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Old 03-06-2017, 10:59 PM   #601
Nicheal
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Thats awesome news, that actually a guy is able to rewrite the .exe of that game! Unfortunately i dont use the ANTAG.EXE for my Mod.

In my version of that .exe, it is biased by war, but just versus the human player, so, you get all versus you, all others are in peace. My Mod dont needs all that ANTAG.EXE stuff anyway. The Antagonizer just makes war, just versus human player, that is diplomatic crap, and it dont gets my new values to build up planets, and builds ships a kind of crap - one out of three is total crap.

Yes, it knows how to build on coloured squares, thats nice but not that games true problem if built on blue or not, rebuilds newer planet and orbital stuff, and gives a kind of a little industry and science boost.

But in my Mod, you get already an awesome AI industry and science boost, and the ASCEND.EXE patch of 1996 is fair in diplomacy - you can tweak the ASCEND00.COB to balance the diplomacy really well, but for ALL species. The Antagonizer can be used in original game and is nice - but it solves not, that the AI dont shoots with special weapons, and dont really gets advanced modding - even smaller changes crap the game up completely.

Just logical, cause the ANTAG.EXE is a tighter algorithm to focus on building and rebuilding, and just one bad change in ASCEND00.COB, and it plays John Snow and knows nothing. The ASCEND.EXE is free and just does what i mod - better ship building, better planet building, better diplomacy anyway, and it just works all the time.

~~~

For me, it would be of interest, how you managed to decompile the .exe of Ascendancy to actually be able to rewrite it successfully. A Modders Guide, a Manual how to do that, just in general, would be a lovely piece for me!

I would rewrite the ASCEND.EXE patch of 1996, just to copy and paste in, a part of the Antagonizer, to rebuild older planet and orbital buildings. All other stuff i solved anyway by ASCEND00.COB. And the ONE THING, to advance that crappy AI, to REALLY advance the AI species would be, to say that crappy AI to just colonize EVERY huge planet in the first place, and then, EVERY solar system in the second.

Just give a Modders Guide here, how to decompile the .exes of Ascend please! I would use the patch of 1996 anyway.

Last edited by Nicheal; 03-06-2017 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 04-06-2017, 12:21 PM   #602
jordos
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Hi,

To mod the exe like I did you will need a disassembler, like IDA Pro Free 5.0.
When you open the ascendancy exe with IDA you should load it as an MS-DOS executable. When you continue it will say something like 'file has extra information at the end. Continue?'. (choose yes) This is because the ascendancy exe uses a 32 bit dos extender and IDA will only load this part. To get to the actual game code you will need to extract it. Once you have followed the instructions in that link you can add this LE file to the part you already loaded in IDA using File > Load file > Additional binary file... Once IDA is done loading you can start the real work of reverse engineering the game code to something meaningful.
Be warned that you need a lot of patience.

I decided to use the antagonizer version because I *think* it is the latest version. Diplomacy was never very good in the game to begin with so I don't miss it very much. Ofcourse, if the AI gets a huge boost like in your mod it would make sense to allow the player some peace
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Old 04-06-2017, 02:59 PM   #603
Nicheal
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No, i wont use patience while raping it.

Thanks! Yes, that software i did download yesterday, to proof it. All the way, i already got, but that "extract", thanks! I will punish that .exe for twenty years malfunction.
"Why do you shoot at yourself?" - "Cause you made me to..."

No no! The Antagonizer just makes war versus human player, the AI players just are in peace, at least in my version of that .exe. Using the ASCEND.EXE patch of 1996, i was able to just make total war by tweaking the ASCEND00.COB. So, you meet a species > war, all versus all.

You have to earn peace and alliance. The problem is, what the Antagonizer was not aware of, that, if all the other AI players are in peace, they wont overthrow and conquer each other and stay small. It is better, you make a total war, so that one single huge badass enemy will come up to beat you badly, in my opinion.

So, the Antagonizers diplomacy makes it a bit more challenging in the beginning, cause all AI enemies just fight just you, but in the end you can just conquer small pieces instead of one enemy empire. War is most important, so that the AI conquers the AI, and builds better ships, by losing smaller ones. The Antagonizer fucked up the diplomacy, in my opinion, it wanted to do it better, but it just does it worse.

~~~

So, i would use the ASCEND.EXE patch of 1996, and just implement the Antagonizers better planet building and rebuilding lines. I would try to let the AI colonize much more planets and just EVERY solar system it could get. And i would try to let the AI build better ships. All the other stuff, i solved already by rewriting the ASCEND00.COB - to let the special weapons shoot, to make it much more challenging, and to get much smarter AI enemies.

In fact, the ASCEND.EXE patch of 1996 plus my new modded ASCEND00.COB are fully able, to just have solved the most annoying malfunction stuff of that game. Some minor tweaks in .exe would be fairly enough, to shoot that game over the top at all i guess! Thanks!
Perhaps, giving 2 instead of just one ships for a solar system would be nice.

Last edited by Nicheal; 04-06-2017 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:07 PM   #604
jordos
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Good point, are you sure the antagonizer AI never makes war with other computer opponents though? They do declare war on each other when using the flash.pop cheat (similar to nougat.lf, but when you add this file to the ASCEND dir it makes the game play by itself instead).
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:35 PM   #605
tienkhoanguyen
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Wow! I didn't realize there were so many programmers. Locked in my small niave world of simplicity where everyone is a robot I thought no one else knew programming out there. I guess I was wrong. Well that is the end of my life aspiring to support my family now I know eBay has 500+ games for sale in the DOS section competing with mine once. I had to take mine off knowing it will never sale because I already gave it for free on Abandonia. Oh well my family will always be in poverty now. Poor me. Pity.
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:40 AM   #606
Nicheal
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Hey, no cause to whimper!

Just create another crappy smartphone game app by adopting another 1995 game by polishing GFX to comic style 2D, and sell it to the numb people out there!

Perhaps you nail Tamagochi into a smartphone, so that all these soulless, brainless mechanical animal children have something to grow and die.

~~~

I failed to extract the ASCEND.EXE, cause the IDA Pro Free 5.0 i downloaded from chip.de, was just the one half of the medal, it spit out just another crappy gibberish.

The other half is the software "DOS/32 Advanced DOS Extender" which includes the SB.EXE, which i should use to extract by SB /U ASCEND.EXE. To copy the SB.EXE into the directory, which includes the ASCEND.EXE and to give that command into DosBox caused a line, that the whole DOS Extender is not properly installed. I would have to "set" the whole DOS Extender folder first, so that the SB.EXE will work.

I really dont know what these programmers talk about, how to "set" the whole folder, so that the DosBox realizes how to work with the SB.EXE! But anyway. Ascendancy got the special weapons shooting and the tec tree much better, and works fine for me.

~~~

The ANTAG.EXE i dont have the patience to check all the time. My check told, that it just crashes with my Mod, or dont gets to build planets correctly, or dont gets to make war correctly, so, i dont have the patience at all to tweak around til dead. I just take the ASCEND.EXE, and that works fine for me. Wished to tweak that .EXE itself, but have no patience at all, to crap around there! If extracting is that numb, i d prefer to watch a pile of dog shit to stop smelling.

Last edited by Nicheal; 07-06-2017 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:08 AM   #607
tienkhoanguyen
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Quote


I don't know if the game if any good. However I just downloaded all 7 attachments. Good thing it is not big. Thank you either way. I guess I'm in the mood to relax since I'm in a down moment and need a way to pick me up. Hopefully some nice scenary.

Last edited by marko river; 13-06-2017 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:21 PM   #608
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Well, i finally succeeded to get an ANTAG.LE out of that by unbinding. LE means linear executable, and these LE are bind by a DOS Extender to increase memory.

The "DOS/32 Advanced DOS Extender" seems to be made by idiots, and didnt work for me at all. Every time i tried to use the included SB.EXE to unbind my ASCEND.EXE, the DosBox told a "fatal error", that "it is not installed properly", and internet told that i would have to "set the DOS/32" blah blah blah bullshit. Why easy, or even complicated, when its better to make it malfunctional.

@jordos had the luck, that he was able to just grab the SB.EXE and get results by SB /U ANTAG.EXE - for me, it did not work at all and that whole software was just a numb idiot - no matter what and how i tried.

But i had the genius idea to grab PMODE/W, another DOS Extender, and i had to grab PMWBIND.EXE to get my ANTAG.LE by PMWBIND /U ANTAG.EXE - so, i had the luck one software later.

Then i opened by IDA Pro Free 5.0 the ANTAG.EXE and > Load file > Additional binary file > search for all files > ANTAG.LE, and tada! i got just an even huger pile of gibberish. I would have been lucky to find something like "if if if" but no. Just an even huger pile of fucking gibberish.

I am sooo close to lose my virginity! lol

~~~

Perhaps i should just suggest three things to change in .EXE perhaps:

- 2 ships per solar system

- AI colonizes ALL planets or, just much more

- better ship building

i am just a poor modder and no programmer! and i wont beat the shit out of me just to crap around.

~~~

I d even bet, that @jordos didnt even download / play my Mod actually, and that tienk didnt succeed in playing it! What has to be made clear is definitely: That the special weapons shoot, and the tec tree is much better, and the game is much better, just to tweak the ASCEND00.COB by Notepad++, nothing more needed! Not even to extract the .COB files, not even to tweak the .exes.

I ll see, to finish my Mod, but i want it to do, just... DONE once and for all, i ll see!

~~~

Another problem seems to be for me, with the IDA 5.0, that i dont get by type F5, the pseudo code. A plugin for IDA 5.0 to decompile into pseudo code and opening that option in software itself, works just version 6.4 and not for the Free 5.0, so, i dont get any pseudo code out of it.

Dont know how to find some "if orders", i understand a bit more now, after opening some .exes, how that is meant to be and meant to work, i even began to understand hex code a bit more now, but my hope to "just get" some true "if orders" out of that gibberish cake, crashed totally.

The good thing is, that, as i told, just my Mod is needed.

@jordos

You dont have to tweak the .exe at all, if you use Notepad++ and tweak the ASCEND00.COB, you can do nearly EVERYTHING. To let the special weapons shoot, to change the tec tree, to change how the ships are built, to change diplomacy, all there! It is a really modern created DOS game, with open files to mod at all! Even if the AI is crap often, but if you tweak the ASCEND00.COB well, promise, it is much less crap at all!

FIRST download my Mod, and use Notepad++ to check out my ASCEND00.COB, to find out, easy, to tweak that stuff, THEN tweak the rest .exe! My suggestion.

~~~

8.6. / EDIT 21.7.

I did stop modding, right before i finished up my new version of ASCENDELYXE 2.0 - a kind of a good thing, cause a german fellow called "Franky", the guy who found out how to let specials actually shoot, tweaks around still, and gave me some ideas which i could implement now, or later. I could tweak the special weapon of the cannibalizer, to actually being used on friends or enemies! Looking forward to try that out.

Last edited by Nicheal; 21-07-2017 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 04-08-2017, 03:07 AM   #609
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Hi, I am trying to make some edits to Ascend00.COB, but I can't get it to run after I edit it. All of the old guides have disappeared off the web, sadly, and I was wondering if anyone can explain how I can edit the COB file values and make it work using just a text editor.

I think I can leverage the free buildings the Antag gives the AI, and disable a bunch of useless stuff like scanners and cloakers and low-level weapons to basically give them a decent head start force them to build better early ships with more colonizers. An explanation of how to successfully tweak values and make the edited COB file run with the game would be really appreciated. Thanks.
                       
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:44 AM   #610
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Hi!

Some tips from an old programmer. If you are going to edit with a simple text editor that is usually very hard. Try editing using a hex editor. The reason is a text editor shifts a character that you edit right or left (usually right) and that affects how the game reads the file. A hex editor on the other hand will replace the value instead of shifting the rest of the values and messing the positional section up! So for instance the game will scan a value at position 3 for a troop. If you shift the value to position 4 then it could be anything at position 3 and that would make the game crash!!! Well editing a file is usually hard depending on how the game was programmed. Most game has their own format and will only read uppercase values [ie A instead of a]. Other games might read shifted characters for encryption purposes so you do not mess with it or it is harder to tamper with. Most people in the industry are out for money so they will make it hard to decipher or mess with.

Anyways I could not get the game to work so I do not know. It could also be that the game did not work in the first place? Having "cheats" can be fun!!!!! However. Good luck in figuring it out.

I have given free advice from a programmer's point of view. However I need money to live too. If you find my advice useful try to reach me somehow and donate a few pennies. hehe Seriously, a few pennies may not be much however a little from everyone makes me rich!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyways I am too paranoid to give out my address#

Take care and if you do not have enough money or just a kid just be safe and stick to your parents. Listen to your parents they worked hard. Just be good and graduate.
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