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DOS Games Archive Site Update July 20 2014

 
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Jorrit
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:15 am     Post subject: DOS Games Archive Site Update July 20 2014 Reply with quote

The following games have been added to the archive:

- Xerix (freeware):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/xerix/
- Xatax (shareware):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/xatax/
- War-8}! (shareware):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/war-8/
- Tubular Worlds (shareware):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/tubular-worlds/
- Tube (freeware):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/tube/
- Star Wars: TIE Fighter (playable demo):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/star-wars-tie-fighter/
- The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery (playable demo):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/the-beast-within-a-gabriel-knight-mystery/
- TerraFire (full version):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/terrafire/
- System Shock (playable demo):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/system-shock/
- Skunny: Lost in Space (shareware):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/skunny-lost-in-space/
- Return to Zork (playable demo):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/return-to-zork/
- NHL 96 (playable demo):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/nhl-96/
- Kiloblaster (full version):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/kiloblaster/
- Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (playable demo):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/gabriel-knight-sins-of-the-fathers/
- Evasive Maneuvers (shareware):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/evasive-maneuvers/
- Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty (playable demo):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/dune-ii-the-building-of-a-dynasty/
- Constructor (playable demo):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/constructor/
- Betrayal at Krondor (freeware):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/betrayal-at-krondor/
- NHL Hockey (NHL '94 - shareware):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/nhl-hockey/
- Wing Commander (non-playable demo):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/wing-commander/


Last edited by Jorrit on Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:52 am     Post subject: Re: DOS Games Archive Site Update July 20 2014 Reply with quote

Jorrit wrote:
- Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty (playable demo):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/dune-ii-the-building-of-a-dynasty/

To the best of my knowledge, Westwood Studios never officially released any playable demo of Dune II.

I've just checked the file, and this is a warez full version of the game, and with a hacked EXE (date stamps from 2003).

A complete lack of any license file and/or readme file in the archive that would mention that this is a demo should be a sure sign that something is not right with a release.

Here's the official, non playable demo of Dune II BTW: dune2.exe

Jorrit wrote:
- Kiloblaster (full version):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/kiloblaster/

I can't find a link to Allen Pilgrim's Xargon and Kiloblaster license on the game's page. Also there is no explanation whatsoever that "kiloblaster1.zip" is v1.0 and "kiloblaster2.zip" is v2.0. Why did you have to rename the archives anyway? This is not how the author released this game as freeware.

Jorrit wrote:
- Betrayal at Krondor (freeware):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/betrayal-at-krondor/

Betrayal at Krondor was only made freeware for a short time to promote Return to Krondor (IIRC), and this was very long ago. As a matter of fact, the game is currently sold at GOG.com.

There's a very short and limited interactive demo of Betrayal at Krondor, which can be found here: bakdemo.zip.

Jorrit wrote:
- Evasive Maneuvers (shareware):
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/evasive-maneuvers/

There is no mention of the fact that the free full version is available, but the author does not allow it to be distributed outside the official website. Also the developer's page at dosgamesarchive.com doesn't have any links, the only link just redirects to the same page..?
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Jorrit
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:58 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your reply, MrFlibble. I have replaced the file of Dune II so the non-playable demo can be downloaded.

I have added the additional information on the volumes to the Kiloblaster game page. I have also added the freeware license from Allen Pilgrim.

I have added the information which tells the user that the full version of Evasive Maneuvers can be downloaded from the official website.

Last but not least I have replaced the file of Betrayal at Krondor so users can download the playable demo.

Thanks again for your keen eye.
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:58 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

There's one more thing that bothers me, and that is game entries which say:
Quote:
DOSBox: Unknown

It's as if you openly admitted the fact that a game was put up for download without making sure that it actually works.

Since Windows 64-systems do not run DOS programmes natively, and neither (obviously) does MacOS or Linux (well there's also DOSEMU on Linux, but no idea how many users prefer that to DOSBox), it would not be an exaggeration to say that for a substantial part of potential users, if not for the majority of them, DOSBox is the only option to run the games on the site.

I suggest that if it is not possible for you to test every game for DOSBox compatibility*, it would probably be better to remove this part of description, at least temporarily.

*It should be noted that if a game does not run in vanilla DOSBox, it doesn't yet mean it's completely incompatible. Some games will run in third-party enhanced builds.

BTW, you haven't answered the question I made in a previous post:
MrFlibble wrote:
BTW, have you considered bundling the games - at least, for Windows users - with pre-configured DOSBox, as GOG.com does? While I'm not exactly a fan of this practice it surely would help make the games more accessible to the users.

In my opinion, dosgamesarchive.com has a great potential if emphasis is made on accessibility. While there are many websites which offer DOS games for download )legally or otherwise), there are virtually none that would do the GOG.com thing for shareware/demo games. This presents you with a perfect niche to occupy.
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:12 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure that you aren't allowed to bundle dosbox unless you own the game (developer/publisher, that is, not an individual copy of course). Gog can do it because they license the games and DosBox explicitly. For everyone not doing that it opens up a new vector for trouble, and I think the DosBox devs don't even want it bundled with freeware and demo games, unless by the game owner. They are protecting themselves.

Of course, it would be cool if I were wrong, because it would certainly be helpful, but it has potential to cause trouble. At the very least someone would have to check the DosBox bundling licensing and "do what Gog.com does" if you want to do what Gog.com does. Happy

And, of course, it's a lot of work and takes a lot of time for a hobby website project.
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:25 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Quadko wrote:
I'm pretty sure that you aren't allowed to bundle dosbox unless you own the game (developer/publisher, that is, not an individual copy of course). Gog can do it because they license the games and DosBox explicitly. For everyone not doing that it opens up a new vector for trouble, and I think the DosBox devs don't even want it bundled with freeware and demo games, unless by the game owner. They are protecting themselves.

I've never heard of that before, can you provide a link to the document which states that?

Right now I'm trying to find any relevant information in the GNU General Public License, Version 2, under which DOSBox is distributed. Actually I thought that when software is bundled in such a way as I proposed, the distribution of each part of such a bundle is regulated per the original license. So unless a shareware game's license explicitly prohibits bundling it with DOSBox or similar software, distributing them together should be fine?

I have no idea if this is true or not, but this is what I've always assumed. Please provide any detailed information if this is not so!

For example there's DaggerfallSetup which is not an official distribution (not released by Bethesda) but it does include DOSBox. I'v never heard that it would be illegal.
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:02 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't see a quick one on a google search, but then the DosBox license itself didn't come up either. It's possibly I'm conflating this with other emulators' policies, or expanding a community feeling like this to a rule, but on the whole, the places I know that legitimately distribute dosbox licensed them for the purpose, and the point is avoiding the hassle of a lawsuit and, at minimum, a takedown notice.

You also have explicit comments like this for tangential issues:
http://www.dosbox.com/wiki/Sound wrote:
Due to incompatibilities between the license of the patch files and DOSBox's GPL license, these files cannot be distributed with DOSBox


Sadly the question isn't "can you provide a link to the document which states that?", it's the more cautious "can you prove with documentation that the license for this game or demo is compatible with the dosbox GPL license?" If you can, I suppose it is indeed OK. Gog can for every game they distribute, because they licence the games and dosbox explicitly.
Happy

And that's not how I want the world to work - what I want is one click perfectly working free bundled games, free internet, and more CPU power than I can use. But I don't always get what I want. <sigh>

Of course, as with "abandonware," one can gamble with legalities and reputation and move forward until someone objects, but I know you are such a stickler about games, I'm surprised you aren't more cautious about this topic. At the very least, it might be interesting if you get clarification directly from the DosBox devs/community. That would be a big help to everyone if you can get them to say "absolutely, freeware games, BBS style shareware games and free demos can be bundled with DosBox." I didn't find someone asking that question, but you might double-check it isn't a FAQ first, if you go down that road.

I have no ties to Gog or DosBox teams, so this is all just my understanding and opinions. No secret knowledge, just caution, probably from the HOTU and early DosBox version days! Shit-Eating Grin
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Jorrit
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:36 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

As MrFlibble suggested, in case we don't know for sure whether a game runs on DOSBox, I have removed the 'DOSBox support: Unknown' indication. Only if we are certain it does work (based on the compatibility list on the DOSBox site) this will be shown on the game page. Also, if the game is not (properly) supported, this will be shown on the game page as well. Just in case the support is unknown, the information will be not displayed.

Currently about 73% of the games on DOS Games Archive display verified support of DOSBox on their game page. I would like to check the other games as well, but that takes a lot of time. I will check first whether the remaining games are listed on the compatibility list on the DOSBox site and add that information to the database.

MrFlibble and Quadko, thanks for the DOSBox license information. I follow this with interest.
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:20 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Quadko wrote:
At the very least, it might be interesting if you get clarification directly from the DosBox devs/community. That would be a big help to everyone if you can get them to say "absolutely, freeware games, BBS style shareware games and free demos can be bundled with DosBox." I didn't find someone asking that question, but you might double-check it isn't a FAQ first, if you go down that road.

Well, I asked the DOSBox team directly through the VOGONS Forums, and here's what they say:
Dominus wrote:
there is nothing prohibiting you

Qbix wrote:
As long as you stick with the GPL requirements of DOSBox. Similar to what GOG and other companies (have to) do.

I guess this answers the question. The only problem would be if a shareware/demo/freeware game's license would prohibit violating the integrity of the original archive file (as another user points out in that VOGONS thread).
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:43 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic news! Thanks for following up. I would have liked a little more enthusiasm than "nothing prohibits you", but I'll take what I can get.

I am so pleased to be wrong. You the man! {deep bows}
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:56 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Hm, I hesitate to bring up, and I assume the Gog.com example means "no", but the GPL license(s) require source code distribution upon request. I hope bundling the game doesn't mean the game code must abide by GPL's source distribution license.

I assume that wouldn't be required by license for the game or a launcher that launches dosbox? I wonder if Blizzard (blackthorn dosbox integration) must distribute source code for their modified (I assume by "integrated") version of dosbox? I wonder where the line is.

I wish my brain would shut up, but I guess this depends on whether the bundled stuff is considered a modification under GPL interpretation. I'm way out of my depth, but if Gog.com doesn't have a separate explicit license, then I assume we can assume bundling games and launchers is OK. I do notice in the quotes they never said "it is OK", they just said "as long as it doesn't break GPL" and "we can't stop you/it's not a no". It's just not a yes, either. Happy

(And Win31 games still have the "can't distribute Win3.1", but that's a whole separate issue.)

Ok, hopefully my brain shuts up and just be happy about the topic now. Certainly the good news is still good news! I don't have to be as paranoid!
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:35 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Comment from over at Gog.com about GPL from DosBox being viral and extending over to the game or launcher code:

keithdrop wrote:
You dont have to. The GPL license applies to Dosbox only, many commercial closed programs like games sold here on GoG are bundled with Dosbox, and sold without any problems. The GPL license doesnt apply to whatever software is bundled with dosbox. That software has its own license.


http://www.gog.com/forum/general/is_dosbox_gpl_license_viral_when_bundled

Fantastic news. I'll watch the topic to make sure someone doesn't authoritatively refute it, but that's the most concrete answer I've seen.
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:15 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Quadko wrote:
Comment from over at Gog.com about GPL from DosBox being viral and extending over to the game or launcher code:

keithdrop wrote:
You dont have to. The GPL license applies to Dosbox only, many commercial closed programs like games sold here on GoG are bundled with Dosbox, and sold without any problems. The GPL license doesnt apply to whatever software is bundled with dosbox. That software has its own license.


http://www.gog.com/forum/general/is_dosbox_gpl_license_viral_when_bundled

Fantastic news. I'll watch the topic to make sure someone doesn't authoritatively refute it, but that's the most concrete answer I've seen.

Thanks for clarifying this!
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