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Steam (Valve) using Dosbox for its "id Super Pack"

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First post, by red_avatar

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Re: Steam (Valve) using Dosbox for its "id Super Pack"

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Since today, Steam are selling the entire catalog of id Software games (Doom, Heretic, Hexen, Commander Keen, Quake, etc.). I was very curious how they would run all those Dos games so I decided to buy the entire pack (not a bad deal at $63 - comes with Doom 3 + exp too after all).

But when i started Doom, imagine my surprise to see the familiar Dosbox window pop up. I haven't heard or seen any reference on the forum about id software or Valve asking anything to do this so I can only assume they did it without telling the Dosbox team. There's no credits given to the Dosbox team anywhere either. I know Qbix & Harekiet probably won't mind but I still find it a bit impolite to do. Not to mention that their Dosbox is badly set up.

The worst thing of all, you can NOT update Dosbox NOR can you alter the dosbox.conf simply because it's all captured in a single file. As a result there's also no way to change the music output, to change the control settings. It's a disgrace.

EDIT: okay I found Dosbox hidden in every single game folder of those games 😮 so you CAN alter the conf files, luckily. Few people will ever find this though.

Last edited by red_avatar on 2007-08-04, 05:17. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 149, by red_avatar

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In every game folder in the "Common" folder. They use "original" as resolutions and we know from the people on this forum, that this causes with some screens that don't support those low resolutions for starters.

They removed all setup programs from the games too so you can't change any of the settings.

Reply 4 of 149, by ADDiCT

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I'm no open source specialist, but what license does DOSBox use? Isn't it possible to include a license term that says something like "it's not allowed to use DOSBox for commercial products"? The DOSBox dev team could sell licenses to companies that would like to use DOSBox for their products, and thus generate some return for the devs' hard work and dedication.

I'm not talking about getting rich with DOSBox, but about fairness. I think it's ridiculous that large companies are using free software to make money, without returning anything to the devs, or the community.

Reply 5 of 149, by Qbix

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Read this post first!

They are allowed to do that. Our license allows that.

However it seems that they removed COPYING and other files which aren't meant to be removed.

edit:
They seem to have to added those files again. Great!

The customized version of DOSBox is the normal 0.70 with a small loader. No changes to sourcecode of DOSBox were made.

Last edited by Qbix on 2007-08-06, 12:48. Edited 2 times in total.

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Reply 6 of 149, by MiniMax

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It is also discussed in the Steam forum:

http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthr … =582649&page=14

Also:

http://www.halflife2.net/forums/showthread.php?t=128297
http://www.doomworld.com/vb/doomworld-news/40 … 24-steamy-imps/
http://forums.3drealms.com/vb/showthread.php?t=27958&page=3
http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/05/1951243
http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=261 … 45&cid=20116481

Edit: Thread was moved. Updated the link. Added new link(s).

Last edited by MiniMax on 2007-08-05, 21:16. Edited 8 times in total.

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Reply 7 of 149, by gulikoza

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Has anybody tried asking? I'm sure they aren't violating license on purpose...
Also...just not including all the files is not a violation by itself. GPL doesn't state that you need to credit the original authors or ask for permission to include the software (the source files need to retain their copyright notice though and you NEED to include the sources). They probably should also retain COPYING, maybe a small note somewhere that part of this pack is a GPL software...

http://www.si-gamer.net/gulikoza

Reply 8 of 149, by MiniMax

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The forums are busy now. I will sit tight until Monday-Tuesday when the people at id Software will be back in the office. By then I expect some comment. If none is forthcoming, then I will hit my e-mail button.

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Reply 11 of 149, by avatar_58

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I notice they even removed all the TXT files explaining how DOSBox works and who was responsible for creating it. Whats the deal with that? They shouldn't have touched the files and just added a "For more info visit dosbox's website" and then their asses would be covered. Instead they deleted everything but DOSBOX.exe, the conf and the SDL files.

They even deleted the dos games's setup exes. So now we can't change Doom or Hexen's controls....

Reply 13 of 149, by avatar_58

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I had to turn on "auto" cycles for Hexen, because it ran way too choppy. 15000 is not enough. Strange that they list "any xp/vista capable PC" when clearly to run hexen and doom you'll at least need a decent PC. DOSBox 0.70 makes the requirements much less, but come on you can't say "any".

See now what bothers me is that people will blame slowdowns and crashes on dosbox because it's now impossible for them to find solutions without the readme.

Reply 14 of 149, by Qbix

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avatar_58 wrote:

See now what bothers me is that people will blame slowdowns and crashes on dosbox because it's now impossible for them to find solutions without the readme.

I'm afraid of that as well, although it will not be limited to blaming dosbox. Think valve and/or id will be blamed as well.

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Reply 15 of 149, by avatar_58

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Yeah, but I already saw a complaint about Doom being blurry on large LCD screens. 🙁 Thanks to the removal of the comments they haven't a clue on what scalers are supported. Thankfully it at least uses normal2x (which looks strangely okay on my 24"....oddly enough).

It bothers me though, because had I never known about dosbox and played Hexen only to have it run like ass I wouldn't understand why. If I searched found out the solution (increasing cycles, etc) I would end up thinking dosbox is to blame.

On the flipside Doom is set to auto. Some people never believed me when I said Doom and Duke work great in dosbox and this will shut them up.

Reply 16 of 149, by red_avatar

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If you enter the resolutions manually, you get a perfectly sharp image if it matches your desktop resolution. For example, for me it would be 1680x1050 for full screen mode.

Another problem is that a lot of people want to play in a window and don't know you can use ALT ENTER.

Reply 17 of 149, by DosFreak

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The last half of that thread really went down the drain: http://www.halflife2.net/forums/showthread.php?t=128297

Now I remember why I don't play any online games or associate in the most common gamer's circles. Can people really be this stupid? (rhetorical question).

I refuse to install STEAM or anything of the ilk so I cannot investigate this like you guys can nor do I have the time since I'm down at Tyndall for an exercise but I appreciate this thread....ahhh controversy.

I'm wondering why ID chose STEAM instead of GameTap? GameTap seems like a better choice for older games and whatever emulation they use for DOS games seems good enough (but pales in comparison to DosBox from what I've heard). Hopefully Valve/ID will provide some info...

I'm wondering if we should come up with a Best Practices document on the Proper Usage of DosBox If You are Going to Package It With Your Game.

Because so far most of the handling seems to be done by people who couldn't give a shit if it's handled well or not which considering they go to all this trouble you'd think they'd want has little problems as possible to reduce tech support issues.

Last edited by DosFreak on 2007-08-04, 21:40. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 18 of 149, by avatar_58

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That never works for me in most games though, it either refuses to stretch to the length of my monitor or shows up a small tiny centered window regardless of what settings I try. Overlay seems to help, but some games won't listen to aspect correction.

So I just select "original" and "normal2x" and it forces it to be fullscreen.

EDIT - dosfreak, Gametap is nowhere near the quality of steam. Gametap is a subscription service, whereas I only have to pay once on steam. That is miles better.

I used to boycott steam too (except for HL2) but I just came to my senses and decided to put away my attitude of what is "acceptable" for gaming purchases. Yes I still hold the thought "what if steam capsizes?" but I don't let that stop me from using it.

I mean either we get with the times or we stop playing games. It's as simple as that my friend. Some of us enjoy new games so I choose to "get with the times".

Reply 19 of 149, by Zup

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And who will offer support for DOSBox in that package? I think it would be Valve, but I don't think they will do...

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