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John Scott
Raven | Programmer | Mar 23 2000, 19:09:29 (ET) |

Name: John Scott
Description: Programmer
Project: SoF
Nick: Pagan
Project: Soldier of Fortune

Disclaimer - The opinions expressed herein are personal and
in no way represent that of Raven Software or Activision.


For you techies out there...


Time for me to thank a few of the programmers who helped me
out during the development of SoF. Apologies in advance if
I forgot anyone!

Chris Hecker for GLSetup (all hail its might!)
Michael Gold for GL advice.
Tom Forsyth of 3DLabs
Tom Frisinger of ATI.
Omar Yehia of Matrox.
Sim Dietrich of Nvidia.
Jim Bushnell and Chris Cagle of Pyramid Peak.
Raja Koduri of S3.



Here's a quick rundown of the Video Settings menu which
may be of some interest.

Video Driver -
Either Default OpenGL or 3DFx OpenGL. Voodoo3s use Default
OpenGL as they are 2d/3d combo card.

Resolution -
I don't think I'll go over this one :)

Fullscreen -
Not an option you get with V1, V2 or Rush cards as they
only run fullscreen without special drivers. If you try and
run a 16 bit only card on a 32 bit desktop, then it will
not work.

Bitdepth -
Auto, 16 or 32. Auto picks the desktop display depth and
uses that if it can, otherwise defaults back to 16 bit.
Several cards (I740s, Riva128s and all 3dfx cards) cannot
handle 32 bit rendering and will default back to 16 bit
if you try it.

Alternate Simple Textures -
These are more generic textures used in place of the fluff
type textures. For example, the graffiti in the subway level
will change to the texture of the wall it is on if this
feature is enabled. This results in the levels not looking
as pretty but significantly less texture memory is used.

Texture Quality -
This is the mip value of the world textures. Lowering this
setting will blur the textures but use much less texture
memory. It is a speed vs looks tradeoff.

Skin Texture Quality -
As above, but for Ghoul textures.

Texture Format (Translucent Texture Format) -
The internal formats used by OpenGL to store texture data.
As always it is a tradeoff between memory, quality and
Low - This is 1 byte per texel (R3G3B2 and RGBA2). This can
look spectacularly ugly on some cards, but not too bad on
some others.
Medium - a short per texel (R5G6B5 and RGBA4). These are regular
16 bit textures - average memory usage, good quality and all
cards are optimised for this format.
High - a long per texel (RGB8 and RGBA8). True 32 bit textures
all around. This eats memory like nobodies business and
significantly increases the load on the AGP bus, but
guarantees true 32 bit rendering.
Default - what the drivers decide is best for you. Generally,
for 16 bit rendering, this will be the same as the medium
setting. If you are running at 32 bit, then the drivers MAY
promote the textures to 32 bit, but this is not guaranteed.
Some cards let you choose this setting in their display
S3TC - Automatically compress textures to reduce the system
memory and AGP bus load. The BTC algorithm used by S3 doesn't
play well conceptually with translucent textures and so is
not implemented for them. The GeForce has S3TC in hardware but
S3 will not license the tech to NVidia (or nVidia isn't
offering enough in the way of $), which is why the GeForce
OpenGL drivers do not have S3TC but the DirectX ones do.


I've updated the dedicated.cfg at
as things got added/changed.

Please keep your comments coming to
We do read them all - even though we don't get chance to reply
to each one.

Any technical problems, check out the messageboards and FAQ
at Kenn is doing an awesome job
helping people out.


I've put up a list of dmflags for you server admins
out there.
If someone wants to HTMLise these - feel free.
These are the characters we base our fonts off. If
you want to play with l33t h4x0r names, then check it
out. You'll have to manually edit your config.cfg file

Anyone know what a SiS530 video is ? (Apart from onboard
and claiming to be 3D).

ATI told me they were working the decal and shadow
problems - I'll keep you informed.

Kenn's brief poll of download sites yesterday revealed
well over a 100000 downloads of the demo *grin*.

I'm not feeling too well at all, forgive me if my email
replies are a little short today.


Things are just a little hectic around here :)

First off - check these out

Thankyou for all your comments, please keep
them coming!

For the many people that have complained about the
lack on an invert mouse function - there is one in
just under the mouse sensitivity sliders.

For those of you that can't RTFM (like me) here's
a rundown of the scalability options.

Ghoul Light Method -
* Flat - Ugly and quick. One point light source for the
whole model.
* Balanced - 4 light sources interpolated over the model
and allows specular lighting.
* High - As balanced, but takes into account dynamic
* Hardware - Uses the GL T&L path. This will be the slowest
option unless you have a GeForce.

Shadow Quality -
* Off - No shadows.
* Low - Blob shadows
* High - Real time generated shadows (very expensive)

Specular lighting -
* Off - Not shiny models.
* On - Shiny models.

Detail Texturing -
* Off - None. Use for low fill rate cards.
* Ranged - Apply up to a range specified by the slider.
* On - Apply on the whole world.

Number of decals -
Decals are the explosion burn marks and the blood
splatters on the walls and floor. The further right
the slider - the more the game will remember.

Effect Overdraw -
The number of pixels the effects system renders before
culling out. Explosions especially but effects in general
can really eat fillrate. If you have a high fillrate card
(G400, GeForce/TNT2, V3) then slide this to the right for
better visual effects. If you have a low fillrate card
(V1, RagePro) then keep this slider to the left. The best
thing to do is tweak your settings so as to get the best
visuals with the least chug.

Corpse Duration -
This is the number of dead bodies lying around before they
fade out to nothing. As bodies have the same number of
polys as player models, they can be very expensive.

Model Expressions -
The number of facial expressions the enemies have. Turning
this down will reduce the amount of textures loaded.

Skin Variety -
If you want to shoot a bunch of clones, turn this right
down. Again, use for video cards with not much memory or
machines with low system memory.


As there is a Duke SETI team, why not a Raven team ? Sign up
if you wish!

James Monroe 12/9
Zachary Quarles 04/20
Rick Johnson 09/24
Bobby Duncanson 08/24
Pat Lipo 07/10
Kenn Hoekstra 07/8
Brian Shubat 04/19
Scott McNutt 03/19
Mike Renner 03/19
Kevin Long 03/19
Kim Lathrop 03/19
Jarod Showers 03/19
Ben Geisler 03/19
Robert Love 03/19
Mike Gummelt 03/19
Jon Zuk 03/19
Matt Pinkston 03/19
Chris Foster 03/19
Jim Hughes 05/23
Bryan Dube 05/23
Clem Samson-Samuel 05/23
Rob Gee 05/23
Mike Schulenberg 05/23
Brian Pelletier 05/23
John Scott 05/23
Marcus Whitlock 05/23
Eric Turman 03/1
Dan Kramer 03/1
Eric Biessman 03/1
Brian Raffel 03/1
M. Raymond-Judy 03/1
Jake Simpson 08/16
Mike Crowns 03/12
Chia Chin Lee 03/12
Josh Weier 03/12
Jeremy Statz 03/12
Jeff Lampo 03/12
Nathan Albury 01/15
William Mull 11/27
Steve Stringer 05/20

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