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Reply 3140 of 3177, by DracoNihil

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Yeah the windows installer is the only thing that works, and it'll install both GUN.EXE and GunDX.EXE, the latter being the windows native version using ancient DirectX.

I'm pretty sure the patch updated all my files properly but I am curious, if you notice anything different in my videos compared to what you might encounter could you let me know? Perhaps I need to run the patch differently like you said.

If you search my posts you'll find where to hex-edit GunDX to "fix" the game running too fast, but other parts of the engine will still time-out way too early regardless. Someone with a lot of assembly knowledge will have to figure out a better way to speedfix the game.

The MS-DOS version runs just fine in a VM but NOT IN DOSBOX. I've tried so many different settings, cycle counts, the non dynamic recompiler core. Nothing prevents the crashes, instability and timing fluctuations. A VM with full hardware virtualization technologies is the only way to go for the DOS executable sadly, SLAT in particular is a absolute must with it for performance reasons.

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Reply 3141 of 3177, by Gemini000

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DracoNihil wrote on 2020-06-15, 14:13:

The MS-DOS version runs just fine in a VM but NOT IN DOSBOX. I've tried so many different settings, cycle counts, the non dynamic recompiler core. Nothing prevents the crashes, instability and timing fluctuations. A VM with full hardware virtualization technologies is the only way to go for the DOS executable sadly, SLAT in particular is a absolute must with it for performance reasons.

Wait... what? I ran into no crashes as such... :o

I recently discovered that high-polling-rate mice can cause weird hiccups and instability with DOSBox when running Windows 3.1 through it, so maybe that problem extends to other DOS programs like this one too?

When I have a chance I'll give it a try and see where I end up. :B

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3142 of 3177, by DracoNihil

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Gemini000 wrote on 2020-06-15, 23:30:

I recently discovered that high-polling-rate mice can cause weird hiccups and instability with DOSBox when running Windows 3.1 through it, so maybe that problem extends to other DOS programs like this one too?

Nah the crash I'm speaking of is reproducible even when I was playing the game under GunDX, though Wine does not seem to trigger it. (though there's a gamebreaking crashbug in the second to last mission that can only be avoidable by firing a tac nuke into the last room)

When the crash happens, the game freezes with sounds and music still playing. And you can't even CTRL+ALT+DEL to get away from it. So exercise extreme caution if you want to try to play and capture the DirectX version. I will only recommend trying it under Wine.

I had the same stable gameplay under Wine with the DirectX version as I did playing the MS-DOS version on a real MS-DOS environment or a VM setup with hardware virtualization extensions and SLAT. So, either of those two are my general recommendations for trying to play the game with.

Make no more than 2GB of RAM is visible to Gunmetal or music (and certain other things) will not load because it'll think the system is low on RAM.

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Reply 3143 of 3177, by Akuma

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Labyrinth of Zeux - ADG Episode 270
Intro Music is from: The Amazing Spider-Man and Captain America in Dr. Doom's Revenge (use sound.com for adlib)

Gods - ADG Episode 267

A password only works if you clear that level first, which stored in 'HISCORES.BIN'
But if you hexedit it at pos 0xCC and change it into 71 7c 49 73, you can start in LEVEL 2 😀
Password is 'VRL' but its displayed in the screen anyway.

Reply 3144 of 3177, by Gemini000

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Ancient DOS Games Filler #82 - DOS Games Jam 2020 is online!

This game jam got a bit of attention, so I figured I'd give it a bit of attention too, even though I'm typically not one for game jams, though not for any reasons other than the concept just not appealing to me. I asked my Patreon supporters to select some games to preview in this video, chose a few myself, and the video is mostly just a showcase of the games we happened to pick... though I kinda go on a bit of tangent at the end regarding desktop compositing in Windows 10 because it made my top pick almost unplayable. >_<

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3145 of 3177, by MrFlibble

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No mention of Death Taxi 3000? The other two that got my attention are Eudora (it's not on DOS though) and Acronia.

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Reply 3146 of 3177, by Gemini000

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MrFlibble wrote on 2020-06-20, 12:20:

No mention of Death Taxi 3000? The other two that got my attention are Eudora (it's not on DOS though) and Acronia.

I only selected half of the games shown in the video and I didn't want to load the video up with just the most impressive stuff, as that wouldn't have given a realistic expectation of what was submitted as a whole. There absolutely is more stuff worth checking out there! :B

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3147 of 3177, by DracoNihil

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Gemini000 wrote on 2020-06-20, 04:01:

though I kinda go on a bit of tangent at the end regarding desktop compositing in Windows 10 because it made my top pick almost unplayable. >_<

Have you even tried "output=opengl" and force disable vsync for DosBOX's OpenGL context? That's what I do and I don't seem to have a problem.

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Reply 3148 of 3177, by xcomcmdr

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I use ddraw and never had any problems with it, since the Windows XP days. Weird. All other options, especially OpenGL, never worked reliably for me (meaning it would fail on some systems), way before Windows 10.

Maybe it's too subtle on some games (I mainly play Quake, Dungeon Keeper, and Z)

Reply 3149 of 3177, by DracoNihil

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output=opengl will only work properly if VSync is forced off to DosBOX. (Side note: On Linux this is easily accomplished by passing "vblank_mode=0" before the dosbox invocation)

If any kind of VSync is enabled when output=opengl, the result is PAINFULLY SLOW performance.

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Reply 3151 of 3177, by Gemini000

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OK, so I should point out a few things about the desktop compositing issue with Windows 10:

1. Not EVERYONE is suffering from it. There's a whole slew of factors involved and it's not clear what those factors even are, as two people with nearly identical setups can end up with one person having issues and the other not.

2. You can't rely on framerate tickers to find the problem since the frames are being rendered, the compositor just isn't painting them, so you need to see it with your eyes, and quite frankly, some people THINK they can see 60 FPS, but in reality, they can only tell if something is higher than 30 FPS and they don't actually discern high enough to tell if something is actually 60 or somewhere between 30 and 60. (I've tested this myself back with my old 120 Hz CRT monitor and I lose my ability to distinguish framerates around 80 to 90 Hz.)

3. How a program functions internally is a big factor. Some programs have constant stuttering, some programs will stutter a little sometimes but other times be fine, while some programs will be fine for minutes on end and will then just magically start stuttering for awhile before going back to normal, but ALL OF THIS goes away the minute you run one of these programs in an exclusive full screen mode.

With DOSBox in particular, it's only noticeable for me for games running higher than 35 FPS, and this seems to be about typical for me as I run DOSBox in OpenGL mode so that I can get a well resized window without aliasing, but I'm finding the compositor is getting confused with triple-buffered OpenGL stuff, rendering only two out of every three frames when not running exclusive full-screen. Unfortunately, nVidia's settings related to this only affect whether triple-buffering is ENFORCED with OpenGL, not if it's used at all. So you can either force it on, or not force it on, meaning it might still do triple-buffering anyways.

However, this problem still affects DirectDraw or Direct3D games too, just in different ways, so using those modes in DOSBox or any of the branches I tried (X and ECE) doesn't help either. :/

BTW: Back when I was first trying to complain to Microsoft and nVidia about this I recorded a video demonstrating this weirdness by pointing my 60 Hz camera at my computer screen while OBS captured Minecraft footage, and the video clearly demonstrates the OBS window showing a HIGHER FRAMERATE THAN THE GAME ITSELF. o_O

Here's the 50 MB MP4 file on my website for your downloading and viewing perusal: http://www.pixelships.com/files/fpswoes.mp4

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3152 of 3177, by Teggun

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In regards to Gunmetal deleting your savefiles when you quit, do make sure that there is a folder named SAVEGAME inside the game directory and that it's possible to write into it, i had the same issue too and what was happening was that, for some reason, it was not creating the SAVEGAME folder after installation, and another time i couldn't save because permissions for the directory were wonky.

When the SAVEGAME folder doesn't exist, the game will save seemingly fine, but as soon as you restart the game the saves won't be there, it seems like the game doesn't automatically create the savegame directory by itself if it doesn't exist when you save ingame, instead it'll just try to look for it and will give up if it doesn't find it.

Reply 3153 of 3177, by Gemini000

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Ancient DOS Games Episode 271 - The Fortress of Dr. Radiaki is online!

So... how do I put this delicately...? Hmm... I think the best way I can sum up this game is: TRAIN WRECK.

This game is abysmal. It is so bad that I actually couldn't bring myself to see it all the way through, even though I was ultimately well adapted to its awfulness and was progressing well enough. But at the same time... I don't think the devs were ever intending to make something amazing or awesome, as this feels more like a passion project; just a handful of people with an idea, making a game to see if they could...

...and they did... and it was dreadful... but who cared? ;)

...well... I mean OTHER than all the people fooled by the box and PC Gamer Magazine into thinking this was able to rival the likes Doom... >_>;

Also...

Teggun wrote on 2020-07-01, 06:34:

In regards to Gunmetal deleting your savefiles when you quit, do make sure that there is a folder named SAVEGAME inside the game directory and that it's possible to write into it, i had the same issue too and what was happening was that, for some reason, it was not creating the SAVEGAME folder after installation, and another time i couldn't save because permissions for the directory were wonky.

When the SAVEGAME folder doesn't exist, the game will save seemingly fine, but as soon as you restart the game the saves won't be there, it seems like the game doesn't automatically create the savegame directory by itself if it doesn't exist when you save ingame, instead it'll just try to look for it and will give up if it doesn't find it.

Good to know... I'll keep this in mind next time I try to get it working! :B

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3154 of 3177, by DracoNihil

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Gemini000 wrote on 2020-07-04, 11:12:

So... how do I put this delicately...? Hmm... I think the best way I can sum up this game is: TRAIN WRECK.

This game is abysmal.

To think this game was made by the same people who went on to make Harvester... You can even find a reference to this game IN the general store in Harvester, even.

And in regards to Harvester as a adventure game you could probably say the same thing of it, it is a train wreck.

You always were a kidder, Steve.

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Reply 3155 of 3177, by SKARDAVNELNATE

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Gemini000 wrote on 2020-07-04, 11:12:

Ancient DOS Games Episode 271 - The Fortress of Dr. Radiaki is online!

I have the floppy version.
I have beaten this game.
There are toaster headed robots.
Most of the time I ignored level design and navigated by map.
If you are too close to a wall when you save you could load inside the wall.
I kept a save at every level and had to load it before backtracking to look for ammo. Otherwise I would have to map it out all over again.
The last level is a Tower of Babel type fight with Dr. Radiaki. There is not enough ammo to kill him without cheats. Then there's a dragon for some reason.
I use to love this game back in the day.

Reply 3156 of 3177, by MrFlibble

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DracoNihil wrote on 2020-06-15, 14:13:

The MS-DOS version runs just fine in a VM but NOT IN DOSBOX. I've tried so many different settings, cycle counts, the non dynamic recompiler core. Nothing prevents the crashes, instability and timing fluctuations.

Admittedly I only played the demo versions but I had rather stable performance across different builds, including vanilla DOSBox under Linux (had to switch to normal core though) and SVN Daum.

I was also able to successfully run the second demo in 3dfx mode with Daum, haven't tried ECE yet.

As for the patches and time zones, I'm assuming it's the RTPatch thing? If so you could use their patcher tool and turn off the flag that checks for time zones.

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Reply 3157 of 3177, by Gemini000

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Ancient DOS Games Pro 14 - Real Flipper Tricks - Epic Pinball is online!

After making the Epic Pinball review years ago, I actually joined a local pinball league and have been playing the real thing on a regular basis ever since! ...well... I mean, not NOW because pandemic and everything, but once that's over with and it's safe to do group activities again we'll be right back into it for sure! ;)

But, as a result of all of that real play, I can perform all the REAL flipper tricks used by the pros! But, then I thought of an interesting question: How many of these tricks would work in Epic Pinball? I would assume none because the physics with digital pinball are NOTHING like the real thing... but let's find out for sure! :B

Also...

MrFlibble wrote on 2020-07-10, 13:33:

As for the patches and time zones, I'm assuming it's the RTPatch thing? If so you could use their patcher tool and turn off the flag that checks for time zones.

Actually, the patcher seemed unfamiliar so I don't think it was RTPatch. :P

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3158 of 3177, by Gemini000

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Ancient DOS Games Episode 272 - Zone 66 is online!

Really had high hopes for this one seeing as it's incredibly difficult to acquire the full, complete copy of Zone 66 legitimately nowadays, and it actually does have a very strong start! But... by the end it devolves into an overly difficult mess with the story becoming tiny pieces of pointless tripe. It's been a long time since I've ever had such strongly mixed feelings about a game, but at least the graphics and music stay consistently good throughout! :B

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3159 of 3177, by xjas

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Heh, nice to see you finally got your legit copy. Had no idea about that CD-ROM release.
I love this game, but basically agree with your assessment - the "right" way to play is to fire it up, pick a map, and have a blast flying around blowing the crap out of everything & enjoying the music and pixel art, rather than trying to work through the story. I never found it compelling (except for that bombastic intro cutscene.)

I always preferred the SB (PCM+FM combined) soundtrack to the GUS or Adlib-only versions, which were essentially de-makes. That sound engine was a really innovative thing from Renaissance, and the crunchy, gritty samples give the tracks some punch. Also loved the scene from the Amnesia demo inserted into the credits screen.

Epic's "Fire Fight" from a few years later had some similar gameplay elements and could qualify as a near-successor. Free-roaming, top-down shooters are scarce though.

twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - most Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 6:30 PM PDT. Bonus streams elsewhen!