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#3831357 - 09/03/13 11:59 PM MiG Alley - Placebo or fix?  
Joined: Jun 2007
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DrStrangePool Offline
The master of the weird
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I have had this itch for years, to fly the Sabre in the Korean Conflict. Sadly, the alternatives of MiG Alley are... not great(The ones I found or I am aware off, CFS3 Korean theater,HAWX expansion pack and War Thunder).

So I dusted off my MiG Alley box, and installed it. Surprisingly enough, Win 7 x64 didn't give any headaches.


So, now comes the sad part. Resolution of 1280x960 doesn't cut it... After 3 days of searching I finally found it's source code(SimHQ, please host it again, something like that can not be lost). I was trying to find a way to fix the slowdown you get when you go close to the ground and resolution. If I could find the offset on the executable dealing with the resolution, it would prove easier. Since there are already some tools available that can change resolution on the fly.

But, the slowdown was/is miserable. So, I started to search for a solution, and stumbled upon ddraw.dll, it seems some games have custom settings, and I wish I knew how they did it. but oh well..

Anyway, I downloaded this ddraw.dll and placed it in the games folder(DO NOT REPLACE THE ONE ON YOUR WINDOWS)

You can download it here(at the top)
http://www.jkhub.net/


direct link: http://www.jkhub.net/project/get.php?id=1804

Placing the ddraw.dll on the game directory(where mig.exe is located), and I managed to fly close to the ground without much slowdowns, or any. So, I'm wondering if someone else is willing to test it, and see if I'm just fooling myself or it really works.

PS: I wish my programming skills were above the extremely basic.

#3831931 - 09/05/13 12:20 AM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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DrStrangePool Offline
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I found a workaround for the resolution. By using HEX edit on the settings.mig on the savegame file.

The map and the game will now display the resolution I want, which is 1920x1080

But, if you even open the "preferences" menu, it will change back to the previous one.

I couldn't find the actual resolution on the executable, so the game is obviously loading something else, where the resolutions are stored.

Here are the offsets if you want to try it for yourself.
Hex editor: http://mh-nexus.de/en/

Change the resolution to 1280x960, exit the game, open a Hex editor, search for this code "00 05 c0 03" and replace it with this one "80 07 38 04" for 1920x1080. If you want a custom resolution of your own, open your windows calculator, select "programmer" and enter the resolution you want, I'll use my resolution for the sake of simplicity. I input this on dec "1920" then change to HEX(left side) and it will show "780", but since we need pairs, and programmers use 0x0.. Then we just add an extra "0" so it looks like "07 80". But the code, when encrypted it does it in reverse, so instead of being "07 80" you switch places "80 07" for the width "1920" and then you do the same for height "1080" which is "38 04".

640 = 0x0280 ->02 80 -> 80 02
480 = 0x01E0 -> 01 E0 -> E0 01

80 02 E0 01

1280 = 0x0500 -> 05 00 -> 00 05
960 = 0x03c0 -> 03 c0 -> c0 03

00 05 c0 03


1920 = 0x0780 -> 07 80 -> 80 07
1080 = 0x0438 -> 04 38 -> 38 04

80 07 38 04


direct link: http://i.imgur.com/K0qrYK9.jpg

#3832018 - 09/05/13 06:33 AM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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damson Offline
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Hiding in the bushes
Hey, great find, maybe I will check it out later as I wanted to fly Mig Alley for some time and didn't have enough incentive to do so. I alredy have the dll file you mentioned, as I use it for Jedi Knight.

#3832054 - 09/05/13 09:44 AM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: damson]  
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DrStrangePool Offline
The master of the weird
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Originally Posted By: damson
Hey, great find, maybe I will check it out later as I wanted to fly Mig Alley for some time and didn't have enough incentive to do so. I alredy have the dll file you mentioned, as I use it for Jedi Knight.


I'm currently trying to understand how the various tools found at http://www.wsgf.org/ work so I can create a plugin for one of them. That way, it would make it easier for everyone. But so far... No cigar, as none comes with a tutorial or any guide on how to do it.

I've marginally got this one working, just can't figure out a few things in its INI files. http://www.wsgf.org/node/5162

I'm also testing a few settings on Nvidia Inspector. Here's what I have so far.




This one is with those settings applied. I'm trying to decrease the blurriness of the fonts. But from what I've been noticing, they seem to be actual sprites. Unless I'm getting confused. Either way, the game seems a whole lot more playable now. I wonder if it is possible to make the horizon render even further out.

full image: http://i.imgur.com/YTfUwGk.jpg

#3832071 - 09/05/13 11:49 AM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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SkyHigh Offline
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DrMagnumWolf, I am just replying in relation to your original post, regarding alternatives to MiG Alley, although you seem to be doing fine with the old game. A fine, more modern version of this genre can be applied using Strike Fighters 2, although it entails quite a few mod downloads, via our friends in CombatAce. The other alternative now available is with one of the mod packages for Il-2 1946, notably DBW and HSFX. While lacking the atmosphere and character of the Rowan game, these options present with better graphics, and, in my opinion, superior AI in the case of SF2.

#3832429 - 09/05/13 10:00 PM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: SkyHigh]  
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DrStrangePool Offline
The master of the weird
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Originally Posted By: SkyHigh
DrMagnumWolf, I am just replying in relation to your original post, regarding alternatives to MiG Alley, although you seem to be doing fine with the old game. A fine, more modern version of this genre can be applied using Strike Fighters 2, although it entails quite a few mod downloads, via our friends in CombatAce. The other alternative now available is with one of the mod packages for Il-2 1946, notably DBW and HSFX. While lacking the atmosphere and character of the Rowan game, these options present with better graphics, and, in my opinion, superior AI in the case of SF2.


Thank you for the suggestion. I will check DBW(Apparently it needs UP3 and something new with TFM that I haven't seen yet), I will skip SF2 for one gigantic reason only. Not the update dance I'll have to do(haven't played it for more than a year) but..this the F-4 Phantom II. That plane, my reaction is comparable to the same reaction highly hormonal teenager girls get by seeing, looking at pictures et al of the FLOTM or "insert some actor, singer, famous person name here".

Seriously, instead of flying the Sabre, I'll end up flying the F-4 :P I LOVE THAT PLANE!

Last edited by DrMagnumWolf; 09/05/13 10:01 PM. Reason: grammar
#3832663 - 09/06/13 08:58 AM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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DrStrangePool Offline
The master of the weird
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I've decided to check how the resolution fix would fare on the campaign map(mind you, bit busy trying to sort out a few other things with the code), with only a small exception of cutting the top which can then be fixed by switching between maximized and full screen view...
it works wonderfully

full img link: http://i.imgur.com/Ta91MQw.png


#3832670 - 09/06/13 09:20 AM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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mikew Offline
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Looking good!

Are you building your own exe from the source code?

#3832700 - 09/06/13 11:27 AM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: mikew]  
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DrStrangePool Offline
The master of the weird
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Originally Posted By: mikew
Looking good!

Are you building your own exe from the source code?



I'm trying not to, so we don't lose the BDG fixes. If, that's a big if, I manage to improve a few things that may require a new recompilation of the .exe then I'll send the code to BDG so they can include their fixes. Since the source code I have is the original release by Rowan.

Now if there is a new .exe it will most likely involve a hex edit.

#3832734 - 09/06/13 12:50 PM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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Chucky Offline
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Wow,amazing.This was one of my all-time favorite sims,I'll be keeping an eye on this,thanks DrMagnumWolf smile


Feminists are so used to preferential treatment that equal treatment seems like discrimination.
#3832845 - 09/06/13 04:20 PM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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pescador11 Offline
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Wow Thanks, looking forward to it. Will you be able to remove some of the bugs like the Return to Base bug. IIRC this excellent sim had a bug where the A.I. Planes would not return to base. I might be wrong though, its been years.
Pescador

#3832997 - 09/06/13 08:29 PM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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Force10 Offline
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Wow DrMagnum...we are on the same page! Earlier this year, I dedicated a couple days getting Mig Alley running on my rig...it was decent but I was getting some random crashes mid-mission. I just re-built my rig with a new motherboard, CPU and memory. I did a new fresh install of Windows 7...so I might give it another shot. Mig Alley's dynamic campaign is something I really miss a lot.


Asus Z87 Sabertooth motherboard
Windows 7 64 bit Home edition
Intel I5 4670K @ 4.4 ghz
16 gig 1866mhz Corsair Vengence Pro memory
EVGA GTX 970 Superclocked 4gb Video Card
Intel 510 series 120gb SSD (boot drive)
Samsung 840 1TB SSD
Onboard Realtek sound
______________________________________________________

Oddball from Kelly's Heroes: "If we're late, it's cause we're dead"



#3833033 - 09/06/13 09:58 PM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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Recluse Offline
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DrMagnumWolf:

Perhaps you are the one to help me with this problem!! See signature for OS, vid card and Graphics driver detail:

MiG Alley used to run, until a certain video driver level on my GTX260 where I would get the distorted Graphics below. I have upgraded drivers a few times and upgraded to the 560Ti card, hoping Magic would happen, but no.. Maybe your deep dive into the Nvidia driver inspector pool can help:





Thanks!

Current Driver: 314.07


EDIT: Oh dear!! Just tried it again to see if that DDraw.dll would do anything. With or without the DDraw.dll I now get only a black screen.

Have to look at my tweaks and see what I have in there. Maybe a fresh install is called for.

Last edited by Recluse; 09/06/13 10:21 PM.

Long system spec sig follows:



XP Box

Core2Duo E6600
ASUS P5N32-E SLI nVIDIA nFORCE 680I
ProMOS 4GB DDR2 800
EVGA GTX 560Ti
CoolerMaster CAC-T05-UW CENTURION 5
ANTEC TP3-550 550W
Samsung Syncmaster 2253BW
Soundblaster X-FI XtremeGamer
WinXP SP3

Win 7 Box: (thanks to kramer!!!)
Intel Core i7 3.06 GHz
16 GB RAM
Nvidia GTX 770
Corsair Carbide 400R Case
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

Flight Gear:

Cougar Hotas S/N 26453
CHPro Rudder Pedals

#3833063 - 09/06/13 10:46 PM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: Recluse]  
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DrStrangePool Offline
The master of the weird
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Originally Posted By: Recluse
DrMagnumWolf:

Perhaps you are the one to help me with this problem!! See signature for OS, vid card and Graphics driver detail:

MiG Alley used to run, until a certain video driver level on my GTX260 where I would get the distorted Graphics below. I have upgraded drivers a few times and upgraded to the 560Ti card, hoping Magic would happen, but no.. Maybe your deep dive into the Nvidia driver inspector pool can help:





Thanks!

Current Driver: 314.07


EDIT: Oh dear!! Just tried it again to see if that DDraw.dll would do anything. With or without the DDraw.dll I now get only a black screen.

Have to look at my tweaks and see what I have in there. Maybe a fresh install is called for.


Sweet MiGs covered in 0.50 cal bullet holes!

I'll try and help you as much as I can. Can you post(if you don't mind it publicly), or send me(pm) your inspector settings just so I have an idea where to start?

Are you running in any compatibility settings? If so, turn them off.
When the game starts rendering, I noticed, a few times the black screen shows up and stays there for a few seconds.

Is the game installed, say... in a simple and short directory? Like C;/mig or D:/mig ?

Also, when you update your drivers to the 326.xx, select the option to do a clean install. Where the setup will attempt to eliminate the previous version and install a new one. Maybe what you have is a drivers problem.

Have you tried reinstalling the directx? (If you have any Steam games, then don't worry, it already installed it for you)

#3833065 - 09/06/13 10:49 PM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: pescador11]  
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DrStrangePool Offline
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Originally Posted By: pescador11
Wow Thanks, looking forward to it. Will you be able to remove some of the bugs like the Return to Base bug. IIRC this excellent sim had a bug where the A.I. Planes would not return to base. I might be wrong though, its been years.
Pescador


I wish, but unlikely, my programming skills are quite limited, therefore eliminating a bug like that would be a very difficult task for me.

I'll try to fix whatever I can without having to use the source code(though I'm using it right now to find a few things or try to recompile it), but I'm mostly focusing on the easier stuff as.

And even then, no promises...

#3833069 - 09/06/13 10:53 PM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: Chucky]  
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DrStrangePool Offline
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Originally Posted By: Chucky
Wow,amazing.This was one of my all-time favorite sims,I'll be keeping an eye on this,thanks DrMagnumWolf smile


Don't get your hopes up, because I can't promise anything winkngrin

#3833074 - 09/06/13 10:57 PM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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Chucky Offline
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I understand.I don't even have my original disc anymore,victim to a mate of mine who never returned it grrr


Feminists are so used to preferential treatment that equal treatment seems like discrimination.
#3833179 - 09/07/13 04:56 AM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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pescador11 Offline
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Originally Posted By: DrMagnumWolf
Originally Posted By: pescador11
Wow Thanks, looking forward to it. Will you be able to remove some of the bugs like the Return to Base bug. IIRC this excellent sim had a bug where the A.I. Planes would not return to base. I might be wrong though, its been years.
Pescador


I wish, but unlikely, my programming skills are quite limited, therefore eliminating a bug like that would be a very difficult task for me.

I'll try to fix whatever I can without having to use the source code(though I'm using it right now to find a few things or try to recompile it), but I'm mostly focusing on the easier stuff as.

And even then, no promises...
Understood. I just thought I'd ask. A big thanks to you for your hardwork in improving this fine Sim. Much appreciated.
pescador

#3833235 - 09/07/13 09:42 AM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: Chucky]  
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DrStrangePool Offline
The master of the weird
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Originally Posted By: Chucky
I understand.I don't even have my original disc anymore,victim to a mate of mine who never returned it grrr



I take it you two don't talk anymore... hahahaha

I'm saying not to get your hopes up especially because I've never attempted to do anything on this scope before.


Right now, I'm attempting to create a dialog based .exe that can read the settings.mig, display its saved resolution and allow the user to change it manually.

Never done anything like this before, just some simple DOS programs here and there :P ... So let's see if I can even do it, because if I do, it will facilitate the life of whoever tries to play MiG Alley. (I do have a few ideas to add as extra on that dialog based config, but I'm mostly focusing on getting the program to read the file in HEX, go to the specified address and then convert it to decimal, then convert back to hex and save it)

#3833394 - 09/07/13 04:58 PM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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Originally Posted By: DrMagnumWolf

Never done anything like this before, just some simple DOS programs here and there :P ... So let's see if I can even do it, because if I do, it will facilitate the life of whoever tries to play MiG Alley. (I do have a few ideas to add as extra on that dialog based config, but I'm mostly focusing on getting the program to read the file in HEX, go to the specified address and then convert it to decimal, then convert back to hex and save it)


I don't know what you just said but best of luck with it. biggrin

I will have to keep my eye out for another copy if things do progress.


Feminists are so used to preferential treatment that equal treatment seems like discrimination.
#3833660 - 09/08/13 09:46 AM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: Chucky]  
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DrStrangePool Offline
The master of the weird
DrStrangePool  Offline
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Originally Posted By: Chucky
Originally Posted By: DrMagnumWolf

Never done anything like this before, just some simple DOS programs here and there :P ... So let's see if I can even do it, because if I do, it will facilitate the life of whoever tries to play MiG Alley. (I do have a few ideas to add as extra on that dialog based config, but I'm mostly focusing on getting the program to read the file in HEX, go to the specified address and then convert it to decimal, then convert back to hex and save it)


I don't know what you just said but best of luck with it. biggrin

I will have to keep my eye out for another copy if things do progress.


Oh just mumbojumbo of someone who has spent all day dealing with the quirkiness of c++. I'm simply trying to design a small EXE to allow everyone to modify the resolution faster. But with intentions of expanding that little executable further with a few more tweaks.

But let me put it in this way, c++ is one confusing language!

#3834574 - 09/10/13 04:29 AM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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DrStrangePool Offline
The master of the weird
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Small update:

It's proving harder than I originally thought. But I'll keep at it and see if I can squeeze anything else.
I don't know or remember seeing these flags anywhere on the web that you can run on your executable(create shortcut). But here it is. Not that they are useful though, it doesn't like to be launched as a window.


Quote:

"USE16" //force use of 16 bit textures
"NOMEM" //ignore video RAM test results
"NOINTRO" // no intro... but that option is already available on BDG settings
"introsmk=1" //ignore video RAM test results (No clue if the cmd is this one, since it was the only one who lacked extra instructions
"WINDOWED" // no need to explain, but the game doesn't run well in here
"HOST" // lobby host
"GUEST" // lobby guest


#3840784 - 09/23/13 08:33 AM Re: MiG Alley - Placebo or fix? [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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PipsPriller Offline
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I kept my old XP computer just so I could fly classic sims like EAW, RB3D and MiG Alley. After reading the above think I'll try installing it on my Win7 64 bit i5-2400 system.


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