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ACM custom settings.. (v1.11c)
By adonys
ACM custom ini files settings explained

Oh, and dear Gearbox (yes, especially you, Randy), you owe me:
- a fixed ACM AI
- a fixed ACM aliens AI behavior
- ACM Unreal 3's engine's (or your own) renderer having the DX10/11 enabled
- one of each ACM's DLCs and Shift codes you'll have and/or will ever release :)
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READ ME (sort of RTFM..)
Please keep ACM custom settings guide's thread up in ACM's discussion forum. Thank you!

Foreword
========
As ACM is using an Unreal 3 engine, I've started to look through ACM's settings files (located in My Documents) a couple of days after game's launch, and I've posted my findings in the original ACM custom settings.. thread which I've put in here, on the Steam forums for everyone to see.

The initial thread was somewhat "cryptic" as I've only described what I have found and modified. I didn't had too much free time by then to spend on forum posting, as I'm working as producer, lead game designer and lead programmer on a small game with its release milestone due soon, in a few weeks (and I have even less now, one week after :P), and I thought the info I've put up would have been enough for people to locate the changes needing to be done inside the settings files and use them.

Yet, it seemed it was harder for most of you than I've thought, so I've decided to spend some of my free time doing this guide, to help all of you guys enjoy a better Aliens universe experience.

This is my first time I'm messing with Unreal 3 engine settings, so please bear with me.

To all the bashers
===============
ACM custom settings guide is not modding, is just tweaking/tuning.. or "turning switches" as you prefer to name-call it :)

Yet, GBX hasn't activated them in their release, nor made them available via GUI. Not to mention about all the newer-than-2007 videocards which are not in their compatibility list (which btw, can't be called just "switches turning" anymore). So unless you do this, you are not playing with the max visuals you could have played with.

This guide is just helping people get the maximum from Unreal 3 engine, and play ACM with better graphics leading to better immersion, which is an important part of playing an Alien game experience.

And I do this for free. The only thing I gain is the knowledge I did a good thing, and helped a few other souls have a better experience with ACM.

I could just have kept all that info for myself only, and believe me, I'm long past having 14 years and in a dire need to boost my ego, and I definitely do not have too free time these days, with the release of the game I am working on as lead programmer due in a few weeks. To do this guide, I had to renounce to some of my precious free time hours to dedicate them to writing this guide, instead actually playing the damn game..

Before insulting people trying to do something to help other, you'd better have a good look in the mirror and ask yourself when was the last time you helped others, on your own time and for free?

IMPORTANT
============
All the setting files can be found in C:\Users\%USERPROFILE%\Documents\my games\Aliens Colonial Marines\PecanGame\Config\ folder. The log files (Launch.log, its backups and all the crash dumps) can be found in C:\Users\%USERPROFILE%\Documents\my games\Aliens Colonial Marines\PecanGame\Logs\ folder

Start the game once, and max out all the in-game settings and set up your desired resolution and controls. Then exit the game, and proceed to manually modify the settings files as per this guide.

After editing the settings files, the ACM's in-game GUI might look strange (various values are off-scale, resulting in wrong ACM GUI sliders positioning, etc), but you shouldn't need to worry about that, you only went off GBX'es scale :). Also, you definitely DON'T want to modify any other (video) setting using ACM's in-game GUI if you've edited the settings files, as it might lead to reset your hand made settings and/or to unexpected results.

Please keep in mind that I do have a BEAST of a system (i7 2600k, nVidia 680 GTX OC with 2 GB VRAM, 16GB 1800 MHz DDR3 RAM), so you might not want to go with the numbers as high as I went. In the mean ime I've checked the settings on another desktop computer with a 560ti and 8 GB RAM, and it worked perfectly fine though.

If you mess up the settings files, you can delete all the files from the C:\Users\%USERPROFILE%\Documents\my games\Aliens Colonial Marines\PecanGame\ folder, restart the game, and the default ones wold be recreated in there.

It might worth trying to actually force them on read only after modification (the files by themselves, or the whole C:\Users\%USERPROFILE%\Documents\my games\Aliens Colonial Marines\PecanGame\ folder), in order to not have the ACM over-write them. But be aware that by doing that, ACM game can NOT write in those files anymore, not even some temporary info it wants to save now and then. The best way would be to just force on read-only the PecanEngine.ini file only

Content
=======
current: 1.11c (2013.07.29)
prev: 1.10 (2013.06.13)
prev: 1.9b (2013.05.13)
prev: 1.8 (2013.04.11)
prev: 1.7b (2013.03.21)
prev: 1.6 (13.02.21)
prev: 1.5c (13.02.17)
prev: 1.5b (13.02.17)
prev: 1.5 (13.02.17)
prev: 1.4 (13.02.16)
prev: 1.3 (13.02.16)
prev: 1.2 (13.02.16)
prev: 1.1 (13.02.16)
release: 1.0 (13.02.14) in the original ACM custom settings.. thread

You can find my findings until now in the bellow commented sections

Gearbox
========
Oh, and dear Gearbox (yes, especially you, Randy), you owe me:
- a fixed ACM AI
- a fixed ACM aliens AI behavior
- ACM Unreal 3's engine's (or your own) renderer having the DX10/11 enabled
- one of each ACM's DLCs and Shift codes you'll have and/or will ever release :)

Atm, the game I am working on for a small software development business entered it final pre-release stage, so I'm sure you can imagine what sort of free time I have these days (that's the reason I've just posted those quick findings in the release day, instead giving you guys full details on how to actually achieve them)..

dan
Version History
Version History
=============

PecanCompat.ini
---------------------
1.11c + latest v1.4.0 (?!!) patch update (particle LOD bias decreased for app compat bucket 1 and 2)
1.10 + latest v1.3.0 patch update (GPU memory compat levels changed)
v1.9 + SSAO + latest v1.2.0 patch update
v1.7 + aniso + linear world textures
v1.7 + ShadowFilterQualityBias to 16
v1.7 + ShadowFadeResolution up to 1024

PecanEngine.ini
---------------------
v1.10 + latest v1.3.0 patch update (DefaultPoolSizeMB increaded to 5MB, MaxMemoryPools increased to 1024 and CIN_MISSION3_MIDGAME removed from skippable movies list)
v1.9b + reverted gamma and brightness to original values (game looks and feels dark enough with the original gamma and brightness values now)
v1.9 + latest v1.2.0 patch update
v1.8 FilmGrain setting (True, 50)
v1.7b faces and lightmaps textures' MaxLODSize to 4096
v1.7 + aniso + linear + sharpen10 textures
v1.7 + CompressCommandletVersion to 4
v1.7 TranslationCompressionFormat to 1
v1.7 RotationCompressionFormat to 1
v1.6h + added new forcing code
v1.6g + added bAllowMatureLanguage (by Shai`tan - seems I've totally missed it :) )
v1.6d+ dropped down gamma and brightness a little bit
v1.6 + modified max number of various rendered shadows and increased shadow distance
v1.1 + added new sections and modified all existing sections (textures, animations, SFX, particles, lighting and ambient lighting) allocated memory
v1.4 + increased ParticleMB to 50
v1.4 + enabled drop particles distortion
v1.4 + enabled motion blur
v1.4 + enabled detailed mode 5
v1.4 - get rid of the intro movies, without preventing any other in-game movies to be played
v1.3 + enabled DX10 renderer (not confirmed as fully working yet)
v1.3 + changed the audio engine from (default?) XAudio2 to FMOD
v1.2 + improved building (static objects?) textures and shadows quality
+ increased texture streaming LOD values
+ increased shadow filter LODBias
+ increased shadow resolutions
+ increased fading shadow resolutions
+ enabled self shadowing
+ enabled over whole scene shadows and increased their quality

PecanGame.ini
--------------------
v1.10 + latest v1.3.0 patch update (HUDColors modified for Asylum, Awakening, Escape and Redemption maps)

PecanInput.ini
-------------------
+v1.6f added F4 screenshot key
+v1.6e added F5 and F6 screenshots keys
+v1.6c added F1 toggle GUI key

WIP
====
Rising the max for used textures to 8192 was something I've considered, yet I haven't even tested as it shouldn't have any influence at all: there shouldn't be any textures greater then 4096 as even if the Unreal engine actually supports textures up to 8192, many relatively new videocards can not work with textures greater than 4096. And considering game's history, I really rely doubt they've bothered even with 4096 size textures. Shai`tan reported he tried it, and it seems to him to actually have an effect, so needs to be tested.

There are still some interesting settings I've found out while compiling this guide (most of them were already checked and enabled), so I've gathered them all in here, to have a look and test them later on.
Download & Install
As I see there are lots of people asking for pre-made files, so here they are.

http://ul.to/1uj4vlwp
https://mega.co.nz/#!gl9ilZhK!bWaA6kma4MAMx0fT5HQPOBkytuM82B6RQmpkdJDq9lo

Please do mind that you still HAVE to modify the following things in them:
- DEPRECATED adding your own videocard's id and settings batch number
- do what the PecanEngine.ini settings -> Forcing a certain batch section says
- modifying the resolution to your own one (current at 1920 x 1080, you need to do it in two places, both StartupResolutionX, StartupResolutionY and ResX, ResY)
- modify the FoV to your liking (FOVOffset, where 0 is ACM's slider completly to the left, and 30 completly to the right; my current setting is 40, but many people might find that to "fishy")
- set AllowJoystickInput back to 1 if you want to use controllers in order to enable them
- not use the PecanInput.ini at all but just copying the settings from it, as it actually contains my ACM customized controls.

They need to be copied over the exiting files you have in the C:\Users\%USERPROFILE%\Documents\my games\Aliens Colonial Marines\PecanGame\Config\ folder.
AI
Actually, and I've warned about this possibility from the beginning, this might still be a placebo effect. In the light of the new discussions we had in the Alien AI IS better with adjusted memory usage[forums.gearboxsoftware.com] thread, it occurred to me that actually GBX can have the users XP level influence the AI behavior in some way, even though they never ever mentioned something about it, and that the improved AI we are all observing seems more to be more likely caused by this, than by the memory budgets section modifications.

GBX haven't said anything yet about it, and until then, things are a little bit foggy, as:
a) GBX'es member statement that the memory budgets are not used at all was made after I've started messing with the memory budgets and receiving improved AI behavior reports
b) GBX'es member statement that the memory budgets are not used at all might be also wrong, as it can not account for the increased loading time, crashes when certain values are used and observed improved AI behavior and lipsynch
c) GBX never ever mentioned something about scaling the AI with user's XP level, and it is highly unlikely they've implemented such a system without having their marketing department use this info at all.

See this[forums.gearboxsoftware.com], this[forums.gearboxsoftware.com] and this posts fore more details about the topic.

We need more tests, with and without memory budgets modifications, with low user XP level and high user XP level in order to gather more info about this (observe: loading times, used memory, HDD streaming, AI behavior, lipsynch behavior). I for one certainly do not have time for all of these.

And in the end, as they are "not used", having them modified wouldn't do any harm, right?!!

Info
====

I've kept this off from this guide's info, as it could have been only a personal subjective perceiving of mine, instead a real thing. But as I've got more and more confirmations from different players using this guide, it seems that there's a real possibility that the AI behavior is better than ACM's original settings one.

Of course, all of the above are valid only for the Bad ♥♥♥ difficulty, no one bothered with testing on the other difficulty settings.

The settings were already in, starting with the version 1.4 of this guide, if I remember well, and are part of the PecanEngine.ini [MemoryBudgets] sections.

What I'm seeing in my current game:
- improved AI terrain awareness (aliens seems to be more prone to use the ceilings and the wall now)
- improved AI behavior (aliens seem to be less prone to remain "stunned" or get stuck in a bad AI state now)
- improved AI collision behavior (aliens seem to get stuck much less often now)
- improved lipsynching (marines seem to have better lipsync now)

This might still be just subjective perceiving or wishful thinking, but it can not hurt to make you guys aware of this possibility, and just try to observe it for yourselves.

Further Notes
============

There's not much we can do about AI without proper access to the AI code routines, something which most probably will never happen.

That's why I've said GBX (and Randy) are owing me a better AI behavior in the future patches for ACM, in exchange for all the work I put into this guide to help their customers.

There's still one thing which can be done, though.. If we'll get modding access to ACM's packed files, we might find AI behavior scripts in there, which we can improve (not so realistic expectation, as most probably the AI routines should be in included into game's code) or the NavMesh files (and this might actually be possible). I'm sure that looking through them we'll find out a lot of problems we might be able to eventually fix.

Special section dedicated to all the idiots keep pushing the "GBX guy said" argument
====================================================================

See this[forums.gearboxsoftware.com], this[forums.gearboxsoftware.com] and this posts fore more details about this topic.

The fact that some person "said" something doesn't make that saying an absolute truth. If all human beings would blindly believe everything they were told as being true, the Earth would still "be flat" and all of us still somewhere in the Middle Ages.

Do you even realize the stupidity of your case, which can be reduced to a simple "he said" ?!!
Do you even realize that the said person could be.. wrong?
a) he wasn't the only one working on the code. other programmers could have used the same variables for other things without him being aware of that
b) code might have bugs
c) he said the memory budgets are NOT used at all, as the tool using them for checking is missing from the release code, YET the program loads slower, it crashes when certain values are set in there, and we are still observing a better AI behavior (which might be related with this, even if most probably not - we can not know yet ♥♥♥ GBX DID NOT COMMENTED on the improved AI behavior issue at all)
d) deleting doesn't prove it's useless, because the values could have been easily initialized with defaults from within the code if these are missing in the settings files
Do you even realize that the said person could.. lie? Even if I do not see any reason why he would do such a thing, it's still a possibility.

"He said", therefore it must be a fact, absolute truth, and by mindlessly and zealously repeating it all over the place you'll make it even more true. And of course, everything else are just lies, and people not sharing the same opinion liars, so let's go bash them and burn them and kill them all.. Rrrright?!!

What good does it serves this mindless bashing of yours? To whom? And to which purpose? Does it makes you feel better? More.. manly?

The ONLY real thing you've accomplished was to make me sick of your spoiled childish behavior, and make me regret I've did started this guide and tried to offer as much assistance with it as i could. You clearly do not deserve it, and most probably I'll think twice before trying to offer some help again in the future.

In the end, the REAL facts are these:
- I've made this guide, and people are using it, and getting more joy from their game due to it
- after that, he said
- many users are reporting that they were using the modified memory budgets and their game seems to take longer to load, it crashes if those values are set in certain ways, AI behaves better, lipsynch seems better, which means that those memory budget values seem to be still used in some ways (despite of what "he said")
- you say he said
- an AI behavior scaled with user's XP levels (even if not usualy done for a game, much less for a FPS) seems a much better and more consistent explanation for the better AI behavior we all are witnessing then modified memory budgets
- you keep repeating that he said
- GBX has not officially commented anything on game's state itself, much less on this AI issue
- you keep to mindlessly repeating that he said

It's really ironic that GBX guy's statement is most probably right, but he, or GBX actually, needs to offer an explanation for the facts we're seeing:
- why the longer loading times, memory crashes when certain values are used if the memory budgets section is modified and yet supposedly not used at all?
- why does the AI seem to be better? is it because the AI behavior is linked with user's XP level? or to anything else beside's game's difficulty setting?
Screenshots



































PecanCompat.ini file settings
Location
========

The PecanCompat.ini file can be found in:
C:\Users\%USERPROFILE%\Documents\my games\Aliens Colonial Marines\PecanGame\Config\PecanCompat.ini

Usage
======

This file is used by ACM to start the game with some default settings batch, depending on your computer's hardware power (GPU/CPU/memory).

The problem with this file is that most of the newer videocards are NOT listed in here, and therefore the game makes a wild guess regarding how powerful your computer is, usually allocating your game's settings to a lower settings batch

Modifications
===========

a) adding the Videocard ID
----------------------------------

DEPRECATED - see PecanEngine.ini settings -> Forcing a certain settings batch section


Start the game normally, then open the Launch.log file (located in C:\Users\%USERPROFILE%\Documents\my games\Aliens Colonial Marines\PecanGame\Logs\ folder). Search for the hardware id section, which should look something like this (real example based on my computer):


Log: Changelist: 708706
Log: Command line:
Log: Full command line: "D:\games\steam\steamapps\common\Aliens Colonial Marines\Binaries\Win32\ACM.exe"
Log: Base directory: D:\games\steam\steamapps\common\Aliens Colonial Marines\Binaries\Win32\
[0001.76] Log: Computer: SOLARIS
[0001.76] Log: User: adonys
[0001.76] Log: CPU Page size=4096, Processors=8
[0001.76] Log: High frequency timer resolution =3.312802 MHz
[0001.76] Log: Memory total: Physical=16.0GB Pagefile=16.0GB Virtual=4.0GB
[0001.88] Log: STEAMWORKS initialized 1
[0001.90] Log: WinSock: version 1.1 (2.2), MaxSocks=32767, MaxUdp=65467
[0002.03] Log: Presizing for 0 objects not considered by GC, pre-allocating 0 bytes.
[0002.03] Log: Presizing GObjAvailable to 0 slots (~0 bytes)
[0002.12] Log: Object subsystem initialized
[0002.13] Log: Steamworks-provided language string: english
...
[0002.75] Log: GPU stats:
[0002.75] Log: VendorID: 000010DE
[0002.75] Log: DeviceID: 00001180
[0002.75] Log: DriverVersion: 9.18.13.1033
[0002.75] Log: DeviceName: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
[0002.75] Log: DriverName: nvd3dum.dll
[0002.75] Log: PixelShaderVersion: 3
[0002.75] Log: VertexShaderVersion: 3
[0002.76] Log: VRAMQuantity: 2048
[0002.76] Log: DedicatedVRAM: 1994
[0002.76] Log: AdapterCount: 1
[0002.76] Log: SupportsHardwareTnL: 1
[0002.76] Log: Machine detected compatibility level: Composite: 4. CPU: 5. GPU: 4.
[0002.76] Log: Previous detected compatibility level: Composite: 0. CPU: 0. GPU: 0.
[0002.79] Log: Writing new compatibility level to ini. Composite: 4. CPU: 5. GPU: 4.

Now, looking in here, we can see that my Gigabyte 680 GTX OC has the "DeviceID: 00001180", yet, if you'll have a look into the PecanCompat.ini file, there's no such a device in there. Actually,you'll have to transform 00001180 into 0x1180 before looking, but it is still not there. And because of this, ACM assigns a level 4 compatibility for my videocard (which is ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥, as it is one of the best videocards available out-there)

What you have to do now, is to go into your videocard's section in the PecanCompat.ini file, and manually add it (at the end of the list) in there.

For my videocard, I've just added a "0x1180=5,NVIDIA GeForce 680 GT" at the end of nVidia's videocard's list. the "5" is marking the videocard as to be run with the settings batch 5, which is supposed to be the maximum one.


[AppCompatGPU-0x10DE]
VendorName=NVIDIA
VendorMobileTag=Go
0x014F=1,GeForce 6200
0x00F3=1,GeForce 6200
...
0x0422=4,NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS
0x0423=4,NVIDIA GeForce 8300 GS
0x1180=5,NVIDIA GeForce 680 GT


b) maxing out the settings batch 5
--------------------------------------------

Now, the problem is that even the settings batch 5 doesn't seem to be really maxed out, as the world textures defined in there are set using the LODBias 1, instead LODBias 0, which is the maximum quality at which a texture can be loaded (ie at its real size) in Unreal 3 engine. This setting might still be over-ridden through the code at specific texture loading, so it might not work, but the highest settings should still have a general LODBias set on 0

There are also some other lines which can be modified, like for example the quality of the shadows.

Here are the original settings:
[AppCompatBucket5]
...
ShadowFilterQualityBias=1
...
ShadowFadeResolution=256
...
MinShadowResolution=64
MaxShadowResolution=2048
...
TEXTUREGROUP_World=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=1024,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=linear,MipFilter=linear)
TEXTUREGROUP_WorldNormalMap=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=1024,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=linear,MipFilter=linear)
TEXTUREGROUP_WorldSpecular=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=1024,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=linear,MipFilter=linear)

and here are the modifications I've made for me settings batch 5 section:
[AppCompatBucket5]
...
ShadowFilterQualityBias=16
...
ShadowFadeResolution=1024
...
MinShadowResolution=256
MaxShadowResolution=4096
..
TEXTUREGROUP_World=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=Aniso,MipFilter=Point)
TEXTUREGROUP_WorldNormalMap=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=Aniso,MipFilter=Point)
TEXTUREGROUP_WorldSpecular=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=Aniso,MipFilter=Point)

Forcing a certain settings batch
==========================

DEPRECATED - see PecanEngine.ini settings -> Forcing a certain settings batch section


ACM assign's a certain settings batch to be used for your computer based on the score it obtains on various tests it performs at initialization (see the C:\Users\%USERPROFILE%\Documents\my games\Aliens Colonial Marines\PecanGame\Logs\Launch.log file).

You can enforce this by lowering the requirements a certain computer need to meet in order to be assigned to settings batch 5 (except for the CPU score, which actually needs to be risen to allow slower processors getting into settings batch 5).


CPUScore5=275
CPUSpeed5=4.0
CPUMultiCoreMult=1.75
CPUHyperThreadMult=1.15
CPUMemory5=3.0
GPUmemory5=768
GPUShader5=3

I could have forced an "automatic" videocard discovery setting in here, by moving the content of settings batch 5 into settings batch 4 (which seems to be a default used when the videocard is not identified) or by lowering the requirements for all settings batches, but that would be bad for people not affording to run ACM with everything on max, and besides, the modifications needed to be manually done are few and simple, so everyone could do them (see Modifications section a) adding the Videocard ID).

Here's an example about how this enforcing can be done (I've posted this on another forum for a user which didn't understood how to do it by himself):

[AppCompat]
CPUScore1=1000
CPUScore2=1000
CPUScore3=1000
CPUScore4=1000
CPUScore5=1000
CPUSpeed1=1.8
CPUSpeed2=1.8
CPUSpeed3=1.8
CPUSpeed4=1.8
CPUSpeed5=1.8
CPUMultiCoreMult=1.75
CPUHyperThreadMult=1.15
CPUMemory1=0.5
CPUMemory2=0.5
CPUMemory3=0.5
CPUMemory4=0.5
CPUMemory5=0.5
GPUmemory1=128
GPUmemory2=128
GPUmemory3=128
GPUmemory4=128
GPUmemory5=128
GPUShader1=2
GPUShader2=2
GPUShader3=2
GPUShader4=2
GPUShader5=2
PecanEngine.ini settings
Location
========

The PecanEngine.ini file can be found in:
C:\Users\%USERPROFILE%\Documents\my games\Aliens Colonial Marines\PecanGame\Config\PecanEngine.ini

Modifications
===========

v1.6d+ dropped down gamma and brightness a little bit
v1.6 + modified max number of various rendered shadows and increased shadow distance
v1.5 + added new sections and modified all existing sections (textures, animations, SFX, particles, lighting and ambient lighting) allocated memory
v1.5 + dropped down FOV's offset a littel bit to +40
v1.4 + increased ParticleMB to 50
v1.4 + enabled drop particles distortion
v1.4 + enabled motion blur
v1.4 + enabled detailed mode 5
v1.4 - get rid of the intro movies, without preventing any other in-game movies to be played
v1.3 + enabled DX10 renderer's flag (confirmed as NOT working)
v1.3 + changed the audio engine from (default?) XAudio2 to FMOD (seems to NOT work yet)
v1.2 + improved building (static objects?) textures and shadows quality
v1.2 + increased texture streaming LOD values
v1.2 + increased shadow filter LODBias
v1.2 + increased shadow resolutions
v1.2 + increased fading shadow resolutions
v1.2 + enabled self shadowing
v1.2 + enabled over whole scene shadows and increased their quality
v1.0 + set PhysX on hardware acceleration mode (though it seems to deactivated the hard way from the code, as the log still shows PhysX starting in software mode)
v1.0 + enabled nVidia's stereoscopic 3D
v1.0 + modified min and max framerates (all framerate restrictions can be totally disabled by making bSmoothFrameRate false)
v1.0 + set LODBias on 0 for world textures (probably overriding the PecanCompat.ini (see the [ConfigCoalesceFilter] section's ini files load order, in which PecanEngine.ini seems to be the first, then PecanLightmass.ini, PecanGame.ini and last PecanCompat.ini - unless the order is reversed, which hardly seems to be the case, as the editors ini appears towards the end) -> (confirmed as NOT working - it actually crashes the game)
v1.0 + increased all sections (textures, animations, SFX, particles, lighting and ambient lighting) allocated memory
v1.0 + modified gamma from default 2.2 to 1.9 (2.0 seemed too lit while 1.8 seemed still too dark for my poor eyes and considering sceneries' present light sources, but this value is really a "de gustibus" one, use whatever pleases your eyes the most :P )
v1.0 + modified min desired frame rate from 35.000000 to 1.000000 (as it might force the engine to lower some quality in order to meet this desired frame rate) (untested)
v1.0 + disabled controllers
v1.0 + modified FOV's offset to +50
+ start in windowed mode by making StartupFullscreen false and WindowMode to 1 (untested)


Here are the original settings:
[Engine.Engine]
bAllowMatureLanguage=FALSE
MaxProcBuildingLODColorTextureSize=1024
MaxProcBuildingLODLightingTextureSize=256
UseProcBuildingLODTextureCropping=True
ForcePowerOfTwoProcBuildingLODTextures=True
bSubtitlesEnabled=True
bSubtitlesForcedOff=FALSE
bDisablePhysXHardwareSupport=True
bShouldGenerateSimpleLightmaps=TRUE
bSmoothFrameRate=TRUE
MinSmoothedFrameRate=22
MaxSmoothedFrameRate=62
AllowNvidiaStereo3d=False
...
[Engine.Client]
DisplayGamma=2.2
DisplayBrightness=1.0
MinDesiredFrameRate=35.000000
...
[WinDrv.WindowsClient]
AudioDeviceClass=XAudio2.XAudio2Device
AllowJoystickInput=1
StartupFullscreen=True
StartupResolutionX=1280
StartupResolutionY=720
...
[XAudio2.XAudio2Device]
MaxChannels=32
...
[TextureStreaming]
DynamicStreamingDistances=1500
DynamicStreamingDistances=1250
DynamicStreamingDistances=200
DynamicStreamingDistances=9
...
[SystemSettings]
MotionBlur=False
DropParticleDistortion=False
WindowMode=0
AllowD3D10=False
DetailMode=2
ShadowFilterQualityBias=1
MinShadowResolution=64
MinPreShadowResolution=8
MaxShadowResolution=2048
MaxWholeSceneDominantShadowResolution=1344
ShadowFadeResolution=128
PreShadowFadeResolution=16
MaxTemporaryShadows=2
MaxShadows=4
MaxFadingShadows=2
MaxShadowDistance=5000.000000
ResX=1280
ResY=720
bAllowBetterModulatedShadows=False
bEnableForegroundSelfShadowing=False
bAllowWholeSceneDominantShadows=False
FOVOffset=30
TEXTUREGROUP_World=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=1,MinMagFilter=Aniso,MipFilter=Point,MipGenSettings=TMGS_SimpleAverage)
TEXTUREGROUP_WorldNormalMap=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=1,MinMagFilter=Aniso,MipFilter=Point,MipGenSettings=TMGS_SimpleAverage)
TEXTUREGROUP_WorldSpecular=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=1,MinMagFilter=Aniso,MipFilter=Point,MipGenSettings=TMGS_SimpleAverage)
...
[FullScreenMovie]
bForceNoMovies=FALSE
StartupMovies=SPEC_LogoSega
StartupMovies=SPEC_LogoFox
StartupMovies=SPEC_LogoGearbox
StartupMovies=SPEC_LogoTimeGate
StartupMovies=SPEC_LogoNerve
StartupMovies=SPEC_LogoNVIDIA
StartupMovies=SPEC_Loading
..
[MemoryBudgets]
LocationMB=1
ArchetypeMB=1
ScriptMB=10
SkelMeshMB=2
StaticMeshMB=10
TextureMB=120
AnimationMB=15
AnimationSeqMB=1
AudioMB=10
ParticleMB=5
ParticleTemplateMB=1
LightingMB=1
AmbientLightingMB=1
LevelObjectsMB=4
BSPMB=1
KismetMB=1
TerrainMB=4
DecalMB=1
NavigationMB=1
PhysicsMB=10
ScaleformMB=8
EpicUIMB=1
MaterialMB=1
GameDataMB=3
ShadersMB=10
FragmentationMB=1
EngineCoreMB=1
SceneRenderingMB=1
GPUMemoryMB=1
FoliageMB=10
BinkMB=1
StackMB=1
CodeMB=30
BehaviorsMB=1
OtherObjectsMB=1

and here are the modifications I've made for my settings:
bAllowMatureLanguage=True
MaxProcBuildingLODColorTextureSize=4096
MaxProcBuildingLODLightingTextureSize=1024
UseProcBuildingLODTextureCropping=False
bDisablePhysXHardwareSupport=False
bShouldGenerateSimpleLightmaps=False
bSmoothFrameRate=FALSE
MinSmoothedFrameRate=60
MaxSmoothedFrameRate=120
AllowNvidiaStereo3d=True
...
[Engine.Client]
DisplayGamma=1.8
DisplayBrightness=0.8
MinDesiredFrameRate=1.000000
...
[WinDrv.WindowsClient]
AudioDeviceClass=FModAudio.FModAudioDevice
AllowJoystickInput=0
StartupResolutionX=1680
StartupResolutionY=1050
...
[XAudio2.XAudio2Device]
MaxChannels=128
...
[TextureStreaming]
DynamicStreamingDistances=5000
DynamicStreamingDistances=2500
DynamicStreamingDistances=500
DynamicStreamingDistances=50
...
[SystemSettings]
MotionBlur=True
DropParticleDistortion=False
AllowD3D10=True
DetailMode=5
ShadowFilterQualityBias=16
MinShadowResolution=256
MinPreShadowResolution=64
MaxShadowResolution=4096
MaxWholeSceneDominantShadowResolution=4096
ShadowFadeResolution=1024
PreShadowFadeResolution=128
MaxTemporaryShadows=20
MaxShadows=40
MaxFadingShadows=20
MaxShadowDistance=20000.000000
ResX=1680
ResY=1060
bAllowBetterModulatedShadows=True
bEnableForegroundSelfShadowing=True
bAllowWholeSceneDominantShadows=True
FOVOffset=40
...
[FullScreenMovie]
[delete all StartupMovies=SPEC_name entries]
..
[MemoryBudgets]
LocationMB=10
ArchetypeMB=10
ScriptMB=100
SkelMeshMB=25
StaticMeshMB=100
TextureMB=1024
AnimationMB=200
AnimationSeqMB=25
AudioMB=100
ParticleMB=100
ParticleTemplateMB=10
LightingMB=100
AmbientLightingMB=100
LevelObjectsMB=50
BSPMB=10
KismetMB=1
TerrainMB=100
DecalMB=25
NavigationMB=25
PhysicsMB=100
ScaleformMB=100
EpicUIMB=10
MaterialMB=25
GameDataMB=50
ShadersMB=100
FragmentationMB=10
EngineCoreMB=10
SceneRenderingMB=100
GPUMemoryMB=100
FoliageMB=50
BinkMB=1
StackMB=50
CodeMB=100
BehaviorsMB=100
OtherObjectsMB=10

Forcing a certain settings batch
==========================

I've discovered a new and simpler way to do this. All you need to do is to replace whatever [AppCompat] section you have at the bottom of your PecanEngine.ini settings file with the following section:

[AppCompat]
MeasuredCPUScore=-1.000000
CompatLevelComposite=5
CompatLevelCPU=5
CompatLevelGPU=5

You need to force the PecanEngine.ini on read only though in order to have this working. Otherwise, just use the old way.
PecanGame.ini settings
Location
========

The PecanGame.ini file can be found in:
C:\Users\%USERPROFILE%\Documents\my games\Aliens Colonial Marines\PecanGame\Config\PecanGame.ini

Modifications
===========

a) increased the number of dead bodies on the floor (from default 5 to 50)
b) increased pawn actors ragdoll removal considering time (from 6 to 60 and 120 secs)
c) lengthen the time dead marines actors remains on the floor after they die until they can be considered for removal (I've cranked it up to 240 secs)
d) lengthen the time dead pawn actors (the enemies: aliens) remains on the floor after they die until they can be considered for dissolve (up to 90 secs) and removal (I've cranked it up to 180 secs)
e) increased the max number of pieces in which a body can be broken at death (default 2, I've increased it up to 5, then lowered it to 3 as 5 seemed too much)
f) increased the max number of gibblets at an actor death's (from default 5 to 20, then lowered it a little bit to 10)
g) you can disable melee encounters (if you find them not on your taste) by making bEnableMeleeEncounter false

Here are the original settings:
[PecanGame.PecanPawn]
SecondsBeforeConsideringRagdollRemoval=6.0
SecondsBeforeVisibleRagdollRemoval=6.0
MaximumNumberOfCorpses=5
bEnableMeleeEncounter=true

[PecanGame.PecanPawnMarine]
SecondsBeforeVisibleRagdollRemoval=240

[PecanGame.PecanGoreDefinition]
ExcessiveGoreRagdollDelayBeforeDissolve=28
ExcessiveGoreRagdollDelayBeforeDestroy=30
MaxGoreBodyParts=2
MaxGibletCount=5

and here are the modifications I've made for my settings:
[PecanGame.PecanPawn]
SecondsBeforeConsideringRagdollRemoval=60.0
SecondsBeforeVisibleRagdollRemoval=120.0
MaximumNumberOfCorpses=50

[PecanGame.PecanGoreDefinition]
ExcessiveGoreRagdollDelayBeforeDissolve=90
ExcessiveGoreRagdollDelayBeforeDestroy=180
MaxGoreBodyParts=3
MaxGibletCount=10
PecanInput.ini settings
Location
========

The PecanInput.ini file can be found in:
C:\Users\%USERPROFILE%\Documents\my games\Aliens Colonial Marines\PecanGame\Config\PecanInput.ini

Modifications
===========

a) you can also increase mouse hor/ver movement speed
b) increase mouse sensitivity
c) disable mouse smoothing (confirmed as NOT working)
d) modified the double click time
e) you can also modify mouse acceleration
f) enable the console
g) added no HUD key (F1)
h) added the screenshots keys (F4 normal, F5 and F6 tiled screenshots)

Here are the original settings:
[Engine.PlayerInput]
LookRightScale=300
LookUpScale=-250
MouseSensitivity=20.0
DoubleClickTime=0.250000
bEnableMouseSmoothing=true
bUseLogarithmicAimScaling=true

[Engine.Console]
ConsoleKey=Undefined
MaxScrollbackSize=1024

[PecanGame.PecanPlayerInput]
LookRightScale=450
LookUpScale=-400

and here are the modifications I've made for my settings:
[Engine.PlayerInput]
MouseSensitivity=30.0
DoubleClickTime=0.125000
bEnableMouseSmoothing=false
...
Bindings=(Name="F1",Command="Togglehud")
Bindings=(Name="F4",Command="shot")
Bindings=(Name="F5",Command="tiledshot 1 128")
Bindings=(Name="F6",Command="tiledshot 4 128")

[Engine.Console]
ConsoleKey=Tilde
MaxScrollbackSize=1024
WIP..
This is the first time I am really trying to mess with Unreal 3 engine settings, so there are a lot of things I need to discover and try.


Bellow is a list of settings I've found while working on the first version of this guide, which needs investigation (ie modification and testing to see the results) - many of them are looking VERY promising:

PecanEngine.ini
- bUseMaxQualityMode set on True crashes the engine
- Suppress Shadows and DevGearboxAI just disables their messages appearing in game's console
[Engine.Engine]
bUseTextureStreaming=True
bUseBackgroundLevelStreaming=True

[Core.System]
Suppress=Shadows
Suppress=DevGearboxAI

[AnimationCompression]

[SystemSettings]
bUseMaxQualityMode=False

[Engine.GameViewportClient]
ShowAllDisable=dlight
ShowAllDisable=alight

PecanGame.ini
[Engine.WorldInfo]
MaxPhysicsSubsteps=5
...
bAllowHostMigration=FALSE
HostMigrationTimeout=15

[Engine.DecalManager]
DecalLifeSpan=10.0

[PecanGame.PecanPlayerController]
bToggleAimMode=false

[PecanGame.PecanVersusHUD]
TimeColor=(R=255,G=255,B=255,A=255)
TimePosX=40
TimePosY=120
RespawnColor=(R=255,G=0,B=0,A=255)
RespawnPosX=40
RespawnPosY=210
RespawnMsgPosY=270
EndGameColor=(R=255,G=255,B=0,A=255)
EndGamePosY=250
WallWalkColor=(R=255,G=255,B=255,A=255)
WallWalkPosX=40
WallWalkPosY=650
DeathMessageLifetime=5.0
XenoColor=(R=0,G=255,B=0,A=255)
MarineColor=(R=0,G=0,B=255,A=255)
VictimXOffset=10
IconXOffset=10
KillerXOffset=10
YOffset=100
BleedOutPosX=40
BleedOutPosY=150
bShowLevelTimer=false

[PecanGame.PecanTDMHUD]
ScoreColor=(R=255,G=255,B=255,A=255)
ScoreFont=font'xPecan_HUD.fonts.vectorbattle_14pt'
ScorePosX=40
ScorePosY=50

[PecanGame.PecanVersusScoreboard]
WinTextPosY=170
EndGamePosY=100
SpaceBetweenScoresLines=5
ScoresPosY=220
ScoreColor=(R=255,G=255,B=255,A=255)
MarineColor=(R=100,G=100,B=255,A=255)
XenoColor=(R=100,G=255,B=100,A=255)
SpectatorColor=(R=100,G=255,B=255,A=255)
BackgroundColor=(R=100,G=100,B=100,A=200)

[PecanGame.PecanEggHuntGameInfo]
MaxLives=5

[PecanGame.PecanGameInfoVersus]
EnemyAllyRatio=1.6
MaxOtherPlayers=11.0
FloorHeight=240.0
MaxXenoComboAttackLength=4

PecanInput.ini
- possible movement speed modifications (stupid if the server is not reinforcing them, as it might lead to cheating)
[Engine.PlayerInput]
MoveForwardSpeed=1200
MoveStrafeSpeed=1200
376 Comments
< >
Switch-kun Sep 8 @ 9:28pm 
Hi, I downloaded that file, and I'm having a hard time determing what the following mean:

- DEPRECATED adding your own videocard's id and settings batch number
- do what the PecanEngine.ini settings -> Forcing a certain batch section says

Where do I add my own videocard's id and settings batch number? And what do you mean by forcing a certain batch section? Can you be more specific please? Please and thanks!
DreamcastRIP Aug 5 @ 7:50pm 
Many thanks for this excellent guide. I've followed all steps and the game certainly seems to look better than I remember it looking before.

One minor issue I'm having since making the changes outlined iin the OP though is with respect to v-sync. The game runs at circa 110-120fps at 1080p without screen tearing on my PC's 60Hz monitor which I'm delighted. However, if I change the config file to set v-sync to 'true' so to enable it (file set to read-only) the change to 60fps doesn't happen when playing the game.

It's not a 'problem' per se but sometimes I'd like to play at 60fps just to give the GPU a breather! Any suggestions on how to enable v-sync without accessing the game's in-game video settings screen because doing that may mess up the changes implemented by the steps outlined in the OP (as is my understanding, anyway)?
Dax_Aussie_Boy Jul 12 @ 10:26pm 
OMG i like these new setting..... THANK YOU.... now we need something to fix the AI of the aliens.....
Gidion Feb 23 @ 8:19am 
so does this improve the alien AI? because i had an *mod* were you could turn of the hud completly and body's would stay very long
tangojamo Jan 31 @ 4:12am 
Thanks to you, I'm back in the game! If it had looked this good on release...The atmosphere is gorgeous looking on my rig. Really draws you into the action and suspense. Aliens seem more realistic as well with the improved A.I.. Now if you could just find a way to improve "Nugget's" i.q. Meh, not likely.
kaiserjez Jan 20 @ 5:44am 
Ok, so I know that this game sucks but I saw it for £3 and thought, even if it's bad, I'll get £3 worth of enjoyment right? I dunno because I really can't seem to get the thing to work.
For some reason it's refusing point blank to recognise my graphics card. I'm using a 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M, I've tried looking at the launch log and the game keeps on trying to run from my Intel HD Graphics 4000, even though I've gone through the NVIDIA control thing and set it to run using the GeForce.
I've tried following the guide here but I'm stuck due to the fact in the log it's using the crappy Intel card, so I'm assuming the ID number is for that, not the GeForce. Is there anyway to get the DeviceID for the GeForce and force the game to start using it?

Cheers!
ϟRobbyϟPentakill☢ Jan 18 @ 4:05pm 
When I launch the game it says "PhysX by Nvidia", but when I play the game it's running PhysX > CPU instead of PhysX > GPU. Are Dedicated PhysX supported?
muggz.munny Jan 16 @ 10:06am 
damn I'm too lazy for this stuff, do pre-made settings change anything?
mahon007 Jan 12 @ 6:35am 
This tweak is the best thing that ever happened to ACM, nice work and thank you!
Cilitbeng Nov 27, 2013 @ 4:17am 
@ Peditor132

Try my tweaks at modb / Cilitbängpack 1.7. I can´t paste the link. Don´t know why...

I´ts close to the Adonys one. But I edited the memorybudget for better fps. And disabel the pagefiles in Windows. Cave! You need min. 6GB of RAM for that. And a fast HDD (7200 rpm) or SSD is recommended.

With those tweaks I don´t have any (mikro) stuttering anymore. It´s a known problem with UR3 engine games.