Win7 and Cut Scene Videos

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Win7 and Cut Scene Videos

Postby reneuend » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:25 pm

I found that after playing an AM game, "blackwish cemetery", that has several cut scenes, one of two things might happen (it repeats fairly consistently, but not always):

1. The screen will be blank and the Win7 spinning blue "busy" ciricle showing that Win7 is busy...but the game will no longer respond.

2. An error popup dialog will display with the following text: <video filename> "method '~' of object '~' failed. When you click "ok" it goes on but you get a lot of errors after this.

Hopefully, GM can find a fix for this issue or a workaround.
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Postby CBSection31 » Fri May 06, 2011 4:25 pm

What kind of cutscenes are you having troubles with? Video files? In The Filmmaker, I managed to get videos to work in Win 7 without any error messages, including videos called via VBScript. Maybe I can help.
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Postby reneuend » Fri May 06, 2011 5:57 pm

Hi CB,

After a LOT of testing and with Mercedes also looking at it, it seems like it might be the filetype that Dalton is using (mpg).

There error doesn't occur right away, you play the game for awhile and then at some point, it throws the error. I can play the game and go to a particular cutscene and it won't cause an error, but if I play it again and go through maybe half the game and then visit the same cutscene it will throw an error. This doesn't happen in XP. My advice to Dalton and others is to use a better supported video format. What formats do you suggest CB? I think this is an important topic.

Thanks for asking about this!
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Postby CBSection31 » Sat May 07, 2011 12:28 am

Ah, yes. It could very likely be using the MPG format. My games use AVI files. Is Dalton planning on selling his game? (If I recall, he's not.) Assuming I'm remembering correctly, using AVI files with the Xvid codec would be his best bet. If Dalton plans on commercial use, though, then he'll have to go with a codec that allows for commercial use, which gets more complicated. Let me know if I should get into that. :)
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Postby reneuend » Sat May 07, 2011 2:24 am

Hey CB?

Would you consider writing something up for the next AM Magazine that explains what you consider is best for videos and go into video use for commercial?

I know someday I would like to build a commercial game.

Thanks for considering!
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Postby CBSection31 » Sat May 07, 2011 3:09 am

Sure. I believe I posted the information somewhere here a while back, so it's probably still around if you want to look.

Basically, the gist of it is that, if you want to make a commercial game, you have three legal options for video:

1. WMV videos (Does AM support them? I've never checked.)
2. FLV videos, played via an SWF file and the Flash plugin.
3. AVI file with a codec with a legally-obtained license for commercial use .

Option 3 is the most commonly used. The problem is that nearly every codec available has restrictions against commercial use. Aside from the Cinepak codec that comes with Windows (which I highly discourage using), most common codecs require you to pay for a license. This includes Xvid, DivX, and Indeo. The price of these licenses is usually beyond the budget of indies. The only option I've found is a codec that is no longer being actively developed, called the Mideo Codec.

This codec was described as "completely free for commercial use" by the developer's website, which had been long abandoned when I discovered hte codec. Sadly, the site no longer exists. I tried contacting the developer at least five times asking for details on the codec, but I never heard back. Thus, this codec, while described as free for commercial use, is no longer being updated. Who knows how much longer it will be compatible with Windows?

Because of this issue, I really think that someone (GM, maybe?) needs to develop Theora video compatibility with AM. Theora video is a unique format by the same company that makes Vorbis OGG audio. It is 100% free for commercial use and has become the standard video format used by most indies. If AM were to support this format, I think that it would really help us developers!
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Postby reneuend » Sat May 07, 2011 5:39 am

Thanks CB.

I found this note. Does it look correct? If so, I will use uncompressed avi.

NOT SAFE FOR COMMERCIAL USE:
=======================
JPG
MP3
MPEG
MPG
AVI with Xvid codec
AVI with DivX codec
AVI with Indeo codec
AVI with MV2/3/4 codec
AVI with ANY OTHER codec not listed below

SAFE FOR COMMERCIAL USE:
====================
WAV
OGG
Theora video
AVI with MidiVid codec (this is what I use for my videos!)
AVI with Cinepak codec
uncompressed AVI
SWF (flash) - DOES require a license, but it's free to obtain
WMV - DOES require a license, but it's free to obtain
WMA - DOES require a license, but it's free to obtain
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Postby CBSection31 » Sat May 07, 2011 3:36 pm

There are two updates to that list:

- JPG files are now safe to use
- MP3 files are safe to use unless you distribute more than 5000 (?) copies of your game.

I would strongly recommend against using uncompressed AVIs, as the file sizes are extraordinary. Even a few seconds of animation will take up hundreds of megabytes!
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Postby Candle » Sat May 07, 2011 3:50 pm

OGG plays video.
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