Resolution debate

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#1 by beliar
2019-12-26 at 20:47
So, an interesting situation arouse regarding the game Mesu Inu Haramase Oyakodon ~Oba to Itoko o Aherase Meromero na Yari Makuri Pet Shiiku ♪~ (and by extension it most likely applies to all the games translated by Cherry Kiss Games).

Their translations are ports to the Ren'Py engine (at least the latest games). For a long time, it was taken as a gospel that the native resolution of the Ren'Py games should be taken from the log files, because as it were the case, the resolution that was marked by the identifier "virtual" was always the native resolution of the internal assets.

However, it seems that Cherry Kiss Games break the mold. The game has two resolutions it displays at: 4:3 - 1024x768 and 16:9 - 1365x768, however if you use a special extractor program on the archived game files, you will see that the resolution of all graphical assets (both CGs and backgrounds) is 1920x1440.

What should we consider to be the native resolution in this case? I mean the game does not display in 1920x1440, unless you upscale the window to such a resolution - it has no setting for such dimensions (the only two settings are mentioned above), and frankly if you didn't take an unintuitive step to extract the graphical assets with a Ren'Py extractor you wouldn't even know that they are 1920x1440. So, should we take such a step and try to actually discern the resolution of the original assets from the game files? That seems kinda excessive.

What do you guys think?Last modified on 2019-12-26 at 20:47
#2 by fuukanou
2019-12-26 at 20:51
1024x768 and 1365x768 should be the resolution. If we're pushed to pick just one, it should probably be 1024x768 as the game is clearly meant to be 4:3 as per the original assets / upscaled assets. The smart move would probably be leave the field blank and leave the explanation.

Loads of games have higher resolution assets than are displayed, but what's the point of making that the resolution of the game if the game doesn't want you to make it the display resolution, even if it works if you force it.Last modified on 2019-12-26 at 20:57
#3 by bakauchuujin
2019-12-26 at 21:16
The game actually display 1920x1440 when using fullscreen mode so it is not just in the asset when using special programs. Atleast I get native 1920x1440 when using fullscreen, so I can easily see that it is 1920x1440 when just comparing normal screenshots from windowed and fullscreen, also when I use waifu2x to upscale the 1024x768 screenshot I get comparable results to the normal fullscreen screenshot. My understanding is that Cherrykiss have done this on some of their titles but not all, some have the HD upscale thing listed as a feature while others don't, from what I can see based on their feature lists on steam it started with Breeding Village and has been done since. The only other Cherrykiss title I have is one of their old titles which is wild Romance mofu mofu which has the same resolution as the japanese release.

What makes it so odd is that they have used waifu2x to upscale the sprites, backgrounds and CGs which I am pretty sure is quite uncommon.Last modified on 2019-12-26 at 21:32
#4 by beliar
2019-12-26 at 21:32
The game actually display 1920x1440 when using fullscreen mode so it is not just in the asset when using special programs.
You are right that the game will display in that resolution if you go fullscreen and if you have a 1920x1080 (or comparable) monitor, but all Ren'Py games do that. They either upscale or downscale the graphical assets to your screen resolution. For example there are actually some Ren'Py games that have 2K, 4K or even 8K resolutions, but they will simply display in 1080p if you only have such a monitor.

The thing is, once you go fullscreen, it's actually impossible to tell if the game upscales, downscales or shows the assets in the original resolution, without reading the Ren'Py logs. And the log in this particular game reads 1024x768 or 1365x768, depending on the chosen aspect ratio.

No one would even know that the actual assets are full HD without extracting them, or if you paid a particular attention to the Cherry Kiss advertisement about HD assets.

I'm still not sure we should consider 1920x1440 a native resolution, as it puts the burden of proof on a very few people that would be willing to go and bother extracting assets. Moreover, it's not how the game is programmed to display the assets by default.
#5 by bakauchuujin
2019-12-26 at 21:44
I can see from the visuals that they are 1920x1440p when using fullscreen, not just stretched the way they normally do it. The usual upscale done when you viewing in a higher than native resolution is the same as if you use the slideshow function on windows, which is basically just stretching it without doing any actual upscaling. Normally you get the exact same picture when using the slide show feature on a native resolution screenshot and a fullscreen screenshot. For instance if I take a screenshot of nekopara in 720p and one in 1440p I will see that there is the exact same level of details and they are infact the same since it caps at 720p and anything bigger is just it being stretched, since the slideshow stretches it in the same way they will overlap and you won't be able to notice when you change between them. The same is also true for Wild Romance mofu mofu, if I take a screenshot of the native resolution and one of the fullscreen resolution and I use the slideshow function I will see the exact same level of details on the 2 screenshots and they will look identical if the screenshot is taken from the same place in the VN, with regards to Pleasure Pets however the fullscreen screenshot is clearly way more detailed than the 1024x768 screenshot though and the 1440p screenshot is also more detailed than the 1080p screenshot.

Also the upscaled assets are how the game looks by defult as long as you use fullscreen mode rather than windowed mode. You don't need to extract any assets all you need to do is to compare screenshots taken with different resolutions.Last modified on 2019-12-26 at 22:19
#6 by beliar
2019-12-26 at 22:26
I'm not contesting that you can see the difference between original and upscaled assets. It's just that most of the uploaders to the DB will not care about such things. Improper screenshots (upscaled, downscaled or outright botched) are uploaded almost daily to the DB. We try to clean them when we notice, but we don't always catch them.

Ren'Py games have always been one of the easiest to maintain the quality control due to the ease with which we can discern the native resolution - just read the game logs. I know of no other examples where the resolution in the logs does not correspond to the res of the internal assets. Moreover, it made easy to correct the people who post incorrect screens - I just pointed to them to read the logs.

Now, if we go by you, we would include an uncertainty regarding certain games, and you can bet once the people try to upload screens, there will be a confusion if we leave the uncertainty to fester. You say that it's clear visually when the assets are upscaled or not - I say it will be clear to no one. People will still either post screens according to the logs, or screens according to their screen resolution, and their screens might not even be 1920x1080, especially if they are laptop owners.

Once again we get to the core of the problem - the only way to be certain in this case is to extract the assets, and I believe it's kinda one step too far.
#7 by bakauchuujin
2019-12-26 at 22:46
Ye I understand it if you figure it generally is too hard to take into consideration due to the scope of the site, have already had to correct some wrong resolutions before when people just used screenshots taken in fullscreen mode in 1080p when the actual resolution was 720p. While I personally am quite knowledgeable about resolution as I take screenshots of all CGs of all VNs I read in their original resolution and then later upscale them with waifu2x (I need the original screenshot to be original resolution for the best upscaling result, of course I never upload anything I upscale on vndb) , most people don't really know that much about it.

Not sure what I should do in this specific case though, should I upload screenshots with 1024x768 or 1920x1440?Last modified on 2019-12-26 at 22:50
#8 by beliar
2019-12-26 at 22:58
Not sure what I should do in this specific case though, should I upload screenshots with 1024x768 or 1920x1440?
I would like more input from other users and maybe Yorhel before a decision is made one way or the other. This would have serious ramifications regarding all Cherry Kiss games (and possibly some others). Wouldn't like to make a hasty decision.
#9 by yorhel
2019-12-27 at 08:03
Uh, can't say I have a strong opinion either way. I'm fine with going for a "best effort" rule: grab 1920x1440 if you can, but no need to reject 1024x768 if that's what we get.
#10 by fuukanou
2020-02-15 at 01:03
What do you do if there's a game that's completely scalable in the menus etc. like a fully realtime 3D game?

We'll say as well that all the UI etc. is all vector as well so it can be done at any scale.

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