Wcdx - Kilrathi Saga for modern Windows

Mace

Vice Admiral
Correct; I really want to continue this, but I have a lot of other things in flight. WC2 is also a significantly larger project than the earlier games.

One interesting conundrum: Fixing cut scene frame rates. If there's a voice, the frame rate is set relatively low in order to stay synchronized with the audio playback (I can't remember the exact number offhand, but something like 25 fps); if there's no speech, the frame rate is set all the way up at 75!

Instead of trying to fix it, why not try to put "speech"(a single "silent" audio file), onto those dialogues, and point in speechless conversations to that file everytime? It should fix the framerate, and avoid the flying cockpit(That really is CPU speed, or video card speed related).
 

Stinger

Vice Admiral
That wouldn't solve the problem; that would just make the scenes take forever.

Think about it this way: Scene duration is equal to the number of frames divided by the frame rate; mathematically:
d = (x frames) / (y frames/sec)

The original game specified a number for x, but not for y (citation needed; I haven't actually checked this); y was determined by how fast your computer could draw frames. The KS version, for whatever reason, specifies a very high y. In order to keep d at a reasonable value, the KS devs dramatically increased x. With a higher x and higher y, d remains essentially the same. Unfortunately, this interacts poorly with how the cut scenes are scripted. The cockpit, for instance, shifts forward every few frames; more frames means more shifts, which eventually shifts the entire sprite into view.

If I just change y (which doesn't even require a fake audio file; I can just change the hard-coded number), without also changing x, then d will skyrocket and animations will seem to take forever. Further, without changing x, the ghost cockpits problem remains; it just takes longer to happen. Changing y is a code change; I can do that easily. Changing x is a data change, and there are bound to be lots and lots of x's out there.
 

LarkInFlight

Rear Admiral
Good to see you back Stinger. Do you plan to fix the Dralthi blaster/fuel gauge in WC1 Sm2 too or just WC2? No pressure, just asking :)
 

wcnut

Rear Admiral
All this makes me wonder if it might be easier to improve the Dos version then fix the broken windows one :p
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
As far as i know, and me tempering with WC2 in the 90's, is that when the audio file is finished, it will continue on towards the next line of dialogue, and skip over animation, even on slow computers.
On a 486 with a 40Mhz FSB, thrakhath was moving his lips like "Scatman John", and then cuff his lips for the remaining seconds, but the engine was waiting for the speech sequence to be completed so the actual framerate would or should not be affected. It was pretty funny watching it back then.

It is not a solution to the issue you are working with, just a workaround.

The main issue would be the "floating cockpit", I do not think anybody would notice the lower framerate during dialogue..
 

Stinger

Vice Admiral
Good to see you back Stinger. Do you plan to fix the Dralthi blaster/fuel gauge in WC1 Sm2 too or just WC2? No pressure, just asking :)
Thanks, but I'm sorry to say I'm not actively working on any of this stuff at the moment; I was just recounting where I left off a few months back. Every time I think I'll get enough free time to pour some work into this, something else comes up. It's all good, though; part of the other stuff I've been working on involves going to ISO C++ committee meetings to propose/discuss/vote on future directions for the C++ language. Much of the rest is just me being very busy at work.
 

Salk

Rear Admiral
It seems like real life is still keeping you away from this project, Stinger.

I, as many others, hope that you can eventually return to wcdx with renewed enthusiasm!
 

Stinger

Vice Admiral
Thanks for the encouragement! I'll keep an eye out for opportunities to work on this; right now, I'm about to get on a plane to Seattle for the ISO C++ committee meeting in Issaquah, which will keep me busy for the next week, and of course holiday season is approaching... but I actually got most of the original work done during a vacation, so maybe I'll manage something. That said, WC2 is a much larger task than WC1; I don't expect to have anything meaningful finished any time soon.
 

Salk

Rear Admiral
Well, let me wish you happy holidays, Stinger.

I know it is unrealistic to expect that you can produce anything WC-2 related any time soon but it is nice to know you still believe in further developing your project.

Take care and godspeed!
 

twotone8

Captain
Just now getting back into Wing Commander, and I'm very grateful for your work. This seems to be the definitive way to play Wing Commander I on modern systems. I would love for you to continue your progress with Wing Commander II someday if fate allows, but your efforts so far are already much appreciated by the community.
 

wcnut

Rear Admiral
You sir are doing the lords work! I had no idea you guys released the original SC for free and running on a modern mac! That just made my day. I'm downloading Broodwar now!
 

Stinger

Vice Admiral
You sir are doing the lords work! I had no idea you guys released the original SC for free and running on a modern mac! That just made my day. I'm downloading Broodwar now!

Glad to hear it! The Mac, specifically, is largely my work; I started at Blizzard nearly five years ago on the Mac team, and I spent about three months last year just getting the project to build and run on Mac using modern APIs. (The last time the game was available on Mac, it still targeted PowerPC processors.) I use a 2013 Mac Pro as my main workstation, and typically any Mac issues end up on my plate. I hope you enjoy it!
 

wcnut

Rear Admiral
Really? Wow, thank-you so much! I sure know that the last version available was for the PowerPC, I use to use to play it all the time, and stopped after 10.6 killed Rosetta support. I was actually thinking about running the windows version in wine when i stumbled on this whole conversation! :)
 

twotone8

Captain
quick question. I'm trying to make it through my first playthrough of the original Wing Commander using this patch. Is the gameplay in this windows version significantly faster than the dosbox version? Because I'm having tremendous difficulty not dying immediately. I loaded up the doxbox version just for kicks and it seems much easier. Has anyone experienced this?

edit:
FOUNT IT.
Alt-M and Alt-N to speedup and slowdown the game.
 
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ShadowArm

Captain
Thanks! I really do want to work on this some more, but my job has been keeping me very, very busy lately; it's incredibly difficult to find free time right now, and I don't even know if things will settle down after SC:R ships. We'll see...

ah if i knew this earlier

good luck on that, know that you guys have the with of the entire world in your backs!
 

twotone8

Captain
Whew. Just made it through SM1 and started SM2. Once I get around to Wing Commander 2, do you guys recommend using the alpha version of this patch? Or should I just bit the bullet and go DoxBox?
 
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