Rise of the Triad 2013-02-17 22:08:16
This post probably won't be new to the 5 people who hang out on the IRC channel, but I guess I should probably be posting my ramblings here a bit more often.
First off, I would like to give shout out to Sherbalex for his donation. With it I finally got to play Rise of the Triad. I have played a few level from the shareware before, but having the retail game gave me an excuse to actually sit down and play through the game. In some ways the engine is both more impressive and less impressive than I thought it would be. For example, I never noticed that the game had a primitive dynamic lighting system in it. On the other hand, collisions with push walls is often lacking and it's quite easy to get stuck inside a wall.
Linking this story to ECWolf, I've taken the opportunity to do a little more research on how things work in ROTT. I was a bit surprised to see that ROTT only allows one floor/ceiling texture for the whole map, but I was more interested in how the switches and semi-scripted actions work. Turns out that they're using the 3rd map plane to assign tags. In all, it appears that the system works somewhat in reverse to how Doom does things. In Doom a switch is given an action to perform on a tagged object, where as in ROTT the object is assigned the action and then linked to the activating switch. There's still more for me to examine here, but given that I plan to support ROTT in the future, I hope to enable a 4th map plane in ECWolf which behaves identically to ROTT's 3rd plane. Unless something gets in the way, this should appear in version 1.2.
I've said that the next game I plan to support in ECWolf is the Mac version of Wolfenstein. I've found all the information I needed to read Mac binary files (for those who may be looking for how read these files, my resources were: Macbin spec, Resource file format). While it was probably determined to be the wrong way to do things since Apple is effectively deprecating the resource fork, it is kind of interesting how this meant that Mac Wolf could get mod loading for free. It simply loaded the scenario's resource fork over the main binary's fork and that allowed graphics, maps, etc to be replaced at the OS level.
With that research done, I believe it is safe announce that ECWolf will be fully compatible with all Mac scenarios. All the user needs to provide is a macbin of the game executable (technically only the resource fork is needed) and a macbin of the scenario files. There's a lot of work to do here, so while I've already written the code to load the macbin files ECWolf is still a far ways off from being able to play the Mac stuff.
I may have lied a bit about Mac Wolf being the next game to be supported. That may actually end up being Super 3D Noah's Ark. I've been in contact with Wisdom Tree Games and they have the source. Currently waiting for them to send it, but some external issues have been dragging the process out. I'll be sure to post an update when I receive the game and source to announce the plan going forwards.