Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Schedules and announcements about program releases.

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby F2bnp » 2010-11-14 @ 11:09

Well it depends really. The low res 320x200 resolution really hurts your eyes in fullscreen (at least for me), but I really can't stand ports which use OpenGL, they make the game blurry and weird. Is there any source port that actually retains the classic software mode look of Doom and allows you to configure the resolution as you want?
User avatar
F2bnp
l33t
 
Posts: 3128
Joined: 2007-9-23 @ 10:19

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby WolverineDK » 2010-11-14 @ 11:13

ADDiCT: I live in Denmark, so we do not have those draconian censorship laws, like in Germany. But let us just say this about German censorship... they have the most extreme censorship laws, when it comes to games. If Australia doesn't go totally insane with theirs. Germany is known in the gaming world (for now any ways) to have the most extreme censorship laws. And here I am NOT just talking about the censorship of the obvious game Wolfenstein, but a lot of others too.

Gemini000: aah okay, I understand the unwritten law of, a warning before hand, cause you want to cover your own buttocks , if it came to a lawsuit, just like some other place where he censors the F word, and the derivatives of that word. But on that board you can use any kind of other foul language, including the "fabled" "N-Word" which to me is WORSE than the F word.
User avatar
WolverineDK
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1085
Joined: 2006-7-16 @ 21:00
Location: Denmark

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby leileilol » 2010-11-14 @ 11:31

F2bnp wrote:Is there any source port that actually retains the classic software mode look of Doom and allows you to configure the resolution as you want?

You might want to give prBoom a try. I'm not thrilled of Doom ports that have to compensate with lens flares, either.
My second choice for a port is Chocolate Doom, but that enforces a strict 320x200 mode but it's the most accurate-to-the-real-thing port of Doom that exists.

Please be aware of ports that change too much from the norm that affect Doom gameplay even in subtle ways - Zdoom is a naughty example.
User avatar
leileilol
l33t++
 
Posts: 8581
Joined: 2006-12-16 @ 18:03

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby F2bnp » 2010-11-14 @ 11:34

I might give PrBoom a try. Yeah Zdoom feels quite different. Thanks :)
User avatar
F2bnp
l33t
 
Posts: 3128
Joined: 2007-9-23 @ 10:19

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby Gemini000 » 2010-11-14 @ 14:41

ADDiCT wrote:Just watched the episode, nicely done indeed. I've especially liked the fact that you're talking about the controversity surrounding the Doom games, and your line of argumentation in that respect. Also, kudos for mentioning the source ports. There's really no point in using DOSBox when it's much more convenient using one of the many ports. Some people probably don't know what a "source port" is though, so maybe it'd make sense to add a link to this Wikipedia page.

One thing I've noticed is that the video quality is quite bad, with lots of artifacting. Would it be maybe possible to re-encode the episode with a larger bitrate?

Also, I'm wondering about how many people actually view the show. Do you have any numbers for us? Like, how many views, from which countries, etc.? I'm just curious (; .

Well, I agree I should make mention to what a source port is, I'll add information about that on the video page on my website.

As for the video quality, I challenge you to do better at 640x480 30-fps at a bit-rate that will downstream without stalling on a 2 Mbps connection. I've tried doubling the bit-rate and believe it or not, it doesn't make a huge difference and makes it impossible to downstream at an acceptable rate on all but the fastest connections. Once I can find a way to offer both low and high quality streams (I'm sure it's possible) then I'll get that going.

And I prefer to keep the actual view counts to myself, but let's just say they're pretty miniscule at the moment but are ever so slowly increasing. I've been trying to find ways to get the word out but it's been fairly difficult finding appropriate places, and most of the ones I've contacted have not had any interest in it.
--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg
User avatar
Gemini000
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1971
Joined: 2010-5-18 @ 10:12
Location: Canada

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby WolverineDK » 2010-11-14 @ 14:47

F2bnp: Chocolate Doom is probably the best source port to get that classic feel.
User avatar
WolverineDK
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1085
Joined: 2006-7-16 @ 21:00
Location: Denmark

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby SKARDAVNELNATE » 2010-11-14 @ 18:07

Gemini000 wrote:I've been trying to find ways to get the word out but it's been fairly difficult finding appropriate places, and most of the ones I've contacted have not had any interest in it.

There might be some interested people on the "Classic Gaming" or "PC" boards at GameFAQs.
Last edited by SKARDAVNELNATE on 2010-11-20 @ 22:28, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
SKARDAVNELNATE
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1171
Joined: 2006-10-28 @ 15:51

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby Gemini000 » 2010-11-20 @ 19:42

Ancient DOS Games Episode 25 - Dangerous Dave is online!

I think it's neat that John Romero's posted so much information about this game on his website, well... to be more specific, info about the original Apple II version.

Dangerous Dave has started in plenty of other games too, including a short little demo that, quite frankly, started Id Software. ;)
--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg
User avatar
Gemini000
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1971
Joined: 2010-5-18 @ 10:12
Location: Canada

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby keropi » 2010-11-20 @ 20:45

awesome!!!! Dangerous Dave!!!!
thanks!!!

sidenote: I couldn't agree more that using UP on joystick to jump is totally crap. But back then 98% or amiga/commodore/cpc/atari/u-name-it games actually where plagued by that!!! Only the consoles of the era where (luckily) an exception...
User avatar
keropi
l33t++
 
Posts: 5520
Joined: 2003-9-08 @ 06:45
Location: Greece

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby SKARDAVNELNATE » 2010-11-20 @ 22:44

I found it interesting about Dangerous Dave and Catacomb being on the same disk. Especially since the Dangerous Dave sequels have Nemesis as the villain.
User avatar
SKARDAVNELNATE
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1171
Joined: 2006-10-28 @ 15:51

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby Calvero » 2010-11-23 @ 20:40

Not only Dangerous Dave and Catacomb are on the disk; there's also an incomplete version of a beta of Commander Keen 1 hidden on the disk.
Calvero
Member
 
Posts: 106
Joined: 2007-8-02 @ 13:30

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby HunterZ » 2010-11-25 @ 01:34

I can't believe I missed this before now! Thanks Gemini000 for doing this show. I watched all of the episodes over the past 2 days as background noise while working from home due to inclement weather, and I enjoyed a lot of the things that were mentioned or covered.

Since I watched them all at once, I have a pile of comments. Apologies for the rambling result:

Thexder / Firehawk:
- Thexder is one of the early PC games I acquired a boxed copy of. I still have its box along with Firehawk's.
- I really liked your analysis of the EGA dithering, which finally convinced me that the Tandy version of Thexder is superior for all intents and purposes (something I was unsure of after having played Firehawk due to its clearly superior EGA mode).
- I do think people place too high an emphasis on the Tandy music in Thexder, however, as it seems to have only one song (not including the credits) that is repeated over and over and over throughout the entire game, and I'm pretty sure the sound is otherwise identical on Tandy versus PC speaker.
- I was always baffled by Firehawk's 16-color MCGA mode, as even the installer claims it should have 64 (or was it 256?) colors. Your explanation makes sense and was something I'd never have thought of since I wasn't aware of the history of MCGA (thanks for covering that as well in your Firehawk and video adapter filler episodes!).
- Your blurring technique has me thinking that it might be worth trying to make a special DOSBox scaler that can do the blurring in-game...

Dark Forces:
- Your point about the majority of weapons being dangerous to the player is an interesting one that hadn't occurred to me before. It's worth mentioning that even most of the supposedly "safe" weapons can hurt you at various points, as the game has some walls that will ricochet your shots.
- You missed a great opportunity to poke fun at Lucasarts for making Dark Forces, then Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, then Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. What was up with that?

Xargon:
- You mentioned it was similar to Jill of the Jungle, which is something I noticed back in the day. Did both games use the same engine?
- I also noticed that the music sounds a lot like Solar Winds, so I guess it might have the same composer.

Dungeon Explorer (appeared in filler episode #2):
- I'm pretty sure that the only version of this floating around the internet is the one that I uploaded to HOTU around 10 years ago from my vast collection of shareware :)
- I've never seen an abandonware copy of the registered version (if it even exists) which is kind of a shame.

Timed intervals:
- Has anyone found ANY games where timed=true in DOSBox is needed or better than timed=false? I had to set timed=false when getting X-Wing to run recently, and both another VOGONS poster and Gemini000 have since mentioned needing to do the same for many other games.

Arctic Adventure:
- Does this use the same engine as Monuments of Mars? I noticed the latter didn't get a mention.

DOOM:
- It's nice that you mentioned source ports, but I was hoping that you were going to actually mention some specific ones like you did for Descent. I've been out of touch with that scene for a few years now, so it would be nice to know what the current state of the source ports is.

MIDI:
- I feel that it's kind of a shame/cop-out that you are settling for SB/Adlib music in most of your game reviews, although I do appreciate how you've mentioned that varying personal preferences are okay. To the extent that it is practical, it might be nice to see a sound hardware filler episode discussing common DOS sound hardware including PC speaker, Tandy, Game Blaster, Disney Sound Source, Adlib and/or Sound Blaster, GUS, MT-32/LAPC-I/CM-32/CM-64, SC-55/SCC-1 and maybe even some of the Covox devices that many games seem to support. It's worth mentioning that DOSBox emulates many of these as well.

Starflight:
I know you don't take requests, but you really need to review Starflight if you can get a hold of it! I count it as one of the best games ever made, alongside Deus Ex 1 and Fallout 1 & 2. It uses code wheel protection so it should run for you in DOSBox. It would also be a great opportunity to compare CGA composite graphics with EGA, which sadly only got a passing reference in your video adapter filler episode.

Text games:
- Might be nice to see reviews of some of the ASCII graphics games like Castle Adventure, Kroz and ZZT.

One Must Fall 2097 / sampling rates:
- It's worth mentioning that OMF2097 is one of those games mentioned in one of your reviews that lets you choose an audio sampling rate (something you probably didn't think to mention because it's probably not relevant when using GUS with OMF2097 as your review suggested doing). I believe that this option was included because the Sound Blaster (unlike the GUS) could not mix multiple digitized sounds in hardware, so it took an amount of CPU horsepower proportional to the sampling rate to do the mixing in software. Some games such as DOOM (one of the first I'm aware of to allow mixing) allow you to instead choose how many sounds can be mixed together at once, while most older games just live with a one-sound-at-a-time limit.
User avatar
HunterZ
l33t++
 
Posts: 6048
Joined: 2003-1-31 @ 19:04
Location: Seattle

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby SKARDAVNELNATE » 2010-11-25 @ 04:54

HunterZ wrote:- I also noticed that the music sounds a lot like Solar Winds, so I guess it might have the same composer.

I suspect Epic reused the sound files in many of their games as, I think, the music is not just similar but identical.
User avatar
SKARDAVNELNATE
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1171
Joined: 2006-10-28 @ 15:51

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby Hater Depot » 2010-11-25 @ 05:26

leileilol wrote:
F2bnp wrote:Is there any source port that actually retains the classic software mode look of Doom and allows you to configure the resolution as you want?

You might want to give prBoom a try. I'm not thrilled of Doom ports that have to compensate with lens flares, either.
My second choice for a port is Chocolate Doom, but that enforces a strict 320x200 mode but it's the most accurate-to-the-real-thing port of Doom that exists.

Please be aware of ports that change too much from the norm that affect Doom gameplay even in subtle ways - Zdoom is a naughty example.


Chocolate Doom does support higher resolutions, at least via command line. I'm curious what gameplay changes affect ZDoom?
Korea Beat -- my cool translation blog.
Hater Depot
Member
 
Posts: 277
Joined: 2007-10-03 @ 05:08

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby WolverineDK » 2010-11-25 @ 13:31

calvero: thanks for pointing out the reddit article. That is just awesome :D
User avatar
WolverineDK
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1085
Joined: 2006-7-16 @ 21:00
Location: Denmark

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby HunterZ » 2010-11-25 @ 16:00

Calvero wrote:Not only Dangerous Dave and Catacomb are on the disk; there's also an incomplete version of a beta of Commander Keen 1 hidden on the disk.

Reminds me of when I ran an undelete utility on my DOS Double Dragon III disk and turned up what looked like the source code.
User avatar
HunterZ
l33t++
 
Posts: 6048
Joined: 2003-1-31 @ 19:04
Location: Seattle

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby Gemini000 » 2010-11-26 @ 04:04

HunterZ wrote:I can't believe I missed this before now! Thanks Gemini000 for doing this show. I watched all of the episodes over the past 2 days as background noise while working from home due to inclement weather, and I enjoyed a lot of the things that were mentioned or covered.

Since I watched them all at once, I have a pile of comments. Apologies for the rambling result:

Well, I'll do my best to respond to anything I have responses for. ^_^;

HunterZ wrote:Thexder / Firehawk:
- Thexder is one of the early PC games I acquired a boxed copy of. I still have its box along with Firehawk's.
- I really liked your analysis of the EGA dithering, which finally convinced me that the Tandy version of Thexder is superior for all intents and purposes (something I was unsure of after having played Firehawk due to its clearly superior EGA mode).
- I do think people place too high an emphasis on the Tandy music in Thexder, however, as it seems to have only one song (not including the credits) that is repeated over and over and over throughout the entire game, and I'm pretty sure the sound is otherwise identical on Tandy versus PC speaker.
- I was always baffled by Firehawk's 16-color MCGA mode, as even the installer claims it should have 64 (or was it 256?) colors. Your explanation makes sense and was something I'd never have thought of since I wasn't aware of the history of MCGA (thanks for covering that as well in your Firehawk and video adapter filler episodes!).
- Your blurring technique has me thinking that it might be worth trying to make a special DOSBox scaler that can do the blurring in-game...

Alas, some of the elements in the EGA mode of Fire Hawk actually use the extra resolution for smoother edges in the status bars and such, so the blurring technique can cause those elements to look different.

HunterZ wrote:Dark Forces:
- Your point about the majority of weapons being dangerous to the player is an interesting one that hadn't occurred to me before. It's worth mentioning that even most of the supposedly "safe" weapons can hurt you at various points, as the game has some walls that will ricochet your shots.
- You missed a great opportunity to poke fun at Lucasarts for making Dark Forces, then Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, then Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. What was up with that?

*shrugs* I liked JK2. Haven't played DF2.

HunterZ wrote:Xargon:
- You mentioned it was similar to Jill of the Jungle, which is something I noticed back in the day. Did both games use the same engine?
- I also noticed that the music sounds a lot like Solar Winds, so I guess it might have the same composer.

If I'm remembering correctly, Solar Winds used a special music engine made by Creative Labs and a lot of music made to use that music engine sounds similar. I think Xargon was made to have a similar sound to this music engine but without actually using it.

As for if they use the same game engine, I don't know but I wouldn't think so because of the many differences in how the games are rendered.

HunterZ wrote:Dungeon Explorer (appeared in filler episode #2):
- I'm pretty sure that the only version of this floating around the internet is the one that I uploaded to HOTU around 10 years ago from my vast collection of shareware :)
- I've never seen an abandonware copy of the registered version (if it even exists) which is kind of a shame.

My copy comes from a shareware CD I have. I've never been able to figure out how to get a full version of this game either. :P

HunterZ wrote:Timed intervals:
- Has anyone found ANY games where timed=true in DOSBox is needed or better than timed=false? I had to set timed=false when getting X-Wing to run recently, and both another VOGONS poster and Gemini000 have since mentioned needing to do the same for many other games.

What's actually happening is timed intervals increases the accuracy of the joystick reporting from 256 units at a particular rate of update to a MUCH higher resolution and rate of update. The trouble is many games don't like this because it also increases the margin of error, so any game that wants EXACT measurements or has no deadzone is going to get messed up, but any game that stores its joystick data into an integer instead of a byte and allows for a deadzone will become much more responsive.

HunterZ wrote:Arctic Adventure:
- Does this use the same engine as Monuments of Mars? I noticed the latter didn't get a mention.

No idea.

HunterZ wrote:DOOM:
- It's nice that you mentioned source ports, but I was hoping that you were going to actually mention some specific ones like you did for Descent. I've been out of touch with that scene for a few years now, so it would be nice to know what the current state of the source ports is.

I've been out of touch too. I do actually have a link to the one I use on the show's page itself. (I put corrections and links related to each video on the video pages.)

HunterZ wrote:MIDI:
- I feel that it's kind of a shame/cop-out that you are settling for SB/Adlib music in most of your game reviews, although I do appreciate how you've mentioned that varying personal preferences are okay. To the extent that it is practical, it might be nice to see a sound hardware filler episode discussing common DOS sound hardware including PC speaker, Tandy, Game Blaster, Disney Sound Source, Adlib and/or Sound Blaster, GUS, MT-32/LAPC-I/CM-32/CM-64, SC-55/SCC-1 and maybe even some of the Covox devices that many games seem to support. It's worth mentioning that DOSBox emulates many of these as well.

I think it's more nostalgic this way anyways because few people had cards that could do advanced MIDI music, and recording is a much simpler prospect.

HunterZ wrote:Starflight:
I know you don't take requests, but you really need to review Starflight if you can get a hold of it! I count it as one of the best games ever made, alongside Deus Ex 1 and Fallout 1 & 2. It uses code wheel protection so it should run for you in DOSBox. It would also be a great opportunity to compare CGA composite graphics with EGA, which sadly only got a passing reference in your video adapter filler episode.

I take requests! The Dark Forces episode was a request! Who told you I didn't take requests?! D:

Well, to be more accurate, when I get a request I either add it to a list or add a star next to it to indicate that it's been requested more than once. Any requests for games I actually own will be answered much sooner, or if a game gets a good number of stars going I'll actually find a way to obtain it.

As for Starflight, I don't own it, but I will indeed add your request to the list!


HunterZ wrote:Text games:
- Might be nice to see reviews of some of the ASCII graphics games like Castle Adventure, Kroz and ZZT.

They're coming, don't worry. The very first text-mode game is going to be in Episode 31 in January. ;)

HunterZ wrote:One Must Fall 2097 / sampling rates:
- It's worth mentioning that OMF2097 is one of those games mentioned in one of your reviews that lets you choose an audio sampling rate (something you probably didn't think to mention because it's probably not relevant when using GUS with OMF2097 as your review suggested doing). I believe that this option was included because the Sound Blaster (unlike the GUS) could not mix multiple digitized sounds in hardware, so it took an amount of CPU horsepower proportional to the sampling rate to do the mixing in software. Some games such as DOOM (one of the first I'm aware of to allow mixing) allow you to instead choose how many sounds can be mixed together at once, while most older games just live with a one-sound-at-a-time limit.

I thought of perhaps saying something about it, but Sound Blaster support has always had issues in OMF2097, even when playing it on computers of the time. I figured it wasn't worth getting into the complicated nature of it if I was just going to recommend using the GUS mode anyways.

And you are correct, mixing had to be done in software on old Sound Blaster cards. The GUS on the other hand has sample memory and not nearly as much as the RAM of a computer, so sound playback on the GUS meant all your sound effects at any moment had to fit in its memory buffer, but it could mix it itself and thus free up lots of processing power.

BTW: I'm assuming you're the one who clipped this thread as important, HunterZ. If so, then many thanks for that! :)
--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg
User avatar
Gemini000
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1971
Joined: 2010-5-18 @ 10:12
Location: Canada

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby HunterZ » 2010-11-26 @ 16:49

Gemini000 wrote:Alas, some of the elements in the EGA mode of Fire Hawk actually use the extra resolution for smoother edges in the status bars and such, so the blurring technique can cause those elements to look different.

Yeah I was thinking about that while watching your video. It didn't look like *too* much was lost in your blurred screenshots, though.

*shrugs* I liked JK2. Haven't played DF2.

It's worth checking out sometime. JK2 feels too much like a generic Quake 3 engine game to me (although being a Star Wars fan I did enjoy it when it was new and there weren't tons of Quake 3 engine games out yet), but JK1/DF2 feels a bit more unique because it was a first-party LucasArts game with a custom engine (like with DF1).

What's actually happening is timed intervals increases the accuracy of the joystick reporting from 256 units at a particular rate of update to a MUCH higher resolution and rate of update. The trouble is many games don't like this because it also increases the margin of error, so any game that wants EXACT measurements or has no deadzone is going to get messed up, but any game that stores its joystick data into an integer instead of a byte and allows for a deadzone will become much more responsive.

I discovered last night that Descent needs timed=true to work well with joysticktype=ch. After spending lots of time getting that to work, I also discovered that I like playing it with keyboard+mouse much more than with my Logitech Dual Action gamepad (doh).

I think it's more nostalgic this way anyways because few people had cards that could do advanced MIDI music, and recording is a much simpler prospect.

I guess that's a valid point.

I take requests! The Dark Forces episode was a request! Who told you I didn't take requests?! D:

I misread your website's statement that you don't take game idea submissions to mean review requests. I had forgotten that you mentioned being a game programmer.

BTW: I'm assuming you're the one who clipped this thread as important, HunterZ. If so, then many thanks for that! :)

Indeed!

One last thing: One of your early episodes' hint for a following episode's game was a palindrome related to "purple". That didn't seem to match the description of whatever the following game was, so I was wondering what it was supposed to be?
User avatar
HunterZ
l33t++
 
Posts: 6048
Joined: 2003-1-31 @ 19:04
Location: Seattle

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby WolverineDK » 2010-11-26 @ 17:09

HunterZ wrote:
Calvero wrote:Not only Dangerous Dave and Catacomb are on the disk; there's also an incomplete version of a beta of Commander Keen 1 hidden on the disk.

Reminds me of when I ran an undelete utility on my DOS Double Dragon III disk and turned up what looked like the source code.


What about releasing it, if it really is source code to some game ? I mean it would not seem to be bad actually. Cause I can mention one forum, which loves the obscure stuff. But then again why not release it, if it really is source code. Or is it just, when you ran undelete "it looked like source code" ? Cause we could basically look upon a gold group, of source just lying around on different formats. Cause I remember tales about the source code to a PSX game , actually lied on the commercial disc of the same game. So to you and other people, this is a shout out to people, from a non programmer. That you maybe have some kind of motherload of source code.
User avatar
WolverineDK
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1085
Joined: 2006-7-16 @ 21:00
Location: Denmark

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby HunterZ » 2010-11-26 @ 18:10

It was assembly code. I've been intending to put it up somewhere (don't know who would be interested, though, and VOGONS wisely tries to steer clear of abandonware) but revisiting my old floppy disks is a project I've been putting off for quite a while.
User avatar
HunterZ
l33t++
 
Posts: 6048
Joined: 2003-1-31 @ 19:04
Location: Seattle

PreviousNext

Return to Release Announcements

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest