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Blzut3

ECWolf 1.3

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Released a new version of ECWolf today. This release finally includes the automap.

I've also licensed Super 3D Noah's Ark from Wisdom Tree, so consider picking up a copy if you don't already own the game. If you like Wolf3D, you'll probably enjoy S3DNA. It really is under rated and has really good level design for the engine.

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Oh, neat. Congratulations on the new release, I'll be sure to check out the new stuff.

I'm curious about Mac Wolf. Was it completely rewritten or does it share lineage with the PC version? IIRC, it came from the Jaguar version, which came from the SNES version, though I could easily be wrong on that. Which came from which and is there any relation to the PC codebase?

Will there be support for hi-res assets in the future, or is there already and I missed it?

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Sodaholic said:

I'm curious about Mac Wolf. Was it completely rewritten or does it share lineage with the PC version? IIRC, it came from the Jaguar version, which came from the SNES version. I could easily be wrong on that. Which came from which and is there any relation to the PC codebase?

Yeah as far as I know it goes SNES -> Jaguar -> 3DO -> Mac. But I might be wrong there.

The source code has some similarities, but being derived from the SNES tree it includes some performance changes (using bitwise and instead of modulo). Wisdom Tree actually kept those changes when porting S3DNA to DOS which results in some oddities such as weapons randomly doing 0 damage. I haven't analysed it a whole lot of detail, but the code looks more organized and of course contains a BSP renderer instead of a ray caster. You can view the source code on github: https://github.com/Blzut3/Wolf3D-Mac

Sodaholic said:

Will there be support for hi-res assets in the future, or is there already and I missed it?

Its been a feature for a long time. The texture management is pulled from ZDoom, so it works the same.

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Too cool! I'm glad to see this being actively developed but I'm even more glad to see an updated Super Noah! I actually emailed Wisdom Tree ages ago asking if they would consider updating the game to the SDL engine that most new mods now support but I never heard back. This is really great news. Oh, and well done for even thinking of this licensing deal. :)

PS: Bought a new copy before I even posted. :)

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Blzut3 said:

I've also licensed Super 3D Noah's Ark from Wisdom Tree, so consider picking up a copy if you don't already own the game.

Purchased! The concept of a sort-of nonviolent Wolf 3D engine game is a bit loopy (like a busload of Bible literalists), but I might wind up enjoying it.

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Excellent news!
And congratulations on the new version!
And thanks for the automap that is going to come in handy, finally i will be able to complete the rest of the episode 2 and the other episodes.Thus completing the game.

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Cool stuff. I was just looking for Wolf3D ports few days ago. Ended up playing with NewWolf.

What I've tried this one so far, feels sort of better. Though I get headache from the use and wall bump sounds. I'd like to be able to disable these sounds without disabling the item pickup sounds.

Also an option to display the secret wall blocks in automap would be nice. Too many secrets in the middle of nowhere without any reasonable clues...

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Average said:

I actually emailed Wisdom Tree ages ago asking if they would consider updating the game to the SDL engine that most new mods now support but I never heard back.


For reference the 'Wisdom Tree' today is not the development studio of old.

EDIT: here's proof of the above
http://www.sega-16.com/2006/08/interview-brenda-huff/

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I'd like to be able to bind more than 3 mice buttons for controls, such as mouse4 and mouse5. Even scrollwheel would be nice.

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doomgargoyle said:

Congrats on the release! Is there a way to legally obtain mac wolfenstein 3d nowadays?


You can find the original on Macintosh Garden. It's playable on the Sheepshaver emulator but it still has some problems.

There is a mod that allows you to play mac wolf on pc called Macenstein SDL. It's very accurate and even allows options to turn on mac only features, including bugs.
Here's a link to a version with the vastly superior 3DO music instead of the lame mac music. http://www.mediafire.com/?mnxuqc44ln6r1t3 You can find the original on google.

As for ECWolf, I plan on buying Noah's Ark just to support the platform. I don't know if I'll actually play it.

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CacoCaddy said:

You can find the original on Macintosh Garden. It's playable on the Sheepshaver emulator but it still has some problems.

There is a mod that allows you to play mac wolf on pc called Macenstein SDL. It's very accurate and even allows options to turn on mac only features, including bugs.
Here's a link to a version with the vastly superior 3DO music instead of the lame mac music. http://www.mediafire.com/?mnxuqc44ln6r1t3 You can find the original on google.

As for ECWolf, I plan on buying Noah's Ark just to support the platform. I don't know if I'll actually play it.


Great, appreciate it!

Lots of people are saying they'll buy Super Noah's Ark just to support Blzut and not to play the actual game, but I say give the game a try too! It's pretty great. :)

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doomgargoyle said:

Is there a way to legally obtain mac wolfenstein 3d nowadays?

Besides used markets (id Anthology), I don't believe so.

Jimi said:

What I've tried this one so far, feels sort of better. Though I get headache from the use and wall bump sounds. I'd like to be able to disable these sounds without disabling the item pickup sounds.

Make a SNDINFO lump:

world/hitwall NULL

Jimi said:

Also an option to display the secret wall blocks in automap would be nice. Too many secrets in the middle of nowhere without any reasonable clues...

Perhaps when there's a console and I can add hidden options.

Mr. Chris said:

I'd like to be able to bind more than 3 mice buttons for controls, such as mouse4 and mouse5. Even scrollwheel would be nice.

This will be fixed whenever I can get around to transitioning to SDL2. No need to redo the input system twice.

doomgargoyle said:

Lots of people are saying they'll buy Super Noah's Ark just to support Blzut and not to play the actual game, but I say give the game a try too! It's pretty great. :)

Yes, please play it too! It's not going to shove the bible down your throat like people make it out to do. I believe all of the quiz pickups are avoidable (not that you would want to avoid them since even getting the question wrong gets you 4% health) and some levels don't contain any such pickups. If you really really want to you can disable them with a decorate script:

actor NoQuiz : Health replaces BibleQuiz
{
    inventory.amount 4
    states
    {
        Spawn:
            BRED A -1
            stop
    }
}
Really though, I'm not sure why people find Chex Quest acceptable, but this totally weird. Unlike Chex Quest though, this isn't an easy game.

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Hey that Operation Serpent looks totally righteous. I can tell there was a lot of attention to detail. The indoor/outdoor transitions were well-designed. The propaganda on the walls was funny to look at, and those hanging vines are immersive. There are just so many different sprites to look at.

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doomgargoyle said:

Great, appreciate it!

Lots of people are saying they'll buy Super Noah's Ark just to support Blzut and not to play the actual game, but I say give the game a try too! It's pretty great. :)


But it's not. It's nonstop brown, with some gray and traces of other colours. It's also frustrating as hell for some reason - at least for the first bit. The music also makes me want to scream.

That said, I'm glad it's getting some love just because I like to see software live on. The 20th century spawned too many works that can be easily lost just because of incompatible technology.

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Aliotroph? said:

But it's not. It's nonstop brown, with some gray and traces of other colours. It's also frustrating as hell for some reason - at least for the first bit. The music also makes me want to scream.

That said, I'm glad it's getting some love just because I like to see software live on. The 20th century spawned too many works that can be easily lost just because of incompatible technology.


What did you expect, it's the inside of the ark! :) The music gets kind of annoying, thats true. But it's still an underrated gem of the wolf3d engine games

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Does anyone have a rip of the 3DO/Mac sound effects, and the Jaguar sound effects? There's an old thread on the ZDoom forums that had it (I believe Kinsie posted it), but the link is dead now. I can easily get the SNES sound effects (already ripped them, can post if anyone wants them) which are identical to the Jaguar ones in most cases, but it lacks the German spoken phrases and dog sounds, opting for English phrases and rat sounds instead.

As for Noah's Ark, I'm inclined to agree with Alitroph. The level design is not very creative and is even more repetitious than Wolf 3D itself. It also isn't very well balanced, you could pistol start all maps in Wolf 3D without too much trouble, but in S3DNA it's extremely difficult if not impossible on later maps that throw loads of ranged-attack enemies at the start. Just throw me a few clips before I take them on, will ya?

If you revert it back to Wolfenstein graphics and sounds, its blandness is more apparent. I do appreciate that it helps to fund ECWolf which in turn helps to preserve video game history, but beyond that I view it as nothing more than a novelty that quickly wears thin.

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ECWolf front page:
I would also like to draw attention to this indiegogo campaign. A buddy of mine contacted the rights owner to the softdisk games (such as Keen Dreams, Hovertank, and Catacombs) and found that he was willing to sell the rights to the games for a reasonable price. More interestingly, he said that the rights come with the source codes to the games. If you have some money to spare consider donating to that campaign to get Keen Dreams re-released as well as the source code. If we can raise enough money we can also go after some of the other games. Who knows, maybe with a source release I can reconsider my stance on the predecessor games in ECWolf! This guy also found the rights owner to the Capstone games so there may be more exciting news on this front soon.

Catacombs The Abyss in a modern source port? I'd be all for this, yes.

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Sodaholic said:

Does anyone have a rip of the 3DO/Mac sound effects, and the Jaguar sound effects? There's an old thread on the ZDoom forums that had it (I believe Kinsie posted it), but the link is dead now. I can easily get the SNES sound effects (already ripped them, can post if anyone wants them) which are identical to the Jaguar ones in most cases, but it lacks the German spoken phrases and dog sounds, opting for English phrases and rat sounds instead.


The download I posted contains all the 3DO/Mac sound effects.

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I'm a little surprised people find the music so annoying. Personally, I like it. Especially when played through a GM synth (one day ECWolf will support that). Well except for Song8, that's horrible no matter what's done with it and pure torture in OPL.

Regarding the level design, some of the things that impressed me was that most of the secrets in the game are marked by texture changes or props (compared to Wolf3D where most are not marked, or at least it seems that way), and that they didn't make a whole lot of maze maps. The game is indeed hard from a "pistol" start unless you plan your route at the beginning well. With the improved controls of ECWolf, I find that it isn't too bad. But I'm not much of a pistol start person so I can't say I've tried every level that way.

As for the brown and gray, well, that didn't stop Quake from being a classic now did it? :P

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All things considered, I think the overall presentation of Super Noah is pretty good. I quite like the tunes and I love that Noah dances to the beat during the intermission screens. But maybe that's just my childish humour there. :)

I think the graphics are well drawn and the level layouts could have been a LOT worse... Have you seen Operation Bodycount?! :P

Anyway, I enjoyed the old version and I'm really enjoying the new version. It's always nice to see a different take on the FPS.

@Blzut3: I know you said on your blog that your going to be really busy but I was wondering if you'd considered adding another section to the left on your main site page for mods that support ECWolf? It would be really nice to have them all clearly marked in one place - especially if modders do start making lots of mods and ports... :)

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Average said:

@Blzut3: I know you said on your blog that your going to be really busy but I was wondering if you'd considered adding another section to the left on your main site page for mods that support ECWolf? It would be really nice to have them all clearly marked in one place - especially if modders do start making lots of mods and ports... :)

If people were releasing mods for ECWolf then I would do that. As it stands besides the techdemo there are two ports also made by Woolie that I'm aware of.

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Unrelated but it's a real shame that mods such as Castle Totenkopf haven't got support for other ports outside of Wolf SDL, I'm quite tired of the restricted small resolutions it has.

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Really liking this release so far, but there's a few issues I have with it.

1. The fizzle effect isn't quite perfect. On higher resolutions, there are a few dots left over that it doesn't fill. Perhaps force a solid color fill when the routine's done? (see DeathCam at 1600x1200)

2. No v-sync in the options menu. I can't stand tearing.

3. Where is the config file? For the sake of portability and convenience, I suggest keeping it in the executable's directory.

4. If there is an error with a mod upon startup, don't just close the program, either keep the console open with an error log, or display a dialog box explaining why it crashed.

5. Minor, but the automap still stays up even after you start a new game. Seems a bit odd.

6. Perhaps there should be an option to not get a confirmation prompt when starting a new game in the middle of another? There's already an option to make escape automatically return to the game like Doom instead of thinking that you want to quit. I think the user knows that they'll lose their progress if they start a new game without saving, this isn't 1992 anymore.

7. No plain MIDI support, apparently. It would be nice to have, I assembled brainstewx's Wolf 3D midi pack for use ingame, only to be met with silence. Tracker and streaming formats would be nice too.

8. The automap seems a bit wonky. I'm sometimes able to see a light scattering of blocks though closed doors and solid walls when I clearly shouldn't have that becoming visible on my map. You should probably also disable the display of corner blocks outside of the visible area ingame, since it can look inconsistent when it doesn't do that in a few cases. It can also look ugly when a corner block is a completely different texture (early in SoD there's a place with purple bricks in the corner of a room that looks nothing like that).

9. Merely a minor presentation problem, but the texture selection in the automap could be better. Walls often use their darker counterparts (would look nicer using the fullbright versions), and some of the display choices are inappropriate for their context. For example, the exit elevator shows nothing but the switches, and the outdoor sky block always shows the night-time version regardless of which angle they're supposed to be viewed from.

I understand that cases like the sky and elevator blocks are a bit iffy, so a catch-all solution would not be good, as it would likely cause more problems than it would solve (one size does not fit all). Instead, I suggest simply making special-case behavior for these blocks. Mod authors should take the initiative to simply use completely different block types, the special-case behavior I refer to should only apply to the original game's assets.

Maybe a lump to configure automap display would be a good idea? It would allow such special-case behavior to be soft-coded and allot a good amount of flexibility. One could even define custom tiles meant to be used for the automap.

10. A way to scroll the automap with your mouse ala SNES Wolf 3D without needing to use the cursor keys would be nice. Maybe an option to keep the simulation running ala Doom could be useful for some players.

11. I've noticed that player collision with solid objects/walls seems a bit crappy (much like the original Wolf 3D). While AFAIK you can't pull off any weird tricks to go places you're not supposed to, you can sort of violently "shake" if you continually straferun into the corners of rooms. Doesn't do it when just strafing, and it doesn't doing when just moving forward/backward, only when doing both it seems.

12. Though minor, alternate modes of player movement would be a nice addition. I'm thinking something like SNES/Jaguar's smooth movement. As far as I can tell, it's not actually doing anything terribly different with the actual player movement, but just sort of handling the analog controls with fake momentum.

Picture it like you're using WASD, but you're not directly controlling BJ. Instead, the computer simulates movement with a mouse or analog joystick while increasing and decreasing input speed according to some external and arbitrary self-managing variables pretending to simulate momentum. In reality, BJ is still moving stiff as ever, but you've got a bot directly handling him, perfomring its own routines based on user input, just so that it "feels" smoother to the end user. I suck at explaining things, but I hope the above rambling demonstrates the concept well enough to understand.

13. More minor crap, but I think the OPL emulation could benefit immensely from having some kind of realtime filter trying to emulate the post-processing filters that many Soundblaster cards had.

14. As Mr. Chris noted, the user should have the ability to bind more than the 3 standard mouse buttons, and the scroll wheel. This is not currently the case, unfortunately.


I've noticed that you've kept the Wolf 3D sprite rotation behavior, which I like. If you ever do add the Doom-like behavior ala Wolf4SDL, please make it optional.

As for #4 above, I'm running into a bit of a snag with custom player classes. I inherited from BJPlayer, and defined my new player class in the gameinfo section of the mapinfo lump, but it crashes and I don't know why. I haven't done much ZDoom modding for quite a while, and am probably a little rusty, but I don't think that I'm this rusty.

Sodaholic said:

Does anyone have a rip of the 3DO/Mac sound effects, and the Jaguar sound effects?

Never mind.

CacoCaddy, thanks for pointing out that the Mac/3DO TC is a convenient source. Obviously, it has them, but I was under the impression that it might have been in some archive format, turns out they're in the open.

As for the Jaguar sounds, I found that WolfExtractor does the job just fine.

Blzut3 said:

If people were releasing mods for ECWolf

I'm working on one, just a cosmetic enhancement pack.

So far, I've got the bulk of the Mac and Jaguar sounds in there, several edited to closer resemble the PC sounds, as well as hybrids between the two ports (the Mac death scream + Jag death chime is very chilling when played simultaneously).

I'll consider doing a visual overhaul pack as well. The iOS version of Wolf 3D is a good source for textures, since id filled out the rest of the hi-res textures that the Mac version was lacking. As for the sprites, I know there are many that aren't in Mac, I'll probably run those through HQX at 2x, possibly touch up features like faces and otherwise generally leave them alone as hi-res sprites are a load of work.

I want to retain the PC feel, so I'd not let radically different sprites like the column pass (either redo them entirely or do heavy edits to make them closer to PC). Lastly, I've always wanted to see the shadows and highlights done using black/white with the alpha channel instead, so I might try that.

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Sodaholic said:

1. The fizzle effect isn't quite perfect. On higher resolutions, there are a few dots left over that it doesn't fill. Perhaps force a solid color fill when the routine's done? (see DeathCam at 1600x1200)

You should file issues like these on the bitbucket issue tracker. It's hard to keep track of reports in the middle of forum threads.

Sodaholic said:

2. No v-sync in the options menu. I can't stand tearing.

First check that you're running at a resolution you're getting 70fps on (debug mode, tab+d). Then perhaps try the directx SDL backend if it doesn't cause problems for you. set SDL_VIDEODRIVER=directx in a batch file to do that.

Sodaholic said:

3. Where is the config file? For the sake of portability and convenience, I suggest keeping it in the executable's directory.

Where it should be: %AppData%\ecwolf. It's possible to use the command line parameters to make a portable install if need be. See ecwolf.exe --help.

Sodaholic said:

4. If there is an error with a mod upon startup, don't just close the program, either keep the console open with an error log, or display a dialog box explaining why it crashed.

It should display "An error has occured (press enter to dismiss)".

Windows doesn't have a way to know if a command line program is run from the command prompt or launched from the GUI so it uses a hack where it determines if the cursor is in the upper left at start up. So if you have a batch file or something that's printing other stuff before launching ECWolf that would be the problem.

Sodaholic said:

5. Minor, but the automap still stays up even after you start a new game. Seems a bit odd.

Please also report this to the issue tracker.

Sodaholic said:

6. Perhaps there should be an option to not get a confirmation prompt when starting a new game in the middle of another? There's already an option to make escape automatically return to the game like Doom instead of thinking that you want to quit. I think the user knows that they'll lose their progress if they start a new game without saving, this isn't 1992 anymore.

I'm going to have to reject this, at least until there's a console. I don't want to clutter up the menu with options for extremely minor annoyances. I only did the Doom style return to game since it makes debugging the game much easier. Of course I wouldn't have made the old way an option, but some people requested it.

Sodaholic said:

7. No plain MIDI support, apparently. It would be nice to have, I assembled brainstewx's Wolf 3D midi pack for use ingame, only to be met with silence. Tracker and streaming formats would be nice too.

It will be added eventually.

Sodaholic said:

8. The automap seems a bit wonky. I'm sometimes able to see a light scattering of blocks though closed doors and solid walls when I clearly shouldn't have that becoming visible on my map. You should probably also disable the display of corner blocks outside of the visible area ingame, since it can look inconsistent when it doesn't do that in a few cases. It can also look ugly when a corner block is a completely different texture (early in SoD there's a place with purple bricks in the corner of a room that looks nothing like that).

It may not be possible to fix this. It's imprecision in the renderer and the rays are cast through doors and corners. It happens in the other games with an automap, but they make sure to use the right textures in the corners.

Sodaholic said:

9. Merely a minor presentation problem, but the texture selection in the automap could be better. Walls often use their darker counterparts (would look nicer using the fullbright versions), and some of the display choices are inappropriate for their context. For example, the exit elevator shows nothing but the switches, and the outdoor sky block always shows the night-time version regardless of which angle they're supposed to be viewed from.

Is it using the dark variant for the normal walls? The only time I can think of that it should pick the dark version is for doors. I did add support for overriding the auto map texture for a tile so I can probably fix that now.

As for the sky and elevator texture, as you stated it's not an easy fix. I do want to try doing some preprocessing to improve the display, but I'm not promising anything. Of course a mod author could design their maps for the auto map with custom xlat lumps.

Sodaholic said:

10. A way to scroll the automap with your mouse ala SNES Wolf 3D without needing to use the cursor keys would be nice. Maybe an option to keep the simulation running ala Doom could be useful for some players.

Submit a request on the issue tracker. You're not the first person to mention panning without the arrow keys.

The option to not pause the game is in the menu.

Sodaholic said:

11. I've noticed that player collision with solid objects/walls seems a bit crappy (much like the original Wolf 3D). While AFAIK you can't pull off any weird tricks to go places you're not supposed to, you can sort of violently "shake" if you continually straferun into the corners of rooms. Doesn't do it when just strafing, and it doesn't doing when just moving forward/backward, only when doing both it seems.

Yeah, Wolf3D does the movement check in two steps and the first step is failing. I'll fix this at some point, there's just been far higher priorities. You can file a bug report on this if you want.

Sodaholic said:

12. Though minor, alternate modes of player movement would be a nice addition. I'm thinking something like SNES/Jaguar's smooth movement. As far as I can tell, it's not actually doing anything terribly different with the actual player movement, but just sort of handling the analog controls with fake momentum.

I see what you're trying to get at, but I'm fairly sure I'm better off just leaving this a player class option and actually having movement acceleration in the engine.

Sodaholic said:

13. More minor crap, but I think the OPL emulation could benefit immensely from having some kind of realtime filter trying to emulate the post-processing filters that many Soundblaster cards had.

I've always had wavetable synthesis in my sound cards and have no nostalgia for OPL chips. Therefore, I have no idea what you're talking about. I'm using the DOSBox OPL emulator.

Sodaholic said:

As for #4 above, I'm running into a bit of a snag with custom player classes. I inherited from BJPlayer, and defined my new player class in the gameinfo section of the mapinfo lump, but it crashes and I don't know why. I haven't done much ZDoom modding for quite a while, and am probably a little rusty, but I don't think that I'm this rusty.

You'll have to give me the problematic file. My first guess is maybe you need to set the display name?

Sodaholic said:

I'll consider doing a visual overhaul pack as well. The iOS version of Wolf 3D is a good source for textures, since id filled out the rest of the hi-res textures that the Mac version was lacking. As for the sprites, I know there are many that aren't in Mac, I'll probably run those through HQX at 2x, possibly touch up features like faces and otherwise generally leave them alone as hi-res sprites are a load of work.

One thing to keep in mind about the iOS textures is they are 16-bit and IIRC lossy compressed so the colors will be off. I did look into them and I think I found they just cropped the PC signs and pasted them onto the Mac textures scaled up 2x or something like that.

I will also note that the Mac textures blend into the low res textures really well. From a distance the player would really only notice a few artefacts like how the PC textures blend to gray at the top/bottom and the Mac's do not. Basically proving that a high resolution texture pack could be done without ruining the feel.

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Blzut3 said:

Where it should be: %AppData%\ecwolf. It's possible to use the command line parameters to make a portable install if need be. See ecwolf.exe --help.


Why have most Windows developers started using this ridiculous scheme? I could never see any reason why programs don't keep their configurations locally, aside from things like shell extensions and install info. My SSD has better things to store than the options for every little program under the sun.

Glad to hear we can configure that at least.

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