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Spinesplitter

Open GL mode or Software mode?

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Spinesplitter said:

...open gl mode makes the sprites look too flat.

Most (all?) OpenGL source ports provide options to change how sprites are drawn. You can have them aligned to the view plane, just like the software renderer if you wish.

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DaniJ said:

Most (all?) OpenGL source ports provide options to change how sprites are drawn. You can have them aligned to the view plane, just like the software renderer if you wish.


That's how I have it. I use either GLBoom+ or GZDoom, openGL in both and have all unfiltered sprites/flats, so nice and pixelated. Filtered/smoothed sprites look so bad IMO.

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DaniJ said:

Most (all?) OpenGL source ports provide options to change how sprites are drawn. You can have them aligned to the view plane, just like the software renderer if you wish.

Properly doing it like the software renderer would require some overdraw because they actually "bleed" into the floor and ceiling.

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Gez said:

Properly doing it like the software renderer would require some overdraw because they actually "bleed" into the floor and ceiling.

There's an option to disable that too,"sprite clipping". I am a fan of GZDoom's OGL and that's what I always use. Software looks bulky and it has bad freelook.

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The way GZDoom does it, it simply tweaks the sprite offsets.

I coded the "smarter" option there because I wanted very small sprites (e.g. a pool of blood) to show, but didn't want larger sprites (e.g. a torch) to seem like they're levitating a few inches above the ground.

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ducon said:

Software, I prefer big pixels rather than ugly blur.


This. Though some mods can look well with very minimal GL settings. GL takes away the classic feel and makes competitive game mdoes feel like cheating (when you can see lights from* pellets and projectiles, or have sector look like it has (max) 255 brightness). Besides, 3D floors can be added to the software renderer these days... :)

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ducon said:

Software, I prefer big pixels rather than ugly blur.



Strange that this gets mentioned so often even though all GL ports can switch the texture filtering off.

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Graf Zahl said:

Strange that this gets mentioned so often even though all GL ports can switch the texture filtering off.

Shhh we don't want them knowing that.

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i like how opengl looks and how much customizability it allows, so i prefer it for watching demos, but it feels pretty bad for actual playing. i play doom on a fairly crappy laptop and ogl is all sluggish and weird, so it'd cost me frags/flags online. it also loads up for ages, so recording my favourite uv-speeds is totally out of the question. one of the reasons i play doom is that i don't spend more time watching load screens than actually playing.

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I am constantly trying to decide which one is better. So here is a (not complete but still very long) list of what I think about both:

Why NOT software:

  1. No true color. It is limited to 256-color palette
  2. (because of 1.) No full color textures and sprites.
  3. (because of 1.) Colored lighting, fog and other non-stock color manipulation effects have to be rounded to palette so they are worse than in OpenGL.
  4. (because of 1.) Some textures and levels seem to look ugly because of palette (even stock ones - see true color doom thread).
  5. Distant textures look flashing and pixelated. No mipmapping and anisotropic filtering to fix this.
  6. Edges look pixelated. No Anti-aliasing to fix this (I think it is possible to add MLAA to software renderer but there are no ports with such feature AFAIK).
  7. Near textures look pixelated. No texture filtering to fix this. (not really a point because no one seems to like filtered textures, including me :) )
  8. Freelook distorts image. OpenGL has true freelook.
  9. Particles are square.
  10. ZDoom's forced transparency of stock Doom actors looks bad in software rendering. No problem in more purist ports.
Why NOT OpenGL (or Direct3D or whatever other hardware rendering API):
  1. No colormaps. Colormaps remap palette to emulate sector brightness and near "fog" in 256-color palette. There seems to be no way to really emulate colormap while saving OpenGL features.
  2. (because of 1.) Most maps are designed for software renderer. It usually means they need colormaps to look good.
  3. (because of 1.) IMHO jDoom's colormap emulation is better that GZDoom's.
  4. No true sprite "bleeding". Ports have to emulate it by changing sprite height if they don't want to cut sprites' bottoms.
  5. Dynamic lights can be seen through walls thus revealing secrets and monsters.
  6. GZDoom does not provide enough fake contrast and global sector brightness from shooting weapons in OpenGL mode. glBoom does.
  7. It requires an actual video card to be playable.
So I can't decide. Both are bad :).

I just fell like software looks great on screenshots but OpenGL looks better in motion. And I generally get more fun while playing in OpenGL despite knowing that it is not the "right" way to play Doom.

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eiUACei said:

it is not the "right" way to play Doom.



Despite many claims to the contrary, there is no 'right' way to play Doom. What does constitute proper lighting? Even the software renderer's was subject to the gamma correction feature - and that had much more severe effects than OpenGL - so anyone stating that there's precisely one correct way for Doom to look is flat out wrong

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No OpenGL port to date has been able to emulate the software renderer to a degree that most of the original levels look good. There's always some idiosyncrasy that makes it look strange or bad.

1) Curving the sky into a sphere, even if the sky is composed of mountains.
2) Lack of depth brightness, making the lighting look flat and boring.
3) Unwillingness to do Doom's "Fake contrast" system to give angular walls more definition.
4) Inability to emulate the gun sprite being slightly brighter than the environment it's standing in.
5) Sprite cutoff for taller sprites which would normally extend into the ceiling (revenants). This is just something that OpenGL simply can't do.
6) Poor performance on even some newer laptops and netbooks.

I'm not bothered by software's freelook because
1) The "stretching effect" is barely noticable at Heretic/Hexen's original freelook limits.
2) There is rarely a reason to look up/down that far in Doom engine games, and even then vertical hitscans are buggy, so what's the point?

No true color. It is limited to 256-color palette

There is apparently a flood of software ports that will be able to do just that. Unfortunately, they won't be as advanced as ZDoom.

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Software because my machine's too old fashioned to run the GL ports as well as all the other youtube frubbers somehow frapsing gzdoom at two billion frames per second

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OpenGL, I like the look of it better, even in GLBoom. Truth be told, my eyes can't handle software mode all that well anymore, so that plays a part.

GZDoom looks gorgeous to me ; and, yes, I use filters. If other people think it's crap or not the right way, more power to them. Doesn't change my enjoyment of the game one iota. ;)

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eiUACei said:

  • Dynamic lights can be seen through walls thus revealing secrets and monsters.

  • It is very easy to turn those off.

    Wagi said:

    3) Unwillingness to do Doom's "Fake contrast" system to give angular walls more definition.

    As far as I know there's an option for that too. Sorry for double-post, but it's hard to quote more persons in a single post.

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    killer2 said:

    It is very easy to turn those off.


    Or use a port with better dlight support. While a closed door doesn't block a dlight in GZDoom, it does in Doomsday.

    Though no port AFAIK has perfect handling of dlights in the world; you can make dlights appear places they shouldn't in any port.

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    Open GL with texture filtering off. I really like being able to look up and down without it being faked, but I also like big square pixels.

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    software @ 320x200, in vanilla port. I find higher resolutions look weird, and additional effects distracting, or just plain ugly. The worst are the polygon engines, which of course is pretty much every game these days.

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    Wagi said:

    Lack of depth brightness, making the lighting look flat and boring.

    Doomsday, Risen3D and EDGE all emulate this. EDGE's implementation in particular is extremely faithful to vanilla.

    Unwillingness to do Doom's "Fake contrast" system to give angular walls more definition.

    Doomsday, Risen3D and GZDoom all emulate this.

    Inability to emulate the gun sprite being slightly brighter than the environment it's standing in.

    Doomsday and PrBoom+ both emulate this.

    Sprite cutoff for taller sprites which would normally extend into the ceiling (revenants). This is just something that OpenGL simply can't do.

    While current OpenGL ports don't emulate this, this does not mean it isn't possible. However its complicated...

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    I only use software mode, just out of habit. I used doomsday way back when I started playing again in 2004 (it helped rekindle my love for doom), but then I went online with zdaemon (software) and haven't gone back to GL since. I don't really have any beefs with GL, I'm just so used to software now.

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    In the old days of 486 computers and 14" monitors Doom looked just gorgeous. But then, there was nothing else, so one got used to it.
    Nowadays though, when one can compare ...

    Phml said:

    OpenGL, I like the look of it better, even in GLBoom. Truth be told, my eyes can't handle software mode all that well anymore, so that plays a part.

    GZDoom looks gorgeous to me ; and, yes, I use filters. If other people think it's crap or not the right way, more power to them. Doesn't change my enjoyment of the game one iota. ;)


    My sentiments as well.

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    Software looks better to me in most maps, but it's not because of an inherent limit in GL rendering. It's more, I think, due to keeping too closely to trying to emulate how Doom's lighting worked and not really being able to get there, ending up in some weird limbo of true-color rendering that still has chunky sector lighting.

    I've found that lighting that is completely fine in the software renderer tends to look flat and lifeless in GL (and as a result, so do the textures themselves) unless the map was very carefully designed to take advantage of true color rendering's strengths; conversely I think most maps just end up playing to GL's weaknesses, including a lot of the currently-released maps maps that require it.

    Sector lighting in GL tends to look chunky even when it's gradiented pretty thoroughly, and unfortunately GZDoom's dynamic lights aren't capable enough to close the gap and be used by themselves, and maps that attempt this tend to look rather drab: dark rooms with blob lights alone do not a good map make.

    I do quite like the appearance of Doomsday's renderer (fake radiosity, yay) and its BIAS lighting system sounds like a promising solution to the old problem of sector lighting in a true-color renderer, but updates to the port have seemingly been in development hell since like 2003, now. :(

    Doom64EX is one obvious case where GL works. The game's resources were all designed around the renderer's abilities (and/or vice versa :P), and the altered map format is directly built around its lighting system, which has little to no relation to how lighting is set up in standard Doom maps. It admittedly still takes a lot of sectors to get the floor/ceiling lighting to look as smooth as the walls so easily do, though :P

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    esselfortium said:

    I do quite like the appearance of Doomsday's renderer (fake radiosity, yay) and its BIAS lighting system sounds like a promising solution to the old problem of sector lighting in a true-color renderer, but updates to the port have seemingly been in development hell since like 2003, now. :(

    To nitpick; 2005 was the last stable release. There have however been numerous (admittedly beta) releases since then. In fact, Doomsday now uses an automated build system that generates new official builds twice a week.

    You are right about Doomsday 2.0 having been in development a very long time indeed however. We are getting there though.

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    DaniJ said:

    Doomsday, Risen3D and GZDoom all emulate this.

    GZDoom barely does this. Graf said it looked unnatural.

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    I quite like the additional vibrancy of software rendering. Particularly when compared to how two dimensional the textures, flats and sprites look in OpenGL, due to it being a full 3D environment.

    So, given the choice, it's software for me. If a mod I want to play needs OpenGL, I will use it though.

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    Software.

    My main beef with Open Gl is that it doesn't display many of the fake 3D effects from Vanilla correctly. Some rooms that look fine in software mode are covered with HOMs and other errors in GL Mode. Gzdoom fixes some of these problems, but there are still things (such as Boom compatible transparent floors)that don't work.

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