Saturday, April 10, 2010

Random update

Yup, that's right. I feel like working on Halo right now. Don't like it? Then GTFO! lol, just joking. But on a serious note, I'm sure I'm going to get multiple "wtf"s for multiple reasons. I'll answer your wtf's later. Just trying to piece together an update since I haven't been doing it very often!

It's been a while since I've done any major updates to Cxbx (and I still haven't), but today I wanted to take some time off more serious things and work with Cxbx for a while. Right now, I'm mainly dealing with issues related to games using XDK 3911 (Azurik and Halo in particular) because this XDK internally operates very differently then all other XDKs released after it. Remember playing Halo on Xeon? Ever noticed how bilinear filtering was never present, alpha blending in the wrong places and the walls weren't visible? That's because the Deferred Render/Texture States are in a completely different order than the other XDKs! I found this out when I first tested the code examples for 3911 and noticed that certain render/texture states wouldn't work, and that the wrong ones were being set. I fixed most of this in Cxbx already, and if Xeon was open source, I could fix it there too. Why didn't _SF_ figure this out? Because he never had XDK 3911 to begin with. He was using XDK 4627 to find similarities, and did a good job of it. Still, anyone could have missed this.

"Hold on a sec, why does Halo look orange?" Good question. I don't know. Besides, I thought Halo's old orange UI looked cooler than the blue one (E3 2000, anyone?). Well, don't be surprised. With every new release of Halo (or new major build), there's always something with Halo that causes the menus to look more and more distorted. At one point, you could actually make sense of what was going on. Now you can't, really.

"Why are you working on Halo anyway? There's already a PC port, why not play that instead?" Okay, this gets really old after a few years. First of all, Cxbx is not intended to replace an Xbox or be a substitute for any PC version of any game available. I don't work on Cxbx so all the warez monkeys can play their favourite pirated games either. My motives for working on Cxbx is to further advance the current state of Xbox emulation as a whole and learn a trick or two about how Xbox works and about Direct3D in general. So please, don't tell me what I can and can't emulate. Yeah, it nice to be able to play your favourite games on an emulator when you can't use your console, but remember this... each time another game becomes playable, it increases your chances of being able to play your favourite game in the next release! Besides, I like the idea of playing Halo's Co-op campaign on my laptop with a friend. Isn't that something to look forward to?

"What about the ring? Does that actually render?" Actually, it does. You'll have to put Cxbx in wireframe mode to see it though. I think it's covered up by stuff again.

Defiance and I have been putting our heads together a bit today. Not sure if he'll have time to work on Cxbx for a while, but he's still around. For any of you who actually got Cxbx to successfully get Halo into the menus and tried to start a new game, you might have been greeted with a nasty grey/white screen that sits there forever. Well, I actually got passed that today. From the looks of things, it appears that it might have actually been going towards the ingame status. Too bad I had gotten a fatal error message ruining the whole thing! My debugging information was off, so maybe I can fix it. The biggest problem with Halo is that there are tons of bugs related to this game. Might be Vista related, but it's too early to tell. So getting to that point is all a matter of chance. Sometimes a crash happens, sometimes not. Totally unpredictable.

There, an update. I never thought I'd make so many users sad by taking some time off :) Maybe I should just take time off every other week instead so no one starts complaining :)



  1. What did happen to _SF_? It's like he just disappeared off the planet. I've downloaded Xeon, but I can't get it to work. Do you know if it's an issue with Windows Vista? Or am I missing something?

  2. I have no idea what happened to _SF_. Hopefully he comes back sometime.

    Xeon is kinda funny, but it only works with the NTSC version. Try enabling software vertex processing and the software device in the options. That's what I had to do once, then it goes ingame for me. So far, from my experience, it works best on XP. It randomly stops working for me in Vista.

  3. great investigation and report. You are doing a fantastic job.