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Thread: How to Manually Load TDS Fan Missions?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2005
    Location: Billings, MT

    How to Manually Load TDS Fan Missions?

    I'm trying to figure out how to manually load a T3 Fan Mission. I've tried a few but no luck.

    Here's my scenario:

    1. Copy entire TDS folder to a new location.
    2. Change the Registry Entry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Ion Storm\Thief - Deadly Shadows\ION_ROOT = My Copied T3 Folder
    3. Tested the game by launching it from the Copied T3 Folder (Played fine)
    4. Unzipped the FM into the Copied T3 Folder
    5. Launch T3 again from the Copied T3 Folder.
    6. The initial loading screen displays then the main menu
    7. I click on New Game and it takes me to the briefing screen.
    8. I click on START
    9. The level loading screen briefly displays and I see the random quote.
    10. Then it goes away and I see the standard windows error message "Thief: Deadly Shadows has stopped working"

    I'm running Windows 7 64-bit. 3GB Ram, 250GB HD, Intel Pentium P6100 2.0GHz.

    I've done due diligence in searching for a thread addressing this issue. Hoping someone can give me some guidance. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: May 2009
    Location: Germany
    I am not an expert for what you ask for, but installing an FM is not that easy as simply extracting the FM into a copy of the game.
    There are sound files that need to be converted, and who knows what else.

    This link to ModernLoader would give you both an idea on what the possible obstacles are.
    http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133912
    But first of all you can get there a loader other then GL.
    It comes up with a fairly unique concept and creates a virtual/space efficient copy of the TDS install folder. So, the original game should not be affected in case anything goes wrong/does not get cleaned up.
    By the way : why NOT use GL ?

  3. #3
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    My guess is that he's creating his own mission loader from scratch. I think a very simple, T3 dedicated loader would be nice, after all the issues I've heard using GL.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    In any way he needs the altered T3Main.exe which comes with GL and I think T3Ed. That might be the cause for the crash.

    My T3/T3Ed/ML setup is currently...more than strange. I run two editor installs via ML and they work often, sometimes game mode doesn't work (which is bad since you cannot test your mission), original TDS didn't work a moment ago and I have no idea what might be the cause. However, my own almost-beta FM works through ML, but it doesn't work in itself. And now the game mode in T3Ed seems to be broken again. All files set to single core mode. I really miss XP/x86 sometimes...

    Anyway, I hope Xiaopang will find the time to work further on ML, otherwise we just have another GL...only without crashes. Could someone else please join me at his forum to bug him?
    Last edited by Beleg Cúthalion; 14th May 2011 at 15:11.

  5. #5
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    I haven't played a T3 FM in a long while - what were the issues that GL was experiencing? I always assumed that the reason Xiaopang started ML was because GL wasn't working properly with newer FMs.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2005
    Location: Billings, MT
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    My guess is that he's creating his own mission loader from scratch. I think a very simple, T3 dedicated loader would be nice, after all the issues I've heard using GL.
    Wow, how'd you guess? I am trying to write my own Loader. I've been using Dark Loader for years. I tried Garrett Loader a couple of times but didn't like how it worked. A while ago Dark Loader started causing my games to go screwey on me. I did some searching for Garrett Loader to see if it had been updated and found it had been abandoned. But during my search I found Modern Loader. I downloaded that and tried it and while it loaded the games fine, It wouldn't launch them. Clicking the "Run" button did nothing. I read about how he used Hard Links and was intrigued. I like the idea of having each FM in its own directory without having to have a complete thief installation for each one. But I dont' like the look & feel of Modern Loader.

    So I started writing a new loader. I have it working perfectly on T1, T2, and SS2. One of the things I noticed about Modern Loader is that it links all the files in the original Thief games (original mission files, config files, etc) whether it needs them or not for the FM's. It also uses a DLL that my virus scan flags as a trojan. I ran ProcMon while running Modern Loader and that DLL was accessing areas of my registry that it shouldn't have needed to. Not sure why or what it was doing but it made me paranoid.

    Anyway, now that I have T1, T2, and SS2 working, I wanted to see if I could get T3 working as welll. I have my loader unzipping the FM file to a destination directory, then hard linking files from the Original directory to the FM directory that don't already exist. Seems to me that it should work fine. I did not see Modern Loader decoding any audio files in any of the installs that it did. I did notice that it created a couple of new registry entries in the "Ion Storm" key for each fan mission it loaded. I tried doing the same thing but the missions that I load don't run. They get as far as "Entering the Mission" and then crash with the "...has stopped working" error. The missions that Modern Loader run fine. I've compared the folders and files and they all look identical. The missions that I loaded shows the briefing screen but it says it can't find the book file. The Modern Loader Missions show the briefing text.

    So there's got to be some registry entry or config file that I'm missing that tells T3 what directory it's running from...but I can't find it.

    It's nowhere near ready for prime time. Though it works perfectly for me, my kids keep finding new ways to crash it. I've learned a lot about how to load missions, and what order to do things, how to make sure FM's don't change the original Thief games. My loader even warns you in the event a file in the original thief folder is written to. Once I figure out how to get T3 missions to load and play correctly, I plan to re-write the entire thing from scratch

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: Moscow, Russia
    Quote Originally Posted by tolsen64 View Post
    I'm trying to figure out how to manually load a T3 Fan Mission...
    I'm running Windows 7 64-bit. 3GB Ram, 250GB HD, Intel Pentium P6100 2.0GHz.
    Here's my scenario to install TDS FMs in Win7 (usually I skip GarrettLoader, because it doesn't work in Win7 for me):

    1) uninstall the game and delete both its folders (with the game and with saves). Also you may check the register for mistakes.
    2) install TDS again, but the pass to it should have NO SPACES (for example, "D:\GAMES\Thief3\")
    3) patch the game to version 1.1 (if you need it, of case). The patch is here (thanks to The Dark Fate): http://darkfate.ru/?show=files%2Fpat..._patch_1.1.rar
    4) replace the exe-files with files from here (thanks to The Dark Fate): http://darkfate.ru/?show=files%2Ffan..._and_t3.exe.7z
    5) run the game, load the inn and make a save.
    6) unpack the mission strait into the game's folder and add the content of the file "user_patch.ini" into the file "user.ini" manually (it's in the main folder).
    7) start the game by pressing the exe-file named "t3.exe" (it is into ...\System subfolder).


    If the game still doesn't launch (sometimes it happens with Win7 and Vista), do the following:

    1) download this launcher from http://darkfate.ru/?show=files/edito...f3launcher.zip
    Un-pack the zip-file and run the Thief3Launcher.exe

    2) in the row for "Thief 3 Path:" show the pass to your game's folder. And in the row for "Gamesys:" (if the launcher didn't find it already) show the pass to subfolder System (in the game's main folder), file named "T3Gamesys.t3u"

    3) press the "Activate Thief 3", then - "Launch Thief 3". Usually, you don't need to run the launcher any more. But if pressing "t3.exe" still doesn't works, you may always run the game from the launcher by pressing "Launch Thief 3".


    If the game doesn't load the inn on step 5 (gives a mistake while loading), add the game's folder into Windows Firewall's exceptions and Windows Helper's exceptions. Sorry, I have Windows in Russian, so I'm not sure about proper names of "Firewall" and "Helper".

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    I haven't played a T3 FM in a long while - what were the issues that GL was experiencing? I always assumed that the reason Xiaopang started ML was because GL wasn't working properly with newer FMs.
    The main reason were its more or less random crashes and the resulting mess in the game directory. There was at least one other issue (--> ibt shrinker) with older FMs or new FMs using the old tool, but this AFAIK never reached the customers.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2010
    Location: The land of perfection
    i guess it doesn't hurt to come back for a single reply to clear things up...

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleg Cúthalion View Post
    Anyway, I hope Xiaopang will find the time to work further on ML, otherwise we just have another GL...only without crashes. Could someone else please join me at his forum to bug him?
    lol don't worry. i haven't given up on ML. i lost the source code to it, so i will have to wait until i find the time to re-write it from scratch. that won't be before octobre this year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    I haven't played a T3 FM in a long while - what were the issues that GL was experiencing? I always assumed that the reason Xiaopang started ML was because GL wasn't working properly with newer FMs.
    actually, i didn't even know about GL until after i released the first ML-versions and people started to reference it. one of my hobbies is to create highly compressed custom installers of my favorite game (series). some of that stuff can be seen at my forum. i had plans for making an all in one thief dvd and since the original games weren't big enough to max out a dvd9 i wanted to stack it with the best FMs available, so i needed a loader that allowed for parallel installs of FMs and supported the most efficient archive formats. none was available, so i wrote one.

    Quote Originally Posted by tolsen64 View Post
    So I started writing a new loader. I have it working perfectly on T1, T2, and SS2. One of the things I noticed about Modern Loader is that it links all the files in the original Thief games (original mission files, config files, etc) whether it needs them or not for the FM's. It also uses a DLL that my virus scan flags as a trojan. I ran ProcMon while running Modern Loader and that DLL was accessing areas of my registry that it shouldn't have needed to. Not sure why or what it was doing but it made me paranoid.
    ML passes virscan.org's test. only 4 scanners of the 37 major av-scanners over there complained. two of the complaints were merely unspecific heuristic complaints and no real findings. one complaint was directed at runtime compression that was used for one dll - always a surefire way to tell that a scanner is crappy, especially if the compression is an industry standard. the only negative result doesn't even return a valid hit in google, so it's save to say that ML is as clean as a whistle:

    http://virscan.org/report/fded65887d...ab5a14ff1.html


    Quote Originally Posted by tolsen64 View Post
    I did notice that it created a couple of new registry entries in the "Ion Storm" key for each fan mission it loaded. I tried doing the same thing but the missions that I load don't run. They get as far as "Entering the Mission" and then crash with the "...has stopped working" error. The missions that Modern Loader run fine. I've compared the folders and files and they all look identical. The missions that I loaded shows the briefing screen but it says it can't find the book file. The Modern Loader Missions show the briefing text.
    you need to copy the executable for each FM-installation and then hack it and change its hard coded registry path to the one your loader created. getting t3 to load FMs properly is a bitch to do properly as its code is pretty finicky towards any kinds of changes. you can get some in-depth information regarding that from ML's version history, my blog and the ML thread here. anyway, good luck with your loader.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2005
    Location: Billings, MT
    Quote Originally Posted by Xiaopang View Post

    you need to copy the executable for each FM-installation and then hack it and change its hard coded registry path to the one your loader created. getting t3 to load FMs properly is a bitch to do properly as its code is pretty finicky towards any kinds of changes. you can get some in-depth information regarding that from ML's version history, my blog and the ML thread here. anyway, good luck with your loader.
    Hacking the file was no problem. My problem is writing to the registry in windows 7. Modern Loader does it but mine can't unless I run the program as administrator or modify the permissions on the registry key. The difference being that mine is written in .NET and modern loader isn't. Did you have to do anything to in your code to allow it to create the values in the registry key on win7?

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2005
    Location: Billings, MT

    DLLRebuildIBT.dll (how to use?)

    Ok, I got T3 missions to successfully load. Only problem is with converting .cbt files to .ibt files. I see the DLL's that Modern Loader uses, but can't find any docs on how to use them. Anyone have info on using these DLL's?

    Currently, I use Modern Loader to install the mission so it will rebuild the .ibt files. then I put the .ibt files in the zip file and delete the .cbt files. It works, but it makes the zip file much bigger.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2006
    Location: Moscow, Russia
    Quote Originally Posted by tolsen64 View Post
    Currently, I use Modern Loader to install the mission so it will rebuild the .ibt files. then I put the .ibt files in the zip file and delete the .cbt files. It works, but it makes the zip file much bigger.
    CBTs are mission files with all redundant data stripped from them. It's made to reduce the file size for distribution. To make the map playable again, the Loader should add all redundant data back again. If the mission mostly consists of T3's common resources, the size of the mission files can increase from several megabytes up to 50 — it's downright normal behavior.

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