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 Post subject: Hey Stucuk...
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:09 pm 
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How goes it, man? Hope all is well and progressing. Question...
Does the BRU engine have directx 11 support? Starting to dream of what it'll look like...


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 Post subject: Re: Hey Stucuk...
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:08 pm 
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It uses DirectX 8 or 9 (It has the headers to both), not sure which as i have never done an in-depth look into it. I don't have a PC capable of using DirectX 11 (I only have PC's with Windows XP) so there is no chance of me being able to create a DirectX 11 build. I also lack the DirectX knowledge to port the code from one DirectX version to another (I mainly use OpenGL).

Version 1.0.8.0 is progressing. The modding support has been improved (Each Mod has its own local profiles which are separate from the main game and more of the engine is moddable) and iv been working on CMView (With the end goal of making a System Editor, though this project will take alot of time). There is also a developer mode, which forces the game into a 1024x768 window and has a developer console window thing at the top right of the screen which allows you to feed the game LUA code(You can even send it procedures/functions that already exist in the LUA code to override them with your own), which is very useful to modding.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey Stucuk...
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:25 pm 
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I also had an xp 'puter till this morning when I finally confirmed after 2 weeks that my hdd had died. It was acting as tho dos and bios were wonky prior to that though(ntdlr is missing) and with Microsoft pulling support, xp is just going to get worse and worse so keep an eye on it. ...and for God's sake, back everything up.


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 Post subject: Re: Hey Stucuk...
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:02 pm 
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Each time a version is released i backup the source and send a copy to Timur (Quazar Studios CEO.. Well was. No clue what the situation is now). I'll proberly be getting a new computer either this year or early next, im not in a rush as my current one is still working(I still have a CRT TV in my room for example, never bought a new one as it still works... even though its heavy to move).

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 Post subject: Re: Hey Stucuk...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:34 am 
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Had a crt for the longest myself(I do audio/visual work for corporates here in NYC). I bit the bullet and bought a 61in. rear project LED/DLP Samsung only a couple of years ago. Happy ever since.
So let me get the batting lineup right... Quazar originally authors the engine, publishes Tarr, Dark and Cold stars thru Paradox, Akella and CDV(Cold stars maybe). You ask Quazar to manage the engine. They agree. Quazar goes belly up with Akella and Paradox owning Tarr/Dark and especially Cold stars content separating Cold stars engine development from what has come before it. Sound about right? If so, where does that leave you? Put another way, who do you work for? If the engine is upgraded to a certain point, do Paradox, Akella and CDV republish or possibly create new content? Just don't want to see you(and to be honest, the engine)vaporize after all this Sisyphean effort because of a rights argument. Or is Quazar still a viable entity?


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 Post subject: Re: Hey Stucuk...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:51 pm 
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This is as i understand it. Some bits may be incorrect.

Quazar developed all 3 games for Akella. Akella as a result own the Intellectual Property rights of all 3 games. Akella sold the distribution rights to CDV(Tarr Chronicles only AFAIK) and Paradox (Tarr Chronicles/Dark Horizon). Which allows CDV to distribute in America and Paradox in Europe(Excluding Russia as Akella is likely to handle it there). Note that Paradox didn't want Cold Stars(Most likely due to the global recession. Lots of games were never made because publishers stuck to what was safe at that time), which is why there is only a Russian version. Quazar however owns the actual engine to the game(Not sure about the textures/models/etc).

Quazar as far as i understand only really exists in name currently. Timur is still paying for the quazar-studio.com name and hosting. I don't know if the company is still registered in Russia(No clue how it works in Russia).

Its highly unlikely that any new games will be made.

If im correct it was in 2009 when i asked if i could maintain Tarr Chronicles. Cold Stars was still being worked on and Quazar was actually working on version 1.05 (Which added Joystick Support and the Pixel Shader effects) which was never released as i released my modified version as 1.0.6.0. Timur sent me the source to both Tarr Chronicles and Dark Horizon, as well as a copy of Dark Horizon (As i didn't own the game).

In regards to me, it doesn't really matter who owns the game or its rights. As long as what i do improves the game no company is going to tell me to stop as Patches which increase stability/add new features/etc can only help them make more money(People have to own a copy of the game after all). My NDA(Non-Disclosure-Agreement) is with Quazar, and unless Timur tells me to stop i will carry on. There is a clause in the NDA where he can get me to send him the latest version and destroy all copies of the source that i have.

Im effectively a Volunteer Independent Contractor who does what he wants, when he wants. I do keep Timur in the loop when i release patches or need his permission for something (Such as releasing the source code which relates to the CM files for CMView or using the Quazar Logo for the BRU Engines logo, etc).

In regards to Cold Stars, technically i may be able to get its source and a copy from Timur but i don't want to. Merging Tarr Chronicles and Dark Horizon's source was bad enough and its still not complete (The main differences between the two are the heating system. Dark Horizon allows you to heat/cool but Tarr Chronicles just has heat for weapons/boosting. Most of the games code is shared by both but due to differences its why they have different exe's). I also proberly couldn't run Cold Stars on my current pc. And last but not least i don't see the point in maintaining a game which doesn't have an english version as it would be a very small amount of people i could help(Who proberly wouldn't speak english).

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 Post subject: Re: Hey Stucuk...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:12 pm 
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Between you and me, I HATE what they did with the heating system. It was as if they just wanted to complicate the controls to make it seem more "real". It's kept me from playing it and part of me hopes that down the line you come up with an off switch for it.
So Quasar upped the specs on the engine for Cold stars? Is that why you can't run it?
Btw, I now have confirmation that the gods hate me. Diaspora, the updated Battlestar Galactica sim... http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=81859.0 dropped today...
...and my hdd is still fried.


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 Post subject: Re: Hey Stucuk...
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:05 am 
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I also hate the heating system of Dark Horizon. Its a nice idea, but its regulating the heat so your weapons don't cause too much heat that you then loose shields that is annoying. Personally i think it would be better if it worked like Attack/Defensive Mode in Tarr Chronicles where you press a button to enable/disable. Though i have been avoiding the heating system. Its the main bit of code which seperates Tarr Chronicles and Dark Horizon and one day i will have to tackle it to intergrate both systems into one.

I don't know if the requirements of Cold Stars are actually higher. It would depend on if the Pixel Shaders were forced on or if you could turn them off. I have never played the game.

Battlestar Galactica Online is a free game with lowish requirements. They did screw it up in July so that quite a few people have problems with it, though the latest test build on the Troy server fixes all of the major bugs they introduced. So you may be able to play it at work/etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey Stucuk...
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:18 am 
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Hi, Stucuk
1.
Is it possible to improve code in the engine regarding FPU initialization (mainly precision, I think). All three games I own
(Tarr Chronicles, Dark Horizon and Cold Stars) are based on the same engine and all of them dies eventually due to (what I suspect) cumulative rounding errors - on WinXP 32. I tried one of them (Dark Horizon) on my wife's laptop with Win7 64 and it works fine. As you surely know, 64 bit code doesn't use old FPU unit for floating point operations so probably it is why I hava no problems with the game. FPU unit in 32 bit code is set per thread, it means that if one thread change FPU precision and doesn't preserve FPU state, or our thread does not check/set FPU on every call, we can have scenario when the same code can give a different results on different machines or even on the same when different software is installed. I don't plan to change my Windows in near future (mainly due to tons of other software installed) so I really would like to find the root cause of my problems and fix it. Using my wife's laptop for gaming is not an option :)
Maybe a debug option to constantly show FPU status (something like showing fps) or a private build?

2.
Regarding Cold Stars (or Stars: Cold Toys, exactly). I didn't notice many developer differences between all of three games. A lot of Lua code was reused, in Cold Stars also. For my purpose and just for fun I just started translating Cold Stars from russian to english. My english is average, at least, and I have fading (over 30 years) knowledge of russian language so it goes slowly (with internet translators), but it goes. Oh, I didn't mentioned that to make translation right way I must dissasemble Lua files, reconstruct code, translate text and compile it again :) My Lua knowledge is really basic (I started to learn it when I have bought these games) but it improves. I have fun having possibility to modding the game also.

One comment: Due to above FPU problems I have not played any of those games yet (only some testing). I am still waiting to fix the problem and then play them all. "One fix to play them all" - doesn't sounds it familiar? :)

Regards,
ixtern


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 Post subject: Re: Hey Stucuk...
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:06 am 
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Set8087CW/Get8087CW were the only floating point things i could see. What i noticed was that Floating Point Exceptions (Like Divide by Zero Errors) were disabled, so some errors are effectively hidden. With floating point exceptions enabled i found some divide by zero errors as well as some calls to ArcCos/ArcSin which had values sent that were outside there -1 to 1 range.

Attached is two builds. One where it sets the 8087CW so exceptions are enabled and one which leaves it alone. With the one where exceptions are enabled you need to use the -devmode parameter, you also need to use it to view the current 8087CW value (which is displayed in the following format: Current/Default/$133f).

Please use the one which has exceptions with the -devmode parameter. Note that -devmode forces the game into a window at 1024x768 resolution. If you get any error messages let me know.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey Stucuk...
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:30 pm 
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Found out that the Maths unit contains some easy to use functions for setting/getting the precision, rounding and exception "Values". What i noticed was that the precision is defaultly set to Extended (Which is a floating point type in Delphi which is better than Doubles), but changed to Single (Floats) and then to Double.

Below is a new version. Iv fixed some more divide by zero errors that i found through play testing. Also there are now two new parameters you can send it.

-pmextended
-fpuexcept


pmextended forces the FPU to use Extended as Precision. fpuexcept enables the main exceptions. Both are disabled by default. You still need to use -devmode to view the FPU state and with this version you get alot more information than the last (First is the Precision than the Rounding then the Exception Mask. Basically the exception mask is for exceptions you don't want to generate exceptions).

Id recommend running it with -devmode -pmextended -fpuexcept as its parameters.

P.S Iv attached a screenshot as well to show what it looks like. Btw you may notice that the Hud looks different :P. Thats a Work In Progress mod to make the game look more like the X-Series does(In the screenshot im actually in cockpit mode...).


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Tarr_Chronicles_12-09-6_20-17-25-109_171.png
Tarr_Chronicles_12-09-6_20-17-25-109_171.png [ 641.24 KiB | Viewed 3244 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Hey Stucuk...
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:54 pm 
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Thank you for your fast response. I have tested a little Tarr Chronicles with your new binaries but without much success. I run game with -devmode -pmextended -fpuexcept options and in the first mission (m1_system_anterra) game crashed (approximately when first enemy occurs) with dividing by zero error:
"Exception EZeroDivide in module d3d9_33.dll at 00080037. Floating point division by zero." FPU debug screen still shows current values equal defaults: pmExtended, rmNearest, exDenormalized, exUnderflow, exPrecision.
Second run ended with exactly the same error in the same scenario.

I played game without above options also and it run a a bit longer - to the second enemy wave in the first mission but then my velocity increased to such big value that the game penalized me thinking that I have abandoned mission.

During the weekend I should have more time for testing.
BTW. Once I loaded first mission from the dev console and then I hadn't an input from keybord in the mission (mouse was ok). ???

Regards, ixtern


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 Post subject: Re: Hey Stucuk...
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:06 am 
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Meh i hate the exceptions in other peoples DLL's. Impossible to debug them.

When you used DevMode's LoadMission were you in the main menu or in a level? They are the only two safe places to use the Load Mission command. Anywhere else and you can run into all sorts of errors.

Attached is a version which has a better Error Logging ability. Could you run it with -devmode -fpuexcept and when you are in the Main Menu can you use DevMode's Load Mission with 0 and 0 as its settings (The two boxes above it). That will get you to the "Empty_System", which like its name suggests is a completely empty system (Its used for the main menu). That will allow you to use the boost/etc as much as you like without divide by zeros popping up from other things. Also as it has no LUA there is no mission boundaries(As there isn't a mission :P).

P.S When it comes to the changes the main one is that the Error Logs now contain an Exception bit. Most of the bits of code which call the error log don't send it the exception which was raised. Now the error log its self will get the exception information.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey Stucuk...
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:55 pm 
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Thanks for your next version. Maybe I am doing something wrong but I can't load empty system from the dev console when I am in the main menu. Every time I got an error:

General Info
------------
Application : Tarr Chronicles
Filename : tarr.exe
Version : 1.0.8.0

Params : -DEVMODE -FPUEXCEP
ParamCount : 2

System : empty_system
FPU State : pmSingle, rmNearest, exInvalidOp, exDenormalized, exZeroDivide, exOverflow, exUnderflow, exPrecision

Error Info
----------
ErrorText 0 : TBaseGameObject.Get error: objPath:->scene->_G _id:balance_system Self.id:scene

Exception : None
GetLastError() : Operacja ukonczona pomyslnie.


LUA Debug
---------
Debug 3 : Source: DoString
: What: main
: NameWhat:
: LineDefined: 0
: CurrentLine: 1
Debug 2 : Source: @C:\Delphi\Tarr\Game\Compiled\interface\offgame\Loading.lua
: What: Lua
: Name: Seq
: NameWhat: field
: LineDefined: 152
: CurrentLine: 245
Debug 1 : Source: @C:\Delphi\Tarr\Game\Compiled\scripts\funcs\system_funcs.lua
: What: Lua
: Name: setVar
: NameWhat: global
: LineDefined: 70
: CurrentLine: 71
Debug 0 : Source: =[C]
: What: C
: Name: engine_SetVar
: NameWhat: global
: LineDefined: -1
: CurrentLine: -1

Windows Info
------------
Product : Windows XP Home Edition
Win32MajorVersion : 5
Win32MinorVersion : 1
BuildNumber : 2600
ServicePack : Dodatek Service Pack 3
ServicePackMajor : 3
ServicePackMinor : 0

Hardware Info
-------------
Physical Memory : 2049MB
CPU Name : Intel(R) Pentium(R) CPU E5300 @ 2.60GHz
CPU Clock : 2600Mhz
VideoCard : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
Resolution : 1024x768


Later I'll try other things.
Regards, ixtern


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 Post subject: Re: Hey Stucuk...
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:24 pm 
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Meh, its the missions.lua, in 1.0.7.0 it has balance_system as Mission 0's system (Mission 0 is never loaded as Mission 1 is the first mission). 1.0.8.0 has Mission 0 set to the ini.startLocation (Which is whatever system you want to be behind the Main Menu). balance_system doesn't exist in the Retail Game (I don't even have it). I thought there wasn't any differences between the two which would make a difference(Most of the changes are just Tarr/DH's Lua files more merged with each other. Also some fixes to the Spawn Menu, which was made by Quazar, only discovered it in the last months).

Attached is Tarr's 1.0.8.0's LUA files. Extract to the Data folder.


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Compiled.rar [1.77 MiB]
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