DOSBox Wish List

General information and assistance with DOSBox.

DOSBox Wish List

Postby ChaosFish » 2004-10-22 @ 12:22

We all have our wishes for DOSBox; big wishes as well as small wishes. But most of us wouldn't want to seem as an annoying n00b by opening a thread for every stupid little idea they have.
So here you can write any ideas or wishes you have for DOSBox, no matter if it's usefull or even possible, this is only meant for fun.
Let's start!

I'll be first, and I'll hope I'll be followed:
Shortcut keys configuration feature! Would be nice to be able to change shortcut keys easily.
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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby Guest » 2004-10-29 @ 20:57

1. hi/true color vesa modes
2. perfect gus emulation (timing is somehow flawed, it can be heard e.g. in pinall fantasies)
3. more speed ;)
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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby fed1943 » 2004-10-30 @ 10:46

My wish:DOSBox from masters to non-experts (explanation sheet).
Just run DB and the game you want.DB will look at your machine/system and at your program/game.DB will make full compatibility if your machine has enough power;if not,DB will reduce some aspects according to the nature of your game;if superlative,DB will enhance aspects according the said nature.
(of course,no user would aspect get THEBOX for free).
Just a dream;until the day you make it true.
Best regards,
just younger than computers
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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby Guest » 2004-10-30 @ 13:44

i thought the adlib emulation was taken from MAME? are you sure its playing too soft??
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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby Guest » 2004-11-11 @ 09:18

From the config file:

frameskip -- How many frames dosbox skips before drawing one.

So by the way I understand it, DOSBox will skip x number of frames before drawing 1 frame, then skip x number of frames... and so on.

Well, let's say we're playing DOOM (which is capped at 35fps) and we're getting poor performance. We set frameskip to 1. Now the game plays at ~18fps. Let's set it to 2: ~12fps. Let's set it to 3: ~9fps. See the problem?

The game gets more and more choppy as you increase the value. DOSBox looks more at skipping frames rather than showing them. A setting of 1 as we can see cuts displayed frames in half!

I propose this: being able to choose x number of frames to be displayed BEFORE x numer of frames are skipped. A setting of 4 frames displayed before 1 frame is skipped will display 80% of the frames, improving performance as well as improving playability.

This is something I have been waiting for in a future release, but seeing as no one has really thought of this, (or posted it as far as I know) I figure I should bring this up.
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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby Zorbid » 2004-11-11 @ 10:38

The frameskip isn't based on the game FPS, but on the screen refresh rate, which is 70 fps for most modes and 60 fps for 640*480 VGA modes.
So:
frameskip=1 ---> 35 / 30 fps (you don't miss any frame in DOOM with this setting, but the game is faster because DOSBox only flushes one frame buffer out of two)
frameskip=2 ---> 23.3 / 20 fps
frameskip=3 ---> 17.5 / 15 fps

And so on. But your idea about fractionnal frameskip isn't bad..
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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby masta_g_86 » 2004-11-12 @ 09:13

Thanks for clearing that up a bit Zorbid. I decided to use DOOM in my example because it's a high CPU stress game (on some older computers) and I knew its framerate cap for some of the mathematical examples.

While we shouldn't notice much if any difference at all with frameskip=1 in DOOM, be aware that there are other games with a higher framerate cap and some with no cap at all. These are the games that will benefit most from a fractional frameskip.
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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby Stomp357 » 2004-11-22 @ 03:55

4 button joystick supoort with POV Hat switch, and Throttle. I can then use my CH Flight Stick Pro, and CH Throttle with DOS flight sims.
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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby jal » 2004-11-22 @ 11:28

robertmo wrote:what do you mean by "- true EGA support"?


Some BIOS functions return certain replies for EGA, and others for VGA. E.g. Rick Dangerous 2 tests these to see whether a true EGA card is present (in which case it uses standard EGA palette) or whether VGA is present (in which case it uses the ST/Amiga palette). Also, some registers are different, which confuses some (badly programmed) games.


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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby tosk » 2004-11-26 @ 20:23

Great suggestions above.

What I'd love to see incorporated at some point was suggested in the old (zophar?) dosbox forums and involves possibly the most significant graphic upgrade for old games. Unfortunately, I can't remember what the technology/method was called. :s-face: But it involves a kind of reinterpollation (maybe anti-aliasing) of low res graphics. Sorry about the vagueness but maybe someone else remembers?

A sample of this technology applied to Double Dragon (or similar game) in that thread showed an *unbelievable* visual improvement. I believe someone on the dosbox team wrote back at the time to say it might be possible one day but that cpu power (or something) was an issue.
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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby mirekluza » 2004-11-26 @ 22:22

@tosk: I think you want some more advanced scalers (as in ScummVM, Exult etc.). There was a patch using hq4x (if I remember the name well...) but it did not make it to release.

Personally I prefer no scalers at all - even those available in DOSBOX now slow down things. That hq4x was almost completely unusable for me on Athlon 1 Ghz (because of sound stuttering).
CPU power is certainly an issue when using scalers.

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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby Vess » 2004-11-29 @ 22:15

THE most important feature: "machine reset" / force-shut the running DOS program and "exit to DOS" without having to shut down and restart DB itself. Hundreds of old developers were apparently too happy-go-lucky, lazy or conceited to think that their game might need its own "exit to DOS" option; besides, in some games, reaching that option can take ages (press Escape... choose Options... choose "System options"... choose "Exit to menu"... choose "Yes"... choose "Additional options"... choose "Exit to DOS"... choose "Yes"... watch the ending splash screen for 15 seconds... 8-E)

The second most important one: save/restore the emulation state. :o)

Some other:

- a small crib (F1?), listing e.g. the hot keys, useful commands, etc. (and also working when DB is in full screen!), so that one wouldn't have to look through the readme (or the forum :D) in an hour of need.

- when the emulated program is shut down and user "exits to DOS", DB should automatically clear and refresh the drive cache by default (behavior changeable in the config)

Oh, and:

- further speed optimization ;)
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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby Vess » 2004-11-29 @ 22:21

And perhaps in the far future:

- a simplistic file manager; nothing more than a very basic version of Norton (or its current Windows stepson FAR ;)); (a thinned Volkov Commander, for instance ;), just to make the file operations faster. One can obviously run Volkov or even NC in DB, certainly, but a built-in manager would, I assume, use a considerably less amount of the "emulated resources" (if any). (And if it's made, keep the Norton colors - blue panel background, black "behind" screen, white text ;))
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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby SoulSkorpion » 2004-11-30 @ 02:30

You could probably find DOS based file managers and run them under DOSBox. Or write one yourself. I mean it's not really something that needs to be built in to the emulator itself.
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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby mirekluza » 2004-11-30 @ 07:32

The only problem I have *ever* had with the Volkov Commander was in Ultima 7 (when using it, the game froze near the end of the intro). In all other cases it was ok (I start Volkov automatically in DOSBOX and I have worked with a lot of games...).

Coding a file manager into DOSBOX looks to me like wasting time and resources which could be spend on something more usefull.

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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby ribbon13 » 2004-12-06 @ 14:16

Including a scaler would be a user set option, so it's thier own damn fault if they try to use a scaler there computer can't handle.

The cycles thing is a great idea.... Why not an auto mode?

Fractional frameskip would be cool... skips 1 for every 2 frames would be perfect most of the games I play... 75hz /2*3 = 50fps

I still have my copy of XtreeGold. Text-mode file managing hyperness.

Why not long filename support? I had no dos games that couldn't run under win98se's command.com with dos drivers. and long filenames worked fine.
cd retro_games vs cd retro_~1
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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby Guest » 2004-12-12 @ 01:32

How about a hotkey to toggle through the different effect modes available (none,normal2x,advmame2x,advmame3x,advinterp2x,interp2x
,tv2x.etc) xmame does this, it's a really cool feature.
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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby ribbon13 » 2004-12-12 @ 07:31

What do you expect? ZSNES? :P

A built in Hex Editor for the memory space..... between 7-max, dosbox under 7-max, and WinHEX with the memory space of dosbox open... I get hard crashes daily (ie... BEEP back to P.O.S.T)

It would be soooo awesome to modify stats in game. Losing in Fantasy Empires? from 270 elves to 32217 just like that =D
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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby Alexsource » 2004-12-12 @ 14:25

Whoaaa! indeed, it looks real nice! :shocked: I myself used to use Quick Menu 3 back in the w98se days, when i had to use different settings to run some games in dos mode :P
BTW, the version on the page is shareware/demo, but it is fully functional. I haven't tested with 0.62 or 0.63, but it worked perfectly in 0.61. (well, it actually showed the whole alfabet as disk drives, and the mouse seemed kinda slugish, but that's a minor thing :P)
Having in mind that this thingy is freeware, and you can use .ico files directly... mmmmmmmm yesssssss! :happyhappy: :happyhappy: :lol: :lol:
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Re: DOSBox Wish List

Postby Guest » 2004-12-15 @ 17:15

1. Basic GUI interface to simplify the task of slowing down old DOS programs to work at their normal speeds.
2. The ability to modify DOS games to run using DosBox automatically like you can do with VDMSound.
2a. The ability to modify the settings for DosBox for individual programs by right-clicking on the games icon and going to DosBox in the pop-up menu for the game.
3. I admit that I have not used DosBox that much (largely becuase my computer thinks it is too good to run Dos programs at their normal speeds) and I asume that 'save state' is refering to the ability to save your progress in games. If it is, then I want 'save state' too.
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