Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Schedules and announcements about program releases.

Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby DracoNihil » 2017-8-13 @ 07:09

Gemini000 wrote:I tried, really, REALLY hard to figure out what was up with the powerups in this game.

---

...although despite lots of Google searching, I came up with nothing. So if there is a methodology to the powerups in the game, it ain't documented anywhere I was able to find. :P


Looks like it's time to dig out the debugger and disassembler and figure out from there!
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby Gemini000 » 2017-8-13 @ 09:44

DracoNihil wrote:Looks like it's time to dig out the debugger and disassembler and figure out from there!

Be my guest. My assembly language skills are terrible. :P

One thing I can say is that I analysed the high score file too as I had deleted it to reset the defaults prior to starting recording. All the high score file stores is names, round numbers and scores... although in a semi-weird way. The name entries are stored as ASCII but the round and score values are stored as individual digits with a 00 hex value equal to the 0 digit, 01 hex = 1 digit, 02 hex = 2 digit, all the way up to the 9 digit.
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby Great Hierophant » 2017-8-14 @ 23:14

Hey Kris,

A good episode on Arkanoid. There is strong visual evidence to suggest that the Taito version is an enhanced remake of the Imagine version : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/201 ... again.html

The SNES game Arkanoid: Doh it Again! has a serious flaw with its mouse controls, the Taito games are superior in this regard : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/201 ... pouri.html

I know that Firebird wanted to port Arkanoid to the C64 if Atari won its lawsuit against Taito and a preview of the C64 version has surfaced. Do you have any specific information about a DOS version Firebird was developing?
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby Gemini000 » 2017-8-15 @ 11:15

Great Hierophant wrote:A good episode on Arkanoid. There is strong visual evidence to suggest that the Taito version is an enhanced remake of the Imagine version : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/201 ... again.html

Hmm... I can't say I agree that they're similar enough to claim the NovaLogic version being based off of the Imagine version. If anything, the NovaLogic port feels closer to the arcade original than the Imagine port does. Now, that doesn't mean they weren't, but I don't feel the examples pointed out justify a strong connection between the two.

Great Hierophant wrote:The SNES game Arkanoid: Doh it Again! has a serious flaw with its mouse controls, the Taito games are superior in this regard : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/201 ... pouri.html

I do recall the SNES version's mouse control being a little weird. I still remember beating it though so it may've been weird but the game itself was considerably relaxed in terms of difficulty. :B

Great Hierophant wrote:I know that Firebird wanted to port Arkanoid to the C64 if Atari won its lawsuit against Taito and a preview of the C64 version has surfaced. Do you have any specific information about a DOS version Firebird was developing?

...whoops! For some reason I thought this was a DOS program. Going back to my research notes it turns out yes, it was a C64 program. Last week was pretty crazy and I was rushing to do just about everything, so... I'll go add this to the corrections in the video description. :P
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby Great Hierophant » 2017-8-16 @ 01:17

Gemini000 wrote:
Great Hierophant wrote:A good episode on Arkanoid. There is strong visual evidence to suggest that the Taito version is an enhanced remake of the Imagine version : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/201 ... again.html

Hmm... I can't say I agree that they're similar enough to claim the NovaLogic version being based off of the Imagine version. If anything, the NovaLogic port feels closer to the arcade original than the Imagine port does. Now, that doesn't mean they weren't, but I don't feel the examples pointed out justify a strong connection between the two.


Perhaps not, even though the font in the story screens is identical in shape and in placing on the screen and the bricks are also identically placed on the screen. But consider how you exit the games, you hit Esc followed by Q for both versions. Imagine's game came first and it appears that Taito sought to improve on its version rather than reinvent the wheel. NewRisingSun commented to me privately that he poked around in the executables and found many similar byte sequences. Given that both games were licensed ports, I would agree with him that the latter is an update of the former.
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby Gemini000 » 2017-8-17 @ 03:34

Great Hierophant wrote:Perhaps not, even though the font in the story screens is identical in shape and in placing on the screen and the bricks are also identically placed on the screen. But consider how you exit the games, you hit Esc followed by Q for both versions. Imagine's game came first and it appears that Taito sought to improve on its version rather than reinvent the wheel. NewRisingSun commented to me privately that he poked around in the executables and found many similar byte sequences. Given that both games were licensed ports, I would agree with him that the latter is an update of the former.

Hmm... that's a good point... I'm going to guess then that they reused what they felt already worked well and then redid anything they felt didn't, so the result is may be a hybrid of reused, reworked, and completely redone stuff. :B
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby Gemini000 » 2017-8-19 @ 08:04

Ancient DOS Games Filler #63 - Framerate Jitter? Might Be the Scheduler! is online!

I've been holding off on this video for a couple months now to afford myself time to make sure I had all my facts straight because this was something I sorta knew about for years now, but never really investigated until during TM2K development, and even then I wasn't completely aware of what was going on under the hood.

So, I looked much deeper into the inner workings of Windows and the System Scheduler which makes multi-tasking work at all and found the answers to so many issues in the process!

Now, the default Scheduler rate is actually variable depending on a large number of factors, so not everyone is going to have these issues, but it's definitely something to keep in mind since it can not only explain those times when a game has a choppy framerate with virtually no CPU usage, but it can also be solved so incredibly easily too without having to make any modifications to the games being affected! :)
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby Gemini000 » 2017-9-02 @ 04:39

Ancient DOS Games Episode 221 - Lords of the Realm is online!

So... I suck at this game... I mean REALLY suck at it. XD

Making a video about a game you can't get that far into is kinda... interesting. This probably will be one of my least memorable ADG videos since there's not really a lot in the way of details you couldn't learn just by reading the manual, but it was either go over the most basic features or not have a video with a game that was gifted to me, so... I figured I'd go for the video and see what I ended up with. :B
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby Joey_sw » 2017-9-05 @ 04:23

Gemini000 wrote:Ancient DOS Games Episode 221 - Lords of the Realm is online!

i found out that it dos version under DOSBox are a lot stable than its windows version.
Sure i'd lose the voice acting, but its a lot better than my Core2Duo (E7500) winxp system became sluggish when i alt-tab during the gameplay.
-fffuuu
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby Gemini000 » 2017-9-09 @ 06:13

Ancient DOS Games Episode 222 - PopCorn is online! :D

I still find it bizarre how surprisingly hard it is to find this game on legitimate download sites, given that it's always been freeware. :o

But yeah, after coming across this in a prior Shovelware Diggers video and finding out it might be free software... and that DOSBox wasn't running it so well, I did my research, checked some things out, and ultimately got it working perfectly fine in DOSBox despite being informed it wouldn't work so well without real hardware. Never underestimate the power of prior software versions! ;D
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby konc » 2017-9-09 @ 13:26

Why are you showing the game on a VGA? Or is this the flash version? This is what the game looks like in real CGA (or machine=cga in DosBox)
popcorn_000.png
popcorn_000.png (5.03 KiB) Viewed 418 times
popcorn_003.png
popcorn_003.png (3.35 KiB) Viewed 418 times
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby ripsaw8080 » 2017-9-09 @ 14:58

Never underestimate the power of prior software versions RTFM !

Fixed that for ya.

It is not necessary to use older releases of DOSBox to get reasonable animation speed in Popcorn for DOS. The POPSPEED program that should be included with the game is used to set the animation speed. This and other useful info is in POPCORN.DOC, and there's copy-paste to Google Translate if you can't read French.

The default speed (i.e. when you don't use POPSPEED) in DOSBox 0.73 is the same as "POPSPEED 96", and in 0.74 and SVN it's the same as "POPSPEED 4192". The large difference is due to the speed value being in the offset of the INT 68h vector, and the address differs between releases. So, with the speed value stored only in memory, not on disk, it is necessary to run POPSPEED in every session.
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby konc » 2017-9-09 @ 15:35

^^^ as an addition to the above, the 1997 update of the game makes it less speed-sensitive and therefore runs fine on, for example, a 386DX or Dosbox 0.74 default 3000 cycles. This version doesn't have the POPSPEED executable. Quoting the added paragraph of this release found on the LBA2 disc:

Code: Select all
***** NOUVEAU / NEW !!!! ************

        11 Juin 1997: Nouvelle version de POPCORN. Apres de nombreuses
  demandes nous avons fait une nouvelle version de POPCORN qui fonctionne sur
  les machines d'aujourd'hui. Rien n'a chang‚ dans le programme, execpt‚e la
  r‚gulation de la vitesse.

        June 11th 1997: POPCORN New version. Now you can run POPCORN on all
nowadays computers without speed problem. Nothing else have changed.
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby Gemini000 » 2017-9-09 @ 16:55

konc wrote:Why are you showing the game on a VGA? Or is this the flash version? This is what the game looks like in real CGA (or machine=cga in DosBox)

I didn't realize that... Every screenshot I'd seen ahead of time and even the modernized remakes use the standard CGA palette, not the red/cyan palette! :o

ripsaw8080 wrote:
Never underestimate the power of prior software versions RTFM !

Fixed that for ya.

It is not necessary to use older releases of DOSBox to get reasonable animation speed in Popcorn for DOS. The POPSPEED program that should be included with the game is used to set the animation speed. This and other useful info is in POPCORN.DOC, and there's copy-paste to Google Translate if you can't read French.

The default speed (i.e. when you don't use POPSPEED) in DOSBox 0.73 is the same as "POPSPEED 96", and in 0.74 and SVN it's the same as "POPSPEED 4192". The large difference is due to the speed value being in the offset of the INT 68h vector, and the address differs between releases. So, with the speed value stored only in memory, not on disk, it is necessary to run POPSPEED in every session.

I tried using the POPSPEED program and I just couldn't get it working nearly as well as simply using DOSBox 0.73. :P

konc wrote:^^^ as an addition to the above, the 1997 update of the game makes it less speed-sensitive and therefore runs fine on, for example, a 386DX or Dosbox 0.74 default 3000 cycles. This version doesn't have the POPSPEED executable. Quoting the added paragraph of this release found on the LBA2 disc:

That's another piece of info I didn't have access to. I thought the version included on the LBA2 disc was just going to be identical, not altered! :o
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby VileRancour » 2017-9-09 @ 18:02

You should know better than running CGA games in DOSBox without setting machine=cga. :wink: Sites like MobyGames are full of plainly-wrong screenshots because of stuff like this.

For some reason this is especially true of French games, since every other CGA game made in France seems to use the cyan-red-white palette. (Is that because that's the closest thing to the Tricolor, or something?)
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby Gemini000 » 2017-9-09 @ 19:52

VileRancour wrote:You should know better than running CGA games in DOSBox without setting machine=cga. :wink: Sites like MobyGames are full of plainly-wrong screenshots because of stuff like this.

For some reason this is especially true of French games, since every other CGA game made in France seems to use the cyan-red-white palette. (Is that because that's the closest thing to the Tricolor, or something?)

Yeah, but even the main website for the game is using the standard Magenta/Cyan/White palette, as are the modernized ports! :P

Also, I wasn't actually aware that the red/cyan/white mode didn't work properly without the machine type being set to CGA. Makes sense, really, just didn't know it. :B
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby ripsaw8080 » 2017-9-09 @ 22:53

Gemini000 wrote:I tried using the POPSPEED program and I just couldn't get it working nearly as well as simply using DOSBox 0.73.

Now that I've explained in detail how it works, it should be clear that DOSBox 0.73 is not somehow magical for this game, and you CAN get it working EXACTLY as well by using POPSPEED 96 in addition to cycles=300.
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby konc » 2017-9-09 @ 23:36

Well I was expecting more of an "oops I completely messed up everything possible in this episode", which is perfectly fine and can happen from time to time, rather than excuses like "it's easy to understand how I missed setting this up" or "but even the main website for the game is using..." trying to justify what can't be justified. Just my humble opinion as a viewer, no one has to agree with it and especially you Chris who decides what goes in your show, but obviously the game is not like in this episode. Just the pallet thing makes the latter literal.

Which brings me to the second point I wanted to make regarding upvotes/downvotes: I remember the saga the went on on a previous video because of an opinion you stated. A good review got so many downvotes because of a debatable phrase and had to be pulled. A bad and wrong in so many aspects review like this (again, this is only my opinion) is doing well since you didn't annoy anyone :lol: Go figure, for me this is a proof that upvotes/downvotes don't really mean anything about the quality of the video, but they do about the strings you pull.
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby leileilol » 2017-9-10 @ 00:16

Usually a chain of repacker ignorance and "abandonware sites" warps the perception of old games and their history (because "preservation", right?). Don't rely on them. It does lead to funny things like dorks claiming to own floppies of <insert CD-ROM exclusive mid-90s game name here> on internet "old school gamer" ego fights, and the ever so-popular "pc never had scanlines" statements. :)

A similar issue are games that had borders for the overscan - which are barely emulated as it is.
Voodoo2s aren't 100mhz stock
Geforce256 isn't released as a beta on New Years '99 under the Quadro brand
DOS gaming isn't a bilinear 320x200 16:10
DOS PCs aren't better than the Macintosh
DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
SGL != Glide
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Re: Ancient DOS Games Webshow

Postby Gemini000 » 2017-9-10 @ 00:39

konc wrote:Well I was expecting more of an "oops I completely messed up everything possible in this episode", which is perfectly fine and can happen from time to time, rather than excuses like "it's easy to understand how I missed setting this up" or "but even the main website for the game is using..." trying to justify what can't be justified. Just my humble opinion as a viewer, no one has to agree with it and especially you Chris who decides what goes in your show, but obviously the game is not like in this episode. Just the pallet thing makes the latter literal.

I'm not some magical god who knows absolutely everything. If EVERY piece of information I find on something is wrong, how am I expected to know what's right? Besides, why is it so offensive to explain how I made such a mistake when I'm already admitting that it was a mistake? You're literally berating me over something which the vast majority of people who're aware of this game don't know about! D:

konc wrote:Which brings me to the second point I wanted to make regarding upvotes/downvotes: I remember the saga the went on on a previous video because of an opinion you stated. A good review got so many downvotes because of a debatable phrase and had to be pulled. A bad and wrong in so many aspects review like this (again, this is only my opinion) is doing well since you didn't annoy anyone :lol: Go figure, for me this is a proof that upvotes/downvotes don't really mean anything about the quality of the video, but they do about the string you pull with it.

Firstly: Yes, upvotes and downvotes are usually a sign of how entertained someone was with a video, not necessarily how accurate the information in the video was. Imagine how many comedy pieces would be super-downvoted if they had to be 100% accurate! :P

BUT, saying "bad and wrong in so many aspects review like this" suggests a massive number of mistakes, when really, there's only two which can quantifiably be called "mistakes":
* Not noticing that the palette is supposed to be red/cyan/white
* Saying "Little Big Planet" instead of "Little Big Adventure"

The other "mistakes" aren't technically mistakes, because a mistake implies incorrect information. For each of the following, no mistake was technically made:

* Saying to use DOSBox 0.73 to run the game
Yes, there are ways to make it run in 0.74, but I found running it in 0.73 easier and it works fine that way. That's not a mistake, just a different solution.

* Saying the V powerup is a throwback to the Vaus instead of being the French word for "Life"
It really could've been BOTH. The website for the game says it was HEAVILY inspired by Arkanoid and the online docs explaining the powerups didn't make it obvious what the V stood for.

* Not noticing that the version included with LBA2 was updated to fix its speed issues
In fact, I don't say anything to suggest it will be identical, so this isn't a mistake, just an omission, which means the perception of it being a mistake depends on the individual.

This is why I have "Additional Information and Corrections" because I'm not perfect, nobody is. That section is there on my videos to make up for the fact that I can't know everything. EVERY reviewer on the net makes mistakes and omissions, no exceptions, and of course some more often than others, but at least consider that I'm willing to own up to them and provide that information in my video descriptions. A lot of content creators DON'T. :P

leileilol wrote:Usually a chain of repacker ignorance and "abandonware sites" warps the perception of old games and their history (because "preservation", right?). Don't rely on them. It does lead to funny things like dorks claiming to own floppies of <insert CD-ROM exclusive mid-90s game name here> on internet "old school gamer" ego fights, and the ever so-popular "pc never had scanlines" statements. :)

I never do, but when even the official website is getting things wrong, well... :P
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