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[Proposal] Allow well-considered and intentional use of partially off-screen objects

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Topic Starter
quila
Hello everyone. This is a proposal to modernize the way that the ranking criteria treats partially off-screen objects.

Design philosophy in mapping has diversified and evolved significantly over time. Right now, reading is widely considered a legitimate source of game difficulty and expression, as well as a legitimate skill which players can develop. Over the past years, we have seen many maps ranked which utilize reading as a form of expression and/or challenge, and these maps have been positively received by players and mappers alike.

In alignment with this, the ranking criteria should be updated to reflect this consensus on reading where it can. One apparent part of the ranking criteria that can be improved in this way is the way it approaches partially off-screen objects. As it stands, there's one rule against partially off-screen objects, which includes the original reasoning behind it:
Hit objects that are even partially off-screen can create reading difficulties.
As detailed above, this reasoning is misaligned with the way reading is seen nowadays and reflects an outdated design philosophy. As such, this proposal suggests the rule be updated to allow for well-considered use of partially off-screen objects.

This does not mean that the average map will have partially off-screen objects scattered throughout for no reason. What it means is that we can create maps which intentionally use partially off-screen objects as a part of their design and appeal.

Thanks for reading. For the sake of clear discussion, this post doesn't include specific suggestions about how to reword current rules. Instead, it can act as a place to discuss the idea behind it. Once/if an agreement is met, then at that point we can transition into wordings.
McEndu
But off-screen hitobjects can make aesthetics awful, I think?

As most players use 16:9 or other widescreen aspect ratios, I won't object to hitobjects that are partially offscreen on the x axis. Partially offscreen on the y axis is not something I would appreciate.
Topic Starter
quila
As most players use 16:9 or other widescreen aspect ratios, I won't object to hitobjects that are partially offscreen on the x axis. Partially offscreen on the y axis is not something I would appreciate.
Agreed. This is something I was planning to bring up later. Thank you for pointing this out.

To be sure we're on the same page, objects that are partially offscreen on the top/bottom of the screen will be in the same position regardless of aspect ratio. On the other hand, if an object is partially offscreen on the left/right side of the screen, it's position relative to the edge of the screen will differ on different aspect ratios. Because of this, only the top/bottom sides of the screen should be used for partially off-screen objects to avoid discrepancies
Sophie Twilight
As much I like to use off-screen sliders in my maps, this proposal will create massive conflicts arguing about players playing with limited resolution not being able to enjoy maps etc etc.

Better to stay as it is.
Topic Starter
quila

- Mahiro - wrote:

this proposal will create massive conflicts arguing about players playing with limited resolution not being able to enjoy maps
I understand the concern. You should take a look at my above comment. From testing, I couldn't find any differences between aspect ratios when an object is partially off-screen on the top/bottom side of the screen.
McEndu
Note that osu!std is designed with a 4:3 aspect ratio in mind, as it was the most common aspect ratio in 2007.
1103
I agree with this proposal. I think it can add some flavor to those mappers that can actually handle it in their repertoire
CallieCube
Based. Upvote. Anti-downvote. Read it
i am very gay
how would this interact with different aspect ratios inluding horizontal and landscape ones though
Topic Starter
quila

i am very gay wrote:

how would this interact with different aspect ratios inluding horizontal and landscape ones though
On horizontal ratios, an object that's partially off-screen on the top or bottom side of the screen will be in the same position relative to the edge of the screen on every ratio, as explained above.
i am very gay

quila wrote:

i am very gay wrote:

how would this interact with different aspect ratios inluding horizontal and landscape ones though
On horizontal ratios, an object that's partially off-screen on the top or bottom side of the screen will be in the same position relative to the edge of the screen on every ratio, as explained above.
ok but whats stopping someone from having their monitor set to vertical for maps that use

the whole purpose of having things on 4:3 is to make it so that all users are on a fair playing field when it comes to what is on screen for them or not and this rule would make it unfair against laptop players or people with monitors that they cant flip
Sophie Twilight

quila wrote:

- Mahiro - wrote:

this proposal will create massive conflicts arguing about players playing with limited resolution not being able to enjoy maps
I understand the concern. You should take a look at my above comment. From testing, I couldn't find any differences between aspect ratios when an object is partially off-screen on the top/bottom side of the screen.
Well, personally I do like to see this happen.
Players just are too entitled to wanting to have fun with maps that they even criticise maps for having off-screen sliders when the maps are NOT even aimed for ranked, like it is a crime making sliders off-screen.
Like, do I even give a shit you want to have fun? Can't have fun? Don't play.

This causes quite restrictions on mappers to map with smaller playfield.
Topic Starter
quila

i am very gay wrote:

quila wrote:

i am very gay wrote:

how would this interact with different aspect ratios inluding horizontal and landscape ones though
On horizontal ratios, an object that's partially off-screen on the top or bottom side of the screen will be in the same position relative to the edge of the screen on every ratio, as explained above.
ok but whats stopping someone from having their monitor set to vertical for maps that use
All using a vertical resolution would do is deny oneself a part of a map's unique experience. Any competitive advantage would be trivial at most, and an at least noticeable disadvantage would be likely as one would be using an odd resolution they're not used to.

- Mahiro - wrote:

Players just are too entitled to wanting to have fun with maps that they even criticise maps for having off-screen sliders
You're likely thinking of maps where sliders are going off-screen for no reason. That's not what this proposal is about. This is about intentional uses. One popular example is the winning entry of the 2016 aspire contest, which at the very end includes some triples that are partially off-screen. This usage was well-received by players even back then because it contributed to their experience in a positive way.

Another example is one of my own maps, which has a section with sliders starting partially off-screen on the bottom side for reasons of expression. Though this is necessarily a less-known example - examples are hard to find since this is unrankable - it was well-received by players too. This example is another which indicates that there are ways of using partially off-screen objects which players like and which better their experience of a map.
Project Railgun
In my Derive Me, Maybe? I use an off-screen slider at 01:56:707 (1) - to emphasize the rebound of "crazy" in the lyrics. The idea is that both 4:3 and 16:9 users play a "crazy" slider (even if it isn't off-screen in 16:9) since 16:9 players will feel unusual while playing a slider outside the typical grid most maps conform to.

I believe this exertion of unusualness on the player is a useful tool for mapping expression.
Sophie Twilight

quila wrote:

- Mahiro - wrote:

Players just are too entitled to wanting to have fun with maps that they even criticise maps for having off-screen sliders
You're likely thinking of maps where sliders are going off-screen for no reason. That's not what this proposal is about. This is about intentional uses. One popular example is the winning entry of the 2016 aspire contest, which at the very end includes some triples that are partially off-screen. This usage was well-received by players even back then because it contributed to their experience in a positive way.

Another example is one of my own maps, which has a section with sliders starting partially off-screen on the bottom side for reasons of expression. Though this is necessarily a less-known example - examples are hard to find since this is unrankable - it was well-received by players too. This example is another which indicates that there are ways of using partially off-screen objects which players like and which better their experience of a map.
You're right on what I meant. But I just hate it when players restrict mappers to map their own way mapping the sliders are off-screen whether for reason or not just because they can't enjoy it.

I get it that majority of maps exist to provide content for players to enjoy, but don't apply the same to the maps that are not primarily meant for that.
laura-
Fully agree with the proposal. Allowing off-screen objects could open the door to really interesting concepts
Ryu Sei
It's an interesting 'gimmick' for me as a beginner osu! player, and I'd like to see it to be applied well. Just because it's partially off-screen, if it does make the map interesting, I won't refuse it. That's a thing I will appreciate at most.
Naxess
Reading isn't really what I'd consider the main reason for the rule existing, but rather aim.

If you're playing with a mouse (which a lot of ppl do), hitting the border of the screen (e.g. by overshooting a bit) makes your mouse continue moving while the cursor gets stuck. This throwing off your hand-eye coordination and causing a frustrating gameplay experience is something I'd say outweighs the potential coolness factor of it being a reading challenge.

It does also make it harder to scale osu! in terms of platforms, since clicking partially offscreen stuff with touch devices may be difficult if there's an incline at the edges.

Besides, I'm pretty sure hit objects being fully on the screen is a core principle that ppy wants to keep. So if this does go anywhere it may or may not be shut down during review, just so you're prepared for that.
Topic Starter
quila
If you're playing with a mouse (which a lot of ppl do), hitting the border of the screen (e.g. by overshooting a bit) makes your mouse continue moving while the cursor gets stuck
I've been playing with mouse for 5 years. I recently played a map by laura- which utilizes partially off-screen objects (beatmapsets/1683355). What you describe didn't happen because I already understand the cursor stops moving at the edge of the screen, and my intuition of where the cursor will be accounts for this.

No mapping technique transfers over to touch-pad gameplay with the intended effect. It's normal for playing maps to be easier or harder and feel different when playing on those devices. The idea that they might be completely unhittable because of overhangs is fair, but for potential future ports of osu, it seems it would be simple to have objects on the very edge of the screen be tapped when the player presses close to them. There are various other possibilities for handling these cases on touch devices as well (e.g loading objects closer to the inside of the screen when far enough away).

I appreciate the prompt feedback though.
Naxess
Been pondering on this for a bit.

Things like



being easier to play and read than



does defeat the principle of no one having a competitive advantage due to resolution.

The current rule maintains this by ensuring everything stays within 4:3, and thereby is consistent with 16:9/16:10. Abandoning that consistency seems wrong, but maybe that's just me. You may want to ask peppy and other NAT for their thoughts, considering how this fundamentally changes gameplay.
Topic Starter
quila
Avoiding discrepancies between player's resolutions is something I agree with because the experience of playing a map should be consistent across players, and they shouldn't need to go out of their way to play a map as intended (e.g changing from a wider resolution to 4:3). This was addressed in the first couple replies, but probably should have been in the main post.

From my reply to DCT:
Objects that are partially offscreen on the top/bottom of the screen will be in the same position relative to the edge regardless of aspect ratio. On the other hand, if an object is partially offscreen on the left/right side of the screen, it's position relative to the edge of the screen will differ on different aspect ratios. Because of this, only the top/bottom sides of the screen should be used for partially off-screen objects to avoid discrepancies
In other words, the proposal is just meant about objects partially off-screen on the top/bottom sides to avoid what you illustrated.

Granted, it's still possible to edit osu's configuration file to make it launch in a vertical resolution. However, like I wrote in reply to 'i am very gay', I don't see that giving a non-trivial advantage and it would coincide with an at least noticeable disadvantage of using a resolution ones not used to. I think the most it would do is deny oneself part of a map's unique experience.
Edit: A friend and I tested this on windows and linux and it turns osu can't be loaded vertically with this method. It remains possible to rotate one's physical screen as seen here, so these arguments are still relevant to a smaller possible objection.

I can ask other NATs if you still think it's necessary. I don't have any way to contact peppy, but I guess he'll see the push request.
UberFazz
don't really think it's feasible, even if i like the idea in principle

from most to least important:
  1. as stated earlier, being able to mess around with resolutions can cause unpredictable differences in gameplay between users (this is very easy to do in lazer)
  2. essentially causes a huge division between maps ranked before and after this change. the "gameplay area" would quite literally expand, and from what im understanding, would no longer be a square. could very well mess with people's setups and how they're used to playing the game (for example, my tablet area is only defined in the play area, making off-screen objects literally unhittable)
  3. feels "gamebreaking" for the aforementioned reason - looks like a bug more than a feature

this is coming from someone who absolutely loves fanzhen's XNOR and all the ideas in it (like the intro that does this exact thing that i would proceed to shamelessly steal in one of my own maps)

i just don't think this kind of thing is healthy to mix into ranked but id love to be proven wrong somehow

also there's no way peppy would ever approve of this lol
-White
You also have the concern of what is an "acceptable" offscreen slider. The rule about no offscreen objects is very cut and dry, but your proposal introduces a lot of subjectivity in this regard.
Naxess

UberFazz wrote:

looks like a bug more than a feature
This is pretty huge even for being least important.

More or less the same reason 2B can be well-executed and fully playable but still isn't allowed; it's more of an unintentional mechanic than a natural progression of what was taught in the tutorial.

Features not intended by the developers risk breaking in future versions of the game, and that's not a risk we can let ranked maps be subject to. So it ultimately comes down to whether this is considered intentional or not, and if we need to ask, it's probably not.

(As an example: You can put circles below the screen but not to the sides or above, due to the game clamping all object heads within a 512 x 512 px square, with the playfield being 384 px high. Something like this could be changed in lazer, which would retroactively break maps depending on the implementation.)
Topic Starter
quila
Thanks for the input, I appreciate it. This post is a reply to the points raised in UberFazz' post. I'll reply to the most recent two later.

Changing resolutions can cause differences in gameplay between users
If you mean resolutions that are taller than they are wide, I wrote about this in reply to Naxess. Could you explain why you disagree there?

If you mean differing horizontal resolutions, such as 16:9 versus 4:3, the proposal is limited to objects that are off-screen on the top/bottom side for this reason. For more about this, see my reply to DCT at the top.

The change would create a division between maps ranked before and after the change. the "gameplay area" would quite literally expand
Outside maps that center design at least in part on reading, there aren't reasons to use partially off-screen objects. Seeing as most maps don't focus on reading beyond trying to be easy to read, it's unclear how this would create a huge divide between past and future maps. Mappers aren't going to be pushing objects off-screen just to have a bit more space to map with at the expense of creating unnecessary reading changes, if that's what you mean.

This could very well mess with people's setups and how they're used to playing the game (for example, my tablet area is only defined in the play area, making off-screen objects literally unhittable)
I'm guessing that this will be seen as the most important argument, and it's also a bit complex, so I've given more writing space to it.

Noting the playing grid is a 4:3 rectangle (not a square), this is true for the top/bottom sides of the screen on a subset of tablet setups (I would guess a pretty small subset; I don't recall seeing any complaints about this around monstrata's aspire entry back it was being highly played). That said, there are fast and simple temporary settings changes that such players could enable to get around this, should they want to play one of these maps. For example, slightly decreasing osu's resolution until the map is done would work. There's also some possible changes to one's tablet settings which wouldn't mess with their aiming muscle memory; it depends on the specific player's set-up.

Another thing to consider is that at the end of the day, players do base their setups around the maps they play. If a player really likes these maps and wants to play them frequently, and if they're one of the subset who can't reach the screen's top/bottom edge with their current setup, they may choose to modify their default setup to let them play these maps without temporary changes.

This is also true for players who are still experimenting with different set-ups and haven't settled on one to use for a longer time. For these players, it's easy to notice that some maps have elements that are hard because of their set-up and to adjust their set-up accordingly without giving it a second thought. For example, many mouse players do this at some point early in the game when they notice they have cursor acceleration on, or that their DPI is set really high, and notice it's making it hard to aim. I believe players typically experiment a lot with different set-ups when they get a tablet as well.

All things considered, while it would make playing these maps involve a minor inconvenience for a minority of current players, I think the proposal would still improve the game overall by giving mappers a bit more creative space to work with, and by allowing ranked section maps to better fulfill the preferences of a broader amount of players and mappers

feels "gamebreaking" for the aforementioned reason - looks like a bug more than a feature
I understand why partially off-screen objects may seem like a design oversight on the surface level. I discussed this with another user earlier today, before this was posted, and brought up how arguably this was true too of the old controversies over maps not focusing on visual appearance. It was true in the sense that this seemed wrong to some players at first, but they came to understand it was a) intentional, b) something others liked, and c) an application of game design philosophies in mapping. The osu playerbase is efficient at communicating with each other and reaching an understanding on things that, to some, seem certainly off at first, and they should be able to clear up any confusion that some players could have.
Castagne
I know somebody who plays with 1280x1024 resolution, which is 5:4. This was commonly used in office-type monitors and is higher compared to 4:3, which collides with your idea of only allowing vertical offscreen instead of both horizontal and vertical offscreen hitobjects.

I fully support the idea of different aspect ratios, but I think it would be better if we'd wait for peppy to make an official implementation for this to prevent maps from being unplayable in a potential future update. (because current offscreen implementation is unintentioned, as UberFazz mentioned)

Your argument about people disliking maps for their visual appearance is different from the offscreen objects if you ask me, because "messy" maps don't use undocumented features of the game itself thus they will keep working as intended in lazer or whatever future update of osu that may come out.

Instead of trying to put all cool gameplay features in ranked, we could also enjoy maps that are loved or graveyarded.
UberFazz
even if the resolution advantage is trivial, an advantage is still an advantage and is something we'd like to avoid—beyond that, this would mean vertical resolutions would ruin whatever idea the mapper was going for, nullifying this change in the first place

as for the setup point, id like to be more specific with what i meant by using myself as an example. currently, it's physically impossible for me to overaim notes on the borders of the screen because of how my area is set up. this kind of change would either force me to 1) get used to a completely new area so i can freely play any ranked map, 2) alternate between areas when playing maps before and after this change, or 3) avoid any map that does this all together. this is why the mentions of a "divide" and messing with setups as a single point

no matter what, a subset of the playerbase would be forced into new playstyles if they want to avoid missing on newer ranked maps; i personally think we should try to avoid that as much as possible, or at least bring very strong arguments in support of the change you're rooting for if it requires such drastic adjustments, something i don't see as of current

"messy visuals" date all the way back to the first map ever ranked (sorry peppy!) so that point seems rather fringe even if the two were comparable (messy visuals =/= going out of bounds)
Topic Starter
quila
With respect to the points about how this might not be supported in future versions of osu, keep in mind that peppy will need to approve the github push request for this proposal. Their choice will depend on whether this is something devs are willing to support.

If someone who can ask peppy wants to do so that could also save time from discussing it here, which may ultimately be futile. If so, keep in mind it's not about whether the element is intentional but whether they'd be willing to support it given some mappers are asking for it.

I know somebody who plays with 1280x1024 resolution, which is 5:4. This was commonly used in office-type monitors and is higher compared to 4:3, which collides with your idea of only allowing vertical offscreen instead of both horizontal and vertical offscreen hitobjects.
This isn't true. These objects will be in the same position relative to the edge on all resolutions that are not taller than they are wide. 5:4, 1:1, 4:3, 16:9, etc; it doesn't make a difference.

even if the resolution advantage is trivial, an advantage is still an advantage and is something we'd like to avoid
It looks like this is a point we diverge on. The way I see it, this is small enough that it's irrelevant in the larger picture. Further so when considering how a) maps using this would likely be more experimental by nature and not focuses of competitive play (either in tournaments or from the pp system), and b) there are many sources of (significant) advantage in osu already. Increasing one's resolution on higher CS maps makes them easier to aim for a portion of players, for example; and this is not to mention things which give a universal advantage across maps like skin, hitsound override, input device, etc.


this would mean vertical resolutions would ruin whatever idea the mapper was going for
As mentioned above, this is one reason to not make one's res vertical on these maps. (If someone chooses to anyways, that's of course their choice. What's key is that there's not a discrepancy by default)

as for the setup point, id like to be more specific with what i meant by using myself as an example
I understood what you meant before. You should be able to slightly decrease osu's resolution be able to reach the bottom edge of the screen without messing with your aim.

Phrasing like 'forced to use a new playstyle' doesn't really fit here, what's being discussed is making slight changes to settings temporarily that don't effect muscle memory.

"messy visuals" date all the way back to the first map ever ranked (sorry peppy!) so that point seems rather fringe
The point was really just that the osu playerbase is good at spreading info and anyone confused would quickly learn that this is an element used by mappers intentionally, not an oversight in maps' design.
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