VGA Planets Super Site


Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks attached to using manually resized bitmaps. Just so you won't run into surprizes, here's an overview: If time permits I'll put up a page with screenshots of the different drawbacks sometime soon.

Using large ship-pictures poses a couple of "problems". The starbase window does not size them down when showing a picture of the hull you're about to build.

Normally, a picture of the hull is shown with next to it some information about the number of tubes, beams, engines and fighterbays along with the hull's techlevel.  Now it shows you a picture of your hull, and because the picture is so big the (black) text is displayed on top of the picture. But since the majority of the pictures have a rather dark background, you can forget about reading that text. Once you've built that hull however and select it to put engines and weapons on it, the text is nicely displayed over it on a black background.

The view-screen also has some troubles with large bitmaps. When viewing one of your own ships or an enemy ship for which you just happen to have a large bitmap, the picture is too large to fit in the appropriate space and slides behind the text. The text itself is displayed on a black background, so they cover part of your picture. So as a result you only see a partial picture, but all the information like owner, mass and heading are clearly displayed.

Finally, Ships.exe, the program which gives you a listing of all the ships in the game which comes with Winplan can't handle large bitmaps either. All information is clearly readable, it just covers part of your picture.

Check the drawbacks:

Logo and racepicture
If you frequently use Ships.exe you'd better not use large bitmaps for your racepicture and logo. These are not sized down, and depending on which size you actually use, they can cover prettymuch your entire shiplist. A way around this would be to copy the the ships.exe program to another directory and give it it's own bmp-directory... (only for the zealous and ones with a lot of harddisk space)

Another minor drawback to using large racepictures: the same pictures are used for the messages, in which case the pictures get distorted somewhat. The heads look a bit coney, that's all.

Check the drawbacks:

Large planet-bitmaps cause problems when accessing the planetary building screen, either from a ship or from the planet itself. Because of the size of the picture, the text is displayed over it. Occasionally, the large planet picture overlaps the place where the amounts of money and supplies are displayed so you are unable to see what you have there. To "fix" this, close the building screen and open it again.

A second drawback to using large planet pics is the VCR: it changes the rectangular planet pics back to squares, turning the round planets into ovals. Looks funny, but if you don't like it don't go putting large planet bitmaps into your game.

Check the drawbacks:

There are no notable drawbacks to using a large starbase picture. The starbase picture is a bit distorted in your starbase messages, but that's hardly notable.

Starbase fighter & torpedo
Using pictures even large than the sizes I've found results in those pictures being cut off at the edge of the "build torpedo and fighter" screen and covering information about the killpower and explosive power.

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