Other reverse-engineering projcets

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Del
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Post by Del » Mon May 22, 2006 9:13 pm

If the game is open source, what is there to reverse engineer? Just curious.

clem
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Post by clem » Mon May 22, 2006 9:51 pm

Del wrote:If the game is open source, what is there to reverse engineer? Just curious.
maybe "documenting" is here the more appropriate term

if someone for example asks "how is the BASS datafile built", everybody just says "look at the source", which seems as if the ASM was simply converted to C which makes understanding and hacking around quite a challenge

moreover, documenting known formats could help recognizing the same formats in other games where they wouldn't be expected otherwise, could save time in the end?

clem

Del
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Post by Del » Mon May 22, 2006 10:18 pm

clem wrote:
Del wrote:If the game is open source, what is there to reverse engineer? Just curious.
maybe "documenting" is here the more appropriate term

if someone for example asks "how is the BASS datafile built", everybody just says "look at the source", which seems as if the ASM was simply converted to C which makes understanding and hacking around quite a challenge

moreover, documenting known formats could help recognizing the same formats in other games where they wouldn't be expected otherwise, could save time in the end?

clem
That makes sense.

Dark-Star, I like the layout of the .CC page you've created. Very nice level of detail!

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Dark-Star
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Post by Dark-Star » Tue May 23, 2006 12:04 pm

Documenting other (open source) games or file formats is fine, too. As long as it doesn't lead to excessive duplication of work already done elsewhere (the scummvm- and xentar-wikis come to mind), feel free to add it to the wiki.

It would also be nice to have some simple "howtos" from other people on how they analyze unknown files, similar to what I already posted there.

Dasaan
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Post by Dasaan » Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:03 pm

I've just added a bunch of files regarding Dungeon Keeper to the REwiki. I have a few more to add tomorrow too.

[edit] have you thought of submitting a news article to sites like The Linux Game Tome, Linux-Gamers and LinuxGames to get a bit of extra exposure? Maybe also Slashot and Digg.

mirekluza
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Dungeon Hack, Aesop/16

Post by mirekluza » Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:48 am

I have added some information about Dungeon Hack - as far as I know this is the only other game using the mysterious AESOP/16 system... Nothing earth-shattering, but if Dark-Star or anyone else goes on with file analysis, he has now two more files to play with in addition to EYE.RES in EOB 3 (Dungeon Hack containts OPEN.RES with intro and HACK.RES with the rest of the game).

I have also added some general speculations concerning AESOP/16 - but probably nothing really useful - it is impossible to find anything on Internet (apart from EOB 3/Dungeon Hack related things)...
I wonder whether it would be possible to get an information from somebody who used to work at "Miles Design" (the firm itself is now owned by "RAD Game Tools", see http://www.mobygames.com/company/miles-design-inc ).

My guess is that AESOP/16 was never really released as "Miles Design" product as it had been planned (why to make a robust script based engine otherwise...)... It was just used for two SSI games and then abandoned...
It would be nice if somebody could add more information to this...

Mirek

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Dark-Star
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Post by Dark-Star » Tue Sep 05, 2006 3:49 pm

I saw your notes on the Wiki and did a little more work on the .RES files, though nothing spectacular right now. I'll see if I can find a cheap copy of Dungeon Hack somewhere.

Some time ago I also traced back the links from AESOP to Miles Design, and I sent them an eMail asking for more information. I never got any reply. If someone has any connections to Miles Design, maybe he could ask them about AESOP/16.

Reading your notes I imagine that AESOP/16 was distributed as source code, with each development team adding their own customizations. That would explain why the two EXE files are not exchangeable (they might have implemented different "system calls" for example), although the file version stays the same (they didn't bother changing the ID string)

[edit: I submitted a news story to some of the sites, however, I'm reluctant to submit to Slashdot, the guy hosting the Wiki would surely kill me if his server gets slashdotted ;-)]

mirekluza
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AESOP/16

Post by mirekluza » Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:21 pm

I put a sticky thread (abusing my powers of a moderator there :-) ) in DOS forum on VOGONS asking for information about AESOP/16...
It is just a blind fishing, but there always a chance I will catch something. We will see.

Mirek

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df
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Post by df » Tue Sep 05, 2006 6:19 pm

well considering dungeon hack and eob3 are the exact same style of game.. except DH is 'hack', its random dungeons.

its been a long long time since I looked, I was under the impression that the aesop/16 system was a kind of dosextender. (i have not looked in a long time)...

i'm probably totally wrong tho :)

Del
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Post by Del » Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:41 pm

It's not a dos extender, it identifies itself as a runtime interpreter, and from a cursory glance it appears to be just that.

By the way, there's a cheat for Dungeon Hack that puts the game in "text mode" which will print what appears to be debugging information as you play it. It could possibly help with the RE work.

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Dark-Star
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Post by Dark-Star » Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:49 pm

That sounds like an useful cheat, one more reason to hunt down a copy of that game... I think Eye3 has something similar, although not as helpful (it only enables some debug keys)

There might be more 3D-dungeon-crawl style games from that time which use the interpreter, who knows...

df: You're probably confusing it with DOS/16M or DOS/4GW

mirekluza
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Dungeon Hack cheats

Post by mirekluza » Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:42 am

Type set aesop_diag=1 at the command prompt, then type hack to load the game. Press one of the following keys to activate the corresponding cheat function. Note: Enabling some codes may cause the game to crash in certain places.

Effect Key
Destroy all monsters A
Activate text mode T
No clipping I
Gain a level X
Practice magic, new items O
Change all texture/color settings [F6]
Change floor color/ceiling texture [F4]
Change color of wall texture [F5]
Change floor and ceiling texture [F2]
Changes wall texture on level. [F3]
Display game stats; poisons player. [F9]
Move player one floor down [F7]
Moves player one floor up [F8]
Outline level in automap [F10]
Toggle reduced decoration [F1]

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df
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Post by df » Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:44 pm

Dark-Star wrote:df: You're probably confusing it with DOS/16M or DOS/4GW
nah I was thinking of ultima7 and its poor extender.

i just fired up dhack to check.

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