on July 12, 2001 by Thomas
Load Serious Sam, select Options
then Video Options.
OpenGL Driver. This
setting allows you to select the OpenGL driver that you are using for
rendering. If you have a 3dfx Voodoo 1/2 select 3Dfx
Voodoo 1/2 as your OpenGL
driver, otherwise leave it set to Default.
For best performance/stability with 3dfx Voodoo 3/4/5 Graphics cards you
should try out Megabyte's WickedGL.
Preferences. This option allows
you to select pre-defined selections for your graphics settings. I’d
recommend you ignore this setting altogether & use Custom
Resolution. Selecting a lower
resolution can improve performance & maintain a stabler, higher
frame rate. Higher resolutions look better (sharper & smaller
jagged edges), they also tend to run slower. This all depends on how
slow/fast your system (Particularly Graphics card) is of course. 1024
* 768 would be ideal in Serious Sam for most.
Full Screen. Set this to Yes
to display Serious Sam in Fullscreen mode, as opposed to windowed mode
if set to No. You should leave this setting set to Yes.
Bits Per Pixel. Select 16 BPP
for best performance, but reduced visual quality (More apparent
banding). Select 32 BPP for best visual quality (Less apparent
banding), although performance will be reduced – especially on older
graphics cards. Using a 32-bit colour depth will also reduce graphical
errors as it uses a higher Z-Buffer precision for performing depth
calculations. Setting this to Desktop will set the colour depth
the same as the Desktop setting, as a result you'd be better off setting
it yourself in case you make changes to the Desktop colour depth &
can't figure out why the game is performing slower/looking worse. NOTE -
Textures can use a combination of 16/32-Bit colour even if the Colour
depth is set to 16-Bit, depending on Graphics card.
Now select the Rendering Options
Texture Size. The Higher
this setting the sharper textures in the game will appear, although
performance can be lowered (Especially on low memory graphics cards).
The Lower the setting the more blurred textures will appear in
the game. Selecting a lower setting can improve performance on graphics
cards with low video memory (Or with Texture compression disabled).
I’d recommend setting this to the minimum if you have a Graphics card
with 12MB or less of Video memory.
Texture Quality. This setting
controls the format used for textures in the game. Options available are
16-bit, 32-bit, Compressed & Optimal.
The option to select here should be determined by your Graphics card. If
supported then I’d recommend setting this to Compressed &
using the options listed later on to adjust the texture sizes
compressed, although should you have a Graphics card with 32MB or less
of Video memory then you should set this to either 16-bit or Optimal
(This would be the preferred selection) for best performance. NOTE –
Selecting Optimal uses a combination of 16 & 32-bit textures
(With 32-bit textures being used in more appropriate areas for best
visual quality, e.g. Sky).
Those with Graphics cards with 64MB of
Video memory should use 32-bit texture quality for best visual
quality with minimal performance loss.
Detail Textures. A detail
texture is a very small, fine pattern that is faded in as you approach a
surface, for example wood grain, or imperfections in stone. Setting
this to Enabled will improve visual quality, although it can
cause a performance hit, particularly on older graphics cards. Set this
to Disabled for improved performance, although with reduced
Shadowmap Size. Shadow mapping is
a method of creating shadows in an environment. With this setting you
can adjust the resolution of the Shadowmaps used in levels. Moving this
slider to the Right will increase the resolution used,
which will result in sharper, more defined shadows.
Lens flares. This controls the LOD
used in rendering of lens flare effects from certain light sources in
Serious Sam, most noticeably the Sun. Options available are Simple,
Standard & Disabled. The screenshots below illustrate
the different methods available.
The performance hit of using Lens
flare is minimal although it can well affect your visibility.
Wait vertical retrace. Using this
setting you may disable/enable vsync in Serious Sam. Vsync
effectively limits the frame rate to your current refresh rate at a
given resolution. Performance can improve by disabling vsync (No),
as frames are rendered as fast as they can be regardless of refresh
rate, although you may experience image tearing &/or controller lag
as a result of this. With vsync enabled (Yes) you won’t
experience image tearing or controller lag, although frame rate will be
limited to your current refresh rate. As such I’d recommend enabling
vsync for best image quality & disabling it when you intend
to benchmark performance with Serious Sam.
Wide screen. Setting this to On
will scale Serious Sam's resolution into Widescreen format. This is of
most use to those of you outputting the Game for display onto Widescreen
TV’s as you can guess. I’d recommend setting this to Off as a
result should you not be outputting to such TV’s. This option may also
be of use to those wishing to improve performance by using a lower
resolution, although this would be better achieved by lowering
the Resolution, which will have the same effect albeit at Full
screen, rather than running in Fullscreen with black borders on the
Top/Bottom of the screen.