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Flying Saucer

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:12 pm
by Silver83
Flying Saucer is a rather unknown game from 1998. You are flying a UFO and experience a nice story with really great cutscenes.

It was released in Germany and then fully localized for the english market but that version has never seen the light of day (though an english demo and a leak of the full game exists @ The Underdogs).

The game runs fine under Win7 64bit, using Win95 compatibility mode and turned off explorer.exe. But after hardware acceleration is selected, the graphics have the wrong colors. In addition to that the game doesn't seem to be using nglide at all. It is still using 640x480 (2560x1600 is selected in the nglide configration tool).

The game has a big 3dfx logo on it's package and explicitly mentions glide support so why isn't it using the wrapper?

I could provide screenhots, files, whatever you want, in case your're going to investigate. Thanks in advance.

Re: Flying Saucer

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:10 pm
by Silver83
Just wanted to add something I found:

The game seems to use the D3DRM.DLL. Apparently it's an old and almost never used ("LEGO Island" comes to my mind) method called the "Retainend Mode".

Retained Mode
Retained Mode is a high-level interface. D3DRM provides calls to let the application load 3D models and create light sources, and place them within a scene. D3DRM supports model animation, texture mapping and five different types of light sources. In addition Microsoft has prelicensed a large number of 3D models in D3DRM format, and provided utilities to import models prepared with 3DStudio, of which there are public domain collections.

The major drawback with RM is that you're surrendering control to the D3DRM renderer. You lose the freedom to develop your own highly-optimised graphics algorithms, the way Id Software did with DOOM. Using RM may be easy, but for that ease you lose the freedom to make your application really stand out from the competition.

The D3DRM API is hardly pretty but it is a big improvement over D3DIM. D3DIM problems such as the execute buffer and capability bits are hidden from the application. It's conceivable that if Microsoft did in the future drop D3DIM then D3DRM could be rewritten without it.

D3DRM is based on the concept of frames. Each model has its own frame, loaded with polygon mesh and textures. Lights are placed in their own frame. The scene (the virtual world) and cameras each have their own frame. The application creates a hierachy by linking the models, lighting and camera frames into the scene frame. D3DRM will render the scene from the camera viewpoint.

Models can be loaded from disk (in Microsoft's ".x" 3d model format) or built from meshes in realtime. The texture wrapper function can take a texture and "wrap" it around a mesh. D3D lets the application specify rendering quality (eg. Gouraud shading) either by model or by scene.

No quantitative performance figures are available comparing D3DIM to the alternatives. The software renderer seems adequate, although some people have reported finding it is too slow.

Don't know wether this is helpfull or not but maybe this is the reason why the game's not responding to nGlide.

Re: Flying Saucer

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:06 am
by Gamecollector
The simulation mode is wrong colored even with WinME/Catalyst 6.2 combo...

The sad news - no glide2x.dll dependency in FS.exe. At all.
When I replace my burned Voodoo2 - I will test the game on a real hardware. But the game is 99% DX only.
P.S. the only source about the glideAPI support in "Flying Saucer" is HotU... Not a good source...

Re: Flying Saucer

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:52 am
by Silver83
It's difficult getting informations regarding this game:

I'll update this post withy any informations I may find.

The official cover mentions "Neuartige 3D Render Engine mit 3Dfx Hardware Beschleunigung", which means "New 3D rendering engine with 3dfx hardware acceleration": ... Id,123000/

There seems to exists a Voodoo2 Patch, which sadly can't be downloaded any more, so maybe the game is (without the patch) Voodoo1 only.

This patch is nowhere to be found: ... .06e+patch

This list says something about no voodoo2 support:

The patches scrolls says something about "added Flying Saucer Voodoo2 fix" and that they removed it because "it didn't work":

This page tries to collect all games with a glide api:

and so does this one: ... p,3/so,1d/

This review mentions 3dfx:

There was a 1.06 Demo, which mentions Voodoo 2 Support. It can't be downloaded any more (no surprise): ... 13566.html

I know, this one doesn't really count but I'm desperate :D and it supports my theory ... stcount=41

The first line translated: Flying Saucer (Voodoo 1 and with patch Voodoo 2)

Re: Flying Saucer

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:23 am
by Gamecollector
Sorry, but...
1) Any game with hardware 3d support can be named "3dfx" by developer/publisher. GlideAPI or D3d - no matter.
2) About "no voodoo2 support list" - DX only games included. As the examples - Battlezone, Defiance, Dungeon Keeper.
3) Vogons and Mobygames lists are so inaccurate... Again, too many DX only games included.

By the way, you mentioned the registry fix for the palette trouble.
Attach it please.

Re: Flying Saucer

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:42 am
by Silver83
Ok, didn't know that.

This program deals with the registry entries (you could do it manually though):

First "Software 2000" Logo may still have the wrong color but everything after that is ok.

Re: Flying Saucer

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:45 pm
by Gamecollector
Unfortunately this fix is not working in XpSp3 or ME...

Re: Flying Saucer

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:29 pm
by Silver83
Hm...on ME the wrong color problem should NOT occur iirc.

On XP try killing the explorer.exe

For Win7 I found a batch file to automade this process. It should work on XP, too.

Just edit it and enter the appropriate path. The batch file kills the explorer task, opens your application and after that opens the explorer again.