Full Screen Support

Discussion in 'Support!' started by Planktum, October 29, 2013.

  1. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

    Messages:
    5,411
    Likes Received:
    6,011
    Well also that a 16:9 screen sees more than a 16:10 screen I think due to the way they handle the fixed view. I think for fixed view games it's pretty common that 16:9 monitors get the favourable treatment.
  2. bgolus

    bgolus Uber Alumni

    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    2,298
    The old 640x480 vs 1920x1200 showing "more" because of resolution increases is an outmoded concept. TA, Starcraft, etc. are all at their heart fixed pixel size 2d games. These games weren't built with the concept of scaling or real 3d perspective in mind, if you have more pixels you can get more of the world in view.

    Once you go to a real 3d perspective this becomes more difficult. You can increase the FOV but this can only go so far before distortion becomes an issue. For PA it's even worse because it's irrelevant if you could have a 180 degree view as the planet can only be so big in view since it curves away from you.

    Really the answer to what to do with our "4k future" is the same answer we've been doing for the last decade: the game gets sharper so you can see smaller details further away. Unlike Starcraft 2 (or many other RTS games) we don't have a fixed camera distance / view area so if you want to see more of the battlefield don't zoom in all of the way.

    Other things on the topic of FOV, we're currently using horizontally locked FOV. That means the game's current 90 degree view is "attached" to the left and right edges of the view. If you make the game window wider without changing your view distance you see less of the battlefield. I've seen this referred to as "Vert-" widescreen as you loose vertical view area as the screen gets wider. This is how most Unreal engine based games behave though usually they implement some kind of FOV option to negate the annoyance.

    Many games have used a vertically locked FOV, which means going from old 4:3 aspect ratio resolutions (like 640x480) to today's more common 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratios (like 1920x1080 or 1920x1200) you see more. This may be something we want to think about switching to. This method is a little more friendly to wide screen resolutions. I've seen this referred to as "Hor+" widescreen. This gif of Starcraft 2 is an excellent example:
    [​IMG]

    There's also a few games that lock the FOV to the smallest screen dimension, which ends up looking like the above gif for most resolutions but also handles the rare sideways monitor user resolutions a little more gracefully. Some rare ones like WoW use an adaptive ratio similar to the smallest dimension approach except 4:3 sees more in the corners than 16:9 or 5:4 so 16:9 gets both more horizontal and less vertical and 5:4 gets less horizontal and more vertical. It's hard to explain properly and my google-fu for finding an old example image I can remember is failing.

    A number of really old games use a fixed aspect ratio of 4:3 because they were made when nothing but 4:3 displays really existed, and the super rare 5:4 would barely notice it being a little off.


    TLDR: Resolution increases alone giving larger view area not happening because it's totally wrong for 3d. May switch to wider screen aspect ratios giving wider view. FOV options would be a nice to add.
    Culverin, maxpowerz, SXX and 4 others like this.
  3. Terrasque

    Terrasque Member

    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    29
    Good news, sir/madam/alpha centauri furry creature! This is already in the game! And you can change it WHILE PLAYING! It's absolutely fantastic! How do you do this marvellous feat, do you ask? If you look at your pointing device, you should be able to spot a small circular shaped device, looking like part of a wheel.

    If you touch this, and push it in one direction, things get bigger! Just as if you had a smaller resolution! And, this is really cool, if you push it the other way, things get SMALLER, and you can see MORE, JUST as if you had bigger resolution!

    And the best thing is, it's already there! You can use it right now!

    :D
  4. Culverin

    Culverin Post Master General

    Messages:
    1,069
    Likes Received:
    582
    @Quitch and @terrasque I don't think you guys understand the point I have been trying to make
    You keep bringing up zoom control, but that only changes your camera draw distance.
    You are correct that changing the camera draw distance (by zooming out) does change the area of content shown on the screen, you don't seem to understand what I am asking for.
    I want the best case scenario.
    I am asking for more content without having to zoom out.

    The problem with zooming out is that you loose detail. This is BAD.
    - The lose detail of the units,
    - The detail of the laser fire
    - The detail of the explosions
    - The detail of the terrain


    I want to see Every-Last-Single-Polygon the art team slaved to create for our viewing pleasure.

    Consider StarCraft, this is limited by forcing the player at a specific draw area (for game balance).
    The game literally looks just as bad as the day it launched.

    Now consider Total Annihilation, it scales (infinitely?) upwards! It only limited by your hardware. You can see much more today in 2013 than when the game launched 16 years ago in 1997.

    • In 1997.
      You see 307,200 pixels (on a 14" 640x480 monitor)

    • In 2013
      You see 4,096,000 pixels on (on a 30" 2560x1600 monitor)
    That's 13.3x the information!



    Your continued insistence on the solution that "zoom-out-to see-more-information" gets you this:
    [​IMG]
    This is the exact definition of "icon wars".
    This is why so many people avoid SupCom!
    You hear soooooo many people complain about this about SupCom.
    People don't play this way because it's the best way to enjoy the game.
    People play this way because it's the best tactical/strategic option available.

    People want to "see-everything". This is what makes them feel powerful. They can observe and control their entire army. They will do it regardless of how pretty the game looks. This is why you see so many people on the forum ask for a "mininap", they want to "see everything".
    That's the beauty of SupCom's strategic view.
    SupCom "unlocked" the potential of the minimap and integrated it into the main view.
    We no longer needed tiny low detail maps (like in StarCraft 2), we can see the entire battlefield on a massive monitor.


    However, wouldn't it be better if it looks pretty while they can "see-everything"?
    Don't you think the art team did a phenomenal job with the buildings, terrain, units and commander?


    I am not only asking for this,
    but I want to see x3, x12, xwhatever-the-hell-technology-scales-up-to-be-in-the-future:

    x1
    [​IMG]

    @ x3
    x3.jpg


    @ x5
    x5.jpg


    @ x12
    x12.jpg



    The ideal is camera zoom-level-distance-#1, totally zoomed in.
    This is as amazing as the game looks, we get to see exactly what the art team envisions for each unit, but now I can see that for each and every single unit, over the entire battlefield.
    Not just when I zoom in all the way.

    The players of PA will naturally gravitate towards seeing more information (Icon Wars).
    But isn't the best case scenario seeing everything, but highly detailed? The "way-the-art-team-intended"?








    @bgolus , thank you so much for your post!!!
    I think I understand now!

    PA literally cannot see more because it us using a point-camera perspective with a fixed angle.
    The level of information is literally hand-cuffed to the camera draw distance!!!!

    I guess I have been speaking from my experience.
    - as a RTS player.
    - as a 3D modeler.
    I don't work in perspective view, I work in a orthographic view!

    I think the StarCraft 2 example gif you just posted illustrates my point very well.
    As the tech increases (beyond the 4:3) view, we get to see more.
    But the limit of that is entirely in the hands of the game design team.
    That's why your example shows that 16:9 sees more than 16:10.



    At the risk of sounding like a total arrogant *****....
    This bring me to the real question then.

    Is Fixed-point-camera vs orthographic view
    1. An engineering design choice
    or
    2. Art decision choice?


    @bgolus thank you so much for your response!
  5. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

    Messages:
    5,411
    Likes Received:
    6,011
    What? No. No. No. No. No. That's not how it works. In a game without a fixed camera the resolution is irrelevant to the amount of content displayed on the screen. Only the aspect ratio matters.

    Repeat a hundred times.

    TA, SC2 and PA have completely different ways of drawing the screen and cannot be compared.
  6. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

    Messages:
    5,411
    Likes Received:
    6,011
    Because this conversation is going to drive me mad if I have to go through it again, here is PA in two 16:10 resolutions, 1920x1200 and 1280x800. I used both the opening shot of the planet and maximum zoom on the commander. You will see that resolution makes no difference to what you can see. Zero difference. None. Nada.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  7. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

    Messages:
    5,411
    Likes Received:
    6,011
    This is unrelated to resolution.
    Terrasque likes this.
  8. Terrasque

    Terrasque Member

    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    29
    You're talking about when details stop rendering and when icons start popping up. Those are completely unrelated to resolution, and is only done for performance and visibility reasons. That depends a lot on graphics settings and hardware.

    And ... orthographic view? In a 3d game? Do you really mean that all objects should render the same size no matter how far they are from the camera? The reason it's perspective view is because it's a 3d game, and depth matters.

    Edit : difference
  9. Culverin

    Culverin Post Master General

    Messages:
    1,069
    Likes Received:
    582
    @terrasque , yes. I am referring to the rendering at each specific camera-zoom-level.
    It seems you are correct, it is currently not controlled by resolution, it is nevertheless still related to it.
    As you say, it is just "graphics settings and hardware", if this game is as revolutionary as we all hope it to be, it's not just a matter of hardware we have now, but hardware we will have in 5-10 years and beyond.



    @Quitch.
    Repeating yourself saying "No. No. No. No. No." explains nothing.
    Please actually read the post instead of just repeating "no".

    However, you are correct, resolution is not relevant.
    It seems the game is currently built on a % scale, rather than resolution.
    But you are only focusing on the technicality of me using "resolution" as a technicality of my terminology.


    as @bgolus explained, it is currently locked to 90 degrees at the edges of the screen.
    So no matter what the resolution we use, we will only see the same amount of "content".
    It sounds like this stems from the fact Planetary Annihilation is using a point-camera in perspective view.



    Look at it this way.
    1. Center your screen on your commander.
    2. Zoom in all the way. We call this "View 1"
    3. Pan to the left until your commander is on the edge of the screen. We call this "View 2"
    4. Pan to the right until your commander is on the edge of the screen. We call this "View 3".

    see more.jpg
    View 1 + View 2 + View 3 + View 4 > View 1

    If you add more resolution without zooming out, you can see much, much more.
    I have just taken a single view, and panned it slightly.
    Each view/rectangle is taken at 1920x1200.

    You can clearly see the detail of the commander and much, MUCH more than just the center screen!

    Now if we take this x4 or x10, you now see every single detail of every single unit (as the hardware scales).
    We won't be stuck with just a reduced detail icon view like in SupCom!





    @Ortikon , you said this....
    109152-004-07A0C807.gif


    What's wrong with an orthographic projection?
    Isn't the the current game an orthographic projection of a 3D sphere onto your 2D monitor?
  10. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

    Messages:
    12,074
    Likes Received:
    16,221
    [​IMG]
    personally I think the orthographic projection isn't a very good choice. PA is supposed to look 3D after all. ;)

    How much you can see of the game world is COMPLETELY depending on your zoom level. The higher your resolution the more details you will be able to see at the same zoom level. So in your example to reach the wide view you just zoom out. Stuff will become smaller, but you will see more. To make it bigger again increase the size of your screen. To make it more detailed again increase the resolution of your screen.
    That has nothing to do with orthographic projections.
    Terrasque likes this.
  11. Culverin

    Culverin Post Master General

    Messages:
    1,069
    Likes Received:
    582
    I model in 3D as my day job.

    Point Cameras are pretty, we use these for presentations for clients.


    But when we are actually working, building, figuring things out and navigating around, we work in ortho...


    ortho.jpg


    ortho2.jpg



    Seems pretty functional to me...
  12. bgolus

    bgolus Uber Alumni

    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    2,298
    This isn't an or, it's an and. You said it yourself, point cameras are pretty.

    Having the option for an orthogonal camera view is an interesting idea though.

    Ironically in that example all views are orthographic. The left example is actually a 3d orthographic projection.
    cola_colin and maxpowerz like this.
  13. Ortikon

    Ortikon Active Member

    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    183
    I think we can agree that about 70% of the people in these debates are in the industry.
    I set up the rendering style, lighting, camera depth, master composite, and overal final style for shows displayed in 50 countries around the world on prime time television. I work with modeling department daily and originally got into modeling myself but i fell into a lighting niche where my model skills are helpful in a department that generally doesn't so that I can solve problems in my department without sending it back and costing money.
    A perspective camera is imperative to immersing the player.
    A lack or perspective is hard to read, generally I model in a 90 degree camera to get the most out of my screen, and use orthographic explicitly for comparing exact sizes.
    An orthographic camera would be an abysmal artistic failure. Your example has no depth, the grid in the top distance left of the camera is the same size as it is in the foreground right. For all we know, if those lines didnt pin the exact location of the planets to the grid, if none of that was there, we would not be able to tell if the planets are different distances at the same size, or different sizes at the same distance.
    I have used orthographic renders of city sections at 18000x800, comped them together so that they look the same as the perspective versions, chopped them up into individual buildings, textured them onto grids and made them into background assets or as a complete circular wrap around of the set that doesn't require lighting whilst still appearing to be lit in the environment. Orthographic is a tool, no immersion.

    Also, you said "What's wrong with an orthographic projection?
    Isn't the the current game an orthographic projection of a 3D sphere onto your 2D monitor?"
    There is still originally a 3d render. All composites are 2d orthographics of a 3d scene as well.
    Same with compositing live action. The initial perspective is preserved in the process, the final orthographic is preservation of the original. If we rendered the second pass with perspective it would distort the final render.
    Last edited: November 3, 2013
    Culverin and maxpowerz like this.
  14. maxpowerz

    maxpowerz Post Master General

    Messages:
    2,208
    Likes Received:
    885
    i watch "Slugterra" with my kids :)
  15. Ortikon

    Ortikon Active Member

    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    183
    I worked on that show. hehe
    Only a little bit, I worked with them on the early part so they could use the lighting system that was getting me some success on another show. They went their own way after awhile but I found out they referred to one of the passes as My Perfect Light pass. which made me feel a little be it good and a little bit like I get to much praise on something that was really simple and production friendly. (think deffered shading method but in a non-real time standpoint)
    maxpowerz likes this.
  16. Planktum

    Planktum Post Master General

    Messages:
    1,060
    Likes Received:
    510
    Okay well it looks like I have finally managed to force Vsync off using the Nvidia Control Panel and FRAPS is showing frame rates above 60 however I still cannot understand why I do not get screen tearing and still get stuttery panning of the battlefield. This leads me to believe the developers have implemented something to sync frames even with Vsync off. Unless you have found a way to minimise tearing or maybe it's just not that noticeable in this game?
  17. maxpowerz

    maxpowerz Post Master General

    Messages:
    2,208
    Likes Received:
    885
    most newer cards do this syncing of uneven frames by them selves quite nicely nowadays, but i would guess you get less tearing or no tearing because the amount of information that changes from frame to frame isn't that big even when you move quick zooming and panning, well not as much as say a racing game where each frame changes drastically.

    ---edited---
    also pressing ctrl-p gives you and in game FPS counter and many other stats. fraps will lower your FPS in some cases giving you lower results than the in game FPS counter.
    Last edited: November 4, 2013
  18. SXX

    SXX Post Master General

    Messages:
    6,897
    Likes Received:
    1,812
    In OpenGL vertical sync handled differently than in Direct3D. It's mean tools designed for D3D (e.g FRAPS) might not show correct numbers.
    maxpowerz likes this.
  19. Culverin

    Culverin Post Master General

    Messages:
    1,069
    Likes Received:
    582
    I see how it's just more "empty space" in your example.
    But that's when it's zoomed out.
    On your 3-screen model, zoomed in all the way to your commander, don't you get to see 3x the battlefield at any given zoom level? And all that while seeing the fully rendered units?
  20. Culverin

    Culverin Post Master General

    Messages:
    1,069
    Likes Received:
    582
    And moving onto "seeing more" with more-than-1-camera.

    It sounds like Uber decided on a design choice of perspective point cameras.
    And that totally makes sense.

    But what about having more than 1 camera, but linked together.
    camera stitch.jpg


    This is what Google does with their Streetview technology
    Similar to this...
    [​IMG]


    It would be like taking many, many high res renders and compiling them together...



    Again, this is with the aim of seeing more, but while "zoomed in".
    I'd rather be playing while seeing my army of pretty bots instead of an army of icons.

Share This Page