[Guide] : fake-fullscreen and optimisation

10

All of this applies if you have either a single monitor or more than one monitor.

This guide will go over how to setup a fullsreen script that both makes your FA run in windowed full screen (AKA: fake-fullscreen) and optimizes FA in order to gain a bit of performance.

There are multiple versions of the script depending on your monitor setup, and whether you just want the windowed fullscreen, the optimization, or both.

I’ll just give you the baseline and then step by step it so you can meet your needs.

(Single monitor (at any resolution) example first)

  • run a test game of FA and go into graphic settings and set the resolution to « windowed » (you may now exit FA)
  • download and install AutoHotkey (when it is done installing don't run, there's nothing to run. Just close the installer)
  • hit Win+"R"
  • type "shell:startup"
  • in the folder that opens right click go to "New" -> "AutohotkeyScript" this should create a new ahk file. (You can name it fullscreenScript or something similar)

Open this file with notepad or notepad++ ( or equivalent basic text editor that can edit code)

(best version of this script : https://forum.faforever.com/topic/123/guide-fake-fullscreen-and-optimisation/27 )

paste this (this is the script you will have to adapt to suit your needs)

#NoEnv
SendMode Input
SetWorkingDir %A_ScriptDir%
#Persistent
procName := "ForgedAlliance.exe"
SetTimer, CheckProc, 2000
Return


CheckProc:
    If (!ProcessExist(procName))
        Return

    WinGet Style, Style, % "ahk_exe " procName
    If (Style & 0xC40000) 
        {
        WinSet, Style, -0xC40000, % "ahk_exe " procName
        WinMinimize , % "ahk_exe " procName
        WinMaximize, % "ahk_exe " procName
        Run, %comspec% /c process -a forgedalliance.exe 1110
        Run, %comspec% /c process -p forgedalliance.exe high
    }
    Return

ProcessExist(exeName)
{
   Process, Exist, %exeName%
   return !!ERRORLEVEL
}
return

The Run, %comspec% bit is the part you can remove (two lines) if you’re not interested in the optimization.

However, if you are interested, edit the 1110 on that line to fit your processor thread count. Mine has twelve so my number has twelve digits E.G. : 111111111110

  • when you’re satisfied with your edits hit ctrl-S, then alt-F4 to exit your text editor.
  • (if not interested in optimisation skip this) download this : https://github.com/tatsujb/Process.exe/raw/master/Process.exe and place this file (Process.exe) in c:\windows\system32
  • You’re done! you can either restart the computer or double click the file
  • (Optional although strongly recommended, especially if you have two monitors) add « UI Party » in the mod vault and enable it by hosting a test game with it (you’ll have to configure UI Party)

(Example with two 1080p monitors that are ordered left to right you’ll need to adapt the pixel sizes if your monitors are a different resolution than 1080p, note that FA is now a window so it can’t stretch it’s bottom border two different amounts, if you have different resolution monitors one of the two monitors will not be completely filled.)

#NoEnv
SendMode Input
SetWorkingDir %A_ScriptDir%
#Persistent


procName := "ForgedAlliance.exe"
SetTimer, CheckProc, 2000
Return

CheckProc:
    If (!ProcessExist(procName))
        Return
      
      
    WinGet Style, Style, % "ahk_exe " procName
    If (Style & 0xC40000) 
    {
        WinSet, Style, -0xC40000, % "ahk_exe " procName ; remove the titlebar and border(s)
        WinMove, % "ahk_exe " procName , , 0, 0, 3840, 1080 ; move the window to 0,0 and resize it to fit across 2 monitors.
        WinMaximize, % "ahk_exe " procName
        WinRestore, % "ahk_exe " procName
        Run, %comspec% /c process -a forgedalliance.exe 1110
        Run, %comspec% /c process -p forgedalliance.exe high
    }
    Return

ProcessExist(exeName)
{
   Process, Exist, %exeName%
   return !!ERRORLEVEL
}
return

Go here for full sets of examples : https://forums.faforever.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9778

Here is an exe version : https://forums.faforever.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9778&start=40#p154100

How to correctly handle two different sized screens : https://forums.faforever.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9778&start=90#p185820

The breakdown, for those who like understanding the nuts and bolts of what they use :

I use autohotkey (AKA : AHK) as a scripting language here because AHK has absolutely no performance hit on your system especially in the case of this script and if it’s the only one.

The first couple lines set our variables namely the process name that we’re looking for (E.G. « ForgedAlliance.exe » . Yes, this does imply that simply by replacing this you can get the same full screen effect on any other game or app).

Then we tell it to disable the window border,

Then we tell it to minimize,

Then, in the first example I listed, to maximize (which when you don’t have a window border means the entire screen) ( in the second example I listed I set it to the combined dual monitor resolution)

That’s fake fullscreen.

The optimisation bit is something that works for FA for the following reasons :

  • FA always starts on the first core/thread
  • FA is mainly a single thread, single core app. It has a second thread for the user interface (which accounts for about 5% of FA’s cpu usage so it doesn’t really matter, it’s thread/core is generally very idle). The main thread/core however generally averages at 100% usage.
  • windows boots and runs it’s main services on the first core/thread.

This combination of factors means that moving FA main thread to another thread, any other thread, yields overhead that you aren’t otherwise getting.

Right, so you could just open your task manager after launching a game, find FA in the details tab (not the processes tab) right click it and set core affinity and remove the checkmark on the first core and apply.

Well this was a popular thing to do by hand but I found it tedious so I automated it.

This was a bit tricky as normally no non-admin process could modify other threads in this way. But I found an old archaic Microsoft system32 tool, crudely named « Process » which you can pipe a process name to plus what you want it to do to it without requiring any privileges of any sort. Neat. #justwindowsthings

So I use process. Why do I place it in system32? Because that’s the equivalent on windows to adding it to the path suddenly when AHK makes a console call (Run) of that name (process) it is found. Perfect.

So what is this 1110, 111111111110 deal? Process takes ones and zeroes as arguments for its thread affinity parameter. One means « use thread » zero means « don’t use this thread  ». For whatever reason they are listed backwards, this is why the zero is last (we’re trying not to use the first thread). Ok so how many ones do I put? As many as you have threads on your CPU minus the last one where you’ll put a zero instead, an easy way to check is to open task manager and right click on the cpu graph and select « show logical cores » and count the graphs.

In the second line that calls process I do something else, what is that? Yes, I’m also setting FA’s process priority to high.

For 99% of apps this does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. But for some reason FA is apparently not already getting a fair shake from window (8 and up (that means windows 10))’s task prioritizer. Weird, I know. We take those.

There now you understand the whole fullscreen/optimisation script.

AHK gets flagged as a hack/cheat/bot by Black Desert Online’s anti cheat software! 😞

Uhm, if you’re letting rootkits onto your computer, you’re fucking yourself already, I can’t help there. Don’t play games that impose rootkit software as an anticheat, this needs to be intergrated into gamer culture. That these rootkits are « official » rootkits does not make it any better and it calling AHK « a cheat » is really the pot calling the kettle black considering rootkits are malware.

what’s the Linux step by step

Well the whole core optimisation thing is moot since Linux abstracts away threads and doesn’t « order » them or « start a process on a specific thread ». The overhead and prioritazation are also moot because you’re not emulating a full windows, just the parts you need, and lastly the windowed is moot because the emulation plus whatever DE you have basically kinda result in the same result. There’s only the multiple monitor thing I would be curious to know how to do.

Hope this helps thousands of people! 🙂

1

Quality! Appreciated!

0

I have 2 monitors. Is it accurate to say that if I use "fake fullscreen," I have to choose between "treat both screens together as 1 monitor" or "just don't use your second monitor"?

Without using fake fullscreen, I am able to use my second monitor to display the map (like having a giant mini map that I never look at because my first monitor is so wide that it takes up all my vision anyway).

1

@arma473 no it's not accurate.

you just use the ui party mod as stated. you'll see it's ideal. and the screens truly behave as two independent screens even though you're in fake fullscreen.

0

@tatsu said in [Guide] : fake-fullscreen and optimisation:

@arma473 no it's not accurate.

you just use the ui party mod as stated. you'll see it's ideal. and the screens truly behave as two independent screens even though you're in fake fullscreen.

According to that thread, I'm supposed to use UI-Festival instead of UI-Party. Do you know if that's true? So I have to get UI-Festival through github because it's not in the mod vault.

Or does UI-Party currently support different-size screens?

1

the point of UI-festival the way I see it is only if you have two screens of different resolutions.

if your two screens are of the same resolution UI-Party is the one for you.

0

one is landscape, the other one is portrait. So it probably just won't work for me. I'm doing okay without fake fullscreen so I guess i will just stick with that. Thanks for your help though.

Is there a way to get any kind of optimization without fake fullscreen? Can I use AHK to prioritize the thread, without fake fullscreen?

0

Is there a benefit to doing it the way outlined in the OP over using an app like Game Companion?

0

well yes,

  1. this is more optimized, lower consumption of resources than Game companion and
  2. this allows to execute our optimization of FA itself.
0

@arma473 well that's where you would need UI-Festival.

anyways it's up to you

0

@tatsu said in [Guide] : fake-fullscreen and optimisation:

There are multiple versions of the script depending on your monitor setup, and whether you just want the windowed fullscreen, the optimization, or both.

This makes it seem like you shouldn't need fake fullscreen for the optimisation. As it is, I couldn't get the fake fullscreen to work this way for some reason (probably user error) so I will just switch back to what I was doing before I guess.

1

Just so no one has to look for it, from the prior thread, here is the script given if you want to use AHK for optimization, without using it for Fake Fullscreen. There are other examples of scripts people used in the prior thread (https://forums.faforever.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9778)

#NoEnv
SendMode Input
SetWorkingDir %A_ScriptDir%
#Persistent

procName := "ForgedAlliance.exe"
SetTimer, CheckProc, 2000
Return


CheckProc:
    If (!ProcessExist(procName))
        Return

    WinGet Style, Style, % "ahk_exe " procName
    If (Style & 0xC40000)
    {
Run, %comspec% /c process -a forgedalliance.exe 111111111110    ;remember to edit this to fit you thread count!!
Run, %comspec% /c process -p forgedalliance.exe high
    }
    Return

ProcessExist(exeName)
{
   Process, Exist, %exeName%
   return ERRORLEVEL
}

return

(And remember to edit the thread count where the comment in the code indicates, e.g. 1110 for 4 logical cores, 11111110 for 8 cores)

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This post is deleted!
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yeah I had that too.

check the spacing.

it's space sensitive for where it begins and ends the loops.
mine looks like this :

1ed264e8-1055-4573-9393-24cda1998ab7-image.png

0

Can the fake full screen / multi monitor thing be done on linux?

0

@SpikeyNoob said in [Guide] : fake-fullscreen and optimisation:

Can the fake full screen / multi monitor thing be done on linux?

no.

I don't think so.

I gave up but if you find a way let me know!

look here : https://forum.faforever.com/topic/123/guide-fake-fullscreen-and-optimisation/2

what’s the Linux step by step

1

ok worth a shot ig. Ill let u know if I ever figure it out.

1

Made anower variant of AHK script.
Using Win 10, AutoHotkey, Steam version of game and Downlord's FAF Client.
For some reason Steam runs "SupremeCommander.exe", FAF Client runs "ForgedAlliance.exe".

I made some manipulations to make AHK script

  • stop or pause by itself if game haven't started after 2 minutes or right after script done all things,

  • do things only once on each game start,

  • do nothing then nothing is needed and also

  • run singleplayer from descktop shortcut made by Steam,

  • run multyplayer from descktop shortcut for Downlord's FAF Client.

Lets start from Steam descktop sortcut:
Just right click game shortcut , go to Properties and change URL (I had steam://rungameid/9420, we will start it in script) and insert full file path to your script, Save. Old URL insert into script.
To check it, simply open sortcut in any notepad you have. You will see somethig like that:
File "Supreme Commander Forged Alliance.url":

[{000214A0-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}]
Prop3=19,9
[InternetShortcut]
IDList=
IconIndex=0
URL=file:///D:/Program%20Files/FAF%20borderleess%20fullscreen%20window.ahk
IconFile=D:\Steam\steam\games\540979be595a41206b56a2e427c29dce1c212ad2.ico
HotKey=0

Note: just Ctrl+C -> Ctrl+V full file path, Windows will add "file:///...%20..." staff by itself if done in Properties.

Next is doing the same for FAF Client:
Right click this time Downlord's FAF Client sortcut (it is standard *.lnk, no url staff) go to Properties and change Object path from "D:\Program Files\Downlord's FAF Client\downlords-faf-client.exe" to "D:\Program Files\Downlord's FAF Client\FAF borderleess.ahk". Old Object run in script.

So, it is time for scripts!

Scrip file "FAF borderleess fullscreen window.ahk" in "D:/Program Files/" directory for singleplayer:

#NoEnv
SendMode Input
SetWorkingDir %A_ScriptDir%
#Persistent

Run, steam://rungameid/9420
procName := "SupremeCommander.exe"

Process, Wait, %procName%, 120 ; Waits for process to start, no more then 120 seconds
NewPID := ErrorLevel
if not NewPID
{
    MsgBox The specified process did not appear.
    ExitApp ; Stop this script
}

SetTimer, CheckProc, 2000
return

CheckProc:
    if (!ProcessExist(procName))
        return
     
    WinGet Style, Style, % "ahk_exe " procName
    if (Style & 0xC40000)
    {
        WinSet, Style, -0xC40000, % "ahk_exe " procName ; remove the titlebar and border(s)
        WinMove, % "ahk_exe " procName , , 0, 0, 1920, 1080 ; move the window to 0,0 and resize it to fit across 1 or 2 monitors.
        WinMaximize, % "ahk_exe " procName
        WinRestore, % "ahk_exe " procName

        ; set High priority and cores affinity 
        Process, Priority, %procName%, H
        ProcessHandle := DllCall("OpenProcess", "UInt", 0x1F0FFF, "Int", false, "UInt", NewPID)
        DllCall("SetProcessAffinityMask", "UInt", ProcessHandle, "UInt", 14 ) ; 1110x2 = 14x10 CPU 0 unchecked, CPU 1-3 checked
        DllCall("CloseHandle", "UInt", ProcessHandle)

        ExitApp  ; Stop this script
    }
return

ProcessExist(exeName)
{
   Process, Exist, %exeName%
   return !!ERRORLEVEL
}
return

This one starts before singleplayer, calls Steam to run the game, waits for game, does borderleess fullscreen and optimisation and stops right after that. No script running while you are playing.

Scrip file "FAF borderleess.ahk" in "D:\Program Files\Downlord's FAF Client" directory for multyplayer:

#NoEnv
SendMode Input
SetWorkingDir %A_ScriptDir%
#Persistent

Run, downlords-faf-client.exe

procName := "ForgedAlliance.exe"
procNameClient := "downlords-faf-client.exe"

Process, Wait, %procNameClient%, 120 ; Waits for process to start, no more then 120 seconds
NewPID := ErrorLevel
if not NewPID
{
    MsgBox The specified process did not appear.
    ExitApp ; Stop this script
}

SetTimer, CheckProc, 2000

; Stop then FAF Client stoped
Process, WaitClose, %procNameClient%
ExitApp

CheckProc:
    if (!ProcessExist(procName))
        return

    WinGet Style, Style, % "ahk_exe " procName
    if (Style & 0xC40000)
    {
        WinSet, Style, -0xC40000, % "ahk_exe " procName ; remove the titlebar and border(s)
        WinMove, % "ahk_exe " procName , , 0, 0, 1920, 1080 ; move the window to 0,0 and resize it to fit across 1 or 2 monitors.
        WinMaximize, % "ahk_exe " procName
        WinRestore, % "ahk_exe " procName

        ; set High priority and cores affinity 
        Process, Priority, %procName%, H
        NewPID := ErrorLevel
        ProcessHandle := DllCall("OpenProcess", "UInt", 0x1F0FFF, "Int", false, "UInt", NewPID)
        DllCall("SetProcessAffinityMask", "UInt", ProcessHandle, "UInt", 14 ) ; 1110x2 = 14x10 CPU 0 unchecked, CPU 1-3 checked
        DllCall("CloseHandle", "UInt", ProcessHandle)

        Process, WaitClose, %procName%
    }
return

ProcessExist(exeName)
{
   Process, Exist, %exeName%
   return !!ERRORLEVEL
}
return

This starts before FAF Client and waits for FAF Client to run the game. Script is checking for game in loop every 2 seconds. On every game start it does borderleess fullscreen and optimisation BUT does NOT stop after that. Script pauses the loop while you are playing, but is still running while doing nothing. Then the game is over script will resume the loop to catch your next game start. Once you stops FAF Client, sript will stop automaticully.

Now :

  • sortcurts will run AHK scripts,

  • scripts will run game in Steam or run FAF Client,

  • scripts do nothing while you are in game

  • you don't need to stop scripts and

  • you can hide script file anywhere (well, for FAF Client better keep it in client's dir, maybe becase of ' in directory name).

  • Oh, and you need only AutoHotkey for this to work.

If all worked fine you will see in task manager high priority and unchecked first core (CPU 0) affinity for game process, "fake fullscreen mode" in game and no Alt+Tab issues.

Note:
In case your taskbar don't want to hide at all (rarely happens when very actively using other soft at game start, so I don't fix it) you may add hotkey or auto hiding like this:

Process, Wait, %procName%, 120
NewPID := ErrorLevel
if not NewPID
{
    MsgBox The specified process did not appear.
    ExitApp
}
; hide taskbar on process start
HideShowTaskbar(true)

; here do anythig like SetTimer, CheckProc, 2000

Process, WaitClose, %procName%
; show taskbar on process stop and stop this script
HideShowTaskbar(false)
ExitApp

; set action to true to hide or false to show Taskbar
HideShowTaskbar(action) {
   static ABM_SETSTATE := 0xA, ABS_AUTOHIDE := 0x1, ABS_ALWAYSONTOP := 0x2
   VarSetCapacity(APPBARDATA, size := 2*A_PtrSize + 2*4 + 16 + A_PtrSize, 0)
   NumPut(size, APPBARDATA), NumPut(WinExist("ahk_class Shell_TrayWnd"), APPBARDATA, A_PtrSize)
   NumPut(action ? ABS_AUTOHIDE : ABS_ALWAYSONTOP, APPBARDATA, size - A_PtrSize)
   DllCall("Shell32\SHAppBarMessage", UInt, ABM_SETSTATE, Ptr, &APPBARDATA)
}

taskBarIsHidden = false
; ["ctrl" + "win" + "z"] hotkey to toggle taskbar
; this should be in the end of the script, nothing else worked otherwise...
^#z:: HideShowTaskbar(taskBarIsHidden := taskBarIsHidden = true ? false : true)
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wow well done @IO_Nox !

1

@tatsu

Not that well it seems)
Thanks for you comment I reread post and found one significant error:
It seem I Copy-pasted not the latest version, multipleer script neend one extra line to make it pause the loop
" Process, WaitClose, %procName%" in the end of "if" section. Without this line script do not pause the loop...