Thoughts and suggestions from a new user

All discussion about the Commander Genius project (a Keen interpreter + more).
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ReL0aDed
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Thoughts and suggestions from a new user

Post by ReL0aDed » Sun Mar 27, 2016 18:39

Hi, I'm new here at the forums, and I registered here to share my thoughts and suggestions of the 1.9.1 Beta of Commander Genius.

Firstly, it is very pleasing to play the old Keen games at 60 fps, and the game mechanics/physics reminds me very much of those in the old dos games.

However, I have some suggestions. It seems like this engine does not support xinput, but rather use the old directinput option. Nowadays I don't suppose people use directinput gamepads that often, as the Xbox 360/Xbox One controller is the standard when it comes to PC gaming.

It's no big issue when only binding one gamepad to this engine, but as Commander Genius supports up to four players simultaneous, I would have to rebind the controls each time I'm playing with multiple friends. It is a common "bug" in all directinput games when you use multiple wireless Xbox 360/Xbox One gamepads.

One other thing that puzzles me is the video menu. As known the old Commander Keen games ran at a resolution at 320x200, and after using an aspect ratio calculator online it seems like 320x200 equals to the aspect ratio of 8:5. I did not find that aspect ratio in the video menus of Commander Genius, but rather standard aspect ratios such as 4:3, 5:4, 16:9 and such.

Thereby it is not possible to obtain square pixels with any of those pre-existing aspect ratio options, unless you disable the aspect ratio options. As I am using a 1080p monitor, I prefer to fill most of the screen area with huge square pixels, in other words without any stretched pixels. If you do the math, the closest I can get to fill the screen image on my 1080p screen would be to scale everything exactly 5x, in other words a resolution of 1600x1000. The closest I can get to fill my screen with square pixels all the way is to use a resolution of 1280x800.

Maybe there could be an option to have integer scaling in the long run, like in emulators such as retroarch?

gerstrong
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Re: Thoughts and suggestions from a new user

Post by gerstrong » Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:33

ReL0aDed wrote:Hi, I'm new here at the forums, and I registered here to share my thoughts and suggestions of the 1.9.1 Beta of Commander Genius.

Firstly, it is very pleasing to play the old Keen games at 60 fps, and the game mechanics/physics reminds me very much of those in the old dos games.

However, I have some suggestions. It seems like this engine does not support xinput, but rather use the old directinput option. Nowadays I don't suppose people use directinput gamepads that often, as the Xbox 360/Xbox One controller is the standard when it comes to PC gaming.

It's no big issue when only binding one gamepad to this engine, but as Commander Genius supports up to four players simultaneous, I would have to rebind the controls each time I'm playing with multiple friends. It is a common "bug" in all directinput games when you use multiple wireless Xbox 360/Xbox One gamepads.
Well, we use SDL2 and I see some issues here: http://forums.libsdl.org/viewtopic.php? ... 9b8dc87980

I will take a look and see what we can do.
ReL0aDed wrote: One other thing that puzzles me is the video menu. As known the old Commander Keen games ran at a resolution at 320x200, and after using an aspect ratio calculator online it seems like 320x200 equals to the aspect ratio of 8:5. I did not find that aspect ratio in the video menus of Commander Genius, but rather standard aspect ratios such as 4:3, 5:4, 16:9 and such.

Thereby it is not possible to obtain square pixels with any of those pre-existing aspect ratio options, unless you disable the aspect ratio options. As I am using a 1080p monitor, I prefer to fill most of the screen area with huge square pixels, in other words without any stretched pixels. If you do the math, the closest I can get to fill the screen image on my 1080p screen would be to scale everything exactly 5x, in other words a resolution of 1600x1000. The closest I can get to fill my screen with square pixels all the way is to use a resolution of 1280x800.

Maybe there could be an option to have integer scaling in the long run, like in emulators such as retroarch?
I remember that we had this discussion before, but we can extend the graphical features a bit, why not? Reporting those issue at the github page...
Having fun developing stuff...

gerstrong
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Re: Thoughts and suggestions from a new user

Post by gerstrong » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:31

ReL0aDed wrote: One other thing that puzzles me is the video menu. As known the old Commander Keen games ran at a resolution at 320x200, and after using an aspect ratio calculator online it seems like 320x200 equals to the aspect ratio of 8:5. I did not find that aspect ratio in the video menus of Commander Genius, but rather standard aspect ratios such as 4:3, 5:4, 16:9 and such.

Thereby it is not possible to obtain square pixels with any of those pre-existing aspect ratio options, unless you disable the aspect ratio options. As I am using a 1080p monitor, I prefer to fill most of the screen area with huge square pixels, in other words without any stretched pixels. If you do the math, the closest I can get to fill the screen image on my 1080p screen would be to scale everything exactly 5x, in other words a resolution of 1600x1000. The closest I can get to fill my screen with square pixels all the way is to use a resolution of 1280x800.

Maybe there could be an option to have integer scaling in the long run, like in emulators such as retroarch?
In CG you can use every resolution you desire. In fact the 16:10 aspect ratio can be chosen. It is the same as 8:5. Now in my case I also can use 1600:1000 in between others. Did you try that?

If you cannot choose those resolution, some video hardware likes to get tricky you can try setting the resolution and aspect ratio manually in the cgenius.cfg.

The section [Video] you have the flags like these

aspect = 4:3
fullscreen = false
height = 776
vsync = true
width = 1204

Try to play around and see what you like the best.
Having fun developing stuff...

ReL0aDed
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 18:09

Post by ReL0aDed » Mon Mar 28, 2016 14:50

Thanks for the reply!

16:10 sure is the same as 8:5, I suppose I forgot to do the math there. Regarding the resolution of 1600x1000 (that is exactly 5 times the original resolution), I have to somehow add that as a custom resolution in Windows 10 because as of now this is not a supported resolution on my PC.

With a little bit of hazzle though I can do that, but in my opinion it may be a bit too complicated for the average Joe's to figure that one out.

The way Retroarch deals with all those odd resolutions of the SNES, Sega Genesis and such, is to use your monitors native resolution, and be rather dependent on integer scaling for the games. In that way the odd unsupported resolutions is not a problem, as the resolution is always the same as on the Windows desktop, but with a pixel perfect picture surrounded by black borders. If the picture is too small, you can always magnify it by an integer.

As of now I can run the "correct" resolution in 8:5/16:10 at 1600x1000 in windowed mode, but not in fullscreen mode.

gerstrong
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Post by gerstrong » Mon Mar 28, 2016 15:23

Well actually,

it was more important to fill the screen and support as many resolution as possible. SDL is able to detect native resolutions of monitors, but it does not always work for some reason.
In my setups I have all the resolutions, so if the option is not displayed or can't be toggled, editing the file I left out as alternative.

Now, if filling the screen is not important anymore we can change the video system of CG. Using integer for scaling make a lot of sense to me...
Having fun developing stuff...

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