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Fullscreen games or windowed games?

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I''m a bit newbie on the game development world and I''m doing my first game. My questions are: what of fullscreen or windowed modes is better for a game? What are the advantages of each mode? What mode is more widely used for games? Thanks in advance for your help. Diego Eustachio Check out my Java games programmers web site at http://deustachio.8k.com!

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It depends on the game. Games where the player is going to be giving alot of attention to (FPS, RTS, RPG, Adventure) tend to use fullscreen, they get better speed, can control the resolution and are free from distractions of other windows. If its a passive game (Solitare, maybe a turn based game like civilization) then windowed mode is fine.

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Almost all modern games are fullscreen. However, to produce a fullscreen game, you would almost always use either DirectX or OpenGL (do NOT ask which is better), so that you can have better control of the video card. For your first game, I would suggest that you do something very simple, and don''t worry about making it fullscreen. It might be a good idea to play around with the windows GDI a bit for a very simple game, because even though it is generally slow, you can still get it going fast enough for tetris, naughts and crosses (tic tac toe for americans), or even a simple platform game with little trouble, and you won''t then have to worry about video cards not being supported, or other such technical difficulties. When you have made something simple, then you can start learning DirectX or OpenGL, and begin working in fullscreen, but it probably isn''t a very good idea for your first game.
In my opinion, any game which is meant to be immersive (most of them) should be fullscreen, but there are games which don''t benifit from it like puzzle games, computer board games etc.

John B

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winodows gdi is NOT generally slow. its generally misused and then is slow. forcing the gdi to do colordepth conversions is stupid on the part of the coder. i have written windowed gdi apps that run just as fast as the dx windowed counterpart.

most modern games support both window AND fullscreen. since you can apply everything you learn in windowed coding to fullscreen, its very good to start with windowed mode. MUCH easier to debug.

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quote:
Original post by JohnBSmall
Almost all modern games are fullscreen. However, to produce a fullscreen game, you would almost always use either DirectX or OpenGL (do NOT ask which is better), so that you can have better control of the video card. For your first game, I would suggest that you do something very simple, and don''t worry about making it fullscreen. It might be a good idea to play around with the windows GDI a bit for a very simple game, because even though it is generally slow, you can still get it going fast enough for tetris, naughts and crosses (tic tac toe for americans), or even a simple platform game with little trouble, and you won''t then have to worry about video cards not being supported, or other such technical difficulties. When you have made something simple, then you can start learning DirectX or OpenGL, and begin working in fullscreen, but it probably isn''t a very good idea for your first game.
In my opinion, any game which is meant to be immersive (most of them) should be fullscreen, but there are games which don''t benifit from it like puzzle games, computer board games etc.

John B


witch is better? http://happypuppy.sourceforge.net

- err, the last signiture sucked bigtime!

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From a game design point of view, fullscreen is definetely the way to go for an immersive experience - FPSs, RPGs, etc. Windowed modes could be more useful for puzzle/board games, basic online games, simple turn-based stuff and other games the user may want to switch back and forth to.
If possible, you should probably give the user both options.

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I''ve toyed around with the idea of making a game composed of multiple popup windows, which you could then arrange how you liked. Kind of the way that Ultima Online worked, except it wouldn''t go into full screen mode first. For instance, in an RPG, you''d have the main view, an inventory view, a health view, etc. Each of those would be a separate window, and you could arrange them as you wished. The game would remember the arrangement, and the next time you played, would put the windows where you had them before.
The problem I see with the idea is that people have widely different resolution and screen space. Much easier to force everyone to use the same resolution (or small selection of resolutions)

Take care,
Bill

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quote:
Original post by a person
winodows gdi is NOT generally slow. its generally misused and then is slow.


OK, agreed. But it doesn't provide any access to hardware acceleration (as far as I know), so it simply cannot provide the same speed for some things. But you're right - it's not slow in itself.

John B

Edited by - JohnBSmall on February 20, 2002 4:30:52 PM

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no HW acceleration? nearly ALL gdi functions are accelerated, inlcuding blits, drawing lines, fill pattern, etc. many ppl dont realize this because of the bad rep the gdi has gotten by poor coders using the gdi to do color depth conversions. whether YOUR card supports this or not is debatable, but if an ati rage pro (4meg) accelerates many gdo functions, i am sure most modern video cards do as well.

do some tests, write your fastest line drawing function, then use the gdi to draw lines (make sure you use dibs in both AND it is at the SAME color depth as the screen).

thinking none of the gdi was accelerated is just niave, you think video card manufactires would not have this in their drivers when nearly everything in most *standard* windows apps use the gdi.

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