Tutorial: PlayStation 4 development on Windows

If you are like me, you hate developing on Linux. Nothing beats Microsoft’s Visual Studio, nothing. Recently with the Windows 10 Anniversary update you have WSL or Windows Subsystem for Linux, as excited as I was for this to come out Visual Studio is a “slow” adopter of this technology and I currently spent many hours poking and tweaking things until I got them right. So  here it is, a full tutorial on how to get PlayStation 4 development going on Windows.

Note: This is not using any of Sony’s official software development kit, and is free for anyone to use.

Continue reading Tutorial: PlayStation 4 development on Windows

Rime: June Progress Report

3 Months Later, much progress has been made. Here is another dump of the git repository change-log. I won’t be able to continue development on Rime until after July due to myself switching apartments again (I move every year =[ ). With that being said, I have set up a Continuous Integration server for Rime so current alpha testers can get bleeding edge builds if needed. There’s only one problem, deploying the builds 😛 I will be writing an open source deployment tool that I will upload on my github when it is completed.

With that being said, I have a software recommendation, If you haven’t heard PVS-Studio is a hell of a tool catching many programmer errors and mistakes. Rime didn’t suffer from many errors, only 1 high level issue, ~40 medium (mostly serialization issues), and 200 low priority ones (caused by floating point arithmetic) Read more to see full change-log.

Continue reading Rime: June Progress Report

Rime: March Update Report

Good news, Rime is becoming more and more functional every day that it gets worked on (busy with school primarily). The last month has been both productive and a ton of work has gone into the project. Here are some of the changes from the git history.

Implementations:

  • Implemented “-cleanup” option for the auto-updater in order to clean up old files on next launch.

Additions:

  • Added more editing abilities to the PartitionBrowserControl.
  • Added logging of version on startup (the UI is currently broken and doesn’t show it)
  • Added “Dashes” member to GUID in order to get the dashes format as well.
  • Added checking of instances on CtrRef ToString in order to show “*null*” if the partition or instance is null. (may change to partition only)
  • Also made it where if you double click on an CtrRef it will automatically open up a new editor with that instance loaded.

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed bug with the PluginManager in where multiple instances would be removed due to old-style name checks. This was resolved by properly removing that one instance.
  • Fixed crash in the OutputPlugin due to the parameters being null.
  • Fixed threading related crash on updating the UI when a new update was made available.
  • Fixed crash in the logger when parameters were null.

Changes and Corrections:

  • Corrected List DataTemplate, by changing the member type from TreeView to ItemsControl.
  • Refactored update system.
  • Major refactoring to allow plugins to load properly. Also disabled the Theme in order to properly see what is going on in the ebx editor.

Thanks to all of the testers we have, and special shoutouts to Powback for assisting with the documentation and preparation for the public build.

For usage with VeniceEXT
For usage with VeniceEXT

Rime: Final Stages, I need your help

Hello, It’s been awhile again. In that time great progress has been made with Rime due to NoFaTe’s help once again. I currently have been struggling with a bug that I haven’t figured out how to solve yet, but I found a workaround. With that being said the workaround isn’t very good either, but I’m not graphics or UI artist I’ve been using Rime looking like the below screenshots for months and haven’t even noticed 😛Colors Continue reading Rime: Final Stages, I need your help

Rime: January Progress Report

Time flies, I really thought I wrote the last entry last month, but apparently its been quite awhile. Here’s a bit of a status update…

I’ve been swamped with work and fixing issues and researching more cool things for Venice Unleashed. So work on Rime has been slow, but after reading the last blog post, there has been a ton of work behind the scenes that have been done with Rime.

  • Converted quite a few parts to use the MVVM for raw speed and performance
  • Added chunk reading via the VFS
  • Implemented a “new” ebx reader written by NoFaTe almost 3 years ago (+- a year)
  • Corrected issues with said EBX reader
  • Implemented ebx VFS and cross-ebx reading
  • Ebx reading and parsing is all async and threaded now and done in the background without affecting initial map loading times. (Maxed out my laptops i5 for ~9s before finishing)
  • Updated all projects to Visual C++ 14.0 and .NET 4.6.1 (fixes all UI issues using C# 6.0)
  • The bundle browser is now sorted alphabetically
  • Updated bundle browser plugin to use the VFS instead of manually parsing bundles itself.

And many many more changes to increase performance etc.

Rime: September Progress Report

Hello there, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve updated this and a few people thought the project was dead (I don’t know why, but they did lol).  Here’s a quick update of what has happened over the last few months. Most of the work has been done by the other member of Venice Unleashed NoFaTe!

Fixes:

  • Fixed a crash that would occur due to plugins without UI’s being added as UI elements.
  • Fixed various threading issues and collection changed issues due to the asynchronous nature of Rime.
  • Fixed a ton of issues dealing with the UI and how they interface with plugins.

Updates:

  • Updated WebLink security (cross communication to modders link to prepare for the community)
  • Updated the BinaryReader/Writer with more efficient versions.

Refactoring:

  • Removal of a lot of deprecated, unused, commented out code.
  • Deprecated all previous (semi-functional) mounting code (due to the new readers/virtual file system).
  • Moved a TON of shared code (used between Lib/Rime itself) to the RimeCommon and restructured it.
  • Moved a TON of Frostbite specific utilities and classes to RimeLib.
  • Refactored the plugin system again (Will have to update the RimeExamplePlugin github soon).
  • Refactored the handling for Frostbite Guid class.

Features:

  • Added the ability to auto-start certain plugins on launch
  • Added all available plugins to be launched from a menu if you are unsure how to launch them (only ones with UI).
  • Added auto-detection of game builds and information.
  • Added BuildInfoProxy for x86 and x64 versions of Frostbite to read out the engine’s build info natively.
  • Added detection for Frostbite2014.4 (Star Wars Battlefront Alpha Trial).
  • Implemented a new Virtual File System.
  • Loading of patch files and patched superbundles completed.

Changes:

  • Added Rime to a CI solution to prepare for testing builds for those who have already been selected for testing.

 

H2UnlockPatcher: Halo 2 Beta Unlocker

Here’s a little side project that I didn’t have very much time to fully complete. It is a unlocked Halo 2 Beta! Currently when you sign in, just select “do not sign in” and then from there you can use System Link, Split Screen, Xbox Live (arranged game).

Just a note, the System Link is missing some code to allow xbox’s to see each other, I am slowly working on a fix for this. I spent a few weeks a few months ago working on my own xbe (Xbox Executable) patcher and patch creation system, which allowed me to build patched executable really quickly. In this time I recoded the entire main menu in assembly to “unlock” everything, I even had force loading which is disabled in this patcher due to unforeseen crashes.

Features List:

  • Removal of the EULA screen
  • Removal of all watermarking
  • Removal of all main menu limitations (if code is still there)
  • Re-linking of System Link, Xbox Live, and System Link screens.
  • Controller input hook (not active)

Pictures:

Unlocked Main Menu
Unlocked Main Menu

Halo 2 Beta Ingame

You will need the executable matching SHA1: C42E58FA8EEDCD4F46707C2FD0D8CEFCC61A6410

This will not be redistributed.

Download (Requires .NET Framework):

H2UnlockPatcher

peace,
-kiwidog

Rime: Closed Alpha

Well, it’s been a month since the last update. But in that month, Rime went from being non-functional, but powerful tool to a semi-functional extraction for Frostbite 2 (and 3) games. There has been a huge overhaul in the back-end to allow it to function in a modular fashion.

Currently there are many bugs, but to poke around and open up various resources has been implemented and soon(TM) integration with Venice Unleashed will be finished and the community will have the first taste of modding the Frostbite engine.

Continue reading Rime: Closed Alpha

Rime: May Progress Report

Sup,

Just a few updates. As read in my previous post, security is something I take very seriously as a developer, and I was going to allow plugins to run unrestricted until the beta. Luckily with enough debugging and trial and error, I finally got proper locked down sandboxed plugins that can be loaded from any directory! With that being said as well, I have resolved issues with the internal messaging structure for Rime as well as changed the way that plugins function. I also will be updating the example plugin git repository.

Fixes:

  • Overhauled and fixed internal communication of all parts of Rime
  • Fixed loading of plugins
  • Implemented plugin security sandbox
  • Cleanup of old code, refactored entire plugin system

Removals:

  • Removal of SharpDX and all DirectX 11 related mesh rendering
  • Removal of IPlugin interface.

Implementations:

  • Moved all plugin logic and abstract classes to a common module (RimeCommon)
  • Moved most message logic and listeners to a common module.
  • Setup an OpenGL based renderer to replace SharpDX. Proof of concept finished.

Also I’m moving, so there may not be any work done until I find a place to live. Peace.

Rime: April Progress Report

Hey,

There have been a few things that have been going on in the last few months. I just wanted to give everyone an update on the current status of Rime and the Venice Unleashed interop. First things first, plugin’s are hard, if you have checked the previous post on plugins and open source, I am making use of a plugin system for all external and internal plugins. That way you, the hobby modder can look at what we have to offer, and the functionality of it and be able to write your own code to interact with the Frostbite engine. That’s all fine and dandy, but I am a security-oriented coder. I have been working on for the last week a system to overlay the plugin interface’s to allow the code to be sandboxed, only allowing read/write access to the folder where the plugin resides. This will lessen the chance of someone writing a malicious plugin to steal sensitive information, or execute code that could potentially be harmful.

The way that I was going to get around these issues, is force the sandbox to run as lower-level privileges than Rime itself. (Even though Rime does not require to be ran as administrator, some people will anyway). That a malicious plugin writer won’t be able to gain privileges via Rime. And all of this is where the problem comes in, I have been debugging and researching the best approach to this in C#, and there just isn’t one (publicly at least). So I am making the decision to scrap the secure plugin system for the closed/open alpha of Rime until we get a functional system for the beta. With that being said, I highly recommend that any plugin creator open source their plugins so people can compile it from scratch. If you download a pre-built executable, use caution and only download from trustworthy people.

Fixes:

  • Fixed incorrect TextureHeader structure
  • Fixed DXT1-3 native C# processing.
  • Fixed EBX reading code
  • Entire application structure refactoring for prep for release (removing unused/old code etc, that’s why we have source control ain’t it?)
  • Abstracted multiple classes to prepare for multi-game Frostbite support.

Broke:

  • Internal communication of all parts of Rime. (Yeah… I fudged up bad)
  • Plugins in their entirety (which means all the built-in editors for Rime have been disabled as well, Rime’s internals uses the same plugin system)
  • DirectX 11 Mesh Renderer (Instead of using laggy WPF for everything)

Additions:

  • Battlefield 4 Resource Types
  • Proper loading of all game files and resources. (Just like how it gets done in-engine, no longer needs to decompile the entire map/game to mod resources)
  • Retrieving encryption information, and real time modding via Venice Unleashed.