In the Forums...
Updated: September 19, 1999
Written by: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy
If you haven't played Microsoft's Midtown Madness, you should give it a chance. Besides offering great graphics and sound, the game is very fun, especially in multiplayer games. Unfortunately, not everyone has a system that is capable of handling intense 3D graphics and high quality sounds. If your system is having any types of problems with Midtown Madness or it is not up to par with visual quality, don't return the game - tweak it!
Note - some of these tweaks may not apply to your version of Midtown Madness.
When most people begin tweaking their computers or software, the reason is because something is running too slow or poorly. Midtown Madness has several options which can be disabled and adjusted in order to boost performance or visual quality. Start Midtown Madness. Click the Options button at the first menu. Choose Graphics. Several options will now be available.
Texture resolution: Obviously, this is the resolution of the textures in the game. If your video card has very low texture memory (e.g. Voodoo Graphics), you can set this option to Medium or Low in order to gain performance. Most users should set this option to High if it is not already. If you have an AGP card or any card with a great deal of texture memory, set this value to Very High. The performance hit is not too severe, and it will greatly impact the overall detail of objects.
Object detail: This will also impact several extra 3D objects in the game, including the detail of shadows, cars, smoke, and distant objects. Lower this setting only if your frame rate is too low. I recommend using Medium to boost performance a bit, or even Low for very slow systems. If you have a fast enough system, set this to High, or even Very High for all of the eye candy.
Resolution: As I'm sure just about all of you know, increasing the resolution will smooth out the scene, and make nearly all objects look better. If you're using any 3D accelerator card, keep the resolution at 640x480 or higher. If your monitor is 17" or larger, aim for 800x600 or higher. I have a 19" monitor and use 1280x960. The resolution will directly impact your frame rate, so lower accordingly to boost performance. If are not using a 3D accelerator (see below) then set the resolution to as low as 320x200 for a good frame rate, or higher if you can spare the performance. If your copy of Midtown Madness allows a maximum resolution of 640x480 (or lower/higher) and you want to use a HIGHER resolution, continue reading on to "Additional Tweaks."
Renderer: This option configures how the graphics will be rendered. If the only option you have is "Software renderer", then your video card is either not supported or does not support Direct3D. If you are certain your video card does support Direct3D, make sure DirectX 6.1 or higher is installed. Make sure that if your video card is supported, you have selected to use it with this option, for a huge performance boost over Software mode.