Arx Fatalis - Arx Libertatis 1.2 "Mega Mega Mega" Released - RPGWatch Forums
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Default Arx Fatalis - Arx Libertatis 1.2 "Mega Mega Mega" Released

November 5th, 2021, 04:22
Arx Libertatis is an improved, cross-platform and open source engine for Arx Fatalis. Arx Libertatis is now at version 1.2.

Eight years after version 1.1 we are finally ready to publish Arx Libertatis 1.2. This release brings improved rune recognition when casting spells, as well as a new bow aim mode. Support for high resolutions and wide monitors is enhanced with configurable HUD and player book scaling. The text and audio language can now be changed in the menu. Further, item physics have been fixed and item dragging has been refined. On top of that, this release adds a console to execute arbitrary script commands. See the changelog for full details.

Rune recognition and bow aim revamped

One of the defining features of Arx Fatalis is drawing runes to cast spells. However, that can also be one of the more frustrating mechanics as the game expects you to draw straight horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines with hard corners - all while dodging enemy attacks - without much tolerance for slanted or otherwise imperfect lines. To making casting more fun, bsxf47 has implemented a more forgiving rune stroke recognition algorithm. On top of that, we have also fixed problems with the recognition at higher frame rates.

Ranged combat might not be Arx's strength with only two different bows in the game, but for this update we have nevertheless decided to give it some love by adding an improved bow aim mode. With this mode, the orientation of the arrow while aiming matches the direction it will be launched in. Additionally, the cross-hair cursor that is normally disabled in combat mode is now shown once the bow aim is fully charged. This release also restores the arrow trail effect which was missing in version 1.1 and improves its appearance.

The new rune recognition and bow aim are active by default, but can be disabled in the options menu to experience the original controls.

High-resolution, widescreen, and high frame rate support

While the player book already scaled with the screen resolution, the rest of the interface elements always had the same pixel size since Arx Fatalis 1.21. This is now rectified so that icons and buttons are no longer tiny when playing on high-DPI monitors. With the default settings, HUD scale only becomes active at resolutions greater than 1080p and is restricted to round scale factors to preserve the crispness of interface elements. The exact scaling behavior is configurable separately for the cursor, player book, and HUD, with an option of linear or nearest-neighbor filtering. For the player book, the font size and weight can now be adjusted to improve readability. The size of light flares and other in-game effects has also been fixed to correctly scale with the display resolution, and we have disabled Windows' automatic DPI scaling to allow the game to render at the native resolution.

The player book and minimap are no longer stretched with widescreen or ultrawide displays, and there are options to limit the width of text lines in conversations and to control the rendering of cinematics at aspect ratios wider than 4:3. Weapons no longer degrade faster or generate more sparks at higher frame rates, and there is a new option to limit the frame rate.



HUD scaling and aspect ratio fixes

Enhanced localization

Most Arx Fatalis versions come with audio files for multiple languages, but before now there was no option to select the language outside of editing the config file. With Arx Libertatis 1.2 the language can now be changed in the menu, separately for text and audio. Thanks to contributions from the awesome Arx Fatalis community, we are also able to provide localized text for new options in German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. Entering names for save files now respects the active keyboard layout and input methods supported by the OS.



You can now hoard all the items!

Item physics and dragging refined

With previous versions, thrown items could sometimes get stuck on walls, fall through the level geometry, or hover above the floor. We have fixed the physics code so that this no longer happens.

There have been numerous tweaks to inventory handling and dragging items both inside and outside of inventories. Accidentally dragging items when trying to pick them up using shift click is prevented, and the position and rotation of dragged items is corrected. Additionally, entire stacks of items can now be thrown or dropped outside inventories. When combining items, invalid targets are no longer highlighted.

We have also fixed a crash when loading save files with over 1500 entities in one level, so nothing is stopping you from obsessively collecting all items in the game. Playthroughs longer than 1193 hours are now also possible without running into save file issues.

New video, audio, and input options

Players who cannot tolerate (or don't like) the camera movement from the player character's head bobbing or from earthquakes, can now disable these and increase the field of view if desired. Objects and interface elements that have their shape influenced by textures now optionally have their outlines smoothed to reduce aliasing, and anisotropic texture filtering can now be disabled. Additionally, the display gamma can now be configured again when running full-screen.

The audio output device and OpenAL Soft's virtual surround (HRTF) mode can now be controlled from the audio options menu (enabled by default when using headphones). The subtle reverb that was available with sound cards supporting EAX in Arx Fatalis has now been re-added and is available for everyone.

Level transitions can optionally be activated by jumping (or automatically when walking into them), to avoid having to exit mouselook mode and click an icon in the corner of the screen. The Escape key now closes the player book and notes, and there is an option to automatically enter combat mode and draw your weapon when clicking on a hostile NPC while in mouselook mode. It is now also possible to assign a key to drink a Cure Poison potion without opening the inventory. Finally, the "Resume game" button (and F9 key) in the main menu will now load the latest save file if no game is loaded.

The windowing and input backend has been upgraded to SDL 2, bringing windowed fullscreen support (selected with the "Desktop" resolution) to Windows users, as well as fixing the keyboard being grabbed when in fullscreen mode under Linux, and adding Wayland support. We also made sure that the mouse grab is released during cutscenes, conversations, and cinematics. The SDL 2 backend also implements raw mouse input support for camera rotation with optional acceleration.

[…]
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November 5th, 2021, 05:18
Not bad thanks for sharing.

Though I always wonder why these improved modded editions don't really improve the graphics to much. As the game still looks dated with the engine improvements.
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November 5th, 2021, 05:49
Thank you for the heads up! 1.1 had already fixed a slew of technical issues, so this looks nice indeed.
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November 5th, 2021, 07:19
Sounds mega good.

I really need to do a full replay of Arx someday. I haven't finished the game since shortly after it was released. I've done a few partial playthoughs with various mods since then but always get sidetracked.
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November 5th, 2021, 17:01
@Couchpotato Whilst I agree with your sentiment, a lot of mods are made by programmers or gamers with an interest in code. Certainly you don't go about trying to modernise a game engine without coding skills (well, not unless you wish to doom yourself to failure!).

The thing is, many/most programmers are not artists / modelers. That means that any new art assets are difficult to produce, or rely on more community members (who may or may not be interested in contributing). Or you have to pay for new assets.

Then there's the engine itself - sometimes modders work with the base engine which may have limitations in what it can do in terms of textures, lighting and polygons etc. If the engine is being improved, it still needs to be compatible with the original data, which may mean implementing some of the same limitations in order for things to work as expected. This does vary, though.

All in all, for a programmer to add modern assets is a major chunk of work, and is why companies often farm remaster projects out to specialists who usually have a team of engine and asset creators. Even then, smaller specialists don't mess with assets too much - look at the recent releases from NightDive with their Kex Engine. They have a shiny new engine, but mostly stick to original art assets for the games.
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November 5th, 2021, 17:07
Yeah I'm not doubting that but there are programs to upscale textures without much work. Look at the 4k one made for an older game Vampire Masquerade.

Link -https://www.nexusmods.com/vampirered…s/2/?tab=files
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Last edited by Couchpotato; November 5th, 2021 at 23:18.
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November 5th, 2021, 17:42
This looks and sounds really nice, hopefully this is the way I'll replay the game next time I dive in. It's been quite a few years since my last play-through.
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November 6th, 2021, 00:39
One of My favorite games of all time, I would love a mod for VR, it would be magnificent.
This is the game that should be remastered with vr in mind, the magic, exploration and fighting Style would fit like a glove.
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November 6th, 2021, 00:54
Originally Posted by boobaloo View Post
One of My favorite games of all time, I would love a mod for VR, it would be magnificent.
This is the game that should be remastered with vr in mind, the magic, exploration and fighting Style would fit like a glove.
Agreed. I can definitely see people gesturing to cast spells. The graphics would have to be significantly enhanced through but it is possible considering what can be done with Quake 2 nowadays with its real time raytracing.
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