[Help Please] Wing Commander 3 - Win95 Question

nitromon

Rear Admiral
Hi,

I have the old DOS version of Wing Command 3. A while back I downloaded a conversion patch to upgrade it to Win 95. I think it was from GOG.COM. It works great and all, but I want to run this on widescreen without the black bars on the two sides.

I read around this website and others I can google, seems like people only talk about the DOSBOX version. Even in the Wing Commander Saga section, seems like nobody ever talk about the Win95 version. Is there any way I can run the Win 95 version of Wing Commander 3 in widescreen?

Thank you so much!

Jeff

[EDIT] My apologies. I was reading the Wing Commander Saga, and somehow got it posted here. I think it belongs in tech support. If the admins wouldn't mind moving it, that'll be great. Thanks! My bad.
 
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Stinger

Vice Admiral
You don't want to do that.

The game has no concept of alternative aspect ratios. Further, since it's software-rendered, there's no way for you to trick it into using a different resolution for rendering, unlike some games built with "modern" 3D hardware-accelerated graphics. This means that there are only two ways to fill the screen, and both are awful: You can stretch the image (distorting everything horizontally), or you can crop it (cutting off the top and bottom). Either way, you'll have a terrible experience.

Proper support for widescreen would have required a lot of work (and preternatural foresight!) on the part of the game developers, with extended or alternative imagery for all of the cockpits and carrier locations, among other things. The game was designed at a time when there were no widescreen monitors. The black bars allow you to experience the game as it was meant to be played.
 

nitromon

Rear Admiral
Thanks for the reply, that's really too bad. I really hate those black bars.

On another note, has anyone been able to force the GPU to improve the graphics? For example, using Nvidia Inspector to do some AA or something? I suppose since it is software-rendered, these tricks won't work?
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Correct, none of that is possible with a software-rendered game.
That's kind of half true. For example, if he is running the Kilrathi Saga versions with DDhack (or even the GOG version in dosbox for that matter) you can apply various post processing fixes to the game that scale up the resolution and then smooth out the game's blockiness. The caveat is that it smooths *everything* so text gets a bit blobby. Whether you think this actually looks better or just plain blurry is subjective I suppose.
 
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Stinger

Vice Admiral
You're right, I was a little too categorical. Post-processing the image is certainly doable, and can even produce reasonable results, but it's not the same as turning on anti-aliasing in a graphics driver or actually increasing the resolution of the game.
 

nitromon

Rear Admiral
I have the original cds and was originally running it in dosbox then I found out about the Win95 patch and ddhack. The win95 patch w/ ddhack does make the game run way smoother, better FPS, etc.. but then it loses all the functions I can use in dosbox.

It is too bad, Nvidia drivers nowadays have a lot of cool stuff in there to use. With WC Prophecy, I applied 8xMSAA with 8xSGSSAA with HBAO+ and it is just gorgeous. I would love to be able to do that to WC3 or WC4, even if the resolution is low res.
 
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