Open source DOS games

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Re: Open source DOS games

Postby MrFlibble » 2017-4-29 @ 09:45

AvP is an awesome game, but yeah, never released for DOS :)[/offtopic]
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Re: Open source DOS games

Postby ripsaw8080 » 2017-4-29 @ 10:18

I think Indenture qualifies.
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Re: Open source DOS games

Postby MrFlibble » 2017-5-03 @ 12:37

Thanks!

Also there's the source code for XQuest/XQuest 2 (or, apparently, some intermediate version between these two).
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Re: Open source DOS games

Postby MrFlibble » 2018-3-17 @ 15:46

Added Cylindrix and Speed Haste to the list. For Cylindrix downloads (source + Windows binary), head to the Wayback Machine snapshot of an earlier page since the current one has broken links.

Speed Haste is a somewhat obscure shareware racing game from Spanish developer Firendware. I learned about the source code release from the Wikipedia page (didn't expect it to be there in the first place).I don't think anyone did anything with the code yet, which is a shame since the games is pretty nice.
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Re: Open source DOS games

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2018-3-20 @ 15:51

MrFlibble wrote:Added Cylindrix and Speed Haste to the list. For Cylindrix downloads (source + Windows binary), head to the Wayback Machine snapshot of an earlier page since the current one has broken links.

Speed Haste is a somewhat obscure shareware racing game from Spanish developer Firendware. I learned about the source code release from the Wikipedia page (didn't expect it to be there in the first place).I don't think anyone did anything with the code yet, which is a shame since the games is pretty nice.

Speed Haste looks interesting.
Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....
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Re: Open source DOS games

Postby KCompRoom2000 » 2018-3-21 @ 01:36

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:
MrFlibble wrote:Speed Haste is a somewhat obscure shareware racing game from Spanish developer Firendware. I learned about the source code release from the Wikipedia page (didn't expect it to be there in the first place).I don't think anyone did anything with the code yet, which is a shame since the games is pretty nice.

Speed Haste looks interesting.

I agree with you there, I have the full/registered version installed on both of my DOS computers, it runs pretty smoothly at maxed-out SVGA settings on my Celeron-433 PC. I wonder if one can add VESA resolutions and/or even a Glide renderer with the use of the source code (I'd try to make a source port, but I have very limited experience with coding). :blush:
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Re: Open source DOS games

Postby vvbee » 2018-3-21 @ 03:52

KCompRoom2000 wrote:(I'd try to make a source port, but I have very limited experience with coding). :blush:

The ethos of open source expects that you'll start learning as soon as possible and in a suitable number of years contribute to the project, which will likely still be there waiting for those changes.
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Re: Open source DOS games

Postby leileilol » 2018-3-21 @ 03:59

It would only have a polished source port if:

1. the game has a massive cultural impact
2. the game was born on a unix mailing list argument
3. the game involves John Carmack in some way as he is (or was) a knight of the linux royalty
4. the game's community is still alive and bustling with positive activity.

Many DOS games that were open sourced for many years haven't recieved a decent source port due to many of these factors even when the data is freed and the game's unique/good. But even if there's a perfect chocolate/vanilla clone of a dos game you'llb e told it's pointless at it doesn't make Gaming On The Linux Desktop(tm) look good by arrogant mailinglist trolls that want to flaunt their own lazy hypocritical clone. You're damned if you and damned if you don't.
Voodoo2s aren't 100mhz stock
Geforce256 isn't released as a beta on New Years '99 under the Quadro brand
386DX vs SX isn't about a missing FPU
DOS gaming isn't a bilinear 320x200 16:10
DOS PCs aren't better than the Macintosh
Old PCs aren't 'aesthetic'
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Re: Open source DOS games

Postby vvbee » 2018-3-21 @ 04:50

One option is to pay someone and get the port. Start at $10000 for the hours spent, depending on this and that. If that fails, either be a good manipulator or arrange for lots of free time for yourself. Waiting for someone to do it won't go far but maybe you're lucky.
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Re: Open source DOS games

Postby Malvineous » 2018-3-21 @ 06:01

Here are some of the issues I encountered when I ported Xargon to Linux:

  1. The game was written in an era when portability was rarely considered, so you have things like variables that *must* be only 16-bits wide, because the game logic relies on 65535+1 = 0, or -32768 - 1 = 32767. This is getting harder to achieve on modern machines (especially if you want your port to work on other systems, 32- and 64-bit, etc.) so you have to wrap hundreds of mathematical operations with modulo operators. Likewise loading and saving of data structures is tied to the CPU data format, so unless you are targeting a little-endian 16-bit platform, you need to rewrite all the functions that read and write files.
  2. Writing past the end of an array used to do nothing most of the time, but now with all the protection against malicious software it will instantly crash the program, so you have to hunt down and fix many old bugs in the original code.
  3. The behaviour of modern code libraries is not necessarily backwards compatible. In Xargon, the random number generator is seeded with a particular value at the start of every level to ensure the enemies behave the same way each time, e.g. so the demo still works because the monsters appear at the same moment every time. But a modern library implements the random number generator differently and produces a different string of numbers, so you need to re-implement your own random number generator from scratch in order to get the same sequence as used in the original code.
  4. Sometimes games can be hardcoded all over the place for certain hardware, so you end up having to rewrite the keyboard handling code in a bunch of different places, port the video output code in multiple places (which might conflict with the modern way of updating the screen in only one place), and so on. If you're not careful it can verge away from a port and end up as a rewrite.
  5. You have to emulate hardware that's no longer there. If it's a VGA game, you have to emulate the palette which doesn't really exist on modern devices. If it has OPL3 music, you have to emulate the OPL3 synth.
In short, if you're talking about porting a DOS game to a modern system, it's not just a straight port but it requires quite a bit more new code and a number of changes to the original code. It's not enough to just understand the language, but you also need to be familiar with programming techniques of the time, many of which involved directly accessing the hardware.

I suspect the reason why these ports are not so common is that there are fewer and fewer people around who both have the time to spend porting a game for free, and who have experience with programming 1990s-era hardware. Not to mention that younger programmers (who tend to have more free time) tend to use modern web languages like Javascript, so porting an old C or Pascal program really will require a full rewrite after taking the time to learn the language, and it won't just be a quick port.
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Re: Open source DOS games

Postby vvbee » 2018-3-21 @ 09:59

I planned and went some distance into making an open source port of the closed source rally-sport, having first made several content editors for it which took about two medium-effort months from scratch. It's a simple game too. But no way the port was going to be worth the work. I've yet to see in general my software benefit from being released open source but beyond that the number of expected users is ridiculously small.
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Re: Open source DOS games

Postby musa » 2018-4-06 @ 11:08

Visit here to download Shaw's Nightmare:
http://shawsnightmare.ucoz.com
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