Commander Genius crashes when I try to load any modded Keen game

All discussion about the Commander Genius project (a Keen interpreter + more).
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Elia1995
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Commander Genius crashes when I try to load any modded Keen game

Post by Elia1995 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 21:07

Hello, I discovered this cool forum and all this Commander Keen modding community just a few days ago.
I downloaded Commander Genius because at a first glance it looked to me like the best engine that allows me to even organize my CKeen mods with an actual launcher menu.
But I've ran in a few issues...

first of all, if I click on "More" and try to download any of the mods from that list, it doesn't download anything and just returns to the main list without adding anything new nor downloading anything in my /games folder.

Then, I tried to add some mods from the CKeen wiki, I tried Commander Keen Episode 7, 8, 9, Zoltan's Revenge, Commander Keen X Bio Menace and a few more, they do appear in the list and even a screenshot of their title screen does appear, but when I try to launch them, I get this error:

Image
EDIT: Since it's unreadable, here's a close-up: Image

Followed by a "Commander Genius has stopped working" error message.

The same mod works perfectly with DOSBox and even in my old DOS machine (yeah, I actually would love to bring as many mods I can to that DOS machine).

The "vanilla" games all work fine, from Keen 1 to Keen 6, even Keen Dreams works fine, just the modded ones crash like that... are they unsupported ?
Am I doing something wrong importing them ? Please lemme know, I googled the whole day seeking for help for this issue, but I couldn't find anything, so here I am making this thread.
:garg

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keenmaster486
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Re: Commander Genius crashes when I try to load any modded Keen game

Post by keenmaster486 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 21:37

Hullo Elia1995 :P

Unfortunately I don't know how to solve your issue, but I will say if you care about having the games "feel like the originals" then Commander Genius is not for you - it has a much more modern-feeling physics engine which doesn't feel like the original games at all and has its own personality.
I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
Very silly indeed: https://audaxeundum.wordpress.com/

Elia1995
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Re: Commander Genius crashes when I try to load any modded Keen game

Post by Elia1995 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 21:41

I actually like how it makes them look much smoother in frame rate (Galaxy at 60 FPS look nice), on DOSBox they look quite choppy.

And yeah, I know that it has its physics rebuilt, I'm kinda interested in comparing this new engine with the "classic feeling" that the real DOS machine gives, I'm not sure if I explained myself clearly :begging

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Re: Commander Genius crashes when I try to load any modded Keen game

Post by K1n9_Duk3 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 22:52

The first thing you need to know about Commander Genius is that it's not a "port" of the original games. (Well, the Keen Dreams part might be a port, but I'm not sure about that.) Commander Genius claims to be an interpreter, which means it can read the original data files (like levels, graphics and sounds) and it will let you play these levels in a way that is similar to the original games, but not necessarily identical.

Here's the problem: Almost all the Commander Keen mods use patches that modify the code of the original games. These patches will only work with a specific version of the original DOS executable, but they will not work with Commander Genius, so somebody has to "translate" the patches so you can actually play the mods in CG. Since patches can change pretty much every aspect of the game, it is impossible to "translate" them automatically into something that works with the Commander Genius engine. The translation would need to be done manually.


Long story short: Don't expect any mods to work under Commander Genius, unless you can find proof that the mod is in fact supported by Commander Genuis.
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Re: Commander Genius crashes when I try to load any modded Keen game

Post by gerstrong » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:03

K1n9_Duk3 wrote:
Fri Mar 24, 2017 22:52
The first thing you need to know about Commander Genius is that it's not a "port" of the original games. (Well, the Keen Dreams part might be a port, but I'm not sure about that.) Commander Genius claims to be an interpreter, which means it can read the original data files (like levels, graphics and sounds) and it will let you play these levels in a way that is similar to the original games, but not necessarily identical.
Sorry, but that is not entirely true and to be honest it makes me a bit angry that you see it like that. I have been putting a lot of love and hard work into this engine and I'm really proud to say that runs well these games. It is an interpreter of the assets, there are differences, but it is meant to be played on modern systems. And I have tried with help of older members from PCKF, especially Tulip to reproduce the physics as close as possible. Regarding the Vorticon Engine they are pretty good in my opinion, Galaxy Engine needs some improvements. Still the games are playable to the end perfectly fine.
K1n9_Duk3 wrote:
Fri Mar 24, 2017 22:52

Here's the problem: Almost all the Commander Keen mods use patches that modify the code of the original games. These patches will only work with a specific version of the original DOS executable, but they will not work with Commander Genius, so somebody has to "translate" the patches so you can actually play the mods in CG. Since patches can change pretty much every aspect of the game, it is impossible to "translate" them automatically into something that works with the Commander Genius engine. The translation would need to be done manually.
Commander Genius does have an internal patcher which entirely modifies the executable in the memory and loads the data afterwards. Data segments are interpreted which makes it possible to play many mods. Code segment is another story truth to be told. That is the reason why newer version use python code which is more flexible than the code many of mods uses. Yes some sort of translation is required in some cases. I did that for the Oblivion mod, Keen 8 and 9, with some python scripts, they play very well. Especially some newer tunes (music) and graphics really shine in these mods.
K1n9_Duk3 wrote:
Fri Mar 24, 2017 22:52

Long story short: Don't expect any mods to work under Commander Genius, unless you can find proof that the mod is in fact supported by Commander Genuis.
Well, trying it first is an option, because if the patches are more "data" heavy the chances are good that it will run very well (Eight accumulators for example)

Getting to your problem:

I think you are missing python3 for Windows. I will write more about and try to integrate it:

https://www.python.org/ftp/python/3.5.3 ... nstall.exe

I am still testing that feature and it might raised problems on your system I cannot reproduce right now, because my Windows 10 Machine runs CG without any problems. Others have reported me that issue and I will try my best to fix those problems.

Right now I'm polishing on CG for a new release which hopefully will be much more stable. This time lots of tests will ran and Version 2.0 is close to be there.

You can try that or an older CG Version, or wait so I get that fixed.

Btw. Commander Genius has native support for Android. Try it out!

@K1n9_Duk3: Sorry, but sometimes I feel hated by you guys, different worlds of thinking I guess...

And I hope you will enjoy our hard work as much as the other contributions out there. Let me know what you plan to do and if I can, I will try to help getting mods run to your liking.
Having fun developing stuff...

Elia1995
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Re: Commander Genius crashes when I try to load any modded Keen game

Post by Elia1995 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:19

Thanks for the replies guys.
I tried to install Python 3 with the websetup you linked, but in the end the installer gives me this error:

Image

I tried with both "add to PATH" and without.

EDIT: Nevermind, Python 3.6.1 installed correctly, I'll now re-test the mods.... and nope, still crashing with that error.

It happens with older CG versions aswell anyway.

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Re: Commander Genius crashes when I try to load any modded Keen game

Post by gerstrong » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:06

Alright Elia1995, I did not expect that. Let me do the following: I will try to setup a new machine, and test CG there. I hope to find Win7 here. I really want to know where this comes. After fixing the issue I will report back.

I'm pretty sure it is a python problem, because when CG detects any mods, it asks the python lib for scripts, which with the non-mod game it is not the case.

I will see... and report back. Thanks for checking this :-)
Having fun developing stuff...

Elia1995
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Re: Commander Genius crashes when I try to load any modded Keen game

Post by Elia1995 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:02

So... any news ?

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Re: Commander Genius crashes when I try to load any modded Keen game

Post by gerstrong » Mon Mar 27, 2017 15:49

Hi Elia1995,

yes, actually severals. I installed Windows 7 on a fresh machine, and nothing really worked.

For one you need the Visual Studio Redistributable 2015. I have updated the Readme. Python 3.5 requires that. But it seems there is more, because even with that, CG opens up and closes immediately.

I'm still looking for your and other issues. Just give me a bit more of time. I will create another update which should then work for you, including the mods.

I have a Windows 10 Machine, but there everything works. But I think something is different going on that machine...

Reason why I try it on a Windows 7 (vanilla) machine...
Having fun developing stuff...

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Re: Commander Genius crashes when I try to load any modded Keen game

Post by gerstrong » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:29

Hi Elia1995,

I uploaded a more up to date version. Can you let me know if it works in your system? This one runs on my fresh Windows 7 Machine.
Having fun developing stuff...

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