VOGONS


Table Fog & 8-bit Paletted Textures

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Reply 60 of 82, by Warlord

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bloodem wrote on 2021-08-30, 09:31:
Very debatable. :-) A few games that have some rendering issues with GeForce cards (like Incoming, Thief 2, and probably a few o […]
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Warlord wrote on 2021-08-30, 01:08:

Anyways I guess this confirms the only true compatible cards are 3dfx ones.

Very debatable. 😀
A few games that have some rendering issues with GeForce cards (like Incoming, Thief 2, and probably a few others) are not enough to tilt the balance in 3dfx's favor.
I can also list quite a lot of games that look very bad and/or run poorly on earlier Voodoo cards prior to VSA-100 (i.e.: Need for Speed Porsche, MDK2, Expendable). And VSA-100 does not count anyway, because it's much less compatible with earlier titles.
IMO, a GeForce 4 Ti + Voodoo 2 will give you the best of both worlds, if you really want a 'do-it-all' build that is both fast (for games that need it) and very compatible at the same time.

Just playing devils advocate of course 😜 I wouldn't mind seeing 3d compatibility chart centered around theif 2. Thrown in some other cards like savage 2000 and stuff like that to see if anyone else besides 3dfx can render the game properly. Sounds likes a project for collector since most people don't have all the cards.

Reply 61 of 82, by bloodem

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Warlord wrote on 2021-08-31, 11:05:

Just playing devils advocate of course 😜 I wouldn't mind seeing 3d compatibility chart centered around theif 2. Thrown in some other cards like savage 2000 and stuff like that to see if anyone else besides 3dfx can render the game properly. Sounds likes a project for collector since most people don't have all the cards.

I have most cards (collector here), however Thief 2 is something that never interested me in any way, shape, or form... 😁

2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 8 x SS7 / 12 x Socket 8 / 11 x Slot 1 / 3 x Slot A
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Reply 62 of 82, by Ydee

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Warlord wrote on 2021-08-31, 11:05:

Thrown in some other cards like savage 2000 and stuff like that to see if anyone else besides 3dfx can render the game properly.

Where in Thief is the scene? I could try some more graphics.

Reply 63 of 82, by dr.zeissler

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We should consider a dedicated featurelist of the old gfx-cards. Everyone should suggest which features are mentioned and then the list should be filled with the cards.

- Table Fog
- Pal.Texture-Support
- VESA Support
- EMBM-support
- S3TC-support
- PixelShader-support
- Vertexshader-support
- HW-TnL support
- supported DX-Version
- supported D3D Version
- supported OGL Version
- Glide
- PVR
- etc.

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 64 of 82, by Joseph_Joestar

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Ydee wrote on 2021-08-31, 13:36:

Where in Thief is the scene? I could try some more graphics.

The stars in the night sky are from the first mission, at the very start of the level. Just start a new game and you're good to go.The fog is from Mission 11. I have a save game if anyone else needs it.

Make sure that "Sky Detail" is set to "High" and "Fogging" is set to "On" under Options > Video settings.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64
PC#2: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 Gold / YMF744 / SC-155
PC#3: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
PC#4: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium

Reply 65 of 82, by Gmlb256

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dr.zeissler wrote on 2021-08-31, 14:26:

- supported DX-Version
- supported D3D Version

I think it should be DirectDraw support for 2D and D3D for 3D as later versions of DX are mostly associated with D3D.

Reply 66 of 82, by Joseph_Joestar

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Here are my Thief2 saves:

Filename
Thief2_saves.zip
File size
792.28 KiB
Downloads
10 downloads
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Before running the tests, make sure that your game is patched to version 1.18 using the official patch. Don't use any unofficial patches or mods while testing. As mentioned above, Sky Detail needs to be set to High, Fogging to On and Weather to On as well.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64
PC#2: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 Gold / YMF744 / SC-155
PC#3: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
PC#4: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium

Reply 68 of 82, by Warlord

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bloodem wrote on 2021-08-31, 11:27:

I have most cards (collector here), however Thief 2 is something that never interested me in any way, shape, or form... 😁

No ones interested in any of the games on Gonas Dos tests either, it's more of a guantlet of problematic games.

Reply 69 of 82, by GodsPetMonkey

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Warlord wrote on 2021-08-31, 11:05:

Thrown in some other cards like savage 2000 and stuff like that to see if anyone else besides 3dfx can render the game properly. Sounds likes a project for collector since most people don't have all the cards.

I have a few cards, and as a Thief fan I did do some testing for my own benefit some time ago, but I never bothered with a Savage (though I only have a 16MB Savage 4 Pro...). So I gave it a shot, and... actually, it's visually very good!

Attached are screenshots from the 'First City Bank and Trust' and 'Life of the Party' missions. The Bank shots have starry sky, electro-lights and colourful textures, Party shots show fog-table. As a reference point I have first attached screenshots using a Voodoo 3, then the Savage 4.

Savage 4 renders the stars, so that's a plus. And it has a transparency effect on the fog that isn't there for the Voodoo 3 (or any other card I have tried actually). I think it looks pretty good actually, the fog effect is still there, but not as heavy (and so you can see the sky). In the screenshots the fog looks pinker for the Voodoo 3 then it does on screen (same thing happens for Nvidia cards too).

The downside? Performance on the Savage 4 is atrocious; it's a terrible framerate - granted I tried at 1024x768, so dropping the resolution would probably help. I don't have a Savage 2000, and it's extra grunt may help out too, but the experience is much nicer performance wise on the Voodoo 3 and TNT (1 or 2).

It would be interesting to know if the Savage 4 is rendering the fog correctly, or if it is just another quirk of S3's design. Every other card I have tried gives fog like the Voodoo 3 (except ATI cards where fog table isn't working), so it would be odd if LGS developed it around the S3.

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Reply 70 of 82, by Warlord

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we can chalk up savage 4 as another card that actually works. Just has unfortunate performance issues. I might be able to contribute since I have a EPIA 15000g in storage that has a UniChrome Pro. I wonder if the performance is a bad and if it actually works. Id think the UniChrome Pro performance would be quite a bit better than a savage 4.

Reply 71 of 82, by leileilol

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Savage4/2000 cards have had texture cache issues when it's not using their (then exclusive) S3TC texture formats. Q3 defaulted texture compression to on for that purpose (converting RGB888 to DXT1 on load), and some games in 1999 had S3TC versions for performance reasons (than the other, hi-res texture novelty reason). Old-style partial lightmap updates also brings a lot of pain.

There's also the matter of drivers not doing well for the DX7/8 gen of games, it'll break anything on MAX-FX etc

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Reply 72 of 82, by kjliew

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Sadly, Thief 2 The Metal Age will remain as the game that cannot be restored in pristine retailed CD condition and preserved on QEMU VMs on modern systems. Mainly to blame the game unusual technics in using 8-bit palettized textures and fog in Direct3D. WineD3D would render the game just the same as typical modern GPUs, no fog and stars on night sky. For the stars on night sky, using "enhanced_sky 0" would bring back the stars but rendered differently. Otherwise, the originality of retailed CD game would have been restored in QEMU VMs including the support for EAX sound effects. The demo doesn't work with DSOAL EAX but the retailed CD full game, at 1.07 or patched to last official 1.18, detected and enabled EAX with DSOAL.

Perhaps, that's the reason both GoG and Steam go for NewDark for the game re-releases. NewDark also brings native OpenAL EFX support for 3D positional sound effects. So that relieves the need to poke through DSOAL for EAX. I guess NewDark would have addressed all the graphics rendering shortcomings as well. Otherwise, requiring past generation GPUs from 10 year ago to enjoy the game experience in originality would not hold for long.

Reply 73 of 82, by vorob

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bloodem wrote on 2021-08-31, 11:27:

I have most cards (collector here), however, Thief 2 is something that never interested me in any way, shape, or form... 😁

That was painful to read since Thief (and the whole immersive sim approach) is the main game of my life.

Back to the topic. You are absolutely right, no way to play the original game on modern hardware without using third-party stuff like:

ddfix, a pre-newdark way to fix the game. It was intercepting calls for old hardware and redirecting them to modern hardware.
newdark, an updated thief engine based on original source code.
QEMU or PCEM (https://youtu.be/Qm1swUfqDeA)

While NewDark is the best possible way to enjoy Thief II today I still miss dithering from old hardware. Textures now have an obvious gradient that was softened by dithering back then.

LeSH7OV0JQU.jpg
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Original look, with Dithering
File license
Public domain
rue7CXc5kLo.jpg
Filename
rue7CXc5kLo.jpg
File size
94.73 KiB
Views
319 views
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NewDark
File license
Public domain

I must say that on a real screen these dots are not so obvious, and on 1600x1200 are just invisible.

OxzAr7KX-ig.jpg
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64.84 KiB
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Thief II can be played properly on:

NVIDIA - Up to FX videocards. Geforce 6 is broken already. All GeForce miss stars due to driver compatibility (as I understood), but that's not a big issue for me.
ATI - Up to DX10 cards, so my ATI X1900 display Thief II properly, with stars, dithering, fog, and so on.
Intel - Displays the game properly even on i7 processors, Intel 4000, and 5000. Even on Windows 7. With stars, dithering, and fog.

Reply 75 of 82, by The Serpent Rider

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Vanilla Unreal Engine games have modern DX10-11 renderers which pretty much fix all problems with graphics.

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Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 76 of 82, by dr.zeissler

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cool...but I prefer the old machines 😀

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 77 of 82, by kjliew

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Out of shear curiosity, I ran TMA NewDark 1.27 on QEMU with WineD3D. Everything checked out including EAX support from DSOAL, except for Fog. Sadly Wine still can't render Fog in NewDark. The stars on night sky looked fine and Direct3D9 render almost doubled the frame rate of original Dark engine. As expected Direct3D9 shader-based workloads are more friendly to be virtualized. I guess the game with NewDark would be nice even for Wine on Linux but without Fog rendering.

Can anyone provide the save game for the infamous foggy level "Life at the Party"?

Reply 78 of 82, by Ydee

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I tried scenes by JJ from Thief2 on the GPU Matrox G450 and Via Unichrome (KM400A). The stars in the sky are visible in both, but Unichrome is surprisingly lacking in fog - yet Savage4, from which it originates, displays it correctly.

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  • via thief2.jpg
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    via thief2.jpg
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    66.9 KiB
    Views
    197 views
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • matrox thief2.jpg
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    matrox thief2.jpg
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    51.89 KiB
    Views
    197 views
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • via thief.jpg
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    via thief.jpg
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    46.7 KiB
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    197 views
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • matrox thief.jpg
    Filename
    matrox thief.jpg
    File size
    47.25 KiB
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    197 views
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 79 of 82, by Joseph_Joestar

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Ydee wrote on 2021-09-05, 10:53:

I tried scenes by JJ from Thief2 on the GPU Matrox G450 and Via Unichrome (KM400A). The stars in the sky are visible in both, but Unichrome is surprisingly lacking in fog - yet Savage4, from which it originates, displays it correctly.

Nice work! Looks like we can add the Matrox G4xx line to the list of cards that can render Thief II correctly.

Interesting findings about Unichrome as well. It could be that S3 decided to implement some cost saving measures and cut table fog support. Or maybe there's a hidden option for that somewhere in the registry, if not the driver control panel.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64
PC#2: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 Gold / YMF744 / SC-155
PC#3: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
PC#4: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium