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 Post subject: L'QTEE Laserdisc Engine (With scripts for Time Traveler!)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:23 pm 
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I've been talking about making a laserdisc engine for years but this weekend I actually got bored enough to do it! L'QTEE (lil' cutie) is a script based laserdisc game engine for creating quick-time event style games. (Like dragon's lair)

Because the pc version of Time Traveler contains text files with almost all the needed event info, it doesn't work on XP, the port isn't that good to begin with and emulation of the game seems to be at a standstill it seemed like the logical test canidate.

Here is the test build, but keep in mind that many things aren't yet implemented as this is an ALPHA version. (The program is literally 2 days old!) To use it you'll need a copy of the TT cdrom. Copy the "htt" folder over to the folder where you extracted the program and it should work right out of the box! Read the readme for help with issues.

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=182NH0JG


With that being said I could use some help obtaining info as I don't have access to a real machine and the ports are nowhere near arcade accurate.

What I need (if you have it) are:

Samples of the coinup, start, "right", "wrong" and level complete sounds.

Info on the messages displayed on the scoreboard.

Info on the wizard (when he appears, how often, ect)

Info on the cube store (same stuff as wizard)

Info on the slot machine (when he appears, how often, what are the values awarded for each possible outcome ect)
Info on the menu (is it possible to select any stage at any time, can you replay finished stages, how many stages must you complete to go to the final stage, ect)

Info on death (when you die are you dumped back to the stage menu, do you restart the stage, or just the scene within the stage)

A walkthrough of the game would also be helpful to make sure I have the scene order right.

Any help would be appreciated and please let me know how well this runs on your system.



Also some info on the dvd version would be nice. I don't have it yet and the pc-cdrom version is easier to script for, but if the videos are cut-up in a similar fashion I should have no trouble converting the scripts to work on the dvd rom version as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:16 am 
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very cool!

I'll dig out my TT cd tonight and check this out. I think I've got the dvd somewhere as well, and I have a cabinet, but it's on the other side of the country so I can't check details for you immediately. :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:13 pm 
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Thanks for the support.

I've made a lot of progress since this post with the latest build supporting everything but gambling events (almost finished), menus and time reversal cubes.

I also managed to get the proper scene order from the digital leisure site.

First I wanna see if it works for someone other than me, but assuming it does I'll upload the latest build.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:31 pm 
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Sounds really cool, Howard.

Unfortunately, I do not have the Time Traveler CD (or DVD) so I cannot try this out.

And while I have your attention (hehe), will you please update your email address for your account here? Every time someone replies to a thread you posted in, I get a bounced email because your address is invalid.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:31 pm 
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sorry, i didn't know :oops:

I've updated accordingly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:02 am 
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I tried to use the program tonight, but unfortunately it isn't working for me. :( The game seems to be playing, I can hear the TT audio, but I have no video displaying at all... just a black screen with the GUI on top.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:30 am 
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The engine uses the windows video overlay so it won't work if your card doesn't support hardware acceleration for videos. It also won't work if you have any videos running in the background as they will be using the overlay instead. You can "reboot" the overlay by pressing "o" once and the next video played should show up. Check the readme for more info on it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:55 am 
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An update on what your issue might be:

I thought about the fact that I've only tried the app on xp machines so I threw it on vista and I got what you described. I thought it was an overlay issue, but upon further inspection the video portion of the file doesn't even play in windows media player! Turns out vista doesn't include the need codec. I'm looking for the proper codec to use as we speak.

*update*

the k-lite codec pack gets the video to play in windows media player in vista but it's still not working within the app. I think vista might have changed the value of the color key, so i'll look into it.

*update 2*

Well apparently m$ in their infinate stupidity has completely removed the hardware overlay in vista. Even with compatability mode I can't seem to get it to work. I can change the graphics engine, but honestly hardware overlays was the only way I could get good performance with both the rendering of the sprites and the video itself. I'll look into alternatives, but any ideas?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:53 pm 
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HowardC wrote:
Well apparently m$ in their infinate stupidity has completely removed the hardware overlay in vista. Even with compatability mode I can't seem to get it to work. I can change the graphics engine, but honestly hardware overlays was the only way I could get good performance with both the rendering of the sprites and the video itself. I'll look into alternatives, but any ideas?


Daphne has this same issue with Vista (the hardware overlays are broken).
People have suggested disabling "Aero" or running in fullscreen to get the overlays working again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:02 pm 
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Yeah I tried that, but because vista now handles each window individually instead of having a global hardware overlay the thing won't work because my overlay layer is actually a seperate window. Now I can attempt to setup teh overlay surface properly, but in crappy old vb that is difficult. :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:10 pm 
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I'm not using Vista, I'm running XP x64. My graphics card supports overlays, which work fine for Daphne and every other application I've tried that uses them. My issue appears to be specific to this app. :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:15 am 
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Yeah the more I tested it on other pcs the more I realized this implementation is pretty unreliable.

Fortunately I have found a new render method that seems to work on anything I throw at it, including vista. I'll have the app converted and I should have a new version out soon. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:41 pm 
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Well I converted the engine, and it seems to do a lot better, even works on vista. Unfortunately, as I suspected, the gui now has a serious case of the uglies as I'm using the video's overlay, which is only 320x240. :(

I did try it on some ntsc videos though and it looked pretty good, so hopefully I can do a script conversion for the dvd and it'll improve quality.

I'll upload the latest build tonight.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 3:29 pm 
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Sorry for the delay, I got distracted.

Anyway here is the latest build running on the new graphics engine. You'll want to run the "register me.bat" before playing.

A few crucial things like menus are still not implemented and the script still isn't 100% accurate, but at the rate I'm going everything needed to simulate time traveler should be implemented by this weekend. Also check out the dipmenu for an idea of how the HUD will look on the dvd version as the images used in the dip menu are ntsc resolution.

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=KGUMUYVL


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:08 am 
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Still having problems. Now I can see laserturtle, but that's it. My htt folder is correctly copied into the LQTEE directory, same as with 1.0a.

EDIT: got it. You forgot to mention that the new paths.ini file needs to be edited.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:09 am 
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That's my bad, I was testing to see how well the engine ran with the videos on the cd (amoung other things, like on different harddrives) and I forgot to change it back.

So yeah, first line in paths.ini needs to be changed to "\htt\"

Are you having any issues with flickering, ect?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:49 pm 
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Just an update to anyone who's still interested.

This morning I've implemented various functions which allow the inclusion of the Cube Trader and Hellgate (devil) sequences as well as menus. I've also aquired some samples of the various sound fx (they are a tad cruddy as they were recorded from gameplay though :( ). While the engine itself should still be considered incomplete, I should be able to release a fully functional psuedo-arcade accurate version of time traveler as early as this evening!

p.s. Does anyone remember the "end of the universe" sequence? I can't remember it well but I was thinking it's just a completely blank screen with "end of the universe" displayed on the scoreboard. Is that correct? If so then I can implement it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:37 pm 
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HowardC wrote:

Are you having any issues with flickering, ect?


I haven't noticed anything like that. I never really got into the Digital Leisure versions, so I'm mostly noticing all the non-arcade differences. But it's still very playable. Good stuff!

I know I'm dreaming, but I'd love to be able to use this with a laserdisc rip (no grid or spinning colored shapes) and 3D glasses. :) I'm not even sure video can be made stereoscopic if it wasn't shot that way. Hmm.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:42 pm 
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I don't see any reason why a laserdisc rip won't work. The scripts would have to be altered a little due to the framerate change and it would run better if the video was cut-up but that should be doable. I intend to at least convert the scripts to work on the dvd version. I want to do the laserdisc version as well, but it's hard to get motivated to buy a laserdisc of HTT and a laserdisc player again (I've sold all my players.)

As for 3d, because the sequences were shot in a very "flat" way you'd be forced to put some sort of background in there to get good seperation. Of course a very basic 3d effect can be achieved by seperating the red and blue components of the image and offsetting them somewhat. I'm not a big fan of the red/blue 3d though, it's rather headachie.

Of course the stage scenery boards were flat, so someone who knew how to film in 3d could probably do a pretty good job of making manual seperations and achieve a 3d effect by making the backgrounds and foregrounds seperate from the characters.


Regarding any arcade differences, keep in mind that aside from the cruddy footage, I can fix anything you run into. The exe might be doing the heavy lifting, but 95% of the "game programming" is going on via the external scripts. Just leave me a list. :)

I just finished playing through the completed game for the third time and everything seems to be playable so I'll realease it soon. I just need to add the devil sequences into the main script and it should be fairly complete barring any minor annoyances.

As a side effect I'm now really good at a game I could barely play in the arcades. I suppose replaying the same scene dozens of times will do that. ;)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:36 pm 
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Crap chip, why do you have to put ideas in my head!

If you're looking to do the cheap red-blue effect it's quite simple:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hlAND8WHqQ


Now that tutorial is for images, but a program like adobe premiere has the EXACT same filters as photoshop so it should work just fine. You would replace the step about loading image #2 with loading the same video again and moving it slightly to the left via motion effects. then you'd just process the entire laserdisc rip with it.

I'm looking for a tutorial on how to do it with polarized lenses though, which is preferred even if the glasses are a tad more expensive.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:47 am 
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I just finished the scripts and did a run-through and everything seems to be fine. I'll release it in the morning.

Word of warning though, the devil scenes are a tad wonky as I'm not exactly sure how they worked in the original game. Hopefully someone can clue me in.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:55 am 
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cool, I'm looking forward to the latest!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:02 pm 
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Here we go:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=JUK9C4B7

I've added about two dozen functions and have managed to get ahold of some sound samples to make it as accurate as possible.

Aside from glitches in the script or inaccuracies due to my lack of data this is probably as close as we are gonna get with the DL video as a base.

Please let me know about bugs and such.

The engine is pretty much complete as well. I have to create some dedicated hud elements and such to make it a proper engine for other games, but that stuff is realitively easy to implement.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:05 pm 
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Oh btw, the default controls have changed, but you can now set them via the included shortcut.

Also check out the dip switch menu. Aside from useless dips like the cost of a game, I've managed to allow every setting TT had to be configurable. It's really over-kill for our purposes, but all of the dips and their effects on gameplay are done via script and are NOT hard-coded, so I thought this would be a good way to show it off.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:29 am 
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Well I found two minor bugs since the release, but I don't think they are worth re-upping it until I have more substancial changes to include.

1. You can't go to the cube trader between 1998 and the Age of Magic, this was a minor script omission that I've since corrected.

2. When you complete the first three stages, they don't show the completed images. This was a bug in the exe that I've corrected. It's purely cosmetic though and you still can't re-select completed stages.

Other than that it all works great, I just beat the game again for like the 10th time.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:21 pm 
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I haven't noticed any bugs. It seems to play great. Just a couple things I'd like to do to make it more like the arcade:

1) remove the onscreen hints.

2) skip the intro story after you enter the "play" portal.

Lastly, why did you change the default controls? I was surprised when suddenly the fire button didn't work in my daphne cabinet. I would suggest keeping the defaults the same as daphne for compatibility purposes.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:16 pm 
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1. The onscreen hints can be turned off in the dipswitch menu. I have them on by default because time traveler is frikkin hard and I didn't want people to confuse their inability to play with bugs. ;)

2. Are you sure the story mode isn't in there? I have youtube video that made me to believe it does. I thought at least the "map scene" was in there.

3. Well mame defaults aren't daphne defaults and I guessed that more people have a mame cabinet that also plays daphne than a dedicated daphne cabinet. They can be redefined though via the included shortcut. It doesn't matter to me either way as my defaults are neither.

I've done some more work on the engine and I'm getting ready to add vvf (virtual video file) support so laserdisc rips can be used without cutting the footage up. Once I do that I'll release a new version


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:33 pm 
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http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=hologram%20time%20traveler&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wv#

Here was the video I was referring to (skip to around 2:00)

There could be some dip to turn off the story mode though, but I don't can't find mention of it in the manual. So some more info on what you mean would be helpful. :)

Also what do you know about the "brain scene"? The DL scene files for that scene were a little wonkey, making it look like going through the right portal (as opposed to the left) isn't necessarily supposed to kill you, but it doesn't elude to what it is supposed to do after you go down it.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:22 am 
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HowardC wrote:

Here was the video I was referring to (skip to around 2:00)


erm, I can't. The video on that page is only 0:54 long. :P

HowardC wrote:
So some more info on what you mean would be helpful. :)


Sorry, should have been more clear. When the story mode starts, you can press "fire" to skip it. I guess I assumed you knew more about TT. :p


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:09 am 
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HowardC wrote:
3. Well mame defaults aren't daphne defaults and I guessed that more people have a mame cabinet that also plays daphne than a dedicated daphne cabinet. They can be redefined though via the included shortcut. It doesn't matter to me either way as my defaults are neither.


When I setup the daphne defaults, I tried to make them the same as MAME for consistency. I guess I either messed up or MAME changed at some point.


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