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Suicide machine

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Posts posted by Suicide machine


  1. 58 minutes ago, Andytizer said:

    Thanks so much for posting this! Please come back and post highlights/updates as well.

    Can you also tell us a bit more about the prep work you did for the games, did they need to be modified to be tracked correctly? 

    In a sense, yes. Asghan: The Dragon Slayer has real compatibility issues nowadays, so I was hoping Havrd with it to set up a virtual machine using Windows XP to get it running. It is technically possible to get it running on Windows 7 and 10 using dgVoodoo and SDB profiles, but Havrd was insisting on stability first and so we ended up settling on VM in the end to make sure the game crashes as little as possibile. To be more specific, it involves a VM with 3D acceleration, but still using nGlide on it to wrap Glide API to Direct3D9, which can be handled fast by VM we are using. The game itself support Direct3D6 if I remember correctly, but it was causing too many issues to be worth solving, even with VM.


  2. large.esa_logo_png.png.c2e9e329d075aea6709254a207b947f2.png

    ESA Marathon, which stands for European Speedrunner Assembly (not to be confused with European Space Agency, which shares the same abbreviation) is an annual speedrunning event organised by European speedrunners in a similar vain as USA based GDQ (Games Done Quick), which had its 8th iteration started yesterday.

    Marathon is generally described as more speedrunner friendly version of GDQ, due to its lighter requirements for participants in regards to language on stream and games accepted.

    Just like year ago, marathon is divided into 2 streams - Stream One, which is scheduled to be online for entire duration of the event and Stream Two, which generally is online between 10:00am and 1:00am. Schedules for which you can find either on ESA main website  or Horaro (Stream One / Stream Two).

    This year, donations gathered during the marathon are being donated to Swedish Alzheimer Foundation.

    Streams can be watched at:

    and

    Personally, I have put a bit of effort in preperation of some of the games you'll see during Awful Games block and of course Asghan: The Dragon Slayer, so make sure to check out those 😉

    --Sui


  3. ZZZzzZZZzzzZZzzzzzzz
     

    Just let Windows 7 die in peace with it having pretty much a killdate set up... since it's pretty much the only way Microsoft can "convince" people nowadays.

    Even if it's all true, difference is really not that "huge" and making a note "upgrade to Windows 10" is not a solution, either.


  4. It's just extra clutter, and the wiki uses it's own ratings anyway. Fixes also often need to be cleaned up if we use anything from their pages, I feel like the video tables would look nicer without the question mark clutter when a new page is made, it can be a bit of a pain to fill up the tables seeing as not every game is present on WSGF making the ratings even more pointless.

     

    Knowing what rating a game has on WSGF won't really help me with a game issue. I bet that the average user doesn't really care, most people want to find a quick fix for whatever problem they might be having with a game.

     

    I don't see any downsides with removing this system from the wiki, pages would look cleaner, editors would have less work to do and users would also benefit seeing as there would be less information to sort through.

     

    No.

     

    --EDIT--

    Fine. Since I was nicely asked to explain myself.

    No I don't agree with removing it. WSGF have a bit of a different standards for their grading and it does provides most of the times more in-depth information, with proper screenshot comparison.

     

    It is also ~16% of space of table space. Which on 1080p monitor, is not a big deal, when you consider there is 560px between the table and the screenshot.

    If anything, I'd agree on some rules regarding to not displaying some parts of WSGF (and maybe even elements like Ultra-widescreen / 4K Ultra HD) if there is no information. The full row of wsgf incomplete should not ever be displayed, though.


  5. PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor Suicide Machine. For an up to date account of Alekhine's Gun fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.

     

    Alekhine's Gun is a spiritual successor to the Death to Spies series - a series heavily inspired by Hitman. Originally developed by Haggard Games as Death to Spies 3, the studio planned for the game to be partially funded by a Kickstarter campaign. After the failed campaign and trouble securing rights to the title, a deal was struck with a new publisher Maximum Games and the game was renamed to Alekhine's Gun. Soon after the development of the game was taken over by Maximum Games' in-house studio and the title is now released as the first game developed by them.The long and complex roots of Alekhine's Gun can be seen pretty much everywhere, so much so that the game even starts with a level, which was used as a playable demo of Death to Spies 3, during its Kickstarter campaign (a level which for the most part hasn't changed much since then).

     

    System Requirements

    Minimum

    • CPU: Intel or AMD processor @ 2.0 GHz
    • RAM: 2 GB
    • HDD: 6 GB
    • GPU: Ati Radeon HD 2600 / Nvidia GeForce 8600 with 512MB of VRAM
    • OS: Vista, 7, 8
    Most of the tests were done on system with an AMD FX-8320, 8 GB of RAM and an AMD Radeon HD 7770 OC (driver Crimson 16.2.1), and 1.0a version of the game. Testing was done at 1920x1080 resolution. Additional testing was done on system with an AMD Athlon II X4 640, 8 GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce 250 GTS (at a resolution of 1280x1024).

     

    A copy of the game was provided by the publisher.

     

    Graphics settings

    Video Options

     

    All of the graphical options in Alekhine's Gun are configured directly inside of the game and none of the option at the player's disposal require a full game restart. It's important to note that some of the options are not available when the game is in progress (resolution, vsync and anti-aliasing). It's a very minor inconvenience, as the player is allowed to save the game at any time (regardless of the chosen difficulty) and loading a level that was loaded at least once during the session takes less than 2 seconds.

     

    It's fair to say the game definitely lacks some options PC players have come to expect from titles nowadays. I always hated how developers took away the ability to change the level of anisotropic filtering or were tying them under something generic like "Texture quality". Alekhov's Gun has no anisotropic filtering, however. It also has no option for running a game in windowed mode. And while it's nice to see the option, which allows you to choose which screen the game is going to use, I still see no reason for why "anisotropic filtering" and "windowed" settings are absent. One could argue, that it may be because of the game using the good old Direct3D 9 as a renderer, that windowed mode is not available (with D3D9 by default it's impossible to change gamma/brightness of application running in windowed mode), but it's very unlikely this is the case. People who like to modify their Field of View, also won't find an FOV slider here. Personally, I haven't found the FOV to be an issue while playing the game and I do not agree that FOV slider is a must for third person games, but seeing the game's limited graphical options, FOV slider would be a nice addition nevertheless. On a positive side - the game changes the horizontal FOV appropriately the wider the screen gets and reports seem to indicate that the game has no issues running on ultra-widescreen resolutions.

     

    Anti-aliasing

    The game features 3 anti-aliasing settings - Off, Simple and Normal, where Simple seems to correspond to MSAA x2 and Normal is most likely MSAA x4 (based partially on byte values in config file).

     

    Anti-aliasings

     

    Oddly enough, the game seems to have some issues with rendering foliage, if anti-aliasing is disabled - it looks like it's some sort of weird LOD issue:

     

     

    For benchmark tests, I've decided to use cutscenes, as they often use additional effects and do not vary much in CPU/GPU usage from actual gameplay.

     

    Ghost of the Past AA benchmark

     

    A Mole Among Us AA benchmark

     

    I was genuinely surprised that Simple AA and Normal AA didn't result in huge performance difference, seeing how noticeable the difference between them is.

     

    Dynamic shadows

     

    What this option seems to affect is the distance of cascade shadows, as the shadows closest to player seem identical and only from a certain distance the differences start to occur. Enough to say, general shadow resolution is pretty low, especially for the game released on PS4 and Xbox One. A fact that is getting worse and worse as you play and notice shadows change to higher quality as you approach objects. It's not an uncommon issue in video games, but especially noticeable in Alekhine's Gun, due to it happening very close to the player:

     

    Cascade shadows issue

     

    (dynamic shadows set to high)

    The setting itself doesn't seem to affect framerate much. I tested it on 3 different levels and the framerate was at worst 8fps lower on high than on low (130fps on high, 138fps on low) and the difference was getting smaller and smaller when trying to benchmark it in more complex scenes (76fps on High and 77fps on Low on the map Omerta).

     

    Ambient Occlusion

     

    Unsurprisingly Ambient Occlusion is one of the effects which seem to have the biggest impact on performance. AO method used is most likely basic SSAO (AmbientOcclusion.psh even has a comment "Ambient Occlusion Screen Space filter", so it's probably it). AO is present here with all of its pros and cons - it also doesn't seem to blend very well with a fog.

     

     

    Ambient Occlusion performance

     

    Enabling Ambient Occlusion seem to cause ~15% hit on framerate.

     

    HDR rendering

    HDR is always bit of a weird one, as it's often a subtle effect, noticeable especially when moving a camera between a bright and dark areas. It's also helpful when rendering super bright and super dark areas and elements like sky. Problem is, during all my experimentation, I haven't found any area where I could really show it off. That is not to say the game doesn't render it. Once enabled, it's very easy to notice its impact on framerate, but results-wise it pretty much ends up being just a small glare around some of the light sources.

     

    HDR rendering (performance)

     

    It's also hard to notice HDR rendering at work when going from building's interior to exterior, as a common practice used by the level designers here is switching from one post-processing preset to the other (and we're talking pretty drastic changes to color correction in this case).

     

    Overall performance

    Having read some of the reviews for Xbox One and Playstation 4 version, I was a bit worried, that despite advertised low requirements the game is going to perform badly on PC. And while the performance may very wildly, depending on section in the level, during over 10 hours I got to test the game, performance was never an issue, as the framerate at worst dropped to 55fps (in the level A mole among us in the lobby) and for the most part stayed between 80 and 150fps.

     

    Reflections

     

    It was performing so well in fact, I've decided to try and run it on my brother's PC. And while, my brother still uses an old 1280x1024 monitor, which makes the comparison slightly uneven, the game had no problems running way above 60fps for the vast majority of my 2 levels long test - using over 95% of GPU at all time and very little CPU (even on my brother's PC, the game never reached 50% CPU usage). I can easily say, that based on my tests, framerate issues reported on consoles are not present in PC version.

     

    This doesn't mean this is a good PC version though... but on that a bit later.

     

    Controls options

    Keyboard bindings 1

     

    Note: The rest of screenshots for Keyboard settings are available in a gallery.

    Given at player's disposal is a long list of keys, all of which can be rebound. Some of the buttons are contextual and often, when there is more than one object to interact with, the game is using Hitman-like menu, where holding a key allows you to choose a specific option. It's a system which takes some time to get used to, but for me, as a Hitman veteran, this felt very natural and I'm glad it was implemented in Alekhine's Gun.

     

    Mouse settings

     

    What I don't like that much however are the mouse options or the lack there of. No mouse acceleration, no mouse smoothing, no separate option to configure sensitivity when aiming with a weapon (that is actually an issue, as the camera zooms in, but sensitivity stays the same as if it was zoomed out, which results in mouse movement that feels overly sensitive when aiming). Thankfully, during my tests, I have not noticed any mouse acceleration. I have however noticed a bit of an inconsistent mouse movement during first level of a game, when I tried slowly moving the mouse from right to left - the camera seemed to speed up at places and slow down at others - it happened only in the first level, but it's a worth the note, nevertheless.

     

    Xbox Controls 1

     

    Alekhine's Gun supports the Xbox 360 (and possibly Xbox One) controller. Controller can be plugged in at any time and the game should properly recognize it, unlocking the option in menu. Disappointingly, to be able to use it, the gamepad has to be enabled under Xbox Controller settings and this can't be done using controller itself. Furthermore, having controller input enabled, disables keyboard and mouse input. The game will automatically return to mouse and keyboard setting if the controller gets unplugged, but having to choose one or the other is a definite flaw, while many other games just listen in to both inputs and change displayed prompts on the fly. Important to note is that even though the options menu for a controller may look like a player can configure bindings - this is not a case. The game also lacks option to configure stick sensitivity or to invert the Y axis for controller.

     

    What's bad

     

    Issues listed above are however the least of PC version's problems. I mentioned that the game has absolutely no Anisotropic filtering.This is not an exaggeration. I managed to however force it using my graphics card configuration panel, which instantly improved the rendered graphics.

     

     

    Sadly, soon after, when trying to exit to main menu, the game just crashed. Whatever the crash was caused by forced settings, I can't really say. I've tried playing the game a bit later, with forced Anisotropic filtering and this time, I haven't had any crashes. Imagine my surprise, when I realized that forcing anisotropic filtering, not only made the textures look better at a distance, but also drastically improved the shadow detail.

     

    As mentioned earlier game lacks windowed mode. An issue that can be dealt with by using Durante's GeDoSaToTool, which seems to work without any issues with this game (as far as forcing borderless fullscreen windowed goes). And don't hope for anisotropic filtering or windowed mode to be hidden somewhere in config file, as the config is not saved as a plain text file.

     

    Blur bug

     

    Other things of note are bugs. Many times during my gameplay experience I had to save and load the game, because of a bug that caused sound to skip. I also managed to bug out screen blur, by opening and closing a inventory menu, when trying to pick a lock. I manged to stuck in falling animation by trying to jump off the stairs and I also got stuck inside of a toilet's door!

     

    But these are all minor issues compared to one big one... Crashes! I crashed the game for the first time when trying to skip cutscene in the second level. And pretty much since that point on, the game has been crashing randomly for me. It is possible these crashes are somewhat related to cache, as since the moment I cleared it the game seems to be crashing less, but the fact remains - in my 10 hours of playing the game, the game crashed 13 times (possibly more, but I counted only those). At one point, I even thought it may be MSI Afterburner, which I had running for the first few hours, but disabling it hadn't changed anything. Even if I was just unlucky and somehow managed to corrupt my game's cache, such issue is still unacceptable in 2016.

     

    Conclusion

    Alekhine's Gun is a game with dated visuals, which should perform well even on really old hardware. It requires little CPU and GPU power to stay within the limits of playable framerate. The options offered by the game are very basic, with features like FOV customization, Anisotropic filtering and Windowed mode missing. People playing their games with controllers should note that the game lacks options for sensitivity and Y-axis inversion. The biggest issue of PC version are bugs and overall instability. This and generally uneven game quality, makes it a game that is most likely going to be enjoyed only by hardcore Death to Spies fans... that is, if the bugs get fixed.

     

    PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor Suicide Machine. For an up to date account of Alekhine's Gun fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.

     

    Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please consider donating to PCGamingWiki's Patreon campaign.

     

    Click here to view the article


  6. OK, since I'm hesitant to tinker with stuff on my own, I'd like to bring this subject to attention.

    We all know, how big of a sea of unfinished trash Early Access is and while it isn't all bad, because from time to time, we get a solid game coming from it, it's pretty obvious that Early Access combined with Greenlight, gave us planty of titles, which most likely we'll never see being finished. But it's not only that. Sometimes fully professional games have like a limited demo or public beta and after that they get cancelled - it happens. And because of that, I'd like to get some rules on how to deal with these examples.

     

    First of all, I was thinking about adding new property (is it property?) to Infobox game/row/date. It would be simply Cancelled and it could be used for these few singleplayer games that got cancelled, but can still be played (for games that were either made available publicly or for games where participants of beta/alpha phase or people who were unfortune to pre-order etc. can still play it). Obviously there wouldn't be many games that'd use it, but I bet we could find like 2 or 3 on PCGW already (although, I guess we should make a rule to keep it only if it has some actual information on it).

     

    Secondly, I think we should add new State property, which would be {{State|state=unknown}} and that could be used for games which haven't been updated in last 6 months and are still advertised as Early Access (see, recent example of 1... 2... 3... KICK IT! (Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby).

     

    Finally, would be nice to agree what do we do with games that got cancelled, but were available publicly (either for pre-orders / Early Access participants or for beta testers [public]) and can no longer be played (Dead Island Episodic, Ridge Racer Driftopia etc.). Do we keep the information (if the page is filled) or do you just get rid of it?


  7. Well, I use this thing:

    tumblr inline mtue8pM7Ru1roro16

    And normally, I'd not recommend it, unless you need to record like an entire game playthrough in a decent quality and fit it all on hard-drive. It somewhat expensive and it has some issues (mostly either you go 720p@60fps or 1080p@30fps - it can't handle 1080p at higher framerate, the other issue would be - it's a grabber, so unless you're using V-sync, it will capture the v-sync tearing).

     

    I've once did a mini benchmark of it (mostly for friends). But you can see the low impact on performance it has.

    tumblr inline mtuesf7zRJ1roro16

    From left: No recording, recording with FRAPS, recording with Avermedia Live Gamer HD (average FPS)

    tumblr inline mtuf96CArE1roro16

    Same as above.

    tumblr inline mtufibtwia1roro16

    Similar expect it's min, average, max.

     

    So yeah, if someone is planning on recording a lot of stuff - definitely recommend Avermedia LiveGamer HD. Obviously as long as the resolution isn't higher than 1080p.

     

    From other alternatives. OBS (which is for streaming) does a pretty good job at recording and it has a lot of options (since it was designed for streaming). But it's CPU impact will definitly be higher than FRAPS.

     

    Both solutions are based around the same lossy codec, except obviously Avermedia LiveGamer HD does encoding on its own card. It's not a great quality - definitely not fit if you intend to stuff like color keying on recorded footage, but it works exceptionally well for a long gameplays that you can cut and put on YouTube (since the YouTube encoding is definitely more lossy than LiveGamer HD (or even OBS recording if configured to high bitrate)).


  8. Can't we just password archives? And provide an explanation for it? O.o

    Also for simple byte replacement, creating a program which does just that should not be a problem. I don't know, maybe I'm lucky, but, this is my StuntGP widescreen hack:

    https://www.virustotal.com/pl/file/e641493cfce5726738b808368056d1fc65614187509cc1398a42f4e38f1e9f23/analysis/

    and this is my Aquanox 2:

    https://www.virustotal.com/pl/file/2f13199cc818d683b84b4716511b9afb4163575e0e3aae516b6e90930199b496/analysis/1441028993/


  9. Hey. I have a mindblowed idea.

     

    What if we had an agreement with one of these backup programs guy?

    Something like an api for him to pull new paths or for us to push on his git or whatever.

     

    This way the table could possibly make sense even for those thousands of DOS games out there

    Actually I was hoping, one day I'd be able to write such thing myself. Well in a way, I'm able to do it now - but that'd be really junky. Either way - yeah, if I could easily add new configurations to GameSave Manager - I probably would. But doing it via Forum and hoping someone implements that... UUuuuugh. No :D


  10. I mentioned it a couple of times. Aside from fixing games, I'm heavily involved a general speedrunning scene. I have met some people by speedrunning, cooperated on few speedrunning project.. so it feels only appropriate for me to yet again mention Speedrunning Marathons during these holidays.

     

    ESA 2015

     

     

    So starting from Sunday June 28th (GMT+1) and ending July 5th there is European Speedster Assembly. You can find a schedule for it in here: http://www.europeanspeedsterassembly.com/schedule

    It is an speedrunning event, to which I'd have probably gone to, if it wasn't for the fact of me having exams this week. The marathon is divided into 2 streams (yellow is for less serious runs).

    Just like with AGDQ and SGDQ, ESA also gathers donations towards a good cause - this time for Medecins Sans Frontieres.

    However, keep in mind, that ESA was not founded to compete with either AGDQ or SGDQ. It's foundation was to have a marathons for runners first and foremost (which you can see by the choices in a schedule) and if a money for a good cause can be gathered so be it.It's streamed at:

    http://www.twitch.tv/europeanspeedsterassembly (Purple Stream)

    http://www.twitch.tv/esamarathon2 (Yellow Stream)

     

    gdqlogo

     

    Later in July (July 26th - August 2nd) there is SGDQ. And seeing how popular it is, you can most likely expect a humble bundle happening around that time (just a rumor!). The schedule for it you can find at: https://gamesdonequick.com/schedule.

    I'll be uploading it when we get closer to it.

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