Pacmania STE - New Version

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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:47 pm

Zamuel_a wrote:Ofcourse the Amiga version is better than the ST version :wink: It's less technical and not even good for a ST game. Only 4 colors for the backgrounds instead of 16. The title image looks like it's monochrome and also the level select screen. These two screens could have been much better since they have nothing to do with the ingame performance.

The resolution on the game field is 176x200 compared to the arcade version which had 224x288, so not even the aspect ratio is correct. A smaller screen on an ST game could be ok but since other games with bigger screens run at 25fps in 16 colors there is no real reason why this couldn't have done that to.


I really don't agree, then i'm honest. I think that the ST version is much nicer done if we forget all the technical talk. I just love the big status panel containing Namco, Pac Man and all the Ghosts when playing the game. Remove it and you remove very much of the great atmosphere in Pac Mania. It makes the game much nicer to play. The feel of the game is better in the ST version too me think.

Sometimes it's more the complete feeling and the atmosphere of a game then about technical bits, and ST version of Pac Mania got me hooked from the first time i played it. I still love ST Pac Mania. ;) :)

Here's the Falcon version of Pac Mania. Perhaps is moves smooth and is technical great, but, where's the atmosphere?

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Then look at this. Human warmth, great atmosphere, and a great conversion me think.

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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Zamuel_a » Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:56 pm

Remove it and you remove very much of the great atmosphere in Pac Mania.


Well this isn't true since the original games doesn't have this status panel so it's not the atmosphere of Pac Mania :wink:
16 colors are better than 4, 50fps is better than 25 and so on. The status panel is just a simple way to not draw stuff in realtime on the screen.
If they had increased the screen size from 176x200 to 256x200 the aspect ratio would have matched the arcade version, but not even that they did...
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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Thu Dec 25, 2014 2:11 pm

It's not always about technical aspects either. Sometimes so little can add very much to a game. Small bits of animation, a status panel, small sound effects and so on. I think that Pac Mania on ST has a great choice of colours that suits the game perfect and give it a warm delightful look. Remove the status panel and you remove very much of the game (on ST) The chip music and sound effects is right on.

I have played and watched many versions of Pac Mania (even the orginal arcade) but the Atari ST version remains my favourite version of Namco's classic game.

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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Zamuel_a » Thu Dec 25, 2014 2:16 pm

Yes but even with the status panel, they could have increased the colors on the playfield from 4 to 16. Now it looks just boring. The sound effects are not existing since you can't play them and music at the same time.
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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Thu Dec 25, 2014 3:22 pm

I understand your point.

It was standard on ZX Spectrum.

A colourful status panel and a monochrome playing area. In this case it works great and you get the impression of a colourful pac man all the time thanks to the colourful status panel. And even if the orginal arcade didn't use it, it gives the impression of "arcade" on the ST. The few colurs on the playing area is a pretty good choice too me think. If used right, few colours can look good too and give the game a clean look.

Pac Mania is one of my favourite games on Atari ST and Grandslam released a both cheerful looking and fun game on the ST.

On A8 the same method was often used when taking advantage of A8 capability to display several graphic modes at the same time. Even a monochrme game can look way more cheerful using a colourful status display.

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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Zamuel_a » Thu Dec 25, 2014 3:49 pm

Yes on the ZX spectrum it's different. It's difficult to have multiple colors since you would get color clash problems. On the ST you don't have that problem, so why add a status panel so that the game "seems to have more colors", instead of actually adding more colors. A status panel is just a static image and if that is what is best in the game, then the game must suck :wink:
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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Thu Dec 25, 2014 4:04 pm

It works like using overlays in MAME. But in this case the "overlay" is active displaying number of credits etc. Sure, the gameplay area only has a few colours but it works quite good me think.

Both Pac Man and the Ghosts using multiple shades and the playing area looks nice and clean in it's isometric 3D.

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Overlays enhances the look of the games quite a lot in MAME (the arcade emulator).

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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Zamuel_a » Thu Dec 25, 2014 4:12 pm

The overlays are graphics on the actual arcade machine and should not be included in the game so it would have looked different on the real machine.
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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Thu Dec 25, 2014 4:25 pm

Belive me, i have played both the Atari ST (STeem) and Amiga (WinUAE) version of Pac Mania several times and like the feel and the atmosphere in the ST version better. It's one of those rare ST games that i was addicted to from the first moment.

The overlays for Mame is for replicating the actual arcade machine cabinet outside the screen. You will get a smaller playing area using overlays, on the other hand you will get a better arcade experience in front of your PC.

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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Thu Dec 25, 2014 6:37 pm

Why don't check out all the different versions of Pac Mania ;) :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfQTW4SGcEU

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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby qq1975b » Thu Dec 25, 2014 9:41 pm

Yes, the original ST version was fun to play (and harder) but depressing to see. If you use half playground of the new STe version + Status box for the other half you'll have a more cheerful original ST version running full speed.

But, easier...you can keep playing the original ST version if you like it so much :wink:

In my case, I love this new release that Zamuel worked hard to release it and I feel happy everytime to see my beloved STe running this impressive full screen Pacmania game.

But...By the way....Merry Christmas!!! :cheers:
Last edited by qq1975b on Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Stefan jL » Thu Dec 25, 2014 9:59 pm

Actually so does the ST version have the correct aspect ratio... the play area has the vertical monitor look just like the arcade... but what it does not have is a big play area :)
I like the STE version more, i have not tested the new version yet though.
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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby CiH » Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:52 pm

"Where teh feck is teh Hash key on this Mac?!"

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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby FedePede04 » Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:22 pm

i think this discussion is pointless, you can't argue against it, when there is feeling involved.
at some points i feel the same, we all know that the Amiga is better to play samples. but in many games; I really prefer the Atari music over the Amiga, but there are some games where Amiga have better music, mostly when they are using it to play chipsounds :)
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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Zamuel_a » Fri Dec 26, 2014 12:32 am

Actually so does the ST version have the correct aspect ratio.


No it's not entirely correct. 256x200 would better fit the original arcade aspect ratio.
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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:26 am

When comparing all the versions of Pac Mania in my link to YT.

There were several good versions of Pac Mania in there and even the ZX Spectrum version looked descent. The worst Pac Mania was the terrible slow Amstrad version. Amiga version was a bit on the slow side too and not in the same legaue as the archimedes version of the game. After watching this clip i still like the orginal (unique) ST version very much and the only thing i miss is a flashing "Insert Coin" in the colorful status panel.

Zamuel_a

You did a good job bringing a good replica of the Amiga version to Atari STE, no question about that. :)

I guess it's a matter of if you like the orginal ST version or not, some people love it (like me), while some other people got disapointed.

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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Stefan jL » Fri Dec 26, 2014 12:39 pm

Zamuel_a wrote:No it's not entirely correct. 256x200 would better fit the original arcade aspect ratio.


I know it is not exactly the precise aspect ratio but it's fairly close, it is still closer to the arcade than the Amiga version. The Amiga version does not have the vertical monitor look at all.
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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:34 pm

What few people think of is that arcade machines often used static art on the cabinet to enhance the experience of the games, art that's often gone in the home conversions. In MAME it's sometime solved by using an overlay that mimics the cabinet of the actual arcade machine.

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When looking at the "Let's Compare" Pac Mania clip you will not get the proper look of the arcade version.

It looks like this

Image

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That's why i like the status panels seen in several versions so much. It gives me the arcade feeling.

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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby tjlazer » Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:47 pm

Perhaps you think it's good on the ST because you are running it on an emulator? Do you have it running faster than a stock ST? On a real ST the game runs like crap! Too slow. The Amiga version runs better. And this new port runs amazing on a stock STE!
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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:56 pm

Novadays i mostly use STeem for running Atari ST but back in the 90's i played Pac Mania a lot on my Atari 1040 STE with 2 MB ram. I always use the standard 8 Mhz setting in STeem, same thing goes for Winuae when playing Amiga games.

I remember myself visiting a nearby city to get my Playstation chipped. The same day i bought 3 Playstation games (Soul Edge, Star Gladiator and Super Puzzle Fighter). Yet i went in to the bedroom that evening to play some Pac Mania and Llamatron on my trusty old ST. ;) :D

Sometimes atmosphere is more inportand then speed. ;)

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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Zamuel_a » Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:01 am

I don't think using overlays in MAME gives an arcade feeling. On the actual arcade machine, you stand so that you see the screen and not the graphics drawn on the machine itself. You should also have a blurry CRT feeling with black scanlines and so to, if you want an arcade feeling.
I don't like to have overlays on the screen if I play MAME since it's just confusing. You can't really tell what is game graphics and overlay graphics so I prefer not to use it.

The ST version of Pacmania didn't try to simulate an arcade machine with the status panel. It's just to save CPU time on drawing. The game runs at 25fps to and the Amiga version at 50 so it's much smoother. I think the levels on the ST version looks so boring since they got no colors.
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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby exxos » Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:19 am

I think this is a great project :cheers: There used to be those "retro remake" guys remaking games like startquake for the PC, but I think pretty much all of them gave up after a couple of years. Not really sure if anyone actually finished anything.

I have not tried your pacman yet, I don't have a STE which is "assembled" currently but hopefully will be able to try it out soon :)
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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:57 pm

Zamuel_a wrote:I don't think using overlays in MAME gives an arcade feeling. On the actual arcade machine, you stand so that you see the screen and not the graphics drawn on the machine itself. You should also have a blurry CRT feeling with black scanlines and so to, if you want an arcade feeling.
I don't like to have overlays on the screen if I play MAME since it's just confusing. You can't really tell what is game graphics and overlay graphics so I prefer not to use it.

The ST version of Pacmania didn't try to simulate an arcade machine with the status panel. It's just to save CPU time on drawing. The game runs at 25fps to and the Amiga version at 50 so it's much smoother. I think the levels on the ST version looks so boring since they got no colors.


Then it's a matter of taste, right? Because i love them very much in MAME.

A game is more then just speed and technical bits. A game is a feeling, a game is an experience, a game is about gameplay, digital art and sometimes to recreate something done on some other machine. Sure, technical bits it's always interesting and important but they are just a part of the whole experience of a game.

When i was a Vectrex owner it was very much about using plastic overlays. Those overlays was incredible importand to play the games in colour and to get the arcade feel.

Image

When it's about speed, even the C64 version outclasses the orginal Amiga version but that's not why i like the orginal ST version so much, it's because it has the feel and the atmosphere to get me saying, just one more go. I love that status Namco panel seen in several other versions of the game too.

Don't missunderstand...

You did a great job bringing the Amiga version to Atari STE, and i'm sure of that many people will play that version instead of the orginal ST version. Full screen, better frame rate and so on. But now you know why i personally like the orginal ST version so much.

Some status panels can be seen in some Spectrum games to spice them up from their monochrome playing area. (just love it) ;)

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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Zamuel_a » Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:57 pm

When i was a Vectrex owner it was very much about using plastic overlays.


I own an Vectrex and on that machine it's different. The overlays are ONTOP of the screen and is part of the game. In MAME, the overlays are actually no overlays, but graphics drawn on the wooden frame of the arcade cabinet and has nothing to do with the game.

When it's about speed, even the C64 version outclasses the orginal Amiga version


This is not true. Both the c64 and Amiga version runs at 50fps so it can't get faster than that.

Some status panels can be seen in some Spectrum games to spice them up from their monochrome playing area


They must use a status panel since graphics ontop of the game area wouldn't work, but the best is of course not to have this at all, but instead be able to draw everything.
It looks so silly in some ST games there more or less the entire screen is a status panel that they put there to hide the fact the game can't run at full screen.

I guess you like to play DOOM on the smallest window so you get the maximum "status panel area" :wink:
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Re: Pacmania STE - New Version

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:10 pm

Yes i know, Vectrex was a bit special and without the overlays there wasn't much of a game left. Even Vextrex plastic overlays is emulated when running the Vectrex emulator.

When i said speed, i really meant speed. Pac man moves faster in the C64 version then in the Amiga version. Then if he moves at 12 fps or 100 Fps doesn't really matter. The Amiga version is quite slow overall and the arcade original feels like a high speed sport version in comparison, no matter what fps is used in the orginal arcade.

When done right, in a suitable game, a well made status panel looks good and enhance the feeling of the arcade original, and even if it's not an arcade conversion a great looking status panel can actually enhance a game (take a look at xenon for exemple).

In MAME, there's arcade flyers, pictures of the cabibets, the orginal arcade controllers, overlays and other art. Why? Simply because it enhances the game you play. Static art matters, even on the screen.

And if we would get real picky, Amiga version doesn't have anything near the right proportions of the vertical arcade screen.

I know...cut off both the sides and make the screen look like a vertical arcade screen, then place these two to the left and right...

Image

And if there's any space left you can fit two more static decals where one of them talk about a new pac man adventure. ;)

Saying that because you can't accept my personal opinion. ;) You're Amiga version of Pac Mania is a great work and i'm sure of that many ST owners was very happy about it. The orginal Pac Mania feels very special to me and not even 200 Fps or even a perfect conversion of the arcade orginal is ever going to change that.

I love the chip music, i love the warm atmosphere and i love the colorful status panel in the ST version.

Finally...

When downloading one of Madrigals handheld emulators, Donkey Kong for exemple, it will look like this on your computer screen.

Image

That's Nintendo Game & Watch. Remove the actual console an keep the screen only, what's left of the Game & Watch experience?


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