Saturday, February 7, 2015

Miasmata (Major Update)

I'd like to present a game that is pretty special to me. I first played it (in 2D) back in 2012 not long after it came out, and I had quite an amazing experience in it - something which I have never quite felt in a game before and honestly don't know if I ever will again. This is a very unique survival exploration game that gives you a map and compass and a realistic cartography system, but it really starts to get interesting once you get lost, and believe me - you will get lost (and if you don't - you're doing it wrong).

There's something about the tension that this game creates when you suddenly realise that you are no longer on the path you were following and aren't really certain which way you came from. When the sun goes down while you are lost in the wilderness and you discover that this developer actually made night dark in this game and you can't see two meters in front of your face. When your heart starts beating as you suddenly realise that you are no longer alone...

I wrote a short story about my first day in this game, which goes over some of the basics of the game in a bit more detail.

This game has been fixed for 3D before - 3d4dd did an excellent job in making it playable in 3D, and it was in fact his fix that prompted my second playthrough of the game, which later led to me getting involved with modding the game before I took up 3D fixing. I released an unofficial community patch to fix some of the bugs in the game, an achievement tracker to help out completionists with some of the harder or broken achievements, a modding tool to tweak some of the game's parameters, and even helped Gooby to translate the game into French. One of my long standing goals of learning how to fix 3D in games has been to come back to this one and solve the last few remaining issues - achievement unlocked ;-)


Medium & High quality Water

I managed to fix the real-time reflections when the water quality is set to medium or high, and as you can see the reflections are accurately rendered below the surface where they belong:

Note - the water rendering gets messed up after changing any graphics settings in the game, so be sure to restart the game to fix it!

Light Shafts

The light shafts were a bit tricky, requiring a correction in world-space coordinates without the necessary matrices to do so. As a last resort I ended up using an unrelated object's MVP matrix and was able to calculate the correct adjustment from that.

Then I hit a snag - I'm sure everyone reading this will be aware of the issue in 3D where objects will disappear at the edge of the screen. Well, after fixing the light shafts the same thing happened to the fog, which looked incredibly jarring and eye-bleeding. I ended up interpolating the fix away at the edge of the screen to prevent this from happening, which gives a very good result.

Automatic Stereo Crosshair

This is something I've been wanting to try out for a while now - using the depth buffer to automatically determine the correct depth to place the crosshair in the game. This won't work in every game and takes a bit of effort to get working, but it was extremely effective in this game once I got the maths right.

It is still a bit experimental, so two fixed depths can be cycled by pressing the 9 key if needed. Pressing 9 again will return to the auto crosshair.

Other Fixes

  • A halo on the water is fixed such that it is no longer necessary to use the Aion profile.

  • Sky box depth pinned at infinity, allowing the convergence to be customised if desired.

  • A seam on the horizon has been fixed (provided medium or high quality water is selected), though if you do manage to get right up close to the edge of the map the Truman wall will become apparent.

  • Updated to latest Helix Mod.


  • Download the fix here

  • If you have assigned Miasmata to the Aion profile for the previous version of this fix, remove it from that profile.

  • Unpack the zip file to the game directory, e.g.


  • Recommended: Install the unofficial communtiy patch, which fixes a number of bugs in the base game.

  • Set water quality to high to enable real-time 3D reflections. Medium is ok as well, but do not use low quality.

  • Set Antialiasing to high (makes a huge difference to the water quality)

  • IMPORTANT: Restart the game. Do this any time you change the graphics quality settings!

Known Issues

  • IMPORTANT: Sometimes triangulating a landmark doesn't work properly in 3D (it's being falsely obscured by something else to the left). When this happens hold the Q button to temporarily reduce separation to the minimum which will allow triangulation to work. Disabling 3D will also work, but the Q method is much faster.

  • There might be some vantage points where the stereo crosshair gets confused while looking out towards the horizon. If this happens press 9 to cycle to a fixed crosshair depth (press twice more to return to the auto crosshair).

  • Changing the graphics settings will mess up the water - restart the game after changing any graphics settings!


These are not bugs specifically related to the 3D - these are just four common bugs that everyone seems to hit. None of them are game breaking, but it's handy to know ahead of time how to work around them.

  1. At night if you are holding a torch in your right hand and open your map or journal, the light will go out making it near impossible to see. If your hand is empty your lighter will work properly, so it's often a good idea to stand near some sticks and throw away whatever you are holding before getting out your map.

  2. Opening and closing the map too quickly when standing next to a known landmark or under the effect of a mental clarity tonic the mouse input will lock up. If that happens use tab to open and close your journal to restore the mouse.

  3. Researching a plant that has previously been researched will open the journal to the front page instead of the research notes. Doing this will have caused the note to move to the very end of your research list, so it is still pretty easy to find even if you can't remember the plant's name.

  4. As already mentioned several times, changing the graphics quality settings you cause a "grainy water" rendering issue until the game is restarted.

Update 2015-02-09

  • Fixed black seam that could appear at the edge of the map if the camera was tilted (such as during the ending cutscene).

  • Fix will now work with older versions of the game, such as the v2.0.0.4 version from GOG. Note that this old version was only tested with all graphics settings set to high, and the fog/god rays have clipping issues on this version, so it is recommended to update.

Update 2015-05-18

  • Automatic stereo crosshair will now work on objects popped out of the screen with high convergence settings.

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  1. Very cool. I bought this game on GOG years ago and completely forgot about it. Now i'll finally give it a shot!

  2. Never heard of this game before, but when I see such a devotion in making it near perfect in 3D Vision , I tell to myself I REALLY HAVE TO CHECK THIS GAME OUT !!! The devs owe you this sale... 10000 Thanks DarkStarSword :-)

  3. huge work !! thank you to make us discover this game

  4. I've just updated the fix to allow the stereo crosshair to work on objects popped out of the screen due to playing on high convergence. Good for projector setups :)