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How to: Windows XP/V/7/8/10 windowed and fullscreen

Discussion about the game Grand Prix World.
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Moderators: Veedub, Sean, RacerBG

How to: Windows XP/V/7/8/10 windowed and fullscreen

Postby Veedub » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:56 am

Thanks to the guys over at DxWnd we can now run our favourite game on all modern operating systems, in both windowed and full screen modes!

Installation files required
  • You will need to download the latest version of DxWnd.
  • Extract the zip archive and copy/rename the extracted folder to a location on your computer (e.g. C:\DxWnd).
  • You will also need to upgrade your game using GPWEdit.
Setting up DxWnd for GPW
  • Run dxwnd.exe to launch DxWnd (e.g. C:\DxWnd\dxwnd.exe).
  • In DxWnd, click on File > Import and locate the GPW export file (e.g. C:\DxWnd\exports\Grand Prix World.dxw)
  • Select and open the DXW file. This will add a listing for GPW to the task list.
  • Click on the GPW task, and then right click and select Modify from the pop up menu.
  • On the Main tab, change the Path to point to your GPW installation folder and executable file (e.g. C:\gpw\gpw.exe). The file you select must be an executable based on the GPW v1.03 executable for the game to work in DxWnd.
  • On the DirectX tab, under DirectX Version Hook, ensure 'Automatic' is selected.
  • On the DirectX tab, under Emulation, change Primary Surface to Primary Buffer.
  • On the Compat. tab, under Tweaks(2), ensure Fix GlobalUnlock is checked/ticked.
  • Click OK to close the Modify screen.
  • Click on the File menu and click Save to save your task list with your changes.
  • You may notice that your GPW task now has a green circle instead of a clear circle, indicating that the task now points to a valid file path.
  • To run the game, double click on the task.
How to run the game in windowed, desktop or full screen modes
  • Click on the GPW task, and then right click and select Modify from the pop up menu.
  • On the Main tab, under Position, change the following to suit:
  • To run in windowed mode, set to 'X,Y coordinates' or 'Desktop center'
  • To run in desktop mode, set to 'Desktop work area'
  • To run in full screen mode, set to 'Desktop'
  • On the Main tab, under Generic, do not change the settings for 'Run in Window' (checked) or 'Fullscreen only' (unchecked) unless you know what you are doing, as these options do not work as well as you may expect.
  • You can click on the Try button to test your settings, and the Kill button if you need to crash the game/process if it freezes.
  • Remember to click OK and save your task list once you are happy with your changes.
Further notes
  • There is no longer a need to configure your gpw.exe with compatibility settings in Windows Explorer. Just leave them at the default settings to run on the current operating system.
  • Previous issues like invisible 3D cars, cars displaying above bridges or tyre walls, flickering UI, low framerates and slow races should now be alleviated or resolved.
  • While the mouse is moving, the game will stutter/pause which can be a slight annoyance but also allows you to "pause" the action if you want to check out a car close up.
  • You may now be able to Alt-Tab in and out of the game and take screenshots, now that the game is running in a window or fake-fullscreen mode. The game will pause while the window is inactive.
  • If the game crashes at the gold FIA logo, you probably need to ensure Fix GlobalUnlock is checked/ticked.
  • If the game has a slow framerate, especially on the race screens, you probably need to change Primary Surface to Primary Buffer.
  • If you want to get a better/smoother experience, you could always try a virtual machine setup, which might even speed up accelerated time in the race screens.
  • There is work in progress to get GPW working without requiring DxWnd. Currently the game can run standalone and full screen on Windows 10 64-bit, however framerates on the racing screens are extremely poor and so racing is too slow. This could be related to the graphics card manufacturer, timing or cpu clocks, or loss of hardware acceleration for GDI graphics on modern operating systems, causing delays when drawing each frame.
There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it.
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Re: How to: Windows XP/V/7/8/10 windowed and fullscreen

Postby Ferrim » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:17 am

It's always nice to see some progress being made, specially considering that I've just purchased a new laptop with Windows 10 installed.

I assume the workaround with stretching the time on DxWnd still works in Win10?

EDIT: I can confirm that the game works well on Win10 using the method described by Veedub, cars are visible now and there's no garbage on the race screen.

Sadly, timing issues aren't working as well as they were on Win7. I still find some improvement from time stretch, as I've managed to get 10 minutes of in-game qualifying at 150% speed last a little over 3 minutes, so the full hour of qualifying takes 20 minutes instead of 40 (if you were lucky) in the original game. But I've found out there's some limit on how much you can speed it up: it doesn't seem to make a difference whether I use the settings for x4 or x16 time stretch, the speed is the same, about twice as fast as in the original game seems to be the limit.

This would have been great a mere year ago, but I've been spoiled by ultrafast sessions in the recent past :1grin: I've become used to run the game on Win7 at x4 time stretch, and that way I can get qualifying done in around 10 minutes (which seems accurate, as 150% speed times 4 is 600%). I haven't actually tried to stretch it over that speed, I will give it a go and inform you of the results, just to compare how fast I can get the game on WIn7 compared to Win10.

EDIT2: there's definitely some limit on how much you can stretch time. I've done a quick compare of x4 and x16 on my current Win7 configuration (with older version of DxWnd, 2.03.76, so either no cars on track or garbage) and the first 20 minutes of Australian GP qualy have lasted 4m and 20s of real time, no difference between x4 and x16. Still better than what I can manage on Win10. I will now test the latest DxWnd version on Win7 to see whether there are any differences.

EDIT3: on DxWnd 2.04.25, still on Win7, and using the new setup, the performance is virtually identical, still 4m 20s. I can see the cars now, and I also noticed that the colour depth changed automatically to 16 bit colour on start up, something that doesn't happen with the old config and which (I guess) must be related to running "Primary Buffer" instead of "Primary Surface" (not that I know what that does mean!).

EDIT4: another edit to comment that I have played a full weekend on Win10 under 2.04.25 and the results are disappointing. Not a disaster - but the longer the game runs, the bigger the lags in the race screen. It goes well for a few minutes (still slower than Win7), and after that the performance gets worse. I didn't have rain on that race, but rain races give worse performance on Win7, so I'm guessing it will exacerbate problems with Win10. Interestingly, the colour depth DIDN'T change on startup, while it did on Win7 as previously described.

I still have to complete a full race weekend on Win10 under my previous setup (DxWnd 2.03.76, using "Primary Surface" instead of "Primary Buffer"). I will come back with some further comments if there's any difference; maybe (let's hope) it won't lag as much with this old setup and version.
Ferrim
 
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Re: How to: Windows XP/V/7/8/10 windowed and fullscreen

Postby Veedub » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:34 am

Ferrim wrote:...the longer the game runs, the bigger the lags in the race screen...

Interesting finding, as I experienced the same issue when testing my GlobalUnlock fix on Windows 10 (no DxWnd) some time ago. I thought it might have been an issue with the code I wrote, but perhaps something more serious is going on with Windows 8/10. I presume its graphics related and maybe its hogging memory over time and running out of resources? At the end of the day, if you're finding that Windows 7 is faultless and Windows 8/10 has issues, then we're not there just yet...

The other day I happened to find a limiter on the framerate (FPS), so GPW will limit the race screen FPS to 30. This affects the speed of the race engine. Depending on the machine, you could significantly speed up the game - e.g. changing the limit to 60 FPS would double the speed of the race engine. But the problem we have here is the opposite. Poor FPS is slowing the game down (anything less than 30 fps will hurt) and if this is caused by poor graphics handling/emulation under newer OSes, there's not much we can do currently. I don't think time stretching will actually help when the speed of the game is limited by poor FPS. If the game is running around 30FPS, then time stretching might allow it to be doubled, assuming your machine is quick enough to run the game at 60FPS (time stretch x2). But it would seem no matter how quick your machine is, Windows 8/10 cannot run the game fast enough for whatever reason. I'll have to do more testing myself on Windows 10 both with and without DxWnd to see if we do have a problem with slow down over time/memory issues. :1sad:
There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it.
Veedub
 
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Re: How to: Windows XP/V/7/8/10 windowed and fullscreen

Postby Veedub » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:47 am

Ferrim - do you mind doing some testing with emulation set to Primary Surface and set no alphachannel to ON (i.e. no garbled graphics but no 3d cars). Primary Surface and some of the other emulation types will give you better FPS which might help you with your time stretch, the pay off is that we either have trashed graphics on the race screen or no 3d cars.

In other words, "Primary Buffer" seems to allow the game to run perfectly but at 20 FPS - still a bit slow - and too slow for time stretch to have an impact. Once you hit 30fps on another emulation option, then time stretch might start kicking in?
There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it.
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Re: How to: Windows XP/V/7/8/10 windowed and fullscreen

Postby Ferrim » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:25 pm

Yeah, I did some testing a couple of days ago but I haven't been able to post until now, there's been a 9-month old interfering with that :1grin:

I can confirm that the game runs perfectly on Windows 10 using my old setup, with version 2.03.76. I don't know what happened the first time I tried, because I posted that the race screen was slower, but that wasn't the case at all this time ("honestly, what are we doing here?").

The game ran just fine with Primary Surface and no alphachannel ON, with good speed (a little bit better than under Windows 7, actually) and something which surprised me a lot: the action wouldn't freeze when moving the mouse around! :1shocked: Of course, no cars to be seen.

I seem to remember that the latest 2.04.25 version DIDN'T run well for me when using Primary Surface, but I will give it another try.

So, my homework for things to try on Windows 10:

-Run again the game on 2.03.76, primary surface, no alphachannel, to see if the performance is still OK.
-Run the game on 2.04.25 with the same settings that in 2.03.76 and see if I have any luck.

There's a good chance that I won't be able to do this before Thursday night.
Ferrim
 
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Re: How to: Windows XP/V/7/8/10 windowed and fullscreen

Postby Ferrim » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:32 pm

So, the 9-month old is sleeping (don't know for how long!) and stuff is sorted out at home, so it's time to try these things on my new laptop (an Acer Swift 3, by the way).

DxWnd 2.03.76, No Alphachannel, Primary Surface, Time Stretch x4
Notice I have some other things on the background: Google Drive, Spotify, Firefox, McAfee... taking up resources.

I do a quick Australian GP qualifying at 150% speed, with these results
59-49 mins: 2m 7s
49-39 mins: 2m 15s
39-29 mins: 2m 14s
29-19 mins: 2m 7s
19-09 mins: 2m 15s
09-session over: 2m 32s
Total: 13m 32s

So, everything worked well. Slightly different section times not caused by PBKBAC reasons, but because minutes have different lengths in GPW :1grin: (you can try it, sometimes 20 seconds will past between 58 min to go and 57 min to go, some other times 40 seconds will pass); and, in the case of the final section, because the game waits until everyone has completed their final qualifying laps even if the clock is at 0, just like real life.

Not even a slight slowdown on the race screen as I moved the mouse and clicked around. Of course, no cars to be seen.


DxWnd 2.04.25, No Alphachannel, Primary Surface, Time Stretch x4
Game starts up ok, no rasterizer issues (I had that the other day, I probably messed up something).
Same programs on the background, same everything else. Just set up everything like Veedub describes on the first post here, then changed Primary Buffer to Primary Surface and chose No Alphachannel.

The game completely FREEZES everytime I move the mouse around, which acounts for most of the delay you'll see in timing:

59-49 mins: 2m 13s
49-39 mins: 2m 25s (playing with the mouse)
39-29 mins: 2m 16s
29-19 mins: 2m 7s
19-09 mins: 2m 18s
09-session over: 2m 53s (rain started and track was wet for the final minutes, which impacted performance)
Total: 14m 16s

DxWnd 2.04.25, Primary Buffer, Time Stretch x4
As I have been allowed a bit more time, I will now run the game in the exact configuration that Veedub described on the aforementioned first post of this thread. I will close every program that I can, to give it a better chance.

Aaaaand here we go! For some reason, I'm getting the rasterizer message. "Try enabling the reference rasterizer by executing EnableRefFast.reg". The funny thing is that it seems to depend on where I place the game folder (?): when I copy the folder to the same place I have the 2.04.25 version of Dxwnd, it magically works!

Now that it is running:

The game completely FREEZES everytime I move the mouse around.

59-49 mins: 2m 47s
49-39 mins: 2m 45s
39-29 mins: 2m 53s
29-19 mins: 2m 41s
19-09 mins: 2m 58s
09-session over: 3m 33s
Total: 17m 37s

On the negative side: it's clearly slower than running on Primary Surface, even after closing most programs.

On the positive side: we can see the cars, there's still some improvement over the vanilla game speed (time stretching is working), and the lags in performance don't seem to get worse.
Ferrim
 
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Re: How to: Windows XP/V/7/8/10 windowed and fullscreen

Postby Veedub » Mon May 01, 2017 11:57 am

Cool, thanks Ferrim for running off those tests. Interesting reading. I suspect the mouse movement and freezing may be related to poor framerates, or at least I hope so, as that could be easily fixed once the framerates improve. But interesting than an older version of DxWnd seems to have better performance? I'll see if I can duplicate your tests (when my work/life balance is better) and will also try get a exe with framerate limit removed/raised so we can possibly get some more conclusive tests done.

I noticed this post about transparency in DxWnd, so maybe one day DxWnd might help resolve the issue with the transparency issues on the race screen. You will notice the corrupted graphics are caused by the track images (in particular the transparency layer images) and the driver heads, that have a transparency color in them. Its almost as if DirectX/DxWnd is treating the fourth channel (RGBA - Red Green Blue Alpha) as an extra byte and means the images are effectively 33% bigger than they should be, causing the weird image sizes/scattering.
There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it.
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Re: How to: Windows XP/V/7/8/10 windowed and fullscreen

Postby enwrong » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:32 pm

Hi all,

New to the forum.

I am wondering is there any way to force the resolution in Full Screen to be higher?

If not, is there a way to get a recording application like OBS to find the gpw.exe file via dxw, as all i get is a black screen. Due to this, I have to record via my desktop input on OBS, meaning GPW has to be on fullscreen, with a terrible resolution.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: How to: Windows XP/V/7/8/10 windowed and fullscreen

Postby Niehoff » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:57 pm

Iam using OBS studio myself to record Grand Prix World, wondering you got trouble with it.

How is your GPW setup? dxwind? updated exe? anything? Wonder youve got problems
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Re: How to: Windows XP/V/7/8/10 windowed and fullscreen

Postby enwrong » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:46 pm

I'm using Streamlabs OBS.
Using DXWnd to run the gpw.exe.

I found a way to run it though, so it's all good. :)
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