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MrFlibble last won the day on May 10

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About MrFlibble

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  • Birthday 01/22/1986

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  1. I'm not sure if I mentioned Emperor of the Fading Suns before as having rather obvious Dune influences and themes, but apparently there was another game (which was sadly cancelled) that also went in a somewhat similar direction. The game was called Mech Wars and then Metal Lords, and only a handful of pre-release screenshots and a non-playable demo appear to have been preserved. Here's a video of the demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5HpANBASHY The premise seems to have a feudal interstellar empire with noble Houses, but unlike Dune, war is waged with giant mecha robots. Recently I found several preview screenshots on the SCORE magazine coverdisk (issue No. 21, found here), and uploaded them: https://imgur.com/a/2IzGgMV The shots show characters from noble Houses named Paul Strader and Vladimir Sardonis, which I believe are pretty obvious references to Paul Atreides and Vladimir Harkonnen: Note how the two characters on the latter two screenshots (which are BTW not the characters mentioned by name in the respective images) also look very fitting for Dune character art. Another noble House is called Ordeus. The game was developed by SimTex, the team behind Master of Orion and Master of Magic.
  2. Well, you can't have everything at once Besides, usually you don't need the upscaled fonts anyway, not with the neural networks at least. Not sure if I got what you're saying here but if you mean to ask if I processed the entire set of Dune II graphics, no I did not, I just upscaled several screenshots from Westwood's preview. But it is certainly possible to do that. You can try out ESRGAN yourself, even if you don't have an NVIDIA card it can run on CPU, albeit much much slower. My NVIDIA card is too old for CUDA anyway so I had to use the CPU as well (duh!). There's a guide on how to set it up here. I think I forgot to mention what models I used to get the latest results. The two are rebout_interp and Spongebob v6 De-Quantize, both available from the Upscale Wiki. I interpolated these two models (with the net_interp.py that comes with ESRGAN) at alpha = 0.8 (meaning it's 80% SpongeBob and 20% Rebout). Note that these models are to be used with the "old architecture" ESRGAN, available here. Here are some more results I shared elsewhere (not from Dune II), with the same SpongeBob/Rebout interpolation. I really like how it processes images: https://imgsli.com/MTMzMjE https://imgsli.com/MTMzMjI https://imgsli.com/MTMzMjM https://imgsli.com/MTMzMjQ https://imgsli.com/MTMzMjU
  3. In the meantime, more advanced models have been trained for ESRGAN, here's a little sample: The only drawback is that is fades colours quite a bit, I had to brighten them up in GIMP.
  4. In the PC version of Dune II, both Sardaukar and Fremen Troopers are the same Trooper units as the regular heavy infantry that can be trained by Harkonnens and the Ordos. They don't seem to have any different stats. The scenario scripts that accounts for Sardaukar reinforcement drops in missions four and nine use the same Trooper entry as the regular Troopers. However the game data contains sidebar portraits for a single Sardaukar trooper, a single Fremen trooper and a group of Fremen, of which only the latter is used as the Atreides Palace weapon icon. It is plausible that these were intended for unique trooper-like units that were intended in the game but scrapped for whatever reason. However in the Sega Genesis version, at least Fremen Troopers use their unique icons when spawned. I'm not sure if they also have better stats compared to regular Troopers. IIRC it is also possible to actually designate the target for these Fremen reinforcements as opposed to them spawning and attacking the AI base at random as in the PC version. I believe that the Sega Genesis version which came out later might reflect the original design for the Fremen which was not realised in the PC version. I don't remember if the Sardaukar have their unique icon or not in the Genesis version, or if they are indeed stronger than normal Troopers. Can't say anything about the Amiga version, as I didn't test it thoroughly. I believe that generally it is very close to the PC version 1.07.
  5. I can only guess why these entries were removed, but IIRC they also purged the Frigate image from the updated MENTAT.PAK (unless I'm mixing it up with something else -- my memory is a bit fuzzy on this). Since the WSA image format is different between the two versions, there was no way to restore the Frigate image for v1.07 at the time of creating the fix.
  6. MrFlibble


    I wonder if the track titles are all original? The audio previews folder from Westwood FTP has a file called revenge2.wav but the same piece is titled Into the Heat on the site. It's not that Frank K's tracks never had alternate titles preserved in file names, like some of those in C&C and IIRC in RA1 too.
  7. Thanks for digging it up! ImageShack turned out to be a major letdown after all.
  8. I'm not sure but I think that when I originally compiled this list I excluded any third-party engine recreations for closed-source games (unless there's a free alternate set of game data that can be used instead of proprietary data, like with OpenTTD or M.A.X. Reloaded). So OpenRA does not qualify. (I also am personally not a fan of this project because it does not try to recreate game mechanics of C&C and instead does something of its own, just with C&C graphics).
  9. It's not like DOSBox because it doesn't emulate the whole Macintosh hardware setup. It's more like Wine, a "compatibility layer" that translates Mac 68k commands to IBM CPU commands, as well as provides some free functionality similar to MacOS. Unlike "proper" Mac emulators like Basilisk, Executor does not require a Mac BIOS ROM or a copy of MacOS to run Mac apps. OF COURSE it's the emulator, the problem here is that other Mac emulators will not allow you to run the game unless you have an authentic Mac BIOS ROM and a copy of MacOS (see above), basically limiting the user base to owners of original Mac hardware and people who don't bother with copyright stuff. To the best of my knowledge, Executor is the only clean, ethical and open source way to run Mac 68k programmes (and Mac PowerPC ones if you can run Executor on a PowerPC machine) without actually owning a Mac of that type.
  10. Yeah, I also thought about it. Maybe even better post an issue at Executor 2000 which is an actively maintained fork. From further playing about I now suspect that Executor simply fails to load the proper palette somehow. For example, after the Blizzard logo (also in the wrong pal) you first see the title screen like this briefly before it gets the normal palette. The same happens on win/lose tally screens. Also if during gameplay you select "About Warcraft" from the menu and then close the info window, the screen will be briefly rendered in the correct palette. It appears that loading the proper palette takes some time, at least in Executor, during which some errors occur for some reason. I'm hopeful that this can be remedied more or less easily. The observed behaviour is clearly an emulation bug that cannot be remedied by tweaking setup settings (FYI the Mac version does not have an external setup utility, everything is set in-game). I have already tried out most if not all options provided by Executor for configuring how an app should be running (including some of the command line options), although I do not deny that I might have missed something. UPD: I just watched a video of how the game runs in a proper emulator and I'm almost certain that the palette glitches occur when the game is supposed to do fade-in or fade-out animations of the screen.
  11. So the GOG.com version of Warcraft includes the ISO of the DOS/MAC hybrid release, and I have tried it out semi-successfully with the Executor: https://imgur.com/a/8RdZnIZ First I mounted the ISO as such in DOSBox (imgmount D <path and ISO file name> -t iso), and Executor can see the Mac content from the CD. If you simply use DOSBox it only sees the DOS version files. Cool Further I can run the installer (had to set it to think the MacOS version is 7.0.0) but it ultimately aborts installation because it cannot find a System Folder on the target drive, and doesn't like the one I'm trying to feed it. That's nothing though because the game can be run straight from the CD - there are three separate folders for Minimum, Standard and Full install right there which I assume are plain copied to the hard drive during installation. Everything works, there's even music in the main menu and during briefings but not during actual gameplay - possibly this explains why the CD Audio rips (including the one you can get from GOG.com) do not contain Menu and briefing music: these track might be in a different format. But, there's the same problem as with the demo: the colours are all wrong: There's a glimmer of hope in this, because Executor is open source. Maybe someone who is interested could take a look and fix this problem. Then we'd have as close to a high-res version of the game running natively as possible.
  12. I just found a gallery with some really good Dune character portraits at DeviantArt: https://www.deviantart.com/deimos-remus/art/House-Atreides-Lady-Jessica-451601983
  13. Recently I was notified by Cm_blast and a user in another forum of a bug that was apparently introduced in v1.07, but I never really noticed it myself (granted, I spent a lot more time playing v1.0 though). It appears that under certain circumstances, the AI will ignore the player's units. This is how Cm_blast describes it: Sometime later I discussed this with mrXyz of the Old-games.RU forums, who independently reported what appears to be the same bug. I told him about the supposed dependency on the repair yard but he says he cannot reproduce the behaviour this way. According to mrXyz, the bug is a lot more random and sometimes affects several units at once, with no clear cause for this. I don't remember that this kind of buggy behaviour was ever discussed here, or that the OpenDUNE or Dune Dynasty developers mentioned it. At present I'm in no position to test the game, so if anyone can shed further light on the problem that would be very helpful!
  14. Hey, sorry for not replying sooner. I was experimenting with different approaches to this, including neural network interpolation and using another network called SFTGAN. It does some pretty good job with screenshots from Command & Conquer (as shown here, scroll down for SFTGAN results).
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