Author Topic: Unstretched Interface discussion  (Read 9166 times)

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Offline Macfie

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Unstretched Interface discussion
It would nice to make this an option.  It "fixes" a problem I really did not notice and still don't see by shrinking everything and creating black bars on either side of the menus.  At first I thought there was something wrong with my computer.  The fix looks much worse than the problem I never noticed before.  At least  you can override it with the command line. 
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
Agreed, this should default off.

 

Offline niffiwan

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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
Oh... I quite like it defaulting to on.

Hrmmm.... I can live with having to enable it via command-line, but I think it's essential for multi-screen layouts to have it on by default.  Maybe it could choose the default on/off based on the current res (i.e.10:4 and higher aspect ratios would default to on?) and retain the command line option to override (although in a perfect world it could be settable in an in-game menu).
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Offline Yarn

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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
Yeah, I agree that FS2's menus shouldn't be stretched by default, especially considering their content.

I never really understood why so many people strongly prefer a distorted image over some pillarboxing. I mean, nobody's complaining about letterboxing anymore; what's so much worse about the opposite?

At least the option to stretch is there.
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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
Yeah, I agree that FS2's menus shouldn't be stretched by default, especially considering their content.

I never really understood why so many people strongly prefer a distorted image over some pillarboxing. I mean, nobody's complaining about letterboxing anymore; what's so much worse about the opposite?

At least the option to stretch is there.

I agree with these sentiments.  The stretched screens look stupid - a world populated by short fat people?  What is this, Dwarf Fortress?

 

Offline zookeeper

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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
I'd also prefer not stretching by default, but arguably the interface gets cut off in an ugly manner at the sides by the pillarboxes.

I wonder, are there some retail textures that could be re-used to fill in the sides? Some sort of pattern or vertical thingy to hide the interface cutoff, whether using textures or basic drawing ops? And of course it'd be moddable.

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
Just so long as we don't use that godawful edge-blurring effect that so many TV networks use when airing old SD footage.

(And yeah, color me confused by the opposition to pillarboxing too.  Seeing 4:3 content stretched horizontally makes me start twitching involuntarily.)

 
Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
My vote for defaulting non-stretched menus. It's better this way, really.

 

Offline Macfie

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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
If the menu is only slightly stretched it is not noticable, however the shrunk and pillared version is very noticable.  The resolution on my screen has an 8:5 ratio which is close to the original 4:3.  Unfortunately it is just enough to trigger the ugly pillared version.
However I think niffiwan has the best solution:
"Maybe it could choose the default on/off based on the current res (i.e.10:4 and higher aspect ratios would default to on?) and retain the command line option to override (although in a perfect world it could be settable in an in-game menu)."
Normal people believe that if it isn't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it isn't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.
The difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers is:
Mechanical Engineers build weapons.  Civil Engineers build targets
An optimist sees the glass half full; the pessimist sees it half empty. An engineer sees that the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

 

Offline zookeeper

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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
A smart default like that can't work as long as there's only one launcher flag, it'd need more or different options.

 

Offline Yarn

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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
I'd also prefer not stretching by default, but arguably the interface gets cut off in an ugly manner at the sides by the pillarboxes.
No part of the interface is being "cut off." It's just like how letterboxing does not cut off any part of a widescreen movie.

I wonder, are there some retail textures that could be re-used to fill in the sides? Some sort of pattern or vertical thingy to hide the interface cutoff, whether using textures or basic drawing ops? And of course it'd be moddable.
The FS2 interface background could be stitched together and be used for the side borders, maybe with some slight modification.


I'll look into adding support for borders in the near future. I'm not sure how exactly it will be utilized, though.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 03:41:28 pm by Yarn »
"Your fighter is running out of oil.  Please check under the hood and add more if necessary"
--strings.tbl, entry 177

"Freespace is very tired.  It is shutting down to get some rest."
--strings.tbl, entry 178

 

Offline zookeeper

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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
I'd also prefer not stretching by default, but arguably the interface gets cut off in an ugly manner at the sides by the pillarboxes.
No part of the interface is being "cut off." It's just like how letterboxing does not cut off any part of a widescreen movie.

Well I meant visually, not technically. And while letterboxing is the same thing, it's so much more ubiquitous that it doesn't really draw attention in the same way as pillarboxing. I still think non-stretched is miles better than stretched (at least on widescreen ratios), it's just that the retail interface art isn't exactly an ideal match for it.


I wonder, are there some retail textures that could be re-used to fill in the sides? Some sort of pattern or vertical thingy to hide the interface cutoff, whether using textures or basic drawing ops? And of course it'd be moddable.
The FS2 interface background could be stitched together and be used for the side borders, maybe with some slight modification.

It's nice that retail data is eternal and unchanging, so one can potentially do some creative frankensteining from bits and pieces. I might even fancy trying to come up with something myself. :nervous:

 

Offline zookeeper

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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
Ok, here's a simple mock-up, using only two pieces of retail interface.

Example 1:

Current
With added borders

Example 2:

Current
With added borders

The background can be lifted from 2_WeaponLoadout and the vertical border from a bunch of places (I forgot which) and tiled vertically. It's hacky, but since the retail images don't change, there ought to be no downsides to the hackiness.

 

Offline The E

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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
Okay, so, here's my problem:
We had this thread: http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=86617.0 where people were strongly in favour of this being a default-on setting. Now, we have this thread right here, where apparently people are now upset that it was made a default-on setting.

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Offline Black Wolf

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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
I vote for default on too - this is the behaviour the game should have had all along. People have just gotten used to the dodgy stretching - they'll get unused to it too, or just turn this off. Although, I will admit the bordered debrief looks very nice.
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
I vote for it being non-stretched by default. If the option is there to not stretch it, IDK what people are fussing about.

e: will mods have the ability to overrun the player's choice?

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
For the patterned borders, what's going to happen with mods? Remember this doesn't just affect FS2.
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
This is all just patchwork to an old fso limitation. I'd rather just pick a default and deal with it until something like the chromium enabled builds can be used to build a real wide-screen interface through and through!

If textured borders are to be added, though, I'll place my vote for moddability.

EDIT:  :eek:

I was on my phone for the original post and didn't view all the links. I am strongly opposed to borders on the mainhall screen or uh... something.. it just worries me because mainhalls are a highly specific interface. What if I make animorphic mainhalls and the player wants to use that but also wants non-stretched rest of the interface?

More importantly, what about all those mainhalls out there that are just menus and work great as widescreen, fullscreen, or whateverscreen? I guess my point is that there's a reason mainhalls have their own table opposed to the rest of the interface, they are a special situation and I suggest they be considered as such. I do realize that people with supermadawesometriplemonitor setup will still want non stretched mainhalls. And I don't know what to do about it except to reiterate that this whole idea is a limitation to a limitation. It does nothing to actually open FSO's super-limited interface code to the real future needs.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 09:21:05 am by mjn.mixael »
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Offline zookeeper

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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
I doubt hardcoding the borders in the engine would be accepted based on the reactions on #scp, so presumably it'd be done for example by a script in MediaVPs (nothing too tricky about it), and other mods could similarly do whatever they please. Of course, in that case there's naturally no need to do it by abusing retail assets.

 

Offline Macfie

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Re: Unstretched Interface discussion
I've noticed one other problem with this.
I wanted to do screen shots with the menus streched and not stretched.  I had put the -stretch_menu custom command line in.
I'm not sure if this is a launcher problem or a problem with the build but the command line does not appear in the custom command line in the WXlauncher and I can't modify or remove it.  It appears to be treated as if it is an option that can be selected.  This could be a problem for custom mods if people want to switch back and forth between stretched and non stretched.

I can understand the desire for people with wide screen or multiple monitors to want this on by default as well as those like myself that would want it off by default.  Perhaps we should do a survey to determine the relative number of people with each set up.
Normal people believe that if it isn't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it isn't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.
The difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers is:
Mechanical Engineers build weapons.  Civil Engineers build targets
An optimist sees the glass half full; the pessimist sees it half empty. An engineer sees that the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.