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  1. #1
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    Default High-res VGA issue - another fix coming

    In the next Gears of War update users running 1280x1024 monitors will get true 1280x720 (720p) image letterboxed within 1280x1024. This should give the full HD experience.

    Many users spoke up and said they favored playing the game at higher resolution in a letterbox rather than playing it in full-screen mode. To achieve the proper aspect ratio in full screen mode we had to render at 900x720 (the next usable 5:4 resolution below our maximum of 1280x720) and then let the Xbox 360 scale to fit.

    As a temporary measure one of our programmers suggested that between now and the next update that users of 1280x1024 monitors might find the picture more pleasing if they set their Xbox to 1024x768 - the aspect ratio is pretty close but the actual resolution is about 45% higher.

    We apologize for the inconvenience this might have caused. I'll try to get an estimated date for the next update and post it here in the forum as soon as I can. We appreciate everyones' patience with this issue.

  2. #2
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    well, thanks for the info. let's just hope that date will come soon.

    EDIT:
    Does this mean we'll get the option to choose between full screen and letterboxed or is it just gonna be letterboxed
    again ?
    Last edited by Copacetic 3da; 01-11-2007 at 07:24 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info, the admission and information of what exactly lead up to this point, and the promise to fix it.

    I just hope it's a little sooner than the 2month timeframe of the first one (though I know that part of that time it was sitting at MS Cert labs because they take half of December off apparantly).

  4. #4
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    Default Seriously?

    Whoa (in best Keanu Reeves voice). Well, I was fearing that you'd forget about it and just keep denying anything was wrong. Thankfully, *I* was wrong.

    Thank you Mr. Rein and the rest of Epic for standing up and taking responsibility. Despite all our ranting and raving, you do seem interested in satisfying all of your customers.

    However, this still does not let you off the hook, at least until the actual patch that actually FIXES the problem is released. We all know how that can go to hell in a handbasket quickly.

    MS Cert Labs: get yer heads out of yer glory holes and get ready to test this patch effectively! Remember, third time's the charm

    I will indeed try out 1024x768 when I get the chance. Hopefully, your programmer is being sincere in claiming it will look better than what we've got.

    Thanks for the notification. We'll be waiting...and watching.

  5. #5

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    Thank you. I was going to trade this game in, Now I can keep it.

  6. #6

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    Appriciate the post, and look forward to the fix.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidspappy View Post
    Whoa (in best Keanu Reeves voice). Well, I was fearing that you'd forget about it and just keep denying anything was wrong. Thankfully, *I* was wrong.
    We don't do that - that's not the Epic way!
    Thank you Mr. Rein and the rest of Epic for standing up and taking responsibility. Despite all our ranting and raving, you do seem interested in satisfying all of your customers.
    Everyone here is. Our future depends on it. We listen to our fans and we genuinely make our best effort to satisfy them and hopefully exceed their expectations. But we're a small company with limited (human) resources so we have to be careful not to bite off more that we can chew.
    However, this still does not let you off the hook, at least until the actual patch that actually FIXES the problem is released. We all know how that can go to hell in a handbasket quickly.
    Hahaha! We'll try to get this out as quickly as possible. Unfortunately quickly is a relative terms when it takes 2 weeks to go through a successful certification or longer if they find an issue.
    MS Cert Labs: get yer heads out of yer glory holes and get ready to test this patch effectively! Remember, third time's the charm
    This wasn't their fault. We did fix the issue which was a messed up aspect ratio but many people weren't happy with the results and the option to force letterbox on 1280x1024 users, whether they want it or not, was not an easy one to make but I think it is clear that Gear fans favor visual quality. We checked out a bunch of other games that fans suggested were doing it right and we agree the results are better.
    I will indeed try out 1024x768 when I get the chance. Hopefully, your programmer is being sincere in claiming it will look better than what we've got.
    It's not about sincerity - there are 45% more pixels at work at that resolution.
    Thanks for the notification. We'll be waiting...and watching.
    Thanks for your patience.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copacetic 3da View Post
    well, thanks for the info. let's just hope that date will come soon.

    EDIT:
    Does this mean we'll get the option to choose between full screen and letterboxed or is it just gonna be letterboxed
    again ?

    The way the console works I'm thinking there is no option, that it will be letterboxed and that's it.

    I'm perfectly, 100% fine with that, honestly. I know I'll get the correct aspect ratio, I know I'll get the correct resolution, and I know it'll look like the majority of the games in the system's library in terms of display output.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jechtshot78 View Post
    Thank you. I was going to trade this game in, Now I can keep it.
    That would be a mistake. We support our games and there is some very cool stuff in the works for this game.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copacetic 3da View Post
    Does this mean we'll get the option to choose between full screen and letterboxed or is it just gonna be letterboxed
    again ?
    There won't be an option.

  11. #11
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    Mr. Rein,

    Sorry to jump in again, but I have a question: is the fact that you rendered in 900x720 (upsampling to 1280x1024) the cause of the apparent lack of anti-aliasing? Have you determined that upsampling exacerbated the jaggies, and not that AA was deactivated by some other error or omission? I only ask, because your claims that you could NOT detect any signs of jaggies in your testing. So even if you fix it by rendering a true "letterboxed" 1280x720, who's to say if AA was omitted your testing would be able to detect it (or MS for that matter).

    In other words, how are you going to determine your fix actually fixes the glitch if you folks couldn't see the original problem?

    Sorry to split hairs like this, but as they say, "once bitten, twice shy." Or should that read, "twice bitten, three times as shy!" Thanks for any response.

    P.S. - I just saw your response to my original post. Thank you very much Mr. Rein. I appreciate your dedication and even more, your patience when it comes to demanding customers.
    Last edited by sidspappy; 01-11-2007 at 07:55 PM.

  12. #12
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    Playing in 1024x768 now, it does look a little better than 1280x1024.

    Less jaggies for sure, but there are still some (not the fault of the game, it's simply because it's lower res than what we're used to/wanting) and it's a little blurry (again, not the fault of the game, but most likely my monitor spazzing a little because it gets cranky when it has to deal with a signal that isn't native res)

    Looking forward to the (hopefully true and final =) fix.

  13. #13
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    Free maps? Open dialogue with customers? Jeez, you guys being so cool is really making it difficult for the complainers to paint you as nazis. Couldn't you sell us a really crappy expansion pack or something?
    http://my.livecard.net/24749/jymtarrr.png
    What Would Jymtarr Do? (the answer is stomp heads)
    Gears of War Master
    - Conquered Insane while controlling both Marcus and Dom - 70/30 COG TAGS - 40,000/1000 Achievement Points - Won 15 ranked matches in a row only using my mind.

  14. #14

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    EPIC FOR THE WIN.


    You have sold millions of GOW, made tones of cash, yet you listen to a minorty of us vga users on 5:4 monitors. Thank you.

  15. #15
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    Now if we can just get more of the forum population to see this post it will saves some headaches with anymore posts being made. Where is TRD SUpra he needs to be here.

  16. #16
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    hey i have a question, when this fix comes out, im guessing when 1280x1024 is put on normal it will be letterboxed, when 1280x1024 is put on widescreen will it be fullscreen?

  17. #17
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    I'm still not entirely certain that AA is on at 1024x768.

    From my PC gaming experience, AA 4x should result in some pretty smooth edges, and even where jaggies still exist, the edges of them are usually blurred or softened. I'm not seeint that in this resolution: Still a fair amount of jaggies, and no evidence that the system is even trying to do anything about them.

    I dunno. It could just be that my perceptions are off because I have yet to see this game the way I'm supposed to.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by sidspappy View Post
    Mr. Rein,

    Sorry to jump in again, but I have a question: is the fact that you rendered in 900x720 (upsampling to 1280x1024) the cause of the apparent lack of anti-aliasing? Have you determined that upsampling exacerbated the jaggies, and not that AA was deactivated by some other error or omission? I only ask, because your claims that you could NOT detect any signs of jaggies in your testing. So even if you fix it by rendering a true "letterboxed" 1280x720, who's to say if AA was omitted your testing would be able to detect it (or MS for that matter).

    In other words, how are you going to determine your fix actually fixes the glitch if you folks couldn't see the original problem?

    Sorry to split hairs like this, but as they say, "once bitten, twice shy." Or should that read, "twice bitten, three times as shy!" Thanks for any response.

    P.S. - I just saw your response to my original post. Thank you very much Mr. Rein. I appreciate your dedication and even more, your patience when it comes to demanding customers.
    Thanks god. And thanks to Epic for listening us (next time I believe we all will be a bit more polite :P and patient).

    On the other hand I share the same questions as sidspappy. In addition to the lower render resolution AA seemed disabled. I hope the new patch doesn┤t forget to turn it on.

    Well, nothing more to say. Epic has shown us again that they really want to fulfill customer┤s expectations. Thanks again for GoW and for your support.
    Last edited by VooD; 01-11-2007 at 08:28 PM.

  19. #19
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    i'm glad that now the fix will (hopefully) be what we all wanted originally.
    Full (letterboxed) HD with no distortion !!!! yay!
    Last edited by Ebels; 01-11-2007 at 08:36 PM.

  20. #20

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    Thank you for the update Mr Rein.

    Heres to hoping this update makes it as good or better than before the patch.

  21. #21

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    I hope this new fix also puts 1024x768 back to it's previous state. AA is clearly off on that setting and looked much, much better before the patch

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rein View Post
    In the next Gears of War update users running 1280x1024 monitors will get true 1280x720 (720p) image letterboxed within 1280x1024. This should give the full HD experience.

    Many users spoke up and said they favored playing the game at higher resolution in a letterbox rather than playing it in full-screen mode. To achieve the proper aspect ratio in full screen mode we had to render at 900x720 (the next usable 5:4 resolution below our maximum of 1280x720) and then let the Xbox 360 scale to fit.

    As a temporary measure one of our programmers suggested that between now and the next update that users of 1280x1024 monitors might find the picture more pleasing if they set their Xbox to 1024x768 - the aspect ratio is pretty close but the actual resolution is about 45% higher.

    We apologize for the inconvenience this might have caused. I'll try to get an estimated date for the next update and post it here in the forum as soon as I can. We appreciate everyones' patience with this issue.
    Just to make sure, the original Vga bug (everything squished) won't come back with this letterbox, it will be fixed right.

    (even if it isn't i still perfer letterbox)

  23. #23
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    "This wasn't their fault. We did fix the issue which was a messed up aspect ratio but many people weren't happy with the results and the option to force letterbox on 1280x1024 users, whether they want it or not, was not an easy one to make but I think it is clear that Gear fans favor visual quality. We checked out a bunch of other games that fans suggested were doing it right and we agree the results are better."

    I am dissapointed with this as I love to play fullscreen. I am one of the few who prefer fullscreen over letterbox as my 19 inch display already seems small to me. Is there any way you can include a way to play fullscreen? Ill take the lower resolution. I just want to play fullscreen. Kinda makes me wish this came out for PC now.

  24. #24
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    We arnt just going back to the old letterbox where the charaters where squished are we? You guys are going to make it how its suppost to be this time correct?

  25. #25
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    Nah from what I understand letterbox is being forced on people who prefer fullscreen. I hope Im wrong. When I bouught my 360 I did tests to make sure that I could play games fullscreen using the VGA HD AV cable or was going to return the 360. I rented a bunch of games and they played fullscreen as I did not want to be forced to play letterbox and now one of my favorite games is forcing this on me. As a result I likely won't be playing Gears as much and an unenthusiastic about the sequel.
    Last edited by armagon917; 01-11-2007 at 08:50 PM.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by armagon917 View Post
    "This wasn't their fault. We did fix the issue which was a messed up aspect ratio but many people weren't happy with the results and the option to force letterbox on 1280x1024 users, whether they want it or not, was not an easy one to make but I think it is clear that Gear fans favor visual quality. We checked out a bunch of other games that fans suggested were doing it right and we agree the results are better."

    I am dissapointed with this as I love to play fullscreen. I am one of the few who prefer fullscreen over letterbox as my 19 inch display already seems small to me. Is there any way you can include a way to play fullscreen? Ill take the lower resolution. I just want to play fullscreen. Kinda makes me wish this came out for PC now.
    please don't jepardise their decision to return to letterbox

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    Quote Originally Posted by armagon917 View Post
    Nah from what I understand letterbox is being forced on people who prefer fullscreen. I hope Im wrong.
    I dont mind letterbox at all, because if the aspect ratio is right it wont be how it was before the patch the picture willa ctually be bigger not a lot but still will be bigger. So im sure ill be happy.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by armagon917 View Post
    Nah from what I understand letterbox is being forced on people who prefer fullscreen. I hope Im wrong.
    and if you want full screen like they said use 1024x768, which is better then the 1280x1024. So what are you complaining about?

    Edit. read thier post

    As a temporary measure one of our programmers suggested that between now and the next update that users of 1280x1024 monitors might find the picture more pleasing if they set their Xbox to 1024x768 - the aspect ratio is pretty close but the actual resolution is about 45% higher.

  29. #29
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    Yes thats their temporary measure before they patch the game which forces users to play letter box. Heres the quote from Mr Rein, its you who need to read more carefully. "This wasn't their fault. We did fix the issue which was a messed up aspect ratio but many people weren't happy with the results and the option to force letterbox on 1280x1024 users, whether they want it or not, was not an easy one to make but I think it is clear that Gear fans favor visual quality. We checked out a bunch of other games that fans suggested were doing it right and we agree the results are better."

    I have a right to voice my opinion about this, as you do to voice yours about wanting letterbox. So hes saying that they decided to force letterbox and it wasnt an easy decision.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColdFire View Post
    hey i have a question, when this fix comes out, im guessing when 1280x1024 is put on normal it will be letterboxed, when 1280x1024 is put on widescreen will it be fullscreen?
    In the absence of an official response, I'd venture that you'd be correct. Most 360 games, when you set the dashboard to Normal, you'll get a completely serviceable letterbox effect. If you set it to Widescreen (which apparently outputs a true 1280x720 image), then with monitors like my Dell 1704FPT, you'll get a vertically stretched image, since the 1280x720 signal is being fit into a 1280x1024 screen. That's exactly how GOW is outputting 1280x1024 Widescreen right now, even after the patch.

    But I don't think that is what you're asking. And from Mark Rein's previous posts, I don't think they are going to do a special 1280x1024 render that outputs fullscreen after the newest patch comes out. Why would they? After the s**tstorm they just endured, why create more chances to screw up?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by armagon917 View Post
    Yes thats their temporary measure before they patch the game which forces users to play letter box. Heres the quote from Mr Rein, its you who need to read more carefully. "This wasn't their fault. We did fix the issue which was a messed up aspect ratio but many people weren't happy with the results and the option to force letterbox on 1280x1024 users, whether they want it or not, was not an easy one to make but I think it is clear that Gear fans favor visual quality. We checked out a bunch of other games that fans suggested were doing it right and we agree the results are better."

    I have a right to voice my opinion about this, as you do to voice yours about wanting letterbox. So hes saying that they decided to force letterbox and it wasnt an easy decision.
    Like I said you can use full screen 1024x768, which is better then the 1280x1024 because they had to render it at 900x720 so what are you complaining about? just use 1024x768.

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    I agree it just sucks for users who prefer fullscreen and I didnt mind the vertical stretching that much. I want to use ever pixel on my screen. This just sucks for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by e7ernalrest View Post
    Like I said you can use full screen 1024x768, which is better then the 1280x1024 because they had to render it at 900x720 so what are you complaining about? use use 1024x768.

    Are you not getting it? He said thats their temporary solution before the new patch which will force letterbox on people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armagon917 View Post
    Are you not getting it? He said thats their temporary solution before the new patch which will force letterbox on people.
    Yes it is a temporary fix! but like they said to make 1280x1024 fullscreen they had to render it at 900x720, so do u expect them to do something different the next patch to make it better and fullscreen? What are you trying to get at, they tried to render it at 900x720 and it looks like ****? so wtf do you want.

  35. #35
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    I want fullscreen and calm the hell down there. I just dont like being forced to play the game a certain way would you? Ill take the vertical stretching over letterbox anyday. I just want some kind of option to play fullscreen, and you getting angry over me voicing my opinion is imature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armagon917 View Post
    I want fullscreen and calm the hell down there. I just dont like being forced to play the game a certain way would you? Ill take the vertical stretching over letterbox anyday.
    and like they said the only way to stretch 1280x1024 they have to render the image at 900x720 which makes it look worse then 1024x768 so if u want fullscreen then playon that resolution....

  37. #37
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    Mr.Rain, I can now truly thank you!! As you might have noticed i was very demanding over the last few days, and now that can finally end thanks to your unbelievable support!! To be honest i wouldn't have thought that you would actually fix this issue, because many other developers didn't (PGR 3, Oblivion), so i am very surprised and happy now!

    Now i can finally put my efforts into fansupport (comic etc.) for your great game ^^ Thank you sooooo much!!
    ------------------------------------------------------

    Quote of the day:


    Instead of choosing between (Gears of Tall and Thin) or (Gears of Short and Fat) I can now choose between (Gears of Tall and Thin) or (Gears of Jagged Edges Because Either AA Was Turned Off Or 480p Was Upscaled Instead Of Rendering At 1280x1024).

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by armagon917 View Post
    I have a right to voice my opinion about this, as you do to voice yours about wanting letterbox. So hes saying that they decided to force letterbox and it wasnt an easy decision.
    Of course you have the right to your opinion, and from what Epic can determine from genuine feedback, maintaining aspect ratio and image quality won out over fullscreen desire. They apparently made a company decision at the time the first patch was made, and they decided to change the squished image to fullscreen (maybe thinking, "well if it's squished, we'll just stretch it out vertically and everything will be okay."). Now, public outcry has changed their decision back to WS.

    I can completely sympathize with your view. However, the quote "the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few" seems to apply in this VGA fix case.

    Personally, I think they made the right decision here. Maintaining the original aspect ratio they programmed in makes everything easier and cleaner - less chance of rendering differences between aspect ratio versions, and more users happy.

    All things being equal, I myself don't care if the render is fullscreen or widescreen - only that what they do is done correctly.

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    @armagon: even if it may seem to you that fullscreen uses more pixels on your screen: it doesn't. it cuts the edges of the picture. You may have more viewspace up and down, but were do the enemys usually come from?the sky? No, they come from the sides, so you have even better chances in the game with the letterboxing because of the 16:9 viewsize. And besides that image quality will be much better! Trust me ^^
    ------------------------------------------------------

    Quote of the day:


    Instead of choosing between (Gears of Tall and Thin) or (Gears of Short and Fat) I can now choose between (Gears of Tall and Thin) or (Gears of Jagged Edges Because Either AA Was Turned Off Or 480p Was Upscaled Instead Of Rendering At 1280x1024).

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by e7ernalrest View Post
    and like they said the only way to stretch 1280x1024 they have to render the image at 900x720 which makes it look worse then 1024x768 so if u want fullscreen then playon that resolution....
    Thats a temporary solution, they are going to patch it mmmkay. After that I am stuck with letterbox. So thats a viable alternative now and I told a few friends who I play online with and they are frusterated with this too. You fail to relize (in your statement) that after the patch is implemented I have no options for fullscreen. And yes I relize on the whole this is a better decision for "the many" but it sucks for me and a lot of other people out there.


 
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