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Reply 160 of 173, by pan069

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kdr wrote on 2021-05-25, 00:33:

(Surely nobody ever built a 286 with just 128KB of RAM?!)

That was probably the memory on the EGA card, not the system memory (I hope so).

Reply 161 of 173, by Peter Swinkels

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One thing I have noticed about EGA vs VGA is that while the latter offers more colors, it also increases the risk the graphics will look like blurred or discolored photo's. This is why I think some mid to late 90's games look awful despite their fairly realistic graphics and at the same time think much older games with CGA/EGA look better.

Also, when I look up Rise of the Dragon Amiga using Google I get VGA-like screenshots. Did the Amiga support 256 colors?

Reply 162 of 173, by appiah4

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Peter Swinkels wrote on 2021-05-25, 09:27:

One thing I have noticed about EGA vs VGA is that while the latter offers more colors, it also increases the risk the graphics will look like blurred or discolored photo's. This is why I think some mid to late 90's games look awful despite their fairly realistic graphics and at the same time think much older games with CGA/EGA look better.

Also, when I look up Rise of the Dragon Amiga using Google I get VGA-like screenshots. Did the Amiga support 256 colors?

Amiga supported 32 colors in OCS, 4096 colors in HAM mode. HAM was almost never used in games though, so games were mosty 32 (30+2 in Rise of the Dragon's case) colors.

rise_of_the_dragon_02.png rise_of_the_dragon_06.png rise_of_the_dragon_07.png

This is a system that released in 1985 and in 1991 it could still trade blows with SVGA cards that nearly equalled the cost of the whole system. It was a computer from the future.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 163 of 173, by Peter Swinkels

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I see now, those 64 color graphics look a bit less detailed than the 256 color ones. Interesting how the IBM pc took over while it had less capable hardware at first.

Reply 165 of 173, by Shreddoc

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Stormlord had a pretty awesome "dark romantic fantasy" aesthetic, especially for a 1989 game. An Amiga-esque gamut and presentation - you can tell where it was probably developed - but also released for DOS and other systems. While elements of the style associated with the Bitmap Brothers can be seen, Stormlord (by Hewson Consultants) actually predates Gods and most BB games.

Overall, it was stylistically a rare novelty of the times - and quite an amazing-looking one! - when encountered on a DOS machine.

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Reply 166 of 173, by Ulfenknulfen

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Descent2 and Indy 4 are the most played games on my 486.
I also like to play Monkey Island 1/2 and Indy 3, but i know there is no 486 requiered for this games.

best regards
Paddy

Reply 168 of 173, by Jo22

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Peter Swinkels wrote on 2021-05-25, 09:27:

One thing I have noticed about EGA vs VGA is that while the latter offers more colors, it also increases the risk the graphics will look like blurred or discolored photo's. This is why I think some mid to late 90's games look awful despite their fairly realistic graphics and at the same time think much older games with CGA/EGA look better.

I assume that's because EGA always allowed for a "pixel-perfect" experience.
The EGA monitors were usually always digital (TTL transmission).
So it was necessary to perform careful drawing. Otherwise, the screens would look really ugly.

VGA on the other hand, was designed with many colours in mind (hence the switch to analogue RGB).
IBM's PS/2 series monitors, as well as cheaper no-name monitors were very blurry.

Most of you maybe can't remember this anymore. I'm talking about ~1987-1991 era 14"/15" VGA monitors without OSDs, not these modern CRTs that are often shown on Vogons.

The high amount of colours in VGA was used to allow for anti-aliasing/smoothing.
Well, at least in the 320x200 low-res MCGA mode often used by games.
In combination with a small VGA CRT of these days,
these blurry VGA titles didn't look bad, at all, seriously.
Rather, well, "organic" and realistic. I wished I could provide a picture. 😢

On a hi-res CRT with 17" and up.. Not so much.
When these games were made, 20" monitors were an extreme luxury.
Such sizes were used by CAD/CAM people or in the medical fields only.

And LCDs/TFTs.. Let's forget it. Or let's use the EGA version of the game. Seriously.
You're (we're) better of using a VGA to Composite converter box and use that on an LCD TV.
A cheap, one of course. A good one doesn't have the desired effect.
The blurriness restores some of the needed anti-aliasing.

*"Normal" VGA graphics mode was 640x480 in 16c (12h). That's what applications, simulations and adventure games used.
Games and applications that used it often have aged well.
It's smooth, but also detailed. Unlike 320x200 (13h).
I call it (640x480, 12h) normal, because it's similar to timings of VGA text-mode (~720x400?) - VGAs default mode.

Edit : That's a bit off-topic maybe, but let's please have a look at this screen shot.
It's Neko Project II emu on a Mac, running a Japanese game.
That PC-98 game uses 640x400 with a few colors.
Similar to some EGA titles in 640x350 (EGA native mode).
Despite being a digital screen shot, the graphics have aged well.
They look clean even on a modern TFT monitor.

Edit: Writing fixed up.

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Last edited by Jo22 on 2021-06-02, 16:08. Edited 1 time in total.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 169 of 173, by Jo22

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Found some samples of early, authentic VGA monitors.

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"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 171 of 173, by kdr

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-06-02, 15:20:
I assume that's because EGA always allowed for a "pixel-perfect" experience. The EGA monitors were usually always digital (TTL t […]
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Peter Swinkels wrote on 2021-05-25, 09:27:

One thing I have noticed about EGA vs VGA is that while the latter offers more colors, it also increases the risk the graphics will look like blurred or discolored photo's. This is why I think some mid to late 90's games look awful despite their fairly realistic graphics and at the same time think much older games with CGA/EGA look better.

I assume that's because EGA always allowed for a "pixel-perfect" experience.
The EGA monitors were usually always digital (TTL transmission).
So it was necessary to perform careful drawing. Otherwise, the screens would look really ugly.

VGA on the other hand, was designed with many colours in mind (hence the switch to analogue RGB).

I don't think it has anything to do with digital RGBI vs analogue RGB signals. To my eye, EGA artwork looks just as good when it's double-scanned at 400 lines on a standard VGA display.

I think the main issue with early VGA artwork is the severe lack of contrast. Probably due to using scanned-in artwork. It's primarily a palette issue, because the VGA display hardware is perfectly capable of showing bright saturated colours with high contrast (just look at VGA text mode for proof).

Reply 172 of 173, by Jo22

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-06-02, 15:20:
I assume that's because EGA always allowed for a "pixel-perfect" experience. The EGA monitors were usually always digital (TTL t […]
Show full quote
Peter Swinkels wrote on 2021-05-25, 09:27:

One thing I have noticed about EGA vs VGA is that while the latter offers more colors, it also increases the risk the graphics will look like blurred or discolored photo's. This is why I think some mid to late 90's games look awful despite their fairly realistic graphics and at the same time think much older games with CGA/EGA look better.

I assume that's because EGA always allowed for a "pixel-perfect" experience.
The EGA monitors were usually always digital (TTL transmission).
So it was necessary to perform careful drawing. Otherwise, the screens would look really ugly.

VGA on the other hand, was designed with many colours in mind (hence the switch to analogue RGB).

kdr wrote on 2021-06-02, 23:04:

I don't think it has anything to do with digital RGBI vs analogue RGB signals. To my eye, EGA artwork looks just as good when it's double-scanned at 400 lines on a standard VGA display.

No, no, no. You get me wrong, I'm afraid. 😅
I meant to say that EGA artwork as such was rather carefully drawn by the artist *originally*,
because pure EGA systems it was intended for were not "forgiving":

Every little mistake was visible, because TTL signals are practically lossless.
There's no way that a mistake could be masked through the signal loss or the screen mask itself.

Thus, EGA artwork doesn't automagially degrade if zoomed or double-scanned properly on VGA systems, of course.
Sure, depending on the equipment, it may look less sharp or, the other way round, a bit more blocky here and there (without the scan lines), but..

Also, VGA cards without using emulation mode
do display 640x350 EGA graphics in a 640x400 view port on a VGA monitor just fine.
Not as sharp as on an EGA screen, maybe, but the result is acceptable.

kdr wrote on 2021-06-02, 23:04:

I think the main issue with early VGA artwork is the severe lack of contrast. Probably due to using scanned-in artwork. It's primarily a palette issue, because the VGA display hardware is perfectly capable of showing bright saturated colours with high contrast (just look at VGA text mode for proof).

Surely, good "line work" (for contrast) is much more present/needed in drawings with a low colour depth, I think.

As an artist/illustrator, that's what you need to take care for if you're working with monochrome, 4 colors or 16 colors.

Let's just just look at all these Gameboy titles in 160x144 @4 shades of gray. 😉

Or the EGA drawings from the 80s that are out there.:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/94839221@N05/al … 157652364100484

Edit: These are merely more-or-less logical conclusions of mine, of course. I could be wrong, also.
I'd be really cool if we were in touch with artists/designers/programmers/etc of EGA titles of the time..
I think that their point-of-view might truely enlight us thanks to their "behind the scene" insider know how.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//