Distant Worlds

BTW, the other tool looks like you need to be some command-line wizard to even attempt to use it, sheesh. I’ll use @Klaatu’s line there as a template.

So if I’m understanding correctly, you create a shortcut to run dc2.exe with a command-line switch that contains a path to a Distant Worlds.xml file and then a second switch that contains a path to Distant Worlds itself?

What’s the .xml file for?

Looking at the webpage for the program it tells it things like resolution to run the program at and some other bits. IIUC it will drop the monitor resolution down to the one specified, run the program, and then pop it back to the original resolution when it is done.

Thanks for the reply. It looks like I have to create the XML file ahead of time, right, using the -create switch (and then modifying it as needed).

This is the path I’m using. I set the res in the DWU.xml file to 1280x720 but something must be off still because when I run it Distant worlds claims I’m trying to run at too low a resolution.

K:\dc2\dc2.exe -configure=“K:\dc2\DWU.xml” -fullscreen "K:\SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\Distant Worlds Universe\DistantWorlds.exe

Update: setting the res the same in the .xml and in the game’s startup.ini seems to have worked, although things are a bit fuzzy, and if you do anything other than 1280x720 on a 1440p monitor you seem to get a title bar.

Here’s my .xml file.

<!--The version identifies the format of the configuration file.-->
<!--Internal, Clone, Extend, External-->
<!--The monitor ID attribute must be specified.-->
<monitor active="true" virtual="false" id="4354" adapterHigh="0" adapterLow="44398">
    <!--source: the origin of the video signal-->
    <source id="0">
    <size width="1600" height="900"/>
    <position left="0" top="0"/>
    <!--8bpp, 16bpp, 24bpp, 32bpp, Non-GDI-->
    <color value="32bpp"/>
    <!--Identity, 90-degreesCW, 180-degreesCW, 270-degreesCW-->
    <rotation value="Identity"/>
    <!--Identity, Centered, Stretched, Aspect Ratio Centered Max, Custom, Preferred-->
    <scaling value="Aspect Ratio Centered Max"/>
    <!--A value of 0/0 represents the optimal refresh rate. Scan-line-order must be Unspecified.-->
    <refresh numerator="99998" denominator="1000"/>
    <!--Unspecified, Progressive, Interlaced (upper field first), Interlaced (lower field first)-->
    <scanlineorder value="Progressive"/>

Hope this helps.

Thanks! If you’ll indulge me further,

  1. What’s your monitor’s native resolution and do you get a title bar with the 1600x900 you have entered there?

  2. Do you have to set the values in the Startup.ini file to that 1600x900 resolution?

3440 x 1440. Title bar? No, I don’t think so. I believe I get black bars on the sides, but it’s full screen so no window edges or title bar.

I don’t recall doing anything with the Startup.ini file, but if it helps here it is:

'Distant Worlds startup settings
’ to enable a setting remove single quotes from start of line
'To play in Windowed mode set screenwidth and screenheight below
’ width must be at least 1024, height must be at least 768. Width and height cannot be greater than current screen resolution
'To increase speed of hyperdrives in the game set hyperdrivespeed below
’ this setting is a multiplier for the default speeds. Must be between 1.0 and 3.0
’ note that this setting only applies to new games - it will not alter hyperdrive speeds in previously saved games
playmovie 0

As you can see, everything but playmovie is commented out.

Thanks. I’ll take a look at my xml file and compare it to yours.

BTW, I set the scan line order to “unspecified” in the XML file and put in the 0/0 ratio where indicated for optimal frame rate, but the game still runs at about 60 fps (even though I have a G-sync monitor). Even setting it as unlimited in the game options menu doesn’t seem to change that.

But I did get rid of the title bar by commenting out those lines in the startup.ini file, thanks.

For folks having ui/font issues due to high resolution displays someone posted this over at the matrix forums. I don’t know how much it helps, but worth a shot I guess if it has been a pain point.

After I upgraded to a 4k monitor dwu became almost unplayable due to the tiny font size and couldn’t find any fixes online. Then it struck me its probably a scaling issue so I tried disabling scaling in the compatibility tab and bang it worked!
Now the ui looks just like it does on the optimal resolution without having to resort to changing the desktop res which caused the game to look blurry and unreadable even if it enlarged the ui.
My method was to make a shortcut of the exe out of the steam folder to the taskbar then shift right click to access properties and go to the compatibility tab.
Check ‘run this program as an administrator’ then click the change high dpi settings button.
Once on that screen check the ‘override high dpi scaling behavior’ and set the drop down menu to ‘system(enhanced)’ and then apply the settings.
Now when you use the shortcut to start dwu the ui should be normally scaled and clear depending on your displays scaling hardware.
Enjoy! !


Edit: I just tried it here on a 1440p monitor and I can’t really tell any difference.

Yeah same here, icons still tiny.

@BrianRubin sounds like they will be giving out a bunch of new info on DW2 in December including release plans.


A post from Erik Rutins over at Matrix:

Hi folks,

At the start of the year, a 2020 release seemed extremely certain. While we did make very good progress this year, we are still in alpha and will not release in 2020. In December, I’ll be able to reveal much more of the game and talk about our release plans in more detail.


  • Erik

We’ll see what comes of it, but hopefully that means we are finally getting close.

I just emailed Erik basically BEGGING to be kept in the loop on all this.



Being Matrix, sadly, that could possibly even be optimistic. My thought is probably 2nd half of next year if we are lucky. Anything before that would be awesome.

I would hope that Slitherine is actually dedicating a decent amount of resources to the game since the original was well liked. A solid DW2 release would probably sell much better than most of their catalog by quite a bit.

I loved DW but… it’s been 10 years for crying out loud. I know it’s not vaporware but it feels the same.

He says they’re still in alpha (been there over a year now) so I don’t think they’re anywhere remotely near a release. If beta takes as long as alpha has then I’m afraid we may be looking at 2022 or later. I sure hope not, though.

If they were planning to release this year before covid hit, I imagine beta can’t be too far off unless they hit a major problem.

It’s being developed by a NZ dev so Covid shouldn’t have impacted it too much.