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Author Topic: Making it easier for newcomers to find the 3D fix patch  (Read 10258 times)
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Nemokard
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« on: July 17, 2015, 10:22:33 PM »

Hello and thank you for providing guides and patches to get Dark Omen to run on modern computers.

However, the website is pretty confusing to newcomers and the 3D fix patches are buried in the forum.

I want to suggest to make it easier for people who just want to get Dark Omen running in Vista/7/8 again to find the necessary guides and 3D fix patches. I'm referring to the "Engrel.exe" files in the "DarkOmenMods.zip" file linked in this post:
http://forum.dark-omen.org/help-section/3d-mode-and-win87-dark-omen-t1164.0.html;msg12090#msg12090


I'll show the the route and thought process a newcomer currenly must go through (like I did a couple months ago):

0. Google for Dark Omen to go to http://www.dark-omen.org/

1. "Dark Omen Expanded 2" is mentioned, but it isn't said what that actually is. A mod? For SP or MP? "The single player campaign is also coming along nicely" - so it's unfinished? Not what I need. Continue.

2. Click "Enter the Homepage" to go to http://en.dark-omen.org/

3. Click "Dark Omen and Windows Vista" to go to http://en.dark-omen.org/dark-omen-and-windows-vista.html
That guide tells the newcomer to use software rendering mode. There's no hint of a 3D fix patch. So I must use software rendering?

4. If the user clicks "Game fix guide" anyway, he lands here: http://forum.dark-omen.org/help-section/ultimate-dark-omen-game-fixes-t111.0.html
which is written confusingly. The first sentence is "We all Play Dark Omen on XP/Vista/Win7 in CPU Mode with No coloured Cursors as 3D Mode Flickers but you can now play Win 7 in Full 3d Mode" and then a link to yet another thread. The newcomer has no idea if he should read that thread or continue in the current thread. Also, there are broken embedded images, originally hosted on ImageShack but now replaced by placeholder images.

5. Among other things, a No CD patch is mentioned. I'm thinking, "why don't they package all these patches together?"

6. It says "(You can run the Game in Full 3d mode if you have Nvidia + CRT or possibly new TFT 8ms response time but also with 100hz Refresh Rate)"
Well I don't have 100hz Refresh Rate. Let's check that other linked thread: http://forum.dark-omen.org/help-section/3d-mode-and-win8-dark-omen-t1164.0.html;msg12011#msg12011

7. It says "*Only works with NVidia graphics card so far..* Something seems to be wrong with the flipping chain..."
and so on... Just what steps do I have to do, damnit?

8. It says "To play 3D-mode on Win7 in windowed mode... ( with no ForceDirectDrawEmulation of course ) hex-edit the english version of EngRel.Exe, write 0x00 at file offset: 0x000BD0A8"
Oh god no, now I have to hex-edit the file myself?

9. Reading a couple posts further down in the same thread, I find this post:
http://forum.dark-omen.org/help-section/3d-mode-and-win87-dark-omen-t1164.0.html;msg12090#msg12090
It says "Then download this goody bag that contains many excellent mods & should allow full 3d mode http://www.mediafire.com/download/fnnkq89xdjy75m0/DarkOmenMods.zip"

FINALLY!


I think it would be better like this:

- Either use the existing "DarkOmenMods.zip" or compile a new ZIP with all the patched Exe and DLL files, including No-CD-Patch, and maybe including the tool that resets the graphics setting to software rendering if it's still necessary. At least for the English versions but ideally for the other languages as well. Leave mods aside. Include a short Readme with a copy of the step-by-step guide. Tell the user to drop those files into the "PRG_ENG" folder, backing up the original files beforehand.

- Tell the user to use the Exe file "EngRel 3d Fix &Extreme Camera zoom & Overhead Map.exe", and tell him to set the desktop to 16-bit color beforehand or set 16-bit color mode in the Exe's properties if on Win8.

- Optional: tell the user how to copy the movies from the CD to the HD and how to adjust the registry paths to the movies.

If I understand correctly, this already fixes nearly all problems? If the 3D fix still only works on NVidia cards, tell ATI / Intel graphics chip users to use "EngRelNo3d.exe" instead.


So, ideally this should result in a clearly written, short guide + a ZIP download that everyone can find immediately and put into practice in 3 minutes.

A guide like this should be displayed on that "Dark Omen and Windows Vista" page (which should be renamed to "Vista/7/8") and ideally on one of the frontpages too (http://www.dark-omen.org/ or http://en.dark-omen.org/).

I'd be willing to help in testing and maybe writing the new step-by-step-guide if it will be utilized like this.

So, what do you think?
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olly
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2015, 10:54:48 PM »

Hi and welcome,

All good points you make but they are just old posts that evolved over many years and will all be replaced soon, as our mod tools have developed a lot over the last 6months. Once everything is tested and completed very soon, then yes, the plan is to combine them all into a single Ultimate Mod Download. So we are busy making the stuff happen, then we can turn our attention to presenting it. I also intend to release youtube videos of installing Dark Omen and the Ultimate mods to make it easy for fans, as well as "how to" mod tutorial videos.

You kind offer of assistance if greatly appreciated and hopefully by next month it will all be ready.

Smiley

« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 11:10:47 PM by olly » Logged

and back in Nuln, the ageing Graf Berhardt smiled his secret smile of pride whenever he heard the latest tales of his eldest son's ever growing chain of glorious victories -(sothr manual)
Nemokard
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2015, 11:35:15 PM »

Hi olly, that's good to hear.

It might be useful to do a quick makeshift fix and insert a link to the DarkOmenMods.zip file into the Vista guide until the new mod package and guides are ready. There might be a higher than average number of people currently trying to get Dark Omen to run, after Shadow of the Horned Rat was released on gog.com. Your choice though.
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olly
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2015, 11:44:14 PM »

Agreed, as we just been discussing all this in our chat channel due to recent GOG developments, especially if there's a chance of incorporating our mods along with Dark Omen, if they decide to add it to their list of games.

Smiley
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and back in Nuln, the ageing Graf Berhardt smiled his secret smile of pride whenever he heard the latest tales of his eldest son's ever growing chain of glorious victories -(sothr manual)
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