Wing Commander Games and Windows XP - A Summary

Chronocidal Guy

Rear Admiral
Yep, I've done that before, unfortunately it didn't have any effect on whether the game crashes or not. I just thought it was interesting to note that the KS WCIII will run with the old disks from the dos version, and that the interlacing was not part of the movies to begin with. It just seems to be a xanmovie specific thing.

(Just registered btw, that was my first post above :))
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Chronocidal Guy said:
Yep, I've done that before, unfortunately it didn't have any effect on whether the game crashes or not. I just thought it was interesting to note that the KS WCIII will run with the old disks from the dos version, and that the interlacing was not part of the movies to begin with. It just seems to be a xanmovie specific thing.

(Just registered btw, that was my first post above :))


KS in general is a bit buggy though so if possible it's usually better to run the original DOS versions. Others have experimented with the disks before too. It is known that the KS exe can be used to make an unofficial windows patch for the dos version though bugs like those you are dealing with and possible legal issues have kept it from being pursued more fully.

What are your system specs? Do you have the latest version of dosbox (0.65)? The dynamic core is a lot more stable now so that may help play wc3.

What kind of joystick is it? Having more than one game controler plugged in at a time could be interfering with the calibration as well.
 

Justice

Rear Admiral
AD said:
KS in general is a bit buggy though so if possible it's usually better to run the original DOS versions. Others have experimented with the disks before too. It is known that the KS exe can be used to make an unofficial windows patch for the dos version though bugs like those you are dealing with and possible legal issues have kept it from being pursued more fully.

What are your system specs? Do you have the latest version of dosbox (0.65)? The dynamic core is a lot more stable now so that may help play wc3.

What kind of joystick is it? Having more than one game controler plugged in at a time could be interfering with the calibration as well.

I've played through the first 1 1/2 disks with dynamic core without any crashes at all. No luck with the joystick though - the higher you set the cycles, the worse it gets both for calibrating and flying in-game. I've only got it set to 38000 cycles (which I can almost do with core=normal), and its pretty bad. It would be a lot less frustrating if I could use my afterburner in mouse control mode.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Justice said:
I've played through the first 1 1/2 disks with dynamic core without any crashes at all. No luck with the joystick though - the higher you set the cycles, the worse it gets both for calibrating and flying in-game. I've only got it set to 38000 cycles (which I can almost do with core=normal), and its pretty bad. It would be a lot less frustrating if I could use my afterburner in mouse control mode.


I believe afterburners can be turned on with the mouse by double clicking and then holding the right mouse button. (at least it does in WC2)
 

Chronocidal Guy

Rear Admiral
It does work, but it's very awkward to do unfortunately, since you will roll and change speed as long as you hold the button down.. ie, you can't maneuver and afterburn at the same time as long as you stay in mouse flight mode. In WC1, I remember using the mouse in one hand, and having the other on the keyboard, before I got a joystick. The tab key would activate the afterburners, even when flying with the mouse. It seems they disabled that ability for mouse mode in WCIII, or it causes a conflict of some sort.

As for my system specs:
Pentium 4 3.4ghz with HT
WinXP Pro SP2
1 gig ddr2 ram
ATI X800XT 256mb gfx card
Audigy2 sound card
DirectX version 9.0c
Joystick is a Saitek X45 usb

The joystick may be causing some of the issues, I borrowed a friend's Logitech 3d joystick (also usb) and tested with it, and the jumping was a little better, but still a problem. I've got DosBox 0.65, and it does run stably, but the joystick refuses to calibrate at all in that version, and sticks in the lower right corner. Version 0.63 on the other hand gave me about half the normal joystick range, but crashed frequently. I'll keep experimenting though, VDMSound seems to be giving me the best results now.

Edit: Is there any way to assign a deadzone of some type to the joystick settings in VDMSound?
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
meisdavidp said:
What exactly are the possible legal problems? I've never been clear on that.

People get skittish about distributing game exes and whatnot, but this is probably no different than the Privateer 2 DOS to Windows upgrade that exists, which nobody has ever expressed any problem with. It's more that the people in a position to promote this alternative haven't had time to fully troubleshoot it. This all combines with KS having some occasional bugs, and it's timed with the rise in popularity of DOSBox, so using the KS WC3 executable just hasn't been a path we've pursued. There's millions of potential Wing Commander projects out there for people to develop further. The people currently involved in fan sites and fan projects don't have nearly enough time to address them all unfortunately.
 

Chronocidal Guy

Rear Admiral
Hmm.. I keep dreaming that EA will realize the cash cow they have on their hands, and release a complete WC compilation, with at least the 5 main WC titles. Not likely, but a nice dream. :)

I guess the big thing to try now would be patching the KS exe's to get them working in XP, but with DOSBox around, that's not really worth the effort. Course, with a new Windows on the horizon, who knows what might happen.. wouldn't it be interesting if suddenly KS ran perfectly again, but DOSBox had to be rewritten from scratch? (heaven forbid)
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Kilrathi Saga already works in XP. The bugs and issues with it mostly existed in Windows 95/98 as well.
 

Tarin

Spaceman
wc2 ks really choppy

Alright,

I've just played through WC1 KS which worked just fine and smooth. I've now installed WC2 KS and the game is rather choppy for these reasons:

1. During flight when trying to turn in any direction I get about a second of really slow movement and only then normal movement. This happens every time I press a direction key. As you can imagine this makes the game rather unplayable. Also any speech by wingmen is extremely choppy. This may also hurt other aspects of flight that I haven't noticed yet.

2. Trying to skip through "story" sequences again makes things somewhat slow and choppy.

3. This doesn't really hurt the game experience but it may be a symptom of some kind: when I exit the game either from the "rec room" or by ALT+X I always get an error message saying the program must close.

Now I've tried running the game in Windows 9x compatibility mode and it doesn't change anything. I've also tried adjusting the framerate with ALT+M and ALT+N with no change.

I'm running a Pentium4 3.0Ghz, 512mb RAM, with Windows XP Pro SP2

Any ideas?
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Keyboard input in WC2 KS often has issues like you described, and there's not really a good workaround. You can try fixing the sound by adjusting the soundcard hardware acceleration in the control panel.
 

Chronocidal Guy

Rear Admiral
ChrisReid said:
Kilrathi Saga already works in XP. The bugs and issues with it mostly existed in Windows 95/98 as well.

Really.. hm. Well, I've gotten WC1 and WC2 to work with a few tweaks, I'm just mainly thinking of the KS version of WC3. Were there any stories of freezing due to movie sequences in Win95/98?

There is one thing that caught my attention once when the KS WC3 froze.. the cd drive seemed to be making erratic noises.. like it was trying to read, but was stuck. I wonder if the freezing could be caused by cd drives being so much faster now than they were in '96. This could also be related to why the sound in WC2 skips around so much. I wonder if installing an older, slower speed cd drive would keep the movie sequences from freezing. Or, maybe, if it's possible, slowing down the drive's read speed. Both of my drives read at 52X, so maybe that's just too fast for the exe to comprehend, and keep up with... a lot of the freezes occur at transitions between user interface types, ie, moving from spaceflight to the landing sequence to the flight deck, all in a minute or so.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
There's a variety of different circumstances where the KS WC3 movies can freeze. CD-ROM speed is not the problem. The original DOS WC3, which came out years earlier than KS, has no problem with high speed DVD drives today. The problem almost always has to do with sound card incompatibilities.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
Eunning Wing Commander games under XP

I can or was able to get WC3 cd version to work on my wife's old Dell Inspiron 8200 with only audio problems. I can get WCP to run under XP Media Center,but on my notebook it's too fat. It's a Core Duo so it was all in fast forward. I can't or haven't tried the other version on XP yet or under DosBox.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Unregistered said:
I can or was able to get WC3 cd version to work on my wife's old Dell Inspiron 8200 with only audio problems. I can get WCP to run under XP Media Center,but on my notebook it's too fat. It's a Core Duo so it was all in fast forward. I can't or haven't tried the other version on XP yet or under DosBox.

Too fat or too fast? You need to slow down and reread your posts before you hit submit in order to go back and ensure what you've typed makes sense. What is too fast? Just the video? That has nothing to do with the processor speed, and there's no prevalent issues with Prophecy that occur with any superfast processors. It sounds like all you need to be doing is installing the Video Skip Patch.
 

Alte Fritz

Spaceman
Hi. I have a little problem with my copy of WC2 Deluxe Edition. I got the game running with DosBox, and everything is working nicely and smoothly, until I get to the second mission where you have to fly to the Concordia. The game crashes shortly after I take out all the Kilrathi fighters. Could somebody tell me how to fix this? :(

EDIT: I got it working by adding the loadfix-entry to the DosBox configuration file! Now it works like a dream. :D
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Thanks for reporting back your fix. There are a half dozen or so points in the game that will crash if you don't use loadfix. What version of DOSBox were you using? I haven't tested whether or not this issue still exists in 0.65.
 
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