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Home F.A.Q. Heretic II Performance Tweaks under WarpOS

Performance Tweaks under WarpOS

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Performance Tweaks under WarpOS


"I am using Picasso96 V2.x and am getting a flickering display almost constantly during the game. What should I do?"

There seems to be a problem with V39 multibuffering. From a shell, enter the following:

    'setenv HereticII/oldstyle 1'

If this does the trick, make the setting permanent by entering:

    'COPY ENV:HereticII/oldstyle ENVARC:HereticII'

"During the game, Corvus seems to frequently hang on some edges. For example, walking into the water in the tutorial level is impossible, since Corvus snaps back from the edge. I have to jump to get him into the water."

This happens at low frame rates. The only thing you can do is get the frame rate higher. Refer to part two of this guide.

"I sometimes get a Recursive Shutdown message during the game, for example when climbing down the rope in the first level."
"I do get into trouble with my 64 Megs of memory. "

The rope in the Silverspring Dock level is the end of the level. The game needs a bit more memory during level changes, so memory shortages might occur at this time. With a system with "only" 64 Megs, you will have to make sure that as much memory is possible is free. There are a few things you can do:

  • Disable anything from your startup-sequence, user-startup and WBStartup that you don't really need for playing Heretic II, for example, commodities, screen blankers, workbench backdrops, workbench, etc.
  • You can use gl_picmip 1 and gl_skinmip 1 settings, this uses 4x smaller textures (looks not so good like the big version, of course)
  • Disable all drives (floppies, hard drives) that you don't need. This will also free up a bit of memory (but not much really).
  • If you have a large Buffers setting for a drive, reduce it. Reducing buffers works by entering "AddBuffers : , with being negative.
  • Start from the initial shell. There is a small AREXX program in the Goodies directory on your installation CD that sets up a very minimal (only 22k) Reset-proof ramdisk and boots from there.
  • Disable anything fancy you don't need. For example, a workbench backdrop of 1024x768 can take up to 3 megs, depending on the depth of the picture. Reducing or closing the Workbench screen will also help.
  • In the Heretic II console, the variables "gl_texturecache", "ami_imagecache" and "ami_soundcache" specify the amount of memory for caching texture and sound data. You can set these to a lower value to make the game use less memory, although this will have an impact on the frame rate. If you reduce the texture cache below 4 MB, the game will run very slow, you have been warned. Refer to your game manual on how to set a console variable.
  • Heretic II uses approx. 600,000 bytes of stack space. You might try with less than that. There is no need to try with more.

"I had a low-on-memory-crash when I finished a level, but before the new level loaded. Do I now need to fight against the end boss of the last level again ?"

You do not need to. When you enter the savegames again, you will see a savegame called ENTER , you can simply load this savegame, and once you loaded this, save again and you are fine in the new level. If you get such big memory problems, you should have a look at the above mentioned hints to save memory, though, we recommend.

"The lever in the water cave in Kell Caves does not open the door like it should be. And after Corvus tried to move the lever the first time, he just ignores it from nowon, and I now cannot open this door."

This seems to be a bug in the original game, not in the port. It does not happen for all players, some people do not have this problem. If you are one of the people having this problem, do like described in the following to be able to open the door:

  • Delete all #?.sav and #?.sv2 savegame files in the savegame folder where the problem appeared and reload, or press on the "ENTER Kell Caves" savegame on the top of the savegame list.
  • Now play through the level until you pressed the lever and opened the door without (!) a single saving. Then the door always opens.

"I try to use the 400x300 or 512x384 resolutions, but I always get a 640x480 screen with the game in the upper left corner."

Use your graphics software's mode building utility to make a 400x300 or 512x384 screen mode. If you don't have one of these modes, the BestModeID() OS function will always pick the larger one, in this case 640x480. Refer to your graphics driver software's manuals for a description on how to create Screenmodes.

"I try to use the software renderer at 640x480, but when I switch on double buffering I get a "can't open screen" error message."

You may not have enough free graphics memory to open such a screen. Since Heretic II uses a 16 bit display in software rendering too, you will need at least 1,228,880 bytes of free video ram to open a double-buffered display. If you have a large workbench screen, this might not fit. Furthermore, some programs allocate bitmaps in video ram, which might also make it difficult to fit a double-buffered screen into video ram. Try to quit everything and reduce the workbench size to a minimum before you start Heretic II.

"I have difficulties running the game on AGA."

Make sure that the PAL monitor driver is in your DEVS:Monitors directory (and it should be started too, which is automatic if you haven't modified your startup-sequence). Also set the variable HereticII-Demo/ham to 1 (the GUI in the full version does this automatically).

"I get unexplainable crashes after just a few seconds of running Heretic II."

Make sure you set your RAM speed to 70ns. There seems to be severe problems with some RAM chips and large applications when the speed is set to 60ns. This is not a bug in Heretic II, but rather an inconsistency between RAM chips, or a loose interpretation of manufacturers about what "60ns" really means.

"I don't have a sound card, does using AHI give me any advantage?"

No. It will make things slower, but not better. AHI is for soundcard owners and should be avoided if you don't have one.

"I set the Same Map deathmatch flag to N, but I always end up in the same deathmatch map even after the fraglimit or timelimit have been hit."

When you start a deathmatch from the menu, the sv_maplist variable will not be set. For map cycling to work, you will have to set this to a list of maps that should be cycled. For example, if you want to cycle through the dmandoria and dmcloud deathmatch levels, enter the following from the console before starting the deathmatch:

    set sv_maplist "dmandoria,dmcloud"

Maps are specified without the ".bsp" prefix, separated by comma.

"The videos come out all mangled, I get dots and frame skips. What can I do?"
"I do get a white or yellow bar at the bottom of the screen while playing videos."

These questions are related. The Smacker video codec works best with a screen mode of 320x200x8. You will have to define such a screenmode to get rid of the colored bar.

To get a smoother playback, try to raise the buffers of your CD-Rom drive. The way this is done depends on the file system you use, but most likely there is an entry in your icon or there is a prefs program for it.

Furthermore, you should optimize your AHI unit 0 for speed. Most notably, select an 8 bit non-panning mode (no "++" in the name) with only two channels, and a mix frequency of 22KHz.

Also note that a CD-Rom driver with at least 4x will be required, the more the better.

Especially people using IDE-Drives still could not get a decent speed out of Smacker sometimes. You might wish to install the Smacker Movies on the Harddrive, if this is the case for you. In the Heretic II Directory there is a subdirectory base/video. If you copy the Video files from cd0:base/video to there, they will be played from the harddrive. In this case remember to give some addbuffers to your harddrive.

More modern filesystems like SFS or PFS might also improve the replay-speed of Smacker Movies.

It should be noted that the combination between IDE Bus and 25 MHz 040 on 68k side is a problematic one for Smacker...