VIDEO   1-14-2021

Written and Edited By: MarkEAW

[ GOTO THE MAIN EAWHS PAGE ]

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

SETTING THE SCREEN RESOLUTION
Advantage
Setting W And H | Screen Stretching | More On FOV | Lower Res
Drawbacks With Higher Res

THE VIDEO CONTROL PANEL
Default Control Panel Graphic Settings
Default GLOBAL Settings | GLOBAL Settings That Make A Difference
Default EAW Profile Settings | EAW Profile Settings That Make A Difference | Try Other Settings
Wrapper Programs

WIN10 GRAPHIC SETTINGS
Configure Classic App EAW
No Use For Universal App | MB Video And Discrete Video

WIN10 GAMING MODE SETTING
To Turn OFF Or ON

 

INTRODUCTION

This document was written to help configure and set the optimal graphical settings for your game with some knowledge of different options you have to improve video quality overall.

 

SETTING THE SCREEN RESOLUTION

This section will talk about game screen resolution settings you can change for the game.


EAW looks pretty good straight out the box, however it can look incredible if you fiddle a bit with the newer resolution settings. By default, EAW plays and was designed for 640x480 screen resolution. However, in the EAWv1.1 patched game, Higher Resolutions where introduced and may leave you wanting to ditch the default resolution if you want more. Read on for information for advantages, possible resolutions and drawbacks of changing the resolution. Yes there are some downsides to increasing the games resolution.

 

Advantage:
The higher screen resolutions produce much smoother looking 'out of the window' 3D Flight Screen graphics, giving much better definition of the terrain, objects and aircraft, they will have a denser pixel count, thereby making even distant planes look like planes instead of a jumble of pixels.

 

Setting W and H:
You can only set the games custom resolution in a file called  eaw.ini  this is located in the games root folder. You open it with notepad and manually enter the Width and Height (There is no in-game slider configuration for this). The two new settings are located as the first few lines in that file.

In the stock game, I recommend at least 800x600 so you get a decent cockpit field of view as it yields the "widest" Frame Of View (also at this res the point of view (POV) is back more; the pilot (you) sits further back from the cockpit dash).

At 1024x768 is when the graphic details really begin to pop, however in the stock game, at that resolution, the field of view (FOV) becomes too narrow to be useful (the sides of the view are smaller) and the point of view is almost on top of the cockpits panel. (However in the source modified un-official 1.28+ versions of EAW, they have a wider FOV because the POV for this res was modified to sit back farther) also (The modified FXEXE/EAWPRO also adjusts for the narrow view at this res. It allows an in game zoom back option (pilot seat back) to properly adjust this res to have a better FOV, better than the stock 800x600 does). So in a modified game I do recommend 1024x768.

You may want to try different settings to see how they work out. Many players run at 1280 x 960 and 1280 x 1024 or even higher in the stock game. Here are some proper ratio (standard 4:3 square) resolutions you can try:

1152x864 is wider than 1024x768.
1280x960 is the same to the default 640x480 FOV.
1280x1024 is wider than the default but not as wide as 800x600.
1600x1200 appears to give the same FOV as the widest 800x600.
2048x1536 will display a very good field of view.

The resolution that EAW runs and what you decide to use is dependant on your Video Card and Monitor capabilities. You may be able to get different resolutions in D3D than in Glide mode; meaning perhaps some of the higher resolutions may only be available to you in Direct3D. (You may find that Glide 3.0 Mode in the source coded modified game, UAWv1.60 is limited to 1024x768). The stock game using Glide 2.0 Mode can exceed that resolution.

You will find more information on Resolutions and Resolutions in Wrapper Programs in my 'Troubleshoot Help Document'. Like doubling your in game res without performance loss. Read it when you get there!

 

NOTES:

Screen Stretching:
The desktop res has a possible chance of stretching the game screen, this is dependant on your current Video Card settings. Say your desktop is 1680x1050 and your game screen is 1024x768.

So when the game loads up it will be at the res you set for the game, (although again, depending on your Video Card settings), the Display or the GPU will possibility stretch the game screen to fill the monitors screen. For an example, when your in the EAW Flight Screen you may find that the round gun sight is oval in shape, that indicates stretching. Note that stretching also occurs on the in game menu screens, its less noticeable.

You can overcome stretching and squashing by setting specific options in your Video Control Panel of your graphics card. See my 'Troubleshoot Help Document' and see the section titled 'OTHER PROBLEMS RUNNING THE GAME' and read about 'Stretched Game Screens'. That information will guide you in overcoming those limitations, if it occurs on your system. Not posted here as this is a simpler beginner document.

More On FOV:
You may find it very interesting and important to read my 'Known Bugs and Feature Ideas Help Document' and see the VIDEO Section under Feature Ideas, at the topic of FIELD OF VIEW (FOV) for more extensive details about subjects like Wide Views, Field of View, Point of View and facts about Resolutions. Not required reading though and can be skipped.

Lower Res:
Want to Set Lower Resolutions than default? You can, as long as your monitor and video card support it. 512x384 seems to work on some systems, it works at least for EAW. But no need to do that unless your testing something out.

 



Drawbacks With Higher Res:
Here are the known drawbacks; the things you loose with higher screen resolutions in EAW.

  • Loading Fuel Gauge:
    When using a res other than the default (640x480), when the game loads missions, you will no longer see the "Fuel Gauge" loading screen, there will only be a blank screen.
     
  • Only Virtual 3D Cockpits:
    At any higher resolution than the default (640x480) the stock internal cockpits will only be the Virtual 3D type (you will be forced to fly only in virtual cockpit mode, the virtual cockpit is what you see when you press F8) which are lower in quality than the 2D standard cockpits (the 2D view is what you get when you press F1, they will no longer be available). The Virtual cockpit also lacks things like cockpit bullet hole effects, oil smudges and viewable rear gunners in planes that have them. There is no fix for this in any version or code modified EAW game.
     
  • Aircraft and Object Sizes Are Smaller:
    The aircraft outside the flight window at the same time become smaller than they are at the lower resolutions, so what is gained in clarity is lost in size. Tracers are even smaller. This is because not only is the field of view (FOV) changing, but the Point of View (POV) is as well; the pilots position is moved back to gain the wider views or moved forward making the views narrower.
     
  • HUD Text Size:
    The HUD data Display and in-game chat messages can become small and hard to read at much higher resolutions. You can fix that in v1.2 with a single patch / add-on combo that increases the size of the text with a Large HUD font. See my 'Files Help Document' to get the correct file and 'Hexedited Patches Help Document', to read the HUD FONTS description sections for replacing the small text with larger fonts.
     
  • Pilot Map At Higher Res:
    Unfortunately there is no Zoom / Un-Zoom feature for the in flight or Pilot map, so it may become nearly useless when using higher resolutions to determine the direction of other planes.
     
  • Frames Per Second:
    Your CPU may have a hard time keeping up with the demand of very high resolutions, especially if the game is run on a WinNT system (which uses compatibility fixes) or if there is a lot of demand to load textures and models, etc.

    The size of the screen will effect the Frames Per Second. You want the frame rates ideally at least 30FPS or more but defiantly above 15FPS so the game will operate correctly, although 15 is a bit slow and can effect the A.I. performance/aggressiveness. If the game is running smoothly when you enter dense bomber formations your doing well. (Note: There is no FPS counter display in v1.2, You can use a Wrapper program or Fraps to display a FPS counter). (The source modifications v1.28 and above have a FPS counter built in that you can enable with the key combination of CTRL-G . This gives the FPS in the top right hand corner. True FPS counter results are valid typically when the game is used in a full screen mode).

    You can use a Wrapper to display the game in Window Mode (Frame) if the Wrapper Program supports it. This will help increase your FPS. In most cases, the game window will not fill your screen. See my 'Troubleshoot Help Document', and read the WRAPPER PROGRAMS section on that page to determine how to use them.

    *See the 'Troubleshoot Help Document' and go to the section titled 'OTHER PROBLEMS RUNNING THE GAME' and read about 'Stretched Game Screens' and how Scaling can effect Frame Per Second displayed.

    As last resort to improve your frame rate, try lowering some of the settings in the in-game Graphics menu. If you notice the slowdown while flying over cities, you might want to start with Ground Object Detail. If noticed while running in Software mode, lowering your Terrain Detail setting will probably help. If you notice that your plane doesn’t respond as quickly as you would like, or that movements on the screen are jerky, you may need to lower the level of detail. Adjusting the settings to lower detail levels or turning some of the options off should result in a smoother picture and faster responses.
     

 

 

THE VIDEO CONTROL PANEL

This section will talk about some external graphical options you have, using the video graphics card settings.


AMD / ATI and NVIDIA provide their own version of the Video Control Panel, normally accessed when you right-click on the desktop. All I have is Nvidia information here. I suggest you Setup (if one doesn't exist already) a game / program profile for eaw.exe's in general (meaning this one setup profile is for all EAW games).

1) Right Click on your desktop and select Nvidia Control Panel.
2) Goto under '3D Settings' and select; Adjust image settings with preview.
3) Next select; Use the advanced 3D image settings.
4) Click Apply.
5) Now go under '3D Settings' again, and select 'Manage 3D Settings' this time.
6) You will be faced with the Global Settings Tab and a Programs Setting Tab. (The EAW specific settings are available in the Programs pull down menu. Select European Air War (eaw.exe)).

 

Default Control Panel Graphic Settings:
Under Manage 3D Settings, I normally leave the Global settings at default and change some of the European Air War (eaw.exe) specific game profile settings that can effect the game. This is suppose to affect all eaw.exe's when you run each one.

Reminder; Only set one at a time until you know that each setting is working and not causing any issues with your game. Some video graphic improvements may CTD the game very quickly, others will slow the game down. Read the included descriptions Nvidia provides for each setting to give you a hint what to look for in the game by moving your cursor over the name of the feature setting, read below the boxed area in the VCPL.

Anything set to 'Application Control' means off as far as EAW is concerned. There are no switches in game either to take advantage of any graphical settings, its all coded into the game. EAW doesn't use (turn on) anything that is not provide first. Some known Graphical features EAW takes advantage of automatically are...?Bilinear Filtering?, ?, ? , ?.

 

Default GLOBAL Settings:
Default Set values of each feature by NVIDIA for the Global Settings.
(All other apps and games are effected, since these are all Global).

<removed list, see the EAW profile below.>

GLOBAL Settings That Make A Difference:

  • ?Set them in the EAW Profile First to see if they work.
     
  • If you know of any other settings that work and what they improve, please let me know so I can place the info here to share with others.

 

 

Default EAW Profile Settings:
Default Set values of each feature by NVIDIA for the provided EAW profile. (Driver 441.20)

Image Sharpening = Global (off)
Ambient Occlusion = Not supported
Anisotropic Filtering = Global (App Controlled)
Antialiasing FXAA = Global (off)
Antialiasing Gamma Correction = Global (On)
Antialiasing Mode = Global  (App Controlled)
Antialiasing Setting = Global (App Controlled)
Antialiasing Transparency = Global (Off)
CUDA GPUs - Global (All)
Low Latency Mode = Global (off)
Multi-Frame Sampled AA (MFAA) = Global (off)
OpenGL Rendering GPU = Global (Auto-Select)
Optimize For Compute Performance = Global (Off)
Power Management Mode = Global (Optimal power)
Preferred Refresh Rate (Monitor Model Name Here) = Global (App Controlled)
Shader Cache = Global (On)
Texture Filtering - Anisotropic Sample Optimization = Global (Off)
Texture Filtering - Negative LOD bias = Global (Allow)
Texture Filtering - Quality = Global (Quality)
Texture Filtering - Trilinear Optimization = Global (On)
Thread Optimization = Global (Auto)
Triple Buffering = Global (Off)
Vertical Sync = Global (Use 3D App Setting)
Virtual Reality Pre-Frames = Global (1)

 

EAW Profile Settings That Make A Difference:

  • Anti-Alias AA: (Tested Working in 2015)
    This is the minimum you should at least apply to EAW as it does have jagged edges on objects:
    Anti-Alias of x2 will be enough to loose the jagged step edges on the Planes outer lines. (you may need to do this in the "Override Mode") I didn't notice any more improvement with higher demanding settings.
     
  • Full Screen Anti-Alias, FXAA: (Tested Working June 2017)
    Is usable. It smoothes the entire DirectDraw menu screens and in game flight screens, focusing not just on the edges of objects, but also the textures and graphics displayed on the full screen.
    (This setting may effect v-sync or fps on those menu screens, it may garble them if they where not already.)
     
  • If you know of any other settings that work and what they improve, please let me know so I can place the info here to share with others.
     

 

NOTES:

Try Other Settings:
Try some of the other settings and see if you notice any effect from them. I typically use the minimum value for each setting to test out as EAW is not going to really respond to as many of these Video Control Panel settings like modern games would.

For testing purposes in 2015, I set Global and 3D settings for the EAW Profile to their maximum and didn't notice any change in quality of the game, except for the Features listed above.

You shouldn't expect many of the more advanced video card settings to work in EAW, the DirectX version of the game is too old (DX6) to take advantage of them on Modern Video Cards and there newer drivers. There is no current fix for this in any version of EAW (modified or stock). WindowOS uses DX6toDX9 backward compatibility as far as I can tell, which is not a perfect on the fly conversion, in some cases.

 

 

Wrapper Programs:
A workaround to gain some graphic features is to use a Wrapper Program. Some of those Wrappers up convert the DirectX version and actually allow more graphic card settings to work or they may use a Different Graphical API Renderer that supports more setting features. Some Wrapper programs may have similar graphical improvements built in. However, you will want to set them in your Video Control Panel first, then if that does not work, set them in the Wrapper program itself. This includes Edge AA, Full Screen AA and even Anisotropic Filtering. You may have to do these in an "Override Mode".

Wrappers can be a neat way to play your game at resolutions not available otherwise to you because of low FPS due to poor performance. (Although some wrappers may prove more demanding on your system).

If you don't want to play EAW in Direct3D mode Natively and prefer to use a Wrapper for reasons mentioned above, or another reason. You'll want to see my 'Troubleshoot Help Document' and read the section titled 'WRAPPER PROGRAM'. From there you can determine what they can do to help improve the video look and performance of EAW.

 

 

WIN10 GRAPHIC SETTINGS

This is to explain a newer feature of Windows 10 that supports specific game / program setting profiles to help improve the performance of said game or app.

 

In Windows 10 build 1803 (April 2018) introduced a new setting for games or programs that you may choose to configure, (you do not need to use this feature however). It appears to adjust your overall power usage and the video GPU device if your system has two of them (This is if your system is configured to allow you to use them separately). Most notable systems that do allow this are some laptops that have two GPUs installed, one on their motherboard as an on-board option (Integrated Graphics), while the other one can be separately installed; as in a Physical GPU.

This option just forces Windows to select the external GPU, the more powerful graphic device with all the power the profile can direct to it. You will find that this option always overrides power related settings configured in other Video Control Panels (you can however still use the Video Control Panel to make other adjustments).

Is there a performance increase, or a better compatibility to the older EAW game?
Unfortunately I didn't see any when I did a limited test with it (April2018). I prefer and suggest anyone comfortable with using their Video Control Panel, to configure a single profile just for eaw.exe files, and to stick with that to adjust power options for the game and video card. Keep an eye on this Windows Feature, perhaps Microsoft will improve its capabilities in the future, right now it seems like its duplicating some of your Video Control Panel settings from the video card software only. If you want to still use this Win10 optional feature, read on.


 

Configure Classic App EAW:
To get to these new settings Go to 'All Settings > System > Display, then click the 'Graphics Settings' link at the bottom of the page (below the 'Advanced display settings' link). Then there you can customize specific programs or games.

Choose "Classic app" (this is for any standard Win32 programs) and browse to the specific eaw.exe file location that you want to set a profile for. You will find once you select it, Windows has it set as "System Default" graphical preference already. So click options and select 'High Performance', this runs the application (eaw.exe) on the most capable GPU, which is most of the time an external or discrete graphics processor / card.

 

NOTES:

No Use For Universal App:
There also is the "Universal app" setting, (This one will only allow you to select Microsoft Store apps), No use for EAW, so there is no need to bother with this one.


MB Video And Discrete Video:
(Ironically I have an onboard ATI GPU on the motherboard, but the options for Power Saving GPU and High Performance GPU, indicate my external NVIDIA GPU Only for both. Its unclear to me if you need to have two Monitors hooked up to the different outputs of the devices to get them to show in the list)...

 

 

WIN10 GAMING MODE SETTING

Windows 10 optimizes the Windows System for Play. This works sorta like a Turbo Mode software optimizer by stopping notifications, virus scanners, windows update and some services from running during your game play. It also is directing more cycles from the CPU and GPU for your game.

Its not anything super special. But it may help in stabilizing EAW FPS during play. Instead of highly radical changing frames per second over short spurts of play, they should be consistent.

This is set ON by default and is better suited for systems where resources are at a minimum, like low end systems or standard laptops, within reason. Powerhouse computers systems will most likely only notice a small helping as background tasks will normally work unnoticeably anyhow.
 

To Turn OFF Or ON:
Goto Settings> Gaming> Game Mode. Flip the setting.

You may want to try setting it OFF, as there is a possibility to effect games negatively too. See what's best for your system.

 

 

 

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