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First post, by MrEWhite

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So, I recently picked up the WON version of Half-Life along with Opposing Force and installed it on a Windows 10 machine, and I updated it to 1.0.1.6 to use with the widescreen fix here: https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/files/file … n-fov-mp3-patch

But I'm having a bit of an issue. Whenever I go to pause it, I either get a blackscreen (without the -lw and -lh arguments) or I just get nothing but the game screen (with -lw and -lh). Opening up task manager or pressing ALT TAB causes the menu to appear properly, but I'd rather not have to do that every time I want to open the menu. Any help?

Last edited by MrEWhite on 2020-02-04, 00:35. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 2 of 17, by Kerr Avon

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What do you mean by 'pause' the game? I know HL has a pause button (at least I seem to recall that it does), but whenever I play HL, it's two expansions, or any of the mods, I pause the game by just pressing 'ESC' to go to the main menu, I never use the pause key. Have you tried pausing the game this way?

Reply 3 of 17, by MrEWhite

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Kerr Avon wrote on 2020-02-04, 21:02:

What do you mean by 'pause' the game? I know HL has a pause button (at least I seem to recall that it does), but whenever I play HL, it's two expansions, or any of the mods, I pause the game by just pressing 'ESC' to go to the main menu, I never use the pause key. Have you tried pausing the game this way?

By pause, I mean pressing the escape key to go to the main menu.

Reply 4 of 17, by Kerr Avon

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I see. I can't think of anything to fix it, sorry, but does it do it in all the renderers in the options screen, including software? If not, then that might be a clue towards the cause.

First of all, though, you might want to try the Windows Engine port, Xash3D, https://github.com/FWGS/xash3d-fwgs. Hopefully that will work without problems. If not, then all I can suggest is the the tedious job of looking on various Half-Life forums to see if anyone has a similar problem, and how they fixed it.

Reply 5 of 17, by MrEWhite

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Kerr Avon wrote on 2020-02-09, 17:42:

I see. I can't think of anything to fix it, sorry, but does it do it in all the renderers in the options screen, including software? If not, then that might be a clue towards the cause.

First of all, though, you might want to try the Windows Engine port, Xash3D, https://github.com/FWGS/xash3d-fwgs. Hopefully that will work without problems. If not, then all I can suggest is the the tedious job of looking on various Half-Life forums to see if anyone has a similar problem, and how they fixed it.

Well, if I use software, in game I can only see my desktop, and with Direct3D, I can start a level (at a low FPS though) and if I hit escape, the menu comes up, but if I try to go back into the game I get the same issue with software where I can only see my desktop. OpenGL is the only one that works at the capped 72 FPS in game but I get the menu bug. I can use all three renderers in windowed mode and get the menu to come up, but not in fullscreen. I couldn't find anyone else with this issue online, and I can't play the version of the game that I'm currently using (1.0.1.6) with Xash. I also tried completely updating the game and this issue still occurred.

Reply 6 of 17, by leileilol

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For what it's worth, Half-Life's menu being busted is normal behavior even on Win9x machines with proper era-appropriate hardware. Valve couldn't code a stable frontend for a long time. It'd corrupt itself a lot trying to maintain a buffer for 640x480x16.

There's registry keys about the menu in
\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Valve\Half-Life\Settings

Setting LauncherBPP 32 would probably do nothing though

by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x

Reply 7 of 17, by MrEWhite

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leileilol wrote on 2020-02-10, 03:19:
For what it's worth, Half-Life's menu being busted is normal behavior even on Win9x machines with proper era-appropriate hardwar […]
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For what it's worth, Half-Life's menu being busted is normal behavior even on Win9x machines with proper era-appropriate hardware. Valve couldn't code a stable frontend for a long time. It'd corrupt itself a lot trying to maintain a buffer for 640x480x16.

There's registry keys about the menu in
\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Valve\Half-Life\Settings

Setting LauncherBPP 32 would probably do nothing though

Do you know any settings there that would fix the menu?

Reply 8 of 17, by UCyborg

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It probably can't be fixed without modifying the code dealing with menus and transitions between game and menu windows. The menus are contained in separate GDI rendered windows (each submenu actually shows new window above the previous one) with some DirectDraw bits slapped in between.

You're not the only one noticing this behavior on Windows 10. The menu window is actually active when you press ESC, just obscured. Interestingly, it still works as intended on Windows 8.1.

I noticed with standalone Blue-Shift (could be the same for Half-Life 1.0.1.6, only have 1.1.1.0 for reference ATM), transitions magically start working properly if you change accent color in Settings app->Personalization->Color, but only if the checkbox Title bars and window borders is checked and you have already loaded the saved game or started the new one, just so the graphics stuff is initialized.

This is all in OpenGL mode. Can't see the menus in Direct3D after pause, unless I Win + Shift + Right arrow the window to the 2nd screen.

Blue-Shift also changes cursor shape a bit and for some reason, mouse movement while in main menu is really choppy. I don't remember this on older Windows 10 builds, though I don't exclude the possibility that there's something odd about my particular installation (or that it did happen, but forgot about it...).

Color depth setting shouldn't make difference on modern Windows in terms of transitions. From what I can tell, Windows exposes 16-bit color depth the fist time application or game is launched and pretends it's available on subsequent launches as well if app tried such color depth setting, otherwise it's unavailable on subsequent launches and API calls made on behalf of the app to change screen color depth to unsupported values fail.

If you use that patch, adding -32bpp parameter to the game's shortcut target field will also affect menu screens, which were hardcoded to always switch the screen to 16-bit color depth. Either way, since Windows 8, everything is always handled in 32-bit mode.

Half-Life's registry settings for menu resolution and color depth indeed don't do anything.

The observations I described were made on system running Windows 10 Build 18363.476. I mostly use Win key to make the menu appear normally.

Last edited by UCyborg on 2020-02-11, 17:03. Edited 1 time in total.
Arthur Schopenhauer wrote:

A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.

Reply 9 of 17, by MrEWhite

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UCyborg wrote on 2020-02-10, 21:57:

It probably can't be fixed without modifying the code dealing with menus and transitions between game and menu windows. The menus are contained in separate GDI rendered windows (each submenu actually shows new window above the previous one) with some DirectDraw bits slapped in between.

Well, damn 🙁

Reply 10 of 17, by UCyborg

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Despite WON version being weird with how it's put together, this strikes me as a bug in Windows 10. The game does call a function to hide the gameplay window and it's like Windows doesn't handle it entirely since it's still glued to the screen, and the fact that it's in full screen mode doesn't help.

Also, mouse wheel doesn't work on my end with Direct3D renderer in full screen, but works in windowed mode.

Who knows, maybe it'll start working again in the future Windows version.

MS was working on some tricks (fullscreen optimizations), at least when it comes to games using newer Direct3D runtime (9+ think). They don't mention OpenGL and there doesn't seem to be anything different with OpenGL games. I wonder if it would help in this case if it worked.

Arthur Schopenhauer wrote:

A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.

Reply 11 of 17, by UCyborg

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Just tested on Windows 7 on my desktop PC and the same thing, even with desktop composition disabled. So it's not something that changed in Windows in the recent years I suppose.

That other Windows 8.1 system where it worked has an AMD card, though now on Win10 (and different drivers) there is the same problem.

On VMware virtual machines, there was no issue with transition to menu on neither Windows 7 and 8.1. Don't have a Windows 10 virtual machine, but I'm not sure the result would say much anyway.

Arthur Schopenhauer wrote:

A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.

Reply 12 of 17, by ZellSF

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Last time I tried Xash3D it had an annoying audio stutter in loading screens and UI elements were flickering (I think it's because of a Nvidia bug that also seems to affect Cave Story+). It has had plenty of updates since then, but I think it was like half a year ago and left the impression that using Xash3D just wasn't a very polished experience.

That was after trying and failing getting the original Half-Life getting working decently on a modern computer (because of the menu issue). Well I got it working, it was just messy.

I think I'll just play the Steam version next time, pity it forces you to choose between music or subtitles (mod) and supposedly has some other issues as well. What are the remaining issues with the Steam version anyway?

Reply 13 of 17, by MrEWhite

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ZellSF wrote on 2020-02-14, 08:31:

Last time I tried Xash3D it had an annoying audio stutter in loading screens and UI elements were flickering (I think it's because of a Nvidia bug that also seems to affect Cave Story+). It has had plenty of updates since then, but I think it was like half a year ago and left the impression that using Xash3D just wasn't a very polished experience.

That was after trying and failing getting the original Half-Life getting working decently on a modern computer (because of the menu issue). Well I got it working, it was just messy.

I think I'll just play the Steam version next time, pity it forces you to choose between music or subtitles (mod) and supposedly has some other issues as well. What are the remaining issues with the Steam version anyway?

Well, the menu issue isn’t a huge issue because all it does is require me to press Alt+Tab, but it’d be preferable to not have to do that, obviously. Otherwise, the game works great.

Reply 15 of 17, by MrEWhite

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leileilol wrote on 2020-02-15, 01:47:

xash3d's that illegal source port that unfortunately gets smartypantsed around as blind 'this update fixes hl' advice...

Yeah, I read about that and that's one of the reasons I'm not using it. It also doesn't support my version anyways.

Reply 16 of 17, by UCyborg

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Valve never fixed unstable physics, did they? Surprisingly, they supposedly fixed the NPC turn rate bug 2 decades after original release.

The thing when scientists just explode in the elevator in Blue-Shift is still hilarious. Illegal engine fixes that AFAIK, but I wonder if the bad Russians fixed other basic behaviors yet that the original gets right.

So maybe 60 FPS cap instead of default 72 FPS is better to workaround glitchy physics?

Arthur Schopenhauer wrote:

A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.

Reply 17 of 17, by MrEWhite

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UCyborg wrote on Yesterday, 09:37:

Valve never fixed unstable physics, did they? Surprisingly, they supposedly fixed the NPC turn rate bug 2 decades after original release.

The thing when scientists just explode in the elevator in Blue-Shift is still hilarious. Illegal engine fixes that AFAIK, but I wonder if the bad Russians fixed other basic behaviors yet that the original gets right.

So maybe 60 FPS cap instead of default 72 FPS is better to workaround glitchy physics?

I never noticed that mentioned issue in Blue Shift nor any other physics issues (minus boxes being crazy fast when being pushed with use, think that's just how it works though) at 72 FPS.