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Old 08-09-2011, 06:35 AM   #1
theagentd
 
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Improving the graphics slightly

A lot of people have been complaining about the graphics settings of this game, most notably screen resolution. While I haven't come up with a way to force a higher resolution, there are still ways of improving the graphics. Considering the very low system requirements of this game, there are lots of potential.

Note: I have only used NVidia graphics cards, but these settings should be easy to enabled in Catalyst Control Center for ATI cards too.

The first and most obvious step is to start the Recettear configuration tool and set FPS limit and screen resolution to max. It would have been awesome if it was possible to set screen resolution to 1600x1200, as most 1920x1080p monitors have support for this resolution in fullscreen, but just set it to 1280x960. I also recommend enabling "Show FPS Counter" if you do not have any other program (Fraps for example) to show the FPS.

This game has at least some 3D graphics and they are obviously suffering from aliasing, even more so due to the low screen resolution. The game is also simple enough to render directly to the screen back buffer, so it is possible to enable anti-aliasing from your graphics driver without a custom profile for this specific game made by NVidia/ATI.

Considering the system requirements of the game, any semi-decent gaming graphics card can enable any anti-aliasing setting available to you. Using 32x CSAA on NVidia cards and 8xMSAA on ATI cards (practically the same quality and performance cost) is easily handled by today's cards. However, these would only improve the edges of the 3D graphics.

The thing I think look the worst in this game is the contrast between the 3D graphics and the 2D sprites. Both look good individually, but when put next to each other they don't blend in good together. Improving the 3D will only make the sprites stand out more. The 2D sprites only use nearest-neighbor filtering (looks pixelated) which causes them to shimmer a lot. This is VERY easily seen on Tear when she is in the shop, as she slowly levitates up and down.

There is a cheap trick to improving the sprites slightly: Supersampling. This will essentially render the game at a larger resolution and then downsample it to screen resolution. This does not improve the screen resolution, and the 3D edge improvement is almost the same as MSAA, it does however improve texture filtering a lot, completely eliminating all shimmering. It also provides some very minor anti-aliasing to sprite edges and also improves alpha-tested surfaces slightly (the shop door's window for example).

For NVidia cards, you can enable fullscreen Sparse Grid SSAA using 2 different methods, either using the NVidia Control Panel and the NVidia SSAA tool, or using the 3rd party program NVidia Inspector. I strongly recommend the Inspector as it is a lot more powerful than the Control Panel. If you use the SSAA tool you will have to enable it every time you want to play Recettear and remember to turn it of when you play other games.

Either way, using either Inspector or the Control Panel create a profile for Recettear and point it to recettear.exe located in \Steam\steamapps\common\recettear\ . All the following settings should be applied to the Recettear profile, not the global profile.

If you're using Inspector:

1. Apply the following settings:
- Antialiasing - Mode to "Override any application setting"
- Antialiasing - Setting to "8xQ [8x Multisampling]"
- Antialiasing - Transparency Supersampling to "8x Sparse Grid Supersampling"
- Anisotropic filtering mode to "User-defined / Off"
- Anisotropic filtering setting to "16x"
- OPTIONAL: Texture filtering - LOD bias to "-2.000" (counters the very slight blurring of SSAA)

2. REMEMBER TO CLICK "Apply changes" TO SAVE THE SETTINGS!!!

3. Play Recettear!! Settings are automatically enabled in Recettear only!


If you are using the Control Panel:

1. Apply the following settings:
- Antialiasing - Mode to "Override any application setting"
- Antialiasing - Setting to "8xQ"
- Anisotropic filtering to "16x"

2. Press the "Apply" button.

3. Download the NVidia SSAA tool from NVidia's official website: http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2624

4. Start it, choose "8x supersampling everywhere" and press "Apply SSAA".

5. Play Recettear! Remember to disable SSAA with the SSAA tool when you are done playing!!!

Q/A:

Q: You forgot ATI cards!
A: Not a question.

Q: You forgot ATI cards?
A: No, but I do not own a Radeon card so I am unable to provide a tutorial for it. All settings listed above (SSAA, Anisotropic Filtering, probably LOD bias too) are available in Catalyst Control Center. Just enable the settings you want and start the game. Then remember to turn them off again when you're done. xd

Q: How do I know if it's working?
A:
- When you have started the game, open the Steam overlay. All text should be slightly blurry and "rounder". This is caused by SSAA, and obviously means it's working.
- When in Recettear (the shop) look at the 3D walls. If you can see any jaggies something is very wrong.
- Probably the easiest way to see if everything is looking at Tear in the shop. She will fly around and when she stops, she will levitate up and down on the spot. Without SSAA she will shimmer a lot due to low quality texture filtering, with SSAA she will not shimmer at all.

Q: What cards can I do this on?
A: NVidia cards: 8000 series+, these settings are extremely costly performance wise. They require approximately 8x the graphics performance of your computer. Fortunately the requirements for Recettear is low to begin with. A GTX 260 is enough to stay at constant 60 FPS. A GTX 460M (laptop) is more than enough as well. Pretty much any not-ancient card should be able to handle at least 4xSSAA (use 4x for AA setting and supersampling setting), which looks almost as good.
I am not sure which Radeon cards support SSAA. Performance-wise anything above a HD48xx series card should be more than enough, but I do not know if the HD4xxx series support SSAA.


Feedback preferred! =D
 
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