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alnite

fullscreen == bad

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I don't know why most games prefer running in fullscreen than windowed. My analysis says that fullscreen comes from the old days of DOS where you have access to the whole screen. We still carry that habit along that you want fullscreen for every game you make. Today most platforms can handle multitasking, running more than one application at the same time. So I think it would be more convenience if games can cooperate with other applications by running in windowed, and let users switch between applications and your games without having to change resolution. Here are common issues running in fullscreen: 1. Your game crashes, if you do not handle this properly you likely crash the computer because there is no way for the users to switch back to desktop because your game window is the topmost window. 2. If target system barely meets the requirement of your games, switching between your games and desktop can take several seconds to complete (the system has to do all these restoration things). 3. You can barely multitask (using other applications) while playing games because you use the whole screen. I am not a professional, but does running in fullscreen give you hardware advantage? your games run faster? more stable? Even if there is any advantage, I don't think it would matter that much. [edited by - alnite on April 22, 2004 5:41:56 PM]

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It''s fairly obvious that in windowed mode games run slower because windows (or whichever OS) has to do all the drawing of desktop, icons, windows or whatever.

In the majority of cases the player won''t be likely to switch between the game and other programs all the time. It doesn''t make much sense.

Also the fullscreen aspect make the atmosphere of the game more immersive, like you feel more like you are INSIDE of the game.

Also a well-done program can switch between its fullscreen display and the desktop without crashing itself or the PC.

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Well, speaking as a game player, I prefer most of my games to run full screen because while i''m playing them i wont be doing anything else, for example i''m not likely to be writing forum posts while playing UT2K4

However, alot of games due have a ''run in window'' option and when in that mode to cooperate quite well with the OS and other programs running.

In answer to your issues;

1. This isnt a problem with fullscreen games, its a problem with bad programming. Your game should be able to exit gracefully from 99.9% of situations.
2. This is why fullscreen is needed to some extent. If the system you are running on can only just run the game then imagine what it would be like truing to run the game AND run something else with constant updates in the background to allow switching, the hardware just cant do it.
3. There are very few games you would WANT to multitask while playing, infact the only one i''ve ever come across which i wanted to do that with was Eve, and thats only so i can mine roids and talk on IRC/surf the web, as soon as i got into fights i wanted fullscreen action

I belive that running in full screen does make things better performance wise, you can lock the buffers and gain exclusive access to the graphics card in full screen mode, something you cant do in windowed mode. You can also change the refresh rate and color depths of the screen.

All in all, fullscreen mode is perfect for games, you need as much screen space as you can and frankly, most people dont multi-task while playing games because they need to focus on the game OR the work.
Alot of games however DO offer a windowed mode, but its not default because most people dont need it.

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quote:
Original post by VBBR
It''s fairly obvious that in windowed mode games run slower because windows (or whichever OS) has to do all the drawing of desktop, icons, windows or whatever.

Also the fullscreen aspect make the atmosphere of the game more immersive, like you feel more like you are INSIDE of the game.
Maximizing your window solves the problem.
quote:

In the majority of cases the player won''t be likely to switch between the game and other programs all the time. It doesn''t make much sense.
Talking to someone over IM while playing games in fullscreen isn''t fun.
quote:

Also a well-done program can switch between its fullscreen display and the desktop without crashing itself or the PC.
I didn''t say they crash, it takes some time.

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I switch between games and the desktop all the time. Usually I am playing a game when someone will IM me, so then I have to switch to the desktop, respond, and switch back, repeat. Now if only someone could get the IM window to pop up over the game. Does anyone know if dual monitors solves this problem? ie one monitor plays the game while the other has the Instant Messanger.

"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, drown a man in the water and the fish will eat for a week!

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I think this is one case where the "User''s choice" card trumps what seems to be the better of the two ideas. Let the user decide how they want to play the game, don''t do it for them.

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quote:
Original post by alnite
I didn''t say they crash, it takes some time.


thats probably more down todo with ram swapping than being in fullscreen.
When i exit UT2K4 it takes a few moments for my desktop to redraw and my programs to start responding correctly because windows is having to swap back from the harddrive which is had to swap out to give to the game.

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quote:
Original post by _the_phantom_
Alot of games however DO offer a windowed mode, but its not default because most people dont need it.
I think it''s not because most people don''t need it, but because the fullscreen is the default. Make the default of your game windowed (but large enough to fill in the entire desktop such as maximizing it), and see if they change it to fullscreen. Players don''t care whether they see taskbar or window title while playing games.

Immersiveness is one thing, people do expect games to have larger window, but it doesn''t have to be fullscreen.

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quote:
Original post by _the_phantom_
quote:
Original post by alnite
I didn''t say they crash, it takes some time.


thats probably more down todo with ram swapping than being in fullscreen.
When i exit UT2K4 it takes a few moments for my desktop to redraw and my programs to start responding correctly because windows is having to swap back from the harddrive which is had to swap out to give to the game.
You only have that problem when running fullscreen.

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