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Arno

CatacombGL - a Windows source port for the Catacomb Abyss

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I'm interested in this, but it fails to recognize or locate my legitimate installation of the GOG Catacombs Pack. Gives me an error message of "Failed to detect game files! Please make sure the Catacombs Pack (GOG.COM) is correctly installed etc... A bunch of .ABS files not found. Tried it in the main Catacombs Pack directory, as well as in the subfolders for the individual games.

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Wow that GL version looks indeed nice and WASD is of course always a good addition. I might as well play it in its entirety for the first time with those features.

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21 hours ago, Jello said:

I'm interested in this, but it fails to recognize or locate my legitimate installation of the GOG Catacombs Pack. Gives me an error message of "Failed to detect game files! Please make sure the Catacombs Pack (GOG.COM) is correctly installed etc... A bunch of .ABS files not found. Tried it in the main Catacombs Pack directory, as well as in the subfolders for the individual games.

 

Hm..., maybe I broke something there. The intention is that the software looks in the Windows registry for the path where the Catacombs Pack is installed.

If for some reason that fails, it checks if the game files can be found in the same folder as where CatacombGL.exe was placed. For a typical Catacombs Pack installation, that means the CatacombGL.exe has to be run from C:\GOG Games\Catacombs Pack\Abyss\. The other individual games (Armageddon, etc.) won't work, I haven't built in support for them yet.

If that fails as well, I suppose you could try to put the v1.13 shareware game files in the same folder as CatacombGL.exe. If that works, you won't miss out on anything. The levels in the shareware and the commercial version are identical.

 

11 hours ago, elend said:

Wow that GL version looks indeed nice and WASD is of course always a good addition. I might as well play it in its entirety for the first time with those features.

It takes about two hours to play through the entire game. Personally, I find the wider field of view quite helpful when navigating through the levels.

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8 hours ago, Arno said:

 

Hm..., maybe I broke something there. The intention is that the software looks in the Windows registry for the path where the Catacombs Pack is installed.

If for some reason that fails, it checks if the game files can be found in the same folder as where CatacombGL.exe was placed. For a typical Catacombs Pack installation, that means the CatacombGL.exe has to be run from C:\GOG Games\Catacombs Pack\Abyss\. The other individual games (Armageddon, etc.) won't work, I haven't built in support for them yet.

If that fails as well, I suppose you could try to put the v1.13 shareware game files in the same folder as CatacombGL.exe. If that works, you won't miss out on anything. The levels in the shareware and the commercial version are identical.

Well, that pretty much explains it. I have my default GOG installation folder on my F: drive instead of my C: drive. I didn't see a reason to clog up my SSD for old games, so I moved the installation folder for GOG to my HDD. I put it in F:GOG\Catacombs Pack, but it still wouldn't run. Couldn't find the necessary files. After that I moved all the files in the Abyss folder into the main folder where I had put CatacombGL and it worked.

 

Ultimately I didn't realize that it only had support for Abyss at this point, missed that in your post; and that was part of my problem. I kept trying to get it to work in Apocalypse and Cat3D. So yeah, Abyss works fine. The port works well, and I hope you keep working on it and develop support for the other games. Having a reliable way to play the Catacombs games is nice, even if there's not much you can do to modernize them. I never really thought they had bad graphics, pixelated of course, but they still look pretty good, and mouselook won't do any good, but the increased FOV is really cool. Mainly just being able to easily launch the games on modern OS's, ability to change the control setting, and changing FOV is really cool. So thanks for that, keep up the good work.

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14 hours ago, Jello said:

The port works well, and I hope you keep working on it and develop support for the other games. Having a reliable way to play the Catacombs games is nice, even if there's not much you can do to modernize them. I never really thought they had bad graphics, pixelated of course, but they still look pretty good, and mouselook won't do any good, but the increased FOV is really cool.

Thanks! I'm glad that you got it working. Adding support for the other Catacomb 3D games is definitly listed high on my todo list. Especially Armageddon, with its haunted forest level. It will still take me quite some time, though.

I agree with respect to the graphics in the Catacomb Abyss. I believe the artwork shows that the developers really tried to get the most out of the 16 color palette.

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On 9/10/2018 at 4:56 PM, Arno said:

I always had an interest in doing a source port of my own. However, I figured that creating a Doom source port would prove to be too time-consuming for me. That's why I secretly started developing a source port for The Catacomb Abyss in late 2015. There is of course already the excellent Reflection Keen source port, which supports all Catacomb 3D games. But rather then aiming for a Chocolate-style experience, I decided to go for a source port that offers improved visuals, based on OpenGL. So CatacombGL it is.

At this point in time the source port is still under development. Some functionality has yet to be implemented and existing functionality was only tested on a very limited set of test systems. However, with this first playable version it is possible to play through the entire Catacomb Abyss, as all levels, monsters and bonus items are present and functional.

 

Download CatacombGL v0.1.0 Alpha (GitHub)

 

Main features:
* Runs native on Windows 7/8/10.
* Hardware accelerated 3D rendering via OpenGL, supporting widescreen resolutions, a customizable field of view and an uncapped frame rate.
* Player, projectile and monster movement with floating point precision.
* Supports The Catacomb Abyss version 1.13 (shareware) and version 1.24 (as included in the Catacombs Pack from gog.com).
* Supports WASD and mouselook.

 

Current limitations as of version 0.1.0:
* Only windowed mode supported, although it is possible to cover the whole desktop by maximizing the window.
* No support for game controllers.
* No backwards compatibility with saved games from the original DOS game.
* Only Adlib sound card emulation; no PC speaker emulation.
* No "demo" functionality (preview slideshow of Catacomb Armageddon and Apocalypse in shareware version).
* No help pages.
* No fade-in effect when entering a level.

 

How to install:
CatacombGL does not run standalone, but requires the original The Catacomb Abyss game data (levels, pictures, sounds, etc) to be present on the system. The game data can be obtained legitimately and free-of-charge by downloading the 1.13 shareware version of The Catacomb Abyss. Various websites offer the shareware version for download, see for example https://archive.org/details/TheCatacombAbyss. Alternatively, the game data can also be obtained by buying the Catacombs Pack from gog.com, see https://www.gog.com/game/catacombs_pack. The differences between the shareware and commercial versions are purely cosmetic. In case The Catacombs Pack was installed via the GOG installer, simply run CatacombGL.exe from any location and the game data will be auto-detected. In case the shareware version is installed, put the CatacombGL files in the same folder as the game data and run CatacombGL.exe.

 

If anyone experiences any issues or if there are suggestions for improvement, please let me know!

 

Screenshots

  Reveal hidden contents

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For people that do not care for widescreen support, texture filtering and OpenGL-style lighting: it is possible to switch that all off to get a more authentic look.

 

e7WE7dzh.png

 

 

As far as detecting the various Catacombs games go, Reflection Keen allows you to manually browse to where your Catacombs folders are and then it will detect the game that way.  CatacombsGL should be able to do that as well. 

 

D1x and D2x Rebirth allow the ability to play custom music files.  Maybe add that feature later after everything else you need to do for the source port is done?  

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3 hours ago, CARRiON said:

Well, the more things that have a source port the better.

 

Apparently System Shock 1 just got a new source port. 

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24 minutes ago, Ajora said:

 

Apparently System Shock 1 just got a new source port. 

 

I remember a couple years ago that the MAC (Apple) source code for System Shock 1 was released to the world as well.

 

4 hours ago, CARRiON said:

Well, the more things that have a source port the better.

 

Now if only we could get Blood's source code...  (Yes, I know about BloodGDX doing that via reverse engineering, before anyone says...)

 

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19 hours ago, Master O said:

As far as detecting the various Catacombs games go, Reflection Keen allows you to manually browse to where your Catacombs folders are and then it will detect the game that way.  CatacombsGL should be able to do that as well. 

 

D1x and D2x Rebirth allow the ability to play custom music files.  Maybe add that feature later after everything else you need to do for the source port is done?  

I agree that the ability to manually browse to the game folder would be a good improvement. I'll put it on the todo list.

 

I have thought about the potential for allowing custom music, textures, monsters, levels, etc. A source port like ECWolf demonstrates that there are many possibilities in that area. But first I'm gonna focus on supporting the other games.

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55 minutes ago, Arno said:

I agree that the ability to manually browse to the game folder would be a good improvement. I'll put it on the todo list.

 

I have thought about the potential for allowing custom music, textures, monsters, levels, etc. A source port like ECWolf demonstrates that there are many possibilities in that area. But first I'm gonna focus on supporting the other games.

 

Or alternatively, you could do what GZdoom does, and have an .ini file that allows you to set paths.  Maybe have one .exe that brings up a Catacombs equivalent of GZdoom's IWAD selection menu?

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This is pretty interesting and I can't wait to see where you take it.  Good luck!

 

PS:  Maybe a couple of screenies in the OP wouldn't go amiss? :)

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23 hours ago, Master O said:

Or alternatively, you could do what GZdoom does, and have an .ini file that allows you to set paths.  Maybe have one .exe that brings up a Catacombs equivalent of GZdoom's IWAD selection menu?

Yes, until now I didn't need an "IWAD" selection menu, since Abyss is the only game that works. But my plan is indeed to have a single .exe for all games, so some sort of game selection menu seems the way to go.

 

5 hours ago, Average said:

This is pretty interesting and I can't wait to see where you take it.  Good luck!

 

PS:  Maybe a couple of screenies in the OP wouldn't go amiss? :)

Thanks! All the way at the bottom of the OP is a line that says "Reveal hidden contents". You have to click it to view the screenshots. I've put the screenshots between spoiler tags, as the OP became a bit long.

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