Mac Mode (working title)

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Klasodeth
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Re: Mac Mode

Postby Klasodeth » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:24 pm

W. G. Bergamot wrote:To fit the 4:3 ratio of a typical CRT monitor, the 320x200-based assets of DOS Dark Forces were stretched vertically to 320x240. The pixels thus appeared 20% taller.

A bit of a correction: The screen does not get "stretched" to a different resolution. 320x200 is a native resolution that just happens to have rectangular pixels.

At any rate, I talked with Lucius about this. Unless there's sufficient demand from Mac purists, he's not interested in emulating any horizontal stretching effect the Mac version may have due to differences in pixel shape. What this means is that if the DOS version has something that looks circle-shaped at 320x200 on a proper 4:3 screen, that object will still look circle-shaped at every resolution supported by the XL Engine. It won't get stretched out to an oval when rendered with the square pixels of higher resolution modes. Even if Lucius were to support 100% faithful Mac rendering, it would be an optional feature in addition to the normal high resolution modes.
I'm frequently online in the #xlengine.projects channel at irc.freenode.net as Klasodeth, Klaso, or KLA.
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MrFlibble
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Re: Mac Mode

Postby MrFlibble » Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:50 am

I'm assuming that if XL Engine is going to be capable to read Mac data files, it would be possible to properly run the game with the correct aspect ratio at any resolution and use the higher-res Mac HUD in the same way the DOS HUD would be used (overlaying the game screen). So the engine would stretch the HUD to the proper aspect ratio. Right?
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W. G. Bergamot
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Re: Mac Mode

Postby W. G. Bergamot » Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:14 pm

I've added Technical Details and made the HQ Mac assets available to download.

Fibble, that is my understanding of what Lucius is planing after Beta 1, yes, with one clarification:

XL wouldn't need to "read Mac data files" to do this. The Mac assets in question breakdown into files that should be platform agnostic. I replaced the PC versions of just these specific files with the Mac versions, then re-contained them as a .GOB with the rest of the PC files via a PC program.

In other words, I did not simply use the Mac version of DARK.GOB and TEXTURES.GOB to test. There was no point testing for differences between 'Mac .GOBs' and 'PC .GOBs,' because I needed to break down the files anyways to avoid unwanted Mac changes.
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MrFlibble
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Re: Mac Mode

Postby MrFlibble » Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:19 am

BTW, there's a Mac demo version of Dark Forces (download link below). That should theoretically allow the DOS version users to enjoy at least some of the high-resolution assets without owning the Mac version, and without getting XL Engine into potential legal trouble for unauthorized distribution and/or recompilation of the Mac version's data.

Here's the download link:
http://volftp.tiscali.it/pub/mac/game/demo/dark_forces_demo.bin

IMPORTANT NOTE: The link above will not work if you simply click on it. You need to copy the link and paste it into your browser or file download manager in order to download the file.

The latest version of StuffIt Expander did not work for me to unpack the demo. It extracted file with an earlier version that is shipped with Executor. The demo itself does not seem to work in Executor.
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W. G. Bergamot
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Re: Mac Mode (working title)

Postby W. G. Bergamot » Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:07 pm

:!: OP updated with mod goals, content streamlining, info on the Mac version of Dark Forces being used, and further clarifications from Aaron Giles, the man largely responsible for porting Dark Forces to Mac. :!:
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MrFlibble
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Re: Mac Mode (working title)

Postby MrFlibble » Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:01 am

W. G. Bergamot wrote:Download and Installation

IMPORTANT NOTE: this is not--and will never be--the full version of the Mac game, or even anything resembling a playable game. Only the high quality Mac Assets are here, or the files containing those assets, and even with those you will have a non-working game without weapons, enemies, items, textures, cutscenes, etc.

Assuming that most if not all high-res assets (font, HUD, loading screens) are included with the demo version, I'd suggest distributing the demo and not parts of the retail Mac version to avoid legal issues.

I suppose that it could be possible to make XL Engine read the demo files from a separate directory (for those who own the full DOS version that is), and use the high-res assets from there.
jon-t
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Re: Mac Mode (working title)

Postby jon-t » Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:40 pm

If I`m not mistaken, the demo .GOBs for dark forces actually contain more textures and other stuff that got removed in the final version. The only other difference is that the cutscene after the first level is scripted to not go to the next level.
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MrFlibble
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Re: Mac Mode (working title)

Postby MrFlibble » Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:49 pm

jon-t wrote:If I`m not mistaken, the demo .GOBs for dark forces actually contain more textures and other stuff that got removed in the final version.

Do you mean the Mac demo? Can you give any examples?
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Nokiaman
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Re: Mac Mode (working title)

Postby Nokiaman » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:00 am

What about the music? I was led to believe Mac version uses this kind of music
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZjX-nS ... 66FCB9C66C

Is it not true?
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W. G. Bergamot
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Re: Mac Mode (working title)

Postby W. G. Bergamot » Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:13 am

Nokiaman wrote:What about the music? I was led to believe Mac version uses this kind of music
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZjX-nS ... 66FCB9C66C

Is it not true?

I don't see how this could be true.

All of the .GMD music files are the exact same size in both versions (as are the .VOC sound objects). AFAIK, MIDI on Mac or PC was only as good the card used to synthesize it, and I highly doubt Mac had any special sound hardware at the time that could turn the same MIDI instructions into the orchestral gold you linked to. After conversion to .MID via GMID 1.1, both Mac and PC versions sound identical and heavily synthesized on my Realtek ALC1150 on-board sound, compared to the orchestral version you linked.

The entirety of sounds in each version of Dark Forces is also only 6.26 MB, with the .GMD music using just 1.21 MB! The DF Soundtrack you linked probably came on a full CD using the better part of 650+ MB. Even if DF Mac could jump through time and use the codecs and formats of today, there is no way you're getting anything other than garbage out of 1.21 MB for what is over an hour of music on that soundtrack.

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