What's with all these fullscreen games?

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Post: #31
The sound / music issue raises another question I've been meaning to ask.

How much notice of game music do players take these days?

With the computer acting as a music system via iTunes do you want to listen to your own choice of music or the game music?

Personally I feel that sometimes the game music repeats too much - well definitly compared to my collection of CDs that are now living in iTunes Grin
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Post: #32
Quote:Originally posted by Zwilnik
Fullscreen only all the way.
...
If the game is in a window with other apps going on around it then it's difficult to leave the real world behind and get into the game world, so don't give the gamer a choice to play your game in a bad environment.


i disagree. it seems presumptuous to make the gamer play the game fullscreen because you disapprove of their desire to run it windowed. again i'll invoke Warcraft 3; the game itself is so immersive that i always prefer to play it fullscreen - my choice - but every time i need to, say, pause the game and check my mail, without quitting the whole game, i have the ability to click over to windowed, check my mail, and come back into fullscreen. if you want people to be immersed, make an immersive game that people will want to play full-screen.
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Post: #33
Quote:Originally posted by PuppyHelmet
If the sound and visuals are integral to the game experience...


I would argue that sound and visuals are always an integral part of the game environment, just like gameplay and originality. Would you prefer a scrabble game with really bad graphics and sound but played in a window, or a scrabble game with great OpenGL rendered graphics and a killer musical score being played fullscreen?

I think we're all pretty much in agreement that games which go fullscreen only, yet are unfriendly to the user (ie don't support quickly hiding/quitting/tabbing) come off as being under-polished and not user-friendly, but what concerns me is that gamers these days seem to expect all games (including shareware) to be as polished as WarCraft III (something which cost millions of dollars and many people to make), even though the shareware titles cost well under half of what the commercial titles cost.

Many people here have bluntly stated that they will not even play a game which goes fullscreen, yet the way I see it is that any shareware game is an awesome accomplishment of the developer's dedication to independent game development. Why neglect them since they didn't have a $5 million dollar budget? I'm not saying we should all go and throw our money at the small developer, but we should at least play their games with an open mind.

Cheers,
Rocco
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Post: #34
i agree. i think an individual or a small group's labor of love to put out any finished game is admirable.

but is it very difficult to add a windowed option to the average shareware game? (not rhetorical, i actually do not know). the negative perception of not having such a feature exists, as we have seen here... is it not worth the time and energy it would take to add such a feature?

also, it goes the other way (something i don't think we've touched on yet). for example, i sometimes wish i could play MAFFia fullscreen.
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Post: #35
Quote:Originally posted by erazorhead
but is it very difficult to add a windowed option to the average shareware game? (not rhetorical, i actually do not know). the negative perception of not having such a feature exists, as we have seen here... is it not worth the time and energy it would take to add such a feature?


The difficulty is very case dependant. For a game targetting a single platform, then no, not really. For a game targetting multiple platforms (in my case, 3 different platforms), then you have 3x the amount of development, plus 3x the amount of play-testing. In the end, it could add a whole 2 months to the total development time of the game.

[edit] and as mentioned before, the type of game also matters. In my case, my game runs without scrolling at 1024x768, a window size which is perhaps a bit too big for the average user. [/edit]

On the other hand, I was unaware of the strong feelings harbored towards anti-windowed games until this debate started. Hence, I think it more a matter of "Well, commercial title X doesn't need to do it, why do we?" mentality than not. Bottom line, for everyone here who "downloads a game and puts it straight in the trash" when something doesn't meet your fancy, how about filling a bug report? How many times to I read on VersionTracker "It didn't launch so it goes straight to the trash!", and yet I bet that person never bothered to let the developer know about it.

There are two ways to let your preferences be know, with your wallet and with your voice. However, if you don't use your voice, the problem will probably not get fixed and worse, any future games will have the same problem since the developer is going merrily on his way thinking all is well.

Cheers,
Rocco
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Feanor
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Post: #36
Quote:Originally posted by Zwilnik
If the game is in a window with other apps going on around it then it's difficult to leave the real world behind and get into the game world, so don't give the gamer a choice to play your game in a bad environment.

Another less important aspect is look and feel. If you make your game run in a window, the look of your game is defined by the window and OS around it, not the graphical style you've done for your game.

That is a subjective experiecne. I strongly urge you to leave it to your users to decide for themselves if and when they want or need to be more or less "immersed" by having full screen as an option.

Now, there is the issue with some intense 3D games of needing minimum texture storage area. In Jaguar with Quartz Extreme, windows use texture memory. Better to have them all pushed off the card when the game starts up, instead of having them moving back and forth over the bus.

Still, that should be up to the player. Give them a note about memory demands &c. somewhere, either in the support docs or in a one-time warning dialogue.
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Post: #37
Quote:Originally posted by Feanor

Still, that should be up to the player. Give them a note about memory demands &c. somewhere, either in the support docs or in a one-time warning dialogue.


But why should my game suffer for the few people who don't want to play it the way it was designed ?

Yes, for games like Scrabble, fullscreen isn't required, but I don't write games like Scrabble. I write Arcade/Console type games. If a player isn't concentrating fully on my game, I've already lost Smile

There's also the issue of development time. For part time developers like us, this is a critical issue. Do we spend time making the game play nice with all of the possible window control events (a major pain) and resizing, or do we finish the gameplay and graphics ? I know which one I always choose Wink
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Post: #38
well if it's a one-or-the-other decision between the two, i of course agree that you should get the game to its best possible state as opposed to adding a fullscreen/windowed option.

however i still stand for having both - like i said, in many games this feature is a deal maker/breaker. i suppose its importance depends on the type of game, as you said; but i can't think of a game where i wouldn't even want the option
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Post: #39
Quote:Originally posted by Zwilnik
Fullscreen only all the way. Apart from the technical issues of speed etc. one of the big things a game is trying to do is to draw your senses into itself and make you focus on the game. If it does this, you'll be more 'into' the game and it's easier to create a better game. If the game is in a window with other apps going on around it then it's difficult to leave the real world behind and get into the game world, so don't give the gamer a choice to play your game in a bad environment.

Another less important aspect is look and feel. If you make your game run in a window, the look of your game is defined by the window and OS around it, not the graphical style you've done for your game.


Amen Brother!

Though I don't completely agree that every game should be fullscreen. I think that there is a very valid point to having games be fullscreen, and not just because of mouse issues... sometimes the feel of the game requires a more immersive setting. Though many will disagree with this, I felt I should chime in with my support for fullscreen.
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Post: #40
I don't think I stated my view on the matter clearly earlier on in the discussion so excuse me for trying again Blush

My puzzle games, designed as pick up and play distractions, go for the windowed option as default. However I use a fixed size window so I dont have to worry with the problems of resizing and getting a bad write up from someone because the game is not playable when the window is 10 pixels by 10 pixels Rasp

The only Aqua feel I have in my game is the window's title bar with all the 'what the user expects' features for hiding the window away etc. The rest of the interface is contained in my window so all my own graphics.

If I was using OpenGL instead of bitmaps then I would make the game window resizeable within set limits.

Once I have the game 99% finished then I will add the option of fullscreen, but due to the fixed graphic sizes I'm not sure how to get around the terrible side effect of moving the desktop all over the place when resizing Sad

Now if I was writing an arcade game then I would go for fullscreen as default but still have a window option.

Each game type has its own best method of display, but giving the user the option to choose is the best method. If someone wants to sit and play my puzzle game fullscreen for 14 hours then I'm more than happy - unless they sue me for some silly reason, as happens in a certain country these days, like forgetting to go to the toilet Rasp

And on the subject of OS X only. Sorry to say that it was OS X that attracted me to the Mac platform and the easy of development within the Cocoa environment. Never developed OS 9 so never likely to release for that platform.

Right must go to work now and stop waffling away.
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Luminary
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Post: #41
Quote:Originally posted by BeyondCloister
I'm not sure how to get around the terrible side effect of moving the desktop all over the place when resizing Sad

If you go fullscreen properly, this is not a problem.

Code:
desktopMode = CGDisplayCurrentMode(...);
CGCaptureAllDisplays();
CGDisplayChangeToMode(...);

//play to your heart's content

CGDisplayChangeToMode(..., desktopMode);
CGReleaseAllDisplays();
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Post: #42
Quote:Originally posted by Zwilnik
There's also the issue of development time. For part time developers like us, this is a critical issue. Do we spend time making the game play nice with all of the possible window control events (a major pain) and resizing, or do we finish the gameplay and graphics ? I know which one I always choose Wink

Well, it's not like you can't write that code once and reuse it in every project. I didn't find it too difficult to write the necessary window handling code using Carbon Events (I even have a window constrained to the correct proportions!). I think it's worth the effort.

I sympathise with what you're saying, though. Lack of time and space in my brain is the main reason I've never got around to adding HID Manager support to anything.

Neil Carter
Nether - Mac games and comic art
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Post: #43
I agree with Zwilnik and KittyMac. Many seem to expect the same level of quality from a shareware developed by one person as a full commercial title with 50 or so people and millions of dollars behind it. Many of these same peope have yet to complete a game themselves. Of course we try to make a well polished and quality product but the difference in the amount of resources and money do make a difference no matter if you like it or not.

As an independent developer you have to leave out a lot of things because there's simply not enough time to do everything that the big game house does in 2 or 3 years with their millions of dollars budget. Making it run perfect in windowed mode is not one of the priorities.

Quote:Originally posted by KittyMac
Bottom line, for everyone here who "downloads a game and puts it straight in the trash" when something doesn't meet your fancy, how about filling a bug report? How many times to I read on VersionTracker "It didn't launch so it goes straight to the trash!", and yet I bet that person never bothered to let the developer know about it.


So true. It's annoying when they take the time to write down their complaints on VT but don't bother to read the instructions where it's clearly spelled out how to do some specific thing.

True, a game like chess or a card game can very well run in windowed mode but most games benefit from running in full screen mode.

If you don't like that, well then a lot of games aren't for you. Time to start making your own game and you can make it the way you want.

KenD

CodeBlender Software - http://www.codeblender.com
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Sage
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Joined: 2002.10
Post: #44
opinion:

If you can, allow both fullscreen and windowed mode.
If you allow windowed mode, and it makes sense for your game, allow the window to be resizable.
If you allow fullscreen, BE SURE to properly capture and release the screen.


fact:

fullscreen gives better GL performance, because hardware page flipping is available, and you don't have to fight the window manager for VBL sync.
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Post: #45
OneSadCookie,

The sample code you posted for switching fullscreen and back seems to be Carbon based.

How do I do this from Cocoa?

Sorry for asking but no experience at all of Carbon as Cocoa and Objective-C is the only development I've done on Mac since switching from Windows.
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