page initially released on: September 25, 1998
last update on: -
Z.A.R. is a first person action game. It mixes elements of Doom-type titles
with MechWarrior elements in a Magic Carpet-like environment. Tetratel
bundles it's EyeFX glasses with a custom packaged
version of Z.A.R. which should be identical to the full retail version.
The Tetratel edition features native support for Tetratel EyeFX,
StereoGraphics SimulEyes, i-glasses, VFX-1, Russian Shield 3D Stereo Set.
This covers other devices like Kasan 3D-Max, CyberMaxx, VR-Joy and
most other VGA-dongle shutterglasses, except the H3D of course.
The stereo3D enabled standard VGA version of Z.A.R.
Resolution & Refresh Rate
While Z.A.R. offers VESA resolutions of up to 800x600 in mono, the
stereoscopic mode is limited to low-res standard VGA. This is a pitty since
current hardware is more than able to handle hi-res VESA resolutions in
stereo 3D. Another drawback of standard VGA is the loss of control over
the refresh rate. While VESA and Windows modes can be controlled using
utilities like Scitech Display Doctor the standard VGA-modes are stuck
at around 70 Hz on most graphics cards. Using the page-flipping SimulEyes
mode I got a much better picture quality and a slightly higher refresh
rate - 80 Hz - than using the native EyeFX mode. The drawback of the SimulEyes
mode which uses internal LCD-BIOS software-page-flipping routines is the
possibility of stereo-reverse slipups. In case the stereo-orientation is
instable and there are jumps in the page-flipping it's better to use the
EyeFX mode which is rock-stable.
The 3D-accelerated, but monoscopic version of Z.A.R.
There are 3D-accelration patches - D3D and GL - for the network-demo
of Z.A.R., but I haven't seen any for the full-retail/Tetratel version
yet. Z.A.R. looks terrific on an accelerator, like 3Dfx, but I'm certain
that stereoscopic 3D is currently unsupported here. Since the EyeFX, the
VR-Joy and H3D work without 3D-drivers, it would be possible to enable
the 3D-accelerated version of Z.A.R. for these devices without many hassles.
Maybe the accelerated version looks good in driver-level stereo3D on
a Wicked3D board.
I talked to Tetratel about the resolution and 3D-acceleration issues.
Let's hope there will be some changes soon.
Copyright 1998 Christoph Bungert
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