> > Yes, the original game devs were limited by the tech of the time, so they designed
> > their graphics to look as good as they could on a CRT. HQ filters look muddy and
> > destroy fine detail and I'm all about going for as authentic an experience (to the
> > original arcade cabs) as possible.
> I programmed a commercial SNES game (and assisted with a few others) and we had a DOS
> TSR (terminate and stay resident) that would copy the current DeluxePaint II screen
> into an attached SNES or Genesis devkit and show it on the target system in real NTSC
> color. Hence my stance that CRT simulation gets you closest to the intended
> HQ and SuperEagle filters are universally loathed by the artists I know who worked on
> those old games. They don't consider having worked around the limitations to have
> been a cap on what they would've done, they consider it to be working within the
> medium. It's like doing real-world artwork in watercolor vs. pencil vs. charcoal vs.
> oils vs acrylic. Each one has different limitations; it doesn't mean that colorizing
> a pencil drawing means you're magically rescuing the artist's true intentions.
I can definitely see that - but let me ask you this, if you were writing that game today, what would it look like?
Besides that - there is the concept that the artwork doesn't solely belong to the artist. Once it's released, it enters the lives of others, and the meaning or intention is no longer slavishly tied to what the original artist wanted or meant, instead it becomes what the viewer, user, or in this case gamer - perceives it to be.
I think we should take into account the different audiences that use Mame. There are a group that wants to slavishly replicate the original experience. This is a huge benefit when it comes to the devs, because they're essentially archiving history.
Then there are the people who play the games. A good number of them also want to replicate the original experience, and for them scanlines, screen curvature, refresh rates etc. are very important.
Finally there are the others, such as myself. I can appreciate the desire for making the experience as much like original experience as possible, but at the end of the day I don't have a CRT, and don't see any reason to put up with jagged edges and the like. I play from a distance of around four to five feet from the screen. HQ3x improves the presentation, it doesn't detract from it. That is, of course, simply a preference on my part. When playing I'm not counting pixels, or admiring the tiny detail on a costume of a character being beaten up on screen. I'm concerned about the overall presentation.
Playing, say, Pacman - what I'm after is to be challenged as I would have been in an arcade. That's the nostalgia part. Mame does that brilliantly. The sound is very important too. The graphics are important - but to my eyes HQ3x doesn't destroy anything, and doesn't harm anything. It simply smooths things out a bit on modern equipment. To me, the games look great on an LED screen with HQ3x. When playing I don't notice any issues, I'm too busy losing! And I'm totally lost in the nostalgia. It stands to reason that those who want to replicate CRT's will not like it, but that just means they don't enjoy it that way - they're not more "right" or correct in their choice, just different. Having grown up in the era of CRT's, I can honestly say I have no desire to go back to using that technology - what we have now is so much better.
It's akin to going to see a Van Gogh - is it better to see it in a nice modern gallery with excellent lighting and facilities, or was it better to see it in the artists studio where the lighting was poor, it was dusty, and the place smelled like a damp dog? I opt for the former.
I suppose this is a key issue, perhaps based on a total misunderstanding. Again, I 100% appreciate the core goals of Mame devs. You and others do, and have done, an amazing and important job. Your slavish desire to preserve, exactly, the original experience is commendable and vital.
On the other hand it feels as though Mame devs kind of look down on those that play the games, almost as though you have disdain for them at times (I'm using "you" here in a broad sense, not directing it at solely yourself). Personally I'm thrilled that there are people sufficiently interested in the games to show an interest, but at times it seems as though Mame devs see the users of their code as hangers-on who are simply leeching off their vital work. Again, I may have a completely wrong impression, and I apologize up front if I do.
I'll be forever grateful to Mame devs, past and present, for the work they've done. These games (well, for me a core set between the 70's up to around the mid-80's) are part of my life experience, and at the time they were simply astonishing and exciting. They mean a lot to me personally, and through Mame I can relive part of my history (my own history is thereby intertwined with the history of the games themselves, which is an important element to all this).
But in 2016 I don't feel the need to pretend that it's still the 70's, and have scanlines and screen curvature etc. That wasn't part of the EXPERIENCE, that was simply a window into game. Back in the day I never once looked at a game and said: "Wow, look at those scanlines!" or "Wow, the screen curvature is ace on this one!", or even, "This game would suck if it didn't have scanlines!" Today that window is a widescreen LED for me - and frankly, it's plain better than the old CRT monitors. Therefore, the likes of HQ3x are essential parts of my enjoying these classics today.
EDIT: "HQ and SuperEagle filters are universally loathed by the artists I know who worked on those old games."
I'm seriously amazed they have any opinion on them at all. Do they universally loathe LCD and LED screens too? How about modern day controllers? Do they dislike modern development tools and languages? It's such a minor change, after all. Take Pacman as an example - nothing is destroyed by using HQ3x, all the detail is there to my eyes, it's just less jagged.