Mr. Potter and Windows 10

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Windows 10

On July 29, 2015, an updated operating system of the Windows family was released. This time it’s Windows 10. In this article, we’re seeing little by little the compatibility of Harry Potter games with the new operating system.

Today we upgraded from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 and tried to run previously installed games. DirectX, VC++ 2005,2008,2010 were installed under the previous system, before the update.
The games “Philosopher’s Stone” and “Chamber of Secrets” were configured using the “HP and Your PC” program: the game resolution was set to 1920×1080, the palette 32-bit colors, DirectDraw rendering mode disabled (Windows 8 compatibility mode). You can implement such a setting by going to the game settings tab, checking the checkboxes for changing the screen resolution, setting the values ​​for the image sizes of 1920 and 1080 pixels. Palette correction and turning off the rendering mode are performed automatically by the program.

Regarding the system itself, its behavior, in relation to games, is no different from its predecessor Windows 8 (8.1): the same nitpicking about the palette and DirectDraw in the first games and the same decisions, which suggests that it is still the same Windows 8, but with an unlocked and redesigned Start menu and a number of required services, like Onedrive enabled by default. No performance improvement was noticed on an ordinary computer – after all, the system remained the same, only a few new applications were added.

I laughed at the “Prisoner of Azkaban” mini-bug report, because it indicated the version of the system kernel as Windows NT 6.2, and this is Windows 8! For interest, here are the kernel versions of the latest releases of Windows systems: 6.0 – Windows Vista, 6.1 – Windows 7, 6.2 – Windows 8, 6.3 – Windows 8.1, 6.4 or 10 – Windows 10. As you can see, the developers of the system somehow did not work out with the latter , because the version of the older system is displayed.

Recall that Windows 7 is officially supported until 2020, Windows 8 (8.1) – until 2023. Accordingly, for at least another 4.5 years, you can safely use your favorite Windows 7 or Windows 8 (8.1) modified by craftsmen (there are ways to return the Start menu to it like in Windows 7 😉 )

As for our test computer – after finding out the cause of the problems in the Prisoner of Azkaban, we plan to roll back to the previous version of the system, since this one did not meet our expectations (our visitors may have a different opinion in this regard).

Well, now let’s move on to the games.

Briefly:

GameCompatibility
HP and Philosopher’s StoneInitially bad, but can be improved.
HP and Chamber of SecretsInitially bad, but can be improved.
HP and the Prisoner of AzkabanTerrible at first, but fixable. Especially if the system is newer than 2017.
HP and the Goblet of FireGood
HP and the Order of the PhoenixExcellent
HP and the Half-Blood PrinceExcellent
HP and the Deathly Hallows, both partsExcellent
Quidditch World CupGood
Lego Harry Potter: 1-4 yearsExcellent
Lego Harry Potter: 5-7 yearsExcellent

A more detailed description is given below.

HP and Philosopher’s Stone

As an example, a level with the participation of Argus Filch was chosen. Below is a passage of a fragment of this level. Our attentive visitors will easily find voice acting from Fargus and subtitles from Softclub.

If you try to run the game on a freshly installed system (without updating from a previous version), then you will experience the same problems as in Windows 8: terrible image quality, slowdown (with 16-bit color). Without the above settings, it is simply impossible to play or configure anything.

HP and Chamber of Secrets

At startup and gameplay, there is a noticeable slowdown in rendering scenes, which is partially compensated by turning on the debug mode and pressing the PageUp (acceleration) key.

When running the game on a freshly installed system (without upgrading from a previous version), Windows 8-specific issues occur: on launch, there are minor problems with the rendering of gradients on the opening splash screens of the game. The image is somewhat twitchy, somewhat grainy, the speaker’s voice is reproduced without problems. Mouse pointer stutters in the menu.

It is very difficult to set up and select anything in the game menu – the mouse pointer either slows down on purpose or hides at the edge of the screen.

It was more or less comfortable to use the menu only by switching the game to windowed mode.
The game slows down, it’s inconvenient to play.

HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban

When launching the game under a build prior to 1607*, the following error usually occurs:

No Label
OS: Windows NT 6.2 (Build: 9200)
CPU: GenuineIntel PentiumPro-class processor @ Clock frequency with RAM
Video: Video card name
LockRect failed: D3DERR_DEVICELOST
History: UD3DRenderDevice::ReadPixels <- UD3DRenderDevice:: Present <- UGameEngine:: Draw <- UWindowsViewport::Repaint <- UWindowsClient::Tick <- ClientTick <- UGameEngine::Tick <- UpdateWorld <- MainLoop

In newer builds, the game usually behaves much better and does not require changing the rendering parameters of the game world.

In order to start the game, you only need to change in hppoa.ini

RenderDevice=D3DDrv.D3DRenderDevice
;RenderDevice=Engine.NullRenderDevice
;RenderDevice=OpenGLDrv.OpenGLRenderDevice

to

;RenderDevice=D3DDrv.D3DRenderDevice
;RenderDevice=Engine.NullRenderDevice
RenderDevice=OpenGLDrv.OpenGLRenderDevice
(thereby switch the engine from DirectX to OpenGL)

You need to go to the save folder, find and open the hppoa.ini file for editing, go to the section [D3DDrv.D3DRenderDevice] and make the following changes:

[D3DDrv.D3DRenderDevice]
DetailTextures=False
HighDetailActors=False
SuperHighDetailActors=False
UsePrecaching=True
UseTrilinear=False
AdapterNumber=-1
ReduceMouseLag=False
UseTripleBuffering=False
UseHardwareTL=True
UseHardwareVS=True
UseCubemaps=False
DesiredRefreshRate=60
UseCompressedLightmaps=True
UseStencil=True
Use16bit=false
Use16bitTextures=False
MaxPixelShaderVersion=255
UseVSync=True
LevelOfAnisotropy=1
DetailTexMipBias=0.800000
DefaultTexMipBias=-0.500000
UseNPatches=False
TesselationFactor=1.000000
CheckForOverflow=False

The author of the recommendation advises making the same changes in the default.ini file (game installation folder, system). Reservation:

1. I made a backup copy of the file beforehand just in case. 2. The author of the post says DesiredRefreshRate=75. With this setting, in the first video, the characters spoke faster than usual. I exited the game and returned the original setting DesiredRefreshRate=60. The mission on the train was a success! 3. When loading the game, there is a “flickering” – EA and WB intro videos flicker through the background of the game menu. Then the menu itself flickers, but then everything returns to normal. 4. There are problems with the gameplay when passing the workshop on the Carpe Retractum.

Source

Note from AlexeyMS: These settings degrade some gameplay parameters. Among them are: reduced detail of textures and models, disable triple buffering (potentially affects the clarity of the image).

Automated implementation of one of these solutions is built into the program “HP and Your PC“, v. 1.3.

When launched under a freshly installed system, the game runs in full screen with a resolution of 640×480 pixels. Music is ok. The menu freezes slightly, false positives of the menu occur. Video inserts are ok.

HP and the Goblet of Fire

The game started without problems. As an example, Harry, Ron and Hermione took a short walk around the Hogwarts Tower level.

When running under a freshly installed system, a DirectX update may be required (DirectX 9 is missing).

HP and the Order of the Phoenix

The launch went without problems. As an example, let’s take a short walk from That Room.

When launched under a freshly installed system, it may give several error messages and not start at all. The problem is solved by updating DirectX, as well as installing VC ++ 2005.

HP and the Half-Blood Prince

The launch was successful. Here we walked from the Potions room to the Great Hall, and also participated in the dueling club for a bit.

When launched under a freshly installed system, it may give several error messages and not start at all. The problem is solved by updating DirectX, as well as installing VC ++ 2008.

Quidditch World Cup

The game started normally, as usual, and we had a little practice passing the Quaffle. Very lazy, but the goal was not set to score maximum points 😉

HP and the Deathly Hallows

Both parts started normally, but the licensed versions required re-activation, after which splash screens appeared and further passage of the games became possible.

If you installed the system from scratch, then these games will have to be reinstalled without fail, because otherwise neither the first nor the second part will simply start. The installation process should update DirectX and install VC++. The reason for the refusal lies in the impossibility of launching the game without special entries in the system registry (previous games, such entries, if necessary, were restored automatically).

LEGO HP: 1-4 years (Steam version)

There were no problems with the launch: the game started normally and we replayed the level about the events of 1980.

When launched under a freshly installed system, it may give several error messages and not start at all. The problem is solved by updating DirectX, as well as installing VC ++ 2008.

LEGO HP: Years 5-7 (Steam Version)

Started up normally, the test walk from Diagon Alley to the Gryffindor dormitory went well.

When launched under a freshly installed system, it may give several error messages and not start at all. The problem is solved by updating DirectX, as well as installing VC ++ 2008.

Interesting related links:


Conducted an experiment: AlexeyMS

Special thanks to Shader and Franal for the solution to the Prisoner of Azkaban launch problem 🙂

* According to a message from a visitor Atikin