Hey again, Quiet Bob. It's been almost a year since we talked so much about Jedi Knight (and more). I don't know how much you're also into its predecessor, Dark Forces, but I'm working on something for it that you're welcome to test and give feedback on, if you're genuinely interested. I'm not expecting a reply, since I see that you haven't contributed to the site in 6 months, but I thought that I'd offer just in case.
User talk:Quiet Bob
Incredible Machine 3
You've been busy with the Incredible Machine games recently. I really enjoyed them when I was young, too.
I just saw that you uploaded the CD soundtrack for 3 (and gave you your first download). Nice work. There's a problem, though: _inmm.dll throws up an error about missing registry information and tells me to run _inmmcnf.exe. Once I run _inmmcnf.exe and simply exit, I can then run the game without error and the soundtrack works. So, it's adding registry information on first run. It looks like you probably need to edit your instructions to tell the user to run and close _inmmconf.exe once before starting the game.
Other than that, it works great. Good job. I might care to do something similar with _inmm.dll in the future. It's not as elegant of a solution as the winmm.dll that some games (like Jedi Knight) use, but it's probably a lot easier to adapt and configure for any game.
BTW, I found that the music still works if you move the MP3s to a folder named Music and then add "Music\" before each filename in _inmm.ini. I like that because it makes things a little neater, IMO.
Oh, if I may make a friendly suggestion: if you use zip format, then the few people who don't have 7zip or WinRAR installed will still be able to open it. It won't be any larger, since the contents are already compressed. There's really no benefit to using 7zip in this case, just potential frustration for some users.
Thanks for your support, I really appreciate your advice! When creating this patch, I was using an old offline installer downloaded from GOG years ago. But with the current online installer I ran into some issues.
For one, I found out that the wrapper doesn't work from the game's installation directory. It seems that now the game runs in Win9x compatibility mode by default. Curiously, the compatibility settings cannot be changed unless the installation directory is renamed or moved.
Following your tips, I uploaded a new version of the patch. Running the config tool from the renamed directory does the trick. I also put the mp3 files into the Music directory. Before I read your message, I put up an interim version, which requires the user to patch the executable. But your solution is simpler, so I went back to the pre-patched exe :)
I was also fiddling with the winmm.dll wrapper. I got it to work with TIM, but the music wouldn't play on its own. It had to be started manually in the Jukebox every time the game was launched, so I decided to stick with _inmm.dll. Also, I was unble to restore the speech in this game. In the original release the speech files are read from the CD. GOG.com puts them in the installation directory, but I haven't found a way to tell the game to use them.
I wonder if speech is available only in the help that doesn't work (clicking on the ? icon on the main menu or in the menu bar does nothing). There's a TIMHELP.EXE that doesn't do anything when I run it and a HELP.EXE that must be a DOS or Win3.1 executable, since I can't run it and it doesn't even have an icon. TIMWIN.EXE might be calling either of them, and because they don't work on 64-bit Windows, no help means no voices.
BTW, you might care to post your patch to the GOG forum for the TIM series: https://www.gog.com/forum/the_incredible_machine_mega_pack#1498223411
I found an ISO of TIM3 online, but had no luck getting the game to run. I even tried running it from Win3.11 in DOSbox. It installs fine there, but doesn't launch. No error message, nothing happens. The game actually uses speech for puzzle instructions and tutorials, as well as context-sensitive help. Clicking on that question mark in the main menu starts TIMHELP.EXE, which is used to display the Windows help file for the game (called "online manual" in-game). TIMHELP.EXE invokes MVIEWER2.EXE (MS Multimedia Viewer) to load the help file from TIM?.MVB. Both TIMHELP and MVIEWER2 are 16-bit executables.
Still, they don't seem to be involved in playing the actual speech files, which are *.VOC. They are referenced by the main exe TIMWIN.EXE though. I tried a number of tricks to point to them, but to no avail.
And I see you've been quite busy too... ;)
Did you install WinG in Win3.11? That could be why it didn't launch. You can read about it here and download it here. I was reminded of it just now because a ripped version of the game that I found includes those WinG installation files with it, so it evidently needs them.
Besides the .VOC files, there are also those .MVB files, which are files associated with MVIEWER2.EXE. It looks like there's one for each language. Whatever's in them--my guess is simple animations, perhaps with sound--isn't being played, either, since MVIEWER2.EXE can't run.
I don't remember what the game had and didn't have because I don't believe that I played it much, considering that it was just a re-release of TIM2. I recall being disappointed that it was the same puzzles that I'd already played to death in TIM2 and passed on it. If I ever get in the mood for a TIM game again, though, I may well play TIM3 for resolution reasons. It's neat that a 22-year-old game runs in 1920x1080 without any patching, but that's the beauty of windowed mode games. I don't really care if the CD-ROM voices and animations don't work, since the TIM1 & 2 that I played to death didn't have them.
I've been a little busy, yeah, but with a lot of different games at once. The biggest thing, though, which you couldn't have seen, is that I've managed to patch The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel to allow the music to loop, rather than play only once at each location. You were improving music in one really old game while I was doing it in another ;). Any day now, I'll upload that and create a wiki page for the game, since one doesn't even exist yet, which is criminal.
Thanks for the links. Yeah, I had installed WinGs and Win32s before TIM3. They are both required by the game. Still, no luck. Those MVB files are in fact MS Multimedia Viewer format, although they all have exactly the same content. I imagine they were planning to have help available in different languages, but ended up with English only for time/budget constraints.
The original TIM1 holds a special place for me, too. I loved this game as a kid. It was one of the earliest games I played on my very first PC. The thing is, it didn't have a soundcard. The moment I heard Dune 2 intro on my friend's Adlib - I knew I just *had* to have it. I eventually bought a SB 2.0 with my saved pocket money. And when I started TIM again... oh boy, that thing has music! I fell in love with the soundtrack, I would play this game just to listen to it. In fact, I even recorded it on tape, so I could listen to it on the go!
And just now I learned that the second game in the series (the "Even More" re-release) had a CD-ROM version with audio tracks. I grabbed the ISO online and figured out how to add them to the GOG re-release. Or so I thought, because they included the floppy version of TEMIM, which uses a different file set. I could theoretically put up another "patch", but that would include most of the game files - something I'm not happy with.
Glad to hear you're on another music patch for a forgotten game. I hope it works alright. Oh, and a nice pun in the last sentence! :)
I still get confused by all of the releases. I had to look it up on Wikipedia just to get it straight. For example, all of this time, I thought that The Even More Incredible Machine was The Incredible Machine 2, when it was really just a "gold" edition of the original. Then, TIM3 was just an enhanced re-release of TIM2 for Windows, as was The Incredible Toon Machine for Sid & Al's Incredible Toons. Sierra released 6 games in the series over just 2 years, from 1993 to 1995, out of enough content for only 3 games, and must've burnt themselves and the customers out, since the series hibernated for 5 years after that. I lost interest during that hibernation, but it looks like their next game mostly re-used puzzles from TIM2/3. Sierra really milked that franchise like few have ever milked a franchise before. It's weird, too, because you'd think that it wouldn't be tough to simply create 80 new levels for each game.
Anyways, speaking of The Incredible Toon Machine, have you thought about doing a CD music patch for that with _inmm.dll? That would be nice to have.
Sierra sure overdid itself with this one! I decided to clean up some of this mess, creating the missing wikis and prefacing the ambiguous entries with a clear note. Perhaps I should add one more - the penultimate game serves as a kind of a reboot for the series. It does contain all of the puzzles from TIM2/3, although it adds around 60 new ones.
AFAIK, TITM didn't have a digital re-release, and the game itself is 16-bit. I could create the same patch as for TIM3, but it would be of no use. The game runs OK in emulated Win3.11, so owners of the original release can still enjoy CD-audio anyway.
How's your patch coming along?
Oh, I didn't notice that The Incredible Toon Machine was released in 1994 and was, therefore, 16-bit and Win3.1. _inmmd.dll might not even work with it, since it's surely 32-bit.
I'd sort of finished the Lost Files patch when I told you about it, but I haven't done the Readme or uploaded it. I got sidetracked... again... this time by putting together what I'm calling an "Unofficial Patch" for SkyNET (the Terminator: Future Shock sequel). It's similar to JK's Unofficial Patch in that it updates it to the patched version, fixes a couple of critical bugs that crash the game and includes a couple of essential improvements (like greater viewing distance). None of it is really my creation; I'm just packaging it all together, with instructions, for people's convenience.
Good work on the Blade Runner entry. I'm surprised this classic didn't have a wiki yet. If I may suggest something, in the System Requirements section, you should keep separate lines for video requirements:
|minVRAM = 2 MB and
|minDX = 5. I learned this a while ago when my edit got corrected by another user ;)
Thanks. I didn't realize that those entries existed. When I create a page, I choose a similar, existing one, clone it and then edit it.
Just in case you don't get a notification of a PM unless you actually visit the forum part of the site... I sent you one.