Posted on January 31, 2014 by Adam Biessener

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Star Swarm’s graphical settings are quite customizable, but we haven’t had the opportunity to build a pretty graphical interface for changing them within the demo or the launcher. Instead, settings are controlled directly from plain text files.

The launcher picks one of several settings files, stored in the Assets directory where Star Swarm is installed. This is usually in your Steam folder in Steam\steamapps\common\Star Swarm Benchmark\Assets\. Edit the file you want to change, save it, and choose the matching graphical setting from within the Star Swarm launcher.

Here’s how to edit the settings files to enable, disable, or modify various features of the Nitrous engine:

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[System]

Fullscreen=1 ( 1,0 depending if you want to run in full screen )

Resolution=1920,1080 ( this is the final screen resolution )
vsync=0

FixedFrameMS=16.6 ( the number of milliseconds the engine uses as a time step. Note: Changing this value will alter the Temporal AA/ Motion Blur since MaxMotionBlurFrameTime is capped by the length of the frame. Reducing FixedFrameMS will cause fewer interframes to be processed. )

[Quality]

Bloom=HIGH ( HIGH/OFF. Bloom is extremely efficient, so it is unlikely this will impact performance much )

PointLights=HIGH ( Currently inactive, point lights will always be on )

ToneCurve= [High/Off] (Turns the tone curve on or off. The tone curve is based on film standards for rendering to the Rec709 spec HD displays, with a constrast ratio of 2000:1. It mimics the photographic process and is similar to techniques for CG rendering as used by Film. This process can take some time on slower GPUs.)

Glare=8 [number] (The total amount of glare that is allowed on the screen. This is the simulation of high intensity light values which will diffuse on the camera lense and sensor. Often, this will appear as a 6 way star pattern from real photographs, especially ones taken at night with lights in the scene. Because this process can eat a high amount of bandwidth, a high value with cause slower bandwidth video cards such as integrated to perform poorly. Setting this to 0 will turn off this lens effect.)

ShadingSamples=64 (The total amount of shading samples that is allowed. Nitrous decouples rendering from rasterizing. This is the total number, in millions, of shading samples that Nitrous will take per frame. Nitrous will scale back shading on objects so as to never exceed this number.)

ShadeQuality=MID (Not used at this time, intended to increase precision for shading, but differences were too subtle to notice)

EnableMotionBlur=1 ( 0,1, globally enable/disable motion blur ).

MaxMotionBlurFrameTime=16 ( the maximum number of milliseconds to blur over. This is dynamically capped by the current frame time )

MotionBlurInterframeTime=3 ( the number of milliseconds to use for each interframe, lower values will increase quality but require more draw calls )

RenderResolution=1920,1080 (The resolution that the frame is rendered at, which is decoupled from the resolution of the UI and display. It can be greater or less than the actual resolution specified.)

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