Author Topic: Dark Queen of Krynn Hub  (Read 16194 times)

Offline Ishad Nha

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Dark Queen of Krynn Hub
« on: April 30, 2010, 07:42:10 AM »
I am now attempting to decrypt the files of The Dark Queen of Krynn.
This game is particularly interesting because it is very similar to FRUA in its graphics system. Apparently FRUA uses the DQK engine.
In theory, decrypting the Ecl.glb and Geo.glb files could enable the game to be used as a Dragonlance Unlimited Adventures. This is technically possibly illegal, but both games are abandonware. Make it quite clear that you respect the intellectual property of the late SSI company. This approach could also be used for Spelljammer: Pirates of Realmspace.
You would need an editor for this if it were possible, but there are or were good programmers in this community.

Geo.glb contents:
16 byte header
88 bytes table of contents, 22 long (four byte) offsets for the start of records
82 bytes, (41 * short numbers, means 20 pairs of records)
Start of Caergoth town records…

I have also started to decrypt the save files, which is straightforward for the most part. Remove Character from Party will create a qch file, this is the DQK version of a cch file.
Edit:
For an understanding of the table of contents, see my topic in this forum.

Template for DQK has been moved to here, it only works for DCv1.01.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 06:59:49 AM by Ishad Nha »

Offline Ben J

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Re: Dark Queen of Krynn Hub
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2010, 08:55:27 AM »
Apparently FRUA uses the DQK engine.

Yes it does, although there are also many remnants of older GoldBox games in the code (like the strings for "Cute Yellow Canary" and "Boulder" from Secrets of the Silver Blades).
I don't know how SSI went about this. Maybe they built each subsequent game on top of the others.

"Pool of Radiance" and "Curse of the Azure Bonds" have already been converted fro FRUA. I suppose this will be a similar project?
Released designs:

The Sect

Offline Ishad Nha

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Re: Dark Queen of Krynn Hub
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2010, 07:10:16 PM »
Cute Yellow Canary featured in only one game, Secret of the Silver Blades. It was of course relevant in the mines there, and relevant absolutely nowhere else. 
???
I will be looking at a port, if I can find the time. Then I could use DQK as a Dragonlance Unlimited Adventures, if someone can write an editor. I should get an understanding of how features of DQK wound up in FRUA.
Graphics in FRUA come from DQK, as anyone who played the latter will be able to see immediately. Graphics in these two games aren't found in earlier Gold Box games.
As for decrypting Caergoth, the cluebook map has no coordinate grid for starters. Then it is not wholly accurate, it has an excess row above the gates to the town.

Offline DesertScrb

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Re: Dark Queen of Krynn Hub
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2010, 08:41:05 PM »
That's great.  There are some designs set in Krynn, but it would be fun to play a new game with Draconian death explosions and the kender taunting ability.

Offline Ray

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Re: Dark Queen of Krynn Hub
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2010, 08:49:00 PM »

I've always been curious about how FRUA fell in the "pecking order" of things.  It definitely seems like FRUA was made from DQK, and it always seemed to me that Pools of Darkness was the game built to show us what FRUA could really do...since Heirs to Skull Crag failed so miserably.  I know the release dates defy that logic, but I remember playing through Pools of Darkness, counting the steps of whatever quest event chain I was playing through...   ;)

Offline nologgie

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Re: Dark Queen of Krynn Hub
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2010, 09:07:15 PM »
There are neat things from both DQK and PoD I'd like to be able incorporate into FRUA. Good luck with this!
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Offline Ishad Nha

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Re: Dark Queen of Krynn Hub
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2010, 10:03:39 PM »
Looking at the DAX viewers help files it seems that Pools of Darkness and Treasure of the Savage Frontier are VGA graphics, as opposed to the EGA of the earlier Gold Box games. But all these games use a different format to that employed by DQK and FRUA, a format I still don't understand. (Each graphic is made up of pieces?)
As for the actual game mechanics, I don't know how PD, DQK and FRUA compare, that may become clear.
A guess as to the structure of the town records part of the Geo.glb file, length of each record is: 8 + (4*H*W).
Edit:
Walls in Secret of the Silver Blades were recorded as wedges. The format is: each square is divided into (a north and east wedge) and (a south and west wedge). The N,E half of each square is listed in a group, then comes the group of S,W listings. There are an awful lot of wall types too. If a square has nothing in its N or E sides it is type 0 when classified by its N,E side, regardless of what is in its S,W side. A wedge may have one of its two walls blank, non-existent.
In SSB the complication is that if you have two or more instances of the same terrain type occurring in a row, you don't use the usual notation. Say you have three squares in a row where the terrain is type x, you don't see "x,x,x". Instead you see "(256-3),x,(some number)" in other words "253,x,#". This is apparently done to save space, in the top line eleven instances of type 32 walls can be written as "245,32,1". As for saving space, a lot of repetitions occur in pairs, so they finish up one behind.  As for the third number I don't know what it does. If you have two repetitions occurring one after another, the first repetition may lack its third number.
In DQK there is no special notation for the repetition of the same wall type. It is one square, one wedge in both the N,E and S,W groups.
(In FRUA the structure is explained in Geogrids.txt.)
I am looking at what each wall looks like, I altered Geo.glb to include an array showing the first fifth of the wall types.


00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
00 01 00 01 00 01 00 01 00 01 00 01 00 01 00 01 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
00 01 00 02 00 03 00 04 00 05 00 06 00 07 00 08 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
00 09 00 10 00 11 00 12 00 13 00 14 00 15 00 16 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
00 17 00 18 00 19 00 20 00 21 00 22 00 23 00 24 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
00 25 00 26 00 27 00 28 00 29 00 30 00 31 00 32 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
00 33 00 34 00 35 00 36 00 37 00 38 00 39 00 40 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
00 41 00 42 00 43 00 44 00 45 00 46 00 47 00 48 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
00 49 00 50 00 51 00 52 00 53 00 54 00 55 00 56 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
« Last Edit: September 21, 2015, 09:14:24 PM by Ishad Nha »

Offline Ben J

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Re: Dark Queen of Krynn Hub
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2010, 05:10:50 AM »
That's great.  There are some designs set in Krynn, but it would be fun to play a new game with Draconian death explosions and the kender taunting ability.

It would be cool to have these things in FRUA.
Released designs:

The Sect

Offline Ishad Nha

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Re: Dark Queen of Krynn Hub
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2010, 10:05:07 AM »
Draconians really enliven combat when they die.
State of play:
Each town has an eight byte header that lists: the height and width, the three wall sets and three unknown bytes. Yes it has FRUA style wall art sets, they have the same graphics for each set too. Each of the wall types can be given a guide number from 0 thru 15.
Looking at the first 50-odd wall types, the pattern becomes obvious:
(16*Guide number for N wall) + Guide number for E wall.
Converting walls between DQK and FRUA is quite straightforward.

Offline Ishad Nha

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Re: Dark Queen of Krynn Hub
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2010, 03:01:48 AM »
Latest news:
I can now easily port the walls of a town to a FRUA design. Zones and backgrounds I don't properly understand as yet.
Not so good news: any design can have no more than 576 squares in a town. Most DQK towns are larger than this, maximum size is 784.  Hopefully some of this excess will be empty space, certainly Caergoth had plenty to spare. If that is not the case I will need to trim the size of the town or split it into two.

Offline Ben J

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Re: Dark Queen of Krynn Hub
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2010, 03:28:51 AM »
Latest news:
I can now easily port the walls of a town to a FRUA design.

Cool.  :)

Quote
Not so good news: any design can have no more than 576 squares in a town. Most DQK towns are larger than this, maximum size is 784.  Hopefully some of this excess will be empty space, certainly Caergoth had plenty to spare. If that is not the case I will need to trim the size of the town or split it into two.

Some of the maps in the original Goldbox games are much larger than what FRUA allows. The mines in "Secret of the Silver Blades" were huge.
Released designs:

The Sect

Offline Ishad Nha

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Re: Dark Queen of Krynn Hub
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2010, 04:06:53 AM »
Looking at the Dungeon Craft Editor, I note that it says: "Max Height: 50" and "Max Width: 50". Decryption requires that I be able to see the entire town at once. This may be the ticket. I am hex editing my translations into the relevant Geo0##.dat file of the FRUA design, once I have it processed by my spreadsheet I can just copy it all in one go.
I can figure out how the DC Editor records levels then I am set.
Edit:
I was able to create town #2, Draconian Caves, in a Dungeon Craft design. As far as I can tell, each square in a DC design is represented by a 15 Byte record, which consists of: 1x0, 4xBackdrops, 1xZone, 1xEvent, 4xWalls, 4xBlockage. All directions go: N,S,E,W.

« Last Edit: May 02, 2010, 08:03:17 AM by Ishad Nha »

Offline Ishad Nha

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Re: Dark Queen of Krynn Hub
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2010, 09:01:39 PM »
SSB Ruins area would have to be broken down into individual town areas.
I have ported the walls of a few towns, the first seven. Two I can't identify in the Cluebook. (Towns never implemented in the released game?)
(Dungeon Craft design file has been moved to the latest post.)
Edit:
I have ported the walls of all the twenty towns, and the walls only.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 07:18:58 AM by Ishad Nha »

Offline Ishad Nha

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Re: Dark Queen of Krynn Hub
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2010, 09:01:10 PM »
I have ported the walls of all the twenty towns, and the walls only. A lot of the background has been done.
Ecl.glb contains a lot of compressed text. It looks like game notes in the first 10,000 bytes. An example at random:
"NOTE: YOU SHOULD NOT GET SELIAS FROM THE FRIENDLY NPC MENU AS HE IS FOUND IN THE INN OF THIS ECL.A4B0SBRD(00GOING TO THE CITY OF KRISTOPHAN IN ECL38?"
« Last Edit: May 07, 2010, 04:06:25 AM by Ishad Nha »

Offline Ishad Nha

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Re: Dark Queen of Krynn Hub
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2010, 07:14:06 AM »
Each section has an eight byte header listing the height, the width, the three wall sets and three unknown bytes. Logically the last three bytes should be the background sets. However it is not so simple in practice. I keep altering the three bytes in the Caergoth record, this has no effect on the outdoor mud graphics in the town proper. But it does effect the forest and the three intact buildings.
List of numbers and their corresponding backgrounds:
0   (Disk Error)
1   Stone Floor     
2   Marble         
3   Cave           
4   Forest         
5   Coral           
6   Lava           
7   Adobe           
8   Wood           
9   Bricks         
10   Fire Bricks     
11   (Hole in Lava)
12   Swamp           
13   (Chest, Stone Floor)
14   Dark Coral     
15   Wasteland       
16   (Disk Error)
32   Outdoor Grass   

Backgrounds 11,13 are unique to DQK, they can be retrieved with the TLB2BMP program.
Here is the Dungeon Craft design file. It uses the graphics found at:
http://frua.rosedragon.org/dc/art/walls/DC_FRUA-Walls.zip
I have been able to add blockage to the first few towns, as well as event markers, but not the events themselves.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2010, 03:57:10 AM by Ishad Nha »

 

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