How about and MS-DOS gaming general?
i personally think was the golden era of PC gaming, so many classics were born there
SVN Daum: http://ykhwong.x-y.net/
and for abandonware
it's my first general, so i don't know what else to put up. just hope this gains some momentum and /vr/ picks it up from here.
>How about and MS-DOS gaming general?
>i personally think was the golden era of PC gaming, so many classics were born there
In truth, only 91-95 was good with the 80s being a time when PCs were better at Lotus 123 than video games. The Windows 9x era also spawned at least as many classics.
>and for abandonware
>searching for games when you can have all the games
Every time I mention on here that I like Jill of The Jungle someone shits on it. Well fuck you buddy, I think it's rad.
I love this fucking game. Here's OpenTyrian, so it works with modern computers
Commander Keen, anyone?
Also, here's another great site for you, OP.
Just discovered this one recently, you can play DOS games right from the browser.
Ahhh, Dos was great. So many great adventures, so many secrets to find. So easy now to just look up a walk through, rather than find it all yourself.
Before Doom, nobody would have bought a PC for games. All the games that did get made found their customers in people (or their kids) who happened to have purchased a PC to do work on. Given that from 1996 on most games were made primarily with Windows 95 in mind (and still worked in DOS because Windows 9x had a highly compatible DOS underbelly), the period where pure DOS was a really relevant gaming platform was actually pretty short. Its trump card was the pure horse power of the CPU which developers like id were able to harness, while a significant drawback was the amount of fiddling often necessary to get a game to work (a polar opposite of console games that just werked instantly, and even Amiga games mostly coming on bootable disks were much simpler to use).
>2GiB FAT16 partition for DOS and games (largest supported by FAT16 which is pretty much the only fixed-media filesystem DOS natively understands)
>32KiB clusters, meaning any file less than that (often MUCH less) will effectively occupy 32KiB on disk
>volume almost full
>according to properties, well over 300MiB are wasted due to said large cluster overhead
How to combat this, other than spending hours looking for smallish files which are unnecessary and deleting them?
What makes this worse is that basically all abandonware sites don't offer clean instalers + fixed executables of games, or at least clean rips, but rather random rips most often cluttered up with some junk files which are not always easy to discern. Also, fuck developers who decided not to use as few containers as possible for their game's assets, but to ship a shitton of tiny files instead, which makes wasted disk space skyrocket.
NO. It's a real late 90s computer restored and to serve as a retro rig.
All the "hurr durr just use Dosbox (or a sourceport if Doom/Quake etc.) lel" comments/"advice" are fucking annoying.
>it's my first general, so i don't know what else to put up
You may want to include this article:
It's bound to be very useful for people who wish to install MS-DOS from scratch on an old PC, especially that finding info like that in a largely complete and organized way is quite difficult these days.
Perhaps you might want to also include links to some of the stickies in the VOGONS forums.
This is one of the first games I ever beat. Pretty damn hard game if I recall correctly, or maybe I just sucked at games back then.
Since OP is a clueless noob, I will note that the DOS era properly spans 1986 (when commercial PC games started to run from DOS instead of boot disks) to 1995, when Windows 9x arrived and displaced it. The late 80s aside from Sierra/LucasArts adventures was the age of Tandy 1000s and shit EGA/speaker sound. Generally most games of this time are better on the Commodore 64, NES, Amiga, etc.
When most people talk about DOS games, they mean the VGA/Soundblaster era in 91-95.
>How to combat this, other than spending hours looking for smallish files which are unnecessary and deleting them?
If you can split that FAT16 partition, do it, get that cluster size down.
alternatively, look into DOS drive compression schemes like DriveSpace
you might also be able to find a FAT32 driver somewhere, too
dunno how well either of those would play with games (eg, games that need you to have no TSRs or anything running to work properly)
>people spent thousands of dollars on PCs just to play Monkey Island
Nonsense. Monkey Island was also available on the Amiga (which version had MUCH better music and sound effects than the PC version) and a few other computer platforms that were significantly less expensive than a PC and were a much better choice for gamers. Same goes for Lemmings (which was made originally for the Amiga and was ported to the PC with both poorer graphics and sound) and a lot of other titles.
Tell me someone else remembers racing to finish the computer lab assignment so you could play this afterwards.
>If you can split that FAT16 partition, do it, get that cluster size down.
Not an option. The whole HDD is much larger and also has other old OSes on it, both Windows and Linux. The general partition scheme is not something DOS can wrap its head around - it understands its own 2GiB FAT16 volume which is on the first primary partition on the disk, but the rest of the disk is incomprehensible to it (afaik DOS supports only ONE primary partition which must be followed by an extended partition - not the case here, there are more primary partitions after the first one). It must be that way for everything else to work, thus no more volumes can be made available to DOS.
>Nonsense. Monkey Island was also available on the Amiga (which version had MUCH better music and sound effects than the PC version) and a few other computer platforms that were significantly less expensive than a PC and were a much better choice for gamers
Not a relevant platform in North America
Neither cheaper nor better at gaming than PCs
Not sold here and >weeb shit
I'm sure the three people who owned the SCD Monkey Island would be happy to tell you about.
Well, if the PC version was pretty much all that you had access to, then tough luck I guess, Murrikan bro.
, Monkey Island was nowhere the game changer that Doom was, and the PC version was bought basically only by people who had a PC already anyway. As for Doom, you *had* to have a PC to play it (the few ports that came out were late and inferior enough as to not really count at all).
>Well, if the PC version was pretty much all that you had access to, then tough luck I guess, Murrikan bro.
Big deal, the best port was on the Amiga and you could play that one here. Amigas weren't that common compared to Yurop, but you could do it.
>Amigas weren't that common compared to Yurop
Which is a kind of a paradox given that the Amigas were created in America by the US company Commodore. Was it a result of the 1983 video game market crash that Americans trusted almost exclusively Nintendo as far as dedicated gaming systems went until the mid 90s (when Doom made the PC a truly relevant gaming platform, and when the Playstation came along)?
>Which is a kind of a paradox given that the Amigas were created in America by the US company Commodore. Was it a result of the 1983 video game market crash that Americans trusted almost exclusively Nintendo as far as dedicated gaming systems went until the mid 90s (when Doom made the PC a truly relevant gaming platform, and when the Playstation came along)?
Lemme explain what happened to the personal computer market in the late 80s.
>guy goes in store
>sees Amiga on display
>"Cool. Can it run Lotus 123?"
>"Oh. Well then forget about it."
Game consoles are a totally different market than computers, dum-dum. You have no idea just how huge of an application that Lotus was back then. It singlehandedly sold tens of thousands of IBM compatibles.
It's both strange and funny how in the 1980s PCs were bought not for entertainment purposes (which they sucked at horribly) but for work/productivity-related stuff, while nowadays people keep saying that the PC is dead and ditch their PCs for some mobile gadgets like phones and tablets which suck horribly at work/productivity-related stuff and are primarily entertainment-oriented. Who can explain how this even makes sense?
C64 is not too strong either, but up until about 1992/92 if a game had both an Amiga and a PC version, the Amiga version tended to be the better one (definitely better sound, and often even graphics). After that the older, more popular Amigas started to show their age, the newer ones never really catched on (for a variety of reasons), and the increasing processing power of the PC-compatibles became the dominant factor. Enter Doom in late 1993, the rest is history.
>Also, fuck developers who decided not to use as few containers as possible for their game's assets, but to ship a shitton of tiny files instead, which makes wasted disk space skyrocket.
Yea, that was a fucking silly thing to do given the FAT16 limitations. They should have learned from based John Carmack who put all assets into a single .WAD file (Doom games) or two .PAKs files (Quake).
Well it's true the CGA/beeper machines had major limitations, but some solid games were made for them despite that. And the EGA/Adlib era had some real classics, like Loom, King's Bounty, Wasteland, various stuff by Sierra, etc.
One of my roommates in early 90's (several years before Doom) had a 386 that was exclusively bought for games. He had tons of adventure games by Sierra and others, plus some RPGs (Might & Magic) and various other stuff. And this was just a little DOS machine with 16 MHz CPU, 2 megs RAM, VGA card, a soundblaster, and something like 40 MB of disk space.
I knew another guy who and an even older machine (probably a 286) who was heavily into RPGs like Ultima and Wizardry, and various strategy stuff.
Also, one of my old high school friends' dad bought a 386 or 486 class machine a little before 1994, and he would be the last guy on Earth to give a damn about FPS games. His thing was also RPGs and strategy games.
Had another roommate in college with a 286. He did use it for school stuff, but also games, including The Secret of Monkey Island (that one actually plays well on EGA hardware).
In truth, people were using much weaker 8-bit machines in the 80's for gaming. A 286 or 386 PC could do a lot more. About the only advantage some had was hardware scrolling (C64 especially) but not all 8-bit machines had this, thus a lot of arcade games those days used static screens (like Jet Set Willy, the screen only redraws when you exit to one side).
But now I'm older and don't care much about arcade stuff anymore. Even a barebones IBM XT with Hercules card is an interesting machine to me. Much more interesting than modern stuff, because it can reasonably be programmed in asm, and that's another game altogether. But even coding in Turbo Pascal on my 486 DOS machine was loads of fun compared to all the modern crap.
Pic is 1990 game Conflict: The Middle East Political Simulator.
I wish people could get their point across concisely without posting a wall of text and retelling their life story. Did we really need to know that you're a sweaty unemployed 45 year old neckbeard who lives in Mom's basement? I mean, come on, this is bordering on /r9k/ here.
Ancient Art of War was cool. Graphic card was a Hercules and we didn`t had a color monitor and played it in monochrome.
Just made disc images of all my old DOS games a week ago. They're mostly adventure games.
Something interesting I noticed about the Duke Nukem 3D Atomic Edition CD... It has copyright protection! This thing came out in 1996 and it might be one of the first games to implement this. So, I've been trying to figure out how to bypass this in the disk image.
>But now I'm older and don't care much about arcade stuff anymore. Even a barebones IBM XT with Hercules card is an interesting machine to me. Much more interesting than modern stuff, because it can reasonably be programmed in asm, and that's another game altogether. But even coding in Turbo Pascal on my 486 DOS machine was loads of fun compared to all the modern crap.
I'm sorry, it's just that the mark of a smart person is being able to get across your point in as few words as possible. Usually needing a wall of text is a sign that you're a dummy trying to appear smart.
I never played that one, but one of my college friends was into it. A real classic, according to many people.
At one point in time I was addicted to Reach for the Stars, another one that runs fine on graphically-limited hardware.
Amiga is nice and all, but it's more trouble to setup emulation. Dosbox is just so easy in comparison, and generally requires less resources to run. That's kind of a big deal for me, since I typically use weaker/older hardware as my daily driver (currently running OpenBSD purposely without GPU support, since not secure and not needed by anything I care about).
There's also the matter of keyboard vs. mouse. I don't even own a mouse, much less wish to use one. They're physically painful, so I always opt for keyboard-driven alternative. Would rather play game in pic than fancy-schmancy clickfest game.
I think I played, or better say tried to play it. It reminded me of Ashes of Empire (snailmail) game. Another good strategy game with a dry spreadsheet charm was Empire (Deluxe). Honestly I can`t be botherd to play those again, but for their time it was good.
How fast is Syndicate Wars supposed to run? On a PII 266 it seems to run way too fast. Also seems confusing (small viewport, pointless(?) map rotation), does it hold a candle to the original Syndicate, or not so much?
originally Windows was shunned as gaming platform. The overhead of the OS was perceived as too much, and well into the lifetime of Windows 95 people would boot into DOS to play the real stuff. Only with DirectX being a generation or two old, and MS doing a heavy marketing campaign would Windows gain any traction for games beyond Solitaire and simple pointy-clicky stuff.
One of the key motivations in the adaption of Windows as gaming platform was not superior performance, the overhead is real. It was simply ease of development. In DOS you had a billion and one different sound drivers, for all the major sound cards, and later on also APIs for the various accelerators. As a developer you had to code to them all. That's why you got the whole sound hardware selection in DOS installers.
What DirectX promised, and delivered, was a uniform API, that would translate to all the drivers. Only one sound API to code against, only one input API to code against, only one graphics API, and you automatically support all Windows-compatible soundcards, joysticks, gamepads and 3D accelerators. That was a huge deal. The performance impact of Windows is still not gone. However modern systems have such excess power, that the baseline of Windows has over the time dropped in comparison. The possibility of saving a couple cycles from not doing Windows is offset by the possibility of saving thousands of manhours by targeting standard APIs, instead of hardware.
if you're obsessed with scanlines, yes. Monitors were still CRTs, had the same masks. The attached pic is a random google search, that I think is from a real monitor. I do recall very strongly this pattern of 2 scanlines per pixel line on the old 320x200 games on real monitors.
In a way scan lines are inevitable on CRTs, because they are the lines, where the electron ray scans the screen, hence the name. When you're running at a low scanning resolution (few vertical lines), the ray needs to cover a wider area, so it needs to be less focused. And to avoid blurring the output, they are focused just enough that subsequent lines don't overlap. Because the "dot" from the ray looks a bit like a bell curve, bright in the middle, faint at the edges, it automatically means your screen is covered by lines with a bright middle and a faint edge. Note that this artifact relies on the output resolution. You won't see these scanlines if you upscale the image to some high resolution like 1600x1200, before passing it to the monitor, because then the ray gets focused so much, the outlines sharpen, which reduces the faint region between the lines.
In the case of 320x200 games as shown in that one screenshot, you can tell that the video card renders 640 lines, with pairs of lines having the same values. The 320x200 resolution is not a limit of the monitor, it can do higher. It's a limit of the memory model of the graphics card. So internally the graphics cards just sends the same pixel lines repeatedly, to make them bigger.
That is a half-truth; in fact by 1996 the vast majority of new PC games did run on Windows. One of the major advantages of Windows that you didn't mention was also being able to access however much memory you needed without the horrible kludge of DOS extenders like DOS4GW. The fact is that DOS was an OS designed for the 8086 so its limitations started becoming more and more apparent during the 386/486 era.
It's more a case of many devs being reluctant to switch to Windows because they still assumed it would put a ton of restrictions on the programmer, so then it did take extensive Microsoft advertising to convince everyone that this was no longer Windows 3.x.
>One of the major advantages of Windows that you didn't mention was also being able to access however much memory you needed without the horrible kludge of DOS extenders like DOS4GW
You're entirely correct about the memory model. I'm not sure I'd call DOS4GW a kludge, as it worked extremely well, and was in my understanding not that hard to use. You basically just load it up front and assume the new memory model.
>The fact is that DOS was an OS designed for the 8086 so its limitations started becoming more and more apparent during the 386/486 era.
No doubt about that. I'd go as far as calling DOS not much of an OS, as it had no concept of tasks, or scheduling, or abstractions. It was little more than an interrupt collection and a handful of executables. As a game dev though, that's almost what you want, at least at that time. Virtually unrestricted access to all the hardware, without the OS trying to get in the way.
That said, let's not forget about the "fun" that were sound card or cd rom drivers. They were so called TSRs, which means roughly Terminate and stay resident, meaning a task that is started, finishes, but won't clear its memory. Subsequent programs could call certain interrupts, that would work in the resident code, to operate the various peripherals. It's an ugly ugly mess, but it kind of worked, most of the time.
>It's more a case of many devs being reluctant to switch to Windows because they still assumed it would put a ton of restrictions on the programmer, so then it did take extensive Microsoft advertising to convince everyone that this was no longer Windows 3.x.
Good point, kind of. It did put restrictions on the devs. Even in simple things like its preemptive multitasking, you simply can not reserve all of the CPU for yourself, and you get no reliable timing from instruction counting, because Windows can at any time take away your CPU for something it considers more important. The programming model of a more real OS, like Windows 9x and of course the NT family, is definitely superior to DOS, no doubt about that. However it does introduce some layers of abstraction that you can't bypass any longer, and they do come at a cost. It may just be a couple hundred or a couple thousand cycles, for context switching, drivers, and so on. But if you only got a couple million cycles per second, you notice that number. Nowadays you got a couple billion cycles, and the weight of these couple thousand is not as bad any longer, certainly not bad enough to give up all the advantages.
another factor in not switching to Windows: poor kids like me who were still chugging along on a 486, who didn't want their multitasking OS hogging memory and CPU cycles, that could be used for 3d rendering.
>In the case of 320x200 games as shown in that one screenshot, you can tell that the video card renders 640 lines, with pairs of lines having the same values. The 320x200 resolution is not a limit of the monitor, it can do higher. It's a limit of the memory model of the graphics card.
Mode 13 uses the A000 segment for its video buffer, so 64k. The nice thing about Mode 13 versus CGA/EGA/Hercules/Tandy was that it's completely linear with a one byte=one pixel setup. All SVGA/VESA modes use the same setup as well.
And here's the tricky part - there had been assorted video standards since 1987 for producing resolutions above 640x480, however they were all different and incompatible with each other. Some of these were actually interlaced which let you use your existing 640x480 VGA monitor and not have to buy a new one.
In 1991, the VESA standard was established to create a uniform set of SVGA resolutions, respectively 800x600, 1024x768, and 1280x1024. However, there was still no standardized way of implementing them and it varied with each manufacturer, so you still needed specific SVGA drivers for your video card.
As part of the VESA standard, video cards would also have a BIOS extension that let you access extended modes from DOS. If you did this, you could access only 64k of the video buffer at once (in the A000 segment) and have to use bank switching to swap the rest. In protected mode, this was unnecessary since the extended modes map into the top of the CPU's address space and are accessed linearly.
Without special drivers, Windows 3.x and Windows 9x are limited to 640x480x16 Mode 12. Eventually with XP, Microsoft just included a built-in SVGA driver.
>No doubt about that. I'd go as far as calling DOS not much of an OS, as it had no concept of tasks, or scheduling, or abstractions. It was little more than an interrupt collection and a handful of executables. As a game dev though, that's almost what you want, at least at that time. Virtually unrestricted access to all the hardware, without the OS trying to get in the way.
We're talking 8086 here. DOS was barely above the level of typical 8-bit computer OSes of the time. In fact Windows to this day still has numerous handicaps related to its heritage that aren't found in UNIX-derived OSes because UNIX, although it's more than 50 years old, was designed around mainframes/minis, not 8-bit hobbyist's toy computers.
let's not forget UniVBE. It helped a lot to bring SVGA/VESA modes to DOS games.
>Without special drivers, Windows 3.x and Windows 9x are limited to 640x480x16 Mode 12
I was so proud of my 3.11 machine running at 1024x768 at 256 colors. Couldn't do 16bit, but still, that mode was so much more than the Mode 12 default
>We're talking 8086 here
Somewhat. While DOS was certainly a child of the 8086, it has been shoehorned into the 80486 without taking advantage of it in any meaningful way. It definitely grew too old to be useful. Its ability to get out of the way of a game though, was highly welcomed.
>In fact Windows to this day still has numerous handicaps related to its heritage
My favorite to this day: try creating a folder named "aux", or rename a newly created folder to that. Windows will fail with a totally unexpected error message. Works at least up to Windows 8.1, no idea if it's still in 10. I love it because it's so trivial to see for yourself, and at first glance makes absolutely no sense.
>The fact is that DOS was an OS designed for the 8086 so its limitations started becoming more and more apparent during the 386/486 era.
Mac OS was very similar in this way; it was originally a single-tasking OS designed for a relatively primitive computer. Eventually as software and hardware grew more advanced, the Mac OS's lack of memory protection or preemptive multitasking (Amigas had had PM since 1985) became more and more of an impediment.
So this was why they introduced the UNIX-derived OS X in the early 2000s, which was a vast improvement on OS 9 and earlier in terms of its architecture as well as being more stable. If anything, Windows is the most backwards OS currently in use since it still has not completely broken with its 1970s-80s home computer legacy.
>Windows is the most backwards OS currently in use since it still has not completely broken with its 1970s-80s home computer legacy
Its biggest advantage and disadvantage at the same time, and a massive achievement regardless.
Yeah it still won't let you use aux, prn, nul, and whatnot because those were device names in DOS and that piece of code was never removed from Windows. There's other assorted annoying limitations like three-character extensions and not being able to name files with some characters such as backslashes and asterisks. Or still referring to disk drives with a letter, which actually originated with CP/M.
>Somewhat. While DOS was certainly a child of the 8086, it has been shoehorned into the 80486 without taking advantage of it in any meaningful way
DOS was functionally obsolete since the 286 first arrived and IBM/Microsoft had plans for a new OS that could use extended memory, but it never materialized and all they ultimately did was pad out DOS with 32-bit extenders like EMM386.
at least on my CTX, the scanlines are very faint
when using DOSBox and an LCD display, I don't use any filters
>still chugging along on a 486, who didn't want their multitasking OS hogging memory and CPU cycles, that could be used for 3d rendering
This isn't really true though since Windows 9x switched to preemptive multitasking and by that time, 3D cards were becoming available for PCs.
At least the 3dfx cards had DOS drivers. Also, preemptive multitasking is precisely what you don't want, because it's taking CPU away from you without you getting a say in it. It's, from the view of the game, "wasting" cycles on other stuff, because the scheduler thinks that stuff is more important than the game thinks it is. The scheduler is probably right, but the game hates not being the center of attention, as games never have enough cycles, no exception.
that sounds simply like busy waiting on a dual core machine, occupying a full core at 100%. The modern way to wait for something is to put yourself to sleep, and request to be woken up again when the event happened. The old school way is to have a loop that just repeatedly check for the condition to be true. All this checking consumes CPU power, so that thread is basically always busy and pegged at 100%, despite not actually "doing" anything.
>There's some Windows 9x games that have problems with XP due to the way they're programmed and so end with 50% CPU usage. I know specifically that Civil Wars Generals 2 and X-COM Collector's Edition do this
I should add - these games both force the display into 640x480 resolution. No idea if that has anything to do with it.
Later P4 have hyperthreading, exposing two logical cores to the OS. That might lead to the 50%, because one of the "cores" is running the game busily, and the other "core" is idling, as the OS has nothing else to do at the moment
I've owned and used three XP boxes - one was a Compaq from 2002; I didn't run the games in question on that. The second was actually an Athlon 64 from 07 so that would of course count as multicore. The third was a Gateway P4 from 2003 or 04 and CWG2 does do 50% CPU on this thing.
320x200 has been a standard resolution on PC gaming since the early 80s, in form of CGA (4 colors), lasted all the way to VGA (256 colors). 640x480 was limited to 16 colors in VGA. More colors and higher resolution required SVGA, which was done usually through means of VESA and VBE, which came at a bit of a performance penalty and hence wasn't used for games at first. Most DOS 3D games, including excellent stuff like Doom, Tomb Raider, Screamer and stuff, used 320x200 with 256 colors, although they also had an optional SVGA mode, which usually required a beefy system (high end 80486 or Pentium).
So even at the time when Windows 3.11 was using XGA resolutions, DOS games usually still ran at 320x200. Windows games were not much of a thing, as already mentioned in the thread. When VGA cards finally got strong enough, SVGA gained some traction, and games switched primarily to 640x480 or 800x600, at 256 colors, especially the 2D ones, like RTS. 3D still often used 320x200 in its software renderer. High color was usually reserved for 3D accelerators. Note that at the time Windows itself ran at higher resolution. Games picked a lower resolution for reasons like throughput of the graphics cards. There were outliers though. Pro Pinball for example did 1600x1200 as early as 1997. Required some crazy hardware though.
Mode 13 is specifically 320x200 at 256 colors. The resolution of 320x200 is even older than that
>320x200 has been a standard resolution on PC gaming since the early 80s
Infact it was a standard resolution on many 8-bit computers as well.
>640x480 was limited to 16 colors in VGA
You're talking about Mode 12. This mode was part of the original VGA spec but is a huge programming headache so was largely limited to applications and other things with mostly static images.
>So even at the time when Windows 3.11 was using XGA resolutions
SVGA was supported since Windows 3.0, but wasn't common or anything until Windows 95. I've never seen a Windows 3.x application/game that actually required SVGA to run.
>Games picked a lower resolution for reasons like throughput of the graphics cards
There were several reasons; one of them being that hi-res modes were an absolute mess to program compared with the completely linear Mode 13, plus they were 16-color only.
Also in many cases, a game had to also support CGA/EGA/Tandy so using Mode 13 meant that they didn't have to completely redraw the graphics for a different screen resolution.
SimCity is one of the very few commercial games to use EGA hi-res mode, although it was pretty common in shareware/freeware. This game does support some quite unorthodox video modes including CGA hi-res and VGA Mode 11. A later release of the game added support for VGA Mode 12 as well.
>SVGA was supported since Windows 3.0, but wasn't common or anything until Windows 95
3.0 is a bit like 95a. It exists, it was sold, but nobody really used it. 3.11 was like 98SE, dominated the landscape for years.
>I've never seen a Windows 3.x application/game that actually required SVGA to run.
Oh, yeah, you're definitely right. I meant that people ran their Windows on XGA resolution. The apps worked fine on VGA
>There were several reasons
Keep in mind that this particular statement was in the context of established VESA and VBE. Programming in the SVGA modes was less of a chore, but the sheer number of pixels put a limit on fillrate based engines, like 3D rendering.
>Also in many cases, a game had to also support CGA/EGA/Tandy so using Mode 13 meant that they didn't have to completely redraw the graphics for a different screen resolution.
Very good point. It's economical to stay with 320x200.
>SVGA was supported since Windows 3.0, but wasn't common or anything until Windows 95. I've never seen a Windows 3.x application/game that actually required SVGA to run.
Technically anything that uses 640x480x256 is SVGA since that's part of the VESA spec.
>Programming in the SVGA modes was less of a chore, but the sheer number of pixels put a limit on fillrate based engines, like 3D rendering.
That is a factor as well; most Windows 9x games still ran in 640x480 resolution for performance reasons. 800x600 wasn't standard until the XP era.
>Oh, yeah, you're definitely right. I meant that people ran their Windows on XGA resolution. The apps worked fine on VGA
Windows 3.x applications can use SVGA resolutions and it was useful as far as giving you more desktop space, however nothing pre-95 actually required anything over 640x480.
>they didn't have to completely redraw the graphics for a different screen resolution.
In that context it's interesting how Indianapolis 500 actually had different graphics for different video modes, even on the same resolution. Pic related. It seems like in CGA it was too difficult to mix the 3D rendering and the overlay car on the same line. That, or CGA adapters had such poor performance, they had to decrease the 3D viewport size. Regardless, their solution was to add a front wing to the car overlay, which I think is pretty smart.
There were actually precursors of DirectX that existed in the Windows 3.x era such as WinG that allowed games to blit directly to the video buffer because otherwise the Windows GDI is very limited in terms of gaming functionality regardless of the many cheesy freeware games that used it.
EGA mode doesn't have the front wing on the car and it's as bad or worse than CGA in terms of programming difficulty.
Tandy mode has the wing on it, however if you look closely you'll notice that it's using 160x200 mode which is essentially identical to CGA from a programming standpoint.
which suggests that the issue is really just in throughput/performance of the CGA adapters.
Hard to tell for me how the rendering is actually done.
A simple/brute approach would be to render the full 3D viewport, then draw the car on top of that. As a result you'd draw the pixels of the wheels and the middle of the car twice and draw the more expensive pixels (3D rendering) that would ultimately be overdrawn.
The alternative would be detecting if the pixel needs to be blitted or if the 3D rendering needs to be done. Checking that per pixel sounds needlessly complicated and expensive to me, so I do think it's overdrawn, which makes the throughput of the video hardware an issue.
VGA looks so much better, thanks to the palette. It's still just 16 colors in VGA, but much nicer colors. I don't envy EGA devs. The colors are absolutely reasonable from an engineering viewport. They're utterly useless for anyone trying to draw anything resembling reality.
Actually I believe I found the answer - the MobyGames page says "286 and 512k of RAM required for enhanced effects".
It's more likely that the CGA/Tandy modes have simplified graphics because the programmers assumed that people with those graphics cards were using 8086 machines and that VGA/EGA owners had a 286 or 386 so they could handle the more complicated 3D rendering.
the 3D rendering engine itself is identical regardless of the video mode. The game itself has different detail levels. At the lowest level all of the grandstands and decorations are missing. That is more likely what it's refering to. No change of details is changing the size of the viewport.
It's a little deceptive, but Indy 500 doesn't have true VGA support; the game is still running in EGA Mode D, but if it detects a VGA card, it will change the colors around from the default EGA palette. If you run the game on a real EGA card, you'll just get the default colors.
I can think of a couple other games like Bubble Bobble and Simpsons Arcade game that do this; they change around the color palette on VGA cards, but are actually running in EGA mode the whole time.
The programmers could have also just been lazy (or maybe short on time) and didn't want to bother implementing the 3D effects in CGA mode. In fact a good piece of evidence towards this is that the Tandy graphics use 160x200 mode since it's programmed the same way as CGA Mode 4 and would have required minimal effort to implement (Tandy 320x200 mode like most games used is a lot different programming-wise and needed more time/effort to set up).
what do you mean by
>didn't want to bother implementing the 3D effects
The visuals of the game between the info bar and the front spoiler are fully 3D and identical to what EGA or VGA* pulls off. The only difference is that in EGA/VGA the 3D graphics also show between the wheels, while in CGA that's a static image of the front wing.
EWB actually does use full EGA graphics, but if set to CGA mode can also swap around the colors on an EGA card. I read some archived Usenet posts about this game and it seems that they recommended CGA mode for performance reasons on slower machines (like under 12Mhz).
Also the game doesn't support Tandy mode, but Tandy owners could still get the improved 4-color palette since the Tandy 1000 can also use INT 10h function 10h to change color palettes.
Lemme elaborate a little - CGA has interlaced video memory due to the limitations of the 6845 controller. The first 8k holds the even scan lines and the second 8k holds the odd lines. Tandy 1000 graphics work the same way, but with four groups of scan lines making programming even more of a headache. It works this way because the 6845 was originally designed to drive text displays and IBM's engineers had to use a clever hack to display bitmap graphics with it.
EGA modes and VGA Mode 11/12 are planar - they have a plane for the red, green, blue, and intensity tones which varies in size depending on the mode, between 8 and 64k in size. Each plane is mapped into the A000 segment and you can only "see" one at a time. The card's registers can be manipulated to swap a plane into the visible window and you can also set it to write to all four planes at once or one individual plane.
>The colors are absolutely reasonable from an engineering viewport. They're utterly useless for anyone trying to draw anything resembling reality.
The IBM people probably thought the EGA palette (which properly speaking originated with CGA) was acceptable for drawing business graphics. Even in a gaming context, the early 80s was back when you only had single screen games with a black background and nothing resembling reality so it wouldn't have been a big deal at that time anyway. As games got more complicated, obviously the limitations became noticeable.
The EGA palette is simply perfectly evenly distributed within the RGB color space. Basically, you got 3 channels (red, green, blue), with 4 values, being 0%, 33%, 67% and 100%, plus some additional limitations related to implementation, giving you only 16 of these 64 colors in graphics mode. So there's no deeper reason behind this palette, like business, or 80s pastell or whatever. It's just cold hard math. And it wasn't a matter of "this is good enough for now, nobody will need more", it was a matter of the hardware, the circuits, simply not being able to handle more bits.
Engineers at the time understood full well that more bits per channel would be a nicer thing, it just wasn't feasible.
>or 80s pastel
That would be more the Commodore 64 palette.
I don't think you can because CGA/EGA/Tandy uses digital RGB while the Commodore 64 generates an NTSC signal. The VIC-II designers theoretically had total control over the saturation and hue of the color palette, but decided to lock it to 16 fixed values.
For comparison, the TED chip in the Plus/4 does let you adjust the hues for 128 colors. The VIC-II is capable of doing that, they just chose to lock it at 16 colors.
>The EGA palette is simply perfectly evenly distributed within the RGB color space. Basically, you got 3 channels (red, green, blue), with 4 values, being 0%, 33%, 67% and 100%, plus some additional limitations related to implementation, giving you only 16 of these 64 colors in graphics mode
Nitpick - you can only get the extended EGA palette in 350 line modes. The 200 line modes are limited to the basic CGA/Tandy palette.
I meant you can't access the extended colors at all in 200 line mode. Mode 10 defaults to the standard CGA/Tandy palette but you can then switch colors. Mode D and E are hardwired to the CGA/Tandy palette and you cannot use anything but those.
>I meant you can't access the extended colors at all in 200 line mode
Where have I said that you can?
At no point have I said that you can pick which of these 64 colors your 16 colors are. The CGA palette is a subset of the 64 colors, and subject to the 2 bit per channel that I described, which was my primary point, that the EGA palette is not deliberately chosen to be awful, but is the result of mathematical necessity.
>16-player network multiplayer with host migration and support for 4 game rooms
>SVGA graphics at 60 FPS with 16 cars on track at once
>detailed handling model represents subtle driving dynamics
>32 unique tracks
Whiplash is worth installing on every computer that can run it.
what gets me after all these years is how good the AI is. Every race is a little bit different, and there's a genuine bit of fear when you see a Global or Reise pull up behind you, 'cause you hardly ever know if they want to race you or kill you.
AI definitely has different personalities for each team. They block to prevent stealing kills by other drivers, and will revenge-attack you if you ram or kill them.
And as a last-resort tactic, they will sometimes turn around and go for head-on collisions just to fuck your shit up.
online multiplayer works in dosbox btw
The Zizin and Pulse can do some crazy shit by drifting off of it instead of slowing down.
I never slowed down on it, just changed my angle. If I was going fast, I came from the right, going left, towards the lower end of the ramp. If I was slow, I'd do the opposite, coming from the left and shooting for the right, taking the extra spin of the ramp with me. If you're insane, you could try going left to right with a good car, see if you can manage two rolls. Not sure if I ever succeeded.
do it, worth it. There are 8 car makers, each with their own philosophy and style. 16 tracks, two per car maker, which also reflect their style. 8 easy and 8 challenging ones (fucking corkscrews)
I have an issue with SVM Daum where I can't use both shift keys at the same time, which makes pinball games unplayable. Is there a way around this? Dosbox just doesn't give an acceptable framerate without sacrificing sound.
Also, you can take track files out of the demo versions of Fatal Racing and they work in Whiplash.
vanilla DOSBox only does its filters and effects and stuff on 320x200 output. 640x480, like SimCity 2000 does not benefit from any of them. Is SVN daum different in that regard?
I like SVN daum principally because it haves a top menu where you can configure everything without doing it at the .cfg file, and it supports D3D and pixel shaders. seriously, try it, for me it's so good of an improvement over the original DOSBox that isn;'t even funny.
and still doesn't lose its charm as it happens with the frontends.
none of the features you mentioned sounds useful or appealing to me personally. The only thing I'm interested in is the ability to throttle the GPU, as quite a few games depend on that, and simply don't play well with DOSBox
I had a 486 with only 4 megs RAM in 1995, so Win95 wasn't even an option. Anyway I had already been introduced to Unix, so I just downloaded the Slackware floppy disk images and never looked back. It worked pretty damn good in plain text console, and after I added another 4 megs, X was quite usable, although you had to watch out so Netscape didn't hog too much memory and cause swapping. Generally though Mosaic or Lynx did the trick...
As far as DOS programming, I stuck with mode 13h and some Adlib library that had Turbo Pascal unit. This worked fine on every 386 and 486 class machine I tried that had some kind of VGA card and sound card. The only major hassle was the memory segmentation. I don't recall what exactly I did, but it didn't involve a DOS extender. Probably some kind of kludge with pointers or some shit.
I found they often tend to go overboard with VGA colors and it ends up looking like a unicorn puked out a rainbow all over the screen.
EGA games can actually look good, if you put some work into the graphics. Lucasfilms did just that with Loom and The Secret of Monkey Island (pic). Sierra EGA stuff tended to be pretty nice also.
My favorite is still OCS Amiga graphics though, because although you only get 32 colors, the palette is very flexible. This compromise has always led to more tasteful art, IMO.
compare your own screenshot to the MCGA/VGA version of Monkey Island and you know that the unicorn puke thing is just developers without a clue of graphics. Look at stuff like Doom or Magic Carpet, and you see the real strength of MCGA/VGA. Very moody and on-topic palettes in both of them, something utterly impossible in EGA, as you'd be stuck with just a handful of usable colors, and would have to achieve everything else through dithering.
That said, >>2887312 was specifically refering to the VGA palette used in Indy 500. The EGA and VGA version both have 16 colors each. The EGA palette however is fixed, while the VGA version has 16 custom colors, that lead to things like a much better sky and higher contrast on the cockpit, see >>2887292
This mode is linear and works mostly the same as Mode 13, however if you're in real mode you can only access 64k of the video buffer at a time in the A000 segment (640x480x256 uses 512k of VRAM). In protected mode, the entire video buffer is accessible.
Most VGA cards have 512k, however this is not necessarily an indication that the card supports SVGA modes since it was often just there to support additional Mode 12 pages (some early VGA cards had only 256k of RAM allowing one Mode 12 page).
for anybody reading: TSR stands for "terminate, stay resident". It's a program that starts, and then exits itself, but retains some of its code in memory, hence the name. DOS itself has no real concept of drivers or anything. Instead what happens is that these TSRs register their resident code as an "interrupt" a brief routine that can be called through a processor instruction. TSRs are not video specific. For example practically all DOS sound and CD drivers are TSRs (that's why you always had to configure an "IRQ" for your sound card. It's the interrupt number where the sound driver listens in on). They are usually started during the boot sequence, and then stay in memory to be used via interrupts. In my understanding BIOS support is not done via TSRs, although the mechanism to use it, calling an interrupt, is the same.
Mind you, this is just the very general concept, reality is much messier. But it's good as a starting point if you're curious about the madness of old MS-DOS gaming.
The BIOS-supported VGA modes such as Mode 12 on the other hand are designed only for real mode operation. Windows video drivers would simply swap graphics data in and out of the first megabyte of RAM since the A000 segment is not directly accessible from protected mode.
For fun, you can still use the Windows 3.x EGA driver in Windows 9x and get the desktop to run in Mode 10. The CGA driver included with Windows 3.0 won't work on 9x however because they removed the piece of code that allows the Windows GDI to access the B800 segment.
How is Windows XP DOS support?
The PC was fantastically expensive in the 80s. 95/96 and the rise of the web were the start of the affordable "PC for everyone" era. Before then it was an investment and you best get some kind of return out of that shit. Very few people I knew growing up could afford an IBM compatible and those that had one it was their Dad's "for work."
An iPad costs far less by comparison so it's bought by people who don't want any return other than entertainment.
It can still run the original wolfenstein executable.
But then again that's Carmacks magic. XP is pretty terrible for DOS compatibility. It's strenght is mainly in running 95/98 era games and not sucking your recourses.
Is your post satire? The /vr/ sticky rules talk about the launch year, not the retirement year.
>and any other forms of video games on platforms launched in 1999 and earlier
>Initial release: August 1981; 34 years ago
Hah, nope, it's certainly not satire like talking about a retron type gizmoid that plays DOS games would be.
it's not satire, it's trend-trolling, it's this persistent nuisance with those under the impression that they're too mature for /v/ acting sore that this board doesn't go right up to the era that they're interested in.