Why do some video game and computer program graphical options have to be “applied” manually while others change the instant you change the setting?

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Why do some video game and computer program graphical options have to be “applied” manually while others change the instant you change the setting?

In: Technology

21 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

That mostly depends on game engine’s source code. Some are good, some are not so. Usually, resources need reloading when settings changed, and sometimes API requires recreating all objects. Usually when game requires restart to apply some options, that’s because game engine need all resources to be reloaded under new settings and it’s easier to do it just by restarting than by actual reloading.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Mostly because of the underlying workings of said settings.

Possibly interaction with other settings. Also the different setting could mean a different initialisation value, requiring a full restart.

I can give you a simple example that is easy to understand: translations. Some applications can do it on the fly, others require a restart. A common reason for this is that the language stuff is in a dedicated dll with each language on a different dll. Since dlls cannot (or may not) be unloaded it is not (or may not) possible to ditch the resources of the original language.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Think of it like changing settings to your car. Let’s say you want to change the pressure of your tires for a rocky road ahead. You would want to stop your car and change the settings of the tires. Other settings like the speed of your windshield wipers you can change while your driving. There are just some things in software that are running so in order to change them you need to stop the program.

Edit: Thanks for the silver kind redditor!

Anonymous 0 Comments

It mostly depends on how the developer designed the UI to provide a certain experience to the user and also to meet some expectations on how an UI should work.

For example if you are changing the style of your character it makes sense to show the change immediately after you made your choice. On the other end if you are changing some settings that require reloading of the interface this might get annoying fast if done at each change so it makes more sense to apply all of them at once and be done with it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because most game settings are loaded only at the start of the game. If you want to reload new settings again, you must restart the game. P.S I am a game developer.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I am no expert so correct me if I am wrong.

Certain physical assets such as textures may be loaded from a file so we first remove the old texture and replace it with a new one.

Other things are calculated like shadows, so if we apply a more complex algorithm we can get a nicer shadow, we can calculate this on the fly without loading any assets.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It depends on how the game is programmed. Are these settings applied at loading the full game? Or loading a level or a mission ina game? Something like the crosshairs gets loaded when the mission gets loaded but something like the resolution gets loaded when the game gets loaded. They could probably figure out a way to load all of these on demand and switch em whenever they want. However some of these things are too complicated for what it’s worth.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Textures get loaded at full resolution and then downscaled on game load. If you change texture quality settings it has to reload the assets and do it again. Some engines support this well, some don’t.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The code that actually calculates and runs each of these different effects is quite complex, and they all sit together in even more complex chains. Certain effects can only be calculated after others have been done, and so on.

When you fire up a game, it will *generally* only load the code for the effects it needs, and chain them together in the most efficient order, based on what you’ve got set in the settings. Having the ability to change which effects are loaded once they’re loaded, and which order they go in, isn’t a simple thing – so some game engines can’t do it.

Thus, if you go into the settings and change which effects you want, and the game’s underlying code isn’t smart enough, it’ll have to save those settings, and load itself fresh from the start. Other engines are more sophisticated, and the developers have taken the time to allow these chains to be modified after being loaded.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Think of your house. When you want things brighter, you can flip a switch and a light goes on. Some game features are more like wanting a different bulb altogether. Maybe a softer color. For that, you need to turn everything off, and replace the bulb. If you spend some more money up front, you can get one of those bulbs that can adjust its color through an app, while it’s on! Game developers make trade offs based on how expensive it is to add a feature. Sometimes it’s cheaper to go with the “replace a bulb” way, if it’s something that doesn’t change too often — or if the “software controlled lightbulb” approach is too complicated.