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Old 05 May 2020, 22:21   #41
Amigajay
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Don’t let the small list on the first page of this thread, whilst they are the majority of ‘full screen’ PAL games, loads and loads (technically term) more were just a few pixels short, another load were 8 pixels short, another 16 pixels short from being full screen, so the fact they weren’t full screen but still better than 320x200 in hundreds of cases should be noted too, credit where credit due to some developers.
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Old 06 May 2020, 13:47   #42
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I think, at least in the OCS days, a lot of European developers intentionally supported NTSC screen size because North America was still a big market. There were fewer Amigas here, but piracy was not (quite) as rampant.

After the North American Amiga market died going into the 90's (well, the U.S. mostly, it lived longer in Canada), more games seemed to be using the full PAL screen size.
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Old 06 May 2020, 14:38   #43
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I actually recall the programmer of Menace (Dave Jones) mentioning that he kept the screen size as it was precisely because that would just fit on an NTSC screen with some overscan. So the above certainly seems plausible to me.
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Old 06 May 2020, 16:22   #44
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I'm sure the devs/publishers had some reasons, benefiting their side. If there were right or wrong is another matter, it's probably a mixture of both. There's no way to establish it now since there are too many unknown factors involved, say, what would be the real costs of proper PAL versions vs actual sales, etc.

I'm trying to figure now how to deal with this though, since it's all new to me.

Are there any hardware solutions? Would scan doubler help at all?

What about NTSC versions, should I start using them when available? Is there a list somewhere?

I read elesewhere it's possible to display PAL versiosn in NTSC mode - but game speed would be affected. Could that work somehow?
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Old 06 May 2020, 16:42   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreadnought View Post
I'm sure the devs/publishers had some reasons, benefiting their side. If there were right or wrong is another matter, it's probably a mixture of both. There's no way to establish it now since there are too many unknown factors involved, say, what would be the real costs of proper PAL versions vs actual sales, etc.

I'm trying to figure now how to deal with this though, since it's all new to me.

Are there any hardware solutions? Would scan doubler help at all?

What about NTSC versions, should I start using them when available? Is there a list somewhere?

I read elesewhere it's possible to display PAL versiosn in NTSC mode - but game speed would be affected. Could that work somehow?
The correct way to play it is to boot at the correct frequency the game was written for and then adjust your monitor to the correct pixel aspect the graphics were drawn for. (Or, if emulating, adjust the aspect in the emulator).

There were a lot of PAL games that were made to be played at 50Hz with PAL pixel aspect, even though there was a black bar at the bottom of the screen. Who cares if it fills the screen if everything looks like it's been squashed sideways? In these cases you just have to think of it as lopsided letterboxing.

Regarding NTSC versions, if the game was made for NTSC, play it in NTSC, and adjust display to NTSC pixel aspect. If it's an NTSC port of a PAL game, it's usually worse because the art was usually drawn for PAL pixel aspect, even if they fixed it for NTSC timings.
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Old 06 May 2020, 18:12   #46
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If you have an A500+, A600, A1200 (or any other ECS/AGA machine) you can switch the machine to NTSC using the early startup menu. That sometimes works. Not so much for trackloading bang the hardware type games, but in my experience it tends to work just fairly often for adventures & strategy games. More so if it can be hard disk installed or also starts through Workbench.

IIRC this also works for A500/A2000 machines that have an ECS Agnus fitted (which is a fair chunk of them), as long as you run Kickstart 2.0+.
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Old 06 May 2020, 18:28   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmigaHope View Post
The correct way to play it is to boot at the correct frequency the game was written for and then adjust your monitor to the correct pixel aspect the graphics were drawn for. (Or, if emulating, adjust the aspect in the emulator).
I don't have a monitor, only CRT TVs. In theory I could stretch it vertically in service menu, but it'd a PITA to do it every time depending on a game since it's not as easy as monitor's knobs (plus it'd mess it up for my other micros/consoles).


Quote:
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There were a lot of PAL games that were made to be played at 50Hz with PAL pixel aspect, even though there was a black bar at the bottom of the screen. Who cares if it fills the screen if everything looks like it's been squashed sideways?
Like I've said numerous times in this thread, I have no problem with games coded for PAL and using correct AR, even if there's that black bar and small screen size.

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Regarding NTSC versions, if the game was made for NTSC, play it in NTSC, and adjust display to NTSC pixel aspect.
How do we know if it was made for NTSC? That's what I mean by "a list"...I had a look at HOL but couldn't see any PAL/NTSC tag there.
Gamebase has PAL/NTSC tag but there are only 143 games with it (out of nearly 6000).


What I meant was something along the lines of "would NTSC version of Leisure Suit Larry look better than PAL one (which is squashed)?". Assuming there is actually a NTSC version of LSL of course. My TV can do NTSC and my Amiga as well I think (I saw a PAL/NTSC toggle in ACA menu)

@roondar: yes something like that, will have to test it later
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Old 06 May 2020, 18:54   #48
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Quote:
How do we know if it was made for NTSC?

If the game was an original NTSC development, from an American software house. Of course there are NTSC versions of PAL originals too. But mostly only adapted for NTSC colors, the rest was the PAL game running faster (music too).
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Old 07 May 2020, 13:41   #49
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What I meant was something along the lines of "would NTSC version of Leisure Suit Larry look better than PAL one (which is squashed)?". Assuming there is actually a NTSC version of LSL of course. My TV can do NTSC and my Amiga as well I think (I saw a PAL/NTSC toggle in ACA menu.
If it's an American game coded in America, as in Leisure Suit Larry's case, as well as all other Sierra games except for KQ6 (where the Amiga port was done in Europe), then you should play it in NTSC. In fact most American games didn't use vertical blank for stuff so the "PAL" version is often just the NTSC version with no programming changes.

So yeah those should be played in NTSC. If you are using a smart TV it will automatically adjust to NTSC aspect ratio.

If it's a European game, it will almost certainly be made for PAL, even if it has blank spot on the screen.

Stuff gets a little weird when an American PC/Console game gets ported to the Amiga by a European company. Sometimes it's coded to run in PAL but the graphics are in NTSC aspect ratio. The exception is PC games which were coded for SVGA square pixel modes, in which case they look mostly okay on PAL Amiga (where the pixels are almost square). In those cases you just have to experiment to see works best. Sometimes they're best played on in PAL frequency (because that's what they were coded for) but with the aspect ratio adjusted to match NTSC pixels.
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