From OS X and the joyfully simple yet powerful Boxer, to Windows and urrgh.

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From OS X and the joyfully simple yet powerful Boxer, to Windows and urrgh.

Postby Wizardling » 2018-1-12 @ 10:20

Please help me. I just want a Windows 10 GUI frontend that will simply assist in installing, creating any necessary disk images, and packaging each game with hopefully reasonably good Dosbox config defaults, and a GUI to adjust them as necessary.

Or am I expecting too much? Is Boxer in OS X really an outlier excellent experience unreplicated elsewhere? I tried downloading DBGL, but there was zero useful documentation on the website or in the readme or in-game help. I just don't need some [censored] struggle to learn by trial and error what a simple guide could tell me in a minute or two. I figured out how to use Boxer in a couple minutes. It was beautifully intuitive. But I'm okay with complexity, so long as I can learn from a guide WTF to do. I'm just so not in the mood for hours of trial and error just to find out if a frontend is worthwhile.
Last edited by Wizardling on 2018-1-13 @ 08:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: From OS X and the joyfully simple yet powerful Boxer, to Windows and urrgh.

Postby Dominus » 2018-1-12 @ 18:12

Normal frontends are there to make playing Dos games through DOSBox easier. NOT to create disk images, packaging games etc. Boxer is special in that way, but then once you look in the underlying bundles it makes, it becomes messy. And while it is a good experience for novice users, it might have come at the cost of understanding how DOSBox works.
If you keep it simple and just follow existing guides here it is much easier to live without any frontend on Windows and OS X and thus have a simple setup you can easily switch using on Windows or OS X.

And please watch your language.
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Re: From OS X and the joyfully simple yet powerful Boxer, to Windows and urrgh.

Postby Wizardling » 2018-1-13 @ 08:32

Hey, I have used the command line back in the day, and more recently in Unix and the rise of retro gaming. And I appreciate the power of a command line and especially batch files and scripting. I just loved Boxer doing 99% of what I needed with minimal effort and time spent.

Sorry about language. I didn't mean to give offence :-) I was just tired from hours of fighting with frontends and lack of documentation.

This morning I said the heck with it, and got down to creating my own game bundles, configs, and batch files to do what I want. Better to know what I'm doing than continue to struggle with front ends that lack any decent documentation.
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Re: From OS X and the joyfully simple yet powerful Boxer, to Windows and urrgh.

Postby IIGS_User » 2018-1-17 @ 15:51

I know nothing about, but just can try to implement what's possible.
:wink:
This post is not to be meant offence.
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Re: From OS X and the joyfully simple yet powerful Boxer, to Windows and urrgh.

Postby Wizardling » 2018-1-17 @ 17:29

Well, not to sound like too much of a fanboy, heh, but pretty much everything Boxer does is a win IMO. Again - I'm not above rolling my own configuration, but boy was it nice to just have the majority of issues from installation, packaging, configuration, through to play automatically sorted, with the rest generally fixable using well thought out GUI controls. So if you're a dev, I'd jump at a Boxer-style Windows front end. I like to try out a large variety of games I've not played, and it's much faster to get to the gameplay with Boxer, than all the manual setup I've done in Windows with DOSBox.
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Re: From OS X and the joyfully simple yet powerful Boxer, to Windows and urrgh.

Postby Dominus » 2018-1-17 @ 18:39

Well, seriously, a majority of games work just by drag'n''drop of exe onto DOSBox...
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Re: From OS X and the joyfully simple yet powerful Boxer, to Windows and urrgh.

Postby Wizardling » 2018-1-17 @ 19:15

I know, but I like to have everything as an executable package. And I grant you the majority of titles run drag 'n' drop with default settings, but I've encountered many that need or are improved by some tinkering, usually with graphics modes, clock speed, or sound card config. Boxer saved me time. It didn't do anything I'm not able to do on my own. I'm just well past the point in computing where I find busywork fun. I could spend days on stuff like this a couple decades back. Nowadays I just wana play the game during my limited spare time, heh.
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Re: From OS X and the joyfully simple yet powerful Boxer, to Windows and urrgh.

Postby Auzner » 2018-1-17 @ 21:09

There are other frontends, but I just use notepad. http://www.dosbox.com/wiki/DOSBoxFrontends
Copy a dosbox.conf file in the game's dir. Change the autoexec mount and exe params at bottom. Each game gets a shortcut to point to a different configuration. Double clicking the shortcut instantly launches the game with all of the settings in its dir. Yeah, it's not scalable for a library, but I only have 2-3 games of interest at a time.

http://www.dosbox.com/wiki/DOSBoxShortcuts
Shortcut target:
"C:\Program Files\DOSBox-0.72\dosbox.exe" -conf "D:\Games\Settlers2\dosbox.conf"

In the [autoexec] section of the conf:
Code: Select all
MOUNT C D:\Games\Settlers2
C:
S2.exe
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Re: From OS X and the joyfully simple yet powerful Boxer, to Windows and urrgh.

Postby Wizardling » 2018-1-18 @ 03:22

That is essentially what I did - creating a reasonably general config file, shortcut, and batch files for handling stuff like selecting between multiple episodes (e.g. Duke Nukem 1), then duplicating that setup, editing the info to reflect each title, and 'packaging' each title in a consistent manner to reduce clutter and ease finding and launching what I want to run. I have several dozen DOS titles I launch in any given month, so it took a while, but ah well - it's done now and hopefully nothing major will have to be changed for some time to come :-)
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