VOGONS


New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App

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Reply 21 of 85, by jarreboum

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I really like it, especially having a separate setup option with its own script. [edit] I missed the series option. Great stuff! [/edit]

Also I'm sad at the 286 requirement. Does it use 286-specific code or could it be executed with a NEC V20? Any chance not to have that requirement at all in the future?

Last edited by jarreboum on 2018-03-12, 17:58. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 23 of 85, by MobyGamer

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It shouldn't require a 286 -- you can control whether 286 (or 386, or 8087) code is generated in the "Make EXE" dialog. jasondavidcarr, any reason why you wrote your launcher requires a 286?

Reply 24 of 85, by mothergoose729

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Holy moley, are you the Jason from launchbox 😁.

I was seriously thinking about making an app just like this for my dos machine (once it is built... 🤣). The only thing I was going to add to it was a section for notes. Sometimes it takes a few steps to get your machine ssetup to run a game, beyond what you can do in a batch file (like disabling cache in your bios).

Anyway, neat app. Can't wait to try it!

Reply 25 of 85, by cyclone3d

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I'm definitely going to try this out once I get my 486 build up and running. Still waiting on a functional CF to IDE adapter from China to arrive. 😵

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Reply 27 of 85, by Thallanor

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This looks pretty fantastic! I used to use an MS-DOS menu back in the day, but have long since forgotten what it was called and have only found stinkers. This one looks great! Thank you.

Reply 28 of 85, by khan_games

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Very excited to get this set up and use! Thank you so much! As someone previously mentioned, a notes section would be great so that I can remind myself which games to disable CPU cache on, but man, this is going to make things so much easier!

Reply 29 of 85, by chinny22

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Looks pretty good.
Ive been wanting another menu system for my other 486 and Dosshell didn't really do it for me.
I used "Osmenu" on my original PC all those years ago you can see and download it here
Osbone 486 DX2 66 VL-Bus (My 1st PC ever)

While its OK and fits that PC it has its limits and wanted something better yet simple.

leileilol wrote:

- Games that have separate binaries for multiple episodes could be handled by a submenu maybe

I've created batch files for such games that the menu calls up instead, although inbuilt support would be nice as well

Reply 30 of 85, by Roger Wilco

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leileilol wrote:

Trying this a bit:

- Would be nice to change colors, maybe perhaps via pushing some registers for VGA+ devices
- Games that have separate binaries for multiple episodes could be handled by a submenu maybe

I have been searching a menu capable of doing that for quite a long time...and ended up with this. Quite happy 😊
Attached is G-Menu, from 1992 and a screenshot.

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Reply 31 of 85, by MobyGamer

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I've been working on a menu/launcher system for a while; it works fundamentally differently than these, but also requires no setup, stores everything compressed to save disk space on old machines, and supports tens of thousands of games. If anyone would like to help test the alpha of this, send me a PM. I'll create a separate thread for it when I feel it is ready for prime time.

Reply 34 of 85, by bristlehog

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Usability feature request:

If you type 'conan' for example, the program should select 'Conan something' or even 'something Conan'. Right now it just continues to cycle through all games starting with 'C'.

Using your own example:

launchbx_000.png.a7732efd6bdaa1cebaf9cdd3f8dab902.png

If I type in 'keen v', I definitely want to select 'Commander Keen Episode V', not being thrown to games starting with 'K' which I believe is the case as of now.

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Reply 36 of 85, by jaZz_KCS

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What about games that need a wholly different startup setup in config.sys in order to work? Thinking about non-EMS, EMS, XMS-only, etc... As you have different entries (probably) in your config, what good is an all-encompassing menu if half of the games wont run because you are currently booted into the wrong system config?

Reply 37 of 85, by Dominus

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That's not the scope of the launcher. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit and you better don't use it.

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Reply 38 of 85, by Roger Wilco

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I set up a Dos machine for my friends, in a private arcade room, with a couple of arcades and pinballs; the goal was to make it as easy as possible. So I went with a menu program as well. Because of all the different boot options, some games need, I used Dosbox - for the beginning.
It's working very well.

I am working on an original Dos mode now, too, mainly to access the original sound cards and the PC speaker in its full glory. Same machine, dual-boot - so the "pros" can choose to boot into original Dos during startup, for one or two seconds.

I will write the status, the machine is booted into, into a file during startup - status.txt. It will contain a simple string. NORMAL, XMS, EMS, NOEMS, and so on.
In the launcher menu, for certain games that need special boot options, i will start a bash script, that checks the status and if it's the wrong one, a message will be displayed: "to play this game, you have to boot into EMS mode", for example, and exit.
If it's the right one, the game will be started.

So i can use the same menu settings for all boot options.
Quite simple and should work 😀

Reply 39 of 85, by dr_st

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Dominus wrote:

That's not the scope of the launcher. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit and you better don't use it.

Quoted for Truth

jaZz_KCS wrote:

What about games that need a wholly different startup setup in config.sys in order to work? Thinking about non-EMS, EMS, XMS-only, etc... As you have different entries (probably) in your config, what good is an all-encompassing menu if half of the games wont run because you are currently booted into the wrong system config?

It's a fallacy. 99% of the games work well with a single config (XMS+EMS+UMB+Mouse+CDROM+Sound Drivers). Some people on VOGONS are convinced that you really need fifteen different configs to cover everything, but it's simply not true.

Roger Wilco wrote:

I will write the status, the machine is booted into, into a file during startup - status.txt. It will contain a simple string. NORMAL, XMS, EMS, NOEMS, and so on.
In the launcher menu, for certain games that need special boot options, i will start a bash script, that checks the status and if it's the wrong one, a message will be displayed: "to play this game, you have to boot into EMS mode", for example, and exit.
If it's the right one, the game will be started.

Even that should be unnecessary, as I believe DOS creates an environment variable called %CONFIG%, if you are using menu options in Config.sys, with the value set to the name of the chosen configuration.

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