Step 5 - Setting in-game preferences from the launcher
Now, the fun part
Hit the features tab in the Launcher. Probably it will look confusing to you at first, but it's relatively easy to use, once you got the hang of it. From here, you can control ANY of Freespace 2 open's features and individually decide to turn them on or off. If you leave everything on default, Freespace2 open should act and play exactly like retail FS2.
If you enable any of these options you may need extra artwork and files. These files can be found in the thread "SCP - The Files"
You can select the feature category in the "List Type" menu. Here's a brief explanation of all features and what they do:
-spec "Enable Specular"
Enables specular highlighting (aka shinemapping)
Using this flag, FS2 ships will have a more realistic lighting applied. In any case, you should definately give it a try - it's probably the most visible change ever made by the SCP. However, if you plan on using this feature, it is recommended you install a set of corresponding shinemaps (check "SCP - The Files"
) for optimal looks. If no shinemap is found, Freespace 2 open will use the base texture as a shinemap, which, in some cases, can look pretty bad. This feature is definately recommended for anyone.
-glow "Enable Glowmaps"
Using the glowmaps flag, FS2 can have a seperate layer of textures (so called glowmaps) which are rendered at full brightness all the time. This allows lights and glowing parts on ships. You will need a set of glowmaps for this flag to make any visual difference whatsoever. Check "SCP - The Files"
for more information. This feature is another must - it will cause no slow-down worth mentioning but provides a vast visual upgrade.
-pcx32 "Enable 32-bit Textures"
Increases texture and interface quality - may cause slowdowns
Loads images used in Freespace into 32-bit rather than 16-bit structures, resulting in an improvement in texture and especially interface quality. Note that this does not enable 32-bit PCX file support; in order to load 32-bit textures, you must use JPG and TGA files (See -jpgtga). This flag also has no effect on ANIs. Using this flag will make images take up twice as much space as before; if you have a small amount of video card memory or RAM, this may cause slowdowns. It should also be used in conjunction with 32-bit mode, else the difference will not be easily seen. Currently this flag only works in D3D but theres no reason OGL wont follow soon.
-jpgtga "Enable jpg,tga Textures"
Allows Freespace2open to load 32-bit textures
Allows the use of JPG and TGA as well as DDS files to be loaded as textures. Obviously, this requires extra artwork, which can be found in "SCP - The Files"
. This is a must for people who want to use any of the new eye-candy.
-d3dmipmap "Enable mipmapping"
Better graphics quality over distances - may cause slowdowns
This flag is best used in combination with HT&L (enabled by default), it smoothes textures of 3D objects depending on how far away they are, this leads to less flickering of pixels. The disadvantage of using this is that it takes more memory because it has to generate and store smaller versions of textures used in 3D space to blend between. However once this is done far away ships need only use textures of a size that suits their distance so only small texture may be shifted in memory which will takes less time. The effect on performance will depend on the bottlenecks of your system. In most cases however, it causes a horrific slowdown. This is normally NOT recommended.
-cell "Enable Cell Shading"
Cellshading only works in software rendering mode (no HTL). Cellshading is a different lighting system for textures, making your game look like a cartoon. While not suitable for normal FS2 or most MODs, it is an interesting feature for some of the non-realistic MODs in development. Do not activate this.
-dualscanlines "Another pair of lines when scanning"
Modifies scan effect slightly
Changes the scan effect in the targeting computer to have secondary horizontal and vertical lines.
-ship_choice_3D "Enable models instead of ANI"
Actual ship models rather than ANIs are displayed in Ship Selection. Not recommended.
-targetinfo "Enable info next to target"
Shows info next to target
Shows info on the current target, such as name or type, to the right of the actual ship (if it is onscreen). This is a pretty neat feature - no harm in turning it on
-nomotiondebris "Disable motion debris"
Removes motion debris
Removes what appear to be small rocks, which appear during a mission. These were in vanilla Freespace 2 to give the impression of motion, but look completely unrealistic. This feature is recommended if you do not use any special debris art (see "SCP - The Files"
-2d_poof "Stops fog intersect hull"
Stops fog to intersect hull
If 2d_poof is checked, the nebula whisps (in a full nebula mission) will be rendered in 2D instead of 3D. This will prevent them from causing ugly cutting edges when you get close to larger ships. While slowing down the nebula rendering, this is an extreme boost to visual quality.
-orbradar "Enables 3D radar"
Different radar system for Freespace2open
If checked, you will have a 3D sphere as a radar, instead of FS2's 2D view. This may or may not be to your liking, best thing to do is to try it.