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Old 13 April 2020, 00:19   #161
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Logical follow-up from this point on is to discuss how I managed to run smoothly Windows 95 version of Pitfall ~ The Mayan Adventure. Game might run from Windows 7 / 10 in Windows 95 or 98 Compatibility Mode but with glitches, especially during the intro. This time, no fancy no cd fix, nor patch based on dll files (unlike my version of Earthworm Jim). Well, the executable was no cd fixed all right, not by me though, by the guys at gamesnostalgia.com. I included game soundtrack in flac format. It's a fascinating experience to hear it, even without playing the game. I got the flac files from speakersoundtracks.tk (don't attempt to load that url in browser, it has nasty redirect hijack). For the record, I could safely access the lossless audio files from that intriguing web site through the Wayback Machine. Before that, I had paid a visit to SierraMusicCentral web site since it also features that very soundtrack, alas, all they could offer was a subpar lossy rip (mp3's).
Once more, I am going to ignore Pcem alleged ability to run old games better than VirtualBox. I have been using VirtualBox since a few years and buddy, let me tell you it does the job! Of course, everyone's free to use PCem in conjunction with Windows 3.1 if he or she notices improved performance or compatibility. To put it clearly, my previous remark was aimed at Windows 3.1 flawed ergonomics, "I'd rather watch paint dry than be using Windows 3.1 to load / play old games", nothing to do with PCem per se. Thing is, from reading a few tidbits about PCem, I began to realize PCem would need a powerful host just to run Windows 3.1 (Windows 95 at most, if I am not mistaken) at decent speed. Having said that, Pitfall TMA is one of the first "designed for Windows 95" platform game, but I digress (apparently, Microshaft is mentioned in the credits to pay them a tribute of sorts ).
Ok, without further ado, best way to run Windows 95 version of Pitfall ~ The Mayan Adventure with smooth playback of intro, complete with sfx is from within the confines of Windows 98. You will acknowledge game runs fine if it only complains about not being run in 256 colors mode. Otherwise, it will complain about that, but also about bad or missing dispdib.dll (trying to reuse dispdib.dll from Earthworm Jim soundfix by copying it into Pitfall's game directory proved useless). I included a virtual hard drive bearing Windows 98 SE ready to be loaded in VirtualBox to help with attempts at quickly creating a viable Windows 98SE environment to play that game. Be aware that unzipped, that archive will expand as a 8 GB file. Compared to Windows XP, Windows 98SE as a virtual machine loaded in VirtualBox has a few limitations, e.q. it will crash completely if you make the virtual machine halt abruptly; Also, you may need to use a couple of workarounds to get adequate mouse cursor movement. Link to download my package here.


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Old 13 April 2020, 03:51   #162
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Biggest issue with emulation by using VirtualBox, vmWare Player/Workstation or Virtual PC is that they don't emulate processor, a core (or more, depending of your settings) is used for emulation and PC will use it @ full speed.

On other hand, pcEM emulates everything, including BIOS and processors of computers that you set. So, you computer does not run game crazy fast as it will happen for many of those oldies, but rather at correct preset speed. Same goes for rest of emulated hardware.
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Old 13 April 2020, 05:12   #163
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Wait for the next version of Windows, that one will be the good one. If it’s not just wait again for the next one. Rinse and repeat to infinity.
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Old 15 April 2020, 03:02   #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
Biggest issue with emulation by using VirtualBox, vmWare Player/Workstation or Virtual PC is that they don't emulate processor, a core (or more, depending of your settings) is used for emulation and PC will use it @ full speed.
Maybe it's an issue for developers or for complex IT scenario, but I can assure you many of the games evoked in this thread play at the right speed in VirtualBox, and that's a statement from someone who's reluctant to change default CPU cycles in DOSBox. I may be wrong, and that's none of my business, but it appears your interest in old PC games has faded, at least compared to the times you were among the Abandonware crowd. Otherwise, you would have commended my initiative to share No CD fixed versions of both games, why ? Because A) No matter what, they're not playable from Windows 10. B) They're enhanced versions. C) They can't be played from the hard drive as such, even with corresponding ISO loaded in virtual drive.
So, IMHO it all boils down to : Are you the least interested in Windows 95 versions of Pitfall TMA and / or Earthworm Jim SE ? (it's a rhetorical question, don't bother with providing an answer if you don't want to).

That question is different from knowing :
  • If you're interested in playing any version of Earthworm Jim
  • If you consider these enhancements good enough reason to play Windows 95 versions instead of Mega CD versions
  • If you consider VirtualBox to be some kind of laggy virtualization tool (it's still updated, and virtualizes Windows 98 and Windows XP just fine, take my word for it)
Show me that either game runs too fast in VirtualBox, and I'll eat piece by piece my brand new Australian made leather hat , cross my heart. Admittedly, some old games have their share of issues due to intricate hooks to the OS, and the PCem treatment is unavoidable but that's not the case with these games (FYI, that manageability aspect you seem to understate also pertains to Civilization I & II...).

Last edited by SquawkBox; 15 April 2020 at 05:43.
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Old 21 April 2020, 06:17   #165
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Just testing WDDM 2.7 nVidia driver 450.82 on W10 build 19041.207 and gotta spoil it for you guys, you gonna like it

All minimal and medium fps values have increased, no matter if it's a DX9/10/11/12 or Vulkan game, so did perofrmance.

I was making fun of all the DX12 Ultimate pr, but they really kicked it up a notch.

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https://forums.guru3d.com/threads/nv...450-82.431695/
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Old 21 April 2020, 23:32   #166
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New version of pcEM available @ their web site.
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Old 21 April 2020, 23:51   #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SquawkBox View Post
[...] Pitfall ~ The Mayan Adventure [...]

If not already done, you should give a try to "Solid Gold"
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Old 22 April 2020, 00:26   #168
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What's an Indy-like character without a whip worth in a platform game ? And from watching gameplay for a couple of minutes, it seems rather easy (jump range) and repetitive, with all due deference to the coding skills of the authors.

Last edited by SquawkBox; 22 April 2020 at 00:32.
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Old 22 April 2020, 00:52   #169
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Maybe watching the long-play give the sensation of an easy game (it does not means you will never die ). Personally I find it quite pleasant and addictive to play : the character & enemies are really nice and the levels well designed.
As a side note, here is a recent interview : https://www.homebrewlegends.com/hbl-...t-owl-designs/
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Old 22 April 2020, 03:21   #170
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Cool, but I'd rather play / recommend timeless classics, such as most if not all of the games mentioned in this Atari 800 XL top 10 :

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Old 23 April 2020, 10:47   #171
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The Goonies. I could never understand why people liked that game. I actually thought it was one of the worst games ever made on the C64.
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Old 23 April 2020, 21:38   #172
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Classics are fine, but been done/played to death over the years. Meanwhile there are countless awesome and totally forgotten games in the micro libraries.

What I do, is fire up the Gamebase, ready my mag collection, and go through each micro library one by one, year by year. Starting at the bottom so I'm only in ~1984 now. Sometimes I do a random draw to spice things up. Great fun, even the alleged "crap" games are often interesting or quite playable too.

The Goonies can be a pain occasionally but overall it's great, a mix of different gameplay styles and design different than the usual pew-pew/jump-jump fare of that era.
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Old 26 April 2020, 15:27   #173
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@malko
If you like platform games with lots of jumping, you could give a try to Commander Keen III or / and IV.

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I'll be honest with you, I didn't play many of the games mentioned in this top 10, merely the ones that were ported to the CPC, Bruce Lee, Archon & Ghostbusters most notably. I have a found memory of Zorro too, lots of atmosphere.

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Old 28 April 2020, 11:17   #174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreadnought View Post
What I do, is fire up the Gamebase, ready my mag collection, and go through each micro library one by one, year by year. Starting at the bottom so I'm only in ~1984 now.
I did that myself for a few machines, CPC and Amiga most notably, but soon noticed that the "hits" belonging to the later period of the machines I owned (Amiga 500, CPC 6128) were over-hyped in magazines. Around the fist half of 1992, I could notice Generation 4 did put an emphasis on Amiga previews rather than in deep reviews. Developers had started to move to the competition, but magazines at least French ones acted like nothing had changed. I can provide you with a few examples of Amiga games that Gen4 used to laudate and that were average at best, Psyborg got a 83%, Epic from Ocean got a 93%, I could go on forever.

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Old 28 April 2020, 14:04   #175
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Commander Keen III Graphics are really rough looking, is that CGA?
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Old 29 April 2020, 18:57   #176
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It's EGA AFAIK. Commander Keen series was made compatible with Windows 10, as explained here. In case you'd rather play a version with upgraded graphics (and background music), you might want to look into Commander Genius since it comes with a "High Quality Pack".

Quote:
Commander Genius, also known as Clone Keen Plus, is a open source port which allows you to play Commander Keen games on Windows 10 and other platforms. Shareware Keen games are included, others you must add yourself. Commander Genius also supports a high quality pack, which includes high colour tilesets and updated music.

Quote:
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Commander Keen III Graphics are really rough looking
Assuming folks would be more inclined to play CK3 or CK4 if it had better graphics, I've made a pack which includes the shareware games plus all of the Keen games that cannot be obtained through Commander Genius GUI. Just start
Code:
..\CGenius\CGenius.exe
adjust a few settings, and you should be good to go. Of course, it's virus free :


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Old 13 May 2020, 01:31   #177
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Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
New version of pcEM available @ their web site.
Last night, I bite the bullet and meticulously installed Windows 95 OSR 2.5 using 86Box (a fork of pcem). One word of advice btw, do backup (just copy / paste the virtual HDD while pcem is turned off) before you install the graphics adapter drivers. I installed the wrong driver and even safe mode could not help me recover the system. So I spent another couple of hours installing (not as seamless as it seems, IRQ conflicts at your menu, missing system files and what not) Windows 95 once more.
So here are my Windows 95 (virtual) machine specs :
- Pentium 75
- 128 MB SDRAM
- VGA S3 (2.0 VBE version, yup, it matters)
- 3Dfx Voodoo 2
- SB 16 (AWE32 would result in a resource conflict with the wave table portion of the driver)
- 3 GB HDD




Can my main machine run it smoothly ? Apparently not (CPU clock of host is "only" @3.33 GHz). I could overclock a little, or lower CPU speed to bare minimum (486SX), but I am not sure it will help much. Since I don't buy that "VirtualBox was never made to play games since it emulates target processor instead of using it" bs (no offense meant, matey), I will stick to VB. This huge numbers specs requirement just to use pcem with a mere Pentium 166 was debated in pcem thread already, but just google "pcem slow on my computer", you will notice numerous threads were opened on that subject. I am not sure I want to raise that argument again so, for the time being, I'll just stick to VirtualBox until I change computer for something much more current, which will happen eventually.

When I say it runs slow, of course Windows 95 boots up in less than a minute and doing things such as browsing files with explorer or starting up MS Paint can be accomplished effortlessly. The real issue is with audio playback, any audio playback : It bears severe crackling, as if I was encoding a blu ray in the background in the meantime or something (from Windows default startup sound, to the sfx accompanying the various games I tried to run). For the record, I followed that well-made tutorial.

Last edited by SquawkBox; 13 May 2020 at 02:28.
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Old 13 May 2020, 03:30   #178
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@SquawkBox, that is strange that the VM is running so poorly.

I run a vmware machine on this very workstation for work use to keep it separate from my personal machine and it just screams.

No audio issues what so ever.

Basically I'm running Windows 10 Pro as the HOST and also the same as a client.

However, I allocate 8 CPU cores and 16GB of RAM to the VM as I have a host machine running 64GB of RAM and a 16 core CPU.
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Old 13 May 2020, 20:25   #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SquawkBox View Post
Last night, I bite the bullet and meticulously installed Windows 95 OSR 2.5 using 86Box (a fork of pcem). One word of advice btw, do backup (just copy / paste the virtual HDD while pcem is turned off) before you install the graphics adapter drivers. I installed the wrong driver and even safe mode could not help me recover the system. So I spent another couple of hours installing (not as seamless as it seems, IRQ conflicts at your menu, missing system files and what not) Windows 95 once more.
So here are my Windows 95 (virtual) machine specs :
- Pentium 75
- 128 MB SDRAM
- VGA S3 (2.0 VBE version, yup, it matters)
- 3Dfx Voodoo 2
- SB 16 (AWE32 would result in a resource conflict with the wave table portion of the driver)
- 3 GB HDD




Can my main machine run it smoothly ? Apparently not (CPU clock of host is "only" @3.33 GHz). I could overclock a little, or lower CPU speed to bare minimum (486SX), but I am not sure it will help much. Since I don't buy that "VirtualBox was never made to play games since it emulates target processor instead of using it" bs (no offense meant, matey), I will stick to VB. This huge numbers specs requirement just to use pcem with a mere Pentium 166 was debated in pcem thread already, but just google "pcem slow on my computer", you will notice numerous threads were opened on that subject. I am not sure I want to raise that argument again so, for the time being, I'll just stick to VirtualBox until I change computer for something much more current, which will happen eventually.

When I say it runs slow, of course Windows 95 boots up in less than a minute and doing things such as browsing files with explorer or starting up MS Paint can be accomplished effortlessly. The real issue is with audio playback, any audio playback : It bears severe crackling, as if I was encoding a blu ray in the background in the meantime or something (from Windows default startup sound, to the sfx accompanying the various games I tried to run). For the record, I followed that well-made tutorial.
I never used 86Box. I use strictly pcEM for Win9x emulation on Pentium 1 processor. and 486 DX2 @ 66MHz DOS 6.22 / Win 3.11 emulation.

Due to high accuracy of hardware emulation, of course you need beast of computer to run it @ higher speeds, but that also bits the purpose of emulation of Win 3.11 / Win 9X as both very running just fine on P75 or slower.

VMWare or other virtual products don't emulate or support Direct X on Win9x. IIRC, only XP supports to some extent DirectX.

As for video card issue when installing, how did you menage to install wrong card? You could not reinstall it? I just remember having issue with Win 3.11 card driver, simple going to setup and changing card fixed issues. It is just the same as it was on Win 9x back in day.,
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Old 14 May 2020, 03:55   #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmijo View Post
that is strange that the VM is running so poorly.
Unlike VMWare or VirtualBox, pcem and its sibling 86box (same shit different gui anubis) need a very powerful host. Number of cores doesn't come into play, efficiency of the emulation rely solely on CPU speed of single core, 4+ GHz should do supposedly.
Unlike VMWare or VirtualBox, pcem allows for full hardware acceleration and 3Dfx support.
Check what this Asian guy experienced (it's the other way round, to virtualize Win9x, that fan of 3D warfare simulations first used pcem then gave a try to VirtualBox after someone replied to his post) :
http://dogsofwarvu.com/forum/index.php?topic=4267.0
There are many old Windows games that will run just fine from within VirtualBox or VMWare but let's say you want to play some old game bearing (relatively speaking) high framerate count e.q. Need for Speed ~ Porsche 2000, pcem supporters will try to convince you it's the best thing next to sliced bread to run such games (think cycle exact mode for WinUAE). Earlier on, I mentioned a few games which didn't need anything special hardware (Earthworm Jim, Pitfall etc.) and needless to say even fast games can be played when properly patched, but not all of them. In short, if you're not interested into that mundane controversy involving the few old PC (and more specifically post-MS DOS games) games that escaped GoG clutches and virtualize mostly for work, don't bother.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
As for video card issue when installing, how did you menage to install wrong card?
The tutorial I linked to offers its readers to download S3 drivers (along with Voodoo ones) in ISO format. There are two S3 graphics cards to choose from in pcem, at first I had chosen [PCI] S3 ViRGE/DX and maybe I got it wrong with install procedure since two S3 entries popped up in device manager. As I said, I could boot into safe mode, nothing more. I removed both entries, then rebooted to no avail. I started all over again and this time, went for [PCI] S3 ViRGE/DX (VBE 2.0). I installed DirectX 7, and, this time, I managed to install the driver that was included with said ISO.
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