LED Clock fixes and Windows 7 issues - September 17, 2015

While I was going through my newest texture replacements for the Last Resort mod I saw a few that I could improve upon in Mission B - The Getts house.

If you may recall this map takes place at night and the lighting inside the house is very subdued.   I noticed that none of the LED clocks on this map glowed like they would in real life.   There were 3 LED clocks (one in Victor Getts' bedroom, one in his son's bedroom, and one on the microwave in the kitchen) and all of them were completely dark.  Swat 3 doesn't have textures that emit light but you can fake it by placing a light entity near the object (you can see the result of my fix in the image below...remember normally the numbers of the clock aren't viewable unless you point your flashlight directly at it).

I spent the rest of my evening fixing this by using AlienAbducter's amazing SCN Editor tool.   First I had to determine the X,Y,Z coordinates of the light entity I needed to add to the map.   Once I had that info I had to decide on an appropriate colour of light in RGB format.   I then had to add the other fields that are required to make a light entity work properly in the game (a total of 8 are used).   I next had to strip out the existing light map out of the .SCN and then rebuild the light maps with the new light entities.    Of course things needed tweaking several times so it took a while to get it right.   None of this would have been possible without AlienAbducter's app.

Yes, it was a lot of work for not much payoff, lol. 

I would like to spend a minute complaining about how hard it is to get Swat 3 to run well now on my Windows 7 machine.   Well, to be honest I don't think Windows 7 is to blame entirely.   The game used to work great for me with Windows 7. What I actually think is the big problem is Nvidia video card drivers.  Lately the game stutters like a sonovabitch.   My machine can handle GTA5 on Steam without any problems so it certainly can handle this ancient game from 1999.   In the past Nvidia has released drivers that temporarily caused horrible frame rate issues with Swat 3 but usually they fixed it a few driver releases later.   Unfortunately it has been a while now and they still haven't fixed the problem.

Right now the only way I have found to improve the frame rate is to install WineD3D to trick the game into running in OpenGL instead of DirectX. Although the stuttering is fixed the overall visual quality seems to suffer a lot.

Swat 3 won't run properly on my Windows 8.1 laptop.   Now it seems Swat 3 won't run properly on my main Windows 7 desktop computer without affecting the visual quality.   This sort of crap will kill any remaining audience that Swat 3 still had.

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