New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Getting old DOS games working on modern hardware. (DOSBox topics belong in DOSBox areas below, not here).

Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby Roger Wilco » 2019-3-18 @ 15:19

Roger Wilco wrote:I will write the status, the machine is booted into, into a file during startup - status.txt. It will contain a simple string. NORMAL, XMS, EMS, NOEMS, and so on.
In the launcher menu, for certain games that need special boot options, i will start a bash script, that checks the status and if it's the wrong one, a message will be displayed: "to play this game, you have to boot into EMS mode", for example, and exit.
If it's the right one, the game will be started.
Even that should be unnecessary, as I believe DOS creates an environment variable called %CONFIG%, if you are using menu options in Config.sys, with the value set to the name of the chosen configuration.


You are right :-) I knew, it's probably easier, as I imagined. Thanks :-)
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby MusicallyInspired » 2019-3-18 @ 17:54

Looks very similar to something I wanted to accomplish (but which was vastly out of my reach lol). I'll definitely be using this on my 486 to replace the cheap hacky hardcoded one I wrote!
Last edited by MusicallyInspired on 2019-3-25 @ 13:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby MAZter » 2019-3-22 @ 23:22

Nice!

Anyone remember "Direct Access" program?

viewtopic.php?t=49163&p=515720
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby DoctorDalek » 2019-3-28 @ 19:53

It's be really nice to have alternate launch commands with configurable title. Sort of like how Steam does it:

Image

This way you could allow users to still access setup or launch with alternate commands. Preconfigured options for multiplayer and such would make this a really convenient launcher.
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby jasondavidcarr » 2019-9-09 @ 23:50

Hey all, wow, this thread took off a bit and I apparently lost track of it; sorry for that. It's great to see all the use that LaunchBox for DOS is getting. I just put out the first official version of LaunchBox for Android, and stumbled on this thread again.

Anyways, I can always use a break from "real" development every once in a while, so let me know if there's anything you guys are missing from the app. Also, if you haven't updated, I did put out an update to version 2.0 last year with the following:

- Many new fields are available for each item: Genre, Series, Developer, Publisher, Release Year, Status, and Favorite
- Can now sort items by Title, Favorite, Release Date, and Status
- Can now filter items by Genre, Series, Developer, Publisher, Release Year, or Status
- LaunchBox now remembers your last selection
- List titles and counts have been added

https://forums.launchbox-app.com/files/ ... l-edition/

Also, some clarifications. I built the original version of this app in 2 days, probably only spending around 12 hours on it. I've probably put in another 12 hours or so in updates since then. For software development, that is lightning fast, and I was able to build it so quickly because I built it in Microsoft Visual Basic for DOS 1.0. It's ridiculous that VB for DOS even exists, but it does, and it's perfect for a launcher like this. And the funny thing is, that development time included the time it took for me to learn VB for DOS (not much). So VB for DOS is a pretty well-kept secret; I found it fairly unbelievable that no one had built something like this with it already.

That said, the reason for the 286 requirements is that VB for DOS only supports 286s and higher. So unfortunately, there's no way for me to add support for earlier processors. That's a disappointment for me as well, as I'm currently having to run Direct Access on my 5160. Direct Access is really awful, but at least it ticks the nostalgia boxes.

Anyways, thanks for keeping this thread alive guys. :)
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby jasondavidcarr » 2019-9-09 @ 23:59

DoctorDalek wrote:It's be really nice to have alternate launch commands with configurable title. Sort of like how Steam does it:

Image

This way you could allow users to still access setup or launch with alternate commands. Preconfigured options for multiplayer and such would make this a really convenient launcher.


Not a bad idea. I'll see what that would take to add. :)
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby jasondavidcarr » 2019-9-10 @ 00:00

Better yet; is anyone interested in the source code? If there's interest, I'd be willing to Github it.
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby jarreboum » 2019-9-10 @ 12:02

jasondavidcarr wrote:That said, the reason for the 286 requirements is that VB for DOS only supports 286s and higher. So unfortunately, there's no way for me to add support for earlier processors.


Have you considered using the older gwbasic? Or is it problematic?
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby jasondavidcarr » 2019-9-10 @ 15:23

jarreboum wrote:
Have you considered using the older gwbasic? Or is it problematic?


I've played with GWBasic before, but it's a completely different beast. Unfortunately it would be a nightmare to build this in GWBasic, if it's even possible at all. It's the Visual part of Visual Basic that made it quick to develop.
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby Cralex » 2019-9-22 @ 05:44

Got this working on iDOS 2 on my iPhone, and I’m working on making it my main (only) menu from Appgo. I keep thinking about the novelty of running such a new piece of software, built for such an old platform, on such a new, closed phone. It’s such a novel feeling.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/a423fz5ut982ndc/Photo%20Sep%2021%2C%2011%2010%2044%20PM.png?dl=1
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby DoctorDalek » 2019-10-08 @ 19:54

jasondavidcarr wrote:Better yet; is anyone interested in the source code? If there's interest, I'd be willing to Github it.


Yes! I'm a youngish .NET dev so I don't know how much I could contribute, but I'd love to take a look.
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby mixerjdp » 2019-11-10 @ 09:18

jasondavidcarr wrote:Better yet; is anyone interested in the source code? If there's interest, I'd be willing to Github it.


would be so nice if you release source code, im interested in learning more about vbasic for dos, i suppose vb is better than qbasic :blush:
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby Peter Swinkels » 2019-11-11 @ 10:39

Nice, I remember writing my own program launcher. Do you have the source code available or do you prefer not to share it?

I looked at your batch file that came with it:
Code: Select all
REM Help the user if they're not in the correct directory.
IF NOT EXIST LAUNCHBX.EXE ECHO.
IF NOT EXIST LAUNCHBX.EXE ECHO You have run LaunchBox from outside of the LaunchBox directory.
IF NOT EXIST LAUNCHBX.EXE ECHO.
IF NOT EXIST LAUNCHBX.EXE ECHO Please make sure that you change into the LaunchBox directory using the CD
IF NOT EXIST LAUNCHBX.EXE ECHO command before running LAUNCH.BAT.
IF NOT EXIST LAUNCHBX.EXE ECHO.
IF NOT EXIST LAUNCHBX.EXE ECHO For example:
IF NOT EXIST LAUNCHBX.EXE ECHO.
IF NOT EXIST LAUNCHBX.EXE ECHO C:
IF NOT EXIST LAUNCHBX.EXE ECHO CD \LAUNCH
IF NOT EXIST LAUNCHBX.EXE ECHO LAUNCH.BAT
IF NOT EXIST LAUNCHBX.EXE ECHO.
IF NOT EXIST LAUNCHBX.EXE GOTO FINAL


The above seems like such a weird way to go about this. Why not use a single IF statement to jump to a section of the batch file that handles displaying all that text?
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby mothergoose729 » 2019-11-11 @ 16:01

Hey Jason, thank you for continuing to support this! And for the tip for VB 1.0 for DOS. That is something I might check out for myself.

My biggest feature request is to add some form of free text to each selection For those of use with frankenmachines (multiple sound cards and video cards that need some configuring), it would be really nice to be able to add maybe 200 characters or so of configuration notes. Something like "disable board cache, set SB IRQ to 5" or whatever.
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