In the Forums...
Posted: November 3, 2000
Written by: James Kennedy
These are probably the most important settings to tweak in the entire options menu. Not only do they affect performance greatly but also they control the look of the game. These tweaks can be accessed in the Options menu.
This selects which renderer you would like to use for the game. The most important aspect of this setting is determining which device is fastest for your computer. If you are using a 3dfx chipset, choose the Glide renderer, as it is fastest. If you are using a different chipset I'd recommend using the Direct3D setting as the OpenGL renderer seemed much slower and more buggy.
The general rule for resolution is that the higher the resolution, the sharper the image. This usually comes with a tradeoff in speed, however. I would recommend a lower setting for optimal speed. Try to find a resolution that gives you acceptable performance.
The two usual choices are here, 16-bit and 32-bit color depths. Using 32-bit color will give you a prettier picture but you will usually take a significant hit in performance. 16-bit color will usually be faster but not quite as nice looking. I use 16-bit color on this game because it runs so much faster and save for a few banded textures, I really can't see much of a difference. Here's a screenshot comparison showing the two. 16-bit is on the left, 32-bit on the right. Click to enlarge.
World Texture Detail
World texture detail controls the texture quality for the level. At a high setting the textures are very crisp and detailed while at the lowest setting the textures seem blurry and less detailed. I would recommend using a medium setting, as it is faster than high while still pretty nice looking. The one on the left is at the high setting while the one on the right is on the low setting.
Skin detail controls not only the skin of the player character but also the skins of all the enemies and some of the map objects. As you can see below, turning this down all the way gives you very muddy and ugly textures, although it does give a nice speed increase. The high setting shows some very beautiful textures but is a little slower. The medium setting seems like a good idea here (once again) as it still doesn't sacrifice much detail, while still performing well.
While it doesn't affect performance, the brightness setting affects how dark or how light your game looks. If it is too dark or too light, turn it to the right or left accordingly. This game is kind of on the dark side so I slide it more to the right.