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LucasArts Shadows of the Empire Not Working Right on "New"..

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Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
April 25, 2005 4:54:25 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus,alt.games.lucas-arts.star-wars.shadows-empire (More info?)

I'm in the process of copying my Windows 98 SE installation from an old
computer to a somewhat newer model, and I find that GLquake (I) looks better
(fog actually works right) but has a slightly lower framerate, but Shadows of
the Empire does not work properly. Starting the game, the overlayed yellow
text "crawl to infinity" does not appear over the star background. Entering
the first level, the only things visible are the background sky and snow
textures on flat surfaces, plus the overlays when in first-person view. No
friendly, enemy, laser, terrain contour, or other 3D models appear. Running
the Shadows.exe file directly to access the FPS test sequence gives a solid
bluish-white screen, though the music and blaster sounds can be heard and the
test terminates normally, giving a somewhat reasonable 37.2 FPS or so. I have
tried both the original and patch 1.1 SOTE executable files with the same
results.

Computers:
original-
1996 vintage Packard Bell PB680 (=Intel Orlando/Tampa) mb w/ MR BIOS,
PowerLeap adapter, AMD K6-III 400 MHz CPU, Voodoo3 3000, DirectX 9.0c (also
worked properly under 7, 8.0a, and 9.0a), 128MB RAM

"new"-
ASUS A7V400-MX mb, Phoenix BIOS 1009, AMD Sempron 2800+ 2.0 GHz CPU, onboard
VIA/S3 KM400a UniChrome graphics (drivers 4.14.10.39 and 4.14.10.45 tried),
DirectX 9.0c, 512MB RAM

I can't figure out if this problem is in the game software, drivers, hardware,
mb BIOS settings or what. I'm on the edge of trying the Voodoo3 in the new
system, but swapping it over will be a bit of a PITA and I don't see how it
can possibly be any better than the ASUS onbard video - isn't the Voodoo
several years older?

Please help.

TIA

--
--------------------

Alan "A.J." Franzman

Email: a.j.franzman [ A T ] verizon [ D O T ] net

--------------------
April 26, 2005 10:14:15 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

In article <5dXae.2798$Yc.1663@trnddc06>, "Alan 'A.J.' Franzman"
<a.j.franzman@dev.null.invalid> wrote:

> I'm in the process of copying my Windows 98 SE installation from an old
> computer to a somewhat newer model, and I find that GLquake (I) looks better
> (fog actually works right) but has a slightly lower framerate, but Shadows of
> the Empire does not work properly. Starting the game, the overlayed yellow
> text "crawl to infinity" does not appear over the star background. Entering
> the first level, the only things visible are the background sky and snow
> textures on flat surfaces, plus the overlays when in first-person view. No
> friendly, enemy, laser, terrain contour, or other 3D models appear. Running
> the Shadows.exe file directly to access the FPS test sequence gives a solid
> bluish-white screen, though the music and blaster sounds can be heard and the
> test terminates normally, giving a somewhat reasonable 37.2 FPS or so. I have
> tried both the original and patch 1.1 SOTE executable files with the same
> results.
>
> Computers:
> original-
> 1996 vintage Packard Bell PB680 (=Intel Orlando/Tampa) mb w/ MR BIOS,
> PowerLeap adapter, AMD K6-III 400 MHz CPU, Voodoo3 3000, DirectX 9.0c (also
> worked properly under 7, 8.0a, and 9.0a), 128MB RAM
>
> "new"-
> ASUS A7V400-MX mb, Phoenix BIOS 1009, AMD Sempron 2800+ 2.0 GHz CPU, onboard
> VIA/S3 KM400a UniChrome graphics (drivers 4.14.10.39 and 4.14.10.45 tried),
> DirectX 9.0c, 512MB RAM
>
> I can't figure out if this problem is in the game software, drivers, hardware,
> mb BIOS settings or what. I'm on the edge of trying the Voodoo3 in the new
> system, but swapping it over will be a bit of a PITA and I don't see how it
> can possibly be any better than the ASUS onbard video - isn't the Voodoo
> several years older?
>
> Please help.
>
> TIA

Getting games to run is always a trying exercise. It took me
several hours to get the last game demo I downloaded, to
run properly. As you observe, the hardest part is the not
knowing what exactly is busted in your configuration.

Built-in graphics, like the Unichrome, are not usually leading
edge designs. Due to the power constraints, the Northbridge
only has room for a few watts worth of digital circuitry, which
will not be able to compete with 70 watt high end video cards.

One problem with the built-in graphics, is you sometimes cannot
get any concrete info as to exactly what level of hardware
support is in there. I would expect a built-in to have T&L
and maybe hardware support for DirectX 7 - and that is likely
enough for your game.

One issue with games, is the graphics API used. Games can use
Glide (3DFX proprietary), D3D (Microsoft), or OpenGL. You will
find occasional skunkworks efforts, to make translation software,
like MESA offered to give OpenGL abilities, and I think there
might also be the odd Glide project around somewhere (openGlide?
- search on sourceforge.net).

If your game was using Glide on the Voodoo3, Glide will not exist
on your KM400. Only one of the shunkworks projects can add missing
APIs.

In the little reading I've done on the subject, it seems D3D is
supposed to emulate missing functionality, while OpenGL drivers
declare what functions exist, and then a game can use an alternate
rendering method if something is missing.

In terms of drivers, I see 98&me5-10-146-0.zip and 4IN1.zip :

http://au.asus.com/support/download/item.aspx?ModelName...

This page explains what you get in the Via chipset drivers 4IN1:
http://downloads.viaarena.com/drivers/4in1/HyperionDriv...

When you moved the disk from the old computer to the new, did you
uninstall the old video card software, just before shutting down the
old PC for the last time ? When moving disks from one machine to
another, I like to have a scratch disk, so I can clone a backup
copy, in case of emergencies. Then, if a transition step needs to be
redone, I have something to work with. Removing the old video
driver, will result in the new machine booting in some 640x480
VGA mode, but as soon as your chipset drivers and video driver
are added, the functionality should improve.

One thing I'm not sure of, is how the built-in graphics hardware
looks like to a game. For example, if you plug in a 3D graphics
card into the AGP slot, the AGP bridge gets used on the Northbridge,
and there is an AGP GART driver, where the GART translates AGP
addresses from the video card, into addresses inside main memory.
The built-in graphics may not go through the same translation
steps, and since some games seem to know a little too much about
the hardware underneath, this may prevent certain games from
running properly, if at all.

On one of my older computers, I do remember one game demo ending
up with a lot of graphics distortions, after I upgraded DirectX
versions, so I could run another game. And Microsoft doesn't
officially spport downgrading to older versions, so a clean
install is the only practical answer for that. So much for backward
compatibility...

This article discusses the state of integrated graphics. While the
KM400 is not discussed here, it will have similar performance
characteristics to other built-in graphics solutions. (I cannot
find a spec for the KM400, that describes its feature set in
any detail, so this is as close as I can get.)

http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20030903/index...

As for your Voodoo3 3000, in Google I see mention of both
PCI slot and AGP slot versions of the card. Apparently, 3DFX
didn't really use the AGP features that much, so the AGP slot
was likely only offering a little extra bandwidth for commands
and data. From a slot perspective, if your card is an AGP
card, your AGP card will have a slot cut in the edge card,
indicating operation at 3.3V only. The AGP slot in your
motherboard has a key for 1.5V only (or universal card) operation.
A 3.3V card should not plug in there, due to the key preventing
it. If your Voodoo card is PCI, then there won't be any drama.
(Don't forget to unplug the computer, before adding or removing
any hardware - unplugging prevents damage via +5VSB.)

If gaming is important to you, you could get a low end
AGP video card, starting at about $50-$60. There is a list
here, that allows comparison of basic features. To do better
than your built-in graphics, I would want a card with
DirectX9 hardware support (something that might come in
handy if you were to run Microsoft's upcoming Longhorn
operating system).

This page lists the characteristics of the cards. If the first
link is dead, use the archived version. A card better than or
equal to Radeon 9500 is an option, while in the Nvidia camp,
an FX5200 or better would work. (I have a FX5200 in one of my
computers, and it is not a high performance card, by any
stretch of the imagination. I got it because it is fanless,
so allows a quiet office PC to be constructed. I've tried
a couple of old games and it wasn't too bad with those.)
The DirectX9 cards differ in which version of programmable
vertex and pixel shaders they use, and the supported version
is shown at the bottom of this page.

http://www.benchmark.pl/artykuly/zestawienie_GPU_2/skal...
http://web.archive.org/web/20041012050302/http://www.be...

This article will allow you to rate the actual performance of
the cards:

http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20041004/index...

Maybe you could try running DXdiag from Start/Run ? Dxdiag is
included with DirectX, and has some test buttons you can play
with. Maybe Sisoft Sandra or Lavalys Everest utilities can
tell you more about your hardware.

HTH,
Paul
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
April 27, 2005 6:53:10 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

"Paul" <nospam@needed.com> wrote in message
<news:nospam-2604050614150001@192.168.1.178>:
> In article <5dXae.2798$Yc.1663@trnddc06>, "Alan 'A.J.' Franzman"
> <a.j.franzman@dev.null.invalid> wrote:
>
>> I'm in the process of copying my Windows 98 SE installation from an old
>> computer to a somewhat newer model, and I find that GLquake (I) looks
>> better (fog actually works right) but has a slightly lower framerate, but
>> Shadows of the Empire does not work properly. Starting the game, the
>> overlayed yellow text "crawl to infinity" does not appear over the star
>> background. Entering the first level, the only things visible are the
>> background sky and snow textures on flat surfaces, plus the overlays when
>> in first-person view. No friendly, enemy, laser, terrain contour, or
>> other 3D models appear. Running the Shadows.exe file directly to access
>> the FPS test sequence gives a solid bluish-white screen, though the music
>> and blaster sounds can be heard and the test terminates normally, giving a
>> somewhat reasonable 37.2 FPS or so. I have tried both the original and
>> patch 1.1 SOTE executable files with the same results.
>>
>> Computers:
>> original-
>> 1996 vintage Packard Bell PB680 (=Intel Orlando/Tampa) mb w/ MR BIOS,
>> PowerLeap adapter, AMD K6-III 400 MHz CPU, Voodoo3 3000, DirectX 9.0c (also
>> worked properly under 7, 8.0a, and 9.0a), 128MB RAM
>>
>> "new"-
>> ASUS A7V400-MX mb, Phoenix BIOS 1009, AMD Sempron 2800+ 2.0 GHz CPU,
>> onboard VIA/S3 KM400a UniChrome graphics (drivers 4.14.10.39 and
>> 4.14.10.45 tried), DirectX 9.0c, 512MB RAM
>>
>> I can't figure out if this problem is in the game software, drivers,
>> hardware, mb BIOS settings or what. I'm on the edge of trying the Voodoo3
>> in the new system, but swapping it over will be a bit of a PITA and I
>> don't see how it can possibly be any better than the ASUS onbard video -
>> isn't the Voodoo several years older?
>>
>> Please help.
>>
>> TIA
>
<snip>
> Built-in graphics, like the Unichrome, are not usually leading
> edge designs. Due to the power constraints, the Northbridge
> only has room for a few watts worth of digital circuitry, which
> will not be able to compete with 70 watt high end video cards.
>
> One problem with the built-in graphics, is you sometimes cannot
> get any concrete info as to exactly what level of hardware
> support is in there. I would expect a built-in to have T&L
> and maybe hardware support for DirectX 7 - and that is likely
> enough for your game.
>
> One issue with games, is the graphics API used. Games can use
> Glide (3DFX proprietary), D3D (Microsoft), or OpenGL. You will
> find occasional skunkworks efforts, to make translation software,
> like MESA offered to give OpenGL abilities, and I think there
> might also be the odd Glide project around somewhere (openGlide?
> - search on sourceforge.net).

The only info I can get from the box is that it requires DirectX 5 (included
on game CD), so it does not appear to be a Glide or OpenGL game.

> If your game was using Glide on the Voodoo3, Glide will not exist
> on your KM400. Only one of the shunkworks projects can add missing
> APIs.
>
> In the little reading I've done on the subject, it seems D3D is
> supposed to emulate missing functionality, while OpenGL drivers
> declare what functions exist, and then a game can use an alternate
> rendering method if something is missing.
>
> In terms of drivers, I see 98&me5-10-146-0.zip and 4IN1.zip :
>
> http://au.asus.com/support/download/item.aspx?ModelName...

If you go into that .zip file and view the file kmviaga.inf, you'll find that
the actual graphics chipset driver version included in the file is 4.14.10.39;
the same one that came with my mobo. 5.10.146.0 is the version of the
installer package. Confusing, isn't it?

> This page explains what you get in the Via chipset drivers 4IN1:
>
http://downloads.viaarena.com/drivers/4in1/HyperionDriv...
>
> When you moved the disk from the old computer to the new, did you
> uninstall the old video card software, just before shutting down the
> old PC for the last time ? When moving disks from one machine to
> another, I like to have a scratch disk, so I can clone a backup
> copy, in case of emergencies. Then, if a transition step needs to be
> redone, I have something to work with. Removing the old video
> driver, will result in the new machine booting in some 640x480
> VGA mode, but as soon as your chipset drivers and video driver
> are added, the functionality should improve.

Actually, I cloned the old 30 GB drive to the new 80 GB drive (in the old
system). Not an exact clone of course, since the minimum cluster size is quite
different - 4k on the small one vs. 32k on the big one. Then I swapped the
drives in the old system and made sure the old system would boot and run
properly on the new drive. Then I "made my list and checked it twice" for what
needed to be uninstalled or disabled before moving the bigger drive to the new
mobo, and I remember the 3dfx stuff was a large part of that. I think I did it
right, had no problems during the "finding new hardware" stage of setting up
on the new system. Anyway I still have the list of what I did, could dig it up
if you think it would be helpful.

> One thing I'm not sure of, is how the built-in graphics hardware
> looks like to a game. For example, if you plug in a 3D graphics
> card into the AGP slot, the AGP bridge gets used on the Northbridge,
> and there is an AGP GART driver, where the GART translates AGP
> addresses from the video card, into addresses inside main memory.
> The built-in graphics may not go through the same translation
> steps, and since some games seem to know a little too much about
> the hardware underneath, this may prevent certain games from
> running properly, if at all.

SOTE is pre-AGP; the box says "3D Accelerated PCI Graphics card required".
I'm sure the game uses DirectX to access graphics functions so this shouldn't
matter anyway. (?)

> On one of my older computers, I do remember one game demo ending
> up with a lot of graphics distortions, after I upgraded DirectX
> versions, so I could run another game. And Microsoft doesn't
> officially spport downgrading to older versions, so a clean
> install is the only practical answer for that. So much for backward
> compatibility...

There is a program available online to uninstall it, called "DirectX Scrubber"
(or "...Cleaner" or something like that), and I've seen a website that has all
the redistributable DirectX installer executable versions, so going back to an
earlier version is not such a big problem after all, provided the OS can run
without it during the changeover. I believe Win98 is safe in that respect,
possibly WinME too (as the final evolution in that product line).

> This article discusses the state of integrated graphics. While the
> KM400 is not discussed here, it will have similar performance
> characteristics to other built-in graphics solutions. (I cannot
> find a spec for the KM400, that describes its feature set in
> any detail, so this is as close as I can get.)
>
> http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20030903/index...
>
> As for your Voodoo3 3000, in Google I see mention of both
> PCI slot and AGP slot versions of the card. Apparently, 3DFX
> didn't really use the AGP features that much, so the AGP slot
> was likely only offering a little extra bandwidth for commands
> and data. From a slot perspective, if your card is an AGP
> card, your AGP card will have a slot cut in the edge card,
> indicating operation at 3.3V only. The AGP slot in your
> motherboard has a key for 1.5V only (or universal card) operation.
> A 3.3V card should not plug in there, due to the key preventing
> it. If your Voodoo card is PCI, then there won't be any drama.
> (Don't forget to unplug the computer, before adding or removing
> any hardware - unplugging prevents damage via +5VSB.)

My Voodoo3 3K is PCI, the rare version with SGRAM which you probably didn't
find mentioned as even existing. I remember it usually took me a while to
find the right BIOS for it every time they updated...

> If gaming is important to you, you could get a low end
> AGP video card, starting at about $50-$60. There is a list
> here, that allows comparison of basic features. To do better
> than your built-in graphics, I would want a card with
> DirectX9 hardware support (something that might come in
> handy if you were to run Microsoft's upcoming Longhorn
> operating system).

I'm trying not to spend any more money, but I do like to play the half-dozen
or so older 3D games that I have now and then. If all else fails I will
definitely steal the Voodoo3 from the old system (and put back one of the
older cards that I have, either Savage4 or Voodoo Banshee) before buying a new
card.

> This page lists the characteristics of the cards. If the first
> link is dead, use the archived version. A card better than or
> equal to Radeon 9500 is an option, while in the Nvidia camp,
> an FX5200 or better would work. (I have a FX5200 in one of my
> computers, and it is not a high performance card, by any
> stretch of the imagination. I got it because it is fanless,
> so allows a quiet office PC to be constructed. I've tried
> a couple of old games and it wasn't too bad with those.)
> The DirectX9 cards differ in which version of programmable
> vertex and pixel shaders they use, and the supported version
> is shown at the bottom of this page.
>
> http://www.benchmark.pl/artykuly/zestawienie_GPU_2/skal...
>
http://web.archive.org/web/20041012050302/http://www.be...
>
> This article will allow you to rate the actual performance of
> the cards:
>
> http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20041004/index...
>
> Maybe you could try running DXdiag from Start/Run ? Dxdiag is
> included with DirectX, and has some test buttons you can play
> with. Maybe Sisoft Sandra or Lavalys Everest utilities can
> tell you more about your hardware.

I've done the DXdiag bit already, it finds no problems and all tests work
perfectly.

> HTH,
> Paul

Not much help so far, but thanks for trying.

--
--------------------

Alan "A.J." Franzman

Email: a.j.franzman [ A T ] verizon [ D O T ] net

--------------------
April 27, 2005 6:53:11 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

In article <q8Dbe.12030$Nc.5281@trnddc09>, "Alan 'A.J.' Franzman"
<a.j.franzman@dev.null.invalid> wrote:

>
> The only info I can get from the box is that it requires DirectX 5 (included
> on game CD), so it does not appear to be a Glide or OpenGL game.
> ...
>
> If you go into that .zip file and view the file kmviaga.inf, you'll find that
> the actual graphics chipset driver version included in the file is 4.14.10.39;
> the same one that came with my mobo. 5.10.146.0 is the version of the
> installer package. Confusing, isn't it?
> ...
>
> Actually, I cloned the old 30 GB drive to the new 80 GB drive (in the old
> system). Not an exact clone of course, since the minimum cluster size is quite
> different - 4k on the small one vs. 32k on the big one. Then I swapped the
> drives in the old system and made sure the old system would boot and run
> properly on the new drive. Then I "made my list and checked it twice" for what
> needed to be uninstalled or disabled before moving the bigger drive to the new
> mobo, and I remember the 3dfx stuff was a large part of that. I think I did it
> right, had no problems during the "finding new hardware" stage of setting up
> on the new system. Anyway I still have the list of what I did, could dig it up
> if you think it would be helpful.
> ...
>
> SOTE is pre-AGP; the box says "3D Accelerated PCI Graphics card required".
> I'm sure the game uses DirectX to access graphics functions so this shouldn't
> matter anyway. (?)
> ...
>
> There is a program available online to uninstall it, called "DirectX Scrubber"
> (or "...Cleaner" or something like that), and I've seen a website that has all
> the redistributable DirectX installer executable versions, so going back to an
> earlier version is not such a big problem after all, provided the OS can run
> without it during the changeover. I believe Win98 is safe in that respect,
> possibly WinME too (as the final evolution in that product line).
> ...
>
> My Voodoo3 3K is PCI, the rare version with SGRAM which you probably didn't
> find mentioned as even existing. I remember it usually took me a while to
> find the right BIOS for it every time they updated...
> ...
>
> I'm trying not to spend any more money, but I do like to play the half-dozen
> or so older 3D games that I have now and then. If all else fails I will
> definitely steal the Voodoo3 from the old system (and put back one of the
> older cards that I have, either Savage4 or Voodoo Banshee) before buying a new
> card.
> ...
>
> Not much help so far, but thanks for trying.

Interesting. You can still get a demo version of the game.

ftp://ftp.lucasarts.com/demos/pc/shadowsdemo.exe (~7MB)

I tried it, and the yellow text scrolls up the screen just fine
on my FX5200.

I notice the game has a setting "force no alpha", and it could
be the text is using the alpha overlay plane. It is about the only
coincidence I can think of.

Using the free Everest Home edition from here,

http://www.lavalys.com/products/download.php?pid=1&lang...

this is what is listed for my FX5200 video card. The FX5200 is
supposed to be only a couple of features short of full DirectX9
hardware support, and has vertex and pixel shader 2 support (not
needed for SOTE). Perhaps you'll see some difference between what
Everest reports for your built-in graphics and this video card.

It might even be something as simple as color depth (16 versus 32
bit color), either in your graphics hardware, or in the choices
the game is making for rendering.

I don't know if there is a tool that can actually track what calls
are used by a game or not.

--------[ DirectX Video ]------------------------------------
[ Primary Display Driver ]
DirectDraw Device Properties:
DirectDraw Driver Name display
DirectDraw Driver Description Primary Display Driver
Hardware Driver nv4_disp.dll
Hardware Description MSI MS-StarForce GeForce FX 5200
(NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200)
Direct3D Device Properties:
Available Local Video Memory 127488 KB
Available Non-Local Video Memory (AGP) 63487 KB
Rendering Bit Depths 16, 32
Z-Buffer Bit Depths 16, 24
Min Texture Size 1 x 1
Max Texture Size 4096 x 4096
Vertex Shader Version 2.0
Pixel Shader Version 2.0

Direct3D Device Features:
Additive Texture Blending Supported
AGP Texturing Supported
Anisotropic Filtering Supported
Bilinear Filtering Supported
Cubic Environment Mapping Supported
Cubic Filtering Not Supported
Decal-Alpha Texture Blending Supported
Decal Texture Blending Supported
Directional Lights Not Supported
DirectX Texture Compression Supported
DirectX Volumetric Texture Compression Not Supported
Dithering Supported
Dot3 Texture Blending Supported
Dynamic Textures Supported
Edge Antialiasing Supported
Environmental Bump Mapping Supported
Environmental Bump Mapping + Luminance Supported
Factor Alpha Blending Supported
Geometric Hidden-Surface Removal Not Supported
Guard Band Supported
Hardware Scene Rasterization Supported
Hardware Transform & Lighting Supported
Legacy Depth Bias Not Supported
Mipmap LOD Bias Adjustments Supported
Mipmapped Cube Textures Supported
Mipmapped Volume Textures Supported
Modulate-Alpha Texture Blending Supported
Modulate Texture Blending Supported
Non-Square Textures Supported
N-Patches Not Supported
Perspective Texture Correction Supported
Point Lights Not Supported
Point Sampling Supported
Projective Textures Supported
Quintic Bezier Curves & B-Splines Not Supported
Range-Based Fog Supported
Rectangular & Triangular Patches Not Supported
Rendering In Windowed Mode Supported
Scissor Test Not Supported
Slope-Scale Based Depth Bias Not Supported
Specular Flat Shading Supported
Specular Gouraud Shading Supported
Specular Phong Shading Not Supported
Spherical Mapping Supported
Spot Lights Not Supported
Stencil Buffers Supported
Sub-Pixel Accuracy Supported
Table Fog Supported
Texture Alpha Blending Supported
Texture Clamping Supported
Texture Mirroring Supported
Texture Transparency Supported
Texture Wrapping Supported
Triangle Culling Not Supported
Trilinear Filtering Supported
Two-Sided Stencil Test Not Supported
Vertex Alpha Blending Supported
Vertex Fog Supported
Vertex Tweening Not Supported
Volume Textures Supported
W-Based Fog Supported
W-Buffering Not Supported
Z-Based Fog Supported
Z-Bias Supported
Z-Test Supported
--------[ DirectX Video ]------------------------------------

HTH,
Paul
!