DF-21 Forums Forum Index DF-21 Forums
The Dark Forces Community
 
DF-21.net Home | FAQ | Search | Memberlist  | Register 
Profile | Log in to check your private messages | Log in

Dark Forces in a box... a DOSBox... and a frontend!

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    DF-21 Forums Forum Index -> Dark Forces Levels & Editing
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
The MAZZTer
Death Star
Death Star

Joined: 25 Sep 2003

PostPosted: Jul 12, 2007 02:16    Post subject: Dark Forces in a box... a DOSBox... and a frontend! View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Reply with quote

So I first decided God knows how long ago to make a Dark Forces frontend. I made it in QBASIC. It was cool but with the limitations of BASIC. I called it Dark Frontend.

Then I ported it to this language called Euphoria for DOS. Limitations were removed. I thought it was the best language in the world, although I suppose any language is better than QBASIC. Smile

While in Euphoria I even added some basic VDMSound support so on XP I'd have sound in Dark Forces (although VDMSound doesn't really work too well).

But then I decided to rewrite it in Euphoria for Windows. And not only would it be a rewrite, but it would also support Jedi Knight mods and Jedi Outcast, and Jedi Academy!

Many rewrites later, it was called Uber Jedi Mod Manager, made in .NET 2.0 and supported some sort of download thing which I never got around to implementing. But it could read mods stored in ZIP files and transparently extract and execute them, even for Dark Forces!

The latest thing from that tangent is this, which is a generic game launcher capable of using a plugin system to support God knows how many games. Everything is done pretty much except for plugins. Right now I just have a couple generic Windows games ones in there... I need to work on that more. Also it doesn't support any Dark Forces games yet. It does have a FUNCTIONAL download system (yeah, most of it has to be implemented on a plugin-by-plugin basis, but the main stuff is done!).

More recently with Dark Forces, I've been running it in Virtual PC under DOS, which gives me personally better performance and less glitches than VDMSound. This could have been a chance for the return of Dark Frontend... but the only mod I played in it was Dark Tide 3, so I never felt a need to go back to it.

Even more recently, I decided to take all my favorite games and stick them on my thumb drive. Dark Forces was an obvious candidate. But then I saw all my levels and mods, categorized by Dark Frontend long ago into Levels\, and then zipped up more recently for my Uber Jedi Mod Manager... and I decided I had to put them all on my flash drive (I mean, why not have a 16gb drive if you won't fill it?).

The obvious solution was to use DOSBox, so I began tweaking Dark Frontend to make sure it would work, and in the process fixed a couple small bugs, added game entries for some recent games released (there weren't many to add Sad), upgraded to the latest Euphoria... now freeware, I paid $20 back in the day for it, and played a round of Assassinate Darth Vader to make sure everything was in working order Wink.

Now I have a setup that launches DOSBox into Dark Frontend and allows me to select Dark Forces or any one of the 144 custom mods/levels I have installed.

And now you can too. Very Happy

http://downloads.mzzt.net/darkfrontend.7z.exe

Here you go. Follow the directions in the TXT file therein. There's also an older text file in Levels\ which has out-of-date info but might help out if anything is confusing in the first TXT.

The hardest part would be getting DOSBox (not included) set up with a proper command line, but I included my own sample and hopefully that will help.

Oh, and I've included the source for Dark Frontend. Smile In case you want to peek. It's not as elegant as the UI looks... lots of hardcoded stuff, but other stuff is good enough. Lots of old fun DOS tricks too.

Feel free to submit game entires if I missed any good games or even SRN wallpapers for Dark Frontend (made with this tool, which shouldn't need DOSBox to work).


The main screen.


The options screen, showing the virtual drive C is mapped directly to the DARK directory.

_________________
http://www.mzzt.net/ | I am a respectable admin with a respectable sig.

Patrick Haslow
Trandoshan

Joined: 25 Sep 2003

PostPosted: Jul 12, 2007 05:52    Post subject: View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote

That menu screen is brilliant! Thanks for that tool. Barry just mailed me his beta of DTIV for testing and briefings, so I'll give it a go this weekend.

Barry Brien
Dark Trooper Phase 1

Joined: 26 Sep 2003

PostPosted: Jul 12, 2007 10:07    Post subject: View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Reply with quote

Sssshhh.

The MAZZTer
Death Star
Death Star

Joined: 25 Sep 2003

PostPosted: Jul 12, 2007 14:48    Post subject: View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Reply with quote

The wallpaper is a secret... but I've posted the solution right in the second screenshot. Smile

Also that tool for making wallpapers? It includes a couple pre-made ones which'll work fine with Dark Frontend. I made that tool a loooong time ago.

One thing I forgot to put in the text file... you can add -noconsole to dosbox's command line to hide the console window it makes.

_________________
http://www.mzzt.net/ | I am a respectable admin with a respectable sig.

Barry Brien
Dark Trooper Phase 1

Joined: 26 Sep 2003

PostPosted: Jul 12, 2007 15:27    Post subject: View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Reply with quote

Cool! I count 4 of my levels in the first screenshot.

XDelusion
Ree-Yees

Joined: 18 Oct 2003

PostPosted: Aug 16, 2007 19:45    Post subject: View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote

That is awsome, I love the old school look of it all too!

Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    DF-21 Forums Forum Index -> Dark Forces Levels & Editing All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group