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16  General Boards / Mapping Tips/Guides / Re: Advice / help wanted for mapping 3D DOS game with vector graphics on: June 18, 2012, 03:44:04 AM
If it's possible to get the game to display a parallel projection (display objects in distance at the same size as near to the camera) combined with an isometric angle, the game could be mapped even with the sprites. Similar to what has been done with the Wolfenstein 3D and Doom maps.
But forums with more people with hacking experience will be a better place to ask. If they can help you, please write back here. Smiley
17  General Boards / Mapping Tips/Guides / Re: Advice / help wanted for mapping 3D DOS game with vector graphics on: June 17, 2012, 08:02:16 AM
The credits for the game say:
3D Landscaping: Tom Loughry, Cyndi Kirkpatrick, Tomi Quintana, Jerry Pape

So if one could contact, for example, Tom Loughry, it might be possible to find out how (and where) the maps and objects are stored. If he is allowed to talk about that and still knows it after all these years.

Another Accolade game from 1992, Grand Prix Unlimited, uses a tile based editor and from two short tests I made I am confident that the data is also stored with tile references instead of full vector data. The graphics look similar but I don't know if the same engine and data model is used. Could also be totally different. But if Test Drive III uses a tile based option to store the maps, one would need to find out where the single objects like houses, tunnels and mountain parts are stored after getting the map data itself. And then combine all this.

I cannot do any of the needed tasks, I fear. I tried, but I don't understand enough of the materia. If it would be possible to log all file accesses (and the exact number of bytes and offsets read from those files and in which order) via DOSBox, it could be possible to narrow down the exact data that is accessed when loading a new map, but from my few-minute check it looks like the built-in debugger doesn't log these informations.
18  Main Boards / VGMaps Social Board / Re:'s 10th Anniversary on: May 26, 2012, 03:43:01 AM
Nice to hear that VGMaps still lives after 10 years. Although I first submitted something in 2005, I started with my first map set in 2003 and I am sure I mostly did it because I knew of this lovely place to share them afterwards. So I must have known since 9 of the 10 years.

It's gotten quiet from my side - but I will keep an eye on and plan to return with new maps someday. It's just that I first want to make use of my programming skills first to write an easy to use program that helps with manual map making (like automatic pre-snapping of two pasted screenshots and batch processing with autostitching) while still being fully controls compatible to Windows XP Microsoft Paint but also adding layer capabilities and some random tools (like often-used transparencies (GBA,SNES)). It's just difficult to do and my first try from two years ago was very clunky and didn't work promising at all. With the adequate distance to that work I might work on a new attempt with refactored code and all soon. Smiley
But better don't start waiting on it - it might most likely take another two years with my current work speed. Tongue
19  General Boards / Maps Of The Month / Re: 2011/04: Spear Of Destiny (PC) - DarkWolf on: November 10, 2011, 03:53:46 AM
Not natively, but it's not possible for new Microsoft OSS either. Instead, you may want to use DOSBox ( to play it on Linux and other new Operating Systems.

It's a straightforward process getting a game to run in new DOSBox versions. If you have got Spear Of Destiny in a directory path named <sodpath> (e.g. "/home/username/games/sod"), then just start DOSBox and write
mount c <sodpath>

Afterwards, switch to C: and run the game. If it's too slow, try the command cycles=max for maximum CPU cycles.
20  General Boards / Map Gab / Re: Sword of Mana (GBA) on: October 19, 2011, 07:29:13 AM
Yes, I am definitely interested in how you do those maps and what the program does for you.

I also already tried creating a program like the Autostitcher but for slower paced screenshots (i.e. not each from each frame but when pressed a key manually) with visible sprites. The program had to find overlapping portions of each two screenshots and also recognize sprites. But I already had difficulties with finding overlapping portions when using it on Indiana Jones 4: The Action Game, as seen below - although most screenshots fit perfectly to form a map, some are misplaced and at the moment there's no possibility to interact with the map creation process of the program. So I never got around identifiying sprites. I plan to work on it again in the future, though - by first adding an assisted mode where the program tries a map layout automatically and the user chooses which screenshots have to be placed at a different position. But I didn't have time for it lately.
21  General Boards / Map Requests / Re: Corrider 7 and Catacomb 3D on the PC? on: July 14, 2011, 01:00:14 PM
Do your sources include scripts for decoding the level data out of the GameMaps file? Or do you have a different program for doing so? Because I've read (on the linked site) that Catacomb 3D uses the same maps format as Wolfenstein 3D and getting the level data seems the hardest part because it uses multiple compressions (RLEW and Carmack compression) and I don't feel like writing a decompression script if I am not sure that it will work afterwards (the wiki description is a bit vague about how RLEW (de)compression is done for the GameMaps file).
22  General Boards / Maps In Progress / Re: James Bond Jr. on: June 13, 2011, 09:57:56 AM
The more colorful version of the first level looks much better than the one with the darkened palette. The first, darkened, version reminds me of Back To The Future III on the Sega Genesis which was also way too dark due to a failure during cardridge production (as described by David Haywood at, see attached picture).
23  General Boards / Maps In Progress / Re: Any LOTR nerds here? on: April 28, 2011, 10:49:30 AM
I don't know if the LOTR online game used the same regions as the books (and the SNES game), but here are annotated maps for Lord Of The Rings Online: Maybe they help.
24  General Boards / Mapping Tips/Guides / Re: Unusual layer toggling on: February 09, 2011, 02:16:58 PM
The problem is that, while on gaming computers like the Commodore 64 and consoles like the Super NES the hardware's video modes supported scrollable background layers and the concept of sprites, and games also used them in almost all cases to hava a major speedup and more available CPU power for the actual game logic, there wasn't such a standard on the IBM compatible PCs. Early PC video adapters (CGA, EGA) just supported special text modes for displaying text on screen and general image modes where an array of color values was submitted to the adapter to display an image on the screen.

Wikipedia says that the proceeding VGA standard supported smooth hardware scrolling, but I have no clues in which ways this might open a possiblity to extract a scrolling layer out of the data that is submitted for display in each drawing cycle. Also maybe that wouldn't mean that multiple layers could be distinguished because each game engine was programmed differently. But I don't know anything about that for sure because I never programmed a VGA game. Might be a question that is best lead to a developer of the DOSBox, for example.
25  General Boards / Maps In Progress / Re: Detailing Secret of Evermore Maps: Alchemy Ingredients on: December 30, 2010, 04:48:06 AM
The repopulated version of Ebon Keep has been added to the maps section of the site (
26  General Boards / Maps In Progress / Re: Detailing Secret of Evermore Maps: Alchemy Ingredients on: December 18, 2010, 03:26:58 AM
Yes, the Rice and spice cave. I think that's the name. I wanted to mention it because that would be another nice addition to maps with all wild ingredients included.

I don't know anything more about the code, but if it doesn't work correctly for you, I could try to map the repopulated Ebon Keep.
27  General Boards / Maps In Progress / Re: Detailing Secret of Evermore Maps: Alchemy Ingredients on: December 17, 2010, 12:49:52 PM
Ebon Keep town opens up after destroying Ivor Tower? I didn't know it, sorry for that. Otherwise I would have mapped it.
About the walk through walls code: It did work perfectly for me, but I think that I had to try more than one code to find one that really got me through every obstacle, without dying. I can try to look up if I saved the emulator (with the codes activated) together with the raw project files. I think I did. I just need to find the CD.

By the way, it's great that you are going to find all ingredients hidden in the wild. I did not have the nerve to do that because the mapping project already took way too long.

There's another thing I found out later through a speedrun which therefor is not included in the maps: In the Desert of Doom (northern edge) there's a possiblity to call a whirlwind that gets you to a secret cave. The author of the speedrun I saw it in was "Saturn", if I remember correctly.

EDIT: I think I used this game genie code: 5DC5-CD7E. At least the expanded value, "8FAE70 70 03", matches the one from that old cheat database I used for mapping.
28  General Boards / Gaming / Re: The History Of Nintendo (book series) on: September 06, 2010, 08:05:48 AM
My copy of the book arrived today. It looks great, with that plastic cover and high-gloss paper. I haven't read much of it yet, so I cannot say much to the content.
29  General Boards / Maps In Progress / Re: famicom star wars on: August 30, 2010, 08:34:31 AM
This seems to be a different game from the Star Wars game I played on the NES. In the game I played you could drive with your speeder on Tatooine in an overhead perspective and there was a small cave that I visited first. Or are those passages omitted from the map set?
30  General Boards / Map Gab / Re: Might and Magic 3-5 (PC) on: August 19, 2010, 11:22:14 AM
I think it's a bit too colourless and unintuitive, but this might be only my personal opinion. I wonder if it's possible to mix in some elements of the game using little graphics, for example a ladder/staircase icon beneath the arrows for Up/Down and a little chest icon instead of T (for treasures) or painting the floor in the main color of the in-game ground. However, because I do not know what the Accuracy and Intelligence fields (amongst others) mean (I didn't play the game very deeply) and how they could be displayed differently, this idea maybe cannot be followed.
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