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Topics - Tarvis

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X-COM's sounds are between 8000KHz and 11,000KHz, which just don't sound very good at all on modern sound equipment. But what to do, other than replace them with completely different sounds from other games?

I've talked about it before, and now I'm actually doing it. I found the sound library where all of X-COM's original sounds were pulled from, so that a 44KHz Stereo replacement pack could be made.

It'll take some time to scour through them all to replace each one.

Here is a preview of some I have found so far (however currently this is not setup to work in-game just yet) separated into 1.0 sounds and 1.4 sounds

Once I find them all, I'll get it useable ingame

I'm not sure how I should distribute this when it's done. Should I have two different versions for the 1.0 and 1.4 sounds, or should I do like one of my old mods and mix them so that things like pistols, rifles, and heavies use their own unique sounds? I think I'm going to go for the latter.

Open Feedback / Adlib emulation accoracy?
« on: May 13, 2014, 10:14:53 pm »
While I must say having the emulator built in is awesome, it seems to play certain instruments a lot differently than a real SoundBlaster (and even DOSBOX) does. I know there are differences in general between emulation and real hardware (and even between two copies of the same sound card) but this is pretty blatant

I think it has something to do with the fact that games were able to modify timbres of instruments for Adlib, maybe this functionality isn't being supported?

Here's a comparison for the most obvious example (GMMARS/debrief screen):

Soundblaster recording
DOSBOX recording
OpenXcom recording

The bass/guitar sample in particular is a lot softer and smoother in the SoundBlaster version, and overall the SoundBlaster/DOSBOX version is a lot more pleasant to hear. Other songs really aren't that bad, but this track in particular is way different.

Released Mods / [SOUND] Weapon Sound Variety
« on: April 25, 2014, 07:17:04 am »
This mod gives each subclass of each weapon (pistol, rifle, and heavy) their own unique sounds. That way, the Heavy Plasma uses a different sound from the Plasma Pistol, and so on. I did this by using different sounds from both the 1.0 and 1.4 versions of the game. Therefore the original soundscape is not compromised.

It's a ruleset mod, so just enable it in the Mods list.

I'll upload this shortly with a demonstration. Soon I'll update this for the various launchers as well.

EDIT: Updated! Now the Plasma Pistol uses the Amiga plasma sound, and the old Plasma Pistol and Rifle sounds have been moved up to Rifle and Heavy, respectively.
Also updated the Laser Pistol sound with a slightly-higher-quality version (also from the Amiga version)

Hey all,

I put together a package that replaces the game sounds with the sounds from 1.0/1.2. Unlike the one on the Downloads page, these sounds are 32-bit which allows for a much cleaner conversion from the original sound spec, and are not part of .CAT files which replace your originals.

Most importantly, however, they are loaded via ruleset so as to not overwrite/alter your original data files.

All you need to do is enable it in the Mods list.

NOTE: I've included the intro sounds as well, but they aren't implemented. They don't seem to be loaded from the ruleset until after the intro plays, which means it isn't altered. I don't want to overwrite your original data, so if you want to get the original intro sounds, get the SAMPLE3.CAT from the one on the downloads page.

If this gets implemented, I'll update the ruleset accordingly.

I noticed the Lightning door didn't seem to work, instead units could just walk through it like a magic wall.

Turns out, doors placed in the 'Content' part of a map block (where the door was placed on the map) don't actually work. So I just moved it to the "West" wall part and it works fine.
Other fixes include: LOF fixes (even though the engine specifically fixes the Lightning walls) but also including LOF fixes for the stairs, which had a few gaps in it.

I also tried my hand at restoring the Avenger doors. I modified the tileset to move them to the north side of the tile so that they match up with where the engine puts North doors. Therefore the doors behave and animate just like you'd expect. Here's the tileset, if you want to see how I did it

The only oddity is with lighting, but it's minor:

I suppose I could just replace them with flat doors to solve this.

Also, for both, I made some tweaks to get the minimap images of the Lightning and the Avenger looking proper (except for shadows, but nothing I can do about that). I did this by swapping the minimap graphics for the corner floor-tiles and the diagonal walls, since the walls' minimap graphics will draw over the floor tiles.



Currently, all mods and such are just dumped right into the "data" folder. This makes it somewhat of a pain to uninstall unwanted mods, or to deal with file conflicts.

I think a good system (following most mod conventions) would be to have a dedicated mods folder, and each mod would get its own folder in it. That folder acts as the mod's own "data" folder, and would be loaded as such on runtime, where it's loaded into memory with the regular game "data" folder. This is how Source games (most notably Garrysmod) handles addons, which makes them easy to install and uninstall without having to pick through the base data folders to delete their individual files.

So for example, for Luke's Extra UFOs mod, they could go into "OpenXcom/Mods/Luke's Extra UFOs/" and that folder would contain the mod's MAPS, ROUTES, Ruleset, and TERRAIN folders. And it can also contain some kind of metadata file as well at its root.

Another small tweak that could be done is the ability to change the order of mods in the Mods screen, this would help resolve conflicts and allow the user to set which ones take precedence (mods lower down the list would overwrite any conflicts of files/ruleset info in mods/base game higher in the list, etc.)

Open Feedback / Officially Bundling With Steam?
« on: April 23, 2014, 03:44:06 am »
Out of curiosity, have any of you devs considered contacting 2K for them to perhaps include OpenXcom with the game on Steam, now that we're so close to a 1.0 release? I feel that at this point, there is absolutely no reason to play the DOS (or Windows) version.

I feel that this, combined with maybe other silly things like official achievements could convince many people to buy this again, now that it isn't clunky using DOSBOX with questionable speed, and guaranteed to work on any of the 3 PC platforms. I think a feature as simple as using 2x the base resolution for Battlescape makes the game a whole lot better looking, even in today's eyes.

It's an update about on par with AoEII HD, and I'd say even better due to public mod support. I'd say even using Steam Workshop is a possibility.

Suggestions / Gender in Soldiers screen - via name color
« on: March 31, 2014, 08:34:03 pm »
Since there doesn't seem to be any room to add a gender indicator in the Soldiers screen, I was thinking an elegant way it could be done would be making women have a pink name and men have a blue name when in the Soldier Edit screen (not the list)

There are pink entries loaded in the palette as the text for the stat descriptions are pink

Suggestions / Alternate Mouse Capture mode [for Windowed]
« on: February 28, 2014, 04:22:43 am »
UFO Extender has a mouse capture mode for windowed mode that releases the mouse if a menu or the geoscape is open. That way the only time mouse is captured is in the battlescape (with no menu open) where mouse scrolling is needed.

Currently OpenXcom just captures the mouse at all times, which makes it very hard to move the window around (must alt+tab out, then pray your mouse doesn't enter the actual game window or it will jump to the center)

Could be something like CaptureMouse=2 or so

Suggestions / Camera smoothly follows bullet
« on: November 26, 2013, 10:13:15 pm »
Sometimes it can be jarring with the camera jumping around when a bullet leaves the screen, so what if the camera tracks it smoothly in the center of the screen (after it reaches the edge of the screen the first time) until it hits something? This would also help those few cases where it hits something in the corner and you can't see what it hit very well.

As an option, of course

Suggestions / Aspect Ratio Correction option
« on: May 08, 2013, 03:45:35 am »
The game seems to be designed for 16:10 aspect ratio, due to the globe in Geoscape looking round in 320x200. Right now the game is stretched to fill the whole window, which means it looks stretched or flattened if you're playing fullscreen with a 4:3 or 16:9 monitor.

It is true that most games that ran at 320x200 accounted for the fact that the resolution is usually scaled to 4:3, but as the globe looks oval when this is done, it seems XCOM wasn't designed with that in mind.

It would be nice if there was an option to letterbox the game to 16:10, especially since most video card drivers don't have 16:10 resolutions past 1280x800 enabled by default. This is merely so the game doesn't look flattened if you're playing it at 1920x1080, for example.

UFO Extender for the regular Windows version of XCOM has an option for this. It's an extremely trivial change, so I could probably add it myself if the devs have higher priorities.

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