Dork™ performance tips

You're probably here because you're getting unsatisfactory performance from Dork. This generally means that rendering is too slow, i.e., the frame rate is too low. Frame rate is the number of times per second that the screen is redrawn. Ideally you should get a frame rate equal to your screen's refresh rate, which is usually at least 60. (You may be able to get a frame rate higher than the screen refresh rate by turning off vertical sync, but this is not recommended.) The game is still playable with frame rates around 30 (though it may be more difficult). If you want to know the exact frame rate, you can tell Dork to display it continuously by going to the "Options" screen and checking the "Frame rate" check box.

The most common cause of a low frame rate is old, slow video hardware; but see the note at the bottom of this page if you have trouble with new, fast hardware.

Here are some things that may help improve the frame rate:

  • Make sure you have the most recent drivers for your video hardware. Check your video card manufacturer's web site for updates.

  • On Windows, make sure hardware acceleration is set to its maximum value. In Windows XP, this setting is accessed from the Control Panel → Display → Settings → Advanced → Troubleshoot.

  • On Macintosh, you may get better results in full screen mode (the default) than in window mode. If running in window mode, do not set the screen to 256 colors.

  • Close other applications. Web browsers, in particular, seem to lead to annoying pauses that can make it difficult to play.

  • Reduce the detail settings for the game. Go to the "Options" screen from the main menu. The largest effect will be produced by reducing the screen resolution (or window size), setting texture filtering to "None" and turning off blending. Turning off mipmapping may help in some cases. Turning off vertical sync may boost the frame rate, but it usually doesn't make rendering look any smoother.

    If reducing the resolution makes the screen look distorted (i.e., wheels don't look circular), you should go back to the "Options" screen and click on "Screen ratio". This will let you stretch or compress the screen until it has the right proportions.

  • Finally, if you just can't get good enough performance by changing the settings, the only other option is to use better hardware. On desktop Windows machines and larger desktop Macs you can probably buy a new video card. On laptops, iMacs and Mac Minis that generally isn't an option; you'll have to use a different computer.

Note: If you have a GOOD video card and are having low frame rate problems, please send an email to . Please list your CPU, operating system and memory size as well as the video chipset. I've heard one report of problems with a GeForce FX 5500 and one on a GeForce 6600 GT, both of which should no trouble running Dork, but I have no idea if these were isolated incidents or a common problem. Both were on AMD Athlon systems.

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