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DOSBox ReelMagic Fork

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Reply 140 of 146, by Uka

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Dominus wrote on 2022-03-03, 09:23:

@uka: Windows 3.11 should work fine in DOSBox 0.73. Only problem (that persists in SVN as well) is that share is not working. If a game needs, you can fake it though with fakeshare (in my Wibdows 3.1x guide).

Well, I have tried installing Windows 3.11 in the current version of DOSBox ReelMagic Fork. It did not work for some reason - the setup freezes at 1% (copying WIN386.EXE).
I tried running the already installed Windows 3.11 as well - but the MPEG videos are not being played anyway and the ReelMagic drivers do not want to install (saying that no MPEG board is present).
Not that I expected it to work 😀 But just a try.

Reply 141 of 146, by Uka

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Good news: thanks to Hammer, the 11th REALmagic game has been recovered - "Conspiracy" (better known as "KGB" by its 1992 floppy version) by Cryo Interactive! I have uploaded it to Archive.org.

Bad news: it does not work in DOSBox ReelMagic Fork for now.
This release, in difference from "Entity", is quite official - but it still appears somewhat strange and not quite polished for me. The authors had even left some sources files on disk, alongside with their bug notes addressed to Sigma Designs and other insiders' texts.
But it does work (well, mostly) on the real hardware (I have tried both ReelMagic Lite and Maxima) - and I hope it would not be difficult to make it work in DOSBox ReelMagic Fork as well!

So, here are the problems I see:

1) The MPEG version somehow does not want to work in DOSBox ReelMagic Fork. The game plays as a regular non-MPEG CD version there, with bad videos. I think it is something similar to "Entity" as the game uses its own FMPLOAD.COM on the CD to launch the driver FMPLOAD.EXE - maybe it conflicts with the DOSBox built-in driver? jrdennisoss, I hope you will have time to take a look, please 😀 I attach the LOG. Again, everything is fine with the real cards on old PCs - the non-interlaced videos are great!

2) The second problem is worse as it happens on the real hardware as well: there are no music or sound in the game itself (only in the MPEG videos)! It seems like an original bug to me as the in-game options do not allow to turn sound or music OFF - they are constantly ON there (and still silent).
On the other hand, the subtitles for videos are displayed regardless of their options being set to ON or OFF (and with the regular CD version, if I remember it correctly, the situation is exactly opposite - there are no subtitles in 'Help' videos even if the option is set to ON).
Also, the install allows to change the game language to French, German or Spanish - but it does not seem to work either, i.e. the game is always in English. Probably not a bug - they could have chosen not to include other translations from the regular CD-version for some reason. But it would be nice if music could be turned on in the MPEG version! I do not actually remember any sound effects in this game besides the videos.

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Reply 142 of 146, by Galatea2.2

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Nicely done on tracking the bugs. Do we know anything more about realmagic Conspiracy's release? Was it released on only one continent? Did it have an official box? Did it ever make it on store shelves etc.

Reply 143 of 146, by Uka

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Galatea2.2 wrote on 2022-05-15, 16:28:

Do we know anything more about realmagic Conspiracy's release? Was it released on only one continent? Did it have an official box? Did it ever make it on store shelves etc.

Well, that's a question for Hammer, but I think that - yes, "Conspiracy" (in difference from "Entity") was released officially, at least in the USA.
I only have a small picture of the box cover from the demo disk.

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Reply 145 of 146, by jrdennisoss

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RaVeN-05 wrote on 2022-05-08, 12:38:
Hi, maybe stupid request ? Can you make dosbox option on scale videos (mpeg) using bilinear filtering like OpenGL do it, and may […]
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Hi, maybe stupid request ?
Can you make dosbox option on scale videos (mpeg) using bilinear filtering like OpenGL do it, and maybe a 2d games too on top of reelmagic videos.
I mean when i play mpeg directly from cd it looks better and from dosbox its looks like neighborhood (nearest ) pixelated scaling, and it seems mpeg that played from reelmagic and 2d games has a same upscaled resolution and it like 2 layers on one game mpeg + 2d dos game.

I am sorry i very struggle to explain it.

No not a stupid request... I understand what you are getting at, especially as the scaling implementation in the current version of the emulator is abysmal 😀

I haven't had too much time lately, but I have been starting to look at properly implementing the video output stuff and playing around with DOSBox trunk, SDL, and OpenGL stuff. In the spirit of what the ReelMagic product attempted to accomplish (e.g. high quality multimedia experience), the first go at the ReelMagic DOSBox emulator on trunk that I am currently working on will likely only support the OpenGL DOSBox render mode because implementing things like scaling, color pallet conversion/matching, and combing multiple video surfaces are better left to something like an OpenGL shader. This way the emulator will have good quality video output regardless of the mismatching VGA and MPEG picture sizes.

Uka wrote on 2022-05-14, 07:06:

Good news: thanks to Hammer, the 11th REALmagic game has been recovered - "Conspiracy" (better known as "KGB" by its 1992 floppy version) by Cryo Interactive! I have uploaded it to Archive.org.

Oh wow this is awesome news! 😀

Thank you Uka for giving this a test... I'll take a look at the issues you brought up when I have some breathing room. Unfortunately, my current work situation is still pretty intense and will likely remain that way until the first week of June for best case, or mid-June for worst case. After that, I should have more time to look at this stuff.

Also, something else I have been looking into is creating a graphical MPEG-1 analyzer tool geared specifically for dissecting these ReelMagic video asset files. This should help visualize the problem I am having with these "magical MPEG" files and hopefully help get a real solution to this as opposed to the workaround I am currently doing in the emulator to just make things work. If I can't figure this out, hopefully a tool like this could help get more eyes on the problem. This is specifically required to get Space Ace working and not break everything else.