Among other things I was surprised to learn that Mario's collision shape is a sphere rather than the more standard cylinder or capsule shape used for the player character in most games, which simplifies the physics when gravity changes direction. When you look at his character model the proportions make more sense once you know that they were designed to fill out a spherical shape. How many companies would change the character design of their most iconic franchise to make their physics engine simpler?
I've seen some great talks by the amazing game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto.
In an earlier talk, he explained that he designed his games starting with how you physically interact with the controls you're holding in your hand, and then inwards into the computer, instead of the other way around like so many other people tend to do.
In a later talk, about the Wii, he explained that now he designs his games starting with the facial expressions of the people playing them, then to the physical experience that could evoke such an expression, then on into the computer that could conduct such an experience.
As an example, he showed a picture of a grandfather with his granddaughter sitting in his lap, playing a game, looking totally entranced and delighted at the game, and her grandfather looking at her, with just as entranced and delighted an expression as on his granddaughter's face, even if he didn't necessarily understand what the game itself was about. He got so much enjoyment out of just watching his granddaughter enjoying the game, that it was fun for him, too.
The Wii was so successful as a social party game, because the players themselves were more fun to watch than the game on the screen, because they make spectacles of themselves, which is much more entertaining to watch than the computer graphics. And you don't get bored waiting for your turn to play, because it's fun watching other people play.
I wrote this earlier on another forum but I'll repost it here:
I've seen Shigeru Miyamoto speak at several game developer conferences over the years. He's absolutely brilliant, a really nice guy, and there's so much to learn by studying his work and listening to him talk. Will Wright calls him the Stephen Spielberg of games.
At one of his earlier talks, he explained that he starts designing games by thinking about how you touch, manipulate and interact with the input device in the real world, instead of thinking about the software and models inside the virtual world of the computer first. The instantaneous response of Mario 64 and how you can run and jump around is a great example of that.
Shigeru Miyamoto GDC 1999 Keynote (Full): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LC2Pf5F2acI
At a later talk about how he designed the Wii, he said that he now starts designing games by thinking about what kind of expression he wants it to evoke on the player's faces, and how to make the players themselves entertain the other people in the room who aren't even playing the game themselves. That's why the Wii has so many great party games, like Wii Sports. Then he showed a video of a little girl sitting in her grandfather's lap playing a game -- http://youtu.be/SY3a4dCBQYs?t=12m29s , with a delighted expression on her face. The grandfather was delighted and entertained by watching his granddaughter enjoy the game.
This photo -- https://i.imgur.com/zSbOYbk.jpg -- perfectly illustrates exactly what he means!
Shigeru Miyamoto 2007 GDC Keynote - Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En9OXg7lZoE
Shigeru Miyamoto 2007 GDC Keynote - Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jer1KCPTcdE
Shigeru Miyamoto 2007 GDC Keynote - Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY3a4dCBQYs
>So let me move from the vision of Nintendo to the vision that I have always employed personally in my career as a game developer.
>In interviews, I'm often asked about specific elements of my games. Where did you get the idea for that character or that hardware? Why did you design that level in that way?
>And sometimes I can tell that the people who are asking these questions have spend a lot of time analyzing my games in very detailed fashion to search for the answers.
>But the riddle here is the harder they look at the individual parts of the game itself, the further away they get from determining that answer.
>The reason for this is that my initial focus and my primary focus throughout development is not these individual elements of the game.
>When I'm creating a game, what I always try to envision, it's what I always think about, is the core element of fun within the game.
>And to do that, I imagine one thing, and that's the face of the player, while he or she is experiencing the game.
>Not any individual part of the game itself.
>And what the players feel will be reflected on their faces. And as an entertainer, I want them to be entertained.
>I was remind of this recently, when we launched Nintendo DS in Japan, and first put the system out in public, for people to start playing.
>We asked some of those people if we could video tape them, and you can see some of these videos, the first time they're playing the DS, at a web site called MyFirstTouch.ds.
>So let's take a look at two cuts that impressed me most. Let's take a look.
>(Girl singing in joy.) So cute. That guy there is happy because his girlfriends are so excited.
>And of course this grandfather's happy that his granddaughter's having so much fun as well.
>And since this is a stylus, a touch pen, he's able to play the game too.
>So as you can see, not only is the person who's playing the game being entertained, but the people standing around watching are getting caught up in the excitement, and they're being entertained as well.
>And that made me very happy. That's the reaction that I always want.
Shigeru Miyamoto 2007 GDC Keynote - Part 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqBee2YlDPg
Shigeru Miyamoto 2007 GDC Keynote - Part 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WI3DB3tYiOw
Shigeru Miyamoto 2007 GDC Keynote - Part 6: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvwYBSkzevw
Shigeru Miyamoto Keynote GDC 07 - Wife-o-meter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GMybmWHzfU
"MMOs from the Outside In: The Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games of Psychology, Law, Government, and Real Life"
"MMOs from the Inside Out: The History, Design, Fun, and Art of Massively-multiplayer Online Role-playing Games"
(He says the publisher added the subtitles, but "The original titles were MMOs FTW and MMOs WTF.")
Curious, do levels look better now, taking advantage of modern video cards, than their original, native platform ?
I'm looking at Kingdom Hearts, and it looks quite amazing for a PS2 game.
One thing that is lagging will be the original texture resolution of the games. They look more crisp in that particular screenshot, but in some games there's just not enough information. However, a while ago someone used AI technology to upscale the 2d backgrounds of PS1 era Final Fantasy games, with great results: https://youtu.be/OaEgc46FNWE. I think this same technology can be used to - relatively quick / easy / dirty - remaster older games.
edit: or even fairly modern ones ones; FFXIV for example has pretty low resolution textures by default, which is especially obvious in e.g. outfits during cutscenes. There's tools out there to replace textures (its anti-cheat / tampering doesn't verify the assets), I wonder if someone's redone all the 'vanilla' textures like that.
Games that try for realism tend to hold up poorly as time goes on, but games that have a very congruent less than real art style, not just cartoony games but all kinds of different styles, can hold up a lot better.
As well, some game art was designed to be played on CRT monitors, or at lower resolution, which gives a very different experience when played on a modern screen with a high resolution. The bluring and less discrete nature of pixels on older devices lended a lot of affordances to artists working with lower resolutions.
Further they often leave texture filtering on when the old console didn't have any.
Also of course older consoles ran lower-res
If redistributing assets were legal, then FOSS recreations of game engines would not tell you to insert the original disk for the art assets.
That aside, this website is remarkably well done, and a really valuable collection. I can appreciate the historic value, and I hope the answer to the pertaining question is that there is some fair use grounds. I kinda doubt it though.
Relevant excerpt from the FAQ:
> Are you afraid of being taken down?
Less than you might think. Companies take down fan projects when they're competing with their in-house projects. I don't see noclip.website as competing with any game out there — it's more of a museum, not a game. The worlds on display are incredible and I hope they encourage you to go out and buy a copy of the game itself.
That said, I have enormous respect for the developers and dev teams and if I received a take-down request, I would honor it. It is their work on display, after all.
Developers are only able to make these fantastic worlds if we collectively support them. noclip would not exist without their hard work and dedication. To ensure that they remain healthy, please try to buy games instead of pirating them. I also put in extra effort to ensure that all assets available on this site cannot be used to pirate the game itself.
> Do you accept donations?
No. Use the money to buy some games instead.
Similarly, game assets tend to be copyrighted, and it doesn't really matter if you are "plopping into that level", or that it's "just the level assets". The copyright owners are entirely within their rights to request it be removed, and I'm sure would have a pretty good case if taken to court.
Inb4 anyone assumes that I dislike this project, or think it should be taken down, I can assure this isn't the case.
Yes, that's the copyrighted bit. It doesn't really matter how you use those assets, as long as you're doing that without the permission of the copyright holder, that's not allowed.
Again, I don't think this project will or should be in trouble due to this - just that as copyright law stands currently, this particular usage is not allowed.
some of the game data is not compressed. i was able to extract all of that in a single afternoon with a tool i wrote from scratch in C -- trivial stuff. but that was just audio and video files and other things -- the interesting data, maps and models, is compressed.
maybe i should have guessed which compression algorithm they are using and tried to decompress it with that. but i decided to start out by loading the games code into ghidra and finding the algorithms in there. while i have made a lot of progress, the task overwhelms me. its a sea of nonsense.
so then i tried to load the game up in an emulator and then get the uncompressed data from the virtual ps2 memory. that worked and i am able to edit the memory in real time. with that setup i tried just poking around, changing individual bytes, hoping that i would stumble across a vertex of something i was looking at. that worked actually. so as it stands i have vertex data but i still have to figure out the layout and then write something to extract that data and then translate into something i can use.
but this isnt ideal because there are some things that might have never been put into a level but are nonetheless on the disk. and there are other data that might be lost between the disk and memory.
i love zanarkand from FFX. i think its one of the most aesthetically pleasing settings in any videogame.
edit: wow, how did i not find this until now? looks like im not the only one having some trouble.
I wonder how the author was able to load everything in a uniform interface and populate the levels with enemies. From my experience, dumped levels from retro video games can be in varying nonstandard formats that are largely incompatible with one another.
These results are beautiful.
edit: The README and repo  seem to show that this was a large effort.
Is there any way to get "mouse look" without having to hold the button down? On a trackpad this is not so nice, and intuitively I want to be able to control this like a normal 1st person videogame.
Disabling the Chrome blacklist worked.
Musea contain the history of our planet in all its diverse subjects. Anthropology, art, video game levels (hi, Berlin's "Video game museum": you are 100% worth going to, to learn about the history and significance of video games both on their own and as societal force!), whatever you decided to dedicate a museum to: if there is no opportunity to learn, you're not a museum. You're just a gallery.
I'm perfectly fine with calling collections of digital records, curated as part of a coherent collection, made available online, and explaining the significance of the works on display, musea. There are plenty out there.
This is not that.
It's pathfinding and AI that murder video game performance.
Some of the levels have different colors in my memory, maybe some games do some kind of color grading pass.
Then again, I've got at lot of respect for developers that got so many great game experiences out of that little white box ;)
Probably best to disable after you’re done using the site, as browsing with experimental features can be a security risk.