Introducing wcdx - Kilrathi Saga for modern Windows

Stinger

Vice Admiral
Can you explain what the problem was with the music bug? It drove me nuts and made me give up on at least one KS playthrough
Sure:

During space flight, the game keeps an "intensity" value that basically corresponds to how much action is going on. The intensity level can be anywhere from 0 to 63, with the values 64 and 65 having special meaning to the music system.

The music system is remarkably data-driven. Each of the stream files is broken up into music tracks (songs), and each track is broken up into very small discrete chunks of audio. A chunk may have data associated with it indicating which other chunks can be played next, depending on the current intensity level and what track the game wants to play. If the game wants to change tracks, it has to wait until it encounters a chunk that supports jumping to the new track. This helps keep music transitions from being too sudden and jarring.

Chunk metadata is also used to indicate the end of a track; one particular marker tells the music system to go back to playing the previous track. Looping tracks (such as the normal spaceflight music or the "returning victorious" music) end with a jump to a previous chunk in the same track (the loop point). The victory fanfare ended with a jump instead of an end-of-track marker. The same was true of the tragedy track (the music that plays if you lose your escort), as I discovered in the Kurasawa system; I fixed that one, too.
 

MartySheen

Rear Admiral
Can you remind me what that issue was? I did notice that the victory sequence was missing the planet, but I haven't looked into it; where else should they be?
The Kilrathi Saga versions of WC1 & WC2 dont have planets in the backgrounds during the missions, and like you say - the planet is missing from the victory sequence. Each series of missions had a different planet in the background, I think there were about 4-5 different ones in each game. Every other release of WC1 had the planets, even the snes version had them. I never understood why they didn't show up in Kilrathi Saga. I assume they are in the code for the game somewhere.
 

Stinger

Vice Admiral
I'm guessing the planets were one of the effects enabled with expanded memory (like the joystick); it's possible that the KS version isn't simulating enough expanded memory. I'll look into it.
 

Tiddalick

Spaceman
Some excellent work you have done there. I have tried the first few missions using wcdx and its worked very well.

I looked a little at the planets/nebula/stars missing from the Kilrathi Saga issue and I can confirm that it is NOT related to expanded memory.
I have both the Kilrathi Saga and an original CD with the DOS version of WC1 (including secret missions) so I did some testing.

The graphics for the planets/nebulas/stars for the original Vega campaign is located in the "PLANETS.VGA" file.
The secret missions also adds the "PLANETS1.VGA" file.
These files are IDENTICAL (Binary comparison) between the Kilrathi Saga and the original DOS WC1.

I believe that the newer Kilrathi Saga executable is incorrectly using only the first graphic listed in the "PLANETS.VGA" file.
If you look very carefully for where the nebulas/stars should be (e.g. Nebula behind the Tiger's Claw in the first vega mission) you will notice that there is a still (single) frame of the debris field graphic.
In fact every instance of the planet/nebula/star is replace by the same still frame.

You can test that this is true using the following procedure:
1) Replace the "PLANETS.VGA" file with the "PLANETS1.VGA" file (after backup of course) in the gamedat directory and run the KILRATHI SAGA executable.
All the debris will now be replaced by a still image of a planet and two moons (even appearing behind Shotglass). If you start the first mission then behind the Tiger's claw is the same picture of the planet and two moons.

2) Replace the "PLANETS.VGA" file with the "PLANETS1.VGA" file (after backup of course) in the gamedat directory and run the DOS WC1 executable.
All the debris is still replaced by the still images of the planet and two moons. BUT different images appear behind the Tiger's claw (A sun I think) and within the scenario map.

This pretty clearly shows (in my mind) that the Kilrathi executable is always using the first graphic in the "PLANETS.VGA" file. This might be an easy fix? Unfortunatly I am no programmer, so I don't think I can help remidy the problem, but hopefully I have given you less to search for.

I will try a few more things and let you know if I find anything else.
Keep up the good work!

EDIT: I should also say that I tried running the DOS version under low memory (turned off EMS, etc and only gave the system 2Mb ram). The hand animation went but the planets/nebula were still present.
 

Toast

Space Marshal
Hey there, Stinger - good meeting you at the concert last year. Hoping to try this out at some point :)
 

Stinger

Vice Admiral
Tiddalick: Thanks for the info, that actually does help! Right now, I'm focusing on getting SM1 working, though I've had some difficulty setting aside the time I need to do the work. I have done a little bit of searching for the planets bug. I'll definitely come back to it.

Toast: Hey there! Sorry I took off so soon after the show; I had a long drive ahead of me. It was nice chatting with you, though; if you find yourself in the Anaheim/Orange area, drop me a line and we can meet up for lunch.
 

Salk

Rear Admiral
Stinger,

thank you so much for your hard work! I personally appreciate it immensely and I'd like to donate to show my appreciation. I don't know how many others would do it but I'd like to support your efforts if you decided to open a Paypal account for donating.

Keep it up and thanks again!
 

Stinger

Vice Admiral
Thank you, Salk; I appreciate the sentiment, but I think I'd rather not go down that road. I don't need donations to keep me going, just time...
 

Salk

Rear Admiral
As you wish, of course. I can but say thank you again, wishing you satisfaction and ultimately a complete success in your project!
 

Stinger

Vice Admiral
Secret Missions 1 support is finally here! In case you're wondering what was taking so long (aside from just life in general), it was this:
cursor1.png cursor2.png

Somewhere in the process I managed to introduce a bug that prevented the game from cleaning up the cursor, so it was just leaving cursor trails all over the place. It's the sort of bug that would have been very easy to fix if I were working from the game's source, but with access only to disassembled code, I had to dig pretty deep to figure out what was going on. In the process, I managed to figure out the game's resource and image formats (yes, I know HCl already did that) and write my own extractors. This should help with figuring out the planets issue, but before I get to that I want to at least get SM2 up and running. With more knowledge at my disposal, that shouldn't take anywhere near as long as SM1 took, so look for it in the next couple of weeks.

I'm classifying this release as a beta only because I haven't spent much time actually playing it; I am not at this time aware of any remaining issues. If you find any, please let me know.

Now go get that dreadnought!
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Just tried it, and I noticed that the when you use the joystick onboard the 'Claw, when you move the cursor over a hotspot, the cursor does not turn into a crosshair, but when you move over it with the mouse, it does...

Also, joystick flight while centered, seems to move around "crude", as in not smooth, I suspect this has to do with the mouse being enabled, anyone remember how to disable it?

The funeral scene in SM2 caused the program to crash to the desktop..
 

wcnut

Rear Admiral
Fantastic news Stinger!

I did notice the joystick cursor issue. But mouse is better for navigating anyway. :)

Joystick flight always was a little clunky for the old WC games. idk. I haven't noticed any extra clunk...

As to the CTD when reach funeral, it didn't happen for me just now.
 
Last edited:

Stinger

Vice Admiral
Just tried it, and I noticed that the when you use the joystick onboard the 'Claw, when you move the cursor over a hotspot, the cursor does not turn into a crosshair, but when you move over it with the mouse, it does...
I've noticed that, too. The same thing happens with the arrow keys. Did the DOS version have this issue?

The funeral scene in SM2 caused the program to crash to the desktop..
Was there an error dialog box? If you see it again, can you give me the full error text?
 

Edfilho

Cry some more!
This is amazing, and I'm super ultra thankful that you made this patch. I honestly have a nicer time playing KS WC1 on my modern PC than DOSB0x+original WC because the game speed never works quite right for some reason. This patch just made me all excited about replaying WC1 again!
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Joystick flight always was a little clunky for the old WC games. idk. I haven't noticed any extra clunk...
It's worse then the GOG/Origin version, and worse then I remember it when buying KS, and found out the T-shirt listed as inside the box was missing from the package. I didn't play it much because of the music bug, and a pentium-class machine with an (emulated) roland gave more atmosphere anyway...


I've noticed that, too. The same thing happens with the arrow keys. Did the DOS version have this issue?
Was there an error dialog box? If you see it again, can you give me the full error text?
I managed to replicate it twice during my "trial run". I'll try again this week and list you the event logs during the crash, as well as the system specs...
Dos versions of Wing1 and Wing2 displayed the "mouse-over" correctly, whatever you used as pointing device as far as I can remember...
 

criticalmass

Vice Admiral
I haven't been here for a long time, but this woke me up - so I tried the PC Gamer WC1 version (copied wc1 folder from unzipped download directory) with 1.2beta1 on a Windows 8.1 rig; and I get:

C:\wc1>wcpatch Wing1.exe Wing1_wcdx.exe
failed opening file: iostream stream error

Maybe it's the beta, maybe I'm too enthusiastic, but something seems to be off. Music patch runs fine tho.

Thanks for the great work anyway, always good to see someone polishing up the classics.
 
Top