Complete WC GOG fixes and tweaks

Salty85

Captain
Thanks, I thought so. I'm so glad to get back into wing commander, its beyond a guilty pleasure. My wife calls me a nerd for some reason, no idea why...
 

Salty85

Captain
I contacted Symantec, and they are adding the scanlines patch to their whitelist. I can only assume the scanlines removal code is a wrapper around the original executable, triggered when a file type (video) is accessed. This type of wrapper code unsigned, around a signed piece of code is how a virus attaches to legitimate files. This likely is why it was flagged I'm pretty sure.
 

Valkala

Spaceman
I just wanted to let you know that I got WC Prophecy DVD upgrade to work. You're method does actual work, but the one on the site does not work.

For those who are still having trouble, it's very important that if start from a fresh install. I had trouble getting it work because of the many things I was trying which turned out not so well. Here is how I got it to work:

  1. Download the DVD movies from CIC found here https://www.wcnews.com/wcpedia/DVD_Movie_Upgrade_Patch (3 files)
  2. Extract them all to a folder named "movie" and put it in your WC Prophecy GOG directory.
  3. Download and Install this https://www.wcnews.com/wcpedia/OpenGL_Patch, it will eventually ask you set your screen resolution and graphic settings, put them to max for best quality.
  4. Download wcP.zip from post #37 that @TCSTigersClaw provided to your GOG Prophecy Directory.
  5. Remove any compatibility that are preselected from Prophecy.exe and secretops.exe (right click on prophecy.exe/secretops.exe, click on Compatibility, click on "Change settings for all users", uncheck "Run this program... etc.", press OK, then uncheck again "Run this program...".

Note: I did not install the Enhancement Pack from its' page. I assumed it was part of the wcP.zip file. @TCSTigersClaw, let me know if I'm wrong on this.

Regards,
Valkala
 

krank23

Spaceman
I've followed the above instructions. Doesn't work for me.

I'm on Windows 10 Pro version 1903, on a Nvidia Geforce 2070-powered laptop. The game runs just fine, including the original movies, but whenever I drop in the "movie" folder with all the vobs the movies just show up as black screens. The subtitles work, audio works, everything works except the video. I've tried any sort of combination of mods and exes I've been able to get my hands on, with the same result. ANd yeah, I've tried forcing the game to use the Nvidia card instead of the crappy Intel, I've run the exe as admin, etc.

I've tried different OpenGL options – all effects & quality settings maxed out or set to minimal, windowed mode/fullscreen, resolutions…

At first I thought it might be because Win10 lacks a native mpeg2 decoder. I tried both ffdshow(-tryout) and the Mpeg-2 video extension available through the Microsoft Store. Ffdshow had much better performance, both gave Windows Media Player the ability to play the vobs without issue. But not WCP.

This used to work. I'm wondering if 1903 broke WCP.


I've lost count of how many times I've heard Tom Wilson say he almost feels sorry for the guy 'cause he's flying against the Maniac… But not seen him.

Any suggestions welcome at this point.
 

krank23

Spaceman
And as usual in these cases, after several hours of experimentation and cursing, a solution of sorts presents itself just minutes after one admits defeat and asks for help.

This is not a real solution per se, but rather some information that might be useful:

The WCP DVD playback addon does not, it seems, like external screens on laptops. The fact that the laptop has multiple GPUs may or may not be relevant.

Literally every other piece of software or game I have ever tried have worked flawlessly whether on the internal screen or on any of my two external ones. But not WCP. If I want to see the DVD movies, I will have to make the internal laptop screen my primary, then launch Prophecy so it shows up on that screen an no other. Then I get to see Tom Wilson be an asshole and all is well. I'd much rather see him on my 27" screen, but oh well.

I'll continue experimenting; if anyone has any idea on how to make the vobs work on an external screen connected to a dual-gpu laptop I'd be grateful if they shared.
 
And as usual in these cases, after several hours of experimentation and cursing, a solution of sorts presents itself just minutes after one admits defeat and asks for help.

This is not a real solution per se, but rather some information that might be useful:

The WCP DVD playback addon does not, it seems, like external screens on laptops. The fact that the laptop has multiple GPUs may or may not be relevant.

Literally every other piece of software or game I have ever tried have worked flawlessly whether on the internal screen or on any of my two external ones. But not WCP. If I want to see the DVD movies, I will have to make the internal laptop screen my primary, then launch Prophecy so it shows up on that screen an no other. Then I get to see Tom Wilson be an asshole and all is well. I'd much rather see him on my 27" screen, but oh well.

I'll continue experimenting; if anyone has any idea on how to make the vobs work on an external screen connected to a dual-gpu laptop I'd be grateful if they shared.
I know that @Pedro was looking into better playback options for WCP DVD video in the GL enhancements. I don't think this was completed but I may be wrong.
 

Pedro

Admiral
I know that @Pedro was looking into better playback options for WCP DVD video in the GL enhancements. I don't think this was completed but I may be wrong.
You’re right, I got distracted by other things as i had stopped hearing about issues with movie playback.

I started by looking into HCls DivX patch which used the original audio format. AD and I spit balled better encoders than DivX. There’s an outside chance that higher quality audio could be encoded with the original formats, but there would definitely be no surround sound.

In my opinion the improved compatibility and better de-interlacing would be worth that loss but it depends on a few factors.
Sadly the experienced exe hackers are all unavailable, I always left this stuff to Pete and HCl.

I definitely owe you a fix to this, but it probably won't be in time for the next release, sorry.
 
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Edfilho

Cry some more!
Hya folks, I installed the Priv2 patch over my GoG copy, and it gave me a weird error (i did fix the game location at the .fix file)

darkfix.png


Please, are there any clues on how to fix that? Thanks!
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
I just installed WC4 from GOG and I have and odd "problem".
First of I was supprised to find that GOG has the DVD version, thats good.

Now I run into the problem that I have an 21:9 screen. The video gets cropped while the gameplay stays 4:3. That is quite confusing as its normaly the other way around. Has anyone an idea how to fix that?
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
I just installed WC4 from GOG and I have and odd "problem".
First of I was supprised to find that GOG has the DVD version, thats good.

Now I run into the problem that I have an 21:9 screen. The video gets cropped while the gameplay stays 4:3. That is quite confusing as its normaly the other way around. Has anyone an idea how to fix that?
I believe the GOG patch was done with the intention of making the DVD videos fill a 16x9 screen. It crops because the original videos are widescreen in a hardcoded 4:3. Technically the video player is separate from the game itself because of the way the original DVD version worked with the external decoder card and overlays.

I don't remember if there's a way to get the patch to ignore the "touch frame on inside" style cropping as I can see that that might crop too much when viewed on a 21:9 monitor. That ratio of monitor wasn't really a thing when the patch was made unfortunately
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
Yah I bet that 21:9 wasn't around back then but then again to crop the videos at all is kinda odd to me. I could understand if they just cutoff the black bars but cutting until it fits is a bit to much. Also if they had gone with just filling up the hight not length of the screen that would be less of a problem.

Anyway deactivating the Mpeg2DecFilter.ax file stopped some text flickering I had with subtitles.
Also the mpeg2.dll seams to have something to do with it. I tried another mpeg2.dll I found online and it told me something was missing inside.

So I guess this is where the "patch" might be. Sadly I have no idea how to edit or even look into a dll file. Wordpad just gives you random signs.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Yah I bet that 21:9 wasn't around back then but then again to crop the videos at all is kinda odd to me. I could understand if they just cutoff the black bars but cutting until it fits is a bit to much. Also if they had gone with just filling up the hight not length of the screen that would be less of a problem.

Anyway deactivating the Mpeg2DecFilter.ax file stopped some text flickering I had with subtitles.
Also the mpeg2.dll seams to have something to do with it. I tried another mpeg2.dll I found online and it told me something was missing inside.

So I guess this is where the "patch" might be. Sadly I have no idea how to edit or even look into a dll file. Wordpad just gives you random signs.
You don't lose any picture on a 16x9 or16x10 monitor. The aspect ratio of the picture is just slightly wider than your monitor would be at about a 2:1 ratio with black bars baked in (letter boxed). Having the video "touch the top" is problematic because there's no way to automatically zoom the picture to the height of your screen. Even if you did manage to have a way to auto detect the edge of the picture and zoom it so the top of the picture touched the top and bottom, that would actually end up cropping off the ends of the picture on a 16:9 monitor.

That said, there's a handful of WC4 scenes that were encoded with aspect changes in them for unknown reasons. The mastering on the DVDs was kind of poor IMO.
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
The Dolby intro is 4:3 but the rest is with a letterbox but all files, at the least the GOG version files I randomly picked, are 704x480 or do you mean pixel aspect ratio?
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
The Dolby intro is 4:3 but the rest is with a letterbox but all files, at the least the GOG version files I randomly picked, are 704x480 or do you mean pixel aspect ratio?
Every video on the DVD has the same aspect ratio. They are all 4:3 but this doesn't correspond to the actual resolution because as you figured the videos do not use square pixels. The letterboxing is part of that same aspect as the black bars are hard coded into that 4:3 ratio.

I goofed a bit on my math earlier though. The PC version has a 2:1 pixel resolution but I don't know if it has any aspect correction done by the game itself as, if you recall, the game added an interlacing effect to the videos. For the DVD though, If you wanted to correct the resolution for square pixels (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel_aspect_ratio) 704x480 becomes 640x480. If you remove the letterboxing, the video portion of that, once corrected, is roughly 640x362 which is about a 1.78 ratio... pretty much exactly 16:9 (with the exception of the dolby logo and a few other bits)
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
All that makes me wonder if one could recode the entire stuff and on the way correct things. On the other hand its about 300 files and fankly I have better stuff to do (beside not beeing sure I could get it to work ingame). I think I will stick with how it is now. I mean I know the scenes and most of the time there are no heads cut off.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
All that makes me wonder if one could recode the entire stuff and on the way correct things. On the other hand its about 300 files and fankly I have better stuff to do (beside not beeing sure I could get it to work ingame). I think I will stick with how it is now. I mean I know the scenes and most of the time there are no heads cut off.
As long as the files more or less have the same position for the image you can batch convert all the videos with the right editors. However whether the game would recognize them is another question, but also something you could experiment with by testing one video and seeing how the game handles it. That doesn't really solve the ultrawide monitor problem though (unless you can bake pillar boxing into the file, which is an interesting option to experiment with)
 
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