Snipes enhanced for VGA

Getting old DOS games working. (DOSBox topics belong in DOSBox areas below, not here).

Snipes enhanced for VGA

Postby ripsaw8080 » 2014-1-12 @ 05:16

I made a patch that enhances the 1982 game Snipes by SuperSet Software. Snipes was originally programmed to use 40x25 color text on CGA hardware; the patch changes it to use 80x60 color text on VGA hardware. Only the display size and layout of the info at the top of the screen is different, the game is otherwise unchanged.

vgasnipe.zip
(2.08 KiB) Downloaded 100 times

The patch is in the form of a program that loads the game, modifies it in memory, and then runs it. You'll need the version of Snipes available here, which has both color and monochrome variants of the game, but only the color files SNIPE.C1 and SNIPE.C2 are required by the patch. Note that these variants of the game are single-player only; multi-player variants that use shared files on a LAN to communicate are not supported. Specify the game's skill level on the patch program's command line, otherwise you'll be prompted for it.

Thanks to forum member keropi, the non-standard 80x60 text mode has been tested and found to work on multiple DOS systems with a wide variety of VGA cards. It also works in DOSBox with all VGA machine types.

A v-sync feature is added by the patch to help with screen tearing during scrolling. It works to some extent in official DOSBox, but syncing to the host, as in ykhwong's build, gives better results.

Another new feature is optional user-defined fonts. If an 8x8 bitmap font file named VGASNIPE.FNT exists in the game directory then it will be loaded instead of the 8x8 font in the VGA card's BIOS. Font files should be exactly 2048 bytes in size. A sample font file is included in the patch archive to give an idea of some of the things that can be done to change the game's appearance.

Note that Snipes uses the system timer tick to limit its speed, and should play about the same on slower or faster DOS systems. However, the larger display size of the enhanced game may slow it down on old XT or AT systems.

Here's a list of keys used to play the game because they're not documented elsewhere:

Cursor keys - Move, combo for diagonal
W,A,S,D,X - Shoot, combo for diagonal
Spacebar - Hold down to move faster, but you can't shoot
F1 - Toggle sound (default ON)
F2 - Toggle shooting sound (default OFF)
F9 - Toggle v-sync (default OFF)
Ctrl-ScrLock - Quit

The key combo for quitting might seem odd, but it's how you do a break on PC XT keyboards.
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Re: Snipes enhanced for VGA

Postby sliderider » 2014-1-12 @ 05:48

Never played the game, but was the text unreadable using the smaller text necessitating the change in size?
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Re: Snipes enhanced for VGA

Postby keropi » 2014-1-12 @ 11:42

another great improvement patch by ripsaw8080, thanks! glad I could help a little with it :)

@sliderider
the patch is an improvement , CGA -> VGA resolution , not something that fixes an unplayable game. It also offers a VSYNC option and custom font loading that lets users be creative with the game, The original still works fine if you are not interested in such improvements.
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Re: Snipes enhanced for VGA

Postby catchaserguns » 2014-1-12 @ 22:26

My question is this. Has the game Snipes been made freeware? If not then the download for the game is against the policy of this forums. Any game not released as freeware authorized by the owner or publisher of the game is warez and not allowed on this site. The download of the patch is ok but maybe not the game.
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Re: Snipes enhanced for VGA

Postby VileRancour » 2014-1-13 @ 04:48

Awesome little hack as always (and in less than a kilobyte). I do recommend trying this out... having more of the maze visible makes the game a lot nicer IMO, though it's still very challenging on the higher levels (U7 is the most difficult I've beaten so far).

Here's my take on a custom font. Tried to give the walls a "3D" effect and messed around with the tiles. Not sure why I gave the player character a mustache and a pipe...
I started working on it before I saw ripsaw's finished version, but funnily enough we had an almost identical idea for the monster generators, Gauntlet-style. :P
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VGASNIPE.FNT.zip
(1.36 KiB) Downloaded 67 times
web  /   blog   /   tube
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Re: Snipes enhanced for VGA

Postby gerwin » 2014-1-20 @ 20:04

Thanks for this. Snipes is still surprisingly fun to play, and I don't know anything like it.
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Re: Snipes enhanced for VGA

Postby ripsaw8080 » 2014-1-21 @ 09:38

Here is another custom font to give the game a Wolfenstein flavor. It's mostly based on Castle Wolfenstein, but the likeness of B.J. Blazkowicz, such as it is, and the stencil characters are more reminiscent of Wolfenstein 3D.
Attachments
Castle_Wolfensnipe.zip
(1.15 KiB) Downloaded 70 times
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Re: Snipes enhanced for VGA

Postby keropi » 2014-1-21 @ 11:18

looking great! thanks!

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Re: Snipes enhanced for VGA

Postby Thraka » 2014-3-25 @ 05:17

Wow this is really cool!!! It's really cool to see dos get treatment like the console games have been getting for years.
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Re: Snipes enhanced for VGA

Postby Blacklion62 » 2015-1-12 @ 04:54

Link to Snipes in line "use the version of Snipes found here" is working, but unable to unrar file. any help is appreciated.


Thank you,

James
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Re: Snipes enhanced for VGA

Postby truth_deleted » 2015-1-12 @ 06:04

Those are zip files posted.
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