Topic: How to install SFC/SFC:OP on a virtual machine  (Read 5114 times)

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Offline FPF-DarkElf

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How to install SFC/SFC:OP on a virtual machine
« on: November 03, 2011, 01:40:08 am »
Since Windows 7 and Vista have severe problems when playing on the Dynaverse, Iíve  been looking for some sort of workaround to play on the Dynaverse.

Dual booting is a pain, and sometimes, even dual booting isnít an option if you canít find XP drivers. So I got around to thinking, why canít we use a virtual machine to run SFC?  I did a search
on the forums regarding this issue, and I found that for the most part, running SFC on a VM was thought to be impossible.  After playing around a bit, Iíve discovered that this is not the case.

So, in the hopes that using this workaround will attract enough people back Iím posting a tutorial on how to run SFC on a Virtual Machine!

Installing StarFleet Command: Orion Pirates on a VirtualBox VM:

PREREQíS
*VirtualBox -OR - Vmware Workstation installed
   (VirtualBox is free! https://www.virtualbox.org/)

*Windows XP installation disc or .iso, with Product Key

*StarFleet Command: Orion Pirates disc or .iso with CD-Key

*A card capable of 3D installed on the computer
   This may not work on netbooks, for example!

This tutorial will walk you through setting up a VirtualBox machine for SFC.  If you are using Vmware, the
instructions will be basically the same -- though in Vmware the options you need to set will be in different places.
Each version of the software requires a different sfc.ini file to run.  See below for specifics.

1.) Open VirtualBox up, click New to create a new virtual machine.
2.) Create a virtual machine, with the following parameters:
Operating System: Microsoft Windows

Version: Windows XP

Memory: I would recommend using at least 256 MB of memory for your virtual machine. 
Please note that this memory will be Ďreservedí by your VM every time you start it up.  If you
set the number too high, you could cause your system to start using its paging file, which will
cause your entire system to slow down.  Donít go overboard.

Hard Disk: Can be any size you like.  I would recommend at least you set it to at least 3GBs.
There are many options you can play with, but the defaults are fine.

3.) After you go through the prompts and the machine is created, we will need to adjust some of the settings
before we begin installing the OS on the virtual computer.

Select your new VM machine, and click Settings.  We are going to make the following changes:
Display Section:
   *Increase Video Memory from the default to 128MB.
   *Check Enable 3D Acceleration
   *Check Enable 2D Video Acceleration
Network Section:
   *Adapter 1:
   *Attached to: Bridged Adapter (NOT NAT!)
   *Name:  (this will vary from computer to computer, but it is very important that you select the
      adapter your computer uses for internet access, else your computer will not have access
      to the internet and you will not be able to forward the ports to the virtual machine!)
Click OK after you have made these changes.

4.) At this point, we will begin installing the OS on the virtual machine.  You will now need either your
Windows XP CD/DVD or the .iso stored somewhere on the computer.  Start the virtual machine up, and pay heed
to the informational dialogs it displays if you have never used a program of this type before!

Usually if you are starting a virtual machine for the first time it will display a dialog box so you can point
it to your Windows XP installation media.  If this box pops up, follow the prompts!  You will be able to select your
CD/DVD drive, or click the folder icon and navigate to your installation .iso.

Some dialogs may pop up while your attempting to boot into your installation media.  Click OK on them, if your
installation media uses a timeout, and you miss it, just go into the Machine menu and select Reset to try again.

Complete the OS install and proceed to the next step.

5.) After you have your desktop, we need to install Guest Additions. (In Vmware its called Vmware Tools)
These contain utilities and drivers for the virtual machine, so we must install them. INSTALLING GUEST ADDITIONS
MUST BE DONE WHILE THE VIRTUAL MACHINE IS IN SAFE MODE!  Restart the virtual machine and hit F8 as it is booting,
and select safe mode.  After you are in safe mode, go to menu bar of your virtual machine and select Devices, then
select Install Guest Additions.  This causes the virtual CD/DVD in the computer to change to the Guest Additions
installer CD in the machine.  If it doesn't start up automatically, go to your CD/DVD drive in My Computer and
launch the installer. (The correct installer is called VBoxWindowsAdditions.exe)

Make sure all the boxes are checked, including Direct3D support and proceed.  After installing, reboot the virtual
machine normally.  At this point, go into Device Manager (thats Control Panel > System) and make sure all the
virtual hardware is detected at this point.  If it is not, you should correct those before continuing if at all
possible.

6.) Now we need to install StarFleet Command: Orion Pirates.  Right click the CD-ROM icon at the bottom of the
virtual machine and either point it to your SFC:OP iso or point it to your computers CD/DVD drive.

After installing the game, patch the game to the latest version by downloading the patcher from Dynaverse.net.

After patching the game, apply the Dynaverse.net directory server patch.

After patching for the Dynaverse.net, we need to correct the StarFleet Command: Orion Pirates shortcut.  If this
step is not done, the file check when logging into a server could fail.  Change the shortcut in your start menu to
point to StarFleetOP.exe.

After fixing the shortcut issue, we need to update sfc.ini in the directory the game was installed.  If we do not
do this step, the game will not display correctly.

By default, the location of the file is C:\Program Files\Taldren Software Inc\Starfleet Command Orion Pirates\sfc.ini

Change the 3D section to the following:
Code: [Select]
[3D]
wireframe=1
windowed=0
zbuffer=1
lowres=0
driver=0
backdrop=1
shipstacking=1
ambientlighting=0.2
luminancetextures=1
luminancedamagetextures=1
spacedust=0

If you are using Vmware, use the following: (and read the note on the bottom)

Code: [Select]
[3D]
wireframe=1
windowed=1
zbuffer=1
lowres=0
driver=0
backdrop=1
shipstacking=1
ambientlighting=0.2
luminancetextures=1
luminancedamagetextures=1
spacedust=0

ADDITIONALLY:  WHEN USING VMWARE, WINDOWED MODE MUST BE USED.  THIS MEANS WE MUST SET THE COLOR DEPTH
TO 16-BIT UNDER DISPLAY PROPERTIES IN THE CONTROL PANEL.


7.) Finally, we must forward ports on your router to the virtual machine in order for Dynaverse play.

In the virtual machine, go to Network Connections and retrieve the IP address.  Then you will have to go into
your router and forward ports 2300-2400 for TCP/UDP and port 47624 for TCP.  It is also recommended that if your
router supports it that you add the virtual machine to your router's DHCP client list so that it gets the same
IP every time.  You could also configure the virtual machine to use a static IP address, but that is beyond the
scope of this tutorial.

6.) If you've made it this far and done everything correctly, you should have a fully functional XP VM with SFC:OP
installed and now will have a much easier time playing the Dynaverse on your computer without the need for dual
booting.


One last word of advice, do not attempt to use the Full Screen mode in VirtualBox while the game is running.  You
will cause everything to go black.  If you need to change the window size, do it before you start the game up.  Vmware
handles full screen mode and resizing more gracefully.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 01:54:16 am by FPF-DarkElf »

Offline FPF-Tobin Dax

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Re: How to install SFC/SFC:OP on a virtual machine
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2011, 11:58:32 am »
Welcome back! 8)
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Offline Tumulorum Fossor

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Re: How to install SFC/SFC:OP on a virtual machine
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2015, 01:38:03 am »
So these VirtualBox settings are nearly four years old.

Since then, I bet VirtualBox has changed.  Are these recommendations still the same?

Offline Bernard Guignard

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Re: How to install SFC/SFC:OP on a virtual machine
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2015, 09:27:53 am »
Wondering if this would work with windows 8.1
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Offline Tumulorum Fossor

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Re: How to install SFC/SFC:OP on a virtual machine
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2015, 12:11:22 pm »
I'm working on it some.
On my Win8.1 laptop, configured as per this thread, using EzINI 2.0 FWIW, OP won't work (a quarter of the screen flashes black, like it's TRYING to start OP, just for a second, then nothing.  Windows desktop.), UNLESS one uses EzINI to "Force Software Driver" under the video tab.

OP Ini resolution set at 800x600. VirtualBox not in fullscreen mode.  OP itself played NOT in windowed mode as per this thread.

When setting XP Desktop to 32bit color, everything looks okay at first, but the textures of the models are screwed up/absent (I THINK just the model of the player's ship... not allies, not enemies, not terrain, strangely enough).  The tutorial goes okay, I think, but the skirmish mission that runs through the models crashes about 2 minutes in.  I've briefly tried a couple other missions, that seem to be running okay I think.  Didn't play them all the way through, though.  But once again, loss of PLAYER'S SHIP textures (only!).

When setting XP Desktop to 16bit color, the loading screen/menus are an unreadable mess.


Offline Tumulorum Fossor

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Re: How to install SFC/SFC:OP on a virtual machine
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2015, 10:02:55 pm »
Having some luck I THINK when NOT using Taldren stock models, but using FS's OP+ 4.0 version with MODELS.

Also, using the Virtual Machine in full screen mode,
EZ Ini2.0 using:
1280x1024 resolution
Force Software Driver
Z-Buffer

The WinXP desktop is at (while on FULL SCREEN MODE via Virtual Box menu):
32-bit color
1920x1080 resolution

My Win8 Host settings:
1920x1080 resolution

I still need to experiment a bit.  Not sure how stable this is, but seems to be running okay. YMMV.

Offline d4v1ks

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Re: How to install SFC/SFC:OP on a virtual machine
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2015, 09:40:27 pm »
Bump!

I followed the instructions at the begining of this thread and was hable to run orion pirates with sucess on a vmware virtual machine.
The settings of the sfc.ini file are a critical step to follow. With it all runs smoothly.

Thx for the post FPF-DarkElf!


p.s: The virtual machine with windows xp + service pack 3 + drivers + all the updates available take no more than 4.5gb on disk!!
"But he isn't wearing anything at all!" (The Emperor's New Clothes)