Star Wars Episode I: Racer (aka Podracer)

General information and assistance with dgVoodoo.

Star Wars Episode I: Racer (aka Podracer)

Postby CoolGamer » 2017-12-16 @ 17:01

I want to dedicate this thread to "Star Wars Episode I: Racer" (aka Podracer) game. This will mostly be a guide to running the game via dgVoodoo2 since this is the dgVoodoo2 forum, but I will also talk about other Vogons projects that can be complementary.

I tested all these on Windows 7 Ultimate Edition 64bit OS. I hope we can share tips, tricks and bug reports for this game on this thread.

The game does not work natively on most modern systems. You will get white screen or black screen in 3D scenes if you try to run the game natively.

The game works well via dgVooodo2 but there are some remaining bugs. I summarized the bugs in a separate short post below. I will try to update the bug list as people keep reporting bugs. This game is a prime candidate for inclusion into GOG catalog by using dgVoodoo2. I hope we can make it bug free.


Game Versions
There are multiple versions of this game. The most widely available one is the US English version. International versions are in foreign languages (Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, etc.). There is also a DVD version named "Star Wars Episode I DVD Collection" that contains 3 games: Star Wars Episode I Racer, Star Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode 1 Insider's Guide.

I only own the US English CD version. I don't have the DVD version. If you have the single CD version and if it is in English, you surely have the US English version.


Official Patch
Lucas Arts released a patch for the USA and International versions of the game. Patch includes separate game exes for each version and a sound DLL that works with both versions. I attached the patch below. You can read about it at the link below. File download links are down, but I got them from another internet archive FTP link.
https://web.archive.org/web/20070212170 ... 1racer.htm
https://archive.org/details/ftp.lucasarts.com-20130427


Installation Using Third Party Installer (Highly Recommended)
I strongly recommend this method. It contains everything you need to get the game up and running (official patch, dgVoodoo2, LAN multiplayer fix, widescreen fix, single core affinity fix)
1) Download the third party installer created by SagaraS from the link below.
https://www.letsplayforum.de/index.php/ ... d-Patches/
2) Insert your CD and run the installer.
3) Install the game to a location where user account protection will not cause any problems. I recommend C:\Games\PodRacer
4) Installer contains an old version of dgVoodoo2. Just replace it with the latest version of dgVoodoo2.
5) If the game does not start, make sure to check "Fast Video Memory Access" setting on dgVoodoo2 control panel. If the game starts in a small rectangle on the top left side of the screen, choose "Centered, Keep Aspect Ratio" or "Stretched, Keep Aspect Ratio" as the scaling setting of dgVoodoo2.
6) Third party installer contains the latest EXE patch for the game, but it does not include the sound DLL patch. You can find the updated sound DLL in the official patch that I attached to this post.
7) You might not need the sound patch, but I noticed that some of the random crashes, loading screen freezes and cutscene video freezes on my computer were sound related. I recommend you to try the updated sound patch (dll) if you experience any random crashes or freezes.
8 ) The third party game launcher includes widescreen hack (automated hex editor) and game configuration tool. It also sets single core affinity automatically.


Installation Using the Original Installer
1) Game's original installer will not run on 64bit OSs. In order to make it run, you should download and install OpenSource InstallShield Wrapper to your PC, from the link below. It is created by Vogons community member AxXxB.
http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=42464
2) After you install InstallShield Wrapper, just go to the Podracer game CD and run setup.exe. Install the game to a location where account protection will not cause any problems. I recommend C:\Games\PodRacer
3) Before you run the game, install the latest official patch for the game (attached to this post). Just extract the updated USA version game EXE and sound DLL to the game folder.
http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=2 ... 00#p627469
4) Run racer.exe from the link on your desktop (or from the game directory). Racer.exe is the launcher. It will ask you to choose graphics options in the first run. Just choose the largest 4:3 resolution that your monitor supports. Exit the game when you reach the main menu.
5) Install the latest version of dgVoodoo to the game folder. If the game does not start, make sure to check "Fast Video Memory Access" setting on dgVoodoo control panel. If the game starts in a small rectangle on the top left side of the screen, choose "Centered, Keep Aspect Ratio" or "Stretched, Keep Aspect Ratio" as the scaling setting of dgVoodoo.
6) If you don't want to use the launcher, you can run the game directly using the game exe, SWEP1RCR.exe.
7) You should set single core affinity by creating a bat file that includes the following command
Code: Select all
start /affinity 1 SWEP1RCR.exe

8 ) Alternatively, you can use ImageCFG to patch the game exe to use single core (CPU0). Download link and usage command is shown below.
https://robpol86.com/imagecfg.html
Code: Select all
imagecfg -a 0x1 "C:\Games\PodRacer\SWEP1RCR.exe"



Enabling Hardware Accelerated Sound
The game uses Aureal's a3dapi.dll as the sound engine. Sound works, but it does not detect hardware acceleration. If you want to enable hardware acceleration, you can extract IndirectSound wrapper, created by Vogons community member jonpol (John-Paul), into the game directory. Make sure that you have single core affinity on the game exe, if you get glitched sound. If you have any questions regarding IndirectSound please ask it on its official thread linked below.
http://www.indirectsound.com/
http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=36870

If you have a Creative Soundblaster card, you can also use Creative Alchemy Software wrapper to enable hardware acceleration.


Installation Using Peixoto's Tool
Vogons community member Peixoto recently added full support for "Star Wars Episode I: Racer" to his launcher/patcher tool. It works with the installation methods that I outlined above if you remove dgVoodoo files from the game directory. It also includes its own custom installer for 64bit systems. Just insert the game CD and install it using Peixoto's tool. Peixoto also added xbox controller support (xinput) and texture replacement support to the game. You can download Peixoto's tool from the official thread linked below. If you have any questions regarding Peixoto's tool please ask it on its official thread. Sadly it is not possible to chain Peixoto's tool with dgVoodoo2 for this game, but I hope this will change in the future.
http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=53121


Suggested Improvements for the Future
1) We need a better widescreen fix. The current widescreen fix by SagaraS adjusts the aspect ratio properly, but it cuts some area from the top and bottom of the screen. I think it is FOV related. They call this "Vert-" and you can see the comparison screenshots at the link below. I hope somebody with disassembler skills can make a better widescreen fix for this game. I am sure that we can ask SagaraS to implement the new widescreen hack into his launcher.
http://www.wsgf.org/dr/star-wars-episode-i-racer
2) HD Texture pack. We need modelers for this. Currently texture replacement is possible via Peixoto's tool. I hope Dege implements texture replacement feature into dgVoodoo2 soon. :)
3) Full engine remake. :)
4) Depth shader related effects do not work in Reshade for this game. If Dege can find a way to provide depth shader access for this game, it will be awesome. I hope this can be accomplished when Dege releases his API.
Attachments
StarWarsRacerOfficialPatch.rar
Star Wars Racer Official Patch from Lucas Arts
(902.12 KiB) Downloaded 9 times
Last edited by CoolGamer on 2017-12-16 @ 17:08, edited 1 time in total.
CoolGamer
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Re: Star Wars Episode I: Racer (aka Podracer)

Postby CoolGamer » 2017-12-16 @ 17:01

Screenshots:

SWEP1RCR 2017-12-16 02-21-00-26 - Copy.jpg


SWEP1RCR 2017-12-16 02-21-32-05 - Copy.jpg


SWEP1RCR 2017-12-16 02-22-01-41 - Copy.jpg


SWEP1RCR 2017-12-16 02-22-25-55 - Copy.jpg


SWEP1RCR 2017-12-16 02-23-11-06 - Copy.jpg
Last edited by CoolGamer on 2017-12-16 @ 17:17, edited 1 time in total.
CoolGamer
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Re: Star Wars Episode I: Racer (aka Podracer)

Postby CoolGamer » 2017-12-16 @ 17:01

Open/Known Bugs with dgVoodoo2 on this game

1) This game has double cursor glitch when played via dgVoodoo2, where both the game cursor and system cursor are displayed on top of each other. Sometimes alt-tabbing in and out of the game makes this glitch go away.
2) On some systems, the game does not start if "Fast Video Memory Access" setting of dgVoodoo2 is not enabled. You can read about it at the link below.
http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=5 ... 83#p627482
3) The screenshots taken using the in game screenshot system (by pressing F12) are glitched. Some are completely black and some has missing textures. FRAPS screenshots are fine. Just take lots of screenshots using F12 button to replicate this bug.
4) "Unforced" scaling mode combined with "Max" Resolution forcing through dgVoodoo2 sometimes makes the game start in a small rectangle on top left side of the screen. Choosing Centered AR or Stretched AR scaling modes makes this glitch go away. When I use FRAPS this glitch happens all the time. If I don't have FRAPS running, it is a random glitch. Use FRAPS to replicate it.
5) Z-fighting issues (as reported by ZellSF).
Last edited by CoolGamer on 2017-12-16 @ 17:40, edited 1 time in total.
CoolGamer
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Re: Star Wars Episode I: Racer (aka Podracer)

Postby ZellSF » 2017-12-16 @ 17:21

CoolGamer wrote:Open/Known Bugs with dgVoodoo2 on this game

1) This game has double cursor glitch when played via dgVoodoo2, where both the game cursor and system cursor are displayed on top of each other. Sometimes alt-tabbing in and out of the game makes this glitch go away.
2) On some systems, the game does not start if "Fast Video Memory Access" setting of dgVoodoo2 is not enabled. You can read about it at the link below.
viewtopic.php?f=59&t=56583#p627482
3) The screenshots taken using the in game screenshot system (by pressing F12) are glitched. Some are completely black and some has missing textures. FRAPS screenshots are fine. Just take lots of screenshots using F12 button to replicate this bug.
4) "Unforced" scaling mode combined with "Max" Resolution forcing through dgVoodoo2 sometimes makes the game start in a small rectangle on top left side of the screen. Choosing Centered AR or Stretched AR scaling modes makes this glitch go away. When I use FRAPS this glitch happens all the time. If I don't have FRAPS running, it is a random glitch. Use FRAPS to replicate it.

Has the z-fighting issues been fixed or did you just forgot mentioning it?
ZellSF
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Re: Star Wars Episode I: Racer (aka Podracer)

Postby CoolGamer » 2017-12-16 @ 17:39

ZellSF, I did not even know about the z-fighting issues. Thanks for mentioning them. I will add it to the list. Since it is a fast paced racer, I guess I never paid attention to z-fighting.
CoolGamer
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