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buggy graphics


Frede
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Hmm... I reckon the Steam collection uses DOSBox like the last collections released by Activision. You certainly wouldn't be able to run the games on Windows 7 otherwise.

 

Is there a file named dosbox.conf in your game folder? Try posting the contents of that. I'm mainly interested in the "render ="-line in the [sdl]-section as this sounds like the graphics mode DOSBox is set to isn't working properly with your system.

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Thanks! Now, seeing as the issue is likely with your output mode (the line which reads output=surface), try experimenting with that. I'm using opengl on my laptop and that tends to work out fine with these games. You may want to try out all of the available options as listed in the beginning of the file, though. I haven't actually experienced the exact glitch you're describing, but if I remember correctly, surface-mode has also been kinda glitchy for me in the past.

 

As an alternate option, if you can't get this to work properly at all, get ScummVM. As the name implies, this project used to be an emulator for running LucasArts' SCUMM-engine adventure games natively in Windows. Since then, support has been extended to include a ton of Sierra games - virtually all of the AGI, SCI0 and SCI1 games.

 

It's a lot less clunky than DOSBox in terms of configuration, and it includes some pretty nifty features. Among them, decent MT-32 emulation if you're in possession of the original ROMs from the device. And you should have no graphics issues with it. It's a pretty mind blowing emulator, though you'll still need to use DOSBox for some Sierra's later games like SQ6.

 

Good luck :P

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That is the conf file from a very old version of DOSBox, so I am going to assume that you did not apply the patch. The Steam collection is just the 2006 VU collection that was seriously flawed, with missing files and poorly configured. The patch restores the missing files, applies all relevant patches, upgrades the version of DOSBox and properly configures it. It is the first thing that should be done with this collection.

 

Also, ScummVM does not support SQ6 and does not offer anything over DOSBox worth noting. In fact, the sound is better in DOSBox.

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While I'm not gonna disagree with Collector (whose patches are definitely brilliant, I might add), one feature of ScummVM I truly appreciate is that you don't have to adjust the CPU cycles. Finding the right number of cycles in DOSBox can be quite a pain. Plus, while the audio is indeed lacking in some departments (the AdLib emulation isn't as good), I always get quite a few audio glitches in DOSBox no matter what the prebuffer is set to while the audio works a lot more smoothly in ScummVM. And again, there are no conf-files, so configuration is a lot simpler.

 

Again, I don't have an agenda here. I just think the ScummVM team deserve some credit for coming up with an emulator that's - in my humble opinion - a lot more streamlined. Even if DOSBox is still a more "complete" solution.

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True, you don't have to adjust CPU cycles, but this also leads to a negative point where on all SCI1.1 games ScummVM runs the game too fast at some points. Nothing game-breaking, but fast enough to seem jarring and unfinished (which it is). For instance, the opening of SQ5 when the training simulator shuts down and opens up. It opens way too fast and the rats just vanish in the blink of an eye. This is a cycles problem and ScummVM doesn't emulate it properly yet. SCI1.0 games and earlier run at proper speeds, but those SCI1.1 games are still glitched.

 

I've never had any audio glitches in DOSBox. Ever.

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True. The animation issues aren't occuring in DOSBox. As clunky as setting the cycles can be, I'm at least grateful that I'm not forced to use MoSlo or similar programs anymore.

 

As for the audio, I do have a crappy on-board soundcard, so that's probably the cause of any audio glitches. At least the games actually work in both emulators!

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The audio in DOSBox is quite superb. You have to go back to before 0.58 before the audio becomes subpar. What can be problematic is some Sierra SoundBlaster drivers, but this is often fixed by using ThunderBoard. Cycles are easy with SCI games. Most do well at around 10000 cycles. This is a good compromise between reasonable speed/load times and avoiding unpatched timer bugs. A couple of games need to be set slower because of initialization problems and the later SCI32 games are not as prone to timer bugs and can have increased cycles for better load times. If you do not set cycles for the older pre protected mode games, DOSBox will automatically set itself to just 3000 cycles, which is really too slow for the AGI/SCI games.

 

But again, all of this is accounted for in the installers and patches. They set cycles to optimal settings and any audio issues are addressed. They really do make it as simple as install and play.

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