Macintosh Blades of Avernum v1.2.1 beta update available.

AuthorTopic: Macintosh Blades of Avernum v1.2.1 beta update available.
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We have created a beta version of Blades of Avernum v1.2.1. This new version should work correctly on all versions of Macs running Leopard.

The test installer is at

ftp://ftp.spiderwebsoftware.com/temp/BladesofAvernumDemov121test.dmg

This update should work. If you try it out and it works/doesn't work, please let me know at spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com. Since testing updates on Blades of Avernum is much trickier than for the other games, feedback from the designers is very welcome.

The newest Blades requires Mac OS X 10.3.9. If you have an older Mac, the older version of Blades will still be available.

I was actually surprised that I was able to get Blades to work. I was afraid I'd have to require all the graphics in the Mac scenarios to be done in a different format. Fortunately, I was able to find a way to approach the problem that enabled me to get a new version running with minimal angst.

- Jeff Vogel

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I'm happy to report that this version appears to run perfectly under 10.4.10 on PowerPC.

While BoA is recieving touch up work, I would again like to petition for having the load game file selection dialog window remember the last used directory. This would be a great help, since, I really would prefer not to keep all of my save files in my Documents folder, and while designing I find that I often reload dozens of times in a few minutes. I don't know if it was a deliberate descision to make the open dialog always begin at the Documents folder, or if this was the best working solution that could be found (as I recall that it came about after the trouble with the dialog defaulting to inside the application bundle), but if it was the latter, I would appreciate it if the problem could be revisited. If that was the case, I'm not sure why the default behaviors of the NavServices functions (which I assume are being used), but if nothing else works ((CFStringRef)CFPreferencesCopyAppValue( CFStringCreateWithCString( NULL, "AppleNavServices:GetFile:0:Path", kCFStringEncodingMacRoman ), kCFPreferencesCurrentApplication ))can be used to obtain the last visited directory by brute force.

I would also like to ask if you would comment on the trick to ensuring that graphic resources load properly, as this is a known issue with Graphic Adjuster, and would benefit the 3D Editor as well. I've already discovered that the image dimensions need to be byte flipped after being read in on Intel systems, but without system for testing, i haven't gotten any farther.

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"While BoA is recieving touch up work, I would again like to petition for having the load game file selection dialog window remember the last used directory. "

Thanks for reminding me. This will work right in the official release.

"I would also like to ask if you would comment on the trick to ensuring that graphic resources load properly, as this is a known issue with Graphic Adjuster, and would benefit the 3D Editor as well. I've already discovered that the image dimensions need to be byte flipped after being read in on Intel systems, but without system for testing, i haven't gotten any farther."

Could I have a bit more information on this? I'm not sure what you're referring to here. (Except to say that if you're trying to get the size of a pict on an intel Mac, you must use QDGetPictureBounds. Otherwise, suffering.)

- Jeff Vogel

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Thanks! It'll be really convenient to be able to reload quickly again.

As to loading picts, when writing Graphic Adjuster, I mostly just followed the pattern of the Editor's load_pict function, which uses GetPicture to do the loading. When I recently created a universal binary of GA and Tyranicus tested it on an Intel system, it failed to load any pict resources. We were able to trace the problem down to the fact that the pict's image rectagle was wrong, and although I haven'y had a chance to test (or get someone to test for me) it appears that doing a byte flip on each component of the rectangle will give the correct size again on Intel macs. However, I have a fear that the actual image data of the pict may need byte flipping, and then when writing picts back to disk more fliping may be needed. I'll certainly try out QDGetPictureBounds, since it sounds like it knows how to handle the size correctly depending on architecture, but I was also wondering if there were any more changes that would be needed. Thanks for the help.

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If you are manually flipping bytes in those records, you are probably doing something wrong. If I was in the mood to wager, I'd bet you forgot to add kNativeEndianPixMap to NewGworld. As in ...

NewGWorld(offScreen, 32, theRect, 0, GetGDevice(), noNewDevice + kNativeEndianPixMap)

That is the magic value that makes gworlds work in Universal apps.

- Jeff Vogel

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And that would be exactly the piece of the puzzle I hadn't known about. Thanks!

EDIT: Just noticed one issue with the new version of BoA: It runs perfectly in millions of colors, but then as it's exiting, it quickly flips the screen to thousands and then back to millions. It's not a problem really, but looks a little odd.

[ Saturday, December 01, 2007 08:37: Message edited by: Niemand ]

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On a G4 PowerBook running 10.5.1, the ice lizards and ice dragons seem to be graphically impaired. They appear on a white background overlayed on the tile they're on.
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It appears to run well on my Core Duo MacBook Pro running 10.5.1. Although, I join Niemand in finding it odd that it switches to 16-bit and back to 32-bit color on exit. This could cause problems on the new MacBooks with Intel X3100 graphics, since that GPU cannot display in 16-bit.

[ Tuesday, December 11, 2007 21:22: Message edited by: Tyranicus ]

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The above link is now dead ... the full version has been released.

The 16 bit/32 bit problem has been fixed, by the problem with the ice drakes and lizards is still there. I'll see about fixing it soon.

- Jeff Vogel

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What is different in version 1.2.1 besides working in Leopard?

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All the download links seem to still be pointing to version 1.2 from February 15th 2007 yet?

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For the record, I've since noticed the graphical bug appearing on other sprites, primarily custom ones.
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