Showing posts with label Gaming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gaming. Show all posts

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Recent purchase of old games on Steam...and labor required to actually get them running

I recently purchased a game package that consists of Railroad Tycoon II Platinum, Railroad Tycoon 3 and Sid Meier's Railroads! on Steam.  Two of these games needed a human (me) to get into the game files to fix them so the games can be run on Windows 10 (or even on Vista or 8).

Railroad Tycoon 3's issue is that it crashes on startup.  The fix is to turn on an option called "Disable Hardware T&L" in the Settings dialog.  The problem is that you cannot turn this option on in-game if you cannot get the game started.


For this, the solution is to replace the engine.cfg file which is found in the game's Steam folder (example: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Railroad Tycoon 3\Data\Configuration).  The source of the replacement engine.cfg file is here: 105_106_RT3_Vista_Fix.zip.  More information about this fix can be found on Hawk & Badger Railroad (backup link).  This video also covers more information about patching RT3:


Sid Meier's Railroads!'s issue is that it crashes constantly, like in minutes.  The fix is to directly edit the game's executable file with a hexeditor to change a specific bit.  You never know when you'll need a hexeditor, so I always install one on one every desktop PC I've owned.  Even still, I've literally not used a hexeditor on game files in over 2 decades.  Anyway, the bug fix description is too involve for me to repeat in this article, so I'll just point to the source article on Steam: Fix Crashing/LAA manual fix (backup link). 


The Steam article employs a particular hexeditor, so if you aren't experienced hexediting files, you may wish to use the recommended app.  Despite the lengthy article, the actual fix is very quick once you find the bit you need change. So far, I've not had a crash since implementing this fix.

Epilogue

When Steam gaming platform first came out, I was not a fan.  I tried to avoid it like the plague, but eventually, AAA games that I wished to play were only available on Steam, so I had to commit.  The game that finally snared me was Civilization 5.

One cool thing about Steam is that they have a ton of old games from as far back as the early 90's (maybe even earlier).  The old games are typically porteddosboxed or patched to run on modern systems.  Although you have to rebuy old games that you wish to play (for rather small prices), it is typically worth the cost to avoid the trouble of working out how to configure a modern PC to run those games.

The problem with Steam is that their updates are often half-hearted efforts.  For example, no efforts are taken to maintain aspect ratios of the original games.  This makes many of the old games appear uglier than the originals.  However, this is typically OK, as you play old games for their game mechanics and functional design more than their outdated graphical design.  A bigger issue is demonstrated earlier in this article.  Some games are so badly adopted by Steam, you, the user, have to manually configure the game files in order for the game to even run (or at least run without a ton of crashes).  

Not all games are fixable.  An example of this is Independence War (a game I loved).  Both Steam editions (original and sequel) appear to have unfixed game-breaking bugs with no community solutions.  These games are only $6, but it's $6 too much for a game that cannot be finished.


Saturday, March 28, 2020

Tried to make a sleepy fishing village with Sunset Harbor

I tried to make a sleepy fishing village with Cities:Skylines Sunset Harbor DLC.  Well, it's a fishing village, but not sure if it's sleepy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Orbital Dance - Inspired by adventures in Elite Dangerous

Flying around planets and moons is fun in Elite Dangerous.  This music is inspired by exploring worlds in star systems playing Elite Dangerous.



Other ED inspired music:
Explorer's Path
Cloud View
Orbital Dance

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

One soulful evening, I found myself looking up to the sky from a small moon

While playing Elite Dangerous, I was in my SRV on a small moon in a dimly lit star system at a geologically active site.  I looked up to see the parent planet and the space around me filled with an eerie sauna like steam bath.  The experience inspired this work.  While short, the tune is very loopable.




Other ED inspired music:
Explorer's Path
Cloud View
Orbital Dance

Friday, January 10, 2020

Space Sauna out in the Black (Elite Dangerous)



After exploring for weeks, it was time to take a break. I found a deep canyon on this heavily scared moon with a great view at a geological site to enjoy a space sauna. Kick up your heels (of the space legs you do not yet have) and relax under the gas giant in nature's steam.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Fungi in space! Found a colony in Elite Dangerous that's not horribly far from the bubble

Finally found a colony of biologics while wandering around the Galaxy in Elite Dangerous.  This colony is on Wredguia IM-WE1-8 B 1.  These are a type of Bioluminescent Anemone, but I'm not sure which specific species.  I damaged my SRV beyond repair on a previous planet landing, so I wasn't able try anything to interact with these lifeforms.  This might warrant another trip back once I return to the bubble to replace/upgrade my equipment.