Starting to host non-TRLE (TR4) Levels at trle.net...?

stuck in a level/unofficial level editor

Moderators: QRS, Gerty

Post Reply
User avatar
MichaelP
Master Chatter
Master Chatter
Posts: 10459
Joined: 23 Aug 2001 13:52
Location: Germany
Contact:

Starting to host non-TRLE (TR4) Levels at trle.net...?

Post by MichaelP » 02 Dec 2008 19:41

To those of you who are fans of the 'unofficial levels', I wanted to suggest an option that could work for me to begin hosting unofficial levels at trle.net, now that Lara's Home has closed down and thus one more resource for them is gone...

Recently, I have seen a few unofficial levels being released as 'fully playable' download, ie everything is included - you unzip the package, click the exe and play. If anybody here would have the energy to 'prepare' unofficial levels like this and get them to me, I will begin hosting them at trle.net just like the TR4 levels and also include them in the reviewing system overall...

What do you all think?
Image

QRS
Admin
Admin
Posts: 4720
Joined: 29 Mar 2005 15:37

Post by QRS » 02 Dec 2008 19:49

I think it is a good idea! I would like it very much. Especially the 'fully playable' part as I never seem to be able to get these games up and running :blush:
Currently playing: Babylon Is Fallen

User avatar
Magnus
Master Chatter
Master Chatter
Posts: 10097
Joined: 17 Jun 2002 22:07

Post by Magnus » 02 Dec 2008 19:49

Oooh, I approve. Not that I've ever played an unofficial level, but if you start hosting them, I just might. Image

User avatar
avmaster
Chatterbox
Chatterbox
Posts: 3981
Joined: 05 Oct 2003 11:05
Location: Gilching-Argelsried, small Villiage near Munich Germany
Contact:

Post by avmaster » 02 Dec 2008 20:13

Good idea but to make a package and unzip it and click on a playable exe and that`s it would be rather difficult. Keep in mind that these levels are based on old TR games and therefore the current PC`s have more modern hardware than the PC had at the release of the official old TR games. Most likely that only advanced programmers can provide you with such scripts and playable exe or whatever it needs to fulfill your idea. Remember what Henk wrote in his instructions about the TRPlayCentre and how many instructions we had at LH. This will give you an idea of how difficult it can be. Even the TRPlayCentre required some knowledge about scripts and other things like that. But all this knowledge is probably lost after the closure of LH. I think only TurboPascal or other people like him could help you with your idea. As an example the level Tomb Raider: The Wolf Whiplash from Jesse G. I`ve started it today but the loading times are very long and if you read the thread at LB you will see that also the controls do not work for one player. Just an example how difficult it can be to play a TRC custom level on WindowsXP Home or Vista.
Da Master

ImageImage
Next Octoberfest: Every year next one from 19.09.15 - 04.10.15

User avatar
MichaelP
Master Chatter
Master Chatter
Posts: 10459
Joined: 23 Aug 2001 13:52
Location: Germany
Contact:

Post by MichaelP » 03 Dec 2008 01:16

...which is indeed why I have resisted to host them so far.... but like I said, I have seen examples where it has been done in a workable way, so if anybody gets them to me I will host them. If not, then not, as I have no intention myself to engage into unofficial levels until I run out of trle levels to play :D
Image

User avatar
avmaster
Chatterbox
Chatterbox
Posts: 3981
Joined: 05 Oct 2003 11:05
Location: Gilching-Argelsried, small Villiage near Munich Germany
Contact:

Post by avmaster » 03 Dec 2008 10:03

MichaelP wrote:...which is indeed why I have resisted to host them so far.... but like I said, I have seen examples where it has been done in a workable way, so if anybody gets them to me I will host them. If not, then not, as I have no intention myself to engage into unofficial levels until I run out of trle levels to play :D
TurboPascal had fixed a lot of scripts for some Unofficial custom levels. We had them all at LH but now we lost them. Eventually he still has some of them on his hard disk. Maybe you should mail him and ask him if he has some of them and wants to give them to you. Or find something useful here:

http://treditingzone.yuku.com/forum/view/id/2
Da Master

ImageImage
Next Octoberfest: Every year next one from 19.09.15 - 04.10.15

Harry
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 49
Joined: 30 Aug 2006 12:58
Location: Montreal, QC

Post by Harry » 04 Dec 2008 16:15

I finally got back to have a few minutes to check at TRLE to see all the new levels that I missed. But I am still busy to actually play any of them.

With respect to unofficial levels being packaged to run with no extra work by the user, I see a few problems.

The original authors may not like it.

There are a lot of levels. I have 18 TR1, 50 TR2, 135 TR3, and 8 TR5 unofficial levels on my hard drive. And there are 100+ test levels. Setting up a tombpc.dat file to run them should be simple. I also kept a copy of Henk's installation notes. But, in most cases, it would be just a random collection of unrelated levels. There are only a few examples of level series such as Ghost Island or Lara Croft Regressa. So there would probably be 200+ individual games.

The packages would be very large. You have to add the tomb executable program, tombpc.dat file, title and credit pictures, and maybe other files as well. This would make the size at 20-30 MB range. This assumes that you do not include the cdaudio.wad file or the many *.wav sound files. My email is sporadic and flaky when it does work and my ISP has a 5 MB size limit on attachments. How could the packages get to you for posting? I guess there are upload limits as well.

Some levels require the full game. Some recent levels called "wall.tr2" do not run with the TR2 Great Wall demo. But they do run with the full TR2 game. Is it legal to include the necessary files in that case? Even if the executable would have to be a modified noCD version. But I guess if you packaged levels with the demo game, it would be allowed.

Would you also include the walkthroughs in the packages? I have all of them also.

User avatar
Gerty
Mod
Mod
Posts: 9620
Joined: 28 Aug 2001 23:55
Location: Holland

Post by Gerty » 04 Dec 2008 16:38

Look here, haven't played any of them yet though

http://trle-community.net/viewtopic.php?t=22205
Oops, I did it again... Image

User avatar
eTux
Mod
Mod
Posts: 5652
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 10:55
Location: Latvia
Contact:

Post by eTux » 04 Dec 2008 21:15

I support the notion, no doubt about it :2thumbsup: I've played at least a handful of TR3 and TR5 levels, so I can help with setting up fully playable self-sufficient download files for those, as well as a number of TR2 files (though I've never been able to solve the AUDIO issue on my side for these :( ).

TR5 levels are pretty close to what stand-alone TR4 levels looks like, but TR3 files might require a specific setup - like a specific file that has to be downloaded to hear any audio tracks, but the plus side being that all TR3 custom levels pretty much use the same file for that which could be simply be uploaded and linked to as a general download from the individual level pages, for example.

Shortly before the closing down of Lara's Home was announced (fate?), I downloaded all the levels from the server, so I have them safely on my side and could start packaging and sending a number of levels your way as well as discuss the specifics of the files I can help with :) Unfortunately I don't know the official release dates and data like that, but I'm sure someone more educated on these matters could help?
Image

User avatar
MichaelP
Master Chatter
Master Chatter
Posts: 10459
Joined: 23 Aug 2001 13:52
Location: Germany
Contact:

Post by MichaelP » 05 Dec 2008 13:21

Thanks for the input folks - as you can tell I am not familiar with the intricacies of getting an unofficial level to run, so I guess my compromise suggestions is indeed that I would begin hosting those where this is possible in a relatively easy fashion and none of the others.

@Harry,

if indeed you have a way to get several of these together and the issue is only filesize that can certainly be overcome. I could provide you with an ftp upload capability to the server or you could simply mail a CD/DVD with the data to me - whatever seems more practical.
Image

User avatar
dmdibl
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 1041
Joined: 20 May 2007 16:31

Post by dmdibl » 05 Dec 2008 23:05

Re: Stand alone, unofficial levels.

As a start, may I suggest Boris Samojlenko's [spelling?] "Lara Croft Returns," a sixteen-level TR3 series from Russia. The download is completely self-contained, so one can unzip and play. I played it on an XP machine, and on my older Windows ME machine and it ran fine on both. Try the first level, the train station, to see what it can do.

The download at laraslevelbase.org is for the Russian version. I made up my own TombPC.DAT for an English translation, but then the rain effects in level one were lost. (I was still able to play the entire game in English, but maybe lost other weather effects.) Supposedly there is an English version, but when I tried to download it from the Hungarian site the rate was at 5KB a second, about what one gets with a dial-up connection, so I gave up.

This is a 200MB download. This breaks down into about 20MB for the data files, and 180MB for the single audio file, a complete replacement of the original TR3 audio file. Note that the data files for TR3 levels are usually about half or a third in size of equivalent TR4 data files.

Installing other TR3 games such as "Uncle Silas," or "Lunar Apocalypse" is usually fairly easy. Install the South Pacific Demo, then place the new level and its TombPC.DAT into the data folder. If there is no TombPC.DAT included, then just rename the new level as SHORE.TR2 (ie, replace the original SHORE in the demo). Usually, one creates an audio folder, and copies the single large audio file from the original TR3 CD. I also made copies of all of the installation instructions from Henk's site.

The main problem, from a self-contained standpoint, is the 180MB audio file. Maybe that could be a separate download.

I usually save the best unofficial levels and level series, and I think there are about four dozen on my hard disk. So to start with a sampling of only the best may not involve all that many levels. Henk made up TombPC.DAT files so one could play, say, a dozen levels together, and all of these could be packaged with a South Pacific Demo download for a reasonable size (audio file extra).

EDIT: Went to www.tombraiderchronicles.com and downloaded an XP and Vista specific TR3 demo package, a 16MB zip file. This should prevent the run problems mentioned earlier in this post, though I can't test it with Vista. Will try dusting off the old TombPC.DAT editor, if a sampling of good TR3 levels would be permissible and legal.

User avatar
Anna27
Chatterbox
Chatterbox
Posts: 2054
Joined: 12 Feb 2009 18:27

Re: Starting to host non-TRLE (TR4) Levels at trle.net...?

Post by Anna27 » 24 Sep 2009 16:44

Why you aren't puting levels from TR1 or TR2? Are they too bad?

User avatar
eTux
Mod
Mod
Posts: 5652
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 10:55
Location: Latvia
Contact:

Re: Starting to host non-TRLE (TR4) Levels at trle.net...?

Post by eTux » 24 Sep 2009 17:18

We will with time :) So far I am only one person supplying Michael with the stand-alone level packages - so the speed is strictly limited to the free time I am willing to devote to this ;) I wanted to cover all the TR3 levels first, but once I do, the TR2 and TR1 levels will also get their turn :)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests