What do people think of 4:3 resolution with black borders?

What do you think of black borders?

  • Hate them

    Votes: 3 13.0%
  • I don't like them, but they won't stop me from playing a game

    Votes: 3 13.0%
  • Don't mind either way

    Votes: 8 34.8%
  • I like games in 4:3 ratio, black borders don't bother me at all

    Votes: 8 34.8%
  • Older style graphics + widescreen hurts my eyes

    Votes: 1 4.3%

  • Total voters
    23

rpgLord69

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To my eyes games with these kind of graphics look a bit weird on 16:9 widescreen. I searched some posts on this forum and to almost everybody it seemed to be self-evident using 16:9 (or something close to it to fit the tiles) and they were just discussing about how high a resolution to use, sprites starting to look wrong size, plugin-compatibility etc. Maybe it's just because I used to play some old jrpgs on an old style TV-monitor, but like I said, 16:9 seems a bit weird to me. But do most people hate those black borders and will having them "kill my game"?
 

Reizod

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You're looking at a screen to begin with. Even if the game took the entire screen, the border of your own pc screen would become the 'border'.

Black borders never really were an issue to begin with, when a player plays, his eyes focus on the game not the border. As much as your eyes focus on your screen when you're using your pc, and not what's around it. :kaohi:

Though if it really annoys you on a personal level, there is plugins out there to make the game 16:9 or pretty much whatever you want it to be.
 

Arthran

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I personally don't mind 4:3 with black borders. What I mind is 4:3 *without* black borders. There's still too many people out there making VX Ace games without using any scripts to give a valid full screen option to those of us with monitors that aren't two decades old. When I have to choose between playing the game on a tiny little window in the center of my monitor, or playing it all stretched and deformed at full screen, I generally just won't play it.
 

TheoAllen

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I don't play them on full screen. In fact, I never play RPG Maker games on full screen. It doesn't matter. I would hate if they are forcing me to though, regardless of the screen ratio.
 

rpgLord69

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@Arthran
What do people mean with the screen stretching? I mean if I hit F4, I get a fullscreen mode with 4:3 that only has black borders left and right (this looks best to my eyes, I like it more than widescreen). I think it stretches the image to some degree, but it doesn't look bad to me. Then if I hit F3 when in fullscreen mode, I get this screen where the game image is window sized and there are black borders left, right, bottom and top. That mode looks bad/weird/too small to me. Does even the 4:3 fullscreen stretching look bad to some, or only if it's clearly distorted to fill the whole screen 16:9 (lot more horizontal than vertical stretching)?
 

Reizod

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@Arthran
What do people mean with the screen stretching? I mean if I hit F4, I get a fullscreen mode with 4:3 that only has black borders left and right (this looks best to my eyes, I like it more than widescreen). I think it stretches the image to some degree, but it doesn't look bad to me. Then if I hit F3 when in fullscreen mode, I get this screen where the game image is window sized and there are black borders left, right, bottom and top. That mode looks bad/weird/too small to me. Does even the 4:3 fullscreen stretching look bad to some, or only if it's clearly distorted to fill the whole screen 16:9 (lot more horizontal than vertical stretching)?
They were talking about VX Ace. VX Ace stretch the screen. If I recall, only MV and MZ doesn't.
 

AphoticAmaranth

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It's not just jrpgs, lots of games use 4:3. Nothing wrong with it imo, as long as it fits.

Widescreen with SV battlers tends to look off because there's too much empty space between the party and the enemies.
 

IvanForever

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I love the 90s era. 4:3 is a great resolution, especially tending to remind me of the era of PSX, PS2, N64, SNES, etc. I tend to find 4:3 more comfortable because everything is "all in sight." I like the simplicity and how direct it is. It feels "light" with 4:3 games. To be honest, I'm not exactly sure why they switched from 4:3 to 16:9... it feels like a poor choice to me.

With widescreen, I tend to feel as though there are more things on the field I'd have to unconsciously "do more work" on. I prefer to play games of that era more than modern games as they resonate with me more... or at least games that feel as though they could be released from that time (RPG Maker games included).

@Arthran
What do people mean with the screen stretching?

RPG Maker games before the MV era tend to look stretched and "ugly" in full screen or forced 16:19 that wasn't part of the game design. Emulated games such as N64 or GBA games may also look that way.

I only play RPG Maker games made before MV era in a window. (Emulated N64, SNES, and GBA games also most likely the same, but there are exceptions.) Full screen with black borders may or may not look weird depending on the game, but it's not the issue of the border; it's the in-game graphics. Most of the time, however, I find the black border a bit weird... MV and onwards, I still almost always play in a window but full screen would not look weird. My only reason for staying in full screen for MV games is due to the game automatically starting in full screen and I decided to just stay as it looks okay; most of the time I would switched to the windowed mode. I feel these games are best suited in a windowed screen. I see it as a part of the "type" of game, and it has its fans.

Then, another "type" are the ones more suited for widescreen and/or full screen, including AAA games. I can enjoy those too, but my taste leans towards 4:3 games more. Sometimes I might want to multi-task or see notifications on my PC while playing an AAA game, and I'd prefer to play them in windowed-mode in that kind of situation (which is quite often). AAA games might look weird in 4:3 for me... it really depends on the game. Some games look very weird in 4:3 and I might prefer 16:9 for those...

I don't play them on full screen. In fact, I never play RPG Maker games on full screen. It doesn't matter. I would hate if they are forcing me to though, regardless of the screen ratio.
Awesome, someone who is the same as me here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Speaking of full screen: Regardless of screen ratio, I find myself having the "issue" of games immediately starting in full screen and I'd have to find a way out of it. Sometimes the game made it obvious, sometimes not... making me spend quite some minutes to figure out how to get out of it.

In conclusion: what "type" or "audience" do you want for your game? What speaks to your heart? What works for your situation? What kind of legacy do you want to leave?

I find myself not preferring 16:9 and wished people made games in 4:3 more, even if I'm "okay" with 16:9 games. Maybe I could be the "type" or "audience" who'd appreciate your game more for said screen preferences. Doesn't mean I won't like your game if it's in 16:9, but 4:3 speaks to me more, personally.

And if your game is actually good, I'd probably still play it regardless of screen and border choices. But if your game sucks, even if you have the perfect screen choices for me, I'd probably not continue playing it.
 

TheoAllen

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I personally choose 16:9 in my game not because it is popular. it is simply because I need more space to put more information because I have mechanics I need to explain. It was because of urgency. While at it, I might as well as use the popular 16:9. If I were using 4:3 I would have to cut the description or make it too vague. Also, it is limiting the HUD design.

Really, the screen ratio doesn't matter as long as it fits with the game. A top-down vertical shooter can benefit from a portrait screen rather than a landscape. That kind of stuff.
 

kirbwarrior

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I personally choose 16:9 in my game not because it is popular. it is simply because I need more space to put more information because I have mechanics I need to explain. It was because of urgency. While at it, I might as well as use the popular 16:9. If I were using 4:3 I would have to cut the description or make it too vague. Also, it is limiting the HUD design.
This, but also the reverse. If a game isn't going to be using that widescreen, then it can often look empty from sprite placement to weird UIs to maps just not looking right. I've definitely had to mess around with things when I change the size of my game's resolution.

I have no issue with 4:3 or even oddities like 1:2 (just think about how many mobile games go portrait mode). I also don't have issue playing windowed (but I very much dislike games that force fullscreen on computer).

As for the discussion about screen stretching, check out how the GBA can stretch Gameboy games out sometime (I think it doubles half of on screen pixels to make it widescreen?). That was such a bizarre choice to add (not really a bad one since it's an option and there are people who prefer it).
 

rpgLord69

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Thanks for the replies! Still, I'm not sure I understand what some people mean by devs forcing people to play in fullscreen mode? I mean, if I launch a demo/game and press that F4, I can switch between windowed and fullscreen. Or do you mean that some devs write some kind of code / use a plugin that prevents people from going into the windowed mode? I myself will try to use some simple plugin that launches the game in fullscreen mode, because I think it looks better that way, but preventing people going into windowed mode sounds a bit strange to me.
 

Milennin

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Black borders don't bother me at all. I like the old school resolution default RPG Maker is in. Wide screen for the sake of wide screen is dumb and just distracts from the experience if the maps don't benefit from having the extra view, which let's be honest, in most cases it doesn't.
 

Arthran

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Thanks for the replies! Still, I'm not sure I understand what some people mean by devs forcing people to play in fullscreen mode? I mean, if I launch a demo/game and press that F4, I can switch between windowed and fullscreen. Or do you mean that some devs write some kind of code / use a plugin that prevents people from going into the windowed mode? I myself will try to use some simple plugin that launches the game in fullscreen mode, because I think it looks better that way, but preventing people going into windowed mode sounds a bit strange to me.
It's not that you're *forced* to use full screen. It's that VX Ace games, by default, have a window that cannot be resized. And the maximum size of a VX Ace game is 640 x 480... and I think the default size is actually even smaller than that. On a monitor that has 1080p or higher resolution, it can make the game window look very tiny, and it can be hard for people like me (with bad eyes) to enjoy the game.

So then if you don't want to play on a tiny window, and you cannot resize the window, your only other option is to play it full screen. But VX Ace doesn't automatically add in black borders for full screen, so then the game will be stretched horizontally for people on 16:9 monitors. There are scripts that can fix this, but not everybody bothers to use them.

There are probably external methods to forcefully resize the window, or that can force it to letterbox on full screen. But I usually just take an even easier route and just don't bother playing VX Ace games that don't come equipped with scripts to either resize the window or add in a proper full screen mode.
 
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LunarWingCloud

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If we're talking RPG Maker games, I really think whatever the case is, the resolution should be lower but be enough to fit all vital information on screen at once. Having a giant 16:9 resolution with your game with these little 48x48 or 64x64 pixel dudes running around is not as good looking as people might think it is. In this case, less is more.
 

TheoAllen

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Having a giant 16:9 resolution with your game with these little 48x48 or 64x64 pixel dudes running around is not as good looking as people might think it is. In this case, less is more.
The 16:9 is just a ratio. It isn't always a giant resolution using 720p or 1080p. You can use 640x360 or even 740x418.
 

woootbm

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1642287962263.png

This is from Steam's hardware survey. As you can see, the 16:9 ratio is extremely dominant in this day and age. I would say that responses of "I don't mind" actually reveal that it is indeed a problem, but that that user looks past it. If you want your game to feel like it has more professional presentation, just grab that Yanfly mod and move to 16:9. Why RPGM defaults to a setting that's two decades old is incomprehensible.
 

kirbwarrior

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Or do you mean that some devs write some kind of code / use a plugin that prevents people from going into the windowed mode?
I much more often see it happen in non-rpg maker games, there are some games out there that don't seem to HAVE a windowed setting for playing. Or function terribly (usually lag spikes) when windowed because they didn't actually fully test it windowed.
 

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