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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperArt (Moderator: JWK5)Windowed mode: Decorated or Undecorated?
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Author Topic: Windowed mode: Decorated or Undecorated?  (Read 754 times)
Thaumaturge
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« on: December 04, 2019, 09:21:01 AM »

In windowed mode, is it generally preferable to use a "decorated" window (i.e. with title-bar) or an "undecorated" one?

On the one hand, the former allows the window to be moved; on the other, the latter seems perhaps more immersive...
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ThemsAllTook
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2019, 10:10:20 AM »

I'd have thought full screen would be the immersive mode. What would be the use case for an unmovable window? If you need to monitor other things on your system while playing, you'll want to be able to reposition and resize it.
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2019, 10:29:51 AM »

The player may want immersion, but not want fullscreen mode for one reason or another--perhaps it taxes the system too much, or it ends up placing the view halfway between two monitors (I've had this happen with DOSbox, as I recall), for example. In that case "borderless windowed" might provide a compromise, allowing the game to be played in windowed mode without as great a reduction in immersion.

Still, the ability to move the window does seem very useful; in at least some of the use-cases that I see for windowed mode, being able to move the window does seem potentially advantageous...

(And I have a vague recollection of "borderless windowed" being indicated as a desirable mode in commentary on other games--but I don't recall with sufficient clarity to be greatly confident in that.)
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2019, 02:48:37 PM »

Mmh... I don't know if a window title bar would destroy the immersion more than whatever happens around it (desktop, browser window, whatever). I also don't think an undecorated window would increase the performance noticable compared to it stretched to fullscreen. At least it made no difference in my tests.
I know some people prefer windowed mode (at least when starting something for the first time) and I think they want the windows title bar as well to have control over it.
The first thing I do when starting a game that opens in a window is to look for a way to make it fullscreen. Smiley
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ThemsAllTook
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2019, 06:07:10 PM »

(And I have a vague recollection of "borderless windowed" being indicated as a desirable mode in commentary on other games--but I don't recall with sufficient clarity to be greatly confident in that.)

Ah, you're probably thinking of non-captured fullscreen. There are a bunch of different names for it, but the idea is that you have a window that takes up the whole screen, but still allows other windows to be composited on top of it. This is different from an exclusive full screen mode where only the game can be visible, and if you switch away from it to look at another window, it gets hidden. There are some possible performance tradeoffs, but I think it's the generally preferred way to do a full screen mode these days.
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2019, 09:53:06 AM »

I also don't think an undecorated window would increase the performance noticable compared to it stretched to fullscreen. At least it made no difference in my tests.
This is something that I do think that I've seen (especially if the computer allows only a limited number of full-screen resolutions).

The first thing I do when starting a game that opens in a window is to look for a way to make it fullscreen. Smiley

That's fair--but I do want a windowed mode for those who want to have one.

Ah, you're probably thinking of non-captured fullscreen.

Possibly, but I'm no confident of that; I feel like I have seen a desire for an actual windowed mode that is undecorated.

With all that said, however, you two do make some good points in favour of decorations in windowed mode, and I'm thus convinced that it's likely better to go with a decorated mode. I'll do that then, I think!

Thank you both for your help! ^_^
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2019, 03:22:31 AM »

I don't think you should get rid of normal windowed mode, but why restrict yourself to one or the other when you could offer both, alongside true full screen, amounting to three options to choose from? Well, hello there!
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2019, 08:31:40 AM »

You can do bordlerless and render your own UI into the window instead of using a normal window; this lets you make it movable/resizeable but also lets you hide the UI (for example have it only visible in a pause menu) so you get the possible screen space / immersion benefit without forcing the location/size. Some game did this, can’t recall which one.
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2019, 01:02:39 PM »

I don't think you should get rid of normal windowed mode, but why restrict yourself to one or the other when you could offer both, alongside true full screen, amounting to three options to choose from? Well, hello there!

I've considered this. (And I do already have the option to switch to fullscreen mode!) I may indeed implement it at some stage--it shouldn't be too difficult, for that matter--but if so, it'll likely be at a later stage, after my next demo.

You can do bordlerless and render your own UI into the window instead of using a normal window ...

Hmmm... An interesting idea, but it seems likely to be a bit unintuitive for users who might expect a moveable window to have standard decorations.
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2019, 09:51:18 AM »

I find a window without the title bar and stuff to be annoying as it doesn't behave so well within the rest of the desktop. I guess it's nice to be able to have a fullscreen window since on windows the title bar is quite big (not a problem on mac because it hides the title bar on maximisation).
I would rather just have either fullscreen or normal windowed.
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2019, 09:44:51 AM »

Thank you for the feedback! I appreciate it! ^_^

(And I have indeed settled on having a decorated window (with fullscreen as a pre-existing option).)
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