The Darkness II's FOV Issue Getting Patched

The Darkness II's FOV Issue Getting Patched

Digital Extremes is working on a patch for The Darkness II's nauseating field of view setting.

One of the marks of a sloppy console port is a narrow, unchangeable FOV. The term, for those of you who don't spend their time on deliciously frothy PC gaming forums, essentially refers to how much of the game world you can see at once. The human eye doesn't just see what's directly in front of it, including peripheral vision, the visual field of the average non-pirate is approximately 120 degrees.

Most good first person shooters offer a field of view of between 90-100 degrees - and including an option to change that is a sign of conscientious game development. Digital Extremes' The Darkness II offers around 60 degrees, perhaps less, which kind of gives the impression that protagonist, Jackie Estacado, spends the entire game with a set of binoculars glued to his face.

While console players using televisions generally won't notice the issue, low FOVs become increasingly nauseating (to some) the closer you are to the screen. For PC gamers who generally use monitors, low FOVs can make games physically uncomfortable to play.

The Darkness II's low FOV was noticed by Steam Forum users - who reacted to it the same way they react to everything else, by screaming about it in broken English - but it wasn't until prominent critic, Total Biscuit, created the above video that the developers sat up and took notice. Following Biscuit's simple breakdown of the issue, and his erudite arguments against developers who don't include FOV options, developer Sheldon Carter tweeted that Digital Extremes is working on a fix.

Progress!

Now if only they would patch that awful cliffhanger ending.

Permalink

See, I never got too bothered by FOV, and pretty much anything in first person I play on PC. I mean, sure it's convenient, but is it really such a bother?
And oh, TotalBiscuit, just couldn't go a single video without bashing consoles, could you?

As long as this issue is not patched I won't buy The Darnkess 2. I get sick from narrow FOV, I don't like beeing sick.

hazabaza1:
snip

He bashed consoles? Where?

hazabaza1:
See, I never got too bothered by FOV, and pretty much anything in first person I play on PC. I mean, sure it's convenient, but is it really such a bother?
And oh, TotalBiscuit, just couldn't go a single video without bashing consoles, could you?

It becomes a bother when you have physical side effects of a narrow FOV - headaches, fatigue, nausea and such; this isn't something that affects a tiny majority, it has an impact on more gamers than people would usually think.

Oh, and he isn't bashing consoles, he's bashing sloppy developers. Miiiiight want to watch the video first.

hazabaza1:
See, I never got too bothered by FOV, and pretty much anything in first person I play on PC. I mean, sure it's convenient, but is it really such a bother?

It is an issue for those affected by it, yes. Just watching the entire video in fullscreen mode made me nauseous, and that's not because of the violence. Not everyone is affected by it to the same degree, but the number of people having problems like nausea, headaches etc because of an unneccessary low FOV on PC is significant.

Raineheart:

hazabaza1:
See, I never got too bothered by FOV, and pretty much anything in first person I play on PC. I mean, sure it's convenient, but is it really such a bother?
And oh, TotalBiscuit, just couldn't go a single video without bashing consoles, could you?

It becomes a bother when you have physical side effects of a narrow FOV - headaches, fatigue, nausea and such; this isn't something that affects a tiny majority, it has an impact on more gamers than people would usually think.

Oh, and he isn't bashing consoles, he's bashing sloppy developers. Miiiiight want to watch the video first.

TheKasp:
As long as this issue is not patched I won't buy The Darnkess 2. I get sick from narrow FOV, I don't like beeing sick.

hazabaza1:
snip

He bashed consoles? Where?

I don't know the exact quote, can't be bothered to rewatch the video because I already did last night, but I believe it's around 11 minutes when he starts to go off on a tangent about how 'console controllers are inadequate for this kind of game.'
His opinion is fine, but whenever the topic comes up it seems like he just feels the need to pipe up about it.

hazabaza1:

I don't know the exact quote, can't be bothered to rewatch the video because I already did last night, but I believe it's around 11 minutes when he starts to go off on a tangent about how 'console controllers are inadequate for this kind of game.'
His opinion is fine, but whenever the topic comes up it seems like he just feels the need to pipe up about it.

That's at the very end of the video, and it's about 20 seconds long... I wouldn't call that 'going of on a tangent' in a 16 minute video. By the way, he only said that in relation to The Darkness 1 which he played on the XBox360 and was surprised how well the controls worked for him (emphasis mine).

hazabaza1:
See, I never got too bothered by FOV, and pretty much anything in first person I play on PC. I mean, sure it's convenient, but is it really such a bother?
And oh, TotalBiscuit, just couldn't go a single video without bashing consoles, could you?

He was only talking about how he personally can't play FPS games with a controller.

While the game should have those options included, i think he's overreacting when he goes on about "blatant disrespect" for the PC community. You can see from the community person's response that they genuinely thought that they were doing what was right for the game. It seems to me that TotalBiscuit thinks he's PC community Batman. Which he would be if Batman made a living from bitching and moaning about the injustice PC gamers face from developers who are obviously out to get them.

Secret world leader (shhh):
You can see from the community person's response that they genuinely thought that they were doing what was right for the game.

That statement proves his whole point though. If they thought such a narrow, not adjustable FOV was right for the game, they either a) had no idea of the effects on PC or b) they knew, but didn't care enough to include a FOV-option for the PC. Either one is not really acceptable for such a big budget game.

Secret world leader (shhh):
While the game should have those options included, i think he's overreacting when he goes on about "blatant disrespect" for the PC community.

It's disrespectful because the effort it takes to implement features like FOV-tweaking, key rebinding etc is really marginal, yet many products ship without them. Developers aren't even taking the most fundamental steps to adapt a game to the PC platform, then they complain when the games don't sell.

And that is why TotalBiscuit is awesome, boys and girls. But I have to add this problem isn't just with PC games. It's a problem with console games too, although admittedly to a lower degree. As a primarily console player I do sometimes feel frustrated with the lack of peripheral vision in many first person games. I think people should recognise that.

hazabaza1:
See, I never got too bothered by FOV, and pretty much anything in first person I play on PC. I mean, sure it's convenient, but is it really such a bother?

Yes.

It clearly doesn't bother you, and it doesn't bother me (though I like to set my FOV wide for other reasons). However I know a lot of PC gamers who get physically ill when locked in a narrow FOV. Valve are notorious for making people hurl, my friend had to play Portal with going to the bathroom every five minutes.

So yes, it is an issue. I wouldn't go as far as to say a game without FOV options isn't fit for purpose but it's certainly a sign of disrespect on the part of the developer.

Also TB didn't "bash" consoles. He simply said it wasn't an issue as they sit further away.

hazabaza1:
See, I never got too bothered by FOV, and pretty much anything in first person I play on PC. I mean, sure it's convenient, but is it really such a bother?
And oh, TotalBiscuit, just couldn't go a single video without bashing consoles, could you?

Giving out facts, and bashing is two totally different things.

He has said this too many times, that he is a PC and console gamer (like me also), and he owns all of the consoles.

It's no secret that a mouse offers better precision than a console controller when it comes to gaming genres such as FPS and strategy.

While consoles have much superior controls in other genres over PC, Fighting games and Racing games spring to mind. Total Biscuit has also touched up on console strengths as well, and the superior control it has over PC in some gaming genres.

So please get your facts straight next time.

Secret world leader (shhh):
While the game should have those options included, i think he's overreacting when he goes on about "blatant disrespect" for the PC community. You can see from the community person's response that they genuinely thought that they were doing what was right for the game. It seems to me that TotalBiscuit thinks he's PC community Batman. Which he would be if Batman made a living from bitching and moaning about the injustice PC gamers face from developers who are obviously out to get them.

As someone who's actually made and used graphics engines before, It is really easy to include a field of view option as it literally is just allowing a single variable to be changed. This is a standard feature in most graphics engines and literally requires next to no work.

hazabaza1:
See, I never got too bothered by FOV, and pretty much anything in first person I play on PC. I mean, sure it's convenient, but is it really such a bother?

Is it an issue when people are effectively given motion sickness from playing a game they've dropped 30 on? I'm going to go for a wild guess here and say, "of course it bloody is! Duh!".

Still, I have to give credit to the people who insist its not that much of a problem when there's forum threads and comments all over the shop about it. As is said in the video, human FOV is a lot wider in real life, so it affects a large amount of people when its unnaturally constrained.

Valve's games make me feel absolutely awful on the default FOV, but they have always let us change it.

88chaz88:
Valve are notorious for making people hurl, my friend had to play Portal with going to the bathroom every five minutes.

Your friend does know it can be changed, doesn't he? I think they go up to about 110 degrees (at least 100).

Scrustle:
And that is why TotalBiscuit is awesome, boys and girls. But I have to add this problem isn't just with PC games. It's a problem with console games too, although admittedly to a lower degree. As a primarily console player I do sometimes feel frustrated with the lack of peripheral vision in many first person games. I think people should recognise that.

Unfortunately, that's an inherent problem with the consoles.

OT: Good, should have been in the game in the first place.

It is irrelevant if the PC is in third place in terms of sales; if you are going to release it on the platform, you treat all of your customers and platforms to the same standard. On the PC, that means you give them configurable options that are necessary for them to be comfortable.

Grey Carter:

Secret world leader (shhh):
While the game should have those options included, i think he's overreacting when he goes on about "blatant disrespect" for the PC community.

It's disrespectful because the effort it takes to implement features like FOV-tweaking, key rebinding etc is really marginal, yet many products ship without them. Developers aren't even taking the most fundamental steps to adapt a game to the PC platform, then they complain when the games don't sell.

That is a great truth you speak Grey. To add to that, it also feels like they are releasing a PC version just as a quick money grab and that PC gamers are not actually important. That would be fine, just don't release a product to us if that is the case. I have to say though, the fact they released a demo was amazing. The subject of FOV was brought up right after the demo release on the 2K forums (the only forum at the time), originally.

OT: I pretty much jumped with joy when I saw that TotalBiscuit episode. It's a great game that is otherwise marred with this issue. I had taken to playing it in a window to fix the FOV, which is a very unpopular means of correcting the problem.

2K, via Elizibeth ( not her fault, she is just the messenger ) have dissmissed PC issues before and had to backtrack, specifically noting the fracus caused when 2K decided not to publish certain Bioshock 2 DLC to the PC initially.
They gave out a long load of BS to try smooth it up but didnt work and they said they were going to make the DLC available for the PC ( wouldnt know if it did, I dont buy DLC on principle ).

It is disrespectfull of the PC market in that the developer / publisher doesnt consider the market specifics, its basically just doing enough to make the 360 version work on the PC... oh and enabling the use of a mouse and keyboard.
I can understand they feel the PC is a lesser market , fine but if you cant be bothered to put up a piece of software for the platform properly then in my opinion dont bother at all.
It is very frustrating knowing that if a little more effort was expended that title would of been considerably more enjoyable.

It is more frustrating knowing that Digital Illusions have worked on high end PC titles before, as TB pointed out the Unreal Tournament ( and original Unreal ) game and that engine had a metric tonne of options you could fiddle with... its not like they dont know or are not familiar with the PC market.

One of the tags here is barfing? You stay classy Escapist!

OT: I only discovered the usefulness of FOV when playing TF2, but now my eyes are opened wide!

THANK YOU FOR THIS ARTICLE.

I was never really able to figure out why games like Darkness and Prey made me phyisically ill. All I could really figure out was that it had something to do with what happened to objects at the side when they got closer, and what happened to walls when I turned around in a room. ("Things directly in front of me would seem to swing closer when I turned away from them.")

Watching the above video, FOV is exactly what the problem is. Hell, even now I feel a little queasy from it.

Oh, and thanks for saving me a sick evening playing the Darkness 2 demo. Whew.

Well TB does like to lay it on thick but he also has a point, they are skimping out on basic features, if they can't be bothered to add essentials to a triple A title then I'll wait till I get it on ebay at a worthy price.

But it's not just a PC disrespect, how many console games come with flexible options... near none, problem is console gamers on the whole do not demand a higher standard they just accept everything as is, thus developers do not get lashed over bad conduct and they keep shitting on the carpet.

I guess if it were possible this would make TotalBiscuit even more smug and self-important. No danger of that, though.

Be fair, I love the guy's videos. I subscribe to his youtube channel. But he does lay it on a bit thick with the, "My opinions are fact and anyone who disagrees is simply wrong." bit.

I tested this by watching the video in fullscreen mode, and it does indeed make you feel lightheaded and nauseous. I don't know if that's a placebo effect, but selling a game that makes you physically sick like this should not be legal. Did nobody playtest this thing properly?

I'm getting so sick of this constant negligence devs have regarding FOV. I feel very ill very quickly if it's anything lower than 90.

And these are the people that wonder why so many people pirate PC games. Without going horribly off-topic, let me just clarify that paying for a broken product leaves a very bitter taste in one's mouth.

I have the opposite problem haha... too much FOV makes me dizzy.

I think it's kind of lazy when PC developers don't include the option to change it... I'm not a programmer, but I can't imagine it's that hard.

If you want to know more about FOV and it's effects watch these videos.
This should be required viewing for any game designer.

Played the pc demo by the end my eyes and head hurt. Only a few games have made this happen I may have to look into fov as a possible cause.

Fun demo BTW.

I often wonder how hard it is to put in basic options for the pc. I mean if you are selling it on a console I would hope you at least make it so it works and gives the player the ability to adjust it to fit their screen, controller, and sound system.

hazabaza1:

Raineheart:

hazabaza1:
See, I never got too bothered by FOV, and pretty much anything in first person I play on PC. I mean, sure it's convenient, but is it really such a bother?
And oh, TotalBiscuit, just couldn't go a single video without bashing consoles, could you?

It becomes a bother when you have physical side effects of a narrow FOV - headaches, fatigue, nausea and such; this isn't something that affects a tiny majority, it has an impact on more gamers than people would usually think.

Oh, and he isn't bashing consoles, he's bashing sloppy developers. Miiiiight want to watch the video first.

TheKasp:
As long as this issue is not patched I won't buy The Darnkess 2. I get sick from narrow FOV, I don't like beeing sick.

hazabaza1:
snip

He bashed consoles? Where?

I don't know the exact quote, can't be bothered to rewatch the video because I already did last night, but I believe it's around 11 minutes when he starts to go off on a tangent about how 'console controllers are inadequate for this kind of game.'
His opinion is fine, but whenever the topic comes up it seems like he just feels the need to pipe up about it.

they are less precise than k+m thats objective fact. You can prefer what you want, but for precision (like what is useful in shooters) it is (currently at least) the best option. The tradeoff is ofc you can only desk it whereas couch play is the controllers strong point.

No reason to get butthurt about facts.

 

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