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Oogst

OpenGL OpenGL on user's systems

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We recently released Swords & Soldiers for PC, which uses OpenGL. Now I thought that OpenGL comes with the graphics drivers, but somehow for a very small percentage of users it doesn't. I have gotten a couple of support requests where the game does not start and it turns out those computers are running OpenGL 1.1.0 and SDL is reporting that their videocard is "GDI Generic", while it is in fact a perfectly good Ati or Nvidia card. I have mostly heard this from users who have Windows 7, but also one from Windows XP.

In most cases so far, users claim to have already installed normal drivers for their videocard, but have been able to install different driver versions, which somehow fixes the problem. However, there are also some users who try that, but OpenGL still doesn't work. In this case, for example.

So here's my question: What is the normal/best way to make sure a user has the right version of OpenGL? Are there other ways to install OpenGL than through the videocard drivers? And how can OpenGL sometimes not come along with the video drivers?

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Quote:
Original post by Oogst
In most cases so far, users claim to have already installed normal drivers for their videocard, but have been able to install different driver versions, which somehow fixes the problem. However, there are also some users who try that, but OpenGL still doesn't work. In this case, for example.
Tell them to let Steam install the correct video card drivers. I have been letting Steam update my GPU drivers ever since they added the functionality, and it has yet to let me down.

Mind you, plain old Windows update always installed working (if a few months out of date) drivers, and the vendor drivers installers have mostly worked as well.

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The reason why this happens is because these users have either OEM or Microsoft-provided video drivers (from the Windows CD/DVD), which (typically for OEM, always for Microsoft) don't come with OpenGL support.

In some especially evil cases an OEM will "lock" the Windows installation such that only their drivers can be used on it. This is a known problem with Intel drivers with a workaround outlined here: http://www.intel.com/support/graphics/sb/CS-030331.htm - I don't know about the story with NVIDIA or ATI/AMD but I'd expect a similar cause with possibly a similar solution.

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It can sometimes happen that even installing the official drivers from nvidia or AMD doesn't work. People need to install drivers while they are an admin and the antivirus should be off.

If it still doesn't work, there are some programs for cleaning the registry. I think it is called driver cleaner.

And if all fails, use Direct3D.

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DirectX games often come with a certain version of DirectX that is automatically installed with the game. If I get this correctly, the something similar with OpenGL is not possible? Or at least not a good idea, since OpenGL ought to come with the drivers?

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That's the directx front end that users install. That is programmed by microsoft.
The direct3d backend comes with the video drivers.

GL doesn't have a front end. The entire driver is a single piece written by the IHV. The only alternative is software rendering with Mesa (mesa3d.org).

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the first thing you need to do is to find out whether any opengl program works on their PC
try something well known eg doom3 or q3a

http://www.idsoftware.com/games/quake/quake3-arena/index.php?game_section=demo ~46MB
http://www.realtech-vr.com/glview/download.html ~1MB

if it does, then 99% chance the problem lies with your code (+ u can fix it)
if it doesnt, then they need to get the drivers installed correctly

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Quote:
Original post by V-man
That's the directx front end that users install. That is programmed by microsoft.
The direct3d backend comes with the video drivers.

GL doesn't have a front end. The entire driver is a single piece written by the IHV. The only alternative is software rendering with Mesa (mesa3d.org).

So there is little I can do about this, I guess.
Quote:
Original post by zedz
the first thing you need to do is to find out whether any opengl program works on their PC
try something well known eg doom3 or q3a

http://www.idsoftware.com/games/quake/quake3-arena/index.php?game_section=demo ~46MB
http://www.realtech-vr.com/glview/download.html ~1MB

if it does, then 99% chance the problem lies with your code (+ u can fix it)
if it doesnt, then they need to get the drivers installed correctly

Well, I'm already pretty sure it is in their drivers, since SDL reports OpenGL version 1.1.0 and most users have been able to fix this by randomly reinstalling drivers.

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