Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dear PC Game Devs, please stop asking for aspect ratio before letting me choose screen resolution.

I have noticed an increasingly bonkers trend in PC games where the graphics settings insist that you choose the correct aspect ratio before they will let you choose the right screen resolution.  To make things worse there isn't even a consensus on what the different aspect ratios are called.

Installing Dragon Age II recently I had to set an aspect ratio of 16:10 before it would allow me to select the correct 1680 x 1050 resolution for my monitor. On other occasions it has been sufficient to say "widescreen" but when I went to install Warhammer 40k Space Marine the magic aspect ratio turned out to be 8:5. I know that could be worked out from simple arithmetic but given that Space marine offers a choice of ten different aspect ratio's including such gems as 683:384 it was frustratingly hard to find the right answer.  

This is completely backwards because most gamers know the resolution of their screens so if they just asked for the resolution then the programme can work out the aspect ratio. Please stop this stupid practise. Ask me for the screen resolution and then do the math on aspect ratio yourselves.

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