Getting Crossfire Back In Serious Sam HD After 11.8 CAP 3

Posted: September 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Crossfire Scaling, Hardware, Tips/Tutorials
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UPDATE 2: Now that you can set custom profiles in CCC, you might be able to force GRID’s profile for Serious Sam HD. (I don’t have Sam installed right now.)

UPDATE: It seems radeonpro is NOT applying itself, so I guess the only options are to stay on an older CAP, find a CAP switcher, get a faster single GPU card, use a crack (which would disable achievements and multiplayer), somehow trick steam into loading renamed .exes (could an NTFS junction work?), or have Croteam make us a copy of the game exe that’s named as GRID.exe, since attempting that yourself just closes the renamed .exe and launches SamHD.exe.

The latest CAP disables crossfire in the Serious Sam HD games due to crashes happening near water. This should be a game issue that also affects SLI. I assume The Second Encounter will act the same as my testing of The First Encounter.

But if you don’t mind the possible crashing and want to get your framerate back to where it was before, just force the Race Driver GRID profile in radeonpro.

Last Modified: April 27th, 2012

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Unlocking BRINK’s Framerate In Singleplayer

Posted: August 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Software, Tips/Tutorials
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You may have noticed how awful Brink feels and looks in motion when playing the campaign or challenge modes, totally different from what your framerate counter displays. Here is how to get around that nonsense. The main idea is 1-you will run a local dedicated server, 2-you set what campaign or challenge to load, 3-you connect to it.

First, install the dedicated server in the tools section of Steam. While that’s downloading, go to the launch options of Brink in your games list and add ‘+set win_allowMultipleInstances 1‘ so that Brink’s executable can run more than once at the same time. (Otherwise you wind up having to launch the game first, then alt-tab to launch the server second.)

Once installed, check the ‘\Steam\steamapps\common\brink dedicated server‘ folder and you should see example .bat files. Edit an existing one, or copy into a new file, adjusting the server name and ports as you want them. Everytime you want to launch the server, just run the .bat file. Push the quit button or type in ‘quit’ in the console for the server to shutdown.

Now it’s time to tell the server what campaign and maps to load. Instead of memorizing server console commands or map names, I would make a .cfg file for every map of each campaign so that it’s very simple to quickly start playing on the mission that you left off in your campaign. Every .cfg file will look like this:

si_rules sdGameRulesCampaign
applyServerConfig Standard
campaign set campaign_#TEAMNAME#
si_playMode 1
si_onlineMode 2
si_needpass 1
g_password #YOURPASSWORD#
si_maxRank 4
si_botDifficulty #NUMBER#
net_serverAllowHijacking 0
spawnServer mp/#MAPNAME#.entities

Replace #TEXT# as necessary. You can have spaces in your password, quotes don’t seem to be needed (eg: ‘g_password hello world‘). Change the campaign team name to ‘resistance‘ or ‘security‘. To play the Agents of Change DLC maps, add ‘_dlc1‘ to the end of the campaign line (eg: ‘campaign set campaign_security_dlc1‘).

Bot Difficulty: any: -1, easy: 0, normal: 1, hard: 2

Resistance map names (in order of campaign): aqarium, seetow, terminal, resort, ccity, refuel, shipyard, reactor

Security map names (in order of campaign): aqarium, terminal, ccity, sectow, shipyard, reactor, resort, refuel

Agents of Change DLC map names (in order): lab, founders

Challenges: enable server hijacking then selecting a challenge as 2 player and public should join your server, or any other for that matter (source)

OR I think I managed to make a .cfg that works:

si_rules sdGameRulesChallenge
applyServerConfig ChallengesCoop#NUMBER#
campaign set campaign_challenges
si_playMode 1
si_onlineMode 2
si_needpass 1
g_password #YOURPASSWORD#
si_maxRank 4
net_serverAllowHijacking 0
spawnServer sp/challenge_#NUMBER#.entities

Set your coop player amount to a number between 2 and 4 (eg. ‘applyServerConfig ChallengesCoop2‘ for a 2-player game). Change your password just like a campaign server, and then change the challenge map number to the challenge you want: Be More Objective: 06, Parkour This: 05, Escort Duty: 01, Tower Defense: 03 (eg. to have a Parkour This challenge, the last line would be ‘spawnServer sp/challenge_05.entities‘)

So once you make your .cfg files (or use mine), place them in the ‘\Steam\steamapps\common\brink dedicated server\base‘ folder. Launch your server with your .bat file from earlier and type ‘exec security3‘ if you want to play the 3rd mission of the security campaign and your .cfg file for that mission is named security3.cfg. Then launch the game and go to Freeplay, search for LAN servers, and you should see your local server ready for you to join. If your router’s ports are open, you can have your friends join your server as well. There is a handy script to open and close the ports via UPnP, so that you don’t need to bother opening your router admin settings as long as UPnP is enabled.

Now you can play Brink the way it’s supposed to be! It may seem complicated, but once all this is set, you just exec the .cfg you want from the server console window, nice and simple.

Source for original .cfg file and discussion: Steam Forums
More information on some of the commands, or using additional ones: BrinkBase.de
You can also type commands in the console window and sometimes the values and what they mean will be displayed (eg. typing ‘si_botDifficulty‘ in the server console).

Last Modified: March 3rd, 2012

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Improving Unreal Development Kit Crossfire Performance

Posted: August 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Crossfire Scaling, Hardware, Software, Tips/Tutorials
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UPDATE: Turn off vsync if you enabled it in the .ini files. Use D3DOverrider with triple buffering instead.

Simply rename UDK.exe found in the Bin32 folder to AliceMadnessReturns.exe. Make sure to have the latest CAP, and it still works even with my sparkling spots fix, which uses 11.2 dlls.

The Alice profile is almost as fast as other profiles like Crysis 2, but without flickering of the water or other artifacts.

The following screenshots are of a 4870×2.

Last Modified: May 1st, 2012

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Fix For CityEngine Startup Crash

Posted: July 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Hardware, Tips/Tutorials
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Here’s a similar situation to the Cities In Motion issue, this particular CAD software also has a problem running on ATI/AMD drivers newer than Catalyst 10.4, or at least 10.4 looks reliable enough to function properly. After launching, amdkmdap has a driver reset when the 3d rendering panel appears, crashing the application.

The fix is nice and simple, just place the appropriate OpenGL driver into the program’s folder where CityEngine.exe is.

If you have any other OpenGL game or application that is crashing after 10.4, try this fix or the Cities in Motion one.

For 32-bit: atioglxx.dll
For 64-bit: atio6axx.dll

Your card should support 10.4 drivers in the first place, I have no idea what you would do if you’re using one of the latest Radeons or if you’re using an nVidia card.

Last Modified: July 19th, 2011

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Fix For Sparkling Spots In Unreal Development Kit

Posted: July 11th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Hardware, Tips/Tutorials
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UPDATE: 12.3 breaks the editor when you’re using these old dlls.

You could probably expand the rest of 11.2 and put it into the binaries folder. The game mode is still fine, so just the editor is affected like the above screenshot.

It appears every driver after Catalyst 11.2 has a bug in Unreal Development Kit. I would have noticed this sooner if I used UDK more often this year. I don’t know how many cards this affects, it might just be for older cards. I’m on a 4870×2.

Anyway the solution is simple, put 11.2’s dx9 dlls into the binaries folder of UDK. Installing the whole 11.2 driver set for the whole system is not a useful workaround, since most people would need fixes or performance gains seen in newer drivers.

So grab the dlls, then place them into the appropriate folder:

For the 32bit editor and game: put atiumdag.dll into \Binaries\Win32
For the 64bit editor: put atiumd64.dll into \Binaries\Win64

If you’re using RadeonPro to force crossfire profiles, it will overwrite the dll that you placed, so you’ll have to use the driver version compatibility feature to use 11.2’s dll. I would instead just make a copy of and rename the 32bit UDK.exe into AliceMadnessReturns.exe to get crossfire scaling when launching the game.

Last Modified: August 4th, 2015

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Improving Hydrophobia: Prophecy Crossfire Performance

Posted: July 11th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Crossfire Scaling, Hardware, Software, Tips/Tutorials
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Once again, like the Section 8: Prejudice trick, grab RadeonPro (since it’s a steam game) and simply use the Half-Life 2 crossfire profile. Apparently other profiles flicker or do not scale as well.

Credit goes to spyre who noticed this… months ago. I’m not sure why it’s still not in the CAPs or drivers.

Last Modified: April 27th, 2012

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Improving Section 8: Prejudice Crossfire Performance

Posted: May 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Crossfire Scaling, Hardware, Software, Tips/Tutorials
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UPDATE: Another profile that scales and doesn’t flicker is Company of Heroes, RelicCOH.exe. It might even be a bit faster than Dark Void’s.

After a fair amount of testing, the Dark Void profile gives the performance boost of the FEAR profile without the flickering.

So what you need to do is grab RadeonPro so you can make a profile for the game. You can’t simply do the exe rename trick, as it has a launcher that blocks you from starting from the game exe directly.

Once inside RadeonPro, push the ‘add a new profile’ button and select S9-Win32-F.exe from the Binaries/Win32 folder of the game. Go to the tweaks tab and click ‘manage custom profiles’, then add Dark Void as ‘ShippingPC-SkyGame.exe‘. Now to fix the launcher issue, go to the launcher tab and select ‘Games for Windows Live’ from the dropdown, then pick the actual launcher exe, which is S9.exe in the root folder of the game.

This should do it until a profile gets built into the drivers. Enjoy!

Last Modified: April 27th, 2012

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BFBC2 Missing Effects When AA Is Enabled On Catalyst 11.3

Posted: March 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Hardware, Tips/Tutorials
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UPDATE: 11.4 is out, grab it from AMD. The 2 dlls are exactly the same as the preview dlls dated February 27, so it’s not an issue anymore.

If you dared to install Catalyst 11.3 WHQL over the 11.4 Previews, then you might run into this in Battlefield Bad Company 2. In DirectX 10 or 11 mode, enabling anti-aliasing causes various effects to disappear, mostly transparent ones.

Luckily there’s a simple fix. Just place aticfx32.dll and atidxx32.dll from either 11.2 or 11.4p into the game folder and everything is back to normal.

Last Modified: August 4th, 2015

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Divinity 2 Stutter Fix

Posted: March 16th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Hardware, Tips/Tutorials
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Apparently, Divinity 2 has some kind of stuttering going on, making things look much worse than the actual framerate. This is not part of the game like the poor choice to lock the main menu at 30fps (which then unlocks once you’re in game, just like Enemy Territory Quake Wars).

Luckily, there’s a simple fix. If you haven’t seen this posted around, what you do is go to the compatibility tab in the properties window of the game’s exe and check on ‘disable desktop composition‘. I don’t think ‘run as administrator’ is needed, but you can check that on in addition to the desktop composition toggle.

No idea how widespread this is, if it’s just for Windows 7/Vista, or if it includes Nvidia cards, or if it’s tied to specific generations or drivers.

Last Modified: March 30th, 2011

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Little Big Planet 2 Collector’s Edition

Posted: March 4th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Media
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It’s been a while since I made an unboxing video, the previous ones being Bioshock 2 Special Edition and Mass Effect 2 Collector’s Edition. Now it’s time for LittleBigPlanet 2 Collector’s Edition. Check out the unboxing video and the photos below. Nothing really comes close to what was crammed into Bioshock’s box, but this one is alright. “Sackboy” feels decent in quality, other than the plastic zipper. The bookends look nice, but are slightly flimsy. Finally, 11 costumes for the game are included in the package, plus 5 PSN avatars. There is no special cover for the disc or case, just a voucher with the code for the avatars and in-game costumes.

Last Modified: August 4th, 2015

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