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 McKie1 » 2018-3-12 @ 09:41

1000% better than powermenu I used back in the day.

Will definitely be loading this soon.

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

Postby jarreboum » 2018-3-12 @ 13:16

I really like it, especially having a separate setup option with its own script. [edit] I missed the series option. Great stuff! [/edit]

Also I'm sad at the 286 requirement. Does it use 286-specific code or could it be executed with a NEC V20? Any chance not to have that requirement at all in the future?
Last edited by jarreboum on 2018-3-12 @ 17:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby Azarien » 2018-3-12 @ 16:32

AFAIK V20 supports 186 instruction set, and 286 is 186 + protected mode, so I think it should work as long as the program doesn't use pmode.
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby MobyGamer » 2018-3-12 @ 21:36

It shouldn't require a 286 -- you can control whether 286 (or 386, or 8087) code is generated in the "Make EXE" dialog. jasondavidcarr, any reason why you wrote your launcher requires a 286?
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby mothergoose729 » 2018-4-17 @ 02:49

Holy moley, are you the Jason from launchbox :D.

I was seriously thinking about making an app just like this for my dos machine (once it is built... lol). The only thing I was going to add to it was a section for notes. Sometimes it takes a few steps to get your machine ssetup to run a game, beyond what you can do in a batch file (like disabling cache in your bios).

Anyway, neat app. Can't wait to try it!
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby cyclone3d » 2018-4-17 @ 03:20

I'm definitely going to try this out once I get my 486 build up and running. Still waiting on a functional CF to IDE adapter from China to arrive. :dead:
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby thierry » 2018-9-15 @ 15:34

Wow , this tool its great ! , i think im test it in my PC XT DOS 3.30 , IBM 5150 DOS 3.2 , PC clon 386 dx 40mhz 8mb ram + DOS 6.22 , thanks !!
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby Thallanor » 2018-9-15 @ 17:04

This looks pretty fantastic! I used to use an MS-DOS menu back in the day, but have long since forgotten what it was called and have only found stinkers. This one looks great! Thank you.
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby khan_games » 2018-10-03 @ 03:25

Very excited to get this set up and use! Thank you so much! As someone previously mentioned, a notes section would be great so that I can remind myself which games to disable CPU cache on, but man, this is going to make things so much easier!
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby chinny22 » 2018-10-06 @ 00:33

Looks pretty good.
Ive been wanting another menu system for my other 486 and Dosshell didn't really do it for me.
I used "Osmenu" on my original PC all those years ago you can see and download it here
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=42212#p413674

While its OK and fits that PC it has its limits and wanted something better yet simple.


leileilol wrote:- Games that have separate binaries for multiple episodes could be handled by a submenu maybe


I've created batch files for such games that the menu calls up instead, although inbuilt support would be nice as well
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby Roger Wilco » 2018-10-26 @ 14:51

leileilol wrote:Trying this a bit:

- Would be nice to change colors, maybe perhaps via pushing some registers for VGA+ devices
- Games that have separate binaries for multiple episodes could be handled by a submenu maybe


I have been searching a menu capable of doing that for quite a long time...and ended up with this. Quite happy :blush:
Attached is G-Menu, from 1992 and a screenshot.
Attachments
db.png
gbmnu101.zip
(102.64 KiB) Downloaded 67 times
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby MobyGamer » 2018-10-26 @ 20:23

I've been working on a menu/launcher system for a while; it works fundamentally differently than these, but also requires no setup, stores everything compressed to save disk space on old machines, and supports tens of thousands of games. If anyone would like to help test the alpha of this, send me a PM. I'll create a separate thread for it when I feel it is ready for prime time.
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby Vulturius » 2019-1-09 @ 14:01

This could come in handy for my 11 year old daughter wanting to play my DOS retrorigs ;-)
She's always complaining: "Dad, what are you typing?" ;-)
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby kikendo » 2019-1-19 @ 15:24

Thanks for making this, it might just be what I was looking for!! Will give it a try.
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby bristlehog » 2019-1-27 @ 09:17

Usability feature request:

If you type 'conan' for example, the program should select 'Conan something' or even 'something Conan'. Right now it just continues to cycle through all games starting with 'C'.

Using your own example:

Image

If I type in 'keen v', I definitely want to select 'Commander Keen Episode V', not being thrown to games starting with 'K' which I believe is the case as of now.
Hardware comparisons and game system requirements: https://technical.city
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby Decoryah » 2019-3-18 @ 08:43

What are you supposed to put into "Status" field of a game?
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2019-3-18 @ 13:29

What about games that need a wholly different startup setup in config.sys in order to work? Thinking about non-EMS, EMS, XMS-only, etc... As you have different entries (probably) in your config, what good is an all-encompassing menu if half of the games wont run because you are currently booted into the wrong system config?
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby Dominus » 2019-3-18 @ 14:23

That's not the scope of the launcher. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit and you better don't use it.
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby Roger Wilco » 2019-3-18 @ 15:09

I set up a Dos machine for my friends, in a private arcade room, with a couple of arcades and pinballs; the goal was to make it as easy as possible. So I went with a menu program as well. Because of all the different boot options, some games need, I used Dosbox - for the beginning.
It's working very well.

I am working on an original Dos mode now, too, mainly to access the original sound cards and the PC speaker in its full glory. Same machine, dual-boot - so the "pros" can choose to boot into original Dos during startup, for one or two seconds.

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.

So i can use the same menu settings for all boot options.
Quite simple and should work :-)
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Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

Postby dr_st » 2019-3-18 @ 15:12

Dominus wrote:That's not the scope of the launcher. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit and you better don't use it.
Quoted for Truth

jaZz_KCS wrote:What about games that need a wholly different startup setup in config.sys in order to work? Thinking about non-EMS, EMS, XMS-only, etc... As you have different entries (probably) in your config, what good is an all-encompassing menu if half of the games wont run because you are currently booted into the wrong system config?
It's a fallacy. 99% of the games work well with a single config (XMS+EMS+UMB+Mouse+CDROM+Sound Drivers). Some people on VOGONS are convinced that you really need fifteen different configs to cover everything, but it's simply not true.

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.
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