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Change Of Minimum Screen Resolution To 800x600


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Poll: Would you approve changing minimum supported screen resolution to 800x600 in ufo2000? (37 member(s) have cast votes)

Would you approve changing minimum supported screen resolution to 800x600 in ufo2000?

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#1 Serge

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 11:52 AM

Please post your opinions.

The reasons to switch from 640x480 to at least 800x600 are the following:
1. We can place more information on the screen (for example we can increase the size of armoury to add room for more items, increase the size of team from 15 to 20 units if we want and they all will fit screen, we will have place to add more options to the options dialog, minimap for 60x60 maps will not take that much screen space, ...)
2. Chat console font will look much better using higher screen resolution

If you see any potential problems with this change, please describe them here. But first try setting screen resolution to 800x600 in ufo2000.ini and test how it works for you.

Of course you will be able to use any higher screen resolution, 1024x768 for example is not a problem for the game :)
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#2 Kratos

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 12:08 PM

I disagree with this. I have been running 800x600 resolution alot and finally am able to change to 640x480. And believe me, it is hard to adjust to such small screens. If someone like me that has normal vision has problems with this...just think about those who can't focus their eyes well.

As goes for 20 units...I seriously think it is not needed. It will become alot longer to move your units and I already have enough people trying to rush me with a 10-15 unit squad.

Chat console looking better with higher resolution...well I think there should be two options to pick from:
1) change your 800x600 resolution if you want to have better font
2) make better font

#3 x0563511

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 01:06 PM

I disagree with this. I have been running 800x600 resolution alot and finally am able to change to 640x480. And believe me, it is hard to adjust to such small screens. If someone like me that has normal vision has problems with this...just think about those who can't focus their eyes well.

As goes for 20 units...I seriously think it is not needed. It will become alot longer to move your units and I already have enough people trying to rush me with a 10-15 unit squad.

Chat console looking better with higher resolution...well I think there should be two options to pick from:
1) change your 800x600 resolution if you want to have better font
2) make better font

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


If 800x600 or 1024x768 makes text harder to read, part of that is the font is too small (so its not too large in 640) - thats one of the things that will get fixed.

What size is your monitor? Bigger screens make larger resolutions easier on the eyes.

#4 Kratos

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 01:59 PM

I am not talking about the text. I am talking about gameplay. Its harder for me to see. Which makes me lose the feel of good playing.

#5 samsam

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 04:41 PM

I agree that we all should vote on this matter.
Nevertheless i think that the Boost of gameplay should be
on singleplayer only IF ppl vote no uprade for multiplayer.
I agree with Serge by the Way.

#6 Jezulkim

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 05:09 AM

I vote: no

for example we can increase the size of armoury to add room for more items, increase the size of team from 15 to 20 units if we want and they all will fit screen 

Scrollbars.

Chat console font will look much better using higher screen resolution

I't looks good enough on 640x480.

And everything would be too small and the whole atmosphere would be gone.

This is just my opinion and you can disagree.
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#7 Sporb

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 05:22 AM

if you change it to the larger , you could think about scaling images up so that they appear as if it was 640X480 , thus rendering the game playable as if it was just as it was last release. This upped resolution would allow for some Hi rez textures - think the same sized soldier , but you can see his nose and stuff

#8 charlieg

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 07:29 AM

if you change it to the larger , you could think about scaling images up so that they appear as if it was 640X480 , thus rendering the game playable as if it was just as it was last release. This upped resolution would allow for some Hi rez textures - think the same sized soldier , but you can see his nose and stuff

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Indeed, you could use something like the scale2x library:
http://scale2x.sourceforge.net/

#9 Serge

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 11:20 AM

for example we can increase the size of armoury to add room for more items, increase the size of team from 15 to 20 units if we want and they all will fit screen 

Scrollbars.

Scrollbars are a bad idea, they make interfase much harder to use (you don't see all the available options at once). If we can place everything on the screen (or several screens), that is IMHO a much better solution. Also scrollbars need some time to implement and make code somewhat more complicated and harder to maintain.

Chat console font will look much better using higher screen resolution

I't looks good enough on 640x480.

It does not look good for me. When making it larger (SHIFT-'+' key), currently used DejaVu font becomes much more readable. Looks like pixel size 12 is optimal, in 800x600 screen resolution is has almost the same size on screen as current 9 pixels size in 640x480, but has much better quality. And about the idea of replacing font with a better one, do you have any suggestions (it should be free and support unicode)?

And everything would be too small and the whole atmosphere would be gone.

I don't think that the whole atmosphere depends on the units size. Quire the contrary - you will see a larger part of battlescape on a single screen, that is easier to track what happens around. By the way, starcraft2 units are even smaller, but nobody complains. What are you trying to see in the unit sprites, missing some familiar big square pixels? ;)

Indeed, you could use something like the scale2x library:
http://scale2x.sourceforge.net/

Thanks, I already know about this library (and also about hq2x, 2xSai and the others). The problem is that as any other feature it needs some time for implementing. And as I do not see it as a useful feature for myself, it is in the bottom of my priority list. But maybe you can convince me that this is really useful ;) Or even better, somebody could contribute a patch :)

Currently more people have voted for increasing screen resolution. But maybe we can postpone that until 2x scaling for battlescape window gets supported. Any objections to this idea? One potential problem is that the game will become slower in this 2x scaling mode, but we need to try it first.
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#10 Jezulkim

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 12:31 PM

And everything would be too small and the whole atmosphere would be gone.

I don't think that the whole atmosphere depends on the units size.


Well, the soldiers and buildings look like toys on 800x600.
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#11 Violazr

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 12:50 PM

I don't think smaller would be better.
I'm playing in 640x430 on a 19" monitor, and I find it to be just right.

It's small already - too small, at first sight. You have to consider new players coming from X-Com, who don't know this game by heart yet. They will be super confused if everything is tiny.

Besides, it is a waste of all the work people put in unit and weapon sprites if you can barely see them.

If people have to see even more of the battlescape, they can use the map.
Better make that full-screen instead.

#12 samsam

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 12:50 PM

Arent they toys already ?

#13 Jezulkim

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 01:28 PM

Yes, they are toys already, but they don't look like them.
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#14 Serge

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 11:43 AM

0.7.926 http://ufo2000.lxnt.....7.926-beta.exe

* Added scale2x support ('*' key to scale battlescape image). Now it is possible to play ufo2000 with bigger sprites, it should be much more comfortable for new users who are used to x-com 320x200 graphics.

Are those who don't like small sprites happy now? :)
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#15 Jezulkim

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 05:07 AM

Now it is possible to play ufo2000 with bigger sprites, it should be much more comfortable for new users who are used to x-com 320x200 graphics.


Yay! This is what I like. At first faster battlescape and now bigger sprites!

Are those who don't like small sprites happy now? :)


I'm happy :)
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#16 Kratos

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 05:41 AM

0.7.926 http://ufo2000.lxnt.....7.926-beta.exe

* Added scale2x support ('*' key to scale battlescape image). Now it is possible to play ufo2000 with bigger sprites, it should be much more comfortable for new users who are used to x-com 320x200 graphics.

Are those who don't like small sprites happy now? :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:)

#17 Serge

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 10:01 AM

Well, it seems to me that now the only limiting factor is game performance (when switching to higher resolution mode, the framerate will drop). Is the performance in 800x600 mode acceptable now?

Also it would be interesting to know how the game behaves on slower hardware, something like 200-500MHz CPU. Could any happy user of such device post some FPS numbers here (640x480, 800x600, scale2x enabled and disabled)? :)

Currenly the game does not use framerate higher than the value set in 'movement speed' configuration option ('?' button on the control panel). In order to benchmark performance, you can set it to 99 and get some higher numbers.

PS. It is still possible to improve performance by using MMX optimized routines (the hardest task is to make sure that the current platform actually supports MMX and will run that 32-bit assembly code) for scale2x and using allegro rle sprites for blitting graphics.

Edited by Serge, 26 August 2005 - 11:11 AM.

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#18 Serge

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 10:51 PM

The one most confusing aspect in the pre-battle planning stage is the way how it's divided into two screens, one of which is unaccessible without the use of a cryptic and arbitrary combination of mouse and keyboard commands, but both containing vital and necessary information. Surely it would be better if all the info were immediately visible in one glance, with no need to awkwardly swap between different screens?

I noticed that when using a resolution of 800x600 (which is apparently the current default), there is quite a bit of empty space in both screens. With some shuffling around and removal of unneeded elements, I realized that it is completely possible to fit all the relevant information into one screen.

See the following mockup for reference:

[attachment=8659:attachment]

The layout most assuredly still can be improved, but this is just an example of how it could be done.

I also would like to see more controls visible on less number of screens. As for 800x600 screen resoultion, there was a poll about increasing minimum screen resolution requirements: http://www.xcomufo.c...?showtopic=8181
We did not make any decision though and 640x480 remains as minimum and 800x600 is just set as default.

But restricting resolution to 800x600 will make it harder to use the game on Nokia 770 (maemo platform) and UPMC aka Origami (Windows XP Tablet Edition), they all have 800x480 defined in specs as minimal screen resolution and there are real devices using this resolution already. If we want to support windowed mode, on Nokia 770 the maximum size of a window is 720x420, so not supporting this resolution will make the game fullscreen only. I don't know if we would like to add PDA support later, but many of them have 640x480 screens.

On the other hand, modern LCD displays are best used at 1280x1024 screen resolution, so we need to support a wide range of screen resolutions.

If we want to discuss screen resolution issues, it is better to do in that old thread.

Edited by Serge, 06 April 2006 - 10:55 PM.

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#19 deathz0r

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 07:08 AM

Well, it seems to me that now the only limiting Also it would be interesting to know how the game behaves on slower hardware, something like 200-500MHz CPU. Could any happy user of such device post some FPS numbers here (640x480, 800x600, scale2x enabled and disabled)? :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If you still need those results, I'd be happy to provide. I have a 350mhz Pentium II sitting around that I use to make my own little performance tests. The last time I tested UFO2000 on it about a few months back, I vaguely recall getting something within 25-45 fps with 640x480 scale2x.

Minor problem is that my Windows HD for that box is almost dead from being abused by constant Morrowind use. I haven't tried compiling UFO2000 under Ubuntu, so I'll give it a try sometime this weekend.

#20 Serge

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 02:05 PM

Performance of the game has improved really a lot, mostly because of preparing port for Nokia 770 :) Now it provides up to 18-20 FPS on Nokia 770 (250MHz ARM cpu) in 800x480 video mode with 'Moon Base' map. I think that average desktop pc should not have much problems with performance unless used with very high screen resolution or some multi-level maps heavily filled with objects. Some older desktop pc with 350MHz cpu should have acceptable performance too. But it would be interesting to see some numbers.
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#21 Fomka

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 02:19 PM

... it would be interesting to see some numbers.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have played both 800x600 and 640x480 resolutions on Celeron533 and got this numbers (scale2x was enabled):
for 800x600 15<FPS<20 (nVidia Riva TNT2 with 16 megs, AGP2x)
for 640x480 18<FPS<25 (embedded videocard with 4 megs)
Gameplay is better for the second resolution because of
a)greater FPS (better control)
b)bigger details (less eye-tiredness)
...So I've voted NO above.

Edited by Fomka, 14 April 2006 - 02:23 PM.


#22 deathz0r

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 05:40 PM

Some older desktop pc with 350MHz cpu should have acceptable performance too. But it would be interesting to see some numbers.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Got the results (and with screenies too)!

http://deathz0r.unid...ufo2000/p2test/
Screenies 1-2 are 800x600, 3-8 are 640x480.

The most interesting thing however is that transperancy reduces the framerate by a significant percentage (screenie 7 shows this the best). Another interesting thing is that UFO2000 refused to play windowed at 640x480, but I'm going to blame hardware on that one.

These were taken with Ubuntu Breezy Badger 5.10 with GNOME installed. Other things to note about that system is that it has 128mb of RAM and an onboard 4mb ATI Rage3D Pro. My Windows HD finally died, so I'll have to use my replacement 3.2gb HD to get some results with that. I know for a fact that Win98 SE performs better than GNOME on that system, so I'll try to get some Windows results by Monday.

#23 Serge

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 11:55 PM

That's interesting. I did not expect that Nokia 770 little thingie that fits pocket seems to have performance somewhere between 350 and 533 PentiumII/Celeron :) There is a chance that something is just misconfigured there. Please enter bios setup and check if 'AGP fast write' setting is enabled.

About transparency - that's natural, alpha blending is slower than ordinary sprites because it requires more calculations. And we don't use any hardware acceleration.
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#24 deathz0r

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 12:49 AM

That's interesting. I did not expect that Nokia 770 little thingie that fits pocket seems to have performance somewhere between 350 and 533 PentiumII/Celeron :)

Celerons are cheap and nasty CPUs anyway. :P

There is a chance that something is just misconfigured there. Please enter bios setup and check if 'AGP fast write' setting is enabled.

No such feature in bios setup, but the motherboard is too old to even have an AGP slot! However, Ubuntu identifies the onboard ATI chip as being "AGP 1x/2x".

About transparency - that's natural, alpha blending is slower than ordinary sprites because it requires more calculations. And we don't use any hardware acceleration.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That is very true, and I find it strange that I forgot about that. I use a cross-platform Doom II port with transperancy and software rendering, which does slow the framerate down by roughly 20% or so on my Pentium II.

#25 Serge

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 01:53 AM

Forgot to mention one more thing. What color depth is used for ufo2000 and what color depth is used for desktop in your system?

Generally 16bpp is faster than 32bpp in ufo2000, but if you have 32bpp desktop and the system can't set 16bpp mode, it will be converted 'on the fly' and work very slow. So please try different ufo2000/desktop color depth combinations just to see if it helps to improve performence.
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#26 Fomka

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 09:27 AM

Final results (without Oracle Universal installer running in background)
resolution was 640x480, battlescape was 640x420 (without minimap),
scale2x was enabled:
embedded videocard 19-23 FPS
Riva TNT2 (AGP2x) 23-29 FPS.
Results are indifferent to desktop color depth (UFO2000 was in 16bit color).
Map was City, lot of smoke, cycled all 4 levels.

Edited by Fomka, 15 April 2006 - 09:29 AM.


#27 deathz0r

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 05:50 PM

Forgot to mention one more thing. What color depth is used for ufo2000 and what color depth is used for desktop in your system?

Generally 16bpp is faster than 32bpp in ufo2000, but if you have 32bpp desktop and the system can't set 16bpp mode, it will be converted 'on the fly' and work very slow.

Desktop is 32bpp, UFO2000 is 16bpp. System is able to set itself as 16bpp without problems.

So please try different ufo2000/desktop color depth combinations just to see if it helps to improve performence.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ok, I just finally reobtained my top-end computer last night, so I'll get back to that (and getting results under Windows 98) by the end of this week.