Matt Chat 22: ICOM Simulations' Macventure series

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At long last, here it is. Matt Chat 22: Deja Vu, Uninvited, Shadowgate, and Macventures. I was finally able to get my classic Mac emulator (mini vmac) up and running, so please enjoy--a lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into getting this footage! :)

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Mark Vergeer
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whoops....

Well Matt, it could have saved you an awful lot of time playing and showing the Dos-versions instead of the Macintosh versions as it took a helluvlalot of time to configure your system properly to actually run the Mac version ;-P

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Bill Loguidice
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I agree 100% with Matt's

I agree 100% with Matt's decision to want to show the original versions, even if it was a pain. I'm a big believer in showing the original versions on the original hardware (and barring that, original versions on emulators), and then updates/other versions as time allows. On the plus side, he can now capture early Mac stuff!

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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I'm a bit torn on the

I'm a bit torn on the subject now, since I've come to realize that no direct capture will be great quality (even s-video just doesn't seem to cut it). The best I've been able to achieve quality-wise is capturing from an emulator. Even with 5 or 6 skipped frames, it still looks worlds better on my end than trying to capture from an external source with s-video.

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Bill Loguidice
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Variables and true accuracy
Matt Barton wrote:

I'm a bit torn on the subject now, since I've come to realize that no direct capture will be great quality (even s-video just doesn't seem to cut it). The best I've been able to achieve quality-wise is capturing from an emulator. Even with 5 or 6 skipped frames, it still looks worlds better on my end than trying to capture from an external source with s-video.

I disagree. As long as it's not a hi-def console like the 360 or PS3 or a hi-res PC, then S-video provides an accurate representation of the actual quality of the console or computer, since you're recording its direct output. Emulation captures, while naturally clean, are also clinically clean, and are not an accurate representation of real world output. That's why measures are taken to provide a faux "dirty" signal option for Atari 2600 and Apple II emulators, because the pure "signal" of the emulation actually doesn't provide an accurate representation of the visuals. In other words, programmers of the day didn't take into account "pure" signals, but what the system actually did on era-specific TV's and monitors. To me, that's a very interesting variable. It's like when I use my 15khz arcade monitor with an arcade VGA card on my MAME cabinet. It's a far more accurate representation of what the actual arcade machine is like than a regular PC and monitor. It's subtle at times, but it's there. That to me is the point. So my vote is always for accuracy over perfection.

It's also an interesting dilemma for the documentary. If I capture from a 1970's home Pong machine over RF, it will provide a slightly "noisy" capture, but it will be a true representation of what you actually saw at the time. If we used emulation, we'd get crystal clear perfection, and, frankly, it might be a bit confusing to the unitiated, i.e., they might think that even in the 70's output signals were as crystal clear as they are today. If anything, we'll be doing a disservice if we're not able to show improvements in all ways over time. I think it will make for a better film.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Mark Vergeer
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Emulating the Cathode Ray tube

Perhaps it would come as a surprise but people are working on ways to emulate the old cathode ray tube by using a real-world model of this type of display and the way a picture is displayed. This is very different from the 'filters' found in emulators like Mame that sort of simulate a cathode ray look.

Of course showing the real McCoy on the real McCoy is better than a port, but a port isn't always just a simple port. It could end up being a completely different game or just have a slightly different flavour to it.

Then again, the MS-DOS version is also a version that is 'the real' version for a lot of retrogamers out there who fondly remember booting up the old XT, 286, 386, 486 or first generation pentium machines with the devision bug and loading up those games on their PC. So just because the Mac version was original - it may not be the original version to quite a few others.

Perhaps it is good to show with a pop-up which version of the game is being reviewed/played and perhaps mention the other platforms it is out on as some people may actually want to try to find a version for a particular platform they happen to own and/or collect for.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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Matt Barton
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Well, my problem is that

Well, my problem is that what I'm able to capture using Dscaler looks a lot worse than what is actually on my TV. There are more lines and distortion than is on the actual screen. Thus, my s-video capture looks a great deal fuzzier and low-rez than the composite signal on my TV!

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Mark Vergeer
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Say Bill - did you do that Ikaruge with your Archos?

 TV 32x32 pixels Say Bill - did you do that Woot! Ikaruga footage with your Archos?
As that footage is looking mighty fine I am inclined to do the same with mine for the non-arcade footage.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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Bill Loguidice
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Archos 7
Mark Vergeer wrote:

 TV 32x32 pixels Say Bill - did you do that Woot! Ikaruga footage with your Archos?
As that footage is looking mighty fine I am inclined to do the same with mine for the non-arcade footage.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

Yes, all the Dreamcast footage was taken with the Archos over S-video. What was weird is that I have two different Dreamcasts, and each one had bad output at certain times, so a few captures failed. Those three were the three clean ones I was able to get.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Mark Vergeer
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Good!

I saw your Ikagura footage and it was pretty good. Very usable by RC in his editing software!

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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