fixed npc animations and no-cd modifications

Shivers 2 - Harvest of Souls (Sierra)

fixed npc animations and no-cd modifications

Postby nighthalk » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:37 pm

so after some effort. i managed to change the executable to no longer rely on the cd, whatever folders you use in the INI file is where it will look (and relative paths such as .\robots will work). the resource files on the two cd's are either exactly the same or a unique file name so there are no clashes.

i am hoping the installer programmer will try to get in contact with me so i can email them the modified files and they can investigate what i did and slip stream their own fix.

after even more effort, (barking up many wrong trees, and learning a lot about directx) i figured out why the animations were never being turned on. apparently inside the S2SYSR.DLL it looks for a VideoSpeed=??? setting under [Config] inside Sierra.ini. except it never bothers to set a folder, so windows by default checks the windows\system32 folder. (i suspect win95/98 did not do this, or the original installer put that ini file there) the default value it uses is "700" but if its below "750" it disables all animations. all you have to do is load that DLL in a hex editor, find the "700" and change it to 750

bonus! if you set your save game name to "WACKY" you get a different type of animation for characters.
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Re: fixed npc animations and no-cd modifications

Postby Collector » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:26 am

I am not sure how much jafa pays attention to this board or his installers anymore. Usually it is not that hard to remove the disc requirement for Sierra games, but this is not a true SCI game and I never tried to see if UniSCI would properly concatenate the resources. Also, jafa's modifications seem to override many of the original config file's flags. As there is no DOS version and there didn't seem to be much reason to do another Windows version installer, I never bothered with my own installer. I do not have jafa's source for his installers, but I could do a patch to apply your adaptations if you want to attach it here.
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Re: fixed npc animations and no-cd modifications

Postby nighthalk » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:49 pm

Here are the modified files (as well as an example resource.win to show which folders can be relative paths). from this it will work if you just copy the cd contents to the shivers2 folder.
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shivers2fixed.rar
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Re: fixed npc animations and no-cd modifications

Postby Collector » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:49 am

I tried this. I noticed that the config file does not behave as the normal Sierra *.CFG. Any spaces before or after the '=' sign on the DLLPath, CD: or CDDrive flags will make it fail. It also does not like any white space in the path for the CD. I can deal with this in the installer by getting the short name path, but complicates things if the user wants to move the folder. I guess they can always just use the installer again or determine the short path to manually edit the RESOURCE.WIN. Not that big of a deal, but it would be nice if all flags would accept relative paths. As with jafa's version it ignores the flags to run it in a Window. This is probably not possible the DirectX hacks.

All of these aside the CD-less play is a big improvement. I will be doing a new installer using your fixes and hosting it on The Sierra Help Pages. How would you like to be credited?
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Re: fixed npc animations and no-cd modifications

Postby nighthalk » Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:01 am

let me try to fix these issues now while it is still easy.

it looks like while it is parsing these lines it does a strtok split for space, tab, and "=" (it does not use the getprivateprofilestring function). once. and then again for those as well as "," and ";" for as many entries as it can.

it is safe to assume there shouldn't be a space before the equals sign, shall i remove the split using space for all entries (except the first where it expects an =)? it looks like we can still intentionally split using , or ; without issue.

update: turns out cddrive itself is special and doesn't use , or ; (just space).



in addition, i tracked down the last place where it checked if a cd drive is valid, and now force it to accept the drive starting with a ".". attached is this exe. i didn't test it very much other than making sure the game (and my save) loads however. the good news is all entries are now compatible with relative paths.

i'm uploading my modified exe with the proposed fixes. let me know if anything else needs fixing. i don't think i can do anything about the random stray graphics glitches (green lines, all red background) i saw while playing the game.

what are my options for being credited? i don't see any examples on sierra help.
are there any games in desperate need of fixes similar to this? the only ones i played back in the day are shivers 1, 2, and lighthouse.
Attachments
RSHIVERSfix2.rar
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Re: fixed npc animations and no-cd modifications

Postby Collector » Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:44 am

Fantastic about the all relative paths. I have started scripting an installer, but still needs to be debugged.

When anyone has contributed to an installer I add an acknowledgment section to the read me. I can add whatever name you wish and whatever description of your efforts you want.
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Re: fixed npc animations and no-cd modifications

Postby Collector » Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:34 pm

I have finished an initial release of the installer. You can check it out here: http://sierrahelp.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=84&t=4395
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Re: fixed npc animations and no-cd modifications

Postby nighthalk » Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:56 pm

i unfortunately found one small bug. near the end of the game it forcibly tries to find cd 2, but instead finds cd 1. i patched the DLL to remedy this. (note that all my fixes may not work very well when files are legitimately missing or cds are trying to be used and are not inserted).

once that is in i am able to get from start to finish in the game.
Attachments
26000fix.rar
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Re: fixed npc animations and no-cd modifications

Postby Collector » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:57 am

Is this DLL based on jafa's patched DLL or the original?

The installer offers a minimal install, which is essentially jafa's fixes and a full install, which is yours. It will copy all game files to the install folder, so if there are any missing files it will be because the user has something wrong with a disc. This would be a problem regardless of your fixes. I pack a 'diagnostic tool' with my installers that creates a log with all the config information and file listing. If the user is missing a file I can spot it fairly quickly.
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Re: fixed npc animations and no-cd modifications

Postby nighthalk » Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:55 pm

sorry about the delay, i got sidetracked. those dll's are "level/script" dlls, i dont think they were modified by jafa. if they were, i THINK i used the one used by jafa but i am not positive. comparing them byte by byte should only have a few bytes difference. as for credits just do "nighthalk"
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