Play grid tearing and text blurring

Platform, device version and operating system:
Steam, Windows 7 x64
nVidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti video card, driver version
Playing in full-screen on second monitor (1920x1080); first monitor is 2560x1440.

Screenshot or image:

  1. Intergrid tearing (clearer on the PNG version, but the uploader didn’t allow it).

  2. Comparison of sharp and blurred text on Delve map.

  3. Delve map differencing results.

What you were expecting to happen, and what actually happened:
I’m reporting two bugs here that may or may not be related.

Bug 1 (image 1): While playing, graphical tears show up between grid cells on the gem board. These tears (gaps between squares on the game board) appear and disappear dynamically. They usually appear during gem drops and disappear again when the board settles, but occasionally they remain (eg: in the screenshot). Hardly game-breaking, this is disconcerting during play.

Bug 2 (images 2-3): Text in the game has become blurred for me (see below for when it began). Image 2 shows the text as it used to be, on top (sharp and occasionally aliased), and how it currently appears, at the bottom (blurred outline). Image 3 shows the difference between a daily Delve map before and after the problem appeared. It shows that every line in each letter is now broader and more diffuse than it used to be. (Ignore the level text, as the change from 300 to 310 shifts the position, in any case.) I hope it’s obvious, from image 2, that the blurred version is less satisfying to look at.

How often does this happen? When did it begin happening?
I started noticing bug 1 (screen tearing) some time during the last three months or so. It happens from time to time. I feel I may have seen it on iPad as well, but cannot confirm. I definitely never noticed it in 2018 (not exactly an accurate time base, I know).

Bug 2 always happens, now, with every Delve and every Faction Event. I suspect it also happens with all other text in the game, but I don’t have any lossless images from “before” to compare against.

Precisely when this started happening is slightly hard to say, as I didn’t recognise it, at first. I initially thought this was caused by the 4.3.5 update. This may still be the case. However, I also made a change to my system at this time, replacing one of the monitors:

System Before Change: Primary monitor 1920x1080, Secondary monitor 1280x1024, play GoW on Primary.
System After Change: Primary monitor 2560x1440, Secondary monitor 1920x1080, play GoW on Secondary.

I’m still playing the game in Fullscreen on the same monitor at the same resolution (so my Delve map screenshots will line up – it’s a project), but that monitor used to be my Primary and is now my Secondary.

Unfortunately, I cannot pinpoint the timing exactly (I might have a blurred screenshot prior to v4.3.5, but I haven’t been able to locate it).

Speculation on the Cause
It is possible that v4.3.5 introduced a change to the way text or other graphics are rendered or rescaled. I am not in a position to either confirm or rule this out (I tried to ask Kafka, but she may not have seen the question).

Alternatively, the most likely bug here is with the way text is rendered and rescaled in the game. My guess is that text is first rendered at the resolution of the Primary monitor (or the largest monitor), as reported by Windows, then rescaled to the actual monitor being used to display Gems of War (two resolution request calls to Windows?!*). If this is the case, then it is a bug; the text should be rendered directly at the current resolution of the game.

While this explanation is consistent with the fact there was no blurring prior to the change of monitor configuration, it is still only a guess (obviously).

Going Forward
I’m going to assume willingness to find and fix this bug. The bug is important, to my mind, because it affects a fundamental game sub-system – the text renderer – that is used all the time.

Please let me know if you would like me to test anything specific to help lock down the nature of the bug.

For example, my speculation would suggest that the bug would disappear if I ran the game on my primary monitor. I don’t want to waste my time messing around with this sort of testing unless you deem it useful, so I will wait for your request and the details of what you’d like me to test.

Additional Clarification
If you view the grid-tearing screenshot (1) at full size, the tearing is most clear between columns 5 and 6 on row 2. Notice that the tears change in width/height.

I call it “tearing” because it reminds me of the sort of tearing often seen in 3D shooters.

Hey Starlite, sorry I really thought I’d replied to these issues you had, maybe I did in my head and forgot to type it!!! Knowing me anything is possible… :stuck_out_tongue:

The “tearing” issue is unfortunately a limitation of the game engine we develop the game in.
There is a way to fix it however it’s less optimised so while visually it would appeal to the 1% of players who the tear bothers (it gets me too sometimes!), the game would run sliiightly slower for everyone. Maybe it wouldn’t be too much slower but these things add up over time.

Regarding the text I suspect it’s basically something like you said, I don’t believe the game actually supports a resolution higher than 1920x1080. I have issues that sound like this with various programs on my home PC where both my screens have different resolutions too.

I’ll see what the team has to say.


I look forward to hearing.

The thing I found hardest to explain was why the text would be sharp at 1920x1080 on my original pair of monitors, but would become blurred on the same screen at the same resolution when I changed the other monitor.