Community Forums > Voobly Games > Other Games > Total Annihilation > Enable TA Demo Recorder (and mod support)

Enable TA Demo Recorder (and mod support)


Join Date: 20 September 2010
Edited 16 October 2010 - 4:44 am by No_Limits
Hello, I'm a long time fan and player of Total Annihilation.
I am also known as PhalanX on TA Universe / File Universe Admins/Owners Team.

I recently found out about Voobly and that it supported my favorite game.
So I downloaded the client and was impressed with the familiar and refreshed msn IGZ feel and looks with list and table views. The client features along with with Nat Tranversal/UPNP support and even skinning possibilities are quite nice. I have hopes this client can also reunite the diverse TA community as the main online TA hotspot.

But I also do believe this only can be achieved by enabling support for the TA Demo Recorder.
The recorder is a 3rd party made program that enable users to record and then watch an online game after it has been played. It also includes some new hotkeys/functionalities and macro command features. It is regarded as part of the standard de facto Total Annihilation + Expansions installation by the online community.

From what i could tell, Voobly includes somekind of built-in anticheat programming that prevents the use of TaDemo Recorder which was originally basicly an anti cheat with extra features. Turning the settings for the anti cheat to off and/or trying to disable the nat/natt/upnp still does not allow the use of TaDemo. I can still play TA on Voobly, but I myself (and i suspect most of the TA regulars) wont play online without the TaDemo Recorder.

If the Voobly Team can add support for TaDemo and then even support for the many TA mods, everyone will win, and i'm sure Voobly will gain another community base.

Your's truely,
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Join Date: 18 September 2010
Edited 16 October 2010 - 5:02 am by LoC_Boogieman
Yes, and some of the mod players who have seen this voobly thread on TAU have said that it looks better, and possibly more enjoyable than Gamer anger (where they currently play). If you guys cuold kink the bugs out, im sure it would possibly reunited our heavily split community.
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Join Date: 18 September 2010
Posted 22 September 2010 - 4:39 am
I think that the top moderators/admins should give LoC_Boogieman, more administrative powers, why? cuz hes the only one always around trying to help solve out this bugs Voobly has. Im 100% sure that giving him more power within this server will speed up the growth of TA, MODS, or anything related. Hopefully someone important will stop by and read this...

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Join Date: 18 September 2010
Posted 22 September 2010 - 10:43 pm
i agree with Limits, all player use the TA Demo Recorder.
Like he said it has special features we need.

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Join Date: 6 September 2010
Edited 16 October 2010 - 5:07 am by LoC_Boogieman
Moderator (Level 1)
Join Date: Sep 6, 2010
Posts: 28

Problems with Total Annihilation!
Ok, the problem with Total Annihilation is definately the fact that Voobly overwrites
ddraw.dll which breaks our game recorder. I notice the second call is for ddraw.dll.

20:25:28 vooblynat2.dll v2.1.45.14 loaded!
20:25:28 Running in ddraw

The tademo recorder is NOT a demo program in the traditional sense, it was named that
because in-game recordings were not normal back when this was released and demostrated
skills of players through recording them!!! It has been developed by original beta testers
and some of the cavedog developement team, for serveral years, and is considered part of
the game. It records the game but does much more than that! It has a keybind on F11 key
that inputs all the game commands needed to play, especially team games, and another
keybind on F2 that brings up a GUI that allows you to edit it and change some basic
settings. This game update has many other team enhancements like shared team LoS, marking,
and playback options too numerous to mention here. This update is considered the final and
ESSENTIAL version. The TA community will not play here if this is not corrected. :( They do
want to switch over here though so it would be really good to get this fixed and more

I can provide the source code to the recorder and/or the files if needed to assist in developement as they, appear to change some of these files when the recorder(99b2) and its Update patch (tadr1.0.0.545) is installed and updated. So overwiting it with the present file delivered from Voobly is THE problem here I think.

I also notice the NATT works very well with 1v1 games. Unfortunately the pings get really
high with more players than that. This game needs the low latency, around 300ms or lower, to not lag significantly. With the nat traversal off we cant connect at all. I normally get 80-300 ping with averages around 130 on DSL. Before the NAT traversal was implemented we could play 1v1 with low latency. But we had very high ping in our 3v3 attempts 8k-10k which makes the game basically non-functional. And we like to play teamed matches up to 5v5. Most of the community knows how to forward their ports and the NATT should be an option only unless we can get the pings down to around normal. People using the NATT would be required to play others with the NATT on ideally.

Also im not sure how you guys get feedback to the server about game stats, but
traditionally this has been done though a file in placed in total annihilation by ranked servers, called reporter.dll. It is even possible to get real time stats from this file as well as end game stats. I and a mate have identified some calls we assume are on the server or hidden somewhere on our system as follows:

DirectPlayNATHelpCreate [failed #1] in dpnhupnp.dll21:35:27 DirectPlayNATHelpCreate [found]
in dpnathlp.dll21:35:28 CNatCommunication::ThreadEntry IN

I have brought several players for TA (Total Annihilation) and TA:K (Total Annhilation Kingdoms)But they need more support to get them to mainstream here and stay.

I have edited the descriptions and links in the game browser logins for
both games Total Annihilation and Total Annihilation:Kingdoms are distinctly different games and need to be treated as such in most ways.

Re: Problems with Total Annihilation!
Ok, I have gathered the Ddraw.dll files together from a clean step by step install, packaged and uploaded to my MSN live space on this link >>> [You must login to view link] Please let me know if you need more information.

I compiled this readme for the download>>>>

TADR = Total Annihilation Demo Recorder

1st Ddraw.dll is installed with the 1st Total Annihilation cd from Directx5 which was current with this game release. This file was installed only with the Directx redistibutable Package and was not present in the game folder at that time. It is Installed in the %:\Windows\System32 folder. The 2 expansion disks do not have a directx installer on them.

Directx5 is obsolete with the updates of directx6 - 10 from Microsoft update installed in %:\windows\system32 and is no longer used.

2nd Ddraw.dll and Dplayx.dll are installed with the final beta of the recorder TADR .99B2, which was used for several years. These files are installed into the %\CAVEDOG\TOTALA folder.

The Dplayx.dll file is obsolete now with the release of the TADR update patch and is no longer used.

I have included the executable, source code, and documentation.

3rd Dplayx.dll and are installed with the update patch TADR which at this point is the final version and most likely wont be changed in the future by the TA community. It is used by EVERYONE online because of the enhancements to the game. Especially in team mode.

The zipped patch is extracted to the %\CAVEDOG\TOTALA folder and overwrites the existing Dplayx.dll and adds the file.

I have included the zipped patch, source code and documentation.

4 is a folder with screen shots to help clarify the install process. I started with a fresh install.

It is important that the final release for voobly allows us to watch classic recordings from Pro players on our recording archive site >>> [You must login to view link]
These recordings are downloaded and played in the replayer section of the recorder. Other people can also join to watch by ip or on a lan.

It is important that we are still able to play by IP or on a lan after we play on the voobly site.

No_limits and I will be available to get further information or files for the game.

Thank you LoC_Boogieman
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Join Date: 20 September 2010
Posted 23 September 2010 - 4:01 am
Adding part of my post on TAU.

"On a side note, i was talking with Boogs last night and Boogs with another admin. We figured out that the culprit file messing our Tademo. Ddraw.dll
From what we recalled (as i talked with Boogs), Ddraw.dll was installed when we installed the old msn gaming zone, and then TaDemo rewrote it with its own installation. Difference today is from what i could tell with a couple test is Voobly rewrites ddraw.dll each time it launches TA, and the old msn igz didnt, so swapping back the TaDemo version of the file in before launching game or after installing Voobly doesnt work."

After talking some more with Boogs... all the files tademo edits/overwrites are TA files, and ddraw.dll is one of them.
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Join Date: 6 September 2010
Edited 16 October 2010 - 5:10 am by LoC_Boogieman
Moderator (Level 1)
Join Date: Sep 6, 2010
Posts: 25
Re: Welcome Desk

The new Voobly patch works fine from the TA community point of view. It doesnt break our recorder and allows us to play anywhere in any mode without renaming the file every time. If the final release could install the 268kb drawvbly.dll file we use (formerly the ddraw.dll that conflicted) automatically into %\totala it would be easier to get the community to accept it, and come here worry free. And noob proof.

The only complication here would be that people sometimes install TA in places other than the deafault folder. I presume the game diagnostics would locate the totala.exe if it gets implemented in the Total Annihilation lobby. The default location for the game is C:\CAVEDOG\TOTALA. That is also where the totala.exe should be located by default as well as the ddrawvbly.dll file implemented with this update release.

At this time the biggest issue for us is lag we cant seem to kill with any settings of the NAT or direct connection. In 1v1 games we have zero lag. But any more than that we see excessive lag. And we play up to 5v5. Your attention to this matter would be greatly appreciated.

From: LoC_Boogieman

October 1, 2010, 12:54 am
We are willing to buy you a copy from [You must login to view link] so you can join and watch the game in WZ, in ip, and on Voobly, to compare and help with developement. There is definately a difference only on Voobly. [You must login to view link] Thats the full and legit game from a reputable source.. Again we are very willing to buy it for you because we want this site to work for us!!

What we see in short is in WZ directly Or pheonixworx or by IP or any other method is that the host and hosted players all see same ping to each other. And no increase with number of players. When playing here in any configuration is that the hosted players see more latency from the host than he sees from the hosted players. This is just in 1v1, but as we get 3 players all pings go up with the same anomalous latency to the host. and with each added player this gets worse adding latency to all players especially as seen from the hosted players to the host vs what he sees to them.

1v1 we see no lag in game, but still the anomaly in latency. 3 ffa and we see higher pings and the anomaly to host in latency is worse, with some lag. In 2v2 we have what we have always considered unacceptable ping, and the game is very laggy. we tried a 3v3 game and the host had 10k ping and all other players around 8k ping and the host dropped before he could even try to launch. we play up to 5v5 with low latency commonly with pings around 80 - 300 max and all players see exactly the same ping to each other as the one they are looking at does them.

The latency should be the same both ways as it is in all other ways of playing TA.

P.S. when tested in these configurations it was with longtime veterans that have their ports and static IP set up properly who we have played for years with no problems.. and thank you for your efforts.

Moderator (Level 1)
Join Date: Sep 6, 2010
Posts: 25

Re: Welcome Desk
Ok now the NAT Traversal is off but the host sees higher pings than the players. Why are we still seeing anaomalous pings with terrible lag above 1v1? Something is up and needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Again... we have no such anomalies in any other place we play nor do we need to forward our ports as they are already forwarded and working everywhere but here! SIGH. a link made by ta players WELL before there was a note it talks about win2k and DSL its so old.. We are not noobs on this subject. [You must login to view link]
and another [You must login to view link]

I have noticed that in the Midtown Madness lobby they have an alert "[03:57]<Voobly> Delete winmm.dll , msvcp71.dll and msvcr71.dll from your MM2 Folder if you are having problems playing". We have tried deleting these files as well as the ddraw.dll that always overwrites our ddraw.dll installed by the game recorder as in the above posts. This is surely related to our problems here.

All we really need is a directplay connection. Can this be done for TA please. If so, maybe I can actually get people to come AND stay on Voobly.
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Join Date: 6 September 2010
Posted 16 October 2010 - 5:05 am
Our community Forum About Voobly >>> [You must login to view link]
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Join Date: 1 March 2010
Posted 12 October 2011 - 8:42 pm
wow i'm impressed at what you've created there Boogie! Why aren't you mod anymore btw?

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