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View Full Version : Is Wasteland speed-sensitive when using the mouse?



jmetal88
June 18th, 2017, 09:12 AM
I just installed a recently-acquired copy of Wasteland on my CompuAdd 810 (a Turbo XT clone) and have been experiencing frequent system freezes while running the game. A cursory Google search shows that people have the same problem in DOSBOX depending on how many CPU cycles they have set to emulate, and additionally have been able to circumvent the problem by using a keyboard instead of a mouse.

This page details a fix using a hex editor and seems to indicate some timing logic is broken in the game whenever it has to re-draw the mouse pointer within the top 50 pixels of the screen:

https://poizan.dk/blog/2013/11/27/fixing-frequent-freezing-of-wasteland-1-when-using-mouse/

So I thought I'd try running the game at 4.77 MHz instead of 10 MHz. Now I'm either avoiding the crash, or it's at least taking longer to get to it. So, is Wasteland actually a speed-sensitive game that has somehow escaped the speed-sensitive games lists, or do I have some other hardware/software issue at fault here?

Agent Orange
June 18th, 2017, 11:05 AM
I just installed a recently-acquired copy of Wasteland on my CompuAdd 810 (a Turbo XT clone) and have been experiencing frequent system freezes while running the game. A cursory Google search shows that people have the same problem in DOSBOX depending on how many CPU cycles they have set to emulate, and additionally have been able to circumvent the problem by using a keyboard instead of a mouse.

This page details a fix using a hex editor and seems to indicate some timing logic is broken in the game whenever it has to re-draw the mouse pointer within the top 50 pixels of the screen:

https://poizan.dk/blog/2013/11/27/fixing-frequent-freezing-of-wasteland-1-when-using-mouse/

So I thought I'd try running the game at 4.77 MHz instead of 10 MHz. Now I'm either avoiding the crash, or it's at least taking longer to get to it. So, is Wasteland actually a speed-sensitive game that has somehow escaped the speed-sensitive games lists, or do I have some other hardware/software issue at fault here?

You might want to head over to GOG.com and check-out the discussion on Wasteland. Seems you're not the only one having some problems.

jmetal88
June 18th, 2017, 03:57 PM
You might want to head over to GOG.com and check-out the discussion on Wasteland. Seems you're not the only one having some problems.

Hmm... I guess I don't know how much that would apply to me since I'm playing on actual hardware and not using the GOG release. When I say "recently acquired" what I actually got was a complete, boxed copy with two 5.25" 360k disks in a local thrift store for $0.45...

Agent Orange
June 18th, 2017, 04:09 PM
Hmm... I guess I don't know how much that would apply to me since I'm playing on actual hardware and not using the GOG release. When I say "recently acquired" what I actually got was a complete, boxed copy with two 5.25" 360k disks in a local thrift store for $0.45...

You can purchase and download Wasteland for just a few dollars from GOG. We're not talking about playing 'on-line'. There is some good input from people who have tried to run Wasteland on various PC setups, and these people are playing on 'actual' hardware also.

jmetal88
June 18th, 2017, 06:39 PM
You can purchase and download Wasteland for just a few dollars from GOG. We're not talking about playing 'on-line'. There is some good input from people who have tried to run Wasteland on various PC setups, and these people are playing on 'actual' hardware also.

I'm not sure what you're assuming I was thinking (obviously it's possible to play GOG releases on original hardware, I'm just saying that I'm not sure what I have on floppies is the same revision that GOG offers), but I'm not seeing any obvious threads over there about running it on anything closer to actual hardware than DOSBOX.

Agent Orange
June 18th, 2017, 08:15 PM
I'm not sure what you're assuming I was thinking (obviously it's possible to play GOG releases on original hardware, I'm just saying that I'm not sure what I have on floppies is the same revision that GOG offers), but I'm not seeing any obvious threads over there about running it on anything closer to actual hardware than DOSBOX.

How about these: https://www.gog.com/game/wasteland_the_classic_original

jmetal88
June 19th, 2017, 04:30 AM
How about these: https://www.gog.com/game/wasteland_the_classic_original

I do see a few people there who seem to be having near-identical issues, but it looks like they're all playing from within the GOG package, and mostly with 'enhancements' turned on.

I guess I should just try it on a few different computers and see what happens, since the mouse thing I mentioned in my original post is still the biggest clue I've found so far...

Trixter
June 19th, 2017, 09:46 AM
So, is Wasteland actually a speed-sensitive game that has somehow escaped the speed-sensitive games lists

There's a list of speed-sensitive games somewhere? Where is this list?


a complete, boxed copy with two 5.25" 360k disks in a local thrift store for $0.45...

I'm jealous. If the condition is good, you could flip it for $50 or more. Mine, you can pry from my cold, dead hands.


(obviously it's possible to play GOG releases on original hardware

Don't be so sure -- GOG releases are tuned for DOSBox, not actual hardware. Sometimes they use versions that have been badly cracked (ie. the crack uses 386+ instructions, while the original game came out for 8086-class hardware).


I guess I should just try it on a few different computers and see what happens, since the mouse thing I mentioned in my original post is still the biggest clue I've found so far...

Having owned the game for nearly three decades and having won it twice, both on an 8MHZ 8086 and a 16 MHz 386sx, I can say a few things:


Wasteland is not technically a speed-sensitive game (it is turn-based, and the animations are based on the system clock). That said, there is a bug in the mouse pointer drawing code, mentioned earlier in this thread. That does not fit the traditional definition of a speed-sensitive game, where the gameplay mechanics themselves are affected by speed.
I don't recall any freezes with or without a mouse driver loaded, but then again I played it on period-appropriate hardware.
It is not only possible to play the game with only the keyboard, it is way faster to do so. I never touched the mouse even when the driver was loaded, other than to move the pointer out of the way. If you're trying to automate something in-game, you can use macros (yes, the game provides macros!) -- great for grinding a skill you want to advance.

Agent Orange
June 19th, 2017, 10:24 AM
Amen.