Full Screen or Not Full Screen...

Roosterhouse
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Post: #1
I'm in the process of fleshing out some ideas for the upcoming uDG. I've got my mind set on one idea in particular, but I'm curious about everyones opinion on the fullscreen vs windowed issue.

The game I have in mind is sort of a simulation (kind of), and what it simulates has quite a few elements to it. Not only that, but all of these elements need to be displayed at the same time.

I think that in most cases people should have a choice in whether or not a game takes over their display, but in this instance, I'm not sure a windowed mode would work. The window would have to be quite large (ie. the size of a 1024 x 786 screen) to display all of the information clearly.

So is it acceptable to work in full-screen mode only? Or would this really urk a lot of players?

- Chris
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Post: #2
I personally get urked when not allowed to switch out of a game to talk to people on aim about how badly a game does or does not suck
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Roosterhouse
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Post: #3
Would a quick "pause and Minimize" key solve that? For that matter, can a full screen game be minimized? My programming skills are minimal at best Blush
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Post: #4
Order of preference for me (best to worst):
  • Starts in windowed, option to switch to fullscreen (without restarting the program)
  • Starts in windowed, option to switch to fullscreen (requires restart)
  • Starts in fullscreen, option to switch to windowed
  • Windowed only
  • Fullscreen only, doesn't change screen resolution (unless you explicitly tell it to)
  • Fullscreen only, changes screen resolution automatically but cleanly
  • Fullscreen only, changes screen resolution improperly and messes up icon positions on the desktop (unacceptable)

When a game goes into fullscreen mode without me explicitly telling it to, it feels like it's taking over my computer. Fullscreen mode can certainly be a good thing, but I think the user should always have control over it.

Alex Diener
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Post: #5
Roosterhouse Wrote:Would a quick "pause and Minimize" key solve that? For that matter, can a full screen game be minimized? My programming skills are minimal at best Blush
that would be fine in my opinion... as long as I have the ability to not quit the game just to use another program
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Post: #6
It clearly depends on the game. If your game needs a big window anyway, then it might be better to go fullscreen. Obviously options are neat, but when you have to choose, you should factor into the equation that player might want to pause your game and do other stuff on their computer.
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Luminary
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Post: #7
In my opinion, unless you need unbounded mouse movement (such as in an FPS), you should always allow windowed mode. It doesn't bug me whether the game prefers windowed mode or full-screen (as long as full-screen doesn't mess up my windows and icons Wink).

Whether or not you have a windowed mode, there should still be a way to switch out of a full-screen game.
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Post: #8
Windows users, I guess, are used to being abused, but Mac users, in particular are very sensitive to losing control. If you switch them to fullscreen without asking and then don't have a quick out like an on screen button or command-Q you will make the user very angry and they probably won't look at your game again. LOL I'm not even really kidding.

*Trivia: Anyone know the shortcut key combination to instantly quit out of (many) apps in Windows? Hmm? I'd say 50-60% of mac users know that command-Q quits instantly, but about 5% know that there is a similar shortcut on windows...

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." - Wizard of Oz
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Post: #9
It's that little button on the front of the computer that you use to turn the computer on....

And if you're talking Alt-F4, then I have to ask the question - WHY? Why alt-f4 and not something sensible like control-Q?!?!?

Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath the clear blue sky?
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Post: #10
I am talking Alt-F4... and no one uses it because it doesn't always work. Sigh. Honestly though, I know many hardcore Windows users who don't even know they can quit instantly that way... and after I showed one, he didn't trust it. Rolleyes I rely on it to keep me from going mad while using Windows. At least control-x closes windows.

Anyway, the point is that the mac audience is demonstratably more sensitive to these things... and Windows users will probably appreciate a nicely behaving app even if they don't consciously realize why it was a nicer experience.

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." - Wizard of Oz
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Post: #11
aaronsullivan Wrote:because it doesn't always work.
Oh, I thought that was just me... Heh, it also sometimes works too well and quits without saving...

Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath the clear blue sky?
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Post: #12
You know the beginning posts in this thread should almost be made into a sticky or an article or something. It's a fundamental issue to mac games.

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." - Wizard of Oz
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Post: #13
On the subject of Command-Q getting you out of the game, this is actually one of my pet hates about Mac games. Sure, you want to be able to get out of full screen mode quickly so you can check your email, but many games (yes, I'm looking at you, UT2004!) interpret Command-Q as "throw away the game in progress and quit immediately". Needless to say, this is stupid.

In particular, UT2004 interferes with my preferred keyboard arrangement. I want Q as my jump key and Command as my action key. If I get into a Raptor and try to take off at the same time, I accidentally quit the game! Of course, I can change my keys to avoid this, but I shouldn't have to. I should have the option to set the quit (or rather, "exit full screen mode") key to anything I want.

I'll stop ranting now.... Grin

Closer to being on topic, I personally don't mind games switching into full screen mode without asking provided they do it properly. Make sure that the user's display is capable of the mode you're requesting, capture the screen, and allow the user to choose their preferred frequency so they don't always have to use 60Hz.

Neil Carter
Nether - Mac games and comic art
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Roosterhouse
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Post: #14
So I've decided on (proper) fullscreen entry at game start for the first time the game is played with the option to go windowed without having to restart. An in-game option will remember the users windowed or fullscreen preference so that further launches will be as the user wants. I've got this working almost as it should.

Thanks for everyone's input.
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Post: #15
One of the main reasons we never do windowed mode is that games make use of a level of sensory deprivation to acheive their aim of drawing you into the game world. When the player has the game in a window with lots of distractions going on around them, they're not playing the game at its best. So we don't let them do that Smile

Windowed mode is fine for card games or puzzle games etc. where you're not required to be 'in world', but for any sort of arcade game, it reduces the effect.
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