Last Resort Mod Blog

Swat 3 on Steam - April 26, 2017

While I was busy with real life work, Swat 3 was quietly released on Steam.   I bought a copy of the game (even though I still have my retail CD and the GOG.com version) to see what was different.  Some people reported issues installing the Last Resort mod with the Steam version.   The easiest way to troubleshoot it was to buy a copy on Steam.

The good news is that it is identical to the GOG.com version (game executables are identical so I assume it is also DRM free) and is fully compatible with The Last Resort mod.  You can even run the game without Steam running in the background.

The bad news is that there is a bug with the installer for the Last Resort mod that needs to be fixed.   This bug would only occur if you had two versions of Swat 3 installed on the same computer.    I have already uploaded the new version to the Mod Database (just waiting for it to be approved) and then I will send it to our friends at Tactical Ape for hosting.

You only need to download this new version of the mod if you wanted to have multiple copies of the game installed (ie both GOG.com and Steam at same time).

I updated this website today to the latest version of Joomla and also updated what version of PHP the server uses.  Please let me know if you see any funny business.

 

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Version 0.7.3 fix released - February 20, 2017

A bug was found in the Last Resort Launcher that would only affect a very tiny amount of people.

Version 0.7.3 fixes a bug in which the available screen resolutions weren't being detected by the launcher if a person had a screen refresh rate below 49 hz.    You do not need to re-download the mod unless you had this problem.

Technically it wasn't a bug but really a poor design choice.  I never expected anyone to use such a low refresh rate.

Thanks to bossman16 for troubleshooting this with me, and to Tactical Ape for hosting the file for us.

Note:  The launcher isn't using Visual Studio 2015 code yet.  That is still a work in progress that is a long time away from being released.

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Work in progress - February 13, 2017

As mentioned a few days ago I am presently trying to update the Last Resort launcher into Visual Studio 2015 from ancient Visual Basic 6.   Quite a bit has changed in the language so I am having to relearn how to do things.   A lot of old legacy commands are still supported in the language but I am trying to embrace all the newer more powerful commands.   Below is a screenshot of the very rough new version.   The real meat of the program isn't done yet but the basics of the user interface are there.

I am now using a built in tab control to get the 5 different tabs that the launcher uses.  There is a limitation with it that has forced me to change the look of the launcher.   I have been forced to lighten the background and the graphics since the extreme contrast of my old dark background was too much.  The new tab control does not give a lot of options to customize the look unfortunately.   There is a way to gain control of the look of the tab control but it was far too much effort and wouldn't have been as elegant in execution.

 

click image to enlarge

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Replacement Church Texture - February 11, 2017

Here is just another example of a replacement texture included in the Last Resort mod (version 0.7).   Notice the difference of how the higher resolution texture doesn't appear as blurry compared to the original lower resolution texture.

The Church mission with the new replacement 1024x1024 skybox now uses about 700mb of video memory.   The original Swat 3 textures took about 620mb of video memory so not much of an increase yet.

 

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Last Resort Launcher Language Change - February 7, 2017

As you may be aware of, I code the Last Resort Launcher with an ancient language called Visual Basic 6 originally released in 1998 (a year before Swat 3).   I will pause while you laugh for a second or two.

There were two very good reasons why I never upgraded:

1) VB6 apps worked fine in all versions of Windows without the need of extra downloads to make it work

2) I was too lazy to learn the newer versions of the language

Okay, I admit it, the second reason was my main motivation for not upgrading.  Can't teach an old dog new tricks and such.

You can stop laughing because I started the process of rewriting the code in Visual Studio 2015.   Microsoft will no doubt be killing off VB6 apps sometime in the future so I want to be prepared for that. This will be a long slow process since a lot has changed and I am learning as I go.   Hopefully at the other end of this process the Last Resort Launcher will be more compatible with Windows 10 (and of course will still work with Windows 7 fine too).

One thing that I have found is that Visual Studio 2015 isn't as well documented as VB6.   One of the things that I loved with VB6 is that there were so many questions and code snippets posted on the internet by users that when you had an issue there was a lot of information available.

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Website frustrations - February 5, 2017

I am going to take a moment and indulge myself by complaining about Joomla and the Kunena forum addon.

This website is Joomla based and it really is a source of constant frustration.  I have been struggling for a long time with templates that don't behave very well.   For instance the free template that I have doesn't play well with the forum extension called Kunena.  It seems that there is some javascript conflict.   I was forced to use a whole different template just for viewing the forum.

You may have also noticed that the "latest forum posts" module is gone again.  There is a bug in the module that only shows forums posts of the person that is logged in.  Kunena has had over 5 weeks to fix this yet they still haven't.

Perhaps I shouldn't be angry with Joomla.   Kunena (specifically the newest version of their forum) seems to be the source of many of my troubles.   Why aren't there good forums for Joomla available?   Why isn't it a core feature?

Sorry, my rant is over.

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