Widescreen for FPS shooters
Posted 13 October 2004 - 03:53 AM
Posted 13 October 2004 - 02:25 PM
You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about do you ? You keep on saying the same thing and different things without even understanding what you are saying. Please listen once again:
The aspect ratio is taken from the screen width divided by the height (assume fullscreen) - so if you ran your game at 640x480 then you would have an spect ratio of 1.3333333333. What this does is when a point in 3d space is converted to screen space it will be equally displayed in the y direction on your screen. An examply in simple plain math terms, would be stretching a pixel. If you have a pixel on your screen in the bottom right corner and stretched it up till it hits the top of your screen you will have 480 pixels total (assuming again 640x480), if you at the same time stretch it to the left all the way, you end up falling short. This is where aspect ratio fills the gap. It essentially compensated for the difference in physical screen units.
Now you setup your 3d viewport or set up a fullscreen app (640x480), you set the aspect ratio to 4:3 and then the FOV to XXX. You will notice that the wider the FOV the more skewed your objects on the screen become, they look stretched. One way to fix this is to have a wider viewport and change the aspect ratio, in order to use the right FOV. Haven't you ever noticed old games (1997/98/99/00) that looked really stretched compared to games today, this is because they used a higher FOV compared to what is generally used today. You will get a fish eye view, things close to your sides seemed very strecthed. To be able to use a higher FOV that is playable, I suggested changing the aspect ratio to suit the higher FOV. REMEMBER the aspect ratio is Width/Height. So if you are fullscreen and you change the aspect ratio, it will ABSOLUTELY distort your image on the screen (on a Monitor anyway, widescreen TV's are different). Anyone that owns a widescreen TV and plays Xbox games that don't support widescreen will vouch for the fact that the people are stretched (using whole TV), this is because the aspect ratio and viewport have not been changed to fit widescreen TV's.
Anyway I'm getting bored explaining this simple mined concept to you. Your stamements above are totally misleading and pls. have an open mind when it comes to game development, how could you possible say what you said above without even trying it ? If your comments are from experience or a technical stand point I could understant and always enjoy getting feedback, but they are not, so just drop it pls. :sleeping:
Posted 13 October 2004 - 02:52 PM
What other things "do you see"?
Posted 13 October 2004 - 04:44 PM
If you look at the frustrum from above and include the space behind the screen to the focal point, then you have a triangle with a line across it representing where the screen is. If you stretch this line to widen the screen, in order to maintain everything else you must widen the angle. However, The only way to increase the fov without streatching this line is to move the focal point closer to the screen. This means your player has to sit closer to the screen for it to look normal. What you choose your fov to be depends entirely on how far away your viewer is from their monitor. Ideally this would be user selectable so they can adjust it depending on their situation (UT2k4 does this).
The method of widescreen presented by the OP then obviously requres me to sit closer to my monitor to get a natural feel. If we look at the vertical fov in the same way, we can see his widescreen from the side bisecting a thin triangle. We have already set the distance from the focus to the screen to compensate for the horizontal details. Now think about this from a raytracing view. You shoot rays which origionate from various pixels on the screen and all go directly away from the focus. If we extend the screen to the top and bottom, you do not change any of those rays. Remember we are not stretching the pixels, but adding more pixels (the ones the op would have us black out) You can see that we would then add more rays which would go up higher into the world and down lower into the world. It does not change any of the existing rays at all, because it does not change the focal distance.
The damage of fisheye streatching has already been done when you decide the width of the screen and the fov, because this sets the focal distance in a way that cannot be changed without also changing those parameters. Changing the width of the screen does not induce stretching of the screen.
Velo asks what do I see? Simple optics and geometry that apparently you will have to finish primary school to understand.
Posted 13 October 2004 - 06:21 PM
Who said anything about covering the top and bottom of the screen ??? I said to change the viewport, not to cover the top/bottom of the screen. Why do you keep on repeating things that are absolutely false. You believe I wan't to put a black rectangle over the top/bottom and cover rendered portions!! THIS IS NOT WHAT I SAID. The viewport is what gives it the perception of a widescreen, not the actual physical monitor. The viewport in a fullscreen app is by default the whole screen, i'm saying change the dimensions of the viewport to be more like widescreen, change aspect ratio to fit new dimensions of viewport, and then up the FOV. In the end its the same damn picture, i'm just saying I think it'll look better with higher FOV and widescreen viewport.
Posted 13 October 2004 - 09:31 PM
Generally speaking though, in an FPS, you want to utilize as much screen space as possible. Not only to see as wide as possible, but to be able to have distant objects be as large as possible. If you choose to have the world viewport of a different aspect ratio than the screen, then you *must* cover that area up with *something* it may not be a black bar, it may be health guages and such.
In modern FPS games, though, the move is to make the interface as unintrusive as possible. We seek to make these elements as small as possible, appear only when they are relavant, and even be transparent in some cases. The choice between giving more pixels to more distant objects and increasing the fov is a design choice that must be made, and neither way is inherantly best. However, it has been shown time and again that the FPS gamer wants to utilize all possible space on his monitor to view the world no matter what fov is used.
You seem to be under the impression that widescreen lets us see better. This is usually the case when we are talking about making the monitors larger. Indeed, I would love to play my current games on a widescreen monitor, and I would be willing to bet almost any gamer would. However, whatever monitor I am using, I want the game I play to use the maximum ammount of screen for viewing the game world. Don't cover up the top and bottom of the screen with anything be it black bars, controls, guages, or whatever pretty things you would put there.
Posted 13 October 2004 - 10:56 PM
The reason why I find this interesting is the fact that I see more and more monitor manufacturers creating widescreens. It's a matter of time until a good majority of monitors will be widescreen and that's something that I think should be taken into consideration. The average development time of a game is 18+ months and in that time you could see a substantial increase in sales of widescreen monitors...
but regardless of that fact I think the topic still fits within the scope of Graphics Theory & Implementation and the path which NomadRock is leading this topic down seems to be, at this point, rather counterproductive.
I would personally like to see what this new FOV that Codemonger proposes would actually look like in an actual working example rather than hearing from NomadRock about why it would't work and all that crap. Frankly, it's getting rather irritating.
Posted 13 October 2004 - 11:12 PM
Posted 13 October 2004 - 11:40 PM
I myself am a multimedia developer who makes games, interactive presentations, websites, television commercials and the like and I'm more interested in free flowing ideas of which I thought codemonger had. But this post was ruined by your insistence on a stubborn viewpoint about FPSs' which overshadowed further, more interesting ideas on the topic originally presented by codemonger.
But then maybe it's time for me to ignore this and ask codemonger to discuss his fascinating IDEAS further... hey, maybe he will be willing to discuss it further and some really cool ideas can develop from it. Oh, I should have uppercased that last IDEAS too....
Posted 16 October 2004 - 12:30 AM
I would much rather having peripheral vision and losing a bit of screen space over having to set my fov to 120 :)
Posted 20 October 2004 - 06:06 PM
By all means, let's have games that are aware that monitors exist of different aspect ratios. All the same though, I agree with Nomad: it doesn't make much sense, on a 4:3 monitor, to increase the hfov and leave the vfov the same, thus necessitating some kind of "letterbox" scheme. If you wish to give the player a wider field of view, great, but that field of view should also be as tall as possible given the monitor.
Now on a widescreen monitor you want to increase the hfov _without_ increasing the vfov - such that the aspect ratio of the game matches the (larger than 4:3) aspect ratio of the monitor. OR, you may want to keep the hfov the same and shrink the vfov to achieve the same, though I'd prefer not to do this.
General wisdom: the game view should take up the whole monitor, or as much as possible given your needs for displays and such. There is no particular benefit to having a 16:9 view over a 4:3 view. There MAY BE a benefit to having a wider field of view, but having a wider hfov does not necessitate changing the aspect ratio.
I don't think Nomad is being counterproductive or stubborn. There are several different idea flying around in this thread - FOV, aspect ratio, monitor aspect versus viewport aspect - and it's easy to get them confused, or to write about them in a confusing way; it seems to me Codemonger and Nomad are somewhat failing to understand each other, leading unfortunately to some anger...
Posted 21 October 2004 - 12:24 AM
I seem to be with NomadRock quite often, but this time I am even more with him. He is completely right from what I understand (I started to skim the later posts :-P)
Posted 21 October 2004 - 06:45 AM
Posted 21 October 2004 - 04:40 PM
Anyway this is a game devlopment forum not a xbox forum or whatever etc.. and thats the impression I got from Nomad was that his experience was just about playing games when my question was directed at making them. Now whether that's true or not that's the impression I got. I have no problem admitting I'm wrong because these are just discussion, I'm definately not the smartest person on the block, and tossing ideas around is good.
But what I do not wan't is to religiously sell my ideas. I did not say this is how games are going to be so all the xbox kiddies start complaining and crying about the latest greatest fad. I simply wanted to ponder the idea with fellow game developers.
Back in the 80's and early/mid 90's software products were developed not based off of fads and people were not followers like they are today. We see it now in movies where you have version XX of every single movie and version XX of every single software title. But what's interesting is the originals where the ones that started the fads. It would be nice to see some originality. In life games, genre's, will pass you by and you can choose, do you wan't to make/create something different and exciting or do you wan't to copy what everybody else is doing just because you can't think for yourself.
I can keep an open mind, sure I like fullscreen, but I also would like to test the idea of widescreen views in normal monitors. Change is difficult, and testing new waters is difficult too. So I understand where some people may come from and simply be annoyed right away by saying dumb remarks like:
Why ? did what I say really pinch a nerve of some sort. If you listen to the mindless drones of people you will get a response that dictates whats cool today. That is not what I intended this discussion to be, it wasn't a poll. So full-screen lovers, it's OK, didn't mean to piss you off, maybe I'll have this conversation privately with mature people so I don't offend your sensitive needs.
OH BTW Nomad Rock that wasn't intended directly for you, you did debate my idea in a good way later on in the thread and I respect that, also a couple of other people.
Posted 21 October 2004 - 10:45 PM
I think you mentioned earlier in the thread that your interest in this is (at least partly) motivated by the fact that films use wide aspect ratios. Actually, in film, these wide aspect ratios were invented in order to make the images compositionally more interesting. Early films were shot on square or nearly-square films, but directors grew bored of the limited compositional options of a square frame - so they began experimenting with frames of different shapes (including circular and elliptic frames, as well as different shapes of rectangles!) Eventually the motion picture industry settled down to the two standards, 16:9 (normal widescreen) and 2.35:1 (aka anamorphic widescreen, or super-widescreen). These frames offer cinematographers and directors the ability to create more artistically "interesting" compositions than a 4:3 frame would allow.
Of course, in a film all the elements of the composition - the set, lighting, camera placement and angle - are meticulously crafted to create a certain effect. In games where most of these are dynamic (certainly, the player has ultimate control of the camera), it's extremely difficult for a game-maker to set up anything like a cinematic composition - except in scripted cutscenes. (And in fact, there are some games, like Max Payne and Homeworld, that actually display their cutscenes in a widescreen format, while the game itself is in full-frame.)
However, I'm not arguing that widescreen is useless in games because you can't create cinematic compositions. You may be able to find another "artistic" use for it. Or maybe you will be the first person to figure out how a game can have cinematic compositions while still allowing the player to have freedom of movement =)
Posted 22 October 2004 - 12:10 AM
What Reedbeta said is a good remark, but this is not the only reason. It helps to fill the viewer's entire field of vision when you want to immerse them, and since a human's field of vision is wider than it is tall, having a wide screen helps.
Lets change the discussion around slightly. What in your opinion, Codemonger, would be the advantage of having a 16:9 aspect ratio on a 4:3 monitor? Please try to be as concrete as possible.
Posted 22 October 2004 - 04:24 AM
We can drop the widescreen thing because this example uses a 4:2 aspect ratio or 2.0 like the example says in the MSDN docs. So widescreen does not need to be discussed anymore as I was using it to describe the view I'm trying to achieve, and didn't mean it as in I wan't to use widescreen TV's.
Anyway I think, because I haven't tried it yet, that this would give a very cool view for an in depth First Person game, something more than just rocket launchers. Something where you'll wan't a much greater X-direction FOV, to give a more natural feel. I think the loosing of screen space has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. Instead of blended overlays, your graphic artist could compensate and whip up some mint looking interfaces/huds and whatever you can think of to immerse the player deeper. The viewport can be sized in the Y direction if needed with the aspect ratio to follow also.
In the example I use Halo's FOV 70 degrees Y direction as a standard to go by. You notice that the FOV of my example is much greater in the X Direction, giving much greater peripheral vision.
Posted 22 October 2004 - 06:22 AM
Now If you had a game that really needed a large onscreen user interface, then you want to put these things along the top or the bottom, exploiting the fact that most of the action is left to right rather than very high or low. This would be a good reason, but this would only be for specific games, though it is the reason that in most game you will see interface elements at the bottom or top.
The reason I question you is it seems you want to find a problem to fit your solution. If you actually have a real problem, then by all means use this as a solution if it works. I really dont see a problem other than the need for a huge user interface that would be fixed by this solution though. In general the current concensus is to find a way to reduce the user interface so you dont have to resort to methods like this.
You say you havn't tried it. Perhaps you should. Whip up a demo and then let us switch between the two viewport sizes at the push of the button. If you really do like it better, then there isn't anything I can say to convince you, but I dont know of many people who would go for this without a good reason.
If you are not a programmer, let me know and I will whip up a demo. You will have to give me a bit of time though, since my dev box is down (hard drive crash) and I am currently typing from my server. Hopefully I will have enough time this weekend to get it fixed.
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