Friday, November 30, 2012

Caesar III updates and more

First and foremost, I was astounded by the amount of attention toward Winulator arising just from the first video. In the last two days I received a substantial amount of positive feedback regarding this initiative, and it is very encouraging - months of work throughout 2012 were invested in making this come true, and I am glad that I haven't put this aside for other projects. Priorities have shifted recently, and I am currently dedicating more than 75% of my time to this project, striving to make it worthwhile.

Caesar III


Regarding Caesar III, in the last two days I have managed to fix the sound support completely, so in-game sound and music now work as expected. There are still some aspects of the game that I feel inclined to fix before a release is made:

  • Input controls - notably right click emulation and keyboard popup / helpers.
  • Graphics - you might not have noticed in the demo, but some small amount of bitmaps are not getting blitted properly.
  • CPU usage - testing on the Asus Transformer TFT-101, it currently taking 60% of the CPU (compared to 20% by Angry Birds) . It's not due to the machine code conversion, but due to the game's own implementation (it needlessly takes 100% of a core on my Windows 7 laptop...). I seek to mitigate this, because I don't like seeing mobile battery energy going to waste.

There are some features outside of the game itself that need implementing, but that's just for convenience.

Clarifications


Some questions have surfaced around the Internet concerning Winulator, so here are some clarifications:
  • The Winulator app is not a port of WINE. The implementation of the app is very lean re-implementation of a subset of Windows APIs according to publicly available documentation. By lean, it means that around 10,000 lines of code are enough to support a game like Caesar III. As to the idea of porting WINE - it bears various technical and non-technical issues for which I would elaborate but not now.
  • The Converter app is based on a proprietary whole-executable Intel-to-ARM conversion scheme that has taken a few months to design and implement. I don't intend to introduce a Just-In-Time compiler in the near future (hint hint: there's a big company with a fruit-shaped logo that doesn't like JITs inside their approved applications, and I purport that Winulator's future not be limited only to Android). 
  • Program and game support will be incrementally added according to users's feedback. It would not be economically viable for me try to support all programs and games. The support range depends on demand. However, for what I do intend to support - I intend to deliver high quality.
  • I don't take donations, but there will be a paid app on Android Play, so simply subscribed my channels and stay tuned.
  • Beta testing - thanks to everyone who volunteered - when needed I will contact you personally.

Once released, you will find it free app named Winulator-beta, which will be used to iron out the bugs and issues. Later, a paid Winulator app will surface and receive regular updates for stability and improvements. The documentation site will be updated before release, and I'll announce the release throughout the Internet channels you have subscribed.

14 comments:

  1. This is a very impressive! Will it support direct3d or at least 3d software render, like in halflife 1?

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  2. Impressive ! Keep up the good work !

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  3. Really nice project!
    Do you implement any specific graphics API (WinG, DirectDraw, old DirectX) or only generic graphics system calls (GDI)?
    Keep up the great work!

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  4. If Command And Conquer (1 or Tiberium Sun (My favorit) or Red Alert) is ported, i'll buy you're paid app, and more !

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  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command_%26_Conquer:_Tiberian_Sun
    It was for Win 98 :)

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  6. Hey Dan! Glad to see more posts from you. About end users demand in games - how about making a poll?

    I guess, popularity&number of followers will significantly increase after the announce of possible launch of these ones:
    Warcraft 2: Tide of Darkness (1995), Diablo (1996), Fallout (1997), Fallout 2 (1998), Krush, Kill and Destroy 2: Krossfire (1998), Diablo 2 (2000), Homm3: Shadow of Death (2000).

    Not talking about Might&Magic series, Dungeon Keeper and so on. Also, what are your plans on 3d-games support?

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    1. Hey Roman,

      I take game popularity into consideration. There is already support in the works for a second game - a more popular game, so I'd plan a poll for choosing the third game.

      About Direct3D - that is further down the road.

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    2. We keep fingers crossed for ya. :)

      Unfortunately, I'm skilled only in AS3, so can't help except donating. :)

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  7. Awesome Project. Thinking of the Ouya Console: Will your Emulator will support USB-Controllers?

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  8. BTW: Dungeon Keeper would be cool

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  9. Awesome project, keeping my fingers crossed for Total Annihilation, but i'd buy the app just for Caesar 3 anyway ;)

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  10. have you figured out why caesar 3 is using so much cpu ?

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  11. I would love to play Need for speed 4 high stakes, age of empires 2 and all the good stuff

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