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Piega

Tomb Raider 4 (yes, very old)

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Hi there, I have a problem and many others. It is for a very old game, Tomb Raider 4 Last Revelation. Now after the latest adjustment the editor from TR4 is released for public to create your own levels. This community is still big and strong and it is even allowed to change code to the engine to expand gameplay and options. With latest hardware there is a clipping problem and it is annoying as it decreases the graphic value a lot in the game. On my old geforce III with 6x.xx drivers this problem was not there. It introduced itself from the 7x.xx drivers and higher and till now I found no solution. This clipping also exist in 16 bit both on old and new system but is not present in 32 bit on the old system with geforce III. The only thing I can think of is to the change the engine's direct x settings to disable this clipping to be compatible with latest drivers and hardware. Problem is, who has the knowledge to dig into this material? Therefore I seek help in here. If anybody knows direct x and can read the old engines data to disable this bug I would be grateful. Here is a screenshot to show what I mean: Clipping starts from a certain distance. Objects will draw into each other and into walls. The steady two second are from my geforce III were this problem does not exist. The blinking shots are the clipping ones on my current geforce 7800 GTX latest drivers. The clipping is strong when you move the character around but also occurs if Lara stands still and go together with her breathing animation. I believe it is a problem caused by the drivers being too modern for this old game. I do believe though that it can be solved within the game engine. I would like that a patch can be created to solve this problem. If anybody can help me let me know and I will provide the data to check it out. There must be a proffesional out there! Thanks! If I posted this in the wrong place of if I misunderstood the meaning of this forum please delete my topic. [Edited by - jollyjeffers on July 21, 2008 10:11:08 AM]

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If I were to guess (which I apparently am doing), I'd guess it's a difference in the precision of a 32-bit zbuffer vs 16-bit zbuffer, along with the near and far plane values in projection matrix.

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Piega - you can embed images using classic HTML tags <img src="url here">. Obvious, I know [grin]


I'm with Buckeye on this one - definitely look like a projection/viewport/Z configuration to me.

You could try forcing the reference rasterizer to see what the expected behaviour is. Bare in mind that it could be that newer drivers are actually the correct ones - the older hardware/drivers were more slack and allowed bad code like this through. Just because it looks right doesn't mean it is correct [wink]

Also, try looking into NVPerfHUD - you might be able to step through frames and see whats going on, but I suspect this might be information overload.

Equally, you could capture a short demo with PIX for Windows and inspect the pipeline state when rendering - finding out the projection matrix values being of particular interest.

hth
Jack

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Thanks for the info so far but it wont help me. As much as I love creating game maps I have no clue how to use the programs you mention. I have no experience in this field whatsoever.

I tried OLLYDBG once but it's too complicated for me. I dont know if you know this program but some made great adjustments on the engine. I was hoping some one with knowledge could correct this zbuffer for me. I dont know if this is easy, probably not but that's how I wind up here :)

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Quote:
This clipping also exist in 16 bit both on old and new system but is not present in 32 bit on the old system with geforce III.


This triggered something in my head. I remembered that geforce 2 mx and geforce 3 supported mixed-mode rendering.

The artifacts on this page seem to resemble your screenshot remarkably:
http://www.nvnews.net/articles/mixed_mode.shtml

Maybe the recent drivers force mixed-mode as a default, causing the loss in Z-buffer precision?

Jeroen

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Hé a familiar face in here :D Still working on the Isis engine? Thanks for the info page. Will read it tomorrow, I'm curious and want to know things but now it's time for bed. Thanks Jeroen.

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Quote:
This community is still big and strong and it is even allowed to change code to the engine to expand gameplay and options.


We've received a level editor, but that's about it. We aren't allowed to modify the engine at all. That's the reason I'm working on a custom engine, which is going open source within a month or so.

Quote:
Still working on that engine of yours?


Yeah, I'm still working on the IrisEngine. ;) It will be an alternative to the old engines rather soon I think.

BTW: what's your nickname on the TR forums?

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Quote:
Original post by godmodderWe've received a level editor, but that's about it. We aren't allowed to modify the engine at all. BTW: what's your nickname on the TR forums?


My nickname is also Piega on TRforums :) I replied on the first page in your Isis topic. I had not much confidence in you back then but now that I found you here this fades away :)

We can modify the engine legally. Dont you know about TREP and such?

Here are some screens of the game I am working on. Now these are all close ups but there is heavy clipping in the fireplace when you stand at the main door.

screenshots

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I never knew it was legal to make adjustements to the engine. As far as I know, it hasn't been released publicly. Maybe Eidos doesn't say anything, but that doens't make it legal.

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It is allowed but it is not confirmed officially. It has been asked by the moderators and they accepted it in silence. Many games are released with TREP adjusted engines. Also Paolone made a custom version of it being called Next Gen Engine.

Can you explore the engine to correct the clipping value? Or maybe a better question, is it possible for my game to be compatible with your Isis engine? Is it a big deal for you? I have no, I can try to get yes :)

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