Author Topic: FF8 Launcher - Custom resolutions and 8-bit paletted textures fix (patch)  (Read 35437 times)

Ossott

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Three things,

First, does anyone know if this could possibly help with the crashing in Dollet communication tower bug? After multiple attempts I finally made it up the elevator to see Biggs talk, however now as soon as I get up, I crash again. =/

Second, When running this program in both Vista & XP (I dual boot), I receieve:

CreateProcess(FF8.exe) returned an error...
ERROR CODE:2

I've found an easy work around by passing the location of my FF8.EXE to it in the command line. My registry of course has the correct location, so I'm not sure why this is needed.. but oh wells. No biggie

However, when I start FF8 in this manner, using your loader, the game goes full screen, but it stops there. It's the same problem as I was having prior to applying the 1.2 patch 'n all that good stuff. I ctlr+alt+del out, and if I then start FF8 directly, I receive the proper EIDOS logo, and seconds later the FF8 menu, so it's not that I'm not all properly patched. I've already devoted a few good hours of my life, once again, to the game.


Any ideas on why your loader would be causing an issue with the game? Should I try an old (1.0) FF8.EXE? I run a GFX 8600 GTS & the latest drivers.

Thanks for any info bro, it's much appreciated.

magixts

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Quote
First, does anyone know if this could possibly help with the crashing in Dollet communication tower bug? After multiple attempts I finally made it up the elevator to see Biggs talk, however now as soon as I get up, I crash again. =/
The launcher does not fix any bugs in the game. I have played past that part in 1920x1440 with 16xQ FSAA / 16x Anisotopic F. without crashing. Maybe there's something wrong with your CDs.

Quote
Second, When running this program in both Vista & XP (I dual boot), I receieve:

CreateProcess(FF8.exe) returned an error...
ERROR CODE:2

I've found an easy work around by passing the location of my FF8.EXE to it in the command line. My registry of course has the correct location, so I'm not sure why this is needed.. but oh wells. No biggie
Error Code 2 translates to ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND. At that point in the code the launcher has already successfully received the value of the FF8 AppPath key. I don't know what could be causing this unless the path in the key is indeed wrong.

Quote
However, when I start FF8 in this manner, using your loader, the game goes full screen, but it stops there. It's the same problem as I was having prior to applying the 1.2 patch 'n all that good stuff. I ctlr+alt+del out, and if I then start FF8 directly, I receive the proper EIDOS logo, and seconds later the FF8 menu, so it's not that I'm not all properly patched. I've already devoted a few good hours of my life, once again, to the game.


Any ideas on why your loader would be causing an issue with the game? Should I try an old (1.0) FF8.EXE? I run a GFX 8600 GTS & the latest drivers.
I wrote a note about this in the readme for version 1.21. I got the same error when testing the launcher on Vista and narrowed it down to an issue with the Creative Soundblaster drivers and EAX (OpenAL). When deinstalled the launcher would work once again. I'm not sure what could cause this behaviour and haven't had a chance to take a closer look at it.

It should be noted though that Vista support is basically "what works, works" at this stage. All testing has so far been carried out on XP and I lack the tools and patience to dig deeper into Vista. It's hard enough to work out bugs on XP with dynamically injected dlls and hooks in a process that I have no sourcecode for; my only two options are basically to either step through the process manually in a disassembler or to break when a fatal error is thrown.

Quote
Thanks for any info bro, it's much appreciated.
No problem, sorry I can't be of more help at this time. Meanwhile I recommend running the launcher on XP; There are quite a few people who have successfully used without any issues that I'm aware of.
« Last Edit: 2007-12-27 00:27:19 by magixts »

ryg

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Wunderful!
It works perfect!

My first System Cofiguration is:

AMD Athlon XP 64 2400
Geforce 7300 GS

The Second:

AMD Athlon X2 6000+
Geforce 8800 GTS

On the second Configuration i have little Problems with the background Grafics. I can see little Cuts on 2 or 3 Backgrounds in Balamb Garden.


Can support your Louncher any Widescreen Resolution like 1440 x 900 ?

Lucleonhart

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Hey again! :)
I tried your new versions now, but no effect for vista... The game does not start! Got a black screen all the time.
Tried
- Launcher in Main Folder, FF8.exe in main folder
- Launcher in Main Folder, FF8.exe in Game Subfolder
- Launcher in Game Subfolder, FF8.exe in main folder
- Launcher in Game Subfolder, FF8.exe in Game Subfolder
using The Command line parameter for the exe.

Just black screen.... :(

Borde

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FF8 isn't my favourite game, but this patch is great. Great job magixts.

With my x800XT, FSAAx16 and AFx8 it works very well. There are some corrupted graphics displayed on the black bands on the upper and lower part of the screen during movies and the backgrounds show some little cuts here and there, but nothing very noticiable.

By the way, I never noticed how unstable the 3D looks in this game. Doesn't it use perspective correction?

Kinseek

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Nice christmas present!

I just have one snag though, the launcher crashes at once when I try any resolution above 1024x768 on XP, while it worked on Vista (though with the other bugs mentioned of course). Got a clue as to why?

And could it be possible to add 1280x768 (common HDTV rez) as a custom resolution?

Lucleonhart

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Hey Kinseek! Can you tell me your config with vista, cause it does not work for me at all.. :(

Kinseek

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Err, what config? It pretty much does not work for me on vista either, since you have big glaring black boxes (that this patch fixes if you run on XP).

If it matters I have a Geforce 8800 GTS, using Windows Vista 64-bit. I just installed the game completely ordinarily.

magixts

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On the second Configuration i have little Problems with the background Grafics. I can see little Cuts on 2 or 3 Backgrounds in Balamb Garden.


Can support your Louncher any Widescreen Resolution like 1440 x 900 ?
In the next release of the launcher (version 1.3) i will add an advanced option to be able to adjust the UV-mapping compensation on-the-fly through a set of direct input hotkeys. The value of the compensation giving the best looking result is very dependant on the game resolution and additional settings like forced FSAA.
The value in version 1.21 of the launcher is the same in all resolutions and settings and therfore the result is varied and sometimes truly bad.

Non 4:3 aspect-ratio resolutions are also included in the next release. Left/right and top/bottom of the screen will be padded with black borders to maintain the same scale in both directions.

Hey again! :)
I tried your new versions now, but no effect for vista... The game does not start! Got a black screen all the time.
Tried
- Launcher in Main Folder, FF8.exe in main folder
- Launcher in Main Folder, FF8.exe in Game Subfolder
- Launcher in Game Subfolder, FF8.exe in main folder
- Launcher in Game Subfolder, FF8.exe in Game Subfolder
using The Command line parameter for the exe.

Just black screen.... :(
Yeah, I feel ya. :(

I dual-booted my computer with Vista x32 yesterday and I'm going to look into this and all the features that are broken. Hopefully I'll manage to come up with something.

There are some corrupted graphics displayed on the black bands on the upper and lower part of the screen during movies and the backgrounds show some little cuts here and there, but nothing very noticiable.

By the way, I never noticed how unstable the 3D looks in this game. Doesn't it use perspective correction?
The black bands issue have been dealt with and will be fixed in version 1.3 (will release it once I have a look at the Vista problems and update the launcher with some new configurations).

Not sure what you mean by "unstable" but the vertices I work with are already transformed so any possible perspective correction done by the game is already baked into the data and indistinguishable.

Nice christmas present!

I just have one snag though, the launcher crashes at once when I try any resolution above 1024x768 on XP, while it worked on Vista (though with the other bugs mentioned of course). Got a clue as to why?

And could it be possible to add 1280x768 (common HDTV rez) as a custom resolution?
Do you mean the process really crash or just terminate itself? The latter it's the result of the FF8 excecutable failing to change the display mode to the requested one and hence not being able to continue.

There's a weird issue with it not being able to change the display mode even when it's supported by the system. I can't run the game at 2560x1600 which is the native resolution of my display and I've heard others that can't run it at 1280x960 while 1920x1440 works just fine. At first I was quite puzzled about this but I then discovered that this is the case with any Direct3D 6.1 SDK example i try to run aswell. Hence it's probable to be some kind of backwards-compability issue with DirectX itself.

1280x768 will be added in version 1.3.

Lucleonhart

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Yeah, I feel ya. :(
Kay, waiting for ya...

Tried to run with software mode via Virtual PC: Sound is crappy
Tried to run on my other little PC with XP: Very very very slow.

Grah! ^^

Borde

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Yes, don't get me wrong magixts. It has nothing to do with your program, it already worked this way without the launcher. I just was curious if you knew something about it.
I meant that vertices show a strange movement, as if there was some kind of precision problem. Just like in the PSX version.

By the way, nice to hear about the black band. Sure you are fast :-P

magixts

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Yes, don't get me wrong magixts. It has nothing to do with your program, it already worked this way without the launcher. I just was curious if you knew something about it.
I meant that vertices show a strange movement, as if there was some kind of precision problem. Just like in the PSX version.

By the way, nice to hear about the black band. Sure you are fast :-P
No idea about the PSX version of FF8, haven't played it from what I can recall. It's probably a bug or optimization in the original engine. With the higher resolutions that the launcher enables it becomes quite apparent that there are more than a few graphical glitches in the game especially in the 3d models. Missing polygons in character models and normals that are turned the wrong way are both pretty common.



Vista "Black screen of death"-issue
I've done a bit of debugging in Vista x32 now and I've got a working fix for the black boxes ie. "8-bit Paletted Textures Fix" for Vista. There were a few other bugs and issues, most due to the new code in 1.3, that have been corrected.

As for the "black screen of death" when running the game on Vista; it is 100% an issue with sound hardware acceleration. Here are my notes:

No Creative (Sound Card) Drivers Installed
- FF8 Launcher works, custom resolutions work
- FF8.exe launched from within FF8 installation directory (No \Game\ FF8.exe & binkw32.dll workaround needed)

AFTER Creative Drivers are Installed
- FF8 does NOT work ("black screen of death")
- FF8 Launcher does NOT work
- D3D/DDRAW/DINPUT log no errors


Here's a quote from the Creative Support Knowledge Base:
Quote
3# The Vista audio architecture disables DirectSound 3D hardware acceleration; resulting in legacy DirectSound based EAX game titles not working as they did in XP.

Issues that may be encountered:
Could range from loss of EAX functionality in EAX enabled games to a complete game incompatibility, depending on how the game title was authored. This would only happen with games that render 3D audio using DirectSound, it should not affect games that render 3D audio using OpenAL.

Status:
These issues cannot be addressed by the Creative audio driver, because the functionality was purposely removed by the operating system. We look forward to game titles moving away from DirectSound and toward OpenAL for fully optimized Creative 3D audio hardware and technology support.


There's some good news though. Creative have released a program called "Creative Alchemy" for just this purpose. It relays DirectSound3D calls to OpenAL and tries to emulate hardware acceleration. With this program and a profile for Final Fantasy VIII enabled, the game runs just fine. The quality of the sound is much worse than in XP with EAX though.

Creative Alchemy is available for both Audigy and X-fi type soundcards at the following link:
http://connect.creativelabs.com/alchemy/default.aspx


If anyone has this same problem but do not have a Creative X-fi or Audigy soundcard; the "black screen of death"-issue is very likely to be caused by this incompability with EAX in Vista. Check your soundcard manufacturers homepage and see if they have any workarounds available. If not, it's not impossible that turning of hardware acceleration or EAX in the soundcard somehow could force the game to run using software acceleration and therfore work.
« Last Edit: 2007-12-28 06:56:33 by magixts »

Lucleonhart

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O_O OMG, thats true.
I've deactivated my soundcard, and everything works!

But.. my soundcard is from "Microsoft" .. Dell Laptop. Hmhm.. what to do now...


When i deinstall eax alone, ff8 does not start because eax.dllis not there... maybe start it without eax support..? ^^
« Last Edit: 2007-12-28 12:23:42 by Lucleonhart »

magixts

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O_O OMG, thats true.
I've deactivated my soundcard, and everything works!

But.. my soundcard is from "Microsoft" .. Dell Laptop. Hmhm.. what to do now...


When i deinstall eax alone, ff8 does not start because eax.dllis not there... maybe start it without eax support..? ^^
I'm going to check to see if theres something I can do through DirectSound in the launcher, but it's not a safe bet. I'll report my findings.

Kinseek

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Do you mean the process really crash or just terminate itself? The latter it's the result of the FF8 excecutable failing to change the display mode to the requested one and hence not being able to continue.

There's a weird issue with it not being able to change the display mode even when it's supported by the system. I can't run the game at 2560x1600 which is the native resolution of my display and I've heard others that can't run it at 1280x960 while 1920x1440 works just fine. At first I was quite puzzled about this but I then discovered that this is the case with any Direct3D 6.1 SDK example i try to run aswell. Hence it's probable to be some kind of backwards-compability issue with DirectX itself.

1280x768 will be added in version 1.3.
It just terminated itself. It certainly defies all logic that Vista is the one that would be more compatible in that regards (if what you say is correct). Maybe 1280x768 willl work, since that is what rez my screen is set at afterall, so I`ll wait for the next version.

I also tried Alchemy (before you mentioned actually), and it did nicely add the option for EAX on Vista, but I can only select the microsoft synthesizer (or general midi or whatever vista calls it), whereas on XP I can select SB X-fi audio. Is there a big quality difference between these? You mentioned a lesser audio quality in vista, is that what you meant?
« Last Edit: 2007-12-28 16:12:30 by Kinseek »

magixts

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Do you mean the process really crash or just terminate itself? The latter it's the result of the FF8 excecutable failing to change the display mode to the requested one and hence not being able to continue.

There's a weird issue with it not being able to change the display mode even when it's supported by the system. I can't run the game at 2560x1600 which is the native resolution of my display and I've heard others that can't run it at 1280x960 while 1920x1440 works just fine. At first I was quite puzzled about this but I then discovered that this is the case with any Direct3D 6.1 SDK example i try to run aswell. Hence it's probable to be some kind of backwards-compability issue with DirectX itself.

1280x768 will be added in version 1.3.
It just terminated itself. It certainly defies all logic that Vista is the one that would be more compatible in that regards (if what you say is correct). Maybe 1280x768 willl work, since that is what rez my screen is set at afterall, so I`ll wait for the next version.

I also tried Alchemy (before you mentioned actually), and it did nicely add the option for EAX on Vista, but I can only select the microsoft synthesizer (or general midi or whatever vista calls it), whereas on XP I can select SB X-fi audio. Is there a big quality difference between these? You mentioned a lesser audio quality in vista, is that what you meant?
I have quite bad experiences with Vista so I'm gonna spare you how I feel about it and compability. :P

I did not check as much as to what synthesizer was available and used. I'm not entirely sure what hardware effects Creative ALchemy does not support or what effect it has on the sound quality but the difference from XP was pretty obvious. Not terrible but good either.
I can check later if I have any other synthesizers than the microsoft one you mention when I run it.



Version 1.3 is now available to download below:
http://rapidshare.com/files/79664278/ff8_launcher_v1.3.rar

Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package is required to run version 1.3 of the launcher due to being built using Visual Studio 2008 instead of 2005:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=9b2da534-3e03-4391-8a4d-074b9f2bc1bf&DisplayLang=en

[ Version 1.3 ]
- Vista x32 is now supported
- Non 4:3 aspect-ratio resolutions added. The display is padded with black borders to retain original
  4:3 picture aspect-ratio.
- Texture flickering on black borders fixed
- New option "Expert Mode" enabled advanced control of display properties. See OPTIONS in the readme.txt for more details.


I'm interested in hearing how this version of the launcher works in Vista for you guys and if there are any bugs that I haven't found. I have no idea if it will work on Vista x64 but hopefully it does, and if not, tell me what issues/bugs are encountered and I will try and see if I can possibly fix them.
« Last Edit: 2007-12-28 18:30:08 by magixts »

Ossott

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I know you're only supporting vista to make us cry babies happy, and i know you hate the beast that it is. But we realllly are super grateful.

I just tried running your updated version, I get an error telling me to check eventlog, I do, and this is what I get.

Activation context generation failed for "E:\games\FF8\GAME\FF8_Launcher.exe". Dependent Assembly Microsoft.VC90.CRT,processorArchitecture="x86",publicKeyToken="1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b",type="win32",version="9.0.21022.8" could not be found. Please use sxstrace.exe for detailed

(Yes, i'm running 32bit)

--- 

EDIT: fixed. If anyone else is having that issue, download http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=9b2da534-3e03-4391-8a4d-074b9f2bc1bf&DisplayLang=en

the VS 2008 Runtimes.
« Last Edit: 2007-12-28 18:12:18 by Ossott »

Archer Mac

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Hi!
I got a problem with this new v1.3,it doesn't want to start.All the previous versions start and work but this one gives an error.I tried changing settings manualy in the config.cfg file but it didn't help.
Windows XP SP2
"This application has failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect.Reinstalling the application may fix this problem."

Hope you can help :)

EDIT:fixed....Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package (x86) is what it needed to start...funny...the same problem as Ossott's but Vista gives other info than XP :P

Well looks like magixts can freely add the info that v1.3 needs Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package :P
« Last Edit: 2007-12-28 18:22:21 by Archer Mac »

magixts

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I know you're only supporting vista to make us cry babies happy, and i know you hate the beast that it is. But we realllly are super grateful.

I just tried running your updated version, I get an error telling me to check eventlog, I do, and this is what I get.

Activation context generation failed for "E:\games\FF8\GAME\FF8_Launcher.exe". Dependent Assembly Microsoft.VC90.CRT,processorArchitecture="x86",publicKeyToken="1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b",type="win32",version="9.0.21022.8" could not be found. Please use sxstrace.exe for detailed

(Yes, i'm running 32bit)

--- 

EDIT: fixed. If anyone else is having that issue, download http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=9b2da534-3e03-4391-8a4d-074b9f2bc1bf&DisplayLang=en

the VS 2008 Runtimes.
Was just about to post a link. :) I switched to Visual Studio 2008 when installing Vista and apparently those runtimes are not already incuded in the system.

Gonna update the last post to include links to the 2008 runtimes.

Lucleonhart

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OMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!!11 It worxxxx... Did a stupid trick and it works!!!
Now a tut how to do this:

Got FF8 to run on Vista x86 without any Graphic Glitches
You need:

Now installing:
  • Install FF8 normally, EAX will install itself at the end of the installation
  • Copy 1.2 patch files to installation directory (no Game subfoler at all!)
  • Copy the loader files to the installation directory
  • Install the Visual C++ 2008 runtime
  • Got to the software deinstallation in the control center and UNINSTALL eax unified
  • Extract the new downloaded eax.dll to {Windir}/system32

Now the fun:
  • Run FF8_Loader.exe, Set Resolution to whatever, check the 8bit paletted texture fix checkbox, click PLAY and enjoy! :)
« Last Edit: 2007-12-28 22:21:21 by Lucleonhart »

Ossott

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Wow, nice find on the eax.dll that fixes the launching of it.

I finally get to use it.. after trying everything under the sun! Now my game has huge graphical lag, and i barely get like 10 FPS. I give up, jesus hates me.

(for the record, Geforce 8600 GTS, Athlon 64 X2 4200+, 2gb ram, no AA on, forceware 169.25 drivers)

Glad that vista people will finally get to enjoy it though.
« Last Edit: 2007-12-28 22:40:33 by Ossott »

magixts

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OMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!!11 It worxxxx... Did a stupid trick and it works!!!
Now a tut how to do this:

Got FF8 to run on Vista x86 without any Graphic Glitches
You need:

Now installing:
  • Install FF8 normally, EAX will install itself at the end of the installation
  • Copy 1.2 patch files to installation directory (no Game subfoler at all!)
  • Copy the loader files to the installation directory
  • Install the Visual C++ 2008 runtime
  • Got to the software deinstallation in the control center and UNINSTALL eax unified
  • Extract the new downloaded eax.dll to {Windir}/system32

Now the fun:
  • Run FF8_Loader.exe, Set Resolution to whatever, check the 8bit paletted texture fix checkbox, click PLAY and enjoy! :)
That's great! Works like a charm on my Creative X-Fi as well!

I'm not sure what I was on about earlier when I commented on the sound quality in Vista. After trying out both the EAX.dll technique and the Creative ALchemy one (same result but using Alchemy EAX can be enabled in the FF8 Config utility - no idea if it has any actual implication on the quality of sound) I have to say that the sound quality is good, if not great. It's identical to the sound in XP using the Mirosoft Synthesizer.

I'll make sure to include the EAX.dll in the next version on the launcher.

Wow, nice find on the eax.dll that fixes the launching of it.

I finally get to use it.. after trying everything under the sun! Now my game has huge graphical lag, and i barely get like 10 FPS. I give up, jesus hates me.

(for the record, Geforce 8600 GTS, Athlon 64 X2 4200+, 2gb ram, no AA on, forceware 169.25 drivers)

Glad that vista people will finally get to enjoy it though.
I really wish I could help you with this problem but I have no idea what might cause it. Ryg reported that the launcher worked on his AMD Athlon X2 6000+, NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTS and there are others that have had it running on GeForce 8600GTS cards as well. And you were running 32-bit OS so it couldn't be that either...

It would be really weird if this problem is limited to FF8 and the Launcher alone. You haven't had any similar problems in other games? That would probably be an easier way to finding a fix as the userbase is most certainly larger.

I just realized celestria posted about a similar problem in the "FF8 Enhancing"-thread earlier. Not sure if it could make any difference but here are his posts quoted.
found a bug here for ya for some reason it runs jumpy (puttering?) on my system i have a amd 3800+ running at 2.5 with 2gb platinum ocz xtc ram on a evga 7600 (forceware 169.06) and windows xp sp2
just wondering if anybody else is havening this problem?

its like stop and go motion could it be the drivers im useing? also on a 2nd note my anti aliasing is set to application controlled (sorry forgot to turn compatibility mode to win98.....) thank you for the patch no one would release^^ you are a hero!@
Win 98 compability mode apparently fixed the issues he/she were having. I have no idea as to why; might be something with AMD processors that I'm unfamiliar with.
« Last Edit: 2007-12-29 04:12:55 by magixts »

2Mourty

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I must say that my hat is off to you sir!  The time you must have spent programming this is unimaginable.  I have never been able to get FF8 to run on my laptop with a quadro 1400fx go in it.  It now runs perfectly.  I have to do some fine tuning with "ctrl .and," but this is simply amazing.  I just wanted you to know that I am very grateful that I can now run this game on my "modern" computer.  I want you to know that at least for this one person all of your hard work has paid off.  Thank you again.

xlovelikewinterx

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Thanks alot for that =]

Spent all day trying to find a fix or a patch to fix the "black screen of death" that comes up when you run FFVIII with vista, and i couldn't find a single thing till my boyfriend linked me to this page :)

Just going to list my specs so everyone knows what its compatible with:

Dell Inspiron 1520
32bit Vista Home Basic
Intel Core 2 Duo T7100 1.8ghz
2gb memory
Sigmatel High Def Audio
nVidia GeForce 8600M GT (BTW, I didn't have to put the patch on)

This launcher is absolutely pimping :D  :mrgreen:

At first the FMVs were upside down, but i just uninstalled ff8 and re installed, and re did the steps , and it went fine after that.

If anyone has any questions at all, feel free to ask

Thanks alot for the launcher


PS: To the person who made the launcher, is this a late Xmas present  :lol:

And a happy new year to all  :-P

magixts

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I'm glad the patch works for both of you guys! It nice to know that it's appreciated! :D