Blake Stone Planet Strike code released under GPL v2

Holy shit paste, this is absolutely fantastic news! I hope that in light of this EC Wolf gets Blake Stone support amongst a heck of a lot more. This alone has made my year thus far.

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That's cool, too bad I've never played that version of the game (I played only the original: Aliens of Gold). I hope it's similar enough to Wolfenstein, though it scares me that it doesn't have a Wolf4SDL equivalent…

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Springy said:

I hope that in light of this EC Wolf gets Blake Stone support amongst a heck of a lot more.

Yeah.

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Blzut3 said:

I should probably start checking that page out more. Thanks.

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I loved the Blake Stone games. The maps didn't feel like deliberate mazes, unlike Wolf3D and Ken's Labyrinth, with the latter being one of the most tedious "wolf-clones" to date.

That being said, the wolf-style controls really put a damper on Blake stone. I remember trying various TSRs and joystick drivers with key-combining, but still, the player couldn't turn while sidestepping, which makes it feel as if I'm operating a crane or tank rather than a human with a blaster.

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I just can't get into the Wolf 3-D era of FPS. Like previously stated, the player movement feels like you're a camera mounted on a set of tracks, not a at all like a person.

I'm glad to see another classic FPS get the GPL treatment, but I'd rather it be Blood or Redneck Rampage.

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Good news, since playing the Dos version is driving me nuts in terms of controls, yet I still want to play the game badly.

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BlackFish said:

Good news, since playing the Dos version is driving me nuts in terms of controls, yet I still want to play the game badly.

Technician said:

I just can't get into the Wolf 3-D era of FPS. Like previously stated, the player movement feels like you're a camera mounted on a set of tracks, not a at all like a person.


Oh you crazy kids. ;P

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Springy said:

Holy shit paste, this is absolutely fantastic news!


This.

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I never liked Blake Stone enough to get any of the full versions, but I love this news.

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zBlake, anyone?

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Mr. Chris said:

zBlake, anyone?

Well, there's ECBlake ("Escape from Castle Blakenstein") in the work already, though the priority is still "Escape from Castle Noahstein" for the main branch.

Also, AFA is working on a Blake Stone equivalent of his Wolf TC now that the various state tables are readily available (without having to guesstimate them or delve into disassembly).

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Gez said:

Well, there's ECBlake ("Escape from Castle Blakenstein") in the work already, though the priority is still "Escape from Castle Noahstein" for the main branch.

So that's what ECWolf stands for? Escape from Castle?

Also, AFA is working on a Blake Stone equivalent of his Wolf TC now that the various state tables are readily available (without having to guesstimate them or delve into disassembly).

Resource piracy ahoy!

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printz said:

So that's what ECWolf stands for? Escape from Castle?

Indeed, that is where it is derived from. With the metaphorical meaning of escaping from the castle that is direct source code modding and engine reconstructions that Wolfenstein has been held in for so long.

Officially though it's meaningless and I think ECWolf just sounds/looks good. Not calling it ZWolf puts it higher on alphabetical listings any way. :P

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zwolf = 12

EDIT: anyone volunteer to make a Wolf4SDL or AutoWolf equivalent with this code? By Wolf4SDL i mean something less than ECWolf in scope; just a SDL port (hopefully with minimal fixes). I'm currently busy with another project.

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I always thought EC meant Easy.

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Can this code be applied to the Aliens of Gold edition with minimal changes?

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printz said:

Can this code be applied to the Aliens of Gold edition with minimal changes?

Given how the Wolf engine works, I doubt "minimal," but it probably wouldn't be difficult work. Just a lot of it.

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Not having played those games, are there actual engine differences or is it on the level of Wolf 3D vs. Spear of Destiny? Most of the work would be done by finding the state table (which I think Blzut already did) and converting it.

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I haven't played the games nearly enough to know just how different they are. But it should be more or less filling in the details through disassembly. I don't think a whole lot (code wise) changed between the two games. I guess it would also depend on how accurate you want it to be.

I do have an IDA Free project with most of the Wolf3D stuff labelled if anyone wants to try rebuild the AOG source.

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Gez said:

Not having played those games, are there actual engine differences or is it on the level of Wolf 3D vs. Spear of Destiny? Most of the work would be done by finding the state table (which I think Blzut already did) and converting it.


Blake Stone has floor/ceiling textures, light diminishing, you can switch back and forth between maps, some walls are interactive (pay money to receive health from stations) and there are a few NPCs you can talk to.

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GoatLord said:

Blake Stone has floor/ceiling textures, light diminishing, you can switch back and forth between maps, some walls are interactive (pay money to receive health from stations) and there are a few NPCs you can talk to.


Switches and remote triggers (switches, walkover or bad guy death) that can affect things on the same or other maps in the episode.

From Map editors, I always imagined these were hardcoded; i.e there had to be a unique trigger made for every occasion, rather than in Doom where you have generic trigger effects and can tag them to whatever sector you wish.

Limited ability to control bad guy drops (sticking special mobjs next to a bad guys start location).

etc etc.

While the various versions of AOG are well known, it is actually all but forgotten, that there is actually two versions of Planet Strike out there; 1.0 and 1.01.

There is no known patch for going to 1.01 from 1.0 and I believe that 1.01 features a higher actor limit over 1.0.

http://www.rinkworks.com/apogee/s/4.1.1.shtml

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1. You can really tell that nobody who actually knows how to program is at Apogee/3D Realms anymore. The code's all untouched from 1994 (which I guess is nice in its way), and the distribution terms are in a fucking Microsoft Word file with the overlong name "Blake Stone source code license.doc", which contains boilerplate terms for the GNU General Public License but not a copy of the license text itself.
2. The file "rnd.asm" contains the following comment:

; This code was taken from FRED FISH 20.        - Michael D. Maynard
That is, it's program code from "random.lha" from disk #20 of Fred Fish's freeware collection for Amiga computers, programmed by Steve Beats at Commodore. It's 68000 assembly code, not much use on DOS machines. I don't think any of the other files refer to it, which makes me wonder why Maynard bothered including it in the first place. Maybe they wanted to improve Wolf3D's RNG, but eventually decided against it?

GoatLord said:

Blake Stone has floor/ceiling textures, light diminishing, you can switch back and forth between maps, some walls are interactive (pay money to receive health from stations) and there are a few NPCs you can talk to.

I think Gez meant differences between BS:AOG and BS:PS, not differences between them and Wolf3D. :) Off the top of my head:
1. AOG is separated into episodes whereas PS is not
2. AOG has low-res POV weapons like Wolf3D's. PS has screen-res POV weapons like Doom and ROTT, but it's kinda buggy.
3. AOG has keycards you have to pick up to access each successive level. Yay, keycards. PS has "security cubes" you have to destroy to access each successive level. Yay, mechanics swiped from Descent.
4. AOG and PS have different status bar layouts. PS's status bar has a constant overhead map view which AOG doesn't have (unless you use a cheat code...).

Unfortunately, it looks like changes were applied in-place to Planet Strike's code, you can't pick which game to compile with #defines like you can with the Wolf3D/SOD codebase. Reverse-engineering ahoy. :(

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Vermil said:

While the various versions of AOG are well known, it is actually all but forgotten, that there is actually two versions of Planet Strike out there; 1.0 and 1.01.

There is no known patch for going to 1.01 from 1.0 and I believe that 1.01 features a higher actor limit over 1.0.

If there's actually a significant difference between the two I can make a patch. I have both versions.

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Blzut3 said:

If there's actually a significant difference between the two I can make a patch. I have both versions.


Well, I have 1.0 and found a map in a mod that wouldn't even start in it (read crashed), due to the actor limit being reached.

I contacted the author of the mod and they told me they had 1.01 and that the map didn't crash for them. Hence, I am assuming 1.01 raised the actor limit.

That said, the original Dos exe's soon won't be the only option for playing Blake Stone, I imagine.

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Gez said:

Well, there's ECBlake ("Escape from Castle Blakenstein")

I just misread ECBlake as EZBake.

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