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Old 02-14-2020, 03:40 AM   #1
avrak
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Default SH4 Fullscreen Windowed Mode

Evening subsimers,


I have a dual-monitor setup for my gaming PC and I was looking around for a fullscreen windowed mode for SH4. I don't think there is anything built in to the program that allows this (even SH5, which claims to have a FS window mode doesn't really work for me). I like to have external tools (like an attack disk or solution solver) in the second window, but every time that I move my mouse over to use the tools, the main game window minimizes and pauses the game.


Does anyone know if there is a workaround for this? I've been putting up with it for a while now, but it would be nice to have the game's window stay persistent and open while I use another program in the other window.


My setup:
- SH4 with FOTRS
- Dual monitors
- Windows 10
- NVIDIA graphics card
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Old 02-14-2020, 01:42 PM   #2
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I have a similar set-up to yours, and even when using the "Windowed" setting in SH4 (Options menu, Graphic Settings, to the direct right of the Resolution settings), it still minimizes the window. Now, big warning here: the game DOES NOT LIKE IT when you change Windows' focus to something else. The main reason for this is that the program was written to the Windows XP standard, and there is no provision for "virtual assets" in its address space. XP used exclusivity. If a game wanted the video stream, it was assigned a segment for the video stream. Audio the same way, etc. The game had an assigned address for each of the streams it uses. With Vista onwards, that address is "virtual" and might change when the focus comes back to the game, and those areas could well have been moved to a new location in the address space. SH4 does not know to "ask" the OS for the new addresses, and takes off from where it was with the old addresses, sometimes overwriting its own data in the process. This can cause all sorts of little nigglies in the game, like the 02 meter getting stuck, graphics glitches, such as a cloud of steam over the top of your boat, or any one of a number of other ailments, up to and including bad Save data and CTDs. It is recommended that you NOT change the "focus" from the game. What I now do is use a small tablet to hold my game tools, and it's actually a bit easier to deal with like that anyway, other than the screen "blanking" just as I go to copy the data over... - an old laptop would probably work even better, if I had the desk space.
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:14 PM   #3
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Yeah, same here with the audio/graphical errors when switching out. I'm curious if running the game in a virtual machine will help with many of these issues? Might have to give this a try.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:19 PM   #4
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That I have not tried, and don't have an OS with which to experiment. Conceivably, it could work, but it is SH4 and Windows, so ymmv... - I wonder what the virtual machine tells the game when it loses focus? Maybe if the game is paused first, it wouldn't matter, but I do know that pausing the game in a regular session will still trash things eventually.
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:32 PM   #5
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Good news to report on this!


I installed a fresh Windows 10 instance in VMWare Workstation, copied my FOTRS game directly into the guest VM, and it works like a charm! There is a very slight bit of choppiness to some of the more graphical scenes, but it's very playable. Using the escape sequence of CTL-ALT to get out of the VM and use another program has no effect on the game's running instance. In fact, I'm writing this post as SH4 is running in my other window!


Here's my setup for replication. Some of the settings I put a bit higher than probably needed, but I wanted to get a smooth experience out of the game:


- VMWare Workstation 15.5 (should also work for VMWare Player)
- Win 10 Pro x64 Host/Guest
- 8GB RAM to the guest (Win10 is a hog...)
- 1 CPU/2 cores to guest
- 1GB of GPU/Video RAM (tried it initially with 2GB to minimize choppiness, but bumped it down to 1 when there was no noticeable difference)

Here's a screenshot of my success:



Last edited by avrak; 02-16-2020 at 01:10 PM. Reason: Minor fixes
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