BUILD Games and DOSBox Emulator  v4-24-2018  Release 15 RTCM Corvin  

INTRODUCTION | THE DOSBOX CONFIG | CUSTOM CONFIG | LAUNCHING SETUP | LAUNCHING THE GAME | IMPORTANT REMINDER

 

INTRODUCTION

You will need at least a single core CPU running ~2000 Mhz for these games to run smoothly at optimal game play pleasure. This document will help if your system is a bit slower by mentioning small tweaks. With Game resolutions of 640x480 and 800x600 would be the best for your BUILD Games. However you can go up to a resolution of 1024x768, but you won't need anything higher than that for your BUILD Game. Note: RnS:LSP3D runs at a much lower fixed resolution of 320x200, see notes below.

To start things off, At this point this document will not show you how to install DOSBox, or install your game, or Mount a CD or ISO, or create DOSBox Desktop shortcuts to your games, nor will it show you how to configure your game from the games own setup.exe or in-game settings. You may want to review the RTCM document: setup-cfg-file

This document will go over some of the settings in the DOSBox EMU to benefit you and your game. Some of the default settings will be sufficient so lets focus on what you should change.

I highly recommend to get the latest version of DOSBox (current as of this writing is 0.74) and a DOSBox frontend of your choice, try AmpShell (requires NET Framework) or perhaps D-Fend Reloaded. Also using the DOS/32 Advanced DOS Extender, its a replacement for DOS4GW.EXE which runs faster and uses less memory, this will work for BUILD Games that have internal or external DOS Extenders. (For internal replacement see readme.txt included with the Advanced DOS Extender archive.)

I also recommend getting a CD patch so you don't need to mount the CD once the game is installed, if the game normally requires a CD of course, not all do. Some have a command line flag to bypass CD check, see individual game information.

All downloads for this page are in: general-tools-dosxp



THE DOSBOX CONFIG

GETTING a copy of the DOSBox EMU configuration file; Find where you installed DOSBox and copy this file from its location on modern computers: {system drive}:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\DOSBox\dosbox-{version}.conf  Paste it into your games folder.

This will allow you to customize each BUILD Game using a front-end that supports custom DOSBox EMU .conf files. The ones I mentioned in the previous section do. You also can make a custom Windows Shortcut... (You can't launch the game from a batch file while using the -conf dosbox flag).

 

CONFIGURE YOUR CUSTOM DOSBox EMU CONFIG FILE

Open the file with Notepad and try out the following custom settings:

 

  • Under [sdl] change...

    (Full Screen is optional, if you change it to true you'll possibly want to set your games cfg resolution no higher than 1024x768 , otherwise the pixels may shimmer.
    fullscreen=true

    (Setting the Full Resolution to Zero by Zero, This will actually tell Full Screen to keep the aspect ratio of the 4:3 aspect resolution you choose, as if you had a square monitor. It will give you black side bars. What works best for in-game setting; 320x240, 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1152x864, 1280x1024, these are 4:3 aspect ratio resolutions and will not require aspect=true in the [render] section below.)
    fullresolution=0x0

    (Direct Draw/Direct3D will give you the original look of the game and HW acceleration)
    output=ddraw

    OR
    (Open GL with no Bilinear filter will also give you the original look of the game and HW acceleration. Use this if you have problems with Direct3D. Such as not getting the resolution you set in game, a crash.)
    output=openglnb

 

  • Under [dosbox] change...

    (Setting the machine to vesa no linear frame buffer is optional, if you run at 800x600 or above resolution you may get flicker, this setting will get rid of the flicker, however you may get tearing. Otherwise stick with the default setting of: machine=svga_s3 (a S3 Trio64)
    machine=vesa_nolfb

    (Duke3D, NAM, WWIIGI) All you need is 32 for the memory size.
    memsize=32

    OR
    (DOS EDuke, Blood, RR/RA, SW) Unfortunately for some Blood add-ons this maximum setting is not enough. Its been found that some of the sounds in a few add-ons where recorded lengthy. Note: DosBox EMU needs to be improved in this area to allow more memory.
    memsize=63

 

  • Under [render] change...

    (Set aspect to true if your using resolutions that are not at a 4:3 aspect ratio already, this will square them up. This works best for games with a base resolution of 320x200 like RnS:LSP3D or even 320x400 and 640x400. Video Cut Scenes that are at low res mode will also square up.)
    aspect=true

    (No scaler will give you the original look of the game.)
    scaler=none

    OR
    (RnS:LSP3D - use as an option to provide a larger window, although the textures will be blocky cause they where made in such low res. ALSO if you use this setting, then set the aspect up above to true even in full screen or window mode.)
    scaler=hq3x

 

  • Under [cpu] change...

    (Duke3D, NAM, WWIIGI, DOS EDuke, RR/RA, SW, Blood, Tekwar, Witchaven, Witchaven II )
    core=dynamic
    cycles=max

    OR
    (RnS:LSP3D)
    core=auto

    (RnS:LSP3D - This game was designed for a 386 computer and no math co-processor required: no slopes.)
    cputype=386

    (RnS:LSP3D - You may adjust this setting, its set now for adequate game speed; to make the game playable; this value slows it down.)
    cycles=21500

 

  • Under [mixer] change...

    (If your on the lower end of cpu power, changing this playback rate for sound may help. Remember to keep your Games SETUP.EXE configuration low too)
    rate=22050

    OR
    (Set it even lower if you have too. Remember to keep your Games SETUP.EXE configuration low too)
    rate=11025

 

  • Under [midi] change...nothing.

    Use the default. Your game's SETUP.EXE does have an auto detect built in and will 'usually' set the right values for you.

 

  • Under [sblaster] change...nothing.

    Use the default values to set your Sound Card in SETUP.EXE. SETUP.EXE will 'usually' set the right values for you. DOSBox EMU doesn't currently support SB AWE32, it uses the SB16 setting. Note: RnS:LSP3D needs an IRQ 5, there is no way to change that in that games SETUP.EXE.

 

  • Under [gus] change...nothing.

    (DOSBox v0.74 includes full sound support for this device, for Music support you need to only include the MIDI folder from the Gravis Drivers. The Music is better than General Midi on a SB card. Some BUILD Games have patches to adjust the "instruments" in the Gravis ULTRASND\MIDI folder. Place the patch in the MIDI folder. Witchaven1&II require you to run GRAVIS.EXE first, It's unclear how this works properly.)
    If your not going to use it, keep the default to "false" for off.

 

  • Under [speaker] change...

    (Your not going to use it, so you may as well turn it off)
    pcspeaker=false

 

  • Under [joystick] change...

    (If your not going to use it, turn it off.)
    joysticktype=none

 

  • Under [serial]

    (multiplayer settings to play with serial null modem connection run through TCP. To start a sever in DOSBox EMU, one person starts it with serial1=nullmodem. The other players connect by using serial1=nullmodem server: "Then the IP address of the server." (External IP for Internet usage or Local IP for LAN usage)) Then run your multiplayer game usually through the games SETUP.EXE. You need to apply command-line switches provided by your game.
    -Server-
    serial1=nullmodem
    -Players-
    serial1=nullmodem server: "Then the IP address of the server."


     
  • Under [dos] change...

    The default values will give you an extra 1Mb of memory. These Memory Managers will not interfere with your game, however the BUILD Games are protected mode, so you can turns these off; This will allow you to set the memsize in the [dosbox] section up above to a maximum of 64. However If an add-on DOS installer runs too slow you may want these on, its up to you.

    xms=false
    ems=false
    umb=false

 

  • Under [ipx]

    (multiplayer settings to run through UDP port 213. To start a IPX sever in DOSBox EMU, one person starts it with the command-line IPXNET STARTSERVER. The other players connect by using the command-line IPXNET CONNECT "and then the servers IP number." (External IP for Internet usage or Local IP for LAN usage)) Then run your multiplayer game usually through the games SETUP.EXE. You need to apply command-line switches provided by your game.
    ipx=true
     

 

  • Under [autoexec] change...don't bother with it.

    Instructions in this area may interfere will add-on installers.
    Best to create a custom Batch file with your mounting instructions and point it to your games.exe if you must.
    Or if your DOSBox EMU Front-end has an option to mount use that, it will create a custom batch automatically.

 


============================================
Now save your new dosbox-0.74.conf. Again it should be in your games root folder.

 

LAUNCHING SETUP

If your not using a DOSBox frontend then drag the SETUP.EXE from your game folder onto the desktop DOSBox ICON and drop it. Configure your game and save and exit. This method doesn't use the custom dosbox-0.74.conf in your game folder, but the one in the root folder of the DOSBox program.

You'll want to use a shortcut configured to use the custom dosbox-0.74.conf file you make for each game , A frontend like AmpShell that will recognize it. (You can't launch the game from a batch file while using the -conf dosbox flag).

Now EXIT out of any open DOSBox windows.



LAUNCHING YOUR GAME

If your not using a DOSBox frontend then drag the GAME.EXE from your game folder onto the desktop DOSBox ICON and drop it. Configure your in game settings and begin a new game. This method won't use the custom dosbox-0.74.conf in your game folder, but the one in the root folder of the DOSBox program.

You'll want to use a shortcut configured to use the custom dosbox-0.74.conf file , A frontend like AmpShell that will recognize it. (You can't launch the game from a batch file while using the -conf dosbox flag).
 

 

IMPORTANT REMINDER

NEVER Close out your game OR even the DOSBox windows until all after game functions have finished. So quite your game through its menu system, and watch for any functions to post, once they are done type EXIT at the prompt. All this is very important, especially if your using custom installers for mods or running external programs.

Mapping can be done windowed or full screen, if you choose full screen insure that you use the appropriate mapping resolution and using aspect=true is probably important in your dosbox config to keep things in per portion, especially if your using a low resolution. See document above.

Cut-Scenes: They seem to play alright without sound but with sound some of the cut-scenes in some of the BUILD Games, may stutter and be choppy. Optionally use DOSBox EMU's  CTRL-F11 to decrease cycles. This has been noticed to work in most of the games, including Witchaven II.  CTRL-F12 increases cycles to return to a playable game.