Poll

What's your preferred option? (Please read the post first)

Physics at 1x. Option for display at 2x.
5 (83.3%)
Drop 1x support; both physics and display are at 2x.
0 (0%)
Screw 'em both, let's go straight for 3x!
1 (16.7%)

Total Members Voted: 6

Author Topic: 2.00 Complete switch to high-res?  (Read 3055 times)

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Offline namida

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2.00 Complete switch to high-res?
« on: September 16, 2015, 02:48:04 AM »
Semi-final decision: Sticking with the original plan, of physics remaining at 1x, with an option for rendering the graphics at 2x (and possibly even higher in the future). This will remain open for discussion, but it's probably not likely to change, unless someone comes up with a really good argument for it.

So, something that was asked about recently - and I had considered this idea to some degree - was a full-blown change to physics based on high-resolution graphics. Currently, the plan is to support high-res display, but still with underlying low-res-based physics.

Some thoughts on this:

Consistency between resolutions
If the physics were to be changed to high-res-based, then low-res would not be a display option. There'd simply be no point in it; it would mean the full detail isn't visible, and I don't think there's many (if any) potential users whose PCs couldn't handle at least 640x400 resolution. However, where this could be a problem is in the event of a future decision to support even higher resolution graphics. I would think that display at a non-integer multiple of the physics resolution would be somewhat unusual and user-unfriendly; meaning that any step up from high-res (2x) physics would have to be to 4x; which would mean a minimum screen size of 1280x800; beyond what some people here actualy use. Whereas, 3x (960x600) is more viable as an option, but would likely need 1x (or, of course, 3x) for the physics resolution in order to really be practical.

On the flipside, it is somewhat questionable whether or not resolutions beyond 2x are likely to be supported. Currently, none of the clones we use go beyond that; so we don't exactly have 3x or 4x versions of tiles, meaning they'd need to be made. The majority of custom graphic sets are either 1x resolution (Cheapo, NeoLemmix) or 2x resolution (Lemmini sets). And creating higher-resolution graphic sets would end up being more work; so perhaps there's no real need to consider supporting beyond 2x.

Backwards compatibility
Other engines (in paritcular Lemmini; but also WinLemm and Lix) have shown that existing levels can work when put into a high-res context. But of course, there's always the occasional level that gets broken by it. One of the reasons for sticking to 1x-based physics, therefore, was to ensure minimal problems for existing NeoLemmix content. However, since a lot of other physics changes/fixes are being suggested for V2.00n; there may be issues anyway, in which case it might make more sense to change the physics resolution at the same time.

Graphic set design
As touched on above, lower-resolution graphic sets are generally easier to make. Only supporting high-res may lead to less new graphic sets being made; compare the number of Lemmini sets to the number of Cheapo sets, for example. With that being said, there isn't really anything preventing someone from designing for low-res, then simply doubling the size - it might not look quite as neat; certianly I would want to put a bit more effort than that into my own sets, but the point is that the option is there.

Details of new physics
Any new physics would of course still be as closely based as possible on the existing ones, but adapted for high-res. But even with minimal changes, this still means (a) coming up with the exact details of the new implementation, and (b) players getting used to them, all over again. For that reason, non-change may be preferable.

Zooming
This could be a significant one. If high-res is the "base" resolution, then just a 2x zoom would need 1280x800 of screen space. Which comes back to similar issues as with supporting even higher resolutions in the future; although in this regard it's not as big a deal, as 1.5x zoom doesn't strike me as being as prone to issues as actual 1.5x resolution (relative to hi-res).

Any thoughts here? Would you rather see NX2 abandon low-res altogether, or would you prefer low-res-based physics simply with an option for high-res display? And on that note, if we lean towards abandoning low-res - the next question is whether to maybe make the jump directly to 3x (personally I'm somewhat against this idea due to the effort that'd be needed in regards to making 3x resolution versions of the graphic sets, but if some people were willing to help out with that, at least for the official sets (while I could take care of the Lemmings Plus ones), I could consider it)? The other downside of such an option though, being that all other current engines / notable past engines run at either 1x (Lemmix, NX1, Cheapo) or 2x (Lemmini, Lix); so going to 3x may present problems when trying to convert content, especially from engines that natively use 2x. This is something I'd like to get decided on fairly soon, as I'm probably going to be doing the graphic set code very soon - which is something where this decision will matter.

Just to be clear - this does not mean that importing low-res NX1 graphic sets won't be supported (although with that being said, most non-official NX1 graphic sets other than those I made myself are conversions from Lemmini anyway, which means they're technically high-res graphic sets already, which NX1 simply scales down at runtime - the files themself contain the full high-res images; as for my own graphic sets, I'll take care of making high-res versions of those).


For the reasons I mentioned above about graphic assets, I'm not too keen on the "go straight to 3x" idea, but as I mentioned - if there's a lot of interest in this, and some people would be willing to help out with the graphic sets (doesn't have to be right away, I'd rather wait until closer to release time before getting anyone else to do anything), it's a viable option. Between the other two options, I'm not entirely sure which idea I prefer - certianly, everything running at 2x would be easier to implement (apart from having to come up with physics for high-res), but even that would obviously entail changes from NX1 (which uses 1x for both the display and the physics).
« Last Edit: September 17, 2015, 12:39:09 PM by namida »
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Offline mobius

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Re: 2.00 Complete switch to high-res?
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2015, 12:30:49 AM »
Honestly my preference would be this:

simply keep the physics at low res. But have a windowed option and make the size changeable. That way, I can decrease the overall screen size to something smaller (not as small as Lemmini, I've always found that TOO small). But at least smaller than full screen would make the graphics look better. For me anyway, it's a simple solution but it works for me.

Not that I'm against going for higher resolution. I won't complain if it's done. It's just that I feel like an awful LOT of the kinks from original Lemmings have been worked out and NeoLemmix is pretty user friendly now. Changing things around again would be quite a bit of work.

while on the subject; just as a reminder, since you've been implementing the Lemmini/WinLems high-res graphics into NeoLemmix; those graphics sets have quite a few issues with them. I'm talking about terrain pieces with weird holes in them and little dots of color that shouldn't be there.
For example one of the vertical wodden bars in Pillar has a spec of terrain floating in space away from the pillar. That should be addressed, if not already done so. I think I actually have fixed GIFs of those images if anyone needs them.
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Offline namida

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Re: 2.00 Complete switch to high-res?
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2015, 05:56:08 AM »
Okay, it does seem preferences are strongly in favor of keeping physics at 1x. :) Medium option in terms of initial implementation difficulty, but also likely to cause the least problems for future expansion *and* backwards compatibility.

I'll leave this open a while longer in case anyone comes up with a very compelling reason to the contrary, but for now, I'm going to work on the assumption that we're going with 1x physics, with display selectable between 1x or 2x.
My Lemmings projects
2D Lemmings: NeoLemmix (engine) | Lemmings Plus Series (level packs) | Doomsday Lemmings (level pack)
3D Lemmings: Loap (engine) | L3DEdit (level / graphics editor) | L3DUtils (replay / etc utility) | Lemmings Plus 3D (level pack)

Offline namida

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Re: 2.00 Complete switch to high-res?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2015, 03:20:26 AM »
It doesn't seem there's any further discussions (or votes) on this topic, so at this point I'm going to close it - since if such a switch was going to be made, I'd need to take it into account very soon (to appropriately design graphic set support to handle it). Low-res-based physics it is.
My Lemmings projects
2D Lemmings: NeoLemmix (engine) | Lemmings Plus Series (level packs) | Doomsday Lemmings (level pack)
3D Lemmings: Loap (engine) | L3DEdit (level / graphics editor) | L3DUtils (replay / etc utility) | Lemmings Plus 3D (level pack)