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News: Celebrating 30 years of Star Control 2 - The Ur-Quan Masters

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Blueparrot1966
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the Graphics of Ur Quan masters
« on: July 04, 2006, 02:59:19 am »

First of, tx for the walk down memory lane!!  It was a riot to see SC II again in all her glory.

Besides the fact that I can run this on my modern machine, the biggest thing I noticed was that someone has gone to the effort to "scale up" the graphics to something a modern monitor can display.  It's a bit blurry, but considering the leaps in technology over the years, I'm very impressed.

My question is, er, how didja do that?  I've gotten the original X-Com and beloved oldies like Warlords II to run on my Alienware PC, but seeing 486 era graphics on a modern rig makes my eyes bleed.  Would it be a big deal to apply the same software to these games?  I'd love to try it.
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Re: the Graphics of Ur Quan masters
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2006, 10:30:01 am »

Besides the fact that I can run this on my modern machine, the biggest thing I noticed was that someone has gone to the effort to "scale up" the graphics to something a modern monitor can display.  It's a bit blurry, but considering the leaps in technology over the years, I'm very impressed.

My question is, er, how didja do that?
Basically, just before UQM sends the graphics to the display, it applies a filter to them to smooth out jagged lines. UQM has a wide range of filters, ranging from the simple bilinear filter (very blurry) to the advanced edge-detecting HQ filter (sharp text, smooth gradients and general coolness, but very CPU-intensive).

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I've gotten the original X-Com and beloved oldies like Warlords II to run on my Alienware PC, but seeing 486 era graphics on a modern rig makes my eyes bleed.  Would it be a big deal to apply the same software to these games?  I'd love to try it.
UQM is a heavily modified reimplementation of SC2 based on the original source code; having the source code made it a lot easier to modify the game. You can use DOSBox to run these old games on an emulated old PC, the graphics output of which can easily be configured to use filters similar to those in UQM.
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Blueparrot1966
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Re: the Graphics of Ur Quan masters
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2006, 04:33:48 pm »

yes, DOSbox is another great effort to bring back some of the old classics.  Thanks for the advice on the filters, but would you mind telling me which ones are the most useful and/or easiest to use?  I'll check to see what I can download, but somehow I don't think punching a generic word like "Filter" into Google is going to do me much good. Grin

Once again, to everyone who made this possible, thanks!
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Re: the Graphics of Ur Quan masters
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2006, 12:26:54 am »

The setup menu (graphics section) in UQM (and similarly the DOSBox documentation) list all available filters and describe their advantages.

In UQM, if you have the raw CPU power (about 1.5 GHz should be enough, depending on processor type), just activate the HQ filter and enjoy (use 1280x960 resolution full screen OpenGL mode for additional bilinear filtering on the upscaling from the HQ-filtered 640x480 to 1280x960; currently, it doesn't get any better than that in most cases). If you have less power, play around with the different settings until you find one you like.
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Blueparrot1966
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Re: the Graphics of Ur Quan masters
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2006, 01:14:35 am »

tx for the tip.  running things like UQM on my current rig is like using the space shuttle to get to Wal Mart, lol.  I blame the current state of the hobby.  Dang it....
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