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Bio Menace beta (Bio Hazard) is now available!

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 17:54
by NY00123
A little bit late response, but here it goes: It's finally out in the public!

Just thought this deserves a separate topic (cont. from viewtopic.php?p=87634#p87634).

Facebook post: ... 7905961485
Tweeter message: post: ... _p__304248

To anybody a little bit stuck or confused, use the "Backspace" key to
toggle on/off the scorebox from the game, and Alt+Up to throw grenades
(assuming you didn't mess with the keyboard settings). Also,
check out the ORIGINAL/README2.TXT file for more
caveats and other notes.

I intend to write/show a bit more on the technical side of
things (including the originally corrupted EGAGRAPH data),
but it's probably better to do so in a separate post.
The RELEASE.TXT file shall still have something
for you to read, though.


Let me say the following:

I must emphasize that this couldn't be done just by myself.

Thanks to Jim Norwood, 3D Realms and Hendricks for getting the ball rolling!

Wait, a longer credits list? I'm sure that I'll miss *someone* around here.
This is why I shouldn't do this...

I apologize in advance. Anybody who deserves the credits, no matter
if listed here or (APOLOGIES!) not - here, I'm sending them to you!

...You *still* want a list? Oh well, since you've asked for it:

- First of all, thanks to Jim Norwood and 3D Realms for the game itself!
Let's add Robert Prince for the game's sound track, of course!

- id Software, for the codebase that powers Keen 4-6, later
licensed to Jim Norwood for the making of Bio Menace.

- John Carmack, John Romero, Jason Blochowiak, Adrian Carmack, Tom Hall
and Mark Rein for their involvements with id Software during the development
of Keen 4-6, along with Robert Prince for the sound track.

- Jim Norwood and 3D Realms, for giving the green light for the release of
this prototype, along with Hendricks for his involvement with me and others.

- Frederik Schreiber, Joe Siegler and TerminX for their parts in this release.

- Yatta for the creation of, and Geoff Sims for founding
the message board that eventually became the PCKF.

- Special thanks to Lunick, Roobar, MYHOUSE.MAP and Malvineous
for their feedbacks on the prototype.

Finally, thanks to the and PCKF communities for all of these years!

Re: Bio Menace beta (Bio Hazard) is now available!

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 21:14
by K1n9_Duk3
In addition to thanking everyone involved with the beta release, I want to give special thanks to the person who decided to include the MUSEINFO.BH1 file (and all the other unused files) in the beta release.

This is the first time ever that I've seen a MUSEINFO file. As the name suggests, this file would have been used by MUSE, the tool that was used to create and edit the sound files (AUDIO/AUDIOT files). The game does not need this file at all, which is why I've never seen one before. The reason why I think this is important is that this file contains the actual names that were assigned to each sound effect during development.

Knowing what some of the sounds were named allows me to make very educated guesses on what the enemies in the game are called.
  • The small snakes are called "Cobra" ("Snake" is the player character).
  • The green thing that walks on the ceiling and looks like a Garg, only at the size of a Yorp (both are enemies from Keen 1) is actually called "Gorp".
  • One creature is probably called "Chomp", but I am not 100% sure about that. I think it's the green worm thing that the player can transform into. At least that's the only part that plays the "CHOMPWALK" sound (when jumping).
Aside from the MUSEINFO file, there are a few other files that are not required for the game to be playable. These are GFXINFOE.BH1, TEDINFO.BH1 and TEDINFOE.BH1, which were used by TED, the map editor for these games. TEDINFO.BH1 also has the name "CHOMP" in it, right after "BHAZARD1", so it's safe to assume that this was used as the hidden command switch that was required to play an earlier version of the beta (the released beta requires the "slammer" switch, as seen in the PLAY.BAT file). If you compare the executable of the beta to that of the final release, you'll see that the final version has the text "sewerman" where the "slammer" text used to be in the beta. The final release does not use that text at all, Jim Norwood probably just didn't remove the text when he removed the code that used it.

All these "passwords" seem to be the name of one of the creatures in the game. "Sewerman" is obviously the tall green monster that is first seen in Episode 1 Level 5: "Sewers" in the final release. I'm not sure who "Slammer" is, so feel free to share your theories.

Re: Bio Menace beta (Bio Hazard) is now available!

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 22:00
by NY00123
I'm more-or-less going to quote myself from again:
K1n9_Duk3 wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 21:14
In addition to thanking everyone involved with the beta release, I want to give special thanks to the person who decided to include the MUSEINFO.BH1 file (and all the other unused files) in the beta release.
Wow, what a great find! Can't believe I've missed this! (Then again, maybe it makes sense.)

It's incredible you've discovered creatures' names by checking these files. This is something I knew to be mostly unknown long ago, and I've recently wondered about this again, so it's really great to finally learn about even just a few of them!

On another note, I think it's a good chance to finally reveal how I, at least partially, took care of corrupted graphics (emphasis on sprites).
I basically wrote an internal tool for assisting me with the sprites, and later forked it to cover other kinds of chunks, although not all of them.

Source code:
Video with demonstration:

Re: Bio Menace beta (Bio Hazard) is now available!

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:54
by NY00123
Side-note: If I don't see more diffs between BH and BM being mentioned here or at, then I might add at least some of them on my own later :)
(I suppose the TCRF is a better place for this, though.)

Let's add the following. As stated by me in RELEASE.TXT, ModId was used for importing and exporting graphics. In addition, a really simple modification of a part of ModId's code, BMP256 (which in turn is a modification of BMP16 from (L)ModKeen), was used for the EGA chunk shifters. In a retrospect, maybe BMP16 was sufficient, but this is the situation.

ModId was created after a few instances of forking. Here's a rough summary (LModKeen II also integrated Fin2Bmp):

ModLatch -> ModKeen -> LModKeen (I && II) -> ModId

Some credits collected from the KeenWiki page about ModKeen, as well as a few other sources:

Andrew Durdin - Wrote ModLatch, later morphing into ModKeen. Also coded Fin2Bmp, used for Keen 1-3 finale/preview screen editing, eventually getting merged into LModKeen II.
Anders Gavare and Daniel Olson - Their assistance for the work on ModKeen.
David Gow - Addition of Keen Dreams support.
z-1 - Win32 port.
Shadow Master - LModKeen, a Linux fork of ModKeen.
Malvineous - Script and mini-program converting lowercase filenames to uppercase, used by one of the (L)ModKeen devs. (Addednum: Let's also mention his vast experience with handling different DOS games' file formats!)
Szevvy - Information about Bio Menace data files.
Levellass - The addition of Shadow Knights and Dangerous Dave 2 support.
lemm - Forked LModKeen into ModId, in order to support arbitrarily formatted xGAGRAPH files for arbitrary games and mods (the original intention being usage with source mods).
furan - His contributions to ModId.

It's also a good chance to mention Levellord, Levellass and lemm, as well as KeenRush, Andy Durdin and David Gow, for their EXE patching skills and related!