Tweaks for Complete Chronicles

Anything that isn't directly related to Age Creation but that might be interesting to Age developers.

Re: Tweaks for Complete Chronicles

Postby Ainia » Thu May 22, 2014 1:29 pm

Shorah Sirius,

Since you seem familiar with the inner workings of UruCC, perhaps you can answer a question about how the early game Zandi interactions work?

Specifically, us Mac folks have been working at getting UruCC installed via Crossover (option #1) or Wineskin (option #2) and are struggling with some audio issues that so far are peculiar only to Zandi and his radio. Details about the symptoms are discussed here, but in summary, we are getting everything from mono output to scrambled output to no output.

Thus far, all the other sounds in the game seem to be fine (though I have yet to play it through with a new avvie--I'm working the Wineskin option, BTW). Since the Yeesha imager speech at the Cleft seems fine, I'm guessing it's not connected to how audio works for NPCs... any ideas?

Overall, it seems like something "happens" whenever the avvie gets within a certain radius of Zandi and this "something" messes with these two particular sounds. Ambient sounds still play just fine at that location (and throughout). Without having a clue about what that "something" might be, I have no idea what to try changing in the Wineskin settings.

Any thoughts you might have about this would be much appreciated!! :D
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Re: Tweaks for Complete Chronicles

Postby Sirius » Fri May 23, 2014 2:21 am

I'm not really familiar with either Wine or Crossover, but that's obviously a difference with the audio library or codecs or whatever between Wine/Crossover and the default Windows stuff.
Plasma must want to play some sound files with some settings that are fine with Windows but that W/CO fails to play correctly, resulting in either the sound playing with default properties (default loud sound volume, and no fading) or the audio output system being completely garbled.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you what is wrong, or what needs to be changed - I'll have to run Uru from another machine under Linux, and see if I can figure anything out.

However it's interesting to note both sounds are streamed and 3D, which might be related to the issue, since they are demanding for the audio system. If it can help understanding some options in the settings panel, here is a short description:

As far as I know, streamed means the game continuously reads the audio file, resulting in only a few seconds of audio being loaded at once. This is mainly used to make sure audio and animations are in sync (because the game doesn't have to load a 2Mo file). However, since the game needs to read the audio real fast, it reads from the WAV files in the streamingCache directory (which is easier than decoding the OGG files).

As for 3D sound, Cyan uses a lot of regions to control how the sound fades with distance. This shouldn't be much of a problem, but it might be too much to handle for W/CO since there are a lot of options used to tweak the audio used at the same time (most of which I don't understand, such as incidental sound, falloff, inner and outer cone).
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Re: Tweaks for Complete Chronicles

Postby diafero » Sun May 25, 2014 8:57 am

Specifically, us Mac folks have been working at getting UruCC installed via Crossover (option #1) or Wineskin (option #2) and are struggling with some audio issues that so far are peculiar only to Zandi and his radio. Details about the symptoms are discussed here, but in summary, we are getting everything from mono output to scrambled output to no output.
That's interesting - I am playing Uru in Linux with Wine, and sound is working all right.

However, there's on caveat: The SoundDecompress.exe shipped with Uru does not work well on Wine. It never produced usable output for me (not just for Zandi, but for anything). Instead I copied the files from my Windows Uru installation. Nowadays, there's an alternative. In the libhsplasma Python tools folder, there's a python re-implementation of SoundDecompress which works beautifully on Linux.

Maybe that helps you.
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Tweaks for Complete Chronicles

Postby Ehren » Mon May 26, 2014 1:31 am

Sirius, do you mind if I post some of my tweaked URU CC files here in this thread too?

I slightly edited some of the city PRP files to fix a couple little graphical and physical mistakes that had often bothered me. Though a lot of people might find them ignorable details... But maybe someone will like to use them too. The fixes are just taken from the MOUL city PRPs and spliced in to CC's.

They certainly don't have any big changes.
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Re: Tweaks for Complete Chronicles

Postby Sirius » Mon May 26, 2014 4:20 am

Sure ! Feel free to add some of your tweaks as well ! :)

Fixes for the city... Well, that would be interesting. I didn't notice much changes between MOUL and CC (well, if you put aside Bahros, the DRC stage, and the Guild Hall explosion).
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Tweaks for Complete Chronicles

Postby Ehren » Mon May 26, 2014 9:08 pm

Okay, this is my version of some city files:

Download

They are meant to replace the old copies of these particular files in the dat folder so you might want to back those up first. I made sure to compensate for being able to enter and exit Kadish Gallery, so my versions will NOT introduce any visibility errors there (if you are replacing files that came with the OfflineKI download).

These won't work with DI since a shard will just replace the files.

I was extremely careful not to break or ruin anything. So for the most part things should actually feel the same as before. So I will list what is intended to be different.

Harbor:

The partially sunken boat in front of the harbor will now always be visible, this means you will be able to see it from the library area (fairly near where you see the bigger, darker boat). Also you won't get the weird visual of the boat materializing out of thin air when going down the great stairs.

The cave background and will never vanish, which means it can be seen through the crack in the pub ceiling now. It's also just more stable now which helps tone down some visual glitches which can happen a lot around certain corners (especially the library area). It isn't perfect, but looks a lot better than the orange background showing through:

Before:
Image
After:
Image

Courtyard:

In MOUL there are 4 light beams (behind the tent) shining up along the front of the Tokotah Building. They always existed in CC but with a layering error putting them visually behind the building walls. I got the 2 main ones to show up on both sides of the front door but sadly not the 2 shorter ones on both sides. There just doesn't seem to be an easy way to fix those 2.

So, whether you use this file depends on if you'd rather two light beams or none.
Image

Kadish Gallery:

The area where you could walk inside the railing (where the barricades are turned off) is fixed. Also, can't drop down from the balcony railing to the lower area anymore.

The third-person camera can now pass through the invisible walls around the railings, so it doesn't stay stuck close to you when your back is up against the rail.

Canyon:

This one has the least noticeable change to it, a large stalagmite that is part of the canyon area is now visible through the crack in the pub ceiling, when you look from the right angle.

(Now that I list these I really see how few changes it actually is, but all well)
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Re: Tweaks for Complete Chronicles

Postby Sirius » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:13 am

About this sound issue in the Cleft.

I tried playing Uru on my 6 years old laptop using Wine. Since it's lacking a CD reader, I simply copied files from my gaming PC.
But, I couldn't even start the game. It tells me it cannot initialize the graphic card. I'll see if I can get it working at all, but for now it simply won't start.

However, I came across a review from another Wine user, saying it's indeed the streaming sounds that don't work in your case. I researched a bit further the subject, and came across this. Here is something interesting:
In Windows Vista, Microsoft rewrote most of their audio systems. [...] Wine-1.3.25-1.3.30 has undergone the same rewrite. All of Wine's audio APIs are now based on the new MMDevAPI implementations, and are currently undergoing bug fixing to clean up the remaining issues caused by the rewrite.
(Now that I remember, it's also why you can't use EAX effects in Uru any longer.)
On Wine, I noticed you can change which version of Windows to emulate - simply changing it to something old might be enough (probably before XP, I'd say).
(Although that's quite unlikely - in general, the easy solution never works :? ).

You could also try solutions in the "SDL applications" (maybe even "DirectMusic support") sections of the above page. SDL stands for Simple DirectMedia Layer, which is basically what loads some of Uru's resources and creates the game window. Might contains some tweaks to make the streaming sounds work.


BTW:
Nice tweaks, Ehren. Some never really bothered me, but the Tokotah lights and Kahlo pub ceiling always felt awkward to me. Thanks for sharing !
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Re: Tweaks for Complete Chronicles

Postby Tsar Hoikas » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:41 am

Sirius wrote:SDL stands for Simple DirectMedia Layer, which is basically what loads some of Uru's resources and creates the game window.


Uru doesn't use that SDL (libsdl). Uru's SDL (state description language) is a custom hack that tracks state ;)
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Re: Tweaks for Complete Chronicles

Postby Sirius » Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:31 am

Ah, yes, that's correct. I know the difference between the SDL library and the state files for Uru's Ages, but somehow assumed Uru used the library.
Thanks for the correction :P
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Re: Tweaks for Complete Chronicles

Postby diafero » Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:20 am

On Wine, I noticed you can change which version of Windows to emulate - simply changing it to something old might be enough (probably before XP, I'd say).
(Although that's quite unlikely - in general, the easy solution never works :? ).
Indeed, changing the windows version there doesn't switch back the sound system. The old one has been ripped out for good, the new API just works better. However, applications using the old interface should still work, there's a compatibility wrapper. And indeed, I haven't had any sound issues in Wine for quite a while, even though I use PulseAudio and Wine *without* the PA patch...
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