LOM v0.7: Readme file

This is an almost completed but playable version of the ZX-Spectrum classic game, The Lords of Midnight (LOM).

This version is for WIntel systems and is written using Visual Basic and DirectX7 by Imtiaz Dharssi. See the About Dialog in the program for more information. You do not need Visual Basic to run this program. But, you may need the Visual Basic 6 run-time files, available free from Microsoft, at:

support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;Q235420&

The game's help section uses the RichTextBox control and thus requires the RichTx32.ocx file.

This version will expire after 30th November 2002. Check out my web page:

Lords of Midnight remake - Midnight Flyer
to download the latest version.

Contents

Quick Start

Start the program by double clicking on the LOM.exe icon. Full instructions, including game controls, playing guide and game scenario are included with the game. Click on Help on the menu-bar or type Alt+h.

What's New in v0.7

What's New in v0.56

To Do

Command Line Arguments

This program accepts various optional arguments at run-time from the command line which affect the quality/speed of the 3D graphics in the Midnight Flyer window.

By default the program uses hardware acceleration, full screen mode, very high view-depth and full resolution graphics (the highest graphics quality settings).

For machines having problems starting DirectX, the user should try the software rendering option: SW .

For slow machines the user should use options: LowRes VL SS .

The arguments are (case in-sensitive):

The easiest way to pass command line arguments to the program is by creating a Shortcut to the LOM.exe icon. Right-click on the LOM.exe icon and a pop-up menu will appear, choose the Copy option. Next, right-click on an empty area of a folder and choose the Paste Shortcut option. Next, right-click on the Shortcut icon and choose the Properties option. A Properties window will appear: on the Target line add the command line arguments to the end of the line's existing content. Double-click on the Shortcut icon to start the program.

Why Look at this Program?

The graphics are fairly fast and smooth (at least on my machine: Celeron 850 MHz, TNT2 onboard video, 128 Mb Ram, MS windows ME) and give the effect of gliding over the land of Midnight.

The view-depth is set to 20 grid-points, by comparison the original LOM has a view-depth of only 6 grid-points. It is possible to change the view-depth from the Options menu on the LOM window.

The graphics are quite colourful and cartoon like. By changing the bitmaps (stored in the "data/TerrainDX" folder) it will be possible to create more photo-realistic graphics.

It is possible to raise/descend the camera giving the effect of flying over the LOM landscape.

When Zipped, the full program and data require only 370 K of disk space.

Reporting Problems or Bugs

This program attempts to run with the same screen area and colours that your Windows OS is using. However, if Windows is using 256 colours, or less, then this program will fail to start correctly. In this case, please manually set windows to use more colours such as High Colour or True Colour mode (16 bit or 32 bit colour mode).

If problems starting this program persist, please try to run the program in 3D software rendering mode (ie with hardware acceleration turned off), see the section on command line arguments.

Please report problems and bugs by email to:

In the email, please state the nature of the problem or bug and also your hardware and software specifications; CPU, video card, memory, video memory, Windows version, DirectX version. Also please paste in the contents of the log-file in:

./data/log files/loading error log.txt .

Run the dxdiag utility to determine the version of DirectX on your computer:

Acknowledgements

The original "The Lords of Midnight" game was written by Mike Singleton.

I have used some code from tutorials and examples of DirectX7 published by Simon Price on www.planet-source-code.com .

Chris Wild for providing lots of information about "The Lords of Midnight" game on his website www.icemark.com .

I also found a lot of other interesting source code on www.planet-source-code.com . One of the first programs I saw was "Air-X" by Martin Castaneda. This showed that it is possible to write graphically intensive games using Visual Basic.