VOGONS


First post, by kjliew

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I'm pleased to announce that I finally found a glide wrapper that works for Mechwarrior 2 3Dfx, it's dgVoodoo. A major hat off to Dege for the wonderful work. (I couldn't find your contact/email, or I could have mail your directly.) Thank YOU!!!!!
Does it sound possible??? Mechwarrior 2 3Dfx was written using a very early version of glide, which strictly speaking only works in Voodoo1, and not everything else. It doesn't even look for GLIDE2X.DLL, but GLIDE.DLL instead. So I made it work by writting the GLIDE.DLL and redirect every glide call to GLIDE2X.DLL. Most of the glide calls can be redirected without modification, except a few ones:

grSstOpen - This is only in glide 2.11. Later glide version 2.2-2.4 uses grSstWinOpen/grSstWinClose, supposingly to support rendering in window for Voodoo Rush.
LFB access has gone through a major overhaul since glide 2.2. All the LFB glide functions in glide 2.11 are made obsolete and replaced in glide 2.2+. This is one major area that need some re-writes in GLIDE.DLL before passing to GLIDE2X.DLL.

I would like to make those changes available to dgVoodoo, so that dgVoodoo can be used by Mechwarrior 2 3Dfx by simply renaming GLIDE2X.DLL to GLIDE.DLL. I can be reached through liewkj@yahoo.com. I personally still have a Voodoo2. This allows me to test the code with real Voodoo2 GLIDE2X.DLL and also a glide wrapper.

Look forward to hear from you.

Reply 1 of 16, by Dege

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Hi!
I can only say it's GREAT! Great work! 😎
I was asked a few times if I will add Glide1 support in dgvoodoo. Well, I think it would be cool, but Glide1 is very misty for me. In fact, I know nothing about it, except those of some obsoleted function names I meeted. 😖
All in all, I would like to include Glide1 in dgVoodoo. The question is how to do that? Do we include your stub GLIDE.DLL that calls my GLIDE2X.DLL (and of course the kudos for this would be yours!), or, if you could provide some info on glide1 (sdk or something like that) then I could build a GLIDE.DLL too? (Also, was there DOS support for glide1, so that Glide1 drivers were shipped with GLIDE.OVL?)

In the latter case, I will need a glide1 game to test with. Is there a demo version of Mech Warrior2 using glide1?
(BTW, a thing I don't understand: I've heard that Pandemonium uses glide1, but the demo of Pandy I have, uses glide2! Can it be possible or I'm messed up with different Pandemonium versions?)

Again, nice work! I'm very curious about it! 😎

Reply 2 of 16, by kjliew

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There are several ways that we can make it work. If you don't mind disclosing dgVoodoo source code to me, I can help you integrate my changes into dgVoodoo. I have no intention of taking advantage of your work, and I respect your decision if you choose not to do so. Then, I need your email so that I can send the source code of my stub GLIDE.DLL to you, and let you do the integration. My email is already on the first thread.

The GLIDE.DLL that I wrote is not a full implementation. It only wraps the glide calls needed by Mechwarrior 2 3Dfx. Since dgVoodoo is almost close to a full implementation of GLIDE2X.DLL, there is really little code to add to get Glide 2.11 working. Glide calls in 2.11 and 2.2+ are not conflicting as far as I know. So you do not need to build GLIDE.DLL, just add glide 2.11 call into dgVodoo, and if someone wants Glide 2.11, just rename the GLIDE2X.DLL to GLIDE.DLL.

I see no point releasing my work, or even updating GLIDE.DLL to become a full implementation, since 3Dfx is no longer in business. Unless there are sufficient requests from Voodoo3/4/5 users which still using 3Dfx hardware, and want to make some old 3Dfx games work on their hardware. (Well, just like how I wanted to make Mechwarrior 2 3Dfx works on my Voodoo2 without the crappy environment emulation....)

Too bad, there is no demo version of Mechwarrior 2 3Dfx available, it was not even available in retailed. It was bundled with the voodoo hardware that I bought some time ago (Diamond Monster3D). But I can help to test it.

Glide SDK and documentation (both 2.11 and 2.4) are available at FalconFly 3Dfx, http://www.falconfly.de/3dfx.htm, which has done a great job in preserving the 3Dfx. However, there is one very important document that is missing from most Glide SDK, the "Glide 2.3 Porting Guide", which is only available at Linux 3Dfx, http://www.gamers.org/dEngine/xf3D/. The porting guide gives valuable information on handling the differences between Glide 2.11 and Glide 2.2+. This is where I found how to write GLIDE.DLL. The glide 2.11 SDK also come with some tests, and this can be your 1st thing to check in dgVoodoo. I have all the glide sdk and docs archived, so let me know if you can't find any.

Reply 3 of 16, by Dege

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If you don't mind disclosing dgVoodoo source code to me

Sorry, I don't want to make it open in any way (maybe I couldn't even do it because certain parts of the source are messy a bit, all of the comments are in Hungarian, etc.). However I must announce that I don't suppose that you or anyone of you would use the source for any purpose with evil intent.

I've downloaded the Glide2.11 SDK from falconfly, thanks for the info! 😎
It seems there is indeed no significant differences between 2.11 and later version, a "few" obsolete functions should be implemented. I would greatly appreciate if you could send your work to me and I could see what additions you made. 😀 It may help me!
My email is slonderin at freemail.hu

Reply 4 of 16, by DosFreak

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What are the differences between Mech 2 DOS (no 3dfx) and Mechwarrior 2 3dfx?

Would there be any way to transplant some small files?

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Reply 5 of 16, by kjliew

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There is tremendous difference in Mech2 DOS and Mech2 3Dfx. Mech2 3Dfx is actually Mech2 Win95 version, but replace the DirectX2-based software rendering portion with a hardware-accelerated 3D rendering and higher detailed model. Refer to http://www.geocities.com/k_lupinsky/index.htm for all the 3D-accelerated version of Mech2 ever released. Most of them are not for sale though, and can only be obtained by purchasing the respective hardware. I have two version, Matrox Mystique and 3Dfx. By going 3D-accelerated, the game has higher polygon gourand-shaded mech, textured sky and terrain. This makes the game look a lot better than the DOS/Win95 software version. However, speedwise, I personally feel that the 3D-accelerated version is about on-par with the software version. Bare in mind that, Mech2 DOS is actually playable at 640x480 on a 486DX system. Win95 version is a crawl though, mostly due to immaturity of DirectX and lack of display driver support at that period of time. Most 3D-accelerated version has limitation on screen resolution, while Mech2 DOS can go up to as high as 1024x768 when VESA2.0 is available (unplayable though, unless on PII/PPro class system, which is rare at that point of time...)

Reply 7 of 16, by Flashback

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Bit off topic but semi-related info. Another game that works really well with dgVoodoo is Heavy Gear. It's great to be able to play this at higher resolutions as this was another Mech2 engine based game that only supported 640x480.

Big Thanks to Dege! 😁

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    hg_01.JPG
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    File comment
    Heavy Gear 1024x768
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 8 of 16, by Dege

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Ahh! Finally some pieces of good news... 😀 😀

Is it a Glide 2.11 based game too?

@Carrera: if you read this: I've seen your message about Mech2, as you have problems with it. I remember, kjliew told me to copy a 3 bytes file of Mech2 ones (can't remember the name) into the root directory to get it to work. I wonder if it could be your problem too...
Does it drops you back to the desktop at once, or, you can navigate in the main menu, etc, and it only does that when entering a mission? Mech2 uses Glide only in missions.
I'll have a look it again later.

Reply 9 of 16, by Flashback

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Hi Dege,

I believe Heavy Gear was one of the earlier glide 2.43 games. Came out in 1997. Although it did have direct3D support as well, I always felt the texture rendering was a bit better using glide.

All I did was copy the glide2x.dll and dgVoodooSetup.exe from my NFS2SE folder (which I copied from Pod originally). Only reason I put the files in the game folders instead of Windows is so I can have game specific gamma settings.

Got this other game based on the Mech2 engine called Interstate 76. Haven't tested that yet but there's a good chance it may also work.

Cheers 😀

Edit: No luck with I76 but here's a shot of Mechwarrior 2 Titanium ala dgVoodoo goodness.

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  • Filename
    mw2_01.jpg
    File size
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    File comment
    Mechwarrior 2 Titanium 1280x960
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 10 of 16, by Carrera

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Flashback:
To get I76 to run turn your hardware acceleration down in DXDIAG.exe to "none".
Works like a charm.
You might need the 75 MB GOLD edition patch though.
Search VOGONS, it's there.

HOW PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF DAVID DID YOU GET TITANIUM TRILOGY TO WORK?!

Dege: It just freezes on me, not letting me do anything.

Reply 11 of 16, by Flashback

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Hi, replied to your PM Carrera.

Might as well post this for anyone else wondering. I forgot to mention I'm still running all the Mech2 games under Windows 98SE. I still haven't found a way to run these on XP unfortunately. I recall trying ACT 2.5 awhile back with no success. 🙁

Thanks again for the I76 info there. I'll have to give that a shot.

Cheers 😀

Reply 14 of 16, by hooby

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Has the issue of this thread been addressed since the last posting?
This post by Flashback leads me to believe that mech2 3dfx enhanced CAN be glide wrapped under win9x!
/viewtopic.php?p=64250&highlight=#64250

Also, give this a look:
http://www.netmech.org/

Reply 15 of 16, by hooby

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Dege wrote:

@Carrera: if you read this: I've seen your message about Mech2, as you have problems with it. I remember, kjliew told me to copy a 3 bytes file of Mech2 ones (can't remember the name) into the root directory to get it to work. I wonder if it could be your problem too...
Does it drops you back to the desktop at once, or, you can navigate in the main menu, etc, and it only does that when entering a mission? Mech2 uses Glide only in missions.
I'll have a look it again later.

what is this tiny file technique?

Also, has anyone tried using ACT to run a win9x install of mech2 under winXP?
I dont know what to do with the suggested file: "_INS0432._MP".......

Reply 16 of 16, by DosFreak

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I believe Dege is talking about bypassing the CD copy protection. I've done this myself with Mech2 Mercs by modifying the Windows executable to look at the root directory of the drive that Mech2 is isntalled to instead of the CD drive. Can't remember the name of the file but it's hidden on the root of your Mech2 CD and IIRC it ends in a .DRV extension.

As for ACT and Mech2.....I've never had any installation problems with Mechwarrior 2 that required the ACT. It should install fine. If it doesn't then use the Compatibility Mode.

The problems with Mechwarrior 2/Mercs on 2000/XP/2003 have nothing to do with installation issues but rather missing calls in some of NT's .dll's that Windows Compatibility mode or the ACT can not handle.

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