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NT Outlaws
Lemme jus' preface this by sayin' that I won't be playin' Outlaws in NT 'cause there are jus' too many problems. So don't getcher hopes up 'cause yer in fer a bit of a let down if you were hopin' ta find out how ta get Outlaws goin' in Windows NT.

Our Story...

I've got Windows NT 4.0, with Service Pack 3 installed. I even reinstalled th' Pack after installin' Outlaws (after testin' it first) but th' reinstall didn't fix any of th' bugs I'll get to. Anyhow th' Outlaws installation went pretty smoothly, includin' installin' th' 1.1 an' 2.0 patches. There were two 'lil hitches at this point...

  • Doin' th' DirectX install that it prompts ya for is probably a bad idea since Service Pack 3 comes with an NT version of DirectX 3 which should work. I didn't notice anything bad come of installin' th' DirectX drivers off th' Outlaws CD though. But when I reinstalled th' game again it'd always jus' sorta instantly say "DirectX Installation Successful" even though it didn't copy any files, an' even though some of th' DirectX components weren't verified. Hmm.
  • After installin' an runnin' th' Outlaws config I could only select 2 resolutions fer th' DirectDraw driver: 640x480 and 800x600. Th' lack of lores modes (like 320x240) really hurt th' game performance unless I shrunk th' screen down a lot, which sucks in my opinion. I'd rather run a big chunky screen than a small sharp screen. I think this problem stems from my AGP-V3000's NT video driver, but durned if I know how ta add those screen modes.

NT: Single Player

I decided ta try single player mode first, 'cause there are a lot less system components involved than in multiplayer. I wus shocked 'cause th' game actually started, th' intro movie played, th' level loaded, an' there I was runnin' around gunnin' down varmints in Windows NT! Whoo-hoo!

Th' only fly in my ointment at this point was th' aforementioned hires video restriction. I didn't really care though 'cause sound, th' controls (even my 3rd mouse button) an' everythin' was workin' jus' dandy. I finished th' first level, gunned down most've th' fellers on th' second level, an' then, havin' worked my courage up against those AI pansies, decided 'ta try...

NT: Multiplayer

Now I knew this wasn't gonna be as smooth-sailin' as single player, 'cause Win95 an' NT have a lot of differences when it comes 'ta usin' modems an' th' Internet. But my single player success was encouragin', so I selected multiplayer, chose Windows Sockets an' TCP/IP, entered in th' IP of th' DOOMINATOR's dedicated Outlaws server an' held my breath. An' then... nothin' happened. It couldn't connect to th' host fer some reason. Nuts.

I wasn't licked yet though. Mebbe DOOMy just didn't have his server up. So I task-switched back ta th' desktop an' went inta Kali. There was a game IP posted in th' Outlaws channel, so I went back ta Outlaws, started up a Winsock join, an' then saw that my name was entered as "HOMER" which is my computer's default. So I went ta change that ta Paleface... an' couldn't. I couldn't backspace. Arg. Well then I decided ta swallow my pride an' went ahead an' clicked "join." Then I tried ta enter in th' IP from Kali an'... still couldn't backspace. I couldn't erase DOOMy's IP ta enter in th' new one! O, th' frustration of bein' held up by one little malfunctioning key!

Well, I could still try DOOMy's game again, jus' fer th' helluvit. And this time it said "Game Found!" But when I hit "details" it froze fer a second an' then popped up "." Crud. Tryin' ta join th' game got nowhere. DOOMy's ping coulda been real bad, but I think NT has a problem with Outlaws Winsock connections. There was only one thing left ta try, an' it wasnt' gonna be pretty...

NT: Multiplayer - Round 2

I had a feelin' that while I couldn't backspace ta clear th' Winsock IP entry field, I would be able to do so in th' Directplay setup 'cause it uses a standard window. So I hosted a Directplay game an' rounded up Supertone an' DirtyDon from Kali. After a bit've th' usual confusion surroundin' th' virtual domain name Directplay setup, they both managed ta join my game!

So there I was hostin' a multiplayer Outlaws game in NT! Neat! Th' graphics were still stuck in hires, an' it was a laggy Directplay game rather than Winsock, but there it was. We played around fer a bit an' everythin' seemed ta work jus' like a normal laggy Directplay game with the exception of me still not bein' able ta use backspace or shifted characters in th' chat window, so I got pretty incoherent.

Oh yeah there was one other graphical bug: th' colors got a bit scrambled on th' DirectDraw screens after I task-switched out ta Kali an' then back in again. I wuz seein' bright cyan instead'a dark reds, an' when I used th' gatlin' gun (jus' fer testin' purposes, I swear!) th' muzzle flash wuz bright green. Ey-ewww. It didn't render th' screen illegible, but it wasn't too pretty.

Not Quite Ready fer NT

Well Supertone lagged out after a bit, Doc got sick of me an' that wuz that. I didn't really feel th' urge ta play any more Outlaws in NT 'cause of all th' 'lil problems involved. Oh yeah, Logitech's Mouseware doesn't work in NT so I couldn't use mouse acceleration, which is th' real secret of my success heh. So all in all Outlaws is a big pain in th' bottom in NT, at least fer me. My dear Big Nose Kate tried it in NT as well but gave up when she couldn't get th' 1.1 patch 3dfx drivers ta work in NT with her Righteous Orchid video card. She's a fragile soul, an' can't stand ugliness.

So but fer a number of minor bugs surroundin' Winsock, DirectDraw an' th' keyboard input, Outlaws works in NT. Th' problems seem small enough that they could be fixed with a patch... I know I'm ignorant of these things, but heck th' game engine itself works great under NT. But until that patch comes out (an' I aint' about ta start holdin' my breath) I'll be keepin' Win95 on my second hard drive.

Addendum: Performance increase in NT

Finally got around ta doin' a 'lil framerate comparison between Outlaws 95 an' Outlaws NT on my system (P2 233mHz, 64mb RAM, ASUS RIVA AGP-V3000 video card, 1.04 95/NT drivers). Tested it like so: 640x480 DirectDraw resolution, default view size, 2.0 patch installed. Started a single-player game and entered th' first level. Didn't move, only rotated view.

  • Framerates in Windows 95
    • lookin' straight ahead:
      20 fps
    • turned left to aim at th' far post of th' visible porch:
      20 fps
    • turned left again to look down alley behind building, fence on left:
      23 fps
  • Framerates in Windows NT
    • lookin' straight ahead:
      27 fps
    • turned left to aim at th' far post of th' visible porch:
      22 fps
    • turned left again to look down alley behind building, fence on left:
      29 fps

So basically we're lookin' at a performance increase of between 10 an' 25 percent. That's huge! 'Specially when you consider that this is on an OS that's not even officially supported by th' game. I want that NT patch so bad I kin TASTE IT!

Whut does an NT patch taste like? I dunno. Full-bodied, I'm sure. Hopefully it'd also be able ta solve a small lil' bug that freezes up th' computer by constantly accessin' th' hard-drive on very infrequent and unpredictable occassions.

Addendum: Voodoo Graphics in NT

It's worth noting that if you have a 3dfx Voodoo card, Outlaws should perform perfectly from a graphics perspective under Windows NT, with graphics performance identical to that seen with Voodoo acceleration in Windows 9x.


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 file   NT   Outlaws tries out a better OS.