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neolycan

Space Quest (and other DOS games) on Mac OS X...

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Hey all, a long time no see to most of the regulars I remember from times past; I'm sort of back after a long hiatus and thanks to Musiscallyinspired with some assistance I am finally back. Also a hello to see the new users, a belated welcome to the forum and all that from an old former regular I guess, heh. Anyway, on to the topic at hand.

 

Now as many of you know there are ways of getting Space Quest and by extension other Dos games to work on Mac. Thanks to ScummVM we can even play the first 5 SQ games and many other games quite easily even, however we can now play even more DOS games because someone out there by name of Alun Bestor created an App called Boxer... Basically it's an auto configuration app that works with DOSBox, think of it as an awesome Frontend for DOSBox and a one nearly one step drag and drop solution to get DOSBox working with DOS games on your OS X based Mac. There is even a version for those still on 10.4, which is wonderful for those who want to take an old Mac for instance and dedicate that one to classic games only. Anyway, if your having issues configuring DOSBox, or just want to have something easy as drag and drop based interface and you would like to play other DOS based games on your Mac that ScummVM doesn't support in a simple effective way check out his page found here... So far I've tested it on all the SQ games with little difficulty and even some games like Star Wars Dark Forces and other "newer" DOS games with no problem.

 

Anyway, enjoy; and I this helps bring new players to classic games for multiple reasons, the least of which is to convince publishers that there is still a market for these types of games and more importantly that it also helps indie developers who are still doing so with small games that do not get the attention in a game world populated by genres that mass produce the same stuff with new packaging and better graphics with little change to the game or really much else. Happy retro gaming,

 

Edit: I accidentally a word or two... so edits for clarity of my rambled mess... heh

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Jut remember that Boxer is not just a frontend and does not use an official release of DOSBox. The author of Boxer has tampered with it, breaking portability for a few tweaks for questionable "improvement" on Mac. Both official DOSBox and ScummVM run fine on Mac, but whatever works for you.

 

BTW, I am working with someone to develop Mac versions of my installers.

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Jut remember that Boxer is not just a frontend and does not use an official release of DOSBox. The author of Boxer has tampered with it, breaking portability for a few tweaks for questionable "improvement" on Mac.

Both fair and good points, though I thought it's a nice option for OS X users who do not want to do much modifying or configuring of DOS as it does most of the heavy work for you and makes it very easy to drop and play. Though indeed, if you want real compatibility with DOS an official DOSBox port would be the way to go; the more options the better anyway.

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Seeing the customizable game shelf and the CD compatibility, I think that I would purchase a Mac just to use this software (plus all the other stuff that comes with a Mac)

 

However, at same time, I can't quite see how the CD function would work. Obviously you can just drag and drop DOS an executable that you download from Abandonia.com for it to run, but then DOSBox can do the exact same thing; all that happens is that the program starts the executable, and looks to see if all the additional files are in the same folder.

 

Running games from the CD is lot more complicated than that, though, since I believe it has to read information from the hard drive, and from the disc. I've tried to get a DOS game to run from the CD, and it's not an easy task, so I can't imagine how it could automatically set up the CD drives and such properly. It says on the site that you can run disc images, but then that presents another problem: How would you add patches? I suppose you could unpack the image, but would it still work correctly?

 

Regardless, it still looks interesting, and if I owned a Mac, I would definitely try it out.

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And on top of that, drag and drop with DOSBox works on Windows without any special frontends or extra software. It is a matter of the Windows APIs. Drag and drop fro DOSBox does not work well on non-Windows platforms. Also, the Boxer version of DOSBox is more outdated than the official DOSBox. It relies on one developer to keep it up to date, which even if he does, it still lags the official builds. There are a number of things that simply do not work as well on the Mac as Windows. If I were on Mac, I would not use Boxer. If you like the game management/cataloging abilities, DBGL, a nice Java frontend/games manager, does this quite well without the draw backs of Boxer. And because it is written in Java it will also work on Mac and Linux, as is. You can use the Official DOSBox or any of the special developmental builds as is. No waiting for the author to update his build. Even D-fend Reloaded does this, but it is Windows only and I would avoid this one anyway, because it sinks its roots in too deeply into the system for my tastes.

 

For retro gaming, if you do not want to use Windows, even Linux with DOSBox and WINE is far better than Mac OS. If you want to get a Mac anyway for other reasons, that is one thing, but it would be plain stupid to get one because of Boxer.

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You do realize there are frontends for DOSBox on Windows, right?

Actually, I was not aware that there were any, but now I feel stupid for not looking to see if there were any... :frusty:

 

And on top of that, drag and drop with DOSBox works on Windows without any special frontends or extra software. It is a matter of the Windows APIs. Drag and drop fro DOSBox does not work well on non-Windows platforms. Also, the Boxer version of DOSBox is more outdated than the official DOSBox. It relies on one developer to keep it up to date, which even if he does, it still lags the official builds. There are a number of things that simply do not work as well on the Mac as Windows. If I were on Mac, I would not use Boxer. If you like the game management/cataloging abilities, DBGL, a nice Java frontend/games manager, does this quite well without the draw backs of Boxer. And because it is written in Java it will also work on Mac and Linux, as is. You can use the Official DOSBox or any of the special developmental builds as is. No waiting for the author to update his build. Even D-fend Reloaded does this, but it is Windows only and I would avoid this one anyway, because it sinks its roots in too deeply into the system for my tastes.

 

For retro gaming, if you do not want to use Windows, even Linux with DOSBox and WINE is far better than Mac OS. If you want to get a Mac anyway for other reasons, that is one thing, but it would be plain stupid to get one because of Boxer.

Now I really feel stupid for writing that post. :P

 

I wasn't aware that the drag-and-drop function for DOSBox didn't work on the Mac, but in hindsight, I should have realized that just because something works on one operating system, it won't necessarily work on the other.

 

Also, I did not mean to imply that I would buy a Mac just to use Boxer. You see, I had been researching Mac computers prior to reading this thread, and I was considering the possibility of buying one in the future. When I saw Boxer, I thought, "If I were to get a Mac, that would be a neat program to try out." I wasn't weighing my decision on the ability to use Boxer. I meant to say that I found it as a small incentive. Truthfully, I've actually abandoned the idea of buying a Mac altogether.

 

Also, thanks for the the link to DBGL, Collector. I'll have to try it out and see if it works.

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