I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but we now have a Discord server!
Feel free to join up, chat about game development, cut content, reverse engineering, or whatever you feel you want to share with the rest of us. If you’re interested to see slightly more frequent blobs of updates then this will be the place to see them too.
This is something I’d been meaning to post for a while now but unfortunately didn’t quite get round to it, primarily because I wasn’t entirely sure if its content was right for this website. Having thought about it, this is a step towards helping preserve an old game that many otherwise may not have heard of before so it makes perfect sense to post it here.
Dominant Species was a game that was released in 1998, and it seems to me like a game that was somewhat lost in time with very little attention given to it as far as I’m aware but seems like a unique game for its time. It certainly has a charm about it.
If you’re not familiar with the game, it was developed by Red Storm Entertainment. The same guys that have developed countless Tom Clancy games. And it’s a 3D RTS, which according to Red Storm themselves, was one of the first 3D RTS games as well which definitely makes it quite significant.
On a whim I came across the game online and ordered myself a copy but I guess to no surprise the game struggled running on modern operating systems (such as Windows 7/8/10), in particular it failed to initialise a fullscreen instance of the game and it also fails at detecting the CD properly.
After spending a while poking and prodding the game though, I not only found a list of launch arguments for the game that allowed it to run in a windowed state, which worked around the issue initialising it in fullscreen, but I also managed to track down where the game attempted to check for its CD to ensure you had a valid copy of the game and disable it through the wonders of reverse engineering.
I did also experiment with a wrapper to try and get the game running in fullscreen but after discovering the launch arguments I didn’t go any further with this. It’s something I’d like to return to though at some point in time as it would be a wonderful learning experience.
Keep in mind that I’ve only done this for the singleplayer at this time, so right now the multiplayer menu will still ask you to insert the CD.
I guess you could probably consider this a crack? Maybe when I have some time I’ll get round to doing the multiplayer as well but this should be relatively easy to do. Unfortunately it’s been a long time since I did this so I don’t have my notes available right now but if anyone else makes an update to this then be sure to let me know and I’ll be happy to mirror it here.
This is a quick update and firstly I’m not dead, and secondly the next video is still on its way. A lot has happened recently which has meant I have less time to focus on my personal pursuits, namely I’m working at a software company now and this means I’ve been pretty much occupied with work.
This also means I’m likely to take the Patreon offline.
To bring you guys up to speed, the map being featured in the upcoming video was giving me a lot of grief and because I was struggling to find the time to work on it, in the end I asked a friend to take a look at it for me. That map is now ready to be filmed and now it’s just waiting on me to finish, which will either happen over this week or by the weekend. The new video is also using Source’s demo smoother, rather than how I was previously doing it, but let’s just say it can be a little unreliable at times and there’s a lot to cover in this map and I’m also using Source 2013 to preview the maps, rather than trying to do it within the leaked 2003 build.
Additionally, there’s still about 40 maps left for me to cover just for the prison alone… Obviously I’m questioning how much I can retain my sanity at this rate, so we might cover random levels in the future instead and I might move onto covering different games for a little while too.
In the meantime here’s a few random screenshots I apparently captured without realising it. This version of the map is starting to gradually shape up to what we saw in the final game though there are some pretty obvious differences in the design of some areas, plus the layout is still very much incomplete and it very much still feels like a cluster of areas just slammed together.