The optimal message box width!

Parallax Panda

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I searched a lot and didn't find any good topics discussing this aspect of game design. What I'm interested in is what the optimal size for the message box is - especially the width.
I reckon that in the default RPG maker resolutions it's not really an issue as the resolution is so small you'd most likely have it stretch over the entire screen like it does if you don't change anything. However, the modern standard for gaming is different. The 16:9 ratio is expected and even if you decide to do something else for whatever reason you'd most likely want a resolution that's close it it.

So the question becomes, how wide should the message box be in a game with a more modern resolution? Having it stretch over the entire screen on a 1920x1080 resolution makes for a very ugly interface. It's also harder to read as your eyes has to travel across the screen. Even on a 1280x720 resolution I'd say it's best to shorten the width - but by how much?
 

Milennin

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Keep the textbox at default RPG Maker width? I never had issues with the default, but I've played some widescreen games that had the textbox stretched over the entire width and it becomes painful to read.
 

Parallax Panda

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@Milennin

You mean that for example, keep the text box width at "816" in an MV game when the game resolution is say 1280x720? Well, that's a simple way to look at it I guess.
 

numituwi

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EDIT: How embarrassing, my images had the wrong width numbers! Fixed them though

Hey there!

This is all based on personal preference/observation but what I notice is having your text box be "square-ish" compared to your 16:9 window screen typically looks the best. Though I think if you're using bust/icon sprites, the text box width will be changed accordingly.

I made some visuals to help explain what I mean. Of course the pixel widths don't have to be exactly these numbers, they're just suggestions.These are both 1920 x 1080 ratios.





Hope this helps! :kaohi:
 
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Kingdommangas

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I think there is not a "optimal message box width".

Many maker don't even bother think about it but for me it's vary according to each games.
In myne, I use for 1080*720 screen resolution a text box at 800 for the menu but I change it when I need it.
 

Aesica

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If your game is widescreen, please don't make the message box the same width for the sake of your readers. Nearly all websites restrict the width of text boxes, and for good reason--it's easier on the eyes to not have to travel across the entire width of a screen with every line.

My game is 1104 x 624, but I keep the text box width at 800 for ease of reading.
 

Parallax Panda

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Seems like most people prefer to keep their text boxes around 800, which is what I've been doing myself. Although I'm considering switching to 816 since that's the default size for MV. It's just 16 pixels difference as well so probably won't change much but... eh...
 

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