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Reputation: 6191 My posts turn threads into gold
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Everything EDuke32 (2739 posts)
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My Information

Member Title:
EDuke32 Senior Developer
23 years old
May 31, 1995
Male Male
United States

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Website URL:
Website URL  http://hendricks266.duke4.net

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Topics I've Started

  1. Halloween Harry beta released

    10 October 2018 - 01:41 PM




    Halloween Harry is 2018 Red Sprite Studios
  2. Bio Menace beta released!

    03 August 2018 - 01:03 PM

    [ All text taken from RELEASE.TXT and https://www.facebook...076257905961485 ]

    25 years ago today, Snake Logan was unleashed on the world!

    Snake is the star of Bio Menace, which celebrates its 25th birthday today! The game was originally released on Aug 3, 1993! Bio Menace was the creation of Jim Norwood, who also went on to be one of the co-creators of the original version of Shadow Warrior!

    Bio Menace was released at the hight of our time in the 90's putting out side scrollers. We had a few published at this time (the original Duke Nukem, Commander Keen), so this was a popular game. It was later released as freeware on Dec 23, 2005, so it has been free to play for some time now.

    Before the game was released, when it was in development we referred to it as "Bio Hazard". Given the nature of the plot line and the things you ran into, that fit the theme well. However, before the game came out, we changed it to "Bio Menace". When we asked Jim Norwood about that, he had this to say..

    "That happened because it turned out that there was some rock band named BioHazard who already held the copyright to that name. I'm not sure why we couldn't still use the name anyway since my use was for a video game versus a music brand. You'd have to ask Scott and George about the why's on that one."



    We asked Jim this week to send us some thoughts looking back on Bio Menace now that it has reached it's silver anniversary.

    Bio Menace was really the first game that I ever designed, did all the level design, art, and code for as my first full on game project. And if that wasn't enough, it had to be a Trilogy! That was quite a project for a lone dude that was completely new to the gaming industry, but, it got done eventually and we shipped that full Trilogy in the end.

    Bobby Prince did the music and I used Id's Keen Dreams engine to back the 2D game. Having the Keen Dreams engine is the only thing that made doing this game alone possible.

    As John Carmack used to quote, 'There really is no such thing as a trivial game.' So true! Every game that is worth anything is going to take significant effort to finish and bring to market. However, I had some of the most fun working on this title that I've ever had working on any game since. Working nowadays in the AAA industry, I'm no longer the 'driving force' behind new IP's and as a Senior Engineer, I am a significant contributor to really large titles, but I'm really more now a piece of machinery in the giant teams required to ship such ambitious projects. That's just how this industry has evolved and I'm ok with that. But that doesn't stop me from looking back fondly on the glory days when I lone guy could make a great selling 2D platformer by himself. In some ways, those days have come back with mobile games, and then grew again to where even top tier mobile games are still going to require a competent team to create anything great.

    I did manage to do another game called Tekken Bowling for iOS while I was at Namco where I was the sole programmer for the entire project, and I worked with only one designer and two artists on it. That was the closest I've come to making a game alone since the Bio Menace days.

    --- Jim



    One the Bio Menace game characters looks like he could be Cosmo, only his slightly more angrier brother. Jim seemed confused by the question when we asked him about this, as this exchange shows:

    Joe Siegler: Angry Cosmo - is that what that really was?

    Jim Norwood: I actually cannot remember the Angry Cosmo except vaguely? Was it cool? LOL!

    JS: Here you go. Angry Cosmo... :) (with a picture sent to Jim)

    JN: Haha nice. Ok, but that was one of the main creatures throughout the game. I thought you meant I had added actual Cosmo as an Easter egg.

    JS: No no - most folks who played the game thought it was supposed to be Cosmo - just his angrier brother or something. Seriously - even *I* thought that back before the game came out.

    JN: Well, you are right. It sure as heck looks like Cosmo!

    JS: The main difference is Cosmo has those spots on him, and the suckers. But visually your character is like an Angry Cosmo.

    One of the more fun things that was in this game was something called "The Apogee Room". Was a very hidden section in one of the maps where Jim Norwood, Scott Miller, & George Broussard were visualized, along with a few computers and a ton of Apogee visual gags - mostly from Commander Keen & Duke Nukem. Here's what Jim had to say about this.. "That was all me. I loved the Easter Eggs in Commander Keen at the time and I wanted to put something similar in Bio Menace - hence the Apogee Room. :)"



    It's always fun looking back on games like this, but today, we're going a bit beyond than what we usually do for these anniversary stories. We've dug into the archives and found a working copy (well, after some massaging) of one of the game's betas that we are releasing for free today!

    The game was actually still called "Bio Hazard" at this point, and was dated July 15, 1992.

    We've also thrown in a PDF the "Secret Moves" paper that we used to send out with Bio Menace orders placed with us.

    Big thanks to Jim Norwood for allowing this to be released, and for Evan Ramos for whipping it into shape. There were some fiddly tech issues with this release that he goes into in greater detail in the release.txt file in the game directory about what fixes had to be made to the beta for release. Make sure and read it for additional info, as some of it is quite interesting.

    You can download the zip file here: http://legacy.3dreal...e/bh_071592.zip

    Some other Bio Menace related links for you to check out:

    1) Our original Bio Menace webpage here: http://legacy.3drealms.com/menace
    2) Youtube Video showing you the Apogee Room:

    3) Frenkel's Bio Menace Maps: http://legacy.3dreal...maps/index.html
    4) Apogee Legacy Interview with Jim Norwood: http://legacy.3dreal...jim_norwoo.html
    5) 3D Realms' Bio Menace Trailer:

    Thanks for checking this all out, and thanks for playing our games these last 25-30 years or so!

    Joe Siegler
    Apogee Software / 3D Realms
    Aug 3, 2018




    There are several interesting things to note in this prototype. First and foremost, it can be seen that the final game's Episode 2 was originally slotted to be Episode 1. The final boss of the episode is a floating head of Dr. Mangle (whose art can still be found in the final game's data) rather than The Enforcer, though their behavior is functionally similar, if not identical. The in-level save feature inherited as part of the Keen Galaxy engine is still active in this build, before being disabled for technical reasons in the final game. Some of the item sprites differ in this beta. I'm sure there are more curiosities waiting to be discovered and documented.

    Unfortunately, some of the files that make up the game's graphics banks were found to have experienced some kind of data corruption. The data was collected into a zip file that passed all checksum tests, meaning whatever happened took place before archival. My collaborator NY00123 stepped up and repaired the damage by inspecting it with various tools, including one of his own design, and cross-referencing with the final BM2 where necessary.

    In testing, NY discovered a crash that manifests at two points in the episode, and we agreed that he would make a one-byte edit to fix the problem, improving Quality of Life for players. As copy protection, the executable performs a date check that aims to make the beta expire after a certain time. Bypassing this would require changing the system clock or intercepting the call with a TSR, but since we already modified the exe, he simply disabled the check with another one-byte change. Additionally, the executable requires a password to be entered on the command line, so we inspected the exe to find it and have provided it for you as part of PLAY.BAT. (If you wish to compare our modified exe with the original, you will need to use UNLZEXE to unpack both files.)

    Unmodified versions of all edited files, as well as the original internal beta tester documentation text files, are available in the folder named "ORIGINAL". Below you can find a detailed technical description of modifications made, written by NY00123.

    -Evan Ramos / Hendricks266


    BHAZARD1.EXE, EGAGRAPH.BH1 and EGAHEAD.BH1 were modified. Details are given below. This text file, PLAY.BAT, and SecretMoves.pdf were not originally present.

    Original timestamps (local timezone information is unavailable):

    ABOUT.BH1    1992-03-22 16:40:04
    AUDIOHED.BH1 1992-06-10 12:44:24
    AUDIOT.BH1   1992-06-10 12:44:22
    BHAZARD1.EXE 1992-07-15 22:36:40 *
    CONTEXT.BH1  1992-03-15 16:24:26
    CONTRART.BH1 1992-03-22 18:26:14
    DEMO0.BH1    1992-07-14 03:07:12
    EGADICT.BH1  1992-07-13 19:03:44
    EGAGRAPH.BH1 1992-07-13 19:03:44 *
    EGAHEAD.BH1  1992-07-13 19:03:44 *
    ENDART.BH1   1992-07-12 19:12:16
    GAMEMAPS.BH1 1992-06-17 17:17:48
    GAMETEXT.BH1 1992-03-15 16:24:26
    GFXINFOE.BH1 1992-07-13 19:03:46
    HELPART.BH1  1992-03-22 18:07:42
    MAPHEAD.BH1  1992-07-12 19:23:50
    MAPTEMP.BH1  1992-07-12 19:23:46
    MAPTHEAD.BH1 1992-07-12 19:23:44
    MUSEINFO.BH1 1992-06-10 12:44:22
    ORDERART.BH1 1992-03-23 02:09:16
    README2.TXT  1992-07-15 17:06:40 *
    README.TXT   1992-06-29 20:58:54 *
    STORYART.BH1 1992-03-22 18:07:42
    STORY.BH1    1992-03-22 16:40:04
    TEDINFO.BH1  1992-07-12 19:23:48
    TEDINFOE.BH1 1992-03-15 16:24:26

    * The unmodified original copies can be found under "ORIGINAL".

    BHAZARD1.EXE had the following edits applied, changing exactly two bytes of code (in the LZEXE-unpacked EXE):
    - The beta expiration date check (which is somewhat buggy) is skipped.
    - With the original EXE, if you try to read the color sequence in "Ant Caves" (level 3) or activate the easter egg in "Specimens Labs" (level 10), the game will abort from a call to the StartMusic function with (virtual) level number 20 (21st level). Based on the note from README2.TXT saying that the amount of playable levels was reduced by 6, this was fixed so StartMusic is called with the value of 14, leading to playback of "Resting" (as in the final game).

    The original EGA data is partially corrupted, so EGAGRAPH.BH1 and EGAHEAD.BH1 had to be recreated. ModId was used for exporting and importing graphics.
    - The presence of two complete 16x16 tiles in the initially exported data gave the hint that 7725 bytes shall be removed from some offset in EGAGRAPH.BH1 (done at offset 0x16308). This assisted with getting virtually all tiles, which were the same as in Bio Menace ep. 2 for most. A small amount of missing or partially corrupted tiles were simply copied from BM2.
    - An internal tool was written for displaying the sprites, including the separate EGA planes. At some point, it could let one "move" the EGA planes around and export them as separate BMP files. Eventually, most sprites were actually copied from BM2 as-is. It's only most of the player sprites and other few sprites which needed more edits.
    - After modifying the tool for usage with masked 8x8 tiles, it was found out that they were exactly the same as in BM2. As for unmasked 8x8 tiles, it was separately found out that such tiles were only added between BH1 and BM2, not removed or replaced.
    - A portion of the "This is -NOT- Shareware" picture had to be recreated. The rest of the unmasked pictures remained intact, while the only masked picture (used in the menu) was copied from BM2.

  3. Extracting CON Files from Duke 64 and Total Meltdown

    01 March 2018 - 08:25 PM

    In August 2017, Fox alerted me that he had discovered what looked like CON bytecode inside the executable file on the Total Meltdown disc. We set to work reverse engineering this data into a format that could be used in his mod. During the process, he also found bytecode in the Duke 64 cartridge.

    I ended up writing a small program, decon, that can take a Duke PS1 executable ("SLUS_003.55" for US, "SLES_007.03" for EU, "SLPS_015.57" for JP) or a Duke 64 cartridge dump (from the U, E, or F regions, and additionally the publicly known prototype) and output functional CON files, albeit lacking the names of all defines, states, actions, AIs, and moves, as well as any comments in the code, and the exact formatting.

    The key to studying this process and getting reproducible output is a companion utility I wrote, dosdukecon, which compiles 1.4+ CONs to the bytecode format as stored in memory on the PC version. It turns out that only minor changes were made between this structure and what was stored in the respective console ports.

    The utilities I wrote to do this, the source code for them, and the resulting output can be found at the following link. http://hendricks266....ler_20180301.7z

    You can drop in your own copies of the input files and let the tool work, or look at the extracted CONs if you're really curious. This release is mostly about documentation.
  4. Major Stryker beta released!

    16 January 2018 - 10:07 AM



    Two days, two Major Stryker posts.

    Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the game, and today we have a special treat. In talking to some of the developers on the actual anniversary, we discovered that we had a working beta version of Major Stryker as well that was dated August 12, 1992. We have decided to release the beta for you to check out. There was one legendary beta that we cannot seem to find - was the first beta. That one was so hard that every single beta tester complained it was too hard. That almost never happens, so it was made a bit easier to play, that is what you’re seeing here.

    The game is fairly complete, but it is not totally finished either. The music is there, but no sound effects are there. The gameplay is mostly finished, but not totally polished. Order screens are not finished, and various help is incomplete.

    Tech Stuff: This beta does require DOSBox to work - there is no shell provided for this release, nor will we give any support in getting it to work under DOSBox.

    Back in the day we used to take multiple steps to prevent our betas from leaking. For some titles we used a physical hardware dongle, and on some we made it so the games had to be played inside a specific date range AND have a specific environment variable and/or a command line parameter to run. Not all of them used all our security methods, but this Major Stryker beta used some of them. To get the game to run right, you need all the files in the directory, and have to start the game with the “PLAY.BAT” batch file inside DOSBox.

    Here is the download link: http://legacy.3dreal...r_beta_0892.zip

    Summary: We thought this would be something fun you guys would like seeing. Was a fun little surprise to discover on the anniversary day, and after some check with various folks, we’re releasing it for free on the day after. Enjoy!

  5. Two Floppy Drives in One Computer

    20 July 2017 - 07:37 PM

    Recently I tried building a Pentium II rig using the wealth of spare parts from my parents' basement. However, I could not manage to get it to recognize more than one connected floppy drive at a time no matter what I tried. My preferred configuration is one 3.5 inch and 5.25 inch, though for the sake of experiment I also tried it with two of each. I seem to remember such a configuration working in the same case (some old business-tier OEM thing) a long time ago, and it's an obvious fact that "B:" exists because there is already an "A:".

    I've tried:
    Daisy-chaining two drives to the controller on the motherboard.
    Daisy-chaining them to a controller in an ISA slot.
    Flipping the cable connectors (each of them) upside-down. (The light behavior changed for better or worse but it still would not recognize.)
    Putting a controller in an ISA slot and connecting one to it, and one to the motherboard.
    Putting two controllers in ISA slots and connecting one drive to each.
    Swapping out the cable. (Several, actually.)
    Swapping out the drives.
    Swapping out the ISA cards (when I tried them).
    Swapping out the entire case/motherboard for another one.

    Any idea what I'm doing wrong here?


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  1. Photo 07 Jul 2016 - 18:44
    First to 4000 snazzy votes, good work Hendricks.
  2. Photo 31 May 2016 - 04:11
    I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy N... oh, I mean Happy Birthday! Never lose your BAZINGA.
  3. Photo 20 Jul 2014 - 20:32
    420 eh? hehe
    puff puff pass.
  4. Photo 26 Feb 2014 - 23:04
    Hi.Just wanted to say thanks again for the other day.Best of luck to you.
  5. Photo 12 Sep 2013 - 05:29
    I came here to donate some blood. Your blood!
  6. Photo 12 Sep 2013 - 05:28
    I came here to donate some blood. Your blood!
  7. Photo 09 Sep 2013 - 22:15
  8. Photo 31 May 2013 - 05:51
    Just thought to pop by and say happy birthday and have a good one.
  9. Photo 02 May 2012 - 08:55
    Hey, I think I know why there are some weird songs in Total Meltdown. The one with the Stalker 2 and Bar music is because I guess when you enter the bar the music changes into that (since both songs would be playing, and if you turn off music, the bar music is off too). The other one "Chemicals fuck you head" may be used as background music in a map, the variants for how far you are fro...
  10. Photo 14 Oct 2011 - 17:50
    Thanks for help with the music pack!
    My last computer manage to work HRP,Dukeplus (Didn't tried Polymer out and the music pack) back then. Now I totally forgot how they work. If you know any site or place I can refer to help me with this,that would be nice. Thanks!
  11. Photo 13 Sep 2011 - 16:38
    You have no status!!!!!!
  12. Photo 18 Jul 2011 - 21:20
    You need to get on Google/Gmail Chat or MSN more, you big dork!
  13. Photo 14 Jul 2011 - 16:22
    We need to talk to you on IRC. You've been very bad and need to be punished.
  14. Photo 31 May 2011 - 07:20
    Happy B Day!!!!
  15. Photo 31 May 2011 - 02:10
    Happy birthday Hendricks :)
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