Excellent Game-Widescreen Will Stay?

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Excellent Game-Widescreen Will Stay?

Been following for a while. This game is great and I can't wait to see what you have in store for us. Question though. Are we ever going to see normal resolution options again? I have my widescreen tv to play certain games (Just Cause 2, Shank 1/2) on but I like playing NeoScavenger up close on my regular monitor. Just something about it. I really want to play but just cannot play it with the current resolution options.

Am I missing a setting somewhere or is this game only available in widescreen at the moment?

*Also I am playing this on desura from the groupees bundle. Not sure if the Desura copy makes a difference.

I ADORED the game when I first discovered and bought it, but have had to stop playing for the same reason. It's just impossible to play on my 4:3 monitor since the sudden switch to "widescreen only". Fonts and buttons are far too small and "compressed" for that.

A real shame, as I was playing almost every day before the switch.

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Hey Guys,

Back when I was planning the new resolutions, site visitor and Steam user logs seemed to indicate that a vast majority of users were on widescreen. So I set about finding a way to fit the game on those monitor types, in addition to the 800x600.

In the process, I had to move quite a few things around to make things work at 1360x768 (e.g. too small for everything 2x original size, too big for everything at 1x zoom). As a result of the rearranging, 800x600 was showing more and more empty space. The layout only needed 800x450.

So I decided to crop the game to 800x450, rather than have lots of empty UI space in the inventory screens. If you remember the old layout, there were crafting and skill slots on the bottom of each page (note that this screen capture is scaled down a bit):


However, in the new layout, skills and crafting each have their own page, and wouldn't fit in that bottom space anymore. Here's the condition page now, for reference (actually, a mock-up of it from January, but close enough):


If I added an 800x600 resolution, there would be a lot of empty green space below the character silouhette, and above the message window. That would also be the case on the main items screen, crafting, camp, skills, encounter, battle, and vehicle screens. The main map would probably look fine, however.

I guess I figured that the game looked better on a 4:3 screen with black bars/letterbox than it did with empty green space everywhere in the middle. Is there something that I am missing? Or are the black bars that egregious?

Also, @Banjo, what do you mean by "fonts and buttons are far too small and 'compressed'?" The fonts and buttons are the same images used as in the 800x600 version. Are they appearing even smaller now?

Let me know a bit more about what makes the current 4:3 aspect ratio impossible to play. I can't promise another UI rewrite or anything, but maybe I can figure out a stopgap that improves the 4:3 experience.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Hey Dan,

Thanks for personally getting back to me. Like I said, I have been following for a while but only recently created a username and posted because I felt so strongly about this.

The enhanced UI definitely looks great if you have the equipment to utilize it. Normally on my 4:3 I play at 1280 x 1024 (where current monitor maxes). Currently my only options on here though are 800 x 450 or 1360 x768. There is no middle, so the only "playable" choice I have is 800 x 450 but I can barely see anything. If I go with 1360 x 768 a lot is cut off.

An excellent mod I recently played called Misery for Stalker: Call or Pripyat also made widescreen a necessity. Initial reaction was good because a lot of testers used widescreen. However, when the release went wide and more and more people played it, the creator discovered that a lot of people like 4:3 and play that way. He did a massive edit to appeal and the mod is one of the most highly rated on ModDB and other sites.

Here is why I provided this example. You are still in the development phase (late but still) and can rectify this before your wide release (steam, amazon, etc). The creator of Misery had to go back in and recreate his resolution settings post release and it affected the reviews. Obviously he was not getting paid for it but you will be. Don't alienate potential profit.

Let's say 100k people are interested but 10k of them don't want it if they can't play (enjoyably) on 4:3. That's a lot of lost money.

Anyway, it wasn't my intention to rock the boat or anything. You have made one hell of an awesome game and if I have to play it on my tv, then I will.

But others (even if its a minority) will agree with what I have said above and if you can find a way you should definitely consider it. Even if you put in another resolution in between 800 x 450 and 1360 x 760. People can live with black bars.

Keep up the good work mate. I will stick with you either way!


Ok, I think I'm understanding a bit better, now. The issue is primarily that the fonts/UI are difficult to see at 800x450, and though they are more legible at 1360x768 and up, those sizes won't fit on certain monitors.

Would I be correct in saying that widescreen vs. standard formats are less the issue here than the zoom level and legibility? I.e. if there were a zoom level between 800x450 and 1360x768 with bigger text and items, either widescreen or standard would be acceptable?

Also, how does the game look when you use the 1360x768 mode with "Stretch" enabled? "Stretch" will also try squashing the game to fit a monitor, if necessary. In theory, it'd reduce the 1360x768 mode to fit your 1280x1024, leaving black bars only on the top and bottom. And since 1360x768 mode uses the bigger fonts and item graphics, the squashing might look ok.

Let me know if my summary above is accurate, and if the 1360+stretch makes a difference. Thanks!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Now that must be a matter of personal preferences, I guess, as I play 800x450 version of the game at 1280x1024 resolution (which is btw a 5:4 aspect ratio, made for more "square" monitors, proper resolution for 4:3 ratio is 1280x960) and have no problem with fonts - they are a little smallish but nothing game-breaking for me, only a bit tiring when "wall of text" had to be read during some longer encounters.

However, changing to 1360x768 mode, with "Stretch" enabled, makes all fonts and some GUI elements look like that (hope you can see that):

They do become a little compresses and blurry. Place's names on the game map use this small font as well, so they too turn much harder to read.

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1360x768 mode with "Stretch" enabled just isn't that enjoyable. Dan-It's just as you said:

"Ok, I think I'm understanding a bit better, now. The issue is primarily that the fonts/UI are difficult to see at 800x450, and though they are more legible at 1360x768 and up, those sizes won't fit on certain monitors."

The above is 100% accurate. Like I said maybe a resolution (still widescreen if its easier) between 1360 x 768 and 800 x 450. It's quite a leap between the two as it currently stands-no real middle.

Ok, thanks for the clarification, TheGreatAbuDidi. And thanks for that screenshot, Kaaven. I forgot about the small fonts in the UI and buttons. I was just thinking of the encounter/message text, etc.

I'll have to think about that a bit, as it's a tricky problem. 1360 was the minimum width I was able to achieve using a mix of 2x and 1x zoomed graphics, and the large font in text-heavy areas. Anything smaller, and it'd require either non-whole zoom levels (i.e. producing ugly aliasing, as in Kaaven's screenshot), fewer 2x graphics, or fewer large font usage. I don't know if there's much more I can squeeze out of the UI to reduce the width while keeping those zoom levels and fonts intact.

It may be possible to just have the big fonts (as seen in 1360x768), but 1x graphics and buttons (as seen in 800x450), and perhaps that'd fit in a 1024 or 1280 width. We'd lose the zoomed item graphics, but at least the text would be easier to read (especially in encounters, combat, tool tips, and messages).

Like I said, it's a bit of a tricky problem (UI usually is :). I'll give it some more thought. Maybe it's something I can experiment with after this next item batch.

Thanks for the feedback!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Could you also make the game remember the settings? I have to change the resolution every time I start the game, and after clicking "continue" it leaves full screen mode, so I have to first load the save and then go back to main menu and switch to full screen.

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

Sorry for the delayed response. Thanks Dan. As always you prove that you really care about this game and about us, your ever growing community of players.

Really excited to try out this beta update you just released! Venison will be delicious...

Human is delicious....

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@TheGreatAbuDidi, hopefully there's a way to make it work out!

@Malacodor, I'll have to look into that. I think I tried to fix it before and gave up. But it seems like it should be fixable. Worth another look!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Hi Dan,

As discussed above, the major problem for 4:3 play is indeed that there is no good resolution available for the most common (1280x1024 or 1024x768) desktop settings.

800x450 can run fine at 800x600 (but who wants to run their desktop normally at that?). Alternatively, if I change my desktop to 1600x1200 and play fullscreen, the game's 1600x900 looks pretty damn near perfect (black bars aside).

But 1360x768 is too wide for a 1280 (what I use) or 1024 width desktop, and thus requires the "stretch" option which (as shown) makes text look squashed and absolutely awful... unless you use the "filter" which solves that somewhat, but also causes an ugly heavy blurring effect. Neither is playable IMO.

What would solve this would indeed be an extra resolution with a horizontal width of 1280 (and/or one of 1024, but 1280 is my personal wish). That way, the width of the game would fit the entire screen (as in the examples above with 800 and 1600), and thus no stretching would be required. Sure, there'd be black bars above and below still, but at least the game would look crisp and nice.

A related note but not specifically about 16:9 vs 4:3... I generally prefer to play most games "windowed" and notice that 800x450 doesn't display in an 800x450 window. The others don't have that problem for me.

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