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"Graphics Settings... and you!"

posted by Breakman on - last edited - Viewed by 326 users
I've searched around for posts or a topic that broke down what happens to the graphics at each level. I found some answers, but scattered about or in techno-babble.

In layman's terms and all in one place, here's an explanation:

Level 1
  • Low polygon count (watch those sharp corners!).
  • Characters are without added texture.
  • Sharp shadows on characters or none at all.
  • May have graphical errors.
Level 2
I didn't notice any differences...

Level 3
  • Starting to add textures to skins (for example, noticeable on Sam's coat).
  • Still a lot of sharp shadows or none.
  • Fewer graphical errors.
Level 4
  • Shows wrinkles in clothing.
  • Better detail to the clothing textures.
  • Shadows are improved but still sharp.
  • Medium polygon count.
  • Rare graphical errors.
Level 5
  • Shadows are starting to blur.
Level 6
I didn't notice any differences...

Level 7
  • Shadows are darker and have better blurring (almost realistic).
  • Characters and objects now have shadows cast under them.
  • Polygon count is higher.
  • Some objects now glow(the jukebox's lights in 304, for example), but at a high intensity.
Level 8
I didn't notice any differences...

Level 9
  • Fixes the glowing intensity.

Mini FAQs:

Q: Which level is the best?
A: It all depends on preference and your computer's capabilities. To fully enjoy the game, playing at Level 7 is minimal. Playing at lower settings doesn't prevent you from watching all the cutscenes, but it may hinder some. A scene from 301 can not be seen correctly at Level 1-6. But fortunately, needing shadows are extremely rare as this may be the only cutscene that shadows are necessary. I recommend Level 3-4 for lower-end computers since those settings remind me of Season 2's graphics.

Q: I keep getting invisible skins (being able to see-through walls, parts of characters, and/or objects unintended by the programmer). What's going on?
A: It's your graphics card. It's either old or not reading the game correctly. Try updating your drivers first. If that doesn't help, it's time to get a new graphics card. But! Usually these graphical errors happen more often than not at Levels 1-3. So if you could, you should bump it up to Level 4 or higher as it may fix the problem.

Q: I'm experiencing lag/slowdowns and/or choppy/stuttering voices/music/sound effects. Help!
A: It's your graphics card again. But fortunately, you might not need to do something as drastic as getting a new card. Lower your resolution and graphics levels (try the resolution first before the graphics). Some people can run the game at Level 6-7 with a resolution of 800x600 if they had problems before. Pulling out of full screen may also help.

Q: How do I turn off the film grain filter?
A: You can not turn it off nor does any of the levels remove it. You are stuck with it whether you like it or not.

"So, Billy, do you now have a better understanding to the graphical settings of Sam & Max: Season 3?"

Sources: "Shadow Fear" "Graphics Settings" "Sam & Max graphics" "Shading Stripes and Blocks. [graphics setting 3 or below]" "Shader engine" The Big Z made great post with side-by-side comparative images.

If anyone has any corrections or additions, please post. This topic is not about complaining or praising the graphics.
6 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I found that opening up the case & pointing an extra fan or 2 on the graphics card & CPU cut down on the choppiness & lag a bit.
  • LikaLaruku;354003 said:
    I found that opening up the case & pointing an extra fan or 2 on the graphics card & CPU cut down on the choppiness & lag a bit.
    Sounds like your case has poor circulation.
  • I can play the game at full settings with my resolution and no lag. Mostly because I splashed out a few months back on components.
  • I can only play these games at level 3 (or lower, obviously). I wonder what specifically gets turned on on level 4? I suspect some fancy pixel shader stuff that my graphics card doesn't support natively. As soon as I enable level 4, the CPU usage goes through the roof, which I guess is the Nvidia driver emulating the required shader support in software...
  • Thanks Breakman, I've been too lazy to find this out by myself. I can run Season 3 on my native resolution at level 5, and that's pushing it. So I suppose there's no way I'd be able to raise it to 7 without too much lag. And the only resolution that looks okay on this laptop is the native one. Oh, well.

    I still don't get why Telltale couldn't release some detailed information on the various levels, so that those with the knowledge could fine-tune their settings more easily. Perhaps it changes with every game, or something.
  • harald;356927 said:
    Perhaps it changes with every game, or something.
    It does.
    How so specifically, I can't say though...
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