-edit- Oh hey. I found a much simpler example than MOO2. Skip to the bottom for a better one.
One other question: I may have to learn to use DOSBox to get these games to run. I used DOS in a very basic way back in the late 80s and early 90s but haven't touched it since, and I think knowing DOSBox well enough to get the games to run the way I want them may take skill I don't quite have. Is there a place I can turn for help with DOSBox? A message board, perhaps?
Hah! I have to figure it out every time I use it. If you set your game up right, your shortcut can launch the game without you even seeing dosbox (or having to issue any dosbox commands). A good start would be to look at any old games you have from GOG that have a shortcut. Like I have an MOO2. Properties says the command line is... "D:\DDDgames\goggames\Master of Orion 2\DOSBOX\DOSBox.exe" -conf "..\dosboxMOO2.conf" -conf "..\dosboxMOO2_single.conf" -noconsole -c "exit".
Wow that's an impressive list of stuff! The magic happens in the .conf files.
Here's the first bit of dosboxMOO2.conf. Note how everything is commented:
# fullscreen -- Start dosbox directly in fullscreen.
# fulldouble -- Use double buffering in fullscreen.
# fullresolution -- What resolution to use for fullscreen: original or fixed size (e.g. 1024x768).
# windowresolution -- Scale the window to this size IF the output device supports hardware scaling.
# output -- What to use for output: surface,overlay,opengl,openglnb,ddraw.
# autolock -- Mouse will automatically lock, if you click on the screen.
# sensitiviy -- Mouse sensitivity.
# waitonerror -- Wait before closing the console if dosbox has an error.
# priority -- Priority levels for dosbox: lowest,lower,normal,higher,highest,pause (when not focussed).
# Second entry behind the comma is for when dosbox is not focused/minimized.
# mapperfile -- File used to load/save the key/event mappings from.
# usescancodes -- Avoid usage of symkeys, might not work on all operating systems.
I used to set these things up with only a very few lines. GOG has all the options.
-edit- Simpler example is from an old 4x called Ascendancy. Command line from the shortcut is:
D:\DDDgames\Ascendancy\playantag.bat (a simple DOS .bat file) Contents of it are:
START "" DOSBOX\DOSBox.exe antag.exe -noconsole -fullscreen -exit
So all it does is launch dosbox, tells dosbox to run antag.exe, tells it not to open the dosbox console, and display it on fullscreen. That's about it. Some games get more complicated and you need to add a parameter or two if you don't like the way the game is running.