BioShock Tweak Guide
[Page 9] Neat Stuff & Conclusion
The guide is rapidly coming to a conclusion, but not before I detail some important tips, tweaks and useful information.
Disabling Introductory Movies
If you find it tedious to sit through the introductory company logos for BioShock each time you play, you can remove them quite easily. Right-click on your BioShock launch icon, select Properties, and at the end of the Target box, one blank space after the last character, add -nointro. Your Target box contents should look something like this:
"C:\Program Files\2K Games\BioShock\Builds\Release\Bioshock.exe" -nointro
You can also remove the introductory movie by renaming the file 2KG_logo_720P.bik found under your \Program Files\2K Games\BioShock\Content\BinkMovies directory, but that is not the recommended method.
Playing on a Shader Model 2.0 Card
Many people who own graphics cards which only support Shader Model 2.0 have been upset by BioShock's minimum requirement for a Shader Model 3.0 graphics card, i.e. a GeForce 6600 or ATI X1300 graphics card or higher. This is understandable, however it is going to become an ever-more-common occurrence given the way games developers are trying to push the boundaries in terms of game graphics.
However all is not lost, there is one way you can run BioShock with an SM2.0 card, and that's by trying the SM2.0 Project. This is a work in progress, and there are plenty of graphical glitches, so it is obviously only for the die-hard BioShock fans who can't upgrade their graphics cards. Still, it's worth a go and is the only option available for SM2.0 card owners unless 2K releases a patch to make BioShock run on non-SM3.0 cards. More details, and the latest versions, are on the Official ShaderShock Forums.
BioShock and Dual/Multi-Core CPUs
Something that will come as good news to dual or quad core CPU owners is that BioShock is a game which is specifically designed to properly utilize multi-core CPUs. Running it on my dual core system, I notice both cores are at times reaching close to 100% each, which marks the first time I've seen a game actually using the CPU to its limits. This means that if you're after a performance boost in BioShock, and indeed other upcoming titles especially those based on the Unreal Engine 3.0, then you should seriously consider a multi-core CPU and not just focus on upgrading the graphics card alone.
Measuring FPS and Taking Screenshots & Videos
BioShock doesn't have a built-in framerate counter, so if you want to see what sort of FPS you're getting in the game - which is particularly important if you want to tweak or diagnose problems like mouse lag - then use the free FRAPS utility. This utility also allows you take in-game screenshots and record gameplay videos, such as these BioShock Gameplay Videos I've put on YouTube.
Alternatively, if you want to take screenshots in the game without FRAPS, you can use the shot key binding, as well as the ToggleHUD binding to hide the HUD for cleaner screenshots - see the Console Commands section of the previous page for more details.
BioShock Music and Art Book
If you're a big BioShock fan then you'll probably want these two freebies from 2K. The first is the BioShock Soundtrack (21MB), and the other is the BioShock Art Book available as a Low Res (15MB) or High Res (75MB) PDF download. In both cases it's nice to see the developers providing something for free for the fans.
Well that brings the guide to a conclusion. I hope you find it useful in improving your BioShock gameplay experience, and as always, if you find errors or important omissions in the guide, make sure to Email Me with the details so I can keep the guide as accurate and up-to-date as possible. Remember though that unfortunately I can't provide any tech/tweaking support, and I also don't provide permission for the guide to be reproduced or translated elsewhere for several reasons.
Until next time, take care!