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First post, by EldritchNexus

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I'm working on a .bat file that allows me to select the MS-DOS versions of all the first installments of ZeniMax/Bethesda/id's major franchises from one folder so that I don't need to put them all in different directories. The following games in my intended .bat file are:

Castle Wolfenstein
Commander Keen in Marooned on Mars
Doom
The Elder Scrolls: Arena
Heretic (Raven Software developed this one, but id Software published it. Therefore, it's still an id Software game)
Quake
Fallout

All the files are thankfully able to co-exist in the same directory due to the data files in each game being laid out and formatted differently. While I can easily play the other six games with the .conf file set to max cycles, no such luck for Castle Wolfenstein. When the cycles are set to max, the game becomes too fast to be even remotely playable. I would need to bring DOSBox down to 300 cycles so that it can be playable, which is exactly a tenth the acceptable speed for any of the other games. Are there any ways I can edit the .bat file so that it's slow for CW and fast for the others?

Alternatively, can someone produce an updated DOS port of Castle Wolfenstein (not Beyond Castle Wolfenstein, but the original one) that removes the CPU-based speed from the equation so that I won't need to mess with the cycles at all? I know Silas Warner's widow released the source code for BCW and that got updated, but I'm not sure about the original one.

Reply 2 of 19, by Stiletto

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collector wrote:

Note that you should ask DOSBox questions in the DOSBox forum. DOSBox

Aside from the potential of some command or utility slowing down DOSBox from within DOSBox, the rest of this isn't a DOSBox question. One ("Is there a Commander Keen patch" is essentially permitted here, the other "is there a slowdown utility" is also sorta appropriate here but also in Marvin or Milliways, IDK.)

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do the Fandango!" - Queen

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Reply 3 of 19, by konc

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So you're running a .bat file inside dosbox to lauch the games? If I understood this part correctly, what's the problem with adjusting the cycles for each game? Just bored to do it every time?
In case all the above is correct, add to your .bat
config -set "cycles=xxxx"
to set the cycles dynamically before calling each game.

Reply 4 of 19, by dr_st

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Welcome to the forum. 😀

EldritchNexus wrote:

I'm working on a .bat file that allows me to select the MS-DOS versions of all the first installments of ZeniMax/Bethesda/id's major franchises from one folder so that I don't need to put them all in different directories.

That (the emphasized part) is a remarkably pointless (and also a pretty dumb) idea.

EldritchNexus wrote:
The following games in my intended .bat file are: […]
Show full quote

The following games in my intended .bat file are:

Castle Wolfenstein
Commander Keen in Marooned on Mars
Doom
The Elder Scrolls: Arena
Heretic (Raven Software developed this one, but id Software published it. Therefore, it's still an id Software game)
Quake
Fallout

Castle Wolfenstein (the original one) is not an id game.

EldritchNexus wrote:

All the files are thankfully able to co-exist in the same directory due to the data files in each game being laid out and formatted differently.

Heretic and Doom share some filenames. Expect trouble.

konc wrote:
So you're running a .bat file inside dosbox to lauch the games? If I understood this part correctly, what's the problem with adj […]
Show full quote

So you're running a .bat file inside dosbox to lauch the games? If I understood this part correctly, what's the problem with adjusting the cycles for each game? Just bored to do it every time?
In case all the above is correct, add to your .bat
config -set "cycles=xxxx"
to set the cycles dynamically before calling each game.

Actually even just "cycles xxx" works (in the standard builds). It's not laziness - many people are not aware that you can change many DOSBox settings dynamically from the commandline. It does not seem to be a well-documented feature. 😀

Last edited by dr_st on 2018-07-26, 08:29. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 5 of 19, by EldritchNexus

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That's a remarkably pointless (and also a pretty dumb) idea.

Thanks for being so honest with me. Do you show that same amount of honesty to other people? But yes, I freely admit that it's a pointless idea. 🤣. I just like experimenting with things like this. Though you should probably refrain from making such snappy judgments about what people choose to do in the future. I could be doing this for a job or at a friend's request, for all you know.

I've already created a .bat file for all the Commander Keen games so that I can place all of them in the same directory and then choose one of them with the push of a button, and I already have the ZeniMax games in their own separate wrappers and are all configured to run properly. I just like being able to know if I could make a .bat file for all of them and have them function properly like that if I wanted to.

Castle Wolfenstein (the original one) is not an id game.

But it's the first part of the Wolfenstein franchise, which id Software (and ultimately, their owner ZeniMax Media) currently owns. Just like how Fallout was originally created by Interplay before the series was acquired by Bethesda.

Heretic and Doom share some filenames. Expect trouble.

Thanks for the tip. 😀

Overall, I'd like to thank everyone for the help.

Reply 6 of 19, by Stiletto

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EldritchNexus wrote:

Overall, I'd like to thank everyone for the help.

Sure, no problem.

In the future, please post DOSBox-specific questions to the DOSBox subforum(s). As collector said, the "DOS" subforum harkens back to the days of this forum's origins - "Very Old Games On New Systems" - and is primarily for NTVDM support, game patching/hacking to a lesser extent, DOSBox not really much at all, and oldskool native MS-DOS questions deserve to go to Marvin subforum. 😀

"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

Stiletto

Reply 7 of 19, by EldritchNexus

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Well, I did it. I successfully made all seven games load from one .bat file without a problem. All I needed to do was create a separate .bat file for Castle Wolfenstein with the cycle settings, and then have the main .bat file load that .bat file instead of the exe file. And even though Doom and Heretic shared some common files, their exclusive files are still able to run from the same directory without the data overlapping with each other. Even the save files for each game remained intact. The only drawback I have is Castle Wolfenstein is a one-way trip; I have no way to get back to the .bat menu from there without closing the whole thing.

It was a stupid idea, but it actually worked! 🤣

Reply 8 of 19, by dr_st

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If you use CALL <new_batch_file> to run the batch file then it will get back to the original batch file when done.

In fact, you don't even the second batch file, you can do all the cylces settings inline in the main batch file.

The idea is stupid, not because it works/does not work in one particular case. It's stupid because there is no logical reason to dump all these different games in the same directory. Directories were created for a reason, and batch files can seamlessly change between them.

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Reply 9 of 19, by EldritchNexus

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You don't seem to understand. I know how to go back to the original batch file when I quit a particular game. The problem is that Castle Wolfenstein was made during the time period when a lot of computer games didn't have an option to quit back to DOS when you were done with them. Back then, the only way to quit the game was to eject the floppy out of the disk drive. And when you're using DOSBox, the only way to make those kind of games stop is to close DOSBox itself.

Also, just because you don't agree with an idea doesn't make it stupid. The fact that one can easily choose between a number of games in one quick session, all from one file in one wrapper, can be incredibly convenient for a lot of people. I've used this same method to allow me to play all the Commander Keen games in one wrapper, all the MS-DOS Duke Nukem games in another wrapper, etc.. If batch files get in the way, make new ones with the specs you require and then link them together.

And if you're talking about configuring sound, controls, etc., make sure that you make the changes you want before putting them together with the other games. And make sure that you don't choose games with too many similar filenames for this kind of thing, or you'll screw up the data for either of them. The thing about the games I chose is that they all have mostly different filenames for their data. Even Doom and Heretic can exist in the same directory without making any big sacrifices. Just make sure the Doom Setup.exe file is changed to "DSETUP.EXE" and the Heretic Setup.exe file is changed to "HSETUP.EXE". The only real problem that manifests from this is that the setup might launch the wrong game after saving all the parameters, but you can still run the intended game if you select the .exe file, and the parameters you selected will still be there.

Reply 10 of 19, by dr_st

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EldritchNexus wrote:

You don't seem to understand. I know how to go back to the original batch file when I quit a particular game. The problem is that Castle Wolfenstein was made during the time period when a lot of computer games didn't have an option to quit back to DOS when you were done with them. Back then, the only way to quit the game was to eject the floppy out of the disk drive. And when you're using DOSBox, the only way to make those kind of games stop is to close DOSBox itself.

You're right, I did not understand that.

EldritchNexus wrote:

Also, just because you don't agree with an idea doesn't make it stupid. The fact that one can easily choose between a number of games in one quick session, all from one file in one wrapper, can be incredibly convenient for a lot of people. I've used this same method to allow me to play all the Commander Keen games in one wrapper, all the MS-DOS Duke Nukem games in another wrapper, etc.. If batch files get in the way, make new ones with the specs you require and then link them together.

Just because you don't understand why something it stupid does not mean that it isn't. Everything you said here can be achieved without the godawful idea of dumping all the different game files in the same directory.

EldritchNexus wrote:

And if you're talking about configuring sound, controls, etc., make sure that you make the changes you want before putting them together with the other games. And make sure that you don't choose games with too many similar filenames for this kind of thing, or you'll screw up the data for either of them. The thing about the games I chose is that they all have mostly different filenames for their data. Even Doom and Heretic can exist in the same directory without making any sacrifices. Just make sure the Doom Setup.exe file is changed to "DSETUP.EXE" and the Heretic Setup.exe file is changed to "HSETUP.EXE". The only real problem that manifests from this is that the setup might launch the wrong game after saving all the parameters, but the parameters will still be there for the other game if you run that directly.

Thank you for proving my point. Seems like an awful lot of "make sure"s to worry about for the sake of one stupid idea.

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Reply 11 of 19, by EldritchNexus

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Everything you said here can be achieved without the godawful idea of dumping all the different game files in the same directory.

Okay, then. Instead of being obnoxiously rude about it, how about you tell me how I do it? How do I configure the bat file to select a file from different folders within the same directory? I would very much appreciate that.

Reply 14 of 19, by konc

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dr_st wrote:

Actually even just "cycles xxx" works (in the standard builds). It's not laziness - many people are not aware that you can change many DOSBox settings dynamically from the commandline. It does not seem to be a well-documented feature. 😀

Thanks for further simplifying the command.
I meant "what's wrong with changing the cycles using ctrl+f11/f12", that's why the laziness reference, but apparently OP is busy fighting the internet.

Reply 15 of 19, by EldritchNexus

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I'm not trying to fight anyone. It's dr_st that seems to have it out for me. This whole thing could've been resolved quickly and harmlessly with a simple: "That sounds very impractical. This way would work better."

Why was that so hard? Why is it that every time I post in a forum, I'm ignored or argued with?

Last edited by EldritchNexus on 2018-07-26, 10:13. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 16 of 19, by dr_st

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konc wrote:

I meant "what's wrong with changing the cycles using ctrl+f11/f12", that's why the laziness reference, but apparently OP is busy fighting the internet.

Ah, got you. The thing is, I normally have Ctrl+F11 and Ctrl+F12 assigned to launch specific applications from my desktop. 😀

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Reply 17 of 19, by dr_st

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EldritchNexus wrote:

I'm not trying to fight anyone. It's dr_st that seems to have it out for me. This whole thing could've been resolved quickly and harmlessly with a simple: "That sounds very impractical. This way would work better."Why was that so hard? Why is it that every time I post in a forum, I'm ignored or argued with?

It is very unusual that someone that deals with rather advanced concepts, such as multiple choice batch files, on-the-fly speed control in DOSBox, etc, does not know how to use a basic "CD" command. One does not expect that.

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Reply 18 of 19, by EldritchNexus

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dr_st wrote:

It is very unusual that someone that deals with rather advanced concepts, such as multiple choice batch files, on-the-fly speed control in DOSBox, etc, does not know how to use a basic "CD" command. One does not expect that.

That's the thing, though. I don't know how to do that stuff on my own. I don't know how to make multiple choice batch files or create my own DOS wrappers. I just extract them from files/applications I download online, add new stuff, and then manually reconfigure the batch file or wrapper to run what I want it to. In other words, I reverse-engineer it. But the more I learn about DOS commands, etc., the better I do at making something new out of it.

Well, aside from a few bumps on the road, I'm satisfied with how this discussion went. I got what I needed, and learned some new tricks with DOS. Thanks, everyone. Sorry about all the fuss.

Reply 19 of 19, by dr_st

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The ability to reverse-engineer is a fine skill to have. I think you'll be alright. Sometimes if you think that something should be easy but can't figure out how to do it, chances are it's a problem that's been solved before, and a quick search on the internet will teach you how. Once you master that tool, you'll be able to do neat things. 😎

So good luck, and keep on trying and bringing new ideas to life. Glad we could help you, and please accept my personal apology for the bluntness.

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