Dune II HD port at last!

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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby dynasty » 2012-11-06 @ 00:29

@Iris030380: thanks for spreading the love :)

@gerwin: thanks for the repair bay bug report. I'll make a patch release soon as it is fairly serious.

@Leolo: I'm interested in this fullscreen issue you're having. What resolution are you running at? Also, have you been using fullscreen or fullscreenwindow? Alt-enter will only toggle between windowed and fullscreenwindow. The only way to make the game change the screen resolution is by setting the screen size in the config file, and setting window_mode=fullscreen.
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby Leolo » 2012-11-06 @ 01:01

Hey, dynasty, thanks a million for this remake!

I'm actually enjoying your version of the game more than the original :)

My problem was simply user error on my part. I had set "window_mode=fullscreen" but I left the resolution at 640x480. That's why I had squashed image.

I've set the resolution to 1680x1050 as VileRancour suggested and it's all correct now. Soldiers aren't fat anymore! :)

Kind regards.
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby WolverineDK » 2012-11-06 @ 08:24

dynasty: could you,would you be so kind to make a Linux Mint version, even if it was only in a deb file ?
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby gerwin » 2012-11-06 @ 13:37

Welcome to vogons Mr. Dynasty.

This article sums up the non-square pixel issue quite well, when you skip the parts about 3D rendering: The Doom wikia: Aspect Ratio
Having a 1920x1080 monitor myself, any method would introduce blur. 1600x1200 or larger is required to avoid blur. But then we are still talking about a 320x200 viewport, which is spot on for the UI and cutscenes, but rather cramped for a larger view of the map.
hmm, I have to try the forced 4:3 option of my monitor...

Two small things:
- Is the 25 unit limit "unable to create more" adjustable? I always found it rather odd that the starport is not limited by this, and therefor makes the factories rather obsolete. I adjusted the scenenario limit in the config but it made no difference.
- I remember entering the Mentat would start a particular music track.
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby gerwin » 2012-11-06 @ 22:09

I managed to run Dune dynasty with correct aspect ratio on my Dell HD panel, meaning a good round planet Dune in the intro or credits:
- dunedynasty.cfg: window_mode=fullscreen / screen_width=1728 / screen_height=1080
But one has to add this custom resolution to the graphics driver. For AMD graphics this is a registry tweak.
- Disable GPU scaling, or set it to "scale image to full panel size".
- Set the HD panel to aspect ratio=4:3, with the controls of the panel.
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby Leolo » 2012-11-07 @ 02:38

Mmmm, I hadn't noticed that the planet in the intro is not round. You're right, it's still squashed. Cinematic cutscenes aren't displayed properly :(

Your workaround works for me as well (with a Dell 2209WA panel), but then you have to switch back to 16:9 (or 16:10 in my case) to play the game properly (otherwise you'll get extremely thin and tall soldiers).

Anyway, this is a bit annoying (you have to constantly set the panel to 4:3 to watch the intro and cutscenes, and then set it back to 16:9 to play the game).

Is it the only possible solution? Can we avoid the switching back and forth in the monitor somehow?
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby dynasty » 2012-11-07 @ 04:48

The scenarios usually limit each House to about 25 units, but starports don't respect this limit. There's also a maximum cap of about 80 regular units at any one time for all the houses combined. The starport can't exceed this limit, but I believe you get a refund on any of the units that were ordered but not delivered. That's pretty unlikely anyway, since they tend to run out of stock.

The raise_scenario_unit_cap option will raise the House limit to about 35 in the earlier levels. (Some space was reserved for reinforcements.) You'll need to restart the level when changing that particular config option though, since the unit cap is saved for whatever reason.


Regarding the music packs, I believe the fed2k_mt32 pack linked earlier was recorded by ShaiWa on an MT-32. It would indeed be nice to have a analagous SC-55 pack. I found a couple of loose MP3s here:

http://www.wavetable.nl/?p=123

You can try replacing the d2tm_sc55 intro file with one of the many there if you like. You might need to change the music normalisation too.
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby gerwin » 2012-11-07 @ 15:34

Leolo wrote:Your workaround works for me as well (with a Dell 2209WA panel), but then you have to switch back to 16:9 (or 16:10 in my case) to play the game properly (otherwise you'll get extremely thin and tall soldiers).
You change it back when entering the battle screen, but that part should also be authentic with the rectangular pixel settings which I stated. Although I agree it looks a bit stretched, I will have to compare it to my retro system with CRT screen. Maybe Westwood somehow did not feel like drawing the units and map graphics with rectangular pixels in mind.

dynasty wrote:You'll need to restart the level when changing that particular config option though, since the unit cap is saved for whatever reason.
I did not restart the level, no wonder it did not work. Thanks for the info on the unit limits.
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby Iris030380 » 2012-11-07 @ 16:27

GL1zdA wrote:"Multiple unit selection with control groups" - it's like selecting an "easy difficulty" ;)


But if I recall I only managed to beat the game once back in the mid 90's. So surely it's a hard game anyways? Now maybe we have a chance of winning, even with the pathetic Ordos and their mind control tanks.

Insatiable sandworms? Not a chance. They went too far! :D
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby Leolo » 2012-11-07 @ 20:29

gerwin wrote:You change it back when entering the battle screen, but that part should also be authentic with the rectangular pixel settings which I stated. Although I agree it looks a bit stretched, I will have to compare it to my retro system with CRT screen. Maybe Westwood somehow did not feel like drawing the units and map graphics with rectangular pixels in mind.


Yes, please! Could you test it with your CRT?? I'm really interested in knowing what's the proper aspect ratio on the original game (I don't own any CRT anymore, I dumped all of them years ago) :(

Take a ruler, metric tape or something like that and measure the height and width of the Construction Yard, for example.

Is it meant to be rectangular or square?

Regards.
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby Joey_sw » 2012-11-07 @ 22:35

I did manage to win by spamming ornis back then ...
-fffuuu
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby leileilol » 2012-11-07 @ 22:43

i'd make a picture of a 1920x1080 screen showing a 640x400 Dune II with a CRT filter that has a C&C interface like Dune 2000, but

i'm lazy. but anyway, that's my "ideal" HD Dune II :)
by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby gerwin » 2012-11-07 @ 23:43

Leolo wrote:Yes, please! Could you test it with your CRT?? I'm really interested in knowing what's the proper aspect ratio on the original game (I don't own any CRT anymore, I dumped all of them years ago) :(
Sure thing. I took pictures of the game running on a 17" Compaq V720 CRT monitor. First I adjusted the height and width to fit the screen, with the screen controls. Then took the two pictures with that setting.

I think the developers did not design the core game to take rectangular pixels in account, and just 'assumed' square pixels. So the players had to accept the distortion back then on CRT's. (Or squeeze the monitor settings when entering the game map.)
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dune2_CRT_intro.JPG
Dune II on CRT: intro
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Dune II on CRT: game
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby leileilol » 2012-11-07 @ 23:56

I always thought Dune II looked kind of vertical. The harvester being an obvious example as well as the fonts, probably due to multiplatform development with Amiga (and possibly the Genesis, although a port did come out, it came much later and has different artwork)

Command & Conquer didn't "suffer" this.
by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby Leolo » 2012-11-08 @ 01:35

Thanks a lot, gerwin. It looks like you're right, the original aspect of the Construction Yard is rectangular, and not square.

Drat, I liked the square aspect better! Now I don't know what to do :(

Are you guys playing it in the original aspect ratio? Don't you think that the "distorted" aspect ratio seems more pleasing to the eyes?

By the way, the Amiga version is also 320x200, no? I'd suppose that it suffers the exact same problem :confused:
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby VileRancour » 2012-11-08 @ 04:31

Leolo wrote:By the way, the Amiga version is also 320x200, no? I'd suppose that it suffers the exact same problem :confused:

Depends - on NTSC displays, it does. On PAL displays, 320x200 gives pixels that are much closer to square (in fact stretched horizontally a tiny bit, which isn't really noticeable).

I'll always like the non-square VGA aspect ratio - round planets in the intro and the "Select your House" screens, plus it's just the way I remember the original. But you could make a case for square pixels during the main game... it certainly stopped bothering me after a couple of missions in Dune Dynasty (and this is coming from someone with acute aspect-ratio OCD). ;)

While we're at it, aspect correction should be mandatory for dosbox videos on youtube. I wonder how many people out there (who have never seen an 1980s-era PC) are convinced that CGA was a widescreen standard.
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby leileilol » 2012-11-08 @ 04:42

VileRancour wrote:While we're at it, aspect correction should be mandatory for dosbox videos on youtube. I wonder how many people out there (who have never seen an 1980s-era PC) are convinced that CGA was a widescreen standard.


Or EGA even. 640x350 is 10 vertical pixels away from being 16:9.
by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby gerwin » 2012-11-25 @ 23:39

I noticed Dune Dynasty V1.4 is up, it has considerable improvements. Actually most if not all of the above suggestions have been complied with.
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby VileRancour » 2012-11-26 @ 13:49

yep, aspect correction is there -- the default value is 1.1, but can be changed to the correct 1.2. It does "blocky" scaling, but the options are flexible enough to avoid it where you don't want it. Very nice!

Don't think I've ever played any of those custom mods... guess this is a good time to try (beats starting an Ordos campaign).
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Re: Dune II HD port at last!

Postby dynasty » 2012-11-26 @ 22:11

May I recommend Stefan Hendriks' campaign, which he made with his own map editor and contains new map seeds.
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