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Widescreen/Triple-Monitor “issues” [5760x1080 120hz]

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  • Widescreen/Triple-Monitor “issues” [5760x1080 120hz]

    So I just received a copy of Dota2 and am still in need of one for a friend because for now I’m forced to play “alone”, but anyhow I was excited to play this game on my machine. As I know, most games doesn’t work well on a multi monitor setup, so I haven’t expected much from a BETA but was surprised how smooth and good looking the game runs! As detail: I am using a GTX 590 to run that game on three monitors, each with 1920x1080 and 120hz resulting in a total resolution of 5760x1080. I’ll try to explain from the beginning what I have experienced.
    1. At first I run the game, I often minimize games while it loads up, I recognize while it loads minimized that the sound is kind of messy. In fact: it stuck sometimes and struggles a bit. Maximizing the game again gets rid of that. So I guess it’s just about the management of loading things at the right time while loading the game and playing the sound of the movieclip. (I don’t experience such things within the intros of games like CSS or L4D(2), as they have a similar intro and I’m not talking about the DotA 2 Logo that pops up, I’m talking about what happened before this. The “Valve clip”.)
    2. Ok, intro done, now, as said, the DotA 2 Logo pops up. At first I thought: “Ok, my machine can’t handle the resolution as it is still a beta and it is not optimized.” Because I only saw a picture with no animation. But then it finally loads into the (well… I call it) “Homescreen” (right after 3-5 Seconds of loading and showing the DotA 2 Logo). As I often forget things, I’ll mention it right now. The Logo just appears on the middle monitor and is, as I said, not animated (suggestion, maybe make a movieclip that loops the logo rotation and play that while loading on all of the three monitors).
    3. Ok, now I’m in the “homescreen”. The first thing I noticed was a nice try in animation to welcome the player. In fact: the animations lags and… doesn’t look quite real… My suggestion here is to improve the animation by making it more “slammy”. I mean that the two doors crushing against each other is nice looking, but it feels like they are not that heavy and don't have any impact on each other. Making them more bouncy as they crash would be cool too. I guess you guys know what I mean. Maybe some sparks or dust… just a hint.
      Now to the main things of the Homescreen UI (It’s before the update, so I’m sorry, but the update haven’t changed any of these “issues”). This is a Screenshot of the UI as I saw and still see it.


      Kind of messed up, huh?

      I decided to adjust things a bit and this is what I’ve come to and would love to see for multi-monitor setups.


      The only thing I haven’t edited yet is the chat, because it would have been too complicated to resolve the single pictures. Suggestion here: on the left side of the chat make a “pattern” as the left border, same for the right side. For the middle, make a (repeating) pattern too and repeat that patter as long as I haven’t reached the right or left side. I’ll try to explain in Pictures below.


      At all: Using Pattern is much more effective, if that’s possible to you.
    4. Now the final “issues”:
      Ingame: Well… I’ll show you how it looks in game to me:


      Choppy and sliced up, right?
      Alright, first thing: I can’t reach the minimap and am nearly not able to focus on that too, because it is on the left monitor in the bottom left corner (right, it belongs there, I know, but I most often play on the middle monitor:P). The rune of fortification at the bottom right and the items are also non reachable too. Ok enough with the “punishment” and I’ll pump out my suggestion summed up in a picture below:


      The red lines indicate the monitor’s edges where a monitor ends and a new monitors starts, It’s kind of self-explanatory. (I don’t have a solution for another setup with more or less than three monitors yet, I’m sorry, I hope I can come up with a solution for these too in the next days).
      First of all, I really would love to be able to keep playing on three monitors as it just looks awesome. Other companies, who are well known of producing good strategy games for a long time, like a company with an artic name (I guess you guys know who I mean), do force players with multimonitor setups to run their game on a single monitor i.e. in the video settings you hit 5760x1080 (Yes, it is available) and your left and right monitor turn black and go to standby and the game is just visible on the middle one as there weren’t any other monitors. Asking the developers why they do so results in the answer (summed up): “You would have an advantage over the other players by seeing “more” of the battlefield.”
      My opinion: It is still a game and not a competition (I mean… there are competitions but those are played on single monitors). Sometimes “duty” must be cast aside to archive the best experience a gamer could have. But this is a chapter for its own.

      Back to the screen shot now, I’ll try to explain what I think it should be like:
      All the UI/HUD should be on the middle monitor like it would be on a single monitor setup. The two monitors should just extend the view. As this game most often requires fast response to actions and a good handling of your shortcuts forcing (mostly) your left hand to be on the keyboard, the mouse is used to “navigate” on the battlefield. Players with “just” one monitor often do this by pushing the cursor towards an edge of the screen to force the camera to go to that direction. Ok, that sounds nice, but doing this on a triple monitor system, this is a pain. Top and bottom, just fine. Left and right, nearly impossible (So I switched to control the camera with arrow keys for now).
      My suggestion here is to limit the range where you can click to the middle monitor too, as well as the “bonds” for activating the camera movement. I’ll try to explain in detail: As soon as you cursor hits the red line, the camera should move to this direction. I hope you got what I intended to tell.
      All in all: Treat a triple monitor system as a single one for the middle monitor, but use the left and right one to extend the field of view. I hope the Source engine is capable to do so. Oh, and yes, the worldscreen (that what was rendere by the canonical sight volumen) in the Screenshot is a bit stretched because I need to fill the free space.
      And for those who doesn't know, having a triple monitor system usually makes your operatingsystem detecting the 3 monitor as one big one (forced by the grafic drivers, but you can change that, so it would detect every single one but won't launch the game in fullscreen mode on all three monitors, instead it is launched on a single one).
      At all, here is some pseudocode (I most often program in Java, so I’m sorry):

      public class Valve {
      	private boolean multiMonitor=false;
      	private boolean monitorAmmountUneven=true;
      	private int[] commonResolutions;							// there you put 1920,1280,720 and so on
      	public void detectMonitors(int resolution){					//Could be more detailed... I know
      		for (int i = 0; i < commonResolutions.length; i++) {
      			if(resolution/2 == commonResolutions[i]){
      			}else if(resolution/3 == commonResolutions[i]){
      	public void setupTheUI(int resolution){
      		if(multiMonitor && monitorAmmountUneven){
      			minimapPiece.x=resolution/3; 							//Minimap need to be aligned by the left (bottom) corner.
      			MiddlePiece.x=resolution/2-MiddlePiece.witdh/2; 		//I really don't know how this is called
      			InventoryPiece.x=resolution/3*2-InveotryPiece.width/2;	//Maybe I'm wrong, but this should put it on the middle screen on the left side.
      			//Beside, I don't know whether it is possible for you to do things like getting the width of this and so on. but this is how I would try it.
      			//Setting the cursor bonds
      			Bond.setTop(0); //I assume you use 0|0 as top left corner point
      	public static void main(String[] args) {

    Besides something not specific for a multi-monitor setup: It would be great to show the range indicating circles not only when you hover an ability with your mouse, but when you already have the hotkey pressed. Example Pudge Hook: Pressing “Q” (the Ability 1/Hook shortcut) will show the circle indicating the range as long as you haven triggered the ability or release (/right click) (or die :P).

    Well, that was quite much for now.

    There is one thing I need to say for sure. I’m aware that a multi-monitor setup is not common for players and therefore the focus won’t be set to optimize the experience of persons who own such a system, but these all are just suggestions with proposals to implement. I hope I could help Valve and their developers by sharing my experience with the game for now. If it is desired, I will post other experiences with multi-monitor "issues" I will have in the future here too. Please let me know if anything is not clear and I will try to explain more detailed and try to come up with suggestions for resolving too.

    Oh, I nearly forgot to mention that: “I hope there aren’t that much spelling and/or grammar mistakes, as English is not my mother tongue.”

    Sincerely EB.

  • #2

    1) Is it possible to play dota2 on 6 monitors ?
    2) Acording to question #1 - resolution woul be 5760x 3240 ?
    3) Is it possible to play dota2 on 3 monitors but not like yours (5760x 1080) - but 1920x3240 configuartion ?
    4) Why to spend so much money for additional monitors if resolutions above HD doesnt make difrences for eyes (on one monitor)

    Last edited by Kraju; 02-20-2012, 03:01 PM. Reason: i deleted one sarcasm point as some ppl got it too siriously


    • #3
      Pretty sure zooming the camera out would give an unfair advantage.


      • #4
        First of all, I tried my best to find an answer to your questions and replies.

        For Kraju’s first question whether it is possible to play on six monitors, I can say it is possible to do so. As I can’t afford to buy six monitors, I went to my University and told my assistant professor about what I wanted to try. Because he likes to play videogames too he accepted my “request”. We configured the setup and run the game. Everything loaded up fine (just the “common” distortion in the UI and inside the game).

        For Kraju’s second question, I hope I got him right: The resolution had been 5760x3840 having two rows of three monitors. I also want to share the information that it is also possible to play on nine monitors workings as a big one.

        Now coming to the third question: I’m sorry, but I haven’t tested this yet, but I believe that this would be possible too. You may try this on your own by just keeping the aspect ratio of this resolution i.e. 16:27 and running this game on your setup with a smaller resolution. You can do this by modifying the launch options for the game. I assume you have multiple monitors but I will explain the steps in short for a 1920x1080 monitor.

        As 1080 is the height you need to divide this by 27 (“height aspect”) resulting in 40. Now multiplying 40 with the 16 (“width aspect”) you should get 640 for the width.
        So your total resolution for simulating 3 monitors (just for the aspect ratio view) on top of each other would be 640x1080. You now just need to right-click the game in steam and go to properties and then set the launch options to:
        -w 640 –h 1080
        And you are set.

        The “answer” to your final question:
        I haven’t spent this much money for three monitors to run games on them. The main idea was to have much space as I need much space running multiple programs at once for video and photo-editing with the support of 3D programs too. Working on one monitor is possible for sure but slows down your working speed. All in all it’s a nice side effect to be able to play on three monitors but this wasn’t the reason for me to buy three of them.

        Coming back to the “resolution” thingy of your question. I don’t think that resolutions above HD (I assume you mean Full-HD with 1920x1080) don’t make any difference for the eye.
        I’ll try to explain with peripherals most people should know about.
        Common computer monitors have a DPI of/around 72. There is a big company with a fruit as their logo. They are using a DPI of 132 on their tablet computer as well as on their smartphones and as far as I can tell (because I own such a cellphone) you do notice a difference. Pictures are crisper compared to older generations of theirs phones which doesn’t have that much DPI.
        This all still depends on your state of cognition. That’s why I can’t say what you wrote is wrong, but it doesn’t apply for me.

        Now coming to Kingsleigh’s reply
        I agree with you that zooming out the camera would give an unfair advantage for people with multiple monitors. I guess Kraju meant to zoom out the camera for everyone would be great as it is fairly close.

        Talking about the camera leads me to a “bug” I’ve found:
        During a game I played, someone left the game. His hero was the Bat Rider. We all know that the Bat Rider has an ability where he can fly over/through terrain, cliffs and trees. So I was a bit bored because I just died and started testing a bit with the Bat Rider. I activated his ability and “flew” over the fountain of life on the cliffs/rocks behind it (bottom left corner of the map). The terrain was kind of high so the Bat Rider wasn’t even visible on any of my screens anymore. Well… I thought about testing to get him on screen again without moving him as this would push him back down again, because the ability was already turned off again. Well, what I did was just clicking on his portrait on the botton-middle of the screen. And this is where the “bug” appeared. Clicking on his portrait set my camera to a greater distance than normal, revealing more of the battlefield.

        Well I came over another bug too. This one is easy to fix I guess because it is just a matter of when and what to repaint/render on the screen. I randomly picked the Sniper and got to level six and choose his ultimate. Well… most often when you hover with your mouse over the ability icon, it shows you the range for casting, resulting in a green circle around the hero. I could figure out that this just happens when the hero is or was visible on your screen as long as you hovered. Snipers ultimate got a massive range so I hovered over it while he wasn’t on my screen, result: no circle.
        Having Sniper on my screen and hovering over the skill again results in having a circle. You are also able to move the camera with the arrow keys, it will still be there as long as you got your mouse over the skill. I mean that it’s indicating the range correctly when you got the hero visible on your screen. Having the hero not visible on your screen makes it not visible too, even when you move the camera via arrow keys to the hero while hovering the skill.

        Hum… I already wrote quite much again and still haven’t told what I wanted to tell.

        I try to get down to this as fast as I can.
        I rethought about what I’ve wrote in the first post and I don’t want to force other people playing on multi-monitor system to use “my” idea. Maybe it could be possible to add settings for multi-monitor systems like:

        Ingame UI: *Drop-Down-Menu with options like: “All over the screen” and “On center Screen” or “On middle Monitor”


        Camera Bonds with the same Drop-Down-Menu.

        I’m sorry, that I don’t come up with a complete solution for this but I’ve done an edit for the home Screen in which you can see how it could look like.

        DotA2UI Adjusted.jpg

        As I spoke about having a more “slammy” door animation. I come up with one here, too.

        What I would like to see here is (I assume that this won’t fit valves corporate identity/design, but I just want to share some suggestions) this order of sequences.

        First: Valve Clip
        Second: Doors closing (With the rotating DotA 2 Logo in the back disappearing behind the doors)
        Thrid: DotA 2 Logo pulsing as long as it loads the UI and other things.
        Forth: Home screen

        I know that Valve’s other big titles like L4D have a different order like

        Valve Clip, Game Intro, Loading Screen, Home screen.

        The reason why I would like to see this is that I don’t often know whether the program is loading or not during the common “Loading Screen”. I know that animating this one would do the thing but I am of the opinion that DotA 2 will become a “game of the year” and deserves a good visual impact on the viewers with new and cool animations. I do also know that producing such things isn’t cheap at all. So if anyone of the staff is interested in the composing files of this, let me know.
        All right, I tried to come to an end as fast as I could and not missing a point. As always: if anything is not clear, just reply and I will try to explain more detailed and try to come up with suggestions for resolving too.

        Sincerely EB.


        • #5
          soo how exactly did you get dota2 to play on the middle monitor only?