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Community release of Battlefield 1942 patch/update 1.7.0 ??

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:58 am
by duffman
EA Games have burned and abandoned anyone playing the classic, Origin version was probably the last and final thing they did just to beef up Origin's statistics only.

I was gone make a bold suggestion that maybe this community should look at making this patch: 1.7.0 update! I know from running around in this forum a couple of times that almost all the problems and fixes is described in here!!

What if we gathered all this knowledge and created a new patch? I don't think we need to worry about EA, they will never ever even touch this game anymore.. They have pretty much removed all the BF1942 pages, and dropped all the domains related to it... I read somewhere that they actually had lost the source codes for BF1942, although a backup somewhere should still have the codes.. But.. What's the chance of EA Games is gone spend money to find this backup... !zip!

I am relativly new to this community, but I have spotted several areas that I can contribute and do some fixing. And I know that there are some really clever and skilled people in here that has already done some patching thru their mods.

We could gather all fixes and improvements into a joint update, doing fixes first, then replace and create high-quality textures/models to bring the game up to today's level.

This might be a can of worms... but... realistically this forum is probably the only centre of excellence in regards to "battlefield 1942" and "refractor engine" these days..

I guess with my inexperience: Is this something we can do? or why cant we do it? Or we shouldnt do? ..thoughts?

Re: Community release of "Battlefield 1942 patch/update 1.7.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:49 am
by Sarge31FR
Well, as tempting as this may sound, i think it's impossible to do. The fact that EA seems to have "abandoned" Bf1942 doesn't mean that they and DICE are no longer the owners of the source code and the other content of 1942. Making a real patch that fixes bugs, improves the technology etc. would require something like a reverse engineering and decompiling of the .exe and .dll files, which is not an easy task, if even possible.

Even if this could be done, it would create another row of problems: Depending on the changes/additions made, it would possibly break mod compatibility for some or perhaps all the 1942 mods out there, and i don't think that any of the older mods which had been concluded years ago would get an update to be compatible with the new patch. Also, it would mean to create new server files, you can't make an update to the client only. In fact, a lot of the fixable bugs in 1942 can be fixed by simply using a mod. In BG42, i fixed some syntax errors, code errors etc. by either removing/changing them or replacing vehicles etc. with completely new ones. But this doesn't touch the bugs in the .exe and .dll files though.

The list of things to do is quite long, and some of the necessary fixes and additions are a pain in the ass.

From a coder's point of view it's no major problem to rework the small amount of vehicles, guns etc. in 1942, i could possibly do this in 2-3 days. But there are other things which are way more complicated and/or time consuming, like missing/faulty animation files (ske, baf and skn files plus the con files). For this you'd need someone who's experienced in animations and most of all "stupid" enough to do this annoying work for free ;) Also, if changes to the ingame damage system were to be made, all of the vehicle meshes would have to be re-exported with the appropriate matID changes to the COL meshes.

Improving the visual quality would require the need for better models, since the ones from 1942 are really, really bad. They lack details, most of them are either too big or too small, most of them don't even have the right dimensional proportions. As a matter of fact, all of them would have to be replaced.
Replacing textures with high quality textures sounds easier than it's done: Since we don't have the original psd files (or whatever DICE used), all of the vehicle, plane, weapons textures and so on would have to be created from scratch using the uvw mapping of the models, and as we all know a lot of the models have very bad uvw mapping or are even using tiled textures like the B-17 and most ships, which makes it even more difficult. The buildings are another problem. Most of them use a crude mix of normal mapping and tiled mapping, and the texture names for them are pain in the ass. Without importing the model into max you can't even guess what texture belongs to which building(s). Additionally, most mods use a combination of vanilla (Bf1942) textures and their own textures, so by replacing the vanilla textures you'd most likely screw up vehicles and buildings in those mods because you'd have a mix of new, high quality textures and old, low quality textures. The most annoying problem regarding textures is the ground textures for maps. What was sufficient in 2002 looks terrible nowadays. So if a way could be found to make high quality ground textures, you'd have a huge problem at hand: If mods were to use this new system, ALL of the map's surface maps would have to be repainted. This is simply insane, especially if your mod has over a hundred maps.

This is only a small portion of the problems that would occur. From my point of view, a fan-made patch should ONLY touch the game's mechanics in way that doesn't break any mod compatibility. Otherwise you'd lock out all of the excellent mods out there, and quite frankly, those mods are the only reason why Bf1942 is still alive after all those years.

If you want more info, don't hesitate to contact me via ICQ (or another ICQ compatible messenger) under 174620386.


Re: Community release of "Battlefield 1942 patch/update 1.7.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:47 pm
by Swaffy
I would say the source code should be added to (for functionality) and not changed.

Re: Community release of "Battlefield 1942 patch/update 1.7.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:46 pm
by Vilespring
I agree, some things could be added, like if/else statements for one, and maybe a random number generator that is actually random! :lol: )

Re: Community release of "Battlefield 1942 patch/update 1.7.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:39 pm
by Swaffy
Anyway, the title of this thread misled me. I thought initiative was already taken, but this seems like another daydreaming thread.

Re: Community release of "Battlefield 1942 patch/update 1.7.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:48 pm
by duffman
I do see the problem with executables, reverse engineering that would be a nightmare. We would really need EA to release the source codes like what was done with Quake ( But if they have really "lost" the source codes it will probably never happen.

Was sorta hoping that models, textures and sounds could be "fixed" and updated. And this would again freshen up and improve quality on all the maps overall. But as Sarge mentioned about bugs and workarounds.. its a classic problem of fixing the bug which breaks the workaround... doh!

Re: Community release of "Battlefield 1942 patch/update 1.7.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:03 am
by duffman
A popular way to patch executables in the old days was to patch them in memory in that way you didnt actually alter the original file(s). A lot game "trainers" and "cracks" used these methods to override and add functionality (starting "launcher" app first).

That could be a way to extend or modify the game engine. But it still leaves the whole reverse engineering problem to figure out where and what..

Re: Community release of Battlefield 1942 patch/update 1.7.0

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:30 pm
by Diamondback
It is a very good initiative, however to work it needs another approach.

Making a new fan/community made patch I think has already been done. If you look on communities such as SiMPLE, -=aX=-, Moongamers and EA117, you will find patched versions of the game that include the latest breakthroughs found for the game already (128 player servers, PunkBuster fix, "kill player" admin command, server crash exploits fixes, extensive resolution support, and, most importantly, the new backup master server).

So your patch is already here basically, it's just that different communities have released it with different names. What we need to do to revive this game to the activity level prior to the Gamespy shutdown is to promote it heavily (the mods, the competition leagues, the public scene, the breakthroughs, the communities, the events).

I suggest making video promotions posted on social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc) would be a good idea. Then supplying people with an unofficial download link so they can hop in and play. Easy, and simple to do.

Re: Community release of Battlefield 1942 patch/update 1.7.0

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:55 am
by GoodDayToDie!!
BF42 doesn't need patches or updates in that regard. If you're hosting or operating a mod, then keep us up to date with it. How many people updated Super Mario World? None. And they still play it. The most important thing is to stay visible to the masses. No updates or patches required UNLESS you update your mod. rocks

Re: Community release of Battlefield 1942 patch/update 1.7.0

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:18 pm
by al13326
I don't know if it's possible but I think the best interest is that this 2002 FPS game able to utilized in multi-core processors as based in my experience, only 1 CPU core (out of 2) while checking in System Monitor and running the game on Linux through Wine (Windows Task Manager prior to Windows 10 seems irksome to me...) are able to use.

Modifying the bf1942.exe (I think) and apply from what I stated above will even more beneficial, especially for shortening the loading time and for gamers who want to play against 64+ bots as AI eats A LOT of CPU bandwidth.