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Redneckerz

MBF: A DOS Oddity (SIGIL/Nerve/Master Levels support, 386 build, etc)

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Posted (edited)

Despite being a terrible David Bowie pun, in regards to MBF there have been several new developments over the course of recent years that i would want to highlight for those retro users looking for some pure DOS Dooming.

 

This is not to be confused with the WinMBF64 thread.

 

As hosted by DoomWorld, For several years an unofficial MBF release named 2.04 exists. It is considered a ''maintenance'' release since 2014. However, its author, Gerwin Broers, has worked ever since on it till 2017, adding significantly improved sound driver support among other things. These are released in seperate versions under the ''2.04'' moniker.  The VOGONS thread where this is hosted can be found here.

 

Two specific developments deserve extra highlighting however. These are also already pending on the DoomWiki.

 

MBF386:

A spin-off build by the same author (Gerwin) who headed the MBF 2.04 release. Only referenced on a to-do list, this version silently got uploaded to the author's homepage. It contains all the latest MBF 2.04 features. It targets 386 processors and possibly no FPU. I say possibly, because at the moment i have no setup handy to test this out. Only a binary is provided, no source code.

 

MBF-Sigil/MBF-SNM:

Developer Sakitoshi decided to take the latest MBF 2.04 release and add SIGIL support to it. First noted by @Diabolución in September, MBF-Sigil adds the SIGIL maps from Romero to MBF as a playable 5th episode. Since then, support for No Rest for the Living and even The Master Levels for Doom 2 was added and as such it was rebranded to MBF-SNM. Still pure DOS, it allows one to play most of the official works related to DOOM in DOS.

  • Binary + Source Code Download: MBF-SNM, Version 10 as of writing.
Edited by Redneckerz : DoomWiki reference.

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Posted (edited)

MBF was a good port for it's time. I helped Lee Killough out with testing and ideas. I also added the support for Final Doom which was missing from the original code. The helper dogs were an experiment he created as the result of discussions between us to see if it were viable to add friendly AI to Mordeth. I have dim memory of him creating a 2.04 of his own but for some reason or another he never released it. Lee was (and hopefully still is) an absolute genius coder and very generous with his time. I would often ask him if a particular thing was possible, and my response was often chunks of code that I would wager were written on the spot without testing, and were almost invariably spot on. From memory, most of the optimisations done in Boom were his handiwork. He would often describe in detail the things he changed from the original code for Boom and later MBF and all I could do was the email equivalent of "smile and nod" to look like I understood what he was on about.

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Posted (edited)

Sakitoshi's MBF version is the one i've been using since sigil was released , the latest versions allow you to play eviternity , not the full wad sadly =( ,  there 3 maps that are too big for vanilla to handle and the game crashes.

 

According to zennode maps 15/31/32 blockmaps are too big (actual error message "Level too big to create valid blockmap") =/  ...i guess that there is no way to reduce blockmap size as that would mean to make the level smaller right ? 

 

The latest version crash if you enable "show framerate + mode indicator" ,but other than that it runs great , SNM 10 was a fix for a bug i found on Plutonia's map07 .

 

I really recommend this version of MBF if you are going to play on real hardware or dosbox.

 

PS The only thing i was never able to enable is GUS PnP emulation , even if GUS is working on other games is not being detected by MBF allegro config =/ . 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Pablo_Doom_Guy said:

Sakitoshi's MBF version is the one i've been using since sigil was released , the latest versions allow you to play eviternity , not the full wad sadly =( ,  there 3 maps that are too big for vanilla to handle and the game crashes.

 

This just made me try out Eviternity to see how it looks/works in DOS MBF.

 

However I am not able to run it even with the Sakitoshi's build. I put both Doom2.wad and Eviternity.wad inside the MBF folder and dragged the Eviternity.bat into the dosbox.exe. All I got is "Illegal command: Eviternity.bat". I managed to run Sigil in this method tho. Am I missing something? Also I am using Dosbox 0.74-3

Edited by ReaperAA

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Murdoch said:

MBF was a good port for it's time. I helped Lee Killough out with testing and ideas. I also added the support for Final Doom which was missing from the original code. The helper dogs were an experiment he created as the result of discussions between us to see if it were viable to add friendly AI to Mordeth. I have dim memory of him creating a 2.04 of his own but for some reason or another he never released it. Lee was (and hopefully still is) an absolute genius coder and very generous with his time. I would often ask him if a particular thing was possible, and my response was often chunks of code that I would wager were written on the spot without testing, and were almost invariably spot on. From memory, most of the optimisations done in Boom were his handiwork. He would often describe in detail the things he changed from the original code for Boom and later MBF and all I could do was the email equivalent of "smile and nod" to look like I understood what he was on about.

Some little fun trivia on this one:

 

Gerwin basically got Lee's seal of approval for this work since he posted twice in the thread in 2017:

 

Post 1:

 

Quote

Thanks for continuing this, 20 years later!!!

I'm flattered.

Thanks for James Haley, Simon Howard, Colin Phipps, Jim Flynn, The late Ty Halderman, and so many others!!!

If you're ever in a conundrum, I'd be glad to help.

Thanks,
Lee Killough

Tagging @Quasar and @fraggle for this since they may want to know of this little thumbs up :)

 

Then some 30 minutes later, a rather vague post:

 

Post 2:

 

Quote

Life is too short.

I was working on this in 1997. It still hasn't changed.

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2 hours ago, Gez said:

"Eviternity" is a ten-letter words, DOS names are limited to eight letters.

 

Thanks I got it to load now.

 

Although it is really unplayable because of all those segmentation violations in most of the maps. But then again, Eviternity was never made for dos ports in mind.

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9 hours ago, ReaperAA said:

 

Thanks I got it to load now.

 

Although it is really unplayable because of all those segmentation violations in most of the maps. But then again, Eviternity was never made for dos ports in mind.

 

use zennode first , maps 15/31/32 wont work but at least you can play the rest of  the maps

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25 minutes ago, Pablo_Doom_Guy said:

 

use zennode first , maps 15/31/32 wont work but at least you can play the rest of  the maps

 

Will give it a try soon.

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3 hours ago, ReaperAA said:

 

Will give it a try soon.

 

Another wad that i manage to play on dosbox using this particular version of MBF is Mutiny  , but before starting MBF you need to run cwsdpmi.exe -x and then MBF. I've made a dos box menu and this is how i load mutiny 

 

:mutiny
cd mbf
cwsdpmi.exe -x    
mbf -iwad iwads/doom2.wad -file wads/Doom2/mutiny/*.wad -save wads/Doom2/mutiny
cd..
cls
goto doom2-5

 

Sunlust was another wad that's not supposed to work on MBF but it does , you only need to use zennode and avoid the game to load a demo file or it will crash and close (or you can create your own demos ) other than that it runs great =)  

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23 hours ago, Pablo_Doom_Guy said:

 

use zennode first , maps 15/31/32 wont work but at least you can play the rest of  the maps

 

Map 15 and 32 come with ZDBSP nodes in the original Eviternity PWAD, but Map 31 could be loaded if you convert all nodes-related data types to unsigned in the source code - which I am going to do in my fork.

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