Kaillera and Dos Box....

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Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby wood tick » 2005-5-29 @ 17:32

I was just having a discussion with the Kaillera guys about setting it up with DOS BOX.....

http://kaillera.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=22992#22992

looks like it needs to be intergrated into DOS BOX....has this ever been looked at to anyones knowledge? It would be aweome to play old DOS games via the net.......it is getting harder and harder to find people who enjoy the retro-games. If DOSBOX could allow for this it would make it much easier to find opponents for 2 player games!

Best,

Wood Tick
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby `Moe` » 2005-5-29 @ 21:56

Well, forget it (mostly). Skimming over that thread I see someone thinking Kalliera could create a two-player 4d-stunts. That's impossible.
On game consoles, multiplayer was standard (is there any console game for just one player?), so Kaillere makes sense there. Networking and Multiplayer on DOS existed (how cool those Descent evenings were...), but lots (most?) games didn't support any form of multiplayer mode. If they did, there were many different ways it worked (hot-seat, split screen with shared keyboard, split screen with two mice, ipx, tcp/ip, modem, two joysticks, ...) - including all of them for Kaillera is a lot of work for little gain. And magically turning a single-player-only game into a multiplayer-game is likewise impossible.
Since IPX and Modem already work over TCP/IP in dosbox, those few games that are easily supportbale already work over the internet - no need for a separate server or something.
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby wood tick » 2005-5-30 @ 01:21

Thanks Moe I appreciate your reply,

However, I think you misunderstood my post. I'm not looking to turn a single player game into a two player game?

But rather to allow a 2 player DOS game (with no network capabilities) to play over the net. Thus, allowing 2 players in different locals to play the same game at the same time together.

Which is exactly what they have done with other emulators (NES, SNES, Genesis, etc...). The original game systems as I recall had no capablilites for network play...that came later with Dreamcast, X-box, etc. Many of the early games we use with the DOSBOX have no network play.

You wrote: "And magically turning a single-player-only game into a multiplayer-game is likewise impossible."

No one is looking to do that?

If you take a closer look at what they have done with Kaillera and MAME32 for example you will see that indeed 2 Players can connect to the server from different locations and play an arcade game from the 80s.....these games never had support for network play, obviously. The mame32 emulator was re-designed to support Kaillera and thus allow 2 players via the net to get together and play a game like Mario Bros. at the same time against each other.

Most of the servers for Kaillera see players who like the old arcade fighting games having one on one tournements....like streetfighter, king of fighters, and Marvel vs. Capcom. However, you will see other guys playing older MAME32 games as well.

Here is the brief description from the Kaillera mainpage:
#####################
Kaillera enables emulators to play on the Internet.

It consists of a client and a server. The client is usually embedded into your favorite emulator and the server is a stand-alone application that needs to be run on a machine directly wired to the Internet
#####################

Obviously, DOSBOX is simply another emulator much like MAME32 or STELLA. If the other emulators can be programmed to allow for internet connections and 2 player games....even though the original console or arcade game never allowed for it why is it so far fetched to think about DOSBOX possibly also having Kaillera embedded.

Best,

Wood Tick.
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby Duncan Idaho » 2005-5-30 @ 02:45

Hmm, I'm with Moe here, it'd be one thing to take some game, (even an old Arcade game that actually already had multiplayer, even if only by having two controllers plugged into the same gamedeck/console or PC), and make it playable over the net. But to make an old DOS singleplayer only game into multiplayer? That'd be beyond the scope of DOS-BOX, and really would require some pretty heavy reprograming of the original software.
Moe: Heheh, I can think of tons of console games that only used one player, most Final Fantasy games just for one example. ;)
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby `Moe` » 2005-5-30 @ 09:31

Well, with that single-to-multiplayer thing I was referring to the posters in the referenced thread. Some people in that other forum seemed to believe that's possible.

But read again the rest of the reply: on a NES, there was exactly one way to get two players in front of the
screen: Each one took one of the controllers. In DOS, there are many ways, see the list in my previous post. If your NHL game is using hotseat mode (every one is doing her turn one after another), how do you want to network that? Apart from the technical difficulties, it would mean you give a stranger complete control over your PC (yes, that's possible from within dosbox). Should the poor dosbox authors integrate all possible ways of multiplayer-gaming plus try to make it secure for remote access (which might mean removing important features)?
Well, no one prevents you from doing that yourself, but I guess the gain is too little compared to the cost. DOS is simply different than game consoles, and a lot more complex.
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby MiniMax » 2005-5-30 @ 18:17

Given that you have nearly unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited CPU power, this remote, dual-player thingy should be possible if you can:

1) Run some kind of screen sharing application (NetMeeting, MS Messenger, VNC, ...) on the DOSBox host, and export the DOSBox display to the remote computer.

2) Create a secondary virtual serial port/joystick port/mouse port controlled by the remote PC.

3) Get DOSBox + game to work with its primary (local) ser/joy/mouse port and the secondary virtual port.

None of this should require any changes to DOSBox, right?
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby lwc » 2005-5-30 @ 19:19

Well, video games (NES, Snes, etc.) do have multiple multiplayer methods (no pun intended).
For example, Super Mario Bros. is a hot seat two player game, while WWF Raw is a simultaneous four player game.
So it's not true to say that only DOS has more than one method of multiplayer.
Last edited by lwc on 2005-5-31 @ 14:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby wood tick » 2005-5-30 @ 20:40

Thanks guys for contributing to the discussion,

I was thinking maybe I could use Remote Desktop to connect to a Windows server......like I do at work.

Would I be able to use something like that and kick start dosbox with NHL95 running on the primary server and have the other player connect...but then the controls would be an issue for sure....as pointed out above.

This may work although not optimal....it would be nice if the networking (Kaillera or some other code) could be integrated right into the DOSBOX emulator like it is for MAME32, SNES, AMIGIA.....yes you read it correctly Amigia.....the Amigia emulator has Kaillera embedded for network play!

HOW COOL IS THAT!

See here for a list of emulators that have embedded Kaillera....not sure if it a complete list:

http://www.anti3d.com

click on the emulators like at the top (dig dug enemy!).

Best,

Wood Tick
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby `Moe` » 2005-5-30 @ 21:48

As I said, go ahead and code it. It's a lot of work. If you add support for one game, you gain support for perhaps ten other games that happen to use the same multiplayer mechanism, and then you have to start again and support the next multiplayer mechanism, again getting perhaps 10 games... unless you count network/modem, but that already works over internet. DOS is probably the most complex gaming environment in existence, since there were so few standardized things, that's why all other emulators can support it more easily. Such contributions will surely be appreciated - if you find someone to do it. The usual contributors probably all have enough trouble maintaining their own pet projects (at least that's true for me ;) )
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby Guest » 2005-5-30 @ 23:29

banging head against wall.......

;)

I don't think anyone is reading my posts.....too busy replying to what they think I posted...

But to make an old DOS singleplayer only game into multiplayer? That'd be beyond the scope of DOS-BOX, and really would require some pretty heavy reprograming of the original software


I don't want to take a single player game and make it multiplayer? Where did I say that?

What I was hoping to do is to initiate a discussion where the DOSBOX technical guys (the developers) might take a look at Kaillera and how it might be integrated within DOSBOX .....maybe it is possible....maybe it isn't....I was just hoping they might think about taking a look...and the possiblities.......

for example, playing your favorite old DOS 2 player game over the internet with your brother who lives 6 hours away......via your DOS emulator with Kaillera

:)

It has already been done for the MAME, Amiga, and Intellivision emulators for example. Sure there are a ton of games for DOS but there are a ton of MAME games too (over 5,000 last count) and they can all use Kaillera.......it is the emulator integrated with kaillera that handles how the player connections are made (the game itself thinks the players are both local) and as long as the information about movement that is coming in via the net can be interpreted by the emulator (left, right, button press) and then returned to the input sequence for the game then I think it would be feasible? But I don't know for sure as I'm not a developer....
As I said, go ahead and code it.
....wish I could Moe!

;)

I was talking to the technical guys on the Kaillera site and they feel that it is doable...but the DOSBOX emulators guys need to contact them to discuss how it can be done technically.

The Kaillera SDK is available on this site. Talk to the creator of DOX box and see if they would consider integrating Kaillera into their program. It's not something you or I can do. It has to be programmed into the source code of the application, which is an involved process. Every emulator you see listed with Kaillera support went through a development cycle to change the code and integrate with Kaillera. Kaillera takes care of the networking, caching, chat room, etc, but the emulator itself still does the emulation and has to know when to talk to Kaillera. Once it's done for the emulator, it should work for any game it emulates.



Best,

Wood Tick
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby `Moe` » 2005-5-31 @ 00:56

Exactly that's the problem (referring to your bold printed quote): DOS does not have a single way to get button presses/moves/keys for multiplayer. Once it is done for one game, it is, well, done for one game. OK, let's be honest, for a number of games at once - but not for all the others. It is _not_ just adding magic Kaillera support to dosbox and all multiplayer games work - you have to specifically support each game.
Consoles have two controllers and that's it. Once you support two controllers over Kaillera, all games work. Read again how many different ways to do multiplayer were used on DOS. You have to support each of them, and when you think you got them all, another game will pop up which uses yet another way to play 2-player. Find somebody to do this (tedious) work and all is well. Just don't expect it's like "add a couple of library calls" and voila. It can't, because DOS is different.
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby HunterZ » 2005-5-31 @ 01:21

I disagree. I'm pretty sure that you'd be hooking Kalleria into the highest level of input handling code in DOSBox, not at some lower level that has anything to do with specific DOS input methods.

Both players should be able to share the virtual keyboard and mouse (just map both players' real keyboards and mice to the single one that DOSBox emulates). For joysticks you could have the option of doing the same thing, or mapping each player's real joystick to a different virtual one.
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby wood tick » 2005-5-31 @ 02:32

Thanks HunterZ and Moe,

This is what I was hoping for to get a dialogue going at least discussing the possibilities.....then hopefully taking a look if it is technically possible....seems like where we are going with this thread!

:)

Wouldn't it be an awesome enhancement to DOSBOX...

Just for the NHL95 fans alone it would change our league entirely.....we could set up our Kaillera server running DOSBOX and have NHL95 fans from around the world connect and play in our league.

Currently we only have 7 players here in Ottawa and in Toronto they have 10 guys. We are always looking for new players but very hard to find people who want to play a PC hockey game that is over 11 years old!

;)

If we could recruit players from the internet to play we would have probably a few dozen guys in the league at the very least!!! We get e-mail from players in Finland, U.S. and Sweden all the time wishing they could join us!

I'm sure we aren't the only game where people would love this feature....I know there are small leagues of guys all over the world still playing the old Madden games on PC as well.

Ultimately, I'm was hoping to have the technical DOSBOX guys discuss it with the Kaillera guys.......they have already assisted at least a dozen emulators with integrating Kaillera into their applications.

When I chatted with them they were excited about the possiblity of a DOS emulator integrating Kaillera. The next step would be for the DOSBOX developers to discuss it with the Kaillera developers directly if they were interested in following it up further. If I was a developer I would pitch in for sure! Unfortunately, the only thing I can write is SQL..somehow I don't think that would cut it....for either the DOSBOX or Kaillera...

:)

Best,

Wood Tick
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby HunterZ » 2005-5-31 @ 02:51

Well, DOSBox is open source, so anyone that has the knowledge and wants to take the time can add the support - doesn't necessarily have to be the DOSBox devs.
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby Wood Tick » 2005-5-31 @ 03:20

That would be sweet if someone would look to it for sure!!!

Imagine logging into the dosbox servers to play some of our favorite games of all time head to head against like-minded DOS fans any time of day or night!

Anyone for a game of world class leader board? I'm pretty darn good!

"Looks like he hit the tree, Jim."

;)

How about a game of test drive from accolade head to head......forget about test drive underground on your x-box! This one is better!

Want to test out your brain? How bout a game of chessmaster 2000 against an on-line chessmaster or maybe you'd prefer a game of Old School RISK DOS style circa 1986! I still love these old games best....the graphics are lacking but the gameplay for many of these games was top notch!

Personally, playing these games against a live internet opponent would be an absolute blast......or perhaps against an entire league of internet players....as in joining our NHL95 league! You are all welcome to join!

:)

Sega and Nintendo emulators hooked up on-line is awesome...but I've always been a PC gamer....never got into the console gaming nearly as much. For me most of the console games never seemed to have the same depth as the PC games. We need Kaillera for DOSBOX too!!!

Thanks for the input guys!


Best,


Wood Tick
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby MiniMax » 2005-5-31 @ 15:06

HunterZ wrote:I disagree. I'm pretty sure that you'd be hooking Kalleria into the highest level of input handling code in DOSBox, not at some lower level that has anything to do with specific DOS input methods.

Why at the DOSBox level? Why not at the SDL-level? Isn't SDL in charge of reading/decoding the keyboard, reading mouse & joystick movements?

I know it sounds like passing the burden to the SDL devs, but if this Kaillera client is about echo'ing input events to an Kaillera server, and merging local input events with events received from a remote player, then perhaps SDL is the natural place to do it?

On the other hand, I see a lot of security issue with allowing some stranger at a remote DOSBox injecting events into *my* DOSBox!! You would have to be damn sure that you only mount specific sub-directories and not your C: drive. In fact, (img)mount commands should only be allowed in the autoexec-section if Kaillera-mode is enabled.

ROM- or image-based emulators do not have the same problem. Hmm - Wonder how that Amiga-emulator handles this issue. Image-based virtual drives?

Btw, feel free to ignore me - or ridicule me - since I know nill about programming DOSBox, SDL, or Kaillera clients....
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby `Moe` » 2005-5-31 @ 15:47

Exactly my point. Simply sharing the keyboard is like opening a vnc session to your PC - no need for Kaillera, and as dangerous. dosbox has not been engineered for untrusted users, and it is quite trivial to take over the PC (well, the user account) when someone else can type things into it. Even when mounting was disabled, a single reproducable crash is enough - that type of security flaw happens every day.

Moreover, sharing the keyboard and mouse and screen is not enough: Some games used networking, some used modems, some used a second mouse (the Siedler/Serf City series, in dosbox using directserial), some used hot-seat, some gave every player a few keys on the keyboard. Then there is the screen: it may be split in various ways, and so on. How do you prevent your partner from cheating if both players can do everything? How do you notice that your partner presses one of your keys instead of his? You can't see him.

Again, on a console, each player gets his own controller, and all the problems are solved. Not so on DOS. And if you just want to share your full dosbox ignoring the security problems, tell vnc to share only that window and you can already play today.
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby HunterZ » 2005-5-31 @ 15:53

Those are some good points, MiniMax:

- Adding Kalleria support to SDL would probably be a lot trickier than adding it to DOSBox, as it would end up having to deal with a LOT more use cases. It may also be a lot harder to keep clients in sync if done at the SDL level, as I think most emulators with Kaillera support actually perform full-machine emulation on both clients and then just pass user input events back and forth (possibly with some form of lag compensation?). Interesting idea though, as adding Kaillera support at the SDL level would make it easier to build Kaillera-enabled apps if it could be done.

- The security issue is also important. While a remote user probably wouldn't be able to use it to, say, send or retrieve files on your system, they could still delete them or move them around. Unfortunately the open-source nature of DOSBox probably means that any built-in protection would only slow people down, and that the only real way to be safe is to only play with friends whom you trust.
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby `Moe` » 2005-5-31 @ 16:38

HunterZ, regarding security, it allows people to create files/install a trojan. That task is not as trivial as deleting some files, but it's stuff that really happens these days. OTOH, the open-source nature is not to be blamed, in the contrary, it makes users safer, because the flaws are well-known and can thus be guarded against. the real problem is that dosbox was never meant to be used by untrusted persons, so there's probably a lot hidden that is unsafe in such a scenario. What's even worse: a typical source of "unsafe for strangers" are performance optimizations (speaking from experience, not specific of dosbox). Top performance and tamper-resistance are usually not reachable at the same time.

PS: It may be surprising, but I am not against Kaillera. I just think it's a lot more complex than some people think. The simple solutions have no advantage over vnc, and vnc has not to be coded. A good solution might perhaps be possible, but it's not trivial.
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Re: Kaillera and Dos Box....

Postby HunterZ » 2005-5-31 @ 16:42

Moe: Yes, that makes sense, except the part about creating files and installing trojans. I don't know how that could be accomplished with only remote access to DOSBox I/O without going to a lot of effort.
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