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Old 18 January 2020, 17:26   #21
Marcuz
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Update.

I can't get XWE editor 1.16 to work on Win 10: I keep getting errors (list index out of bound ---> crash)

Without it I cannot unpack EYE.RES (the package of EoB 3 data files)

But it turns out I do have already all the game files unpacked (I don't remember if they came that way or I did it at some point).

the chargen directory contains the CSP files for the interface, and a portrait .bmp file, that I cannopt however open with anything (it's not a known kind of bmp file).

Can you confirm the part about the bmp file? Or your copy is viewable?

...

If there was a way to easily unpack export and repack graphics and palettes from EYE res, I would gladly rehaul basically every graphic that wasn't borrowed from Westwood; many of the new ones indeed are crappy. (by memory: the "books", the new portraits, the garbled splashes of random pixels for "bushes"... in general, no unifying sense or consistency with the new pixelart).

Last edited by Marcuz; 18 January 2020 at 17:45.
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Old 18 January 2020, 19:59   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcuz View Post
Update.

I can't get XWE editor 1.16 to work on Win 10: I keep getting errors (list index out of bound ---> crash)

Without it I cannot unpack EYE.RES (the package of EoB 3 data files)

But it turns out I do have already all the game files unpacked (I don't remember if they came that way or I did it at some point).

the chargen directory contains the CSP files for the interface, and a portrait .bmp file, that I cannopt however open with anything (it's not a known kind of bmp file).

Can you confirm the part about the bmp file? Or your copy is viewable?

...

If there was a way to easily unpack export and repack graphics and palettes from EYE res, I would gladly rehaul basically every graphic that wasn't borrowed from Westwood; many of the new ones indeed are crappy. (by memory: the "books", the new portraits, the garbled splashes of random pixels for "bushes"... in general, no unifying sense or consistency with the new pixelart).
Win10 might be the problem with XWE unpacking EYE.RES but there is another little matter. XWE 1.16 "last beta" must be used for EYE.RES...
(Otherwise XWE might give errors with EYE.RES even without Win10 complications.)

(My main machine is still XP as I play only KotOR-1 huh...)

Yes, the CHARPICS.BMP file in Chargen directory is viewable. With XWE "official beta". It is a packed file like EYE.RES and it has 90 entries. Last 8 are black/empty. Others contain all EoB-3 portraits - but in another color palette.

The palette is here, in Chargen directory. But it is not included in XWE set of palettes so the portraits here can not be viewed in right colors in XWE.

IMHO this is a minor problem as the "main" portraits, used in the game itself and not character generation, are packed into EYE.RES itself, not this CHARPICS.BMP.

(But eventually one should edit this CHARPICS.BMP also. - To give all portraits the new edited look both in character generation and in game)

Ah, whatever EoB-3 authors -did- borrow from games 1-2 is crappy too

And really needs much editing.

I'll give more samples a bit later and answer your other message.

P.S.
with XWE versions malfunction, please ask and I'll answer if I can.

Just now I can say that's great you have experimented with EoB-1 portraits actually getting some into the game!

My EoB-1 version was a bit discussed here:

https://www.gog.com/forum/forgotten_...f_the_beholder

(My purpose was to beat the ignominy of having no Stone Gem and the ignominy of crappy NPCs. That was never intended to be so, really.)
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Old 18 January 2020, 20:30   #23
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I've just read that GoG thread, where you actually also referenced an old thread here, about converting savegames XD

Are you the creator of the 1.9 version of EoB 1? Quite in-depth stuff!
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Old 19 January 2020, 18:33   #24
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I've just read that GoG thread, where you actually also referenced an old thread here, about converting savegames XD

Are you the creator of the 1.9 version of EoB 1? Quite in-depth stuff!
Indeed, it is I And it's a big topic but yes, the EoB Trilogy is far from perfection, yet.

As I started this topic, part-III is a problem: either there is no Amiga version, or there is no converter from Amiga Party to PC DOS Party.

And if you have a favourite PC party you transfer into game III and see these ugly portraits...
That causes revulsion from the game.

Nobody managed to do something about it for 25 years. Great.
It shows how vulnerable the gaming community really is.

(If a project is profitable, all updates are available. If not, not in 25 years any progress is attained.)

So yes, I think something should be done about that.


As for EoB-1, so many people were looking for the Stone Gem but the idea of the Demo version item.dat came only to me, somehow.
While gaming community was searching for it, no mighty specialist did one step to help.

So I did it, even without introducing any bugs.

EoB-III should get some treatment too, indeed.

P.S.
I'll surely post more EoB-III portrait study. So that the problem become obvious - and also my vision of correcting it.


P.P.S.
Ah, I had to quote it. As there are so many ~dreams~ and so little done, indeed.

One thing is obvious: portrait correction is a must for any EoB-III version, Amiga or DOS.
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Old 19 January 2020, 19:31   #25
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As far as I understood of the savegame structure, there is no pure conversion possible between the savegames (pc to Amiga and viceversa, and EoB2 to 3).

Endianess is simple to solve, but the items have their hex code dependent also on some obscure (from the savegame, at least) factor, so that item A has a code in one place and a different code in another.

The only possible thing for a converter is to refer each item to a item.list, and translate it to a different game via a conversion table.

But even that is not error free: a part of the items still get corrupted, but I don't understand whether for different items.dat list or whatever reason: I've tried manually to do that many times, as described here: http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?p=833467#post833467

Character portraits are a different thing, easier to do, provided unpacker / repacker works: I'm sure there have been tools working for that, but recently, as I told you yesterday, I had no luck.
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Old 20 January 2020, 01:43   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcuz View Post
As far as I understood of the savegame structure, there is no pure conversion possible between the savegames (pc to Amiga and viceversa, and EoB2 to 3).

Endianess is simple to solve, but the items have their hex code dependent also on some obscure (from the savegame, at least) factor, so that item A has a code in one place and a different code in another.

The only possible thing for a converter is to refer each item to a item.list, and translate it to a different game via a conversion table.

But even that is not error free: a part of the items still get corrupted, but I don't understand whether for different items.dat list or whatever reason: I've tried manually to do that many times, as described here: http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?p=833467#post833467

Character portraits are a different thing, easier to do, provided unpacker / repacker works: I'm sure there have been tools working for that, but recently, as I told you yesterday, I had no luck.
To me, "converting" party from Amiga (EoB2) party to DOS looks very much like common savegame hacking.

We take some EoB-2 DOS savegame (maybe new game) and then "cheat".
By putting into it our favourite characters name/race/class/experience values.

EoB-2 might have a weird way to code items. But what if we put our "old" Amiga items into the DOS save according to this table?

https://github.com/iliak/dungeoneye/...on/EOB2HEX.TXT

Perhaps the codes in your .rar document are the same.

This would prepare a "EoB-2" party with all our intended values.

Then we run EoB-3 "CHARCOPY.EXE". And voi la, we have our party now transferable into EoB-3 DOS.

Is there any problem with this way?

*

Another matter, how a standard EoB-2 to EoB-3 "CHARCOPY.EXE" utility works? Somehow it decodes all inventory items.
It has its own .dat file, perhaps with the same table to decode items...

There is a minor ignominy/problem with it though. I think I should put it to light...

In EoB-2 we get Brahma boots (+1?) and one Helm clearly marked +1 belonging to Calandra. (Among her armor set, in the cell dungeon.)

+1 helmets are found in EoB-3 and they work - but this one from EoB-2 is not transferred.

Maybe transferring Boots+1 would also give 1 point of armor class, in EoB-3.

Someone could look at this "Charcopy" transfer program...
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Old 20 January 2020, 02:42   #27
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Quote:
Is there any problem with this way?
Yes, as I wrote, Amiga and DOS tables, regardless of Endianess aren't 1:1 and there might be additional coding variables; I cannot know for sure about that.

Empirically, I tried, and it doesn't work for all items:

I've created two savegames at the start of the game, one in Amiga, one in DOS; then I did the thing you describe, by swapping the HEX bits because of Endianess between the two (ex: "b2 01 Long Sword +5" in one format becomes "01 b2 Long Sword +5" in the other): I would say that 60% of the items only translate correctly.

I urge you to try yourself, a few years passed and I might remember things inaccurately.


Quote:
Another matter, how a standard EoB-2 to EoB-3 "CHARCOPY.EXE" utility works? Somehow it decodes all inventory items.
It has its own .dat file, perhaps with the same table to decode items...
CHARCOPY likely works comparing the item list of EoB 2 to the list of EoB 3, it doesn't really translate an item, it just checks what item corresponds to the source one in the destination list.

Which is different of course. But could be limited in the number of entries as the previous one (255 max items, but I don't know for sure); therefore devs might have worked with the available space, by removing items that could not fit (overwriting them with needed ones).

So, if you want to have different items in EoB 3 you have to edit that game list specifically, which is not an error free process: as there are multiple instances - in any of the three games - of many items, like (from the list you linked):

5f 00 Amulet of Life
62 00 Amulet of Life
85 01 Amulet of Life
b0 01 Amulet of Life

You cannot know what "destination" item the devs intended for importing of a source item, and for what reasons, maybe balancing or maybe inflaction or something else.

Also, - this is related to EoB 1 and 2: I don't know how it works in 3 (if differently) - there are limits to how many items you place on the floor, because of indexing, and additionally - maybe - memory buffer constraints, and linking to those, I think: if you put two items with the same code on the floor of a level, you might (or might not) crash the game; if you put many, odd things will happen.

The easiest analogue I can make is from Aeon of Sands, of which I know the skeleton, having designed the game: any item (every game object) has a index number, which is fixed, and a ID number, which is created by the game engine at the moment when the item is spawned in game.

you can spawn in the editor multiple identical items, (with the same Index numbers) but then the engine creates a different, unique ID for them, so the game works.

This is true not only for items you spawn in the engine (which in EoB would be like HEX editing them in the inventories) but also for items that are spawned in game: thrown items, spells (which are items) etc.

In EoB seomething similar must occur, but being no coder, I don't know / understand what happen exactly. It could be, for instance, that instead of having IDs the item spawned in the world get positions in memory or whatever; With the complication that instead of having long ID strings they have two HEX bytes only.

So, for that you need the help of a coder, as CFOU! suggested.

Whatever: the first thing you need to do is to confirm, empirically what items you can translate by save editing between the various game versions.

Last edited by Marcuz; 20 January 2020 at 02:51.
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Old 26 March 2020, 03:19   #28
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8 more EoB-III fixed sample portraits

In case gaming society does not know how bad and real trash EoB-III portraits are
I will compare the most interesting ones, here.
Providing EoB-1 orginals, EoB-III standard/official portraits and
my renders of them in EoB-III colors made in XWE.

Notice: EoB characters speak very little. The character's character is in the picture.
Original EoB-1 pictures were inpressive and did the job of representing a character with certain features. But EoB-III turned it all into one big blunder.

Lo and behold.
It's about 12 portraits.

A cute magical girl portrait, with Violet halo.

In Eob-1:



It has much "noise" of contrasting color pixels, a unique case for EoB-1. Perhaps tranferred into EoB-1 from some other game/picture. No other face in EoB-1 is so pixelated.

My render in Eob-3 colors:



I nearly removed the "noise", no more eye strain! Even looks cute, as intended.
(EoB-III color palette gives it more saturation. As usual.)

EoB-3 official art, time to scream!



Instead of correcting the original problems, ugliness is added. Bigger face, bigger mouth, huge arm - with green(?) stripes. Some bust is added - and "clothed" with black big ugly lines.

In the lower right corner, some poor remains of EoB-1 Violet halo. Edited away in a hurry.

Also the eyes are even -less- seen.
All races constantly get small or squinty eyes in EoB-3 portraits. Real ugly!

Smaller eyes and behold, a bigger mouth is added. That's the "beauty".

Is that a "pro" picture or some blunderer's scribble?
The answer is evident.
This is - real trash-.

This is not even a student's work.

The original was highly magical with Violet Halo. And playful at the same time.
EoB-III render is just crude - no magical halo and even the b00bs are crude.
All is crude, hopeless scribble.

Next,

Another sorceress. Popular as the cartoon in the original post shows her:

In EoB-1:



Yeah, the glorious hand jesture and scanty clothes.

The big Youtube cartoon above in the initial post also shows her, not just the Green Priestess. She also was a popular character.
The cartoon shows the character well.


EoB-3 official art:



A crude, censored picture, no original character remains in it.
Cronish - swollen and ugly.

Again, some pixels are out of place, left from EoB-1 picture.
Hasty censorship.

-Trash-!

Please note, the crude contrasting lines are not due to EoB-3 color palette.
It's simply the painting "style" of the official artist.


My render in EoB-3 colors:



Nearly the same as EoB-1 and no longer ugly.
Hm, a sorceress might be a seductress. Trite but true.


Next,

very poor Hobbits!

In EoB-1, we know a Hobbit/halfling when we see him:



Round jovial face, short stature.


My render for EoB-3:



Added some EoB-3 glamourous shiny tint/spots. Made a darker background color. Otherwise it's all the same. Jovial, well fed.

EoB-3 official, time to scream in horror:



The idiot "artist" has no idea of hobbits/halflings in Forgotten Realms.

So a -long- face is made for a halfling. Also the small stature of the character is removed.

What do we get instead of a hobbit? Some involuntary race change. A half-elf maybe.

And more ugliness or course. -Where- are the eyes?
Squinty slits and NO eyes at all! "Paragon" work for this artist.


More unlucky hobbits,

A hobbit warrior in chainmail. In EoB-1:



Less jovial and more warlike. But still small.


My render for EoB-3:



Nearly the same with typical red and shiny EoB-3 tint effects. Still nice.


EoB-III official:



Yeah, the "artist" has NO idea of hobbits/halflings, always removes their small height.

And again, he makes a long face, for God knows what purpose.

Leave our Hobbits in peace, idiot...

Too bad: this artist spoiled the intersting portraits people were using -most-.
Not the simple/trite ones.

Some more unfortunate, in EoB-3, girls:

The very popular Golden Girl,
in EoB-1



My render in EoB-3 colors with some EoB-3 shine/tint:



Great lady as always.

Official EoB-3:



Square jaw added - due to more contrasting lines. -Great- blue eyes are lost.
(Did she practice black magic to lose them?)

And, great, more censorship:
Some weird criss-cross checkered pattern is used instead of armor/chainmail on her chest.
Used only to "clothe" the character.

This is idiocy, of course, as the portrait was mainly used for Mage characters.
So this "armor" is not any good. In shape or sense.

One more fortunate girl, but still...

EoB-1:



A slightly wry mouth but otherwise beautiful, some mighty ancient grace.
(Maybe due to that iron headpiece.)

My render with EoB-3 colors and "tint" effects:



The mouth is no longer wry. The shiny effects typical for EoB-III do not spoil the face.
(Which I painted from EoB-1 version as it's better.)

EoB-3 official:



It could be OK but... Eyes. As I said this artist thinks "humanoids don't need eyes".
So he makes the smallest, most narrow eyes possible.
Like narrow slits.
Why? There is no reason.

Ah, and he turned one of the Mages to get a completely -red- face. Probably to be suddenly distinguished, in EoB-3, among all other party characters.

EoB-1



Red(!) EoB-III official...



My render.
A mix of the above, less fat, some shine effects as if casting a spell:




Also EoB-III gave the Paladin such expression as if he has eaten a worm.

In EoB-1, the ultimate Good Knight.
Nice, open face:



In EoB-III,
he looks darkened and as if disgusted... No goodness really.



That's for level 20 Paladin?... Ah, crap.

My render.
Calm goodness restored in EoB-III colors!





"Official" portrait art ruined even more interesting characters. Not just these.

This blundering idiot ~has ruined the game~. Nearly NO good portraits were left in the game to play it without discomfort.


So, bottom line. Anyone with C++ knowledge to bust the portrait format converter program (a short one) and I replace this ugliness for good?

Otherwise 25 years more with this graphic crap?
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Old 26 March 2020, 03:26   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcuz View Post
Whatever: the first thing you need to do is to confirm, empirically what items you can translate by save editing between the various game versions.
Ah, sorry! I had to concentrate on the portrait pictures. Hope the converter will emerge, somehow. And now we have this virus problem.

Hopefully later I could discuss game convertion. Maybe in another topic (as there were some specifically on this matter).

In any case, for Amiga EoB-III or DOS EoB-III one -surely- would need adequate portraits.

I hope someone might insert them into the game.

Last edited by Sleeper Grey; 26 March 2020 at 04:06.
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Old 26 March 2020, 04:02   #30
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Less blatant but serious errors to be corrected. Some more.

The Fighter was spoiled, in EoB-III, only slightly.

EoB-1, he was just OK and jovial.



EoB-III:
narrow figure (turned), "cut" hair and darker, rougher face.




My version: jovial - as in EoB-1:




The Dark girl:

Perhaps she is a Demihuman. And she has -small- stature.
Also messy hair.
In EoB-1,



In EoB-III - as usual, more height added. Human hairstyle and the brows
are -not- raven-dark. (also unnatural shoulders!)



My test, not the final render: mainly as EoB-I, also less tall. As she used to be!




Also, the Red girl.

Is nearly OK in EoB-III but EoB-III has removed her form fitting garment.

Painting it all with shiny blue... Why?

So, EoB-I:




in EoB-III...



- is that some chest censorship huh?

I would not think of it but we had some examples above.


My render: faithful to the original AND some good EoB-III details!




I hope someone might find a way to convert these portraits in EoB-III format like JackAsser could possibly do.

I pray God would remove the epidemic and we might return to this nice game.

Last edited by Sleeper Grey; 26 March 2020 at 04:11.
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