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Butterman

Accommodating Widescreen Monitors

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Hey. I'm trying to get support for wide screen monitors/resolutions into my game. I have accomplished this using glOrtho() (Its a 2d game). I have no stretching etc. But wide screen resolutions can see more of the map to the left and right. This offers a big game play advantage to anybody using a wide screen monitor. This isn't a huge problem, because I'm not planning on multilayer functionality. What is the best thing to do in my situation? Let the wide-screeners have their advantage, or put some random game art/crap in the side? Or is there an alternate? Cheers.

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Well, if you have widescreen players then you will have to put something in that extra chunk of screen! my current design works the other way around - widescreen gets normal view, nonwidescreen ==> gets black edging at top and bottom to make it widescreen.

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If you want the same image on both widescreen and not then scale your drawn graphics by some ratio which is relative to the screen size. Since its a 2D game this should be easy enough. Instead of creating your 'sprites' with that fixed size 64x64 or whatever its 64x64xRatio. Easy enough :-)

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Quote:
Original post by Butterman
What is the best thing to do in my situation? Let the wide-screeners have their advantage, or put some random game art/crap in the side? Or is there an alternate?

I use to detest Blizzard for locking StarCraft at 640x480 resoution (to 'level the playing field'), especially when my monitor was fixed at 1024x768, and I ended up with black bars on all 4 sides [grin]

I would suggest just maxing the playable area on each screen - it is more important to keep the players happy than it is to give no advantage in a single player game, and borders are, IMHO, obnoxious. I assume you already provide a larger playable area to larger resolutions - 1440x900 can see a larger area than 1024x640, for instance?

Mind you, I have a widescreen, so i may be biased [smile]

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Yes. I agree that black borders are horrible, that's why at the moment, wide screen players are getting a bigger playing area.

Lubby, would that not create "stretched" sprites? Or, if you mean to simply make them smaller, then 4:3 players would get an advantage being able to see higher...

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You can always try to put some artwork as borders. If you want to get creative, put any statistics on those borders so that they are not empty, such as health bars and ammo, etc. Accommodating different aspect ratios is hard work.

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Quote:
Original post by RealMarkP
You can always try to put some artwork as borders. If you want to get creative, put any statistics on those borders so that they are not empty, such as health bars and ammo, etc. Accommodating different aspect ratios is hard work.


I'd pretty much follow what RealMarkP is saying. One thing you have to remember is that not everyone with wide screen monitors can scale, and giving a viewer the correct display will almost always win over advantages/disadvantages in gameplay.

Many older games that were on multiple platforms such as the Amiga and PC tended to put artwork around their games on the Amiga side to make up for a difference in resolution.

Just an example:

Ultima V - Amiga (320x256)

Ultima V - DOS (320x240)

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The right thing to do is to utilize player's hardware to its maximum. For single player games, there is no excuse for placing arbitrary limitations on supported hardware features, except for your own incompetence (or unwillingness) to implement them.

If player has a quad core, use it (if you can). If player has DirectX 10, use it (if you can). If player has widescreen... then use it!

Make your players feel good about spending extra bucks on their equipment instead of telling them something like "Sorry, but no, you should have kept that 10 year old 14" CRT instead of buying this new, shiny 52" widescreen piece of crap TV."

Sport-like competitive multiplayer games are a different story and there is something to be said about giving all players equal chance in winning.

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I'd say mainly it depends on the game.

For 3D games there's almost never an excuse not to use the full resolution with whatever aspect ratio the player wants, since the action is focused forward a lot of the time anyway.

For pixel based 2D games, IMO they really need to be fixed resolution most of the time, so dealing with different monitor resolutions in general would be a problem. For that I'd say offer options of scaling to the largest constant pixel size possible (2x, 3x, 4x), or stretch to full screen and maybe look funky. Either way artwork or black bars for the unused space would work, since you're basically accepting that it's a fixed resolution game anyway.

For vector based 2D, I would say give the widescreen people the option of framing with artwork or having the game easier, except for multiplayer where it should always be the same aspect ratio for fairness.
Or if the design of the game works better in widescreen, then give the 4:3 people the option of seeing up/down too far or framing.

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