Having problems figuring out how to play.

Downloaded this last night, looks interesting... but I can't figure out how to play, really. The interface is simple enough, but actually figuring out what the heck's on my screen is bewildering. Took me twenty minutes to realize that there were two different types of terrain, and one of them, my squads could walk on, the other... they went a little ways into and stopped, except for the occasional time when they didn't. And except they didn't really stop, they just kinda milled around aimlessly, further confusing me since there was no demarcation of any sort to indicate that they'd hit a barrier.

Trying to get my squads to fire grenades, sometimes they go flying far, sometimes they land right next to them and blow up my squad, no matter where the cursor is aimed. In the same spot, they won't go over terrain that previously has been easy to walk across.

Can't see the viruses when they're on a white terrain without zooming wayyyyy out til all I can see is the viruses and the basic shape of the level.

So. Is this a performance issue? I poked at the graphics settings, nothing seemed to change significantly, (except it was harder to see anything at all on low settings). Is this a comprehension error; do I need a better tutorial? Is there.... wind, or something, blowing around my grenades and units? Or is the game just buggy? (Not something I'd generally expect from Ambrosia, at least not by the fourth version.)

Honestly, what you are describing does not sound like the game that I have played. I don't remember any white terrain, except in my own mod, and that was done intentionally, in order to make virii hard to see. Any chance that you could post a screenshot of what you are seeing? It should look like this:

Posted Image

In terms of terrain, the terrain is not two dimensional. It is, in fact, three dimensional. Squads cannot go up steep slopes, and their 'nades will bounce off of hills and other obstructions. They are not very good at firing up hill.


....huh. That does look a lot more playable.

Here are a couple screenshots from the Containment level.


The black lines aren't usually visible while I'm playing, unless I look at something complicated.

Would this indicate a performance issue, then? I'm using a 733 mhz G4 with 640 meg of RAM, and a geforce2 MX graphics card. I assumed since I could handle Warcraft III I could handle this, but perhaps I was mistaken.



Find your preferences file and find a preference called RenderLandscapeMode (or something like that, I can't quite remember!). If it's set to 2, set it to 0. Otherwise, set it to 2.

Run the game again. Failing that, delete your preferences and try again.

That is really strange. I have seen that happen, but not since some of the later betas, and at that time, the solution was to change the landscape detail, which you say you have already done. There is one other thing that you might try: in your preferences file, there is a line that goes like this:

RenderLandscapeMode = 2

The numbers 0, 1, and 2 are valid options. The file is located in ~/Library/Application Support/Darwinia/ (then in either full/ or demo/, obviously depending on what you are using).

I would also recommend running Software Update, and making sure that your system is up-to-date.


Thanks for the help. Changing the setting produced something that looks more playable, but I'm not certain it's entirely fixed. Here's what it looks like now:


Is that as expected?


Edit- System is up to date. Running 10.3.9.

This post has been edited by Zair : 23 December 2007 - 02:03 PM

I'll bypass the expected "Upgrade to Tiger or Leopard" comment to say that that's a big improvement, but that looks like a buggy driver.

Okay... The Darwinia page says I need 10.2 or better and a G3 or better. Really don't feel like updating to Tiger on a machine this old. Any ideas on how to fix a buggy driver? Game looks interesting enough to buy and play, but not if I can't get it to run reasonably well.

What graphics card are you using?


@zair, on Dec 23 2007, 02:35 PM, said in Having problems figuring out how to play.:

...a geforce2 MX graphics card...

prophile is correct, you should probably upgrade to Tiger. While the minimum OS is actually 10.2 on a G3, Darwinia doesn't run very well on older systems. I have a 1Ghz G4 PowerBook with a gig of RAM and 10.4, and it is still slow on more intensive levels. And that slowness seems to be CPU bound, rather than graphics bound. The slowdown does not make it unplayable, but it is a pain. The min specs listed really are the min specs, not recommended specs.


Hm. Slightly disappointing.

I'll get a new computer in a year or two and buy it then. Thanks for the help.