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 Post subject: GTA2 multiplayer tips
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:01 pm 
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digitalfl's old tips (copied from here, RIP geocities). I wonder if he is still around.

Speed:
If you are a good driver, get a fast car. If you can out-maneuver your opponents you can turn the tables considerably. Even if they have a rocket launcher they can miss if you are fast enough.

I recommend that you complete the first level of GTA2 singleplayer before you attempt the multiplayer. Also i think it would be wise to rack up 1,000,000 points in level 2 first as well (you need 3,000,000 to complete level 2). To get good at driving I recommend always taking the fastest car you can, within reason (don't mess up a mission just to get in a faster car).

Predict your opponent's next move:
Follow skid marks, notice missing weapons (if you know where one should be), dead pedestrians.

Know your weapons:
If an opponent is standing still, think about whether he has a rocket launcher, a shotgun or a flamer. One thing someone once tried against me was standing behind a car waiting with a flame thrower. I had a shotgun so I thought I would get him but I didn't know he had the flamer. So another time if someone is waiting behind a car, push the car over them or blow the car up. Conversely, don't jump over a car that someone is trying to blow up. If it blows up while you are jumping over it then you will get blown sky high.

Training:
The bonus stages in singleplayer seem to be good training for multiplayer. To get Bonus Stage B you have to do all of the missions in Level 1; for Bonus Stage E, all the missions on Level 2. The trouble is, when you save the game you lose all previous saves, so if you save it on Level 2 you have to start Level 1 from the beginning again. So it is probably best to do all the missions before going to the next level. To get Bonus Stage C and Bonus Stage F you just collect all the GTA2 'pills' (the things that go *BOINNG!* when you collect them) on the level, so you can leave that until later. That said, you can back up your saved game, it's in the folder called "player" in your "GTA2" folder, just copy and paste whole the folder somewhere.

Mines and rockets:
Stop your opponent in his car in his tracks by dropping a line of mines in front of it. Then get out and use your rocket launcher, he will be forced to slow down or stop and so will be easy to hit with a rocket.

How to kill an invisible man:
There is the obvious tactic of blowing up his car. When he's not in the car, pay attention to where his bullets or whatever are coming from, that's where he is! :) Then the flame thrower is useful because one hit frags him, unless he has invulnerability. The ultimate though is the Electrogun because the electricity goes for any people, invisible or not. So you can find where he is and keep getting him with the Electrogun. Also if your invisible opponent has any gang members they will usually follow him so they can help you locate him. Edit by Sektor: Flamethrower doesn't work against invisible [invis] players.

How to kill a player that has Invulnerability [invul] :
Electrogun frags invulnerable player! Also of course you can frag the player by blowing up a vehicle that they are inside. You could push them in the water but that would not give you the frag I think, if not it would make them lose a frag, though.

Resolution:
Vehicle mines once dropped can be hard to see at 800 x 600 resolution or below, so run the game at a higher resolution if your graphics card is able to. I run it at 1152 x 864. You should test it in singleplayer to make sure the game runs quite smoothly though. edit by Sektor: It makes little difference if your monitor/video drivers stretch 640x480 to native resolution.

Mine monopoly:
Monopolize the mines in Tiny Town. This works for other powerups and weapons too of course but this one especially. You put a mine down in the way, get invulnerability, walk on the mine to explode it, then you can get the mines again and drop another mine in the way :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:49 pm 
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Higher resolutions do make it render more pixels. So the smoothness increases, even though the physical size on screen is the same.

Also, if you are using LCD screens, picking the 'native resolution' helps a lot. It makes everything look both sharper and smoother than 'non-native' resolutions.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:00 am 
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digitalfl wrote:
Vehicle mines once dropped can be hard to see at 800 x 600 resolution or below, so run the game at a higher resolution if your graphics card is able to. I run it at 1152 x 864. You should test it in singleplayer to make sure the game runs quite smoothly though.

Sektor wrote:
It makes little difference if your monitor/video drivers stretch 640x480 to native resolution.

BenMillard wrote:
Higher resolutions do make it render more pixels. So the smoothness increases, even though the physical size on screen is the same. Also, if you are using LCD screens, picking the 'native resolution' helps a lot. It makes everything look both sharper and smoother than 'non-native' resolutions.

Let's test.

Keep in mind:
a- that the assumption here is that a gamer is playing on one screen, and that screen has a static physical dimension of lets say 17", and let's say it's a LCD.
b- that running GTA2 at 640x480 on a higher resolution screen means that either the GPU drivers or the monitor will stretch the image to the desired resolution.
c- that we can only test for the effects of having the graphics driver handle upscaling, as we obviously cannot take a screenshot of a 640x480 image stretched by the monitor to any resolution.

Proposition 1: running GTA2 at over 640x480 makes things sharper, clearer to see.
Proposition 2: running GTA2 at over 640x480 does not make things sharper because textures are just stretched.
Proposition 3: higher resolution means more pixels which always means sharper and smoother image.
Proposition 4: using the native resolution on LCD screens makes smooth things look smoother and sharper than at non-native resolutions.

GTA2 run at 640x480 original image
GTA2 run at 640x480, above image resized to 1400x1050 in Gimp using nearest neighbour filter
GTA2 run at 640x480, above image resized to 1400x1050 in Gimp using cubic filter
GTA2 run at 1400x1050

Proposition 1 is true regarding vertical textures and shadows, but it's true for reasons different than what I think the author had in mind. Textures at oblique viewing angles are clearly sharper. There is no aliasing visible on vertical texture seams. Pay special attention to the corrugated texture on vertical wall faces between the pyramid stairs and the windows, as well as the sharp nails in each corner of the vertical concrete tiles above and below the windows. The car's shadow edge is free of aliasing in the high resolution screenshot, while at a stretched 640x480 the edge shows clear stepping. There is an insignificant difference to horizontal texture sharpness. The reason why this proposition is true is not, I think, related to GTA2. Rather, it is your (my) graphics drivers that perform anisotropic filtering which makes these vertical textures at oblique angles sharper than they would be if I just upscaled a 640x480 image.

Proposition 2 is true regarding horizontal textures, but not edges or textures being transformed by perspective.

Proposition 3 is not true, as simply resizing an image - increasing the pixel count - requires interpolation which reduces sharpness. It would be true if we assumed that by "smooth" Ben meant non-jagged but also blurred, and that "higher resolution" was attained using smooth interpolation instead of nearest neighbor interpolation.

Proposition 4. Theoretically, feeding an image to a monitor at that monitor's native resolution means that pixels will be represented on a 1:1 basis. Only LCD monitors have a native resolution, CRT screens can theoretically display in any resolution; in practice this is limited to the resolution supported by the graphics card. We can assume that most contemporary gamers use LCD screens. It's up to your computer to generate the output, and that output will be displayed exactly on the LCD screen if the resolutions match. If your computer sends output of a different resolution than your LCD screen supports, it's the screen's job to make the image fill the screen, which entails interpolation. Interpolation makes the image less sharp, more blurry. If you ran GTA2 at 640x480 fullscreen on a monitor using a resolution that is a multiple of 640x480 (1280x960, 1920x1440, etc), theoretically you could have a perfect representation, as pixels would just need to be multiplied. In practice, however, your LCD will still try and smooth the image out, meaning loss of clarity. In the end what resolution you ran GTA2 at would make little difference as far as interpolation is concerned, because both outcomes would be bad. In the former case, which does not happen in practice, you would end up with an image where 1 pixel at 640x480 would equal 4 pixels at 1280x960, which means a more jagged image. In the latter case, which does happen in practice, you get an image where 1 pixel at 640x480 would equal between 2 to 6 pixels (non-natural numbers) at whatever resolution you run it at, which means a blurry image.

Notice that the actual texture sharpness of the screenshot where GTA2 was run at 1400x1050 doesn't change. What does change, what is sharper, are the edges around the fonts, and around all things 'cut out'. If you just play GTA2 without recording video then a higher resolution is the way to go, you get an image sharper in some ways. If you record screencasts, run GTA2 at 960x720. People viewing your video will stretch it to fill their screens anyway, so forget about 1:1. Unless you want to and have the hardware to record smoothly at 1080p (1920x1080), then by all means do record at that resolution, but the costs outweigh the benefits.

I ran GTA2 in a 640x480 and 1400x1050 window using wine in Gentoo Linux. Your Windows result might differ, and, if my feelings are correct, for the worse.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:16 am 
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I'm glad someone finally did a screenshot comparison although I wouldn't notice the difference during game.

For seeing mines on most maps, it's best just to run with the noon setting selected and make the image as large as possible using whatever method works best with your video card/monitor/driver combination. Technically they might be easier to see with incorrect aspect ratio but not everyone wants to play GTA2 like that.

You could cheat and edit the STY file to make mines neon but that wouldn't really be fair ;)

My FAQ needs to be updated with information on scaling options including how the frontend scales.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:38 pm 
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Test 2 is invalid because screens don't do this, in my experience: "Resized in GIMP using cubic filter"

The effect I've seen reality is nearer to Test 3. I have played GTA2 and GTA San Andreas on an LCD my parents have, which is 1280x1024 so a theoretically 2:1 ratio which should work out nicely. But the image in either game was visibly grainy and showed thin black lines running through it, compared to native resolution. My understanding is these are a type of "support line" to keep the structure of the pixels in place, and the become apparent due to the interpolation being different than 1:1. And less pixels means less detail, particularly for distant textures. (More on that in a bit.)

Test 3 shows quite nasty black interference around the edges of the mines. Even without any deliberate smoothing from the resize algorithm. These seem to be artefacts from GTA2's own rendering, which are less visible when it is rendering more pixels as they get smoothed out.

It's worth pointing out that 1400x1050 is not a "round" ratio, so there is interpolation (and therefore a type of smoothing) taking place anyway. Furthermore, since the resizing was done within a feature-rich graphics application, such interpolation will be deliberately sophisticated. This would be too processor intensive for a dumb screen to be doing on the fly, I would wager

When moving at speed, the camera zooms to to a point where each cube is less than 64x64 screen pixels, when the screen is set to 640x480. This "crunching" of the graphics makes road markings and even bullets quite hard to see. The game is trying to lose pixels and so is screen. (Said I'd come back to it!) Higher screen resolution is not stretching or blurring the textures in this situation - and I'd say fast driving is a time when a clear rendering of the scene is particularly important!

A better test would be to take a digital photograph from a tripod set in front of the screen. Eliminating as many environmental variables as possible, to isolate the effect of the Resolution setting as best you can.

Showing the exact same scene each time could improve slightly upon your example. I'd suggest the very start of a level, when it has finished zooming but the player has not done anything at all.

(EDIT) LOL, you saved them as JPEG! So they are all going to be somewhat inaccurate, even at '100%' quality. :geek:

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