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Crystal Souls lacks "whole window" setting; won't run in WS.


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I just purchased the GOG version of Crystal Souls, and have discovered that the "whole window" setting under Game Area Size is missing, replaced with a "large" setting which only fills a 4:3 square in the middle of my 27" screen. None of the previous games as of late have had this problem. Is this an oversight on the part of Spiderweb, or is it an issue unique to the GOG version and can it be fixed?

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I don't get a 1920x1080 option. However, 1600x900 will fill the screen, but my native res of 2560x1440 will not. But, as I said before, all other recent Spiderweb games since Avernum 6 will properly will the screen at my native resolution, so there's clearly an error in this release.

 

I'm running this on a late 2013 27" iMac, 3.5 Ghz i7, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB, 24 GB RAM, OS X 10.10.1.

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When you say "does not fill the screen" do you mean that the game appears in a window or that it starts in a full screen display mode, but is surrounded by a black border on two or all sides?

 

I don't think SW games do any graphics scaling, so it may just be a case where the maximum displayed pixel dimensions for the game are 1600 x 900 regardless of display mode. If that's true, though, I would consider it a bug to allow that screen dimension as an option.

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I mean the game area will not fill the screen. There are black bars on all four sides that the mouse cursor will go into, but the playable area will not extend into it. I'm in fullscreen mode, and the initial Spiderweb logo will display across the entire screen. The previous games called the largest game area size setting "whole window," but in Crystal Souls it is simply called "large." I wonder if he changed the way the game calculates this and inadvertently broke it for certain resolutions (namely mine.)

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This is a screenshot of what the game screen looks like:

http://static01.gog.com/upload/forum/2015/01/79ad0e9e60e2c2525e26ee5f2e653aec17e119a2.jpg

 

And for comparison, here is what the previous game looks like on the same machine with the same settings:

http://static04.gog.com/upload/forum/2015/01/78ad2c148c07d8da0cdc3fb33015ae048f053d44.jpg

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I was able to recreate your issue by using nVidia's DSR setting to play at 4K. I tried both games and you are right, A2CS screen at 4K does not stretch the screen, while AEftP does scale to the whole screen at 4K.

 

The reason I hadn't experienced this earlier is because I play at 1920x1080, and both games look fine at a "whole window"/"larger" game size area.

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To clarify for those without access to large resolution monitors such as a 27" iMac display, yes the game runs properly in that it does not crash however the visually obvious problem Clocknova is citing is that the game doesn't make good use of the whole screen with game content when one is actually playing the game -- view his screenshots if your still unclear of the problem.

 

I am also experiencing this issue on OS X as the game is presently hardcoded to set the active play area to a smaller fixed resolution (likely 1600 x 1200 in Clocknova's case) for some reason or other.

 

This _seems_ likely to be a mistake or oversight as the game does actually _appear_ to run properly when the code is modified to actually use a larger active play area. Specifically I tested it at a play area of 2560 x 1440 and found no obvious problems albeit due to the way drawing of the game area is presently implemented you will experience even larger black areas in the corners of the active area (game screen) however you still get all the benefits of more game area on the screen at once.

 

There are three in game "game area size" settings choices available once you launch the game past the initial startup dialog and the actual code contains particular sizes of 1600 x 1200, 1800 x1350, and 1280 x 960 if I recall correctly so that would likely be the extent of the currently supported game area sizes!

 

The issue lies in the set_active_play_area_rect() code but unless your a tech savvy savage you'll have to wait for Jeff to address this with a proper update that enables larger play areas and/or an explanation why he chose not to do so.

 

 

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

 

There appears to me to be an entirely separate issue whereby the red displayed content rectangle inset of the map window is not being drawn properly?

 

It always shows a relatively tiny fixed sized square around my singleton character, in which case the only way this could perhaps be valid is if this is just supposed to be the immediately active area around my character rather than a representative rectangle of the drawn map area.

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having spent a little more time playing the game in a hacked in 2560x1440 mode I see there are some cosmetic bugs with how drawing is currently being done in certain circumstances - namely my singleton character will sometimes not be drawn, and thus becomes cosmetically temporarily invisible to the player, when the map is scrolled so as to position my character in certain locations away from the central area of the screen. This would surely confuse most game players and detract from their in game experience as they just want to play a game and not deal with developer/alpha tester issues.

 

This is not easy to describe completely or succinctly because it mostly seems to just be happening in an interior area of the visible game area somewhat towards the upper right of the screen but not actually extending to the edges -- undoubtedly this sort of issue is likely why the map game area is presently limited the way it is as any gameplay problems that creates ongoing support issues is a huge net negative for Jeff who is likely very busy trying to get the iPad version out to try to make some more money so he can keep on feeding the family and making games etc!

 

My rough guess is the drawing, lighting, npc/player occlusion code simply doesn't seem to be robust enough to handle situations that were not tested or not designed in from the start.

 

Ideally I would like to see the underlying game engine be updated to properly support arbitrary large window sizes but in a limited market with a one man shop there are priorities and constraints that simply generally do not enable the most robust and feature rich best theoretical software engineering practices to be used, especially at initial release.

 

The games here are about the content first and foremost and much more is working acceptably and reasonably well than what is not working optimally for the relative few like those of us with 27" monitors.

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I am having the exact same issue on a 27" iMac. The "Whole Window" option of Avadon 1, 2 and Avernum 1 all work perfectly. Now with Avernum 2 i don't have that option. Really hoping to get this corrected. I've been looking forward to Avernum 2 for a long time and its really not fun to look at or play with huge spaces filled with black. Hoping Jeff sees this and can take a look at it.

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Was "Whole Window" replace with "Large" in the Game Area settings for everyone? Just the version from Steam? Seems strange for Avernum 2 to be different from Avernum 1, Avadon 1, and Avadon 2. I really want to play full screen like I do the others.

 

Does anyone have a "Whole Window" option in Avernum 2?

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Was "Whole Window" replace with "Large" in the Game Area settings for everyone? Just the version from Steam? Seems strange for Avernum 2 to be different from Avernum 1, Avadon 1, and Avadon 2. I really want to play full screen like I do the others.

 

Does anyone have a "Whole Window" option in Avernum 2?

It does seem that it was replaced with "Large." For anyone who has a screen resolution of 1920x1200 or lower, that means it will take up the whole screen. It seems that higher resolutions don't work that way.

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Thanks Tyranicus. I wonder why "Whole Window" was removed? And if it can be put back? I've always loved the sharpness and detail of the art in these games and not playing at a native resolution (2560x1440 in my case) really smudges the look. Just wish I had the same options as Avadon and Avernum 1.

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It does seem that it was replaced with "Large." For anyone who has a screen resolution of 1920x1200 or lower, that means it will take up the whole screen. It seems that higher resolutions don't work that way.

 

After switching from "normal" to "large" under the options the game did indeed fill the whole screen for me. Thanks for that tip.

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The bug (if its that) might just be in the 2560x1440 resolution. When I run the game in 2048x1152 (16:9) with a "Large" setting, it does fill the screen (though not pixel sharp as its not native res). However, when I switch to 2560x1440, the "Large" setting switches away from a 16:9 full screen to what looks like a 4:3 display box.

 

The reason this may be a bug is that does not happen in Avernum 1, Avadon 1, or Avadon 2 (where the games run beautifully in 16:9 full screen on 2560x1440 native res). [Note - playing on an 27" iMac]

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The bug (if its that) might just be in the 2560x1440 resolution. When I run the game in 2048x1152 (16:9) with a "Large" setting, it does fill the screen (though not pixel sharp as its not native res). However, when I switch to 2560x1440, the "Large" setting switches away from a 16:9 full screen to what looks like a 4:3 display box.

 

The reason this may be a bug is that does not happen in Avernum 1, Avadon 1, or Avadon 2 (where the games run beautifully in 16:9 full screen on 2560x1440 native res). [Note - playing on an 27" iMac]

If I play the game at 2048x1280, 2560x1600, or 2880x1800 on my retina MacBook Pro, I get the box. It's not really an issue for me though, because with a 15" screen, I don't want to play the game at those resolutions anyway.

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Why has this not been a problem with any of the previous games which are all based on the same code?

 

All I can tell you from my quick hack to enable a 2560x1440 in game resolution (rather than 1600x1200) is that I experienced some cosmetic glitches with it whereby player and nearby NPC's are not always visible when they should be depending on how the game area was centered or scrolled in certain locations.

 

I am not about to try to reverse engineer things or take random guesses as to why this occurred, rather simply that was my experience with a naivé patch that changed 1600x1200 to 2560x1440 and nothing else. I presume these drawing issues do not occur for you in the release version and are in fact as a result of my hack to 2560x1440 as I patched my game (GOG release for what it is worth) early on about an hour into the game and just played thru the rest of the game in full widescreen.

 

I haven't tested the other games you mention so I also do not know why those particular games would not have this issue also.

 

I played through A2CS with my hacked version anyway because personally I would rather have the increased gameplay area and just deal with occasionally having to keep the game map scrolled a certain way in certain places to minimize the impact of the drawing issue I was experiencing. It was enough of an issue that I could easily see Jeff not shipping with 2560x1440 game area enabled unless he had a fix. Developers usually have pretty good reasons why they don't do something obvious like support 2560x1440, chances are it is not as simple to do in this case as my naivé attempt to enable it hoping that it was a mere oversight.

 

 

[specifically for whatever reason I often had an issue when walking through the tower of the magi in the area suzanne hangs out if the gameplay area wasn't scrolled just right neither my character nor suzanne or others in that area would be visible. There were other places but that one always showed itself quite noticeably]

 

 

For what it is worth I don't even think the PTK 2D engine framework/SDK exists or is supported anymore and I believe this is the particular software library Jeff chose to use for the underlying graphics engine handling the OpenGL layer so I would imagine he is having to try to maintain or work around issues in that codebase as well.

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Hi everyone

 

This is how I made the game go into wide screen.

 

After the first screen when you choose the resolution/draw all graphics there is another screen where you choose to load/start game, there is also a settings option there.

 

Click on it and in the graphics and game window size there click on the game area size to large, then wide screen is enabled.

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Hi everyone

 

This is how I made the game go into wide screen.

 

After the first screen when you choose the resolution/draw all graphics there is another screen where you choose to load/start game, there is also a settings option there.

 

Click on it and in the graphics and game window size there click on the game area size to large, then wide screen is enabled.

This does not work with resolutions higher than 1920x1200.

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  • 1 month later...

Why has this issue not been fixed in the latest patch? This cannot be difficult. All of the previous games worked just fine full screen. I'm waiting to play this game until this is fixed. Can we get an acknowledgement of the issue, Jeff? Please?

 

If you want a response specifically from Jeff, your best bet is to email Spiderweb Software directly at support@spiderwebsoftware.com

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Somehow I feel like I am not being heard:

 

Question sent to support: "Thanks for taking a moment to read my message. Trying to play Avernum 2 on a 27” iMac (2560*1440), in the display settings the "Whole Window” option is not available and the game will not fill my screen at native resolution. In Avadon 1, Avadon 2, and Avernum 1 the “ hole Window” option is there and all works perfectly. Really hoping to get this corrected. I've been looking forward to Avernum 2 for a long time and its really not fun to look at or play with huge spaces filled with black. Hoping Jeff sees this and can take a look at it. I’ve been following the forums and others are having the same issue."

 

Answer: " The game can only keep in memory so much stuff on screen at one time without a performance hit. If you go into Settings, though, you can adjust how much of the screen the play area fills"

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Yep. Listing out system specs for a reason other than tech support always strikes me as immature, so I won't do it. But i doubt that anything Avernum 2 could do would even make my fan kick on. Its such a great game, I just want to play it in "Whole Window" like I did Avernum 1, Avadon 1, and Avadon 2.

 

I would like to know why the "Whole Window" option was removed (it is there on all other Spiderweb games) and - more importantly - if it will come back.

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The answer I gave was the answer. The game engine can handle [n] things on screen at once. If a monitor gets too big, it will force the game to draw more than [n] things, causing weird results. So I chopped the screen area at a certain size. As time goes on and computers get powerfuller, I will increase [n], but a hard game area limit will probably always happen. Sorry about that.

 

When I finally get to write a new game engine in 3 years or so, this issue will be addressed heavily. For now, I'm stuck with the old engine and its limitations.

 

The older games that allow true full screen all have weird display issues at huge resolutions. I prefer those not be there.

 

I hope this clears up the issue fully.

 

- Jeff Vogel

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