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Reply 40 of 47, by MrFlibble

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So I just found out (thanks to this thread) about the DOS version of Hammer of Thyrion, and the DOS port of Quake II. Hammer of Thyrion even works in DOSBox with minimal tweaking. There's also EDuke32 for DOS too, but I could not run in it DOSBox at all. I wonder if there are any other projects of back-porting something to DOS that wasn't originally for that platform?

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Reply 41 of 47, by mr.cat

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I know you already said you weren't interested in roguelikes, but maybe this applies more generally...
I was a bit curious about using the HX DOS extender as a method of porting Linux stuff to DOS, so I've now made a rather half-assed attempt at Cataclysm-DDA (0.C).

OK so, spoilers, yes it pretty much works. But I'm sure there are bugs lurking about, can't be this easy now can it 😁
Don't think this as a full blown port, it's more like a compilation test.

it would be a real stretch to call it playable in this form, however...
The colors and the charset are very wrong for starters, yeah that's already pretty bad for a roguelike. Also it's very slow (this may be because I used -march=i486).
Maybe some of the problems could be fixed but it doesn't look very promising.

EDIT: Yep, after some trivial fixing (added some missing initialization calls), it now looks a lot better (pretty much as it should look like in glorious ASCII).
Video modes such as 132x43 or 132x60 can also be used now (CDDA isn't very playable at 80x25).

EDIT2: It seems the slowdown was just emulation overhead. Gave this a spin in dosemu2 and it feels near native speed 😁
Qemu could also be used, but there's some problem with keyboard. Other than that, there are some obvious LFN issues.
NB: As it stands I'm unable to test this on a physical DOS machine.

For building the binaries, I used mingw32 (gcc 4.7.1) that is included in an old 13.12 version of Code::Blocks.
The patch adds a PDCurses dependency (using "wincon", PDCursesMod probably works too). It's likely that a recent version is needed.

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    CDDA_0.C-mingw32_patch.diff.gz
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    The bare minimum to get CDDA 0.C running in DOS
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    CDDA 0.C running in DOSBox-X. Now with non-obnoxious colors.
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  • cdda_0c_title_screen.png
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    CDDA 0.C running in DOSBox-X. Title Screen, wrong colors (1st attempt)
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Last edited by mr.cat on 2021-05-22, 08:12. Edited 7 times in total.

Reply 42 of 47, by MrFlibble

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mr.cat wrote on 2021-05-15, 17:05:

I know you already said you weren't interested in roguelikes, but maybe this applies more generally...

Well, it's not that I'm not interested in them per se, it's just that, likely for obvious reasons such as the use of textmode graphics, this particular genre has a relatively good and documented presence on the DOS platform (although certain individual games might not be as well documented as one would have liked them to be), whereas stuff like a back-port of Hexen II is a bit more... exotic I should say. Also I almost forgot about the Sonic DOS ports that were mentioned in this thread not long ago. I wonder if they work with demo data files (IIRC Sonic CD has a demo).

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Reply 43 of 47, by mr.cat

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Right, thanks for clearing that up. This could be a file from Captain Obvious Archives (well I have a lot of their files 🤣) but making a proper DOS port isn't very easy nowadays, especially if you're targeting i486 or lower. I guess it never was super easy, as DOS is just different in many ways, but simply getting the toolchain going can be a chore now. The mingw32 + HX method seemed like an easy way to do it in theory because it's "just" gcc. The other option is to go the DJGPP route and actually it could be more appropriate (DJGPP produces real DOS binaries, but HX relies on Windows dlls to do its magic). Then there's Watcom and a few others, but good luck if the source is in "modern" C++ (as in, not written in the nineties?)

MrFlibble wrote on 2021-05-15, 18:00:

.. this particular genre has a relatively good and documented presence on the DOS platform ..

That certainly holds true for the classics of the genre, for the new ones not so much. Even the open source ones (DCSS in particular comes to mind, they dropped the DOS port at 0.6 or so). I guess it's just too much fuss...

Last edited by mr.cat on 2021-05-18, 10:14. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 44 of 47, by MrFlibble

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mr.cat wrote on 2021-05-15, 18:29:

That certainly holds true for the classics of the genre, for the new ones not so much. Even the open source ones (DCSS in particular comes to mind, they dropped the DOS port at 0.6 or so). I guess it's just too much fuss...

I was actually surprised when I realised recently that Stone Soup does not have a MobyGames entry yet. IIRC the latest DOS version is 0.5.2. Pity it's textmode only, there are a couple of roguelikes that have DOS versions with tiles (vanilla Nethack, AllegroHack and Slash'EM, and I think IVAN? never played that one though; and of course UnReal world, although I think it does not have a textmode version now?). I'm generally a fan of the art style in which these tiles are drawn.

DOS Games Archive | Free open source games | RGB Classic Games

Reply 45 of 47, by mr.cat

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Actually there is a fair chance that the "tiles" (graphical) versions could be made to work in HX, as there already are some SDL apps that work when run this way (some version of DOSBox, ScummVM etc.).
...and you know what that means... SDL titles in general would perhaps work?
But the Sonic port was using Allegro, that seems to imply there is some problem using the DJGPP/SDL combo?

Maybe this HX method can not be considered a "real" DOS port, but does it really matter? Cheating or not, it is running in DOS.
There are some downsides to this, the required dlls for example. The DOS ain't dead forum and Dr-DOS Wiki have some of the gritty details about HX configuration for anyone interested.

Btw, CDDA also has multiple nice tilesets (and soundsets too).
I just deliberately tried to keep things simple here (and I actually prefer to play these in ASCII anyway - the aspect ratio is sometimes a bit problematic in ASCII though, like when driving a bus across town in CDDA). I should also mention CDDA might not the best candidate for a DOS port, as it's quite heavy to run. I picked that only because of my own personal preference 😁
I think the memory recommendation was something like 2GB, so quite a lot for DOS. And cpu-wise CDDA can struggle even on modern hardware, if you enable the 3D stuff!
If you have such a powerful machine, chances are you already have some other OS that is a better match for the hw.

Reply 46 of 47, by MrFlibble

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Some Allegro library games are for DOS or have DOS binaries alongside Windows ones, and have the source code available. Here's an interesting thingy called Space Glider which was sadly never completed, apparently. The source is included but the license prohibits to modify it and produce derivative works.

Also I guess anything in Basic/QBasic/QuickBasic also counts? Lots of DOS based games there but some are pretty laggy in DOSBox for some reason.

DOS Games Archive | Free open source games | RGB Classic Games

Reply 47 of 47, by leileilol

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Command & Conquer Remastered's source actually still has quite a bit of leftover DOS-era residue and there's a (non-DOS) faithful port using it, if that counts.

https://github.com/Vanilla-Conquer/Vanilla-Conquer

No idea if there is an attempt at a DOS backport of this. Some of the recent commits deal with restoring OG 320x200 asset functionality at least.

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