. /../NICE and NIV - a soul in.../ 1
written by Shunteralhena on Dec 05, 2007 12:05
Hi folks,

Been experimenting with NIV and NICE. Seems that NICE's new hotkeys, better lit terrain and especially mouselook are indispensable to me.
Noticed strange discrepancies though:

NICE release 8 (i chose this, as GUIDE was purged in release 9 - also, this one runs on Vista)
when visiting planet Terramont in system Tourresh, the planet map (shown in lander) is different than actual topology - when I select an island to land on, the lander deposits me in the middle of water, without any solid ground nearby.

NIV (also runs on Vista)
Planet terrain is OK. But, when visiting for example Jade Pebble 1 (system Tourresh), the planet is dark and gloomy, while it's nice and bright in NICE.

NICE 11.5
Doesn't run on Vista.

DWNICE.EXE betas (latest dated Nov.12) fished off Megagun's site (http://home.deds.nl/~megagun/temp/)
Don't run in fullscreen (if ddraw.dll is present in NOCTIS folder, they error out when started), and are buggy anyway (sometimes, just a black screen after entering lander).



So, my questions:
-What is the last NICE version without new terrain generation algorithms? (i.e. planetary map and actual layout are faithful)?
-If there is no such version, how much GUIDE data does NICE have compared to NIV? I mean, almost as much; a fraction; etc?

MAIN QUESTION
Recommended version?
krasnyj bibliotekar
written by Serpens on Dec 05, 2007 13:08
I think that NICE 7a retained the terrain generation method from Noctis IV, or at least it was very similar. I used to play this version for a long time, so I'd happily reccomend it, even though there is no chance to find any ruins on random worlds.
Still, what you say about terrain in NICE 8 is rather weird. I spent a lot of time playing this version too, and didn't notice anything like that. Sometimes, though, a sufrace sector might look like land, but in fact is "Ocean" type. This might either be a shore, or a series of small islands strewn about the sector. Try to scout around, there might be at least one island in such a place.
As for NICE GUIDE, I think it's very small in size. You can read notes and write new ones in old GUIDE using catold and castold commands, but I have no idea how to name a world or star so the name is present in the old GUIDE instead of new one. Perhaps Megagun or Shadowlord could answer this question, I'd really like to know!
r'lyeh sweet r'lyeh
written by Neuzd on Dec 05, 2007 13:36
I'm trying (yes in this very moment) to build my own version of Noctis.

Well by now it seems the borland compiler is still working, and this is my very first attempt at compiling and it's the "plain" Noctis IV version.

It seems anyway that r7 is no more found in the cdisk....the earliest release of NICE in the NICE releases thread is r8.

Can we find it somewhere?
written by Shunteralhena on Dec 05, 2007 14:05
Thanks both of you. I read somewhere in the forum that the poster had "great respect for 7a" (it might have been you, Serpens, I can't recall), but 7a is off-line, no longer available for download. Can you please provide it somehow to Neuzd and myself? If necessary I can give you access to a temporary FTP.

As for Release 8 oceans, Terramont is an ocean planet all right, and I did manage to land on an island after some flying around - only the planetary map displayed in my Stardrifter and the actual topology of the planet after landing differed wildly. While in plain NIV, the black patches in the Stardrifter's map (same map as in NICE r8) corresponded exactly to islands down below.

Also, are random ruins present in NIV plain? So are missing ruins a retrace from NIV, or a feature of NICE not yet present in release 7a? (If they aren't present in original NIV either, then their absence isn't that big a deal for me.)

(7a seems perfect to me, I seek a version running on Vista, AND having hotkeys, AND supporting the old GUIDE - 7a seems to have'em all.)
doing pushups
written by Megagun on Dec 05, 2007 14:20
Although I haven't read the entire thread yet, the old Noctis IV guide can indeed be accessed through the CATOLD/CASTOLD, etc, commands. Also, the Vanilla Noctis GUIDE's starmap (star/planet labels) can be fully read from within NICE R9+, so it's not like you're actually losing data: it's more like you can start creating data again, as the Vanilla Noctis starmap won't ever be updated again, whereas the NICE starmap will be updated as soon as I get an outbox file in my e-mail (which hasn't happened in about 3 months, probably due to there not being a 'proper' new release of NICE).

Random ruins do not exist in Vanilla NIV.

Shunteralhena, what exactly is the error you get when trying to run DWNoctis.exe with the --fullscreen parameter? As I do not have access to a vista machine, and neither would want to install it to any of my machines, I'd wonder what exactly causes such a crash..

The planetary map and actual layout should be the same on all versions of NICE, though. Especially the most recent ones. At least, I never heard of any non-faithfulness between the planetary map and actual layout.

I personally recommend the latest version, as it has the least bugs, most awesome features (System Explorer for the win).. But as you stated, it doesn't work under Vista... :/

I'll see if I can find R7 somewhere on one of the PCs I never use anymore...

Alternatively, something I have thought about doing a few times, was importing some of the user-friendly features over to an entirely clean version of Vanilla Noctis. It'd still have the numerous amounts of bugs Vanilla Noctis has, but at least it'd -contentwise- be the exact same...
written by Shunteralhena on Dec 05, 2007 14:31
Hi Megagun,

DWNoctis.exe errors:
-Used DWNoctis.exe: DWNoctisSystemnew.rar
-Used NICE: 11.0 + 11.5 Update + Fix for 11.5

When using no modifications:
DirectX not supported

When, following forum suggestion, I download the linked directx_9c_redist.exe and extract ddraw.dll into Noctis folder

using ddraw.dll 5.3.1.904:
"The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000142)."

using ddraw.dll 4.9.0.904:
"The procedure entry point MakeCriticalSectionGlobal could not be located in the dynamic link library KERNEL32.dll."

The forums specified 5.x.x.2600 version of ddraw.dll, but that I could not locate. However I doubt there'd be any copyright issues with the distribution of that file, if it's also publicly available in a MS distribution and unmodified.


Thanks for your comments and for Noctis 7a if you're able to locate it! I'm hoping that 7a is exactly as you say - a Noctis edition content-wise similar to NIV, with the friendly additions of NICE This is why I asked if the terrain generator remained the same. Making a NIV edition expressly with this purpose would be heaven! (I guess NICE 8 runs on Vista because it requires less conventional memory.)
r'lyeh sweet r'lyeh
written by Neuzd on Dec 05, 2007 15:12
With Vanillia Noctis I guess you're talking of the non-altered-no steroids-all natural-good old Noctis IV, right?

Because that's exactly what I'm planning to do, take a couple of nice Nice features I can't live without and add them to Noctis IV.

Mouselook being the most important.
...and understanding why panoramic shots seemed not to work (win2k and win98).

(I'm not commenting on what I tried to do earlier....At the coffe break I told a colleague that I was compiling a "thing" and that even if I didn't know what I was doing I had the feeling it was working...he just said that a c++ compiler is at least 10 times faster than any java compiler...so I knew that probabaly the borland compiler was laughing at my shoulders.......)

You'll hear from me in the next weeks, Megagun!
└> last changed by Neuzd on December 08, 2007 at 15:23
krasnyj bibliotekar
written by Serpens on Dec 05, 2007 19:19
I found NICE 7a on my computer, so that Megagun doesn't have to bother. Here is the link:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/y93o2t
I removed guide.bin and starmap.bin, because they were contaminated with my own notes and names. You'll need to copy there your own GUIDE and Starmap. The picture gallery is also clean. Hopefully it will work.
written by Shunteralhena on Dec 05, 2007 21:41
@Neuzd: Vanilla Noctis is, indeed, plain Noctis IV, the unmodified by-Alex version.
Best of luck with your compilation, I'm looking forward to the result!!

@Serpens: a heap of thanks! I added a guide.bin and starmap.bin, and now, Vista hath again chosen to rail my efforts. It turns out that my laptop has an ancient ATi card, is therefore using the standard Vista driver, with which command windows can go full screen; my desktop has a shiny new nVidia driver, that doesn't allow command windows to go fullscreen (This system does not support fullscreen mode.)

So, I STILL haven't reached the nirvana of Noctis. My quest continues, now with a new opponent to strike down. I shall report here for the benefit of other Vista wannabe-Stardrifters; the crusade marches on!
└> last changed by Shunteralhena on December 05, 2007 at 22:19
krasnyj bibliotekar
written by Serpens on Dec 05, 2007 21:49
That's too bad. I haven't even seen Vista working, so I can't help here, I'm afraid. Installing Windows XP (on a spare partition?) would help, but I know this is a poor solution. Hopefully you'll manage to find a way.
written by Shunteralhena on Dec 05, 2007 22:19
OK, my findings.
The discrepancy between Stardrifter's map and actual topology doesn't exist in NICE 11.5 (tested in a Virtual PC Windows XP). This doesn't run under Vista and has far fewer GUIDE entries.

The discrepancy exists, however, in NICE 7a (anyone willing to test: see Tourresh system, Terramont planet, land on an island - you get water!). But 7a runs on Vista (at least on my laptop), and has GUIDE entries.

Now, this is the kind of situation you get for dealing with hacks for ancient games running under brand new operating systems.

Now, I enquire you, people - what version of Noctis do YOU use?

Thanks for all the help so far!
krasnyj bibliotekar
written by Serpens on Dec 05, 2007 22:35
Shunteralhena said:
(anyone willing to test: see Tourresh system, Terramont planet, land on an island - you get water!).
Could you provide any specific sector coordinates?
doing pushups
written by Megagun on Dec 06, 2007 13:55
Shunteralhena: might I remind you again of the catold, etc, modules? They allow you to access the old guide.

Also, might I remind you of the fact that if you explore and comment using the old vanilla Noctis-styled GUIDE, you won't ever be able to share your comments properly with other people, as the old guide is not updated anymore.

So, really, the not-using-latest-version-of-NICE thing because of the Guide is a moot point, as newer versions of NICE allow you to:
* Get your labels and comments into other peoples starmap and guide.
* Read/write to the guide from the surface of a planet using PORTABLEGOES
* Easilly update the guide and starmap using syncstarmapper..
* ST/CAT/CAST from anywhere within the galaxy (that's right! Vanilla Noctis does not allow you to use the ST/CAT/CAST commands to warp to/comment on a star very far away from you, whereas NICE's Starmap3 format *does*!)

Now, the not being able to get into fullscreen thing is a real showstopper, though....

Also, are you sure you're landing in water, instead of lava or glassified stuff? Try hitting F2 whilst on the surface of that planet. Does it say "ocean" over there? If so, that's a bug in the old system. If not (IE it says lava), then you're just on a really hot world..
written by Shunteralhena on Dec 06, 2007 16:14
Hi Megagun and Serpens,

I think I'll just stop banging my head against the wall and go with newest NICE, as suggested. The reason why I was so adamant about using old Noctis versions is that it feels great to read other people's comments - and NICE isn't so widely commented. But, if SyncStarmap is really going to be resurrected, NICE is the way to go.

In the meanwhile I got the exact ddraw.dll version specified in other threads. Run with this in the root folder, it greets me with a new kind of funky error message:
"The procedure entry point (SUnMapLS_IP_EBP_20) could not be located in the dynamic link library KERNEL32.dll."

As for Terramont and water, I do indeed land in the middle of an ocean, as I'm bobbling around like an inflatable boat in storm. I'll turn on the laptop and get some specific coordinates.

Thanks for all your help Serpens and Megagun!
written by Shunteralhena on Dec 16, 2007 13:06
Hi folks,

I found a violently simple solution.

1. Use newest NICE and newest DWNoctis from Megagun's site (linked in 1st post).
2. In Vista click in "run at 640480" under Compatibility.
3. Raise Taskbar to be twice the normal size (not one row, but two rows) - no problem for me as this is the default way I use it.

By some magic DWNoctis's window fills out the space exactly. It's easy to disregard the taskbar, the game runs smooth, all new shiny features inclusive.

It's a blast on the 22" TFT, despite the ancient graphics - the AA makes it look pretty decent.

Go NICE! Go DWNOCTIS! Go Megagun&Co!
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