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Why You Should Not Force Screen Resolution Changes


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#1 GearGOD

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 02:10 PM

If you force a high resolution display into low resolution, game maker will resize and reposition all non-fullscreen windows to fit into the lower resolution. This is intrusive and annoying.
If you force a low resolution display into a higher resolution, there's a good chance the user will just see a black screen.
Further, if a GM game crashes after making changes to the display resolution, these changes will persist!
If you force any kind of resolution change on a multi-monitor setup, all monitors will be forced into that resolution if the user is running windows XP. This is very annoying.
There are all sorts of different aspect ratios out in the wild. If you don't account for all of them and provide an option to select the right one, your game will look bad.
Which brings me to the solution:
Please, start your game in windowed mode and provide an option to change into full screen with res change. Never ever have your game change the resolution by default[
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#2 paul23

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 04:02 PM

While I agree games should start in windowed mode, I disagree that setting the resolution is a bad thing..

Using scaling -especially when interpolation is turned on- really put high stress on your computer (at least mine). Of course the difference depends on the game, but it's mostly around a 1/8-1/4rd drop in frame rate from even the windowed mode...

While going in full-screen from a windowed mode - and even if the resolution would be the same as the original resolution increases performance a bit!
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#3 Nehacoo

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 09:20 PM

Another reason would be that lower than native resolutions look like crap on LCD monitors, but I suspect (hope, at least) everyone already knows this.

It seems really low resolutions like 320x240 aren't supported anymore on newer graphics cards, not on Nvidia cards anyway. I don't know about ATI.
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#4 9_6

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 09:42 PM

Yes.
That res change should be taken out of gm since some people insist on using it all the time *coughcactuscough*
There are other methods to prevent the upscaling blur, however a less intrusive way of changing the resolution and/or a non-interpolated upscaling so you don't need to change the resolution would solve the prtoblem.

Using scaling -especially when interpolation is turned on- really put high stress on your computer (at least mine). Of course the difference depends on the game, but it's mostly around a 1/8-1/4rd drop in frame rate from even the windowed mode...

This is false.
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#5 Rusky

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 09:58 PM

How is it false? "at least on my computer" so it's obviously happened to him. It's happened to me as well.
But in general, keep the resolution changes optional and not default so as not to screw up people's windows.
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#6 makerofthegames

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:01 PM

I've never had this problem, because all my windows are usually in tabs, and even if they're not, its always in fullscreen.

:(
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#7 paul23

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:09 PM

Yes.
That res change should be taken out of gm since some people insist on using it all the time *coughcactuscough*
There are other methods to prevent the upscaling blur, however a less intrusive way of changing the resolution and/or a non-interpolated upscaling so you don't need to change the resolution would solve the prtoblem.

Using scaling -especially when interpolation is turned on- really put high stress on your computer (at least mine). Of course the difference depends on the game, but it's mostly around a 1/8-1/4rd drop in frame rate from even the windowed mode...

This is false.

*starts any of his (useless) test-gamemaker-documents
*enables "switch screen modes when pressing F4" as well as "keep aspect ratio"
*presses F6
*watches f/s be around 55-60
*presses F4
*watches f/s drop to 30 followed by a stable 45-50 again
*presses F4 again
*another drop in f/s to 20, followed by a stable f/s of 55-58

I'm crazy?
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#8 Hach-Que

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 09:24 AM

For any of my full screen games, I automatically detect the user's resolution and change room sizes/views based on the user's resolution.
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#9 edmunn

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 09:48 AM

The standard screen resolutions on Game Maker make Widescreen monitors look vulgur.
I agree, I hate resolution changing without a warning or an option.

For any of my full screen games, I automatically detect the user's resolution and change room sizes/views based on the user's resolution.

This is a good idea, I once created an application in Game Maker which used this theory, and it does work very well.

Edited by edmunn, 28 March 2009 - 09:49 AM.

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#10 d.man

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 11:53 AM

i agree. actually most of low resolution games could be stretched to 640x480 windowed and look as if 320x240 full screen (that's the way i do it). it's really annoying when something changes my resolution and resizes all my windows (from which most of them are not maximized).
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#11 ckv

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 11:59 AM

In Game Maker 5 there use to be option to use "exclusive graphics mode" which pretty much solves all the problems described in first post.

What happened to that option. Why was exclusive graphics mode removed?
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#12 Phantom107

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 12:34 PM

Stretching low-resolution games to my 1440x900 resolution looks horrible and it's annoying. So please don't do it. You could make it an option, but don't ever force it.
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#13 Tepi

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 01:21 PM

If there's listed "Changes resolution: yes" in some interesting game, I'm least likely to ever download it. When there's not said that, and it still changes the resolution, I'm least likely to ever play that game (again so to say).

So please people, making the resolution change optional, making it optional whether to go fullscreen with it or not, is not really that difficult. It may make the game run faster or look a bit better than simply stretching to fullscreen, but 640x480 resolution is just pretty ridiculous resolution for the today's standards. Atleast ask the player whether to proceed before changing the resolution: "if show_question('resolution change?') display_... etc." now how hard was that?
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#14 NakedPaulToast

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 02:04 PM

Why was exclusive graphics mode removed?


Exclusive mode had it's problems. Any time you went into exclusive mode any time the resolution changed, all open windows that were larger than the screen resolution were resized, it was particularly annoying. There were also many functions that were no longer available in exclusive mode.
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#15 ckv

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 03:31 PM

Exclusive mode had it's problems. Any time you went into exclusive mode any time the resolution changed, all open windows that were larger than the screen resolution were resized, it was particularly annoying. There were also many functions that were no longer available in exclusive mode.

I don't recall exclusive mode having that window resize problem.

I do know that exclusive mode had it's limitations like not been able to show other windows e.g. messages, highscore list, or game information also debuging in exclusive mode was not possible, but in my opinion the all those limitations were small amount to pay for proper full screen mode.
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#16 makerofthegames

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 04:12 PM

Stretching low-resolution games to my 1440x900 resolution looks horrible and it's annoying. So please don't do it. You could make it an option, but don't ever force it.

..Yeah, we're not talking about that, or atleast the first post wasn't. Full screen doesn't count as resolution change. :whistle:
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#17 Pie Person!

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 05:56 PM

Indeed GearGOD. It annoys me when I play Game Maker content which changes my screen resolution or gamma. But you can find that most PC games do that; except these games will still restore your resolution if the application unexpectedly stops. That is why I recommend that you don't mess with resolution or gamma in Game Maker.
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#18 Potnop

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 06:32 PM

It's not so bad to start full screen mode though. The game scales itself up but doesn't change resolution. It even maintains the proper aspect ratio if the resolution is widescreen and your game is using 4:3.

It's just a bit annoying for instant play I guess and they advise against it, but if you don't plan on using instantplay starting in full screen mode should be no problem.
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#19 CompanionCube

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 01:02 AM

Hmm, I have to agree here. The amount of times a crappy WIP has crashed and left me with an unusable resolution... there is no reason why we should be forced to take on an unsuitable resolution.
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#20 Wombat

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 01:21 AM

That's why the rules in Creations (I don't know about WIP) say to state if your game changes the screen resolution.
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#21 Chopper123

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 02:08 AM

I agree that it is very annoying when games change ur resolution without warning, but its not really the end of the world.
All you have to do is just right click ur desktop, and click properties, than go to settings, and reset it...
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#22 Rusky

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 02:23 AM

It also moves all your windows around when it changes the window resolution.
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#23 Overman

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 02:39 AM

Bah. If game does not force a change in screen res then there is no point in playing it.

#24 Jenner

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 02:58 AM

I believe (hope) that they are going to delete the "fullscreen mode" and "change resolution" choices from the settings menu in GM8. As far as I remember, yoyo have already said that it is recommened not to check those if your game is submitted to one of their competitions. I believe that removing those checkboxes would make less games set with those settings.
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#25 BBGaming

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 04:14 AM

I believe (hope) that they are going to delete the "fullscreen mode" and "change resolution" choices from the settings menu in GM8. <snip> I believe that removing those checkboxes would make less games set with those settings.

No. The change resolution options perhaps, but a fullscreen mode can be vital to a game's play. If they want to change them to work nicer, fine (even though fullscreen really doesn't have any problems, besides looking bad on some monitors), but the fullscreen option should stay. It's the screen resolution changing that messes with the computers.

Edited by B&B_Gaming, 29 March 2009 - 04:14 AM.

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#26 GameGeisha

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 04:20 PM

I believe (hope) that they are going to delete the "fullscreen mode" and "change resolution" choices from the settings menu in GM8.

There are still GML functions for those. Besides, fullscreen mode is perfectly fine (except for a little bit of pixellation) if you keep the aspect ratio (i.e. do not use full scale) and do not change the resolution.

If you force a high resolution display into low resolution, game maker will resize and reposition all non-fullscreen windows to fit into the lower resolution. This is intrusive and annoying.

This is highly commonplace in GM games and I do not welcome it. Most GM games that resize the resolution do so to 640x480. According to OneStat.com, 54.02% uses 1024x768 and 24.66% use 800x600. That leaves 21.32% who may be using 640x480. Exclude those who use widescreen resolutions from that, and you'd be left with almost nothing (i.e. <5%). Choosing to change resolution to 640x480 will annoy practically every potential player.
In addition to resized windows, it also causes icons on the desktop to shift after playing. For those using screens of a different aspect ratio, game graphics become non-uniformly stretched and unsightly during play.

If you force a low resolution display into a higher resolution, there's a good chance the user will just see a black screen.

Much less of a problem than the former, given the current market share of screen resolutions. Despite the very small number of players that will be affected this way, it's still a potential problem.

Further, if a GM game crashes after making changes to the display resolution, these changes will persist!

A GM game doesn't look much better to a player when it crashes in windowed mode than in fullscreen mode. But still changed resolutions that need to be changed back are annoying.

GameGeisha
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#27 Jenner

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 06:11 PM

I believe (hope) that they are going to delete the "fullscreen mode" and "change resolution" choices from the settings menu in GM8. <snip> I believe that removing those checkboxes would make less games set with those settings.

No. The change resolution options perhaps, but a fullscreen mode can be vital to a game's play. If they want to change them to work nicer, fine (even though fullscreen really doesn't have any problems, besides looking bad on some monitors), but the fullscreen option should stay. It's the screen resolution changing that messes with the computers.

I said that they should remove the checkboxes from the settings menu. That does not mean that they should remove the functions. It is just a way to make less people start the game in fullscreen and/or with a resolution change. We could still make both settings an option in the game, useing the functions. My point is that the checkboxes encourage people to make their games have startup settings that neither yoyo or yoyo's users want.

I believe (hope) that they are going to delete the "fullscreen mode" and "change resolution" choices from the settings menu in GM8.

There are still GML functions for those. Besides, fullscreen mode is perfectly fine (except for a little bit of pixellation) if you keep the aspect ratio (i.e. do not use full scale) and do not change the resolution.

My point exactly. But eventhough the fullscreen has no problems, (except for netbook users it seems: http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=425253) yoyo still don't want the games to startout in fullscreen. (From the competition rules: "The game should not change the screen resolution and should run in a window (rather than full screen)."http://www.yoyogames...mp_02_rules.doc).

Edited by Jenner, 29 March 2009 - 06:12 PM.

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#28 Ablach Blackrat

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 06:16 PM

Regardless of how my computer handles resolution change that one thing that really bothers me to the point that I stopped playing a game is having control of my computer taken away from me. That should be the first and foremost thought in your mind when making your game; do not take take control away. In other words...

  • Allow the player to make changes to their computer's setting, preferably through menu choices. It's their computer after all.
  • No unskippable cut scenes. Ever. Cut scenes are fine but make sure there's an obvious way to bypass them.
  • Never let 'Escape' simply end the game; always go back to the menu and quit from there. The player may have wanted to change something and try again.
  • Allow multiple key patterns or allow the player to reassign keys. "Arrow keys-Shift-Space-M" might work for you, but not for everyone else.

You are making the game for other people to play. There's no point in making it so the player can't play it as comfortably as possible.
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#29 Xeodisc Games

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 09:09 PM

I do not believe that they will get rid of fullscreen and resolution functionality simply because a few people use this feature incorrectly.

I would also like to see 1900x1200 supported at least in code. Displays are headed there it seems, and most of the older games I play (2005 and before) only support up to 1600x1200, which makes the display stretched.

As for creating an options panel, for any game that is more than a simple windowed arcade game, there should be options for resolution, fullscreen etc.
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#30 Erik Leppen

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 09:20 PM

I hate resolution changing without a warning or an option.

Pretty much every retail game does it.

The standard screen resolutions on Game Maker make Widescreen monitors look vulgur.

I didn't even notice the stretched graphics on the wide screen of a friend of mine when we played a few of my - fullscreen 640x480 resolution-changing - games over there...

If there's listed "Changes resolution: yes" in some interesting game, I'm least likely to ever download it. When there's not said that, and it still changes the resolution, I'm least likely to ever play that game (again so to say).

I'm the other way around. If a game is good, I want to play it full screen with an appropriate resolution. If a game has 640 x 480 graphics and is in a window, it's a pretty tiny window in the middle of my screen, with my desktop background distracting me, preventing me from ever getting immersed in the game. If it is fullscreen but doesn't change resolution, the graphics are stretched with makes the game so much uglier that I often refuse to play like that. If the graphics are designed for 640 x 480, then use 640 x 480 when using fullscreen. That's the way to show your game's graphics as crisp and clear as possible to the player.

There's nothing wrong with a little warning, but if you use fullscreen, use the correct resolution for your game, or adapt your game's graphics to the user's Windows resolution. Whatever you do, don't scale your graphics, it looks horrible and you know it.

It also moves all your windows around when it changes the window resolution.

You can't blame the games for that. The solution is that YYG fixes that issue with Game Maker. Besides, if your game is really immersive, I could care less about a few resized windows :) (I'd close most of them anyway if I am going to play a game that I know will keep me occupied for some time).

I believe (hope) that they are going to delete the "fullscreen mode" and "change resolution" choices from the settings menu in GM8. <snip> I believe that removing those checkboxes would make less games set with those settings.

No. The change resolution options perhaps, but a fullscreen mode can be vital to a game's play. If they want to change them to work nicer, fine (even though fullscreen really doesn't have any problems, besides looking bad on some monitors), but the fullscreen option should stay. It's the screen resolution changing that messes with the computers.

The resolution change option shouldn't be removed if YYG wants us to make games that look professional. If GM8 doesn't have a resolution change option, I won't use GM8; I want my games to be playable with the resolution of my choice.
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