Outpost Universe Forums

Community => Feedback/Suggestions/Problems => Topic started by: Belix on March 02, 2013, 01:22:03 PM

Title: Op2 & Windows 8
Post by: Belix on March 02, 2013, 01:22:03 PM
EDIT: TH300 suggested a solution that fixed the stuck main menu problem for me. If you're having the same problem in Windows 8, go to your Outpost2.ini file and edit the line SpiffyDraw=1 to read SpiffyDraw=0 and you're all set.

Hello gentlemen.

I recently had to replace a laptop that experienced a hardware failure. Of course, most new laptops come with Windows 8 now, so I had an opportunity to experiment with it before I consider nuking it from orbit and putting Windows 7 on it. Since Windows 8 is basically Windows 7 with the Metro interface corner stapled onto it, I can happily report that most of my older games that run on W7 seem fine there. Maybe a relief for those of you out there who might not have much choice in their operating system and could end up stuck with it.

Anyway, Outpost 2 seems to be acting up a bit on Windows 8. I only tinkered with it for a little while, but thought I'd relate my findings here in case someone else wanted to look into it. It might be an easy fix that I overlooked, or it could be something that might require another Opu update.

The game starts up fine at first, music and main menu all good, but clicking to open any of the other menus seems more often than not to totally freeze the game up in the middle of it trying to draw the next menu; most of the background will be showing, and maybe just the very top of the next menu box has been drawn.

I tried five times, it hung up this way on four of the attempts and had to be terminated through task manager, but one time it got through far enough I was able to load the Eden Unit Reference tutorial level, and the game seemed fine otherwise. I also tried Windows 98 compatibility mode, but the behavior persisted. I was going to try 'Disable visual themes' next, but that option isn't present in the W8 compatibility tab.

Anyhow, not a big deal for me as I have other computers to play it on, but I thought I'd toss this out here in case someone might have access to W8 and like to look into it before some poor soul stuck with Windows 8 might want to play it and is stuck dealing with that problem. I may come back to it and try a few other things and report back with the results, but it doesn't look like there's a lot of compatibility levers I can tug on in W8.
Title: Op2 & Windows 8
Post by: angellus on March 02, 2013, 02:43:36 PM
Windows 8 is NOT Windows 7 with Metro Stapled on it. It is very different. It is far more secure for one.

Anyways, it does not freeze. It just does not render the menus sometimes. They are there, but you cannot click them. Just click around until you hit the back button and the next menu should render. It is annoying, but it is still usable.
Title: Op2 & Windows 8
Post by: Belix on March 02, 2013, 05:39:59 PM
Windows 8 is NOT Windows 7 with Metro Stapled on it. It is very different. It is far more secure for one.
Yes, in a broader discussion of operating systems, you are correct. I apologize if I failed to clearly connect that comment to the context of running old games, a specific purpose for which Windows 7 and Windows 8 are nearly identical environments for the games to run in (with the Metro UI just sort of getting in the way, like a book cover), as opposed to the number of compatibility issues that can crop up in the transition between Windows XP 32-bit and Windows 7 64-bit.

But, this wasn't intended to be a discussion about Windows outside of running Outpost 2. I digress.

Thank you for pointing out the game is still running. I forget Outpost 2 always makes the 'ding' response when you click in the wrong areas, so added with the incomplete menu render I erroneously interpreted it as the game being unresponsive.
Title: Op2 & Windows 8
Post by: angellus on March 02, 2013, 09:18:31 PM
Simple mistake to make. I thought the samething at first. I accidentally figured out the game was not frozen.

Also, Windows 8 is actually much better at gaming performance then Windows 7. Shortly after Windows 8 Pro RTM released, Kotatu did a side by side performance test of them. Windows 8 won. Mostly because of it being more lightweight (Aero was expensive) and implementing new more advanced features (better SSD support?) then Windows 7.
Title: Op2 & Windows 8
Post by: TH300 on March 03, 2013, 03:38:55 AM
I never used Windows 8, but I think, its possible that the Outpost 2 window decoration is causing the problem. So, try to disable that by setting "SpiffyDraw=0" in Outpost2.ini. Windows won't look as fancy, but at least you'd see them.
Title: Op2 & Windows 8
Post by: Belix on March 03, 2013, 12:04:54 PM
"SpiffyDraw=0" in Outpost2.ini
Yep, that did it. Had I known that feature existed it would of been the first thing I tried! Most of the time spent in Outpost 2 isn't in the menus anyway, so no great loss. I'm going to edit that solution into my first post so anyone else that runs into the problem can find that information right away. Thank you.

Also, Windows 8 is actually much better at gaming performance then Windows 7.
I skimmed Google to see if I could find the article you mentioned, but just came up with these:

http://kotaku.com/5936535/windows-8-is-not-good-for-gamers (http://kotaku.com/5936535/windows-8-is-not-good-for-gamers)
http://kotaku.com/5935337/lets-see-how-win...ainst-windows-7 (http://kotaku.com/5935337/lets-see-how-windows-8-performs-against-windows-7)

The second article has a number of benchmarks comparing W7 and W8, and the reported results of the three games they test there (Just Cause 2, Hard Reset and Battlefield 3) don't support a claim that Windows 8 is much better, though it isn't an exact science and it wouldn't surprise me if there were test results elsewhere that showed Windows 8 had an edge.

Of course, barring compatibility issues, anything about as old as Outpost 2 should be running smooth as silk on today's hardware, be it a $300 laptop or a $3000 desktop.
Title: Op2 & Windows 8
Post by: Hidiot on March 04, 2013, 05:30:32 AM
Hardware, yes; software, not necessarily.