A companion to the TRON 2.0 Unofficial FAQ that provides up-to-date
news about the TRON 2.0 gaming community and TRON in general.



If you're having trouble with the TRON 2.0: Killer App Mod
Read this Troubleshooting Guide




TRON Evolution Removed From Steam, But Will Remain In Your Steam Library If You Already Own It

By TronFAQ on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 1:42 AM
Some time late in the evening on April 17, 2019, Disney quietly removed TRON Evolution from Steam. It can no longer be purchased.

SteamDB entry showing the game’s removal from Steam:
https://steamdb.info/app/315440/history/?changeid=U:11283163

TRON Evolution Steam store page link
(which no longer works and redirects you to the Steam front page):
https://store.steampowered.com/app/315440/Disney_TRON_Evolution/


But it’s important to note that if you already own TRON Evolution on Steam, it will remain in your game library. You still own it. You can still play it.


To prove that if you own TRON Evolution you can still download it from your Steam library and install it, I’ve added an embedded video below demonstrating this. I downloaded and installed the game on April 22, 2019, which is several days after Evolution was removed from sale on Steam.


Since Evolution was removed from Steam right before the Easter long weekend: even if someone has tried to contact Disney to find out the reason for the removal (since they didn’t make any kind of announcement), we probably won’t find out why for a while yet. If at all.

Because of the lack of an explanation from Disney, there’s been a lot of speculation as to why the game was removed.

I can think of several possibilities, myself. But I feel these are the two most likely reasons:

  • A number of people reported having issues getting TRON Evolution to work on Windows 10. And due to the number of refund and/or support requests, Disney decided support was more expensive than the profit earned from sales. Making the game not worth selling any more.

    However . . . a mistake Disney made with the Steam release of TRON Evolution, is they didn't prompt people to restart Windows after installing the game. For many people, the game won't work until the user does that. If they'd added a prompt to restart, it probably would've cut support/refunds to almost nil.

  • The other possibility, is perhaps Disney had a contract with Daft Punk to still allow use of parts of their TRON Legacy soundtrack while continuing to sell TRON Evolution. And that contract has now expired. Rather than renew the contract, Disney pulled the game from Steam. Since Disney outright owns TRON and TRON Evolution, there can’t be any other kind of licensing issue.

A third, much more remote, possibility is that Disney hired a third party (GOG? Epic Games?) to update Evolution, to remove SecuROM and Game For Windows Live. And as part of agreeing to remove the junk, that third party will get the exclusive right to sell the game for a limited period of time.

But I seriously doubt it.

Despite some people having trouble getting the Steam version of TRON Evolution to work, I assure you it can and does work on Windows 10. Here's another video, embedded below, showing Evolution actually running on the upcoming Windows 10 May 2019 update.

 

Free Digital .PDF Version Of The CRPG Book (Featuring My TRON 2.0 Review) Available Once More

By TronFAQ at 12:37 AM

The CRPG Book, which I’ve talked about a couple of times before, had a free online .PDF version you could download in the past.

The creator of the book, Felipe Pepe, had to take down the free version for a time, until a physical copy was printed and sold out.

While I won’t be getting my physical copy of the book until July 2019, Felipe is now allowed to make the free online .PDF version of the book available again. It’s also been updated since the last .PDF release. So if you’ve downloaded it in the past, it’s worth downloading again.



Download the free .PDF version from here:
https://crpgbook.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/crpg_book_2.0_hq.pdf


As a brief recap of what the book contains: it has the history, and reviews, of hundreds of CRPG games. Said reviews are written by passionate fans of the genre, along with luminaries in game development or the gaming press, such as: Chris Avellone (Fallout 2, Planescape: Torment, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, Fallout: New Vegas), Peter "Durante" Thoman (of DSFix fame), George Weidman (Super Bunnyhop), and Jason Scott (Internet Archive), etc.

It also contains a review of TRON 2.0 written by myself, on page 318.

As it turns out, a lot of people were against the inclusion of TRON 2.0 in the CRPG Book, because they don’t consider it a "true" CRPG. But it does actually fit the definition of a CRPG. So I’m thankful to the creator of the book, Felipe Pepe, for including it. TRON 2.0 deserves to be remembered.

If you have any interest in the history of the CRPG (Computer Role Playing Game) genre of video games, you owe it to yourself to check out this free online .PDF version of the book.
 

TRON 2.0: Killer App Mod v1.2 - Experimenting With AI Enhanced Textures

By TronFAQ on Monday, March 11, 2019 at 2:02 PM
If you have an interest in the modding scene for older games: you may have seen a number of articles on gaming sites, mentioning enhanced texture upgrades created by using AI "Deep Learning" tools, with the most commonly cited tool being ESRGAN.

For the longest time, upgrading the textures in TRON 2.0 as part of the Killer App Mod was something I did not consider doing. At all. For the following reasons.

  • I believed any enhanced textures would likely not have much of an impact. Both due to the nature of the original textures (I'll elaborate on this point, shortly), and the fact that Monolith Productions were forward thinking, by including fairly high resolution textures in TRON 2.0 to begin with. (For the time, in 2003, anyway.)

  • Upgrading the textures would also result in requiring more disk space. Much more. Something I'd prefer to avoid.

  • The work required to manually upgrade any significant amount of textures, would have been an enormous task.

  • As a side-note: There seems to be a misconception, out there, that previous versions of the Killer App Mod already had enhanced textures in the Single Player campaign. This is incorrect, as the earlier points explain. The only improved textures, are those that replaced some very low resolution ones, on some of the Multiplayer characters. These enhanced Multiplayer skins were done via a laborious manual process, by hand, by LDSO team members.

But with the advent of AI tools, to automate the upgrading of textures: I decided to investigate whether or not using these tools would truly provide any benefit.

I used three AI tools, in my attempts to enhance the textures in TRON 2.0. Waifu2x, ESRGAN, and SFTGAN.

There are others, too, such as Topaz AI GigaPixel and NVIDIA's GameWorks Textures and Materials, with more appearing on a regular basis. But some of these aren't free, or require applying for an account in order to use. So, I stuck with the three aforementioned tools.

Of the three tools, I predicted that Waifu2x would very likely provide the best result.

This is due to the fact that most, if not all, the textures in TRON 2.0 are, effectively, pixel art. Consisting of large bands of single, solid colors, and some line patterns (with many located at the edges of the textures).


Below are images showing the results of using Waifu2x, ESRGAN, and SFTGAN with the various "model" data sets available for them. Each "machine learned" model provided slightly, or sometimes even greatly, different results. The original textures were 2x upscaled while being enhanced. (Except ESRGAN, which defaults to 4x.)

Apologies for using larger .PNG images. But avoiding quality loss, when doing image quality comparisons, is essential.

Please click on the images to open them in new tabs at their proper sizes.
Original texture
on Transport Station level
Texture upscaled using
simple 2x pixel resize
Waifu2x (UpResNet10 model)
Topaz AI GigapixelESRGAN (Manga109 model)SFTGAN (default model)
Original texture in-game

Waifu2x texture in-game
Original texture
on Primary Docking Port level
Texture upscaled using
simple 2x pixel resize
Waifu2x (UpResNet10 model)
Topaz AI GigapixelESRGAN (Manga109 model)SFTGAN (default model)
Original texture in-game

Waifu2x texture in-game


After testing the various models available for the AI tools, I found that:
  • UpResNet10 provided the best quality for Waifu2x.
  • Manga109 the best quality for ESRGAN.
  • SFTGAN had one default model, and was inferior to both Waifu2x and ESRGAN.
  • Simple 2x pixel resizing in an image editing program, is also inferior to Waifu2x and ESRGAN.

Based on the results, I only provided screenshots featuring these models.

As predicted, Waifu2x provides the best result in every case. Though ESRGAN, using the Manga109 model, is a close second.

However, when comparing the original and enhanced textures in-game: the results are less than impressive. The higher resolution enhanced textures really don't add much in the way of visual improvement.

The texture at the rear of the Exit Port on the Transport Station level is slightly sharper, using Waifu2x. But the alpha channel seems to have been affected negatively, reducing the glow effect (bloom).

March 15th, 2019 UPDATE: Fixed the problem causing the reduced glow/bloom in the Transport Station texture. The Waifu2x in-game screenshot has been updated, accordingly. If you want to see the previous broken glow/bloom screenshot, it looked like this.

The texture on the wall of the Primary Docking Port level shows almost zero difference in sharpness in-game, using Waifu2x. Even when viewed close-up.

Perhaps more experimentation with different models, or even different AI tools, could provide better results. But for now, my conclusion is: Attempting to enhance textures for TRON 2.0 is not worth the effort.

These experiments will briefly be featured in the upcoming third Single Player fixes trailer video, but I most likely won't be spending any more time on attempts at texture enhancement for the foreseeable future.

March 24th, 2019 UPDATE: Decided to revisit texture enhancement one last time, because I wanted to see how Topaz AI Gigapixel fares against the other tools. Screenshots for Topaz have been added to previous comparisons, and also added a third new comparison where I enhanced another TRON 2.0 texture.

Overall, in all texture comparisons, Topaz produces results similar to ESRGAN using the Manga109 model. With one sometimes outdoing the other, and vice-versa.

Please click on the images to open them in new tabs at their proper sizes.
Original texture
on Program Integration level
Texture upscaled using
simple 2x pixel resize
Waifu2x (UpResNet10 model)
Topaz AI GigapixelESRGAN (Manga109 model)SFTGAN (default model)
Original texture in-game

Waifu2x texture in-game


For this third, new texture: Waifu2x once again provided the overall best result. Topaz AI Gigapixel was a very close second.

But, more interestingly, looking at the Waifu2x result in-game actually shows a noticeable, subjectively improved, texture difference for the first time. (The previous enhanced textures for the Transport Station and Primary Docking Port levels, in-game, did not look significantly different.)

This latest result doesn't substantially alter my conclusion, though. Attempting comprehensive enhancement of all the textures in TRON 2.0, still won't be worth the effort based on these results.

Perhaps some selective enhancement of a few textures — where the difference is actually noticeable in-game — might be worth it. Something to consider in a potential Killer App Mod v1.3, but not for v1.2.
 

TRON 2.0 And TRON Evolution Receive More Updates On Steam, But Not What You Might Think

By TronFAQ on Thursday, February 07, 2019 at 2:48 PM

Some time in late January 2019, Steam starting prompting people that there were updates for TRON 2.0 and TRON Evolution. (Didn’t notice any mention of TRON RUN/r.) But it’s not what you might think.

The updates weren’t issued by Disney. They don’t patch the games.

These were updates issued by Valve, and they have to do with reducing the amount of disk space used by all the games in your Steam library. (So you should be seeing updates for your other Steam games, all at the same time, too.)

Many games come with what are called "redistributables", libraries of code that the games rely upon to function. They need to be installed first, before your games will work properly.

The problem until now was, every game came with its own copy of the redistributables it needed. But what if several of your games used the same exact redistributables? Why keep multiple copies of them? Why not share one copy of each redistributable, amongst all the games that need it?

That’s what these Steam updates to TRON 2.0 and TRON Evolution were about. Consolidating these redistributables so they can be shared among many games, and therefore stop wasting disk space (by not keeping multiple copies of the same thing).

If you’ve patched or modded TRON 2.0, this recent update should not affect or break your game installation in any way. I discussed this with someone on the Steam forum a bit more in-depth.
 

TRON 2.0: Killer App Mod v1.2 Preview Trailer 9 - Demonstrating Single Player Fixes

By TronFAQ on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 1:54 AM


Eight levels in roughly 28 minutes. This second trailer showcases more of the fixes to the Single Player levels of TRON 2.0, via the upcoming Killer App Mod v1.2. (Some have been shown in previous trailers, but most are new.)

These are all the Single Player issues I've personally noticed, or had pointed out to me. (Some by Mister Julius. Thanks!) But I'm sure I've still missed a few.

The original plan was to do two trailers demoing all the Single Player fixes. But there's too much to fit into only two, and yet still keep them at a "reasonable" length. So there's going to be at least one more, after this second one.

You can see the first Single Player fixes trailer here.

One of the mandates of Killer App Mod v1.2 has always been to fix or enhance the Single Player campaign, a goal partly inspired by the similar (in purpose) System Shock 2 Community Patch (SCP).

Time stamps for notable changes and fixes:

Prisoner Bin level
  • 00:36 - Enhancement to opening cutscene for 16:9 aspect ratio (the actual player model not being visible while an "actor" version of Jet is doing the cutscene)
  • 02:30 - Empty prisoner cells can now be opened with permissions cheat
  • 03:05 - Encryption keys are difficult to destroy with certain weapons, this has been fixed (for the sake of Gold cheat users)
  • 05:03 - Added sound effect for force field (which was missing)
  • 05:59 - Fixed Exit Port beam missing beam splash and sound effects, textures in "socket" behind it dark and not panning

Transport Station level
  • 06:26 - Fixed Exit Port beam not having beam splash or sound effect
  • 06:53 - Fixed Exit Port textures in "socket" behind it being misaligned and not panning
  • 08:09 - Switches at energy bridge now work for permissions cheat users, and the switches more accurately reflect their current status
  • 10:46 - Fixed Mooring App switches not making any sounds, and added objective completion message when boarding transport

Primary Digitizing level
  • 11:49 - Fixed green light "leaking" into area where it shouldn't be visible
  • 12:17 - Fixed switches controlling bulkhead door (right before Ma3a) not being in sync with each other
  • 13:04 - Fixed Ma3a referring to the player as "Jet" too early (instead of "Alan Two")
Ma3a should not be saying "Jet" when he frees her from her dock, and in fact she goes back to saying "Alan Two" in a cutscene right after this. It's not until the next level that Jet asks Ma3a to refer to him by his real name, instead of his User name. From that point on, Ma3a then calls him "Jet".
  • 13:17 - Fixed missing build point and objective notifications when Exit Port is reached
  • 13:33 - Fixed missing Exit Port base and beam activation sound happening too early

Alan's Desktop PC level
  • 13:53 - Enhancements to video archive cutscene for 16:9 aspect ratio (Popoff is more visible at start, she doesn't "pop in" when she begins moving, and camera pans instead of "jumping")
  • 15:58 - Second I/O Node can no longer be interacted with, and task list hint about where to go added
Players often get stuck on this level, when Ma3a says "activate the I/O Node". There's an I/O Node right there in front of them both, but it doesn't respond when used (and the player doesn't normally have the permissions needed to use it).

There's another I/O Node on the opposite side of the COM Port puzzle area. This first one, is the one that's meant to be used. In order to reduce confusion: the second I/O Node can no longer be interacted with at all, and it doesn't show that you need missing permissions any more. This is to tip off the player that this I/O Node is useless. A hint about needing to use the I/O Node by the "COM Port configuration panel" has also been added to Jet's task list.

Why not remove the I/O Node completely? (Which is what the Xbox version of TRON 2.0 did.) Or how about allowing the player to use either one? The latter was something I considered doing, but changed my mind.

I didn't do either, because: when you're using the first I/O Node, and Ma3a is communicating with you, how is she doing it? That's right, she's using that second "useless" I/O Node. Removing it or letting the player use it makes no narrative sense.

  • 16:27 - Silenced distracting beam sounds during I/O Node use, and restored unused Archive Stack help file
  • 17:45 - Restored unused Power Router help file and created artwork for it (since it was missing)
  • 18:24 - Fixed missing build point and objective notifications on exiting level, sound effect missing, beam splash being too opaque
Power Regulator level
  • 18:44 - Enhancements to video archive cutscene for 16:9 aspect ratio (Popoff faces right way from start, she and DataWraith trainees don't "jump", Crown more visible during camera zoom, camera movement more accurately syncs with sound effects)
  • 19:55 - Fixed permissions cheat users being able to activate useless switch (now disabled), missing force field sound added
  • 20:33 - Fixed Escher-like twisted geometry
  • 21:03 - Program NPC now waits to activate bridge
After players eliminate a swarm of ICPs, a Program NPC would activate a bridge leading to the exit. The problem is that it's easy for players to not witness this happening. So they suddenly see the bridge and wonder how it got there. The Program now waits until the player talks to him, before he activates the bridge.

Power Oculus level
  • 22:07 - Fixed textures on Exit Port columns being too dark to see
  • 23:30 - Fixed sign above Protocol Socket not displaying info when reticle is placed over it
  • 23:36 - Fixed ICPs' energy armor persisting after being de-rezzed

Main Processing Core level
  • 24:18 - Fixed minor issues caused by using permissions cheat on force field switch
  • 25:44 - Fixed permission in Archive Bin not costing energy

Main Power Pipeline level
  • 26:02 - Added missing objective completion message after I/O Node conversation
  • 27:12 - Fixed missing mission failure message (if you don't close all surge suppression circuits in time)