Breaking Eggs And Making Omelettes

Topics On Multimedia Technology and Reverse Engineering


Weak On MPEG

February 5th, 2006 by Multimedia Mike

I’ve been working tirelessly on the MultimediaWiki for the past few days, importing all of my past technical documents. Plus, I have been unearthing all kinds of documents and notes. Fortunately, my new philosophy is to just get the information out there and organized via the Wiki rather than waiting until the information is perfectly, 100% complete and verified. Some new items:

But what about MPEG? Right now, the Wiki is lacking for information regarding various MPEG audio, video, and transport formats. This was also a shortcoming under the original tech site organization. My big problem is that I simply don’t know a lot of the technical details behind MPEG. That seems to surprise a lot of people familiar with my activities. Fact is, I like to solve problems that need to be solved. Since so many other people seem to have MPEG locked down, I don’t worry about it.

So, to all who are more familiar than I in MPEG matters: What would be a good way to organize MPEG information in the MultimediaWiki?

Posted in Multimedia Goals And TODO | Comments Off on Weak On MPEG

Game Formats Division

January 3rd, 2006 by Multimedia Mike

Recently, I have been getting reports left and right from people who have successfully reverse engineered old game-oriented multimedia formats. Sometimes the reports overlap, i.e., 2 people have independently RE’d the same format. I thought I would update my list of upcoming game-related formats (here’s the last entry I wrote on the matter):

  • TGV, used in various Origin games, most notably in Privateer 2: The Darkening. I have 2 contacts who have independently RE’d this format.
  • Further, it is worth investigating how this format relates to the TGQ format found on Warcraft II: The Dark Saga for the Sega Saturn.

  • EA WVE/UV2 files, which are principly Motion JPEG files
  • Multimedia from American Laser Games titles, notably Mad Dog McCree. Again, I have 2 contacts who have independently RE’d this format. This might be the IBM PhotoMotion video codec as the manual for Mad Dog McCree credits that format.
  • BRP, used in a few Argonaut games such as Alien Odyssey. After VAG figured out Argonaut’s AVS format it was postulated that their later BRP format is also a vector quantizer. It certainly looks that way based on cursory investigations.

Posted in Multimedia Goals And TODO | 6 Comments »

Game Formats On The Horizon

January 5th, 2005 by Multimedia Mike

There are few things as discouraging in research as replicated work. You work for weeks or months or whatever in order to figure out a format, and then someone else publishes before you. To that end, I wanted to post a list of multimedia technologies that other people have RE’d. I am sitting on these and will eventually get them into the open multimedia projects:

  • proper VMD audio decoding for early Sierra games
  • Gremlin Digital Video (GDV) file demuxing and A/V decoding, used in such games as Realms of the Haunting, Normality, and Hardwar, and perhaps other titles developed by Gremlin
  • AVS files , used in Creature Shock by Argonaut software and published on various platforms; the AVS files were used in the PC and Sega Saturn versions, possibly others
  • TGV files used in various Origin games
  • EA MJPEG-like video coding format used in WVE/UVE files

Posted in Multimedia Goals And TODO, Reverse Engineering | 1 Comment »

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