Shadows of Darkness - VESA.DRV

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Shadows of Darkness - VESA.DRV

Postby Cloudschatze » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:10 am

As most folks are probably aware, Shadows of Darkness doesn't include any high-resolution artwork that might otherwise make using the VESA graphics driver in DOS, or playing the game in Windows, a worthwhile endeavor.

Perhaps this is already commonly known, but despite the smaller mouse cursors and increased CPU load, there does appear to be at least one subjective merit - sprite scaling takes advantage of the increased, 640x480 resolution, meaning your character/monsters/etc. look less like Minecraft denizens at a distance.

Beholders!

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VGA.DRV
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Note that these screenshots were taken using the floppy-disk version of the game (in DOS). For reasons unknown, I get graphics corruption when attempting to use the same VESA driver with QG4CD in DOS, whereas the higher resolution can yet be had in Windows (notwithstanding the additional limitations imposed there...). But hey, since only the floppy version supports use of the Logitech Cyberman and its "force-feedback" gimmickry, that's really the only version worth playing anyhow, right? ;)
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Re: Shadows of Darkness - VESA.DRV

Postby Collector » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:19 am

I had played around with the VESA driver years ago and gave up on it because the way that blocks of the background do not get painted and the painting mistakes along the sprite paths, which is what I assume you mean by graphics corruption.

sierra_000.png

Then again I only tried with the MPC version. Interesting that that it works with the floppy version, but then the floppy is SCI2 and the MPC is SCI2.1. From what game were you taking the VESA driver?
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Re: Shadows of Darkness - VESA.DRV

Postby Cloudschatze » Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:05 pm

Collector wrote:...which is what I assume you mean by graphics corruption.

Exactly, yes. :)

Interesting that that it works with the floppy version... From what game were you taking the VESA driver?

The video support appears to be built into the interpreter, rather than provided by an external driver proper. The sparse "VGA.DRV" and "VESA.DRV" files only seem to exist to allow their selection in the installer, but either option can be manually specified in the RESOURCE.CFG file whether they're present or not.
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Re: Shadows of Darkness - VESA.DRV

Postby Collector » Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:44 pm

Oh I know how to set it up. The drivers can make a difference, such as the driver from the GK1 demo can fix the graphical stuttering in the opening SEQ of the DOS version of KQ6 that you get with the one that shipped with the game. But you are right that the Sierra video drivers of that era are pretty spartan. Even the QfG4 VGA driver is only 33 bytes. Might be because by then they had dropped support for other adapters like CGA, EGA, Tandy, etc. that they were able to handle it more directly from the interpreter.

I would love to be able to get some input from Jeff Stephenson on a number of things about SCI.
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