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Thread: Ember - patching launcher

  
  1. #1

    Post Ember - patching launcher

    Hello everyone! Dungeon Keeper 2 is one of my favorite childhood games. To play it now, you need to run DKII-DX.EXE, which, unlike the original DKII.EXE, does only one thing. It replaces the import of DDRAW.dll with PATCH.dll. PATCH.dll applies some patches that allow you to run the game on windows 10. Its source code is closed and somehow changing it to add your own developments is problematic.

    I have been reverse engineering DK2 machine code for about a year now and trying to write machine code patches for this game. As a result of my work, i have created a game launcher that patches the machine code of the game right before it starts, and it does not using any patches from PATCH.dll.

    At the moment, patches does this:
    - Adds support for Windows 10 when checking operating system version
    - Removes the use of dinput in the game code and replaces it with user32 window messages.
    - Forces the game to run in windowed mode, you can scale it as you want and it's mostly for reversal purposes
    - limits the game's frame rate to 60, so in-game animations don't run as fast
    - Adds the ability to collect information about the crash of the game so that it can be fixed later

    The binaries: https://github.com/DiaLight/Ember/releases
    There is source code, so you can check and compile it by yourself: https://github.com/DiaLight/Ember

    Don't actually know where to improve the game next. This will likely be fixes to the game menu and some day i'll figure out how to run game with higher resolution textures.

  2. #2
    Awakening Game Master Metal Gear Rex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ember - patching launcher

    This is quite some interesting news! Always exciting to see some work done for DK2.

    I'm not so knowledgeable about technical stuff, so this may be foolish to ask but please enlighten me on what exactly the sort of capabilities you can do from this position? Would it be possible to fix certain bugs or AI behavior?

    What kind of fixes to the game menu did you have in mind?
    Dungeon Keeper 2 Patch: With More Balance and Pie [Hiatus]
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Ember - patching launcher

    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Gear Rex View Post
    This is quite some interesting news! Always exciting to see some work done for DK2.

    I'm not so knowledgeable about technical stuff, so this may be foolish to ask but please enlighten me on what exactly the sort of capabilities you can do from this position? Would it be possible to fix certain bugs or AI behavior?

    What kind of fixes to the game menu did you have in mind?
    DKII.exe is where source code of the game was compiled and linked to. Changing this binary means changing code behaviour. Ember does not changing DKII.exe on disk, but patches it in memory after it was loaded, but before it was started. Yes, i can fix game bugs and AI behaviour. It's only matter of time.

    Without PATCH.dll, some buttons in menu just does not render, but they still can be clicked. Here in the multiplayer menu in the right down corner should be buttons
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by DiaLight; September 23rd, 2022 at 14:19.

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