Any 3-D Ultra fans?

Re: Any 3-D Ultra fans?

Postby Expack3 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:16 pm

Collector wrote:When I get time, I'll will eventually take a look at the other 3-D pinballs.

Speaking of 3-D Ultra Pinball games, I actually know how to get 3-D Ultra Pinball: The Lost Continent working - to a degree. Here's how I did it:
  • Insert the game disc into your CD-ROM drive.
  • Go to your Start menu, then click on My Computer (or just Computer) from the menu which appears.
  • From the list of computer locations on the left side of the window which appears, click on the one which says PINBALL3
  • On the right side of the screen, drag the folder labeled UPBALL3 to the C:\ Drive folder on the left side of the window.
  • Open the folder which says OPTIONAL
  • Right-click the file which is called OVERRIDE (may say OVERRIDE.BAT), and select copy from the small drop-down menu which appears.
  • Go to C:\ -> UPBALL3
  • Right-click on empty space in the folder, then click paste.
  • Eject the CD from your drive.
  • Play the game by running Pinball3 (may be called Pinball3.exe).
  • You'll get a warning that the game may not run optimally; ignore this message by pressing the OK button.
This gets some of the 22MHz audio, all the voiceovers, and the intro and outro videos working. However, in my experience, there are issues getting the 22MHz audio and the digital music working in their entirety under Windows 7 (probably due to this not being the LARGE install). I haven't tried seeing if this will work under Windows XP, though.
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Re: Any 3-D Ultra fans?

Postby xbasho » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:27 am

Hi
I would like to know, if possible, how to fix the music issue in 3D Ultra Pinball Creep Night.
Under Xp doesn't play.
I have used your amazing installer, and all works well but the music.
I really thanks for your attention.
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Re: Any 3-D Ultra fans?

Postby Collector » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:23 pm

The audio in Creep Night should be working. Note that there are a couple of CDA tracks on the disc, but these are for the Cyber Gladiators demo on the disc, not Creep Night. Make sure that it is checked in Options.
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Re: Any 3-D Ultra fans?

Postby juanitogan » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:53 am

I'm baa-ack! :biggrin: And... I... come... bearing... GIFTS!!! :cookie

I have fixed 3D Ultra MiniGolf Deluxe... and non-Deluxe... (and, well, partly CyberStorm... :cry: ) and will get to the 3D Ultra Pinball games next... :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o

I couldn't be happier right now. (Unless, of course, someone patched MiniGolf into the WON2 network so I can play online easily with family... or CyberStorm's load and save functions worked.)

Anyhow, I'm using my blog as the landing page for these patches, so go here please:

https://namethattech.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/fixing-up-old-computer-games

Please spread the word that these games are coming back.

Please also help me identify more games that can benefit from this fix (although, we should maybe start another topic for that).



At your service,

Matt
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Re: Any 3-D Ultra fans?

Postby Collector » Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:33 pm

Interesting, though I am curious as to why the patch files are so large. Glancing over your page I see that it is mostly audio files. Did you have to re-encode them? I wonder if the NSIS patcher could make for smaller files. I will have to wait to try out the Minigolf as my version is1.0.

I saw your request for info on other Dynamix games. I do have nearly all of the Dynamix games, but don't relish going through all of them with a hex editor. It probably would not be that hard to write a little tool to search for the byte sequence to partially automate the search. Not sure when I would have time to get around to it.

Anyway, let us know when you have Minigolf 1.0 and CyberStorm done.
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Re: Any 3-D Ultra fans?

Postby juanitogan » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:56 pm

Yes, I had to decompress the ADPCM audio into PCM audio. This makes those particular audio files 4x bigger. MiniGolf was obviously a huge production with a few thousand sound bites (I didn't count) so it is a particularly big patch. I made sure not to degrade any of the audio--and I haven't since ADPCM has to be decoded at some point into PCM anyhow. Maybe I even did it better than the game did. Probably exactly the same though.

I went to extra care with the tools I made to keep the patch files as small as possible. The other patchers/installers I tried came out MUCH bigger so I had to go low-level with xdelta3 patching. It did occur to me that I could make tiny patches by decoding the audio in place but that would have taken much more time to build and would expose the process to more errors. So, I figured, keep the lab work in the lab and just release large patches. I was looking for an open tool like NSIS but with all the noise out there, I wasn't finding it. Thanks for that hint. I am sure, however, these particular patches can't get any smaller with all the audio data.

I actually fixed MiniGolf 1 and 1.1 before any of the others. I just need to gather all the pieces together and release it. I also fixed everything I set out to fix with CyberStorm and all the in-game stuff now runs great. I'm just not a player of it yet so I didn't think to test the load and save functions until I was getting ready to announce on the CyberStorm thread here. Then I saw the problem and was crushed. I am somewhat convinced it is a problem with CommonDialog so I'll try throwing a bunch of different system DLLs at it but I have little hope of that working. Decompiling CWARSDLL.DLL and fixing it that way would be new territory for me but I'll give it a shot if I can someday find the time for such work.
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Re: Any 3-D Ultra fans?

Postby juanitogan » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:37 pm

Just a quick update that MiniGolf 1.0 and 1.1 patches are now available. As is CyberStorm :D (fixing that one was a small odyssey). (See my post 3 posts back for the link.)

As to looking for other games to fix, the presence of RBX files is the easiest indicator. The presence of that particular byte string I mention in my blog post is just a more certain indicator.
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Re: Any 3-D Ultra fans?

Postby MKInst » Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:04 am

Very late to this thread as I only just found this forum, but - I most certainly am a fan of 3D-Ultra! I had the Trains Planes and Automobiles pack since I was 6. I could never get Curse You Red Baron to play past the cutscene, so I basically played the bejessus out of Traintown and RC Racers. About two years ago I managed to find a one-seed torrent that only barely managed to get me the deluxe versions of both. That's sort of why I'm here, actually.

Traintown works fine, but is missing all it's music (both versions had this, actually - I was always mystified by the 'music volume' slider in the preferences pane :roll: ) although from this thread I've gathered that this a rather common problem to do with the disk. (I like it better without music anyway) :D

But RC Racers on the other hand.... It does have all it's music, and they all play well enough, but this post is about some of the short music cues (like the loop that plays as each level loads, before the main race soundtrack begins) - They're buried somewhere in the data files for the original version, and playing around with the 'import raw' settings in Audacity proves they're all there and complete, albeit under heavy static - however, in the deluxe version, they appear to be stored as standard audio files that are easily readable, but... they're incomplete. There's bits of the audio there but it violently cuts in and out with silence in the actual file, it's not a playback issue. Probably due to being torrented by the skin of it's teeth from a 20byte-per-second wifi signal from a server with only one (incomplete) seeder. It's a miracle it works as well as it does, actually. :oops:

So, I was wondering - I'm a huge soundtrack nerd - You can probably guess what my question is: :roll:
Would anyone be able to send me the "level-loading" tracks from their copy of RC Traxxas?


Also, back to Traintown - I found a high-res copy of the original box art and it's staggering how much 'beta' stuff is in plain view on the cover that never made it into the game, as far as I can see by playing it: at least 4 different boxcars, 4 coloured gondolas, a different bridge over the lake and even a different locomotive - That red-and-black '830' from the cover was actually in game at one point.

Now, I'm not much of a computer expert, but I know y basic programming and have been amateurishly hacking my games for most of my life - however, I can't for the life of me figure out how to crack open the files for Traintown to see if any of the juicy beta data is still lying dormant in the finished files - Even being able to include the F3B and the covered gondola in the Layout Tinkerer would be a win for me...

Anyway, enough of my rambling, I'm just glad I've found a place to share this. :D
http://imgur.com/a/QvifM

Yours,
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Re: Any 3-D Ultra fans?

Postby Morgo » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:17 pm

ATTN Grand Poobah Collector

Thanks for taking the time to make a 32 bit install routine for Creep Night. Along the same line of 'keeping the classics alive on modern PCs', I've converted the other 4 so I can still play them on my 64 bit machines.

I own the original CDs for all 5 of the 3D Ultra Pinball games. Since I've upgraded my machines to 64 bit ones, I created an install routine that fits on a single CD and installs all 5 games on a Windows 64 bit machine so that all 5 games can be installed & played in a native 64 bit environment without the need to have the CD still in the drive during gameplay.

I'm now doing the same with all 9 versions of the You Don't Know Jack series, using a DVD disc install and optional full HD (no disc play) install and a partial HD (DVD needed for gameplay) install. I'll use the partial install for my notebook to save space, and the full install for my desktop.

My question is- Do you want me to send you copies of my pet projects ?

As I'm a new user here, the system has denied me use of the PM system and I cannot message you. This thread seemed the most likely place to post info on the 3D Ultra Pinball series, as I was unable to find any other threads dedicated to such. I'll check back in a few days here in the thread, or as an admin you can feel free to examine my registration data and send me an Email at my personal address.

Thanks, and happy gaming :)
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Re: Any 3-D Ultra fans?

Postby Collector » Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:48 pm

Nice to see others take interest. The trick is to make it work for whatever copy the end user has, since I cannot distribute the games themselves. I would be willing to look at your scripts, just don't attach the games themselves.
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Re: Any 3-D Ultra fans?

Postby Morgo » Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:56 am

Thanks for the reply Collector. I'm an 'older' individual (I was a certified tech with Commodore in 1985), and I prefer these types of old games over the newer style ones. I have both older and newer computers, so I "cheated" in my 16 bit to 64 bit conversion by using an old native machine for installs, then mirroring the completed data structure, and then adding in all the CD resident data called by the programs and redirecting program CD calls over to the HD data to enable full featured gameplay without CDs. Even though I own the OEM original CDs, I would have paid for the games again (such as on gog.com at 5.99 and 9.99 avg pricing for similar) to have avoided all that effort and just have the games working again under a modern 64 bit environment hassle free. If Sierra were to release modern digital downloads of the games, I'd imagine there would be an interest. The 3D Ultra Pinball series were advanced for their time period; and, in my opinion are on par with newer releases, such as Microsoft Studios Pinball FX2 series which just has more glitz in the front end menu system but with the same quality of gameplay. Perhaps someday Sierra will repackage and/or bundle these old 1990's classics and put them back on the market (9.99 to 12.99 for the 5 pack bundle would sell imho) as digital downloads so that others can enjoy playing them as well. I'd be happy to contribute my efforts thus far if that would help speed the process along

The majority of my data does contain gameplay routines. I used a batch file to copy the new program shortcut links over to the C:\Users\%username%\Desktop\
I've also edited the Sierra.ini file from the centralized Windows directory, as both game series (3D Ultra Pinball -and- You Don't Know Jack) use that same Sierra.ini file located there.

I've only encountered a single error thus far. During startup of The Lost Continent, a message of "An improper install option may have been selected. The 'Optional' install will provide much better gameplay" is displayed. After hitting OK, the game launches and plays fine, including opening video cut scenes and normal audio. There's never any problems during gameplay.

Here's a look at the Sierra.ini file I'm using:
Code: Select all
[Config]
MachineID={EF20D5AF-246F-4AB8-8289-E55A2D18AAD9}
MIDI=Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth
WAVE=Speakers (SoundMAX Integrated D
ScreenWidth=1366
ScreenHeight=768
Colors=16777216
WinVer=Windows NT
Language=English
PhysicalMem=3105140
[Redirect]
UnInstall=C:\WINDOWS\ISUNINST.EXE
[Sierra]
SierraDir=C:\Program Files (x86)\Sierra
[PATHS]

[UPinball]
InstallPath=C:\PROGRA~2\Sierra\3DULTR~1\Space
CDPath=C:\PROGRA~2\Sierra\3DULTR~1\Space

[UPBALL2]
InstallPath=C:\PROGRA~2\Sierra\3DULTR~1\CREEPN~1
CDPath=C:\PROGRA~2\Sierra\3DULTR~1\CREEPN~1\UPBALL2

[UPBALL3]
InstallPath=C:\PROGRA~2\Sierra\3DULTR~1\Lost
CDPath=C:\PROGRA~2\Sierra\3DULTR~1\Lost

[NSCRPINB]
InstallPath=C:\PROGRA~2\Sierra\3DULTR~1\Nascar
CDPath=C:\PROGRA~2\Sierra\3DULTR~1\Nascar


Any ideas and suggestions are always welcome
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Re: Any 3-D Ultra fans?

Postby Collector » Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:26 pm

I use XP Mode and an install tracker to see what Registry entries and added system files an original installer makes. Of course an installer can do other things, like expand compressed resources, concatenate split resources, write configuration files, etc. Some Sierra installers have a script file that lets you see what an installer does.

Games that have compatibility issues on modern OSs need to be patched. For some of these you can use the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit. Sometimes a wrapper can help. If you have assembly skills you may be able to modify the files themselves with a hex editor.

Packaging all of this for distribution is a project in and of itself. I use NSIS ( http://nsis.sourceforge.net/Main_Page ), the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System. It is a powerful scripting system that borrows from PHP and assembly. While there is a bit of an initial learning curve it is pretty easy after you grasp the basics. With it you can duplicate anything that the original installers did and more.

One last issue is that many of these games have multiple releases that are laid out differently on their original distribution media. When one of my installers fail this is usually the reason. When a file is in another location in a different version than what the installer supports, it will not be able find the file. To add support for these additional versions the installer need to be able to ID the version. This varies according the game. Some about the only way is to check the hash.

Anyway, some games are easy to do, others can be more involved.
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Re: Any 3-D Ultra fans?

Postby MKInst » Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:27 am

That preview I posted? It's aaaaalll done. (and without that dreadful image compression, too!) https://www.reddit.com/r/BackgroundArt/ ... traintown/

My OCD aside, I really want/need help in extracting/viewing/opening/editing the scripts and assorted animation sprites (especially the cursors..) from TrainTown. It doesn't matter if it's the Deluxe or Original version, I just want to get inside those juicy .TBV files but Google has NOT been my friend here - closest I could find was the manual for a cerebral scanner called Turbo-BrainVoyager... :oops: :D
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Re: Any 3-D Ultra fans?

Postby Collector » Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:51 pm

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Re: Any 3-D Ultra fans?

Postby Collector » Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:55 pm

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