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Should I use windowed or full screen mode?

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Hi, I am making a strategy game that basically all you do is click your men and send them into battle, and every time you start the game, the terrain and your starting position is different. So its a short game. Anyway I'm trying to decide if to use window mode, or full screen mode. As it is a short game I thought you would want to play it in a similar way to solitare, eg start up the game, play it, and then your done. Or a full screen mode, to hide windows etc. The game so far isn't using any advanced methods of drawing graphics, ie basic 3d, using direct3d with vertex buffers, index buffers, textures. I sorta like the window idea, but I'm not sure if thats the best idea, and creating a window app, it makes selecting the graphics settings much easier, as i can just choose what is already selected by the user from windows. Or should I just create a full screeen app, and change the users settings to whatever the game requires?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Windowed mode works better because it takes less time to redraw the picture because there is less to redraw

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Windowed mode is more convenient, but a lot less immersive than full-screen. I made my first two games in windowed mode for the same reasons as you, and I was happy with the first game (a Snake game); but if I could have done one thing differently, I would have made the second game (a fighter) full-screen.

Ideally, you should give the user the option between window and full-screen. If you could only choose one though, I would recommend full-screen for your game.

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Windowed mode works better because it takes less time to redraw the picture because there is less to redraw


technically incorrect.
For a given size the fullscreen mode can update faster than a window of the same size as the gfx card drivers dont have to worry about things over lapping windows and other tests, it can just update the section of memory and not care.

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Quote:
Original post by _the_phantom_
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Windowed mode works better because it takes less time to redraw the picture because there is less to redraw


technically incorrect.
For a given size the fullscreen mode can update faster than a window of the same size as the gfx card drivers dont have to worry about things over lapping windows and other tests, it can just update the section of memory and not care.


Seconded. Here is what I suggest. Use window mode for debugging but switch to fullscreen for the final if you do not give the user a choice. Make sure you still run the program in fullscreen during development to make sure it works though. I also agree with JasonA. Fullscreen is more immersive and leads to less distraction when playing a game.

- Drew

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Guest Anonymous Poster
"Windowed mode works better because it takes less time to redraw the picture because there is less to redraw"

*takes away the crack pipe*

640x480 is just as many pixels in windowed mode as fullscreen mode.

The reason windowed mode runs faster (sometimes) is because it's not contrained by the refresh rate by default while fullscreen is constrained to the refresh rate by default. Fullscreen mode allows exclusive access to video memory for the running app which gives it a speed boost. You just have to ignore the refresh rate to see the full speed.

Fullscreen is prefered but occasionally the game isn't the only thing the player wants to be focused on in which case making windowed an option is a good idea.


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debugging in full screen is asking for a lot of pain. Windowed is a lot better, if slower. Options = good. There is little difference in the way to setup either one of those, so it should not be a problem to give the user the option.

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I think I'll go with window mode, as it is easier to do, like I could put more effort in for fullscreen, eg detect the right settings for everything, but window mode it does it for me.

And I want to get this game done, as I believe I can make some pretty decent games, I just havent had the time, and I don't want this turning into vapourware.

So i'll be taking all the shortcuts possible.

Thanks all.

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Yeah, go with windowed, i remember my first d3d app, was fullscreeen, whenever i had an assertion go off or an access violation (oh man, so many access violations, my poor computer) it was a pain or impossible to get my app out of focus so that i could close it, and had to restart my computer quite often... :-/

basically *thumbs up* windowed mode
-Dan

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