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16:9 (Widescreen) Game Engine question

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All the games I am working on will be in the 16:9(Widescreen) format. I want the theatrical look. Since I am writing my 3d engine from scratch I plan to design the engine around that format. Now the question is, is that a good idea? What if I plan to lease the engine later? Should i just abstract the whole interface and let it be decided game by game?

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Hey,

I personally don't see how your engine should be any different to normal to support 16:9 rendering. Basically all you need to do is provide functionality to change your render area, and calculate the new perspective stuff. And if you're figuring all that out for 16:9 rendering, why not generalise it so that you or users can use any perspective?

--CJM

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it really doesn't matter, to have a view of the scene in 16:9 you simply set the aspect ratio accordingly. this is a paramater in the perspective transformation.

Tim

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Well, the rendering of the 3d world is just a matter of changing the aspect ratio to 16:9 rather than 4:3 - then you'll have nice widescreen rendering (remember this also affects your frustum for culling though...)

However, there are other types of content that requires some thoughts before they work well in widescreen - for example pre-rendered movies, load-screens and the in-game gui in general.

What we did at the company where I work was to always pre-render the movies in a 16:9 format. On a 4:3 display we show the movies with black bars at the top and bottom of the screen and on a widescreen display we allow them to fill out the entire screen. Load-screens are done a bit differently. Our artists design them in a 4:3 resolution but in a way where it is possible to cut away the top and bottom part of the graphics and still have them look good. So on a 4:3 display the entire image is shown, but on a widescreen display it is scaled up somewhat at cut to a 16:9 resolution.

As for gui - in many cases games will not have a full-screen gui (like in the old-scool rpg's for example that had an entire "frame" of gui around the world view) but rather smaller gui components "floating" in the screen. Those can simply be placed differently depending on whether the user is on a widescreen display or not. Just remember that many widescreen formats uses special resolutions with more pixels along the x-axis so if you're doing pixel-perfect rendering of your gui it'll look funny (circles will be slightly elliptic etc). It might be better to scale gui graphics to force them into a specific size and shape on the screen.

- Kasper

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Draw a black box at the top of the screen, and a black box at the bottom, or supply bits of black cardboard with your game [grin] sorry I just had to say that.

Sounds interesting having a game at 16:9, assuming you mean on a standard 4:3 monitor? Would give it a nice 'movie-like' look.

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Thanks for the replies, here's a few things I have in mind. Most if not all the games I am going to create will be rpg or fps types, and I want that "movie-like" look. If I keep the built in widescreen it would adapt to the current resolution. So lets say 800x600 <-- would require the bars while 1024x568 is already widescreen and needs no bars. The gui will be build on my renderer instead of the os its currently using. So instead of stretching the images, you could have the initial gui images be relatively hi resolution (still small cause its just a gui) and based on the resolution increase the interface size and not have to worry about each image. (window will allways be 16:9) As for the bits of cardboard, should I include a range of sizes (15", 17", 19") or just a "do it yourself kit" (Larf!).

-Maxam--
C[:)|3=<

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not all pixels resolutions have square pixels

on a crt you might see 800x600 [4x3], 1024x768 [4x3], 1152x864 [4x3], 1280x1024 [5x4]!

also, my display [a 19 inch samsung crt] supports 1920x1200 [16x9], 1920x1080 [16/10] and 1920x1440 [4x3]

the lcd I'm using right now [I'm not at home, its a 17 inch dell display] lets me get 1280x700, 1280x720, 1280x800 as well as the resolutions I mentioned first [as does my 19 inch samsung at home]

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