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@antrad The tiles are created with a configurable amount of overlap to help prevent artifacts around the edges. The overlapping areas are smoothly blended together - the differences between a single-piece and tiled upscale are unlikely to be noticed during gameplay.

I upscaled sand_b.bmp using the "Misc" model - once as a single piece, and once using 128x128 tiles, 32px overlap:

https://i.imgur.com/e9dYYU9.png

https://i.imgur.com/MRjyFfd.png

Another upscaling model or texture might produce a more visible difference in one-to-one comparisons, but hard seams don't appear to be an issue.

posted in Modding read more

@antrad said:

I do run out of memory if I try to upscale anything larger, I am limited to upscaling just 256x256 textures and smaller.

You might want to have a look at Image Enhancing Utility (formerly "crop-unscale-merge").
It can split images into tiles, upscale them with ESRGAN, then merge them together into a single image.
With an appropriate tile size, it should be possible to upscale large images without running out of memory.

posted in Modding read more

Well this is amazing :D

Did some quick testing.

Some specific improvements I noticed, for those who haven't had a look yet:

  • Working, separate volume sliders
  • Music proceeds through tracks correctly
  • 32-bit colour
  • Texture4 (high resolution) used by default
  • Improved LOD distance and reduced shadow clipping (original || Machines 1.5)
  • Improved texture filtering (works better than forcing bilinear via dgVoodoo - smooths transparent texture edges and reduces distant terrain shimmering)
  • First person without letterboxing / black bars
  • Menu animations play at a sane speed on high refresh rates
  • Loads 512x512 textures without crashing (hey @antrad !)
  • High-resolution support (beyond old Direct3D limit of 2048x2048)
  • Configurable refresh rate
  • Day/Night cycle performance issues (stuttering) seem to be fixed

Found only one in-game issue - transparent textures like gun barrels and trees draw out of order: original || Machines 1.5

I seem to have too many available resolutions / refresh rates, so the list runs off the bottom of the screen. My native resolution and refresh rate were selected by default, and setting other resolutions via config.xml works fine.


My specs:

Windows 7 64-bit
Intel Core i7 4770
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti (driver 431.36)
1920x1080 @ 120 Hz

Note: my original Machines screenshots are with dgVoodoo 2 installed - without it the game crashes on the loading screen.

posted in Downloads read more

@paperpanzer

Having problems here. Dragging and dropping the .exe file doesn't seem to be doing anything in the setup window. The "search" tab won't find the program (most of the listed entries are in symbol font and all the help documents appear to be in Japanese). The "patch" button also remain grayed out.

Hmm... not sure what would prevent the drag and drop function from working. Maybe it's a Windows 8+ thing. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Machines can be added to the list of games in _inmm dll setup by editing the config file:

  1. Navigate to the _inmm install folder (e.g. C:\_inmm\).
  2. Open _inmmcnf.ini with Notepad / your preferred text editor.
  3. Copy the below text and paste it at the end of the file.
[Machines]
Group=Acclaim
RegKey=HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Directplay\Applications\Machines
Value=CurrentDirectory
File=Machines.exe
  1. Save _inmmcnf.ini and exit Notepad.
  2. Run _inmmcnf.exe.
  3. Machines should now appear under the "Acclaim" group in the Patch tab. It can also be found using the "Find" button (type "Machines" in the box). Assuming the registry entries are correct, selecting Machines in the list and clicking "Patch" should work...

posted in Machines read more

Unfortunately the CD music playback method used by Machines (and many other games from the 90s) is partially broken on Windows Vista and later, causing both of the issues you mentioned.

With some effort, it's possible to work around the problem using an audio wrapper called _inmm.dll.

I haven't tested this very thoroughly yet - there may be better options, this is just what has worked for me so far (hopefully it will work on Windows 10):

Preparation

  1. In your Machines install folder, create a new folder "Music".
  2. Rip the music files from the CD into that folder, or download the Machines OST and extract it to that folder.
    (If you use the .flac soundtrack files, you may need to install the OpenCodecs pack from here (opencodecs_0.85.17777.exe) for playback to work correctly)
  3. Make a backup of Machines.exe.

Install/config

  1. Download _inmm238-installer.zip from here ("Download this file").
  2. Extract it somewhere, then run _inmm238.exe to install the wrapper config / patcher program (to, for example C:\_inmm\).
  3. Navigate to the install folder and run _inmmcnf.exe.
  4. Edit the file types and players on the "Method" tab to match this image.
  5. Click on the "Patch" tab.
  6. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to your Machines install folder, then drag-and-drop Machines.exe onto the _inmm.dll setup window.
  7. When prompted "Patch these files?", click OK.
  8. Click on the "_inmm.ini" tab.
  9. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the Music folder in your Machines install folder, select all the music tracks, then drag-and-drop them onto the text box in the _inmm.dll setup window.
  10. Click "Save" and save the _inmm.ini in the root of the Machines install folder.

Run Machines.
Tracks should now cycle correctly, and you can adjust music volume by using the Windows Volume Mixer to adjust the volume of _inmmserv separately from Machines. A bit awkward, but functional.
Unfortunately the in-game volume sliders remain broken.

Note: music may stutter when loading a level - may be affected by HDD read / access speed.

posted in Machines read more

Nice. I think @X-Lord did something similar with the unit textures a while ago.

Since waifu2x algorithm smoothens everything and makes things look like a painting for the moon textures I also applied a HSV filter using Gimp to add some noise, so it has a more "sandy" look. I think it turned out quite well. Since ice is supposed to look smooth, for ice textures I applied some noise only to the parts where there are rocks visible, but it didn't make much of a difference.

Good attention to detail :)


Recently I've been checking out ESRGAN (install + usage guide) with the Manga109 model from here - it takes a bit of work to set up and may have increased processing time compared to waifu2x, but the results can appear more natural:

seekndes bsnd1_b upscaled

It's also surprisingly good at handling dithering and banding (adding some noise after upscaling can help to mask new artifacts).

seekndes sky_b 2x nearest
seekndes sky_b upscaled

posted in Modding read more

@lew Nice, thanks lew (and Moritz!).

If the demo installers behave similarly to the one for the released game, they might only work reliably on Windows XP / earlier.

posted in General Discussion read more

@M123 said:

@Wholan If we're really lucky, maybe we'll hear something about it after Forsaken EX is released (no date announced yet) - otherwise we might be stuck waiting until they've finished the System Shock remake...

Forsaken EX release date announced: 31st July 2018.
System Shock remake coming "late 2019/2020".

posted in General Discussion read more

@Wholan If we're really lucky, maybe we'll hear something about it after Forsaken EX is released (no date announced yet) - otherwise we might be stuck waiting until they've finished the System Shock remake...

Perhaps they'll do something around the 20th anniversary of the release of Machines - April / May 2019.

posted in General Discussion read more

@Beemer

Hmm, I don't have any experience with Chromebooks.

You could try dgVoodoo 2 - if the integrated graphics chip (or its drivers) doesn't support old versions of Direct3D well, it may help.

posted in Support read more