Down-Tuning For Faster Speed?

Macintosh support forum for Eschalon: Book I
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robert_aronson
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Down-Tuning For Faster Speed?

Post by robert_aronson » October 23rd, 2008, 9:16 pm

Hi all. I just bought Eschalon, and I'm having a lot of fun with it, but I've got me an annoying little problem:

The game runs slowly in the outdoors. This is absolutely silly, as my MacBook can run the game Spore at nearly maximum graphical settings!

Here are my specs:

MacBook
MacOS X Leopard
Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.1 GHz
2 GB memory
Onboard Intel GMA X3100 video hardware

Is there any way to downgrade the graphics so the game runs as fast as it does in the dungeons? It would make a HUGE difference in my enjoyment of the game.

I've already tried running Eschalon in 16-bit color, but that doesn't seem to make a difference. Running it windowed does seem to make a noticeable difference, but even when windowed I need to run the outdoors in Low graphics mode to avoid slowdown. The poor window was already small enough, and it becomes downright tiny on Low mode! :(

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks! :D

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Re: Down-Tuning For Faster Speed?

Post by Randomizer » October 24th, 2008, 3:14 am

You can also turn off the sound and some special features, but the game really slows down when too much is happening on screen.

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Getharn
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Re: Down-Tuning For Faster Speed?

Post by Getharn » October 24th, 2008, 7:27 am

It's a little odd, because my Mac Mini runs it fine both indoor and out - is it possible the current download version has some speed fixes in it? Or do I just have a different notion of "acceptably fast" to most people? I haven't noticed any major difference between dungeons and outdoor areas, though.

For reference, my system specs are:

Leopard
Intel Core 2 Duo, 1.8GHz
1GB RAM
Onboard Intel GMA 950

In theory that should be a lower spec machine in every regard, as far as I can tell.

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Re: Down-Tuning For Faster Speed?

Post by robert_aronson » October 24th, 2008, 9:42 am

Outdoors, Low graphics or not, the game runs about half as fast as it does in the dungeons. It's not unplayably slow, but it's annoying all the same. It gets even slower when there's animated water tiles nearby.

Compare it to the idea of walking through the outdoors and running through dungeons. Both speeds will get you where you want to go, but "calmly sauntering" through the great and wide outdoors has me starting to eat my bottom lip about ten minutes into the act.

I think the version I'm playing is 1.04. There must be a way to speed this up. Is there another renderer available apart from OpenGL, perhaps?

EDIT:

Okay, I discovered that when I open the options, the game gives me a performance rating. Here's the rating it gave me for each of the following settings (lower is better):

-- Fullscreen, 32-bit:

Code: Select all

                  Low     High
Outdoors Woods    18      20
Outdoors Town     22      26
Dungeon           14      14
Rebooting my Mac seemed to really help. The game is fairly comfortable at 22, though is somewhat annoying at 26 (but not as bad as it was the first time I played before the reboot). Perhaps the amount of information stored in the system memory at the time of playing has something to do with the speed of the game?

I'm also going to do this test again with one of my processors shut off, and in 16-bit and windowed.

EDIT:

-- Fullscreen, 16-bit

Code: Select all

                  Low     High
Outdoors Woods    20      25
Outdoors Town     20      25
Dungeon           13      14
The peformance indicator is red for me, but I know it can be yellow. It turns yellow when the rating drops to 12, which it did for a about half a second on Low in the dungeon.

It seems bizarre that the game runs slower in the woods on 16-bit than anywhere else...

EDIT:

The game runs no appreciably faster when windowed (at least as far as the rating is concerned). It drops ratings by about one point.

(no more edits)

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IJBall
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Re: Down-Tuning For Faster Speed?

Post by IJBall » October 24th, 2008, 10:36 am

Weird.

This game does run quite slow in towns on my ancient iMac at work.

But on my current MacBook, it runs fine with no obvious slowdowns (I do always play windowed, though). Anyway, it shouldn't be running slow on your machine.

I'm wondering if it could be something equivalent to an extension conflict? Is there anything that runs in the background of your system that could be causing this?

(On my machine at work, it does run a little faster if, under Options, I choose the "Graphics Detail" = "Low" option. Right now, playing windowed, and setting Graphics Detail to Low is all I can come up with. But I really wonder if it's some kind of system conflict...)

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Re: Down-Tuning For Faster Speed?

Post by robert_aronson » October 24th, 2008, 10:49 am

Multi-tasking doesn't seem to affect the game. I have FireFox, Mail, Adium and Skype running (along with Finder, of course), but the game's speed doesn't seem to be any different. Still, though, I can't shake the feeling that rebooting my Mac did something to help.

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Re: Down-Tuning For Faster Speed?

Post by Getharn » October 24th, 2008, 7:02 pm

Further to my comments above, I get a pretty constant performance of 5-6 in all areas of the game I've tried so far, including wilderness, dungeons and towns. So, I can only imagine that either there's something odd going on with the graphics drivers of the X3100, or you're running some other task which is interfering. I tend to run the game with nothing else in the background (except finder).

I only run fullscreen and 32-bit mode, and high detail, in case that's relevant.

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Re: Down-Tuning For Faster Speed?

Post by robert_aronson » October 28th, 2008, 10:56 am

Well, I tried using the Activity Monitor to shut down everything while the game was running. No luck, no improvement. Based on the Monitor, I've got more than enough free memory and system resources. I'm thinking it has to be a graphics driver issue, but I can't locate any update drivers for the Intel GMA X3100.

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