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FAQ And Troubleshooting Database


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#1 EtherImp

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:02 AM

I started a post in another topic about creating a database for troubleshooting X-Com and the associated mods and third party programs that may help the game. For the purpose of posterity I will quote that original post here:

Sebs UFOLoader should probably also be listed somewhere easily accessible to guests. It's not listed on www.xcomufo.com.

I'm thinking there should be an 'up to date' forum topic or webpage dedicated to troubleshooting X-Com and TFTD *and* applying mods and getting them to work under various circumstances. Right now things seem to be rather spread out and it would be helpful to have all of the options and necessary troubleshooting steps in one place. I seem to be one of the only people who has mentioned Enabling V-Sync as a troubleshooting solution, for example.. Not sure what results others have had with this but I think it deserves some further testing and feedback.


Just putting those suggestions out there. I know this post is relatively off topic. I would be willing to undertake this task myself if others are willing to contribute their experience/expertise/suggestions/comments/knowledge.

A good start would be a complete list of known "bugs" (available on X-Com Wiki) and common problems getting X-Com to work under various OS's (somewhat addressed on xcomufo.com), combined with a list of all known Mods and patches, along with what exactly they fix/modify.

I'm thinking of maybe even creating a table making all of this information easy to access.

Example:

[ _ ] [Program/Mod]
[Problem ] [ X ]


Anybody interested in this please feel free to contact me

Email/MSN: etherimp@hotmail.com
Email/AIM : illietherimp@aol.com
ICQ: 25443589


I figured I would take the initiative and get this started. In order for us to keep this community strong we need to keep people playing the game and with the constant improvement of technologies and updating of software and hardware it makes it increasingly difficult for people to find solutions to these problems without consulting peers. There is a lot of information out there and there are several informed people who visit this forum. The problem is that much of the information is spread throughout many posts or on several various websites so it makes it difficult for the casual user to find their answers without scouring the web for hours. I hope to resolve that problem here by creating an up to date database with user feedback and interaction.

To make this work, I will need the assistance of other forum regulars, as well as the creators of mods, and the users themselves. So I will ask the following of all of you:

Mod programmers - Please provide as much up to date information on your program as possible including everything that it changes, fixes, and effects, and as many troubleshooting answers as you can possibly come up with for the various operating systems. Any compatability issues with other mods that you are aware of is also helpful.

Experienced users - Many of us have probably changed operating systems and updated our monitors, video cards, and other hardware dozens of times throughout the course of our game 'career'. We generally know what it takes to get things working. I ask that you put all of that information out on the table and help to answer questions as they come. Since the variety of different possible PC setups is virtually infinite it's important that we pool our knowledge when it comes to this matter. I may have experience with XP, while someone else has experience with Vista, and someone else has experience with Window7 64bit.. While another person has experience with Windows 32bit, ecetera. You may be running a CRT monitor while I'm running a LCD widescreen. All of this makes a difference.

Casual Users/Guests - If something here has worked for you, please say so. If you have tried something and it does not work. Please say so. We will only know how good our solutions are if we get feedback. If you tried something and it worked, please include as much information as possible. If you tried something and it didn't work, please give honest feedback on that as well.

Forum Moderators - I can only assume you support this cause. I will try to update this regularily and I will attempt to maintain some organization. If this database gets clustered or confusing or out of sorts I would appreciate your help in resolving that. Feedback is appreciated. Thanks.


Keep in mind, I am currently working 2 jobs and have other responsibilities, so I will only be able to update this a few steps at a time. I also do not have 100% of the information available to me at the time I am writing this post.. so it will be necessary for me to create a general layout and then go back and edit. Please be patient, and by all means: You can start helping at any time by posting all of the information available to you!

If the issue you put forward gets addressed, or you provide information that becomes accurately integrated into the database please go back and delete your posts as to avoid clutter.

Thank you.

-Etherimp
Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
Such a heavy burden now to be the 'one'.
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending,
To write it down for all the world to see.

But I forgot my pen!

#2 EtherImp

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:04 AM

X-COM Versions and Differences

DOS

X-COM: Enemy Unknown

Also known as X-COM: EU. Released in Europe in 1993.

X-COM: UFO Defense

Release for the US market, updated to V1.2, and had some minor changes to prices and such.

Version 1.0

The original DOS release, only released as "Enemy Unknown" in the UK.

Version 1.2

Official Microsoft Patch
US version was auto-patched

Version 1.4

Official Microprose patch that removes several bugs from the floppy version of the game, 1.2, such as the replenishing clip bug. It removes copy protection from the game, but beware that the patch permamently damages the sound effects files. (Reference: http://www.xcomufo.com/x1dl.html.)

Windows

X-COM: Collectors Edition

Also known as X-COM: CE, or X-COM Gold. First release of X-COM on CD-ROM which was designed to run on Windows NT based operating systems (Win95, 98, NT, 2k, ME, XP). There are Collectors Edition specific bugs. (See: Blaster Bomb waypoint bug)



Where can I get X-COM?

You can get the CE version of the game from Steam, GamersGate, or get the original Collectors Edition CD-ROM from Ebay or PlanetCdRom.

I was unable to find a copy of the DOS versions on the internet. There also should be demos floating around somewhere.



Mods Available for X-COM (CE)

First, a word about Mods. There are 3 types of mods available for X-Com. They are:

Executables - These replace the UFO Defense.exe, therefor, you can only use one "Executable" mod at a time. Do yourself a favor and before you over-write UFO Defense.exe, make sure you back it up. (UFO Defense.bak). This will save you from having to re-install.

Loaders- These "load" the game through a seperate batch/exe file. You can run Loader mods to point to an executable, so you can use them in conjuction with executable mods, but not(?) with other Loader mods.

Game Files - These Mods do not (necessarily) change the UFO Defense.exe, nor do they (necessarily) load the game. They simply permanently alter specific game files (Sound files, for example) to give a specific desired effect. Please note that removing these mods requires that you either re-install the game or replace the altered game files. These mods CAN be used in conjunction with one another assuming the target of the change is different game files than the 'other' mod.

Some Mods are a combination of the above listed "types". I will specify which type or combination of types of mod each mod listed below is.


Moks Mod

Topic: UFO 1 Alien Voice Patch aka Moks Mod

Download:
File 1
File 2
Optional File to support 640x400x32 direct draw and 2xSai Filter

Type(s): Executable, Game Files

Fixes: Executable fixes game timer. Plays music through DirectMusic, fixes garbled graphics, and adds sounds in the intro.

*NOTE: I am unsure of whether the 'changes' to directmusic and intro sounds are connected to the executable or the additional sound files. Can someone help me determine this?


Bonus modifications: The additional game files change the generic "alien death sounds" back to the original (and more memorable) alien death sounds from the DOS version. The 3rd file from above adds support for 32bit 640x400 resolution and an 'improved' Anti-Aliasing filter (2xSai).

Instructions: Download both files. They are a 2 part .rar archive, so you will need WinRar or an equivalent in order to decompress them properly. Once downloaded, you have a decision to make. Do you want only the patched .exe file, or do you want the additional changes to alien death sounds as well? More on that below. Assuming you want both, simply extract all of the files into the appropriate X-COM directories. If you want only the executable or only the 'corrected' alien death sounds, you may extract and over-write only one or the other. The 'UFO Defense.exe' file is one part of the patch. Everything else included in the sound directories applies to the alien death sounds and other sound modifications.

Additional considerations: Normally, X-COM: CE plays the games music through Midi/Synth. This means (in essence) that you can effectively mute your in-game music (but not sound effects!) by going to your sound controls in windows and turning your Midi-Synth output all the way down (or muting it). The problem with replacing the original sound files with the files included in this mod is that the music will now be played through DirectSound instead, and you will no longer be able to mute only the music. Instead, you will have to mute the music, the sound effects, as well as any other sound played through your computer, (MP3's, etc). This may or may not be a big deal to most people. Personally, I like to listen to MP3 music and hear sound effects while I play X-Com, but disable the in-game music.

It's also worth noting that if you wish to record your X-COM sessions via a program like Fraps, the 3rd file above (The anti-aliasing filter+32bit 640x400 mod) may cause complications with this. This has not been fully tested, and if you do not intend on recording with Fraps this may not be a problem for you, but I felt it should be mentioned.

Personally, I only use the executable for the reasons listed above.

Pros: Very simple. Fixes the game timer and makes a few other minor modifications. Nothing is changed that cannot be easily reversed by using backup files and no hidden changes are made. Customizable in the sense that you can pick and choose which files you choose to over-write.

Cons: Under certain modifications the Geoscape Game Timer moves in a smooth motion. In other words, if you click 1 day, 1 day passes in approximately 1-2 second(s), but you can actually see the transition from one hour to the next so you can interrupt the "1 day" transition at any time BEFORE 1 day actually passes in game. Not so, with Moks Mod. If you click 1 day, 1 day will pass in 1-2 second(s) but you will not see a smooth transition. The game timer will simply click away at the selected rate in what has been described a "jerky" manner.



XCOM Enemy Unknown CE

Topic: Enemy Unknown (ce) Et Version

Download: ufoeuet_2005_03_28.zip

Type(s): Executable.

Fixes: Game timer, garbled graphics, additional resolution options, 'click' bug.

Bonus modifications:

* 1750 engineers
* 1750 scientists (~250 limit per project)
* alien grenade w/proxy (activate prime 23)
* auto sell manufacture enabled by decrease zero quantity (1111)
* allocate all scientist by decrease zero quantity
* allocate all technician by decrease zero quantity
* manufacture 'ingredients' removed at time of production
* idle engineers contribute to assembling base facilities (25/day)

(Reference: about.txt included in .zip. Also included in above forum thread.)

Instructions: Download zip. Extract. Copy 'UFO Defense.exe' and 'ufoeuet' file to XCOM1 directory. Optional run etconfig.reg and modify graphic settings with 'regedit'. (Reference: Install.txt included in .zip file).

Pros: The GEOSCAPE slowing feature is probably the best I've seen thus far. The Auto-Sell feature works beautifully. The Engineer/Scientists "maxing" by pressing downwards. Increased Engineer/Scientist capacity is great.

Cons: Some users may experience an annoying "black" bar at the bottom of the screen, approximately 15-20% of the total screen size. Proximity grenades of ALL kinds (including Alien/Reg grenades which are set to 23) are not reliable. They seem to explode as smoke grenades. To quote my original post about this:

My observation of this bug is as follows: If you throw a proximity grenade before any other grenade, (Smoke included), it seems to work okay.. sometimes. However, if you use smoke grenade (and possibly other kinds of grenades) BEFORE you use a proximity grenade, the proximity grenade will explode at the end of the round AS A smoke grenade. The radius of smoke may be different.. but I am almost positive it deals 0 damage and I am absolutely positive it does not explode as intended: IE- Within the proximity of a unit. This goes for Alien grenades which are primed to 23, as well.. But, again, the results are inconsistant and some testing should be done to confirm my results which are based completely off of semi-casual observation coupled with a sense of frustration that my Proxies are useless.




QUEUED TO BE ADDED TO THIS SECTION - XComUtil, XcomLdr, SebsLoader.

If I'm forgetting something, please bring it to my attention (preferably including a link).


__________

-A list of available third party programs which facilitate use of X-Com.

-A list of useful links

Edited by EtherImp, 10 July 2009 - 12:02 PM.

Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
Such a heavy burden now to be the 'one'.
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending,
To write it down for all the world to see.

But I forgot my pen!

#3 EtherImp

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:05 AM

RESERVED

-A list of frequently asked technical questions and answers about the basic running of X-Com
Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
Such a heavy burden now to be the 'one'.
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending,
To write it down for all the world to see.

But I forgot my pen!

#4 EtherImp

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:07 AM

RESERVED

-A full list of "Bugs" related to the game itself, and what mods can be applied and it what combination in order to fix these bugs.

-A full list of "Bonus" improvements/tweaks to the game itself which improves (or, for some, ruins) gameplay. (Example: Auto-selling of Manufactured goods)
Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
Such a heavy burden now to be the 'one'.
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending,
To write it down for all the world to see.

But I forgot my pen!

#5 EtherImp

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:09 AM

RESERVED

-Detailed Mod information #1
Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
Such a heavy burden now to be the 'one'.
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending,
To write it down for all the world to see.

But I forgot my pen!

#6 EtherImp

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:09 AM

RESERVED

-Detailed mod information #2
Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
Such a heavy burden now to be the 'one'.
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending,
To write it down for all the world to see.

But I forgot my pen!

#7 EtherImp

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:10 AM

RESERVED

-Detailed mod information #3
Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
Such a heavy burden now to be the 'one'.
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending,
To write it down for all the world to see.

But I forgot my pen!

#8 EtherImp

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:10 AM

RESERVED

-Detailed mod information #4
Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
Such a heavy burden now to be the 'one'.
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending,
To write it down for all the world to see.

But I forgot my pen!

#9 EtherImp

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:10 AM

RESERVED

-Detailed mod information #5
Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
Such a heavy burden now to be the 'one'.
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending,
To write it down for all the world to see.

But I forgot my pen!

#10 EtherImp

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:14 AM

RESERVED

-A log of user questions and associated answers, including outcome.

Format below:

UserId:
Operating System:
Version of Game:
Mods Applied:
Third Party Programs Used:
Question/Problem:
Known Cause?:
Solution:
Result/Feedback:
Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
Such a heavy burden now to be the 'one'.
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending,
To write it down for all the world to see.

But I forgot my pen!

#11 EtherImp

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:14 AM

RESERVED

-For good measure
Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
Such a heavy burden now to be the 'one'.
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending,
To write it down for all the world to see.

But I forgot my pen!

#12 EtherImp

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:17 AM

Sometime this week I will begin filling in the information above.

Please, let the information flow.. :D
Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
Such a heavy burden now to be the 'one'.
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending,
To write it down for all the world to see.

But I forgot my pen!

#13 Zombie

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 09:19 AM

For a start, StrategyCore has a FAQ which may be helpful for the older issues.

The X-COM Wiki has a detailed bugs page some with fixes.

I'm going to suggest that at some point we split this topic into a pinned and locked topic with just the summary, and a separate discussion thread where people can post. Nobody likes to wade through pages of posts just to find the answer they were looking for at the last post. ;)

- Zombie
The Mr. Grognard of X-COM

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!


#14 EtherImp

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 02:06 PM

Updated a bit.. I know for sure my information is not 100% correct or thorough. Criticism and corrections are welcome.
Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
Such a heavy burden now to be the 'one'.
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending,
To write it down for all the world to see.

But I forgot my pen!

#15 EtherImp

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 04:13 AM

I still intend on doing this, although it's rather impossible for me right now, for several reasons.

1. I am working 2 jobs now, and when I'm not working I'm either sleeping or not home.
2. I cannot currently get X-Com working on Windows 7.. I have been planning on reformatting again under WinXP so I can play again, but simply haven't had the time.
3. I haven't had anyone really contact me with input or even show interest, so I've had no motivation.
Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
Such a heavy burden now to be the 'one'.
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending,
To write it down for all the world to see.

But I forgot my pen!

#16 xeucom

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 08:25 PM

Don't lose heart, here's a start:

http://www.ufopaedia...nknown_Extended

I suggest a different approach - instead of building a database of all possible mods and bugs, focus on a recommended config of compatible mods and patches to create an improved' version of X-COM that stays true to the original so people can just get game off Steam or GamersGate, follow instructions, and play. Then focus on heavily testing it and supporting the modders. Any interest in combining efforts in this way?

For your Windows 7 problems, consider creating a Windows virtual machine and running X-COM on it: http://www.easyvmx.com/

#17 EtherImp

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 01:14 AM

Don't lose heart, here's a start:

http://www.ufopaedia...nknown_Extended

I suggest a different approach - instead of building a database of all possible mods and bugs, focus on a recommended config of compatible mods and patches to create an improved' version of X-COM that stays true to the original so people can just get game off Steam or GamersGate, follow instructions, and play. Then focus on heavily testing it and supporting the modders. Any interest in combining efforts in this way?

For your Windows 7 problems, consider creating a Windows virtual machine and running X-COM on it: http://www.easyvmx.com/


Already tried that. (The virtual machine).. Doesn't work.

And yes, I am interested in combining efforts for whatever will help the community at large.
Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
Such a heavy burden now to be the 'one'.
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending,
To write it down for all the world to see.

But I forgot my pen!



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