New Privateer 2 Patch Adds Deinterlace Feature & Makes Numerous Improvements (October 1, 2013)

RIDDLER

Rear Admiral
Thanks for the comments!

Quarto: gameplay tweaks are definitely a possibility, although i'll probably prioritize fixes related to game stability. I'm with you on the endless respawn waves though.. I can't say i encounter them often, but when I do, yeah they can be annoying.

Oceankhayne: thanks for the feedback, that's definitely useful to know. Admittedly, we didn't test the patch with third-party MIDI synths, but i'll try to reproduce the issue sometime within the next few days and see if a work-around can be found (no promises at this point, though).

Riddler / AD: just copying the files without installing should be fine. I don't think the game has any registry dependencies (besides, just unzipping the patch into the GOG release seems to work, and it is based on the DOS version)

edit: don't forget to edit DARK.FIX if you copy the game files into a drive other than C:
Hi! Copying all CD's to hard drive works great after I figured out that you need to edit CD.DAT to reflect the CD number appropriate for where you are in the game. Otherwise missions are not available.
 

HCl

WC EXE archaeologist
With this patch, the CD number on CD.DAT shouldn't be an issue. Which missions aren't you seeing unless you edit it?
 

RIDDLER

Rear Admiral
With this patch, the CD number on CD.DAT shouldn't be an issue. Which missions aren't you seeing unless you edit it?
The main plot line did not begin until I edited. I started the game from the beginning. After not receiving any email messages for 6 or 7 times out on cargo runs I edited CD.DAT from "3" to "1". I received two emails the next time out (the Xavier Shondi ammo cargo escort run and the tip on the Canera registry from Dr. Loomis).
 

HCl

WC EXE archaeologist
Thanks for the feedback!

I tried changing CD.DAT to "3" and launching the game, and I was able to confirm that the patch changes the CD to "1" if you start the game, or if you load a game immediately at the start and then go to Crius (the CD changes as you land, and the storyline video plays).

So the patch is working.. *but*, until you reach a scene that requires a different CD, you won't get the change CD prompt. This is the same behaviour you'd see if you had the actual CDs in the drive, but it means that until you reach an FMV sequence the game wouldn't check if you had the correct CD on the drive.

This got me thinking: besides the current no-cd logic (automatic CD change), we'd want the game to make a CD check, and prompt a CD change, right after a savegame is loaded. Maybe even update CD.DAT on your hard drive accordingly. I'll dig a bit more at the EXE and see what I can find, maybe I can tweak the CD-change logic a bit more.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I mean the on screen mouse icon. I couldn't use a mouse either until a time when I didn't have a Joystick available and had to try the mouse. It took some time but I got used to it - Prophecy's mouse implementation in particular is pretty good - I found WC3/4's central screen confined cursor a little difficult and Privateer 2's very frustrating.
Yes! This is definitely one of those things I'd like to see. I think having a visible mouse cursor makes a vast difference, and really - I never could understand why both Privateer games insisted on messing with a perfectly good control system.

I wish I could be a bit more specific on the things I don't like about the gameplay in Priv 2, but unfortunately, my dislike of the game is a big limitation here - since I've only ever played the game through once, and that was well over a decade ago, it's impossible for me to really be constructive about what put me off. Those infinite spawns are one of the very few things I recall. Well, that and the Jincilla Skulls - but don't change those, as awful as they are!

Privateer 2 did have some other big flaws, in particular the poorly balanced player ships ("get your hands on 18 different ships", said the trailer - it forgot to explain that none of them have an ounce of character, because each is simply a little better than the previous one), but these are beyond the scope of any kind of patch. Sure, stats could be tweaked, but the end result would be a new game.
 

haradan

Spaceman
Just to be sure... This patch converts the DOS version into the Windows version or something like that?
I play the game in my Mac using DOSBox, so my question is: Can I run the fixed version if I don't have Windows running in my system? Does it work with DOSBox? I've been waiting forever for a patch like this, please tell me there's hope for me...
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
The patched version is the windows version. HCl would know more about whether it's possible to hack a DOS version together.
 

HCl

WC EXE archaeologist
Adapting these fixes to the DOS version would be possible, but technically would be more complicated due to DOS extender issues. It might be easier to tie the DOS EXE hacks to a specially modified DOSBox (been entertaining a few ideas on that regard).

So, short answer, right now these fixes are specific to the Windows version, but maybe there will be port to the DOS EXE sometime in the future.
 
Great patch, except no joystick compatibility. The alt-o key function also does not work with this patch. Am i missing something? Anybody know a way to get the joystick working with this patch? Otherwise it's great.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Great patch, except no joystick compatibility. The alt-o key function also does not work with this patch. Am i missing something? Anybody know a way to get the joystick working with this patch? Otherwise it's great.
Just so we're not missing a step, windows is detecting your joystick and it's calibrating in windows correctly? Do you possibly have more than one type of game controller plugged into your USB slots? (Even if the stick uses a gameport)
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Is this patch compatible with Windows 7? I've not been able to get the darkfix.exe to run, after setting compatibility to Windows 95.
Yes it should work in windows 7. You should be able to download the GOG version, and unzip the patch into the P2 folder and run darkfix.exe .

The compatibility mode is needed to get inflight music. Does DARKFIX work without a compatibility mode set? You might also run into issues if you have installed the game off of your existing CDs.... If that's the case you should probably copy them all to the harddrive.
 
I've tried with and without compatibility. I am using the GOG version and have also tried a fresh install. On running it just appears to reposition the mouse cursor, sometimes the screen flashes black very briefly.

When running a text file appears with these contents:
Initializing... mode = 0, win = 0, bits8 = 00000000, bits16 = 00000000, pal8 = 00000000, pal16 = 00000000
 

hana

Spaceman
I'm getting same issue as mr pig: got the game at GoG, installed onto a win7 x64 system, copied files from archive, run darkfix directly and screen blinks black and nothing. Tried running app with various compat fixes to no success.
 

SiG

Petty Officer
I have trouble getting DARKFIX to run on when Windws 95/ Windows 98/ME compatibility mode. The game would play the Origin FMV, but then just freeze after playing that cutscene (if there's a save game, it will go to the menu, but it will refuse to play any other cutscenes or start the flight part of the game). I had to tab out several times to quit and tried to modify the Dark.FIX file.

I have the game installed on the default GOG directory (C:\GOG Games\Privateer 2 - The Darkening). I'm a bit perplexed by the two lines on the Dark.FIX file, but I set it up as:
C:
C:\GOG Games\Privateer 2 - The Darkening

Knowing DOS though I also tried this setting:
C:
C:\GOGGam~1\Privat~1

Strangely enough, the game works fine in native any other compatibility mode. It just doesn't have music.

I run on Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit btw.
 
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HCl

WC EXE archaeologist
Try setting the first two lines in DARK.FIX as:

C:.
C:.

(change to reflect the drive letter you have the game installed on, notice the dot)

This should fix the issue of the game not starting, or starting and crashing with a windows error after the video sequence. The game has a bug that crashes the game if the installation path is too long, so try using the above as a workaround (hopefully i'll be able to introduce a fix sometime down the road)

Strangely enough, the game works fine in native any other compatibility mode. It just doesn't have music.
This could be something else... I'll try to run some tests and see if I can replicate the problem.
 
Thank you HCI, that did the trick, I had it installed on my D: drive.

The aspect ratio of the game is less then the width of my screen, ignoring the video's, is this normal? I have a widescreen monitor, desktop is set to 1280x1080.
 

SiG

Petty Officer
Try setting the first two lines in DARK.FIX as:

C:.
C:.

(change to reflect the drive letter you have the game installed on, notice the dot)

This should fix the issue of the game not starting, or starting and crashing with a windows error after the video sequence. The game has a bug that crashes the game if the installation path is too long, so try using the above as a workaround (hopefully i'll be able to introduce a fix sometime down the road)



This could be something else... I'll try to run some tests and see if I can replicate the problem.
Nope. Still didn't work despite changing those two lines. Incidentally, those were also the defaults.

But yeah, in case it matters, I do have CoolSoftVirtualMIDISynth installed, but it worked perfectly fine on Wing Commander 3. (Currently using WeedsGM3 soundfont)
 

HCl

WC EXE archaeologist
Nope. Still didn't work despite changing those two lines. Incidentally, those were also the defaults.

But yeah, in case it matters, I do have CoolSoftVirtualMIDISynth installed, but it worked perfectly fine on Wing Commander 3. (Currently using WeedsGM3 soundfont)
Actually, that may be at least part of the problem. My experience with CoolSoft VirtualMIDI Synth and Privateer 2 has been a bit hit-and-miss, particularly in Windows 7 (curiously P2 seems to work fine with it in XP).

As far as I can tell, Privateer 2 tends to open and close the midi mapper often, and it sometimes hangs on the close operation. The VirtualMIDI mixer shows that there's one channel that is apparently not properly closed, so this is most likely what's holding the close operation indefinitely (pic below):

mixer.png


So there's definitely some weird interaction between P2 and VirtualMIDI Synth that is causing P2 to hang. I'll look into it, if the problem is in P2 i may be able to patch it up.

In the meantime, try selecting the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth as the default MIDI Out device, on the VirtualMIDI Synth Configurator. It won't use the new soundfont, but it should work better...
 

SiG

Petty Officer
I think the Midi Mapper is gone in Windows 8(.1), though I'm going to try to disable the soundfont ot use a third party tool to reselect the midi source back into Microsoft GS Wavetable.

Anyways, I tried using a third-party mapper to select the default Microsoft GS Wavetable synth and it still doesn't work. I also uninstalled the old version and reinstalled the newer version of VirtualMidiSynth (1.8.2).
 
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