Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • The hills are bridges

      Logging in   05/10/2017

      If you had an account and can't log in as of 5/9/17, this may be because of a change in logins with new forum software. You can log in using your publicly displayed name (not your username) or your email address and the password you used before.   If you have problems with this, please ask any of the mods or admins. 
George LeS

Scenario graphics problems

Recommended Posts

I haven't seen this in any threads, so sorry if I'm repeating something.

 

I recently decided to try BoE again, this time trying some scenarios I hadn't looked at before. But I've found that most of the ones I've tried have been unplayable because of glitches in the graphics. I'll try to describe the symptoms:

 

1. Many (not all) objects show up on the playing screen as a silhouette of a Grecian warrior (swordsman, not hoplite.) This can be a picture on the wall, a chest, a weapon, armor, trash; pretty much anything. Though annoying, I suppose this could be played through, but it's always been the prelude to the rest.

 

2. When walking around, gaps will show, then disappear, in walls. If you go up to them, they are solid.

 

3. On the other hand, many objects don't show up in the display, at all. At that level, they seem to be invisible barriers,  though they will show as a black space on  the map. Looking at them tells that they are really things like trees or stalagtites, or other such objects.

 

4. Many objects also appear duplicated. You will see two objects side-by-side, where it turns out here is only one. Sort of the reverse of #3.

 

5.  Worst of all, both 3 & 4 apply to characters. In  combat, my characters will often show double. Worse, NPCs do too, and they also sometimes are invisible. (I'm not referring to those which should be invisible.) This makes it almost impossible to fight. I can never tell, without looking at every square, whether an areas spell like fireball will attack an ally. And I cannot be sure without checking each time if the square I want to hit actually contains the enemy I see.

 

I've tried downloading from both the solid list and from True Sites; in no case has this made a difference. And it doesn't apply to all, but it does to more than half. For instance, it applies to At the Gallows, and the Adventurers Club, but not to Falling Stars or Wreck of the Slug. (The 3 that come with Blades work fine.

 

Any ideas how to fix this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi! Thanks for playing! :D

What version of BoE are you using? Did you click the link that said CBoE in the forum header? That version is very old and not maintained. The link labeled "experimental builds" is the project led by Celtic Minstrel and is the most likely to run properly. Most of the gameplay related stuff works well, although you may have trouble using the Save function; in the currently-released build, Save and Ctrl+S don't work, but I believe Save As does work. CM doesn't seem to be available at the moment but he can post here more coherently and help when he is available later today.

But definitely make sure you have the latest experimental build and try again, in the meantime. Here is the latest version at the time of this post, for Windows: http://celmin.pwcsite.com/oboe/BoE-Win-b624841.zip And here is the Mac OS version: http://celmin.pwcsite.com/oboe/BoE-Mac-b624841.zip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks for the response. I was using one I found online which automatically ran through dosbox. I tried the linked version, but it won't run because "MSVCP120.dll was not found". I may try the next-to last.

 

One thing I didn't find in the download was a readme or other instruction file. At least, not an obvious one.

Edited by George LeS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That DLL file you need is included in a little .EXE installer, included with the program in the Windows experimental build. Run that installer and the game will probably work. Let me know what happens!

 

(Still no sign of CM. He's been busier these days, but I'll keep an eye out for him if he doesn't find this thread on his own.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Ok that worked.Now I've just got to work on making the display bigger.

 

Thanks a lot.

 

Oh, yeah, how do you convert scenarios for the new Blades?

Edited by George LeS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

It converts them automatically when you play them. If you want to convert your own, unfinished scenarios, there's a menu item in the scenario editor, although I have a lot of trouble getting that program to not crash constantly.

You cannot make the display bigger. You can make your monitor resolution smaller. I'm hoping someone will eventually make a 2x zoom option. It's been discussed and more or less desired by everyone I've heard from about it, although there's discussion on whether it will be 2x zoom or just doubling the play area to show more tiles. I'd prefer the former, partly because I like pixel graphics and partly because legacy scenarios are sometimes made with the 9x9 tile display - especially scenarios that use cutscenes.

Edited by The Almighty Doer of Stuff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, increasing the number of tiles displayed onscreen would change BoE substantially -- I really think it would be unfair to scenario designers past to do so.  The entire visual feel and presentation they worked on would be messed up.

Celtic Minstrel likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a number of ideas and made mockups for how to execute the 2x zoom layout, in terms of space usage, merging the different windows (minimap, dialog, etc.) into a single window, adding buttons, etc, CM gives it very low priority, although if someone would like to step in and focus on GUI-related things it might actually happen. I've even brought up the idea of merging the three programs into one, but I suppose that would probably be very complicated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

" It converts them automatically when you play them "

 

So far I've been unable to figure out how to do that. I've tried unzipping them into the scenarios folder (where it creates its own folder), moving the .exs file directly under the BoE Scenario folder, and moving the whole thing into that folder. What does one need to do to start a custom scenario?

 

Once again, the absence of a readme is a bit of a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

There is no readme but there is extensive documentation (which I haven't actually read myself). I don't know the URL but you can get a link to it at http://www.OpenBoE.com/ I believe.

We don't put user-made scenarios in the program folder the way we used to. That's just for the default scenarios. It's been split off into a userdata folder in %APPDATA% so you can update OBoE without accidentally deleting your scenarios or preferences. That's something to add to the planned tutorial, I guess.

Edited by The Almighty Doer of Stuff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, but at this point you lost me. I didn't know you could (or should, anyway) put new files/folders in %appdata%

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh. %APPDATA% is where Windows stores things like program preferences and... I think it's more or less only used for user preferences. So why are we putting scenarios there? Why do we separate user scenarios from default scenarios in the first place? I don't know, and you're not the only one it confused. I'll ask Celtic Minstrel why he did that and if there's a better way, although if you have any better ideas you can always have input too. He checks this forum fairly often (he is a moderator here) although it's sometimes faster to find him in the chat room. I do know Celtic Minstrel is planning on having a button on the main menu that imports scenarios into that folder without the user having to figure out how to navigate to it, but it still feels unintuitive... Still, once you know how it's a pretty simple matter. I think you just use Run... or whatever they call that now, and enter %APPDATA%, and it will open for you just like that. Then you put it in the appropriate subdirectory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand the impetus here, and choosing a place outside of the application folder does make sense.  But %APPDATA% is frankly not a good choice for a folder whose contents the end user is expected to be updating manually.  Which is how installing BoA scenarios has worked.*

 

This is a bad choice not only because it's hard to access the folder, but also because it's hard to access that folder for a reason.  You don't want to set a confused user up to accidentally mess with other data in that folder.

 

*And should work.  Replacing something that you can do en masse with a drag-and-drop with something that requires an in-application feature use is ridiculous.  If somebody wants to drop 10 scenarios in that folder, now they're going to have to click a button and navigate a through a file selection dialog box ten times?  Ridiculous.

sylae likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sylae   
Posted (edited)

maybe it would be cool to add a handler to allow users to double-click an .exs file, and then boe will do all the work of copying or whatever witchcraft it is now.

 

that way power users can still drag-drop 2,000 scenarios into appdata or whatever, but everyone else has an easy one-step process.

Edited by sylae
but what do i know about usability, i write in php

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get the impression that the target audience is power users. Me? I still can't figure out how to load a scenario. It's been years since I stopped trying to keep up; it's just too much time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There should be a folder called Blades of Exile in %APPDATA%; if not, look in "Application Data" instead of %APPDATA%, which is a folder where BoE files sometimes get put instead. (Why? I have no idea.) Anyway, once the scenarios are in either C:\users\(your username)\%APPDATA%\Blades of Exile\Scenarios\, or C:\users\(your username)\Application Data\Blades of Exile\Scenarios\, whichever exists, open BoE and click the Custom Scenario button. Start Scenario is ONLY the preinstalled scenarios, and Custom Scenario is for user-made scenarios.

If the above instructions are unclear, just ask and I'll try to clarify.

The target audience is not power users. It is anyone who enjoys a good story or strategic turn-based combat. We'll be merging the two scenario buttons at some point; that's how they were in legacy BoE and it just hasn't been changed. We can have and are planning a lot of troubleshooting, bug fixing, and user-friendliness updates. The issue is Celtic Minstrel is the only programmer, more or less. There's a couple others who contribute a little code here or there but CM does most of it alone, and there's a lot to do so some stuff doesn't get done right or at all, especially now that he has less free time. I help test things and make suggestions but other than as moral support, my contributions to the team are small. I'm also having troubles running the three programs that nobody else is having, and CM doesn't seem to have the expertise to figure out why. My Blades of Exile scenario player works more or less, at least, so maybe if I start playing scenarios then it will inspire him or something.

(By the way, don't use the Save or Ctrl+S functions once you get it started. Only use File --> Save As... to save your game. Another bug.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you.

 

The only catch is that it was solved on a day my wife had a long list of chores, so I haven't been able to really start. Sometime tomorrow pm, I guess.

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2017-07-08 at 0:53 PM, sylae said:

maybe it would be cool to add a handler to allow users to double-click an .exs file, and then boe will do all the work of copying or whatever witchcraft it is now.

 

This is a good idea, but impossible. I already installed a handler so that double-clicking an .exs or .boes file opens it in the scenario editor, and you can only have one handler per file type. (You'd have to use the installer package for that to work on Windows though, and I haven't been releasing any installer packages. It'll work on Mac with the current packages.)

 

That said, you could still enable dropping the .exs or .boes on the application icon to install it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sylae   

or maybe have the default handler be a tiny little wrapper application that gives you a "scenario import" or "scenario edit" option?

 

at the very least, having each application be able to handle double-clicks would enable the user to decide what they want to do by default, and for the other they could use the context menu's Open With.... option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2017-07-09 at 08:22 PM, sylae said:

or maybe have the default handler be a tiny little wrapper application that gives you a "scenario import" or "scenario edit" option?

 

Hmm, okay, that could indeed be viable.

 

On 2017-07-09 at 08:22 PM, sylae said:

at the very least, having each application be able to handle double-clicks would enable the user to decide what they want to do by default, and for the other they could use the context menu's Open With.... option.

 

Handling double-clicks and handling dropped files are equivalent, so that's basically what I just said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have one preliminary suggestion. While I really like the way different kinds of items display in different colors, the colors used are just too pale.I, at least, find them very hard to read (especially armor), even at the best resolution. Granted, my eyesight is not the standard, but then again, I expect I'm not alone among those who've long stared at screens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. Those are the default colors that have been there since 1997 when the game was released. There are arguments for and against changing the interface itself; I'm personally of the opinion that minor legibility changes, physical rearrangement of GUI elements, merging all windows into one like a more modern game would do, etc. is a perfectly desirable idea, but some want to keep it completely authentic to the original game. If we ever have a bigger development team these discussions may be more fruitful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I've fiddled around a bit, just starting scenarios and messing with them. But so far all the custom ones I've tried have been a bit unstable, and have occasional glitches. The instability happens sometimes in using a node (climbing, for instance) or when saving a conversation. And the glitches are odd. I've had some blacked out squares of the sort I mentioned in my first comment, but not nearly so bad). Sometimes a city is invisible, sometimes on reloading the entire saved map is dark.

 

There are some clear glitches:

1. The drop down menu for priest spells (which I prefer) doesn't work. It shows mage spells. I've only noticed this in combat. I don't recall if its always so otherwise, but it NEVER seems to work in combat.

2. The save game icon is sometimes missing.

3. The "go back" in conversation screens never seems to work.

 

One question. Which, if any, custom scenarios are known to work well. (I prefer big maps, with little time factor. Also, the version I'm using is dated 4/12/17).

 

 

Edited by George LeS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't really give you an answer to that question, sorry. I haven't tried out a lot of custom scenarios, and frankly, I'm probably not going to do so until the main scenarios are entirely working.

 

Regarding the blacked out squares, that could potentially happen if for any reason the game is unable to load a custom graphics sheet. In particular, if you didn't place the custom graphics sheet (a BMP file) in the same folder as the scenario, then any custom terrain graphics would likely appear as a black space.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK. There are still the points about menus and Go Back.

 

BTW, now I cannot get saves of the Small Rebellion to load. Any save crashes when I try.

 

Oh well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go Back will only work for the responses included in the core personality: Look, Name, Job, and no response. Any time you use a separate talk node, Go Back won't work. It's supposed to but it doesn't at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, the "go back" problem was already known, but I don't recall spotting the menu issue before, so that's helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm afraid I'm just going to have to give up. I've tried the Small Rebellion*, and about 6 custom scenarios, and none works. The funny thing is that every one seems to fail in a different way. E.g., At the Gallows crashes when I try to leave on the 2nd mission; in Good and Evil the starting town becomes empty - with no explanation - after the training dungeon, Adv Club has invisible and unenterable towns. Weird. I'll check back in a few months.

 

*The only BOE scenario I actually like.

 

But thanks for your trouble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just checked back to see if there's an update (not that I'd expected one, and I'm certainly not meaning to complain.) But I thought it might be helpful if I listed the problems I've run across:

 

With the Vogel scenarios:

 

1. The priest dropdown I mentioned before.

2. It will not load a saved game. I've tried all of the original three, and every time, it stops working.

3. Virtually everything equips automatically, except armor itself. And by armor I mean it in the narrow sense, torso armor. Everything else will equip automatically if you buy, pick up, or have it given to you, even if you already are using all you are permitted. Thus, after a battle, the lead fighters may well have six weapons equipped. I'm pretty sure that the first on the list is the one used, though. (This is also true in custom scenarios).

 

(The rest I've only confirmed in custom scenarios, because of #2 above).

 

4. It is common for signposts to be unreadable. Instead you get "You cannot see this space." Not always, but more often than not. This also applies to other outside features, like trees, the ground, even towns/castles.

5. Cities can be weird.

  a. It is common to leave one, and have it effectively disappear. That is, you don't see the one you just left, just an empty space. When this happens, sometimes going back gets you in, sometimes not. In the latter case, it's just like walking through an empty square.

  b. Sometimes it seems to behave as in (4) above, with a visible space (I know something is there) but you can just walk through it. So far as I've seen, this is always accompanied with the "you cannot see the space" message.

  c. Oddest of all, many cities are visible and enterable, but entirely empty of people. I don't mean the ones which should be. I've seen  this both with returning to a city and in entering a new one, both friendly and hostile. Unlike the previous two cases, I've never seen this corrected by exiting and reloading. (Maybe I should have mentioned that sometimes that works, sometimes not. It most often works for (a) cases.)

6. It sometimes crashes when recording a conversation.

7. Very often recorded conversations and encounters aren't kept. They were there, but now are not.

8. Often a map will be lost. You did cover it, and on reload it is all dark, sort of like the Anama city in Exile 3, but here it's pretty clearly not intentional. Also, this can happen both in towns and outdoors.

9. A few scenarios cannot be loaded at all, eg, Masks. But I suspect this may be a problem with the scenario files.

 

I don't know if any of this is helpful, but again, I thought I should list it. The 2nd group may or may not apply to the 3 original BOE scenarios. I hope it's helpful.

 

Because I also have been unable to install the Exile I and II versions with updated graphics, this means I am left with III and the 3 BOEs. While I like Ruined World and Rebellion, I don't feel like going through them again for a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kelandon   

Can you maybe just run original BoE in Sheepshaver? If the current version isn't really stable or functional, emulation seems like another option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Kelandon said:

Can you maybe just run original BoE in Sheepshaver? If the current version isn't really stable or functional, emulation seems like another option.

 

I'll check it out. But I'm curious just what difference it would make. Are these problems (really, several different sets of them) due to using a PC instead of a Mac?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No -- rather there is a difference between original BoE (which was also available for both Mac and PC), and this reworked version.  The original version should not have these bugs.  But because it's very old, you need an emulator to run it -- it was designed for the operating systems of 20 years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Kelandon said:

Can you maybe just run original BoE in Sheepshaver? If the current version isn't really stable or functional, emulation seems like another option.

I'll note that it's probably easier to run the Windows version in Win3.1 under DosBox (or, maybe, under WINE, though I recall having some problems with that) than it is to get SheepShaver to work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

So, my impression is that SheepShaver isn't likely to work. I was puzzled about why it would.

 

All this started with problems I had with the original version under Dosbox. But i didn't really reopen this expecting to find a solution. I'm resigned to the fact that I cannot play it the forseeable future. But I thought it might help Celtic Minstrel (and any others) to list what problems I've seen. Unlike original BOE, the problems aren't the same for each scenario. At this point I have a folder of over 20 which don't work.

 

Thanks for the replies, all.

 

EDIT: One other thing, I can see that archery seems to have been buffed a bit. Is this also true of thrown weapons?

Edited by George LeS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kelandon   

I mean, I assume Sheepshaver will work. It's just a pain to set up, and setting up some other kind of emulation is probably easier.

 

I'll try it myself at some point and see what happens.

 

Edit: But, more generally, my point is to use original BoE, not one of these other things, and just emulate the environment that you need.

 

And, to be clear, the reason that it would work is that you'd be using a (relatively) bug-free version of BoE rather than a bugged pre-release version of some kind of reworked BoE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lilith   
15 hours ago, Kelandon said:

Edit: But, more generally, my point is to use original BoE, not one of these other things, and just emulate the environment that you need.

 

And, to be clear, the reason that it would work is that you'd be using a (relatively) bug-free version of BoE rather than a bugged pre-release version of some kind of reworked BoE.

 

Sounds like he tried original BoE and it didn't work:

 

15 hours ago, George LeS said:

All this started with problems I had with the original version under Dosbox.

 

Having said that, BoE was originally developed for Mac, and even the original version of the PC port is a bit buggier and clunkier than the Mac version in general. So if you can get the Mac version running in emulation, that might indeed be worth a shot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a version of original BoE that "automatically" runs through Dosbox?

 

That was the line that had me, at least, assuming that George was using an updated version of some sort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lilith   
1 hour ago, Art Ist Escape said:

There is a version of original BoE that "automatically" runs through Dosbox?

 

That was the line that had me, at least, assuming that George was using an updated version of some sort.

 

I assume that somebody somewhere has uploaded a copy of it in a preconfigured DOSBox wrapper; it's not an enormously difficult or involved thing to do if you know how, and it wouldn't ordinarily involve any modifications to the base game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

If someone did so, maybe we could host or link to any DOSBox- or Wine-wrapped BoE copies on OpenBoE.com for convenience. I own the domain but I wouldn't know if it would actually be a good idea for a variety of reasons that may vary by case. I'll defer to the rest of you.

I do know I have all kinds of problems running OBoE in Wine. I don't remember the last time I tried with legacy BoE though. I've been hesitant because I always feel cranky when I have to abandon new features and bug fixes in favor of overall stability. :(

Edited by The Almighty Doer of Stuff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 21 August 2017 at 10:36 PM, George LeS said:

So, my impression is that SheepShaver isn't likely to work.

 

On 21 August 2017 at 10:52 PM, Kelandon said:

I mean, I assume Sheepshaver will work. It's just a pain to set up, and setting up some other kind of emulation is probably easier.

 

Just for the record, I've been running SheepShaver for a while now, and it runs the original BoE very nicely. The only problems I've come across are tiny little graphical glitches that don't really get in the way (such as the numbers showing how much damage is done during a combat move sometimes not displaying on the main screen, but still appearing in the log). I've also been able to emulate the three Exile games and Nethergate in the same way with no major issues!

 

I was about to write a quick little guide about setting up Sheepshaver, since it can be relatively quick and painless with the right setup, but unfortunately there's one issue that has come up recently that makes it more difficult. In order to run the emulator, you need a copy of Mac OS. When I originally set up the emulator, Apple was freely giving away Mac OS 7.5.3. However, I'm unsure if that's currently still the case; Apple have removed the download from their website. If the system is no longer freely available, that's a shame. With it, it's possible to bundle everything needed for the emulator to run in the same place, effectively having a classic mac running straight out of the box. I actually original started using Sheepshaver using an 'out-of-the-box' emulator like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Lilith said:

 

I assume that somebody somewhere has uploaded a copy of it in a preconfigured DOSBox wrapper; it's not an enormously difficult or involved thing to do if you know how, and it wouldn't ordinarily involve any modifications to the base game.

 

That's how I got it. I think it was from here: http://www.old-games.com/search/?s=exile

 

And the problems that had with custom scenarios (not the Spiderweb ones) are why I started this this thread. The original BOE in dosbox did run; it just had problems making it unplayable. Contrary to what I said at first, eventually they showed up in every case I tried (ultimately).

 

For myself, the last time I tried to understand these machines was in the 98 days. After that, I had no job-related reason, and for personal use, the payoff didn't seem worth the time & effort invested. So I'm a sort of computer Rip Van Winkle. (And I've never used a Mac).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×