RFC regarding the non-Gold Pack installer

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Mechanist
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Re: RFC regarding the non-Gold Pack installer

Postby Mechanist » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:18 am

Interesting; I was under the impression that dgVoodoo wasn't supported under Vista at all. OK, I'll change that behavior then.

Good point about the D3D compiler DLL, it totally escaped my attention. I'll change this also.
But I presume that including it anyway wouldn't actually break anything, though?

I don't have any W10 systems around, so I wouldn't know the first thing about that.

We do have some W10 systems at work; specifically, the computer which my milling machine is operated from - as well as a bunch of other W10 systems, most of which I thankfully never have any need to use.
But that one W10 machine which I use is kinda special: it's never connected to the Internet (can't be, for reasons), and so I have ClassicShell installed on it.

In any case, that's the default behavior regarding the Quick Launch icon in Inno Setup: the Quick Launch shortcut is not available as an install option on OSes newer than Vista.
So I took one quick look at that, decided that whoever decided that probably knew what they were doing a lot better than I do, and just went along with it.

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Re: RFC regarding the non-Gold Pack installer

Postby UCyborg » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:27 am

But I presume that including it anyway wouldn't actually break anything, though?

No, it wouldn't. But if there's something else running besides Drakan that needs D3DCompiler_47.dll, there'd be 2 separate copies of the DLL loaded in memory. :D

In any case, that's the default behavior regarding the Quick Launch icon in Inno Setup: the Quick Launch shortcut is not available as an install option on OSes newer than Vista.

Oh, OK. Some software still creates Quick-Launch shortcut on Windows 7+. It can be added through the right-lick context menu on the taskbar, where you add toolbars. You have to know that the folder you're looking for is "%appdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch". It's not exactly the same as in Vista and earlier, but it works for some people.

I don't have any W10 systems around, so I wouldn't know the first thing about that.

I do keep it around to occasionally check what Microsoft is up to, but I find it a bit too shaky to trust as the main OS. I actually use Windows 8.1 ATM, which was never popular, but with the number of tweaks, it works very well for my needs.

Whether we like Windows 10 or not, it's good to know about any potential issues that might affect Drakan. After all, It's installed on many people's PCs. Generally, Drakan works fine on it, but it's a fact of life that quality assurance when it comes to Windows 10 is a bit sloppy. For example, the previous stable build (version 1709) has a ListView scrolling bug. The latest build broke the ICopyHook interface, see this. I also remember there was an update at one point that broke some extensions for Visual Studio. I also noticed certain programs don't respond to Win + Down arrow keyboard shortcut (for minimizing) when run on Windows 10, Drakan being one of them. It should work when the game is in windowed mode, but it doesn't.

Something about lens flares, they should work fine now, with dgVoodoo or without. The issue was that the engine didn't pick the most optimal Z-buffer format. With dgVoodoo, this resulted in picking format for which dgVoodoo cannot to provide fast access memory access to Z-buffer. Without it, it picked the one which the engine didn't handle properly, hence no flares on most graphics cards. There was another issue of accessing out-of-bounds memory, hence seemingly random crashes because of it. They were the easiest to reproduce if you let dragons with lighting attack chase and shoot you from behind.

Another very useful feature of dgVoodoo is resolution forcing, which I find more interesting than the well known anti-aliasing and texture filtering settings. As for why would you need that for Drakan; to be able to make 2D portions of the game (menus, HUD, ...) bigger. I've been experimenting with NVIDIA's DSR feature recently. Basically, it lets me use 4K resolution on my 1920x1080 monitor. So if I set the game to 1280x720 and set dgVodooo to force resolution to 3840x2160, this gives me good 3D graphics without jaggies without the need for anti-aliasing (so no pixel updating bug in-game neither, although strangely, it shows up in menus) and decently sized 2D graphics, which looks crisper than if I forced the native resolution of 1920x1080.

Of course, it's not perfect since the original assets are of very low resolution and this game was really made for 640x480, not the crazy resolutions we have today. Also, imagine that you have one of those 4K displays. Setting Drakan to use the native resolution directly would result in having really small 2D graphics, which is especially horrible on smaller displays with greater pixel density.
"When a human being takes his life in depression, this is a natural death of spiritual causes. The modern barbarity of 'saving' the suicidal is based on a hair-raising misapprehension of the nature of existence." - Peter Wessel Zapffe

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Re: RFC regarding the non-Gold Pack installer

Postby Mechanist » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:21 am

Win10 is a horribly broken load of burning poo.
No idea why or how are people even putting up with that nonsense.

BTW, I use ClassicShell on Win7 as well, so I wouldn't know about the "normal" quick launch functionality either.

Pixel updating bug: I just use a recording overlay in ReLive, with the offending pixels covered up by black lines. Works well.
Of course it still shows up while playing (overlay shows up in the recording only), but that doesn't bother me much.

The size of the 2D parts is perfectly fine for me, so I never felt a need to mess with that in the first place.

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Re: RFC regarding the non-Gold Pack installer

Postby UCyborg » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:49 pm

Drakan is meant to look something like this at 1920x1080. That's how things were sized approximately in the old days when 640x480 was the standard. This screenshot was scaled from base resolution 640x360.

With UHD resolution (3840x2160), this is how the main menu looks without any scaling. And the scaled version. The base resolution here is 1280x720.

Ideally, the engine would have the option to tweak scaling factor for 2D graphics, so you could have things easily sized just the way you like it. On top of everything, the resolution also affects the size of lens flares.
"When a human being takes his life in depression, this is a natural death of spiritual causes. The modern barbarity of 'saving' the suicidal is based on a hair-raising misapprehension of the nature of existence." - Peter Wessel Zapffe

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Re: RFC regarding the non-Gold Pack installer

Postby Mechanist » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:11 pm

While I absolutely agree that the menu size is rather small on modern displays, on the other hand I find the (rather small) in-game GUI nice and unobtrusive.
I'm using 1920x1200 for normal playing BTW, although for recording I have it set to 1080p instead (letterboxed).

Of course the GUI would have looked huge on 640x480; anyway the text font is only 1px wide, can't really make it any smaller than it already is.

I tend prioritize functionality and appearance over any possible developer intent, in cases like this.


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