Smartphone Thoughts

Tips 'n Tricks - Ever wanted to know how you can use 176*220 titles on your hi-res QVGA MS Smartphone?

Menneisyys - Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:46 am
Post subject: Ever wanted to know how you can use 176*220 titles on your h
If you have a QVGA Smartphone like the HTC Vox / s710, you know well enough that most existing games and other graphics-based Smartphone apps (Windows Mobile 6 Standard) out there only use a postage-stamp sized screen area. An example of this is PDAMillís Flux Challenge, which, being designed for the traditional low-res (176*220) Smartphone resolution, only uses part of the available QVGA screen estate:

<img src="http://www.winmobiletech.com/062007C64Emus/QVGASmartphoneHackMain.bmp.png" border=1>

There were no widely known solutions for the problem. Some developers announced support for QVGA devices (for example, that of Cell Doom Ė see announcement HERE), but the most (including PDAMill) didnít.

Fortunately, an excellent White Russian coder has come up with a generic solution, which not only makes it possible to run MANY (but not all!) games at full screen, but, in cases, also lets for using real (!) QVGA resolution with some titles (for example, emulators).

Downloading, installing

Go to this MoDaCo thread and download the ZIP file attached to the first post. Youíll need to register as a forum user if you arenít able to access it. If you donít want to bother with it, Iíve also uploaded the file to my database back-end; itís HERE.

After this, just unZIP it and start GxQvga Patcher.exe. Should you encounter an error message complaining about the lack of the .NET Framework 2, you will need to download it HERE (note that some stated it only requires 1.1. I havenít checked whether theyíre right. The latter is accessible HERE.)

Using

This patcher app runs on the desktop, NOT on the Smartphone. This means you must transfer the main EXE file of the game / emulator / app youíd like to make use of the QVGA screen to your desktop computer first. To do this, use for example Total Commander with the CE file system patch (see THIS for an explanation of installing it) or, if you donít want to bother, just the ďExploreĒ button of ActiveSync.

Transfer the main EXE files (but nothing else) of the apps / games youíd like to patch to the directory of where the above-mentioned, just decompressed GxQvga Patcher.exe resides.

Now, start GxQvga Patcher.exe. It will present you a dialog:



In there, click ďSelect exe file to patch...". Now, select the EXE file youíd like to patch:



After letting it go on, youíll be presented a message telling you the patching was successful:



Now, all you need to do is:

  1. Copy the patched EXE file back to your MS Smartphone, making sure you overwrite the original EXE file
  2. Go to the QVGA subdirectory on your desktop (just under the directory where GxQvga Patcher.exe resides), and copy XG.dll to the same directory on your smartphone
  3. Start the game / app to see whether it worked; answer Yes to the message.
  4. If the game / app still only uses 176*220 (and not the full screen), exit it and go to the SCALE (NOT the previous QVGA!) subdirectory on your desktop, and copy XG.dll to the same directory on your smartphone and copy XG.dll to the smartphone, making sure you overwrite the previously copied QVGA XG.dll. Now, start the game on your Smartphone. Hope itíll use the full screen. If it still doesnít do this, then, nothing can help, Iím afraid.


Examples of the before-after cases

PocketHobbitSP2003 (as of the current, Alpha 11 version) doesnít support QVGA devices. As can be seen in the following screenshot, without patching, it only uses a stamp-size screen area in Portrait mode on QVGA devices:



After the patch and using the QVGA DLL, it becomes much bigger and, what is even more important, makes use of the full horizontal screen reoslution Ė that is, 240 pixels, resulting in MUCH more readable text:



Incidentally, with the SCALE DLL, it also fills in the entire screen horizontally, BUT only upscaling the original, 176*132 rendition resulting in a MUCH inferiour real resolution & readability:



This is why Iíve emphasized you MUST give a try to the QVGA DLL first and only give a try to the SCALE one when the former doesnít deliver any results.

Recommended link

This MoDaCo thread discusses the converter at length. A MUST!
Mike Temporale - Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:32 am
Post subject:
Wow, great tip Menneisyys. I have a number of games that are effected but this and it's annoying.

(BTW --> I've linked to this on the front page!)
ditch_azeroth - Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:41 am
Post subject:
muy bien... i've always wondered how someone was able to make a qvga version of worms world party... now i know - thanks for the info ^_^
Lomius - Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:23 pm
Post subject: Landscape
Now here is a question I am surprised hasn't been asked yet. Will this work for programs designed for Landscape QVGA? I.E. the BlackJack?
Menneisyys - Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:24 pm
Post subject: Re: Landscape
Lomius wrote:
Now here is a question I am surprised hasn't been asked yet. Will this work for programs designed for Landscape QVGA? I.E. the BlackJack?


I don't think so as there're natively Landscape apps using low resolution (that is, 220*176).

However, if you use an app with built-in Landscape mode (for example, PocketHobbitSP2003), it MIGHT work full screen on the BlackJack after the hack, unlike before it. I can't test this as I have no BlackJack.

It won't help with natively Portrait 176*220 apps, I'm sure.
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