Creating wrappers for older Mac OS X games

Emulation of old Macintoshes, Mac hardware, or Mac peripherals.

Creating wrappers for older Mac OS X games

Postby EldritchNexus » 2018-8-04 @ 11:14

I'm using Snow Leopard, and I'm wondering if there's a way I could place older OS X games like Heretic II or Return to Castle Wolfenstein within their own wrapper, just so that I can play them, along with the other games in their respective series, from one directory without the files getting muddled with those of the other games. I already have DOSBox wrappers for the DOS versions of the other Wolfenstein and Heretic/Hexen games (including the DOS version of the Hammer of Thyrion source port for Hexen II), so I don't need to worry about those. But just for the sake of preference, I would deeply prefer simply placing Heretic II and RTCW in wrappers as well.

Is there a way I can do this, or would that require the source code for those games?
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Re: Creating wrappers for older Mac OS X games

Postby vladstamate » 2018-8-04 @ 13:28

It is not that simple unfortunately. DOSBox for example is not merely a wrapper but a full fledged 386+ computer emulator. It emulates things like sound cards.

For older Mac games if they are 68k based your best bet is an emulator like a Basilisk II (it works on OSX). For PowerPC games you could be running Rosetta since you have Snow Leopard. You can install it (just search around on the Apple website).
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Re: Creating wrappers for older Mac OS X games

Postby EldritchNexus » 2018-8-04 @ 14:01

Heretic II and RTCW (the copies I have, anyway) are OS X games, not Classic Mac OS. I already have Rosetta and the games run fine. I just want to be able to put the game in a package/wrapper so that I don't have a dozen or so files laying around in one folder/directory. You know, something I could put the files into and then click on the package to play the game? Preferably, something that doesn't take up 200MB of extra space on the hard drive.

There's an Intel patch for RTCW that is essentially a package file so that I can play it, but also open and take stuff in and out of (which the originalfile doesn't allow), though it still forces me to keep the game files outside of it, and in the same directory in order to work. Is there a way I can reconfigure it, whether through the .plist file or otherwise so that it checks a directory inside of the .app file for the files instead of the directory the .app file is in?


https://sourceforge.net/projects/rtcw-osx/
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Re: Creating wrappers for older Mac OS X games

Postby filipetolhuizen » 2018-8-05 @ 04:31

RTCW runs both on OSX and Mac OS 9.2.2. I played it a lot on my upgraded B&W G3 running under Mac OS 9.2.2.
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Re: Creating wrappers for older Mac OS X games

Postby EldritchNexus » 2018-8-06 @ 02:29

filipetolhuizen wrote:RTCW runs both on OSX and Mac OS 9.2.2. I played it a lot on my upgraded B&W G3 running under Mac OS 9.2.2.



That's good to know, but I just want to know if there's a way that I can run all the files from those games from a package-based file like the games on the Mac App Store. Can this be done or not? If it can, awesome. If it can't, thanks anyway.
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Re: Creating wrappers for older Mac OS X games

Postby almeath » 2019-2-03 @ 06:00

EldritchNexus wrote:
filipetolhuizen wrote:RTCW runs both on OSX and Mac OS 9.2.2. I played it a lot on my upgraded B&W G3 running under Mac OS 9.2.2.



That's good to know, but I just want to know if there's a way that I can run all the files from those games from a package-based file like the games on the Mac App Store. Can this be done or not? If it can, awesome. If it can't, thanks anyway.



I have figured out how to create Macintosh game packages that are both self-contained and which run in 64-bit in macOS (hence future compatible for macOS 10.15 and above). I use customized builds of Mini vMac, which I compile on a per game basis. I then use a macOS application called Platypus, which provides an easy-to-use GUI for wrapping those Mini vMac installs into individual packages. It supports anything Mini vMac supports, which is up to Mac II (8MB ram) and pretty much anything for System 6 and 7. I prefer using System 7.1 because it allows for 'start up items' - i.e. games will auto launch within the classic Mac OS after the package is launched from macOS. Modern systems are so fast that the system basically loads within a few seconds and it is almost as good as starting the game natively.

If anyone is still interested I am happy to write up a step-by-step guide and post it here. To be honest, I could do with some help to perfect the process. While it works great for my iMac with a 2560x1440 resolution, I find the main weakness with this approach is not having the ability to make the wrappers reliably cross-compatible with other systems (i.e. with different screen resolutions) as custom builds of Mini vMac can only be configured with compile-time options.

Also, there is a weird issue I experience whenever I run disk utility repairs in my Mac, which causes the Mac packages to stop launching when I double click them. I then have to go into the package, 'Macos' directory, and manually launch the Mini vMac executable from within the package. Then the package works again as normal, until the next disk utility repair etc. This could be some kind of strange permissions issue of which I am not aware, being self-taught in this kind of thing.

Lastly, I have created wrappers based on bash scripts and applescripts. Both work, but again I ran into some issues moving the wrappers between different Mac systems. I currently use bash scripts for all my wrappers running in 10.14 Mojave.

I would greatly appreciate some help in improving the wrappers and fixing the above issues.

If anyone is still interested, let me know and I will post all the details. I would also be happy to provide an empty wrapper for a particular game (i.e. the wrapper minus the game files) if anyone wants to take one of my pre-built wrappers and check it out directly.
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Re: Creating wrappers for older Mac OS X games

Postby almeath » 2019-2-03 @ 06:08

Just two more points:

1. My focus has been to get the classic Mac games working in self-contained packages on the modern macOS. I do not know whether a similar approach could work for PCs, perhaps if there is a way to use the same principle of building a customized Mini vMac installation, and then wrapping it in some kind of self-contained executable. I do not see why not..

2. SheepShaver for macOS was updated to 64-bit in 2018 with substantially improved functionality. It is great for games up to MacOS 9, CD games etc, and it also supports mostly self-contained game packages (i.e. games are self contained in the package but you need an install of SheepShaver residing outside of them to run). There is information on the Emaculation forum for fully self-contained wrappers (for macOS) but it is still a work in progress.
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Re: Creating wrappers for older Mac OS X games

Postby retardware » 2019-2-03 @ 14:31

almeath wrote:If anyone is still interested I am happy to write up a step-by-step guide and post it here. To be honest, I could do with some help to perfect the process. While it works great for my iMac with a 2560x1440 resolution, I find the main weakness with this approach is not having the ability to make the wrappers reliably cross-compatible with other systems (i.e. with different screen resolutions) as custom builds of Mini vMac can only be configured with compile-time options.

I like the idea.
Maybe there can be found tricks to modify the thing in a way that resolution etc can be configured at runtime.
Or make the package so that it can be easily compiled on user machines.
And the other problems you described, probably it is best to be able to reproduce to find out what is happening.
So it probably would be really helpful to write a guide.
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Re: Creating wrappers for older Mac OS X games

Postby almeath » 2019-2-05 @ 05:12

retardware wrote:
almeath wrote:I like the idea.
Maybe there can be found tricks to modify the thing in a way that resolution etc can be configured at runtime.
Or make the package so that it can be easily compiled on user machines.
And the other problems you described, probably it is best to be able to reproduce to find out what is happening.
So it probably would be really helpful to write a guide.


Great, I'll start work on it.

One of the reasons I used Mini vMac is because of the support for nearest neighbor filtering. Now that SheepShaver supports this too (in the latest February 2019 build) that original reason is gone, but it is still the best option for games requiring System 6.x or early versions of 7. It also has lots of options to tweak settings like speed and color depth that SheepShaver lacks. I won't bother writing up a guide for SheepShaver wrappers because the Emaculation forum already contains a guide to make those.

I will certainly appreciate help to perfect the Mini vMac wrappers because I am not aware of anyone else having attempted them.
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Re: Creating wrappers for older Mac OS X games

Postby almeath » 2019-2-05 @ 05:20

EldritchNexus wrote:I'm using Snow Leopard, and I'm wondering if there's a way I could place older OS X games like Heretic II or Return to Castle Wolfenstein within their own wrapper


To partially answer the original question by EldritchNexus, I looked into what is available for Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and found this:

https://github.com/iortcw/iortcw

It appears to offer a way to play the game in a x86_64 macOS wrapper. It only talks about 10.6 but hopefully it compiles in later versions as well..
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