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Arsinikk

How many Vanilla-like DOS ports are there?

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Posted (edited)

So, since I'm one of those weird people...

I find it fun to play Doom games and PWADs once in a while in DOS (or DOSBOX).

 

Recently while I was playing a megawad for a while, I came across a Vanilla bug that I didn't even know existed.

Basically that the sky in Doom II never changes unless you IDCLEV or save/load the game:

https://doomwiki.org/wiki/Sky_never_changes_in_Doom_II

 

So that got me wondering how many Vanilla Plus ports were there, and how much Vanilla bugs have they fixed and what limits have they extended?

 

I've tried the original DOS version of Boom, but I feel that Boom strays a little too far from the Vanilla experience, even with it's Vanilla compat mode.

 

I've also tried out Doom32 and Doom2-plus, which were pretty cool seeing the Vanilla limits extended...

However I was wondering if there was a DOS port that fixed the sky issue above like the id Anthology version of Final Doom EXE did (but for Doom 2 instead).

 

I did found this post by Doomkid, but it seemed more focused on additional utilities for Vanilla Doom rather than DOS ports:

 

So, yeah, how many more Vanilla tailored DOS ports are there?

 

(Maybe what I'm actually looking for is more of Vanilla plus port.)

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Doom128 is sort of there, though hasn't been updated in a few months. It's based on a reverse engineering of the DOS exe based on the linuxdoom release. I say sort of because as far as I can tell, the only thing different that's planned is loading DEHACKED patches with the -deh parameter instead of patching the executable since it's a totally different build. I was surprised, too, that nobody made a version that fixed this bug. I wonder if it's fixable with some hex editing, like it is with certain static limits.

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5 hours ago, Arsinikk said:

However I was wondering if there was a DOS port that fixed the sky issue above like the id Anthology version of Final Doom EXE did (but for Doom 2 instead).

 

This seems to be a pretty random fix to apply given the sheer number of bugs and limitations in the original vanilla executables. 

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The main problem with this specific question is that back in the day when DOS was still perceived to be relevant, there were no source port developers interested in a vanilla-like port running on DOS - the item of the day were either engines that added cool features, often neglecting to integrate them robustly so that they do not screw up old maps, or straight ports of the original code to other OSs.

 

At the time things changed, nobody was interested in developing for DOS anymore. So you are essentially stuck with a handful of DOS ports with often poorly implemented features that compromise the "vanilla experience".

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7 hours ago, Arsinikk said:

However I was wondering if there was a DOS port that fixed the sky issue above like the id Anthology version of Final Doom EXE did (but for Doom 2 instead).

 

I did found this post by Doomkid, but it seemed more focused on additional utilities for Vanilla Doom rather than DOS ports:

The thing is that the fixes you seek aren't necessarily ports, but rather, source hacks - Extensions to the stock engine.

 

Since you mention Final Doom Anthology, i do know that @OpenRift did several hacks, including FDoom32 - Doom32 but on Final Doom exe, here:

 

 

Its MAXOPENINGS and MAXLINEANIMS limits are raised, alongside MAXDRAWSEGS, MAXVISPLANES and SAVEGAMESIZE + 32MB heapsize. It does not however mention if this is based on the Anthology build which fixes the sky issue. Xttl's hacks did target Anthology.

 

Far as i can tell, @Gibbon did have a Doom128 based on Final Doom Anthology. EDIT: I wasn't  wrong. The latest Doom128 has an exe for Final Doom Anthology, which is what you are looking for:

 

https://github.com/atsb/DOOM128/releases/tag/19.04.2022

https://github.com/atsb/DOOM128/releases/download/19.04.2022/DOOM128_FDA.zip

 

7 hours ago, Arsinikk said:

So, yeah, how many more Vanilla tailored DOS ports are there?

 

(Maybe what I'm actually looking for is more of Vanilla plus port.)

There are a few:

  • Doom Vanille (Raised limits, various fixes)
  • DoomNew (Original DMX sound engine, built-in DeHacked support)
  • Doom128
  • PCDoom-v2
  • Gamesrc-Recreation
39 minutes ago, Graf Zahl said:

At the time things changed, nobody was interested in developing for DOS anymore. So you are essentially stuck with a handful of DOS ports with often poorly implemented features that compromise the "vanilla experience".

Recent years sees in a influx of Vanilla ports/hacks that run on pure DOS. So DOS ain't dead.

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Oh, DOS is dead. I also do not see an "influx" but a handful of people tinkering on this stuff for the fun factor. But none of this can be considered serious port development,.

 

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1 hour ago, Graf Zahl said:

Oh, DOS is dead. I also do not see an "influx" but a handful of people tinkering on this stuff for the fun factor. But none of this can be considered serious port development,.

 

Okay, DOS is dead because you say it so.

 

Lest the fact that Tartar for DOS is a thing! But i suppose that's not serious port development.

 

Its dead in the commercial sense, its not dead by most other means which you correctly address.

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11 hours ago, Arsinikk said:

I've tried the original DOS version of Boom, but I feel that Boom strays a little too far from the Vanilla experience, even with it's Vanilla compat mode. 

You could also check out the original MBF, it introduced a compatibility menu to tweak behavior and make it more like Vanilla (Not exactly like it, but closer than Boom), plus you get to play with a higher resolution and with reduced risk of crashes to visplanes or that sort of stuff

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1 hour ago, Redneckerz said:

Okay, DOS is dead because you say it so.

 

Lest the fact that Tartar for DOS is a thing! But i suppose that's not serious port development.

 

Its dead in the commercial sense, its not dead by most other means which you correctly address. 

 

Like I said, there's a few people tinkering with it for the fun of it. But I have zero expectations that such a port will find wider exposure beyond a small hard core group of DOS fans. And these you will find for any old platform. So by that logic even the C64 would be alive and thriving.

 

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52 minutes ago, Graf Zahl said:

So by that logic even the C64 would be alive and thriving.

The C64 is alive and kicking, what with numerous indie games and scene productions released every year.

 

I understand what you are trying to say, and it holds more water for DOS. But picking C64 was not the best example :P

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8 hours ago, fabian said:
13 hours ago, Arsinikk said:

However I was wondering if there was a DOS port that fixed the sky issue above like the id Anthology version of Final Doom EXE did (but for Doom 2 instead).

 

This seems to be a pretty random fix to apply given the sheer number of bugs and limitations in the original vanilla executables. 

I'd say this was more of an example, rather than the sole thing I wanted fixed. From what I saw from Doom32 and Doom2-plus, they were able to increase the static limits of Vanilla, but a simple bug like the skies not changing wasn't fixed.

 

I would like to reiterate, that I am not a programmer, nor a developer, so I do not know the specifics of how a lot of that stuff works. I am simply a mapper that like to indulge in DEHACKED and DECORATE.

 

5 hours ago, Redneckerz said:

The thing is that the fixes you seek aren't necessarily ports, but rather, source hacks - Extensions to the stock engine.

 

This is exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for! Thanks!

 

5 hours ago, Redneckerz said:
  • Doom Vanille (Raised limits, various fixes)
  • DoomNew (Original DMX sound engine, built-in DeHacked support)
  • Doom128
  •  PCDoom-v2
  •  Gamesrc-Recreation

Also thanks for these! I'll take a look at some of these. I'm mainly looking for an exe that I can use dehacked patches on.

 

5 hours ago, Graf Zahl said:

Oh, DOS is dead. I also do not see an "influx" but a handful of people tinkering on this stuff for the fun factor. But none of this can be considered serious port development,...

 

Like I said, there's a few people tinkering with it for the fun of it. But I have zero expectations that such a port will find wider exposure beyond a small hard core group of DOS fans. And these you will find for any old platform. So by that logic even the C64 would be alive and thriving.

I think in the recent years there has been a rise in players wanting a more classic Doom experience. Obviously this isn't for everyone... Even trying to get DOSBOX set up correctly to run well with Doom EXEs can be a bit of a barrier to entry. But especially in running Vanilla type WADs in DOS is a much different experience than say running GZDoom thru a software renderer, or even DSDA Doom in software for that matter.

 

You could say that just use Chocolate Doom, which I guess isn't bad. Obviously I'm kinda looking for a Vanilla experience with fixes and limits raised with the low resolution. Chocolate Doom is mostly best for testing out Vanilla WADs and making sure it doesn't crash... Although, not really the place to bring it up, but I noticed that Chocolate Doom deals with sound priority in a different way than Vanilla Doom does. Like it seems to be inverted.

 

I used to say that I really like the Unity port (once the sound and other issues were fixed)... But honestly that port is like a ticking time bomb imo, with some weird bugs like the getting stuck in the invisible menu bug... not to mention that it only has partial DEHACKED support, crashing when reading the MISC 0 section... It doesn't even support loading custom name sprites SMH...

 

2 hours ago, xX_Lol6_Xx said:

You could also check out the original MBF, it introduced a compatibility menu to tweak behavior and make it more like Vanilla (Not exactly like it, but closer than Boom), plus you get to play with a higher resolution and with reduced risk of crashes to visplanes or that sort of stuff

I'll go take a look... though obviously I'm hesitant cuz I was looking for a very Vanilla experience. MBF changes alot about how behaviour and physics work in Doom, and while there may be compatibility for Vanilla in the port, I'm sure it's not as accurate as running a Vanilla or Vanilla Enhanced EXE. Also I'm not the biggest fan of midi running through OPL3 like it does in Boom. I prefer how midi is done via the Vanilla EXE.

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8 hours ago, fabian said:

 

This seems to be a pretty random fix to apply given the sheer number of bugs and limitations in the original vanilla executables. 

The bugs aren't bugs. I call them "unplanned features" ;-)

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22 minutes ago, Arsinikk said:

This is exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for! Thanks!

 

Also thanks for these! I'll take a look at some of these. I'm mainly looking for an exe that I can use dehacked patches on.

then Doom New is your pick. But that's not the Anthology doom.

 

Ideally, something like Doom128/Xttlhack + built-in dehacked support is the ultimate hack.

 

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I just grabbed a copy of DoomNew and messed around with it a little. Pretty good stuff! I'd never seen that port before.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Arsinikk said:

Also I'm not the biggest fan of midi running through OPL3 like it does in Boom. I prefer how midi is done via the Vanilla EXE.

There's an option for that in the audio-setup executable, which if I remember correctly is called Allegro.exe or Asetup or something like that, I don't remember what it's name was but check it out.

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1 hour ago, Alex S. said:

I just grabbed a copy of DoomNew and messed around with it a little. Pretty good stuff! I'd never seen that port before.

Its not the biggest known port out there, but it is very close to the original code, with the DMX engine, and with DeHacked support built in. So its pretty complete and very vanilla-like.

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2 hours ago, xX_Lol6_Xx said:

There's an option for that in the audio-setup executable, which if I remember correctly is called Allegro.exe or Asetup or something like that, I don't remember what it's name was but check it out.

Ah yes, thanks xX_Lol6_Xx. I have tried out pretty much all I could with the Allegro settings, but couldn't seem to get the sound working like Vanilla. Could just be my DOS setup shenanigans though.

 

So, @Redneckerz, I just wanna clarify that this list isn't meant to be used with DEHACKED patches right?:

  • Doom Vanille (Raised limits, various fixes)
  • Doom128
  • PCDoom-v2
  • Gamesrc-Recreation

From what I've tested, those ports are more for just playing the main IWADs and WADs with no DEHACKery in them?

 

Like you said, DoomNew seems like it would be my safest bet... and so I tried it out. Unfortunately for me, it's got a bit of problems (I do realise that it was last updated in 2015). I spent a couple hours tinkering with it, and have figured some stuff out. For reference, I tested my own 100 Line Massacre and the WIP 200 Line Massacre megawads:

  • So first off, working with DoomNew just kept resulting in DOSBOX crashing on me over and over. However, I finally found the culprit. In my wads, I included new sprites, including the original name and the changed dehacked name for Vanilla specific ports (i.e. I included both TROO and TROZ sprites). Usually when patching Vanilla with DEHACKED.exe, this never caused a problem since the EXE would only load the TROZ sprites... I included the same sprites (TROO) to be more compatible with BOOM-like ports and gameplay WADs, and BOOM doesn't have any problems replacing sprites with the same name. However since DoomNew never becomes actually patched and loads DEHACKED upon launch, it tries to load both sprites and crashes... Because obviously in Vanilla if you try to replace only some of a certain sprite, it freaks out. So in an ideal world, it'd be nice to have a Vanilla DOS port to do something of what Chocolate Doom does with the -dehmerge argument.
  • Another thing about DoomNew, is that I think it may have trouble parsing long DEHACKED files. I have a megawad I'm working on called 200 Line Massacre, and it seems that it's DEH file isn't able to parsed correctly the same way that Vanilla does. I'd say the DEHACKery of the wad is the equivalent of STRAIN, but probably with even more changes. (At the moment the DEH is at 1726 lines). Basically I was able to enter the first map, but the sprites seemed to be jumbled up a bit, and after playing for a while, the port just straight up crashed. Just a reminder that patching the Vanilla engine or Doom Plus didn't do this.
  • Finally, I get a weird thing that when the ENDOOM shows up, I have to force quit DOSBOX... Usually I just type EXIT and hit enter when the ENDOOM shows... But DOSBOX just seems to sit there being unresponsive... Don't know why...

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Arsinikk said:

Ah yes, thanks xX_Lol6_Xx. I have tried out pretty much all I could with the Allegro settings, but couldn't seem to get the sound working like Vanilla. Could just be my DOS setup shenanigans though. 

I don't remember which, but I'm pretty sure that either Boom or MBF introduced a bug with the audio (Reversed stereo). I don't know how to disable it though, maybe MBF has an option to do so

About the midi, I'll install DosBox-X to check out the MBF exe and maybe I'll update this post with the name of the option :D

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, xX_Lol6_Xx said:

I don't remember which, but I'm pretty sure that either Boom or MBF introduced a bug with the audio (Reversed stereo). I don't know how to disable it though, maybe MBF has an option to do so

OMG I actually didn't realise that was a known bug! I actually did run into that, but I was able to fix the stereo issue. It was mostly the Midi setup, that I couldn't figure out how to get any of it working on something other than OPL.

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Posted (edited)

Found the options you were asking for. It's either one of these two.

asetup_000.png.f1322a1693e1020f43652e9c1358d5f8.png

Edited by xX_Lol6_Xx : Fount? What the freak?

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10 hours ago, Alex S. said:

I just grabbed a copy of DoomNew and messed around with it a little. Pretty good stuff! I'd never seen that port before.

Oh yes, I also just grabbed the port and I like it. Tested a map from FreeDoom that normally crashes vanilla, but nope, no visplane overflow. My only complain is that Low Detail mode doesn't work.

Spoiler

I'm not surprised honestly, I may be the only weirdo that actually likes playing with double pixel width.

 

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4 hours ago, xX_Lol6_Xx said:

Found the options you were asking for. It's either one of these two.

asetup_000.png.f1322a1693e1020f43652e9c1358d5f8.png

Yeah, but Allegro deals with the OPL chip in a completely different way to DMX, the sound patches are completely different and the music sounds completely different, there's no comparison, and I think that's what the OP means with "I'm not the biggest fan of midi running through OPL3 like it does in Boom. I prefer how midi is done via the Vanilla EXE". You can load custom patches to Allegro and I tried tinkering with that once for a bit but I couldn't reliably port the GENMIDI patches from the Doom IWAD to Allegro and get it to sound exactly as DMX. Maybe someone more knowledgeable than me could achieve that, but it seems like Allegro is a bit limited in what you can do with the OPL patch customisation. 

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15 hours ago, Redneckerz said:

Okay, DOS is dead because you say it so.

 

Lest the fact that Tartar for DOS is a thing! But i suppose that's not serious port development.

 

Its dead in the commercial sense, its not dead by most other means which you correctly address.

Anything that isn't Graf's own personal interest is "dead", it's a common trend with his posting over the years. The dozens of us in the Doom community alone who do DOS-based tinkering are actually not among the living. Which is pretty badass.

 

DoomNew has an awesome feel to it, but I did run into some similar troubles to what Arsinikk laid out above. Still a badass little port though.

 

Doom32.exe with changing skies would be a "fix" of about 10 of Vanilla Doom's obvious shortcomings, not just one, so not sure why that was said either. I would love such a hack. I actually requested it about a year ago: https://www.doomworld.com/forum/post/2346916

 

Seems like it would be a trivial fix to integrate into an updated version of Doom32, but I haven't sat down and cracked it yet. Using the Anthology EXE for Final Doom with the fixed skies works to play Doom2 wads, even ones with DEH lumps - the only issue would be the bouncing Lost Souls causing demo desyncs.

 

The merit of a sky fix being added among all the other fixes in Doom32 is obvious to me, but again, us DOS users don't actually exist, so that might be a bit of a hurdle.

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7 hours ago, xX_Lol6_Xx said:

Oh yes, I also just grabbed the port and I like it. Tested a map from FreeDoom that normally crashes vanilla, but nope, no visplane overflow. My only complain is that Low Detail mode doesn't work.

  Hide contents

I'm not surprised honestly, I may be the only weirdo that actually likes playing with double pixel width.

 

Have you noticed it seems to be set to "always run"? 

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1 hour ago, Alex S. said:

Have you noticed it seems to be set to "always run"? 

Double width has been used in dm in order to ensure maximum frame rate on older hardware. High fps was by some considered more important than high fidelity.

There might even be some cognitive benefits in having half the amount of pixels to pay attention to in order to see other players.

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DOS is about as dead as Doom is. There's a health community and tons of projects related to it. The people who grew up with DOS in their teens now have more and more expendable income and can buy older retro hardware, all the things they wanted in their youth, but couldn't afford, and that hardware is not much more feasible. Channels like LGR, Adrian's Digital Basement, The 8bit guy are very popular.

Here's some of the stuff I own that is def. retro-dos-stuff/early win era. A lot of it bough in recent years, some i have kept stored.
10mbps coax networking gear for ~10 computers, cables, cards, t-connectors, terminators etc.
3 serial cables (brand new).
3 parallell cables (brand new).
AWE32, AWE64.

Voodoo 2.

Tons of optical drives, disks etc.
Several mid 90s pcs.
Gotek floppy emulator.
ISA USB cards.
Several modes, including a 2400 baud portable norwegian made high-speed modem from TBK.
And I have tons of other shit I can't remember off the top of my head.

Getting a good doom experience with this hardware is important to me. Hell, I just recently acquired for free two pci-express serial cards. They will make it easier to communicate with older machines. Some of the stuff I am considering buying is an ISA scsi cards and an external scsi enclosure.

I know loads of people with similar interests. One of the projects I plan to work on is a PI mt32/sc55 emulator and I really want to try out the gus-pi-implementation. A real gus these days cost a fortune.

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On 6/29/2022 at 12:57 AM, xX_Lol6_Xx said:

Ah, thought he was refering to General Midi, not OPL3. My bad I guess

I mean, he might have meant that, I don't even know, I might have misunderstood it myself xD One interesting thing about Allegro is that it also has the hanging note bug issue with some SB16 cards that DMX has. I have a SB16 card with that bug and I was hoping I could play on Boom without worrying about that bug, but nope! I wonder if any of these DOS ports do something about it?

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