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some guy who made a wad

DOS box for doom is trash,change my mind.

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Well it does suck so... no.

 

DOSBox generally isn't optimal for running games in general as the performance isn't very good and can be pretty confusing to set it up sometimes. But it is better than nothing for playing games that can no longer run on modern OSes normally and have no ports available.

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With the right dosbox version, config file, a reasonably powerful machine, and the novert TSR—it's actually quite serviceable, particularly for the original games. Without Chocolate/Crispy I would probably use it more. The default experience is pretty rough, though.

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My general impression here isn't that DosBox sucks but the technical side of those old DOS games.

Nearly every time I fire one up I am put off by how poorly the input is handled in these games. For me the worst offenders are how the Build games deal with the mouse - the entire setup is total garbage - interestingly this is still being preserved in modern ports for these games.

 

Not even Doom is free of that - it's clear that in 1993 (and apparently even years beyond that) mice were not a common tool to use.

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Why should be DOSBox or DOOM in DOSbox trash? I've implemented things like I/O delay or Fluidsynth support into my custom build and spend these holidays blasting through DTWiD, DTWiD2 and SIGIL in Vanila 1.9 and MBF2.04 and honestly I was surprised. On equivalent of Pentium-75 or P5/66 with about 20FPS (red number in upper left corner) is suprislingly playable. Try to play other modern game under 30FPS.

mbf_000.png.bc613677fc3fa60f81ea6cd9831a3ce5.pngmbf_002.png.3d1fcfd5224ecdd7a0d7246014dd7668.pngmbf_003.png.348969befbb25d15f00fe5f5bd0132c2.png

1 hour ago, seed said:

DOSBox generally isn't optimal for running games in general as the performance isn't very good

 

What exactly does it mean? „performance isn't very good“. Every DOS sourceport I'm aware of has 35 frames cap. I'm able to run Legacy Doom in 1024x768/35FPS on my shitty laptop. 

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It always baffles me when people say DOSBox has bad performance.  No it doesn't.  It runs just fine on my computers from ~10 years ago, both of them.  So it has to be one of:

 

- You set it up incorrectly (or whoever packaged things up for some crappy digital re-release did, if you didn't touch the settings - I've seen cases of this, too).  For Doom you usually want dynamic core and max cycles in my experience, and maybe setting the sensitivity higher than 100 so you can get decent mouse response without doing the sensitivity hack in Doom's own config.  The other settings mostly should be fine at default.

- You're used to ports with uncapped framerate so vanilla Doom seems choppy even at full performance.  In which case that's Doom's fault, not DOSBox's.

- You're running it on some sort of absolute POS of a computer.  Again, a 10-year-old computer runs DOSBox just fine 99% of the time.

- There's some weird optimization bug that makes it perform worse on a newer computer?  Possible I suppose.

 

As far hard to set up, well,  sure compared to the pop-in-and-go you get with NES/SNES/Genesis emulators but so were actual DOS machines more involved to set up than those.  Try to set up PCem some time and get back to me on that one.

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1 hour ago, Graf Zahl said:

My general impression here isn't that DosBox sucks but the technical side of those old DOS games.

Nearly every time I fire one up I am put off by how poorly the input is handled in these games. For me the worst offenders are how the Build games deal with the mouse - the entire setup is total garbage - interestingly this is still being preserved in modern ports for these games.

 

Not even Doom is free of that - it's clear that in 1993 (and apparently even years beyond that) mice were not a common tool to use.

I thought I was the only one who found the Build Engine's mouse input off-putting.

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I've been playing Doom, both vanilla and MBF, using DOSBox for years, including on a very old and pretty low-end PC from 2002, and never had any trouble with that. If you have performance issues this is most likely because DOSBox was set up incorrectly.

 

Modern machines are pretty powerful so when DOSBox switches to max CPU cycles (default setting for protected mode programmes) it might be a performance overkill for many games. I've found that it this case it's better to cap cycles rather than force a fixed amount, using the limit command as described in the DOSBox wiki. I've set my configuration to cap cycles at 26800 as suggested in the wiki, which is roughly comparable to a 486 66MHz, and is more than enough for most protected mode games including Doom.

 

It is also a good idea to use loadfix before running a game so it does not get loaded too low into memory, which may cause glitches and other weird behaviour.

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17 minutes ago, MrFlibble said:

I've set my configuration to cap cycles at 26800 as suggested in the wiki

 

Same thing here:

core=auto
cputype=486_slow
cycles=fixed 26000

If game isn't capable of running on 26k cycles, it's probably bloated sh*t. ;-)

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Here's mine:

core=auto
cputype=auto
cycles=auto 7800 70% limit 26800

Some real mode games need more than 7800 though, a few run well with about 15000, and for TES: Arena I just set max 70% limit 26800.

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DOSBox itself is a blessing for oldschool DOS gamers. There are many good and popular DOS games that don't have any source ports (mostly due to lack of source code release).

 

However in Doom's case, there isn't really any point of using DOSBox when Chocolate Doom and Crispy Doom exist. Not even any point of using DOSBox for Boom.exe or MBF.exe when PrBoom+ and Eternity Engine exist.

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15 minutes ago, ReaperAA said:

However in Doom's case, there isn't really any point of using DOSBox when Chocolate Doom and Crispy Doom exist. Not even any point of using DOSBox for Boom.exe or MBF.exe when PrBoom+ and Eternity Engine exist.

For playing through the original levels or even just downloading PWADs off of idgames this is pretty much true, but I'd argue there are still niche cases where it can be of value, such as using auxiliary DOS-based programs like the frontends that come with various CD level compilations, or confirming that something weird happening in Chocolate is what actually should be happening.

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2 hours ago, AnotherGrunt said:

What exactly does it mean? „performance isn't very good“. Every DOS sourceport I'm aware of has 35 frames cap. I'm able to run Legacy Doom in 1024x768/35FPS on my shitty laptop. 

 

Well, for one, it doesn't feel very smooth (definitely not as smooth as... virtually any port I've tried), crashes often, and yes, it has performance issues if trying to use higher resolutions (640x400 was shite for me, some 20 frames or so, which was also inconsistent), or at least this is how my experience has been with it. I've also had to use some "bMouse" thingy because mouse support was too crappy without it. Playing Blood in it was a pain in the ass, it doesn't compare at all to NBlood or BloodGDX. In fact, generally speaking, there's nothing to compare between a DOSBox experience and a port.

 

I'm not saying that maybe I didn't configure it properly which probably played a role too, so be that as it may. But it still doesn't change my mind.

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3 minutes ago, seed said:

 

Well, for one, it doesn't feel very smooth (definitely not as smooth as... virtually any port I've tried)

 

It has two reasons:

  1. Doom engine itself has slight delay. Things are first drawn into memory buffer and only when completely rendered and polished, then flipped into framebuffer on videocard. This is not a bug. Computer buses then were slow (ISA, EISA, VL-Bus) so it was more comfortable to do it this way (and such engines/ports easily recognisable: HoM). It induces a little delay (AFAIK inputs are looped at steady rate 35 reads in second) in gameplay, but delay is steady and predictable. As kid I've played Doom on i80386/40Mhz and i 80486/90 Mhz and it really feels absolutely the same way as then. Shitty 256k VGA/VESA card is laying somewhere around house to this day. And it really isn't bug, it should be this way. 
  2. Another (un)necessary things like pixel perfect scaling, demanding MIDI render, advanced scaling methods, etc. add up to this delay. Try to record (Ctrl+Alt+F5) and then replay your gameplay. It should have been just fine. My gameplay, even with 26k cycles limit, recorded feels very crispy when replayed in media player. For this I have simple advice: Eliminate unnecessary delays in your pipeline. Or do not use DOSBox at all. You can boot FreeDOS in VM or on real hardware. 
46 minutes ago, seed said:

crashes often

 

You are lucky then or I don't know. Only thing in my experience is crashing Legacy DOOM. But it was sloppy and unmaintained port long time ago. Vanilla DOOM, MBF, SMMU, Ethernity Engine are steady as rock. Even old DOSDoom I've never seen to crash once.

56 minutes ago, seed said:

it has performance issues if trying to use higher resolutions (640x400 was shite for me,

 

640x400 is higher resolution.

 

57 minutes ago, seed said:

But it still doesn't change my mind.

 

Ok. I can't do more.

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DOSBox is far from trash. Vanilla Doom's default keybinds and limitation of keys to bind is trash. TES Arena and Daggerfall are perfectly playable on DOSBox for example.

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1 hour ago, AnotherGrunt said:

Ok. I can't do more.

 

Ok.

 

Oh and by the way, my experience was with Blood, as I mentioned there already.

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Just now, AnotherGrunt said:

Isn't it a Build engine?

 

It is.

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Playing Doom via DOSBOX ain't that bad, all it needs is proper configuration. as for the multiplayer, it's almost like playing IPX Doom from the 1990s but without the vintage hardware. I also remember me, @MadDog and @Mortrixs19 actually playing a lot of Chocolate Doom (sometimes Vanilla Doom via DOSBox) for deathmatches and to me it was a blast! (This was back in early 2019 though.)

 

I'd say those two methods are recommended if you want to experience pure vanilla Doom multiplayer.

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@some guy who made a wad Your post is trash, change my mind.

DOSBox is fine, it's identical to Chocolate Doom, the only difference being it's the real deal albeit in an emulated environment as opposed to a port recreation. I grew up with Doom95 so I missed out on DOS Doom but I went back and played them through DOSBox and had a blast. I also played HacX once, the original v1.1 in DOSBox.

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So funny I see this since I've been going through DOOM II using DOSBox, keyboard only, default controls and honestly it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy playing like this again.

 

Edit: Am also going through Blood, Carmageddon and Duke3D like this with DOSBox too. Honestly I've been using DOSBox since 2007 or 2008 and I've never really had any problems with it. It's probably my most used emulator.

Edited by CARRiON

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1 hour ago, Doomkid said:

Maybe some time soon I’ll make a tutorial on how to set up DosBox and Doom to their full potential for those who actually care about understanding these things rather than simply trashing them.

 

Make it so.

 

Not but seriously, if I ever go back to DOSBox (which did cross my mind, to play the Shareware 0.99 and Doom v1.1), but I kinda gave up on the idea since setting it up to deliver its best was just tedious (and no guarantee it wasn't going to eventually crash randomly as it did with Blood either... ). Even if I would've grown up in the 90s I wouldn't have missed this experience...

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10 hours ago, seed said:

Well it does suck so... no.

 

DOSBox generally isn't optimal for running games in general as the performance isn't very good and can be pretty confusing to set it up sometimes. But it is better than nothing for playing games that can no longer run on modern OSes normally and have no ports available.

 

100% false . I play all my old games on dosbox . I only play Doom wads that are playable on dosbox (using marine best friend ) . I never had any problems with dosbox ,been using it like for ever , since dos games started not to work on modern OS.

 

The performance is great (the same performance you could expect from an old ms-dos machine). Plus you can play at the true resolotion that most games were made 320x200 (16:10) instead of 320x240 (4:3) . You can enjoy for FREE the true sound quality of games that use roland sc 55 (virtual midi synth + SC-55.v3.7.sf2)  or Gravis Ultra Sound cards (integrated with dosbox) . I can even play the xbox levels on dosbox (E1m10 for Doom , and map 33 for doom2 . using -warp , but they are playable ) . 

 

I've made my own dosbox menu .  Never had any crash using dosbox . 

 

I have chocolate doom , crispy doom , GZDoom 4.2.0.0 , but i  rarely use any of them , i have them installed just  for testing or to play really good wads that sadly are not playable on dosbox (Eviternity for example) 

 

PS: For dosbox doom you can also apply the smooth weapons mod and minor sprite fix wad (both doom and doom2) and the best amazing game mods ever made: Doom 4 Vanilla (D4V by @Noiser ) and  Dehacked Doom 64 v1.1 mod by @TheNoob_Gamer 

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Maybe you guys had a better experience than I did, which I don't deny, but that doesn't make mine any less valid.

 

Now please stop dogpiling on me.

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Of my experience with dos box most of the times its close to the original except for small minor details that make it seem really bad. Kinda like how an instrument thats almost in tune sounds worse than an instrument thats not in tune at all.

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10 hours ago, MrFlibble said:

I've been playing Doom, both vanilla and MBF, using DOSBox for years, including on a very old and pretty low-end PC from 2002, and never had any trouble with that. If you have performance issues this is most likely because DOSBox was set up incorrectly.

 

Modern machines are pretty powerful so when DOSBox switches to max CPU cycles (default setting for protected mode programmes) it might be a performance overkill for many games. I've found that it this case it's better to cap cycles rather than force a fixed amount, using the limit command as described in the DOSBox wiki. I've set my configuration to cap cycles at 26800 as suggested in the wiki, which is roughly comparable to a 486 66MHz, and is more than enough for most protected mode games including Doom.

 

It is also a good idea to use loadfix before running a game so it does not get loaded too low into memory, which may cause glitches and other weird behaviour.

 

Huh, I knew about some of this, but I didn't know about the limit command or the estimated CPU type cycles. That's pretty awesome! Thanks for sharing this info!

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