Saturday, December 11, 2004

Hardwar UIM.01 Changelog

Ian Martin's posted the readme for the recently released UIM.01 patch for Hardwar:


Hardwar should still run on a 1998 era PC, but DirectX9 is required. Please download
this from We detect the DirectX version, and report if
DirectX9 is not detected, but do allow the user to continue anyway, just in case the
detection code, which uses DLL file versions, shows a fault.

Features and fixes for UIM.01

1) A server side bug where menu options were displayed but no longer valid at the client side due to lag, is fixed. The bug caused a crash on the server.
2) The tunnel between Reservoir and Downtown is opened permanently.
3) A bug in some of the navigation, causing AI pilots to get confused, is fixed.
4) Retire pilot in a multiplayer game has a confirmation screen.
5) Some new explosion graphics are added, for Direct3D users only. These are high quality 256x256 24 bit colour images. There is an option to retain the original ones. This has been tested on a 32Mb NVidia TNT, and a 128Mb GeForce4.
6) A bug with USB gamepad axis values is fixed. This has been tested on a Thrustmaster 12 button gamepad.
7) An old frame buffer problem which has been present since 1998 is fixed, for Direct3D. This caused a very occasional crash.
8) There is a new fog distance option, for Direct3D, which allows most of the largest craters to be seen at all times. This is only intended for contemporary fast machines and has been tested on an Athlon 2600, Celeron 2.4Ghz and faster machines.
9) There is an option to limit the number of remote players in a network server. This is intended for users who host servers with modest bandwidth. Hardwar does require a lot of network bandwidth (though this is being looked into) and if you allow 64Kpbs per player, you should be able to host a server. If, for example, you have a 256Kbps upload speed (from your perspective) you should be able to have 4 remote players.
10) Some work has been done to compress the network data, and tokenise the information. Data sizes have typically fallen by 20% but this can be much lower.
11) The manually activated autopilot now flies to a lightwell.
12) Direct3D W buffering is now enabled, where the accelerator supports it - most cards do. This cures the z ordering problems in tunnels, and other areas. It defaults to on, but there is an option to disable it - at least one user has reported a problem with an old Voodoo card.
13) The flares cast a less harsh but richer light.
14) A new server side clicking bug is fixed - caused by unloading cargo.
15) The joystick throttle problem has been addressed, and there are additional config options.
16) The maximum number of players in a network game works.
17) An option is added to simulate lag, in a single player game. Each frame lags by 10 frames.
18) If a pilot is named "I am a victim" most of the AI pilots attack him. If the pilot is named "I am a made victim" then he is invulnerable. This was done to test the engine at its limits, both in terms of display capabilities and control code.
19) When games are saved, dead pilots are not saved.
20) When using developers info, it was always allocating a huge buffer, not needed.
21) The CD music selects random tracks during extended flying.
22) The sky colour is changed to be more like the real Titan.
23) Remote players in a network game, are updated at 10 fps when using radar, messages or hanger display, to minimise network bandwidth.


DirectX9 required.

UIM.01 will only connect to itself in a network game. It has a new network GUID.

UIM.01 will load U3.04 save games, but not earlier ones. This has been tested with a save
from a long term server U3.04 (5000+ days!).

Making Videos

Some time ago, a facility was added to allow silent videos to be created. There are
problems with this facility, but used with care, it can create effective videos.

This is acheived by recording your actions for a short period, then replaying that recording,
grabbing each frame into incrementally numbered 24 bit BMP files. Use a third part
utility to create an AVI, MPEG or QT, using those BMPs.

a) To record, set the detail options for highest speed. You need to be able to record at
12 or 24 frames per second.

Start a single player game, and get to the point where you wish to start recording. Save
the game. For this example , your save is called "vid1.sav"

In the command prompt, go to the hardwar directory, and enter:-

hardwarw.exe /t:load "vid1.sav" /t:recordsave

Act out the scene. A maximum scene of 30 seconds is recommended.

b) To play back and grab at 24 frames per second:-

Set the detail options to maximum. Choose a sensible resolution for the video.

hardwarw.exe /t:load "vid1.sav" /t:recordplaygrab24

Lots of BMPs will be created in your hardwar folder.

You can then use these to create a video. Specify 24 frames per second.

It's not perfect, and it's not easy.

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