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Grimm Pickins's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jun 7
Baldur's Gate Mac Tutu (and Hello)

Greeting Fellow Macophiles,

I am an avid user of vintage Macs (mostly my MDDs) for both fun and productivity. I use my G4 to write/map for TTRPGs as some of my favorite software is no longer viable for modern Mac operating systems. Plus, honestly, my greatest love for Macs was in the PPC era.

With that introduction aside, one of my hobbies is modding Baldur's Gate and its sequel. I've been doing this on my modern system with the Enhanced versions for years now - but I got the itch to try and apply this to the original Macintosh ports of the game.

Specifically, there is a method to move the contents of the first game into the engine of the sequel - adding higher resolution support, increased character options, better graphics, and so on. This is still commonly done with the legacy PC versions (BGTutu) but as the modern (even legacy) Mac versions are just wineskinned - it doesn't really seem to have a presence with modders who use Apple.

I dug and found the page for the original Mac Easy Tutu released in 2006 or so, complete with dead links galore. After taxing the Wayback Machine, I managed to create what I hope is a functioning (and further modded) version of Mac BGTutu. I've even managed to get Weidu up to a fairly recent version (well, sort of) so that favorite mods like Sword Coast Stratagems and NPC Project are fairly bug free.

The question here is, "Would anyone like to see this uploaded?" It is possibly the only way to play BG1 in OSX without the modern post-Leopard wineskinning - it is PPC native, and won't run after Rosetta hit the highway. I'm still testing the stability, and may do a simpler rebuild if there is interest. Even the mods I'm using are over 10 years old, so I don't think this would violate that rule, LOL.

Thanks to Macintosh Garden for being here! I have finally broken my silent member status.

Go For the Eyes Boo!

Grimm

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fogWraith's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 23

Hello Grimm, and welcome to the Macintosh Garden Smile

And it appears you have some very good taste in games, as well... I for one would love to see what you've been working on, pretty sure my MDD wouldn't mind either.

Butt-kicking! For goodness!

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Welcome Grimm! Great to have you here. And yes, very interested in that. Baldur's Gate still rocks and even though I'm more of a MacOS type of guy please upload it Smile

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Welcome, Grimm! Smile

It sounds terrific and there's definitely interest in your modding project!

I'm slowly trying out a few games, and I'm presently setting up my Classic OS 9 laptop and workstations, so for now, I've been digesting 68k games Laughing out loud

Grimm Pickins's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jun 7

Progress is coming, slowed by my permissions getting garbled on the MDD - crashed during verify/repair process. Still testing for stability, especially now that my fresh Leopard install is performing better than ever.

You Must Gather Your Party Before Venturing Forth.

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Great to hear you're making progress. If you should need someone for testing, I'll gladly help out! (MDD with 10.4.11)

Grimm Pickins's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jun 7

I'd love to have a second set of eyes. Would you want to test just the base Tutu installation or would you want additional modding done? I tend to play with rather, um, draconian settings because I've been playing the game for years and it keeps it fresh (I'm also a longtime pen and paper D&D guy too, so I tend to make the games system obey the books more). In contrast to my more modern modding (on the Extended Editions) - the fights actually seem to be a bit more difficult on the old version (I never remembered eight gibberlings attacking me on the road south of the Friendly Arm Inn for instance).

I just need to find a file host willing to accept 7 GB transfers, LOL. It's huge for an old game (because all of the CDs are installed on the system).

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Just give me something to test Smile I've played BG last like ten years ago - and didn't even finish it. So I'm probably the best test person for answering "can a newbie make it?".

As for the uploading - I think you can upload it here to the Garden. Others may want to help testing as well. Upload via http might be a bit tedious with 7 GB though, even when splitting your zip file. If you can't get it to work let me know and we'll figure out something.

Grimm Pickins's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jun 7

UPDATE: After 'starting download' for nearly 2-3 hours, I didn't feel like it was going anywhere. I will transfer the files off my MDD to my modern system and attempt again. I was trying to minimize the shuffling of such a large chunk of data.

My little old MDD is currently trying to upload what I've come up with thus far. The build seems pretty stable, it slogs sometimes but seems to improve with use. TuTu builds are often known for doing what they are supposed to when 'the stars are right'.

I guess it could be called a BETA version at this time, and there is definitely a need to read the instructions on use. The bugs are a common feature, as this was (and is) a community effort. When work on PPC Mac Tutu ceased (2010/2011, with the introduction of GOG's wineskinned versions) - this was the state of most of the builds. Some folks claimed to have 'magically' gotten around this, and I'm researching what I can about that (Wayback Machine, thank you).

This is as close to the Enhanced Editions as I've been able to make, and it definitely adds some modern updates to a very classic game. I can provide help with modifying this build, but I'm pleased with the core operation (I have multiple versions on my computer, including just the base one - but since modding can be rather frustrating with loads of 'chmod +x' and rewriting lines of code, I included mods that I'm pretty sure are working to save others the time and trouble).

Grimm Pickins's picture
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Another Update:

I have been trying to upload this 'as is' in the format of a .zip file. I have tried many times at this point, and have switched browsers and computers to do so more efficiently (Brave actually tells me how much has been uploaded, bravo to that one). The last attempt was around four hours on my modern Mac, with a very good connection (we got a rural tech grant in my town years ago, so we have unusually good internet for the backwoods). It failed, after 100% was 'pre-uploaded' - no resume option, only 'fatal error' land. It is a huge file, though by modern standards it is modest to many Steam releases.

My internet is unburdened by TV or portable devices during the night and I will try again tonight - I already have the place-marker set for it. I've been all over the place since the quarantine, largely working on actual table top RPG utility emulation (HOLY POOPSTINK! Virtual PC 7 runs Windows 2000 for ALL those old TSR programs, flawlessly).

fogWraith's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 23

Usually selecting the file without clicking Upload, filling in the details, scrolling to the very bottom and clicking Save works better for very big uploads, for some reason.

If you'd like, there are also options such as FTP, KDX as well as Wired & Carracho.
Hotline may have some limitations when it comes to files that are >2GB.

julio-comfort's picture
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Joined: 2020 Apr 2

Following as well for updates...

Jatoba's picture
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Joined: 2018 Apr 16

I use my G4 to write/map for TTRPGs as some of my favorite software is no longer viable for modern Mac operating systems.

TTRPG software for PowerPC?? Care to tell us what they are called? Smile

Grimm Pickins's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jun 7

I'm going to try again tonight, I forgot to leave my computer on the other night to upload. Thanks for the tip, fogWraith.

Jatoba... You asked, LOL:

The whole reason I built my G4 system initially was to use Dundjinni for my home games (and possibly online ones as well). Dundjinni may actually be within the parameters for upload here, as the company - whilst still retaining a website - has been undeveloped and essentially unsellable for a good number of years. The widow of the programmer (who died 2008/2009) kept the website up for it's once very active mapping/asset community and allowed the store page to remain, though it hasn't actually worked in several years at this point. Dundjinni is a java based map making program - but anything after Lion requires backflips to make it run (the Windows version isn't plagued by the same problems). Issues with memory, or it's lack of willingness to use it, seem to increase with every version after Java 4/5.

Scrivener is a remarkable piece of software that quit updating for PPC around 2014. There is a template floating about that creates a generic RPG campaign organization format to the nested folders.

Battlegrounds VTT, which I have yet to really mess with, is a virtual table top that never had a port to modern macs - though it was updated fairly late in terms of PPC. They still offer the PPC version, and still allow it to connect.

After accumulating years of PDF files, from DrivethruRPG and points less... ahem... reputable - I found myself not enjoying Acrobat or Preview for their storage. I've ended up using Comic Book Lover (available here, I believe) to have a visual bookshelf of hundreds of RPG books.

On a similar note, since I don't really produce 'professional' stuff - I use Comic Life 2 to do layout of PDFs, handouts, etc. The modern version is even better, fairly robust in all honesty. But CL2 is still pretty useful and fun.

I use Photoshop for any tweaks I need to do to graphics (currently I've been extracting images from a module and readying them for Fantasy Grounds or another VTT).

The biggest and most powerful move I made was Virtual PC. I hate to admit it, but when I'm doing this stuff, I now have my second monitor set up as a Windows 2000 machine - which runs great, unlike XP on my G4 (holy crashing, corrupted, non-file writing craptastica!). On that virtual machine I run: AD&D Core Rules, Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas, Campaign Cartographer 2 and - though I've yet to try it on 2000 - The Keep from nbos should run fine.

There is still a decent web presence for these old programs, especially Core Rules 2.0 that came out around 1999/2000 (padnd.com, for example). Technically, the virtual specs are under what The Keep should work on - but if you don't press it into being a PDF viewer, it is essentially a database program with hyperlinks.

Sites like roll20 will load, but, it hurts - like YouTube or Facebook level pain. Once upon a time there was a Fantasy Grounds that ran on PPC, but old versions of that software are virtually non-existent and would be very unlikely to get on a server.

Phew - sorry to ramble, but I get pretty excited about the progress that I've made with my old system being a RPG machine Smile

Jatoba's picture
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Joined: 2018 Apr 16

I love thorough replies full of useful info, the ramble is most welcome, and preferred. Smile Thanks for all that! I will definitely check out some of these you mentioned. And yes, if you would like to share Dundjinni with us here, that'd be most welcome! In fact, if you know of any pre-OS-X TTRPG software (Mac OS 9 and earlier), that'd also be very exciting. Smile

Grimm Pickins's picture
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Pre-X software is very rare for TTRPGs - a sad state that I remember well from when I got my first Mac in the mid-90s...

Dundjinni did start as an OS 9 application (I might go on a Wayback Machine quest later) and I think that RPG Mapper may have had a version.

I can't remember if the original SSI Dungeonmaster Assistant I & II was Apple/Mac ported - but this is going back to 1988 or so. I've run that one for giggles with DOSBox (I'm also an 'old school' guy - I tend to play earlier versions of D&D). I vaguely remember there being an Amiga version, which would be worth emulating - it is almost guaranteed to be nicer than the others. That's one I'd love to see the code for, because, honestly, I think it's written in Basic...

CharSys is a D&D character generation program that has been around for decades - essentially someone's home project that grew. I think this was Mac native throughout it's lifespan. I believe the guy who wrote it still hosts it online, along with the earlier versions. As the versions get newer, the edition of D&D changes - I believe the last PPC one is for 3rd edition, but I have one that does 2nd. (just checked - they are hosted on here as well!)

What Macs are really lacking, above and beyond all else, is a decent campaign manager - hence why I run The Keep in virtualization. There are a good number of these for PC over the years - Dragonsfoot.org has a fairly good list in their forum section for 'RPG Software'. I don't think a single damned one of them was OSX, let alone OS9.

Virtual PC does have versions in OS9, which I'm sure you know, and with an install of Windows 95 or 98, I'm sure you could run the AD&D core rules and the Forgotten Realms Atlas. The full Campaign Cartographer suite might push things if processor/RAM is an issue - but, honestly, I was stunned how smoothly I'm running it with VPC7.

Columbia Games also sells a character generator for Harnmaster - and the price is very amusing when you see the size... and the system requirements... http://columbiagames.com/cgi-bin/query/harn/cfg/single.cfg?product_id=4111A

Jatoba's picture
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Joined: 2018 Apr 16

Ha, that's awesome! Those are requirements to go by. Wink

And thank you for another informative post. Smile I'll come back here to consult with it from time to time. Definitely helpful!

Grimm Pickins's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jun 7

Ok folks, I have failed numerous times at uploading BGTutu here, but I decided to take a 30 day free tour of Dropbox Business... So here's a link to the file. Please read the notes that I have put up for Tutu:

https://macintoshgarden.org/games/baldurs-gate-tutu

And here's the link:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2ox2xxvanc04b9x/BGTutu.zip?dl=0

If someone can add it to the games here I would be most thankful Smile

Also, I noticed that there was a lag/stutter in the game especially with movement. I added a line into the description, but since the 'save' resulted in an error with site connection, it isn't showing right now. The stutter is caused by ambient audio, oddly enough, but can be corrected with opening the 'baldur.ini' file in a text editor and changing two lines under [game options]:

This:

Low Mem Sounds 1=0
Low Mem Sounds 2=0

Should Become

Low Mem Sounds 1=1
Low Mem Sounds 2=1

I would have zipped this into the package - but since you'll want to set your own configuration most likely, you will need to modify these lines after you run the configuration setting manager for BG.

fogWraith's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 23

File has been attached Smile

Grimm Pickins's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jun 7

Thank you! You're awesome!

Grimm Pickins's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jun 7

Anyone try it yet? It's been running pretty smooth for me, a little lag when loading new areas but I have consistently forgotten to up my cache as well. I confess that I'm missing a few of the conveniences that I have come to expect with modding, but I'm playing it without cussing too bad. Some of the fights are really, really hard - and I've run modern versions, full modded with tactical stuff. Use those scrolls, potions, and let me know when you find a place you can sell the Imoen wand of magic missiles to recharge it.

I may actually do a YouTube video on this soon, to kinda give more of a feel to how I approach this... Plus, I've never seen a playthrough of BG on YouTube for PPC Mac.

Hope everyone enjoys this, I'd love to spawn a retromac modding scene for BG. LOL.

fogWraith's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 23

I've been meaning to give it a spin, but since Easter is upon us, I will get the opportunity this weekend, really looking forward to it Smile

Would love to see some footage on YT as well!