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Old 14 January 2019, 17:58   #1
d4rk3lf
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Parallax overrated/overused?

Whenever I turn my head around, I hear: parallax this, and parallax that...
What's so special about it?

Sure, it gives a nice 3D perspective feel, but don't you think that sometimes is overused? Overrated?
My first example would be our bellowed Shadow of the Beast (1,2 and 3).
Amazing game, but in terms of parallax, I think it's overused. The foreground moves too fast, somewhat distracting from the game.

Ruff'n'Tumble didn't had any parallax, yet I consider it as best platform game ever for OCS (or even AGA (I liked it better then Alladin/Lion King)).
(yet, I've heard many claims that lack of parallax is an issue with this game. For God's sakes, why?! )

I feel that parallax is more of a technical challenge, then a visual reward. As everything else, it's nice to have it (but not really necessary), and if used to great extend, it can be distracting (like in many cases).

What do you think?
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Old 14 January 2019, 18:06   #2
Steril707
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Well, it gives that sense of depth in a background which feels pleasing to at least my eyes..

A game looks much more boring without it, imo.
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Old 14 January 2019, 18:11   #3
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If used well, I think it can really add to a game. I tend to like horizontal scrolling games that have a slower moving background layer with mild parallax added in the top layer.

That said, I'm pretty sure that parallax is somewhat similar to 3D in the late 1990's, 'bloom' in the early 2000's or 'HDR lightning' today. As in it's often used to tick a box or to have the cool thing rather than to add anything per se.

I'd say it can be awesome if used well, but isn't always used all that well
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Old 14 January 2019, 18:17   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amigajay View Post
Dont think many games overused it off the top of my head bar my example,
Yeah, maybe not that overused, but (imho) very overrated effects, by many.
That's why the title of this thread starts with overrated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roondar View Post
That said, I'm pretty sure that parallax is somewhat similar to 3D in the late 1990's, 'bloom' in the early 2000's or 'HDR lightning' today.
That's exactly what I want to say.
Thanks!
Bloom, motion blur, chromatic aberration.. etc.. is often overused in games, videos, cinematics...
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Old 14 January 2019, 18:42   #5
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Parallax is something which makes game a an Amiga game.
Something which differ Amiga games from 8 bit games.
We love parallax. It reminds good old days Amiga 500.
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Old 14 January 2019, 19:02   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amigajay View Post
You probably dont notice it most of time, but watch some videos on YT like Sonic and they would look so flat without it.
I think that you're the one that categories as "overrating parallax".
I respect your opinion, even I do not agreed to it.
I think no bad gameplay will be saved by parallax, or bad overall graphics.
I know that you didn't said that, but just pointing out that parallax is just a slight visual enchantment.. nothing more then that.

That being said, I never noticed parallax in Sonic (wich means, it has been smartly used), but I don't think that, without it, overall fell will be much worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swinkamor12 View Post
Parallax is something which makes game a an Amiga game.
Something which differ Amiga games from 8 bit games.
Oh yeah?
There was a cool gane for C64 games that uses Parallax, and it's called: Parallax

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 14 January 2019, 19:23   #7
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Okay, even C64 SilkWorm had it, but for me paralax scrolling is always welcome and where available there makes a good visual addition. Never overused for me
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Old 14 January 2019, 20:02   #8
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Parallax on c64 is not as good as on Amiga.
When You play amiga games from gold amiga era You expect some efects not possible on 8 bit like parallax, sprite multiplication, colors changed by copper.
No amiga efects no fun. Quality almost as good as consoles from amiga era.
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Old 14 January 2019, 20:12   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swinkamor12 View Post
Parallax on c64 is not as good as on Amiga.
I don't have nothing against parallax, i just think it's overrated effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swinkamor12 View Post
Parallax on c64 is not as good as on Amiga.
I don't have nothing against parallax, i just think it's overrated effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swinkamor12 View Post
Quality almost as good as consoles from amiga era.
For me (and you can call me very subjective), OCS Amigas was totally in pair with SNES, and Genesis (that came many years later).
Neither worse, neither better.
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Old 14 January 2019, 20:18   #10
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I think dual playfield was a bit overused on amiga.

A lot of amiga games that did dual playfield parallax almost look monochrome, or extremly dithered. The ones that look truly good integrated copper into the playfield. But those was usally made by the best of the best.
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Old 14 January 2019, 20:24   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amigajay View Post
You don't have to agree, its not a problem, though i never said parallax adds gameplay, as you say its a visual thing, but a more important one than you may think.

Just say no advancements were made to 3D gaming since the PS1, these 'visual enhancements' to the year 2019 on the latest PC add nothing to the gameplay but enhance and make the world more believable, its the same in 2D with parallax and rotation and other sprite, vectors etc
To understand me better.. past few months... when I had nothing to do, I was just browsing these threads about various topics... parallax was often mentioned like it was a most important thing in the world.
I had a felling it was like a religion!
I am religious alright, but I don't like fanaticism, and these statements about parallax importance made me open this thread.

Which is great! Because, now, I can hear a focused reasons of why people so liked that effect.

Cheers!
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Old 14 January 2019, 20:30   #12
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Fullscreen is much more important to me. Very few games on amiga are fullscreen.
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Old 14 January 2019, 20:45   #13
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A typical filter bubble. I didn't knew that a special effect/technique made a game.
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Old 14 January 2019, 21:09   #14
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Like most things, if it's not done properly it'll suck. It's definitely one of those things that gives the 16-bit era it's charm. It certainly doesn't make or break a game, it just gives it a nice visual enhancement. The Double Dragon arcade machine doesn't have parallax scrolling, yet it had stunning graphics for it's time. Then you look at a lot of the CPS1 games and they have gorgeous parallax scrolling, it really makes the games look better.

I had a 520 STFM way before I got an Amiga, so I was used to single plane jerky scrolling. When Anarchy was released for the ST, I was totally gob smacked! A full screen, 50fps, multi-layer, super smooth parallax scrolling game on the ST. In fact, it's the only ST (not STE) game I know of that managed to do that.

It's one of those things you don't really notice in the heat of the game, but when you take a step back or watch someone else play, you notice it almost straight away. If done right, it really adds to the overall experience.
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Old 14 January 2019, 21:29   #15
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problem with ECS parallax is: if you use dual playfield you have a color limitation IIRC (16 colors + sprites colors).

Note that a lot of AGA enhanced games don't boast more colors but ... a layer of parallax Comes to mind:

- Zool
- Fantastic Dizzy
- Bubble & Squeak
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Old 14 January 2019, 21:44   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swinkamor12 View Post
Parallax on c64 is not as good as on Amiga.
When You play amiga games from gold amiga era You expect some efects not possible on 8 bit like parallax, sprite multiplication, colors changed by copper.
No amiga efects no fun. Quality almost as good as consoles from amiga era.
I'm going to have to respectfully disagree here, I don't think effects make or break the fun of a game. Some of the best Amiga gaming experiences I've ever had lacked any form of parallax/dual layer effects. Though graphics & sound are important, a well designed game doesn't really need top notch effects to be really good fun IMHO.
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Old 14 January 2019, 23:35   #17
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d4rk3lf's point about parallax being overused is fair enough - any artistic device can be overused, but personally I love parallax, and the more of it, the better. I can't think of a game that has too much.

The original post mentions Ruff'n'Tumble - a game which I think is has gorgeous animation and is a blast to play. About the only thing that has always disappointed me about it is that is the lack of parallax! It was probably left out to cram in all those beautiful animation frames though, so at least it was traded off for something worthwhile.

Another great game with no parallax is Superfrog, in this case I'm assuming it was traded off for smooth fast scrolling (something Ruff'n'Tumble struggles with) and vast levels, again at least fair-enough choice, that game is also great to play.

It seems that the rule-of-thumb for Amiga games is that you can have anything - colours, parallax, animation, speed; but not all at once. The only game I can think of that comes close to 'having it all' is Lionheart, but that's a pretty slow-moving game, I have no idea if it could run at Sonic/Superfrog speeds and keep all that parallax and colour.
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Old 14 January 2019, 23:58   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marchie View Post
It seems that the rule-of-thumb for Amiga games is that you can have anything - colours, parallax, animation, speed; but not all at once. The only game I can think of that comes close to 'having it all' is Lionheart, but that's a pretty slow-moving game, I have no idea if it could run at Sonic/Superfrog speeds and keep all that parallax and colour.
Wait till u see what i have in store for u then. (;-)
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Old 15 January 2019, 03:28   #19
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Wait till u see what i have in store for u then. (;-)
Sounds promising...
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Old 15 January 2019, 06:51   #20
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@mcgeezer: using AGA is cheating (but chunky pixel is cheating & arcade custom chips is also cheating, so let's cheat too). Zool AGA has parallax and is quite fast.
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