General Glide wrapper advice required

General discussion about nGlide.
glidenewbie
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Re: General Glide wrapper advice required

Postby glidenewbie » Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:07 pm

Zeus wrote:They are supported. What you see in nGlide description are versions of Glide API main branches. If you're curious about an exact version of a DLL check its properties.

Ah, so there's no difference at all between the exact Glide versions supported by nGlide and dgVoodoo 2, including 3.1 Napalm? That's great, but might I suggest updating your nGlide page to reflect this?

Zeus wrote:The answer to both questions is yes.

Thanks, I thought that might be the case. Wonder whether Intel's newer Iris Pro graphics are any better at DirectX compatibility? :roll:

Stiletto wrote:glidenewbie, you may like this post in this thread where I go into some of the differences between Glide wrappers:
http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=8 ... 93#p391593

We've been collecting all wrappers (not just Glide) for a while now (wonder when I'll find the time to resume that project again?):
http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=36412

Thanks, lots of interesting info in there to go though! Right now I'm interested only in Glide wrappers that work with at least Windows 7, but later on older PCs the abandoned projects should be useful. Speaking of which, The Wrapper Collection Project sounds grand and all, but where's it hosted?! :?:

Another thing that struck my eye while scanning the first thread - you linked to an old Glidos page that has version 1.7, whereas the current page has only 1.53b? What's up with that? :?

Rekrul wrote:Glide wrappers are mainly meant for programs that only offered Glide as their only accelerated 3D rendering method, or that didn't work properly with other methods like OpenGL or Direct3D.

Ok... so how do I identify what to use if I have a choice? If I have a game that offers only Glide as an option then that's obvious, but if it offers Glide as well as OpenGL and/or Direct3D, does that mean a Glide wrapper is pointless? Would the game look just as good with OpenGL/Direct3D as with Glide?

Rekrul wrote:For example, When I installed Star Trek: Klingon Honor Guard on my old system, it ran slow and didn't render ladders (I got stuck in a room that was supposed to have a ladder and didn't). I added a Glide wrapper, switched to Glide mode and not only were the ladders there, but the game ran much faster.

So it basically becomes a trial-and-error game (on top of the actual game!) of figuring out whether a particular game looks and works best with Glide or OpenGL or Direct3D? Ugh... :(

Rekrul wrote:Forget eVoodoo and psVoodoo. I couldn't get them to work properly at all. dgVoodoo 1.4/1.5 has always worked pretty well for me. I think that's what I used for ST:KHG. Zeckensack's wrapper also works fairly well although it hasn't been updated in a long time.

Since I'm currently looking at running games on a modern PC with Windows 7 and above, if I'm not mistaken I think I can rule out everything except nGlide, dgVoodoo 2 and Glidos. For older PCs I will certainly keep your recommendations in mind.

Rekrul wrote:Glidos gives you the ability to add newer textures to Tomb Raider. Beyond that, I don't think it really offers anything more than other wrappers.

If there's no advantage with any other DOS games then I will think twice before paying for it.

Rekrul wrote:Instead, you can just drop the Glide DLL files into the game's directory and it will use them. This also makes it easy to switch Glide wrappers should you want to try out different ones. You just need to replace the existing DLL with the one from the wrapper you want to use.

You can use Universal Extractor to unpack the nGlide setup program and get the individual files. Alternately, you can install nGlide, copy the DLLs and the configuration program to a safe place and then uninstall it.

Thanks, this is all great stuff and exactly the kind of info I was looking for! :)

Rekrul wrote:I'll let you in on a little secret: Intel graphics suck. Not only can they not handle a lot of the stuff that a dedicated graphics card can, but they use the main system memory for textures and such.

Yes, I'm aware they are crap. :) As mentioned above I was only testing nGlide out of curiosity on my cousin's system which doesn't have a graphics card installed, unlike mine. My friend though says that the latest Iris Pro graphics aren't complete trash. Nothing to beat a stand-alone graphics card of course, but should be sufficient to handle old Glide games with nGlide as long as the DirectX 9 compatibility has improved since their older versions. :roll:

Rekrul wrote:Which means that using a Glide wrapper for DOSBox is no different than using one for a Windows game. You just drop the DLL files into the DOSBox directory and it uses them.

Just to confirm, I place the Glide DLLs along with DOSBox.exe in its Program Files directory, and not along with the game EXEs in their directories?

Rekrul wrote:It should also be noted that not all DOS Glide games will work this way. Some were written with the Glide code "built in" and won't work with the standard DOSBox mode, which passes the calls through to an external library. The Daum SVN version also has built-in Glide emulation, which I think will allow those games to work, however it is much slower than using a Glide wrapper. My 2.4Ghz dual-core system couldn't run Tomb Raider at full speed using the built-in Glide emulation. It runs great with nGlide though.

Understood. Just out of curiosity, do all the Windows Glide games work with the DLLs in their directories (or Windows\System32)? What I'm asking is, didn't any of them have the Glide code "built in"?

Speaking of System32, here's a question for Zeus: I seem to remember the nGlide installer copying the DLLs to Windows\System32 on both 32 and 64-bit Windows (sorry if I'm mistaken). Unless they're 64-bit DLLs, shouldn't they be copied to Windows\SysWOW64 on 64-bit Windows? Yeah, I know it sounds weird but apparently that's how it's done. :roll:

Gamecollector
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Re: General Glide wrapper advice required

Postby Gamecollector » Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:50 pm

Rekrul wrote:You just drop the DLL files into the DOSBox directory and it uses them.

Unfortunately - no.
DOSBox Daum always use the opposite dll search order. %System% then the .exe directory.
So if you want to use the method "glide2x/3x.dll copying" with DOSBox Daum - you must use dll redirection. Create the directory or the empty file with the name dosbox.exe.local in the DAUM directory.
There are few glide games with the same problem. The fix is same.
Of course if you don't have the wrapper in the %system% directory - you can just copy and skip the redirection step.
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Zeus
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Re: General Glide wrapper advice required

Postby Zeus » Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:01 pm

glidenewbie wrote:Wonder whether Intel's newer Iris Pro graphics are any better at DirectX compatibility?

Intel HD and Intel Iris are compatible with DirectX 9 (work fine with nGlide).

glidenewbie wrote:I seem to remember the nGlide installer copying the DLLs to Windows\System32 on both 32 and 64-bit Windows

Nope. It installs files to the proper folders (i.e. System32 for 32-bit and SysWOW64 for 64-bit).

glidenewbie
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Re: General Glide wrapper advice required

Postby glidenewbie » Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:45 am

Zeus wrote:Intel HD and Intel Iris are compatible with DirectX 9 (work fine with nGlide).

A miracle indeed! :P

Zeus wrote:Nope. It installs files to the proper folders (i.e. System32 for 32-bit and SysWOW64 for 64-bit).

Thanks, seems I was mistaken after all.

Rekrul
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Re: General Glide wrapper advice required

Postby Rekrul » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:20 am

glidenewbie wrote:Another thing that struck my eye while scanning the first thread - you linked to an old Glidos page that has version 1.7, whereas the current page has only 1.53b? What's up with that? :?


I've seen some authors not include leading zeros in the version number. If that's the case, then 1.7 = 1.07. I agree it's confusing.

glidenewbie wrote:Ok... so how do I identify what to use if I have a choice? If I have a game that offers only Glide as an option then that's obvious, but if it offers Glide as well as OpenGL and/or Direct3D, does that mean a Glide wrapper is pointless? Would the game look just as good with OpenGL/Direct3D as with Glide?


It depends on when the game was written. Some older games had better Glide support than they did for OpenGL/Direct3D. As Glide became obsolete, the OpenGL/Direct3D support started to improve.

glidenewbie wrote:So it basically becomes a trial-and-error game (on top of the actual game!) of figuring out whether a particular game looks and works best with Glide or OpenGL or Direct3D? Ugh... :(


Kind of. You can ask online which is best. Personally, I usually try OpenGL or Direct3D first and if the game works well with those, I use them.

I've only really used a glide wrapper for three Windows games; Klingon Honor Guard, Need for Speed II: SE and Carnivores. Carnivores had a Direct3D option, so I forget why I was using Glide. NFSII:SE only supported Glide. ST:KHG was the first game I tried where I really ran into problems. Besides the missing ladders, the game was very laggy. Turning with the mouse was really slow in one mode. I think I started with Direct3D, but it was too slow. Then I switched to OpenGL and it got faster, but I realized that it wasn't drawing the ladders. Using Glide with a wrapper fixed the ladder problem. Of course that game was quite buggy to begin with. Half the time, the cutscenes didn't even play when they were supposed to.

glidenewbie wrote:Since I'm currently looking at running games on a modern PC with Windows 7 and above, if I'm not mistaken I think I can rule out everything except nGlide, dgVoodoo 2 and Glidos. For older PCs I will certainly keep your recommendations in mind.


For what it's worth, I used both dgVoodoo and Zeckensack's wrapper on a Windows 98 system and they worked fine.

glidenewbie wrote:If there's no advantage with any other DOS games then I will think twice before paying for it.


None that I know of, but then again, I haven't used it personally. I know it also offers the option to add in the extra Tomb Raider music cues from the Playstation version, but it's possible to do that without Glidos.

glidenewbie wrote:Just to confirm, I place the Glide DLLs along with DOSBox.exe in its Program Files directory, and not along with the game EXEs in their directories?


If it's a DOS game, then yes they go in the DOSBox directory.

As I understand it;

Windows programs use a Glide DLL file to access the video card. The standard Glide2x.dll was written to work with real Voodoo video cards. The game uses this DLL file to send its commands to the video card. This fails on modern video cards because they don't understand Glide. So you replace this DLL file with the one from the wrapper. The game still thinks it's talking to a real Voodoo card, but the wrapper translates everything for modern video cards.

In the case of DOSBox, all the games are running inside DOSBox's virtual system. They don't interact with the actual hardware in your system at all. Only DOSBox talks to your system, so DOSBox is the one that needs the wrapper.

There's also the "emu" setting for Glide in the Daum SVN DOSBox, which is like a built-in Glide wrapper. When set, DOSBox will use its own internal Glide emulation. This avoids the need for a separate Glide wrapper and may allow the problem Glide games to work, but it's much slower than using a wrapper.

Now you're probably thinking "Great! So I need different DOSBox configurations as well???" Sometimes, yes. There's two ways to deal with this;

1. Create a custom .CONF file for each game that needs it and then create a shortcut that tells DOSBox to use this config file when it loads.

2. Place a copy of DOSBox and the config file in the directory with each game so that each game can have its own custom setup.

Personally, I use option 2. Not only can you customize the configuration for each game, it makes the whole thing portable. Which means that you can just Zip the whole directory to back it up, copy it to a Flash drive and take it with you, etc. Of course if it's a CD game, you'd also need to make a Bin/Cue image of the disc to make it truly portable.

Of course I also customize the DOSBox config file to show a menu allowing you to run the game or the setup, run different versions of the game, etc. If you look in the DOSBox .CONF file, at the end there's a section that says "Lines in this section will be run at startup." What it doesn't make obvious is that beyond DOSBox internal commands, you can place ANY DOS commands there and they will be executed when DOSBox uses that config file. Which means that all of the standard DOS scripting commands can be used to create menus, offer choices, copy or delete files, etc.

That's really getting into more advanced usage (and getting off the subject), but it's really not that hard to do.

glidenewbie wrote:Understood. Just out of curiosity, do all the Windows Glide games work with the DLLs in their directories (or Windows\System32)? What I'm asking is, didn't any of them have the Glide code "built in"?


I think they all work with wrappers. That's not to say that every game will work perfectly though. It's possible that some games use obscure features of Glide that aren't fully implemented yet or that can't be properly translated for modern cards. However, I think they will all at least try to use the wrapper, rather than just ignoring it.

Gamecollector wrote:DOSBox Daum always use the opposite dll search order. %System% then the .exe directory.
So if you want to use the method "glide2x/3x.dll copying" with DOSBox Daum - you must use dll redirection. Create the directory or the empty file with the name dosbox.exe.local in the DAUM directory.
There are few glide games with the same problem. The fix is same.
Of course if you don't have the wrapper in the %system% directory - you can just copy and skip the redirection step.


Ever since I had a problem with Return to Castle Wolfenstein, I never put the wrapper in the system directory anymore.

When a new version of nGlide comes out, the first this I do is unpack it with Universal Extractor and Zip a copy of the files for later use. Then I just drop the DLL files in the DOSBox or game directory that needs them.

Gamecollector
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Re: General Glide wrapper advice required

Postby Gamecollector » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:04 am

Rekrul wrote:Ever since I had a problem with Return to Castle Wolfenstein, I never put the wrapper in the system directory anymore.

Well, I have a Voodoo2 SLI in my nGlide test PC. So I can test glide games on a real hardware.
As the result - I have Voodoo2 w2k 1.02.00 glide2/3x.dll in the %system% directory.
Asus P4P800 SE/Pentium4 3.2E/2 Gb DDR400 (3-3-3-8),
Radeon HD3850 Agp (Sapphire), Catalyst 14.4 (XpProSp3).
2 Voodoo2 12 MB (SLI), Win2k drivers 1.02.00 (XpProSp3).

glidenewbie
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Re: General Glide wrapper advice required

Postby glidenewbie » Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:52 pm

Rekrul wrote:I've seen some authors not include leading zeros in the version number. If that's the case, then 1.7 = 1.07. I agree it's confusing.

Maybe that's the case. Quite strange though.

Rekrul wrote:It depends on when the game was written. Some older games had better Glide support than they did for OpenGL/Direct3D. As Glide became obsolete, the OpenGL/Direct3D support started to improve.

Well I'm interested in Glide of course only for games that look better using it than with OpenGL/Direct3D. Like you said, as OpenGL/Direct3D support started to improve in games Glide's advantage would have disappeared. Anyway I'll check online or post here if in doubt about a particular game.

Rekrul wrote:In the case of DOSBox, all the games are running inside DOSBox's virtual system. They don't interact with the actual hardware in your system at all. Only DOSBox talks to your system, so DOSBox is the one that needs the wrapper.

There's also the "emu" setting for Glide in the Daum SVN DOSBox, which is like a built-in Glide wrapper. When set, DOSBox will use its own internal Glide emulation. This avoids the need for a separate Glide wrapper and may allow the problem Glide games to work, but it's much slower than using a wrapper.

Now you're probably thinking "Great! So I need different DOSBox configurations as well???" Sometimes, yes. There's two ways to deal with this;

1. Create a custom .CONF file for each game that needs it and then create a shortcut that tells DOSBox to use this config file when it loads.

2. Place a copy of DOSBox and the config file in the directory with each game so that each game can have its own custom setup.

Personally, I use option 2. Not only can you customize the configuration for each game, it makes the whole thing portable. Which means that you can just Zip the whole directory to back it up, copy it to a Flash drive and take it with you, etc. Of course if it's a CD game, you'd also need to make a Bin/Cue image of the disc to make it truly portable.

Of course I also customize the DOSBox config file to show a menu allowing you to run the game or the setup, run different versions of the game, etc. If you look in the DOSBox .CONF file, at the end there's a section that says "Lines in this section will be run at startup." What it doesn't make obvious is that beyond DOSBox internal commands, you can place ANY DOS commands there and they will be executed when DOSBox uses that config file. Which means that all of the standard DOS scripting commands can be used to create menus, offer choices, copy or delete files, etc.

That's really getting into more advanced usage (and getting off the subject), but it's really not that hard to do.

I'll take some time to digest all that :) and work out which of the two methods would work best for me.

Gamecollector wrote:Well, I have a Voodoo2 SLI in my nGlide test PC. So I can test glide games on a real hardware.
As the result - I have Voodoo2 w2k 1.02.00 glide2/3x.dll in the %system% directory.

If different sets of DLLs are present in the game's directory and the System directory, which would be given preference? Or does this change from game to game? (Actually now that I think about it, in such a situation how can one even tell which DLLs were selected by the game? Probably it's best not to have such a setup.)

Gamecollector
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Re: General Glide wrapper advice required

Postby Gamecollector » Sun Oct 18, 2015 2:31 pm

glidenewbie wrote:If different sets of DLLs are present in the game's directory and the System directory, which would be given preference?

Almost all glide games use ".exe directory then %system%" order. Currently there are 2 games (Fighter Pilot and Jane's Combat Simulations F-15) with different order and with a need for the dll redirection. And some games starts from a CD-ROM so there is no way to copy glide2x?3x.dll to the .exe directory.

how can one even tell which DLLs were selected by the game?

Real Voodoo2 renders the 3dfx logo in 16-bit color and dithered.
NGlide renders the logo in 32-bit and undithered.
It can be easily seen.
Asus P4P800 SE/Pentium4 3.2E/2 Gb DDR400 (3-3-3-8),
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glidenewbie
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Re: General Glide wrapper advice required

Postby glidenewbie » Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:32 pm

@Gamecollector: Thanks for those tips. :)

Stiletto
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Re: General Glide wrapper advice required

Postby Stiletto » Mon Oct 19, 2015 5:07 pm

Zeus wrote:
Stiletto wrote:I would still argue for feature parity if you feel like you start running out of things to do ;)

Missed T-Buffer's motion blur, FXT-1 compression and 24bit-Z in the first image? ;)


No, I just forgot since March. I probably praised you for doing this at the time too. :)


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