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First post, by RobDos

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If you're looking for a MS DOS launcher, I found it...
Here is a video online, it's still young and new but please give it a like and bump:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ1fFGvar1k

safe_image.php?d=AQG4sPF9M7QEEha6&w=480&h=250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FLJ1fFGvar1k%2Fhqdefault.jpg&cfs=1&ext=jpg&_nc_cb=1&_nc_hash=AQEL1xhTZ8a37HjY

Binaries and instructions here:
https://www.target-earth.net/wiki/doku.php?id … og:x86_launcher

I'm in the process of building a retro-chic gaming system and I wanted a game launcher that while not too advanced gave a nice appeal and I stumbled across the project for the original NEC systems but it appears this past January the developer ported it to the x86 world!

The program runs 16bit dos, no TSR or memory usage. Run it, it launches the game and done! usable both in DOSBox and in physical hardware, it is NOT a launcher for DOSBox.

Reply 1 of 8, by megatron-uk

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Ha, so you found it!

It's still a work-in-progress, but all of the following works:

- Scraping one or more directories for games
- Loading metadata for each game
- Displaying a list of 8bpp BMP artwork for each game
- Searching your list of games by developer, publisher, genre or series
- Searching your list of games by hardware attributes (if you tag a game as using ultrasound, you can search for those specific games in the interface)
- Start a game with one of two defined start files (I'm generally using one for the main game, and one for the install/setup routine; where appropriate)

It only uses low memory, so no XMS, EMS or protected mode extender is used. So far I've had it up to 509 games (all that I have in my dosbox 'games' drive). I've temporarily got my 286 and 486 machines away, so haven't tested the performance with such a high number on real hardware, but I have no doubts it will work - albeit slower than dosbox on a modern PC.

Binaries are on my wiki linked to above. The initial release on there at present doesn't have a readme file to get you started, so I'll be putting a new version up there soon with one; as well as some additional features/bug-fixes done in the last couple of days.

Source code is under GPL and available on Github (link is on the wiki)

As a bonus, I'm planning to put all of the pre-made metadata files for all of the games on my dosbox games folder and their pre-sized artwork on the same page - so it's a bit of a kick-start to anyone looking to start writing metadata and artwork for their collection.

I'd love to hear some feedback!

Reply 3 of 8, by RobDos

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I've got this loaded, P3B-F, P3-500Mhz, Radeon 9200SE AGP.
It hangs on load 🙁 works great in dos box.

The screen goes dim, once I had it load the menu but then it froze.

Waiting to load Main UI...
Red bar is full, screen is dim. It seems to never load.

Reply 4 of 8, by megatron-uk

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It's odd that it should hang there; it's already done all of the video initialisation, loaded all graphics assets and scraped and parsed all of the games - all it does then is clear the screen and redraw the UI with the first N games it has scraped.

I'm actually pretty happy that it runs and displays on something as new as a Radeon, so that says to me that all of the VESA/VGA code is working fine.

I'm on with bringing the Sharp X68000 version up to parity with the DOS version, but given a couple of days I can probably do a debug version that you can run and we can find out a bit more of what is going wrong.

Out of interest, how many games is it scraping?

Reply 5 of 8, by megatron-uk

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Ok, here's a version with debug text enabled on most modules.

You can either run it just as "launcher.exe" and it will log to the screen, or you can capture the logging by running it as "launcher.exe > log.txt".

Attach the log here or send me a pm with it in and I'll take a look.

Attachments

  • Filename
    launcher.zip
    File size
    57.92 KiB
    Downloads
    6 downloads
    File comment
    Launcher with debug text enabled
    File license
    CC-BY-4.0

Reply 7 of 8, by megatron-uk

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Hezus wrote on 2021-03-07, 10:28:

Looks very cool! Appreciate it that it also runs on XT class systems. Going to try this once I get all my systems out of storage.

Just be aware that it's not yet finished and is still very much "in development".

That said, any and all feedback is welcome.