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Apogee HD Titles - Technical Overview (GNU/Linux centric)

To give some details about GNU/Linux versions of the (currently) three 'HD' titles
of Emberheart Games & Apogee Entertainment available on GOG (for Linux & Windows)
(incl. reference to the formerly DOSBox versions available on GOG):

*Monster Bash* (freshly released 3rd 'HD' title):
   * Monster Bash HD (improved and extended by Emberheart Games) . . 29.10.2021
   o Monster Bash (old DOS version now running by DOSBox) . . . . . . . . . 09.04.1992
# DOSBox: 14.0 MB; Unity (HD version): 158 MB
# HD version: Unity 2019.4.19f1, pure 64 bit, internal version 1.1.0.1 (26.11.2021)
## Note about missing GNU/Linux version on announcement day (29.10.2021):
## Linux version got available on 03.11.2021 about 14:00 CET on GOG Offline Installer.
* GOG Announcement of Monster Bash HD - 29.10.2021 18:00 CET
* Trailer
* Monster Bash HD Changelog - starting with 29.10.2021
* This document in the forum of the 3rd 'HD' title

Secret Agent (2nd game available with 'HD'):
   * Secret Agent HD (improved and extended by Emberheart Games) . . 30.06.2021
   o Secret Agent (old DOS version now running by DOSBox) . . . . . . . . . 01.02.1992
# DOSBox: 11.8 MB; Unity (HD version): 165.3 MB
# HD version: Unity 2019.4.19f1, pure 64 bit, internal version 1.0.4 (02.12.2021)
* GOG Announcement of Secret Agent HD - 01.07.2021 15:00 CET
* Trailer
* Secret Agent HD Changelog
* This document in the forum of the 2nd 'HD' title

Crystal Caves (1st game available with 'HD'):
   * Crystal Caves HD (improved and extended by Emberheart Games) . 15.10.2020
   o Crystal Caves  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23.10.1991
# DOSBox: 12.0 MB; Unity (HD version): 186.9 MB
# HD vers.: Unity 2019.3.15f1, pure 64 bit, internal version 1.1.1.3 (01.07.2021)
* GOG Announcement of Crystal Caves HD - 15.10.2020 15:00 CET
* Trailer
* This document in the forum of the 1st 'HD' title

I am pleased by the new technical base, the improved image and sound quality and
assignable keys and buttoms and full controller support (tested with Logitech F310).
DOSBox is no longer maintained as before - and normally does not really use
fullscreen but changes resolution, the controls are not direct as under DOS,
scrolling is ugly, original colors are lacking ... so this update is not only
nice and keeping the style of the original work - but badly needed technically:
Really a good thing for gamers ... especially for those brilliant Apogee titles ...

And we may soon get more of these games - like:
   o Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure (03/1992)
as was announced by Apogee Entertainment here:
   * https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHTbZdV2l8s

And thanks to the Dev - Primož Vovk - who is caring about game quality,
is fast in answering some questions and does a really good job!

I am longing to play more of these HD titles:
       *** Apogee games still rock !!! ***     ; )


P.S.: I will try to keep this current (see 'post edited' date below) ... technically and about new HD titles to come ...
Post edited 2 days ago by JMB9
Thanks for the write up, it was quite interesting to read. I really do hope we get Cosmo's HD soon. I feel like with each game relase Emberheart is getting better at remastering. I would say that Monster Bash is definitely their best looking game to date.
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JMB9: DOSBox is no longer maintained as before
dosbox has daily SVN builds and is updated frequently
they just havent had any reason to release a public version

plus there are atleast 4 constantly updated and improved forks


although i will also add, libsdl1.2 is now totally unmaintained, and vogon's dosbox should work on releasing a sdl2 version...
avatar
JMB9: DOSBox is no longer maintained as before
avatar
catbox_fugue: dosbox has daily SVN builds and is updated frequently
they just havent had any reason to release a public version

plus there are atleast 4 constantly updated and improved forks

although i will also add, libsdl1.2 is now totally unmaintained, and vogon's dosbox should work on releasing a sdl2 version...
My comment was about the GOG version which came before the HD titles appeared with a GOG box.
And even though I changed a lot of engines if a free native engine is available, this should not be done
by paying customers.
I refered to GOG formerly driving DOSBox development and now not even supporting Linux with
some recent DOSBox titles.

On the other hand it was for me easier to change an entire engine than using DOSBox of the current Linux system;
and I know a lot of Unix systems ...

And problems like slow controls, stability issues or changing resolution to create problems for the desktop
are things which should not be tolerated from my point of view.

But one point about DOSBox - it is old technique - it is nice that it is maintained - but one should not be
obliged to get the most recent version ... this is different with Linux (the kernel) and Mesa (OpneGL and Vulkan),
which is the reason for HWE under Ubuntu - a Debian GNU/Linux derivative.

So this was not targeted against developers of DOSBox - but against GOG using untested DOSBox versions
(some are crap - others may be Ok).

On a side note - it is impressive that so many critical reviews were written about SNK - which runs on
my systems without problem incl. local co-operation with two controller - while several DOSBox titles were just
crap concerning even keyboard controls and got good reviews. Really strange!
We played both version for Secret Agent and Crystal Caves - and it was no thinking about which version wins,
DOSBox or Unity.
DOSBox version was much worse - to say it clear: a torture - than the original version
under DOS we played a lot ... while the Unity version works like a charm and seems to be even better
than the version under DOS concerning responsiveness of controls - and of cause graphically and concerning sound
a huge step towards modern HW.

My argument is not against DOSBox - I have not tested current versions - but was meant as a comparison
between the GOG versions using DOSBox <-> Unity. And the clear winner is Unity in each and every aspect.

So we are really glad that the Apogee HD titles are developed by Amberheart Games.
And I can not understand anybody interested in a DOSBox version - as I played those titles under DOS a lot.
And the DOSBox version is just not of a comparable gaming experience then the original under DOS.
That was my point!