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notsabbat

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Reply with quote  #1 
 Apologies if this doesn't quite fit into development, but it is about improving the game.

The community has made a lot of improvements and advancements to Artemis from gameplay to hardware to cool mods. However the more I play the game the more the limited graphics have begun to bother me. Then I remembered the Nvidia control panel which can overwrite video options and even give game graphics options that are not natively supported by the game itself (made Ghostbusters the video game look sooo much better!).

so here is a side view of the Battleship in an "un-enhanced" game:
battleship normal graphics.png
Here it is after being enhanced by Nvidia control panel:
battleship enhanced graphics I.png 
As you can see it doesn't just take away the stair-stepping along the edges of the model, but it also makes the detail sharper.
So much better when stretched across a 100" projection screen.
To get to Nvidia control Panel (if you have an Nvidia graphics card, there are comparable programs if you dont), you will find it in your control panel:

control panel.png 
Baseline:
Nvidia control panel.png 
enhanced settings:
Nvidia control panel I.png  you can specify settings for specific programs, but since Artemis is not actually "installed" in the traditional sense (run from many modded folders) I just change the global settings and then revert to default when Im done.

For fun I boosted a bunch of the settings up to see if it made a difference:
Nvidia control panel II.png 
battleship enhanced graphics II.png  The first "enhanced" battleship for comparison
battleship enhanced graphics I.png 
So not really any difference. and just for a little bit more fun, here is a comparison of the 3
comparison.png 
A little more sharpness in the details, but that's about it.

In game shot: A group of Krelians from the WSD mod with Battleship and 2k skybox
combat.png 

Conclusions:
This really upped the appearance of the game for me. It makes everything look better and makes it look like a more modern game. Ive never minded simple graphics, but the stair-stepping around the edges and occasional disappearing and reappearing of fine details really made it look like a dated game to me. I think this will also help minimize the comments about poor graphics when running the game at cons.

Does it slow the game?
Not that I have noticed. Though your mileage may vary. My PC has 8GB of RAM and a 2GB video card. not a beast by any means, but I still use it for gaming.

 
So for all the people that have been wanting an update to the game's graphics, this might be a good stop gap for you.


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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #2 
Thanks for that. I really does make the game look better. I'd add that most likely you CAN set those settings for the Artemis application, if you have only one copy, or only a few.

I know I've said this before, but I like that Artemis has fairly primitive graphics. It allows it to run on many systems, not just high end gaming platforms, and that's important not just for ease of distribution, but also so you can use low end systems for consoles. Only the server, or the Mainscreen client in multiship games, has to be high resolution.

That's why what I'd prefer to see is a mod or a plug-in that gives the option to upgrade the ship models, and not a graphic upgrade in the game, which would replace them. Thom could provide a "low res" and "high res" option if he wanted to, along with the "off" option that's currently there for the VIS screen. But I don't want this game to be upgraded to the point where current custom bridges have to be totally rebuilt.

That said, your walkthrough here certainly can give Artemis all the advantages of a current system. And there's nothing stopping one of us from giving the existing models a polygon and texture upgrade for high end systems that can handle it. (In fact, what happened to that one "Next Generation" mod that made the ships look more Trek-like?)
cxfAtheus

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Reply with quote  #3 
HEY!!! That's my mod! I made that! Nice to see it in use.

But really, I had never thought to monkey with the graphics card's default settings to make the game look better. I'll have to see what I can get my rig to do along these lines.
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #4 
I would think the new ship models (in the WSD mod) would look even better.
notsabbat

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Reply with quote  #5 
Ryleyra: I like the simple graphics as well. The limited graphic resources required really opens up the possibilities for building an inexpensive bridge. I'm also enjoying experimenting with making it look better; there are a surprising numbernof ways to improve the look of the game.
The WSD mod is one of them and yes, it really does help with rendering those small details in the mod. Details that are lost normally are easy to see and rendered well.

CcxfAtheus; my grpup really likes your mod. It is quickly becoming our standard game. Though, my god, so many missiles! Maybe someone can find a way for drones to not have unlimited range -_-

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http://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/immersion-bridge-build-in-progress-7335195?pid=1290158413
MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #6 
That's fantastic! I wonder if that'll fix the problems I'd had making transparent colony windows in my Gundam Mod. They showed up transparent in the shipEditor, but not in the game. Plus most of my Trek textures are a lot nicer than they look in game.
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MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #7 
So cranking the antialiasing transparency up to 8x didn't make any difference with my colony windows, but man the TNG Mod looks sharp!

Also, I added Artemis to the specific programs list so I don't have to remember it. Of course, since I keep each mod in its own install folder for development, that means I have to add each executable separately.

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Note - this is in no way intended to be an official position of Thom or Artemis, as I am not an official representative of the creator or game.
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