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Making Old Games Look Good On Modern LCDs?

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the +1-pixelblock-of-smiting dept.

Graphics 367

75th Trombone writes "I'm a fan of several old PC games — the Myst series, StarCraft, Diablo, etc — with 2D graphics that run at a low, fixed resolution. These games all look horrible on modern LCDs. If you run them at their original resolution, they're tiny, and if you upscale them they get all sorts of blurry, pixelly smoothing artifacts. My ideal goal is to run these games at exactly double their original resolution — running 640 x 480 games at 1280 x 960, for example — so that each original pixel takes up exactly a 2 x 2 block of screen pixels, yielding graphics that are perfectly crisp and decently big. I've tried arcane settings in graphics card drivers (new and old), I've tried forcing the OS to run at a given resolution, and I've tried PowerStrip, all to no avail. Short of writing a new, modern engine for my favorite games, is there a reasonable solution to this problem?" There have been many community-supported graphical overhauls of classic games — feel free to share any you know to work well.

cancel ×

367 comments

Buy a cheap CRT (2, Insightful)

Andorion (526481) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126574)

Problem solved. http://www.pricewatch.com/monitors/ [pricewatch.com]

Re:Buy a cheap CRT (1, Insightful)

Andorion (526481) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126582)

Actually, forget the pricewatch link, just check ebay. Plenty of 17-19" monitors for well under $100.

Re:Buy a cheap CRT (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126610)

Forget ebay, check Craigslist. Chances are somebody in your neighborhood has an old CRT in their basement they want to sell for $15.

Forget eBay, Craigslist - Freecycle :-) (3, Insightful)

billstewart (78916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126816)

Hey, there are people out there who'd be happy to just have you take the clunky thing.

Re:Buy a cheap CRT (4, Funny)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126840)

I have two you can have for free. They're here in Germany though... shipping might be a bit expensive ;)

Re:Buy a cheap CRT (5, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127084)

I advertised a 17" CRT on Freecycle (London). I didn't expect any replies, but had several! One was from a woman who said she was disabled and would send a taxi round to collect it, but as it was only 10 minutes walk I carried it to her house. She turned out to be a research scientist who'd got an unusual disease (and couldn't walk). She wanted to research it but couldn't get any funding. So, she'd given up her job and was doing her research from home.

This was 2 years ago, maybe now it'd need to be an LCD.

Re:Buy a cheap CRT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30127186)

I'd consifer forgetting Craigslist. Check with a charity like the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or a thrift store. You will end up with a decent CRT, and you will have supported a good cause. You might strike it lucky on CL, but most of the time, someone will be demanding way too much for what they are offering.

Re:Buy a cheap CRT (4, Informative)

denmarkw00t (892627) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126650)

Actually, forget eBay, there are plenty of CRTs available at thrift stores (Goodwill, Salvation Army), presumably on Craigslist, and one of the best gaming CRTs I ever got came from a yard sale.

I know we're nerds, but we too can purchase old televisions at low prices, face-to-face with an actual person ;)

Re:Buy a cheap CRT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126762)

Actually, forget thrift stores and Craigslist, since CRTs are periodically available on Freecycle

Re:Buy a cheap CRT (3, Funny)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126924)

Actually, forget Freecycle, since.. eh, what are we talking about?

Re:Buy a cheap CRT (4, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126934)

Actually, forget Freecycle, you probably already have an old CRT laying around somewhere that you just don't want to use because it takes up so much space.

Re:Buy a cheap CRT (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126968)

I love how everyone posting in this thread disregards the question asked and poses a solution that doesn't actually solve the problem.

I don't want a fucking CRT taking up desk space, and I'm sure the person posing the question doesn't either - or he wouldn't have asked. Hm! Food for thought.

Re: It's either that are buy an expensive... (1, Interesting)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127238)

...IPS monitor. If gamers would quit lapping up all those fast, cheap TN crap monitors and start holding out for IPS or even high end PVA monitors those willing to invest in quality products would risk their dollars on advancing the tech. That's just how the market works, the more crap that gets bought the more crap that gets made.

Re: It's either that are buy an expensive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30127524)

Heh. IPS for games. Talk about slow.

Re:Buy a cheap CRT (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127476)

That's because LCDs are lousy for displaying any resolution other than there fixed native resolution. To make a 640x480 game or video look good on an LCD is impossible. Only a CRT can switch back-and-forth to varying resolutions.

Re:Buy a cheap CRT (1)

orange47 (1519059) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126874)

nope, buy plasma TV. with highest resolution and smallest size.
if you get a game to run on LCD in 'native' resolution it will probably be terribly 'blocky'

Re:Buy a cheap CRT (1, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126894)

Well, that will solve the problem for the next few years. But those old CRTs will die eventually, and then what?

Also, having a second monitor just to play old games is a pain, especially when that second monitor is a space hog.

NEW STYLE! Gold Brushed Tungsten Cross Wedding (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126918)

This laser engraved 18k gold plated tungsten wedding ring features a brushed center band highlighted by 4 lightly brushed crosses positioned equally at four points around the ring. The high polished step edges are a fantastic finishing touch.

Possible Starcraft Solutions (3, Informative)

slifox (605302) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126578)

A quick google search turned up the following for Starcraft. You probably want to do a bit of in-depth research before running these binaries... they may be buggy, fake, etc

One way might be to play Starcraft in windowed mode:
http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=72621 [teamliquid.net]

Or use a "high resolution" mod. There seem to be a lot of defunct mods like this that probably never worked too well, but the first link might be worth a shot:
http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=97122 [teamliquid.net]
http://www.widescreengamingforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16643 [widescreen...gforum.com]
http://freenet-homepage.de/ToiletGame/download.html [freenet-homepage.de]
http://www.gamethreat.net/forums/user-downloads/38147-resolution-hack-release-4-0-a.html [gamethreat.net]

Re:Possible Starcraft Solutions (4, Interesting)

supersat (639745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127014)

I once wrote a tool called "StarPatch" that lets you run StarCraft in a window. It works by 1) patching a calls to CreateWindow and some DirectDraw initialization functions, 2) patching calls to DirectDraw's Lock and Unlock to return a fake video memory pointer, and 3) periodically copying the fake video memory to the real video memory.

The source code is almost ten years old at this point, but I've made it available again at http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/supersat/starpatch.c [washington.edu] . You'll need to tweak it to work with anything other than StarCraft 1.10, but you can modify it to scale up pixels, etc.

- Karl

Windowed Mode: VM (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30127122)

To get old games into "Windowed Mode" I often run them in a VM

These games are old enough that a VM can handle their graphics card needs & the underlying CPU can run them through a VM at at least the original CPU speed.

Re: we require more vespene gas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30127156)

I've heard that if you inhale some vespene, you won't care that the screen is a bit blurry.

Re:Possible Starcraft Solutions (1)

irockash (1265506) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127190)

I tried the Chaos Launcher (first link) the other day, and it has the ability to double the size (press Alt + F9). It definitely doubled it, but the game ran horrible. May have been something on my end, but scrolling accurately was impossible, movement was really slow. I didn't look into it, just went back to the normal windowed mode.

Re:Possible Starcraft Solutions (1)

HybridJeff (717521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127564)

Probably your set up. I've used it before with no problems.

virtualization (2, Insightful)

areYouAHypnotist (1099681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126588)

I haven't tried it myself, but what about virtualization? VirtualBox has an addition that lets you run windows at any size you want (in windowed mode).

Re:virtualization (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126636)

The problem doesn't appear to be the size of the windows, but the size of the pixels. Virtualization wouldn't help here.

Re:virtualization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126710)

Virtualization wouldn't help here.

*SLAP*

Old Games on Faster Computers can be tough (3, Interesting)

billstewart (78916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126830)

There are other problems with playing old games on newer computers - depending on how they handle timing, you'll find that the
Space Invaders zoom down and kick your ass
in ways that they just didn't at the original speeds.

Maybe virtualization can give you a way to slow them down?

Meanwhile, Nethack works just fine...

Re:Old Games on Faster Computers can be tough (2, Funny)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126986)

Meanwhile, Nethack works just fine...

Amazing how you never have to worry about turn-based games playing too fast, isn't it?

Re:Old Games on Faster Computers can be tough (4, Funny)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127138)

Meanwhile, Nethack works just fine...

Amazing how you never have to worry about turn-based games playing too fast, isn't it?

Or ascii-based games running into problems with tiny pixels or miss-matched resolutions.

Re:Old Games on Faster Computers can be tough (1)

rarity (165626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127364)

Or ascii-based games running into problems with tiny pixels or miss-matched resolutions.

Not strictly true; I'm playing in this year's /dev/null tournament, and the rogue level in NetHack is giving my SSH client serious issues. For some reason the graphics options that work fine for the rest of the levels screw it up mightily, resulting in everything being one character to the right of where the screen tells me it is. It makes moving and not getting eaten...interesting.

Re:Old Games on Faster Computers can be tough (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127474)

Even so, imagine the issues involved in playing a non-ascii game over your SSH client.

Re:Old Games on Faster Computers can be tough (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127624)

XBlast worked fine over remote X11 forwarded via SSH. Back when I played it, I only had a 512Kb/s Internet connection (shared with three housemates). On the local campus network it was even faster. The game didn't have any network code, you ran it on one machine and it used remote X11 to display the game on everyone's screen.

Re:Old Games on Faster Computers can be tough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30127074)

The deal with Space Invaders (IIRC, of course) is that the CPU couldn't handle all the ships so it rendered slower. As you killed ships, it could render the rest faster.

A neat idea and probably cheaper than a CPU that could render all the ships as fast as it could render one and coding the speed change in. ...but obviously is problematic with better hardware. I think the Dark Engine (Thief, Thief Gold, System Shock 2, and Thief 2) has this issue too.

Remember the "Turbo" button? (1)

nuckfuts (690967) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127284)

Do you remember back in the days of 386 computers, when they had a "Turbo" button on the case? I can remember having to turn off Turbo mode to play some games that otherwise ran impossibly fast.

Many cases also had a two display that changed from "16" to "8" (or something similar) when the Turbo button was toggled. This was supposed to represent a change in the clock speed, but what really happened was that cache memory was disabled to make the system run slow.

My kids think it's hilarious that we used to have a button to make the computer run slow.

Re:Remember the "Turbo" button? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30127374)

No the turbo button really changed the speed (at least it did on my 16mhz/8mhz 286)

But the number on the case was driven from the turbo button usually and had nothing to do with the motherboard.

After I upgraded my 286 to a 386 I could turbo and unturbo with no change in speed

PS:
When did the turbo buttons disappear?

Re:Remember the "Turbo" button? (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127496)

PS: When did the turbo buttons disappear?

When you changed your case ? :)

I had one on my 286/16 with a pizzabox case, not on my 486DX50 tower. I *think* some 386 SX (not sure about the DX) still had them.

Re:virtualization (2, Informative)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127134)

It's not about the size of the window, but the size of the pixels. I think I once managed to get dosbox or something similar to run Elite 2: Frontier using pixels that were 2x2 times as big. Worked very well.

RealMYST (2, Informative)

gehrehmee (16338) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126590)

For Myst anyways, RealMyst impressed me. Actual 3d models of the puzzles, so you walk where you want. Totally playable in my opinion, and they managed to make it not distract much from the puzzles and art of the thing.

Great and shitty at once (1)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127614)

because of the DRM. As a longtime fan of the Myst series of games (one of the type that played every one of them from beginning to end without spoilers) I ran out and got RealMyst the moment it came out. The interface was fantastic; it was twice as immersive as the original and just as transparent. But it took me a while to get there.

As your typical technojunk collector, I had about three optical drives connected to my main PC at the time and about another four or five or varying speeds and burning technologies laying around collecting dust. NONE of them worked with the RealMYST DRM (skips and blips or wouldn't run at all).

I finally had to go to Computer Gaming World or some such site and download a noCD crack to make it work, but only after I'd wasted a day popping my case and trying it out with every friggin' optical drive. That started the practice (almost forgotten now, I never play games any longer) of just getting the crack immediately for any game I bought, without even bothering to try to play the game uncracked, which lasted several years.

Try dos games. (5, Informative)

sjwt (161428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126594)

your problem is you are not looking old enough, try runing DOS games in Dosbox [dosbox.com] , nice scaling options there.

Re:Try dos games. (5, Informative)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126870)

The ScummVM [scummvm.org] emulator for running classic Lucasarts games like Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle and the Monkey Island series also has a nice set of scalers and graphics filters [scummvm.org] .

Re:Try dos games. (1)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127276)

Amen.. I'm just working my way through the Monkey island series on my aspire netbook and ScummVM, and ran through DoTT and Sam'n'Max before that. All look great when re-rendered into full 1024x600, their upscalers are excellent! There are very few aliasing artifacts etc..

Vavoom [vavoom-engine.com] (+the texture packs) also does a good job on Doom at the same resolution too.

Re:Try dos games. (2, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127514)

I find that those old 1970s and 80s games run better on Atari 800, Commodore=64, and Amiga emulators. For one thing these computers have fixed specs, so they are as easy to use as a console (plug and play). No need to mess with annoying DOS, sound, or graphic card settings.

For another the Atari, Commodore and Amiga were typically the best versions of the games with more colors and better sound than the PC DOS versions.

 

Re:Try dos games. (2, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126946)

The article poster lists several favorite games of his that he wants to play, and your suggestion is to find older, different games?

Install Win 95/98 on Dosbox and use Dosbox scaling (1)

Scaevus (1594501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127070)

The games you are asking work well in Windows 98 so you can install Windows 98 on Dosbox just like any other dos application and then install Starcraft, Diablo, etc. on this "virtual Windows" and let Dosbox do the scaling for you. For Dosbox, it's just only another app so I don't expect any problems with the scaling. I am not sure about the performance but it's worth a try. (You can also try this with windows 95 for better performance.)

Re:Install Win 95/98 on Dosbox and use Dosbox scal (1)

Flossymike (461164) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127362)

I've not used it myself, but if you were going for a VM solution, then D3D should enable 3D acceleration anyway.

http://www.nongnu.org/wined3d/ [nongnu.org]

this might help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126596)

http://www.widescreengamingforum.com/wiki/index.php/Gaming_with_Blackbars_(Pillarboxing)

For DOS games. (4, Insightful)

brandorf (586083) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126600)

Well, for DOS games, DOSbox can do a number of different scaling modes. From the Wiki: normal: nearest-neighbour scaling (big square pixels) scan: like normal, but with horizontal black lines tv: like scan, but with darker versions of data instead of black lines advmame: smooths corners and removes jaggies from diagonal lines advinterp: identical to advmame rgb: simulates the phosphors on a dot trio CRT As for old windows games, I hope to hear something else. One last note, Myst was re-released as a "Masterpiece Edition" with higher resolution re-rendered graphics.

Re:For DOS games. (1)

Narpak (961733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126626)

I know that this might be a bit off-topic, but I bought the Tex Murphy games on Good Old Games [gog.com] . They ran through preconfigured DosBox (same original resolution though) and they worked straight "out of the box" as it were; no problems there at least. They have a lot of other games to if people are interested, though, as I said, don't know about the graphics bit but if DosBox can scale I am sure you can mess around with it as much as you desire.

Re:For DOS games. (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126678)

DOSbox is indispensable for playing old DOS games anyway. It emulates old platforms, including old hardware, extremely well. And it's a lot less hassle than booting a physical machine into DOS.

A solution for some old RPGs (Ps:T, BG, IwD) (3, Interesting)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126630)

A mod was released for these games which pretty much handles higher resolution. It does that not by up-scaling but rather by showing you a larger section of the hand-drawn pixel-perfect game map, keeping the original crispness.
The mod can be found here [gibberlings3.net] .
Nice example screenshots for Planescape: Torment here [rockpapershotgun.com] .

Re:A solution for some old RPGs (Ps:T, BG, IwD) (1)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126900)

Having just played Neverwinter Nights 2 tonight, I have to say that the visuals in Ps:T kick ass. Not kicked, kick. I don't know why they ever moved away from the 2d style, except for ease of mod-making.

Re:A solution for some old RPGs (Ps:T, BG, IwD) (3, Informative)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127642)

I used this process for Planescape Torment

http://thunderpeel2001.blogspot.com/2009/01/planescape-torment-fully-modded.html [blogspot.com]

Worked a treat, though widescreen v2.1 is linked there it worked fine with v2.2.
I had to used the nVidia fixer near the end as I have an 8800GT.

For Baldur's Gate using the Baldur's Gate II engine I use easytutu

http://www.usoutpost31.com/easytutu/ [usoutpost31.com]

And for Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura I use drog black tooths unofficial patch, high resolution patch and high res town maps. iirc you have to install the official 1.0.7.4 patch before these two.

http://www.terra-arcanum.com/downloads/ [terra-arcanum.com]

they are both under "Arcanum" -> "Unofficial"

2xSal or hqx in a gpu driver? (4, Interesting)

Rufus211 (221883) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126664)

A number of emulators already have good algorithms for scaling fixed-pixel images that preserve the sharpness while removing aliasing. Wikipedia of course has a page on Pixel art scaling algorithms [wikipedia.org] . The 2 best ones out there are 2xSal and hqx.

The problem is that these only work within emulators that implement the algorithms. This clearly does not work for something like StarCraft. Graphics drivers (both ATI and NV) already have options to scale between virtual and physical resolutions. The ideal solution would be for them to offer different scaling algorithms that can be picked - standard bilinear or a modified one for classic games. Everything "just works" then and you get nice graphics.

I'm not going to hold my breath on ATI or NV ever officially implementing this in their release drivers. However I'm wondering how hard it would be to add an option like this to one of the open source linux X drivers, or maybe even to Wine/DosBox. Also for windows isn't there a way to intercept graphics calls (along the lines of what FRAPs does)? Would it be possible to create a wrapper program that intercepts all the graphics calls and adds a scaling algorithm after each frame is drawn?

Re:2xSal or hqx in a gpu driver? (3, Interesting)

Rufus211 (221883) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126680)

And then I notice that DosBox already has this implemented: http://www.dosbox.com/wiki/Scaler [dosbox.com]

It should be fairly straightforward for Wine to implement a similar feature.

Re:2xSal or hqx in a gpu driver? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126722)

Except that Wine Is Not an Emulator. It probably would be possible to implement scaling in the directx bits, but for the rest wine just forwards & translates the calls to X11.

Re:2xSal or hqx in a gpu driver? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30127230)

you can do most of these scaling algorithms as a shader program on gpu, so it could be "plugged in" with a decent wrapper app for older windows apps

use dosbox with windows3.1 where applicable else (still have to look into, but i believe win95 might run inside it as well) :)

hqx (3, Interesting)

numbertheo (1517241) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126674)

TFA has examples exclusively involving line art and that's pretty much the worst case for standard upscaling techniques. The scaling technique you're been searching for is hqx [wikipedia.org] . Too bad there isn't any way to get it.

Try a screen magnifier. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126698)

If you use Linux, try a screen magnifier, like the "Enhanced Zoom Desktop" plugin for Compiz. I did this with a couple older games, and it did an admirable job, though it's not a perfect solution. Zoom in until the game fills as much of the monitor as possible, center it, and hit the zoom lock key combination.

This may look and/or work better than trying to run things full-screen, definitely works better if you're using a multi-monitor setup, and lets you scale up picky windowed games that won't resize.

Re:Try a screen magnifier. (1)

namaku0 (1624015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127132)

This is the first thing that came into my head when I read the question. Maybe there is magnifier software out there that could magnify a specific region on the screen. This also assumes that the games could run in a window and your monitor has high resolution. Search on softpedia.com using "magnify" or "magnifier" gives me more than 100 results.

See "Atari Emulation of CRT Effects On LCDs" (5, Informative)

fractalVisionz (989785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126718)

"A group at Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a fun little open source program to emulate the CRT effects to make old Atari games look like they originally did [gatech.edu] when played on modern LCD's and digital displays. Things like color bleed, ghosting, noise, etc. are reproduced to give a more realistic appearance."

From Slashdot story Atari Emulation of CRT Effects On LCDs [slashdot.org] .

Re:See "Atari Emulation of CRT Effects On LCDs" (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127338)

I wonder if they do Artifacting well enough.

8-bit Atari had this neat mode, Graphics 8, which was a very high resolution monochrome mode. With the fun exception that 2 neighboring lit pixels were white, but a single pixel with no horizontal neighbors was reddish or greenish depending on position. Some games exploited it cleverly, for example Amaroute was mostly normal monochrome but the fence around the game area was red.

Re:See "Atari Emulation of CRT Effects On LCDs" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30127354)

The problem is, the "CRT simulation" the Georgia IT folks came up with is complete guesswork. There are good and proper NTSC signal simulation [fly.net] routines by Blargg and I think the latest version of the C64 emulator VICE (2.1) has really good PAL simulation routines. So please stop giving the Georgia IT snakeoil any more publicity.

XScreenSaver has this (1)

spydir31 (312329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127462)

It's called xanalogtv, it's also used by the Pong and Apple2 hacks

Re:See "Atari Emulation of CRT Effects On LCDs" (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127570)

I don't like how they presume everyone had crap TVs or poor Ataris.

Take the Enduro image - it never looked that bad on my real set. The playfields were a solid color (no noise), and the sunset was a rainbow of distinct colors, not a blurry orangish mess. In fact most Atari games look quite crisp, with visible pixels, on my original unit and original CRT.

software scaling (5, Interesting)

mambodog (1399313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126768)

I dunno, on my 1920x1080 display old games look pretty good using Nvidia (driver) scaling (fixed aspect ratio, scale to fit vertically). Maybe just because its sufficiently high res, scaling artefacts are not particularly noticeable.

At least they know (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126772)

I sometimes envy the Chinese, they at least know that they're being censored. Here in the "west", it's just getting started and people in general have no idea what's going on.
The first step to defeating censorship is public awareness of censorship. China has us beat here. By the time China stops censorship, the western countries will have become what they demonized.

GOG (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126794)

Did you try looking at Good Old Games?
I get all my "oldies" from there, they look good, well just as good as they looked on your old CRT.

Sylvain

Also, Heroes 3 (1, Interesting)

ZeRu (1486391) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126832)

I would also add Heroes of Might & Magic 3 to the list, one of my favorite games which runs at fixed 800x600 and that looks blurry on my Lenovo L220x. However there is no widescreen solution for that game that I'm aware of.

Seems like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126836)

Your LCD must have horrible hardware scaling. 640x480 looks good on my 22" widescreen LCD.

CRT screen driver for LCD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126888)

There are CRT emulators for LCDs. They recreate those nice fuzzy round pixels.

get some sun (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126906)

how about you stop playing old worthless games and go outside?

Re:get some sun (4, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127080)

I don't think there are many games released for the Sun platform. And those that exist probably run just as well with Linux on a normal PC. No need for expensive hardware.
And BTW, what's that "outside" you are speaking of? :-)

Isometric 2D RPGs (2, Interesting)

WaroDaBeast (1211048) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126922)

For Infinity engine-based RPGs — the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale series, plus Planetscape Torment —, you can use the Gibberlings 3 widescreen mod [gibberlings3.net] . I have also been lucky with Arcanum, since Terra Arcanum hosts a high resolution patch [terra-arcanum.com] that works perfectly.

Video scaler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126948)

Use a software video scaler.
Or a hardware scaler :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_scaler

Concerning Myst (1)

Orphaze (243436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126970)

If you're after Myst in particular, there are a number of redone, later editions that support better resolutions and modern operating systems. Check Amazon.

My favorite is RealMyst, which is a complete 3d recreation of the original game.

Re:Concerning Myst (1)

ynohoo (234463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127386)

RealMyst only works up to XP - I was unable to get it working under Vista. Anybody tried on Win7?

Wikipedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126980)

Have a look at this list of recreated game engines:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_engine_recreation

many (not all) modern LCDs don't scale ... (1)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126996)

I have a Samsung 191T that I bought for my wife many years ago. One of my test criteria was that it should display well at other-than-native (1280x1024) resolution. Star Craft looks quite good on it. I recently returned a 1920x1200 LCD because it couldn't even handle 800x600 (literally complaining in a big box, center screen, that the signal was out of range while displaying the image).

It looks as though LCDs have become like "winmodem"s or super cheap ink-jet printers, which rely on the host system to do anything useful with an image, in order to cut the price to a minimum.

Anyone know of an LCD (particularly 24" 1920x{1080,1200} that isn't junk at other than native resolution?

I've seen that some GPUs have scaling drivers; maybe that would work?

Re:many (not all) modern LCDs don't scale ... (1)

Fotograf (1515543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127078)

with nvidia native support it doesnt matter which monitor you have

Re:many (not all) modern LCDs don't scale ... (1)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127388)

All modern NVidia cards use automatic scaling on the GPU. My 2560x1600 monitor doesn't have any scaling at all. It can display only 2560x1600 and 1280x800, period. However, I never notice this limitation because the graphics card can scale any resolution so even if I try some obscure OS like AROS, all VESA resolutions just work. Other modern cards probably also do this, but I haven't tried it. The PS3 doesn't, however so if I connect my PS3 to it, I get a picture in the middle and black borders around it.

Dupe.. sort of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30127032)

I remember seeing a program which was designed to mimic all the imperfections of CRT displays. This was a main slashdot article something this year.

Obviously I don't expect the questioner to have seen every slashdot article, but if someone remembers it that may be of help.

Um... change resolution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30127062)

Simply set your desktop to that resolution then. Problem solved.

Re:Um... change resolution? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127328)

These games are usually running full screen.

Re:Um... change resolution? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127596)

Simply set your desktop to that resolution then. Problem solved.

You must be new here (as in to PC gaming). Most Windoze-based games released from when DirectX was first launched up until about 7 or 8 years ago change the screen resolution to their own predefined resolution (which varies according to the age of the game, starting at 640x480 for the earliest ones and working up to 1024x768 for the later ones) when they start. Some have .ini file or command line settings to prevent this happening (e.g. civ3, one of my favourites of the era, can be made to do this), but quite a lot don't. Games that actually ask you what resolution to run in or that can be persuaded to run in a window rather than full screen are a fairly new innovation.

Blocky scaleup (5, Interesting)

sfraggle (212671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127106)

I'm the author of Chocolate Doom [chocolate-doom.org] , which deliberately maintains the low resolution of the original game, but has to run in modern, high resolution screen modes. One of the problems with Doom is that the graphics are designed for non-square pixel modes (the original game ran in 320x200, stretched to a 4:3 aspect ratio screen), so there's the double problem of having to scale everything up to work in a square pixel screen.

I developed a technique [chocolate-doom.org] that does a blocky scale-up, interpolating the edges of the blocky "pixels" appropriately, so that you end up with a fairly decent looking result [chocolate-doom.org] . I don't know if this is useful to the developers of programs like DOSBox, but the code's there [sourceforge.net] if anyone wants it.

My comments on the issue... (4, Informative)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127164)

Heh, this story could almost have written by me. It's the reason I held out so long on getting an LCD instead, and why I have my beloved Samsung CRT sitting still in the loft.

I was actually quite surprised that ZSNES at 640x480 fullscreen mode, whilst there is a small noticeable interpolation effect, looked quite good. Perfectly playable once you have the graphics being displayed... I almost forget I'm not on a CRT.

What has been a problem, though, is fast movement. This seems to be a problem inherent to LCDs. :-( Try emulating Sonic 1 (MegaDrive/Genesis) on a CRT vs an LCD. On the CRT, no problems. On the LCD, the rings in particular look fainter, and darker... well, everything seems to look a bit darker as you're running. I guess this is a small form of ghosting, and I don't think there's any way to get round it on an LCD. Any tips would be appreciated. But, I'd say that if you wanna play Sonic or the like, use a CRT.

By the way, I'm using an NEC MultiSync EA191M.

Re:My comments on the issue... (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127228)

Your problem is response time, however once you get to the good LCDs it's in the price range where you can get two crts or a plasma screen for that amount of cash...

Diablo 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30127194)

Here's a 3DFX Glide wrapper for Diablo 2: http://www.svenswrapper.de/english/index.html/ [svenswrapper.de]
It has windowed mode, desktop resolution, aspect ratio correction, 32 bit rendering, bilinear filtering, super sampling, and shader gamma to name a few.

Re:Diablo 2 (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127218)

I was gonna post that but yeah, also make sure to try glide wrappers with Star Craft too, also you should try running diablo2 on 1600 x 1200 it's Awesome

Modeline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30127214)

> My ideal goal is to run these games at exactly double their original resolution — running 640 x 480 games at 1280 x 960, for example — so that each original pixel takes up exactly a 2 x 2 block of screen pixels, yielding graphics that are perfectly crisp and decently big. I've tried arcane settings in graphics card drivers (new and old), I've tried forcing the OS to run at a given resolution, and I've tried PowerStrip, all to no avail. Short of writing a new, modern engine for my favorite games, is there a reasonable solution to this problem?"

Just use a proper modeline, It's as simple as this. That's the way I use to watch YT videos on my older PC. BTW, for a 1280x1024 monitor, using 640x512 probably will lead to a better image, since it's an exact (sub)multiple.

Well, easier if you use Linux, that is. Or a Mac (which I don't know).

YMMMV.

Just an aside, if you really want good quality on LCDs with lower resolutions, you might want to use an OpenGL-supporting card (like NVidia). Never tried, but there are settings (in the app "nvidia-settings", duh!) which control antialiasing and disable modification by applications. Someone more knowledgeable could lend a hand here and say whether this is viable.

This is an interesting thing to do later... ;-P

Hex-Editing and Disassembling (1)

ScaledLizard (1430209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127232)

Changing the resolution that the game uses for rendering beats upscaling. This is sometimes possible using some clever hex-editing and disassembling. There are several things to look for; for one thing, find any occurrence of the screen resolution. Also, you will need to know whether the game is based on VESA, DirectX or whatever. For VESA, the INT 10h calls are what you seek.

Here are some notes of how I did it for MechWarrior 2:
http://www.mech2.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=213 [mech2.org]

The Wikipedia article on VESA BIOS has links to the various VESA APIs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VESA_BIOS_Extensions [wikipedia.org]

Yes, you need to know about hex-editing and disassembling, but this nerd business. And you may want to consult your lawyer on whether this is legal in your part of the world.

Cheap solution... (5, Funny)

KevinColyer (883316) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127236)

Try squinting?

NSFW (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30127246)

A bit off topic, but the nfgworld.com story was posted by someone whose avatar is a topless anime character, which is most likely not safe for work for the majority of slashdot's readers (whether you agree it should be or not).

Luckily I'm at home, but a warning would be nice.

Scale2x (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30127402)

Scale2x seems to be a good approach

http://scale2x.sourceforge.net/

LG Flatron L1953H (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30127606)

See title, my monitor with native res 1280x1024. I was playing StarCraft right before I connected to Slashdot and it looks perfectly crisp and clear. The problem is probably that your monitor has a crappy firmware scaler, it's a bit late to say "buy a better monitor" but your best bet is probably some sort of software scaler like the one in the nVidia control panel (which looks crap compared to my monitor's firmware scaler IMHO but would probably be an improvement for you, ATi should have something similar).

Older games (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30127610)

Right now I'm playing Fallout 2 with a high rez patch [nma-fallout.com] on a 22" LCD. I've also got a widescreen mod [gibberlings3.net] installed for Torment, but it works with any Infinity Engine game.

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