Screenshots good, screenshots bad: When I wrote yesterday that it's okay to use an emulator to get screenshots for a platform, I probably should've been extremely specific: You must use an emulator that emulates that specific platform. I've had to reject a couple of screenshots for games taken from other emulators, like Genesis or Neo Geo. We don't support those platforms yet, so please don't submit screenshots for one platform that were taken/captured/emulated from another platform.
Nobody stepped up to the plate to take on Dave's Soul Calibur challenge, so I did it. :-) To be honest, I was looking for an excuse to hook the Dreamcast up to my capture rig and give it a run.
I'll expand the FAQ on how to take screenshots of console games in the near future, but for now, remember these easy tips:
Don't go overboard on a capture card: Any cheap card (or videocard with built-in capture) that can capture 640x480 at as little as 10 frames per second (30 is best) to a hard drive is more than acceptable for capturing still shots.
Capture an entire session, then go through it later for the frame(s) you want. Don't try to capture individual frames while you're playing -- this seriously affects gameplay ;-)
If there's a lot of motion in the scene and you see "tearing" or "comb" effects due to the interlacing, use a paint program like Adobe Photoshop or JASC Paint Shop Pro to deinterliace the frame. (Pick either one field or the other, but don't blend them both together or you might end up with a blurry mess)
If an emulator exists for the console platform that works very well (ie Bleem for the Playstation), it is acceptable -- and easier -- to use that instead of trying to capture them yourself.
For an example of (what I'm pretty sure is) emulator screenshots, check out Soul Blade. For live captured shots from a real Dreamcast, see the aforementioned Soul Calibur entry.
Well they finally arrived and they look great. We arranged to have official MobyGames merchandise and we didn't want to post the link until we made sure the quality was good. Today in the mail I received 2 MobyGames t-shirts and a coffee mug. You can get your very own right here. A small portion of every purchase goes to help support MobyGames.
And the good news just keeps on coming: I'm proud to unveil the interview I had with Macrocom's founders, Neal White III and Rand E. Bohrer, that talks all about their unconventional and ahead-of-their-time games ICON: Quest for the Ring and The Seven Spirits of Ra. You can read the entire interview by clicking on the words Full Article in the Feature Article sidebar on the right-hand side of this page.
On another note, someone asked me if it was okay if they captured some console screenshots with a video capture card and uploaded them. Is it okay? Hell, it's encouraged. Even cheap capture cards like the Hauppage WinTV series can capture decent stills at 640x480, so feel free to capture some, compress them to JPEGs, and contribute them to their respective MobyGames game entries. Anyone requiring an example of this can wait until Tuesday morning, when I plan to enter the full entry of Soul Caliber (as per Dave's challenge) if someone else hasn't done it yet.
We rolled out a new release today that has many improvements to game and company contributions, that will hopefully make it easier for you to contribute information in an accurate manor. There have also been some other subtle and minor improvements on the site that you might run across. We've also added a list of the Top Selling Games on the right hand side that is updated weekly so you have an idea of what's a hot buy right now in the gaming market.
Gee. No recent news for a while. It has been pretty much business as usual. Brian has been coding like mad. Not so much working on new features but really improving the back end. This should make rolling out new features a lot easier. I think I am going to start issuing challenges. Whoever completes the challenge will get an extra 5 Moby points. This weeks challenge is Soul Calibur. The one who can enter a complete, and we do mean complete, entry for this game first will win. Good luck.
Well it's spring in New York and the weather is amazing. Brian has been staying with me doing tons of coding and complaining about my work environment. In spite of my crappy chair and desk he's managed on making a lot of improvements to the approval process so you should see submission up much quicker than before. Speaking of which we got a ton of GREAT Playstation box cover scans. Keep it up.
MobyGames has a new feature for submitting errors and omissions about games online. Each game sheet has a link at the bottom that will take you to a form where you can submit the incorrect information. From this point forward, our policy will be not to accept corrections for games through email. In the end this will benefit everyone. You will be able to track the approval of your submission and have a faster turn-around time for getting the changes made.