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Tolerable flicker  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. Is flicker tolerable on a puzzle games

    • Never
      1
    • Somewhat
      4
    • Depends on the game
      13
    • Puzzle games are the best exception for flicker
      0


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Had some partial kernel code for several years for a puzzle games inspired by a rather popular casual game. I had worked out most of the general rules and kernel rendering but that's it so far. Recently crafted an animated gif to roughly demonstrate.

20190620_205637.gif

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As bad as this example looks Its only a gif. Stella blends well and a 2600 through a crt looks best. 

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The problem is that it's a large area of the screen that's flickering. I'm also assuming that the player needs to primarily focus on those same flickering elements. Both of those factors make the flickering problematic, IMO.

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Best person to ask is Random Terrain and find out from him if the flickering is a bit problematic on the sample.  If it is, then it has to be ironed out.

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It's hard to gauge with a GIF. My WIP uses 30 hz flicker for the whole screen, and I thought it looked fine in emulation, and it was bad on a real system.  There are some things that can help, like reducing brightness, and adding a lot of whitespace (blackspace in this case) - in other words, keep your visible flickering graphics somewhat sparse if that is possible. My WIP looks a lot better now on a real system, but there are probably some who would find the flicker too distracting even with these changes.

 

The best thing you can probably do is whip up a demo, and see what your potential users say.

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Over the years it's been found that a good way to make the flicker more tolerable is with line-by-line shifting.  An example is the 32 character text routine, which you can see in action in Space Rocks by triggering the Credits Easter Egg - hit both joystick fire buttons on the main menu (hold right button first).

 

spacerocks20121129_NTSC_dbg_90ae3b0c.png.794c64e1752909d13aebd8bd8f2cfc2f.png

 

spacerocks20121129_NTSC_dbg_90ae29fe.png.59da4950ce224b19195b30294224c296.png

 

Another example can be seen in the RGP Bus Stuffing demo:

 

rpg_20170616_NTSC_dbg_90b155c7.png.bb9d92590bdb9a0280ed7261365862b1.png

 

rpg_20170616_NTSC_dbg_90b162fe.png.44cc06820db53782cbcb8307bdb85c20.png

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It's worth mentioning that flickerblinds doesn't display right on some LCD TVs. The Harmony menu being one example that has gotten some complaints.

 

Ideally a game that does flickerblinds could have a plain flicker kernel as an option. On those same LCDs, the regular flickering 240p becomes a nice static 480i screen.

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16 hours ago, Karl G said:

It's hard to gauge with a GIF. My WIP uses 30 hz flicker for the whole screen, and I thought it looked fine in emulation, and it was bad on a real system.  There are some things that can help, like reducing brightness, and adding a lot of whitespace (blackspace in this case) - in other words, keep your visible flickering graphics somewhat sparse if that is possible. My WIP looks a lot better now on a real system, but there are probably some who would find the flicker too distracting even with these changes.

 

The best thing you can probably do is whip up a demo, and see what your potential users say.

The darker colors on the left of the palette map particularly the blues also help optimize 30 Hz flicker.

 

I think 30 Hz is within tolerable limits for players, particularly if they are Atari fans.

 

There are also two types of flicker applicable to the Atari, though motion blur flicker isn't well understood for having only recently been identified and resolved with new technology built into monitors and software solutions.

 

I prefer 30 Hz with no motion blur flicker to 60 Hz with motion blur flicker and have written a couple of games that feature an adjustable flicker rate where you can see the difference and pick the type of flicker you prefer:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 6/25/2019 at 6:43 PM, RevEng said:

It's worth mentioning that flickerblinds doesn't display right on some LCD TVs. The Harmony menu being one example that has gotten some complaints.

 

Ideally a game that does flickerblinds could have a plain flicker kernel as an option. On those same LCDs, the regular flickering 240p becomes a nice static 480i screen.

I have definitely noticed this issue with filckerblinds on my LCD TV.... ChaoticGrill's scoreboard actually displays better (as a solid medium grey image) than anything with flickerblinds.

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Are the pieces moving or static? I think 30Hz flicker will be okay. If you have a black screen keep the luminance low to make it more tolerable.

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On 6/26/2019 at 10:06 PM, Omegamatrix said:

Are the pieces moving or static? I think 30Hz flicker will be okay. If you have a black screen keep the luminance low to make it more tolerable.

The pieces would be static and the screen would function more like a segmented LCD screen.

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