Survey: HD

I was wondering: are you interested in good support for very high-definition images?

Using relatively large card pictures has a few advantages. Zoomed on, they’re big on your screen, easy to read and provide very detailed illustrations.

On the flip side, they are also big in bytes size. Which implies:

– larger patches (e.g. 70Mo for a core set, is that a lot?)
– needs more space to host on the web
– more time required to download
– takes more space on your HD
– loading images from the HD is slower
– memory usage and pressure goes up
– and on older machines, the overall performance may decrease because of the additional resizing and image filtering work required.

Of course, big card pictures simply “work” in OCTGN just as well as smaller ones. Pretty well, actually (but I admit I have a good PC). But there are a few use cases where specific adaptations are called for to provide the best experience (e.g. doing a bit of prefetching to hide the increased loading times.)

Before coding anything, I would like to know: are you interested in high definition card images?

  • Yes! I would love to see big and crisp close-ups of my cards. Never mind the size of the patches, everyone has 1To hard-drives and 1Go/s optic fiber anyway.
  • I don’t care. Big cards are ok but the current size is fine as well.
  • No thanks. I don’t want uselessly huge pictures which covers 90% of my screen when I see one card’s details. Not to mention I spent 2 hours downloading that damn 100+Mo patch.
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24 Comments on “Survey: HD”

  1. Chops Says:

    -No thanks. I’m running on a laptop, so I’ve got a small screen and less-than-cutting-edge graphics. Besides that, I’d generally rather read errata’d text in an outline font than pre-errata text from a resized bitmap

    I suppose it would require a great deal more coding to allow interchangeable sets with different-quality pictures? Not to mention the headache if the images are mismatched.

  2. lahonda99 Says:

    The idea of OCTGN v2 appears as a visual upgrade. Higher definition cards would easily set in with idea of v2. The size difference wouldn’t make much of a difference to many people, the real problem is rescanning all of the old cards to higher resolutions. The solution is to support higher resolution, but just display at whatever resolution the card set is at.

  3. Joa86 Says:

    There are fairly good resolution card scans available already, made by the guys of MWSData.com, which are the guys of Magic Workstation, IIRC.
    Now, I don’t know if that counts as HD, but it’s good enough for me, really, and I’d love to be able to see that quality in OCTGN V2.
    I’d like to add that it doesn’t take that much hard-drive space. I have all the Magic sets in just 2.5GB.

  4. Harry78 Says:

    I guess the real question is: Do _you_ want this feature implemented, and if yes: why? If it’s just a tempting coding challenge, which results the output to be just “cool”, then no. If the feature would serve a purpose and be *worthwhile* sacrificing extra HD space, bandwidth, processing time, clutter on the screen, then yes. I also assume the source images would be from MWSData’s project?

  5. Xenocyde Says:

    Thumbs up for HD card pics. I’m using a 37″ 1080p TV as monitor and when I play Magic in MWS it’s pretty hard to make out the text. I sit like 2m away from the display and MWS sucks big time in this case. Does anyone here have 1TB HDDs? :)) Imma get one soon 😀

  6. jods Says:

    @Harry78:
    It’s not about me wanting to do some fancy high-tech stuff. I wonder if using higher-resolution images would please OCTGN users, or not. Considering the MWSData project, I imagine there are people who love to play with nice and detailed picture.

    @Xenocyde:
    I actually have two 500Go HD mounted in a RAID-0 configuration. Which basically makes a 1To HD, but faster 😉

  7. riddle Says:

    That idea doesnt sound too good to me. I dont have a really high end machine, HDD space is my biggest issue at the moment (should be soon quenched, ordered an HDD). Still even though OCTGNv2 has crisp graphics on its own, the qaulity of card pics the Bluemmoon alpha included were already pretty nice, and seemed very good to me, while still being not too much of a resource eater. Isnt the greater idea behind this program versatality? In my opinion versatality includes supporting also the ones on laptops or older machines.

    So if at all, make HD cards an option? if thats possible.

  8. jods Says:

    @riddle:
    Making high-resolution pictures an option is possible if you publish several versions of the same set. OCTGN 2.0 doesn’t use fixed size images so you could easily publish one “HD” set with large images and a “light” set using the same definitions but smaller pictures.

    Creating the “light” set once the “HD” is ready is just a matter of seconds with the right tools. It’s just a bit more complicated to distribute since there will be 2 different copies of the same set but I guess it could be done.

  9. Pascual Says:

    That could be a very good feature for Octgn2, I’ll love to see an improvement on the quality of the images, but in my opinion, it should have a fair balance between quality and performance (easy handling of the file too), perhaps put options for the quality and thus get a good performance on most computers.

  10. R0B0T0 Says:

    Yes, I’m interested in HD Images. My desktop res is 1920 x 1280 (on a 24″ widescreeen) and the increased download size and drive space don’t bother me.

  11. Mike Says:

    It seems like a good idea if and only if you can use the standard images that were available with the original OCTGN. I’m pitted strongly against requiring 3GB of space just to run the program and I personally would seriously look for an alternative to OCTGN if I was required to free up that much space. Of course, if standard images were made available, it’s always great to have a choice.

  12. Teague Says:

    Yes. I would love to be able to play OCTGN on my HD TV and read the cards from the couch.


  13. If there was a way of reliably distributing multiple versions of the same sets, I would go with having both low and high quality image packs.

    Failing that, low res would be better for the fanbase in general so people can use lower end machines and still play.

  14. Raeith Says:

    While this would be a pretty cool thing, I feel that time spent coding something that simply optimizes the program with the use of HD card scans is better spent on something else. Something to work on at a later date perhaps, but seeing that OCTGN doesn’t throw a crash and burning fit in most cases when your scans are “big”, the additional coding work is probably more of a “nifty feature” than core functionality.

    Basically, do I want this feature? Yes. Would I mind sticking with “normal” sized cards and have a OCTGN v2 released a little earlier or even with a bit more core functionality/flexibility? I wouldn’t mind at all.

    Rambling covering various points made in the original post:
    -Larger patches: Don’t personally worry me, they can’t be bigger than some of the patches I’ve had to deal with on online games.
    -Time to download: My answer to this is very similar to the above answer.
    -Web-Hosting: While this is more of a problem on your end, however unless the image scans from sources such as MWSData won’t be compatible (which I seriously hope they are) I don’t really see this as being too much of a problem.
    -Performance Issues: This really only applies to those which are running on a relatively “old” system or someone on a laptop (smaller HDD sizes). In the end these people will also probably be the ones that won’t mind using “normal” sized scans. (Assuming the current support of normal sized scans is maintained)

    As to where I sit on those 3 final bullet points, probably near the center but leaning towards the top. It would be great but I think the project could do with this feature put somewhere down the line.

  15. riddle Says:

    well, about the distribution. namind a file like, SetBlah-HD.rar and SetBlah-NonHD doesnt seem to difficult. if yeh cant read you are at fault. and if the file size of the one is like triple the size of the other its a small hint too. I cant see how that is a problem

  16. Pascual Says:

    That may be a solution for the distribution. I’m agree.

  17. Kempeth Says:

    I’d rate this as a nice to have feature, but totally not of any priority.

    I don’t need huge card images to read the text. Many cards get errata changes anyway at which point the text on the card image becomes irrelevant at best – misleading at worst.

    If implemented the users should have the choice between downloading the normal or the high res pictures…

  18. wowtcgame Says:

    Add this on later, would like to start using OCTGN 2 first.

  19. Vikram Says:

    Great job on the alpha’s release jods. You truly are a marvel at programming.

    In my opinion, the next goal for this program should be to get a beta out that has support for Magic, support for playing against someone else, and release it on a torrent with pics of all the game set cards.

    I think most people including I would like support for relatively high resolution pictures, but have no interest in/need for crazy high resolutions.

    Thanks to torrents, downloading a 7 gig file containing OCTGN with all the card images from all magic sets released so far is no big deal.

    It wouldn’t require any site to host it due to the nature of torrents, and the file could be downloaded in a couple of days even with a slow connection.

  20. Daidoji Says:

    I like the idea of supporting any size ‘cards’ as it would allow for modular boardgames such as Warhammer Quest and Robo Rally. The pieces in those games are much larger than your standard cards.

    I know board games are not the focus of OCTGN at all, but since a large amount of board games use cards it’s kind of a natural fit. The main board as the background is obviously already supported as seen in the alpha with Blue Moon, But say you wanted to play Robo Rally. The game has quite a few main board pieces that you can merge together and rotate in any direction or position. The boards can even resemble Tetris pieces if you wish.

    Obviously you could include them in the same image as a workaround, but then you would need an image for every possible rotation and board position. the number of combinations would be astronomical. It’s much easier to simply have large high-res scans of each individual game board. Rotation as far as I know is already supported.

    Each board is roughly 1 foot square. So, just to make it match the standard resolution of current MTG scans it would have to be 10 times larger in resolution.

    All Robo Rally needs to be supported: High-Res ‘Cards’ and a way to add/lock multiple boards to the background layer. Since alpha-channel on cards is already working, all the little variable sized game pieces are trivial to add as a card set.

  21. IntoxicatedTurtleFetus Says:

    The cards look fine enough as is, though some of them could definitely be improved upon. If they were double their current size in OCTGN, that would be perfect, I think.

  22. Chris Says:

    Hey, it’s great that you are updating this excellent piece of software.

    I think having high resolution images is crucial for building and maintaining a ‘clump’ user base.

    This is because octgn beats magicworkstation in aesthetics and realism.

    Also, most people have 100+gig hard drives now and smaller images already take a long time to download.

  23. Adrian Says:

    Upon release, I suggest compatibility with the high quality MWS scans at a minimum. More so, I suggest MWS interoperability. The basis for creating and distributing cropped scans and full scans already exists. Why reinvent the wheel? In addition, MWS users will already have what they want on their hard drives. If OCTGN is able to point to that directory, you’ve essentially halved the storage requirement for the people who want to run both applications because they only need one set of scans.

  24. jods Says:

    MWS interoperability: never ever. I don’t even think MWS protocol is documented (in which case it would most probably be too easy to cheat). O2 uses its own protocol, which is required to support its own features, as well as prevent cheating.

    Patch compatibility: sorry but that won’t do either. The format O2 uses is very nice, has several advantages and is suited to the “multiple games” support. I am not going to hardcode a “Magic” or “MWS” compatible format into the main O2 client.

    The best thing you may hope for is some kind of “converter”, which would take your existing MWS installation and convert it to an O2 installation.

    The most probable scenario is that it will take little time for a few skilled people to build O2 patches from MWS scans. Those would then get distributed to everyone. Given how cheap bandwidth is getting those days, I don’t think it’s much of a problem to download the patches one more time. Moreover, I hope that O2’s qualities will be a big enough incentive.


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