Last Resort Mod Blog

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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Another installer issue - January 26, 2017

A user named JonEReb in the GOG.com forums has uncovered a problem with the installer for the Last Resort mod (version 0.7.1).

If someone doesn't have a path entry to Swat 3 in their Windows Registry the installer gets confused and doesn't know where to install the files to.   Most people have this entry in their Windows Registry so I don't think the problem would affect many.  I originally designed the installer to handle this situation but somehow in a recent update one variable name was changed.

I also noticed another flaw in the installer that existed for years that is related to checking for proper path and version for Swat 3.

A new version of the Last Resort mod is being tested (version 0.7.2).   When it is released you won't need to download this new version unless the Last Resort mod couldn't automatically find your Swat 3 install and gave errors during the install.

UPDATE:   v0.7.2 is available now on the download page.

 

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Last Resort v0.7 finally released - January 13, 2017

As the title says the Last Resort mod v0.7 is finally out.   You can download it here.

It is recommended that when installing the mod on a Windows 8/10 machine that you leave the tick box option to put the Last Resort Launcher in Windows 7 compatibility mode.

Admin privileges should not be needed with the Last Resort Launcher but I have given it as a tick box option during the install in case your system for some reason needs it.

There is no need to uninstall old versions of the Last Resort mod.   You can just run the installer over the old version and it will replace all the old files.

I am also thinking about releasing a version that you have to manually install from a .ZIP file for those people that are paranoid about security.   Unless real life work gets in the way I hope to have that done within a week (writing up the documentation to explain the install process is the time consuming part).

UPDATE:  I temporarily took down the link to the mod.  There is a bug that is affecting Windows 7.   Since the file was only available a short time the best thing is for me to take it down.

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