Author Topic: Original PC Freespace 1 demo 3d API support  (Read 485 times)

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Original PC Freespace 1 demo 3d API support
So I have an ATI Rage II, which works just fine playing games in directx mode.  However for some reason, the FS1 demo does not detect my card as a 3d card and instead puts the game into software rendering.  I tried swapping out the launcher for the one belonging to the full version and it detected it but the demo exe, I think, would also need to support the card or it's pointless.  From doing a little reading it seems the demo only officially supported 3dfx but I would really like to play it with my Rage II card.  Is there any way to a) hack in the support, b) replace some files to get it to work or c) swap the demo content for the full release content so the full release install actually plays the demo instead or d) something else I haven't thought of?  I know it seems silly to want to play the demo but to be honest it's a space limitation due to the size of the "period specific" hard drive I'm using and also I'm happy to just play a level or 2 as a tech demo to enjoy the capabilities of the 3d card, which people often crap all over but which isn't really all that bad when you take the time and dedication to set up properly :)  Thanks.

 

Offline The E

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Re: Original PC Freespace 1 demo 3d API support
Is there any way to a) hack in the support
No, not directly at least. On modern systems, we can use GLIDE wrappers to emulate the presence of a Voodoo card, but whether or not that's available for your retro build there is something only google can answer.

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b) replace some files to get it to work
No.

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c) swap the demo content for the full release content so the full release install actually plays the demo instead
If the FS1 demo is built similarly to the FS2 demo, then no. The FS2 demo hardcoded a lot of things in the executable and was missing things that the full game relied on, so without replacing those missing bits, the FS2 retail executable was not able to play demo content.
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
--Evergrey, Where August Mourns

 
Re: Original PC Freespace 1 demo 3d API support
Understood but perhaps I said c) in a backwards way.  I mean I made the superficial observation that most of the guts of the game are inside these vpp files.

So suppose I were to install the full game.  Then I find the file(s) that the exe will hunt for to actually play level content, delete them, put the demo vpp in there instead, possibly rename, maybe make some dummy files for the others I deleted, and run the game as normal.  This way, the file structure is basically intact, save for the file sizes and file contents of the levels themselves (which may or may not rouse the game's suspicion).  Most importantly, the game size would be way lower and closer to demo size.

Also these wrappers... do they basically take 3dfx function calls and translate them into DX calls or is it API specific (3dcif or whatever) or is it just like software emulation?  Basically I'm asking if using a wrapper would qualify as "hardware accelerated" in the sense that it actually uses the 3d card to the same extent it would be used if it had native support?  Would I google something like, "Ati rage ii glide wrapper for descent freespace" or is it just "ATI rage glide wrapper"?
« Last Edit: May 22, 2023, 11:07:32 am by rocketman »

 

Offline The E

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Re: Original PC Freespace 1 demo 3d API support
So suppose I were to install the full game.  Then I find the file(s) that the exe will hunt for to actually play level content, delete them, put the demo vpp in there instead, possibly rename, maybe make some dummy files for the others I deleted, and run the game as normal.  This way, the file structure is basically intact, save for the file sizes and file contents of the levels themselves (which may or may not rouse the game's suspicion).  Most importantly, the game size would be way lower and closer to demo size.

This might be possible if FS1 is similar to FS2 in how it handles its data. Since I know nothing about FS1 modding, I can't answer this question.

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Also these wrappers... do they basically take 3dfx function calls and translate them into DX calls or is it API specific (3dcif or whatever) or is it just like software emulation?  Basically I'm asking if using a wrapper would qualify as "hardware accelerated" in the sense that it actually uses the 3d card to the same extent it would be used if it had native support?  Would I google something like, "Ati rage ii glide wrapper for descent freespace" or is it just "ATI rage glide wrapper"?

glide wrappers translate glide calls to DX or OpenGL. As for what to google, "glide wrapper for windows 98" or whatever windows you're using should get you there, but be aware that you might run into a lot of dead links.
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
--Evergrey, Where August Mourns

 
Re: Original PC Freespace 1 demo 3d API support
That's ok.  I can't imagine something as prolific as a glide wrapper that filled a very important niche at the time would just get forgotten.  I'll find them somewhere.  Probably Vogons will have it.

Going on assumptions, if it were FS2 as you said, my idea would be "plausible" ?  I can just give it a try of course but I just want to know if my 2 second proposal is indeed the most logical way to do things, assuming there's symmetry between the 2 games, or if I missed a step.