[D2 v1.2 DOS] Flash Missile white out
#1
[Originally posted on the Descent Rangers forum. Hawkins recommended I make a bug report here as well, but I'm not certain it's a Rebirth bug...It could be some sort of driver glitch, like the black screenshot thing reported a while back.]

Today, Verran and I were in a free-for-all with several other pilots. Every time a Flash Missile would hit him or Flip directly, their screen would white out completely, rendering even simple navigation impossible. Dravis and I, on the other hand, didn't have this problem and couldn't understand what was the matter. This discrepancy piqued Verran's and my interest, and we each took some screenshots to confirm that our Flashes were performing differently:

descent_2_flash_test.zip

Files in the ZIP:
  • "flash_ryusei_d2_*.png": As a baseline, I ran MS-DOS D2 in DOSBox and took some shots of Flashes hitting me at different angles. All shots were taken milliseconds after a Flash hit me (whatever my reaction rate was). It seems Flashes don't need to hit a player's windshield to blind them fully--hitting the ship's flank worked just fine.
  • "flash_ryusei_d2x_rebirth.png": This is what I see in D2X-Rebirth when a single Flash pegs me in the face. Again, taken ASAP after the Flash hit me. Seems virtually identical to the MS-DOS game.
  • "flash_verran_d2x_rebirth.png": This is Verran's white out. Same circumstances as "flash_ryusei_d2x_rebirth.png". All that is visible is a few pixels of...something...near the top left.
  • "flash_ryusei_mod_*.png": Verran tried modifying the source code to reduce the Flash intensity, but it didn't make much of a difference on his screen. We both ran his modified executable, and in these images, he rained Flashes on my ship while I took a slideshow of screenshots. The mod reduced the Flash intensity on my screen, despite it having no noticeable effect on Verran's.

We experimented with various game options, such as HUD mode, resolution, texture filtering, transparency, colored lighting, and multisampling--since I usually play in nostalgia mode and cockpit HUD, while Verran keeps the graphics modern with fullscreen HUD. (EDIT: Also, both of us were using the OpenGL build, not the software renderer.) None of these options consistently changed the Flash intensity. There were a couple random instances in which I got full white out just like Verran, but I have no clue what caused it.

So...we're stumped as to why this issue affects certain players, but others get the correct behavior. Could it be a problem with certain GPU drivers? Mine is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M in an Optimus setup. Verran's is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 460. We might run more tests in the future, but we'd also like to hear everyone else's thoughts on this.
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[D2 v1.2 DOS] Flash Missile white out - by Ryusei117 - 08-05-2013, 03:27 AM

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