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JadingTsunami

VULD: A Launcher for Vanilla Mods

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Posted (edited)

It's not often that a program arrives almost 30 years after it would have been useful, but here we are!

 

VULD is a launcher written for DOS inspired by the issues raised in this thread by @Doomkid and with additional thanks to helpful insights from @Redneckerz.

 

The idea is simple:

  • Gather the required ingredients below and put them in your Doom or Doom 2 folder.
    • Required: Only ONE game per folder for now; don't mix Doom files (DOOM.EXE, DOOM.WAD, etc.) with Doom 2 files (DOOM2.EXE, DOOM2.WAD, etc.).
  • Unzip the vanilla mods with flats, sprites, etc. and/or DeHackEd files into subdirectories of your main game folder.
    • Ex: if your game is in g:\doom then unzip to folders like g:\doom\alientc or g:\doom\rowdy\ and so on.
    • Required: Only ONE mod per subfolder! All mods (DEH and WAD files) in a subfolder will be merged at the same time, potentially overwriting one another.
  • While in your main game folder, type VRUN, press enter, select the mod you want to play and it should compile and launch without modifying your game files.
    • Warning: If you have a doomhack.exe, back it up first or it will be overwritten!
    • If DeHackEd asks if you want to create a doomhack.exe, say "yes" to avoid overwriting data in your main game files.
  • If you want to use VULD to create files but not run them, leaving them available for later use, use the VCREATE command instead of VRUN above.
    • Files will be placed in a subfolder called VULD_DIR and will be named according to the mod you loaded (example: files from the subdirectory ASTRO would be ASTRO.EXE if DeHackEd patches were loaded and/or ASTRO.WAD if WAD file patches were loaded).

 

Required ingredients:

  • VULD zip file contents (attached)
  • CWSDPMI
  • Doom or Doom 2 game files (not both!)
  • DEHACKED.EXE
    • WARNING: Remove your DEHACKED.INI or move it elsewhere before starting, or it may cause mismatches with the VULD contents.
  • DEUSF.EXE or DEUTEX.EXE

 

This is an EARLY RELEASE, so back up your data! Please only use this on files and folders you're willing to lose. It has not gone through rigorous testing and is use at your own risk.

 

If you have comments or suggestions, feel free to share them with me.

 

Released under the GPLv2, source code here.

 This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or

 modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License

 as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2

 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

 

 This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,

 but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of

 MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the

 GNU General Public License for more details.

 

Update to v0.4b

Spoiler

Change Log

0.4b

  • Update DEHPICK to allow the user to select multiple patches or single-patch.
  • Update DEHPICK to allow alternate folder for DEH files.
  • Removed simultaneous DeHackEd patch limit from VULD.

 

0.3b

  • DeuSF.EXE version bump to 4.4.0
  • New command: VRERUN to re-run the most recently-built VRUN package without rebuilding.

 

0.2b

  • Updated DeuSF.EXE to the latest version (thanks to @Redneckerz for spotting the older version).
  • Updated README with more details on VCREATE usage.

 

0.2a

  • New command: VCREATE to create files but not run them, leaving them available for later use.
  • Improved error handling for cases where VULD either fails or can't run due to an environment issue (example: mixed files from Doom/Doom2)
  • Less unnecessary user input: No more DeHackEd prompt about DoomHack.EXE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

vuld04b.zip

Edited by JadingTsunami

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Well done JadingTsunami!

 

Don't worry about it being a bit of a niche program: there'll always be someone who'll be greatful, possibly in a silent way 😂

At least that's what I tell myself about my own stuff 😉 (e.g. M.E.G.A aka Ten Years Too Late)

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This is excellent! Will be an incredibly useful companion with the big DOS compat wad pack. Thanks a million for making this.

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4 hours ago, JadingTsunami said:

It's not often that a program arrives almost 30 years after it would have been useful, but here we are!

 

VULD is a launcher written for DOS inspired by the issues raised in this thread by @Doomkid and with additional thanks to helpful insights from @Redneckerz.

 

The idea is simple:

  • Gather the required ingredients below and put them in your Doom or Doom 2 folder.
  • Unzip the vanilla mods with flats, sprites, etc. and/or DeHackEd files into subdirectories of your main game folder.
    • Ex: if your game is in g:\doom then unzip to folders like g:\doom\alientc or g:\doom\rowdy\ and so on.
  • While in your main game folder, type VRUN, press enter, select the mod you want to play and it should compile and launch without modifying your game files.
    • Warning: If you have a doomhack.exe, back it up first or it will be overwritten!
    • If DeHackEd asks if you want to create a doomhack.exe, say "yes" to avoid overwriting data in your main game files.

 

Required ingredients:

  • VULD zip file contents (attached)
  • CWSDPMI
  • Doom or Doom 2 game files
  • DEHACKED.EXE
  • DEUSF.EXE or DEUTEX.EXE

 

This is an EARLY RELEASE, so back up your data! Please only use this on files and folders you're willing to lose. It has not gone through rigorous testing and is use at your own risk.

 

If you have comments or suggestions, feel free to share them with me.

 

Released under the GPLv2, source code here.

 This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or

 modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License

 as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2

 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

 

 This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,

 but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of

 MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the

 GNU General Public License for more details.

vuld.zip

I am going to test this out Jading. Many thanks! This should definitely be on /idgames aswell and other places.

 

Ill get back with more feedback, but a few points of note, some i just found out:

  • A readme file in the zip would be grant. What does each program do, what are its parameters? And above all, what is needed? For DoomHack you probably need Doom2.exe aswell? (Correct me if i am wrong here)
  • You list DeusF which was the most popular way of appending things, but as it turns out, some TC's use NWT instead which has more variables. I am not sure if both are incompatible with eachother, but if so, then NWT support might be worthwhile
  • Would there be an objection to prepare an all-inclusive package? So that would include Dehacked.exe, Dehacked.ini, DeusF and (possibly) NWT. Obviously a user still needs the Doom WADS and (possibly) executable, and i am also not certain yet if the licenses of these programs allow to be included in such a package.
3 hours ago, Lobo said:

Well done JadingTsunami!

 

Don't worry about it being a bit of a niche program: there'll always be someone who'll be greatful, possibly in a silent way 😂

At least that's what I tell myself about my own stuff 😉 (e.g. M.E.G.A aka Ten Years Too Late)

Hey, thanks aswell for AutoDehacked and Package It mechanic! It should be recognized as such!

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Posted (edited)

@JadingTsunami Feedback time!
In map C:/DHak are:

  • DOOMHACK.EXE
  • vrun.bat
  • VULD.EXE
  • cwsdpmi.exe
  • DEHACKED.EXE
  • DEHACKED.INI
  • DEHPICK.EXE
  • DEUSF.EXE
  • DOOM1.WAD
  • DOOM2.exe
  • DOOM2.WAD

There is also a submap Astro (C:/DHack/Astro) with Astro.deh/Astro.wad (Which needs DeusF) and Portal.wad/.deh.

Note: I removed any DoomHack.exe and any modified Dehacked.ini prior to running.

 

Here is what happens:

  • I start VRun.bat.
  • Vuld.exe is correctly started. It sees one file: Astro. (No idea if its .deh or .wad.) I press 1.
  • Vuld can't find DoomHack.exe. DeHacked will create a copy of your file and rather edit the copy than the main.exe. I pick Yes, so that a Doomhack.exe gets created.
  • It then starts a sequence of events. I sadly cannot copy the DOS prompt list, but i noted that Astro.WAD was used (And i believe Portal.wad aswell) and DeusF was started to append the wad. A new direction is made: vuld_dir/.  It includes a file called vuld.wad. It also includes a Vuld.exe which i reckon is the default name used for a modified executable with merged patch and PWAD. It automatically starts this modified Vuld.exe.
  • The program states that this is a modified Doom executable. I press Enter to continue.
  • I then get the error W_GeNumForName: not found!. As @Lobo assumed, the error is because custom graphics are needed, necessating the use of DeusF.

Questions:

  • The strange story here is that DeusF actively is called and used. But it seemingly does not append? Unless my directory is messed up, what is going on here?
  • Secondly: Is Vuld.exe in the Vuld_Dir map the default name or can VULD be add in that the resultant modified executable takes up the patch name (In this case, Astro.exe)?

I hope this feedback loop helps out.

 

Edited by Redneckerz : Clarity

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Try running the modified doom.exe with just doom.wad (or doom2.wad). I don't recall if deusf sticks the new stuff into your doom.wad, or takes stuff from doom.wad and sticks it into your pwad.

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2 hours ago, Redneckerz said:

@JadingTsunamiI then get the error W_GeNumForName: not found!. As @Lobo assumed, the error is because custom graphics are needed, necessating the use of DeusF.

Questions:

  • The strange story here is that DeusF actively is called and used. But it seemingly does not append? Unless my directory is messed up, what is going on here?
  • Secondly: Is Vuld.exe in the Vuld_Dir map the default name or can VULD be add in that the resultant modified executable takes up the patch name (In this case, Astro.exe)?

I hope this feedback loop helps out.

 

 

Thanks for this feedback! I think there are two potential things:

 

1. All WAD and DEH files in a subdirectory are applied at the same time, so if ASTRO and PORTAL and incompatible, they will need to be separated out into separate subdirectories. This is because there is no metadata that I can use to tell which DEH/WAD go together (most of the time this is only in a human-readable readme file).

2. I think DeuSF is confused by seeing DOOM1.WAD and DOOM2.WAD and doesn't know which one to pick. VULD also doesn't know how to match up mods and which game they belong to (this could be a future improvement). For now, please run with only 1 game in the folder.

 

I tried ASTRO on my machine, and it works, although because both are loaded at the same time, the ASTRO seems to be overwritten so PORTAL appears after launch.

 

Again I appreciate you trying it out and providing detailed and clear feedback.

 

I'll add this to your initial list of feedback and consider all of it when working on the next release.

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2 hours ago, Lobo said:

Try running the modified doom.exe with just doom.wad (or doom2.wad). I don't recall if deusf sticks the new stuff into your doom.wad, or takes stuff from doom.wad and sticks it into your pwad.

That's the issue. There is also a Vuld.Wad in the directory, but it just gives up a Game mode indeterminate. error.

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Just now, JadingTsunami said:

 

Thanks for this feedback! I think there are two potential things:

 

1. All WAD and DEH files in a subdirectory are applied at the same time, so if ASTRO and PORTAL and incompatible, they will need to be separated out into separate subdirectories. This is because there is no metadata that I can use to tell which DEH/WAD go together (most of the time this is only in a human-readable readme file).

2. I think DeuSF is confused by seeing DOOM1.WAD and DOOM2.WAD and doesn't know which one to pick. VULD also doesn't know how to match up mods and which game they belong to (this could be a future improvement). For now, please run with only 1 game in the folder.

 

I tried ASTRO on my machine, and it works, although because both are loaded at the same time, the ASTRO seems to be overwritten so PORTAL appears after launch.

 

Again I appreciate you trying it out and providing detailed and clear feedback.

 

I'll add this to your initial list of feedback and consider all of it when working on the next release.

DP but i am just going to try this out with just Astro.deh.wad and Doom2.wad.

EDIT: Same issue. It loads up Astro.deh, then DeusF kicks in, but i still get the W_GetNumName error. I am starting to think my Doom2.wad is messed up? Running the modified Vuld.exe with the Vuld.wad also retains the Game mode indeterminate error.

 

Thanks by the way, i am happy to give as best feedback as possible since what this program sets out to do is just pure brilliance. Its essentially what one of those .bat files did in the old days for one particular WAD, but applied in a universal manner. That is why this is so excited.

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17 minutes ago, Redneckerz said:

EDIT: Same issue. It loads up Astro.deh, then DeusF kicks in, but i still get the W_GetNumName error. I am starting to think my Doom2.wad is messed up? Running the modified Vuld.exe with the Vuld.wad also retains the Game mode indeterminate error.

 

Hmm, sounds like it. Could you try running doom2.exe and see if that runs standalone with your IWAD?

 

Your doom2.exe should be vanilla/unmodified.

 

If not, if you send me your ASTRO.ZIP I will try it on my machine.

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3 minutes ago, JadingTsunami said:

 

Hmm, sounds like it. Could you try running doom2.exe and see if that runs standalone with your IWAD?

Works, but without sound.

3 minutes ago, JadingTsunami said:

Your doom2.exe should be vanilla/unmodified.

I suppose they are.

3 minutes ago, JadingTsunami said:

If not, if you send me your ASTRO.ZIP I will try it on my machine.

Its literally the same astro.zip as on/idgames, with the original DeHackEd 3.1 and DeusF.

I reckon its simply Doom2.exe, but i haven't had the slightest clue as to why it would be modified, or Doom2.wad.

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1 minute ago, Redneckerz said:

@JadingTsunami

Somehow i have a Doom2.wad marred with a broken (registered!) executable. :?

 

I think so. VULD does not modify your base game EXE (only DoomHack.exe); is it possible it was this way from before?

 

Do you have a clean, vanilla EXE you can swap in?

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2 minutes ago, JadingTsunami said:

 

I think so. VULD does not modify your base game EXE (only DoomHack.exe); is it possible it was this way from before?

 

Do you have a clean, vanilla EXE you can swap in?

See the edit above - I accidentially copied a 5 in front of the MD5 sum for my Doom2.exe. When removed, both the known MD5sum and my version match correctly.

 

So both wad and .exe are MD5 matched.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks to @Redneckerz for a great deal of help tracking down the issue -- DEHACKED.INI settings may interfere with automated patching, so it's safest to remove or move your DEHACKED.INI file before starting.

 

I will look into a potential for a bundled release of all the required utilities, but it will require some research into the licensing requirements of DEHACKED.EXE. The DeuSF program appears to be freely distributable.

 

EDIT (update): It appears the default DEHACKED.INI distributed with DeHackEd 3.1 sets the operating mode to "Ultimate Doom 1.9", which uses the wrong offsets for Doom 2 (and presumably other games). Removing the INI should allow automatic detection.

Edited by JadingTsunami : Updated with new findings

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, JadingTsunami said:

I will look into a potential for a bundled release of all the required utilities, but it will require some research into the licensing requirements of DEHACKED.EXE. The DeuSF program appears to be freely distributable.

Already did it:
In DEH_Help:
 

Quote

 2. *** Donations/Source code
\------=======================

  I've released this program to the public domain without requiring a
registration fee for a "registered" version.  However I have put a large
chunk of time into this program, especially with the new Ultimate Doom
compatible version, and I would appreciate donations from those who have
found this program to be useful or interesting.  I estimate a suitable
sum to be about $10 for my efforts.  Consider what else you can get for
$10... maybe an hour in a video arcade, if you're decent, or 8 hours of
movie watching.  Mess around with DeHackEd for a bit and you'll soon
realize that you can spend a lot more time for your money with it than
with many other things.  Support a poor college student today! :)

 

 If you are interested in the source code for this program, I am willing
to email you a copy of it.  Just drop me an email message at the address
listed at the top of this file and I'll send it your way.  Note that if
you are interested enough in the program to be asking for the source code,
I would highly appreciate a donation from you (hint hint).  I feel that is
only fair to receive some payment for giving away the long hours of hard
work I put into DeHackEd.  Be sure that you know how to receive UUEncoded
or MIME encoded messages, because that is how I'll be sending it to you.
DeHackEd is written in Borland C++ v3.1, although it is 95% straight C
code.

Can be freely distributed. I think only CWSDPMI cannot?

Either way, a Complete Edition would have the following:

  • vrun.bat
  • VULD.EXE
  • cwsdpmi.exe
  • DEHACKED.EXE (No Dehacked.ini!)
  • DEHPICK.EXE
  • DEUSF.EXE

What the user adds in:

  • Doom2.wad
  • Doom2.exe (I guess? Or does DoomHack get made from Doom2.wad?)
  • A folder with a dehacked patch and if needed a PWAD (In Astrostein's case: A folder called ''Astro'' with in it Astro.deh and Astro.wad. Nothing more)

How to start:

  • VRun.bat

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Notes for DEHPick:

DEHPick can also be used standalone if all you want to do is merge a Dehacked patch into DoomHack as some wads simply do not come with PWADS or custom graphics. DEHPick can (somewhat) simplify the merging process. It does not need DeHacked.Ini.

  • Any .deh file needs to be in the same directory as DEHPick is. So Astro.deh needs to be outside the Astro folder.
  • Dehpick correctly asks to make a DoomHack and then merges it in.
  • Funny enough, Dehpick does change the name to the patch name. When its done merging, it says: ''ASTRO.DEH has been merged into ASTRO.EXE''.

That way you can make custom DoomHack executables that simply contain a Dehacked patch. Ideal for universal weapon or monster mods that are supposed to run on any map.

 

VULD is simply the next step up by introducing DeusF so custom PWADS are also merged in. All in all, VULD and DEHPick are both incredibly useful.

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Playtested VULD 0.2a:

I have reported most of my findings in private because of the feedback length, so ill just provide a summary:


VCREATE:

  • Being a new function, this is a little iffy still. It does what it says and it creates a custom executable with correct name (Astro.exe) and a WAD file (Astro.wad), but you cannot start a game with the files it produces yet.

VRUN:

  • The resultant files are now called VULDMOD.wad and VULDMOD.exe but they run the test file (AstroDoom) perfectly fine. Suggested to rename these to the patch name similar to what VCREATE attempts to do.

DEHPick:

  • Works as intended. Takes astro.deh and DoomHack and makes Astro.exe as a result with correct name. The Dehacked patch has to be in the main folder though. For VRUN and VCREATE, .deh patch and PWAD need to be in their own subfolder (In this case called Astro)

The Readme Jading made lays it out pretty well and has a seperate section for DEHPick.

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4 hours ago, Redneckerz said:

Being a new function, this is a little iffy still. It does what it says and it creates a custom executable with correct name (Astro.exe) and a WAD file (Astro.wad), but you cannot start a game with the files it produces yet.

 

The required command for running the product output from VCREATE is similar to any PWAD; example for ASTRO:

 

astro.exe -file astro.wad

 

Note that this must be run from your game directory (where your IWAD is located).

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2 minutes ago, JadingTsunami said:

 

The required command for running the product output from VCREATE is similar to any PWAD; example for ASTRO:

 

astro.exe -file astro.wad

 

Note that this must be run from your game directory (where your IWAD is located).

OH, please read your PM, because that's what i attempted :)

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So far this all seems to be working right for me, if I run into any issues I'll definitely report them. This makes life way easier for vanilla wads that don't come with any sort of auto-installer!

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