In the Forums...
Posted: July 2, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
Seeing that this is an Unreal engine-based game, we could skip straight to the preferences applet and totally forego the in-game settings bit, but seeing as I am a bit soft on anything that makes my life even the littlest bit easier, I'm going to jump into these in-game settings like a monkey jumps into a pile of bananas (excuse the bad pun).
The display settings are the first set of settings I am going to speak about. The first in a series of available settings is the screen resolution. You can pick from the standard resolutions of 640x480, 800x600, etc, as well as some not-quite-so-standard settings. Choose the one you are most comfortable with - a higher resolution will result in better graphics while a lower resolution will result in better game performance. The next setting, color depth, gives you the choice of 16 and 32 bit color. 32-bit color is always nice, but 16-bit color still looks pretty good and performance is generally higher when using it.
The next two settings, World Texture Detail and Object Texture Detail, have to do with the quality of the textures used within the game. There are three possible settings with each of these - high, medium, and low. High will use the best quality textures available and low will use the worst quality textures available. Medium is something of a compromise between the two, however I wasn't able to notice much of a difference between the medium and the low quality textures (particularly at lower resolutions).
The last two settings are on/off settings - Detail Textures and Decals. Detail textures has a profound impact on how well the game looks so if you have any choice in the matter, leave it enabled. However, disabling decals can make several parts of the game significantly faster and there isn't much lost from the game with them disabled.
The other type of setting I recommend editing from within the game would have to be sound. The first of the settings that need to be looked at is the effects channels setting. The maximum setting for this is 16. Lowering this setting will free up processor time for other things, but if you are planning on enabling 3D Sound support you might as well leave this at the maximum allowed setting.
Sample rate is another important setting that can significantly speed up the system in some cases. If you aren't much of an audiophile, or your computer speakers aren't very good, you can probably get away with dropping the sample rate down from 44 KHz to 22 KHz - only drop the setting down to 11 KHz if you are seriously struggling for CPU cycles though. Quality is another thing you can change within the sound preferences - 16 bit is pretty much the standard, but, once again, if you are struggling for CPU cycles you might consider dropping it down to 8 bit.