DOS Games Message Board
DOS Games Discussion
A message board to talk about DOS games, get help, and find old games.
Do NOT post warez or abandonware requests please
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
NEW! DOSGames.com has been massively upgraded to v2.0 with TONS of new features!
Check out the new design and dozens of new features including online play!


Alien Legacy [XP]
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    DOS Games Discussion Forum Index -> Get Games to Work
Author Message
UncleJoe .
Guest






PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:11 pm     Post subject: Alien Legacy [XP] Reply with quote

Kind of a long shot, but here goes: I have the CD version of Alien Legacy which plays on WinXP, but runs too, too fast. What I'm looking for is a downloadable version that comes with DOSBox (or something similar) installed and ready to use e.g. the way GOG.com sells games. I've tried working with DOSBox and some other virtual systems, but to no avail. I simply cannot get any of them to work for me. Suggestions welcome!
Back to top
Quadko
Darklander
Darklander


Offline
Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Posts: 2010

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:05 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

More along the line of the "getting games to work" discussion, but what have you tried so far? Do you maybe just need a dosbox.conf file that works?

Google says minimum system requirements for Alien Legacy are:
Quote:
MINIMUM PC REQUIREMENTS
Minimum CPU Type: 386SX
Minimum CPU Speed: 20 MHz
Minimum RAM Required: 4 MB
Minimum Hard Disk Space: 22 MB
Minimum OS Version: 5.0
Graphics Type: VGA
Graphics Resolution: 640x480
Color Depth: 256 Colors


Does it not run at all, or still runs to fast, or tries to load and fails? Have you successfully run other things from scratch in dosbox, and only this fails, or is this your first attempt at dosbox?

Offhand, I'd guess you'd mount some empty directory as C:, mount the CD drive as D:, and run the install. Maybe you'd have to tweak cycles, or turn off the sound/music at first. Some games don't run until you've got the DosBox soundblaster (etc) settings matched to the game's settings.

Dosbox wiki says it's supported, and has been since 7.0, so likely we should be able to get it working.
Dosbox support site also says good things, and someone has some speed recomendations:
Quote:
Seems to work VERY well, if not perfection, almost like the original computers at that time. I remember getting a new computer every few years made this game run a little faster everytime until it won't work right. If you run this game on these settings:

core=normal
cputype=486_slow
cycles=23000
cycleup=10
cycledown=20

It works superb. 13000 is a little slugish in the solar system view and spaceship exploration. Otherwise, these settings work great.

Somone else on VOGONS had trouble with the CD, but solved it with the label command, something about a cheap reissue disk defect:
Quote:
Setting the label to 'AL_CD_V110' fixed the issue.


We can look deeper if you are interested and see if we can get it working.
Back to top
Quadko
Darklander
Darklander


Offline
Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Posts: 2010

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:38 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried with an iso of the CD, and it worked great. I assume it should work similarily well with the real CD.

I made an "Alien Legacy" directory for all the files. I copied the necessary files from DosBox v.74 (be certain you've got the latest, currently v.74) into the directory (dosbox.exe, SDL.dll, SDL_net.dll). I created a Game and a CD directory for convenience.
My new directory looks like this:
Quote:
CD
Game
dosbox.conf
Dosbox.exe
SDL.dll
SDL_net.dll


The Dosbox.conf file didn't really take any tweaking, but here are it's contents:
Quote:
# This is the configurationfile for DOSBox 0.74. (Please use the latest version of DOSBox)
# Lines starting with a # are commentlines and are ignored by DOSBox.
# They are used to (briefly) document the effect of each option.
[autoexec]
mount c .\Game

# first line mounts an iso file, second a cd drive
#imgmount d .\CD\AlienLegacy.iso -t iso
mount d d:\ -t cdrom

# change to c: drive, change directory if necessary, run AL.exe
c:
#cd sierra\alien
AL

# Uncomment the exit line to quit dosbox when the game ends
#exit

[render]
# scaler: Scaler used to enlarge/enhance low resolution modes.
# If 'forced' is appended, then the scaler will be used even if the result might not be desired.
# Possible values: none, normal2x, normal3x, advmame2x, advmame3x, advinterp2x, advinterp3x, hq2x, hq3x, 2xsai, super2xsai, supereagle, tv2x, tv3x, rgb2x, rgb3x, scan2x, scan3x.

#I used 3x with "advanced interpolation" on my monitor; anything works, but normal2x is a basic one that works
scaler=advinterp3x
#scaler=normal2x


I used the imgmount line to mount the iso, but I commented it out (# character) but left it in case you want to try an ISO later. You'll need to change the "mount d d:\ -t cdrom" line to have your CD drive letter if it isn't D:\ - like "mount d q:\ -t cdrom"

Then I ran DosBox.exe, changed to the D: drive, and ran install.bat from the "cd". I installed the game to the c:\ drive (it defaults to c:\sierra\alien, I changed it to c:\).
It ran the sound setup - I chose Roland MPU401 music and Sound Blaster 16 digital sounds, choosing 'attempt to configure ... automatically'. Success.

The game files showed up in the Game directory in Windows as expected, and I closed DosBox.

Now run DosBox.exe again, and it autoloads the game (the c: and AL lines in dosbox.conf). Everything worked for me. (And you can rename DosBox.exe to Alien Legacy.exe if you want! That's fun.)

After it is installed, you can remove the # (comment) character from the exit line in dosbox.conf, and then it will launch the game automatically and exit dosbox when you exit the game, just like GOG.com games. You'll need the CD in the drive to play, of course, unless you create or download an iso.

If you installed it to a different directory than c:, you can just add a "cd sierra\alien" or whatever line to dosbox.conf between C: and AL lines to get it to work.

No problems, and it works great. I can increase/decrease speed with the standard CTRL-F11 & CTRL-F12, I have sound and mouse. I hope that helps, but let us know how it goes. (I also tried with the floppy version, worked great as well, but I hear it is buggy and you definitely want the CD version.)
Back to top
dosraider
Admin
Admin


Offline
Joined: 15 Mar 2005
Posts: 9246
Location: ROTFLMAO in Belgium.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:01 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Quadko wrote:
More along the line of the "getting games to work" discussion,

Indeed, moved to GGTW.

UncleJoe wrote:
What I'm looking for is a downloadable version that comes with DOSBox (or something similar) installed and ready to use e.g. the way GOG.com sells games.

As it will be sold on GOG sooner or later, you only need to have some patience to get what you want
http://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/alien_legacy

But as Quadko stated, game runs fine in dosbox 0.74, as you have the CD you shouldn't have any problem running the game in dosbox.

If you follow carefully Quadko's advise you'll get in fact a 'portable' version, can even run from an USB stick if you want.
Of course you also could run it in a default dosbox setup, no problem.

Best is as Quadko said to use a CD image, modern hardware isn't really suited to run those older CD games from real CDs (spin up/down, heat ..etcetera).
A nice soft to create ISO or BIN/CUE is ImgBurn, freeware and really good stuff (just take care not to end with some extra browser toolbars, ads pays the stuff).
http://www.imgburn.com/
Back to top
UncleJoe
Guest






PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:41 am     Post subject: Looking for Playable Version of Alien Legacy Reply with quote

Wow, that was quick! Thanks everyone!
Sorry I put this in the wrong place. My bad.
Re. DOSBox, I guess what I need is "DOSBox for Dummies." Too bad there really isn't such a book. I confess to being a real klutz when it comes to things like this. I'll try to print the replies and try again. Wish me luck.
Again, Thanks!
Back to top
UncleJoe
Guest






PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:44 am     Post subject: Alien Legacy Reply with quote

Oh, about getting help from the DOSBox forums. No thanks! I tried that a long time ago and got flamed for being so stupid.
Back to top
Quadko
Darklander
Darklander


Offline
Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Posts: 2010

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:48 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy
No worries, and we won't give you a hard time*. I pushed a lot of info at you, so do what you can and ask the questions you need if something doesn't make sense or you get stuck, and we'll try to get you successfully installed.

Which OS are you on? Are you comfortable installing dosbox and creating a few directories, or would you like more detailed instructions? Are you comfortable making an ISO of your cd like dosraider mentioned, or finding an existing Alien Legacy CD download via google?


If you need them, there are step-by-step dosbox install instructions that dosraider created at the top of the the "Getting Games to Work" forum, titled things like:
Quote:
Sticky: Dosbox and XP. [Howto]
Sticky: Dosbox and Windows 7 [Howto]


But it sounded like you've got some basic experience with dosbox, so maybe it's just the more arcane details we can help with. I've been there! Happy to help. Happy


(*well, I can only speak for myself and past experience on the forum, but we're nice around here!)
Back to top
UncleJoe
Guest






PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:13 am     Post subject: Alien Legacy Reply with quote

Ah, thanks!, Quadko. I'm using WinXP on two computers. Funny, but the game runs on the faster, newer unit, and not on the older, slower one. Of course when I say it runs, I have to qualify that because it runs way too fast. I bought the game not long after it first came out in 1994-95; it comes on a CD which I still have (and the manual and the Strategy Guide, also). According to my faulty memory, on the slowest setting a game "turn" took well over 1 minute, possibly as much as 2. Now a turn goes by in slightly less than 30 seconds. I know from other older games running under DOSBox (from GOG.com) that you can slow the game down and that's why I'm interested in it.

OK, I talk too much. I recently downloaded and installed the latest DOSBox/D-Fend Reloaded (7.4, I think). So that's what I've got. I'm going to read the DOSBox tutorial and the other stuff from this forum and then try again. Busy, busy weekend ahead, so that won't happen for a couple of days yet. Then, without a doubt in the world, I'll be back to ask for help.
Back to top
dosraider
Admin
Admin


Offline
Joined: 15 Mar 2005
Posts: 9246
Location: ROTFLMAO in Belgium.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:41 pm     Post subject: Re: Alien Legacy Reply with quote

UncleJoe wrote:
.../D-Fend Reloaded (7.4, I think). .....

You don't need a frontend, what's more: you only add a layer of possible problems..... And I can't help you if you use a frontend, never use them things.(Don't know if Quadko can help you with that)

It's in fact simple:
Read the XP tutorial and follow guidelines.
Create an ISO from your CD
Use imgmount to mount said image.
Install game once.
Run game.
That's it.

If you want you can add the imgmount line as last line in autoexec, something as:
imgmount d c:\isos\al.iso -t cdrom

Adapt c:\isos\al.iso to match your own paths.
Or call the mount line from within a batch file so you don't have to type too much. (That's what I usually do, lazy moi)

Or I even can write you a simple choice menu at dosbox startup, mount or not the CD image ..... (whatever, depends how many games you run in dosbox, if you only run Alien Legacy simply add CD image mount to autoexec)

But you will have to decide for yourself:
Frontend or not.
Back to top
UncleJoe
Newbie
Newbie


Offline
Joined: 23 Mar 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:49 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

OK dosraider, uninstalled the front end and reinstalled DOSBox .74. Followed the exact instructions from "Dosbox and XP. [Howto]" from this forum. That gets me a Z prompt and a message that C drive does not exist. Now what?

Do I need to install the game somewhere (e.g. in my "oldgame" folder) or should I intall it from within DOSBox. I am not clear on this. I've never made an ISO before and wonder why I need to now when I have a perfectly good CD.

Oh boy, forgive me, but please explain what "imgmount" is. (Remember, I said I need DOSBox for Dummies!)

Apologies and Thanks!
Back to top
dosraider
Admin
Admin


Offline
Joined: 15 Mar 2005
Posts: 9246
Location: ROTFLMAO in Belgium.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:50 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

UncleJoe wrote:
Followed the exact instructions from "Dosbox and XP. [Howto]" from this forum. That gets me a Z prompt and a message that C drive does not exist. Now what?

This is a typical dosbox error message meaning that you made errors.
Check if c:\oldgames exist.
Check if you didn't made tipoz adding the mount c c:\oldgames\ to autoexec.
If all is right it will work and you will get a C:\ prompt in dosbox, believe me.
Check and recheck t'll you find the error you made. Can be a space you forgot, a ';' in stead of a ':' ... whatever, if it's right it will work.
No tipoz allowed !!!!!!

UncleJoe wrote:
Do I need to install the game somewhere (e.g. in my "oldgame" folder) or should I intall it from within DOSBox. I am not clear on this.

Dosgames are always installed in dosbox. Exeption are so called pre installed games to run in dosbox, or games that don't need install procedure.
CD games must be installed in dosbox. Same exception here, pre installed CD games with special mount lines.

UncleJoe wrote:
I've never made an ISO before and wonder why I need to now when I have a perfectly good CD.

No problem, get ImgBurn, shovel your CD in the tray, launch the program, hit 'create image file from disk' and save it as
c:\isos\al.iso
That's all, prog is simple to use.

UncleJoe wrote:
Oh boy, forgive me, but please explain what "imgmount" is. (Remember, I said I need DOSBox for Dummies!)

imgmount is a special mount in dosbox, it mounts CD images so that you don't need to use your precious CD .
imgmount works with ISO and BIN/CUE CD images.
BIN/CUE is needed when the CD has data track+music tracks (so called mixed mode CD, ISO can't hold the music tracks).
If you follow my advise your CD image mount line is:
imgmount d c:\isos\al.iso -t cdrom
Mind the spaces ! No tipoz !
imgmountspacedspacec:\isos\al.isospace-tspacecdrom

This will mount your CD image as D: drive in dosbox.

Now to install the game in dosbox:
First correct the C: mount so you get a C:\ prompt.
At the C: prompt input:
imgmount d c:\isos\al.iso -t cdrom
D:
install


Now you'll get some choice screens.
Accept c:\
next highlight c:\sierra\alien alter to c:\alien
begin install
choose 'optimal' installation

next sound devices:
to keep it simple:
MIDI -> SB16 ->automatic detect
DIDITAL -> SB16/AWE32 -> automatic
-> done

Roland gives a bit better sound, but let's keep it as simple as possible to begin with...... step by step ...

Will leave you at c:\alien prompt
input al to launch game.

Now, next time you wanna play:
launch dosbox, ( you must have C:\ prompt here ! ), and input :
imgmount d c:\isos\al.iso -t cdrom
cd alien
al


If AL is the only game you play in dosbox you can add
imgmount d c:\isos\al.iso -t cdrom
as last line in autoexec, then you don't need to input it every time you wanna play. (or put it in a batch file, but we see for that later when you get the game running .... )
One of these days I will have to write a howto for mounting CD images calling a batch file in dosbox .... one of these days .... don't hold your breath...


ignore mount lines, those are specific for me .....)



Back to top
JoeD
Guest






PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:03 am     Post subject: Alien Legacy Reply with quote

Thanks dosraider. Rewrote the autoexec note as directed. That gives me the Z prompt but I could change to C. Great! Note I had copied the lines from the HowTo exactly. I copied your line (which is not quite the same) and it worked. Perhaps someone needs to look at the HowTo.

I'll work on the rest today as time permits; got a house full of grandkids. If I survive,...well, that's for later. Thanks for the details and the patience. I'll be back.
Back to top
dosraider
Admin
Admin


Offline
Joined: 15 Mar 2005
Posts: 9246
Location: ROTFLMAO in Belgium.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:15 am     Post subject: Re: Alien Legacy Reply with quote

JoeD wrote:
Note I had copied the lines from the HowTo exactly. I copied your line (which is not quite the same) and it worked. Perhaps someone needs to look at the HowTo..

mount c c:\oldgames
and
mount c c:\oldgames\
are both valid and accepted by dosbox.
Howto is fine, believe me, there are no less than 141238 views and you're the first one to say so, but not the first one to struggle with that stuff.
....... error was at your end, a tipoz somewhere ....... Tbbbbbth!

JoeD wrote:
I'll work on the rest today as time permits; got a house full of grandkids. If I survive,...well, that's for later. Thanks for the details and the patience. I'll be back

Yep, have also some of those critters once in a while in da house (grandkids), I feel your pain. Laughing
If I understand swell you're must be kinda my age ? I'm 57, didn't you go through the good'ol CP/M - MsDos times? Dosbox commands are almost similar to MsDos ones.
Back to top
JoeD
Guest






PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:47 pm     Post subject: Alien Legacy Reply with quote

Yeah, well, I'm not going to reveal my age, but you're young yet. Hint: my first computer was an IBM 8086 with 2 floppy drives. My first program was a game (Gato, a submarine sim), and I've been hooked ever since. Got about 4+ hours to go before the parents arive...looking good. I think I'll make it!
Back to top
JoeD
Guest






PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:20 pm     Post subject: Alien Legacy Reply with quote

Dosraider, so far, so good. I left out music sound because I wouldn't play it anyway. Added the lines to the autoexec file and the game runs! Wow!
Thanks!!!
But wait, there's more... (I hope you don't mind some more help.)
It plays in a window. I know I've seen (somewhere) how to alter that in DOSBox, but I don't remember.
Also, I think I saw how to exit the game directly into Windows, but again I don't remember where or how.
I DO remember how to speed up or slow down - had THAT problem with some GOG games.
Anyway, I would sincerely appreciate still more assistance.
Thanks!
Back to top
Quadko
Darklander
Darklander


Offline
Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Posts: 2010

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:36 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Plays in a window: <ALT><ENTER> will switch between, or a line in dosbox.conf:
Quote:
[sdl]
fullscreen = true


Exiting when the game exits, in the autoexec section, put an 'exit' at the end
Back to top
JoeD
Guest






PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:58 pm     Post subject: Alien Legacy Reply with quote

Ah, yes, thanks! Found the full screen line a couple of minutes after I last wrote. That worked. I'll do the exit next. The game clock still runs too fast but everything else seems to work just fine. I'm impressed.

Thanks, dosraider, for making this so easy. I appreciate all the help.
Back to top
Quadko
Darklander
Darklander


Offline
Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Posts: 2010

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:29 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the dosbox.conf line for setting the cycles - you'll have to fiddle around with the number to get it right, it's a bit subjective and computer dependent, as I recall. For me 500 works as an XT machine, 1500ish is 386 era, and 3000+ is just "fast as it can go". Of course it is the same number as at the top of the window when speeding up and slowing down via the keyboard.
Quote:
[cpu]
cycles = fixed 1500

I started on a new XT in jr high with the game Star Fleet I. I remember many hours with Gato, too. And Breach 1, that was fabulous. But I just turned 40, so apparently I'm still just a whippersnapper. Wink


I'm glad things are working with the game! That's fantastic. After playing a few games in dosbox, I ended up needing radically different config files for different games, so eventually I started making the "portable" style installs similar to the method I described near the top of this thread - copy a few dosbox files into each game directory, each game has its own dosbox.conf, and the games don't interfere with each other. This gives a GOG style experience, and I can put shortcuts to the games in the start menu or on the desktop. I'm still trying to figure out how to get GOG style pretty icons, though - I started working on that just recently with some initial success, but my current method only does the job half-way. Ah well, it's fun!
Back to top
dosraider
Admin
Admin


Offline
Joined: 15 Mar 2005
Posts: 9246
Location: ROTFLMAO in Belgium.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:26 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, what Quadko said Happy
To slow down you also can play with the CPU type, can help to fine tune speed issues with some older games.
.... or you'rte getting slower aging.

As for window size:
Personally I never run dosbox full screen, to my taste dosgames full screen on a 24" or 26" wide screen look horrific.
What I do is use dosbox's stretch capacities and run it in a wider window.
Possible settings:
Code:

fullscreen=false
fulldouble=false
fullresolution=original
windowresolution=1024x768
output=ddraw

Notice:
'Output=' can be something else, except 'surface', won't work with 'surface'.
'windowresolution=' can be anything that suits you, and depends of your monitor/win desktop res. Just keep it at 4:3 ratio.

Of course, it's up to you, if you prefer 'full screen' keep it. Just to let you know there are many possibilities in dosbox.

Same with sound settings, SB16/Pro/AWE are the basic choices, and will usually work with most games. But sometimes it really can improve sound/music to choose another one for some games.

Also: GATO .... ah memory lane. Laughing Think I played that one in those days on my brand new secondhand whooping fast 8088-2/6MHz/512(?) KB RAM ... What a piece of junk, the PC , not the game.
Says much about the efforts put in dosbox by the devs that dosbox runs better than the real hardware from those days.
Back to top
UncleJoe
Newbie
Newbie


Offline
Joined: 23 Mar 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:49 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Many, many thanks, guys. This has been a good experience and I think I may have learned something...if I don't forget it. Nice dealing with you young 'ens.
I've been playing with the settings already. And yes, the devs have done a fantascic job, especially in light of how much PS's have developed and changed. There is a real "WOW!" factor here!

Quadko, I got the impression you actually installed AL and ran it. If so, I have a question for you. I've tinkered with the speed and CPU setting and got things working very well (the system map was a big problem before), but regardless of settings, the "game clock" speed remains constant, i.e. one "turn" on the slowest setting (1) stays at about 30 seconds or a bit less. That makes me think that the game clock is a constant, regardless of any other settings.

If you have the game, I wonder if you could test that yourself? I check it by starting the game, setting the speed at 1, and then using a stop watch or clock with a second hand (you can see the time on the GO menue). If that clock can be slowed down without messing other stuff up, I'd really like to know how.

Regardless, thanks for all the friendly and really useful help!
Back to top
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    DOS Games Discussion Forum Index -> Get Games to Work All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group and Ask an Expert
Also powered by Darren and the other admin and mods' hard work! ;)