nor does the wiki or the command-line help. Even as an engine dev, that would be the most I'd do for research within an engine I'm not familiar with. A lot of this debate wouldn't have been needed if an obvious way to en-/disable the behaviour was present (preferably in all three of the above 'help' sources).
Flo wrote:(i.e. not hardcoded behavior/fixes/improvements)
And there-in lies the problem - some people view this as an 'improvement', while others don't.

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Post by Flo » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:35 pm

ScottT wrote:And there-in lies the problem - some people view this as an 'improvement', while others don't.
I see it exactly the other way around. The problem is that there's no "code" on how games should be represented, so whenever there's an optional feature, you end up with discussions on what the default should be.

If you simply said that default options should represent the original game as closely as possible, you wouldn't have that problem.

EDIT: typos

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Post by MusicallyInspired » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:06 pm

Many seem to assume that the picture resources aren't meant to be dithered or undithered but rather however a program interprets them. I'd like to refute that theory with this: the artists visually saw dithered pixels in 1990. This is the way they approached their art. Some of them used this to their advantage (by some I mean most). They weren't repeatedly thinking all the while "I have to envision these dithered pixels as solid colours". It's just not that simple. You're trudging on an artistic expression. I again point you to images like the righthandmost tree in the KQ1 example with the goat fence. Those lines look horrible in undithered mode. But in regular dithered mode they're more camouflaged and resemble actual artistic subtleties.
Bluddy wrote:As for your examples, I personally think (again, just my opinion) every one of them save the last one illustrates the beauty of the undithering. Those 'jagged lines' you complain about were there to begin with, you just chose (in my opinion) not to see them. You're interpreting the dithered elements as 'soft brush strokes', but that's just your interpretation. I interpret them as 'the artist gasping for more colors' and that's where we differ, and art is very open to interpretation.
Yes it is. But you're rating your own interpretation over mine (or anybody's who disagrees, which includes a lot of Sierra fans) by having it enabled by default. That's the problem I have.
m_kiewitz wrote:That gate was actually the reason why FreeSCI didn't have undithering enabled on default. It was fixed now by working heuristics and that's why we (SCI team) decided to enable it on default.

Those special situations occur really rarely and are easy to get fixed. Still MusicallyInspired didn't know what he was doing and the screenshots do not reflect fully, what ScummVM would actually show.

You switched during the game between modes. That caused the gate to remain dithered, because the view is cached. If you switch to undithered mode before entering that screen, the gate in KQ1 is also undithered and it looks quite nice then.

Before posting screens, you should have informed yourself first about how undithering works instead of posting inaccurate comparison screenshots.
Actually, I didn't even notice the gate in that picture, but you know, thanks for assuming you knew what I was talking about without even reading my post at all. I was talking about the tree on the right hand side of that picture (like I stated in the very post you quoted of me) and how the lines in dithered mode are much more camouflaged than the abrasive look they have in undithered mode. I don't know where you guys got that whole gate thing from.
purists will still complain, but anyone with a little taste and working eyes will say that the shot below is much better looking and it actually reflects the artists choice of colors.
Who are you to dictate if anyone's taste is good or not? This is exactly what I'm talking about. It seems like the Sierra community (for whom the games were actually supported for, otherwise there would be no SCI integration at all; no Sierra fans no Sierra implementation) are just getting a big "screw you" from the ScummVM team because their opinion matters more than their's.
The pictures are not undithered, we just don't do a dithering run on them. The only problematic area is view-related, those are actually really 16-colors and in really rare cases they are integrated into the background, which means we have to undither them to make them match against each other.
Again, the backgrounds were created and optimized for a dithered look. That is the way they were meant to be viewed, regardless of any "enhanced" palette configurations you could ever put on there. You'd never get that palette configuration on an EGA card on your 386 in DOS because Sierra never created the engine with that capability.

As such, the artist took advantage of the disadvantages of 16 colours and used it to make their art look more impressive and as realistic as possible. The minute you take dithering out of the picture you're destroying that artistic expression and utilising of those dithered pixels. The artists didn't simply pick a bunch of dithered colours all the while picturing them as a single solid colour the whole time. They would have designed the pictures completely differently if that were the case. They artistically used dithered colours to fool the eye to hide things like harsh lines.

Regardless of what they always wanted, the images were created in 16 colours and that's the way they were meant to be seen for the best optimization of the engine at the time. It's not about what they were going for. The very thing you hate about dithering is the very thing I'm saying plays a part in its presentation from the get go. Undithering (while a neat little effect) destroys the original representation of the art.

But all this is second to the point of whether or not ScummVM's intent is to initially display a game the way it was original viewed or whether its sole purpose is to "enhance" everything and muck with everybody's nostalgia without the option to enable it themselves if they want to, which every other program out there approaches visual enhancements from console emulators to DOSBox.
MusicallyInspired is a purist, although I don't understand why he doesn't complain about the sample ability of ScummVM for SCI0/01 games or the mouse cursor in PC AGI games as well. The original Space Quest 3 PC release didn't play a "Where Am I"-sample in the intro for example.
Actually, SQ3 does play digital samples if you have the correct sound blaster driver that came with the original disks. Works in DOS and DOSBox. And I still am asking and have been asking for the option to choose whether you want the digital samples or the Adlib equivalents (that goes for SCI1.0 games as well). Again you're making assumptions without any basis of fact. And I already covered my take on mouse support in AGI implementation in the very same post you quoted of me where you ignored the statements I made on that picture comparison. The Sarien engine was designed from the get go not to be reminiscent of the original DOS interpreter. The problem there lies in the way it was programmed. I wish people would read the whole of everybody's posts in a thread before replying with foolish assumptions.

Shall I also berate you for not doing you're research on either my posts or what the original DOS games were capable of? Honestly, it just seems like many of you don't care as much about Sierra game implementation as you have about SCUMM game implementation. Correct me if I'm wrong, of course, but that's the way it certainly looks from this side of the fence.
Thank you for just changing a default w/o any internal discussion first.
Why does it have to be internal? What matters are the fans opinions not the dev's opinions alone, if you're going to make any ethical sense at all here. What's wrong with having an external discussion? You guys certainly didn't consult the community when you set it to be enabled by default. Why are you so hung up about the feature being disabled by default when people like you were asking me the same question about complaining about having it enabled? Doesn't feel fair does it?

Again, I (and the many Sierra fans I speak for) am not asking for the feature to be removed, I'm asking for it to be disabled by default so we have the choice of using it or not and having the toggle be easily accessible in the GUI. Which it now is.

Why don't you make a public poll that everyone can vote on about whether ScummVM should enhance all games by default or whether it should preserve the default options to be the original game design. The way I see it that's the only fair approach to make here.

At the very least, thank you for including a checkbox option in the GUI.
clone2727 wrote:He doesn't sound like being a "purist" to, but just someone who doesn't like the undithering mode (feel free to correct me, MusicallyInspired). The difference is between a feature that people think enhance the gameplay vs. a feature that people think doesn't enhance it. Everything is subjective.
Exactly.
Last edited by MusicallyInspired on Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:23 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by Collector » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:06 pm

Bug fixes and interface enhancements (i.e. increased save game slots) are one thing, but artistic/aesthetic changes should be opt in.

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Post by LordHoto » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:13 pm

MusicallyInspired wrote: Why don't you make a public poll that everyone can vote on about whether ScummVM should enhance all games by default or whether it should preserve the default options to be the original game design. The way I see it that's the only fair approach to make here.
The problem with that public poll is that we can't get a statistically relevant outcome when we just make an internet based poll (apart from the fact that we need to assure no one votes more than once etc.) and I doubt we have any possibility to make a real poll we can use as a good base for a decision.

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