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Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos

Discussion in 'Alpha Centauri' started by jopower, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. jopower

    jopower Chieftain

    Aug 17, 2011
    Colorado North 40
    I've just done a bit of sleuthing for those wanting to edit and play the Alpha Centauri (and other game) videos stored in WVE file format. I did discover that the little program has a history of inclusion with turn of Y2K era games. Below are my general findings:

    Primary association: Component of a DIVX Movie Conversion

    WVE's are XML project files created by WaveEditor, an audio-editing program included with some CyberLink multimedia-editing applications; references an audio file and includes audio effects and adjustments. WaveEditor projects are often used for exporting modified audio for use in PowerDirector video projects (.PDS files). WVE files can be exported to .WAV, .WMA, .MP3, and .M4A files. Unfortunately, WaveEditor and PowerDirector are commercial products. CyberLink Media Suite also does the job, but is also commercial. On the other hand, you have a full set of edit tools and can make your own clips to add to many games using the format. ;)

    Winamp will play WVE's, but there's a few too many things that come along for the ride... :scan: As some don't like this behavior, we'll advance to better options.

    The file "playuv15.exe" does the job nicely. Guess what? It comes in the game! Navigate to the installed folder for your game. Look in there for a "Movies" folder. It will be the only EXE in the folder. While there, you can simply drag and drop the icon of a file to be played on the Playuv15 icon and off it goes! The screen will blank to black, then a smaller screen, centered, in the video's natural resolution, opens and the show is on. There is no interface and the "Esp" key is your only stop control beyond awaiting the video to end. I'm using WinXP Sp3 and have seen a dozen with no troubles. It is completely reliable so far. :)

    I did find an original ZIP with the info text intact. It is a bit DOS, so you'll have to use a command box to use switches (or a DOS emulator like DOSbox). Here's the full text readout (note no mention of WVE files, but so what!):

    Play uV v1.50a - uV/uV2/TGV/ASF Player
    by Martin Griffiths, Electronic Arts (UK), 1997.

    usage: playuv [<options>] videofile
    <options> =
    -xres <n> video mode resolution (x)
    -yres <n> video mode resolution (y)
    -gamma <n> gamma level (default:100))
    -doublex horizontal x2
    -doubley line doubled
    -skipy line skipped
    -xsize <n> stretch movie to x size <n>
    -ysize <n> stretch movie to y size <n>
    -loop play looping
    -window don't use fullscreen
    -8 8bit(tgv only)
    -16 16bit(all formats)
    -32 32bit(all formats)
    -nodoublebuffer Don't double buffer
    -software Disable YUV hardware acceleration
    -noaudio disable audio
    -ddraw <n> direct draw device <n>
    -verbose output more info.

    Since there is no copyright indicated (but I'm a fair use guy) I give credit and thanks to Martin Griffiths for his fine tight code work (only 155kb!) and provide the ZIP file I found for everyone else to enjoy. :cool:

    I also discovered another player: "Play It Again" (6 kb) at: http://homepages.nildram.co.uk/~nicko/playit.htm
    But it is designed to play on the Psion 3 series device. I haven't tried it on a PC yet, but you can give it a shot. It is freeware, so I've attached it with Playuv below. Here's the info on it from the author, P.K.Spencer:

    "Play It Again is a very small utility designed to repeatedly play a .WVE file (as the Siena won't support these, this version will not run on that machine) given the options the user sets. This tiny program is ideal for practical jokes - record a .WVE file, fire up Play It Again and set it playing while you leave the room - leaving the other ocupants to work out where the voice is coming from. " (Fun lil' devil ain't he?) :crazyeye:

    Hope that helps a few to have much fun with the video files in the game and the various mods out there. :king:

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