Microprose adventure information request

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zaxxon4
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Microprose adventure information request

Post by zaxxon4 »

I'm in the process of trying to get technical information about the MADS engine.

For those who don't know, the game engine was created by Microprose in the early 90's and later sold to Sanctuary Woods. It was used by Microprose for Rex Nebular, Return of the Phantom, and Dragonsphere. Sanctuary Woods used it for Ripley's, and Orion Burger. Parts of it may have been used for Bloodnet, and it used the same encryption as Colonization.

I am working on writing a source code request letter to Atari/Infogrames (they own the rights to most non-Sid Microprose titles). If I get permission, I'll then start contacting members of the various development teams, to see if anyone still has any of the code.

I have been working on reverse engineering Rex Nebular's mainmenu.exe to see how it loads data files, and to see if I can find out how the compression works. The compression is still stumping me, and since I haven't found any helpful information on the internet I figured I should start asking.

By searching the forum, all I found was:
"An engine for MicroProse adventure games. I heard Cyxdown attempted to document the engine and experimented a bit. Games like Rex Nebular and one Star Trek game seems interesting." The Madventurer 31 May 2006

I do not know Cyxdown, and his site doesn't mention anything about these games. Any useful information would be helpful.

Thanks, in advance
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sev
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Re: Microprose adventure information request

Post by sev »

zaxxon4 wrote:For those who don't know, the game engine was created by Microprose in the early 90's and later sold to Sanctuary Woods. It was used by Microprose for Rex Nebular, Return of the Phantom, and Dragonsphere. Sanctuary Woods used it for Ripley's, and Orion Burger. Parts of it may have been used for Bloodnet, and it used the same encryption as Colonization.
Are you sure about that? AFAIK, the engine used by Ripley's and Orion Burger was called M4, and it was used just for those 2 games.


Eugene
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sev
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Re: Microprose adventure information request

Post by sev »

sev wrote: Are you sure about that? AFAIK, the engine used by Ripley's and Orion Burger was called M4, and it was used just for those 2 games.
Hmmm... Just checked Return of the Phantom and it is definitely same engine. That's really interesting.


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john_doe
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Post by john_doe »

Yes, it's the same engine. I completely forgot to mail this to you, sev :)
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sev
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Post by sev »

john_doe wrote:Yes, it's the same engine. I completely forgot to mail this to you, sev :)
This link gives a good clue.


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Post by Oehli »

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john_doe
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Post by john_doe »

I've uploaded some of my MADS code.
It can be downloaded from http://gamefileformats.the-underdogs.in ... ads-12.rar

It's more than cyx's but don't expect anything great, it's quite unfinished obviously.
At least it has the decompression.
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Post by Alpobemp »

I have been notified about this interesting thread just now.

I have tried to develop a tool on my own, some time ago, with the purpose of translating mads adventure games into italian language, for the italian adventure games translation team IAGTG. (For reference: http://www.iagtg.net , http://www.oldgamesitalia.com/forum/ind ... owforum=66)

As a matter of fact, though this tool (Delphi code) is just in a "scaffolding" state and it is far from being considered "complete", dialogs and descriptions texts can already be modified and resource files can be rewritten accordantly.

About the text compression algorithm, I found out a considerable help in this link (special thanks go to Dorian Gray)
where you can find the decompression C source code routine.
Hope this can help you too.

Please, feel free to contact me for further information, I shall be glad to share knowledge compatibly with my real life, of course.

Regards,
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timofonic
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Post by timofonic »

http://web.archive.org/web/200512231859 ... 030803.zip

There is the file for historical reasons. I don't know why cyxdown deleted it.
clem
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Post by clem »

The Madventurer wrote:I don't know why cyxdown deleted it.
the file is there, but I think lycos checks the referrer to thwart leeching - go to http://membres.lycos.fr/cyxdown/stuff/ and manually download it, that worked for me...

also, afaik his name is cyx, not cyxdown :) (at least according to http://www.scummvm.org/credits.php )

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Post by timofonic »

zaxxon4, are you still planning to research about MADS? It could be nice to know if you discovered something about the engine or some news about your project.
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md5
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Post by md5 »

"Something wicked this way comes" :wink:
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Post by fingolfin »

Hu? md5 ?
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Raziel
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Post by Raziel »

md5, you teaser!!!

:-)
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Post by timofonic »

md5, what do you mean? Did you forgot to eat your medication or there are interesting news to come? ;)
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