If you've got any sense at all, you'll already have checked out the 15-level demo version of ace old-school shooting game Deadeye, and will be waiting impatiently for the full, five-quid, 50-level, bells-and-whistles version that's due out, at time of writing, any day now.

However, if like your reporter you're a shallow, despicable creature who finds dismay in the game's rather utilitarian onscreen presentation (pictured below on your correspondent's 1280x1024-resolution desktop), then you've come to the right place.

Without the aid of a safety net, your aesthetically-minded WoS has constructed a couple of Enhanced Visual Environments (patent pending), or EVEs, with which Deadeye can be enjoyed in a manner rather more artistically befitting of its gameplay loveliness. There's a mild bit of faffing around required to implement them, but WoS knows that its readers are intelligent people, and presents the following instructions without fear.


Firstly, you'll need to get the artwork files. The 1280-resolution EVE can be downloaded here. Unzip it anywhere, but most sensibly into your C:/WINDOWS folder. If you now right-click on any unused bit of your desktop (that is, not on an icon or a window), select "Properties" and click on the "Desktop" tab, you should be presented with a list of selectable background pictures. Choose "deadeyewall1" and hit "Apply". Now run Deadeye, and you should see something rather more akin to the below... which your reporter has fancifully placed an imaginary Deadeye coin-op cabinet, equipped with modern-style giant monitor, into a fantasy arcade setting complete with pool table, fruit machines, classic Williams cabs, neon lighting and, er, a carpet. Isn't that just retro-riffic, pals?

The fixed-size nature of the Deadeye game screen makes this effect impractical to replicate on smaller desktop resolutions, but your ever-considerate WoS has also created an alternative for humble 1024x768-resolution users. The 1024 EVE file can be found here.

Upon following the same instructions as above, but in 1024 mode, the Deadeye screen should look like the one pictured below. "But wait a minute," cry several alert yet somehow irritating viewers, "how come your screen seemingly isn't all cluttered with icons and taskbars and stuff like mine is?" Tsk! Those pesky viewers! They need the Advanced Use instructions!


If you have a lot of "screen furniture" and it's spoiling the look, the solution is simple. Firstly, you can just drag the taskbar off the bottom of the screen with the mouse, or use the "Hide Taskbar" option in Windows which conceals it until you move the pointer to the bottom of the screen. As for desktop icons, simply drag them to the middle of the screen before you start Deadeye. The game screen will then helpfully conceal them while the game's in play.

If you have a LOT of icons on your desktop, and moving them to the middle then dragging them all back again when you've finished playing the game seems like way too much trouble, then there's an even easier way to get the backdrops onscreen. First, download the excellent and free graphics viewer IrfanView (which you really ought to get anyway, as it's a fantastically versatile and useful program). Then open the background picture using IrfanView and press "Enter". This will switch the picture to fullscreen. Then you can use Alt-Tab to get back to Deadeye, and the game will play beautifully against the backdrop. (For extra easiness, ensure the backdrop picture is in your Deadeye folder, then Alt-Tab will immediately default to the right one.)

With WoS' fabulous EVEs and IrfanView's picture-wrangling, you can finally enjoy Deadeye in the Manner Of Champions. No, don't mention it. We do it because we love you.

Comments? WoS Forum