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ROSS'S GAME DUNGEON: QUARANTINE

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rgd_quarantine.jpg

 

 

 

More Game Dungeon! This is another video that took WAY longer to make than I wanted it to. Believe it or not, I was originally hoping to have this video done by late January, so that should give you an idea of how far behind I am on things. The little details in this one had a way of just taking forever to complete, day after day.

 

This is another game I knew I absolutely wanted to cover for the Game Dungeon. I was hoping to have more a "crowd pleaser" following the Freeman's Mind traffic and rather than picking a super obscure game, this is one I'm sure plenty of people are familiar with.

 

I'm hoping to have two more videos out this month, but I doubt they'll be as involved as this one, though I'll try and keep everything entertaining to watch. In the meantime, there are still openings for more pixel art help if anyone is interested.

 

EDIT:

I meant to add that in addition to pixel artists, I'd also be interested in normal artists (or vector art) for more "awards" art for future episodes. I may be pickier about the art style for that however.

 

 

COMMENTS

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Always glad to see another Game Dungeon. I'm not bothered by the fact that it's late at all. After what you pulled with Freeman's Mind, you deserve a break.

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I'm guessing these websites you mentioned are gonna revise the final mission code on their entry for Quarantine few days from now. (at least Game Revolution will just fix that one typo)

EDIT: I'm fairly surprised that these game sites like Gamefaqs and Gamewinners could make a mistake in a cheatcode. I thought they have to test the cheat 1st before posting it online

Edited by Guest

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How do people make fully rendered maps of games? Like one of these. That's what this game needs and, really, what Game Dungeon needs.

 

Also DOSBox can do strange things. Like in the game Shadow President I was nuked by the USSR. Only this was their third wave of nukes, so I was already down to maybe a few thousand people nation wide. So when I got the results of the third wave I saw my population bounced UP TO 38 BILLION PEOPLE. I'm sure this is just integer underflow, but I'm curious if it was caused by DOXBox. There were a few other, almost game breaking, bugs I know were caused by DOSBox's emulation. That may explain that one boss breaking the health meter. It makes me wonder if with some games played on DOXBox, if you're actually getting a different experience or balance then what was intended.

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Glad to hear from you and I loved the new rgd episode.

 

An interesting fact for any readers who are not aware, In most states in the the US it is illegal to drive as slowly as Ross mentioned in the video. At least how it is in Colorado (and many other states) if you have 5 or more cars behind you and no cars in front of you, you are legally obligated to pull over and let the other cars pass. Otherwise, you can be charged with impeding traffic. In fact, usually all it takes is one of the drivers behind to call the police with the license number and the driver will get pulled over at the next major city.

 

For more info

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/beat-ticket-book/chapter7-6.html

 

Anyway, that aside, I'm looking forward to any more content you put out, Ross.

 

--

techdude

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Those Australian jokes. Heheh... Oh Ross. You clever ...original... jokester. Haven't heard of those jokes before. *rolls eyes*

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"Stay tuned for the next episode, with a potential cult classic!"

 

Leave me guess... Puzzle Agent?

It could be a Red Dwarf game I've never heard of, but have looked extensively for... (Red Dwarf: The ultimate cult classic)

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"Stay tuned for the next episode, with a potential cult classic!"

 

Leave me guess... Puzzle Agent?

Believe it or not that WAS the next game I was going to cover, but I decided we're entering spring now, I want to save that for winter, so I'm doing something else.

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How do people make fully rendered maps of games? Like one of these. That's what this game needs and, really, what Game Dungeon needs.

You generally need to reverse engineer the save and/or game files.

 

Some files are wonderful: zipped archives of organised files, some in plain text. Most however are piles of dumped memory, variables and machine code in a format you have to guess. With these it's best to fire up a hex editor and start looking for patterns in the data that make sense.

 

Hex editing is simple and anyone can do it, but working things out by studying the files requires a knack for being able to guess how the game was coded and lots of patience for dead ends. Modding games is a great way to learn more about how they work behind the scenes, but it's much easier and more fun if you have proper utilities (ie map making software from the developers) than working with raw bytes in a hex editor.

 

 

For example: this particular game would have each map divided into atleast these few things:

  • "entity spawners", "zones" or "paths". Things that describe where objects such as pedestrians and cars can be randomly 'created' in the world.
  • Interactive zones (shops, entrances, etc)
  • A list of missions with details about how and when they work, text to show, etc
  • Some basic level-wide stats such as sky colour, aggression of drivers, spawning rates, what dynamic objects are allowed to spawn
  • Your details: car state, money, mission progression state
  • (probably only whilst running) Dynamic objects such as cars and pedestrians
  • World geometry

 

Most of this would be permanently stored somewhere in the game data rather than in a save file, if nothing else because it saves space (and therefore save times). Things like the mission descriptions would be easy to find with a hex editor (they'll probably be in plain text ASCII which is easily searchable) whilst others can be in any format the designers dream of.

 

Take for example the world geometry: the only thing I can derive is that the game only supports floors, ceilings and straight walls. There are no slants (probably to avoid having to do rendering calculations more costly than affine mapping) but apart from that they could encode the data any way they want, especially since this would use a software-renderer rather than a common API like OpenGL or DirectX. Did they separate the map into individual objects with coordinates for each vertex, or encoded it as squares with rotation and size? Were textures kept seperate or inlined with all of the geometry coordinates? How did they split large areas (like city blocks) up for fast navigation?

 

I'm sure other members here with more reverse engineering knowledge will counter some of my assumptions here :) It's more fun than working with either the undocumented work of a programmer or interpreting data: you have guess your way through both and hope to find what you're after.

 

 

EDIT: I should point out that Minecraft saves are much easier to reverse-engineer than the data of a game like Quarantine. Minecraft's blocks provide very repetitive data and they are/used to be separated into individual chunk files. There is still variety and guess-work, but not as much. Most of all you can build a unique shape in-game to look for when interpreting the code, ala a crib.

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"Stay tuned for the next episode, with a potential cult classic!"

 

Leave me guess... Puzzle Agent?

Believe it or not that WAS the next game I was going to cover, but I decided we're entering spring now, I want to save that for winter, so I'm doing something else.

 

Sigh, so I have to wait at least 9 months... I love that game, and a Game Dungeon episode about it (or them, since Puzzle Agent is split in two chapters) would be great for me.

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A first person 3D open world driving game, 3 years before GTA‽ I'm actually astonished, that's amazing for the time. This is why I love watching the Game Dungeon.

 

I imagine though back in the day it must of been pretty demanding to run for most people's computers, was this like a Crysis level game? Where you needed a supercomputer to get it to run at maximum fidelity?

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Great episode! I've been hoping Ross would cover this game since he started doing the game dungeon with old abandonware games. Great memories playing this game back in the day. Loved the road raged Ross screaming in this episode too!

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I imagine though back in the day it must of been pretty demanding to run for most people's computers, was this like a Crysis level game? Where you needed a supercomputer to get it to run at maximum fidelity?

 

When I was in middle school, I had a 66MHz 486, while my friend had a 12MHz 486. I was able to play the game fine, but with my friend it was almost unplayable because of the low framerate. I also installed it on my dad's 133MHz Pentium laptop, and the game went to a turbo mode where it was almost TOO fast.

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"Stay tuned for the next episode, with a potential cult classic!"

 

Leave me guess... Puzzle Agent?

Believe it or not that WAS the next game I was going to cover, but I decided we're entering spring now, I want to save that for winter, so I'm doing something else.

 

Spooky... I played a little bit of Puzzle Agent just yesterday... :shock:

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that was a good vid ross............loved how it made me think of Escape From New York mixed with Blade Runner and Minority Report

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Did I hear TeknoAxe's "Hyperbole" in this video at 25:50? I used it in one of my videos, too. I sped it up by about 25% because I think it sounds a bit too slow.

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i actually dislike this kind of games. Namely old first-person games, even though i love them at same time. For some reason, they are only games that can cause me severe motion sickness (not always, but often enough)- like the kind i'll be in my bed 2 hours trying not to puke after 20 minute game session.

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"Stay tuned for the next episode, with a potential cult classic!"

 

Leave me guess... Puzzle Agent?

Believe it or not that WAS the next game I was going to cover, but I decided we're entering spring now, I want to save that for winter, so I'm doing something else.

Man, I would've loved to hear your thoughts on that game. Oh well, winter'll return soon enough.

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