Last Resort Mod Blog

Mission and Career screens fixed - April 16, 2020

A long standing bug with the Last Resort mod was that some screens were not properly centered when you chose a higher resolution than the default.  It was just something that I put off researching for many years.   Thankfully with the aid of Copy-cat's ability to think out of the box and my son Noisyboy coding me a script in Python I was able to easily update the massive Menu.dat that controlled them.

Another hurdle that had to be overcome was the fact that all of Swat 3's community made missions would have shown up on the map of Los Angeles in the wrong place if I had centered it.   To fix this problem I kept the map in it's usual place and had to add graphical elements to a new modified screen to keep it from looking very imbalanced.   Below is the 1920x1080 working new version of the Metro map that you would use in single player or career mode:

 

Click image to enlarge.

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Beta released but still working on more - April 11, 2020

Hope everyone is healthy, wearing a mask and gloves when you go out (home-made masks are better than nothing), and doing social distancing!

An open beta test of the next release of the Last Resort mod is out with NeuWon support!   It is not the final version but it is available for the hardcore people who want to test and give feedback on it.   You can read all about it in this thread.

Would love to set up a gaming night to stress test the server and to have fun during these strange times.   Please post your suggestions for a gaming night in this thread in the forums.

Before the Last Resort mod gets released as a final version I am looking into fixing the remaining screens that don't properly center (for example single player missions).   I haven't bothered with those remaining screen since I assumed everyone would be playing Multiplayer games instead of the single player missions.   By the number of posts I see about this I was wrong in this assumption.   Copy-Cat made a great suggestion on how to fix this problem while also avoiding the issue with checksum errors in multiplayer.   Once again he gets the reward for thinking out of the box.

 

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Really good news and somewhat bad news - February 25, 2020

First the bad news.   I discovered Tank Mechanic Simulator and have been distracted by WW2 tank renovation the last few days.  I didn't even know I needed this in my life.

Now for some amazing news.  Resident mad scientist Copy-Cat discovered where Swat 3 stores it's view distance in the game executable and now we can change it to whatever we want!

Originally when Swat 3 was released the developers kept the view distance low because of limitations of home computers at the time.  They designed maps around this limitation and generally only gave us a straight line view of about 120 feet.  Extending the view distance removes portal glitches on certain maps and also gives future map makers more opportunities.

You can read about all this in a forum thread.  Great work Copy-Cat!

Image of Copy-Cat at work in his lab

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LR Launcher Code Update (part trois) - February 10, 2020

The Last Resort launcher code update is almost complete.   All features work and now I just need to test it out on all versions of Swat 3 (CD, GOG.com and Steam versions).   I also need to throw some worst case scenarios at it see how it handles mangled .cfg and .ini files since Swat 3's crashes can do some funky things.  I also have to anticipate what crazy things people might do to their Swat 3 installs.

A new feature that I added to the LR Launcher is that if you don't have any iinterest in hearing Custom Chat sound files then if you delete a specific folder the whole Custom Chat tab in the Launcher will be disappear.   The installer for the LR mod will also ask you if you want to use Custom Chats and won't create this special folder in the first place if you don't want to.

I have decided to call the next release version 8.0 due to so many changes in the code in terms of having to update for Visual Studio 2019.

I have never worked with manifest files yet either and need to learn it's use.   The Last Resort launcher needs to be run with admin rights and from my understanding the manifest file will help tell Windows this requirement and prompt the user.

After all the Launcher changes are done then the final part is I need to work on updating the installer package.   The NeuWon update version of the Last Resort mod is getting so close now I can almost taste it.  Perhaps a month away with luck!

 

Top image with custom chats feature enabled. Bottom image has it turned off. Click images to enlarge.

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LR Launcher Code Update (part deux) - January 5, 2020

Happy New Year everyone!   A new decade!

Over the holidays I continued to plug away at updating the code to the Last Resort launcher.   I can't recall if I previously mentioned reasons why I am updating the code.  If I have already please forgive me and skip the next paragraph.

The original launcher code was written in ancient Visual Basic 6.   I never upgraded for two main reason: It still worked perfectly fine on modern versions of Windows and I was too lazy to learn the new code changes that were required to upgrade.   However since VB6 is so old we were starting to see problems with some anti-virus programs giving false positives on the Launcher's executable.   A pain in the ass.

As I get older and have some medical issues I find it harder to spend long hours coding on a project.  It is much easier for me to do it in small chunks now but of course that takes much longer.

Don't get me wrong, the usual distractions are still kicking my ass.  I am still addicted to Arma 3.  Lately I have further distracted by The Outer Worlds, Foxhole, Two Point Hospital and TV shows like The Expanse, Mandalorian, and The Witcher to name a few.

I am still working on this project so don't give up hope of a new release, lol.

PS:   I emailed the owner of NeuWon.com to see if he can work on getting the Swat 3 servers back up.   I think he has some technical hurdles he has to get over to get the system back up and running but real life is getting in the way.

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LR Launcher Code Update - December 16, 2019

Small updates:

I still haven't given up hope on updating the Last Resort Launcher to the most modern version of Visual Studio.  I have been struggling with converting the code for the EnumDisplaySettingsA function that determines the available screen resolutions.  It seems strange to me that there doesn't appear to be a more modern method of determining screen resolutions other than an API call to user32.   I can't find any information about a better method for Windows 10 anyways.   Still plugging away at updating the code regardless.

I contacted the owner of Neuwon.com (the replacement servers from the Won network) to inquire how things were going since the website was down for a long period.   He has been very busy lately and hadn't checked the servers in a while.  He restarted the web server but the Swat 3 server still remains down.   Somewhat worrying.   I hate nagging him too much so I will resend an email soon.

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