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Posts posted by SaladBadger

  1. 19 hours ago, Bauul said:


    Discord have basically got the gamer segment all sewn up - they're the de-facto PC and mobile cross-platform choice for chat and voice, and with Sony planning on integrating them into PlayStation there's only so much more growing in the gaming segment they can do.


    The next steps are likely people beyond gaming.  They're looking at competing with companies like Zoom and Microsoft Teams (why do you think MS wanted to buy them?).  If you're going to start positioning yourself as a general purpose community service for professional as well as amateur users, having overly gamer-centric branding isn't going to be of much use.  The challenge was to create a rebranding that existing users still recognize, but new users don't instantly think "oh it's just for gamers". 


    This isn't about going after Discord rejectors, this is about setting the stage for going after completely different types of people in the next few years.

    I guess my confusion comes from... discord already felt that way? I think the most out-of-place element for it would be the wordmark, which used a relatively angular and sharp font, which yeah seems to clash a little with the theme, so I get why they changed it even if I think the new font is hideous. But the logo still looks like a game controller, even more so now, honestly.


    But beyond that, the old branding already was trying to target more than gaming. I found an archive of the website, which I haven't looked at in years (which I guess does give an impression how much any of this actually matters...). The old slogan was "Your place to talk", the description mentions it's your place to talk whether you're part of a "school club, gaming group, worldwide art community, or just a bunch of friends wanting to talk". All the rebranding did was take this description and reformat it to fit the new "Imagine a place" slogan, changed the wordmark (which makes sense as mentioned above), changed the logo (I understand their rationale), and changed the colors and art branding, which is where things start getting fuzzy to me on how much this would actually attract new users. The rest of the branding is basically the old branding, but reformatted some to fit a new slogan. But they have the usage stats and I don't, so maybe it's a resounding success.


    random edit: some people on the subreddit have noticed in a few places the old branding peeking back through again. Apparently for a while the google play page for discord was showing an alternate video with the new icongraphy and colors but with a new "your place to hang out" slogan, and there's a link hidden away on the website (a comma by the logo at the footer) that goes to an alternate home page with the "your place to talk" slogan. I wonder if this is just unfinished work, since there's a lot of rough places with the redesign where old elements show through, but who knows.

  2. the art style feels like that fake-feeling corporate art style, icon is weird, and I absolutely cannot for the life of me figure out what demographics they're attempting to target (presumably they want "all of them", but it feels too childish), but eh. After 4587569387 redesigns like this, it's kinda hard to get worked up. the amount of people complaining is nowhere near enough to get them to revert it, most people are probably just meh on the whole thing. 


    I am, however, super interested in how many people doing something like this actually gets on your platform. There's a lot of rebuttals to the redesign anger like "imagine wanting to leave a chat program over some colors and icons", but the intention of changing said icons and colors is to get more people on the platform. Is there someone out there that's going "heck yeah! I wasn't sure about discord, but now that they turned up the saturation and added a weird trumpet-shaped character to the login screen, I'm now absolutely enthralled with discord!" And if so, I really want to know who this person is.

  3. ah, I should have clarified, the chaingun is odd. It has a 9 frame firing sequence, which it always has to go through before it'll stop firing. If you're still holding the fire button by the point it gets to I think the fifth frame, it will start firing two bullets per frame. Hold it by the 10th frame (I need to double check these numbers myself, but I know the basic nature of this is accurate), it'll start firing 3 at a time. If you aren't holding down fire by the time it gets to these frames, it won't start firing multiple bullets and just use the 9 as expected.

  4. You're not incorrect with the firing rate thing, though the amount of bullets fired by the chaingun is (it just fires 3 at its top speed). Quake 2 ran at a staggeringly low 10hz tick rate (though the client ran faster and would interpolate), I think picked since that was the speed animations and monster thinking happened in Quake 1.


    The chaingun goes from firing one shot per tick (the same as the machinegun), to two, and ending at three as you hold down the fire button, with the client running multiple sounds to make it sound faster. Without such hacks, the fastest you can get is the machinegun or hyperblaster. (the mods with double speed firing powerups would usually run two weapon frames in one game frame, and then make spinning weapons look like crap thanks to the simple linear interpolation for models)

  5. The unity port has deathmatch, and explicitly introduced a new mode relatively recently which is like altdeath but makes weapons stay, long considered the one major weakness of altdeath rules. Maybe it doesn't on some platforms...


    Decino freely admits he isn't the best doom player. With regards to his recent No Chance run, he mentioned that UV play was explicitly reserved for the doom gods and mentioned a number of the players who took the credit for clearing that seemingly impossible challenge, and an 86 run death compilation certainly gives context for where he lies. He's a good and entertaining player, but I don't think we need to ascend him to godhood.

  6. For whatever it's worth, I had some time so I started cleaning up the code. There's a lot of super raw straight-from-the-decompiler-and-then-cleaned-up-to-function-but-not-very-pretty code in the thing, which was bothering me, so I went ahead and used the debugging information present in the executable to add accurate stack variable names where I can and also went ahead and changed while loops back to for loops when they were originally fors and so on. I've done this for the playsim only so far, but I want to do it to all the game's modules, and 0.5 is the only version where we can get such accurate information.


    One thing I'm a little on the fence about is whether or not I should heavily revise functions to match what they look like in the actual doom source. compare my version of EV_VerticalDoor with the one in the official Doom source release. The flow for things how it handles a door sector already having a thinker is somewhat different, and this can be noticed with a lot of these funcs. I kinda want to try reconstructing the source code as closely as possible, but it's a lot of work for little gain.


    I'm also still eyeballing getting this working with Open Watcom or a similar DOS compiler because I can't make this the "definitive" source because certain bugs would cause segfaults on modern operating systems if I kept them. Ah well, at least the gameplay logic and rendering seem accurate, accurate enough to run the original demos, for whatever it's worth. At least they desync in the same way as the original.

  7. WRT heretic being forked, while the engine code does mostly resemble 1.2, it's weirdly interesting to note that the texture mapper in heretic more strongly resembles the PRB one, using a large unrolled loop with a table of branches into it to draw less pixels, rather than the self modifying code that Doom itself uses. PRB's debug symbols explicitly mention linear.asm so it's probably the same source, just pruned of low detail drawers. I suspect id kept around a lot of the mode 13h stuff used in the PRB and the heretic source ended up making use of it.

  8. Have you gotten any of the pre-PRB versions in leloader working before? I worry some they might be tricky since the timer interrupt does a lot of work in them, such as collecting user input and advancing playercmdframe. I suspect that's all emulatable with some work, but it makes things trickier

  9. That was my assumption for a while, but I eventually realized I wouldn't get sane values at all unless I always masked out the highest bit. Like I had my program set to ignore any values where it was set and then nothing loaded at all... At the moment I'm just throwing out the first table because I can't make heads or tails of why the values are the way they are. Everything else seems to work so far, I'm analyzing a relocated flat binary right now in ghidra and there's no obvious issues.. I'll compare the output against your DosBox capture and see if I can determine where anomalies are rising. 


    edit jesus i'm a fucking idiot the anomalous values were coming from the FPU emulator executable, which I process for... some reason? (actually I started processing it just to ensure my assumptions are correct) everything is fine please proceed as normal. Don't do this when you're running on no sleep, I guess is my moral of tonight.


    and yeah, with these changes, I mostly match the dump. There's some exceptions, since the C CRT and the like have started up at the time of your dump, some values in memory have changed, but my relocated values in the code data all seem to match.


    Here's my version of MTLoad for the night. It will generate a simple address map when there is sufficient information, and you can now specify a base address with the -b command line parameter.


  10. Ah heh, I had missed that since I've been buried in my output. I resolved the issue of the missing texture mappers, I was just being dense. The texture mapper fixups are present in the table with the offset value of 1, but they appear before the function fixups, creating a discontinuity. For now, I'm trying to apply values while ignoring the flagged entries because I don't get them. They're there so they probably have a meaning, but I can't comprehend what it is yet.

  11. thank you so much for the research xttl. The lowest fixup records are giving me confusing results, usually not directly aligning with a memory access, but later ones seem to start being more sensible. Against my 0-based flat executable, I'll see a record against 000079A7 and then I poke at 000079A5 in ghidra and there's a cmp ebx, dword ptr [#0003a1d0] (3b 1d d0 a1 03 00) which corresponds directly. I'll get fixup support implemented tonight, and hopefully I can dump my new sources with the MAP generator and fixup support added tomorrow.


    One minor issue I'm still yet to track down is that the texture mapping function tables (the alpha texture mappers in all builds I've studied is much like the heretic one, essentially using a huge unrolled loop with jumps into it depending on how many pixels need to be drawn. I think it evolved directly into the heretic one actually, from my work with 0.5) don't appear to show up in the information, but I may just be being dense parsing my own output. The ASM texture mappers seem slightly enigmatic to me since they don't register in the symbol tables at all, but I'm sure I'm just missing something obvious.


    edit: I think the second value is just an offset applied to the values, kinda. The first int16 is the amount of records, the second is added to the read values * 32768. This has had successful effects for me. I'm now really curious what the highest bit of the records indicate.


    edit (god here we go again) 2: Something definitely is fishy with the values that have the high bit set, masking out the highest bit doesn't seem to create coherent values. All without the high bit set correspond directly to memory addresses in the code. I'll spend a little more time analyzing it.

  12. Oh, the debug information being offset to the beginning of the MT would explain why all the values were so confusing, now it suddenly makes a lot more sense. I was exploring some of the sub-tables. The first just seems to be basic information, the second seems to be type information, with structure dumps, and the third seems to be the delicious symbol data, containing information on all functions, their stack variables, and heap values and their offsets. I've been working on figuring out this format, and I can extract stack values from it at the moment, but I need to validate that I understood things properly still.


    Each entry has a header defining the offset in memory where the heap variables will be loaded, as well as it's name. There's some other bits in there I'm still figuring out. Heap symbols always seem to start with a 0x05, followed by a 4-byte value which defines the offset from the offset specified in the header. Following that is two unknown bytes. My guess is that the first or possibly both define type information, as they seem equal across things with the same type (ie: it's 0x14 for all the s_ variables that define monster states, but different for something that isn't a s_ variable.). Following the two bytes, there's one byte that contains the length of the symbol string, followed of course by the symbol chars.


    I'll explore this more today and work on getting extracting this information working in my MT load program.


    Edit: Having some good success here. A couple of my assumptions were wrong, but I've been able to correct them and get something that works. Here's the first 100 symbol table entries as reported by my MTLoad: https://pastebin.com/04BTSKu1


    Edit 2: Okay, yeah, some tweaks later, it loads the entire thing just fine (loading from pointer 2 in the table to pointer 3). The symbol information is basically a table of "commands", here's what I determined:

    Command identifiers are specified by a single byte, followed by the payload. Here's the payloads:
    All strings are an array of char, with the length specified by a preceding byte. "String" will be encoded as 06 53 74 72 69 6E 67 
    cmd 0: Defines module
    int32_t codesize; //Size of code in bytes
    int32_t codestart; //Offset of the code
    str name;
    cmd 1: Defines function
    int32_t offset; //Absolute offset from the base address
    int16_t typeid; //Type id of return type, I think
    int8_t b1: //unknown
    int32_t stacksize; //assumption
    int32_t dw1; //unknwon
    str name;
    cmd 2: Ends block. No payload. After a function or module. 
    cmd 3: Specifies that following variables are relative to the specified offset.
    int32_t offset;
    cmd 4: Specifies that following variables are relative to the stack, or something like that. Used for parameters.
    cmd 5: Variable. Can be relative to the stack or a heap pointer from the previous two commands
    int32_t offset;
    int16_t typeid;
    str name;
    cmd 15: Unknown. Usually before heap variables
    int8_t b1; //always 0 in Doom 0.2, I think
    cmd 23: Unknown. Usually before heap variables
    int8_t b1; //always 0 in Doom 0.2, I think
    cmd 64: Register variable. Can be used for args, but args are always passed by stack. Args specified this way appear to be MOVed into a register at the start.
    int8_t b1; //Probably identifies the register
    int16_t typeid; 
    str name;

    I'm not 100% sure I can create a coherent .MAP file, mostly due to the weird sectioning scheme compared to other executable formats like PE. Creating IDC should work, if there's some documentation on how it works. But creating some sort of table to get absolute addresses in memory should absolutely be possible.


    edit 3: Actually looking at the heretic/hexen .MAPs it shouldn't be impossible, but lacking any further information about how things go I'm kinda forced to just give everything the same selector. It's not really a big deal, I think? But it looks strange. So far as I can tell, the memory bits in the executable have absolutely no way of distinguishing between TEXT and DATA sections, everything's.. just.. memory... There's nothing that even resembles a BSS section, beyond the bit in the header that specifies how large the program's address space is.


    ah, let's just try this for now. I just gave all heap vars a selector of 0001 for now. Why not... It should be functional though, and it's been helpful for my own use.

  13. Segmented would be a little weird for a 32-bit program (32-bit x86 programs are segmented via a much different scheme), but I'm really not sure. The only thing I see in the fixup table is a pile of increasing 16-bit numbers that eventually wrap over at some point. It doesn't correspond to fixup records I've seen in other executables, but at the same time I've never pursued it too closely. I need to study things closer.

  14. Well I mean, if you actually read the large post you quoted and extracted context, you'll realize I'm not working with the final version of doom, or on savegame buffers, but eh.


    Anyways, it turns out my assumptions were right, all MT executables do have a number of blocks that are basically the same format, and they seem to be stored all the way up to the end of the executable. I attached a simple program that can read Doom 0.2 and Doom 0.3 and map out a flat executable version of it. It's not perfect, since I don't understand the fixup entries yet (doesn't 16 bits per entry seem a little.. small for programs with 32-bit address spaces? I must be missing something), so they're all mapped at 0 which causes conflicts (IE writing to VGA at 0xA0000), but I've been able to map flat executables of 0.2 and 0.3 in Ghidra and they should work in IDA just fine. All the initialized variables appear to be in the right place and everything. This is real nice, because I've been wanting to see how Alpha 0.3 varies from the tech demo, and the later 0.4 release.


    ed: reupload because of a mistake



  15. so I've been trying to complete xttl's work on the Alpha 0.2 and 0.3 format since I'd like to complete RE of them, but my crude way of mapping them wasn't working out well. I feel like I'm close, so freaking close, but it's not 100% falling in place. Here's my estimate of the header right now:

    002 dwcodestart.: 0x000012cc (4812) //this value is dwrelocsize + wheadersize
    006 dwrelocsize.: 0x00001292 (4754) 
    00a dwdatasize..: 0x0003e573 (255347) //in memory
    00e dwstackptr..: 0x0003fdac (261548) //this value is dwdatasize + dwstacksize + 1. Extremely wild guess atm. Doesn't 100% make sense
    012 unknown5....: 0x00000000 (0)
    016 word16......: 0x0000 (0)
    018 wheadersize.: 0x003a (58) //3a in both Doom 0.2 and Doom 0.3
    01a dwstacksize.: 0x00001838 (6200) //131072 in Doom 0.3
    01e unknown9....: 0x00000000 (0)
    022 dword22.....: 0x00000000 (0)
    026 dwcodesize..: 0x0000e4a7 (58535)
    02a unknown12...: 0x00000000 (0)
    02e unknown13...: 0x00000000 (0)
    032 dwmtsize....: 0x0000f773 (63347)
    036 dwdbgsize...: 0x0001abf5 (109557)
    03a unknown16...: 0x000004ad (1197)

    From the bits of data I've extracted so far, I can throw my program at the Doom 0.2 or Doom 0.3 executables and correctly locate the code section and work through that. The code section starts with a small sub-header of 3 dwords. The second is always 1, and the third is always 0, and then there's the db goto =main jump. The most convincing value is the first one, which is nearly 3 times larger in 0.3, because Doom 0.3 has significantly more code than 0.2, but it's not quite enough to get to the data section, and the amount it's not enough varies across the two executables.


    This is frustrating because I poked at the data section, and I can see how it's assigning default values of memory to the program's address space, but I can't get that final piece of the puzzle, what actually locates it to work, and that's frustrating. I can hardcode it and get the 0-based flat executables I want, but I want to understand damnit. Would also like to be able to understand the relocation data. I have to assume the relocation data is sandwiched between the header and the code section.


    EDIT: AGH, why's this always happen right after I make the post explaining how I can't figure it out? I figured it out. I think. There is no separation between "code sections" and "data sections", so far as I can tell so far. Instead, there's one big unified block that puts bytes into memory. From the start of the code section up to the end of the MT file, a number of blocks are stored. The blocks have a simple format:

    int blocksize; //size of the block
    int unknown; //always 1 to the best of my knowledge, unknown purpose
    int address; //where in the 0-based address space the bytes will be placed
    uint8_t data[blocksize]; //the data to read into memory

    This should resolve every lingering problem I've had so far. Fingers crossed...

  16. I mean, I hate to be that guy, especially since the author has tragically passed away (RIP), but that doesn't really count either because it's nowhere near complete. If it was, then I'd gladly accept it as one of the weirder languages used for a Doom port.


    I think in general there's just not a lot of ports to non-C like languages because it's a lot of work for little gain. As a bored side project I've been considering doing a port to C#, but it's just following in the footsteps of Mocha Doom, with some additional conveniences that Java doesn't have. I think there's also been some attempts at porting it to Rust, which does implicate some architectural changes due to Rust's heavy focus on memory safety.

  17. I experienced the same bug in Chocolate Descent, when I debugged it with RenderDoc what I noticed is that Discord was overwriting the texture bound at GL_TEXTURE0 with its new framebuffer texture, so I added code to rebind it before drawing the framebuffer and it fixed the problem for everyone who's ever reported it to me.


    I don't know why discord rebinds GL_TEXTURE0 and then fails to restore it, but it works? Not like it's a huge perf penalty or anything either, many games would already  be doing at the very least one bind per frame...

  18. I think the biggest barrier to changing monster spawns based on difficulty is that it opens a gigantic can of worms with regards to on-the-fly difficulty changing, a feature in 2016 and Eternal, and for that record almost all modern games... The only Doom game to have changed spawns based on difficulty and the ability to change on the fly was Doom 3, and it wasn't particularly well done. Damage traits would change normally, but spawns wouldn't. It's also more design work to set up, compared to adjusting AI traits and the like

  19. link since large screenshot


    I did a couple of tests. At the usual resolutions I run windowed old games at (1280x960 and 1920x1080), when turning off 4x MSAA, the game would simply become a seizurefest, sometimes rendering black, sometimes rendering a perfectly normal frame, so I tried some other resolutions, like fullscreen 2560x1440, which produced the exciting new artifacting that was seen in the screenshot above. This is definitely more what I would think of with a sync bug.

  20. Regrettably not quite out of the woods on my machine, with a Radeon RX 580. I think you're on the right track though, occasionally a perfectly normal view flashes through the corruption.


    To be completely honest, I can't 100% rule out a problem on my end, but all other Vulkan programs I can try ATM, such as Doom 2016 or GZDoom all seem to work fine, so I'm not 100% sure. Hopefully the test hardware can reveal something...