Monday, December 31, 2012

Two important updates!

Paid app available

Lots of you are playing Caesar III on the beta version. You'd be glad to know that Winulator is now also a paid app not bearing the the BETA marker!


You can show your support by buying it, and you can also continue to test the free Winulator-beta app and send feedback when it receives experimental updates.


StarCraft: Brood War

The game StarCraft: Brood War (patch 1.16.1) is the next game to be supported under Winulator!

See video below:




... and stay tuned!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Still rolling up fixes

Hope you'd be glad to know I'm still working on this :) If you receive the regular updates from Google Play, you might notice some crashes were fixed, some crashes are still pending fix, and resolution change - well, it's nice to run Caesar III at 1024x768 on a tablet.

Besides bug-fixes - I received all your comments regarding usability, and I hope to hurl some measure of UI improvements, and game control definitely the most attractive of all would be some sort of a two-finger pan and zoom which would make map navigation much easier. Some of you were bothered by that pesky top menu - I know, going to try and improve on that as well.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

v1.03 and more

After a few iterations, v1.03 is available to addresses some crashes with versions of Caesar III (which were not obtained from gog.com) that halted on "Missing CD". The built-in fix maps the game directory as a fake CD drive.

Your feedback is very helpful. Please re-try the app after every update so I can apply more fixes.

I've also received feedback about the configurable game controls - these are going to be improved over time to accommodate increased playability for this game and future ones.

I'd be happy to see some videos of people using Winulator successfully :)









An update after v1.0

First, thanks to everyone who are sending crash reports.

All 3 crashes I've received so far relate to the same issue. I got some fixes coming up, but Google Play update latency will bog it a few hours ahead, so stay tuned.

Winulator-beta v1.0 is now available

I'm glad to announce that you can now evaluate Winulator to see how it lets you play Caesar III, currently the only supported game. The free Winulator-beta app is now available from Google Play.

The recommended run setup is an Android tablet, however it would also run on small devices.

To convert the game, you need WCH 1.4 and CaesarIII-winulator-profile-1.zip, as described in the Docs. I've posted a video on YouTube to better illustrate:



Also, I've added another video to show additional game play, demonstrating the control widgets:



You'd get updates from Google Play, only to the app itself, and it would require no hassle - I estimate that you would only need to convert the game once, unless I correct some conversion bugs (in that case, a new WCH version will be released).

It would be nice to get feedback, and for those of you who like to post videos - to see videos of people running Caesar III.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Soon.

I have some good news: you can expect a beta release in the following days. Note that I was misquoted on various websites telling that release would be only on January, so to alleviate any confusion or concern on the matter - know that you can expect it much sooner.

I have almost completed the feature set that I've set forth for this beta. The most important one are the configurable on-screen control widgets (see below). The first game to be supported under Winulator - Caesar III - reached a state where it is completely playable with sound, music and everything that can be expected (almost - see below), and therefore worthy of release, and that may happen very soon.

Winulator with Caesar III, beta release notes

Here I've listed the issues/bugs that you'd encounter when trying the beta with Caesar III:
  • In the intro video, some small number of frames are garbled (but the in-game videos seem to work fine, and game play is unaffected)
  • The menu option inside the game changes the display resolution doesn't work, so don't attempt to use it.
  • CPU usage is still around 40% (less of an issue on tablets), though this is in the ballpark of modern mobile games, so I'm not much concerned about it.
Aside from these, everything seems as expected from Caesar III. Note that you need to use the game's own load/save functionality if you want to save the game (like we did in old days, it would save to files in the game's directory).


Configurable on-screen control widgets:

To adequately support the old games with modern touch screens, Winulator supports configurable on-screen control widgets. For every game you'd be able to precisely configure (i.e. by size, shape, and location) a set of on-screen buttons that can map to various control functions:

  • Zoom-in on a screen region (especially useful on small devices)
  • Keyboard hot keys (e.g. Ctrl-g)
  • Keyboard popup (i.e. for text input)
  • Right click emulation (sticky, or one-time)
  • Screen panning (i.e. for easy panning maps up/down/left/right for games such as Caesar III)