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Read February 07, 2011, 11:45:57 AM #0
shmup_freak

Strange colors in some games on Windows 7

I hope somebody here can offer some help since I'm stuck. There are some games posted in here that I can't play correctly on Windows 7. They worked fine on XP for me though. A couple examples are Excellent Bifuraction and Garden of Coloured Lights. In windowed mode, the game looks fine, but in fullscreen mode, the colors are all messed up. Here are a few screenshots to show what I mean:

Here is Garden of Coloured Lights in windowed mode:





and here it is in fullscreen mode:





Excellent Bifurcation does the exact same thing.

Changing to a Windows Basic theme didn't make any difference. When I run in Windowed mode, a message says, "The color scheme has been changed to Windows 7 Basic", and then reverts to normal when the game is closed. I'm using the latest versions. I'm running as an administrator, and I've even disabled UAC and DEP. Compatibility mode make no difference either. I've also experienced this exact same thing with some other shmups I've been trying, though others have worked fine. My graphics card is an Nvidia GTX275. Any idea what could be wrong here?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 11:48:14 AM by shmup_freak »
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Read February 07, 2011, 12:13:24 PM #1
Hornet600S

Re: Strange colors in some games on Windows 7

Hi, welcome!
I don't know if the same works for the other games you got problems with, but these steps fix "Garden Of Colored Lights" on my Windows7 machine. Note: I have a german Windows, so maybe some items are named a bit different.

  • right click on EXE, select "Properties"
  • go to "Compatibility" page
  • DON'T!!! activate "execute in compatibility mode"!!
  • activate "256 colors"
  • activate "640 x 480"
  • activate "no visual styles"
  • activate "no desktop composition"
  • hit OK

Happy shooting!


"When the Amiga came out, everyone at Apple was scared as hell."
(Jean-Louis Gassée - Head of Macintosh development at Apple)
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Read February 07, 2011, 03:03:17 PM #2
shmup_freak

Re: Strange colors in some games on Windows 7

Thanks for the quick reply! No luck, though. I set the properties exactly as you listed but still the same thing happens. That's with Garden.

When I try it with Excellent Bifurcation, I get a window that says "unable to set 640x480 display mode. Resolution not supported."

I've tried other combinations of those settings also with no luck.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 03:07:27 PM by shmup_freak »
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Read February 07, 2011, 03:56:36 PM #3
Hornet600S

Re: Strange colors in some games on Windows 7

Damn, weird. Just in case: here's a screenshot of my property-panel. Only tried fullscreen mode btw.
My Win7 Pro machine is equipped with a GT 240, driver version 8.17.12.5896, in case you want to try another driver. Good luck!

P.S.: If nothing works out you can always install a virtual machine running good old WinXP, that will work for sure.

P.S. #2: Or you can try this little batch-script, just create a .bat on your desktop, paste these lines into it and drag the exe on it. I found that the compatibility-settings are sometimes kind of, hm, unstable if I put them into the property-panel. Maybe it helps to use another method:
Code:
set __COMPAT_LAYER=DisableThemes 256Color 640x480
call %1
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 05:00:28 PM by Hornet600S »

"When the Amiga came out, everyone at Apple was scared as hell."
(Jean-Louis Gassée - Head of Macintosh development at Apple)
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Read February 07, 2011, 08:02:32 PM #4
shmup_freak

Re: Strange colors in some games on Windows 7

No luck, I tried that bat file idea, still the same results. And my properties were set just like the screenshot you posted too. I'm not at all familiar with virtual machines though. I wish I knew what was causing this because I have a feeling I'll probably come across other games that do this also.
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Read February 08, 2011, 01:09:38 AM #5
geekman

Re: Strange colors in some games on Windows 7

Are you working with indexed color mode (256 color) by chance? If so, you better change to higher color mode like 16, 24 or 32 bit color. I used to have a 256 color WIP game, one day I decided to take it out and continue working on it, and was encountering situations quite similar to what you showed here. I think palette color mode is not working correctly ever since MS ditched Direct Draw.
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Read February 08, 2011, 09:51:30 AM #6
shmup_freak

Re: Strange colors in some games on Windows 7

Nope, I'm set to 32bit true color.
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Read February 19, 2011, 01:40:10 AM #7
shmup_freak

Re: Strange colors in some games on Windows 7

Still no luck here. I've tried everything I can think of, and I just can't get these 2 running correctly in fullscreen.
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Read February 21, 2011, 03:34:52 AM #8
geekman

Re: Strange colors in some games on Windows 7

Once again I have to make a wild guess, since I know nothing about how you program your game's rendering routine and what API you are using. I am guessing you are using DirectX 9? In Native mode? So, maybe switching to DX10 or DX11 will help? After reading some other game developing threads in other forums, I discovered that some of them have the same problem, one of them is due to they use Direct Draw to handle the rendering, others are showing hints that they are using DX 9.0C. I was guessing some how the changes from DX9 to DX10 (and DX11) broke the color palette mode, and somehow, Win7 decided to switch your game to index color mode when in fullscreen, if you are using DX9.

Oh, and one more thing, are the graphics you used in your game, stored in 256 color format(usually format like Animated GIF, to preserve the clear background), instead of 24 or 32 bit format? I did encountered in some instances, these graphics may not load correctly, depending on how you set the flags of the sprites.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 03:40:05 AM by geekman »
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Read February 21, 2011, 03:44:22 AM #9
Hornet600S

Re: Strange colors in some games on Windows 7

@geekman
He isn't programming a shmup, he just wants to play some of the ones you can find here Smiley
And yes, it looks like those are palette based.


"When the Amiga came out, everyone at Apple was scared as hell."
(Jean-Louis Gassée - Head of Macintosh development at Apple)
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Read February 21, 2011, 07:59:19 AM #10
geekman

Re: Strange colors in some games on Windows 7

Oh,my bad. I just automatically switch to programming mode every time I come to this forum.  Embarrassed

No wonder I couldn't find any programming details in the post.  Lips Sealed

maybe someone should inform the creator of this game so that he/she can amend the problem.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 08:01:32 AM by geekman »
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Read February 22, 2011, 07:21:55 PM #11
Arpeggiodragon

Re: Strange colors in some games on Windows 7

What is happening behind the scenes here is that windows explorer is sending WM_PALETTE* messages to allegro(Game library that Linley uses), unfortunately allegro does not handle these messages so the end result is windows f***s up the games colors and there's nothing you can do about it without recompiling allegro with the proper fixes. (Blame Microsoft) Wink

@shmup_freak: What you can do just to play these if you have no programming knowledge is simply kill the explorer process first before running the game. Maybe someone can whip up a batch-script to do this for you. Smiley


Cheers.

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Read February 23, 2011, 01:12:09 AM #12
shmup_freak

Re: Strange colors in some games on Windows 7

Interesting, and I appreciate the help here. A batch file would be great if possible. Leave it to Windows to screw things up like this.
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Read February 26, 2011, 02:20:17 AM #13
Hornet600S

Re: Strange colors in some games on Windows 7

I just found that little tool here, it works on my machine (though that doesn't mean that much since other solutions worked for me too). Give it a try.
Note: the initial sponsors screen still has the wrong colors on my setup, but after that all is fine.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2011, 02:35:13 AM by Hornet600S »

"When the Amiga came out, everyone at Apple was scared as hell."
(Jean-Louis Gassée - Head of Macintosh development at Apple)
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Read February 28, 2011, 11:19:36 AM #14
shmup_freak

Re: Strange colors in some games on Windows 7

Excellent! This fixed the problem. I guess it's a direct draw problem. Much appreciated for looking into this for me!
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