Old blog posts from July 2006

31st of July 2006

obmm 0.8.3 is out. I finally got around to doing something about the limited user crashing, and Iíve also fixed a few more bugs. Anyone wanting to run oblivion under a limited user account and use mods should really have installed it outside of the program files folder anyway.*

I updated obse again too. Thereís a list of my changes here.

*Actually, there are bits and pieces in oblivion.ini which suggests that it can load data files from the current users directory, in which case mods could be installed on a per user basis on limited user accounts instead of forcing an administrator to do everything. Iíve never tried it though, and have never seen it mentioned anyway. Having to have multiple copies of mods around if multiple people want to use them wouldnít be very efficient anyway.

29th of July 2006

Updated my copy of obse again. Added another 9 functions, including rand, pow, atan2, ApplyFullscreenShader, GetFPS and so on.

28th of July 2006

Despite me saying that Iíd stop playing with it, Iíve added 15 extra input functions to obse, covering anything from disabling the mouse to hammering a keyboard key each frame. Iím now working on some graphics functions. SetFullscreenShader has been specifically requested, so Iíll get that working first. Hopefully it should be easy, because most of the required code can be recycled from my fake HDR mod. The new source code is still in the same place as the old stuff.

27th of July 2006

obmm 0.8.2 is out, and is allegedly stable. Once again, Iíve completely ignored my todo list. I blame MGEÖ

On the oblivion script extender front, integrating my gameplay speed mod into it proved to be fairly easy. There was a little hiccup with getting functions to return values, but ianpatt soon solved it. The functions arenít in the official version of obse though, and I doubt they ever will be, so youíll have to use this* modified version if you want to play with them. Iíve also added a pile of maths functions, which will almost certainly be in the next version.** I doubt Iíll keep playing with it though - Right now it needs people who are good at poking about at oblivions internals, which Iím not.

*Note that that link points at the temp folder for a reason. Things there rarely last more than a week, so if that link has gone dead, you know why. Also note that that link is source code only, and requires VS2005 to compile. Having multiple versions of obse floating around would not be a Good Thing.

**Although theyíll probably have been rewritten by someone else, rather than using my code.

25th of July 2006

obmm 0.8 beta 1 has come and gone, and beta 2 is now out. Beta 1 added new scripting capabilities and included quite a lot of internal changes, and beta 2 fixed everything* beta 1 broke. I still have a pile of stuff on my todo list, so thereís still going to be at least a beta 3 before I make a real release.

Over at the TES forums, ianpatt has come up with an oblivion script extender, raising the prospects for an oblivion version of MGE.** Iíll probably have a play with it later, and see if I can add functions to use interact with my gameplay speed mod.

*I hope.

**Of course, itís still going to have to wait until I can get a more powerful computer. I canít really add new graphics functions when I canít even use the originals...

20th of July 2006

I seem to have forgotten to blog for a while. Since I do actually have a surprising number of readers, I guess Iíd better play catch up.

Work on obmm 0.8 is going well, although a little slower than I would like. MGE is simply far more interesting at the moment - being able to see red mountain from the top of a vivec canton just feels cool for some reason, even if the lighting is still a little off.* I will get obmm out soon, and I may even make my original target of getting a 0.8 beta out this week, but donít be surprised if it gets delayed for another week or two. The fact that Iíve been doing RL work** again this week didnít help much either.

MGEís distant land feature even seems to have attracted attention from a higher-up on the official forums. Thread 8 of the distant land thread went missing. No PMs, warnings or even a locked symbol. Direct links didnít work, and searching for it turned up nothing. It simply vanished. An hour and a half later it reappeared in the oblivion mods forum. After some rather confused discussion, a moderator finally moved it back where it belonged in the morrowind mods forum. Since threads donít seem to be randomly teleporting around the forums on a regular basis, I guess it wasnít a forum glitch. I assumed that only an admin would have the power to temporarily hide threads and move them around without leaving those little moved symbols, but CCNA informed me that a normal moderator could have done it, so who knows what happened. All I know is that no-one owned up to it. ^

MGE isnít all about distant land of course. For 2.6 I also added in my oblivion sm2.0 HDR mod. Unlike oblivion, Morrowind actually runs well on my computer, so I could see what I was doing. As a result, the MGE HDR shaders are probably a little better than my original oblivion one.^^ Iím planning to add my speed mod to MGE 3.1 too. Thanks to the wonders of MWSE, mods will then be able to speed up and slow down the game action as they see fit. Should make for some interesting new spell/potion effects.

*Actually, Iím 99% sure that Iíve finally got the lighting fixed for 3.1. Admittedly that probably means that Iíve broken something else in the process, but you canít have everythingÖ

**Website design this time. Didnít pay much, but it wasnít particularly difficult either.

^In other ESF news, I finally got around to alpha-ing my avatar. Not particularly interesting I know, but itís something that Iíve been meaning to do since forever.

^^Emphasis on original. Shirosae, nicoroshi and a few others have been tweaking the oblivion HDR mod, and as a result it may or may not look better than my morrowind shaders. Of course, with this lousy computer of mine I canít check. It would probably be subjective anyway.

10th of July 2006

There was a thread in TESís general discussion forum recently about playing mmorpgís single playered. Of course, I suggested crossfire, and then ended up getting addicted to it myself.* This means that Iím going to be running my own server for a while again. It wonít show up on the metaserver, but anyone who knows me well enough to know my ip address, feel free to join in anyway. Itís just a stock server this time, instead of my usual customized one.**

Another new beta of MGE is out. Hopefully, this will be the last one before the real 2.6 release. This doesnít mean that itís finished - it just means that itís done to the best of my ability in the time available. I still havenít fixed the lighting problems, and Iím not even sure if Iíve fixed the fogging bug completely. And then thereís still the problem of displaying statics as well as the empty landscape. There is at least a way to toggle distant land on and off in game now, so mournhold shouldnít look quite so weird.

Iíve finished work now, and donít have any more till August. Thereís finally time for me to start working on obmm again. :) Expect 0.8 to be released in a couple of weeks.

*Yet again. I tend to play it once every 3 versions or so.

**I usually removed the permanent equipment damage caused by acid, and reduce the chances of magic destroying items

5th of July 2006

Iíve spent the whole of last week end and all this week trying to create a .NET version of niflib, but despite a huge amount of help from Shon Iíve had no luck whatsoever. The closest Iíve got was to use swig to create a C# wrapper that compiled, but which was completely non functional.* I would have liked a .NET version for MGE, but it certainly isnít required so Iím going to give up on it for now. However, some of obmmís planned features, and also one possible future project for later this year, will require a .NET niflib, so Iíll give it another go at some point.

Now back to work related news. After getting fed up of watching everyone playing quake, I decided to join in myself, despite my general fps suckiness and the fact that Iíd never played quake before. The end score was 23,24,26,45,50. I scored the 45. In the next game I did even better, with 47. From this I can conclude that while I still suck at fpsís, everyone else sucks even worse.** I have two more days playing quake, then we finish until August, by which time we should have some actual work to do. I still plan on working on obmm next week, and hopefully releasing something the week after. Hopefully Iíll get both obmm 0.8 and MGE 2.6 completely finished before I have to go back to work.

*The Niflib.ReadXXX functions all returned some horrifically named object which had no properties or methods and wasnít accepted as input to any other functions. i.e. I could load nifs, but not do anything with them.

**Apart from Adz, the guy with the 50ís. Heís won every game heís played, even the ones where he joined in late. I didnít come as close second as those scores look, because when he pulls too far in front he has a habit of chasing people around with the gauntlet instead of playing seriously.

1st of July 2006

MGE 2.6 beta 6 is out. Aside from that, nothing much of TES-related interest has been happening.

In work news, Rhythyx managed to set a new record by crashing 7 times in 15 minutes, and at one point was taking 3 minutes to submit an update. Luckily, things seem to be getting a bit better recently.* Since weíre working faster than the department anticipated, weíve actually run out of work to do and now spend most of our time playing quake** and sitting outside in the sun.*** After next week, weíre going to have a few weeks break while the IT department try to coax rhythmyx into a state of semi operability, which should hopefully give me enough time to finish obmm 0.8.

*íBetterí being defined as a mere 4 crashes in 2 hours.

**And by Ďweí I mean everyone apart from me. I suck at fpsís. Badly.

***Which is refreshingly cool compared to a room containing almost 200 computers and no openable windows. It does allegedly have air conditioning, but the fact that cold air sinks and hot air rises must never have occurred to whoever decided to embed all the air conditioning units in the floor but not install any fans. Finding any cool air in our building involves trying to squeeze your whole body to within 3 inches of the floor.