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Update games using DOSBox and ScummVM to their latest versions.
Swtiching DOSBox versions can be dicey... there are games that work best on an older version of DOSBox and are broken on newer versions. This has been the nature of DOSBox for many years. DOSBox is small enough that it doesn't really matter. Of course, you can install your own version(s) of DOSBox and run whatever game you want with it, and tweak it(them) to your heart's conent.
www.moredz.com and www.pretey.com
Be nice if the controls in Descent weren't such a PITA. Can't make my mouse sensitive enough.
GOG employee @TheEnigmaticT: "At the moment, we're not looking update our masters' emulation because so many of the fixes we've deployed are version-specific. ... we're not going to keep developing fixes for releases we've already fixed once because the newest version of DOSBox or ScummVM breaks the fix we made. " I'm not sure if you're talking about making fixes to the game code that rely on a specific version of the emulator, or making fixes to the emulator that aren't in the latest version. If it's the former, I would be quite surprised if some change to a DOS game code would work on one version of DOSBox and not another. If it's the latter, then I hope you are sending your changes upstream; to not do so is to violate the GPL license that covers both of these emulators. (To be clear, I'm not saying you need to update to the latest version whenever one comes out, but it should always be possible for me to replace your old version of the emulator with a new one.)
I can certainly understand why updating the emulators would be cost prohibitive to QA, but there are some legitimate user issues with these. Like Alt-tabing out of the game only to have your cursor stuck in the left corner of the screen. This isn't a big deal for me (I don't mind having to quit out of a game to do something else) but some older games don't have a clear cut quit feature or you really have a need to switch back and forth. To reiterate I think GOG does a fantastic job on old games, it would be nice if there was a way to free up the cursor when alt tabbing out of a game (not all games do this. Just most of mine)
I don't mind GOG not updating the DOSBox everytime there's a new 0.7x update.. but I'd like to know how to do it, without breaking the game :<
GOG employee "TheEnigmaticT" has already outlined why this is an unreasonable request that is simply never going to happen. Why not just remove it from the requested site features list?
@gog @TheEnigmaticT Why not harness the players? Obviously you can't sensibly check each game if it runs well on each new dosbox release. But you could add a community section to gog.com where people could report their findings. Like how well does game X run on dosbox version X with changes X to the config. (kinda like the app list on winehq.com) an share if it even has any benefits... that way people willing to fiddle with newer dosbox releases can pool their knowledge easilly, plus you get easy access to that knowledge, see which games may be easy to be updated and/or would benefit in any way...
Update the GOG games to latest Dosbox development version from ykhwong. This allows for great MT32 emulation and the CRT shader which makes games look like they were played on the CRT screens we used them to play on. So much better then what GOG offers. That's the problem with GOG: I only get english language versions with worse sound and picture then when I care about it myself. But I won't complain, GOG is great just for the fact that it gave me a playable version of Outcast again :)
There's an option in the installer for whether you want to install DosBox or not, and if not, to point to where it's located. Frankly, I'd be happy if it worked for all installers.
Most of the older ones don't even let you untick it, most of the slightly less older ones do, but then complain that the newer version of DosBox that you point to is incompatible, so you're forced to install it anyway.
Fix that, and I'd be happy. Saves me the effort of going through new installs and deleting the DosBox folder, then updating the shortcuts to point to my install of it. I already poke around the config files anyway, so that's not an issue to me.
agree with keyperos
I agree with many here, I too believe this to be a double edged sword.
On one hand a newer update of the emulator may offer a bug fix to a bug that was plaguing the GOG release. On the other, it could very easily introduce new bugs or revert bugged behavior that was circumvented/worked-around by version-specific tweaks.
That would require a lot of effort better used to increasing their catalog with "new" old games rather than updating their old ones.
I do however think it a good idea for the forums, people that have experimented themselves and found a certain setting/configuration to be working better than the one offered could have more people test it and report their findings, finally reporting to GOG who could release an optional patch, like they did with DK2.
It is easy enough to do for oneself. Ine ach games folder is a copy of dosbox, so those complaining about having 20 copies of dosbox on your drive - you already have that if you have that many gog games that use dosbox installed. They do not currently share a single install. Older GOG games use 0.72, mid release titles use 0.73, and a few new releases have 0.74.
Each version changes the conf file a little bit, so it is very possible to run into issues using a 0.72 conf file on 0.74 dosbox is a special flag was set that has been changed (causing dosbox to default to the standard setting for that flag due to the unrecognized entry).
Anyways - download 0.75 and simply replace the dosbox.exe file in the games folder. Run it and see if you see a difference. If the game crashes or doesn't launch right, then obviously the conf needs some tweaking and you can either do that as well, or just revert back to the original version of dosbox that worked.
I'd rather see GoG spend their time setting up new games, rather than continually updating their back catalog.
This would be SO NICE.
GOG fix your comments tool, it's stripping [Enter]'s and [Return]'s, so sorry bout the WallOfText below, it's this comment tools fault!
Yes especially for DosBox, If you download the latest version and check it's documentation, especially the NEWS readme file...
Lots of fixes, I even found replacing the dosbox in GOG's Castles pack with 0.74 got rid of a lot of the graphical issues I was having. (Win 7 x64)
Current 0.74 section of the news file:
(Note if the version was 0.72 or earlier you'll want to read the 0.73 section too, etc.)
Oh and apparently GOG's own Technicians don't believe that later versions of DosBox etc. actually offer any improvements... (Noted from nasty email reply to my notification of the above Castles fix.)
Anyway, 0.74 NEWS readme section:
0.74 - Several small game specific fixes/hacks/support. (Offensive, Roadhog, GTA installer, Kingdom O' Magic soundcard detection, Pirate booter, Armored Fist installer) - Add the S3-specific 640x480 256 color mode. (fixes regression in "Wooden Ships and Iron Men" and "I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream") - Fix a stack overflow that could crash DOSBox. - Add fake microphone input. (fixes Talking Parrot) - Modify adlib turn off code, so that it doesn't turn off in cases where the same sound is repeated over and over again. - Several small fixes to the CDROM audio code. (HOMM2, Redneck Rampage and others) - Several improvements to the CDROM emulation code. (fixes Alpha Storm and GT Racing 97) - Some small CPU fixes that might fix something. - Handle opcode 0xff subcode 7 as invalid instruction. (fixes dif-2 & others) - Some hercules fixes. (Testdrive) - Improve support for blanked parts that wrap around to the start of the screen. (fixes Magic Circle demo and Sid&Al) - Remove old OPL cores as the new ones seem to work very nicely. - Modify movie recording code so that the movies aren't corrupt when you exit dosbox without stopping the movie. - Change RGB3x scaler to look more pretty. - Improve initial register values compatility of the GUS. - Added autodetection for Gameblaster. (games can find it now) - Change render preferences a bit to be more compatible with Windows 7. - Add DOS fixes to terminate program. (fixes Fortune Teller) - Add FFREEP. (fixes Trucks) - Improve FPU ST80 in C mode when writing zero. (fixes Antigok) - Add special int10 scanline function. (fixes mz700 and probably lots of games that mess with them) - Fix scrolling in rarely used video modes. (fixes Orphee) - Modify game specific hacks a bit so that Kick off 3 works again. - Lots of fixes to the INT10 video parameter table. (Seven spirits of ra and others) - Add VGA blanking in machine=vgaonly. (used by Alien Carnage) - CGA, PCJr, Tandy: Add video blanking, change display start latch timing, sync pulse width correction. - PCJr, Tandy: implement vertical retrace interrupt. - PCJr, CGA: line-by-line video emulation. - PCJr: support on-screen change of color modes 4medium to 16low. (used by Ghostbusters booter) - Hercules: Add green and amber monochrome support. - All machines: only update the video timing when needed. (Jungle Hunt, others that synchronize to the video screen might profit) - Several small DOS fixes. - Some UMB related fixes. (The Legacy without UMB) - Fix version number of DSP for SB 1.5. (fixes a few games) - Several VGA emulation improvements. (Allertone football manager) - Some Tandy fixes. (Mech Warrior) - Small improvements and fixes to the OPL emulation. - Add low level Tandy DAC emulation. - Some EMS fixes. (fixes Mortal Kombat and others) - Change SoundBlaster DSP reset mechanism, add sb irq acknowledge logic. (fixes stmik-based applications) - Some interrupt pointer location modifications. (fixes Tinker Tales) - Some fixes to the BOOT code. (fixes Last Mission) - Respect write-only file information. (fixes Champions of Zulala) - Some RTC fix. (fixes Tully Bodine and others) - Improve mouse emulation to work better with Water World. - Hopefully fix the translation of the configuration file. - Speed up and fixes for the recompiler core. (pitfall2 pcjr) - Change memory start location. (fixes 7th Guest installer) - Several fixes to the batch file handling. (Shift and use the typed first %0 instead of the parsed %0) - Improve file redirection and redirected line ends. (fixes Phantasmagoria 2 DOS installer) - Fix compilation with new MAC os X version. - Add 16C550A FIFO support to the serial port emulation. - Improve modem emulation to get higher speeds. - Change default samplerates to 44100, blocksize to 1024 and prebuffer to 20, so that hopefully certain soundcards produce more fluent sound playback. - Add some rarely used, but for some games critical flags to the internal commands. - Add -userconf flag, so that the userspecific configuration can easily be used together with -conf configfile. - Improve internal timing with repeating timers (especially with the dynamic core).
newer does not always mean better. I'm pretty sure that's not illeagle or morally wrong. you should watch a movie called revolution OS.
ScummVM and DOS-Box are using the GNU GPL. Not contributing the fixes back to the original project is not only morally wrong, but also illegal!
At the moment, we're not looking update our masters' emulation because so many of the fixes we've deployed are version-specific. Feel free to cast your vote here if you want, but until that (unlikely) day when development on these emulators is complete, we're not going to keep developing fixes for releases we've already fixed once because the newest version of DOSBox or ScummVM breaks the fix we made.
Hopefully, our you guys understand our reasoning. If you want to tinker around with updating the version of DOSBox yourself, feel free, though, and good luck to you!
Later versions would require testing and tweaking. ScummVM faq also states some stuff http://www.scummvm.org/faq/#3_6 "Newer versions of ScummVM have also sometimes broken compatibility with older ScummVM savegames. Since ScummVM is under heavy development, this may occur again in the future."
You usually have the option to either install DOSBox with the game or point to another installation (to save space). The problem is that most installers for games that works with DOSBox can't detect it's latest version (0.74), forcing you to install the previous version along with the game. I don't remember if it does that with ScummVM, though.
Then again, DOSBox 0.74 is kind of a major rewrite, but it would be nice if the installers at least recognized it (so you wouldn't have 20 copies of DOSBox lying on your harddrive).
I don't know if it's already the case, but is the installed dosbox/scummVM in a shared folder or is there a version for each game?
How would it be "too much manpower"? All they would have to do is create an application which goes out to the appropriate website (e.g. either the DOSBox or ScummVM website), see if the current version of either DOSBox or ScummVM is current, and, if it isn't, download the and install the latest version. Completely automated, and, if bundled with a game's installer which needed it, would know where the game was installed because it would be passed that information by the installer.
I too agree with Lafazar, and by extension FiatLux. If it's not broke don't fix it. I see it as requiring too much manpower that could be used elsewhere.
updated dosboxes yay! if not, then give us an simple guide to follow to do it ourselves!
I agree. Although this is probably very hard to do. XD
I see no point. You can install dosbox version you need yourself and run games using the same config.
I am with "Lafazar" on this one... - why fix it if it ain't broken....
But for those games that would run better with updated whatever then sure, why not fix THAT , I can just foresee some work for GOG to keep track on what runs best under which version of whatever - including there would be a need to check the validity of any information about something running better on e.g. newer version
There are some games that have problems running in DOSBox 0.74, so GOG will have to keep using DOSBox 0.73 for those.
If GOG needs one reason to update its DOSBox versions, then it's Windows 8, which kicks up hell with DOSBox 0.74.
@bombardier: I'm not sure about that. I've not heard anything about it and I can't find anything about it with a spontaneous Google search. What new ScummVM releases do also offer though are bugfixes, which are badly needed in cases like Lure of the Temptress.
Maybe an application that detects DOSBox/ScummVM games and updates all of them with a single application. Bonus points for version control where you can go roll back versions for bugs. fish0's idea is good too.
I remember reading something about new ScummVM implementing copy protection check in newer versions. I really don't want to Alt-Tab to hunt for some images in game manual on every game start.
If GOG doesn't want to manually update them, they at least need to fix their installers so it lets the user use their own version.
fisk0 is right
Would be good if the Downloader (or installers) could keep track of Dosbox in a common folder for all the games and update it, without having to reinstall it for every game.
They only need to be careful to look first if the compatibility remains, i.e. if not for some reason or the other the percentage is lower than before.
For most of my games, I found a good improvement in performance when I updated either DOSBox or ScummVM to the latest version.
One of them is Beyond a Steel Sky. With the version on GOG (0.12.0), the game runs too fast for example. It's still playable so that's probably why they didn't bother to update it.
They should at least make their installer compatibe with the latest DOSBox. It can't detect it even though I have it installed it (must be the way it handles it's configuration files now).
Bug fixes & new features.
I voted for 'yes', but what's so good about newer DOSBox versions? Any significant performance boost? If not, then why waste time and energy?