A couple of days ago, a number of widescreen TV owners having just bought Bioshock noticed that something appeared odd when comparing their displays with those of standard definition TVs. For some reason, the image looked like it had been cropped. According to the recent Irrational Gamesâ€™ response, however, this is not the case at all.
Elizabeth Tobey, Community Manager at Irrational Games, provided the whole lowdown on the official site of Bioshock. She starts off saying that the game was developed and tuned with widescreen mode in mind as the primary display right from the word go. Artists and designers alike went through many widescreen mode options and then finally settled upon the one that best suited their idea of the optimal gameplay experience. For your information, the game doesnâ€™t crop a lower resolution image so as to fit the widescreen mode, but renders natively to the max 1280×720 resolution when running at 720p.
Not to leave standard def owners out in the cold, Irrational opted for the field of view used by widescreen mode for 4:3 displays as well. Thus, both parties would experience the same quality of gameplay. However, in order to avoid leaving black bars on the upper and bottom parts, the developers “slightly” extended the vertical field of view for 4:3 mode. This way, they hoped to satisfy the needs of both high def and standard def owners.
In her conclusion, Elizabeth lends some hope for those simply unable to settle for the current mode:
We understand that not all users might not be happy with these choices and we will be looking into options for allowing users to adjust FOV settings manually. But as we mentioned earlier, changes to video game code do not happen in minutes or hours. We appreciate your understanding.
There you go. As said by the community manager herself, thereâ€™s still light at the end of the tunnel.