Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

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Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby vetz » 2012-6-24 @ 11:33

I started a thread over at sierrahelp.com, but I have since gotten new information and I would like to post it here as well since it's a bigger chance someone have some info.

I did some digging and I doubt Silent Thunder and Cybergladiators which came bundled with Sierra Screamin' 3D (Rendition V1000) were Rendition Ready games (meaning they ran on Renditions own API). Cybergladiators is Glide and Direct3D compatible and from what I can find from old Google group discussions the version that came with the Sierra card also ran on Direct3D. This is probably attributed to the fact that both these games are Windows games and the Windows API for Rendition, RRedline wasn't released untill 1997.

Silent Thunder also looks to be Direct3D, but this version is not possible to find anywhere unless you have the bundled version. From bjorn3d archived page I found this:

Q Is A10-Silent Thunder rendition ready?

A: The version of A10 that comes with the Screamin' 3D is Direct3D. Unfortunately none of us can get our hands on it because it is bundle only. /Mike


I also found this list published by Microsoft with games that will have Direct3D support. Silent Thunder is mentioned:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/pre ... gmspr.aspx
Both games were also planned to be released on the Voodoo, but only Cybergladiators made it. If they had plans for Silent Thunder as well, making it Direct3D would make sense.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... _18835454/

If Silent Thunder really is Direct3D (which I am now pretty convinced of) this makes it much more interesting in making a patch just like I did on Sega Rally Championship. People has been saying this game is PowerVR only and/or not accelerated at all here on Vogons earlier, but that is incorrect.
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby aqrit » 2012-6-24 @ 17:31

DDraw is all over the patch docs.

DirectDraw only affects A10-II Silent Thunder when running with full screen enabled in the Preferences Menu.


The demo has lots of ddraw code in it...
but I haven't look into how to get it activated with no preference menu.
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby vetz » 2012-6-24 @ 18:00

The normal retail version is DDraw and I would expect the demo to be as well. The game was released in retail before the Sierra Screamin' 3D Verite card came out, and a special version of Silent Thunder was created to be part of the bundle.
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby Davros » 2012-6-24 @ 19:31

A10 - 2 prefs
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby vetz » 2012-7-15 @ 13:46

Found a user on this forum which posted an image of his Sierra Screamin bundle. I've sent a PM and maybe we can confirm or unconfirm if the bundled version is Direct3D or not.
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby bushwack » 2012-7-15 @ 15:09

I just installed Silent Thunder from my Rendition bundle in my 1997 rig. No Rendion card in there just a Voodoo/ Virge combo. When I ran it, I heard the "click click" from my Orchid Voodoo card. And yes, nice filtered textures and smooth frames I figure at 640x480.

The regular Readme file states the minimum video is a Siera Sceamin' 3D. HA!
From the Video Readme files it only mentions Direct Draw and Direct 3D.

Here is the Video Readme:

DirectDraw:
In WIN 95 Silent Thunder uses DirectDraw drivers to allow high-speed
full-screen graphics. The DirectX install in the Sierra Setup detects whether
you have DirectX previously installed on your machine and gives you the option
of updating to newer files, should your files be older than the current
version. Updating may not be necessary in order for Silent Thunder to run
properly, unless the DirectX installer marks the CERTIFIED column with a "NO."
This indicates that the system has checked your version of DirectX and found
that it doesn't conform to current standards.

Before updating DirectDraw over existing drivers, check your video card
manufacturer's instructions. Some newer video cards use custom video drivers
and updating these with standard Win95 drivers can cause problems. If you are
in doubt, contact your video manufacturer before updating DirectDraw.
Addresses and phone numbers for major video card manufacturers are listed at
the end of this document.

Direct3D:
In WIN 95, if 3D graphics acceleration is detected, Silent Thunder uses Direct3D
drivers for high-speed full-screen graphics. The DirectX install in the Sierra Setup
detects whether you have DirectX previously installed on your machine and gives
you the option of updating to newer files, should your files be older than the current
version. Updating may not be necessary in order for Silent Thunder to run
properly, unless the DirectX installer marks the CERTIFIED column with a "NO."
This indicates that the system has checked your version of DirectX and found
that it doesn't conform to current standards.

Before updating DirectDraw over existing drivers, check your video card
manufacturer's instructions. Some newer video cards use custom video drivers
and updating these with standard Win95 drivers can cause problems. If you are
in doubt, contact your video manufacturer before updating DirectDraw.
Addresses and phone numbers for major video card manufacturers are listed at
the end of this document.



Running Silent Thunder in a window:
Silent Thunder accesses your video card through the standard Windows video
drivers. Running Silent Thunder in a window should function properly on any
system that is properly configured to run Windows. If you should experience
any problems while running Silent Thunder in a window, verify that the proper
video drivers are selected in your Display Properties. If these selections are
correct and you still experience problems, contact your video card
manufacturer's Technical Support.

Running Silent Thunder in Full Screen Mode:
Because Silent Thunder uses DirectDraw or Direct3D to produce high-speed,
full-screen graphics, Full Screen mode is available only in a WIN 95 installation.
Direct Draw and Direct3D allow Silent Thunder to run in full screen mode in
either high-res or low-res modes, and provides some noticeable frame rate
improvements, particularly in the case of Direct3D. Not all video cards tested
supported DirectDraw properly. If your card does not support DirectDraw,
you may find that the game will freeze or crash to Windows when flying in
full-screen mode. Direct3D support for Silent Thunder has been tested and
approved on video accelerator cards based on the Rendition Verite chip, such as
Sierra's Screamin' 3D. Other Direct3D cards may or may not perform as expected.
If it is necessary to disable Direct3D support for Silent Thunder, edit the file named 'HARDWARE.CFG', and change the second line to read:
Direct3D=NO
This will cause to game to behave as if no hardware 3D acceleration was detected,
and full screen mode will attempt to use DirectDraw rather than Direct3D.

NOTE - DirectDraw and Direct3D only affect Silent Thunder when running with
Full Screen enabled in the Preferences Menu. If you are running Windows in
640x480 mode, you can play Silent Thunder in a full-screen window without
using the full-screen mode and DirectDraw being present on your machine.

Windows colors:
Silent Thunder was designed to run optimally with a 256 color video driver.
If you have Windows set to HIGH COLOR (16 bit) or TRUE COLOR (24 bit), the
program itself will play normally, but certain graphic transition screens may
have odd colors, or may appear mostly black. You may also find that the
program will run faster if you set your Color Palette to 256 colors.

Manually Installing DirectDraw:
If you should decide to upgrade video drivers or cards, or find that you need
to reinstall DirectDraw, you can do so manually. Simply run Dxsetup.exe,
which is found in the DirectX directory on your Silent Thunder CD.

NOTE - Some video cards provide their own DirectDraw support. Before
installing DirectDraw manually, check your video card information to verify
that you can install without overwriting critical files.

Diamond Stealth:
Diamond Multimedia Technologies has released updated video drivers for Windows
'95 that will allow the Stealth cards to run with DirectDraw. Contact Diamond
Multimedia for a set of Windows '95 drivers if you would like to run in full
screen mode.

NOTE -- You can always run the game in Window play - the DirectDraw drivers
will only correct problems in Full Screen (DirectDraw) mode.

What to do if you have problems:
Reboot -- The Sierra Setup utility program automatically detects whether your
machine has DirectDraw installs and installs it, if needed. These changes
will not take effect until after you restart your system.

Reinstall -- It is possible something interrupted the installation of Direct
Draw. Uninstall Silent Thunder and install again. It may be necessary to
allow Setup to update your DirectDraw drivers in order for Silent Thunder to
run properly. Before updating existing DirectDraw drivers, consult your
video card information to verify that you are not overwriting critical files.

Update your drivers -- Contact your video card manufacturer and verify that
you have the latest video drivers for your card, and verify that these drivers
do, in fact, work with DirectDraw. If you already have the newest drivers,
verify that those drivers are the ones currently installed. If you have
installed or updated WIN 95 or since you installed the newer video drivers, it
is possible that Windows may have replaced the driver with an older version.

You can get information on your video card and drivers by clicking on SYSTEM
in the Control Panel folder, selecting DEVICE MANAGERS, and clicking on
DISPLAY ADAPTERS.

Video Card Manufacturers:
When attempting to resolve video problems with Silent Thunder, you should
contact your video card manufacturer's technical support. Before calling you
should make sure you have all of the information about your video card and
monitor handy, and that you know what version of your video drivers you are
using.
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby vetz » 2012-7-17 @ 00:04

Very nice Bushwack :) Good to see that the info I dug up online turned out to be correct.


Are you interested in trying to make a Direct3D patch for the retail version? Can be as easy as swapping the main executable, or with some hex editing and moving some resource files over (just like Sega Rally Championship).
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby bushwack » 2012-7-17 @ 01:32

Seems strange no Direct3D patch was released for the regular retail game. Trying to sell some hardware now are we Sierra?

I also have the retail version of the game so I will see if I can't get something cooking.
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby Davros » 2012-7-17 @ 11:30

bushwack are you looking at a10 -1 and not a10-2 ?
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby bushwack » 2012-7-18 @ 00:04

Davros wrote:bushwack are you looking at a10 -1 and not a10-2 ?

OK so now I'm confused , but glad I could help!
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby collector » 2012-7-18 @ 00:34

It would be kind of hard to mix the two up. The original A-10 and the updated A-10 1.5 are DOS games. These have some odd mouse behavior, but Ripsaw made a TSR patch that addresses it. My A-10 installer includes it and takes into account the differences between A-10 and A-10 v1.5. My Silent Thunder installer includes a compatibility patch that I made from ACT, but does not support the Rendition version.
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby tincup » 2012-7-18 @ 15:51

I have Silent Thunder 2 in storage but this thread had made me curious to check it out again as it seems I may have missed some vital graphics settings/modes. I'm not sure I ever attempted D3D as I remember the game to be very pixilated and not terribly impressive, and sort of wrote if off. So next trip to the Unit...

Also have the two earlier DOS releases - cool little games.

EDIT:

Installed: Looks/feels better that I'd remembered. Cockpit view system rudimentary.
Last edited by tincup on 2012-7-29 @ 23:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby bushwack » 2012-7-18 @ 23:42

So the first Silent Thunder A-10 came out in 1990. That clears a little up, no Direct3D support here. :lol:

Funny how the Silent Thunder that came with the Screamin' 3D really doesnt state that it is #2. Not on the box & not on the disk.

So far the ST2 Rendition executable is not playing happy with the retail version. I hear my Orchid clicks, I see the game splash screen then it goes black. And that's it.
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby vetz » 2012-7-19 @ 23:52

bushwack wrote:
So far the ST2 Rendition executable is not playing happy with the retail version. I hear my Orchid clicks, I see the game splash screen then it goes black. And that's it.


Damn, too bad it wasn't that easy. Probably some resource files are different in the D3D versions and need to be copied over. Just look at file dates and size to find the files in question.
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby Davros » 2012-7-20 @ 11:03

I had a bundled version of master rallye it was cut down but had enviroment mapped cars
and I tried to merge it with the retail version but it didnt work
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby tincup » 2012-8-01 @ 21:47

bushwack wrote:I also have the retail version of the game so I will see if I can't get something cooking.


Any luck in this department? I didn't find a D3D patch for it either - is the bundled version available anywhere?
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby vetz » 2012-8-01 @ 22:51

The D3D patch does not exist unless bushwack or someone else make one. The bundled version is not available anywhere and not exactly popular on ebay.

Any progression bushwack? If you need help feel free to PM me, I have some experience with these kind of things and I'm more than willing to lend a hand.
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby tincup » 2012-8-01 @ 23:21

I know... I keep a lookout for it on eBay but haven't caught sight of one:(
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby tincup » 2012-12-07 @ 03:16

Bump: I've noticed European releases of the game omit the "II" as well - just Silent Thunder. I wonder if they are D3D like the bundled version?
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Re: Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II Direct3D

Postby leileilol » 2012-12-07 @ 03:39

There is no "Silent Thunder II" - Silent Thunder is the subtitle of A-10 Tank Killer II, as well as serving as the full title in european versions omitting the A-10 Tank Killer II part of the title. The original A-10 Tank Killer games don't have "Silent Thunder" either.

It's also very hard to confuse Silent Thunder with the original 1989 A-10 game :) I don't know what made davros send this thread into the derail of confusion.
Voodoo2s aren't 100mhz stock
Geforce256 isn't released as a beta on New Years '99 under the Quadro brand
386DX vs SX isn't about a missing FPU
DOS gaming isn't a bilinear 320x200 16:10
DOS PCs aren't better than the Macintosh
Old PCs aren't 'aesthetic'
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